After my stroke a few years ago, I came to the horrible realization that I had been involved in a cult for five years, one that almost tore me down, I guess in an attempt to build me back up in their image. Spiritually hurt, after a couple of years, I started to go back to what I knew, the Catholic Church, a different type of cult, but one I thought I could handle.
After a few visits to Mass though, I realized that I just couldn’t do it, as the priest’s homilies always seemed to be about two things: give me money and don’t give me abortions. If you know of another church near me, please let me know.
Regardless, one of the churches I came of age at, St. Francis of Assisi, 1901 NW 16th, recently had an Oktoberfest celebration that I stopped by at on Sunday. I thought it was a bit strange, as growing up, drinking binges were more of a secretive thing, something that the Knights of Columbus always did at their meetings.
Still, I guess the sanctity of alcohol beats the demonic tangents of Halloween.
Held mostly in the parking lot, there were plenty of half-inflated bounces for the kids, as well as games like the bean bag toss and a variation on Plinko, if that’s what you’re into, which I sorely was; too bad I couldn’t play, I lamented as I walked down the playground area where the young’uns were having fun as large men in yellow shirts watched.
As kids traded their hard-won tickets for fun size bags of M&M’s, the more adult festivities began as I turned the corner and a woman under an archway provided massages for the muscularly tired. Even though that’s the first time I had ever seen one at a carnival let alone a church carnival, at least they were trying to do something different.
Entering what I guess was the school’s grounds—my parents were always too poor to send me to Catholic school—was a chili contest and, further down the hall, a cafeteria that was selling hot dogs and such. Needing none of that for nourishment today, instead I turned around and came back outside and, well, there they were: the Knights of Columbus selling, of course, beer.
Maybe I’m a bit more Latin Mass than I should be, but it seems kind of sinful to be drinking alcohol—sacramental wine excluded—on church grounds. I guess I’m alone in that though, which I heartily accept.
Walking past the popcorn, Dippin’ Dots and other snacks, children ran by me, nearly smacking into me. While my parents might have been somewhat abusive, at least they did it when I did things like that; if my dad was still alive, I would have gotten a smack right across the face for even thinking to run. Now those were Catholic parents! Pass the belt.
As an inordinate amount of Oklahoma City Police stood around, a teen girl was on stage, apparently singing a Lady Gaga song while another yellow-shirted guy strummed the guitar. I wasn’t sure if this was done as a form of sacrosanct rebellion or what, but she had a decent voice, a little unsure at first but one that grew to a satisfied roar by the time the tune had ended.
Walking away from the festival, I thought that this would be the type of church that maybe I’d like to go to, but, like government and business, while the people might make something good, the church leaders always have to go and muddy it up. While I harbor no ill will to God, I feel plenty of ire for his falsified messengers, no matter the faith or religion.
That being said, much like Heaven, at least it was free to get in.