The Vatican has its head up its ass again.
And people wonder why I don’t go in for organized religion.
Via Non Fluffy Wicca.
Does anyone besides me think that denying the fact that quite a few animal species engage in homosexual behavior is the theological equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying “La, la, la, I can’t hear you”? Or that it’s completely and totally laughable to call an exhibition on the sexual behavior of nonhuman species “pornography”?
To a certain faction of the Christian faithful, the discovery of lost gospels can be a disturbing thing. These now non-canon documents paint a picture of a religion that was still getting its act together, after all, and if it didn’t start off with one complete, overarching vision, that could shake some people’s faith, perhaps, just a little. Of course, one can always just shrug and say, well, there have always been heresies.
When I was a young seeker, still putting at least some energy into trying to understand the Catholic faith that my parents raised me in, one of the things that I had the hardest time reconciling was the portrayal of Judas as a villain. It seemed to me that, if Jesus had to be crucified, then Judas’s betrayal was absolutely necessary. So why did we vilify Judas for doing what simply had to be done?
I developed an image in my head of a dedicated Judas, who would do whatever his rabbi told him to. Maybe he was even chosen because Jesus knew that none of the others had the strength to do it. Jesus tells him that this is what he must do, that the others won’t understand, that he will be remembered by history as a villain. Judas does as he’s asked. And afterwards, he hangs himself because he can’t live with it.
For some reason, I accepted that Judas was in Hell, but not that he was a traitor. Sometimes, I fancied that his damnation was actually because of his suicide (which is, after all, a mortal sin in Catholic doctrine), and sometimes because Jesus had given the other apostles the power to condemn others. Either way, I thought it was supremely unfair.
It didn’t occur to me at the time that others had thought about this issue. That the role of Judas, so central to the great Mystery at Christianity’s heart, could have been seen from many different angles right from the beginning.
I’m glad someone else has had a bit of sympathy for the poor old bastard.