Church of the Holy Penis

Our longtime friends, Charles and Justine, moved to Arizona last week, and I am deeply saddened by their departure. Charles was a professor of physics at the University of Connecticut and has moved onto the University of Arizona. In doing so, he and his wife have returned to their roots.

Charles is the second friend whose job as a professor has moved him away from us, causing Elysha and I to swear off befriending all professors in the future. It’s just not worth the pain.  

I was thinking about them this morning and realized that their departure also means that I will probably never attend another religious service in their church, which I have nicknamed Church of the Holy Penis. I found myself surprisingly saddened by this as well.

I wrote about the reason for the nickname several years ago and managed to locate it this morning. In honor of my departed friends (and perhaps spurned by yesterday’s sexually-suggestive Mr. Snuffleupagus), here is that piece:


Last December I attended midnight mass at The Church of the Holy Penis with our friends. At the time, I had to explain the name that I had assigned to the church, but this morning I returned for a baptism, armed with my camera.

Though photos during the service were not permitted, I risked the wrath of God in order to snap off just a few shots (34 in all) of the baptism plus a few of the church’s uniquely phallic lighting fixtures.

At one point, while leaning over to snap a photo of my friends as their babies’ heads were being moistened, my vision was obscured by a tall, thick candle. No matter which way I shifted, the candle continued to block out the face of one family member or another. Frustrated, I grumbled, “Goddamn candle,” much to the dismay of the Puritan-like family sitting behind me. The mother gave me a deadly stare and the father rolled his eyes in disgust.

I returned their looks with a smile and continued to snap my pictures and finally managed to capture a few good images.

Including some of the light fixtures.

Have you ever seen anything so bizarre, particularly for a church?

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