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Posted: 26 May 2008, 10:35
by Alex Steacy
Hitler should have posted a smiley instead of shooting himself in the Führerbunker.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 10:40
by Melendwyr
No, Alex, you have to post a smilie after the statement. Like this:

Alex wrote:Hitler should have posted a smiley instead of shooting himself in the Führerbunker.
:D


See?

Posted: 26 May 2008, 12:25
by Alja-Markir
No worries Alex, yer hardly over reacting. Phunny Story...

When I was about fifteen, I had to attend my sister's first communion. I had long since decided that the religious things I had been presented in my lifetime weren't for me, was firmly agnostic, but was asked to come along for nicety of the ceremony. Well, okay then.

So I had to go up to receive the communion too when the time came, something no one told me about. I wasn't comfortable taking part in the ceremony, as it wouldn't be genuine, but my father gave me a look and I got up and dutifully went to the front of the church. I proceeded to accept the stale wafer and, my back being turned to the whole church and my fingers being nimble, palmed it when I made to place it into my mouth. I pretended to softly chew, and kept the wafer cupped in my hand. I accepted the goblet when it came, pressed it to my lips and feigned drinking. Walked back, sat down, pocketed the wafer. No harm, no foul. I did what I thought right.

So, for the rest of the service I just admired the architecture and blandly mimed the actions of standing and sitting again, all that. As the service ends, my father goes to talk to some friend and I'm standing in the back with my brothers. Out of nowhere, this grizzled and stooping old man accosts me with a very serious face, looking disgusted. I have no clue how, but somehow he had noticed I hadn't eatten the wafer. Maybe he was an usher and had a better view at the front, I don't know. He demanded the wafer, I obliged, he glared, grumbled, ate it, and then proceeded to begin a speech about my transgressions and (I shit you not) my black heart and evil soul.

Thankfully my eldest brother... total conservative fellow, militaristic, number one son, dutiful, traditional, all that... quite surprisingly stopped the old man short. He very curtly, but not insultingly, reached over to grasp the fellow's shoulder. He kinda gave him the standard military glare. The old man began to ask something, but my brother interrupted him, defended me, and told the guy off, and we just walked away.

~Alja~

Posted: 26 May 2008, 12:34
by Melendwyr
Your father was wrong to pressure you, and you were wrong to take part.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 12:42
by Graham
Melendwyr wrote:Your father was wrong to pressure you, and you were wrong to take part.

Well, he didn't really. He sort of faked it.
I'd have a tough decision to make in a similar scenario.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 12:49
by Melendwyr
Graham wrote:Well, he didn't really. He sort of faked it.


That's part of the problem. Sanctified objects have to be destroyed in special ways. Taking the wafer, but not utilizing one of the permitted methods of destruction, is a desecration.

Taking Communion without being a believer in the doctrines of the Church, and without meeting the preconditions necessary for the sacrament, is a major sin. Pressuring someone who doesn't qualify into accepting it is wildly inappropriate.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 12:58
by Master Gunner
So you had to decide which was the lesser of the two evils, and I think you chose correctly. Actually taking part would be a lie from pretty much anybodies point of view, whereas not eating the the wafer is only wrong from certain viewpoints. As the wafer would have been thrown in the garbage if it had not been eaten, and was not taken by somebody who believes or it has any meaning to, and in fact you were forced to take it in the first place, then it is no major sin to simply throw it out at a later time.

Of course, I'm speaking as a protestant, so I'm going to hell anyways according to people like that.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 13:07
by Melendwyr
Master Gunner wrote:As the wafer would have been thrown in the garbage if it had not been eaten


Perhaps things have gotten really, really lax in the Catholic Church without my noticing, but if not the remnants would either be burned to ash or fed to birds.

This isn't some arbitrary ritual intended to give people a feeling of fellowship that anyone can take part in. I don't think most Protestants grasp that.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 13:14
by Graham
Why do you care, Mel? I thought you were all atheist anyway. I've been given the impression from your usual posts that you hold religion in some pretty hefty disdain. In which case... who cares?
I sure don't.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 13:51
by Flewellyn
So if you eat too much wafer, does this give you super Jesus powers?

