It’s 2008 and I’m in Chicago’s Old Town. Home to the Second City, Bijou Gay Porn Theatre, and St. Micheal’s Church / Cathedral. Our assignment was to produce a video highlighting the various aspects of Old Town.
The Second City wouldn’t let us in, The Gay Porn Theatre kicked us out for making the customers ‘uncomfortable’ and disliking that we were filming toward the door, and it came to our attention we very likely wouldn’t have a lot of good footage.
So we hit the Church. Standing outside, the doors were locked. “Hey, Boomer” I said, “Why don’t you say something like, Hey, I’m outside this church, whose doors are always open to the poor, etc, then try and open the door and find it locked,”. So he did.
I felt like an asshole about a minute later, worse when we used a ‘Former Altar Boy’ lower-third on the video piece for a cheap laugh.
What are your thoughts on Religion on a Micro and Macro scale. What’s your religious background?
The footage was hilarious, and as we stood around laughing about it, we started talking about Priests. A gentleman came by and casually asked
what were talking about – so we told him – man it must be tough being a Priest, no sex, har har. “Oh okay, as long as you weren’t making fun of them,” he said as he removed his wind breaker and stepped off his bike to reveal his frock, “Superman” style.
The Church was closed for renovations that day. But he let us in and gave us access to the very
top of the church in order to get some absolutely incredible shots from
the inside. The organ lady kicked us out almost immediately, but the footage was worth it.
Later in the year we came back to film for a different thing, and He
said we could happily use the church, on the condition that we do not
bug anyone that came in, and to direct homeless people to the secondary
little chapel, where they could seek rest and free canned goods in peace.
Later a couple comes in, and lights a candle for their family member with cancer. None of us dare kick them out.
Hoods: Old Town
When my Mom was growing up, her Dad left the family when she was 3 years old, leaving my Mom and her two brothers to raised by a 30 something year old single mother without a drivers license in the 60s. She was religious, but because my Mom’s dad left, the church wanted 500 dollars from my grandmother to rejoin. Eventually they went to another organization, SPOA (maybe?), and found community and support there. That always stung my mother, and as a result my church going experience was limited growing up, though we always had a prayer before Thanksgiving dinner, and I did attended church once or twice, for a baptism.
In Community College I was taking a course about public speaking and there was an Officer of the Law in the class. Nice guy, very straight-and-narrow, the kind of guy who’d demand your respect if he pulled you over, but not be a dick about it, either. At one point he was talking about the best moment of his life.
He and his wife were going to a Joel Osteen sermon. They bonded over the guy years ago, and ironically enough it turned out The cop and his girlfriend pretty much asked the other to marry them at exactly the same time.
I’m working for Ebert Productions. I develop a bond with a director at the Station. Multiple Emmy awards, nominations, all that good stuff. Good friends with Mancow. Super religious guy. completely genuine and kind, and offered me lots of work throughout my stint in Chicago.
Bill O’Reilly says that he believes Marriage should be between a man and a woman, but thinks any two people should be allowed the legal rights married couples enjoy.
Because this makes complete sense, everyone forgets.
I’m on my school’s speech and debate team. I’m tasked with tutoring religious, homeschooled, students on Parle debate and various individual events. These people are whip smart. They’re reciting stats and figures and historical items from memory. They pray before every event. Their frame of reference is veggie tales and other religious-focused media, stuff I never knew existed.
These kids had their head on straight, even if their mind was clouded with evil religion.
I’m dating a divorcee with a 4 year old son and a pain-in-the-ass ex-husband. To get out of her situation her church gave her enough money to get into a decent apartment.
The woman at Wendy’s says “Have a blessed day,” every time I order the fast food that will surely lead me to Heaven’s Gate sooner than I’d care to imagine.
I like it.
The Salem Witch Trials
The Salvation Army.
My high school Electronics teachers tasks me with doing a food drive. Me and my good friend Josh take too it, collecting food, harping on folks to bring in everything they have, and offered five dollars for the weirdest donated item (It was fish oil).
We collected over 1000 pounds of food for the St. Vincent De Paul society to feed families for Christmas, etc.
The following January Josh tells me his family actually *received* some of the food, along with a note saying ‘generous students at BP-Tech’ donated it.
I’m not a
part of any church, I don’t subscribe to a specific religion, but I’m
also not someone so narrow-minded as to think all religion is evil, nor
are all religious people small-minded and bigoted.
And I generally believe the amount of things we THINK we know about our world and universe is about .001 percent of what is actually possible.
is religion? It’s like any other community. There are good aspects and
bad aspects and it just so happens to be the BIGGEST community, so the
BAD is so huge a lot of the GOOD is brushed aside.
Thus I am of two minds on the subject of religion.
a macro scale it’s kind of a dangerous thing, like any mass media
entity with a captive audience. It can brain wash and direct and cause
people to not think for themselves. It can make rational people fear in
an irrational way, and turn the irrational into lunatics.
But It brings me comfort to thing that a soul continues on into…something after death. I currently like to think it’s the ‘Enter the Void’ / ‘Down to You’ model, where you float about the world until you’re brought back in another body in someway. I also don’t like tempting fate, and the idea of hating people who have the very real faith and optimism to believe in something I don’t quite…baffles me. That kind of commitment is to be admired, if you ask me.