Christians Need to Become Anti-Social Again

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica or something

It’s easy to forget these days, with all the (somewhat justifiable) backlash against individualist spirituality, that part of being religious is getting the sheol away from everybody. Christians have been social-distancing since before it was cool, the 3rd-century desert fathers and mothers setting the trend. Their embrace of asceticism and solitude allowed them to embodied the poverty and pain of Christ and commune more closely with the Creator. Sure, those like Anthony the Great were a tad world-denying, but later Christians found ways to maintain physical distance while continuing fellowship through houses of hospitality (hospitals and hospices), monastic movements and abstinence pledges. 

Yet despite the fact that the Coronavirus attends church more consistently than Omar Little’s grandmother, many in the US still insist on singing hymns with people they pretend to like. CNBC notes that of the 15 states with the most vulnerable populations, 11 have exempted religious gatherings from “stay at home” orders. There is evidence that most churches aren’t meeting anyway, but it only takes a few community breakouts to un-flatten the curve.

So fellow Christians, be like St. Anthony and get thee to thy man-cave!

A Roundup of Religionists Behaving Badly During the Coronageddon

While most godly folk have been handling the pandemic in reasonable ways, there have been some contrarians:

  • #FloridaPastor should probably be a thing, as the very Reverend Rodney Howard-Browne has been arrested for illegally gathering the faithful down in Tampa (where else?). Slate’s Christian-in-residence Ruth Graham has an excellent profile of this Trump-loving nincompoop. Will the the equally Trump-loving FL guv’nor bail him out by overruling the county law? Who knows, but Rodney has already canceled service in the face of tyranny. 
  • But it’s not just Korean cults and other Christian crazies. Even some establishment Evangelicals are throwing caution to the wind! Nonetheless, Jerry Jr. will put classes online if he must, but Liberty U will keep its dorms open for the kiddos if they want to come back. Who wouldn’t want to ride this thing out in Lynchburg, VA? 
  • Other religions are hardly doing any better. India already has enough problems without Sikh gatherings becoming hotspots (Holy Moly Hola Mohalla!). And now a Muslim gathering as led to a potential outbreak. Can’t imagine the BJP politicizing that anytime soon!

Pope Encourages Direct Confession if One Absolutely Must

The Holy Father suggested last week that if good, honest Catholics like myself cannot find a priest, then they may confess their sins directly to God. Truly we live in extraordinary times! But before you Calvinists and Lutheranists pop any champagne over this temporary deviation from sacramental norms, this is all perfectly in order. Hard-headed as the Faith may be we are certainly not inflexible, hence our most beautiful Catechism No. 1452! 

I would also very much like to stress the highly contingent nature of this novel practice. It is only permitted if one is restrictively cloistered-in-place or an ordained priest is completely unavailable (perhaps due to chloroquine poisoning). But already my brethren are finding novel ways to keep the confessional supply chain moving!

(Scott Takushi / Pioneer Press)

Furthermore, “perfect contrition” is a valid but ultimately provisional practice. When the coast is clear, all must get to a priest without delay for a proper expulsion of sins. Make sure to jot down all your transgressions!

This is not our first plague, dear Catholics. We’ve been beating back the Devil’s microbes since before the schismatics started marring our sacrosanct doorways with unsolicited comment cards.

 

Well, I guess now is as good a time as any to start a blog.

© Photos.com/Thinkstock. Yes we give credit and so should you, you thieving dingbats.

“May you live in interesting times” is a famous fake Chinese curse. Maybe someone said that around October 2019 (or 2016) and now here we are, though you have to wonder why they directed it at all humanity. Ehhh…more likely God is just punishing us, as God is wont to do from time to time. Probably over Cats.

But with everyone cloistered-in-place, we certainly want to carve out our own little niche in the new online revolution. Places of worship have moved online (well, most of them), so we suddenly have an unprecedented level of access to the workings of Christendom. Our guess is that this will only make your hip startup church more annoying, but now we can at least tweet-bomb it in real-time.

We shall not abandon you in these momentous times, dear readers. In an internet polarized between “bring out your dead” jokes and self-righteous social-distance-shaming, we shall be your sanctuary.

So stand by for more scrumptious, sacrilegious content!