The Temple of the Most High

This blog post is in response to a question posed to a friend of mine who neatly deflected it to me.

“What’s wrong with the cathedral in LA? Isn’t the church about the people and not the building? Or is it a case of the people loving the tabernacle more than what’s inside?”

This post is going to be very long, as it will delve into what makes a church a church, the current guidelines for how to build a church, why churches ought to have guidelines for being built, and finally why the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, aka the Taj Mahoney, is U-G-L-Y, with no alibi and definite cause to call for it to be extensively renovated or perhaps just scrapped and sold for as much money as the diocese can get for the materials.

Until I finish writing it, I have a visual activity for you. These buildings, found through a few casual Google image searches, are either churches or utilitarian spaces (i.e. not churches at all). Can you tell which is which? I will bake the favorite cookies of whoever gets all the answers right, and NO FAIR searching on the internet! Use your best judgment.


Looks like a sandcrawler had a baby with an octopus if you ask me.


I think the architect must have played with antigravity alphabet blocks as a kid.


That awkward moment when you find out your species aren't compatible for mating.














The questions to ponder are these: Should churches look distinctively like churches? What do churches look like as opposed to other buildings? What does (or should!) the appearance of a church say to the people who look at it? Feel free to discuss in the comments while I finish reading architecture articles and documents.


About kittenchan

I'm a Roman Catholic, conservative creative writing major with a penchant for cooking, crafting, and geek subcultures. View all posts by kittenchan

2 responses to “The Temple of the Most High

  • Loretta

    1 utilitarian
    2 church
    3 utilitarian
    4 church
    5 church
    6 gotta be a church
    7 utilitarian
    8 church
    9 looks like a tourist spot
    10 utilitarian
    11 utilitarian
    12 church or obsertory
    13 church
    14 office but i think there’s a reflection of a cross
    15 gaming field
    16 church
    but then I don’t know …..
    ((i suspect that given the topic, these all might be churches just to mess with us!)

  • Aunty Em

    1. looks like a sci-fi building from the far future; the windows remind me of the glasses Calvin (of “Calvin and Hobbes” fame) wore in some of his sci-fi adventures.

    2. what a colossal waste of building materials! I can’t begin to imagine what such an ugly building could possibly be used for.

    3. Well, the older building might have been a church at some time or other, but it could also have been a court-house-cum-dungeon. The steel-and-glass thing looks like the outer-space aliens who were transporting it here had a malfunction with the crane setting it down.

    4. a college classroom building — the darkrooms for the College of Photography.

    5. this one has to be a church; the bell tower gives it away — unless it’s a Taco Bell for the rich and famous!

    6. first impression: a “church”, although it looks like the BACK of the building…

    7. If THAT’S a church, is that Jacob’s ladder there in the middle?

    8. Either an old warehouse or manufacturing plant that was converted to a church (else what’s the spire for?)

    9. first impression: I’ve seen something like that before; it looks too much like a tourist welcome center than a church, but what with the Catholic churches being turned into “welcoming places”, I have my doubts.

    10. That has to be an office building, an apartment house, or a modern college dormitory — I HOPE!!

    11. That looks like a building from a 1950’s movie, so I’m going for utilitarian. On the other hand, if it *is* a church, it gives new meaning to the phrase “putting God in a box.”

    12. ??? I’m going out on a limb — a church??

    13. First impression, church; second impression, musuem?

    14. How on earth can people live, work, or worship in such ugly buildings??(In other words, I have no clue.)

    15 I *think* that is a church. I *hope* it isn’t.

    16. Somehow or other, I think that is not a church.

    Woof. I hope I don’t have nightmares about these tonight!

    Aunty Em

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