November 13, 2008
No, not 27 Dresses. You'll have to look elsewhere for witty, romantic banter. I'm discussing the fact that I went to a municipal office yesterday to pay a bill and that's what I was faced with--28 crosses hanging on the wall behind the receptionist's desk. Twenty-eight gaudy crosses of all different shapes, sizes, materials and origins. There were metal ones and ceramic ones, beaded ones and simple ones. But there were no less than 28 and they were accompanied by a couple of depictions of Jesus with a few saints thrown in for good measure. The smallest of these crosses was at least 6"-8" in height. These weren't itty, bitty crosses. These were definitely up for some serious blessing.
After waiting the required amount of time expected at any municipal office, I was helped by a somewhat stereotypically grouchy receptionist who, after stamping, printing and copying the duplicate and triplicate forms, wished me a blessed day.
Before I go on my little tirade, yes, I know she probably meant it kindly, and yadda, yadda, yadda, but bear with me for a bit, 'k?
Let's say for a second that the wall had been full of many versions of Buddha--laughing Buddha, sitting Buddha, etc. Or maybe, many versions of the Star of David--a glittery one, a metal one, a beaded one, one made out of macaroni and gold spray paint--would that have been ok? Would people have been ok with the Muslim symbols? Pagan symbols? No. I think it would have sent them, clutching their crosses, and running.
Am I wrong? Would you have felt uncomfortable with an over the top display of a religion that differs so greatly from yours in a municipal building?
What makes them think that I am ok with the 28 crosses? What makes that appropriate for a government building? It isn't. Pure and simple. That clearly promotes that religion. And I'm not talking subtle nuance or traditions that have been long established. I'm not talking about a simple cross or picture on a personal desk. I'm talking a full-out, crazy, cross lady--a stark, raving, mad, cross collector loose at the Trenton Water Works. I don't want to be blessed, thanks. And I sure as hell don't need my water blessed. I just need you to stop screwing up the accounts.
It is completely an inappropriate place for that kind of a personal display. Believe whatever you want to but there's no need for the decoupage deity behind the counter at the water works. And you know what? You can even wish me a blessed day if that floats your boat. I probably wouldn't have minded if it hadn't felt like I was at the Inquisition. Can atheists partake in the municipal water? Just curious.
cross posted at Ya Gotta Believe