I was thinking about Russia, and the anti-gay sentiment that is revealing itself, the hatred. It's in our country as well, this vile judgment and self-righteousness (surely one of my least favorite words).
After reading Susan Bakewell's wonderful How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer last year, I picked up some Montaigne. Like with Buber, I sometimes pick it up and just see where it is. I didn't know what to blog about, and I read this:
See the horrible impudence with which we bandy divine reasons about....
I see this evident, that we willingly accord to piety only the services that flatter our passions. There is no hostility that excels Christian hostility. Our zeal does wonders when it is seconding out leaning toward hatred, cruetly, ambition, avaraice, detraction, rebellion. Against the grain, toward goodness, benignity, moderation, unless as by a miracle some rare nature bears it, it will neither walk nor fly.
Our religion is made to extirpate vices; it covers them, fosters them, incites them.
Written about inter-faith warfare in France in the 16th century. Plus ca change.., as the French say. We are still living in it. I hope this bald use of ignorance and fear to scapegoat fails. I hope it fails spectacularly. I hope no more have to die.
In the meantime, in some ways, how little has changed.