Saturday, August 29, 2009

Edward Moore Kennedy

I wasn't planning to spend the morning viewing Ted Kennedy's funeral mass, but it was irresistible, emotional, consoling, and right. Couldn't tear myself away from the TV, notwithstanding a competing aversion to the whole florid medieval display of Holy Mass, which to me reeks of ancient, primitive superstition and fear.

Yet it's easy to understand how someone raised in that faith tradition would derive the greatest solace and strength from the ritual enactments of Mother Church, and would find life's harsh transitions made bearable in them.

And yet again... how do honest believers reconcile themselves to the undeniable challenges of intellectual conscience? How do they square the beautiful and confident aesthetic of tradition and ritual and faith with the (at least) equally compelling recognition that even the fullest life any of us is privileged to enjoy on earth is fragile and fleeting and without evidence of a sequel?

But how do honest unbelievers reconcile themselves to the fragility and transience of life in the absence of such majestic tradition and ritual and faith?

More good questions for "Atheism and Spirituality," I can't wait.

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