The sacrament of mockery

A Jordan River baptism site.
Credit: Sholeh Munion,

I baptized my friend Mike in the Jordan River.

You know, sprinkled a few drops of water on his head and mumbleda quick message to the Lord while holding out the camera to take a selfie. I even attempted to cross myself like the Catholics do, but I didn’t know whether to start from the left or the right or from my forehead or what. Just before we left, I scooped down and filled my empty Evian with Jordan River water, a souvenir that now sits on my shelf next to the bust of Stalin I got in Moscow. … It should be the task of religious people, every so often, to playfully expose the folly of their own beliefs. Our moments of devotion need the foil of mockery to have any meaning.

Andrew Unger is a high school teacher and writer in Manitoba. His work has appeared in Ballast, Every Day Poets and elsewhere. He is the author of the novel, Inches from America.

Issue 32

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 32, Winter 2013, Thirty more sermons you'd never hear in church.

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Issue 32, Winter 2013

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