Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes


#191 See You At The Pole

posted by Stephanie Drury

syatp1.jpg
See You At The Pole Day is upon us. Not to be confused with See You Next Tuesday, it is an annual event in which students pray at the flagpole of their school before classes start. It’s touted as a great way to reach out to your school and minister to your friends and it happens to combine two of Christian culture’s favorite things: public spectacle in the name of evangelism, and the American flag.

I don’t mean to brag, but I participated in the first annual See You At The Pole in 1990. We held hands in a circle and prayed for the lost people at our public school with its liberal agenda and pro-evolution curriculum. People (pagans) hollered at us while we prayed, saying something to the effect that we thought we were better than they, which was true. When the bell rang we went to class feeling rather smug and keenly aware we had just Taken A Stand for our beliefs, eager for the persecution it would bring.



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Tucker

posted September 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm


oh god no. you just reminded me of something I thought I forgot for good.



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Amy

posted September 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm


Yup, 1990 was my first year of middle school and we did it too. Remember the t-shirts?
CAPTCHA – werrong words



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Lynn

posted September 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm


I didn’t know this was still going on, but then again it’s been a while since I was in high school. I participated in 1996 and 97, I think. I remember feeling superior to the neighboring school, which was only able to get half the number of Christians we did to meet at the pole. I guess that made us think our school/town was better because it had more dedicated Christians in it.
Who invents these Christian culture events and challenges, anyway? It seems they start out as this cool novel idea, but then it becomes this THING that makes you feel “less Christian” if you don’t do it.
Once in college we had a speaker come that I believe was trying to create a new Christian THING in order to sell books and videos about it. He came with a camera crew for a week and told us all to pray “God, surprise me,” and see what happened in our lives. Ideally, we would all share these amazing stories throughout the week and then I assume he’d take his show on the road. Fortunately, the challenge failed, as most of the students sensed how gimmicky it was and didn’t participate. That was probably the one proud moment I had for my fellow bible college students.



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Lynn

posted September 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm


Update: I found the book that the “Surprise me” guy wrote soon after he visited in spring of 2005. It’s called “Surprise Me: A 30-Day Faith Experiment.” Link here:
http://www.amazon.com/Surprise-Me-30-Day-Faith-Experiment/dp/B002YNS2BA/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1
My question now, as it was then, is why do you need to create an experiment to test God with if you’re already a believer? It’s like there’s this need to show off what God is doing in your life so you create these scenarios, desperately hoping God will show up and do something that you can tell everyone about. (My apologies for getting off-topic)



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Laura

posted September 22, 2010 at 8:06 pm


Woe be to anyone who does not want to participate in See You At The Pole. What kind of Christian are you!?
http://www.youthspecialties.com/blog/poll-will-you-participate-in-see-you-at-the-pole-this-year/



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Kent

posted September 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm


It’s sad that you felt like you were better than others who were not participating. I suppose anything we do for self centered reasons will have that effect. And I’m sure there are still, even 20 years later those who are doing it for the same reason. But it would be a shame if we let our prideful arrogance persuade us into believing that all of those out there praying were doing it for the same selfish reason that you experienced having.
I to remember as a “culture christian”, (one who claims Christ, but follows him on their own terms, not His) that I would criticize others who participated in events like this as well, trying to puff myself up, making myself appear better than they, having no clue as to every individuals real intentions,ignoring or discarding the possibility that some of these kids might actually have pure motives in serving Christ.



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Gaypet

posted September 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm


I am too old to have been there for “See you at the pole”. But. Really? See you at the pole? Didn’t we just have a conversation about porn?
I went to a Christian school and a fundy church. I guess the pole dancing is a high school thing?
(And if you think I’m bitter you can suck it!)



