Pronouns Shouldn’t Be Limited to Gender, Especially in December |
At this time of year, I always wish to be more religious. For me, Christmas is not much without the orthodox spectacle of a life-size nativity scene, prayers, and midnight mass. Without it, Christmas is just a sequel to the chaos causing Thanksgiving indigestion, the prolonged bottleneck in clairvoyance trafficking, and the revival of lockdowns and warrants associated with the latest variant of the coronavirus.
But my specific problem with the rebirth of a Catholic tradition is that it is, first of all, parish-based. None of the parishes of the past four decades near my home have satisfied my need for Gothic transubstantiation. They have all been too modern and liberal for my middle age and middle aged tastes. While I am keenly aware of all the unfortunate and infuriating scandals associated with the Church of Rome – not just currently, but going back to the sale of indulgences at a time when the Popes actually had armies to defend their domain – I would rather focus this month on the smells and visual delights revealed by the light of the Star of Bethlehem.
I remember here the gold and silver fabrics, the lush light of the candles and strings of colorful electrified bulbs, the new clothes for the church where the choirs sang their best and the congregation automatically sang their harmonies to chants of Christmas without any incentive. Where has this Catholic Church gone?
A few years ago, I found myself attending episcopal services for sermons because they tend to be more fervent, scripture-based, and spontaneous. A Catholic mass has become a stale 45 minutes when the priest categorically reads an already uninspiring homily. I remember the good old days when I was actually pushed to be a better person by the sheer prosodic thundering of ambo. No such magic today.
So I felt that my religious personality really needed more than one pronoun; really, I’m more of them.
Namely, I am Catholic by tradition, Episcopalian by sermon preference, Church of England by spectacle, Buddhist by practice. When people talk about me as a religious person, then it would seem inappropriate to say: “He is religious”.
We should rather observe: “Dan Ho? They are religious.
For the record, I / he / they / they are and are not at all spiritual. Neither I nor we have reconciled the notion of spiritual claim without a strict foundation of doctrine and tradition.
Likewise, I’m no foodie, although you might think from my Instagram feed that I could be. Here, too, might be a suitable place for a pronoun upgrade. I like my noodles without sauce, not Italian and preferably made from something other than flour. I like Thai curries, but not Japanese or Indian. I love the cuisine of the island of Guam, but I dislike Hawaiian and Jamaican cuisine. And I like anything sweet but please don’t offer me any form of Italian and Indian pastry. We love custard, but I despise panna cotta.
So yes, I don’t eat too much because we are very particular and intolerant of certain cuisines. What can I say – we like what they like.
Indeed, the same is true of politics. “Moderate” no longer cuts it off. We are libertarians in some ways, while liberal in others; conservative on some fronts, socialist on others. I am not just one political body. It shouldn’t be confusing to understand and respect where both Bernie Sanders and Mitch McConnell are coming from, right? I do, I mean we do. Seeing things and people through the filter that the Child Jesus let you refine shouldn’t be so misunderstood, yet it is.
Therefore, while at first I did not understand at all why the LGBTQ + community started expressing its pronouns regarding sexuality, I fully understand and sympathize with the need for clarity in this still polarized society. I don’t think it’s as complicated as it was at the beginning for me. It’s a simple and effective way to state that you’re not just one-dimensional. It’s great, frankly. Long live THEY queens!
So from now on my political pronouns are we / them / they.
My culinary pronouns are we / them / they.
My musical pronouns are we / them / they.
My religious pronouns are we / them / they.
There are, however, areas where I will remain I / he / him. I despise cruelty to animals, so if I catch you doing this blatant behavior, I’m the only one shooting you down somehow. If you laugh at someone’s Christmas decorations, I too will disrespect you.
But back to my point, I wish I could find the old religious magic of a vacation in a church; however, I must of course accept that such a thing has long passed. Therefore, as best we can, I’m going to have to manage.