Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gregg Allman: "After all I’ve been through, I can’t help but feel I’ve been redeemed, over and over."

Mockingbird just finished reading Gregg Allman's memoir and shares some of his story about finding God. Which includes this interesting tidbit.
At one point I was going to convert to Catholicism, but they had so many rules. I have to say that the Catholic Church is very much about who has the nicest suit, the valet parking–too much about the money. I don’t think you have to dress up or show God a bunch of gold for him to forgive you your sins, love you, and guide you. Then I went to an Episcopal church in Daytona, and it just felt right. The Episcopal Church isn’t about gimme, gimme, gimme. The Episcopalians are like enlightened Catholics. They have the faith, but they’re a little more open-minded.
I was thinking, "What Catholic church did this guy visit? " Doubtless there are Catholic churches like that but even ours, which has leanings toward Gregorian chant and kneeling at the altar rail, also sees its fair share of families in shorts, blue collar workers and the dispossessed even at the most formal masses.

Strange Herring (where I came across the story) says it better, as always:
So look, if he found some kind of spiritual peace at an Episcopal church, God bless. But I do wonder what Catholic church he wandered into. Not that I have a dog in this fight. And I’ve known some Catholic parishes — in Manhattan and even in London — where you’d think every Sunday was the wedding of Count Romeo to Lady Juliet. But I’ve also been in Catholic churches where it may as well have been the parish of Our Lady of the Alien Homeless. It’s sorta funny that an Episcopalian church is seen as the “everyman’s” church. If ever there was a status-conscious denomination, good gravy. Once upon a time, the church use to rent pews to families, and the more you gave, the closer you were allowed to be to the action (and the farther from hoi polloi).
I base my knowledge of Episcopalians strictly on my grandmother and the few times I accompanied her to church. So, that may not be strictly accurate, but Strange Herring's take is similar.

Well, wherever he wound up, I'm glad he wound up somewhere.


  1. While the Catholic Church asks for a weekly donation, it's hardly high pressure and they accept anything. And who has the nicest suit? He should come and see what people wear at my church. I agree I have no idea what he's basing it on. At least though he found God. I'm happy for him there. I do like their music.

  2. True, enough! To be fair to Allman, if his search was in the '70s there may still have been a bit more dressing up in church. I've noticed that it is only in the last 15 years that "casual Sunday" is the norm in the parishes I attended in SoCal. Essentially, you can come to Communion in shorts and a rock band Tshirt and no one thinks twice unless you're an usher or lector.
    - El Dorado

  3. Anonymous ... I accidentally deleted your comment pointing to a link on religious indifferentism. Sorry!

    My response: Are you saying it would be better to have him remain an atheist than to find faith somewhere other than in the Catholic Church? Because that is the choice he had: atheist, Catholic or where he wound up. He eliminated Catholic. So which do you prefer? Atheist or somewhere else?

    1. Link to the Sermon given August 5 2012 entitled "Heresy of Religious Indifferentism" by Fr.Rodriguez listed on their right side column under "Recent Sermons". Only 20 minutes long but a must listen for all Christians. +++jcd

    2. You didn't answer my question ...