View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Christian Dada Manifesto (first thoughts)

Dada grew out of frustration and disillusionment with the world of the World War I era.

The Dadaists saw a war of heretofore unimagined scale. They viewed society as rigid and hypocritical and lifeless. They viewed religion as it was conventionally practiced as something bereft of deeper meaning. They viewed western civilization as something controlled by stale, stifling, impotent ideas.

They called for destruction of those ideas. They called for chaos. They called for rejection of all beliefs. They elevated individualism. They used the absurd, the outrageous, the offensive to challenge the world.

The movement died in recrimination. It died when it dove deep into the chaos and drowned in its own excesses. It died in the Dadaists' own self-worship and shallow thinking. It died in their focus on show rather than substance. It died because it was really just a spasm of the world they were rejecting. It died when it was absorbed by society and the world of art and literature.

We now live in a world where we are at war with our very souls. We live in a world that is rigid and hypocritical in its love of excess – of wealth and sensuality and the worship of the individual.
We live on the fruits of Dada and the civilization that spawned it.

But in Dada, as in all of creation, there is truth.

Dada just needed to be baptized.

The world then and the world now is without meaning if we merely look at it through superficial eyes.

But beneath the stale, the stifling, the impotent, beneath the chaos, lies the truth.

What is truth?


Pilate had the answer standing before him, but he did not see.

And the Dadaists just didn’t dive deep enough in their quest to see him.

What is more absurd in the eyes of the world than belief in a God who so loved the world he sent his only son to die on a cross for us?

What is more absurd than living to serve God rather than gratifying our own cravings?

What is more absurd than self-sacrifice as opposed to serving oneself?

Dada is Calvary.
Dada is transubstantiation.
Dada is the virgin birth.
Dada is the resurrection.
Dada is the Immaculate Conception.
Dada is the Trinity.
Dada is Lourdes.
Dada is Fatima.
Dada is the rosary.
Dada is heaven.
Dada is the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Dada is John the Baptist crying the the wilderness.
Dada is Peter as the first pope.
Dada is Francis of Assisi building churches.
Dada is Pope John Paul II embracing his would-be assassin.
Dada is virginity.
Dada is chastity.
Dada is modesty.
Dada is humility.
Dada is simplicity.
Dada is fasting.
Dada is baptism.
Dada is the Eucharist.
Dada is confession and penance.
Dada is Mea Culpa.
Dada is stigmata.
Dada is the cross.

So what we need is a Christian Dada movement. A movement to challenge the soul of the world with our absurd faith.

Dada is Catholicism.
Catholicism is Dada.

Amen the Amen.


Blogger Paula said...

Amen to this brother.

9:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home