First of all, I have to say, I'm a pretty big skeptic. I'm not a believer believer. But that's how I am about most things. There are a lot of things I LOVE, but take great issue with--TV shows, for example. There is nothing I love so much that I wouldn't also bitch about it. I love my dog, but I hate that he barks at me every time I sit down. I have a similar relationship with the Catholic church. I have many, MANY issues with various tenets (I change the words "Him," "He," "Father," and "Son" wherever they appear) and organizational decisions (or lack there of; can we get female priests already? It's not like you're rolling in recruits as it is).
But it's also home in a way. It's familiar, and familiar feels good right now. Ever since, oh, around January 20th, I've been making more of an effort to get to church on Sunday. Here's why:
1. It's an hour of peace. It's one hour with no threads tweetsplaining things to me, no WaPo alerts, no emails, no updates from Facebook pages telling me I'm not doing enough to #resist. It's one hour to sit and BE.
2. It feels a little rebellious, honestly. For so long, Jesus has been sole property of the conservative Right. But the most "Christian" among us have gone and sold their souls to a vulgar orange hell demon simply because he promised them a Supreme Court judge who'd take marriage away from gays and health care away from women. And sitting over there in the House, you have a guy (Paul Ryan) who's literally been talking about killing Medicare (and with it potentially millions of our poorest and sickest Americans) since back when he was running around in a (modest, sensible) toga at his college frat parties, just like Jesus taught us. So, you know what? The Republicans don't have a monopoly on "moral authority" anymore, assuming they ever did.
3. It's an anti-Steve Bannon move. While Bannon wants to blow up the government, I've started feeling a pull to support the institutions we have. Plus our current pope and Bannon do not see eye-to-eye, to put it mildly. Supporting Pope Francis is a message for the alt-right buzzards to eat it.
4. It's an hour-long reminder that not everything is terrible. I'm surrounded by negativity. I've brought a lot of that on myself. I even contribute my own daily doses of snark to the universe. But spending one morning a week listening to stories about a guy who unfailingly put others before himself, unlike the tangerine hobgoblin we all know and loathe, is a good way to recharge my empathy battery.
5. It's keeping me out of my bubble. One day a week, I sit in a room with people who lead different lives than I do, who think differently and probably voted differently, too. But we're neighbors. We're a community. And on Sunday mornings we break bread together.
6. It's a chance to sing in public. And I'll take any chance I can get.
I wrote a book! It's YA novel, THE SOUND OF US. You can find the details right here! Kirkus calls it "a winning story about a teenage voice student that hits all the right notes."
I also wrote another book, Any Boy but You, (You've Got Mail in the Pokemon Go era). You can buy it here.
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