SPEAKING MY MIND
Never one to hold back,
even at the ever-so-proper
Council of Churches.
An abnormal annual worship
of all churches and temples
joined in the fight against hunger.
See, it was “ecumenical,”
which in the interim director’s mind
meant “Don’t offend Jews and Muslims
by even mentioning Jesus.” So we
gather in a lavish Catholic church,
and there’s a big old Corpus at the altar.
Jesus, dangling from a ginormous cross,
bloody side and all, eyes downturned,
but the director deleted his name.
Two days later, at a staff meeting,
everyone was grumbling about how
Jesus wasn’t invited to the party,
when 22 churches, a synagogue, and
a Muslim temple sent reps. “Politically
correct” was the term of the day…
…until the Director entered the room.
Then a hush. Then she asked, “Does anyone
have any thoughts about the worship?”
I looked around the table. Twenty people
shifted in their chairs. I raised my hand.
“Barbara, it was lavish but awful. You didn’t mention
the name of the real director of the Council of
Churches once.” She blanched. Crickets chirped
and people looked at me but didn’t say jack.
As though educating me, she crowed, “This was
an ecumenical service. I don’t think you understand
what that means.” And OF COURSE I had to say:
“I’m not a moron. Ecumenism is embrace of ALL faiths,
meeting on common ground. So you should have
included Jesus, Moses, AND the Prophet Mohammed.
“There was a big bloody Jesus nailed on the cross.”
(The others waited, breath bated. I was going to quit anyway.)
“The service was crap, but nobody seems to want to tell you that.”
You’a thought the roof would fall in or
lightening would strike me as I left, box of personals in hand.
But no, it WAS the First Horse of the Apocalypse,
the Horse that, incidentally, took a large dump on
the Director as it raced by, headed for the White House
so George W. Bush could get the next load.
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
This is a true story, written for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads (roof caves in) and using words from Three Word Wednesday. Of course I was not medicated for my bipolar, so I probably would have used more proper language had it been today… but I still would have railed against her condescension and called her out on offending hundreds of Christian volunteers, as well as raising eyebrows with both the rabbi and the Imam! Speaking truth to power is never easy, but it can be a helluva lot of fun!! Peace, Amy
December 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm
You shy delicate flower, you!
Well done, SLP! As a member of a minority faith, in something like that, I’m always happy when the icons of each faith are all acknowledged and appreciated.
December 13, 2012 at 11:37 pm
Loving God however we see him (her or them) has become so divisive, which somehow seems to lose the point. Hopefully each of us needs someone to talk to and guide us but sadly we are not good listeners as we keep on shouting nonsense ourselves and miss the point of the message.
December 14, 2012 at 5:13 am
Very disappointed that you were so shy .;-) It’s a delicate balancing act, fer sure
December 14, 2012 at 5:27 am
You go, girl! Too many people are content to go with the flow.. Sure I’m all for religions looking for the common ground on common ground, but why should one fear to offend another by standing up for one’s own religion?
December 14, 2012 at 5:28 am
I’ve never been quite good at speaking my mind, but I agree there are times when it is fundamentally important. it is definitely important to have a voice; nice verse.
December 14, 2012 at 6:24 am
I am glad you speak..it makes me smile..I think people confuse speaking up with irreverence..I think it’s about asking questions..firmly shaking the hand of the elephant in the room..or trunk! From what I know of Jesus..that’s how he came to end up on that big bloody cross..
December 14, 2012 at 7:23 am
ha. when i worked in the church, there was def some political battles….i will say we were given free reign to say if we did not like it or to challenge ideas though if we felt they were off base….i also dont think respecting each other means ‘dont ask, dont tell’
December 14, 2012 at 7:58 am
Oh girl, you’re just like me, the only one willing to point at the elephant in the room and say “dafuq?”
The line about Dubya cracked me up.
December 14, 2012 at 9:33 am
I applaud your bravery for even attending such an event. Haven’t entered a church myself in over forty years because of that sort of thinking. I would have thought the whole point of gathering people of different faiths was to emphasize how much they have in common, which would include their beliefs in their own deities, not exclude it. Sometimes you just have to speak up.
December 14, 2012 at 11:52 am
hmm…never one to hold back…? never would have guessed that of you. 😉 It is amazing the amount of idiocy that is perpetrated in the name of ‘fairness’ and ‘political correctness’ and fear of ‘offending’
December 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm
I love your work because it weaves personal tales stitched together with common threads. We all know this feeling of condescension in the guise of acceptance. Acknowledging it, giving it a name, requires bravery and confidence. You ARE bravery and confidence!
December 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm
you sure told them .
December 15, 2012 at 5:43 am
IN no uncertain terms, yes, Amy! They ought not just to be told but to be told off! The lone voice needs not just to talk but to force others to listen to be heard. Nicely Ma’am!
December 18, 2012 at 11:07 am
The director needed a bit of humility. The best Councils have people that DON’T think alike and are free to speak their hearts/minds. I agree – all should have been welcomed IN THEIR NAME, not in the silence of “getting along”.