terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Two Cathedrals

Made the mistake of answering a doorbell in the afternoon yesterday. Since I wasn't expecting a package from Amazon, nor was I expecting a cheque in the mail for a job (most of them don't come via registered mail anyway), I should have known better than to get up from the couch where I had been watching The West Wing: Two Cathedrals.

I opened the door, grumpy, bedraggled and nursing a pretty significant hangover from the previous night. And more than a little inspired by Jed Bartlet's diatribe in the National Cathedral scene.

Enter, earnest, bright-eyed do-gooder type:

"Hi, I from so-and-so church. I'd like to invite you to one of our services this Sunday..."

"Church? Why? What has your God done for me?

I haven't been to church in the past 12 years. I've not missed out on opportunities that've come my way; I've quit a job without having to worry about anything, least of all not having to consult with my pastor because it'll affect the level of my tithing; I've had no need to grovel before an entity that may or may not be listening to me; I've been happy when I cared to be; overcome moments of madness, grief, anger all by myself. I'm doing something now that pleases me, that gives me motivation to wake up every day to face what I've got to. I'm living my life the way I was taught by my family, my environment, my circumstances. Do I need more? I don't think so.

What have any of you done that I haven't done on my own? I've gone to tsunami-hit areas. Places where earthquakes have destroyed lives and livelihoods. I've witnessed and experienced the best and the worst of humanity. I've seen love, strength and resilience in the people you call heathens, miracles in buildings dedicated to so-called idols. I know of sorrow, pain, loss at their most acute. What have you learnt, cloistered in your safe, mega-modern cathedrals built for the glory of Man rather than for your God? What
can you learn, when you are as insulated as you are?

Where was your God when I was comtemplating taking the cloth? What did I get in return? Questions. Doubts. Answers that weren't forthcoming. Your God took away my grandparents before I had a chance to learn more from them. Maybe you'll tell me that the bus hitting the both of them was a blessing because the survivor would have died anyway, eventually, from the loss of the other. And it happened while I was thinking, actually thinking, about dropping my two majors and taking up Theology instead? While I was active in the church, counselling others about loss and grief? If that's not an answer, the only answer I ever got from your God by the way, then I'd say it's pretty clear that's not what's wanted from me.

Don't tell me my life can be better. It is already. I take all the good with the bad. Don't tell me about God's plan for me. I have a plan for myself. And while it's been rocky, I expected that from life in general. Life
is supposed to be scary. Deal with it.

And I've tried to live my life as best as I can. With integrity, belief, self-reliance. I believe in karma, or, just so we're speaking the same language, in 'doing unto others what you would have others do unto you'. If that's not good enough for you, because I'd still burn in Hell after the Second Coming, well then... too bad.

So, yeah, please don't knock on my door again. And by the way, the next time you communicate with God, tell Him I'm not angry with Him any more, despite what I've just said. I'm just disappointed in his PR and HR departments."

Instead, I just say, "No, thanks."

"Can I give you a brochure?"

"No, thanks."

I close the door.


  • At 9:53 PM, September 01, 2006, Blogger Ruok said…

    nicely put. I'm disappointed by his HR and PR departments as well.

  • At 2:23 AM, September 04, 2006, Blogger pizzaman said…

    A little offended, but i have to say that you're one lucky person. Even though you think that way of God, he's still good to you.

  • At 12:12 PM, September 04, 2006, Blogger Xtralicious said…

    wow. that's some rooted heavy stuff...

  • At 4:04 PM, September 04, 2006, Blogger Kaffein said…

    Coming from being a Christian myself, I concede that the HR and PR dept need working. Door to door evangelizing? *groan* puts people off more than anything else. It's so 60s/70s.

    I'll give the young guy credit for his guts. But hey, it's lifestyle evangelizing more than street evangelizing.

  • At 5:59 PM, September 04, 2006, Blogger  said…

    i'll never forget that time when someone came up to me in Kino and asked me if i wanted to join her bible study group.

    i mean WTF? Approaching people in shopping places? They are bloody crazy and fucking creepy.

  • At 9:30 PM, September 04, 2006, Blogger panaphobic said…


  • At 9:41 PM, September 08, 2006, Blogger Patty said…

    Wow. I get what you are saying, but my mind is still involved with your grandparents being hit by a bus. Bummer.
    God, *chuckles, is what you want Him/Her to be. Sending big hugs cross the miles.

    Be at peace.


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