20 April 2009

Troll feeding

I know, I really shouldn't feed trolls, but it's like feeding squirrels. You know you shouldn't, they're just pests, but sometimes it's just so entertaining.

So, on that note, Denyse O'Leary, a garden-variety bridge troll (not really a 'net troll, but a vile, odious, little thing that spews idiocy, if only in her own space - I don't know of any active trolling on her part), was going on about the decline of people in the pews of the United Church of Canada, a topic she clearly knows nothing about. Though, to be fair, it's pretty clear that all topics fall into that category.

Her "theory" (i.e. idea she pulled out of her ass) is that "the United Church has ceased to have a worldview that would characterize a church." Right... unlike the Roman Catholic church, which, btw, also espouses Darwinism. How many people in Canada have the worldview that birth control is wrong and condoms make the AIDS crisis worse? Not too damn many, but they keep going to church anyway, despite disagreeing fundamentally with their church's dogma and doctrines. Why, I don't know. Because they're sheep? No clue, honestly. My best guess (and unlike Denyse, I can admit this is merely a guess) is that in the Catholic church, there is a strong sentiment that no other church is in any way valid. In fact, the pope recently said as much, calling Protestant churches "faith communities" but not valid churches. Get that drummed into you long enough, and it feels like there is no other place to go to.

What I do know about the declining numbers in the UCC is that the church isn't giving younger people what they want or need in a church. But the problem isn't the politics of the church. It isn't that the church is welcoming of homosexuals, supports free, legal and accessible abortions, darwin's theories or anything else like that. It's that the UCC doesn't offer enough programs for youths, doesn't respect our time crunches (seriously, 10:30am Sunday isn't the only time for worship services! And UCW meetings on Monday mornings are never going to get young women to them. Most of us work on Monday mornings (not me, but that's another story). That was a clue. Try to get it.) The services are often boring, and are almost always the same. Sure, there are some exceptions to this, but it really is the rule. I'm sorry, but my generation likes some entertainment. Singing and dancing and clapping are good things.

It's interesting. The Pentecostal churches (and similar) are very progressive about their services, changing and adapting them all the time, but are very conservative about their ideologies. The UCC is very conservative about their services, often singing hymns from 300 years ago, but is quite progressive in its doctrines, adapting and changing as the people do, and as we learn more from the scholars. The Catholic Church, otoh, changes nothing except the music, which is quite nice and contemporary.

I was going somewhere else with this post, but my train of thought derailed. Should it come back on track, I'll finish. Otherwise, I'll just leave it here.