Saturday, May 31, 2008

I could engage in real battlefield language, what with John McCain's "spiritual mentor" calling the R.C. Church "the great whore". I could engage in a rowdy defense of the R.C. priest who has worked wonders for his church, and been a great supporter of Senator Barack Obama...and has been attacked by The Catholic League(no big feat here, The Catholic League attacks nearly everyone who disagrees with its outdated, ultra-conservative agenda), and ordered to withdraw from any campaigning, or even naming of a candidate, by his own archbishop.And while this priest's comments were mean-spirited, and I wish he'd expressed his outrage over his interpretation of Hillary feeling "entitled" to the Democratic candidacy for President in a less strident way(mimicking her crying, etc.), I defend his right to express himself.
So what I'll do here instead, is show you a way to more peace, kids. It's called music. Music doesn't just "soothe the savage beast". Apparently, it soothes the savage, in all of us...Read on, in an article from the AP:
Neurologist, choir explore music's healing power
By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press Writer Sat May 31, 9:17 AM ET
NEW YORK - Noted neurologist Oliver Sacks has found common ground with the pastor of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church:
Both men believe in the healing power of music.
Sacks, the best-selling author of "Awakenings" and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," was to share the church stage Saturday with the famed gospel choir as part of the inaugural World Science Festival, a five-day celebration of science taking place in New York this week.
"It should be an exciting and unusual event," Sacks said in an interview this week. "I will talk about the therapeutic and beneficent power of music as a physician, and then their wonderful choir will perform. ... And the audience will make what they can of it."
Sacks' most recent book is "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain," which examines the relationship between music and the brain, including its healing effect on people suffering from such diseases as Tourette's syndrome, Parkinson's, autism and Alzheimer's.
"Even with advanced dementia, when powers of memory and language are lost, people will respond to music," he said.
A Baptist church is an unusual venue for Sacks, a professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center who was brought up Jewish but is not a religious believer.
But the central role of music in church makes Abyssinian a good place to discuss the myriad ways that music affects the human brain, said Sacks, who was played by Robin Williams in the movie version of "Awakenings."
Abyssinian's pastor, the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, said the choir is looking forward to performing with Sacks. He noted that music plays a central role in the healing power of prayer.
"What we have been studying ... is that when you pray, there's actually a physiological change in the body," he said. "Music is very much a part of this. There are certain notes that generate in the human body a kind of peacefulness."
Abyssinian was founded by Ethiopian sea traders in 1808 and is celebrating its bicentennial. It is a popular destination for European tourists who line up around the block in Harlem for Sunday services.
The event there is one of two Sacks is participating in during the World Science Festival. The other focuses on vision and the brain.
The festival was conceived by Columbia University physicist Brian Greene and his wife Tracy Day, a broadcast journalist.
"Our intent is to help shift the public perception of science, so that people realize that science is as important as art, literature, film, theater," Greene said.
Panelists include Nobel laureates as well as actors, dancers, philosophers and science journalists.
Greene said he hopes the festival will spread to other cities.
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Have a sacred, blessed, peaceful weekend!


Becky C. said...

As a long time and actually practicing Catholic, I was surprised, until about four years ago to learn that the Catholic League was still in existence. Then I thought it was just Bill Donohoe. It gets a lot of press--I don't think it matters much at all.

The Catholic Church is not monolithic. I am openly gay, and belonged for many years (until I moved recently) to a very conservative parish, that only does the old Latin (Tridentine Mass)--it is known I am gay, I am accepted--so much so that I was on the church council. This is a church which requires that women where stupid dollies on their head during Mass--Gregrian chants, plenty of incense, the works.

Of course, they do not approve of my lifestyle(but are nice enough not to mention it) and I do expect them to ever change--but these very conservative Catholics accept me as a full fledged person and as a Christian.


Lisa Allender said...

Welcome, Becky C! Thank you for visiting my blog, and letting me know there are Roman Catholic Churches which are accepting/inclusive.
I think you meant to say inthe end of your reply, that you do NOT expect certain folks to ever change their opinion on LGBT.
I would want to feel accepted completely where I worship...
The church I attend is St. Jude's, and at times there has been(from only one "in residence" priest)speech which was unfriendly towards LGBT, but when I protested about that via a letter, my blog, etc., many many members of St. Jude's expressed their deep and abiding support for LGBT people!
I DO believe the RC Church will become more inclusive. And I do hope it's soon!

Collin said...

There should be a new law passed regarding separation of church and state. Obviously it's been lost in the rhetoric.

Lisa Allender said...

Hi Collin! It oughta be unnecessary, a law reiterating "separation of church and state". But I know whatcha mean--it's RIDICULOUS that ANY politician--or "civilian" should have to reveal where he or she worships, or whether or not they worship at all, for that matter...
I tend to vote on whether I believe a certain person is genuine, and is hard-working for causes I support, etc. And I don't need to know where they pray--or even IF they pray-- in order to make that assessment!

Selma said...

I do hope the Catholic church becomes more inclusive soon. And as for the therapeutic power of music - Amen to that. It does soothe in all the right places.

Lisa Allender said...

Hi Coll and Selma--I heard from several Catholics today regarding my views on us LGBT people and the RC Church--and these Catholics agree with me. The Church will become more inclusive, or it will lose us!