Sunday, December 21, 2008

Abominations and thoughts thereon

A couple of weeks ago I had a rare occasion to be in a church, attending a Christmas concert in which my wife was singing in the choir. The music was delightful, the church was beautifully decorated, and best of all, the pews were padded. Someone said it was because for this particular faith the services frequently ran to two hours and if the pews weren’t padded everyone would leave half way through. I didn’t really care why, my bum was comfy and that’s all that mattered to me.

At the mid-point of the concert there was a 20-minute musical interlude by a solo harpist of, apparently, some renown. This immediately put the bulk of the audience, the average age of which seemed to be about 65, to sleep.

To keep myself from nodding off along with the rest (it was, after all, my normal nap time) I started perusing the Bible conveniently placed in the rack in front of me, in full knowledge that by my so doing the devil might actually be lacing up his ice skates. And so while the harpist who, if truth be known, would much rather be up there wearing a Stetson, strumming a guitar and singing sad country songs about lost loves and trucks, played on to the sonorous accompaniment of 100 nap-deprived seniors, I was reading Leviticus and trying to sort out all the various abominations contained therein.

Abomination. It’s one of those words that really doesn’t need a definition. You only have to hear it spittle-sprayed from the mouth of a raging fundamentalist once to immediately grasp its meaning. It’s a mean, nasty word, too often used by mean, nasty people with mean, nasty intent, but it immediately reminded me of this – one of the many great scenes from The West Wing.

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