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November 14 - 20, 2005

 
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 Five Catholic Rituals

Repetition brings discipline. Repetition brings discipline. So sayeth the Catholic Church, whose rituals are used to pass on the perceived wishes of a guy who died 2,000 years ago. Here are five hoped to be liked by the JC:
Conception. The Catholic Church, never one to submit to popular opinion, vehemently disagrees with the sentiments of t-shirts and bumper stickers everywhere that life begins at 40. Our Holy Fathers instead hold that it begins shortly after ejaculation, once sperm makes its way to an egg. Many others agree and state that these fertilized eggs deserve the full rights of citizens. But what of our sperm brothers who end up elsewhere? Are we to deny them the right to vote, to bear arms, and to assemble, particularly around Paris Hilton? Free the sperm!

Baptism. After lazy little Catholic citizens finish their nine month bivouac, they are ready to come into the world. But upon entry, the conceived are already sinners, despite the fact they may not have even voted Democratic in the most recent election. Original sin is the disease, and baptism is the cure. A dousing of holy water makes all troubles disappear. Non-Catholics find the same approach works with Dewars.

Communion. This ritual allows Catholics to eat the body of Christ and drink Christ's blood. It creates a spiritual union between God and the individual, and only counts as 4 Weight Watchers points.

Confession. Purging original sin is super, but even the most devout Catholics can go off the beam in the subsequent 77.5 years (longer, once stem cell research is restored). Confession allows Catholics to sit in a darkened booth with an anonymous priest and be absolved of their sins. All that separates parishioner and priest is the thin wire grating installed after the Vatican II council on glory holes.

Last Rites. Anointing the sick helps prepare them for their ascendancy to heaven. Priests use oil as a lubricant to make the passage a little smoother. Stricter Catholics believe that the dead cannot go to heaven unless they have these rites administered, and they don't commit any more sins before they die. If you're Catholic, take care not to die suddenly. It would be a shame to spend eternity in purgatory because you forgot to buckle your seat belt.


Emil Gam