Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Skit-tish in Church

The recent seemingly random church shooting in Illinois is, of course, a sad and shocking thing.

Something that struck me as more than passing strange, though, were the comments by worshippers that, when the gunman started shooting, they initially thought they were witnessing a skit.


What sort of wacko church would stage a fake mass shooting as a skit?

Does anyone else find this expectation bizarre?

I know I live in a fairly tidy little Lutheran coccoon -- stand, sit, gather, send, "And also with you" -- but what do other people do in church, exactly?


Teri said...

umm, we do have dramas and skits and dances (and we're Presbyterians!) but we would never have anything involving real or mock violence. Ever. These people are strange.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

In this state, a building's owner may post a sign [certain size, certain type face] at the door saying guns are banned on these premises. Churches have protested, the reasoning being that the state is telling the church exactly what it can and can't do. Like a sign is going to stop a whacko anyway.

We've had skits in church, although usually for the Sunday School program, for example, but not as a regular part of worship. Or that should be WORSHIP!

Chris Duckworth said...

I didn't know how to raise this question tactfully, but you have done so, my sister! Thank you.

-C said...

I found myself wondering the same thing:

Auntie Knickers said...

Several years ago, there was a bit of a flap in MN when one of the more conservative Presby. churches had a staged "attack" at its church camp. Armed men (masked too perhaps) burst into the tents or whatever and were supposedly going to kill the Christians. Maybe that's what they thought was going on here.

Verdugo said...

I think the most reasonable explanation is not that they were "expecting" or "used" to staged attacks but rather more simply that they were NOT used to real life gunman bursting into their church to murder their pastor. Under such circumstances one's brain automatically reaches for all sorts of alternative explanations. It's called "stunned disbelief". I find it rather inappropriate and mean-spirited for us to speculate on the worship practices of these traumatized congregants based on their immediate, shocked responses.

southernbooklover said...

Well, I must share this story about "church skits" - forgive me if it's a bit long.

Many years ago (late '70's/early '80s), my family church (a progressive Cooperative Baptist church within the city limits of Atlanta) staged a skit where, at the 4th of July service, stormtroopers came roaring into the church, disrupting the service, flashing weapons, threatening to shoot us, etc.

One of my older sisters crouched down and started screaming. Somehow, I knew it wasn't real - don't know how. It just couldn't be real.

This "skit" was supposed to teach us to appreciate the liberties we were assumed to be taking for granted.

Mind you, this came a few years after Martin Luther King Jr's mother, Alberta, was murdered during a church service in downtown Atlanta.

This was before Atlanta became such a "big international city." We had weathered the civil rights years with little urban violence and had buried Dr. King knowing we followed his creed.

This "skit" seemed to many like a new reality.

To say it was in poor taste is a gross understatement. Although only a teenager at the time, I wrote the pastor a letter who replied w/ a boring letter of apology.

So, unfortunately, skits like this exist. And it's a cruel shame.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I gave a sermon once which began with a dramatic telling of a story about a "real" invasion of a church by some soldiers. I think the message was clear with out the skit being necessary.