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.

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Needs To Learn To Say, “None Of Your Business”

, , , , , | Right | January 23, 2021

I work at a store in the Bible belt. I am an eighteen-year-old female. The customer I am helping to purchase a computer is a sour-faced, very conservative- and old-fashioned looking woman of around fifty. She begins telling me that she has just started to try to date again after her husband passed.

Customer: “I don’t know where to meet good men. I never dated except my husband. All these men on the dating websites want to go to bed with me right away. I am not that kind of woman and they don’t understand that.”

Me: “I understand. I haven’t tried online dating, but my friends talk about how awful people are on there.”

Customer: “I am a good Christian woman. I have only been with my husband, and I don’t plan on being with anyone until I have my next husband. The Lord doesn’t want you going to bed with a bunch of people. These men say they are Christian, but they’re sinners.”

I am nodding along in agreement, because all I can do is try to get through the interaction.

Customer: “You aren’t married, are you?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Are you a virgin?”

Me: *Honestly, but awkwardly* “Yes.”

Customer: “Good girl! You are living a good Christian lifestyle. You will be rewarded with a good husband. I was.”

I am not religious, but I know it’s better to play along than say anything. I’m whoever I need to be on the clock. I have had pamphlets about churches shoved in my hand, I’ve been tipped with fake money with proverbs on it, and I’ve had several different people ask me if I’d found Jesus and if He was in my heart, all while I was just trying to do my job, but she is the only one to question my chastity and purity.

I have no issue with people’s beliefs, but please don’t put service people on the spot. They are being paid to give good customer service and this puts them in a very awkward spot.

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Jew You See What I See?, Part 2

, , , , | Right | January 22, 2021

It is the middle of our back-to-school season, and I recently acquired a second job teaching Sunday School at a local synagogue. I am nearing the end of a transaction with a customer, who is purchasing several of our weekly sale items.

Customer: “You have such great sales! We already got our school supplies for the year, but at these prices, I just want to stock up!”

Me: “Yeah, our back-to-school prices are pretty great. I’m a student, and I actually just got a teaching position, so I stocked up on a bunch of supplies myself. Some for me and some for my classroom!”

Customer: “Oh! That’s amazing! What do you teach?”

Me: “I teach Hebrew and Torah School at [Synagogue].”

Customer: “Wow! That’s so great! But…”

She pauses to give me a knowing glance.

Customer: “Do you believe in Jesus yet?”

Me: “Actually, I’m Jewish, and belief in Jesus isn’t a part of Judaism.”

Customer: “Well, you need to believe in Jesus if you’re going to be teaching religion.”

Me: *A little tentatively* Well, ma’am, I am Jewish and will be teaching Jewish children, and Jesus isn’t actually a part of our religion.”

She smiles knowingly and reaches out to put her hand on my wrist.

Customer: “It’s okay. You’ll be spending plenty of time at your church once you start teaching. The love of Jesus will come to you eventually.”

She takes her purchases and leaves. I turn to a coworker.

Me: “Did that just happen?”

Jew You See What I See?

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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!

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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.

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