July 9, 2012 ‐ By Charing Ball
Back in the good ole days, we would likely only find these ladies posted up on the front row of the church pew, passing out things on train station platforms and leaving badly recorded outgoing answering machine messages with the entire Rough Side of the Mountain album playing in the background. Back then, all you had to do was turn up your Walkman or pretend to be looking elsewhere when they tried to approach you with Christ’s mercy. But thanks to the marvels of technology, the church lady has gone digital and she is spreading her fear based message of fire, brimstone and damnation to social networking sites and comment sections alike all across the blogosphere. I understand that as Christians, you are taught that evangelization is part of your faith. However, when a person sneezes and instead of a simple, “God Bless you” you say, “In the name of the almighty and powerful Yahweh, I rebuke you Satan and your heart-stopping copulations,” it tends to make people feel a bit uncomfortable. First, there is the pressure that comes with knowing that a simple ‘thank you’ doesn’t even seem that sufficient enough of a response. And secondly, Satan is no more of the cause of your sneezing than the dust in your room (Oh and your heart doesn’t stop beating when you sneeze. That is actually an old wives tale, probably created by Satan). But you can’t tell the church lady that – or anything for that matter.I was debating whether or not I should write about this because it is likely to ruffle some feathers and spawn accusations of being anti-Christian. However, I’m certain that every religion has fundamentalist folks just like the church lady I speak of. And I’m certain that there is probably a Middle Eastern lady with plenty of snark under her hijab, blogging the same thing on Madame Brown about Muhammad and his “everything is Šayṭān” quoting behind. Likewise, if I were an actual Satan worshiper who likes to post lengthy odes and retorts about the greatness of Beelzebub across the blogosphere, I’m sure many of my religious friends would be the first people to call me out on it. So, in that same vein, you too have to appreciate that not everyone is interested in worrying 24 hours a day that the Lord is watching them or even being converted – especially when they are perfectly happy being the godless heathens they are. People share anything and everything on social networking site, from what we ate for breakfast to what they are watching on TV, even down to the strange, interesting and most times routine things that happen to us throughout the day. And if religion just so happens to be the central part of a person’s life, it is expected that they would want to share that as well. To that I say God Bless You – and I mean that seriously. However, I also believe that there is a difference between speaking of the light and actually walking in it. If all you do is broadcast about Jesus all day, something tells me you haven’t quite figured out how to work his message into your life on a daily basis. And if your reverence and piety for Christ – and all his flawed children – stops at Mark Zuckerberg’s question of “What’s on your mind,” then I’m pretty sure you’re doing God’s message of mercy, love and forgiveness wrong.
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