It is a fact. Poland is full of freaky Christians. And I am not talking about the evangelical types inhabiting the bible belt of the US southern states who like to clap and dance and on occasion join a cult or stick a ‘Jesus loves my ma’ sticker on the boot of their car. I’m talking about the fundamentalist freaks. The ones who fuck up the state by blindly voting for the party that their local priest is sodomising. The ones who never actually question the need for separating the church from the state (wake up Poland!!!). The ones who spend their last pennies of their pension on petrol for the brand swanking Merc their fat priest is driving. AND the ones who spend weeks on pilgrimages, at the ripe age of 16, when they should be getting pissed and listening to loud guitar with their friends. Ok, or some raw NWA or whatever the equivalent is today.
Yes, welcome to the annual Pilgrimage to the ShiningMountain!! August is the month where presbyteries across Poland motivate their ‘flock’ and organise ‘excursions’ to the Hill in Czestochowa, where an old painting of the Madonna is hung (Poland’s patron and some would say the Pope’s only mistress. Yeah yeah, everyone knows John Paul II had a thing for Mary). Kids young and old, don comfortable shoes, sing hymns, hold hands, communally pray and walk for weeks across Poland to reach the Hill, AND PRAY SOME MORE. They cross villages, forests and streams all for Jesus. Or Mary. And for a bit of snogging action when the priests aren’t looking. The ‘faithful’ sleep in tents or are put up at local houses in various villages, fed and are sent on their way. People, usually equally freaky Christians who are too old to do the walk themselves, open their homes and hearts and dress the streets in flowers for the ‘youth who will save Poland’. From what? Progress!
We were on our way to Warsaw when I saw this phenomenon in action. I wet my pants with excitement and nearly fell out of the car when taking happy snaps. The traffic would come to a halt, watch the freak show, read the banners (the pilgrimage participants have their own banner representing the town that they are from), toot in support, or gape at the fucked-upness of it all. I did. Then I turned to Michal and said: “if our kid ever tells us he wants to go on a pilgrimage, I will punch him”. Screw tolerance.
freaks in action. Check out the portable speakers they carry. So god can hear them.