Bob over at Eagle's Rest wrote something that prompted a response from me - but the response got so bloody long, I decided instead to turn it into a post so his comment section wouldn't look like War and Peace revisited. Also, I am not entirely certain how well received a pagan viewpoint on the building of churches would be; Bob has been more than kind and patient with my few comments over there, but I am rather more than a little sensitive about causing offense - I don't like to do it - and I worry that some of his readers might not understand what I am trying to convey in my blathering. Still, I wanted someone to read my wandering thoughts, so I figure if I posted here, no one would be ticked off unless they made an effort, since y'all know I'm pagan and bound to be a little peculiar more often than not.
This is an interesting topic, to me, as I have no temple, no church, no structure in which to focus my thoughts towards the Divine, to worship. All the world is my sacred place, and so all the world is where I may find that Divine, if only I can Look, Hear, and permit myself to Feel.
I am, I know, an odd one.
I love old churches, those holy places of wood and stone, smelling of centuries of wax, incense, dusty old tomes, the transcendent voices of generations of choirs still echoing from their walls.
Modern houses of worship leave something to be desired, from what I can see. In the last year I have watched a number of the local churches undergo renovations. They all began as quaint old things with red brick and white board siding, stained glass windows rising tall along the sides, tall steeples reaching high, visible above the treetops - the kind you see on Courier and Ives tins or in Norman Rockwell paintings. Now, they look like...well...prisons - cement block walls with no windows near the ground, perhaps some large abstract stained glass things near the roof. They have shut out the world, shut out sight, sound, everything but their own droning mantra of "Give, give, tithe, tithe, we are better, we are more...", building huge, forbidding fortresses of...what? What are they supposed to be? Certainly not places that welcome the lost, the searching soul, the ones who need shelter or sanctuary. Churches are becoming status symbols...expressions of "We're so holy, look what we can afford to do!"
When I am outside, looking up into the night sky at the half-moon, listening to the frogs singing out into the cool dark, the wind swirling around me, tickling the back of my neck with a stray hair, I am glad to know that I don't have to box it in to have a meeting place for my Gods and I...and I feel a little sorry for the folks who have to go to one place on one day in the week to try and find what I feel around me all the time.
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.