Tag Archives: religion

The Campaign Trail

There are two things I will probably never ever write about with any seriousness on this blog—religion and politics.

me-for-president

That would be because I’m not religious (although I give the stereotypical eye roll-inducing response that I’m spiritual) and I hate politics. So instead of debating either, I will accept the label of being an apathetic heathen.

Don’t tell my grandma.

But it’s already started—the unsolicited phone calls from automated political headquarters, yards filled with signs endorsing candidates for elected positions I never knew existed and the annoying ads on TV.

You can’t avoid it and they’re all the same.

If a candidate really wanted to get my attention, he/she would make an effort to differentiate their platform somehow. Down with spending millions of dollars on a campaign instead of actually fixing the roads or funding the schools! Down with the attack ads claiming their opponent hates kittens and sunshine!

That negativity doesn’t endear them to me.

Just once I would love for a commercial to end with, “I’m (insert name of candidate here), and I once woke up in the back of a horse trailer with a bra wrapped around my head and the smell of Jager floating up in the air. I approve this message.”

In fact, I would actually endorse a candidate that approved of the following messages and made them part of their platform:

  • Yoga/workout pants will now join khakis as being classified as “business casual,” even if smattered with cat hair (hypothetically speaking.) 
  • All 20-year old girls who shriek, “OMG, I’m getting so old, you guys!” will be exiled to a special hut where they will be forced to listen to John Tesh albums and clean mini-blinds.
  • The Fashion Police will be given adequate resources to affect change in the area of footwear—people wearing sandals must not have nasty feet and anyone wearing Crocs is not allowed to be upset when not taken seriously.
  • Companies that send you an email confirming your unsubscription from their emails will be sent an email informing them that’s why you are unsubscribing from their emails and then banned from All The Internets.
  • If the toilet paper roll is installed in improper underhand fashion anywhere and you are not able to correctly adjust it, you have permission to leave and go somewhere else where it’s “right.”
  • Most of the ridiculous words added to the Oxford Online Dictionary—such as “Grrr,” “Totes” and “Woot”—will be removed to include useful ones, such as “Peegret”: The regret you experience when you leave hastily from a location without relieving yourself.
  • There will be no such thing as gay marriage. It will henceforth just be called “marriage,” as that’s what the hell it is.

My name is Abby, and I would approve of this message.

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Low-fat Lent

Close your eyes for a minute and…wait, no.

Pretend to close your eyes for a minute and think about the holidays throughout the year—Christmas, Easter, Lent, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.—and what you associate with them.

Now pretend to close your eyes and—I can’t believe I’m about to say this—take out the food. What do you associate with them? Does it change the holiday for you at all?

Let’s get this out of the way and say that I’m a fan of food, albeit of the vegetarian variety, a phenomenon that my Polish kielbasa-loving family has yet to comprehend. Holidays and food are forever linked together for good reason. Food is a wonderful way to bring people together, to keep traditions alive and to share in the bounty of the land blah, blah, blah. I’m all for tradition and food.

Disclaimer done. 

Looking past the paczki, this ramble stems from the fact that quite a few people use food in connection with faith in odd ways.

Let’s take a look at Lent.

I’m not religious, but from what I learned in years of catechism, Lent isn’t about picking up diet habits that were left by the wayside (three weeks after New Year’s resolutions were made) so you can look a bit better for Spring Break.

lent_card

All around me people who haven’t been to church in months claim to be giving up sugary drinks, dessert, foods that come from restaurants with arches, etc. in the name of the lord.

Call me crazy—it’s been done—but I think religion would prefer you indulge in a daily Frappuccino rather than push someone out of your way as you rush to get the new $500 iPhone (whatever number they’re on now) or “forget” to volunteer an hour of your time once a month.

I know chocolate Easter eggs and helping old people cross the street aren’t mutually exclusive, but isn’t the point of Lent—and the spirit of most religious holidays—more about a pledge to help other people rather than a pledge to avoid certain foods?

If it’s really about self-examination, devotion and focusing less on yourself and more on others, will not eating cookies for 40 days help with these goals?

So just for a minute, remove the food and render it a non-factor for Lent or the like.

Would it change an attitude, an action, the spirit of the season?

Would people be posting Facebook updates about how they’re going to do one nice thing for someone every day instead of how they’re on day three of no donuts? Would they be as excited about giving something as they would be about taking a “bad” food away?

If you want to give something up, I completely understand and respect all those traditions. It’s not about that, as I hope I made clear, but rather about the motivation behind the actions. If I didn’t make that clear and you’re ticked, perhaps for Lent you should give up being oversensitive and lighten up—and I don’t mean give up donuts.

Just some food for thought.