Year of Sundays

Every week for a year, we’re going to visit a different church. Then we’re going to write about it. Joel’s report is usually in the left-hand column, while Amanda’s tends to reside on the right. Be sure to read both — otherwise God, Allah or the giant Kool-Aid guy will either smite you or bust through your living room wall and hand you a sugary beverage, depending.

Since we’re both the kind of impious delinquents who get our thrills pissing people off, this blog won’t be for the religiously faint of heart. If you’re a believer, you might want to slip on a pair of steel toed boots before visiting our page. As a former lifetime member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Joel admits he may have issues with religion in general and Amanda admits she just has issues. So accept our apologies in advance for any snark, sarcasm, cynicism or otherwise bitter remarks. Hey, if you were forbidden to masturbate for 30 years, you’d get a little edgy too.

We write our reviews with one criterion in mind. Regarding humankind’s amazing variety of music, Duke Ellington famously said, “if it sounds good, it is good.” That’s the benchmark we will use to evaluate every religious service we attend. You’re invited to agree, to disagree, or, if you really don’t like what we write, to start your own blog. What we do promise is to be as honest as we can about our experiences.

Like the legendary New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, who held Big Hollywood pictures up to a higher standard than their lower-budget competition, we expect bigger things from bigger churches.  Yes, Pope Benedict XVI, we’re talking to you.

Also, a word about how we approach churches. We’re hardly stealth. We make it a point to introduce ourselves to the leadership and explain our mission.

Oh, and one last thing. We believe that God, if he or she exists, probably has a secure ego. We doubt that his (or her) feelings could possibly be hurt by anything we could write.