In this world of rapidly changing conditions in political alignments, collapse of industrial icons and surging new technologies, the signal lasting and comfortable constant is religious belief. Instead of the world’s thinkers coming together in a convergent consensus of belief in an invisible, universal and omnipresent creator we have divergent systems of belief that fissure and break apart into competing and often deadly enemies. Something sets one sect against another. But what is characteristic about belief is that there is no one universal agreed upon theses about a creator. A very messy situation has existed throughout time. There are no pure religions if you count the dissenters and they are more numerous than at least the stars visible on a cloudy night.
Orthodox religions adhere to a faith that is unshakable. Those who support orthodoxy, no matter which religion we think about, are usually intolerant about the less strict members and often split off to form their purer version. This is an old story and you could write the history of the world’s peoples just on the basis of their disagreement on faith. Morality is another story - for most people agree on a basic set of rules although they are more often followed in the breach than observed.
I began this with a set of ideas about What Would My Mother Say (or Do) in situations where I called upon my past instruction on how to behave less like a barbarian and more like a civilized person. WWMMSorD is, of course a play on the popular WWJD, What Would Jesus Do, mantra that seems to provide a lot of material for thinking no matter how immaterial it is. Jesus lives among us in the minds of his followers but his works in the present world seem to be less substantial than the literary construct that has captured my attention and I have given this a great deal of thought.
What Would Albus Dumbledore Do? Now this powerful wizard is someone you must respect (in the latest Harry Potter stories he has been done away with and now is a picture on the walls of Hogwarts School of Magical preparation of young wizards and witches). You might laugh at my suggesting him as an object of worship but that is NOT my intent. I just admire this very experienced old man who, with restraint, thought, and plotting, outwitted the practitioners of the DARK SIDE of “Black Magic” that bodes no one any good. His was an impressive record of piloting the ship of Hogwarts and thwarting the Ministry of Magic in order to raise new generations of magical people who exist in a parallel universe with you and me – who are ungenerously called Muggles. WWADD? His purpose of sharpening the powers of his wards is better than the agenda of our present “leaders”. His fight against “You Know Who” is a good fight and, if we could all get together we might win against the dark forces that feed upon our lack of education and cooperation.