Posted: 26 May 2008, 14:06
by Alja-Markir
See, my view on it is that the pressure wasn't just from my father. It was from every single person in the church.

Many Christians have this thing where they are really rather self contained and wary of anyone not within their grouping. They see non Christian people as heathens, they actively try to convert people, and they ultimately cannot abide rival religions (even their originating religion, Judaism) without at least minor animosity (and at certain historical points major animosity).

Being in an entire building of people who all have preconceived notions about how you should act, how you MUST act, is a bit of a mind fuck. It's not even comparable to being an actual outsider, because they don't give you the benefits of that distinction. If I had looked like a Buddhist monk, they'd have defered to me as a foreign observer, they'd have been lenient, they'd have understood I have convictions elsewhere and (hopefully) offered me amnesty from their social pressuring.

This was not the case, however. It was assumed I was part of the herd, and I was made to choose between being the black sheep and drawing a lot of attention, or going along with it and rocking the boat as little as possible. The wafer itself I actually intended to give to the ducks who were constantly swimming around the church in question, as it's built with an artificial pond on one side. It would have gone to good use, and who knows, perhaps it would have converted a bird or two. I dunno.

~Alja~

Posted: 26 May 2008, 14:34
by tak197
Graham wrote:I hate all of you and everything you stand for. Seriously, I'm not even remotely kidding, you can all die.

:D

See? It works!


If you don't like it then why don't you go create your own forum where people understand you?!? GAHD!

:D

Hey! It totally does work! Sweet!

As for the whole unmarried=hell thing, that's the big reason why there are FLDS polygamists in existence. They see marriage not as a blessing, but as a tool of proselytization. At least that's what I have heard (but let's not dwell on religion and debating its finer points)...

If Alex and Rebecca love each other enough to be together for that long, marriage isn't out of the question, just not the question at hand. (Does Canada have common-law marriage guidelines for how long you live together [if you live together, of course]?)

Also, I could tell that the ring was not really an engagement ring, because it's too wide. It's a nice ring, though.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 18:06
by Dominic Appleguard
Alex Steacy wrote:Because implying that I'll be burning in a lake of fire forever just because I didn't swap rings with a woman I have devoted so much to and suffered so much for really rubs me the wrong way.

I don't know whether to laugh at what I see as a hilarious and ironic understatement or just cower in fear.

I'm glad this religious discussion has been handled so intelligently. It's a touchy subject for a lot of people. The communion discussion is a bit odd though. I was raised Catholic, but never found the environment as oppressive as I have heard people describe it. Everyone's always saying "Oh, those strict Catholics and their RULES", but in my mind it's kind of like how everybody says the Mona Lisa is so bloody brilliant and only art students can explain why. They just agree on it, and it becomes canon, like a religious Wikipedia. Look at the socio-religious distribution in the United States, where the heavily Protestant south has the Bible-thumping extremism. Boston is full of Irishmen, and gay people can get married there.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 18:22
by Alja-Markir
Dominic Appleguard wrote:I was raised Catholic, but never found the environment as oppressive as I have heard people describe it. Everyone's always saying "Oh, those strict Catholics and their RULES", but in my mind it's kind of like how everybody says the Mona Lisa is so bloody brilliant and only art students can explain why.


Keep in mind, Catholics aren't at all homogenous. No social grouping is. One catholic community can be amazingly open and understanding, another can be medieval and bigoted. Same with Protestants, same with Muslims, same with all religious groups, same with gays, same with Republicans, etc, etc, etc.

~Alja~

Posted: 26 May 2008, 18:34
by Dominic Appleguard
Alja-Markir wrote:Keep in mind, Catholics aren't at all homogenous.

Fair enough.

Posted: 26 May 2008, 23:51
by tak197
Okay, this is a simple way to tell if you should take part in communion at a Catholic mass.

