Sunday, February 11, 2007


I didn't finish up my Sunday Bluegrass Sermon last night because I got a little sidetracked...but it works out perfectly because my pal Mr. B over at Silly Humans has wished me a Happy Darwin's and Lincoln's Birthdays, which gets at the heart of what I started in on yesterday for my gospelgrass Sunday.

The last time I saw my father in law, he looked at me with that look that he gives his children.

The look says, in a loving but stern way, "So why aren't you going to church?" He had taken the children that morning, on the promise of Bob Evans afterward. Of course for him they behaved perfectly.

But after a brief attempt at reconnecting with the Church, including beginning the process of an annulment -- a privilege for which the Church expects me to exchange some $500 to tell me that in its eyes I was never married -- I just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't take the veil of community. I couldn't stand the veil of equality. And I couldn't take the fact that never once, not once since the War had started, did a single person, from the pastor on down, stand up and pray for a single dead Iraqi mother or baby.

If an organized religion is going to stand for anything, it should stand against war. And since the Catholic Church has been universally silent on this issue but vocal about so many other deeply personal choices, I find myself simply unable to hold up the facade, even for my children.

There is a total lack of reason behind everything the Church does. It's a decrepit, mismanaged, oversized nonprofit institution run primarily by white men who take their marching orders from like the 12th century. Frankly, this is not the kind of institution I can get all warm and fuzzy about.

I wonder what Darwin might say of us today. Here we are, a scarcely successful species, hurling ourselves ever faster toward self-destruction except for the few of us holding on to something dear and meaningful in our tiny lives. What would he think of this war? What would he say of the meaningless drivel -- or worse, the deafening silence -- of churches all over the world where regards this unending armed conflict in the Middle East?

This little tune is from a great band called Eddie from Ohio. It's about just one of the many conflicts over there in the Land of Human Volcanic Activity. I realize it's a bit of a departure from the usual Gospelgrass Sunday but it's sort of a valentine to Darwin and to my circle of pals who help me feel that no, I'm not crazy, the fact that the Roman Catholic Church and any church can ignore this massive bloody conflagration across all of the so-called holy land is an abomination and humanity's disgrace.

Do unto others.

Thou shalt not kill.

Love thy neighbor.



In this city of peace I have seen none
and these ancient prophecies say we all will be as one
though the walls will hold the hatred in
your streets still call my name

oh, I bid you peace, jerusalem
these seven hills will be your resting place
our sons and our daughters
may never feel the grace

within the towers,within the halls of this town
this prodigal son has come full circle
one full circle around

our children will lay on your hills
our fathers will find us and comfort us still
blood of the centuries, you have seen enough
but there is a time for love within the towers,
within the halls of this town
this prodigal son has come full circle
one full circle around

(our sons and our daughterswill lay on your hills) jerusalem
(our fathers will find usand comfort us now) jerusalem
(our sons and our daughterswill lay on your hills) jerusalem
(our fathers will find usand comfort us then) jerusalem


At February 13, 2007 8:06 PM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

I never got to see the backyard before it was Turnpike. Then the woods across the street were Developed, so no more campground.

The singer sounds just like Heather MacLeod, by the way. Very cool with guitar.

But Bob Evans? Eh... mmmmmmm... bahhhb ehhhvinnns... Nope. LOL! I still wouldn't do a mass. Except maybe christmas at a really old church.

RAmen to ending a Catholic political influence!


At February 13, 2007 10:33 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hey Mr Brains,
My favorite service is still Maundy Thursday/Holy Thursday. I like the time to reflect on the humbling experience of being human. Most Catholic services now have a foot washing thing as part of the service. IF THERE WAS A SENSE OF SERVICE THEME THROUGHOUT THE PRACTICE OF ORGANIZED RELIGION I would probably not have as much to disagree with. But let's face it, the rest of the year sucks.

Remember, me littluns are still easily influenced by the lure of perfect flapjacks swimming in syrup -- not to mention time just with Grandpa. I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.


At February 13, 2007 10:53 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

Seems like most wars have been been waged because of some church or another. That's pretty sad. My Mr B used to go to the Epispopal church, they had some pretty music there, but the UU where I go has pretty music too... sometimes even bluegrass!

As for afterwards, if you can get in there's a cafe with wonderful pancakes (actually is a corn cake) with jalepeno mixed in the batter and black beans on the side. Choice of salsa or syrup (or both). Now that's breakfast!

At February 13, 2007 10:55 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

"Epispopal", sounds like a Freudian typo.

At February 14, 2007 6:46 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Howdy Blueberry,

That's right! Religion has been at the heart of SO many horrible wars (some with euphemistic names like, The Crusades, The Inquisition...). I had a good experience as a kid in the Episcopal church (I like the fact that there is no EpiscoPope!) and have often considered trying the UUs. Although I don't guess I can get jalapeno flapjacks or bluegrass gospel with my prayin' up here!


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