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LETTER: We are all equal in the eyes of God

Monday 31 October 2022 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTER: We are all equal in the eyes of God
Ruta Tangiiau Mave. Photo: CI NEWS

Today is October 31st or Halloween where the ghosts and spirits are said to walk amongst us and to help them blend in, people dress up in costumes of the dead, writes Ruta Mave.

The sights of zombies or walking dead in ripped clothes and old jeans is a timely reminder to always dress well, because, according to the movies everyone knows what ever clothes you die in becomes your forever dead haunting clothes

In opposition to this visual perpetuated myth, families around the world dress their dead in their finery or their favourite outfits sometimes with jewelry and personal keepsakes to lie in state before being incarcerated to fire or earth. 

It is a smaller version of the tombs of Egyptian or Viking royalty who in addition to their riches and finery they were also buried with food, wine servants and horses to service them in their after-life.

This practice of Halloween was seen as paganism and against the church doctrines and added to the start of persecution of witches who were always women from 14th century through to the early 16th century. It was clearly a ploy to keep women in their place and submissive to the rules of the church.

Quote – “In memory of the dead, rise up and protest against the indulgences of some against the persecution of others. Because we are all equal in the eyes of God.”

The rise of corrupted power by the church was felt noticeably in Wittenberg, Germany October 31st 1517 where Martin Luther, a professor of moral theology at the local university, wrote 95 propositions for debate in protest to the Roman Catholic church’s indulgences for charging money for the forgiveness of sin. He pinned his protests to the castle church door. It was thought the amount of money raised from these indulgences enabled the completion of the St Peters Basilica in Rome.

Luther’s act later became termed as the Protestant reformation where it initiated the split of Christianity into three teachings to be known as Catholic Protestant and Eastern Orthodox in Europe. The main principals from Luther’s movement advocated complete control to be removed from the pope and priests and instead be focused back on the bible as the sole authority on all matters of faith and conduct and that salvation is by God’s grace and by faith in Jesus Christ.

Around this time Henry the VIII wanted to have a male heir to his throne and after his wife presented him with a girl, he asked the catholic Pope Clement VII to annul his marriage. When he was refused, he effectively set up laws where the head of state became the head of religion and the modern Church of England was born.

Church of England is essentially Anglican which in turn is a major branch of the Protestant reformation. They are also known as Episcopal and are the third largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic church and the Eastern Orthodox church. Worldwide there are over 2.3 billion Christians 1.9 billion Islam, 1.2 billion atheists/non-secular and 1.2 billion Hindu. The fastest growing religion is Islam.

The invitation to debate the doctrines of the Popes and church behaviour in 1517 changed the nature of secular living and beliefs and pushed the catholic church to clean up their practices and retrain their priests.

Criticism of the Catholic church and clergy has resurged again and protests and charges have been brought against men holding positions under titles claiming they are working for God – be they in a church or an associated education facility, they are hitting the news almost daily.

Sadly, it is not limited to solely the church. This behaviour has been found in teachers, coaches, politicians notably men with power over another are being brought to the justice system.

It is rare to see a man of the cloth arrested and jailed and as rare but more recently evident is word from the pope – at least acknowledging the suffering of those abused by men, many of whom were boys abused whilst in their care. With the scale of cases coming to light you have to wonder if the rise in homosexuality was not brought about by the church itself?

Halloween is the night of horror and ghosts tricks and treats and at the end of it, especially in many north American cities, children crash into a sugar induced stupor and parents add more coins to the dentist fund.

For many victims of abuse, Halloween does not end for them after tonight, it is something they have to live with forever – they are like the living dead. They may try to forget but for some haunted by the memories and betrayal of sexual abuse is too much and the only way to escape is to cross into that veil beyond.

In memory of the dead, rise up and protest against the indulgences of some against the persecution of others. Because we are all equal in the eyes of God.