Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dante Shrugged

by Larry Beane

How little things have changed since 1320, when the great poet Dante Alighieri complained about the worship wars in his own day and age in his Divine Comedy:

"Christ did not say to His first congregation:
'Go preach idle nonsense to the world,'
But gave them a sound foundation.

"And that alone resounded from their lips,
So that, in their warfare to ignite the faith,
they used the Gospel as their shield and lance.

"Now preachers ply their trade with buffoonery and jokes,
their cowls inflating if they get a laugh,
and the people ask for nothing more."

~ Dante (through the character Beatrice), Paradiso, 29:109-117

Cited by Rod Dreher in How Dante Can Save Your Life, p. 151


  1. A bull in the sanctuary...didn't Israel try that at the foot of Horeb? I seem to recall it left a bad taste in the mouth...

  2. Ahem. Perhaps the blessed Apostles blundered in forsaking all, and surrendering their boats to become mere fishers of men.

    Think of the millions to have been gained by and for the Church, through means of an Evinrude (or two) appended to each and every stern, and the performance of Team-Hydrobatics for Christ along the placid shores of Tiberias? Or at least along the escarpments of the Wisconsin Dells, eventually?

    Note added in proof: Millions of people were drawn to the riotous mayhem of the chariot race, as faithfully depicted in Lew's Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, in the 60's. Now that was REAL, compelling slaughter.

    Okay, okay, so the reference above is to MGM's filmed version of Ben Hur, produced in the 1960's (A.D.) ... which had noticeably little to do with Christ or His saving Gospel. Then again, neither did Gen'l Lew Wallace's book, on which the Hollywood epic was (kind-of) based, despite its come-on title. Or the buckin' cinctured bulls of our age's rodeos ... uh, of our churches.

  3. This is ill-befitting my irenic character, I know, but my Erasmus shrugged more than your Dante.


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