The Borg is in my Church… resistance is futile!
Welcome “Melissa”, our newest writer. She plays in the hand bell choir at her church, because she loves the art form and the ONLY place to express it is in local churches. She’s an atheist and is going to share her stories exclusively here about her experiences listening to sermons from the “inside”. She goes to church so that the rest of us don’t have to.
Once a month, I sit in the front pew of my church for a double dose of Presbyterianism. I get to sing the same songs twice, hear scripture read twice, and listen to the all-too-informative sermon twice. I do this because I play for both Services in the Church’s Handbell Choir. Being that I must sit in the front row, I have to pay attention the entire time, lest the Pastor glare at me or some such.
Sometimes I amuse myself by seeing how the sermon changes, watching for Choir members up on the Chancel to fall asleep, or perhaps attempting to day dream. Through it all, I am undoubtedly excited. More often than not, I happen to catch a Sunday when we do my most favorite thing.
Recite the Lord’s Prayer.
Yes, we say “debtors” and not “trespassers”, but that’s beside the point. If I don’t recite it and I instead listen, listen all the way to the back of the giant sanctuary, something magical happens. My church sounds spot on like the Borg from Star Trek. Oh, the joy of listening to this makes it very hard not to laugh through the entire reciting. It’s a long-ish prayer and I’m practically crying near the end.
Sometimes, we also recite, in unison, other paragraphs or call and responses, but nothing, nothing, compares to the overwhelmingly memorized and chanted Lord’s Prayer. The entire 200-300 piece congregation knows the entire prayer by heart and mumbles it in their barely-speaking, mustn’t-stick-out voice.
This now causes me to wonder in what other ways is my church, or churches in general, like the Borg? It turns out that they are very, very similar. The Borg use abduction and “assimilation” to induct people into their ranks. The same can most certainly be said with regard to Churches and Religion, especially when young minds are taken into account. The Borg and Churches both evilly integrate beings and cultures into their collective.
This makes me think of when the little kids from Sunday School join the Second Service for a “Message for Young Disciples”. It’s a mini-lesson, in front of the Church, for the kids to learn some back-of-a-cereal-box lesson about God. I watch as their young minds absorb the information and then dutifully pray. I observe this to be akin to a very slow Borg assimilation process. It compels me to attempt to devise a way to yank out their “cybernetic enhancements” connecting them to the “hive mind” of Religion.
The Borg’s catch phrase is “Resistance is Futile” and when it comes to resisting Religion, I’d have to agree, as I have done nothing to aid these young minds. For what is the point of resisting if we don’t speak out and sever our fellow human from the “hive mind”?
Perhaps it won’t all be for naught. The next time I sit through the Lord’s Prayer, instead of listening to the Borg, I shall instead listen for the lack of the Borg and reach out to this person. If I tread gently, perhaps I can at least work the “cybernetic enhancements” loose and begin the process of their freedom. I encourage others to do the same…