Xy and I did something today that we’ve never done together before: We went to church.
Oh sure, we’ve gone into church buildings together. We have even attended worship services together at least three times, but those events were occasioned by obligations either to my family or her employer. I don’t count them as legitimate expressions of religious interest.
Today, we went to a Unitarian-Universalist service. Both New Orleans UU churches were flooded, so they were meeting in combination at a Presbyterian church in Jefferson Parish.
One of my principal objections to participating in worship services has been stuff in the liturgy I don’t agree with. Some people don’t understand this objection. They think I should just “go along to get along” but I disagree. There’s nothing “respectful” about mouthing words I don’t believe. That it makes a mockery of the whole practice. That’s hypocrisy.
I was happy to discover none (or very little) of that in the liturgy of the service we attended. Nothing we said, nothing the minister said, none of the lyrics we sang struck a discordant note. Nothing seemed wrong or false or objectionable.
However, the whole thing was a little — how shall I say this? — boring. While nothing was offensive, by the same token the whole enterprise doesn’t seem particularly necessary. “Not wrong” doesn’t equate to right; “not false” doesn’t equate to true; “not objectionable” does not equate to compelling. Obviously that’s in the eye of the beholder. I am happy for those who find the experience worthwhile.
The idea of being part of a faith community is attractive. As we contemplate possibly becoming parents, I think I would like my child to be at least somewhat familiar with religious practices.
We are going to have to keep looking.