Why do people always do "reverential" stuff they don't want to do - just to be "respectful" to other people's religious sensitivities? Don't bring me, please - I won't do it.
You know how your churchgoing friends and relatives always attempt to corral you into doing that extra-special politeness and deference thing along with them, whenever their pastor comes into your space? "Here comes my pastor Arthur - now watch your mouth - don't embarrass me!" Doesn't that shit get on your nerves? Well, it gets on mine, anytime I am told to go "holy on demand."
There is not one "reverend" on this planet that is deserving of any more respect than you would give any other panhandler.
When I was twelve, I saw a guy on TV run up to a stage, fall to his knees, and kiss the Pope on his hand. That grossed me out. "What kind of freak mess is this?" I thought. Then the Pope stuck two fingers in the air, and waved his hand around, all the while mumbling some kind of incomprehensible nonsense.
My grandmother said he was "blessing" him. "And then what happens?" I asked. She said, "I don't know - but its supposed to be good. I think a blessing gets you closer to God." Even so... I still did not like what I saw. I could understand a little respect. But, I mean, shit, he just kissed that man's hand! And the Pope was standing there wearing a stupid hat - and a dress... "HE'S A FREAK!!!" Was my unspoken impression.
"You are supposed to have respect and reverence for the Pope," my grandmother said. "For what, who said so, and why?" I thought.
You know... I never did like the whole "reverence and respect for clergy" thing. Something in me always felt that the whole "reverence and respect for clergy" set-up, was wrong. I can never say "reverend" without bringing up gas. I always say "Mister." The only person I can revere as "reverend" is me (you read correctly, I do mean myself).
Today, I always make sure to let fly, at least three good, well-formed, cuss words out of my mouth in the course of conversation, whenever I am around clergy. From this - one can see MY level of reverence for these shit-talking, money-grabbing, not-respect worthy, hypercynical lowlifes. You are probably thinking by now, that it would not be a good idea to bring me around your pastor, that is, if you have one.
It's okay. It is not like I am not civil, or reasonable, because I am.
It is just that I get impatient when extras are being demanded from me for no good reason. And then to be pressured into expending those extras toward those whom I feel are no-good. That kind of expectation makes me feel like I am standing on the bad end of a stick-up.
I hate it. I refuse to falsely reverence the false, and I won't, don't, can't do piety. Can't do it. No extras here for pastors. I see most clergymen (99.7% and counting) as nothing but a bunch of strutty, slick, lying, covetous, thieving, poison-spreaders. These charlatan dogs are always trying to "Amen" their way into your wallet, or "preach" their way to holy heaven, right under your wife's dress.
And besides, clergymen are always getting extras. That's why so many of them are overweight.
So, if there is a clergyman around, and if, at that same moment you feel like cussing... CUSS!!! And if blasphemy is your thing - then hey, let loose baby. Why should YOU have to watch YOUR mouth?
Well, as far as I am concerned, mouth watching goes both ways. Clergymen certainly don't watch their mouths. Their utterances go mostly unchecked and unchallenged. Especially when they are flapping in some stinking pulpit, vituperating about some "sin" or anything else they deem worthy of condemnation or disparagement.
Cussing and blasphemy are First Amendment rights, that are open and exercisable to every citizen of this country. We have constitutionally separated, the church, and the state. That means; within this beautiful bitch we call the United States of America, you have the un-intimidatable, un-curtailed right, to bitch to, and about, and in the proximity of, any Bible-farting, wind-bagging, flim-flamming, pastor-pimp all you want - no matter how "anointed" he may be.
And you can legally do it, loudly and continuously; until all the "blessed and highly favored" adulterating mothers that are fucking those same pastor-pimps, come home. You are free and legal and First Amendment correct baby! Ain't that a bitch? And if you happen to be A BITCH, well bitch; YOU are fucking free, and fucking legal, and fucking constitutional too.
That's why I love this country.
The founding fathers set it up this way - just so you would be freely able to blaspheme or cuss, or not - in front of whomever you want to - with whatever degree of appropriateness that YOU decide is necessary, according to the situation. And yes, it is quite possible you may "offend" certain people because you "differ," or don't believe, or burn Bibles, or whatever. SO WHAT.
Those that are "offended" - have an equally constitutional right to "counter-offend" - OR get the fuck outta here. In this country, you can openly and sincerely rail away, legally and constitutionally, without the possibility of being jailed, fined, exiled, or burned at the stake for being a self-declared "infidel," or "apostate," or "dis-respecter of the cloth."
Welcome to America, you religious son-of-a-bitch.
Now - if the Pope just happens to be standing there at the moment you get the urge to flow - OH WELL. "Freedom is a motherfucker, Your Holiness." Allowing yourself to get caught-up and dragged into being over-respectful and deferential to likely criminals, just because everyone else is caught-up-crazy, is being wrong to yourself - and being wrong to the whole concept of freedom.
If you don't want to do it, then really - don't do it.
The constitutional separation of church and state allows YOU to decide whom you may be reverential and/or respectful towards. Get some sense please. There is a difference between reverence, and plain everyday civil respect.
Reverence should never be automatic towards ANY son-of-a-bitch you just met - regardless of whom they are supposed to be. Pope or whomever. Fuck that. Especially when that meeting requires you to do any faking, kneeling, head bowing, eye closing, wallet opening; or droning out some bullshit prayer. Forced piety and participation, should always be out of the question.
No one should have to debase themselves in this way, just because they must occasionally put themselves in the same room, with some greasy-assed, "called and ordained" motherfucker.
This is how you do it properly:
THE INTRODUCTION: "Oh, um, Mr. Ward: I would like you to meet The Right Honorable Reverend, Doctor, Pastor, Prophet, Evangelist, Overseer, Apostle, Bishop Al Cheatumwell of the Heavenly Dollar Baptist Church."
THEIR ATTITUDE: "My God... Don't you see my Pastor standing here asshole? Stop eating your goddamned chicken wings for a moment, you hell-bound maggot. Get up, bow, thank the Lord Jesus, and kiss my Pastor's ring - you faithless fuck. Show some gratitude, you heathen bastard - for receiving the great blessing, of being in the presence of a man chosen by God himself."
THE PROPER RESPONSE: "KISS MY ASS... Amen."
"May I finish my wings please?"
There is nothing more civilizing than a proper display of respect.
You should be just as polite to him as you would anyone else you meet. No more - no less. And if anyone expects more than that, make sure they walk away thoroughly disappointed.