When I was in parochial gradeschool, we learned all about the place that unbaptized babies go when they die: Limbo. Over the years we learned that the church sent any holy unbaptized soul to Limbo, kind of like that can where you throw all your spare change. Baptism had to have top billing and is the only way one can get into heaven, so they had to come up with this Limbo schtick.
Oh, woe is me, I have discovered that the Church is about to do away with Limbo for good. Limbo is one of those concepts that we laughed about even in gradeschool and it got me to thinking. Lately, the Church is just no fun anymore, what with abusive priests, anti-gay proclamations, Santorum… you know, no fun. Why can’t it be like the old days when church stuff was a hoot?

I recall when giving to the missions was our reason to be. The absolute best was “pagan babies”. We forked over our nickels and dimes to the nuns and received little certificates for each pagan baby we bought. I think most of my pagan babies now play in the NBA.
When I got to high school, still under the thumb of the nuns, there was still plenty of schtick to go around. When I was a senior our English teacher, Sister Mary Frederick, mysteriously sent the boys to the library. Turns out she was going to prepare us young women for the wicked world of men and sex. Some of Freddie’s biggest hits:

* NEVER sit on a man’s lap without the thickness of a Sears and Roebuck’s catalogue between you

* NEVER use a white tablecloth… it reminds men of bedsheets

* NEVER wear a necklace… it draws a man’s attention to your chest

* NEVER EVER wear black patent leather shoes because it reflects your underwear

She held these “sex education” classes for an entire semester and there was little or no absenteeism among the senior girls on those days. Sister Mary Frederick was sweet and as old as the hills and we loved her dearly. Years later, when she passed on, one of my friends and I held an Irish wake and toasted her all night long. Sister Mary Frederick most assuredly is not in Limbo.

Anyone else have silly memories of growing up in the throes of religious schtick?

Update [2005-12-1 9:26:53 by Nag]:Oops, I forgot to include the original article because I just know this Limbo thing is so earthshattering, I’d better be able to substantiate it.

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