Friday, August 15, 2014

Like Selling the Vatican

I recently finished reading "The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee". It's Sarah Silverman's book about her life and comedy career.

Personally, I think it is a nice read.

In the book, she wrote about a video she produced, "Sell the Vatican, Feed the World". It's on YouTube. I haven't really seen it myself. I don't think I really need to. If I get around to it, I'll see it. But I do not have an overarching need to see it. Sarah's art is way too graphic for me sometimes. But Sarah herself to me is cool.

Anyway, she immediately got Internet-whooped about "Sell the Vatican, Feed the World". Most netizens launched relentless tirades against her Jewishness, a fact that, she confided in her book, confounds her.

None of those aforementioned comments that she included in her book recognized what question she was actually posing and the fact that it was all being done in the name of comedy.

Why so serious, people?

Anyway, I wrote Sarah my own reply:

Sarah, speaking to you as your fellow human being, it's not as easy as it looks!

You know, there are also people within the Catholic Church and within Christendom in general who voice the same opinion - why don't we sell the Vatican and feed the world? 

Most of the treasures over there possess a profoundly religious and cultural value such as priceless works of art, ancient books, rare manuscripts and Christian artifacts. There are also many items used in our rites and have resonance in our history and our memory. All of them the Vatican keeps in behalf of the whole Church. All of them have the weight of sacred tradition.

If they didn't we'd have auctioned them off ages ago, I think.

Plus, the Vatican is the seat of our Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome.

It's a fine thing, your sentiment. And in essence I feel you, I see what you're saying. I also see in the humanity of others, the urgency of the need to raise many of us who are trapped in poverty to the dignity proper to the human person. But we should be wary of simple solutions to complex social problems, I think.

Perhaps you too have become quite frustrated about the widespread hunger problem we face as a planet, because truly, it can be very daunting. Here in the Philippines, religion is a reliable ally against it, and rallied properly, is a powerful force for positive change.

Losing the Vatican would be devastating to us Catholics, Sarah. The local effects here in the Philippines of selling the Vatican would be very sad and very real.

Our Church is not perfect, I admit. Even some priests these days find themselves losing their own faith. They fall (as we do in the Laity) and at times they fail, some priests as you know, fail so terribly that it scandalizes the whole Church. But of the bad ones, we also have good priests - and one good priest in a parish is worth a dozen rotten ones, maybe even more. I know this. I thank God each day I remember how blessed we are by the good and faithful priest who serve in our parish.

It's a nice thought to sell the Vatican and immediately get the funds to alleviate the hunger over here - but it's an escapism. You made it funny, even crass to the point its funny. You're you, what can I do - I take you as you are. No two persons are ever the same. We're like cats that way.

Your point is not a moot one though. It has resonance. We're looking at the same point in the horizon but our compass bearings just don't match. You you. Me me, Sarah. No two cats are ever the same.

I hate and regret it that religions have had to trade blows over a problem so universal that it is obviously best approached in an attitude of humanity and togetherness. I respect that you are an agnostic. I also understand your Jewishness.

My bestest girl-friend is Jewish. My Savior chose to come to our hearts through your nation and my religion is descended from its faith. How some of my co-religionists so easily forget is beyond me. I can only speak for myself, Sarah.

I guess some cats like to run around in circles. I apologize for their dizziness.

They say most of the Nazi leadership corps are Catholic or had Catholic roots. So too did Judas follow Jesus before he turned against Him. I would never leave Peter or Paul for Judas. I will not become evil-inspired by the lingering malaise of Nazi thought and deal a double blow against our memory.

I just want to add that thought above because some Christians become bitter or jaded by the myth of bad Christianity. Many of us throw it all away without even trying to discover its true gift. I do not think there is any such thing as bad Christianity. Bad Christians, yes.

Evil cloaks itself in light all the time - in all religions.

I love the Church from whose bosom I have in God been nurtured and brought up, Sarah. I may not always agree with the particulars but the greater truths we hold to are one; and they all ascend to the One. We are one Church after all, made up of people - of living stones. Church with a big "C".

I am not referring here to our church buildings whose bricks are incapable of intelligent thought or any form of human sympathy. That would be spelled with a small "c".

I think the cause of world hunger will be better served by small kindnesses. I am sure you along with many other good people around our world do this everyday, some without even thinking about it. I don't want to say I know you, Sarah, but from what I can gather from your book, I think you're a really decent person up close. And cute.

If we can inspire people from the many nations who do small acts of goodness everyday, and raise their awareness about the pressing need to defend our communities from hunger, it would add up to a big, big thing, don't you think?

It would be like selling the Vatican.