Monday, December 13, 2004

Bemusing Grace

I went to church last night.

Let me explain, I went to a church…to watch the Christmas play that a friend of mine wrote. He’s a friend of this site as well. Okay, it’s Brandon. Got to TOS and read some of the other (much shorter) things he’s written.

I should clarify something else also. The title of this post in no way reflects the quality of Brandon’s play. It was a fantastic church play. It lacked the spectacle of the Crystal Cathedral. But, in all fairness, it also lacked the $2 million budget…and the eerie parishioners.

As you already know, I’ve said it before, I’m an atheist. Church isn’t my deal. In fact, I hate going to church. But I wanted to support Brandon and the churchie arts.

I’m not afraid anymore that I’m going to burst into flames when I enter a church. It hasn’t happened yet. I suppose that if I was actually afraid that I would combust upon entering a church then that would be an acknowledgement of a divine power and its control over a man-made building and would be contradictory to my non-religious stance…

Anyway. I went to see Brandon’s play last night. Congrats Brandon.

But I did have some gripes. First of all, like I said, I’m an atheist. I don’t like churches. I don’t go to churches. I dressed down a bit. I wore blue jeans. The play was a western after all. But out of respect for the church, I put on a nice shirt and shoes and even wore a suit jacket. It may not be my thing, but I was a guest…

I could have been the freaking deacon there last night. Tanya and I were two of the best dressed people in there. And there were a lot of parishioners there last night.

Gripe 2: I thought that the pastor’s short sermon/prayer afterwards was a bit…preachy. I know that I was in a church. I know that it was a religious western play. But if I have to hear “Jesus is the reason for the season” one more freaking time, I swear I’m going to start my own bloody little atheist crusade.

First of all, it’s really annoying and insulting to those of us who live for this time of year and don’t worship that way. Second of all, the “season” was around well before the church decided to Jesus it all up.

Not only that, but I hate…HATE….going to church functions when there are a lot of non-parishioners in attendance. The pastor/minister/priest always sees it as an opportunity to do a little mass conversion. “Pray that Jesus finds his way into the hearts of those…blah, blah, blah…” Look, I just sat through…and enjoyed…the churchie tunes and play. I appreciate my friends enough to drag my heathen ass to a church on a Sunday night when I have other things to do. I don’t need to have my buttons pushed at the end like some kind of misguided idiot. But just the suggestion of it isn’t what bothered me. I felt like he was pushing a religion that even the true-believers didn’t have enough respect for to wear something to church other than sweat pants.

No thanks. I don’t wear sweat pants.

Seriously though, what ever happened to common decency? You dress for church. You dress for dinner. You dress for the symphony. You dress (and this is a big one for me) for the gaddamned theatre! You dress for going any kind of special occasion. Right?

I hate dressing up. I could wear jeans and t-shirts to a funeral. Especially my own. But the world has become our own personal living room. And I don’t think that it’s out of a lack of self-respect. I think that it’s out of a lack of respect for other people. Dressing up is a way of telling people that the thing they do is important to you.

Man, do I feel old and crotchety. But it’s true damnit. When someone takes two months out of their busy lives to put on a play, or rehearse a symphony or even if they are just taking the time to spend one night with you eating cheap seafood, you could at least show them that you actually care that they took the time. Don’t go overboard (god knows I don’t), but come on…

The only thing that some of those people at the church last night were missing was a sign hanging around their necks that said “I just don’t really give a crap.”

Look, parishioners, if you believe in God. Especially if you think that God made everything. If you believe in Jesus. If you believe that Jesus gave his life for you. If you believe in the church. If you believe that the Church is a conduit to the almighty. If you believe all of these things, don’t you think that you owe it to Jesus, who had his hands NAILED to a couple of pieces of wood, to at least put on some pants that don’t have a drawstring?!

The road to hell is paved with velour J-Lo track pants.

Fun Fact I’ve been getting a lot of hits for that St Joseph aspirin “pumps your blood” song. In looking for the lyrics, I learned that it’s from an episode of “Happy Days.” Now that I read it, I vaguely remember this episode. Here is a transcript of the song that I got from here. Before you read it, put on a damned jacket or an appropriate blouse! A nice one! And roll down those sleeves mister!

Potsie's "Pump Your Blood" song (Episode #142 Potsie Quits School)

Okay, like we rehearsed it...
Cunningham, harmonica. Malph, bones,
Lori Beth, kazoo. Jennifer, beaker.
The name of this tune is "Pump Your
Blood". Hit It. One, two, one, two, three ...


"Pump, pump, pumps your blood.
The right atrium's where the process
Where the C02 blood enters the heart
Through the tricuspid valve to the right
The pulmonary artery and lungs.
Once inside the lungs it dumps its carbon
And picks up its oxygen supply
Then it's back to the heart through the
pulmonary vein
Through the atrium and left ventricle."


(SING) "Pump, pump, pumps your blood.

(SING) "The aortic valvels where the
blood leaves the heart
Then it's channeled to the rest of the bod
The arteries, arterioles, and capillaries
Bring the oxygenated blood to the cells
The tissues and the cells trade off waste and CO 2
Which is carried through the venules and
the veins
Through the larger vena cava to the
atrium and lungs And we're back to where we started in the heart.


(SING) "Pump, pump., pump, pumps your blood"


What's this? The Zigfield Follies ... ? Weber, I apologize. I'm giving you an "A".


An 'A" plus.

One more time!

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