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Baitball Blogger

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Current location: Seminole County, Florida
Member since: Sun Mar 18, 2012, 10:16 PM
Number of posts: 39,492

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I saw the church in a very different light a few years back.

Different from the way I understood it when I lived in a third world country where good deeds and obligations were simple to understand.

It was just one sermon in a new church that woke me up. A neighbor invited me to her church, where her husband was the pastor. We had some serious problems in our Association where neighbors had committed fraud and conspiracy. We were just beginning to see how it was tied to other misbehavior in the larger community. At the service, the pastor talked about an accident where a man killed a two year old child. DUI, I believe. I thought the sermon was going to be about the pain of losing a child, and how you come back from such a tragedy. But it was all about how that pastor reached out to that man and how the man "turned" his life around by speaking about his experience to others. The pastor stated that the speeches were redeeming to the man.

I'm thinking to myself, this pastor seems to be way too interested in reaching out to someone who was responsible for destroying a family's life, than I feel comfortable with. There is just no balance in this sermon. I didn't even remember hearing the pastor state that the speeches might prevent someone else from committing the same mistake. It was all about making the sinner whole again from his perspective.

That's when my radar was activated. I had all these thoughts in my head that morning, trying to make sense to why it was that it never seemed that we could dig out from all the intrigue and deceit that was habitual in our community. It was one moving piece of a puzzle that connected with another when I heard that sermon. Because I began to realize that churches in America may have a different outlook and purpose than the churches where I grew up.

If you think about it, a church must operate as a business. There are bills to be paid. What could be more profitable to a church than to pull in people with deep pockets, who are seeking redemption? Think about the role that church would play in a community. People who have made transgressions against other community members can seek out the pastors, show them that they are remorseful and want absolution. They probably provide a huge donation to the church.

The pastor in turn, who may know the wronged individual, turns into a calculated broker. It's not like he's going to reach out to the victim and share information which is "blessed" by confidentiality. Instead, he does what churches in right-wing communities have done for the better part of two centuries. He teaches the victim to accept and forgive. He tells the victim that we can't know everything, but we need to forgive in order to free ourselves.

Which is the biggest crock of shit ever told in a community where there are two societies running parallel of each other, and one society just habitually shits on the other.

Can you ever imagine a worse misuse of authority? If my guess is right, churches just add to the dysfunctional societies we have to deal with in red communities.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Sun Dec 23, 2018, 12:24 PM (1 replies)

It's a pathetic strategy to use your child to dilute the consequences for your misdeeds.

I've seen it before at the HOA level. People who brutalized you in the past start appearing on the street, when it's obvious that something is going on in the community that will uncover their treachery. They know that I witnessed their misbehavior and now, in a ploy for sympathy, they suddenly appear when you're out gardening. I call it the gimp walk because they look dejected, limp, walk with a cane or hold their back in pain. And all I can think about is that this is just another ploy, like all the others.

The same kind of bad judgment they used to get themselves into that mess, is the same bad judgment that they use when they bring their children in to try to control your resolve. For example, we had a couple who was trying to steal the common grounds of our Association and they came to a meeting that was going to hold a vote on the issue. It wasn't just them. There was a large group that had been colluding in the background to make a move at a time when the Association wasn't quite on its feet. They were taking advantage of the ignorance of new neighbors, that had not been apprised of the location of those common grounds, nor that they had easement rights to use them. Of course, it was the older homeowners that kept this information from them.

Anyway, I, and others, managed to prevail in pushing the vote back to inform these people and it looked like it was going to be a nastier meeting than most. So they bring their children to the meeting, as if that was going to soften hearts. But by then, people were beginning to understand the extent of what the collusion between these insiders were going to cost us in the long run and no one was happy. It ended badly with the husband, who was president of the Association, resigning his seat. His wife left taking her pound cake with her.

It's one of those experiences that builds callouses around your sympathetic heart strings.
Posted by Baitball Blogger | Wed Dec 12, 2018, 12:11 PM (0 replies)
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