Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pause for Thought
The Zoe Ball Show
BBC Radio 2
Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Where I come from in Quebec, you drive through the Laurentian Mountains just north of Montreal and you know you’re about to hit a town because you can see the spire or steeple of the church. You see it long before you see the white metal roofs of the village houses nestled in the hills.

Church steeples and spires don’t only represent competition between towns (or religious denominations) for pre-eminence with respect to height. They are visible symbols both of hope and defiance.

They’re the great “up yours” to the idea that this is all we are – labourers in the employ of the local landlord, humble creatures who live out their lives shackled to drudgery before they die.

Like an enormous dinner party, like a bottle of really good red wine, like a concert at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, like some art hanging against the back wall of the Church behind the altar there are probably more economical ways of cooking food, or quicker ways of fermenting grapes or less arduous ways of making a statement with paint on canvas.

But they don’t do the same thing.

If you go to hear Handel’s Messiah this Christmas you’ll notice that when the choir starts belting out the Hallelujah Chorus the audience stands up –the semi-employed, the newly abandoned, the underappreciated, those condemned to being ordinary – they stand up. And a finger – the finger in this case of the composer or the artist – points up and beyond.

The human being is noble. The human being is the object of God’s love. People who are stuck in one place can look within themselves or beyond themselves and find a place for their foot to take another step.

A church spire or steeple may only be wood or iron or bricks or stone but it points in the right direction.

An audio link is available for a limited time HERE. PFT begins 0:21.23 - just a little way along the audio bar.


Anonymous said...

So religion is man worshiping people? You could save yourselves the trouble and venerate mirrors.
Religion is an expensive waste of time; ironic that you mention Quebec, where religion is virtually dead, except at an historic relic.

Raspberry Rabbit said...

Mom, I wish you wouldn't creep onto the blog late and night and leave these demoralizing comments! We've talked about this!

jim said...

The more intense the reaction the closer the bullet strikes. Avoid ho hum.