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Lee

posted September 23, 2010 at 12:20 am


Dear Ms. Drury,
May I just say that as a former youth minister, a current full-time conservative evangelical pastor, a proud American and fervent encourager of prayer, that I think ‘See You At The Pole’ is almost a complete waste of time? And that I can actually quote Bible book chapter and verse to prove it, if I am so challenged?
Thanks! That’s all I wanted to say.
Proud to be a praying American, Lee



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ruffenstein

posted September 23, 2010 at 9:44 am


The irony of these events is that they are meant to be for the people in the school that are “lost” and unsaved yet, those same people are the ones that are annoyed with the better than thou behavior. Why is it that Christians feel the need to push their love and care on those who openly have not asked or want it? Even among the Christian community the words “I am praying for you” are like a gypsy curse that entails that your fellow brother feels that something is wrong with your life and you need to make it right and they are going to tell their father in heaven about it.
The same people who organize these events are mortified when a Muslim group or any other attempts the same thing as it is un-american. The symbolism of having to pray around the American flag is just nauseating tea party stuff.



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Flah the Heretic Methodist

posted September 23, 2010 at 9:49 am


Ah yes, the “let’s do something very public and provocative so that when someone mentions calmly and rationally that we might be off base we can immediately claim persecution” exercise.
Wonder how many people made the decision to move farther away from Xtianity because of stunts like these?



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Jona

posted September 23, 2010 at 10:25 am


I hated this time of year at our middle school and high school. Someone always started the rumor that you were required to be there, and every year (until about 10th grade) I had a nervous meltdown thinking “What’s going to happen if I don’t go?!” Because the kids who started the rumors were the kids who were at the pole, and those kids would straight up come out and ask you why you weren’t there. What was wrong with you?! What was wrong with your HEART!? Or they would put an unsigned, anonymous greeting card in your locker with a message inviting you to a prayer meeting at a later date for the good of your soul. It was yet another source of embarrassment if you were one of the greeting card targets, as if public school isn’t embarrassing enough.
Then I started hanging out with the kids who sat across the street and played Sepultura really loud from their car speakers during the prayer meeting. They were like a magical force field because everyone was too scared of their black eyeliner and Danzig t-shirts to talk to them about Jesus.



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ruffenstein

posted September 23, 2010 at 10:31 am


As a Danzig t shirt wearing sorcerer, I always loved those days. The ones that they pray for around the flag neither asked for or wanted the prayers from those that would not even speak to them.



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Sarah

posted September 23, 2010 at 12:25 pm


My youth pastor (rendered even more insane by a brain tumor that eradicated all of the filters he must have been using to balance his fanaticism) told us frequently that “a true Christian will always suffer persecution.” (He had this whole “a true Christian will always…” pedagogy and blatantly said if we didn’t have all of these attributes we weren’t Christians and weren’t saved.)
I’m sure you can imagine what obnoxious, frantic, terrified, fanatical little assholes that made us. Because if we were nice and our “non-Christian” peers didn’t have any mockeries to throw our way, we were doing what Satan wanted us to do; because “a true Christian will always” make people uncomfortable “in their sin” and they’ll want to retaliate against you.
Kent, I have a question — while I don’t doubt that some teenagers pray earnestly at See You at the Pole, how can the whole practice be justified in light of Jesus’ teachings to pray privately in your room, to give inconspicuously to the poor and generally to mind your own business and not make a big production out of your faith? It seems to me that the entire idea of SYATP runs counter to the humility and authenticity that Jesus taught. All that attention — we all “received our reward in full” when we participated in that activity.



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Kent

posted September 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm


Sarah,
If you were self centered in your prayer, then yes you are correct that you would have received your reward then and there by whoever you were trying to impress. The teaching of Jesus you are referring to in Mathew 6 does not prohibit pulic prayer. That is obvious when you look at the New Testament as a whole.
The issue was with attitude, not where someone prays, but with what attitude. Jesus himself even prayed on occasion in public. He was speaking about those that had a big Pride problem, similar to what I’m hearing many hear have when they pray in puplic. He was emphasizing that the heart was the issue, and it needed to be dealt with alone with God. It’s a big and wrong assumption to think just because “I” have a problem with public prayer, then everyone must have that problem, condemning others unjustly.



