Of Villainy and Religion


To Apologize for Kindness

Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary

You may recall that after the Newtown massacre where 20 children and six adults were murdered, an inter-faith memorial service was held.

Reverend Rob Morris, a Newtown Lutheran Minister, one of whose young parishioners was among the dead, gave the benediction at the service.

Reverend Morris was subsequently forced to apologize to his church leadership for participating in the service since mingling with different denominational ministers violated their prohibition against joint worship with people of other faiths.

The man who demanded the apology, Lutheran President and Reverend Matthew Harrison eventually apologized for his original demand offering up a contorted rationale.

 A Civil Society?

The Church and the State form two of the most important institutions underpinning modern or civilized life.  Both are associated to varying degrees with compassion.  Many citizens, religious or not, would see the role of the pious as teaching, modeling or extolling the virtues of compassion, kindness and comity as a key tenet of earthly life.  Faith relies on the future while kindness exists in the moment before us.  And, few acts of kindness are more powerful than comforting the bereaved.

How jarring then, in the midst of such a devastating catastrophe as Newtown, to have God’s minister rebuked and forced to apologize for an act of healing and kindness.  What aspect of that reinforces the concept of mercy or the sanctity of human life?


It’s fancy for “wicked” which is a powerful word.  It basically connotes an evil willfulness.  Demanding what would effectively be a public apology from Reverend Morris for his kindness was an act of villainy.  He was forced to betray his personal sense of kindness and sense of community in order to satisfy the peculiar tenet of a religious doctrine.

God created “man” and we have created an endless series of sects and divisions jostling and preening for first place in the eyes of the great one.  Though it has long since been proven that we are all essentially the same, the role of much religion is to somehow convince us that we are actually different, and damned because of it.


The synonyms for power are better than the word itself:  might – force – strength – potency – authority.  In the world we inhabit, it seems that no institution, of God or man, can long exist without some combination of strength and authority.  Institutions of power are characterized by hierarchy, status and the ability to punish.  Punishing human compassion is an exquisite abuse of power normally associated with the cruelest of regimes.

Tragically, the cost of power-based organized religion is the requirement to subordinate the inclination to be kind or merciful in order to reinforce  a sense of difference or specialness.

Christ En-route  to Calvary

Look, or look again, at Raphael’s masterwork but see the faltering Christ as the grieving people of Newtown.  See the beseeching Mary on the right as those who would offer compassion including Rob Morris.  Lastly, see the towering and unmerciful guards, centurions who willingly inflict pain to protect their power as the kings of religion.

Thus has the message of mercy and kindness been subverted by religious dogma and the lust for power and control.


1 Comment

  • Victoria Huckenpahler says:

    So true. It’s disheartening that people nowadays feel compelled to bow before every little manifestation of disgruntlement exhibited.

    I agree with HH Dalai Lama when he says, “My religion is kindness.” He also advocates against one global religion, saying that just as many cuisines exist for many different palates, so different expressions of religious truth must be honored as valid according to the needs and capacities of their practitioners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Jacob Hill
Chief Grey Goose and the Savage Squaw
Wow, could that have been any more racist? You do realize that there are still people living that are descendant of indigenous people lucky enough to have escaped the biggest genocide this world has ever seen? Native people aren’t just a Hollywood creation; they are my family and friends. Your post has nothing to do…
2015-10-09 06:14:43
Eric Lamar
Chief Grey Goose and the Savage Squaw
Do you brain surgeons have any idea how the IAFF trial board system really works? Read up on it and get back to me. There is zero chance of the IAFF dealing honestly with these ethics issues. That is why exterior disclosure is essential. Good night.
2015-10-09 01:37:57
Marvin Wilson
Chief Grey Goose and the Savage Squaw
Either grow some and file charges or hush! i.e. STFU What do you expect to gain?
2015-10-09 01:28:35
Eric Lamar
Chief Grey Goose and the Savage Squaw
Was it something I said?
2015-10-08 20:06:25
Reid Shimabukuro
Chief Grey Goose and the Savage Squaw
You're a fuckin coward! If you hate the way our General President leads this union the you should just quit! You had the perfect opportunity to face the IAFF delegation at the Cincinnati Covention in 2014 but you never showed.....go figure! Instead you sit behind the computer and take your shots at dividing this union!…
2015-10-08 19:47:14
February 2013
« Jan   Mar »

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter