Dearly beloved members of the First (and Only) Church of Hook, we gathered here today to acknowledge and pay tribute to all forms of organized, and even unorganized, worship and its place in our lives.
I shall now pause for a moment, as 90% of you click away and see what’s new on YouTube and any of the other “Tube” sights that shall remain nameless….
All done? Good, then we’ll continue.
I realize religion is one of those hot-button topics that people usually advise other people to avoid at social gatherings so as to avoid someone getting a shrimp fork in the temple, but you know me, right? I don’t give a toss who I offend, and it usually works out pretty well. For me, at least.
So that’s why I’ve decided to forgo my personal feelings on religion and acknowledge the positive effects it can have on a person who is struggling with life’s many challenges.
My wife once had an Uncle Johnny who swore belonging to a church saved him from remaining on a path of self-destruction. Indeed, I’ve heard the stories over the years about the path he was once on as a young husband and father and he surely would’ve never have made it to his golden years if he hadn’t found an anchor to keep him from drifting away.
For some the bonds of family are enough. For others, it can be something as seemingly-simple as a dedicated exercise regiment, organized sports, writing, painting, or even underwater basket-weaving.
But for millions of mammals the secret to a happy, stable life involves chewing a thin, bland wafer and drinking an even blander (that’s a word, right?) cup of crimson liquid that’s supposed to be the blood of God’s only son.
Fun Fact: As a kid because I was worried I’d become a vampire, so that “Blood of Christ” never touched my lips. And I was disappointed beyond words when I came upon the realization that being a vampire would actually be pretty cool, and nothing happened when I finally took a swig of that religious concoction. That misunderstanding aside, I attended quite a few church services throughout my early life until I decided it just wasn’t something that appealed to me.
The hypocrisy I witnessed made me sick (sinning like a motherfucker all week cannot be washed away with a few Hail Marys in a church at the week’s end) and so I continued on my path without a Sunday consumed by a couple of hours praying and singing in a monkey suit followed by lunch at Swiss Chalet.
Actually, I miss the chicken.
But all religion can save lives. I’m sure there are congregates of the Church of Satan that would surely be worm food right now if they hadn’t been compelled to devote their lives to the red-skinned guy with the horns and tails. And yes, that’s still a victory for the pro-religious camp. Short of stalking and murdering innocent victims, every pastime that gives a lost soul something to focus on is worthwhile.
So picking up a bible, the Quran, whatever Satanists read, or any other religious text may be just what you need to keep you from severing that vital connection to the world. Feeling as though you’re a part of something larger than yourself can be humbling but also deeply fulfilling.
I was concerned when we first lost Ronnie that his immortal soul may have been in jeopardy but after consulting with a few friends and a religious authority or two I was assured that my friend is at peace at last. On a side note, I was deeply relieved when I didn’t burst into flame after entering a church to meet with a priest.
So in conclusion, religion may not be your bag but it when you look past all the BS you may just find what you’re looking for.
And that’s as inspirational as I can be these days so take it or leave it.
See you in the lobby or between the pews, kids…