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August 6th, 2002

church people

My dad got back from Spain yesterday. He goes for a week or so once every summer. Has for the past six years or so. He goes with some other people from his church. They hand out religious pamphlets to the people who are crossing the border to and from Morocco/Africa because that country doesn't allow people to be missionaries there. So I guess they get them coming and going instead.

I'm happy for him. He feels like he's doing the right thing. I'm not sure whether or not I agree with it. It's not like they're forcing the material on people. They're just offering free literature and they leave anything else up to the person. It's not like they're running around with delivery trucks with violent pictures painted on the sides, forcing people to look. And he has fun when he goes.

Last night we went to the airport to greet him. Tandra and I went and met my mom, sister, and nephew. As usual, there were a group of people from the church as well. The church I grew up in but no longer attend. Lots of good-to-see-you's and haven't-seen-you-in-a-while's.

Remember in like second grade when you were at the store with your mom and you looked over and saw someone else from your second grade class? Like, the first time that ever happened? And you were all surprised and said "Hey! I know you! You're in my class!" As though the other kid didn't already know this? And then, the next day at school, you're like suddenly friends with that person for an hour or so, going "I saw you at the store." As though the other kid didn't already know this?

This is what I equate all these people at the airport to. I think they go to church next Sunday going "hey, I saw you at the airport. You and I and the other few people that are there, we REALLY have faith. We took time out of our WEEKDAY time and even put on t-shirts with religious slogans to go to the airport and be good little churchgoers.

I realize that it's not so elementary in their minds. They are just thinking "hey, these guys have had a long week, let's go show our support for what they're doing. They're doing GOD's work." Which is fine, I don't fault them for it at all. It just makes it a bit awkward for me because having grown up with these people and unconsciously associating them with the whole "you should feel guilty if you're not being a good Christian" and having them suddenly around again makes me feel like they probably think I'm a backslidden sinner (which I suppose technically I am, according to their beliefs). I feel the weight of their stares, so to speak, even though I'm sure that's completely in my head.

My point is, they're not a bunch of mindless followers like I make them out to be. That's just my way of making myself feel better about the whole situation. I actually felt a bit possessive yesterday, like "go away church people and let me talk to my dad who has been gone for a week and a half. He will tell you about Spain later."

I need church therapy.

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I like this one.

Sharpenhoe Clappers, nr Luton, Bedfordshire. Reported 15th July.

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