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Imminent CollapseFinding God in Hell

By Bill Andrews
ASSOCIATE CAMPUS LIFE EDITOR

Ah, that was nice, wasn’t it — a relaxing, soothing four-day weekend. Some folks were lucky enough to go back home for Thanksgiving, while others stayed here and relaxed. Of course, now we’re back, and probably working all night on something, since they really make us pay for it whenever we get some time off around here.

For those of us who went home, though, things are just a bit different now. Our spiritual meter has been replenished by the obligatory home church/synagogue/mosque/place of worship visit. Now, it’s not that I don’t like church — it’s just that I don’t like going to church. The whole waking up early, dressing a little nicer, doing something on a Sunday ... it’s just not my style. I need someone like my mom to make me go; and of course, once I’m there, it’s fine, I like all the God and the Jesus and all that. It just means that while I’m up here @mit.edu, I don’t get out to church as much as I’d like. I’m probably not the only one.

Things could be easier. My particular faith isn’t cool enough to get MIT Chapel face time, so I’ve had to do some research into where our churches are up here. Then, once I figured out how to get there, I had to trust that it wasn’t a sucky church. For those not religiously inclined, I submit that church A can rock while church B sucks, even both are the same type of church (or synagogue, or mosque, or other place of worship). It’s kind of a leap of faith, and the few times I made the pilgrimage, I was disappointed. After all that work, the early rising and nice clothes and the ruined plans of sleep, it wasn’t even that great; I barely knew God at all that week. So I have to find another one around here that doesn’t suck, but who has the time for all that?

That’s why I think we at The Tech should review churches/synagogues/mosques/etc. Mind you, not review religions, just their place of worship. I mean, it’s fine with me if you think I’m an infidel, or that I’m going to hell because I never said the magic words, or whatever. That’s your right, however wrong it may be; it’s part of what makes America great. But how convenient would it be if you could check an easy source to see which of the (for example) Catholic churches near campus is best? Which one has the best choir, or the funniest priest, or the best tasting blood of Christ? Pretty damn convenient, I’d say.

Plus, there’d be benefits besides getting people like me out to church more often. Just think of all the religiously curious out there, who want to try a faith and see what’s what who would benefit! They could tailor their choice to their busy lifestyles: need a place of worship in Boston, that’s fast, has shy people that won’t bug you, and has a great organ? Just look at the latest reviews, and you’ll be set; talk about saved!

Now, I know some of you are saying, “Bill, I don’t really think you’d be the best person to tell me what kind of church I should go to.” And I understand. That’s why, if this idea takes off (and how can it not), only actual members of a religion would review different churches. You card-carrying atheists aren’t allowed any of it, I’m afraid, but what you can tell me is what you guys do; I’ve been wondering for years, ever since I saw the Atheist’s Club table at my orientation’s activities midway, if you all just got together and not-believe, or what.

So, to review: You can promote the churches (and synagogues and mosques and etc.) you like and diss the ones you don’t like. You can become more cultural and worldly by visiting different types of the same place of worship. You can even use get your offering reimbursed by Tech funds (maybe)! A pretty heavenly situation, and let’s not forget God (or Whoever) is happy because you went to worship. After all, we have enough to worry about up here, what with classes and relationships and surviving; why throw choosing a good church into the mix?

Can I get an amen?