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stephanie drury

posted September 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm


It’s not that any of us have a problem with showy prayer, it’s that Jesus has a problem with it.



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Stephen Charles

posted September 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm


So, Kent, how do I know if my attitude is just right such that it’s ok to now wear my faith on my sleeve, so to speak? Baptized in heart religion, this reasoning sounds a lot like the CC idea that we have to have “our hearts right.” But as a Calvinist I believe that my heart is full of sin and constantly compromised. Could it be that public prayer categorically is a self-centered practice regardless of our “heart/attitude condition”? And could it be that public prayer might mean praying at church on Sunday instead of the public square six days a week? Public, yet not at the same time. I mean, my heart is always wicked and I can’t really change it. But I can make a judgment about where I pray on the basis of how in/appropriate it is. And maybe by being more thoughtful about where I pray is actually to treat faith with more piety instead of just letting it flap in the breeze to show how “brave and uncompromising” I am, contra the CC notion that only real men whore out their faith in public.
I’m with Sarah on this. It draws a lot of criticism for being “cloistered” and selfish and irrelevant, etc., but it seems to me there can be no other reason to pray in public than to draw attention to yourself, for one reason or in one way or another. It’s like that guy at a party who wants you to believe he’s speaking to the person in front of him but he’s speaking at such a pitched decibel and his eyes are so darting hither and yon that it’s pretty obvious he’s speaking to everyone but the guy in front of him. That’s the public square prayer warrior: he wants you to think he’s directly praying to God but he’s really indirectly talking to you.
Speaking of attitude, my BIL is a Xian radio DJ. Last Thanksgiving was held at his house. His devotion (because Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday that demands Christian ritual) was summed up this way: “an attitude of gratitude puts us on a higher altitude.” I could tell it was supposed to be profound, but I’ve still no idea what it means.



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Stephen Charles

posted September 23, 2010 at 3:24 pm


…and for those who may be intersted in an old school Presbyterian take on the foibles of praying in public:
http://oldlife.org/2010/03/08/praying-in-public/
“The problem with this conception of “real” America was that lots of non-Protestants were also citizens of the nation. The U.S. public square was also the home of Jews, Roman Catholics, Mormons, and various strains of unbelief. In which case, to enter into the public square and speak in Christian categories was akin to going over to a non-Christian friend’s home for dinner and insisting that a prayer be said before the meal. It is one thing to do that in your own home when non-Christian friends come over for a meal – though even then what pronouns do we use for such a prayer to show respect for the guests but not pray falsely to our Lord? But to go over to a non-believers house and be pushy about including non-Christians in forms of Christian devotion is rude.
“It seems to me that this is what happens when Christians insist that faith and religious discourse be part of American politics. They don’t seem to recognize that non-Christians also live in the United States. This nation belongs to non-believers as much as it belongs to Christians. In which case, the insertion of religion in American public life is a modern version of Nativism – that nineteenth-century phenomenon that sought to keep Roman Catholics from becoming citizens of the United States (and sometimes burned Roman Catholic buildings). Driving unbelief from the land was wise domestic policy for Israel in the centuries before Christ – not just wise but holy. It is folly for any nation after Christ. For Christ’s followers, it is down right inhospitable.”



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Angelia Sparrow

posted September 23, 2010 at 3:41 pm


At my husband’s school, they did it DURING first period, with the principal himself leading the prayer. And then getting on the intercom and expressing his dismay that some teachers hadn’t participated.
My youngest wore her triple moon t-shirt and pentacle very proudly. She did not, however, chant “Isis, Isis! Ra Ra Ra!” as she walked by. (not our pantheon)



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Kevin

posted September 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm


I prefer the holiday directly proceeding See-You-At-The-Pole day, specifically, See-You-At-The-Reichstag-Fire day.



