Vices we love: Church boy

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Church boy

Well hello there. It's a lazy Sunday afternoon and Sunday, as we know, is the day to go to church. As noted theologian Jon Stewart said: "People like religion. It makes them feel good and gives them something to do on the weekend."

My religion, to the small extent that I have one, is Judaism, but believe it or not, South Korea does not have a large number of synagogues. There is one on the army base in Yongsan but I'm not devout enough for a forty minute subway ride. And if I were devout, I couldn't take the subway anyhow. That's called a quandry.

Religion in my family did not consist of services and challah bread. It consisted of gathering around the photo album to look at fraying black and white images of the dead.
"This is your uncle, Laci. He died in a forced labor camp. This is your aunt Margit. She died at Auschwitz. This is your grandmother. She had two little boys but they got typhus and..."
A few years of the above led me to the conclusion that either A) there is no God or B) that if there is, s/he is an evil bastard I will have nothing to do with. I vacillate between the two above interpertations. While I was in Tzafat, a devout little town in northern Israel, the Orthodox Jewish community tried earnestly to convince me that there is most definitely a God, God is good, and nothing bad happens to people unless they deserve it. Since that leads to the conclusion that Laci, Margit and company deserved what they got, this was not winning points with me.

So anyway, back to the present. Being a whitey and not fluent in Korean leaves me a smidgen isolated. Since I vacillate between wanting to be a hermit and wanting to be liked (I vacillate a LOT), I found myself experiencing the latter and promptly walked to the giant church around the corner from my house. I stood in the courtyard, listening to the organs, shuffling uncomfortably and ultimately not going in. Maybe next week.

But maybe not.


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