where the writers are
The Daily Sam: Anaheim—the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy

I am in Anaheim, California attending the annual Religion Education Congress, a convention sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The Congress is the nation’s largest annual gathering of Roman Catholics. Just short of 40,000 people are expected to attend the event at the Anaheim Convention Center, the place where dreams are made.

I am here representing HarperOne, promoting the books we publish that are of interest to Catholics. My plan for accomplishing this is to conduct the largest Easter egg hunt ever throughout the city of Anaheim.

Or maybe not. Being in Anaheim provokes silliness—perhaps it is the proximity to Disneyland, where you enter the “world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” Uncle Walt wanted us to think about anything but reality, so he could take our money.

A lot of conventions blow through Anaheim. The IRS (a group that is not lost in fantasy) is having one at a nearby hotel, which reminds me that tax time is coming. People, its time we created a new political party, but not the Tea Party—what the hell does tea have to do with anything? We should start the Jack Daniels Party and throw all our alcoholic beverages into Boston Harbor in rebellion against heavy taxation.

Unlike the IRS people, the Catholics are very loveable. There are 15,000 Catholic youth here eating humongous quantities of pizza. And I haven’t seen this many nuns in years. Nuns, like clowns, are both funny and scary.

The other exhibitors are people selling books, items for ritual, artwork, tchotchkes, magazines, educational materials, or are here to spread some message. A hot book at this event is The Handbook for Catholic Moms by Lisa Hendey, Founder of CatholicMom.com. Not far from where I am standing is a booth called the “Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.” Another booth is called “Restore Justice.com” and near that is one called “A Thread of Hope Guatamalen Fair Trade.”

The people here appear to be good people, if you are a naïve fool. Fortunately, super-patriot journalist Glenn Beck is on the job. Recently, Beck exposed the ugly truth about many American Christians. “I have a list,” he said, waving around a piece of paper, “of members of the Communist Party and a spy ring who are practicing Christians.” Beck is all about defending freedom in America. He explained that we should watch for Christians who use suspicious words like “social” and “justice;” you can be sure they are un-American. The paper he waved around, by the way, was a receipt from an expensive dinner he had on his FOX expense account.

I need to go now, but not before reporting a disturbing development here at the Religious Education Congress: a group called “Catholic Mortuaries” has a booth right near mine, but it is completely empty—no furniture, no signs, nothing.

I think I see dead people.

4 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

Lovable Catholics

I don't know how lovable I am but, I am Catholic. I have several great religious books with Harper on the binding. I'm a little confused though about the message here. Do you have to be a naive fool to believe that Catholics are good people? I guess I'm touchy because living in the Bible Belt, where there aren't a lot of us, when I tell people that I'm Catholic the first thing they bring up, of course, is how all Priests are pedophiles. Then I'm asked how I can belong to a Church that condones this behavior. I've given up trying to explain it to people. I'm also not sure why Glen Beck would be at a Catholic convention since he belongs to the LDS Church.

Comment Bubble Tip

Hi Cindy

That was a joke. It's Glenn Beck I'm making fun of--not Catholics.
Peace and love,

Comment Bubble Tip

I understand

I guess I get a little touchy. You wouldn't believe the things we Catholics get asked. I went on a date with a fellow that I had known for a while as a friend. He knew where I went to Church and I knew he was Baptist. At the end of our date he asked me if it was true that Catholics did animal sacrifices at Mass. He was dead serious. I told him, just as seriously, no but occasionally we liked to roast a good Baptist which we had not done in a while and would he like to come to Mass with me next Sunday? He didn't ask me out anymore. I love your blog and your writings really make me think. Glenn Beck drives me crazy sometimes also because he gets so worked up! Thank you for your response and reading my comment. Keep up the excellent work!

Comment Bubble Tip

Thanks Sam!

Sam, thanks so very much for your mention of my book and website on your blog! It was great to meet you at Congress. I loved your description of the event - it was a great weekend. Hope to connect with you some time soon.