Sunday, July 9, 2006

I had to take Grandma to church today, which I normally hate because the church is a sequacious clique of stubborn idiots, kind of a step above Scientologists on the "Is Humanity Doomed?" ladder and a step below academia, that I become nauseated every time some priest tells the flock that, say, God will judge you for being a homosexaul but forgive you if you happen to molest an altar boy in the confessional. But I finally got Grandma and the rest of the family to go along with what I think is a win-win solution: I drop Grandma off at church, then spend the next hour or so as an apostate in Barnes & Noble down the street, then pick her up after the mass is over. She gets her worship in (and I think she also has a senior-crush on the priest) and I don't have to listen to the religious right morality police condemning everything but crucifixes and rock songs about Jesus. Until, of course, I drop off Grandma today and she leaves the car with a, "I don't know what happened. We try to raise you right...."

Um, mouth agape. Exclamation point!

What the hell, Grandma? First of all, it's not like Grandma is a super-duper Catholic. She prays, but she prays out of helplessness rather than faith and hope for redemption, and she believes God listens because believing the alternative is too dreary. I can't muster up the same belief — and I don't mean to sound proud of my ability to rationalize away God — but I'm comfortable and convinced that, if God exists, He won't be all that impressed if I go to church every Sunday, sit quietly, and lack faith. If I can see through that artifice, I figure God probably can too — maybe at least he'll respect me for not being a sycophant. Man, I'm totally screwed in the afterlife if God can't see through the toadies.

And second, I might not have the world's greatest moral compass, but it's not like I'm going around selling arms to Somalian rebels or bankrupting major corporations and selling millions of dollars in stock while the employees are losing their pensions. So by those standards, my parents raised me pretty well. But I guess there's still time left.

Anyway, today I was pleased to discover that the church has a wi-fi network, and while Grandma's getting saved, I'm surfing the web out in the parking lot. But you'd think the signal would be stronger with all the divine presence nearby, right?