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Kent

posted September 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm


“It’s not that any of us have a problem with showy prayer”(Really?,the post and comments certainly show differently)
“it’s that Jesus has a problem with it”. (With a showey prayer, yes. with a genuine prayer, even in public hardly. And, you don’t know which are which accross millions who participate)
“So, Kent, how do I know if my attitude is just right such that it’s ok to now wear my faith on my sleeve” (Well, there is something called self examination. As far as judging the hearts of others though? another story.)



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stephanie drury

posted September 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm


I would hope we’d have a problem with it because Jesus has a problem with it.
If you delve into a bit of self-examination Kent, you might figure out why you’re being so defensive.



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Kent

posted September 23, 2010 at 5:01 pm


“I would hope we’d have a problem with it because Jesus has a problem with it”.
That should be the “only” reason. And obviously we should not have a problem with what Jesus does not have a problem with. But perhaps you have an ability to read the minds and hearts of all those praying, that I’ve not been given.



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stephanie drury

posted September 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm


Yes, Kent. I’ve been given the gift of being able to read the minds and hearts of all those praying. Did I not mention that? See you at the pole!



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Rocky Presley

posted September 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm


Kent, I hear you. I understand what you are saying. It is not up to us to judge the condition of the hearts of the people praying, and I can guarantee that that type of judgement runs rampant in the critique of CC. On the flip side, this is a movement started in part by zealous youth leaders guilting students to “live out their faith” in their school by performing actions of religious exercise that are divisive rather than having their conduct motivated out of a genuine love for the students that they were praying for. Now, I would bet that the many of the hearts therein weren’t motivated out of selfishness. Mine wasn’t when I was in High School. In fact, I hated being there, but felt that I had to in order to be a good witness. In light of personal experience, these students could very well have been motivated out of ignorance, but I don’t think that this is really the point.
The reality is that for a day, these kids come out of their youth group huddle for some PDA towards Jesus, and it has had very little, if any real affect on these schools, although it is celebrated widely by CC. It is true that we shouldn’t judge the hearts or the motivation of the people involved, but we can certainly judge the fruit. In that examination, if we honestly look at the scenario, we can say that at the very least, if at one time this was an effective evangelistic method, it certainly isn’t in today’s culture.



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Chrissy

posted September 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm


There sure are a lot of parenthesis and quotation marks being thrown around. I believe examining one’s self should include examining one’s own punctuation. It’s a selfless act done solely for those who choose to read the author’s words. Let’s pray:
Lord, have mercy on us that we might show mercy to our readers! Let us make the most of every opportunity to express clarity of thought as we punctuate our sentences appropriately, without the excessive use of marks that merely muddy our attempt to communicate effectively. Forgive me, Father, if that is a run on sentence. Amen.



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Stephen Charles

posted September 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm


But, Kent, that was my point. When I self exam I see that my heart is full of compromise, etc. So if the key to public prayer is to have “the right attitude” (i.e. less sinful than not) then nobody can. At least, I can’t, because I am always more sinful than not.
And, btw, I don’t have to read the hearts of others to know they are sinners full of compromise because the Bible tells me they are. Plus, if I know I am a sinner, and if I know that if “you’ve seen one human being you’ve seen them all,” then it’s not too far a stretch to speculate on what public pray-ers are all about.



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Anne-Jayne

posted September 23, 2010 at 6:51 pm


My (private) Christian School tried to have a SYATP event, hardly anyone showed up. We couldn’t see the point in publicly standing around our flagpole praying when we were free to pray in our own classrooms (and homes)
I remember reading a Christian teen magazine put out by Focus on the Family (gag!)that presented the whole event as a “peaceful protest” to government removing prayer from classrooms, it came complete with a locker poster which stated your rights as a Christian student so you would be prepared to defend yourself in the face of any “persecution.” Basically it told you how you could be the most overtly obnoxious about your faith without breaking any laws which I thought was a little weird. Since I am Canadian it was totally useless to me anyway.
SYATP always bothered me, the organizers would make you think that if you were a real Christian, who really cared about the world and about justice, you would be there. Yet I couldn’t help but think of Jesus telling us “When you pray go into a quiet room…”
I never went



