I know I probably shouldn't be blogging this, at least on a Sunday, at least on a sunny Sunday afternoon when the woodland birds are chirping sweetly through my screen door...but I just have to rant here, folks
Rant #1: This one's been building up for a long time. It concerns the front lawn of a church I pass by every day on my way to work -- a church that shall remain nameless, but one of the larger churches in Outer Podunk. (I'd love to post a photo of what I'm about to describe, so you can get the full aesthetic effect, but it's probably not a good idea for me to be leaning out of my car snapping photos during rush hour.) Directly in front of the church, facing the highway, is a large wrought-iron archway, flanked on one side by the American flag and on the other by the so-called "Christian" flag. The archway reads: "GATEWAY TO CHRIST." On the other side of the arch are two church bells, which I assume are mementos from two congregations that merged to form this one -- faintly reminiscent of two Liberty Bells -- surrounded by evergreen shrubs.
What does this mean? I'm serious. What in the hell does any of this mean? Symbolically speaking, it's a theological trainwreck. I can only hope that it really doesn't mean anything other than some unfortunate member bequest to the church. As in, "Dear God in heaven, please don't let Mrs. Sunderquist donate her tatted Precious Moments tapestries to the church sanctuary."
Rant #2: Good news: We hear from Mama Wolf of the Children Raised By Wolves, who'd been evicted, and moved to a trailer park in the next county. More good news, or so we think: The children are going to church now. "What church is that?" asks Fellow Traveler. "I dunno," quoth Mama. "Somebody came around with a bus and asked if they could take the kids to church. And I said yes, because I could use a few hours to myself." Fellow Traveler: "How could you just send your kids onto some strange church bus when you don't even know what kind of church it is?" Mama: "I dunno. They, like, brought the kids back." (True quote.)
Fast-forward a week. Fellow Traveler gets another call from Mama Wolf. First Mama, unsurprisingly, asks for money; could we lend her some cash, if she gave us some of her food stamps to "hold" until the first of the month? Or could she borrow our Paypal account information so that her husband can buy some model cars (not for the kids -- for himself) off the Internet? After receiving a resounding NO on both counts, as well as a warning that FT lives with a mandated reporter, Mama asks us if we'll go to church with the oldest son -- because the church he attends (whatever church that is -- the one with the bus that brings him back) has the kids in a contest to see how many other people they can bring to church with them. Other children are worth two points; adults are worth five points. The kid who earns the most points wins a paintball gun. Mama Wolf and her husband will not go with the son, because "We don't believe in religion."
The entire issue of Mama and Papa Wolf aside...what the hell -- what the ******* hell -- kind of church would involve kids in this kind of contest, with this kind of reward?
Probably the kind that doesn't want Fellow Traveler and me adulterating its "family values" with our presence.
I feel better now. My molar enamel has worn off a little, but I feel better.