Looking for love in all the weird places

I hadn’t been to a Catholic Mass in at least twenty years. This church was new, large, white inside and out. There were large TV screens on the walls so attendees could follow along with songs and repeat lessons aloud. It was a beautiful funeral, but also interspersed with some strange messaging.

At one point, toward the end of the ceremony, words flashed across the screens, subliminal propaganda that seemed jarring and out of place.

These particularly stood out:

Jesus will only know you in death. 

and

Do not pray for riches and wealth, but rather pray for the nets in order to do your work. You will know wealth after death.

Basically, the message was – Life sucks. Accept that it sucks, it gets better after you die. Unless you don’t follow the rules we made up, and don’t work without question even though it likely won’t bring you wealth, then things don’t get better. Then, you go to Hell. And Hell is worse than your life, which is also Hell. 

And Jesus is Love, under certain conditions. 

Is this supposed to be comforting? Death cults are weird. 

I was born into Mormonism. I don’t remember much of it, my parents had a divorce and we were excommunicated (thank God – ha!) from the church when I was three. I went to Sunday school at a Methodist church in the little town where I grew up – not because my parents made me – but because I wanted to be around other kids, and, for craft time. I found the actual religion part of it filled with contradictions – I quickly got into trouble for asking too many questions and cracking jokes.

Even an eight year old can spot hypocrisy. 

And I had the gift of naming the elephant in the room. I didn’t have the filter to not see it – and I though everyone else could see it, too.

Don’t you hate feeling stifled by the elephant taking up so much space, and it’s poop all over the place? And I feel bad for the elephant, I’m sure it would be happier outside.

I’m digesting a lot from the last week – and feel like I am gathering some fragments of myself that I have lost over the years. This is good. And it’s uncomfortable. A new level of being myself is emerging. 

What is there to be afraid of? 

In the meantime, all this religious talk has reminded me of Mel Brooks and his delightful interpretation of the Spanish Inquisition. 

Enjoy!

I mean, wow! What a production! 

Life is short. Humor is holy.

Peace and love,

Holly

Flagstaff, AZ
February 26, 2021

Posted by

I'm a rock-n-roller poet who left the Big Apple for the Big Sky Desert where I've been letting it be and grooving with universal love, singing to the gods, dancing with the muses and bicycling with dreamtime messengers. I like altering my reality through imagination, movement, breath, and makin' stuff.

15 thoughts on “Looking for love in all the weird places

  1. Those screen scrawls are very strange. If you were in an Evangelical Church I wouldn’t be surprised. Catholics believe in that souls go to heaven and hell, but that level of morbidity is downright Calvinist. Churchdom is in a very sad state of being these days.

    I’ve been kicked out of four Methodist churches over my theology which is opposed to sayings such as the ones you mentioned, and for opposing teachings that life sucks, you die and go to hell or if you are good you go to heaven. It’s all about resurrection of the dead, and nowhere in the Bible do souls go to Heaven. In the end Heaven and earth are rejoined and we are to do our part to make the world a better place in preparation for when Heaven and earth are one. That’s what should be taught, but sadly it’s not.

    I don’t like screens in churches, and your experience is one of the reasons I oppose screens, besides most traditional denominations have no clue how to use screens effectively. Most pastors and priests believe that screens attract young people. You are lucky to have been excommunicated from the Mormon church at an early age. I had a friend you got Mormonized for a short time. He got excommunicated for masturbating. Christianity has become so influenced by Platonism and other non-Christian beliefs that it has little in common with early Christianity.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I saw Blazing Saddles first run when I was in my early teens. It was the funniest movie I had ever seen, and it’s still hilarious. Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, and Robbin Hood: Men in Tights are great movies, also. I also like the craziness and irreverence of Monty Python.

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    1. Yes! I found it strange because I had never seen anything like it in a Catholic Mass.

      I felt like the message that you do not experience Jesus or Heaven or wealth until after you die is a belief that has laid the groundwork for the acceptance of ecological collapse. It pushes consumerism and the puritanical belief that you might as well give up trying to better yourself or make more money. If you were born poor, that’s the plan God had for you, which means you are just less worthy of a good life than someone born wealthy.

      So much to unravel here. When puberty began for me, I learned that there were people who believed my body was not my own. And that I should feel shame just for being a woman. And that because my body was changing, I must be a sinner. No thank you. Religion was not ever something I was comfortable with (though, it was a minor in college).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s sad how women can get so messed up about themselves and their bodies because of religion and bad culture, also. I remember a friend in college whose parents were evangelical missionaries. One day a group of us were talking about swimming and she mentioned she had never swam. She’d never been in water other than to shower. She didn’t explain why with the group there, but later she told me that her parents would not let her swim because they did not want her crotch touching the same water boys were in because that would be like fornicating. I was floored. That poor woman was so messed up about life, but especially about her sexuality. I felt so sad for her.

        What got me thrown out of the last church is a couple wanted to do Sunday school lessons based on a book called Heaven is for Real. I got the book and read it and said absolutely not.

        The parents of a then 4 year old who is said to have died on the operating table, went to heaven and then came back to life to recount how glorious heaven is and tell stories about all the people and pets that are in heaven, etc. should have be charged with child abuse. They waited a week to take the kid to a hospital for a ruptured appendix. That was after another pastor told them to take the kid to the Children’s Hospital while the were in Denver when the kid first showed symptoms. Instead they drove back to podunk Kansas, waited a week for the kid to become sceptic before they took him to the hospital. Then they made an industry out of a big lie.

        Instead of the doing the going to heaven classes, I did a class on how souls going to heaven and hell are from Plato’s philosophy and not at all Christian. A bishop happened to sit on on my class. Other people asked him if what I taught was correct. He said yes, absolutely correct. That didn’t matter. My meddling wasn’t appreciated as people want to believe that they go to church so their souls will go to heaven.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Holy crap! The story about that child – I feel like that happens all the time.

          It’s difficult to change people’s beliefs once they get something in their heads. And it’s even crazier what people believe.

          Liked by 1 person

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