Monday, November 10, 2008

Monk Brawl 2008

So yesterday was Sunday. Sunday is seen by many Christians to be a "Holy Day". So in Israel yesterday two opposing religious groups did what any self-respecting groups would do on the "Holy Day"....fight like hell!!!

The clash between Armenian and Greek Orthodox monks broke out in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, revered as the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.The brawling began during a procession of Armenian clergymen commemorating the 4th-century discovery of the cross believed to have been used to crucify Jesus.The Greeks objected to the march without one of their monks present, fearing that otherwise, the procession would subvert their own claim to the Edicule — the ancient structure built on what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus — and give the Armenians a claim to the site.

I think there is a hidden gem in that last paragraph...the Greek Monks FEARED...THE PROCESSION WOULD SUBVERT THEIR OWN CLAIM. It seems that these two rather ancient groups have passed on a few things to our modern religious sad.

Kind of like a grown man peeing his pants, the video of "Monk Brawl 2008" is as equally funny and strange. To see otherwise religious people, wearing religious clothes fighting like a bunch of drunk rednecks reminds me of Jesus' labeling of the Pharisees. He said they were like a white-washed tomb...pretty to look at but dead inside. What happens in Israel, between two groups barely even recognized in the Bible Belt of America seems irrelevant and far removed...but are we really any different?

I mean, how often do we or have we gotten dressed up, called ourselves doing something religious only to have horrible attitudes, rotten behavior and ungodly actions? It is easy to spot Monks fighting in a "Holy Place" but it is much more difficult to spot the rotten and often hidden, dark corners in our own world. I pray that you will join me in using the events of the Monk Brawl as a mirror to make sure we aren't all being equally absurd.

And if I may add one last thing...based on the video, Monks fight like wounded girl scouts...pretty angry and vicious but very few wild swings actually make contact and they don't seem to hurt very badly when they do. If you are going to pick a fight with your cross-town rival Monk Gang, you better be able to back it up...otherwise you end up on looking like a sissy.

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