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Allergic To Common Sense, Part 19

, , , , , | Right | April 1, 2021

I volunteer in childcare at my church. The childcare system follows a system called “Plan to Protect,” which involves signing your child into the computer. The computer then prints two stickers: one for the parent and one for the child. The sticker for the child has their name, a symbol, a set of numbers, and if the child has any allergies. The parent’s sticker has a matching set of numbers and symbol, and we have to collect both symbols before we are allowed to release the child.

I fill in for my brother in the toddler room. I don’t usually work with toddlers, but I go where I’m needed. As it turns out, the toddlers receive a small cup of animal crackers as a snack. This isn’t usually a problem, but we have a new child with us this week. Her mother has filled out the forms and lets us know that her child is allergic to dairy. She gives us a granola bar because we can’t determine whether or not there is dairy in the crackers.

Come snack time, all the little ones are hungry. The other children are given animal crackers and I am given the granola bar to give to the child.

I am the only leader who is “Plan To Protect” certified because I usually work in another section. The toddler’s leaders are supposed to have a lead who is certified but she is away that week. That makes me, a fifteen-year-old, the only person allowed to give the child food outside of animal crackers.

I read the wrapper and discovered that the first item on the ingredients list is dairy. The kid is really hungry and crying, so someone decides to page the mother. I inform her that, due to “Plan To Protect,” I cannot feed the bar to her child.

Mother: “It’s okay. I’m her mother and I say it’s fine.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, but you filed paperwork saying she was allergic to dairy, and I signed a form saying I wouldn’t feed a child food that they are allergic to.”

Mother: “Fine. [Child], I’m going to give you a granola bar because this nice little girl doesn’t want to.”

Me: “Actually, ma’am, you can’t give her food in this room. You are not ‘Plan To Protect’ certified, and you cannot feed someone in a room that is being used by the childcare service. If you give it to her in the hall, it’s fine, though.”

Mother: “B****.”

I assume that’s the last of it, but later I’m told to report to the youth director. The lady told her that I tried to feed her sweet child food she was allergic to.

The funny thing is, I’ve been attending this church longer than I’ve been eating solid food. The youth director knows I take volunteering very seriously and that I would never do that. She tells the lady that I don’t usually work with toddlers, so even if I did do that, I wouldn’t be near her daughter again for another couple of years.

Mother: “You’re not going to fire her? Where I’m from, a child who disobeyed and put someone’s life at risk would be kicked out of the church forever. I’m never coming back to this stupid place!”

Related:
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 18
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 17
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 16
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 15
Allergic To Common Sense, Part 14

Pain Isn’t Heavenly But It Has Its Perks

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 19, 2021

Some years ago, my dad hurt his leg and had to walk with a cane while it was healing. Around that time, a friend of our family, who has been blind from birth, came to visit. My dad and the friend went to church one Sunday, and the Bible reading happened to be about the people who will be invited to the wedding feast in Heaven.

Priest: *Reading* “’Go out into the highways and byways and seek out the poor, the lonely, the blind, and the lame.’”

My dad leaned over to his friend and said:

Dad: “We’re in!”

Guess We’ll Just Live In Sin, Then!

, , , , | Working | January 29, 2021

When my fianceé and I were planning our wedding, one of our first decisions was the person who would perform the service. She had been raised in a fundamentalist Protestant sect, and although she had become more liberal in her thinking, she was still friendly with her pastor and his family, so he was a natural choice.

We made an appointment to ask the pastor to fill the ceremonial role. And we were shocked when he refused, quite cruelly, and turned on me, asking me pointed questions about my beliefs and referring to our “mixed marriage.” My metaphysics is more middle of the road. I stood my ground, at one point asking him:

Me: “So, you believe that Anne Frank, unbaptized infants, and toddlers go to Hell?”

Pastor: “There are degrees of punishment.”

So, yes. We left with my fianceé in tears, and we got my parents’ minister to officiate.

But it didn’t end there. Between then and the wedding, the pastor called and begged my fianceé not to marry me, saying it would be “her biggest mistake.” She hung up on him.

Everything got settled when his wife wrote my fianceé a letter and told her that they had always hoped she would marry their oldest son. He wasn’t worried about her immortal soul; he just wanted to keep her on the market!

We got married without her minister in attendance and, several decades later, we are happily retired with successful children and well-adjusted grandkids. And the oldest son they wanted her to marry? Mutual friends report he is living in a squalid trailer park in Florida, barely making ends meet.

No Room For Memorizing Lyrics AND Scriptures

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | January 16, 2021

Like most churches, ours helpfully puts the words to the hymns on a screen for all to see. Today, however, as we start the next song, the screen suddenly flickers and quits. The onstage chorus looks at each other in confusion, but the pianist is still playing strong, so everyone desperately tries to mumble along to the melody. The pastor tries to call out the words for us, but it’s hard to understand what exactly he’s saying.

Finally, we get to the refrain, which apparently everyone knows by heart, as the entire congregation suddenly belts it loud and clear! The lyrics screen briefly resurrects for a moment, just long enough to display the words we’re already singing from memory, and then dies before the next verse again.

Once again, we mumble along until the refrain: “Ner ner ner ner ner… BEEECAAUSE HE LIIIIIIVES!”

By the look of things, our pastor was moved to tears. Perhaps you had to be there, but it was certainly one of the more memorable worship sessions I’ve ever been to.


This story is part of our Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

Read the next Feel Good roundup for January 2021 story!

Read the Feel Good roundup for January 2021!

Purity, Gone In A Flash

, , , , | Working | January 11, 2021

My boyfriend and I — both male — are tourists in Northern Ireland. We have a few hours to pass, so we walk into a large cathedral to look around. We are both very interested in history, and religious buildings of all forms are great preservers of local history, so they are some of our favorite places to visit when we travel.

While we’re walking around the cathedral, a priest approaches.

Priest: “Hello, and welcome to [Cathedral]! Do you have any questions about this magnificent building or the area around us?”

We end up spending several minutes chatting to him, and he happily answers all of our questions about the cathedral itself and the city we’re in. Finally, we have only one more question to ask.

Me: “Is it okay to take photographs of some of the displays and artwork around the building?”

Priest: “Yes, it is okay, although I must advise you not to use flash, as it could damage some of the older artworks.”

Me: “That’s fine. We go to a lot of museums, so we’re used to no flash.”

Priest: “Of course, women may flash in here… but surely, two handsome young gentlemen such as yourselves know all about that, as well!”

With that comment, my boyfriend and I — again, both male — were both stunned into silence. Before either of us could respond, the priest chuckled to himself, wished us a blessed day, and wandered off to introduce himself to the next visitors. My boyfriend and I wandered around for another ten minutes or so, taking pictures — without flash, of course — and then headed to the nearest pub to try and wash the awkward memory away.