Southern Religion


When Christians leave a church, members go find them, if for no other reason to make sure they’re alright. Don’t they?

Real Live Preacher writes:

Most of the time when people leave our church, however, they just disappear. We notice their repeated absence after some weeks have passed.

After which he tries to track them down, to find out why they left. Which is, after all, his job. Otherwise, although he does not say so, they might actually disappear or be abandoned. As often happens in our society, as Norman Jamison doesn’t quite say either when he chronicles the cases of:

Those were headline-grabbing, heart-rending cases in a nation which both systematically and accidentically abandons people. We abaondone people because they have become inconvenient. And when that aspect of our nature comes home to us, we look briefly and turn away. As we did in 2005, when the evidence was massive:

“Let me tell you about abandoned people,” whispered J.R., his voice rising above the sighs and soft snores of sleepers curled on the church pews around him.

“Those people who were abandoned in New Orleans,” he said, “they were abandoned long before that hurricane hit. We all were.”

J.R. (he gave no other name) spends his days with 100 others, embraced in the warmth of a magnificent edifice, 103-year-old St. Boniface Church.

Sunlight streams through stained glass and gilded saints smile down upon them from the domed ceilings; the smells of their sour, acrid clothes and bodies mix with the lingering scent of incense.

This looks like an evacuation center – row after row of desperate people and their sparse belongings, a backpack here, a blanket there.

But this roomful of displaced people is neither an emergency shelter nor a temporary situation.

This is an ongoing, daily, chronic disaster.

Or visit a nursing home, where able-bodied family members have discarded those with whom they no longer wish to be bothered. You don’t have to look far. We’re Americans. We abandon the inconvenient.


September 25, 2009 - Posted by | Churches, Politics, Religion |

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