Sunday, March 12, 2006

Witnessing: Eating Corpses on Christian TV

I am something of a religion freak. Notice I used religion and not religious. Since I was a little kid I have always been interested in religion and faith based systems. I love reading up on various religious groups (especially ones that people consider cults) as well as the more mainstream religions. I started doing this to understand where different people come from in terms of their value systems, but also to make sense of my world, my self and my own spirtuality...

I take elements from various religions that I like and incorporate them into my own life. I then also examine elements I don't like and see how they manifest themselves in our daily lives regardless of faith.

I say all that to say this...I watch a lot of religious programming. Since I was a little kid I've watched the 700 Club and TBN. I love watching public access when various religious groups present programming. When I was in the M.E. I watched a lot of Islamic religous programming. I find them entertaining and informative. More entertaining than informative...

So last night I was watching this program called "Travel the Road" for the first time on TBN. It's about these Christian missionaries who travel the world and witness. For those who may not know, witnessing is the act of proclaiming your faith to strangers, so that they may wish to convert...

I love watching witnessing, I love watching peoples reactions when they are being witnessed to. Kirk Cameron has a hillarious show on TBN where him and some other guy witness. The reactions are priceless...

Anyway I digress...

So here I am watching TBN right...It's a Christian station, which is good family entertainment. Here are these people, Tim and Will, walking around the mountains with skulls all over the place...I kid you not! Skulls and bones. So I'm like...oh crap this is going to be serious...nothing prepared me from what I was going to see next.

Remember, this is a Christian tv station. This is family entertainment. The people who watch this claim that there is too much sex and violence on tv right:


I saw vultures eat a corpse!

I'm not joking y'all...I saw vultures rip through a corpse...on TBN!

Ok, so now that the initial shock was out of the way I do need to explain what was going on. I witnessed a "Sky Burial" in Tibet. It all makes sense when you think about it. Space is at a premium in Tibet, much of the ground is frozen, so it's extremely difficult to bury, and firewood is extremely expensive so creamation is reserved for monks. At once I recognized the brilliance of what they were doing.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that the soul leaves the body upon death. In essence the soul was only borrowing the body. After the soul leaves the body, well the body is useless, it is mearly flesh. Feeding corpses back to the vultures is a way of getting rid of that flesh, when more "traditional" methods won't work.

I don't see any reason to pass judgement. Of course the good people at Travel the Road did. They gave the impression that this was a most ungodly thing that the Tibetans were doing. Now, to be honest, how is it less ungodly, less barbaric to bury someone in the ground so they can be consumed by maggots, worms and beatles?

But hey...
*shrugs shoulders*
who am I to speak...

So I went to their website to see what some of the viewers had to say about the program. I found some of the comments interesting:

"Saw the episode last Saturday night. I felt such an oppression that i got physically ill. I actually got sick. That's never happened to me before. I had a question when you were at the sky burial site in Tibet, did you just pray while witnessing this?? Even though I know you are strong in your faith could you feel an opression there? I actually started praying for the entire nation. I hope you guys are doing ok. I'ts so good that you document these films so the world can see what evilness takes place in so many places and the danger you take on. GOD Bless you . Janie Kazor Huntington Beach California THE LORD BE WITH YOU...................."

How is this evil?
How is this oppression?

Why must people be so judgemental?

9 Comments:

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what scares me the most is that these tv channels have such a huge audience, many of whom would never question the opinions presented by the show hosts, since they are doing god's 'work', per se...

but who am i to judge...

-Makki

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger Mindazi said...

So is it also OK not to pass judgement on "female genital mutilation"?

http://www.drury.edu/ess/values/MMidgley.html

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger The Rooster said...

People love judging, it keeps us going...

We all judge, maybe not in public, maybe in the privacy of under the blanket or on the toilet. But we judge and as long as we don't tell anyone or show anyone that we judge. Then it's OK to be judgmental.

I remember visiting the Vatican back in high school, and my principle was yelling all day about how the paintings of some nudes was oppression to the Catholics. Meh, funny!

Cheers!

 
At 12:57 AM, Anonymous PE@CE said...

Female genital mutilation happens to people who are Alive- you're not comparing apples to apples poster # 2.

Chef> Me obsessed with cults/religions/faiths/stuff too! They had a nice program on Magic and Jinn on MBC the other day (With Chicken slaughtered on top of womans head- teh funneh!)

 
At 3:04 AM, Blogger Mindazi said...

I am talking about why it is not acceptable to pass judgement on another culture because you don't belong to it.
Which I think is bullshit. Hence my link to the analysis of Midgely's argument.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Soul Rebel said...

I wasn't making a comment on not passing judgement. We all pass judgements. I wouldn't do what I do if I didn't have a sense of judgement.

What I do have a problem with is judgement in ignorance. The program made no attempt to explain what a sky burial was, and the reasons for the people doing so.

All they showed was a scene of vultures ripping apart a carcass. It was aimed at shock value and to show what "heathens" Tibetan Buddhists are.

Judgement is not a problem...judgement in ignorance is...

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TBN re-played the sky burial segment a few nights ago at around 2:00 AM. What a tasteless enjoyable program! I especially liked the part where the 2 guys were smashing apart a HUMAN SKULL with PICKAXES to make it easier for the vultures to eat! Amazing when you consider this was on an 'xian' TV Network and yet it's still missing from ogrish.com! ROTFL.

 
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At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! » » »

 

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