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Good Friday



In case you didn't notice, yesterday was Good Friday. "Friday on the Peninsula", a section of the San Francisco Chronicle (4/18/03) said not a word about it. The feature article was "Israeli dances bring cultures together. Israeli folk dancing brings life to local venues". Life? Of course, Good Friday is about death, a socially incorrect subject. Another feature article was about "Cell phones for orangutans", who presumably were likewise unaware that this was Good Friday.

Good Friday was marked in San Diego with a meeting on the role of the Church in US foreign policy at the John Know Institute for Peace and Justice. What is the relationship of John Know (1514-1572) with peace and justice? Knox started out as a Roman Catholic priest, but became a Protestant under the influence of George Wishart. Condemned by Cardinal David Beaton, Wishart wass burned at the stake. Protestants assassinated the cardinal and then barricaded themselves in St. Andrews castle. The castle was stormed by Scottish and French Catholics. Know was sentenced to serve on French galleys. English Protestants secured is release, and in England he became a forerunner of the Puritan movement. In 1553. the accession of Bloody Mary forced him to flee, he went to Geneva, where he met John Calvin. He wrote The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558), which is presumably banned from contemporary programs in feminist studies. It was directed at the Queen Regent of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots,who was also queen of France. The American press has been greatly impressed by House leader Nancy Pelosi, but this book inspires doubts about the regiment of women. Knox became generally unpopular with the powers that be. He returned to Scotland and engaged Mary, now a widow, in a series of debates. When he finally settled in Scotland, he was a founder of the Church of Scotland, i.e. Presbyterian, and he became a famous preacher. Do you think he fought for peace and justice, or did he fight for the the theological ideas expressed in his Treatise on Predestination (1560)?

Be that as it may, the Institute hosted a meeting at which the main speaker was Robert Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches. At a time when it is fashionable in the US to belittle the United Nations, he defended it vigorously. His words were very appropriate to Good Friday. I wonder if the orangutans were listening on their cell phones? So much for Good Friday in the US. Another posting will deal with its celebration in Spanis-speaking countries.

Ronald Hilton - 4/19/03


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