Tag Archives: Jehovah’s Witnesses

Less than a tithe

This is our neighborhood church. Built, I’m guessing, in the 1500s.

WE USUALLY don’t answer the doorbell because it’s often passing kids goofing around or someone selling something we don’t want. And it’s almost a two-block round trip from inside the house to the front gate and back. That more than anything.

* * * *

A Catholic spell

I come from country people who were never anything but Baptists or Methodists that I know of.

In spite of that, I was deposited in a Catholic school for kindergarten and First Grade in Albany, Georgia, about 10,000 years ago. My mother did it because it had the best reputation in town, education-wise.

My sister was sentenced there too. My sister had imagination, however, or maybe it was just childish ignorance. She came home one day and announced that she’d changed the Holy Water, freshened it up with stuff from the tap.

Neither the priest nor the nuns ever noticed, which tells me that Holy Water’s fame is overstated somewhat.

My mother, before enrolling me, made the nuns promise they wouldn’t try to turn me into a Catholic, and they did so promise because, one imagines, our money looked green.

However, one day I came home with the report that, after having misbehaved in some way, I was made to kneel on rice before a painting of the Virgin and beg forgiveness.

Mother took me out of the school at that point, and I left Catholicism forever if you don’t count that my second ex-wife is a recovering Catholic, and Mexico is full of Catholics.

My child bride does not seem to be a Catholic, but the environment rubs off. Her father was an atheist and her evil stepmother, after father died too young, became a Jehovah’s Witness, one of those pests at your front door.

* * * *

Speaking of doorbells

As I was saying, we rarely respond to the doorbell here at the Hacienda unless we are expecting someone.

But my child bride was toiling in her pastry workshop the other day when the doorbell rang — it rings both out there and here in the house — and since there was little walking involved, she opened the little speakeasy portal in the steel gate.

Two ladies were there, and they were not pesky Jehovah’s Witnesses, but Catholics on a collecting mission.

You see our neighborhood church up top? It is very old, and it’s in bad condition. We were informed that City Hall has agreed to chip in a percentage for a much-needed restoration, but residents here in our poor barrio have to pony up too.

We were being asked to pony up, so we ponied.

We learned that the amount one is asked to contribute is based on how well-off you look. In our hardscrabble neighborhood, we look quite well-off, so we were asked for 1,000 pesos.

We paid for the sake of architecture.

I think the Vatican should pay for the entire restoration, but it doesn’t seem that Headquarters pays us much mind.

I hope enough money is raised because I like the church. I see it every weekday morning during our exercise walk. I’ve rarely been inside, but I hear singing at times, and I see funerals and weddings there. All part of the tapestry hereabouts.

Catholic steeples and peoples

church

I LIVE AMONG steeples, and all of them are Catholic. Oh, there are other religions, usually referred to as “Christian” because most Mexicans, deep in their hearts, bizarrely do not regard Catholicism as a Christian religion.

It’s just Catholicism, period, the one accurate Voice of God.

Other religions are Christian, or cristianos  in español. Perhaps in the big cities of Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City people recognize Methodists, Baptists and so on, but here on the mountaintop we just have “the” religion of Catholicism and cristianos  who sometimes behave like Holy Rollers because they are really joyful.

Catholics are not joyful. They are somber, especially when walking on their knees over rocks to demonstrate their seriousness and love of God, Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

The cristianos sometimes parade in the streets, all shucking and jiving. Catholics never shuck and jive.

We also have Jehovah’s Witnesses who enjoy ringing doorbells and annoying people. My child bride’s evil stepmother and a number of her half-siblings have gone over to the dark side of Jehovah’s Witnessing.

I enjoy watching Catholicism even though I’m no believer, especially now with Pope Francis who appears to be an ignoramus. The Catholics excel at religious architecture and, as I was driving up a downtown hill today, I noticed this view. So I got out of the car and snapped it.

The Baptists, Methodists and certainly not the Jehovah’s Witnesses lack the Catholics’ architectural spirit.

The speakeasy

Peephole
View the bad guys get

JENNIFER ROSE  wrote a post late last year about security on her Red Shoes are Better than Bacon  blog, and it scared the bejesus out of me.

Up until that moment, we had opened the steel door in the front gate with a carefree air whenever someone rang the doorbell. DHL delivery, potting soil for sale, Jehovah’s Witnesses, it didn’t matter. The door opened.

But Jennifer made us wise, and we decided to take precautions. We had a peephole installed, just like you see in movies about bootleg speakeasies and African dictatorships.

I had been planning to do this for years, but had not gotten around to it. So I went to a blacksmith and ordered a peephole. It was installed within a week, and the final price was the peso equivalent of about 15 bucks. Not a pricy peephole.

We waited … and waited. Finally, the doorbell rang — in broad daylight, demonstrating the audacity of the criminal crowd. I cockily popped open the peephole.

It was the potting soil vendor.

Other side
View from inside