April 8, 2012 in Features

The Slice: The ABCs of attending church

 

A lot of people who never attend religious services seem to think churchgoers are all alike.

Which, if you have ever belonged to a decent-sized congregation, is a pretty hilarious notion.

Of course, it’s true that the people who attend Church ABC might largely share the same doctrinal positions. But those beliefs could be quite distinct from the ones prevailing at Church DEF. Moreover, the two congregations might have radically different attitudes about everything from economic justice to military intervention.

These differences are seldom acknowledged by many who never attend worship services, a big segment of the population in the Northwest.

Seeing shades of gray might require actually being informed. It’s easier to just say churchgoers are all cut from the same cloth and have identical views on everything.

If you doubt that this broad brush gets a lot of use, just consider one thing.

A few decades ago “Christian” meant “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ.”

It was a big tent.

But today, for many, it means “religious person who is a social conservative.”

Yet, though unquestionably many do, not all persons of faith lean to the right politically.

Perhaps the most telling argument against the idea that all churchgoers are in attitudinal lockstep is the way people adhering to different religious traditions talk about one another.

A few years ago, a nondenominational North Idaho pastor writing in this newspaper encouraged Episcopalians to abandon their church after a gay bishop was installed in New Hampshire.

Or consider the case of Catholics. How out of touch or delusional would a person have to be to assume that they all see things the same way?

Let’s move on.

Government schools conspiracy uncovered: The three-digit phone prefix for Spokane Public Schools offices is 354.

The state district number for Mead Public Schools is 354.

Need I say more?

Cue the “Twilight Zone” theme.

Today’s Slice question: What do you visualize when you hear the word “brunch”?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Go for the clean, fast kill-bite and take the chocolate bunny’s ears and head in one sudden chomp.


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