July 22nd, 2007


ringing the doorbell of the house of god

Why is it so hard to find a church in upper Manhattan that a) speaks English, b) isn't Pentacostal, and c) doesn't treat me like I have goat horns?

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Pentacostalism; I just worry about mistaking hysteria for spirituality. Some people are strong enough in their faith that they can set up an impermeable wall between their emotions and their beliefs, and I respect that. But as half a psych major I cannot accept that a series of simple, easily observable chemical reactions are the work of the Holy Spirit, and I know far too many people who use their religion as a crutch. With the dangers in mind it can be an acceptable form of worship, but it is not for me. And it's just frustrating because there are like a billion little Pentacostal churches on my block, and all of them are far more welcoming than the more traditional churches in Harlem and the Upper East Side, and none of them speak English. And as much as I love them, well, I'd like to be able to understand the sermons without an interpreter.

And churches can claim to welcome all outsiders, but insularity is a hard habit to break. Especially in a neighborhood where people see race the way most other people see species.

It's prayin' time.

save ms. ivy!

Big Fishy tells me my high school English teacher, Ms. Ivy, is dying. Those of you who know her should be suitably alarmed. Those of you who don't know her, well, this is a video of her from before she got really sick. She hasn't changed a bit, except for the sick part. No one seems to know exactly what's wrong, but organs are failing all over the place, and her bone marrow has stopped producing red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

She needs to be flown from Denver to Seattle to receive a bone marrow transplant. Problem is, her family can't afford it--it's something like eight thousand dollars. Her daughter Audri sent an email to her colleagues and former students asking for financial help. The PayPal link is here.

Please chip in. I'm getting sick of seeing former NEHS teachers die.
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    Opeth - Patterns in the Ivy