Saturday, April 14, 2012

Christian Brunch

This morning we went to brunch at The Loft, a little place on the first floor of a building on Smith Street.
What my wife hadn't noticed when she made our reservation was that this was a Christian establishment, which meant there were crucifixes everywhere, and half the room was occupied by a man giving a lecture on Christ and photography.

Well, I don't mean he was debating whether our Lord and Saviour favoured Canon over Nikon, or believed Instagram was the work of the devil, or contested whether there's a holy trinity of lens, body and flashgun. That would be rather more theology than required on a Saturday morning. The photographer would show a photo, talk about it, then talk about Jesus, then everyone would sing, and then the circuit breaker would trip and all the lights would go out.

This happened on a fifteen minute loop for about two hours: bit of photography, bit of religion, bit of a sing-song, and then *thump*, shortly before we got back to photography again.

I'm not a big fan of brunch: if you're going to have breakfast for lunch, you should really have breakfast for breakfast too, rather than wasting an opportunity for a meal. I'm also not big on talking at breakfast, but I'm also not in favour of trying to compete for volume with a religious person. You're not going to outshout somebody with God on their side.

So that meant that we were sat there, running the risk of being accidentally proselytised, while I bit my lip and tried not to yell out something unhelpful about the rule of thirds not being immutable and there being occasions where it was artistically viable to have your subject in the centre of the frame. Oh, and when my breakfast arrived, they'd interpreted "hold the bacon and give me more mushrooms" as "hold the mushrooms and give me more bacon". Breakfast isn't an example of progressive revelation, where a vengeful Old Testament bowl of porridge gives way to a forgiving New Testament fruit smoothie.

I'm not even going to approach what other religions might have to say about bacon sandwiches.

We had brunch with friends, who brought along a 6-month old child. It was quite happy to listen to the religion, although it didn't like it when I pointed out some of the issues with a Manichean view of the universe or the tensions inherent in the Gospels, but then children are never as interested in that sort of thing as you'd expect. At least I didn't make it cry by demonstrating life to be essentially meaningless and absurd.

But now I'm wondering: is there anything in particular that a Christian brunch should include? Should we all have had Eggs Benedictine? Or just bread and wine?


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