We recently interviewed Ashley and David (names have been changed to protect their identities) about their heartbreaking journey while trying to navigate the hyperbolic and choppy waters of settling into their proper group at Church. Although they’ve been married for 2 years, they have yet to feel at home with either the self-righteous judgmental hypocrites or the easily-offended shame police.
Ashley explains their delay in ending up in one of the two binary groups at Church as being completely unintentional. “When we first met, we were just super busy and so in love. We didn’t think about our responsibility to be either judgmental or easily offended.” She smiles at the memory and continues, “we actually went through this irrational-idealistic phase where we thought that folks at church have a wide variety of talents and weaknesses; we believed that 16+ million Church members can’t be easily divided into two negative stereotypes of judgemental or easily offended. But then we read a bunch of divisive blogger posts that went viral, and we realized we really have to commit to a group.”
David nods in agreement, adding, “it’s been really stressful for us. We feel stuck in the middle, and quite frankly, both groups are picking on us. When I taught Sunday School last week, I had a judgmental-grouper insinuate that I was a slacker and unprepared, but then an easily-offended guy accused me of not calling on him because he has long hair. I honestly couldn’t decide whether to be easily offended by the judgy guy, or critical of easily-offended dude. I was really starting to sweat it, but then Ashley saved me. She raised her hand and asked if Diet Coke was against the Word of Wisdom, and that took the focus off me. My sweetie saved me in the nick of time.”
Ashley jumps in, saying, “all we really want is to be in the same group. We just want to be together. It can be a great bonding experience for a couple to be judgmental of others. All the way home from Church, you can point out everyone’s flaws and laugh diabolically together. Of course, it’s fun to be easily offended as a couple, too. It’s also more in-style right now, so you’ll get a lot of support when you throw the Church under the bus, especially if you do it online.”
David squeezes Ashley’s hand and smiles. She beams back at him. They have no doubt that together, they can face anything. They’re even thinking of starting their own group that focuses on serving the Lord instead of obsessing over who is too judgmental and who is too easily offended.
Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece with fictional characters, but the issues it raises are real.