Posted tagged ‘doubts about religion’

The Church Bells

March 23, 2011

There is a Church across the avenue from our apartment.  On Sundays, I have become accustomed to the chiming of the Church bells.  Over the years, I had become interested in what the chimes meant, and if there was any symbolism to the times the bells rang.  The internet provides answers to these kinds of questions, so I researched the history of church bells.  Apparently, for a Church of this denomination, the bells were supposed to be rung in the morning, at Noon as a call to worship, and again in the evening on weekends. I was astonished to find that the church bells across the street were ringing at times that meant nothing.  And had been for as long as I can recall.

Passing the Church recently, I encountered some of the clergymen outside talking.  I approached them and posed my questions about the bells.  One gentleman answered that the timing device was giving them trouble.  Another simply said, “They’re broken.”  Well, these things happen, right?  Things break and you have to fix them.  But this has been going on for twenty years!  Does it cost too much to fix?  Do the church people really care if the bells are broken and the message being sent an errant one?  Were they even aware before I broached the subject?  I don’t have the answers to these questions.  I do know I was dismissed as if my inquiry was merely bothersome.

It really is not an issue for me.  I am not a follower of this particular faith.  Nor any other organized religion for that matter.  I choose to believe the AA vision of a Higher Power, one greater than myself.  I fervently hope such a power exists, as if there is no Power greater than me, I have to think all of us are more or less screwed.  But the Church bells do bother me.  I can’t help but thinking the Church bells might be symptomatic of a far broader problem.  Maybe something more fundamental than the Church bells is broken.  Broken, and either unable to be fixed, or not important enough to address.