Sunday, April 23, 2006

Legalism: Breeding Stupidity

One of the things I've noticed through years of living in and around the fundamentalist and evangelical culture, is that legalism breeds stupidity. If you take a group of people and force them to follow a never ending set of rules, restrictions and behavioral rigor - they will flip the off-switch on their brains and wait for someone to tell them what to do in every area of their lives.

Case in point: it happened that I had to stop in a typical evangelical church in another town yesterday morning (I won't bore you with why I was there). I found myself sitting around in the requisite coffee bar area of the lobby [why is it that we rail from the pulpits on the evils of substance abuse, but we actively promote caffeine addiction?]. On every table of the "Compassion Cafe" the following rules were posted:


  1. Please keep all food and drink in designated cafe areas...dang, a little coffee would be welcome about half-way through the sermon.
  2. Please pay cashier...because we know how dishonest and untrustworthy our fellow Christians are.
  3. Please clean your table when you are done...don't expect us to actually provide service with your coffee and danish
  4. If others are waiting for a seat and you are finished, please allow them to use your chair...they don't mention anything about letting them use your table, but in any case we wouldn't want to actually promote fellowship and conversation - just drink your stinkin' latte and move along!

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Flickr photo courtesy of Guadalupe18


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