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an end to the era of lies

What Remains of Our Faith: Abandoned Churches in Our Midst | Abandoned America
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In all truthfulness, our little speck of history should have been known as The Era of Lies. They were what we bought, sold, and traded - our very currency! - and what we told ourselves to get to sleep at night. The biggest lie was that if we did what we were told: watched the right television shows, subscribed to the right ideologies, consumed things just for the sake of consuming them, it would all work out for the best in the end. We'd find our way to ever-distant riches and manage to zero in on an ever-shrinking sense of peace and fulfillment. Our peers would greet us and innovators and saviors, the cops wouldn't beat us to death for no reason, and we'd get to sleep with whoever we felt like. The endless, churning cycle of garbage was the end in and of itself. We all strove for the slim chance that we'd get the spotlight just for one moment and everyone would recognize our true genius and worth, that we had been better than everyone else all along. Our entertainers danced and sang so we could distract ourselves as our cities flooded and we toiled away in hopes that we, too, would make it to higher ground. The problem was, as it turned out, that there wasn't any.

The religious would say we turned away from God, the atheists said we relied on Him too much. The right said the left ran us into the ground and the left blamed the right. The poor blamed the rich and the rich blamed the poor. Each individual thought that they were the ones who knew better, that if people just let them have their way that it would all work out, but they were being held back by the other: the other races, the other religions, the other whatever, it didn't matter. We could point the finger at someone else and sit there in smug satisfaction saying "I told you so," as we lost our homes and our water was poisoned and the mountains of trash we made engulfed us.

In truth I don't think that it was that we turned away from a specific God, per se, so much as it was that we turned away from the very concept of a greater good. We all wanted our spot on the lifeboat even if it meant kicking everyone else off, even if it meant capsizing the very thing that would have saved us all. We took one of mankind's greatest inventions - the ability to instantly share thoughts and art beyond the walls of censorship - and made it about trying to peddle our flimsy, hollow legends we told everyone about ourselves, about venting our hatred against everyone else who dared to disagree with us.

It was all about commerce and marketing. We wanted to package our lives in a way that everyone else would buy into our own bullshit mythology that we had created for ourselves. The problem was, as it turned out, that the person selling it was also the only one buying it. That loop went on and it seemed like it would never end, but when it did it hurt more than any of us could ever have imagined.

'an end to the era of lies' taken at an undisclosed church. Photograph and text by Matthew Christopher.

Also in: The Church of the Holy Redeemer*

like falling leaves
a deathtrap waiting to happen