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Blind obedience to authoritarians. Photo by Stijn Swinnen on Unsplash

Never Forget

We Remember the Senselessness of War

Why did Michael Palin think that it was a worthwhile endeavour to create The Life of Brian? He was facing unsatisfactory answers from Christians about behaviour that is still appallingly incongruous with their Christ.

The Life of Brian

It’s interesting watching John Cleese and Michael Palin trying to talk sensibly about the dangers of listening to authoritative leaders about spiritual matters without carefully considering what they have to say and making up one’s mind about what is true and what is not. In this exchange with Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood (the then Bishop of Southwark), I find Palin and Cleese to be far more reasonable intellectually, far less pompous, and more grounded in reality because they have a sense of humour. They also seemed to understand the message of Jesus better than the religious leaders of their day, who were more interested in defending the traditions of Western Civilization than the nonviolent protest of a Jew against the violence, extortion, authoritarianism and capital punishment used to maintain oppressive control over the populations of the Roman Empire.

“…there was very little to ridicule in Jesus’s life.” — Michael Palin

Cognitive Dissonance

We remember wars brought on by Christian nations against other Christian nations, and for what? The freedom to sell arms to Saudi Arabia to continue the worst humanitarian disaster of our times.

I was confused, I feel I am still asking questions, seeking solutions.” — Michael Palin

None of this makes any sense

That is why comedians continue to point out the senseless absurdity of the reality, the hell that we create for ourselves because of blind obedience to authoritarians.

Prerequisites for Religious Leadership

I remember a story about a man trying to give a history lesson to the religious leaders of his day. He tried to tell them that they were missing the point by thinking that God lives in temples. Worse than that, they had just murdered the Messiah they had been waiting for.

“At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.”

Acts 7:57–58

“I’m suggesting that we’ve made an advance.”— John Cleese

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Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design.

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