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24641Re: [existlist] Re: Church

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  • Nicole Schultheis
    Feb 1, 2004
      I actually climbed Montsegur last summer with my 6 yr old daughter and
      husband. Very worthwhile experience. Stayed in a little auberge in the
      town, sat up the night before with just a little reading light on, reading
      aloud to my kid from the tourist pamphlets and our travel books. Mystical
      stuff, eerie similarities to Machu Picchu. I was not sure how much of it
      she understood, but she was going through a "God" phase so religious stuff
      was sinking in and we enjoyed talking about it

      When we returned to our house my daughter painted a vertical banner on a
      strip of plain muslin and hung it on a bamboo pole so that it draped down
      the full two stories of the main stairs. At the bottom were heretics piled
      up, on fire. Then there was the mountain, with its donkey path, leading up
      to the now-familiar skyline and ruined buildings of Montsegur at the top.
      Above were clouds. Above the clouds were "souls" -- they looked like cutout
      paper dolls of boys and girls -- she also colored them to represent the
      different races (out of her presence we had an interesting discussion about
      this tidbit) -- and above the souls the sun and its rays in brilliant
      yellow, with the word "God" written inside it. We just gave her the bamboo,
      the cloth strip, and the paints -- it was supposedly just a craft project
      to keep her busy while the grownups did something else worthwhile (ha ha,
      like drink wine and gossip) -- and she comes up with this. We were blown

      On another occasion, she had said to her dad, "Dad, is there a God?"

      Without thinking how best to respond, he says, unequivocally, "No!"

      I kick him under the table and find myself compelled, with a straight face,
      to tell her the exact opposite. He looks at me in disbelief and nearly
      spits out his peas.

      For a second she looks back and me and maintains eye contact long enough for
      me to know that she knows there is more to the story but that I am not
      telling it. She makes one of those faces that confirms to me that she is
      really a teenager trapped in a 6-year-old's body, then she throws her arms
      up in the air, and says, "Whatever!"

      A more reasoned discussion with the poor kid does not take place until
      several months later, around the time of the banner.

      Anyhow, the literature from Montsegur reminded us that those who are most
      hated are the heretics, not the infidels.

      Now think Homeland Security. Who has more to fear from the established
      power -- the outsiders? Or inside critics? Crisics live in fear that soon
      we all will be slapped with RFID tags. And then who could resist logic like

      "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot
      survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for
      he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst
      those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the
      alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor
      appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he
      wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies
      deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works
      secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he
      infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less
      to fear." -- Cicero Marcus Tullius

      What is truth? What is treason? What happens to inside critics when a
      government's power rests upon a phony reality and civil rights are
      undermined? When belief systems are threatened and a new reality struggles
      to emerge it is a most dangerous time. Dangerous for those who are
      increasingly "wrong" as well as for those who are increasingly "right."
      The myth ceases to depict reality -- and maybe it never did -- and in the
      end only one set of mythmakers survives.

      Somehow, someday, all of this will begin to make more coherent sense and
      find its way into fiction.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Mary Jo Malo
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2004 3:59 PM
      Subject: [existlist] Re: Church


      Not all torture was done in back rooms. Much was done in public to
      intimidate the heretics of the day. The Albigensians were burned en
      masse at the foot of a mountain. Their particular technique of having
      heretics recant, and then kill them anyway, was particularly heinous.

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