Sunday, June 20, 2010

Typhus 2

Just two words more on the same theme of last time.

Being Italian, I follow with interest the performance of my country's team at the world cup.

We do feel represented when a team wearing the name of our country plays, and identify with it: so, according to the case we say "we won" or "we lost".

No qualms about that, and about the fact that the result of four year ago was a satisfaction.

It's a natural process of identification: "natural", I mean, according to man's nature, which is of being a social animal.

The question is to what extent it can be carried.

"They" tell us, in many ways, that we shouldn't indulge in social and cultural belonging, because it creates discrimination. The worse would be if our socio-cultural belonging came from a religious narrative: like the one telling the story of God's word made flesh.

If that story makes you happy, again "they" tell us, good for you. But don't dare advance any claim in the name of it, your belief is your belief, and that's it. To travesty one's need of belonging with God's name is purely and simply wrong.

This way "they" overlook the fact that identification doesn't come from a need of belonging, but is a natural process; and that God's name is not there to close, but to open the scope of belonging, to embrace potentially the whole of mankind. Useless to say so: "they" know better, and don't listen.

"They" can't but marvel, therefore, when "they" look at what happens around them, like the fact that interest in a soccer team becomes a fever: not just the mild feeling I spoke about, but typhus.

Identification, thrown out of the door, comes back from the window. And for many people a soccer team is the only thing left to represent them. It takes religious overtone: it becomes idolatry.


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