Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Oh Holy Night

I suppose it's inappropriate on the day after Jesus' alleged birthday to confess that I am an agnostic. (Cue the scary music! Alert the Christian mafia!) But I'm not one of those Christoper Hitchens-type agnostics who are annoyed, if not downright angered by organized religion. I like to sleep in on Sundays. What other people do while I'm in a coma is, quite frankly, none of my business.

Because I don't feel white hot rage towards Christianity, I am actually able to enter a church if called upon to do so. I always find the services interesting even if they do leave me feeling indifferent. It's much the same reaction I have to a post-1990 Woody Allen movie.

Even though I was baptised in the Episcopalian church and my parents made a half-hearted attempt to send me to Sunday School as a child, I had never been to church during the Christmas holidays. Since my husband was out of town and I was looking for something to do, I decided to join a family member for Christmas Eve Mass.

My husband never would have gone with us. He was raised Catholic and he still shivers when the subject of midnight mass is mentioned. I think it's because, as an adult, he always attended while slightly inebriated. Nothing kills a beer buzz faster than a man in a white robe dangling incense in your face.

The first thing I learned on Christmas Eve is that Lutherans are a plain and straightforward group. The building itself was beautiful yet bordered on austere. If the Land's End catalog sold churches, this chapel would be on the cover.

The children's choir was singing when we arrived. The second thing I learned is that there is nothing funnier than a group of four-year-olds shouting Christmas carols. Their overly enthusiastic choreographer was almost violent in it's execution. When they rocked the baby Jesus I thought the savior was going to die from Shaken Baby Syndrome.

I tried hard not to laugh at church. I thought it would be disrespectful. But everybody was laughing. How could you not? When the tots launched into their toddler rendition of "Go Tell It On The Mountain" I thought I was going to fall off the pew. My church companion summed it up perfectly when she said, "Nothing says Christmas like a group of white kids singing Negro spirituals."

For those of you who despise religion merely because you are frustrated by evangelists who want to save your soul, keep in mind that I once had a vegetarian lecture me on the evils of meat as I was trying to consume a tasty burger. If I turned my back on every group who had annoying members I would be one lonely human. I wouldn't even be able to hang out with cats.

Overall, it was a pleasant evening. I won't be going next year but I'm glad I went this year.


Anonymous said...

There is no "christian mafia" but there is a mafia and they are scary. Be careful what you post....

Suzy said...

Meanwhile, here at Christian Mafia Headquarters, I thought I'd drop you a comment before I sent out our Black Ops squad to find the brave and intrepid Anonymous.

I would have loved to see that choir. Shaken baby syndrome, so, sooooooo funny.

Traci Skene said...

Huh? What? The Christian Mafia thing is a joke which is why it came right after "cue the scary music." I'm making fun of people who actually think there is a Christian mafia.

I'm not sure what you mean by "be careful what you post." Should I be afraid of you? Should I be afraid of the mafia? Should I be afraid of all anonymous people?

Do I need to call the Gay Mafia and see if they can provide protection?

Infantry Dad said...

I tend to favour the little people mafia.
Nasty little folk.

Suzy said...

Well I knew Infantry Dad would come in to save the day...

Anonymous said...

As someone who was raised Catholic and married a nice Lutheran girl, I loved your 'lands end' comment. So true.

Minnesota is Lutheran Central, and they're too nice to have a mafia. They will throw hot dish at you though - so look out!