Picture this in your mind: It is Sunday, the heat is sweltering. Sweat beads down your forehead as you spend hours in church listening to some guy in a fancy robe drone on about rules and regulations thought up by people thousands of years ago. As you near the end of this marathon of rhetoric, there is hope. There are…snacks. You stand in line, waiting for your turn to devour the corpse of your savior, an extension of your god, but lo! You are denied your desserts! You receive but one small cracker and a sip of wine. You can’t even get drunk on that. You are not a tiny, yet devout, baby.

You grow up to curse your religion, forsaking your cultural heritage and becoming a shiftless vagabond crying out to the people on the street, “Trust not the Church! Trust not the Church!”

This is what Christianity has wrought!

Or is it? I can’t distinguish reality from imagination.

When I was growing up I went to Church with my dad. He is Romanian Orthodox Christian and in that particular section of the Christian faith, food is kind of a big deal. I actually had a pretty good time of things, post-sermon, as all the old Romanian ladies (my grandmother included) would provide food at the end. It always felt kind of awesome to know that I had got through another one of those things. It was like God was rewarding me for a job well done. He’d pat me on the back and say, “Good job kid, thanks for being here, now have some of this delicious spinach pita.” and I would happily oblige. Our version of the “flesh and blood” thing was a lot better as well. Homemade bread chunks and some pretty damn good wine made for a nice break.

Then I learned about Catholicism. Tiny dry crackers and barely drinkable wine were all that was on the menu. I remember going to a Catholic church at one point when I was maybe 9 or 10 and thinking, “This is insane.” I didn’t want to eat the crackers there, the Lord in that place didn’t look quite right.

It seemed contradictory then, as it does now, that a faith so heavily reliant on the idea of transubstantiation (the belief that, somehow through faith, the bread and the wine really DO become the flesh and blood of Jesus) would make their Lord taste so bland.

I tried sneaking a bottle of soy sauce in to liven things up, once.

It didn’t go over very well.

I stopped going to Church not long after.