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Sarah

posted September 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm


Kent, I’d like a few examples of this public prayer you indicate is supported by the Bible — New Testament, post-Jesus-saying-go-pray-quietly-in-your-room. Um, mainly Acts, then, I guess. The only examples I’m thinking of are preaching, not prayer, though my memory is certainly not perfect. I do think that public prayer is, as Stephen Charles has excellently noted (nice to be with you on this, Stephen! I hope you’ve forgiven me for being dickish before), mostly a form of preaching. And how is SYATP not a show? How is it about the subject more than the setting?
And Chrissy…I love you. My grammar loves you, too. (I think of my grammar as a living, breathing creature. Like a cat. And it loves you. It read your prayer and narrowed its eyes to approving slits and purred.)



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Kent

posted September 23, 2010 at 9:32 pm


It’s quite easy to attack the outward, like someone’s punctuation when there is really no substance to speak of in their own writing. In that scenerio, puntuation may be all they have going for their comments.
Sarah, here is just one example of public prayer in the new testament from Jesus himself from Mt ch 11. 25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
27″All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Stephen, when one has a converted heart, it is certainly possible to come to God with a heart pleasing to him. If that wasn’t the case we could not come to him at anytime, public or private. Another example of when to have our heart right before God is when we take communion. With your philosophy, one could never even take communion because of a wicked heart.



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Sean

posted September 23, 2010 at 10:28 pm


I agree with the initial post Stephanie, and I love the theme of your blog. But your follow-up comments definitely sound like a “my reading and interpretation of Scripture is more valid than yours” argument, which I cannot agree with.
Unfortunately that logic train heads to the “it’s not that I think ______, it’s that GOD thinks _______” station, in which there are justifications for everything from gay bashing to clinic bombing to the Holocaust.
Clearly that’s what you think, and clearly that’s what you think God thinks (or Jesus said, or whatever). So whoever disagrees is not disagreeing with you, they are disagreeing with God. This is a very common tactic used in fundie churches to keep folks in line. And it pisses me off. (Then again, we’ve already established that I’m pissed off for a number of reasons anyway.)
:) Not really SUPER pissed, but I don’t think that’s the tactic you want to choose…
Can I buy you a cup of coffee next time I’m in Seattle???



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Kent

posted September 23, 2010 at 10:53 pm


Sarah, here’s one more from John this time. Check out for the sake of the crowd part. 11:41 So they took away the stone. Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you that you have listened to me. 11:42 I knew that you always listen to me, but I said this FOR THE SAKE OF THE CROWD standing around here, that they may believe that you sent me.”



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Chrissy

posted September 24, 2010 at 12:29 am


Kent, I use punctuation. Not “puntuation.” Also, what about my prayer? It was sincere. I was under the impression that you love sincere prayers. And it worked. You didn’t abuse parenthesis or quotation marks at all this time around. Praise the Lord! He is listening!
On another note, I’ll quit being a bitch now. Forgive me. I’m just getting my period.
Sarah, I love you too. So much! I think grammar is what brought us together in the first place, because I always understand what you intend to say. I getchya, girl! :)



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stephanie drury

posted September 24, 2010 at 1:01 am


Sean, I’m just playing with Kent.



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Eli

posted September 24, 2010 at 2:35 am


Oh, Stephanie. :) That last comment to Sean gave me a rather distinct and hilarious mental image of a cat playing with it’s mouse before devouring it. Not that you meant it that way, but it definitely made me smile!



