scripture reading for the third sunday after Trinity: 2 Cor 12:2-10 -- excerpt:
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
cf. Nietzche's On the Genealogy of Morals -- i would quote but my copy is in Chicago. suffice to say that his scathing remarks about Christianity being the bastion of the weak are well founded in the writings of St. Paul -- something that i actually don't find all that depressing.
went to a different service this morning -- instead of our usual 8am traditional Anglican service at St. Andrews -- at VCH and really really didn't like it. by the end of the service i was so agitated i literally vibrated in my seat, i just couldn't wait to get out of there, it upset me so much. two things: (1) church services were not meant to be a dog-and-pony-show complete with drum set and electric guitar, with no sense of calm or ritual, with no formality, with screaming babies outside the doors and people coming and going as they please as if this were a baseball match; and (2) this is Victoria Concert Hall, if you please -- i have come to expect a certain standard of professionalism within its walls, it's MY CONCERT HALL, and having this dog-and-pony show held inside of it is just painful to everything inside of me. they use mics, for goodness sakes. it brought tears to my eyes to be back in this familiar space, listening to these familiar acoustics, and having it completely ruined by the ra-ra madness of this strange 'Anglican' service. i swear, if the church keeps heading in this direction, i am jumping ship and turning Catholic. far from inducing calm and magnifying faith, this service made me so angry i couldn't see straight, couldn't wait to leave, made me half decide that Nietzche is indeed right about Christianity. my relationship with the Church is tenous at the best of times, and this morning was NOT the best of times.
i hate intolerance. which may be intolerant of me, but when i hear people say things like 'i hate gays, they're so useless' it makes me so angry i have to bite my tongue to keep from snapping at them. 'how many gays do you know?' i want to ask. 'when's the last time you talked to one, when's the last time you made the effort to see past his sexuality, when did everything about a person become encapsulated in his gender preferences, when did stereotypes become more important that individual human beings?' i want to ask. 'when's the last time YOU were a productive member of the human race?' i want to ask. when people talk about things they have no understanding of as if they were The Authority on the subject it drives me mad -- and when it's my Own Family doing the talking, it's just infinitely compounded, because i CAN'T just look at them like they're completely crazy, and i want to know -- why are they this way, when i'm not? are they too rigid, or am i too flexible? why can't they ever see the other side?
i don't know what to make of their strong and blind belief in a Church that has shown itself, time and again, capable of monumental hypocrisy and lies, of intolerance, of selective interpretation, of rigidity and hatred and all the things Unchristian which the clergy preach against, of fighting wars of extermination and political survival. a Church that was founded because one man wanted to leave his wife for another woman, and couldn't win his battle with the Roman Catholic Church. a Church that very often doesn't seem to have anything to do with God, not very much at all.