Alex responds to those who don’t like the idea of a “cop church”
It’s Thursday, so you know what that means in southeast Tennessee: There’s a new church in town. (Much like Wednesday, Monday, and every other day of the week, come to think of it. Gotta love the South.)
This in itself isn’t particularly interesting because a quick search of “churches” in a Chattanooga area directory revealed in excess of 880 results…but ol’ #881 here has garnered more negative consensus than any other in recent memory.
“Two awful tastes that taste worse together.” – Angry Person #513
“Welcome [to the church]? Let me the hell out!” – Angry Person #1083
“Look, our new middle class has a place to go and learn how to beat hippies to death.” – Angry Person #783
“My worst nightmare.” – Angry Person #007
“The inquisition cannot be far behind. This is the last time the police mixed religion with jobs.” – Angry Person #916
Hey, I gave it away there at the end. Yes, there is a new church service geared towards cops, called “Cop Church.” Catchy, yeah?
The first sermon apparently needs to be on thick skin. I mean, such animosity for a group of co-workers that at the end of the day are looking for a spiritual reckoning that accommodates 24/7 shifts and the horrors that make you question the existence of “God” in the first place. The fact that such a thing can be vilified is in itself strange to me, and this from someone who is well aware of the bottomless capacity for people to be assholes in general.
Me? I don’t expect anything out of anyone, ever, when it comes to gratitude. I have never worked a shift with the expectation of being appreciated so I don’t recall ever being let down. I learned long, long ago that if you want gratitude, become a fireman.
“Boom.” I’m OK with that. (I even knew about the shitty pay.) How do I deal with this? I’m a columnist. Why not?
I let people dictate their interactions with me; they’re usually upset, I get it. I factor that in and I treat them with respect and if they don’t return it,, that’s fine...so long as I can do my job. And if they choose to interfere with that task, I’m prepared for that as well.
I personally abhor violence, it’s part of the reason I do this. By that I mean I despise seeing violence done unto others as much as I detest having to use it to prevent such or to bring such to justice—but I will and I will always let you know that in advance so you can make a more informed decision.
While I care for my customers, you need to know you are just that and I will have to tend to another one shortly, no matter how complicated you want to make the next few hours (or months) of your life. People like the commenters above keep trying to make this personal, but—it’s not.
I’m not there to be liked or applauded, I’m there to do a job; one you pay me for, as most are quick to point out. And that job, for the record, does not include getting shot, getting spit on, or otherwise being assaulted no matter how many times I see people actually put it in print that those are parts of my job. (Who would sign up for that? Seriously?) I just ask that you let me do it and not to make it any more difficult, because it really isn’t easy to begin with in most cases.
Why am I saying all this? Just to let you know I treasure your freedom to say really vile things about people trying to do a very good thing, and to let you know in advance that I don’t have anything to be ashamed of no matter what kind of guilt trip you are pushing, and again that this is not personal no matter how much you want it to be.
I respect the hardworking people that serve my food at a restaurant during a 12-hour shift, that sell me coil packs for my truck, or take my money for a delicious sloppy hot dog. And I hope I would respect those trying to help me out in an emergency.
If you choose not to respect someone in all likelihood you yourself called for assistance (or caused to be called as a result of your actions)? Suit yourself, it’s OK. You’ve made your role apparent. I’m just doing the same. I’ll help you as much as you allow me to. If not? I still have plenty of work left to do and an open door for people slightly more open-minded.
But vilifying people for asking for spiritual refuge from the horror their own neighbors commit? Wow.
“Bullying” indeed never goes out of style, even when it comes to faith.