by Kevin Mercurio

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

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.

This is the second edition of the ongoing series, where I share the perspective of a modern atheist inside a Catholic-Christian church. Without my pen and notepad, I would surely go insane. Thankfully curiosity will always overpower frustration and doubt. Please enjoy.


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 6

  1. How Pat got out of this to play Pokemon Go, I will never understand.

  2. Not a whole lot of people here. Have they finally been shown the light of science?

  3. Why are the alter helpers always young, Asian children? Definitely Filipino. Deaf.

  4. Yawned as soon as the mass began. This is gonna be a long one.

  5. The priest’s mic is way too loud. We can hear him breathe. Is that his heartbeat?

  6. The reader is more monotone than a deadpan handler. Or a dead panhandler. Wordplay is fun.

  7. Guy behind me is making sounds that I can only describe as sneeze-like coughs: snoughs. Like picture a guy coughing, but the sound you hear is a sneeze.

  8. Dammit, missed the Gospel because of this elephant in the room.

  9. Priest’s speech: “This year, we ask the Lord to teach us how to pray, so we can be more like him”. But we pray to God. So if God prays, does he pray to himself? Expanding on that: this is one of the main contradictions of this religion, which is trying to be more like God. This means we strive to be God who wants us to be more like him. But he created us and knows what we will become. Whether we do or not is out of our control. How can we become something that we were destined not to be? And don’t forget the argument of “Well that is God’s plan”.  Right, my wife was raped by a man as redemption for her sins, and so her family and friends can feel compassion and realize life is too short and go on to do good in their lives and…

  10. Christianity: the religion where they re-enact a supper scene as part of the Sunday ritual.

  11. Priest’s mic was not turned off while giving bread. Kind of sounds like a carnie. “Body of Christ!” [Step right up and get your Body of Christ!]


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 7

  1. One woman in the choir is one octave too high.

  2. Hey, she’s leaving. Ah, that sounds better.

  3. Wait, now she’s going around asking people to help during the mass. Annnnnnnd she skipped us.

  4. Alter kids were late today. Young people these days, staying up with their cartoons, and dancing, and ipads. Back in my day…

  5. Just because you make yourself sound like a freezing ghost, doesn’t make me mystified during this religious ritual.

  6. Lost attention during 1st reading so skipping to 2nd: “God is the unapproachable light, which no human can see or will ever see.” I have a feeling today’s mass will be filled with religious jargon.

  7. “Jesus was rich and became poor, to make you rich out of his poverty.” Is that how wealth works?

  8. Gospel: about Lazarus (poor man with sores) and the rich man.

    • because the rich man had a satisfying life, he goes to hell and Lazarus goes to heaven. But God willed this, for he has a plan for all things, right? Lazarus was given the worst life possible, in order to allow people, who are given great lives, to share the wealth, given to them by God. Of course, it would be easier if everyone had the same amount of wealth, but who am I to vote for equality? Certainly not somebody of biblical times.

    • Not to be cynical, but let’s be honest, these people will continue to look at the less fortunate with sympathy and no empathy. And I don’t blame them.

  9. I nudged Pat awake. If I have to listen to this charade, so do you.

  10. Song: “The Lord hears the cry of the poor. Blessed be the Lord.” For what, absolutely nothing?

  11. Old lady in front of us had such soft hands! Like putty.

  12. Student at the end asking for volunteers to help out at homes for those with mental illness. Does she know the audience she’s speaking to?

  13. Ending hymn was #666. Shouldn’t that be omitted, like the 13th floor? Oh god, this is the 13th bullet point!


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 8

  1. Upon arrival, my mom spit on the lawn. Again.

  2. Lady bringing the bible to the front like it’s Simba from the Lion King.

  3. “30th Sunday of ordinary time”. Are there other types of time? What’s unordinary time? Thank God I’m not in that.

  4. I did not sleep enough for this.

  5. First reading was about how all prayers will be answered. In fact, “The Lord will not delay”. So if your prayer is fulfilled, thank God, and if you die beforehand, well, tough shit.

  6. This guy doing the second reading has been afflicted with the unfortunate disease of mumbletone.

  7. “God was in Christ to reconcile the world to himself, and the reconciliation he has entrusted to us”. Boy, was he wrong.

  8. Dammit, missed the gospel. Priest’s speech:

    • “We did not choose to be in a relationship with God, God chose us. […] He has given us so much love, he sent his son down to humble us. […] whether we accept him or not.” Sounds like an abusive boyfriend.

    • “He loves all his children”. Except all the sinners he created that he sent to hell. And Satan. He probably really hates that guy.

    • “We are all brothers and sisters.” He’s right on this one. But not because of Adam and Eve, or our relationship with God, but because we are all one species that has evolved this way. We should treat each other with love, not because God told us to, but because it feels good, and ultimately because altruism is a huge factor in human and individual survival.

