Let’s Turn Jesus into a Girl and Pour Chocolate Sauce on Him
Toward the Separation of Church and Religion
by Mick Williams
I’m not a church-going man. I was raised Catholic, but gave up on organized religion at the age of five when I decided it was sexist (“God the Father”? What’s up with that?).
I like to think I’ve mellowed since then, and that I’m not so quick to see insults where none are intended. My great-Aunt Grace is in Chrislip for a visit, so last Sunday when she asked to go to Mass, I offered to take her. I decided to start off with a clean slate and go in with an open mind.
Then the priest came out, and my goodwill vanished. He was wearing a floor-length dress. Oh, I know the church likes to call these “vestments,” but I couldn’t help seeing it as a not-so-subtle mockery of the cross-dressers among us. The congregation rose when he entered; I like to think we all did so as a show of solidarity with society’s unsung heroes – transvestites.
Forty-five minutes later the service was over. And to paraphrase the Bible, there were as many offenses as there are grains of sand on the beach. To be specific, there were four.
I’m willing to let the Gospels stand as they are. However, the church must realize that they are Apostle-centric. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John flapped their gums plenty, but where were Jermaine, Federico, Soon-Ye and Running Bear? Diversity is a chocolate sauce that improves everything it’s poured on, including Jesus.
The Catholic Church really needs to get rid of hell. Going to hell can hurt a person’s self-esteem. And the idea that some people go there and others don’t opens the door to all kinds of discrimination lawsuits.
The Church should take a cue from my nephew’s pee-wee soccer team. When one gets a Most Valuable Player trophy, they all get a Most Valuable Player trophy. And when one of the kids fails to show up for a game, he gets an award as the player most likely to show up next time. Heaping on unearned praise like this will help the boys become responsible, well-adjusted adults. And letting everyone into heaven is the next obvious step.
I don’t think the priest went more than a couple minutes during the Mass without mentioning God. I understand that God is a leading figure in the Church, but they need to consider other people’s feelings. What about Muslims? They don’t worship “God,” they worship Allah. Hindus worship a variety of deities. And Buddhists shun the idea of a creator god in favor of pursuing their own enlightenment. Suppose a Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist had been walking past the church during Mass. They might’ve wanted to come in, thinking they’d find themselves among friends. It makes me weep to imagine their hands on the door, only to hear the word “God” from our well-meaning priest, and hang their heads and say, “We are not welcome here.”
These changes may be slow in coming, but come they will. The other day I was discussing religion with a colleague, and he said, “Mick, it sounds like you want to strip Christianity of its core beliefs and turn it into a watered-down social club whose main purpose isn’t to enrich its members lives, but to avoid causing offense to people of other faiths.”
It’s good to know there’s one person who truly understands my aims. Did I say one person? No, I can think of someone else who would agree with me.
Ask Jesus. She would understand.