Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Have any of these benighted bothered asking?

Who would've thought that something as trivial as when to stand and when to kneel would still be up for debate? Well, some Catholics are facing a moral crisis with just that issue.

At a small Catholic church in Huntington Beach, the pressing moral question comes to this: Does kneeling at the wrong time during worship make you a sinner?

Kneeling "is clearly rebellion, grave disobedience and mortal sin," Father Martin Tran, pastor at St. Mary's by the Sea, told his flock in a recent church bulletin. The Diocese of Orange backs Tran's anti-kneeling edict.


"Kneeling is an act of adoration," said Judith M. Clark, 68, one of at least 55 parishioners who have received letters from church leaders urging them to get off their knees or quit St. Mary's and the Diocese of Orange. "You almost automatically kneel because you're so used to it. Now the priest says we should stand, but we all just ignore him."

The debate is being played out in at least a dozen parishes nationwide.

Since at least the 7th century, Catholics have been kneeling after the Agnus Dei, the point during Mass when the priest holds up the chalice and consecrated bread and says, "Behold the lamb of God." But four years ago, the Vatican revised its instructions, allowing bishops to decide at some points in the Mass whether their flocks should get on their knees. "The faithful kneel … unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise," says Rome's book of instructions. Since then, some churches have been built without kneelers.

You know there's an easy way to end all the wrangling. Do what God wants them to do. So does God want them to stand or kneel? Answer not in His book published a thousand years ago? Then why don't they just ask the Supremo?! Isn't it that He's available 24/7? Here let me do it for them.

YO! Big Guy high in the sky. You want your minions and toadies here to kneel or stand? ... Well? ... Sorry, I don't hear you dude ... Satan bit your tongue off or something? ... Hey, we don't have all millennium here you know.... Going once, going twice.... Sheesh! Guess there's no Big Daddy up there after all. Oh well.

Ok, all ye deluded, listen up. Go do whatever you like. Kneel, stand, sit, do somersaults, one-hand stands, kneel and lose yourself in your parish priest's crotch--whatever pleases you, whatever your cockamamie delusions compel you to do. Have a favor to ask though. Can you all book yourselves on the next flight to Pluto? Or better yet, heaven. You're just dying to go there, right? Goooood! Call me if you need help getting there.

Sigh. And for hundreds of generations to come those dang religionists will still be arguing over how many cherubims can tap dance on that pinhead (aka God). Can you imagine Roman priests during the time of Jeebus debating whether an offering of wine or the blood of Jews would please Jupiter more? And these Christians think what they believe in is for real? That out of the thousands of invented deities throughout history it is their invisible, absent, silent god that's the real McCoy?

Shoot me. I'm an alien living on Planet Woowoo.


Bronze Dog said...

Small note: Cherubim is the plural. Cherub is singular. No need for an s.

As for the maximum number of angels dancing on the head of a pin: 14. I have no idea how they came to that answer, but it'd be a cool thing to see.

Edwardson said...

Thanks for that correction.