10 December 2007

The Real Reason For The Season

OK, people, forget the Christmas presents, the shopping, the cookies, the ornaments, the gift cards, the fruitcake, and the grouchy children and in-laws.

Christmas is about none of these things. It's about snow days.

It's time for the seasonal equivalent of Russian Roulette.

Those of you who grew up in the public school system will recall dusty memories of waking up, and groggily looking out the window at a fresh blanket of snow. As you rubbed the sleep goobers out of your eyes, you groaned with an inward sense of dread that it was going to be hell trying to drive to school with this on the roads...or hell riding the bus, if that was the case. Suddenly, that slow tingly delicious sense of realization crept over your entire body...school might be cancelled! You rushed to the TV or radio and found the local station. The newscaster would slowly roll through the cancellations and postponements...usually in alphabetical order. To this day, you never knew how you managed to keep from ripping the knobs off the appliances as the reporter droned on...and wondering all the while, who really did give a crap about the cancelled spaghetti supper at the First United Methodist Church of Christ??

Your happiness rested on one monumental decision. Would the superintendent have mercy? You knew in the blink of an eye your day could be absolutely ruined. Nerves jangled as you awaited that announcement. And finally, that moment of bliss...of utter contentment..of sheer, unadulterated joy. School was canceled. A whole day off! Nothing to do but whatever your little heart desired. Glorious!

So, I'm still in public education. And this whole emotional roller coaster of school cancellations is still there. And it's about ten times better. I freaking love it.

05 December 2007

The Root Of All Evil?

Money. Cash. Or at least, Pink Floyd said so.

Today, I feel like discussing Money and...Religion.


I was sitting in church about three weeks ago, and the sermon was titled "Tithing or Not?" When I saw that in our bulletin, my interest was piqued. See, I had just recently begun attending church regularly (like within the last year), because it had taken me forever (seems like) to get over my church phobia. For whatever reason that I could never quite place, my distaste for organized religion had spread to various other areas of my life. In my late teens and early 20's, I didn't give God much of a thought...I was too busy trying to just live my life. So I went on happily living my atheist lifestyle, until I realized that I could be spiritual without being religious. A major breakthrough, let me tell you.

So, anyway, after some meandering here and there, we've become members of a Quaker church here in town. Everyone's very welcoming and there is a definite "church family" feel. Imagine my trepidation then, upon learning that week's sermon about tithing. Would this be one of those hypocritical sermons that would leave a bad taste in my mouth and turn me away from the church again?

Well, yes and no. I understand that the church is somewhat of a business. They have bills to pay, causes to support etc, and the main source of income is what the parishioners provide. And yet, it is this dependence on money that I find so damn irritating. Petty squabbles arise because a committee wants to cover pews, replace windows, or send a youth group on missionary trip...and what do we need? Money. All this reliance on money.

Reminds me of another wonderful thing about being Pagan. No church, no ties to money. I can easily step outside and bask in the light of a full moon...and there's my church. Walk out in the rain, crunch through fall leaves, get a sunburn at the pool - that's my church. And I don't have to pay for it.