FREEDOM OF RELIGION
Last night I played at a Palm Sunday 'concert' as part of a pretty good-sized orchestra. It was at one of those mega-churches, with three large screens surrounding the alter. While the choir sang and the instruments played (complete with nauseating 8th-note rock beat on the drumset) the lyrics were projected on the three screens so the congregation could sing along.
The minister of the church was a young guy with blindingly white teeth, perfect hair and three perfect children. His perfect wife was one of the soloists in the choir. He got up in the beginning of the service to say a prayer and to introduce the music director.
The musical work itself was titled "Jesus: No Other King" and was an arrangement of about eight songs - all related to, as you may have guessed, Jesus. Mainly about how we as human beings just flat out suck. How we should all get down on our knees and PRAISE JESUS every single day, and know we're not worthy and Jesus is THE WAY. There was also a lot of stuff about Jesus' blood.
I don't know. Church. Dogma. It all just makes my fur bristle. It seems so paradoxical to what "spirituality" feels like to me. Okay, so Jesus is the Son of God... but aren't we ALL God's children? Is God really this big, pissed-off man in the clouds, sitting up there smiting the sinners? That doesn't make sense. It didn't make sense when I was a kid in Sunday School and then Confirmation class. And it doesn't make sense now.
I looked out into the congregation and watched the people sing along - wondering if they questioned what it was they were saying. I wondered if anyone was as confused as I was. Then I just decided to sit back and play my trumpet the best that I could, happy to be a part of a peaceful group of people. Happy that I'd be receiving a check at the end of the evening that I could put towards costs of living the life with which I have been blessed.
And I realized it doesn't matter what anyone else believes.