Thursday, July 13, 2006

Karma, karma, karma

Eh, I can't finish that song, I just hate it. But I was mentioning the story of my first born's christening on another blog and discussing the karmic blowback that was sure to ensue, and I fugred I'd spill the whole story here.

First, I'm not a church goer. Although raised a Catholic, I have long since traded in my kneepads and now if I'm in church it's an alpha/omega situation, (or, for those of you not up on your Greek alphabet), a beginning or an end. As in weddings, funerals, christenings. Otherwise, I'll be at home surfing the net for porn.

Now, as you may have realized from the last paragraph, my family is Catholic, or at least was, (a 60% divorce rate will start rasing questions), and one thing we Catholics like is a good baptizing. Because as I learned in 7th grade at St. Stanislaus's Grade School & Peirogi Factory, if little babies die without being baptized, they aren't forgiven for original sin and can't get into heaven. Yes, it's a wonder I'm still not Catholic with a belief system like that isn't it? Anyway, everyone in the family is christened, even yours truly. So when I don't get into heaven it's going to be for all those dead hookers and not for original sin, because I'm cleared of that.

And when you're christened, you get to wear a gown. Even the guys. Some guys like the gowns so much that they later become priests and wear even fancier gowns, and later make the front pages of newspapers for a variety of activities, some of them legal. The gown in our family has been around for, I think, over 90 years. When my son was born he was the first of his generation, and I wanted to continue the tradition. So we had him christened.

In a Congregational Church.

With two Jews for godparents.

Now, I had gotten married in this same church, so I knew they were a little less formal than the Catholics. As in, "we'll have you married in 15 minutes and then it's open bar time" less formal. So when we decided that our Jewish friends were the ones for us, I was cautiously optimistic about working with the reverend. We mentioned that the godparents were heathens and didn't believe in Jesus Christ as Our Lord & Savior, (although we may have phrased it differently), and the reaction was swift. "Oh, no problem, we'll just take 'Jesus' out of the vows and put 'God' in instead. Will that work?" It would indeed work.

What we didn't know is that five other couples were having their kids baptized that same day, (although none of them had a 90+ year old gown, HA!), and we'd doomed five other children to an eternal after-life in limbo.

EDUCATIONAL SIDE-NOTE!! Limbo is where all the dead babies go if they're no baptized. It's not heaven, it's not hell, and it's not purgatory. Apparently the souls just sort of float around forever in a gray mist. I picture an airport baggage claim area. Makes you want to convert, doesn't it?

But it gets better. Apparently, the Congregationalists are big on audience participation, and the priest starts questioning the crowd about various things. My Grandmother, sitting in the fornt row and trying to get over her first great-grandchild being baptized by savages, gets into the swing of things and starts answering. My brother, sitting next to her, starts clapping his hands and saying "good answer, good answer" as though we were playing the Feud. Then the right reverend what's his name starts asking peopel to tell the rest of us what they're thankful for and of course it's one of my friends who pipes in with "I got a new watch."

In short, which is an odd thing to say after all this, I'm pretty sure that after changing the baptismal vows on five unsuspecting newborns, my balance at the karma bank is probably pretty darn low. But it was worth every penny. Good answer Grandma, good answer!!


Blogger Pissy Britches said...

Damn I heart you.
You crack my shit up.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Pud said...

You gotta love church go-ers. They get so into it.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Zoe said...

Betty Please and I are "godparents" to our neice and nephew on her side. Pretty funny I think, that her wanna be a deacon in the catholic church brother would pick an atheist lesbian couple to be the "godparents" for his kids. And not just once, but twice these kids were baptised. They were first baptised in the in the unitarian church, and then later in the catholic church.

I am beiginnig to even boycot the alpha/omega events when possible. Don't you worry, there is a special place in hell for people like us. Oh that's right, I don't believe in hell.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

yeah...exactly what pissy said. i just love you to death;) you make me laugh out loud everyday.

11:33 AM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

My father once memorably described the Unitarians as the kind of people who burn a question mark on your front lawn when they're mad at you.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Phollower said...

I try to stick to the Alpha/Omega events that have food and/or drinks involved. In our family that pretty much includes all of them, funerals included. I've caught a buzz after the post-mortem celebration for several family members, my dad included.

Either way Zoe, I'll save you a seat if we do go someplace when we die. It's gonna be awesome.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Nonny said...

Good times. Not really, I'm joking. I often refer to myself as a "recovering Catholic". I don't even make it into church for the alpha/omega crap anymore. Neither one of my children have been baptized/christened. In fact, I pretty sure they've never even been in a church. We were watching a Simpson's Christmas episode the other day and at the end they said something about "Christmas should be about celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ" and my 8 year old looks at me and says "Is that true". Whose burning in hell now?

1:13 PM  
Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Haha!!! I recently became the Godmother of my best friend's son this past month. At one point during the ceremony the priest turned to me and asked, "What do you seek from the Church on this day?" to which I replied, without hesitation, "MONEY!" Now I laughed, and my best friend laughed, and both sets of our parents laughed but when I turned back to the priest he had a scowl on his face and simply said to me, "That's the wrong answer." Apparently the correct answer is "Baptism." Pshaw. I knew they were gonna baptize the baby no matter what I said, so might as well try to get some money out of it. Right???

1:48 PM  
Blogger limpy99 said...

MW, if those aren't devil horns on your head now, they soon will be!

2:43 PM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

Gotta agree with pissy britches...and not only 'cuz we share a name! ;-)

"Good answer!" *LOL*

6:30 PM  
Blogger Tai said... make it sound so enticing and surreal.
Where do I sign up to wear the old dress?

8:49 PM  
Blogger eclectic said...

Now how am I gonna explain to my kids why I'm laughing about dying babies and church? Funny shit, Limpy.

9:32 PM  
Blogger JD's Rose said...

I can understand how one would be thankful for a new watch... at least he was honest. Besides, you can't put someone on the spot like that and expect them to come up with anything incredicbly deep.


10:47 PM  
Blogger CP said...

I need your mailing address. I have a bill to send you for a new keyboard. I apparently spewed Dr. Pepper all over mine while reading this.

You were smart for picking Jews for Godparents. You know the kid will get a good education, without inheriting our big noses.

It's a win/win situation.


12:30 AM  

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