Religion and Ramblings of a Vampire Maman
Oh ye of little faith… or a lot. I don’t care either way.
In my daughter’s high school about a quarter of the kids are Mormon. Another quarter are Catholic. The next quarter go to the big Presbyterian Church. A handful go to the Jewish synagogue, a few go to the other big box holy roller church, and the rest are just kind of on their own, or nothing. There are a lot more nothings than atheists. Then there are the tiny groups who are Muslim and Buddhists and other faiths.
According to my child the Mormon kids don’t try to convert the 3/4 who are Catholic or Presbyterian. They go for the others.
I bring this up because last night we saw The Book of Mormon. It was great. If you have a chance go see it.
I need to write a disclaimer that we love our Mormon friends and respect their choices. We are not haters. We don’t care about your faith of choice as long as it works for you and you aren’t hurting anyone (including yourself). Nuff said.
OK there are a few exceptions of weird ass groups that have no more business calling themselves a religion. As we passed one of their buildings downtown last night one of my companions said, “the are so evil.”
Your religion is your own, just keep it out of the schools and out of politics. That is why we’re in America. Don’t forget it.
And then there are the Vampires. At the high school there are exactly a dozen right now. For kicks and grins thrown in the four Werewolf kids at the school. This school has a huge population of paranormal types. We tend to try to stick together. It just makes things easier for the kids to have someone like themselves in their classes. Hey, it isn’t like they’re going to talk to the other kids about their unique biology and spiritual issues.
I was talking to my friend Marla who occasionally helps me with this blog. She explained some of the inspiration for her latest book Exceptional Liars.
I had a conversation with a friend about some of the families at the church we went to when we were growing up. It was one of the big churches everyone belonged to. It was one, and still is, one of the hubs of the community. My parents weren’t all that involved, which was fine with me.
But there were families where church and religion was the center of the universe. Their priorities were: 1. church/god, 2. Marriage, 3. Dad’s job, 4. Church society, 5. Children. Unfortunately five seemed to be a distant number. These parents bragged about how God and marriage came before everything else. Even as a teenager I knew that was wrong.
Their children were usually popular, good in school, involved with church activities, and they were the first to sneak off to smoke pot or make out in the back of a car. They knew more about sex, drugs and not getting caught at anything than other teenagers. When the kids were caught misbehaving punishment was swift, often including banishment. Obedience to God, church and parents was paramount. Fortunately for most of these kid they never did get caught.
My book started out with a weak main character. She was sensitive and naive, but that wasn’t any fun. Why not make her the kind of nasty, clannish, resentful, sneaky kid that came out of these families in real life.
I added narcissistic parents, incestuous and violent siblings, an abusive Christian marriage counselor husband, a serial killer, a couple of slick and twisted layers, a crazy former DEA agent, the abused roller skating ex-husband of a pop-star, a hit man turned divorce lawyer, a guitar maker, and the bisexual wife of a senator who just wanted to be left alone.
Religion is scattered throughout the book, but it isn’t a religious book. But the characters, at least two of them, do what works for them.”
I like books with religious references. I think it adds mystery and interest to books if it isn’t preachy or “Sunday schoolish,” or overly sentimental with a forced unrealistic message. Religion and faith also adds conflict and interest for the characters. Two of my favorites are The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and The Di Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Both stories wound religion into mystery and intrigue. It was fun to figure out the clues and see the conflicting views of the characters.
Movies have comedic, romantic, and chilling takes on the subject. My favorites (and most highly recommended are Elmer Gantry, The Devil’s Disciple (the play or the movie), Night of the Hunter, and Heaven Knows Mr. Allison.
In my line of work, I know those who have come face-to-face with Lucky (the Devil) and had run ins with both angels and demons.
I know Vampires who fight with their own inner demons about the state of their souls and their own jacked up immortality. They sit quietly, in the backs of churches, or quietly walk in cemeteries looking for comfort, or answers to questions that have gone unanswered for centuries. Sometimes they’re just looking for a bit of redemption. Or sometimes they just go for the music.
Vampires rarely pray, not knowing who might be on the other end waiting, or listening in. We’re always on the outside when it comes to religion. But most of us are content in knowing our own hearts, even if those hearts don’t beat as often or as loud as those of the rest of the population.
We are spiritual because we live among the spirits, good or bad.
And as you already know, Vampires are big on holidays. We do love our holidays.
As a parent I teach my children to be good and good to others. There is no use in judging those who are not like us, if they’re good people. We all must find our own peace. Some will never find peace even though they spend half of their life inside of a cathedral surrounded by icons and commandments.
I find my peace in the woods. When I’m in an art museum I see the power of what it means to be alive, even in a Vampire sort of way.
As Matthew (6.6) said, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray.”
I’m not religious but I now my verses. I take what I need and leave the rest, like most Vampires, at least those who think about these things.
Anyway, I’m starting to ramble.
Peace be with you. Wishing you beauty and joy, and the cool quiet of the shadows.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman