Church: some feedback

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Dear Church,

Having by now experienced well over a thousand of your services, meetings and gatherings and having over the several decades of my life participated in no small number of your rites, initiations, sacraments and ceremonies, I’ve got some feedback for you:

Let us begin with the bad:

  • Does anyone like pews?  Hemorrhoids.   Lack of circulation to the legs.  Not great.
  • The pipe organ is a questionable instrument — more interesting architecturally than musically .  Granted, your average pipe organ must be quite difficult to replace or decommission, but all good things must come to and end.  It’s time.
  • Most of your buildings seem to be too large for the crowds they attract.  Perhaps they were built for a time when more people were interested in you.  I would consider downsizing — perhaps all the excess real estate could be used to house the poor?
  • It often seems that you would rather your members adopt the worldview of a person from the 15th century — what with all your contextless talk of the supernatural.  I’m afraid that this has become a problem for me because I happen to be sane.  (This probably bears some relation to the previous point.)
  • I am alarmed that you’ve been complicit in such a panoply of acts of racism, sexism, homophobia, cultural genocide and exclusivism.  Might I suggest that you consider renouncing violence in all of its forms and become less of a dick?
  • Honesty seems to be hard for you.  Take the Bible for instance — a  book I believe is somewhat important to you as an institution.  Can we all admit that there’s a ton of crazy and evil stuff in there that should be disregarded and denounced?
  • Please define the following words since you use them so often.  Alternately, please admit that like me, you don’t know what the fuck the following words mean:  God, soul, miracle, heaven, hell, prayer, angel and spirit.  I could go on.

And now, the good:

  • I would like to congratulate you on your influential role in western civilization, music, art, philosophy etc…  Sure there were blips: purges, witch hunts and the like.  But overall, I’d have to credit you with doing more good than harm.
  • You’re faithful, I’ll give you that:  you flung your big wooden doors open when I was born, gave me friends, helped me fall in love, caught me when I fell out of it.  You’ve never left me — and I’m sure you’ll help me die.  This sounds flippant but I mean it.
  • Jesus: worthy of followers.  Every religion needs a main character and one could do a lot worse.  From you I learned about a man obsessed with healing, poor people, justice and the end of the world.  Three out of four ain’t bad right?
  • Bread.  Wine.  Water.  You’re at your best when you keep it simple and keep the food coming.
  • You seem to traverse cultures pretty well which is more than be said of most institutions.
  • Potlucks.
Church: some feedback

pantheon part 1

Here’s the first in what I hope will be a series of posts in which I simply barf up a bunch of images of some notables who have influenced me (in one way or another, usually for good) during the course of my life.  Everybody gets a sentence or so … to be continued …

Julian Assange, Mercedes Sosa, Dennis Cooper, William Gibson, Joe Orton, JRR Tolkien, Vladamir Nabokov, Elaine Pagels, Desmond Tutu
pantheon, part 1

From left to right, top to bottom:

Julian Assange:  n years trapped in a crappy embassy in London because … truth — jacked up by the CIA but (to use Shirley Chisholm’s moto) un-bossed and un-bought.  Seems to be getting tired, but wouldn’t you be.
Mercedes Sosa:  Cambia lo superficial, cambia también lo profundo, cambia el modo de pensar, cambia todo en este mundo
Dennis Cooper:  obviously queer-insane, sings my song, NSFW, high all day long <– probably none of this is true.
William Gibson:  made me want to be a coder so I could help give birth to his worlds
Joe Orton:  Before his tragic end at the hands of his boyfriend, made plays that make my body malfunction with pleasure and glee — also spent several months in jail for defacing Her Majesty’s library books in excellent ways.
JRR Tolkien:  If I could swap worlds.
Vladamir Nabokov: the Lionel Messi of words — if Messi played two sports.
Elaine Pagels:  The only books on theology I’ve ever read that have been impossible to put down.
Bishop Desmond Tutu: A good man, a brave man, a funny man.

pantheon part 1