I’ve been writing THIS blog in my head since I moved to Brooklyn – but tonight? I gotta put it to paper.
When I was a kid, the Christian (Roman Catholic) church I attended was in a residential area… as most are. It had a big church, chapel and 2 school buildings that occupied a city block. Most folks walked to church. Some drove. Those that drove had to bust out early so they could attempt to find parking that was nearby because there was no communal parking for the church which seems to be a standard downfall for church participation. But folks did it. Because that’s what they needed to do to obey the law AND be good followers of the Word.
In Brooklyn – at the very least on this block – but I KNOW it happens in other areas… the followers? are BUCK WILD when it comes to what they have to do to get in the building to praise and worship. They go all the way to the right with Bloomberg’s “pay to pray” ruling where the meters are free on Sundays. And I get that. It makes sense. But around here? YOU. BETTA. RECOGNIZE. I live next door to Mount Lebanon Baptist Church. When you come out of the Utica Avenue Station on the A, there’s a SIGN that directs you to Decatur street so you can attend. You can only imagine what the congregation size might be. And every sunday – you need to KNOW what side of the street to park on if you’d like to have a life and go out of this neighborhood before 4 PM (or later, pending on the occasion). They double park on my side of the street from corner to corner… blocking everyone else in. Just like that. And if you couldn’t find a parking on the other side… TOO DAMNED BAD FOR YOU.
I’ve had a number of incidents with this church blocking me in not just on a Sunday… but on a Tuesday… a Thursday … and even an occasional Saturday. Several times where I needed to get my car out so I could rush to my mother’s side when she was sick and dying and wherein every minute was precious, I had to bargain with the ushers in the vestibule to please NOT MAKE ME WAIT UNTIL THE OFFERING WAS OVER to go get the person who blocked me in. Several times, I had to drive my car up on the sidewalk because no one was responsive to wanting to move their cars to let me out of my LEGAL parking space so I could go on about MY LIFE and MY world. On New Year’s Eve once, I was blocked in by a very shiny, very new, very expensive blue JAG YOO ARE and when I went in to request being set free so I could ring in the new year with my best friend, I learned it was the Pastor’s car. When he came out to move it… he didn’t even acknowledge me… not a nod of his head, not a mouthing “Excuse me, sister” for blocking me in or even… (this is a stretch) wishing me a Happy New Year. His attitude pushed past me and angrily moved his ILLEGALLY PARKED CAR to the side so I could be let out. Had I EVER… EVER… EVER had an aspiration to join that congregation out of pure convenience of it being next door? It died that night. In a different neighborhood, the double parkers scratched a pattern into my driver side door because of their lack of parking / driving acumen and didn’t leave word as to who did it… not an apology… NOTHING. And forget about coming home while their hoot’n’a’hollerin in the church. You MUST WAIT – not only till the service is completed… but till they’ve done “catching up” with one another on the sidewalk so they can move their cars and go back to their neighborhoods, thus freeing up the parkings on the block near your building of residence. This? goes on till 10 or 11 PM at times. *glancing at the clock to see that it’s 9:00 and they’re still yelling across the street at one another*
Tonight (it is THURSDAY NIGHT) they are double parked on my block for as far as the eye can see and they are not even IN THE CHURCH. They are all posted up on the block … talking AS LOUDLY AS THEY CAN so that me on the 3rd floor of the walk up I live on can hear every fucking word of their banter. I’m so much a part of their lives right now? It’s NOT EVEN FUNNY.
How is this Christian behaviour? They’re not showing me or any residents of this block who own cars LOVE. I’m positive if the shoe were on the other foot they’d NOT want to be treated as such. What happened to “do unto others?” Their Christianity lasts as long as they need it to to find the double park opportunity and make it into the doors of their church (or not, in tonight’s case) to praise and worship with their brethren. It makes me SICK and puts ONE MORE feather in my cap of non-religiousness, pro spirituality so that I don’t have to brush shoulders with the likes of THAT kind of hypocrisy.
if this is YOU… who randomly does this just to be on time for worship… please – think about the next christian that you may be blocking in… inconveniencing or generally COMPLETELY TURNING OFF to the idea of worshiping in a building with you or the likes of you. It’s distasteful. It’s disrespectful. It’s UNLAWFUL and gosh golly darnit… it’s JUST NOT NICE.
*descends from her pulpit*