Thursday, December 29, 2005

Angels: the Collector Plate Belief

I believe in angels because I had experienced in being pinned underneath a car and was immobiled while my jacket get caught in the hind wheel and could have been sucked into and underneath the car any minute; but fortunately, the driver, for some strange and unknown reasons had decided to go forward instead of continuing on to go backward that very moment, so the back of my jacket was free and I TOO was free...When the car moved forward and I stood up from the ground, everyone was so surprised. The only thing that was broken was my jade bangle, it was broken in half; but my body was saved from harm.

I believe I have met angel on that day.

May Lu a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)

I believe there are angels among us
Sent down to us from somewhere up above
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live, to teach us how to give
To guide us with the light of love --Macgyver

I believe in angels because I've seen them. They first appeared to me last month just before school ended. Leaning out the upstairs bathroom window brushing my teeth, I looked down on their heads. Three naked black girls with creamy white wings, throwing stones on my hopscotch board. They had long braided hair that reached to their bottoms. They carried translucent disks that looked like halos under their arms. They giggled to one another and rose up into the crab apple tree, picked blossoms for their hair and flew away. -- From the book Black Angels by Rita Murphy

Aren't angels cute? Don't you just want to take them in your arms and squeeze and squeeze until there isn't a breath of air left in their little tiny bodies?

Angel belief is a kind of belief you find in Parade Magazine among the collector plates and Precious Moments figurines It's like a belief in elves, or fairies, or that your toys come to life when you're not looking. It doesn't seem dangerous, until it interferes with your ability to tell fantasy from reality. When it stops being a belief in a child's representation of good and turns into a child's representation of evil--directed at your neighbor. Sorry, Goodie Goodwyfe.

But, since I am somewhat cynical, my biggest problem is not that angel-believers might stone me to death. I'm more concerned with the inconsistency of these beliefs. Sure, you might be able to find endless websites about angel encounters and go to seminars that teach you how to recognize your guardian angel in palm readings. But angels in scripture are not shoulder-buddies, ragdolls, or Anne Geddes posters. They are giant, terrifying soldiers of death.

The best look of angels we get is from an apocryphal book of the bible: The Book of Enoch. The Watchers. This is only mentioned in a very short passage in Genesis, but these angels, the Sons of God, were atracted sexually by women on earth, and took them for their wives. In other words, raped them. *

* How many rape paintings are there? A few thousand, give or take a few hundred.

These angels, including one that was mistaken for Satan, Azazel, made giant babies with humans, then proceeded to teach mankind to do evil things like put on makeup and paint houses, thereby daming them to hell and causing god to have to drown babies and cute animals, because He loves us. Unfortunately for Yahweh, it didn't work, because it seems that His Best Children have managed to remember all that Azazel taught, flood or not..

But it wasn't Yahweh Himself that took care (or will take care, depending on your church) of these lecherous angels. It was another non-cuddly angel, The Angel of Death. (It's a shame this book didn't make it into the Show. It would have been more interesting than the Book of Revelation. It wasn't even a mushroom dream! ) Michael would never make it as a Precious Moments figurine, and certainly doesn't have time to help you cross the street! He's much too busy, killing heretics, Egyptian firstborn, and checking doorways for lambs blood at Passover.

But wait! you say, I know that there are avenging angels, but it's those Cherubim that look so good in framed posters. Cherubim certainly don't hurt people. Cherubim are sweet and represent all that's innocent and good in the world!
Unfortunatley, according to the rules, Cherubim don't give a shit about any of us. Cheruubim are really nothing more than the Harem of Jehovah. Have you looked at the Adam/God painitng by Michelangelo recently? Those cherubs aren't just picking nits out of God's beard. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The word cherub (cherubim is the Hebrew masculine plural) is a word borrowed from the Assyrian kirubu, from karĂ¢bu, "to be near", hence it means near ones, familiars, personal servants, bodyguards, courtiers. It was commonly used of those heavenly spirits, who closely surrounded the Majesty of God and paid Him intimate service.

Is that where we get the pedophilia from?

My feeling about the angels-as-pets beliefs is somewhat the same as my feelings about Christmas and Santa Claus: the creatures are simply not christian, but come from somewhere much deeper in the past. Obviously, the aunties and Grandmas with their calico angels and cherub figurines don't need scripture to get their beliefs. It comes from the same place where we got our beliefs in beneficient and malevolent spirits, ghosts and animal guides--between the ears. Too bad for Christianity, though. Nature wins again.


breakerslion said...

Great post. I love the title. I think you are right about this being an archetype too. This has been going on for a long time. There is really very little difference between the belief in angels and the belief in Naiads and Driads, or Brownies or Fairies, etc. etc. I think it is all a matter of reinforcement. Angels are just the currently marketed idea. This is similar to why hallucinating people these days always claim to have seen the alleged virgin Mary, and not the Earth Mother.

Sovay Fox said...

I like angels... the ones in dungeons and dragons that kick ass and get covered in teh gore of their evil enemies who they slay mercilessly.