Friday, July 18, 2008

Work thought for the day...
If this is a scam, to hell with it.

There is more in today's Trib about the Armenian Church of Lake Bluff and its pastor, George Michael. (My goodness, the 'pastor's' name alone is riff-worthy: Faith, Father Figure, Praying for Time Where to begin? How to stop?)

It is to be expected that his neighbors and fellow citizens would take umbrage at his successful dodge of a massive property tax bill. I say, especially since the official Armenian Church in America has no knowledge of consecrating a place of worship in Lake Bluff, that it is, indeed, a scam. Of course, one of those scams that many people might wish they had had the ambition and testosterone to attempt.

A comment left on one Trib columnist's blog , "Which church is not a scam?" bounced around my mind all morning. I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. It is not a scam. That's not to say that religio-spiritual scams don't exist. And if I were in any way interested in working for a sham church, the Catholic church sure wouldn't be the one. I need only to turn on the TV to find evidence of what could easily be called sham churches. Churches which all but announce that the Holy Spirit has spoken through the profits.

In this Pauline Year - you know, kids, after St. Paul, the saint whom mom pays after robbing St. Peter and vice versa, so to speak - we can, among other things, savor the rich history of our Church. 2000 years. A story which speaks of anything but scam. Though that's not to say that there haven't been those who attach themselves to the framework of "church" and work it for all it's worth.

The Catholic Church sure isn't it. Suffering and sacrifice. Even martyrdom. Even in the year 2008. And it's no cakewalk in the bland suburbs of middle America. The priesthood and religious life offer daily opportunities for suffering and sacrifice. There is plenty of work to be done by any and all who are in the Church's employ. None too glamourous nor particularly highly remunerative. As scams should go, it's not working out well at all.

I'm interested to see how the Armenian Church of Lake Bluff holds up over time. Not 2000 years, more like 6 weeks. And, Em and Ed, if you're thinking of driving by the church while you're in town this week-end, I'd be interested in going along.
Just Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

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