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Onion of God

July 25, 2010

It’s another one of those toss-up weeks where I am not sure who deserves the point, Humanity or the Apocalypse.

One the one hand, I had to go to church on Saturday. As a faithful lapsed-Catholic/practicing atheist, I don’t think I have been to mass since my father’s funeral more than twenty years ago. I think I was pretty much lost to the church in grade three Catechism when we learned about religions of the world. I raised my hand to ask, “But Miss, if those people all think their God is real, then how do we know we’ve got the right one?” and was sent to the principal for the strap.

And it didn’t help that although the whole family had to go to mass every week until the last child finished her sacraments, it didn’t seem to mean much. (I have distinct memories of my mother saying that the Pope was full of shit.) Mass was dull and confusing and what little chance I had of grasping the mysteries of the faith was dashed by the fact that I could barely speak French. My misinterpretation of the French word for lamb (agneau) meant that I spent most of my childhood trying to get my sins washed away by the Onion of God.

But as usual, I digress. Any weekend where I have to go to church should be an unholy point for the Apocalypse, especially when I have to stop in the parking lot to teach my nervous daughter how to make the sign of the cross. But of course there’s the other hand. (Left? Right? Which one is Jesus sitting at again?)

The other hand is that the church occasion was the baptism of my niece. So right away, I don’t have the full mass to complain about. It was a private service performed by a layperson who actually has kids of his own. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend had gathered the whole family in this lovely Québécois village church for a warm, informal ceremony to welcome their daughter to the family of God. I mean, even I was having trouble maintaining the pissy look more than five minutes into that. And then they revealed their surprise. My brother-in-law, who defied family predictions that he would die a bachelor by falling in love at the age of 33 and producing an adorable baby girl, announced that before the baptism, he and his girlfriend would be married. Stunned silence. Applause. Kleenex pulled out of big white purses. I myself got a little speck of dust from the pew that made my eyes all runny.

Melanie and Dominic found a way to share this moment with the people they love without turning it into a $30,000 circus of trashy bridesmaid dresses, floral arrangements, and screaming arguments with the mother of the bride. Eloping would have shut us out. But the surprise meant it was instantly and only about love– the love they have for each other and their daughter, and the friends and family they gathered to celebrate with them.

Which brings us back to church and a point for Humanity– a point for that moment of love, connection, and community that cut through my cynical view of the church and made my cry. I guess there is an Onion of God after all…

The Apocalypse: 13.5

Humanity: 13

  1. I like it. Onion of God. That’s hilarious. I think if I were to step foot inside of a church right now, the entire structure would go up in flames.

  2. Your reputation as a hardened cynical bitch is in serious jeopardy. You had better swear at me or something soon. 😉 The “Onion of God” is awesome – I’m going to giggle through Mass from now on. Well, giggle more, anyway. This would be why I get beamed between the eyes with holy water every.damn.time. they bless the congregation.

    • Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. (Is my rep back now?) I love the fact that I am leading another lamb of god astray. Next Sunday, you’d best cross yourself twice. (Am writing this drunk on red wine. Hope that helps in the reputation department.)

  3. Y’know, Mumma Boo sent me over here saying you were this hard ass bitchy poo that I would love because of your snarkiness (or words that were nothing like that) and all I found was softy softy. But I still like it. I think I might just have to come back to see more of the snark and see how many times you get some dust in your eye. Stupid dust is always flying about at the most inopportune times!

    • I know. My girlfriend says the same thing- I am going all sissy-ass soft. I am going to work up some serious rage for next week or totally give in and sign up for a scrapbooking class.

  4. Aw crap on a stick. Stupid insta-fill forms…it took my other blog info. Le sigh.

  5. Ok – laughing so freaking hard I had to put off writing this comment. My partner, who almost never laughs at anything I think is funny is still laughing as I am writing.

    We are both lapsed Catholic/ athiests who only step into churches when someone is dead. The reason for our absence is mostly because we are intelligent, rational women and kinda because my sainted Irish Nana assured me that the whole place would fall on my head if I ever stepped inside, (seriously – once, at a funeral, she sat in the last pew near the door in order to make a quick escape).

    Anyway…..great, great post. Loved the humor, loved the story, love your Brother-in-law and his wife. Thanks for the laugh and the dust in my eye.

    • Even as a child, I knew the company would be better in Hell. Sounds like we’ll be neighbors!

      • As long as one of us has a blender…..I make a mean frozen margarita.

  6. Just noticed your blogroll…..xxxooo !

  7. I am the daughter of a lapsed catholic and a lapsed irish orange-lodge protestant… raised semi-united (but went to a catholic grade school as there was no other option) and then full lapsed into atheism myself. My hubby is anglican and takes the kids (I’d rather they be exposed to it all, and make their own decisions when they are old enough) most weeks.

    I rent the kitchen in the basement of his church for my cake business. I make (among other types) naughty cakes…

    I still anticipate the complete and utter destruction of the building every time I walk in.

    • You make cakes shaped like genitals? In the church basement? My grandmother would tell you that you’re “driving nails into the Baby Jesus.”

      But welcome!

    • omg! I love your naughty cakes…and creating them in the basement of the church somehow makes them oh so much more appealing…..hilarious.

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