Monday, May 16, 2011

A Slightly Aimless Rant about...Kids in Church

Look, man, I'm no incredible holy roller really. I don't really believe an intense religious belief is NECESSARY for one to be considered a moral human being. I don't memorize all of the little sayings that everyone recites togtether. I don't have any sort of intuitive understanding of what all the rituals mean (what's the head/lips/heart deal?), and I don't find it necessary to perform them. And many (all?) of my personal beliefs don't really line up with what is outlined by the Catholic Church figureheads. But I do go to church every Sunday. The wife wants to bring our little guy up in the Catholic tradition and generally just likes to go, and I certainly want to support her.

Anyway, as I say, I have a kid AND I go to church, and I understand that this can create a certain uncomfortable dichotomy. In other words, going to church requires a longer than usual amount of sitting in silence listening to someone in a white collar talk. Kids, as a rule, are not really known for their ability to sit in silence while listening to some talk. I don't really think this should mean that you can't take the little ones to church. I also don't believe you should be required to sit in the "germ room." You know, that's the room created for all the parents with kids so that they can make noise in a nature that is imperceptible to their surrounding churchgoers. Those places are like Petri dishes. I'd sooner step into a Klan meeting then one of those bacteria-strewn gathering places. I also don't believe you should have to send your kids to "children's church," that thing where all the kids get up and go with some adults to a back room to learn about the Old Testament or whatever in a way that is more palatable to their particular sensibilities. I don't know. Maybe your kid doesn't like to color or maybe you don't necessarily enjoy sending your kids off with some person that could be a recidivist child molester or, even worse, a telemarketer. The point is you have your reasons for avoiding the disgusting kiddie cubicle and the children's church, and that is cool.

But let's just get something out of the way right now so we can all move along and enjoy our Sunday prayer time in a more amicable fashion: If you have a kid at the church, and the kid starts screaming bloody murder in the middle of the festivities, you have to get up and go for a walk. There's these people at our church. It's the same damn people every week. They have like five kids (natural family planning FAIL!), and there is always one of them going off like a fire alarm. These people a) always sit up near the front of the church (Why? Are you sadists?) and b) never get up when their kids start bellowing like mortally injured bunny rabbits . I mean, what is it, unnamed condom-averse lady and gent? Do you want to hear the father's homily so bad that you are willing to subject your fellow worshippers to abject torture for their duration of their prayer vigil? If this is the case, I will tape that shizz and put it on YouTube or the Pope's Facebook channel or whatever. I will do whatever it takes.

Man, I understand that these kids make a lot of noise. I've got sympathy for you! My ears are well passed the point of ruin due to some of my son's screaming in my ear (not to mention my back, my neck, my arms, my legs...), but if you don't do something to alleviate other people's senses during one of your kid's tantrums, you are just being rude, period. It's spring for God's sake. If you don't like chilling in the lobby being forced to talk to other holy folks with which this is the only thing in the world you have in common, then walk outside and get some air. I mean, these priests have got this homily thing down to a science by now. I don't think you are going to miss anything truly ground-breaking. They are not going to make the "We're now down with the gays" announcement while you are out calming down lil' Britney/Christina/Gaga! All you have to do is go for a little worship hiatus, get that loud toddler calmed down, and then you are fine to come back in and enjoy your services with the rest of the quiet world. Unless that kid starts yapping again at which point you will have to get up again before I put my unholy size 8.5s in yo azz.

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