[thechat] Mythology was comics

Bob Davis bobd at members.evolt.org
Wed May 23 09:51:33 CDT 2001

Just a couple quick notes from me on this *very* interesting topic.

Let me first say that I'm really glad to see that nobody has let the 
course of the discussion get nasty as they often do when the topic is 
"religion", either in the traditional sense (actual religion) or the 
more modern sense (anything that could be construed as passion driven - 
Mac vs. Wintel being an example).

I was raised Catholic. Went through the whole thing, saw my younger 
siblings do the same. I'm now non-practicing, but still consider myself 
a somewhat spiritual person (though I wouldn't call myself religious at 

On Wednesday, May 23, 2001, at 10:12 AM, Ben Dyer wrote:

> True, but a large segment of Christians "practice a little" as well.  
> They show up at Church on Christmas and Easter and say that they 
> practice Christianity (or praying something like "God, please let the 
> Cowboys beat the spread" or something to that extent :) ).

Hmmm...I gave up on the C&E Catholicism.
Wanna know why? There are a couple reasons.
One - I got tired of taking shit from the priests every Christmas and 
Easter (<chiding voice>"Well, I see a lot of faces that I don't see 
every Sunday here today"</cv>).
Two - I thought it was hypocritical for me to just go twice a year when 
I didn't think the church had anything to offer me.
Three - the people I went for (parents) didn't seem to mind when I told 
them I didn't feel like going any more and that I'd rather spend the 
time I had with them during the holidays with my family than with a 
bunch of strangers in a city where I don't live.

I don't practice Catholicism at all.  I do like the aesthetic though. 
One doesn't get it so much in the US. Having lived in Germany (Bonn) and 
Austria (Vienna) though, I have experienced the Catholic Aesthetic in 
it's full glory - and I have to tell you that it's moving.

Going to a midnight mass for Christmas in Stephans Dom (the cathedral in 
Vienna) was really amazing. Seeing all of the baroque and medieval 
altars lit by candles, the procession of the cardinal and priests, 
hearing the organ, the sense of grandeur, the bell tolling (which 
reverberated in your body) was all designed to elevate. There's an age 
and beauty to European Catholicism that doesn't happen here.  After that 
Christmas mass, I actually did feel really good. After a typical mass in 
a typical church in the US, I feel tired.

Maybe I'm superficial, but I am moved by beauty. Catholicism has moved 
away from that here. The priests are not (IME) good speakers, rather 
they recite dogma. The churches here are mostly bland cinder block 
affairs that inspire nothing (whereas a thousand year old stone 
structure built with passion and conviction is inspiring).  Here, you 
are just as likely to see a priest giving mass in his running shoes as 
you are to see him giving the rite the formality the church expects, 
where in Europe you are as likely to see a mass being given in the 
pre-Vatican II manner - Latin with all facing the altar, the priest's 
back to you - as you are to hear it in the local language with the 
modern trappings.

Catholicism has lost its aesthetic.  Nobody sees a statue of a woman 
with a sword, a broken wheel at her feet and thinks "Saint Catherine", 
or an angle with a flaming sword and thinks, "Michael". The art is gone. 
Nobody knows how to see it any more.

I just do my own thing now.

bob davis
bobd at members.evolt.org

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