Posted by Christopher Johnson | Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 41 Comments
It’s been way too long since we’ve dropped in on Matthew Fox. What has everyone’s favorite non-Christian-Roman-Catholic-turned-Episcopagan-goofball been up to lately?
Warning that environmental degradation caused by raging against “Gaia” had to cease, the Rev. Matthew Fox made frequent references to “the Goddess” and the divine feminine during his environmentally-themed lecture and workshop, “Earth Spirituality and the Mystical Tradition.” The event was held in April at the Unitarian Universalist Church in the Washington suburb of Rockville, Maryland, and sponsored by the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.
Long story short, Matt’s pretty much gone off the deep end.
Fox’s seminar was a melding of Celtic spirituality, goddess worship, panentheism (which posits that God interpenetrates every part of nature, but also transcends nature), environmental activism, and a political rejection of American “empire,” peppered sporadically with digs against the Vatican. Making references to Christian mystics like Hildegard of Bingen alongside pagan deities and the animal world, Fox comfortably oscillated between threats to polar bears and the oppression patriarchy when expressing his views on the natural world.
When you’ve been making things up for as long as Matt has, you might as well go pedal-to-the-metal.
“Creation spirituality begins with the concept of original blessing instead of original sin,” Fox explained in a 2005 documentary. “You came into the world as a real expression of divinity and as something beautiful and yearning to connect with others, including the creator. The ‘cosmic Christ’ theology is also a big part of our cosmic mass. It teaches that the Christ – that is the image of God – is present in every being in the universe. This allows you a much broader canvas in which to paint your worship.”
If you want to use that word to dignify this crap.
That worship has included the “Techno Cosmic Mass” – an event that attempts to combine the religious ritual of the Eucharist with non-Christian religious rituals and the energy of techno music and rave parties. Mixing dance, techno music, contemporary art and the western liturgical tradition, the post-modern form of worship eschews traditional images of church, along with rejecting traditional Christian teachings.
If Jesus was alive today, says the old loon, he’d be down with what we’re doing.
“[Jesus] was probably illiterate,” Fox claimed, explaining that Jesus’ purportedly illegitimate birth would have exiled him from the rabbinical schools. Instead, Fox posits that the young Jesus spent more time learning from nature. References to lilies, vines, and mustard seeds in Jesus’ teachings back this view, according to Fox.
Matt never explains when and where they break out the ganja during “worship.”
“Matter is frozen light,” Fox asserted, also adding that plants and animals had souls, as they share the properties of being “living, sensory and intelligent.”
Which is strange because bong hits seem to be driving this freak show and his “masses.” Either that or Orange Sunshine.
Fox conducted elements of the “cosmic mass” during the seminar. Among them was a grieving ritual, which Fox equated with confession during the traditional mass. In preparation for the ritual, Fox invited participants to place their feet, knees, hands and forehead in direct contact with the floor, in order to increase connection with the earth below. Seminar participants then were instructed to release their grief into the earth in three stages: anger, sorrow, and concluding with “bottoming out”.
Here’s where it gets weird.
As the “grief work” began, animal-like barking and growls punctuated guttural wails and whimpering that filled the church sanctuary, rising to a crescendo and then concluding. Fox pronounced the “grief work” as authentic, saying that which came from the gut was correctly in line with the third chakra, a point of spiritual power located along the body in yoga.
The next time an Episcopalian complains if you call TEO non-Christian, ask him why his “church” has never officially run Matt Fox.
The clergyman also prescribed another practice of grieving: “Find a rock, dig a hole, ask the rock if it is willing to do this, and then you get a bandanna or some piece of cloth that means something to you, and you put your grief into that rock and wrap it, wrap the bandanna around it and bury it, and then cover it up. The Earth is so generous and large that she can absorb our grief for us.”
You can’t just order the Earth around like that. Matt. You’re not the boss of the Earth. Maybe the Earth doesn’t have time to absorb our grief because it’s got Cardinal tickets or something. Ever considered the Earth’s needs, Matt, you selfish bastard?
“We’ve been told by bad preachers that Jesus died on the cross for your sins,” Fox said. In the place of sacrificial atonement, the Episcopal priest argued that liturgy and worship was about the Universe itself, “veneration of the sacred.”
Matt? Veneration of the sacred what? If I told you I had a “sacred” Ford Ranger pick-up, would you start praying to it? Or do you just venerate the word “sacred?”