Tuesday, March 29, 2005

postal scrotum

Maven writes (in part) in reference to this recent post:


How appropriate, the Sermon on the Mount. I can honestly say that part of what keeps me from affiliating on a regular basis with one congregation is precisely what you detailed as "out holy-ing" your neighbor. People putting on their "Sunday Best," and trying to out-do the Joneses, rather than absorbing and processing and putting into ACTION the concepts within the liturgy. (i.e. praying and giving alms for that sake, rather than for false praise etc).

You might find the following anecdote amusing on a couple different levels...

My parents are neither dogmatic nor religiously observant. As such after our first communion, we floated along on a Sunday morning-donut-induced haze for about seven years (onuts were our ritual de rigeur on Sundays, believe it or not).

One year, my father was waiting in a hospital hallway, and looked up and saw the back of a rather tall, dignified man, and he called out, "Father Jim?" The man turned around, and oddly enough, it was the very reverend who was rector at dad's family's church from the 1960s [point of reference, this hospital was over 50 miles from that church, as we had relocated in the 70s].

Mom and dad befriended Rev. Jim, and started attending the parish to which Jim now belonged, a rather high-church Episcopal church [ironic given how low-brow my family tends to be]. Therein were rather well-to-do folks there wearing as you said, their "Sunday Best." The very best silks and the latest in the cliched country club frou-frou. As I stood to receive host, this woman who refused to put her infant in the nursery put her chilld over her shoulder, the child erupted like a volcano of vomit all down the back of her beautiful silk dress. I love to speculate that was G-d's way of humbling poseurs.

Another mini-dote to share: My former boss, Bill, the company CFO. A real bible thumper. Put himself out there as a "Born-Again." Would sit in his car during lunch to listen to a particular bible radio show, would pray right before giving an employee their annual evaluation; very active in his church, and a good evangelizer. All admirable traits.

Au Contraire! One year the company decided to pare down the marketing department in order to artificially elevate their profits. They did such a wonderful job of paring down, that the CFO and the CEO and a few other higher ups ended up benefitting from a *bonus* worth several tens of thousands of dollars, no doubt the value of the salaries of the axed individuals. It is hard NOT to judge Bill, he has a home and several cars and even a "lake house" to retreat to. Subtext: I thought avarice was a sin?

Now this is not to say that the act of going to church is merit-less; however, if one doesn't actualize any of the concepts (from church etc), or allow those concepts to permeate their thought process, going to church is nothing more than clanging a gong for attention.

It is folks like this that make apostasy or agnosticism a reality for a good lot of folks.

Daehee also comments on his blog. See here; look for the update at the bottom of the entry.


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