  9. I’ve noticed there is a lot more mystical singing going on with this new priest.

  10. They went around at the end for a second round of donations. A SECOND ROUND.

  11. Pat checked his phone and had no service. How funny.

  12. My mom’s friend came up to us and said “Congratulations!” to me. What did I do now?

  13. Saw some reserved seating at the back of the church. How come no one told me you can call in advance, and reserve spots closest to the exits?


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 9


  1. People have their own donation envelopes?!

  2. Oh no, they have murmuring Melvin doing the introductions.

  3. Hey, a new Asian priest, I guess they must have “transferred” the other guy after a settlement was reached (watch Spotlight for reference).

  4. “Let us pway”.

  5. Psalm 98: Lord comes to rule the world with justice. He must have never showed.

  6. Such fast-read, monotone readings. Even people participating in the mass want to get the hell out of here.

  7. Gospel: a story about loyalty despite the consequences.

    • Jesus gives a warning to the Israelites, essentially saying the end of the times are coming, and to have faith in the Lord for strength.

    • He talks about capital punishment, and plagues befalling on them, but that faith in God is all they need.

    • This cult following is despicable; it stops people from doing the actual thinking, devising options and weighing out what the best course of action should be. Deciding that God will solve our problems hinders us from coming up with real solutions to the many problems that we have caused.

  8. Priest’s speech: related story to the American election and how Americans are trying to move to Canada. He’s right on this, Americans now need to stand together and remain loyal to the idea of a democratic society, and hold their new government accountable for what they choose to do. Very clever, Reverend Chan.

  9. All song titles are how God is the embodiment of love, hope, mercy, salvation, etc., all the good stuff. God cannot be any of the bad things in this world, though, can he?

  10. When getting communion, how much wine are you supposed to drink? It’s such a small cup (sorry Chalice), seems like all you can do is dip your tongue in there for everyone to potentially have a share.

  11. Yet another second round of donation collection! Dammit, all we have left to give is Mom’s old lady candies.

  12. “You may now go in peace.” Lady leaves immediately.


A Scientist’s Wandering Mind During Sunday Mass Pt. 10

  1. Arrived 30 minutes early to beat the Christmas crowd. This is going to be a long one folks.

  2. New church location downtown: St. Patrick’s Basilica. At least this one has nice pictures along with walls and ceiling.

  3. Dad gave the two homeless gentlemen outside the church some spare change. Prime location, I must say.

  4. People taking group photos at the bench in front of me. Awkward face in 3..2..1..

  5. Pretty quiet here before the ma… Oh fuck, that’s a high-pitched choir singer.

  6. There’s a wreath at the front with candles. Man lights candles. Man blows out candles. Probably thinking, “This is definitely a fire hazard”.

  7. Mass began early with a song. People confused whether to stand or sit.

  8. Freakin’ flute solo up in here!

  9. Random thought: Chanting and fancy robes in 15th century architecture, and no one thinks twice of it.

  10. First reading: “God redeemed Jerusalem”? Was it not, and still is, stolen from the Palestinian people?

  11. 2nd Random thought: Odd how intertwined Christianity is with the Middle-East and yet none of these people give much of a damn about that region.

  12. Gospel: bluntly stating, through poor cause and effect reasoning, that the world came from Godc Jesus is the human embodiment of God, and Jesus is our protector if the light and defender against the darkness (ie. good vs. evil).

    • Paraphrasing evidence for the validity of Jesus: he did not come as a ruler’s child with automatic power, but came as a weak, helpless child.

    • “God loves us because he left the paradise of heaven to walk among the world”. Yes, the dark world in which he created.

    • Overall message, I think, is that we are like Jesus, who is God, but also God’s children, like Jesus was God’s son, who was a human, though God is not human.

    • So we have to take it on faith that God is real and loves us, as to protect us from the “darkness” through which, if he is omnipotent and omniscient, created himself, or if it was there before him, contradicts everything; which is not love per se but more dependence out of “fear for the unknown”. This, to me, is motivation for the acquisition of knowledge to shed light on what we do not know, which I believe will lead to the realization that God is not essential for existence; a revelation that religion tries so hard to falsify and deter away from.

  13. Longest I’ve ever kneeled. Knees aren’t like they used to be. Any allusions to other topics are of your own sick mind.

  14. Received Communion. Forgot how dry and thin those cheap crackers were. I mean the body of Christ is.

  15. Random couple appeared in the seat in front of us. You see, the people originally sitting there had the intellect to leave early. Smart bastards.

  16. Annnnnnnnnnnd Mom spit on the sidewalk outside.

  17. Hey, those people that left early are just hanging around outside. I take my compliment back.


“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson