by Kevin Mercurio

ASWMDSM = A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass.

This is my first series post. I profess that I am an atheist. I grew up in the Christian religion, with a family that ventures to church most Sundays. I choose to participate for the family time.

To alleviate my boredom, I bring along a pen and notepad listing things I find amusing. Not only does this make me pay attention, it allows me to question whether anyone else is. Please enjoy.


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 1

  1. My mom wore a real fur coat today. I’m sure there’s some moral principles being overlooked here.

  2. My family blessed themselves with holy water upon arrival. I chose not to. Pretty sure the greeting guy saw and judged hard.

  3. Just sat down. We always sit in the same positions; right side, dad at the aisle seat, then mom, me and finally Patrick. Pat is my older brother. Move Pat, you’re messing with routine.

  4. The amount of grey hair is this place puts Kaiser’s bed to shame. Kaiser is my grey-haired cat.

  5. Good lord, mass begins. Wait, what.

  6. We’re here to thank God for something that happened 2000 years ago. Isn’t that a little selfish?

  7. First reading: I opened my notepad. My pen clicked. Pat laughed. I laughed. Dammit it’s over.

  8. The voice on this guy.

  9. Second reading: this story means nothing. The only word I remember is revelation. My mom is looking at me as I write things down, telling me to stop with her eyes. I think that makes this comment ironic.

  10. Christmas gospel story, after Christmas? Story of the three wise men’s journey to Bethlehem.

  11. He keeps saying “feast of the epiphany”. Hell is that?

  12. Why are these wise men important?

  13. They believed in astrology, that’s not a real science

  14. Priest’s speech tries to relate the scientific method to religious seeking

    • He said they were “guided” even though he said they have the skills to use the stars for direction. Unless he means they used the stars to guide them, in which case do continue.

    • Somehow this story relates to justice, peace, love and equality. I do not see the connection.

    • Aren’t we supposed to believe this story really happened? In which case, there should be no talk of symbolism here, these are supposed to be facts.

    • “Jesus gives us purpose, meaning, and is the answer to the world’s injustices”. This is paraphrased from the Priest’s speech. We don’t need purpose. The reason why we are here is because we were intelligent enough to put ourselves at the top. The presence or absence of Jesus has no relation to solving the injustices of the world.

  15. My dad gave them $5. I shook my head.

  16. At the “Lord hear our prayer” part. This is not contributing anything to any of these causes.

  17. Weird realization: there’s a giant cross with Jesus dying  hanging on the wall, and no body thinks twice of it.

  18. Adorable old couple mustered up the strength in their fragile bodies to shake my hand as a sign of peace. I like them.

  19. Mah damn knees.

  20. I have stopped going up to get communion. I wonder if people notice and/or care. “Why is he not getting bread?” “Maybe he’s disabled?” “Satan!”

  21. Communal wine glass? I mean I’m not a germaphobe but that wipe with the cloth isn’t doing much.

  22. There are people at the front who have yet to stand during this hour. And I thought I wasn’t participating.

  23. My parent’s always like to stay until the choir finishes the last hymn to applaud them. I clapped once.

  24. I rather enjoyed this particularly experience, and I shall continue my account of Sunday Mass in the future.


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 2

  1. The architecture in this church is pretty damn good, I must say.

  2. First reading was about reading a book. The story in said book made people weep apparently.

  3. Now this guy has a voice!

  4. Second reading was just nonsense. She said, “Your body is not of one but many”, and also said, “We are all the body of Christ”. These statements contradict.

  5. Cute baby is distracting.

  6. Damn, Jews have been discriminated against throughout history.

  7. Priest’s speech after the gospel: God had Jews slaughtered and removed from their home because Persians would eventually conquer their invaders, allowing them to return with a sense that true happiness comes from God (now that’s religion in a nutshell).

  8. The gospel apparently shows that God is the “saviour” against true evil or “Satanic Evil”. Firstly, Satan/evil had to have been created by God. Secondly, God is as deceptive and Machiavellian as Satan is portrayed.

  9. Priest also talks about the euthanasia controversy (perfect). He thinks its controversial because ending life goes against “being human” and rejects “God’s plan” for us. So whatever happens to us is God’s plan, except once we choose to die ultimately due to the events that have led up to that point (which were also not part of God’s plan? Now I’m confused).

  10. Priest called up four dudes to the front, said “Go with God”, and then they left the building.


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 3

  1. Started with a gospel in the back of the church. Changing things up I see.

  2. There’s a giant wooden cross at the front, in addition to the giant wooden cross on the front wall. How many do they need?

  3. That baby has been crying for so long, quite distracting. Damn, missed the 1st reading.

  4. Song was about Jesus asking God “Why have you forsaken me?”. Isn’t he God? No, he’s the son of God. Wait…

  5. So many palm trees were destroyed for this mass.

  6. 2nd reading: Jesus is identical to God, but thought it’s not right to exploit that fact, even though he was God. It’s as if I made a clone of myself, and the clone did not use the fact that he was basically me to live his life.


    • Alright, it was about the Last Supper, betrayal, and the crucifixion

    • If everything is made by God, then surely this entire plan was inevitable and known from the start. So Jesus was sent by God, who is God, to live a positive, short life, showing mankind the true role model or example of how to live your life, only to be knowingly betrayed and sentenced to death (which he cannot because he is God, remember?). This is the ULTIMATE guilt story. This could all be avoided if he truly made us in his image, to have us believe in God in the first place. But that would mean we wouldn’t be curious about and doubt false things. But then why would we, if everything is true and factual? My head…

  8. This is a given, but the symbol of the Catholic faith is a torture device. Had to say it.

  9. Never felt like I was more part of a cult than I did through that participatory gospel reading; guess they’re trying to make things more interactive?

  10. Priest’s speech after the gospel was just a summary of the gospel…

  11. If there’s anyone who believes prayer will heal illness, they are more delusional than Trump supporters.

  12. How much money do they get per mass on average? Must be a lot…

  13. Who’s in charge of that bell during the kneeling?

  14. Chalice; now that sounds more religious-y than cup. Nice.


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 4

  1. Watched Spotlight yesterday. To be honest I’m a little frightened.

  2. Entrance hymn title is “The Strife is O’er”. The hell is O’er? Over? Shortening a word that doesn’t need to be shortened. English…

  3. Packing us like sardines up in here.

  4. So many old people… Here come the weird smells.

  5. All the alter helpers are Asian. Huh.

  6. Priest starts by sprinkling Holy Water on people. Does Holy Water get delivered, or does the Priest bless a gallon of tap water everyday?

  7. 1st reading: about Peter being sentenced to death by hanging on a tree (very joyful Easter story!) and how God rose him from the dead. Peter is the disciple that denied Jesus 3 times. Moral of the story: seek forgiveness for your sins, and you can rise from the dead too? Nah, just the lucky few I guess…

  8. 2nd reading: “Set your mind on things above, and not here on Earth”. Wow. Talk about martyrdom.

  9. Gospel/Priest’s speech: “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad”. So days in which catastrophic things have happened are made by God as well? Or are those days due to bad people? Bad people made by God?

    • The point of Jesus resurrecting from the dead seems to be to “fulfill the scriptures” and prove that he has magical powers. But why? Is being risen from the dead the ultimate Godly power? Why would this even need to be included in the scripture anyway? Why such an elaborate, tedious plan to prove that God exists?

  10. At this point, the Priest asks everyone to pledge belief to unprovable statements by saying aloud, “I do”. Wait, now I’ve never felt like I’ve been more part of a cult.

  11. Funny how people believe praying for peace in war-torn regions will do anything, especially for countries with entirely different religions.

  12. Mom made me get communion. The terrorists have won. I mean, I got some bread.


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 5

  1. Pat is not here. How’d he manage to get out of this one?

  2. There’s a surprising number of mothers here. I can’t help but think how odd it is for women to thank God for what he’s done, when being a mother was all women were thought to be good for back in Biblical times. I mean, the progression of Women’s Rights is itself a recent occurrence.

  3. Sneezed ferociously. My poor healing gums! (I had my wisdom teeth removed last week)

  4. Old lady mints to the rescue. So soothing. They solve all oral problems.

  5. Woman behind me is putting the choir to shame! Damn.

  6. Priest: “Happy Mother’s Day. This is the one day of the year you mothers can relax.” C’mon man, they can relax whenever the hell they want to.

  7. Lots of short elderly folks here, really makes the tall people stand out. Six. There are 6 tall people in front of me.

  8. 2nd reading: What was that nonsense?! Honestly, I was following from beginning to end; it was just a jumble of religious jargon. Pay attention people!

  9. Gospel: In the story, Jesus said, “What is written in the scriptures must be fulfilled.” Is this admirable? If I wrote down that I will make a cake in 3 days, and do it, is that astonishing?

  10. Priest’s speech: “What a great gift to us: God’s gift of love through the Spirit that allows it to reach all corners of the world.” Hmm, that’s strange, the Spirit must have missed most Third-World countries. But it’s coming eventually, right?

  11. Crowd laughed. Priest made a joke? Isn’t this whole thing a joke? Zing.

  12. I wonder if people actually feel good about themselves when they pray to solve the world’s problems. Revelation: prayer is the masking of selfishness by the ignorant.

  13. Final song: There’s a verse that repeats, “And I will drink his blood!” Think about that.

  14. Bake sale! After the 11:30am mass. This is the 10:00am mass. Fuck.

  15. Money donations go towards pro-life charities. What would a pro-life charity raise money for? Bail? I can’t understand how this is still an issue. We pretend that everyone is ubiquitous in their privileges and wealth, but cannot understand (1) It is not a decision of the community and (2) The lack of a life the child may have. One could argue that the child at least has a life. But did the fetus have a life to begin with? It is well-established that humans have difficulty thinking far into the future. If the child was brought up with no preparations, in a poverty-stricken environment, what will be the ultimate consequences? But, what does a 22-year old man know. This does not even begin to scratch the surface of this topic.


“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come your way.”
– Christopher Hitchens