All jokes aside, I've come to enjoy Sunday church because of its feeling of "community." I don't go often - most of my Sundays are spent at work or sleeping in - but I try to attend some type of service at least four times a year, to remind myself of how the faithful think. Having originally been raised Catholic - and having attended Catholic school in the 70s/80s - I'd already explored both Unitarian & Calvary churches before my recent visits to the Community of Christ. It's hard to say which denomination I liked best. Calvary had the best music, the COC had the best potlucks, and the Catholic church had the best backstory - including Christopher Reeve in Monsignor. I found the Unitarian church offensive - particularly with a Pastor's behavior following a family member's suicide - but all in all most churches mean well, and that's why heathens like myself go back. Especially since "Burning Man" is such a long drive away.
I've often imagined what such violence would be like in Aurora, my heavily Hispanic hometown. We have a potentially disruptive mix here - drunks, white trash, union Democrats, blacks, Mexicans, nosey neighbors, and aging gay men - but even our hottest local issues haven't led to violence. And that's really surprising because everyone knows that Chicago's suburbs have a healthy share of drug busts & gang shootings. Not a day goes by when I don't hear passing cars' rap music, and judging by the number of Sunday morning passerby carrying black plastic bags, there must be at least one liquor store that's open early on weekends. Yet, we're a docile lot. Even when Republicans inadvertently win elections. You'd think that we'd toss at least a few Molotov cocktails into our Denny's & Popeye's Chicken, but to be completely honest, Aurora's local churches would never support that. We've worked too hard to gentrify our old community ... and even when Blagojevich got convicted, the Communinidad de Iglesia de Cristo would never have allowed us to set our cars on fire.
I couldn't help but wonder what Cosby might have said in regards to the Ferguson verdict...but of course, that couldn't happen. His growing rape allegations mirror the British women who came forward after Jimmy Savile's death. What...a loss. And not just of a television star, but of one of the only spokesmen within the black community who's life experience commanded respect. It sickens me to think that Cosby's voice is gone, while Al Sharpton's & Jessie Jackson's are not. We forgave liberal Jackson's corruption (including a former state senator son who's sitting in prison), and we forgave liberal Sharpton's shameless rabel rousing - and complete and total lack of qualifications for any public office. But we can't even think about forgiving conservative Bill Cosby? Probably not, I guess. Cosby must be held accountable if his past behavior is proven - but it's a goddamn shame that crimes against the public aren't considered as serious as those against individuals. Both crimes ruin peoples' lives, and both make great covers on national magazines. But if the Cos isn't allowed to preach restraint & intelligence, then why the hell are Jackson, Sharpton, and others of similar caliber even taken seriously when they run towards the news cameras? Now, that's something that deserves a riot...
"We're a new congregation within an old building," my coworker explained. "And most of our original members are too old to come to services. But we've grown very progressive. Everybody is welcome. Sex, color, gender identity, or lifestyle...it doesn't matter." My coworker went on to explain the church's different functions, charities, and how as a Mormon sect, most everyone participates. As I looked towards the alter - and to the female Pastor whose dress was straight from BIG LOVE - I couldn't help but chuckle when I thought of the very first speaker I'd witnessed: a woman with an Adam's Apple, and a skirt with 6" heels.
I can barely open my mouth at AA meetings, so I doubt I'll ever be the one who delivers the weekly message. But still it is a little fun to imagine "me" at the pulpit, speaking while wearing my occasional Saturday night attire - straight from the movie Cruising.
Chuckling...that would be a riot.