The Roman Catholic church has recently sent out a questionnaire to all the faithful. I haven’t finished mine yet and after writing for 2 weeks I missed the deadline. It’s hard to imaging any other church doing this sort of thing. Here is a couple of examples of the kinds of questions being asked:
Question 1a--4a: Describe how the Catholic Church's teachings on the value of the family contained in the Bible, Gaudium et Spes, Familiaris Consortio and other documents of the post-conciliar Magisterium is understood by people today? What formation is given to our people on the Church's teaching on family life? 4a: Is cohabitation ad experimentum a pastoral reality in your particular Church? Can you approximate a percentage?
In other words: How many folks in your church are just hooking up and shagging like bunnies(and probably using rubbers to boot); and how many of y’all are instead sitting around studying papal encyclicals with unpronounceable Latin titles? Oy vey. Anyway, here is something I started writing on the back of the bulletin at mass on Saturday:
*** TRUE RELIGION™
"Stand at the brink of despair, and when you see that you cannot bear it anymore, draw back a little, and have a cup of tea.” Elder Sophrony of Essex.
Mediating the existential void is perhaps the most important work of Religion.™ In performing that function Religion™ can be as destructive as many other kinds of mediation but when used as recommended Religion™ can be a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of void-specific existential angst.
(*WARNING: Mixing Religion™with other substances such as patriarchy, homophobia, machismo, individualism, materialism, nationalism, fundamentalism (or ‘isms’ of most any kind) may cause severe reactive disorders such as paranoia, oppression, the exploitation of others, hallucinations, racism, narcissism, and other painful symptoms that sometimes result in violent outbursts of physical aggression that in severe cases may lead to murderous wars and the establishment of empires. Use Religion™only as needed and described by holy traditions, inspired scriptures, and/or direct encounters with Spiritussen Sancta. Men who over-medicate themselves with Religion™are much more likely than women to suffer from severe side-effects such as irrational beliefs, conspiratorial ‘world views,’ non-specific outrage, denial of reality, and perverse addictions to books, alcohol, sports, pornography, pick-up trucks, duck-calls, guns, and other manifestations of erectile disfunction that in extreme cases reveal themselves as a compulsion for certitude and control sometimes known as “Hierarchical Dementia by Proxy.” If any of these symptoms occur stop using Religion™ immediately and consult your pastor, priest, exorcist, or an agnostic professor of German philosophy. While Religion™may relieve the symptoms of existential anxiety, Religion™is not an effective alternative to faith, compassion, charity, forgiveness, solidarity, long suffering, justice, or grace. However, when these substances are combined with Religion™ patients are often able to learn how to cope with and manage their fears and anxieties of death and nothingness in non-destructive and sometimes even positive ways. Is Religion™the right treatment for you? Have you dared to stare into the abyss but only found the darkness staring back? Then Religion™prayer, and medication, may be the answers that you have been searching for.
Here is a link to the questionnaire: http://survey.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0pPsvi0vYPwodY9
And then there's this:
*Caution there are very disturbing images in this video.” This was posted on Facebook by an old friend of mine that I used to play music and sing with. We have traveled different paths since then but I keep in touch because he is my conduit into a type of christianity that I like to keep tabs on.
Obliged y’all and you've been warned.