Sunday, September 23, 2007

My nephews were baptized today. It was a pleasant experience overall. I haven't attended church in something like eight years, not since I joined the Army (in clear violation of the "no atheists in foxholes" hypothesis proposed mainly by people who have never been in a foxhole or shared their sleeping burrow with ants and giant spiders). I've missed goofing off. My mom even scolded me. Just like old times. I was entrusted with videotaping the ritual which inadvertently provided an alibi for my sacrilicious behavior and general irreverence for the goings-on. In today's Reality-Show-Reality, operating a camera brings true absolution.

In my little brain, I was only a spectator to the proceedings. I am not religious, thus I have the option to participate in any ritual because hey, who's it going to hurt (besides the goat) or to abstain if I think pretending to praise a deity or accept a world-view may be offensive to more convinced actors.

In a heavily ritualized religion like Catholicism, I don't think it really matters in a teaching where humans beings are expected to never really understand. Okay, I says, then don't expect to ever understand why I go off where nobody tells me when to sit, stand or kneel.

But I digress.

The babies enjoyed themselves. They didn't seem to mind being prayed over or dunked in holy water like a sinful donut. And they loved the candles. Ender chewed his happily until the end of the ceremony. I'm pretty sure he said "It tastes like salvation." Not a hundred percent, but pretty sure.

I love my family. They are the funniest people I know.

On the way out my little cousin and I had a quick break-dance battle in front of one of the stained-glass windows. I was winning but then one of the priests started to exorcise me and I awoke face-down in the parking lot.

Directions to the reception scribbled on a church flyer were stuffed in my breast pocket. I brushed a few bits of asphalt from my forehead and ran to my truck.

There are a few Catholic traditions that I am always happy to partake in, no matter who they may offend. Beer on a Sunday afternoon in celebration of someone staving off hellfire is one of those.