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Shannon Pace

posted September 24, 2010 at 3:00 am


I recall The Pole Event well now, and also recall how lame I felt about it — I felt guilty if I didn’t go, like a I’d be a bad Christian, but totally uncomfortable and insincere doing it (just me — not speaking for other prayer pole praying folks here). I don’t know which was worse….the Altar Calls (which produced the same predicament for me) or the Prayer Pole Events…



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Sarah

posted September 24, 2010 at 6:54 am


Kent, anything from Acts? Any instances of people who were not Jesus praying in public? I tend to think praying in public with the intent of benefiting others is sanctimonious, and the most obvious downfall of SYATP.
Also, in these instances, Jesus used his prayer as part of his preaching, which is what I’ve been saying. I think “Jesus said/did it, but he was God so we shouldn’t say/do it” is a thin argument, so I won’t use it. Let’s at least be honest enough to admit, though, that the whole concept of SYATP is EXACTLY to preach. It’s not about prayer. It’s a pep rally for Christians designed to make them look concerned and holy, and designed to get the attention of the people who don’t participate.
Interestingly, I can’t think of a single time that my participation in SYATP resulted in “witnessing opportunities” (gag). And I was a very earnest evangelist back then, too. It didn’t do anything for my relationships with people, either, whether with fellow SYATP-ers or non-fellow SYATP avoiders.
So how come you’re defending SYATP, Kent? I can’t imagine that you’re a huge fan of the practice. You seem more to be taking umbrage with our umbrage.
Chrissy, hahaha, it’s like our grammars are our daemons, Philip Pullman, Golden Compass style.



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Kent

posted September 24, 2010 at 7:58 am


Chrissy, I’m sure your focusing on the external stuff results in a “lot” of fruit. Seeeing how you don’t appear to have much else to hang on to but the petty outward, I’m quite certain that makes a joyful environment for anyone who may have the “priviledge” to live under the same roof as you.(I’ll pray for them). And perhaps you can enlighten us on Monday how your Church experience was, assuming you might go. You can let us know all the other girls who wore dreadful outfits and had bad hair days.



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Kent

posted September 24, 2010 at 8:23 am


Sarah, Jesus is our example to live by, you can’t get any better than that. You have the examples.
It’s very much like the story of the rich man and Lazarus, went the rich man went to hell and he’s looking over the gulf into Abraham’s bosom, where he begs Abraham to send Lazarus back to his warn his 5 brothers of the torment. Abraham tells Lazarus that they already have the prophets to warn them. The rich man says, “No, father Abraham, if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent”. To which Abraham said “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” My comparison here is, sometimes no matter how much proof you give someone, if they have their mind already, they are not going to respond to more truth.
The line of thinking that people should never pray in public would result in me not even praying in fron of my lost children. My wife and I were praying together the other night and one of my kids got out of bed and came upstairs, I didn’t stop praying because I wanted that “example” to set in his mind. That’s what prayer can be many times as well, an example as Jesus was showing.
I have never prayed at the pole in my life, but I am not going to condemn everyone who participates in it because of some self centered experience I may have had with it.



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stephanie drury

posted September 24, 2010 at 10:31 am


I have to reluctantly thank Kent for proving this blog’s point that people can act like gigantic dicks in God’s name.



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Stephen Charles

posted September 24, 2010 at 11:55 am


Sarah, using the word “dickish” deserves automatic love. You go, girl.
Another example of when to have our heart right before God is when we take communion. With your philosophy, one could never even take communion because of a wicked heart.
Kent, on the contrary: because I have a wicked heart I am commanded to eat his flesh and drink his blood. But I’d rather be found at a communion table with a wicked heart than at a flag pole with the same. One is commanded for my benefit, the other, well, I simply cannot find any biblical support for. I know you cite some examples, but do you seriously think that translates into prayerfully surrounding secular symbols? For my part, I think it comports much better with prayerfully gathering around sacred tables. Both are public acts, but one has more in common with civil religion than sacred belief.



