Archive for the ‘my religious friends will not speak to me for two weeks’ Category

benchwarming for jesus

August 1, 2008

I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t happen to go to Sunday games, or because I generally didn’t have bleacher seats and thus wouldn’t show up early, but it took me until this year to notice that at Sunday games since 9/11, the PA guy at Wrigley will ask you to stand not only for the national anthem, but also for God Bless America.

Regular readers of my blog can probably tell how I feel about that.

For new readers, let me say that I don’t like the progression:

World where we don’t sing God Bless America

Terrorist Attack

“Please stand for God Bless America”

I don’t see how that’s a logical progession. God Bless America is not, to my knowledge, the national anthem. Please note that I am not against the playing of God Bless America in general. You are entitled to sing the song, you are entitled to hope that God does in fact bless America, you are entitled to hope that God damns America, or you can just hum along with the smug knowledge that even if God existed, he would be too busy using His powers to watch Rachel McAdams undress to bless any particular sovereign nation or autonomous territory.

Long sentence. Sorry.

So my objection is that I am asked to stand for God Bless America, which is immediately followed by the Star-Spangled Banner. So I don’t do it, although I am pretty sure I am the only person in the ballpark who doesn’t. I sit through God Bless America and I stand for the national anthem. I suppose if you are a real die-hard asshole, you can protest W, the military-industrial complex, the war in Iraq, etc., and not stand for the national anthem either. But I’m not that big an asshole, and for all its problems, I love my country and the principles it stands for, which are symbolized by the flag that the anthem celebrates, so I stand.

Those principles, by the way, include those embodied in the Constitution, which prohibits laws establishing a religion. So this Sunday, when I’m back at Wrigley, I’ll be sitting again during God Bless America, because it’s not my anthem, and to my ears is completely meaningless, and nobody can tell me to stand.

Shalom, bitches.

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Take 2

March 13, 2006

I’ve decided that my spring break was insufficient, due to the specter of the MPRE hanging over my head the whole time, so I have decided to take a second spring break this week. I will be reuniting with the illustrious Bubbles, who defies categorization or explanation, and whom I can only describe to my readers with the following photograph. Bubbles is on the right.

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On his left is Mark “The Phantom” Wurtzler. I think this photograph was truly a fantastic character study.

We are going to the Outer Banks. I don’t really know what that means, but I’m kind of apprehensive because the Outer Banks are featured prominently on many local SVUs by way of those oval stickers appropriated from European nations. You know. You see a JH, and you know that the driver of the SUV in front of you has been to Jackson Hole and done something gnarly, possibly while drinking Mountain Dew. Around here you get a lot of OBX. O stands for Outer. B stands for Bank. X stands for both the s at the end of Banks and for the notion that the Outer Banks are hip and eXtreme to the maX.

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It occurs to me that there’s another demographic I could target with this particular style of look-at-me-ism. Behold, my next business venture:

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Patent pending, fuckers.

The Blasphemy Post

March 1, 2006

Lent is my favorite season, suddenly everyone I know is religious again. If I recall correctly (my experiment with Catholicism has been over for at least 8 years now), Lent is about reflection. But what it really is, to many people of my generation, is the chance to put on a show, in three ways.

1. Ash Wednesday. Let’s kick it off by letting everyone know that GOD LOVES ME and I GOT UP VERY EARLY to go to church today. I went before work/school, in fact. Forget the fact that although such masses are available the other 364 days of the year, I never go. I’ll go to Christmas and Easter Mass, but mostly because my digestive tract needs a break. How often do people get the ashes in the evening, when nobody else will see them?

I say, if you’re going to get the man in robes to rub last year’s burnt palms on your forehead, at least ask for some truth in your cranial advertising.

2. Giving shit up. Another opportunity to announce to the world that “I AM CATHOLIC” or whatever, and “I AM PIOUS” because I gave up rutabaga sandwiches or whatever trivial shit it is this year. I think as a kid I gave up gum once. Let me tell you, Jesus filled my soul with every passing day. My advice: give up religion. If you can recognize the vices in your life, give them up for good, or don’t, but don’t make a big production out of it.

3. Fishy Friday. This was always the shitty part of Lent when I was a kid, because I hated fish, plus it had bones and I was concerned about choking on the Fish (Of course I had NO REASON to be afraid because the same man in robes who rubbed fried plants on me had touched my throat with two candlesticks and invoked St. Blaise to protect me from choking. Seriously.) Anyway. At my fraternity we’d get dinner delivered nightly – by Italians, no less – and the first Friday in Lent, it may have been hamburgers. Loud protests from the resident Catholics, notably I think, Mills. “I can’t eat this! I’m Catholic. It’s Lent. Man, who ordered this stuff? I guess we’re going to have to do something about this for the remainder of Lent.”

Next Friday, I come downstairs and Mills is halfway through a plate of chicken fingers. What’s the point of self-denial if you can’t exercise it twice in eight days? You want to smoke, curse, fuck, eat red meat, DO IT. If you don’t want to, don’t DO IT. But if it’s really a personal matter, do it FOR YOURSELF .

Which brings me to the complaint policy about this post, as I can think of several readers of this blog who could feasibly be offended. This is how I feel. If your reasons for following Lenten traditions are genuine, great, more power to you. No need to call me on it, because it’s between you and the invisible man in the sky. There’s no need to defend your faith to me, and in any case I won’t change my mind.