I had a dream. Perhaps it was a nightmare. Or a vision. I was in church and I was told to wear a dress. I couldn’t participate unless I wore one. I found this absurd, but I had no say; there was no choice. Good people—it was strongly implied—would wear it. It is to protect the cross-dressers in our midst, their feelings, their emotions, their fears—as a display of solidarity with those who wear the dress. It is for our health; it is a good idea to wear it. I was assured it was for the best, that it was for the love of others that I should wear it.
I wanted communion, I wanted confession, I wanted the sacraments that the church is there for; but I couldn’t, if I wouldn’t wear a dress. It wasn’t scripture or tradition, nor canon law, nor anything to do with church that blocked me; it was an imposition from this world’s ruler imposed upon me, upon our church, barring me from participation in the Lord. No, not of the spirit, but of the flesh. But you are wrong, I am told, it is love of neighbor to wear the dress; it is obedience, it is asceticism, and this is the essence of the church.
Was it my fault then, did I only have myself to blame? The solution is so clear; just wear a dress. What’s the problem? There is no problem. Nobody is preventing you from anything; just wear a dress, and enjoy the sacraments, or whatever else you desire. And it’s been proven that wearing a dress is best, so you should comply. So, stop being a baby, stop whining, and stop your complaining; just do what we tell you. Wear a dress!
So I wore a dress. I didn’t like it, but I wore it, so I could rejoin the church. But then it wasn’t enough; next, we had to wear makeup, then words were forbidden, and logical thoughts were the next casualty, in a stream of new injunctions. All for our benefit, it is said, all for our health, all for our security, and for the love of others. And it was clear to everyone—I guess—that only narcissists or fanatics would complain about these measures. Lord, I only want communion, I only want the bread and the wine. Why all of these extravagant demands, appended, to the essence and purity of your Holy Church? Why can’t I come to you anymore, dear Lord, without all of these extraneous rules?
I looked for an ally, but I had none. I was alone in my distress. Empathy abounded, but none for me. I had become life’s problem child. Tantrums and time-outs, and then some tears for a life and a world that has disappeared. I suppose, eventually, that I awoke from that nightmare, as is natural—to awaken. Though I can’t be certain. I’m living in a new dream, one that doesn’t require I wear a dress, if I don’t want to. No, now I must wear an absurd mask and take a questionable vaccine, if I’d like to participate. Much better. I see that the nightmare continues.