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Stephen Charles

posted September 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm


I have never prayed at the pole in my life, but I am not going to condemn everyone who participates in it because of some self centered experience I may have had with it.
Kent, criticizing isn’t condemning. You’re overstating your case.
The line of thinking that people should never pray in public would result in me not even praying in fron of my lost children.
Boo, hiss. I am critical of public prayer (not brazenly saying “people should never pray in public”) and yet pray with my kids (not “in front of them”) all the time. Your mischaracterizations of the points aside, I’m perplexed as to how one means the other.



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Sarah

posted September 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm


Thanks, Stephen. :)
Oo, Kent, those true colors didn’t take much to bring out. Yipes. (Also, FYI, “Fuck you” sounds the same no matter what jargon it’s dressed in. And I’d love to be one of the people under Chrissy’s roof!)
I do agree with you that good parenting is important. For my part, I intend one day to teach my children the value of respecting people with differing experiences and viewpoints; the necessity of a sense of humor; the harmony of style and substance; the importance of critical thinking, asking difficult questions and constructing solid arguments; and the dignity and sportsmanship required to refrain from resorting to ad hominim, fallacious assertions when their logic fails, as everyone’s logic sometimes does.
To each his or her own, I suppose.



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Sean

posted September 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm


Stephanie,
Best six word reply. EVER. [Sheepish.]
#FTW
I’ll wait until I know you better to bring out the guns again. ;)
Sean
P.S. My New Year’s resolutions: Less dickish, less gullible, less pee in the baptismal pool.



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Meghan

posted September 24, 2010 at 1:06 pm


I take umbrage at the idea that proper grammar and punctuation are mere “external,” “outward” (ie: lacking in content and depth) facets of the way we communicate. I think it takes a grievous misunderstanding of the function of grammar, syntax, and punctuation to reduce them thus. Feeling passionately about this subject isn’t a shallow frippery that misses the point of a conversation’s content; on the contrary, including a more-than-cursory examination of the way language is used demonstrates a keen interest in a fuller understanding of the content of an individual’s communication. When I care about your punctuation and grammar, I care about understanding your communication intentions more fully. When I take the time to use punctuation properly, I am taking the time to make myself more clearly understood.



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Chrissy

posted September 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm


It does! My man finds great joy through the plentiful melons God has blessed me with.
I can already enlighten you as to how church will be on Sunday. I will be wearing a comfortable outfit, (which I wouldn’t describe as “dreadful” but will certainly not be stylish) and having a bad hair day because I work in the nursery from 8 to noon, so I never really look my best. I will play with babies for hours and do some paperwork. We will read books and I will help them practice speaking and praise them when they say new words. We will not discuss punctuation because they are too small to understand it. I will tell each parent what type of day their baby had, and we will “shoot the shit” for a few minutes. Come Christmas time they will buy me presents because I take good care of their kids and they like me. Last year I was given a wallet, a potted plant, and a basket of muffins. It was lovely! On Wednesday I will receive a paycheck from the church for my work. On Sunday evening I will participate in a 12 step meeting that might inspire me to make amends to you since I haven’t treated you with the best of manners this week. Time will tell…



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stephanie drury

posted September 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm


I want to live under Chrissy’s roof.



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Jona

posted September 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm


Me too!



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christina

posted September 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm


When I did this in middle school, our pole was right by the front doors where all the buses dropped the kids off.
In high school, the flag was in this awful place where you could see it from the road, but not the student entrance. I recall some debate as to whether we should forget the pole and pray by the doors so more people would see us.
Location, location, location.



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Sarah

posted September 24, 2010 at 5:13 pm


Chrissy, you’re going to have to get a bigger house. And it will be fruitful!



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Gaypet

posted September 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm


Jorge? Is that you?
dick.



