It’s a story about Christians justifying rudeness with religion. Here’s the short version, but you’ll want to read all of what the original poster had to say.
My daughter, taking a break from her pursuit of a graduate degree, is a server at the Chili’s a few miles down from our house. Like many others her age she is already pretty critical of the church and its obvious hypocrisies. Her cynicism, that to say, is neither atypcial nor incomprehensible. Nor does this kind of thing help–her or others.
A group of six church-goers came in last night after their evening services and sat down, not in her area but in another server’s. When the girl came to greet them and take their drink order, one of them said, “We want to tell you up front that we will not be tipping you tonight because…”
Are you ready?
“…we do not believe in people working on Sunday.”
The girl was taken full-aback, stammered out something that sounded like “I wouldn’t have to work on Sunday if so many church people didn’t come in,” or some such. She was furious. So was the manager of the restaurant whom she summoned to deal with them. I think he should have tossed the people out on their…uh…Bibles. To his credit, and demonstrating something like agape all around, he did say to them, “Well, we don’t believe in making our people work for nothing, so I will be serving you tonight.” And he did. God bless him.
This interests me for several reasons.
1) Many years ago, I took my youth group into a restaurant. A group of my students dumped a salt shaker on the table. I didn’t know about this until a waitress- an atheist- wrote me and unloaded on me for this kind of behavior from a church group. At the time, I was annoyed, but over time I’ve been a lot more sympathetic.
2) What are people thinking when they justify rudeness to an individual- and in these terrible financial times!- with a religious justification?
3) The “church crowd” is generally dreaded by all waiters and servers for reasons like this and worse. How do you take all the words people hear about being “a good witness” and translate it into not tipping, making messes, being rude and demanding?
4) Is this a window into the personalities of Christians to the extent that we can explain our tolerance of things like abuse, cruelty, dishonesty and lying with the same factors? Is it evidence that we aren’t transformed on even the most basic levels, but are using religion to cover up our sin, rudeness and cruelty?
Open thread. Keep it civil and stay on topic. If you find a way to argue denominations on this one, I’m closing the post 🙂