Organize This

After straying from organized religion years ago, I am now personally against organized singing.

Growing up in a Catholic world, filled with internal prayer, we were required to attend church, even while on vacation. I didn’t enjoy being asked to sing with the choir, but felt too guilty to leave those behind who could not sing a lick. If the fellow parishioners who couldn’t hold a note would have followed me, as if I was a tiny tow headed Moses, I would have parted the red pews for them. At eight years old, however, I never had the guts to lead. I also didn’t really participate, only mouthing the hymns. Either lead, follow, or get out of the way? I did none of the above.

Following communion, we’d all leave, smoke our cigarettes, make fun of the singing, head for home or to the race track and look forward to confession. My major sin was making fun of those who couldn’t sing. That guilt was good enough to propel me to attend church again the next week to confess my sins of mocking other parishioners, followed by more hymn lip syncing, and inevitably more mocking. Organized singing is, ultimately, a vicious cycle, and a sin.

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