I’m probably going to Hell for this

I went to mass for the first time in years today.  I didn’t understand a lot of the German language service and I already knew about the plot twist at the end, anyway, so instead I admired the interior of the church, which is quite a contrast to the mountain town outside.

Kitzbühel’s church is as baroque inside as any church I’ve seen in Vienna so far.  Lots of light is let in to play off the gold fixtures (of which there are a lot).  There’s also a lot of statues and pictures of people suffering, because whilst the love of God is all well and good, Catholic architecture does tend to focus on people’s pain.

I also spent a little while critiquing the altar servers, I was an altar boy for about five years when I was younger and I like to think I stil know my stuff.  I gave them a B+, overall; good bell work but the procession could have been neater.

Then my mind began to wander – moreso than simply judging altar servers – and I considered my religious beliefs, wondered on the nature of God and such.  I tend to avoid religion, but it seemed appropriate on Easter Sunday.

I thought about all that was going on in the world today as a result of religion and even started thinking about parts of scripture.  Suddenly I runaway train of thought went through my mind and I started thinking about whether Jesus’ new commandment “love one another as I [God] have loved you” might supplant the 10 Commandments of the Old Testament by basically saying “God’s never done this to you, you shouldn’t do it to others”.  The thought continued like this:

“God’s never killed anyone, therefore you shouldn’t kill others.”  (It’s an entirely dubious statement in hindsight, but I genuinely thought it whilst I was in church.)

“God’s never stolen from anyone, therefore you shouldn’t steal”

“God’s never slept with someone’s wife… now there’s an episode of Jeremy Kyle I’d like to see!”

I imagined the whole scenario.  Joseph sat in the studio, slumped in the robes identical to the ones use in every school Nativity in the world, shifting uncomfortably every once in a while.  Kyle approaches.

Jeremy Kyle:  Now, Joseph’s with us today because he’s worried his wife may have cheated on himand their child may not, in fact, be his.  Tell us about yourself, Joseph, what do you do?

Joseph:  I’m a carpenter.

Kyle:  Good job?  Steady business?

Joseph:  I’m a bit worried about the Ikea they’re building in Galillee, but other than that, I do alright.

Kyle:  So what makes you think your wife cheated on you?

Joseph:  Well, I’ve not slept with her for one thing and she always told me she were a virgin.  But she came home pregnant one day.  Thing was, though, she were still a virgin.

Kyle:  Well we’ll come bck to you in a moment.  For now, let’s welcome Mary to the stage.

And Mary enters, again in the same blue Nativity robes, all the while swearing at the Joseph and the booing Audience.  She’s starts shouting at Joseph as she sits down.

Mary:  You’ve got no right to go around saying that about me!

Kyle:  What have you got to say for yourself?  You owe this man an explanation.

Mary:  How dare he say that about our son, what proof has he got?!

Joseph:  He doesn’t look like me.  He gets this halo-y thing around his head whenever we get pictures tak-

Mary:  In case you don’t notice, I get the halo thing around my head as well.

Joseph:  Yeah, but not every picture!  And I never slept with you and you’re still a virgin!

Kyle:  Which is why we think that Mary’s been having an illicit affair with our next guest.  Please welcome God, ladies and gentlemen.

For reasons I can’t quite fathom, God walks onto the stage wearing a tracksuit and a baseball cap, despite being the bearded man he’s usually depicted as.  He sits down in the chair and slumps looking sullen.

Kyle:  You’ve got quite a reputation, it’s a Testament, in fact to the type of person you are.  Vandalism at the Walls of Jericho, arson in the Egyptian desert, you even tried to get the first man to kill his son.

God:  Yeah, but I stopped him in the end.

Kyle:  Still, it’s quite an achievement, even for someone who’s 6000 years old, if that is your real age, we’ve found a lot of people who are pretty sure you’re several billion years old, assuming you actually exist.  And what do you actually do, when you’re not reigning down vengeance?

God:  I’m the omnipotent, omniscient creator of all reality.

Kyle:  And what does that actually involve?  What have you created recently?

God:  Well, nothin really…

Kyle:  I thought so, you’re a loafer, lazy scum who sits off because he’s done a weeks work and can’t be bothered to do any more, he just wants to sit on his cloud and watch everything happen and blame other people for his mistakes.

God:  Oh, come on!  I told them not to eat the apple, don’t start giving me that about “why was it there in the first place”!

Kyle:  I don’t want to hear it.  Mary, do you want to admit that you carried this man’s child?

Mary:  Yes.

Kyle:  And you, God, do you admit that, as the omniscient creator of all things, you must have known that you were impregnating a married woman?

God:  Yes.

Kyle:  And after she became pregnant, did you offer her any help?

Mary:  He didn’t even come see me himself, he sent one of his angels.

Kyle:  Well, I’ve got very little sympathy for you.  I don’t care if you are the virgin mother of the light of the world, saviour of all creation.  I think you’re scum.  But it’s not up to me, Joseph, what’s your take on all this?

Joseph:  Well, I’m just relieved that it’s out in the open, like.  I still love her and I want to raise the kid to be a carpenter.

Kyle:  And Mary, what are you going to do?

Mary:  I want to stay with him, there’s only so long it can last with an immortal deity.

Joseph:  The Three Magi suggested we take a holiday in Egypt for a bit, so I think we’ll try and work it out there.

Kyle:  I wish you both the best of luck.

And with that Kyle turns to the camera and says “Has your significant other cheated on you with a  deity, call our show,” as the number flashes on screen.

That is nearly exactly what went through my head during that mass, right down to the bad puns and pseudo-references.

I wonder if there was something in the incense they were using.

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