I know better than to talk about religion, yet here I go.
A minister friend once reassured me in my stumbling faith, “Would you really want a God you could understand?” I “got” that. If we are so sure we know what God thinks, that puts Her/Him on our level and that’s waaaay too scary to contemplate. God’s gotta be smarter than that.
What I don’t get are people who are so certain they have all the answers that they use their religion as a club. I mean that both ways, as in, “I’m part of this group and I’m going to beat you upside the head with it.”
Now that you know my point of reference, I have to tell you that I am baffled at some of the displays of religious fervor that I see here in the South. That is saying something, considering that my own first cousin had a neon “Jesus Died Here” sign in her front yard.
For instance, in the soda shop we frequent because it uses my favorite kind of finely crushed ice in its Diet Cokes, hangs a framed dollar bill bearing Jesus’ face instead of George Washington’s, right by the cash register and the tip jar. What, pray tell, is the message there?
On our ride to the beach, we travel along a street of beautiful old historic homes in one of the small towns on our route. One has had a very large wooden JESUS LOVES YOU sign in the front yard for years. Does having that sign there help the neighbors feel the love?
Further along the route is a big truck with a sign board on the side. The top line features a message that Jesus saves and beneath it, Storage lockers, $1. It makes for a fascinating mental image if you think about it.
When I was about ten years old, Congress added “…under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. I remember feeling confused, not because I didn’t believe in God, but because we were learning about how our forefathers left England in search of religious freedom…including the right to have no religion. Adding those words to the pledge didn’t make me feel more patriotic or more Christian. Not then, not now.
Back to our last trip to the beach:
When I couldn’t find a radio station that wasn’t political and/or religious, I simply stuck in a CD. The Jesus fish on business ads and company trucks? I don’t play Go Fish when I need a plumber. The church sign denouncing Halloween as a day for worshiping Satan? No surprise there.
It takes a lot to stop me in my tracks, but in a strip mall, between TJMaxx and Lowe’s Foods, a shop sign hawking nail care, belts, wigs, cosmetics, jewelry, hair extensions, purses, and more, gobsmacked me.
What th’. . . ?
I had to make a U-turn to look again at their sequential signs:
The next message featured a pink, sparkly JESUS is the answer, but was too light to photograph.
Next messages announced that they offered GIFT CARDS and Layaway.
Ah, the choices. . . ! Need some place to keep it all?
I know where you can rent a storage locker for a buck.