For Easter, I decided to go to a HUGE thing that a church I’ve never been to puts on. Evidently, it’s a yearly thing for Calvary Chapel Tucson to take over the Tucson Convention Center on Easter. They also fly in a band and do the whole thing up pretty fantastically.
So, there were the Newsboys, who I should evidently know, but I didn’t. And evidently the lead singer is actually from DC Talk, who I only know because of a book I read that they sponsored. And the lead singer was pretty spectacular because he was unashamedly enthusiastic. Also, he asked everybody for a Hallelujah and an Amen… then said, “That’s how we do it in the chocolate church.” I’ve since learned that that’s a thing he’s pretty fond of saying. Still, it made me smile.
And through the whole thing, I was pretty jazzed because the convention center was packed – significantly more so than I’ve ever seen it. You might be thinking, “Well, she’s probably only been to one or two things there.” Actually, when I was a softball superstar, I had to work the concession stands to fund raise for my travels and whatnot. So I was there for WWE (although it was still WCW at the time) and it wasn’t nearly as full as it was for the Resurrection Celebration.
Sermon was pretty standard. Which I like. Easter is one of those days throughout the year when everybody goes to church regardless of whether they believe or not.
Which is what I was thinking about when it happened.
Let’s back up.
Easter morning, I woke up and did not want to get up. I’d thrown a baby shower the afternoon/evening before, so my hair had been straightened and gelled, so I certainly wasn’t going to shower and wash it all out. And I’d worn a dress the day before, and received various compliments on my beauty… so I didn’t feel the need to wear a dress. Instead, I got up and put on an Easter-colored shirt, cardigan and Walmart jean shorts. I thought about wearing long pants, but Tucson is already pretty hot and I didn’t want to be in the middle of a packed arena, sweating through the sermon.
Evidently, that means I’m immodest.
Culturally, Tucson is the sort of place where you should really expect to see some flesh. I don’t say this to suggest that we throw modesty out the window (which some folks do) but I do say it because it’s the desert.
So there I am, all enthused because I’ve just been to a large Christian event that I actually liked, and there’s a dude standing outside waiting for us, holding a sign that says we’re all going to Hell.
I was pondering the oddity of the choice to stand outside a church service that would likely be attended by all manner of believer and non-… when he singled me out, yelling that my shorts were too short.
At the time, I gave him a thumbs up and said something like, “Great.” Steve was madder than I was. Now, I can’t stop being pissed at the guy – not even for what he said to me. I’ve made it past the decade mark in my faith, so while I’m not invincible, I am well-established, and his JA remark didn’t shake my faith in God so much as it pissed me off at Christians. Which, by the way, is one of the WORST thing that can probably happen to a non-believer.
Why do Christians spend so much time trying to make other people feel shitty?
That’s all he was doing.
He wasn’t truly trying to teach people about Jesus. His sign didn’t even mention Jesus in spite of the date on the calendar. What he yelled at me was pharisee-esque and not intended to edify me, him or anyone around us. He wasn’t trying to glorify God or help me. I think his goal was actually to make me feel shitty about myself.
But really, I just feel shitty about religion and that particular dude. I feel disappointed that I can’t honestly tell non-believers that they’ll like going to church or that they’ll be welcomed in. I’m not sure I actually enjoy going to church or feel welcomed in, and I’ve been a part of the church for 12 years now.
You couldn’t have said something about how Jesus overcame death? You couldn’t have sung about how Christ has risen from the dead? I know a song or two that seems pretty appropriate for Easter. You couldn’t even have stayed home and worshiped Jesus from your closet where you wouldn’t turn people off to Christianity?
I know that everyone reading this knows that guy was a Westboro wannabe loon. But I’m still pretty disappointed that anyone made it his goal on Easter to make another person feel shitty…. especially when she took the time to get up when she could have slept in, fight the traffic when she could have been drinking coffee and reading the paper, put on an Easter-colored shirt and cardigan, and sit amongst sweaty people in long pants (because they haven’t yet submitted to the heat).
Lesson of this year: Don’t try to make people feel shitty at church.
And yes, I’m a Christian who just used profanity and wears moderately short shorts to church. Both seemed pretty appropriate to me.