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shelly

posted September 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm


Let’s think about this. Putting aside the notion of praying in public this time around…
Where is SYATP done? Around a flag pole.
Specifically, which country’s flag is on said pole? The USofA’s. (I don’t think other countries have such an event, do they?)
It almost reeks a bit of flag worship, too. (Flag worship is something, IMO, the USA is notorious for. See our national anthem, for a start.) Which would make the flag (pole) a graven image. And what does scripture say about graven images? ;)



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Chrissy

posted September 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm


Sweet! Would you guys mind being my “servant girls”? I’ll never be a Proverbs 31 woman if I don’t get me some servant girls. I’ll pay you… In jokes!!!



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Sarah

posted September 24, 2010 at 9:48 pm


Well, I’ll never be a Proverbs 7 woman if I don’t have a home I’m never at, so if you don’t mind me stashing all my whore-clothes in your closets and dumping perfume and cinnamon sticks all over your house to set the stage for my entrapments (which won’t be too difficult considering #192 and the insecurities the trend implies), I’ll pick up the living room once in awhile.



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BIll

posted September 24, 2010 at 11:33 pm


Chrissy, it sounds like you might have a full house. So if there’s any room in the stables, I’m game.



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Stephen

posted September 25, 2010 at 2:05 am


SYATP exemplifies, to me, the main problem I have with evangelical Christianity and it’s hyper focus on evangelicalism. Evangelical churches tend to put so much emphasis on ‘witnessing’ and in outward, showy forms, that one gets the impression that THIS is the central core of what being a Christian is, and that if one doesn’t go out on the street corner and broadcast to the world one’s faith, then one is not really a Christian. Young Christians, not yet fully mature in faith, are encouraged to act as quasi-missionaries. Evangelism, not faith in Christ, is presented as the central focus of Christian life. I know that no Christian would consciously think of it in this way, but, this is the impression that can be received. Some Christian leaders seem to think that the Church should function like Amway or some other pyramid scheme. It is as if the sole function of the Church, it’s primary purpose for being, is simply to bring more and more members into it.



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Katherine

posted September 25, 2010 at 2:32 am


I am paraphrasing this story because I can’t find the book. It is undoubtedly buried somewhere under all the other heathen literature on my bookshelves.
The story:
A panda walks into a sandwich shop. He orders a sandwich, sits down and eats. He then stands, pulls a gun out of his bag and shoots another diner. When the shop owner asks why he shot the person, the panda removes a book from his bag. He opens the book, a guide to the wildlife of China, and shows the shop owner an underlined passage. It reads “panda, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”
Grammar is important. Punctuation is in some cases more important. How a panda ordered and paid for a sandwich, and how it managed to read the book are unimportant.
There – I’ve said my little bit. I love the blog. It makes me laugh, sometimes ruefully, most of the time. I consider myself a refugee from Christian culture. Thanks for the smiles :).
(The book is “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”. I can’t remember the author’s name but it’s a very entertaining book.)



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Alastair Newman

posted September 25, 2010 at 4:38 am


Oh, yuck, yuck, yuck.
I think this post summarizes what I dislike about “American cultural Christianity” (or Amewican, as Stanley Hauerwas would put it). I heard him speaking about this very sort of issue recently, which was fascinating. One thing he said was that because so many in America see “Christianity” as a necessary glue for their society, so necessary for maintaining their democracy and freedom, that it has ceased to be Christianity.
I think for me, it smacks of a desperate sense of wanting to belong to something larger than ourselves – the “idea” that is is America. I think Britain went through this with their Empire over a century ago. But, as Christians we know we’re part of something bigger, right? The Church, the Body of Christ? Why should we also need to feel that reassurance of being part of some social construct which is a nation? Beats me.
But, then again, I’m not American, so what do I know, right?!



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socktree

posted October 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm


I remember being apart of many of these, and when relatives complain that “They’re taking God out of schools! etc. etc” I remind this not only of this event – but that my public high school in the Pacific NW also had a class called “The Bible as Literature”. When I asked some of the administrators why we had that and couldn’t have a similar class such as “The Torah as Literature” or “The Koran as Literature”, they simply said “Too controversial.”
I was pretty deep into Christianity at the time, but I still was pretty offended.



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