Monday, March 29, 2010

You know we're in a recession when......

I want to go to church to pray about the economy, but I can't afford the COVER CHARGE! Recently, I felt the need to become more spiritual and reconnect with my Greek Orthodox roots. Being inquisitive most of my life I explored several different paths that would make my ancestors cringe. Orthodox being the literal definition of 'true opinion' and Greek being the literal voice of my mother threatening us every Sunday morning right before church: ' you hev unteeel I count tew 3 tew get out from bed and get readee for-eh church!!!!' So, as you can see the combination lead to a path of rebellion. Or as some may refer to as: A path to perdition. In any event for whatever reasons, (and there are always reasons), I felt the desire to reconnect with my faith. Being a comic is not exactly a spiritual path. Laughter is the greatest thing in the world, but content is scrutinized constantly...or at the very least 'unholy' by many standards. I woke up Sunday very early which is a very difficult thing for me to do, because I'm out doing comedy on Saturday nights until at least 1am and by the time I drive home its as late as 2am sometimes. Anyhoo, diligent to pursue my reawakened spiritual path I got up (reluctantly, and reminded myself it was for a good cause), got showered and dressed for church. Its been a while since I've been to church so a very superstitious part of me felt as if the minute I stepped into church, I would hear the harrowing voice of God scolding me with dialogue from the exorcist. "GET OUT!' When I got there I walked over to the candle station and bought or 'donated' a couple of bucks for the candle, (which seemed reasonable...after all, wax doesn't grow on trees), then I walked to one of the pews in the back and sat myself down in the isle seat (prefer it on airplanes and in church). I was desperate for some prudence. I was all ears when the priest proceeded to give the liturgy. Immediately right in the middle of his sermon my eye was pulled to the bottom of his garment or very ornate robe. I was fixated on his feet. He was wearing these cowboy boots just as ornate as his robe. they had silver custom made tips and silver backs, complete with spurs. This is not a hyperbole. I looked around to see if anyone else noticed it? How could they not???? I mean his feet were fully exposed for that very purpose. He was showing off his ostentatious boots and he was unapologetic! Well, over stated boots are not really my thing at church. Basically, they distracted me and I couldn't focus on the sermon. I have A.D.D., A.D.H.D, O.C.D, nuff said! He lost me! I wanted to say: 'Father know your demographic,' this isn't a gay bar or a rodeo. I like your duds, but you lost me!' Believe me I love to show off the twins but how distracting would that be at church? I also would love to wear spandex and purple lipsick to court, but again it's just a little inappropriate for that setting. Just as I was starting to refocus I noticed they were passing a basket around. I reached into my pocket and donated a couple of bucks. Fifteen minutes later.... right in the middle of the sermon they pass another basket around. I donate another couple of bucks. 20 minutes after that....they pass yet ANOTHER basket around and I COMPLETELY IGNORE IT!!! I can feel myself getting angry! How many times are they going to pass that basket around? Between his boots and the baskets I was so dizzy, I needed a drink and couldn't wait for communion. Before we could even get to that point they announced that they are going to be collecting more money. Only this time they wanted each person individually to walk to the front and donate money. I was thankful I was in the isle seat because I was plotting my escape. I was tapped!! The well was empty! I had lint in my pockets! In short, I was broke!!! Now they were individually calling upon trustees of the church who have donated superfluously to the church. And they started somewhat applauding or praising their generosity. This became a sermon of money!! And I left feeling ANGRY!!! Better than the poor schmuck who might leave feeling guilty. I have through out my life been confronted with this very same problem in other faiths, in other churches, other religions, other spiritual forums. WHY does it always come down to the mighty dollar? I'm by no means adverse to donations and have held numerous benefits throughout the years as a comic and entertainer to help those less fortunate or in need. I believe there are good churches, good priests, good pastors, Rabi's, monks, nuns, PEOPLE! But it deflates me just a little every time I run into this GREED!! And cant help thinking....'is it really going to the poor? or is it going into the priests bank account?' That being said if home is where you hang up your hat....then enlightenment surely comes from within. All you have to do is maintain an open heart and mind.

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