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Josephine

February 2001

Before the cathedral ...

I attended a church youth group a few Sundays ago. Normally I think that it is quite disrespectful to attend church if you are not a practicing member of the religion. I am nowhere near being a Methodist, yet I went anyway. For the first time in say six years I went to a church function, and this coming Sunday I am going again. The plan for the youth group is to start at the regular time, and then go to some cathedral way downtown and basically, pray, in silence for 45 minutes with a few hundred others. So why am I going if I am not a Christian and I feel I would be disrespecting the religion?

Two words, Miss Sarah. Miss Sarah is a friend of mine that I have had this MAJOR crush on since last December. If I were not already in a long-term/monogamous relationship, I would take her out. I just found out, around new years, that she is, and has been for a long time, interested in me! If my boyfriend wasn't as perfect for me as he is, I would be with Miss Sarah in a second, but he is perfect for me; so here I am, tempting myself, and in my mind disrespecting thousands (millions) so that I can hang out with Miss Sarah and get her parents to like me. I don't know why they don't like me, everyone's parents love me to death, but not hers. They are pretty religious, and so I am trying to win them over a little.

I do think that this praying thing will be fun though, don't get too much of the wrong impression. I love to vaguely explore organized/recognized religions. I even read a large portion of The Book Of Mormon just because ... oh, no ... wait ... actually that was for a girl too. Okay, so I think of religion as the way to hook myself up with girls, but let's never mind that for a while and just say that I do enjoy picking religions apart. I swear!

I am fascinated by this process of "getting to know God" (as the youth director put it) through this prayer session/service. Why do we need to go downtown, to what will be, unavoidably, a "bad" neighborhood, at nine PM to become close to God? Is their church not a good enough place? Maybe God only comes to visit their church once a month or so. Do the cathedrals get first dibs on God's love? Maybe it sounds a bit as though I am making fun of the Methodists, I am, but only because I am concerned for the religion. What happens when they all come together and realize that they are not making any sense? Never mind, that just won't happen ... How long has Christianity been running amuck now??? (Forever?)

Narrrr ... But anyhoo, who am I to judge? (Besides God herself, I mean) I just wish that I could understand the pull this has for these poor kids being thrown into this. Maybe it is all about the love. But can a sinner really be loved??? (question intended sarcastically) My biggest problem above ALL else is the sin part of these types of religions. How much does that not make sense? Why work if you are not getting anywhere because of those who came and fuct it up before you had the chance? (I guess the belief in fate just doesn't flow with religions like this ...)

After the cathedral ...

So I went to this youth group and cathedral thing as planned. We got to the Cathedral, which was in a pretty bad neighborhood, but not as bad as I was expecting, at about ten after nine. As it turns out, I knew some people that lived in the area. The cathedral itself was beautiful, as was the view of the sound and city in the background. I absolutely loved the chandeliers and the pipe organ.

Though I very clearly stated that I was not about sitting/lying on the sanctuary floor during the service, we ended up doing it anyway. The need for people to sit on the floor was the direct effect of there being entirely too many people in the cathedral. Anyhow, we sat on the floor, I could see nothing, not that I believe there was much to see. Approximately 10 monk like men walked down the aisle next to me, an aisle I was practically sitting in, to something in the back of the cathedral, not really the back, but opposite the stage anyway. I say monk like men because I was informed that they were not technically monks, but then never informed as to what they actually were. They said a prayer, sort of chanted/sang what I figured to be a prayer, then said another prayer, and so on and so forth. This continued for just about thirty minutes. And that was the end of it.

All through out the service I was not concentrating on God, not at all. I was looking around at the different people who had gathered at the cathedral. There were three couples my eyes kept going back to. They were people that I had thought looked very sweet together when I had walked in. One of the couples was and Asian-American women and a Caucasian guy. The women had short dark hair, no visible makeup and a blue sweater, she wore a smile the whole time; it looked more like a smile of peace, then one of happiness. The guy had fluffy gray brown hair and he kept his eyes closed for most of the service. They held hands the entire time, even as they were leaving.

The next couple was a tall couple. Both were over six feet and lanky. He had a short military cut and his companion had her head of extremely long brown hair in his lap since before we had arrived. They looked like vegetarians often do when their diets are not balanced. Throughout the service a friend of a friend of mine kept giving them dirty looks because they were being very playful and affectionate.

The third couple I had spotted first outside as we were coming up to the cathedral from the van and then two rows back from the floor where I was stationed. Both were Caucasian, wearing coats, and female. Of all of the people that were in attendance, they seemed to be the only lesbian couple. One of them had shoulder length brown hair and wore what I believe was a cobalt blue T-shirt. The other was wearing a white hat that completely covered her hair, pale lipstick and a deep red shirt under her black wool coat. The one with the hat kept her head on the other ones shoulder the entire service. I believe they also were holding hands and kept their eyes closed for the bulk of the service.

Instead of even listening to the prayers I was watching everyone around me, watching their reactions to the service. I guess I don't understand what it is that the church brings to people but I know full well that I am not a part of whatever it is. It doesn't matter if I would like to be, the walls have been built, and the lights were dimmed a long time ago. I guess it all makes me a little sad in a way. I don't believe in the religion; I'm not really sure what I do believe, but it sucks to be excluded I guess. Narrrr ... I don't even know why I seem to be getting down about this, it just kind of pisses me off to not be a part of something. Exclusion brings out something bad I guess.

Josephine

Josephine is a 17-year-old bisexual girl living in western Washington. She enjoys writing, and wishes to get the hell out of high school and her mother's home as soon as possible. If you have any questions, or comments or anything at all really send it her way via her e-mail: EmbezzledEmotion@hotmail.com ... Narrrr ... until next time ... Bye folks!


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