I like the entire concept of ‘Burning Man’. So much so that it’s my hope that SLN have a presence at the SL version this year.
What I like about it is the freedom of expression, the art, the sense of being individuals in an increasingly homogenised world.
I like News, too, particularly news with a societal angle that has ripples from history, particularly in the context of the islands previously known as ‘the British Isles’ (i.e. the current United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland). Because that’s part of ‘the day job’.
As a result I do a lot of clicking around news stories that may be of benefit to my job in respect of how their occurrence, and the reaction to these events, do not happen in isolation. I won’t go into much detail about the short, medium or long term history of Ireland, specifically Northern Ireland, because we haven’t got hours for you to even obtain a veneer of knowledge about the subject, and it’s not really relevant to SL or SL naturism.
But this story, from BBC Northern Ireland, caught my eye this morning. Essentially a Presbyterian minister has declared that an art project, built, visited and which will eventually be burned in the city of Derry, as with Burning Man himself, to be ‘pagan’. Hmm…it’s not as if Christianity didn’t nail their colours to the mast of Pagan worship practices in order to make Christianity more amenable to previously Pagan tribes in the British Isles (and elsewhere), is it?
I looked into the Burning Man which is similar to this and a culture has developed that anything goes.
“The Burning Man is linked to orgies and things.
“My fear that is that we go down a similar route to this in the future.
“Dealing with loss is extremely difficult but the burning of the temple is contrary to what the Bible says.
“It’s not the way to God.”…
…says the minister in question.
Seriously? The Burning Man is linked to orgies and things? What are these ‘things’? Drug taking? Gang rapes? Stamp collecting? A discussion on the life and times of Irish author WB Yeats? What things exactly?
Burning Man features quite a bit of nudity. So what? And only a fool would deny that it’s devoid of drugs or sexual activity. There may even have been an orgy or two, after all the festival has its own ‘Orgydome’. Equally, the Burning Man wiki entry defines key elements of its purpose as
leaving no trace
Inclusivity, communal effort, civic responsibility, participation…aren’t these all key elements of the teachings of Jesus?
Perhaps the ‘decommodification’ of society, the rejection of materialism, the lack of ‘coveting thy neighbours goods’ is in line with Biblical teaching too. Am I alone in thinking that the values of the counter-culture are more likely to lead a way to God? (Perhaps not in the sense of singing hymns and so on, but certainly in the sense of a good, Christian spirituality, even if the word ‘Christian’ isn’t used once).
But why focus on those values when you can focus, instead, on orgies and ‘things’?