Question: Are you Catholic?

If "YES", have you ever partaken in First Communion?
If "YES" to this, you should do it.

If "NO" to either, DON'T GET UP!

Your father was wrong to force you to do it, and, while disrespectful to act like you did do it and palm the wafer, you were right in not following through.

Seriously, I am a pretty devout Protestant, but my grandmother and aunt and uncle are all Catholic, and I have gone to Mass with them (mainly funerals and weekends). It is completely understood that I, as a Protestant, should not partake of Communion there, but may in my own Protestant church.

A gentleman respects another person's religious decisions, but does NOT have to agree.

If I went to something at a Jewish temple and was offered a yarmulke, I would respectfully wear it. I am a guest, this is their house and their rules.

(Sorry, actions in church is something I know a bit about...)

Posted: 27 May 2008, 14:02
by Alex Steacy
Okay, now this is exactly what I didn't want to happen - Religious discussion!

I think we should all quit while we're ahead and avoid this going south like it always does.

Back on topic, I'll have episode 2 of Ask An Alex edited and off to graham soon, but in the mean time feel free to drop in more questions.

Posted: 27 May 2008, 14:18
by Melendwyr
Why is everyone always bigoted against the south?

By extension, is going north an improvement? Is this just pro-Canadian bias?

Posted: 27 May 2008, 14:32
by Graham
No, Canada has "a south" too. It's called "the north".

Seriously, things may get more liberal around the border, but keep heading into the interior of BC and Alberta, the further north you get the more it feels like "the American south". Only colder.

Posted: 27 May 2008, 14:42
by Vaughn
Graham wrote:No, Canada has "a south" too. It's called "the north".

Seriously, things may get more liberal around the border, but keep heading into the interior of BC and Alberta, the further north you get the more it feels like "the American south". Only colder.

Yeah, instead of NASCAR and moonshine, we've got igloos and dogsleds driven by penguins

Posted: 27 May 2008, 14:45
by Graham
Vaughn wrote:
Graham wrote:No, Canada has "a south" too. It's called "the north".

Seriously, things may get more liberal around the border, but keep heading into the interior of BC and Alberta, the further north you get the more it feels like "the American south". Only colder.

Yeah, instead of NASCAR and moonshine, we've got igloos and dogsleds driven by penguins

I fucking WISH!

Posted: 27 May 2008, 14:51
by kkief02
Graham wrote:
Vaughn wrote:
Graham wrote:No, Canada has "a south" too. It's called "the north".

Seriously, things may get more liberal around the border, but keep heading into the interior of BC and Alberta, the further north you get the more it feels like "the American south". Only colder.

Yeah, instead of NASCAR and moonshine, we've got igloos and dogsleds driven by penguins

I fucking WISH!
That would be entertaining. (Nascar. Bah! fucking rednecks calling it a sport. grumble grumble.)

Posted: 27 May 2008, 15:32
by Dominic Appleguard
Graham wrote:No, Canada has "a south" too. It's called "the north".

Seriously, things may get more liberal around the border, but keep heading into the interior of BC and Alberta, the further north you get the more it feels like "the American south". Only colder.

Just like England! Sort of. Northerners think they're superior, too, but the point is that the economic and intellectual centre is down south.

Posted: 27 May 2008, 22:04
by tak197
So the Mason Dixon Line and the southern border of the Northwest Territories could act as the Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer to the US-Canadian Equator, culture-wise...

Anyway, sorry about the religious discussion, but I figured having been in a similar position with regards to communion, I would just let you know my rule of thumb: at most, stand, sit and kneel during mass out of respect. End of advice on the topic.

But yay Episode TWO!!!! It will be ready soon!!!

Posted: 28 May 2008, 01:54
by Allen!
I swear to god that if I see another brand of 'Ask YOUR NAME HERE', I will freak out, take a video camera, go out into the city, and ask people random questions from the forums. Then I will heartily DEMAND that it be hosted on the site.

Alex and Kathleen are enough. No moar.