A prime place to people watch is at Church. Despite accepting people from all walks of life and preaching that God is the only One that will judge you in your afterlife, there’s a lot of shade being thrown in Church to those who aren’t comformitive or a bit odd. Me, being a gay Catholic, mastered throwing shade at an early age and, perhaps, throw it only too often.
But sometimes my judgements are quite justified.
Now, there are a few things that I shrug off during Church because it’s excusable. My sister and mother sing loudly offkey and, in my mother’s instance, in her Asian accent, but at least they sing. My family’s also guilty of glancing at our phones during the collection, reading the bulletin during the Readings and nodding off during the homily (who doesn’t?).
When I was younger, I’d sleep during the midnight Christmas mass. During regular weekend mass, my siblings and I would play hand games, do shadow puppets or chip off my mom’s blood-red polish on her claw-like nails, which would alternatively be punctured into our skins if we embarrassed her by being loud or disrespectful.
My nephews now are spoiled with how easy they have it, bringing toys, food and books in their diaper tote everyday, but back in the 1990s, my siblings and I had ourselves to play with, with no drink or food and only my Barney stuffed animal, which I took everywhere. But I digress.
I could understand why some people may be dressed in their baseball uniform or overalls because maybe they came from 4H or from practice, and less sympathetically find it permissible for people wearing sweat shirt, tank tops and Daisy Dukes only because it’s better than not attending service. I overlook the fact that some people don’t genuflect to their knee(s) or kneel with support on their tookus on the bench, even though I think both are signs of laziness. I throw massive shade at the parents who take the laid-back, hands-off technique on their children and let them run wild and scream, but some of them genuinely can’t help it.
But there are some genuine misconduct at Church at I can’t help but throw constant shade to those to commit them. When I see a full-grown Mexican father sitting against the wall of a pew on Easter mass playing his PSP with headphones in, not even making an attempt to stand or kneel at proper times but just sitting there, it’s pretty ridiculous. When I see a 4+ member family come in right before Communion and leave right after, I can’t help but shake my head and reference them in my mind as “Those People.” But there’s one singular act that I’ve witnessed that I absolutely found heinously disrespectful.
How would you react if you caught a random man reaching into your purse to grab a tampon? How would you feel if you found out that, during a house party you hosted, a stranger had taken your TV remote? What rage would incur in your body if you were standing in line at Best Buy, or Coach, or Bass Pro Shop for the newest product being 50% off, when the person in front of you is suddenly joined by 5 more people (whom have their iPhones opened to Craigslist, writing an ad for the product), resulting in you getting the grim, “Sorry Folks! Sold out!” from an unreasonably smiley worker? That’s how I felt when I saw a non-Christian man take the Eucharist and tried to just walk away with it.
In those instances, it must be said that if you were the perpetrator of these crimes, then you would see it as a fair, acceptable act, that some people are lucky or that it was for a good laugh. But coming from the victim’s standpoint, all these acts are horrendously vile and a bitch thing to do. If your male friend asked you for a tampon for their nosebleed, or someone you knew needed a controller for their cable box and you happened to have an extra one, or if you were in line for the new iPhone when you already have an iPhone 6+ and it were your friends that had cut you in line on Black Friday, you wouldn’t feel too bad about it all. But here’s a stranger, taking the most sacred item in Catholicism and walking away with it like he just caught a frog in his hand.
The priest had seen how this man handled the Eucharist and stopped him, asking, “Wait, are you Catholic?” He shook his head no, smiling at him. The priest took it back and continued with Communion. I had my eye on this guy, who had sat a few pews ahead of me and seemed out of sorts. He was joined by a girl and another guy, and the two guys had a rough time knowing what to do during the whole service, deciding that being awkward, goofing off and disrespectful was the best way about it.
The church allows people to receive a blessing instead of the Eucharist for those who aren’t Christian. Most of the time, those people don’t even go up in line for Communion and stay in their pews. That’s two options that this man could’ve chosen, but like an idiot, he decided it’d be a laugh to go receive the Eucharist and take it back to his seat to save it for later, like rolls at a buffet. It’s common sense– you don’t do that shit at any religious service.
You pass on the lamb’s blood at a devil-worshipping ceremony. You let the Greek family smash the plates during the Greek wedding. You politely reply a hard “No” when a friend asks you to be their Plus-One to a Brit Milah (Jewish male circumcision ceremony). You should pass on accepting the Eucharist if you’re not Christian. It’s absolutely simple logic.
Maybe I’m expecting too much common sense from the everyday American, expecting an ounce of respect to be shown in a religious setting. People get worked up over other small non-important 1st-World-Problem things like an unnecessarily stupid Buzzfeed article, but can’t be sympathetic or “accepting of others” enough to see how disrespect for the Eucharist is a terrible offense to Christians. Perhaps I was raised with too much consideration of others and respect for everyone that I can’t even fathom the state of mind of some people.