I find it deeply unsettling that this is the only really critical comment. I was enthused about this idea, as are most of the other commentators, before reading your comment. The obviousness of this criticism (it’s something that I’ve said to Catholics before, for goodness’ sake) combined with the fact that it didn’t occur to anyone else, including me, has rather put me off the idea. Certainly this points only to my own vulnerability, but I don’t know what to suggest that would salvage this idea from the rather sinister position it now occupies in my mind.
It may help you to know that I’ve received a few critical comments as private messages (and through the anonymous feedback box I posted to the NYC group mailing list).
It may also be.… settling? (un-unsettling?) to know that when the actual ritual book is posted, you will see that the very first rule written down is that each year, every ritual must be re-evaluated, and at least one ritual that has not been previously modified must be modified. Exact wording of this rule is a little up in the air (specific letters of the law might produce weird consequences I didn’t intend), but I very much intended the spirit of the law—that nothing should ever become sacred to the point that you cannot let it go—to be built into the core of the event.