Jun 23, 2009

For those who asked, my swell new Kindle is the Kindle 2. It is the in between model. The newest and swellest version, the Kindle DX, will be available later this week from Amazon and will be bigger than the one I chose. It is also $125 more. My rationale for the Kindle 2, aside from the additional expense, is that the beauty of a reading device is in its transportability. The biggest version begins to resemble a laptop in size and who wants to drag something like that around? I had a startling experience at the hardware store today. A customer who I did not recognize, walked by me and said, "It's a lovely day in Hooterville." That set me back a bit, since only my friends and family know about my blog. Maybe a coincidence? A minute later he stopped next to me and said, "Merle Wayne Sneed, I presume?" Turns out that he is a guy my niece has been dating for sometime and those wacky youngsters thought it would be a hoot to mess with old Merle. Good one. Can we talk about God for a moment? I'll begin with a story. Many, and I do mean many, years ago, Mrs. Sneed and I were in a group discussion of some sort and I offered the observation that "church" was primarily a social activity. This caused a guy named Mike to go into a state of complete meltdown. Mike was a nth generation, back East hardcore Catholic, for whom the Church was sacred in some vague sort of way. I'm betting he couldn't articulate what he thought the Church was, but it damn sure wasn't a social activity and he told me that in no uncertain terms. Fast forward to yesterday. I'm listening to an interview with a guy who is espousing the position that the Church is largely a social activity that brings people together and fulfills our basic need to be connected to other people. He talked about secular Jews and secular Christians who don't for a minute believe all the mumbo jumbo you hear in a most mainline congregations. They just enjoy the company of other people in that setting. As he said, it is important for people to care for others and be cared for by others. Plus people coming together can do a lot of good in the community. Of course the problem is that every church has rules that no one follows well enough to suit everyone else, so there's lots of drama going on. Plus you really have to suspend disbelief to buy into the mythology. So here's my thoughts. What if there were churches with no dogma, no guilt, no afterlife stuff, no higher authority and no God? Just a place where you could meet others of a like mind, learn something that is actually useful in real life, plus have a nice time? Bars don't count. Current skeptics and secular groups tend to exist to beat up on the concept of God and the various superstitions that accompany organized religion. Believe me, sitting through that discussion is as tedious as the worst of sermons, by the dullest of ministers. So, this might be a retirement gig. Pastor Merle Wayne Sneed, Church of the Here and Now. Our creed could be, "We could always do better, but we're doing okay." Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

15 comments:

mum said...

I'm thinking blogging communities perform something of the function you describe, no?

Unless, of course, those bloggers communicate around dogma, guilt, afterlife and so on.

Does the Pastor get a special bathrobe and slippers?

I like the basic line for the creed - 'could be better, but doing okay."

Any thoughts of the hymnal? I'm thinking the song 'Well it's all right' should be in it.

Cheers, Rev. Sneed.

Annie Ha said...

My latest theory is that while you can't have a church without organization, organization manages to ruin the whole idea of the thing.

Annie Ha said...

p.s. I really kinda dig that creed

Coffee Messiah said...

Pressed for time but like the post.

BTW, would you mind taking your heat and heat index back, please ; )

Kurt said...

Hazel Motes had the same idea is 1952; he called it The Church Without Christ.

Megan said...

I'm with you.

bitchlet said...

I had the same experience in an elevator.

Julia said...
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Julia said...
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Julia said...

Sounds like my understanding of the Unitarian church. It's the church where you can believe anything you want about goo/dess or the lack thereof. I think they're big on social justice too. If one was closer to my home I would strongly consider attending. The community aspect is the thing I miss most about church since I've quit being a believer.

Julia said...

god/dess, not goodess.

Barbara said...

It seems like Unitarians and Quakers come close to what you described. Jews aren't required to believe in much either.

A Kindle 2 arrived at our house today. I'm going to be interested in comparing your experience with that of my husband as he learns to use his new toy.

Steve said...

I once told a Catholic friend that I thought people were religious because they fear death. He scolded me and said I was being cynical, that some people "love their God." Ironically, 20 years later, he has completely renounced Catholicism.

I think church is more than just social -- for many people it is cultural, a part of their identity. But I agree that there are plenty of reasons people go to church besides active belief.

Anonymous said...

I think you made the right choice (re: kindle 2) we use the 1 and the 2 and they are fine.

Anonymous said...

Jrr Tolkien got a passionate hater of the Catholic Church to turn into a super devout Catholic-- his friend CS Lewis-- I wonder howTolkien did it (witchcraft perhaps)-- but Lewis had been a stolid belfast protestant (Church of England) so same BS really with amendments . it's all rubbish anyway. I can't understand why people glorify protestantism OR Catholism and feel superoir whichever one THEY have chosen, such BS--and all the little sects, so idiotic.

CS Lewis had the great misfortune to die and have his death go Largely unnoticed and unremarked upon since he died the same day as JFK. bad luck.