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Mothering Sunday

Having been attending church for a while now, I am building up a short list of occasions when not to attend. Principal among these is Easter: all that blood-sacrifice stuff gets a bit much at this festival.

I’m adding Mothering Sunday to the list. I thought it would be along the lines of nice little homilies on Motherhood – something none of us can really object to. However, it turned out to be a lot of nonsense about our “Mother Church”. Usually Christianity seems to go in for full-on patriarchy (“Our Father”, etc) but, like a Thought for the Day presenter shoe-horning Jesus into the latest football score, they seem keen to explain how the Church is like our Mother. And Jesus had a Mother as well, did you know.

It was all pretty awful and made worse by the fact that we had to turn to a stranger and hug them at some point. The only saving grace was that we were accompanied by one of the in-laws who, although she doesn’t attend church herself, thinks it is a good thing that we do and that our children will go to a faith school. A classic case of what Dan Dennett calls “believing in belief”.

I am glad to report that she was as embarrassed as we were by the whole thing. Hopefully, she’ll be a bit quieter about the joys of church-going in future!

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  1. Stonyground
    20/03/2010 at 8:47 pm

    Surely you should be encouraged to know that they have so lost the plot as to have no idea what normal people like doing. It has to be only sad misfits who enjoy this kind of thing and those such as yourself who have been coerced into taking part are hardly going to become born again converts.

    Christianity is on its deathbed, at least in Western Europe. These desperate attempts to keep it alive are as effective as Galenic Medicine. I know that Christianity has been written off prematurly in the past but you have to remember that any religion has an incredible amount of inertia and takes generations to finally die.

    • 23/03/2010 at 9:47 am

      You’re right about the kind of people who go. The congregation of the church I attend is made up of the elderly and parents of primary school age children. Very few young adults or childless couples.

      I will do a head count next time I am in church to get an idea of percentages.

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