A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
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26-07-2011, 02:10 PM
A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
Kidding, it's not a joke.
I was in the book store earlier today, and standing in line. I see a priest heading for me (which is actually towards the back of the line forming to be waited on). He smiles and says "Oh I must be going the wrong way." "Yeah," I'm thinking to myself, "your whole life". There's a lady behind me who says to me that it's OK that he went the wrong way since he's a minister. Hold on a second here...I'm seriously supposed to let this man get away with doing something wrong just because he's wearing a collar?
Now, don't think I actually said anything to the priest, because I didn't. I don't care really that we went out of the store in the wrong direction, what I do care about though is that the 'flock' thinks it's A-OK for a leader to do wrong. Am I the only one that thinks that's insane? I really wish I had said something to her about that way of thinking. There is no one who is any better than anyone else simply because of the life they chose. A collar and black suit do not mean a good person.
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26-07-2011, 02:29 PM
RE: A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
You should have looked at his book selections. My head would explode if I saw a priest buying Russell's "Why I'm Not a Christian" or Hitchens' "God is Not Great."

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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26-07-2011, 02:32 PM
RE: A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
Mountain, meet mole hill.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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26-07-2011, 02:36 PM
RE: A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
I think you're reading a little bit too much into this. If the woman was religious then a priest/minister/pastor/whatever is a position of respect in her eyes. There's nothing wrong with that, and noone expected you to allow him to do something wrong. He had acknowledged his mistake, she was being friendly (and probably sensed his embarassment so made light of it to make him feel better) and even if she did think he could do no wrong, to what end would telling her off get you? You would have looked like a jerk for reading WAY too much into an innocent comment.

Sometimes atheists (myself included) are overly sensitive to religion and how it affects us. I try to remind myself that things like this are harmless, and not an affront to me simply because I am an atheist. No harm was done, so why let it affect you? Instead, be proud that you would have treated someone with the same good humor as this woman did, regardless of their garb. (Plus, if he was a firefighter, she probably would have said the same thing) Isn't it better to assume that she was just being nice rather than assuming she thinks a collar makes the guy a better person?

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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26-07-2011, 07:53 PM
RE: A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
Just to add to that, Stark, priests, for all the shit they take, give a lot to their communities. There's a big difference between a priest and a stock broker. On top of that, their contributions don't end abruptly at the limit of their congregations. Many outside of the religion benefit from their community work. In extreme cases, like Gustavo GutiƩrrez, entire countries, continents and communities the world over can benefit from their work. So maybe it's ok for them to be treated nice once in a while.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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27-07-2011, 06:29 AM
RE: A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
I wish I could have seen into his bag!

Wow, nice empathetic response there Matt.

Anway, when the priest walked by me I smiled, told him "No worries" and moved out of his way. I went to catholic school for 10 years and was confirmed. I left the church formally in my twenties, but have always had a little soft spot for nuns & priests. I guess because of the ones I've known since I was a kid, they knew my entire family and they were more like relatives than anything else.
This lady made her comment after he had already passed and I can't really imagine he was all that embarrassed over something as small as walking out the wrong direction. I am not one that sees a bunch of offenses every time I walk out the door (check around the site, this is my second ever post, I'm not a habitiual complainer as some can be). To me the woman's response was telling, in her eyes a minister can do no wrong. That's what I find irritating. If it was a cop or firefigher, I'd probably react the same way as I had with the priest, I don't think that just because you have a badge or collar you're given free passes. My issue is NOT with the priest, but with the lady.

Thanks guys for your responses and for the nice reminder of why I never share my thoughts...carry on, I'll go back to lurking now.
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27-07-2011, 07:34 AM
RE: A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
Not sure what the priest did wrong. Leaving by the wrong door, with purchases might mean that he's already paid or forgot to pay. If he had no books and was simply leaving the same way he came in, no harm.
(And if he's reading Hitchens, either: "Oh-oh, informed opposition" or "Welcome, Father.")

Perhaps the woman meant that he's less likely to be shoplifting than non-clergy (not necessarily true) or that clergy have the owners' permission to help themselves (i doubt it) or that - to me, the most probable reasoning - she does not want to be seen, giving a hard time to a collar.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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27-07-2011, 07:57 AM
RE: A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
Meh people are odd about those in uniform, like cops, military, etc... I've been given a lot of free stuff/free passes when I happen to be wearing my uniform (I got a WHOLE tank of gas paid for once!)... I usually feel pretty awkward about it, considering I kinda dislike the military and what the USA is doing.

I try not to let it bother me, but I can totally see where you are coming from.

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27-07-2011, 08:18 AM
 
RE: A Priest Walks into a Barnes and Noble...
Xiola - If I understand this right, what the woman said happened to remind you of a mentality among both the religious and people in general that you find troubling. It's not a great example to illustrate that mentality, but it got you thinking about it regardless. If you want to discuss that kind of mentality, then I'd go with some better examples, but it is interesting how little things like that can remind us of something more serious/significant.

There's no need to defend the reaction you had to such a relatively unimportant event and no need for anyone to criticize it either. I just wouldn't try to read so far into what the woman did and justify the position that it's part of a greater problem.
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