Rants Against Mediocrity is an occasional series: more found here. Stand back, everyone.
You know what gets my theological goat this month? People coming up to me, commenting on my lived reality as a teacher of Catholic theology, and ending with the inspired revelation "Gee, it's great because you're just so normal!"
1. That's a compliment? Um, I was going for the supernatural "in the world, not of the world," thanks. Do you honestly think that's the ultimate compliment you can give a religious person?: "You know, you're just like the rest of the fallen world. Good for you!" It's true I am a sinner like everyone else, but it isn't something I'm proud of, for cripes sake.
2. Or does "normal" mean...human? a woman? I have brown hair? I laugh at jokes? I need bifocals? I'm interested in good literature and world politics? I mean, what the heck do you think Christians do? Shed our green scaly skin at night and curl in a fetal position while we lull ourselves to sleep humming Gregorian chant?
Now I am not so mean and uncharitable (usually) to recognize that the comment is well-intentioned and should be taken as such. And I try. But what on earth do you all you "I'm spiritual not religious" folks think Christianity is about, anyway? Televangelists behaving badly? Bickering scholars in Newstweak? Christopher Hitchens' regurgitated lunch? Is my average working mom self that much of a challenge to what you consider the essence of lived Christianity?
So some radical thoughts:
- Go to a Church (while people are in it). Look around. Feel free to stare.
- Go to a Salvation Army center. Volunteer. Look at who else is.
- Go to a Church-based crisis pregnancy center. Strike up a conversation with the volunteers.
- Think just a bit about what you consider normal. And what you now consider Christian. Then let's talk.
I heard humor-blogs.com wears pink socks.