Religion is typically a touchy subject in America, and it should be treated carefully. One theme I would like to include in my blog posts is the idea of place making, that at any place there are many process happening at one time contemporaneously, that is at the same time at a place. For me, that place is Paris; the topics I wrote about previously and will write about are process that happen at this place. It is these process that make a place, because they are what unite people.
Much as politics or economy, unite people in a unique way, religion unites in its own way. What makes, religion a process of place making? There are many creative forces that build creative places, but what is special about religion?
My own part I participated in the Catholic religion by going to mass on Christmas Eve with my own additions as a participant I found enlightenment on the other side. My method is participatory, which is how I gain enlightenment on a subject by participating in it. I wanted to know more about religion ergo I went to a Catholic Mass. The number of people who were at Notre Dame Cathedral surprised me; the aisles were filled with people standing, the seats were filled and many people were waiting to snatch a seat when it became vacant.
I found a seat open with a view of the pew and the television sets where I would remain seated for the next three hours. I waited little during the mass as the events happened one after another. Singing of songs in Latin, and French, reading of scripture, and sermons, finished by the taking of the sacred sacrament.
The Midnight Mass brochure was written in five languages, French, English, German, Italian and Spanish. I read from the French, English and German. Listening to words in French and reading in German was way I was able to pick up a few new words in German. The bishop sermon was not centered upon strict theological doctrine or even was a direct reading from the bible, but instead was a speech on liberty.
The Bishop mentioned the problems of climate change, economics crisis, but said that it is important to strengthen one’s mind or body for what is to come. The theme of the sermon could have been said by a politician, or at a leadership seminar, but a catholic bishop said it. Theses words are the essential words of liberty, they are abstract enough to be accepted by an audience, yet they have a rhapsodic quality that would open the gaze of any skeptic.
What is religion then, a story of origins? Is it an apostle story told by the bards from Homer to Jefferson, Mathew, Mark and John? Perhaps religion is a mystery, some like mystery, and pursuit. Is religion dogma, ritual and procedure? Well, in my meeting studies I found that religion is all of those things, because human beings believe that religion is all of those things, and more because my own list is not exhaustive.
Only people have a right to favor a faith. People and government do not have a right to favor any faith by assimilation, separation, or concealing the voluntary expression of the essence of religion.