Karl Gallagher (selenite) wrote,
Karl Gallagher
selenite

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Flower-Breathing Dragons

We went to the Unitarian service yesterday. They made an announcement that we'd had a registered sex offender in the congregation and that he'd been asked to stay away. Didn't mention he was a pedophile. Did have the announcement made by the highest-ranking woman in the church leadership. But complaints aside they did make a clear announcement. Had an interesting sermon, which concentrated on how more people were doing good and only a small fraction were evil.

It's nice to hear a Unitarian talking about evil. Lots of them seem to have trouble with the concept. There's a lot of fluffy "can't we all just get along" attitude.

Case in point--last week's service. I'm there being twitchy about the pedophile just being outed (and the idiot president of the congregation called him up and told him--"hey, so-and-so found out you're violating your parole, so don't come to the church any more"--so I was listening for sounds of a nasty intruder). It was a children's service, with some classic kid's stories being read. The director of religious education came up with her guitar and started telling the story of a village that was burned down by a dragon every week. This made the villagers unhappy because they had to build their houses again every week. So when a brave frog came by they asked him to go make the dragon stop. The frog confronts the dragon, who explains, he's sorry, he can't help breathing flame, it's just his way. He'd rather breath flowers than flames. Cue guitar and she launches into "If I could breathe you springtime."

I walked out.

My favorite description of fairy tales:

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed."
- attributed to G. K. Chesterton

The world has evil people in it. Some are just evil because they cause harm through careless. Other enjoy hurting people for their own profit. The most evil have a grand scheme they want to force everyone into regardless of the cost. But in all cases you have to confront them and defeat them if they don't yield. True yielding means making atonement for past sins, not just empty promises about being better in the future. Evil people who won't atone must be destroyed or rendered harmless some other way. That's a lot of work. It's a big temptation to say "he promised he'd do better, we can stop worrying about it now" but that just lets them try to hurt people again.

I don't want pedophiles in my church. And I do want my children learning that dragons who destroy a village are things you kill, not sing pretty songs with.
Tags: culture, unitarians
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