I haven't been able to just walk away from the distressing experience of last night's religious assault at BAM, John Adams' "El Niño."
The story of the piece was in fact not that of the niño or child, but the mother of the child, specifically the mother of the man organized christianity misuses as the excuse for its existence. Possibly the most disturbing aspect of the evening for most in the audience was that what may have been intended as a salute to woman was patronizing in the extreme.
Historically the Catholic Church eventually absorbed the people's cult of Mary for the same reason that the observance originated in the first place, the men who ran the home office operation had gone too far with the guy message of control and fear and had left compassion and a lot of people behind, especially people who had taken seriously the early Christian message of love and respect.
The Church needed to protect its power. It went with the Mary thing, but only on its own terms. Mary intercedes for us with the men. The Church has never suggested a woman could really be equal to men of any kind, on earth, in heaven or even in hell for that matter, since each of these branch offices has always been run by males. We are assured this will forever be the case, since Mister God has said so.
Adams' oratorial is more than comfortable with that.