Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Michael Brae, a Dead Body, Freud, and Prayer

I suppose I have to say this: What Michael Brea is accused of doing isn't typical Christian behavior. The Catholic Church, for example, doesn't teach that we're supposed to scream "Repent! Repent! Repent!" And then kill our mothers.

That isn't a nice thing to do, and we're not supposed to do it.

My guess is that Freemasons frown on this sort of thing, too.

From today's news:
"TV actor in 'hack slay' of ma"
Rebecca Harshbarger, Jamie Schram, Larry Celona, New York Post (November 24, 2010)
"B'klyn 'Bible' madman's sword frenzy: cops

"A crazed bit actor wielding an ornate Freemason sword hacked his mother to death early yesterday in their Brooklyn apartment while screaming out Bible passages and Masonic references, police and witnesses said.

" 'Repent! Repent! Repent! Michael Brea, screamed at his 55-year-old mother, Yannick, during his bizarre meltdown and the subsequent bloodbath at their Prospect Heights apartment, neighbors said.

"Brea, 31, ... was heard repeatedly through the door shouting about the 'architect of the universe,' a term used by Freemasons to refer to a supreme being. Longtime family friend Sylvan Benoit confirmed that Brea was a member of the Freemasons and had been to a meeting earlier in the evening....

"...When cops broke down the apartment door at around 2 a.m., they Tasered and arrested Brea, and charged him with murder.

"He was taken to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, and allegedly blurted out, 'When I looked at my mother, I saw the devil.'..."

The Devil and Sigmund Freud

I've gotten the impression that Sigmund Freud didn't think much of religion. Considering the nutjobs he dealt with, professionally, I suppose I can see why. Someone whose stock in trade were slices from humanity's fruitcake selection might, hearing the umpteenth lunatic muttering about being the hammer of God, get the impression that all religious people were like the basket cases one collected.

With a situation like Michael Brae's, involving a sword, religious references, and some guy's mother, my guess is that Freud would have had a field day making up a psychological analysis of the situation.

'Freudian symbolism' may be out of fashion now: but the notion that smart, realistic people aren't, by definition, 'religious' doesn't seem to be.

Me? I don't think acknowledging that God exists, and is smarter than I am, means that I'm stupid or crazy: but I'm 'one of those religious people. And, in the 'better' circles, 'everyone knows' what they're like.

Can't argue with logic like that.

Which reminds me:

'She's From Haiti: And Everyone Knows What That Means!'

The last paragraph in that New York Post article says that Yannick is from Haiti. Don't worry: I'm not going to go all 'Pat Robertson' about this. (January 16, 2010)

On the other hand, Haiti being predominantly Catholic, having the sort of culture it does, and chronic attitudes towards immigrants being what they are: I thought it'd be a good idea to bring the point up.

I'll grant that it's remotely possible that some arcane ritual unleashed dark forces in Brooklyn. Remotely.

It's also possible - and, in my view, considering the last few decades of America's history, much more likely - that there's a more pharmaceutical explanation to Mr. Brea's outlandish behavior.

But that's all speculation. Right now, all that law enforcement people in Brooklyn have to work with is Mr. Brea, a dead body, quite a few witnesses, and some amount of physical evidence. Happily, I don't have the job of trying to sort all that out.

Hating People: Not a Good Idea

Hating people is a really bad idea. I've written about that before. (January 22, 2010)

Killing Someone Because You Don't Approve is Wrong

I've written about that before, too. (August 1, 2009, July 24, 2009)

Human Life is Important

Why all this fuss about human life? I'm a Catholic. It's in the rules:
"Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.73

"My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.74"
(Catechism 2270)
Depending on the topic at hand, my respect for human life may identify me as one of those
  • Hate-filled, uncaring conservatives
    • Who don't support abortion
  • Bleeding-heart, irresponsible liberals
    • Who don't support capital punishment
The fact is, I'm a practicing Catholic. Sometimes that looks "liberal," sometimes it looks "conservative." I've discussed that before, too. (November 3, 2008, October 2, 2008)

Prayer for Yanick Brea - and Michael - Couldn't Hurt

As a Catholic, I believe that when a person dies, that is not the end. Which is why, all this month, we've been recalling the people in our parish who died during the past year - and praying "Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her." Or, "Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him."

Yanick Brea's son, Michael? From the sounds of it, he needs prayer, too. And not the sort of 'kill the guy I don't like' thing you hear now and then. (April 13, 2010) From the sounds of it, Michael Brea needs help: legal; possibly psychiatric; and certainly spiritual.

I do not, emphatically, hope that Michael Brae goes free - assuming that he killed his mother. If he committed that act, it's not safe to let him run around loose.

This is going to sound corny: but I hope and pray that Michael Brae gets his relationship with God straightened out. No 'holier-than-thou' stuff going on. The same could and should be said for all of us.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.