It’s Sunday, so why not matters ecclesiastical?

My next-door neighbors are churchy folk. I have no problem with that as they’re lovely and generous people. Don’t know what church they subscribe to but I am happy if it seems to serve them. And they don’t impose their church stuff on us other than to ask periodically if we have some stuff for a forthcoming rummage sale.

I’ve never been a churchy person. I mean, I’ve been in situations where I’ve found myself inside one. On a few occasions to actually attend a service, like the odd Christmas Eve in which we stopped by hoping to hear some nice music.

But even then I found myself more Homer Simpson than Ned Flanders about it all.

I’m not anti-church. And I have a very special emotional and personal (even spirituat) affection for Norwich Cathedral in England (my rendering of which is on this page, and the light is from my flash, not a holy visitation – as far as I know) and I won’t elaborate on my connectedness there.

And when we lived in England we had a cute little 13th Century village church that I explored thoroughly, though never attended a service at.

Otherwise, meh. I did get confirmed in the Anglican (Episcopal) church because my mother insisted. After that I bailed.

My first wife came from a churchy family. They were members of Canada’s biggest congregation, the rather left-leaning United Church (known in impolite circles as the NDP at Prayer). But evidently UC membership is plummeting radically. For the one I grew up in, the Anglican congregation, I think it’s down to about 9 by now. In a spirit of Christian solidarity there were those who got all bent out of shape about gay priests and allowing broads to become vicars. Odd stance for those you think might subscribe to tolerance for all of God’s creations.

Churches and tolerance for all of God’s creations? Yeah, right. (note of personal bias, forgive me, Lord).

I gather the Holy Roller churches are doing well. That unquestioning old-time religion packs their edifices to the rafters of a Sunday around here. And the Mormons – my heavens (do they believe in Heaven?), about 75 trillions subscribers. Disappointment to some who thought multi-wives was still an option.

Catholics? I think they ‘have’ to go to Mass, don’t they, or they risk hellfire? Sorry, not too up on my RC rules of behavior. But their numbers are likely OK.

Quite seriously, and before you condemn me for irreverence and apostasy I, as an English major, former student of early Christian history and philosophy in university, and a kid that was ‘made’ to go to Sunday school, and had to endure the Lord’s Prayer and Bible readings in regular school back then, I do know my Christian references quite well, thank you. I can name the Apostles and even recite the 23rd Psalm. I know what happened at Gethsemane, and so forth. And I pity the kids of today with heathen families and zero exposure to any hints of religion in school for they have been cut adrift from their heritage. Try reading Shakespeare with no Christian references at your fingertips. Of course, that is in assuming people still read Shakespeare. Prolly not so much. ‘Struth.

Doesn’t make me holy, but does make me a dab-hand at the NYT Crossword of a Sunday.

None of the foregoing was intended to be blasphemous, and I certainly would never poke fun at anyone’s religion. I’ve often envied the inner peace some find from their ‘connection’. I could just never get there.


6 responses to “It’s Sunday, so why not matters ecclesiastical?

  1. All of my church attendance was happenstance. Spending the night with a friend type of thing or going to a wedding or funeral. Somehow, in my 51 years, I have picked up enough of the basics to do well on puzzles and in “Jeopardy!” The “inner peace” you mentioned does not come from religion. That comes from within yourself. I would love to go into detail but I would probably just insult some of your readers.

  2. I was raised RC, and I honestly believe the catholic church is somewhat responsible for my atheism. The hypocrisy and narrow mindedness is galling.

    • A common expression I’ve heard many times is ‘recovering Catholic’. Says something, but since I’m not RC (nor would ever want to be) I can’t directly relate.

  3. I believe that any discipline which encourages people to be kind to one another is good, but have never been a belonger because I also believe that organized religions are divisive and competitive. See you in Hell, Ian! We’ll roast marshmallows together.

  4. I’m a Pagan now, but was raised by incredibly devout, if shockingly liberal Christians. Like you, I find myself calling up information that I learned a very long time ago and grateful to have it at my fingertips, even as I no longer have a need of the faith itself. And no, I can’t imagine reading Shakespeare without the reference point! *gasp*

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