Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Banging On My High Chair

I’m not through banging on my high chair about that Catholic church that’s boycotting Pepsi. (See previous post.)

This church that I sang with for one Sunday is boycotting all Pepsi products because PepsiCo includes sensitivity training toward GLBTs in their new-employee orientation - - along with sensitivity training toward disability, race, gender and religion. PepsiCo has also made a donation to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Yes, I realize that a tax-exempt organization can be as bigoted as they want. That’s the beauty of the separation of church and state. But how productive is it to boycott a company simply because they’re being inclusive of a particular group of people? What is this church hoping to gain by doing so? What message are they sending?

I know that the Roman Catholic Church considers same-sex sexual activity a sin. Fine and dandy. (It's not like I'm some sort of crazed, kamikaze penis or something.)

But they also say that gay people should not be discriminated against and that they’re even welcome in religious orders.

When I saw the reason for this church’s boycott, it was as if they were saying, “We will not support this company because they accommodate people like you and that's wrong simply because of who you are. That was the message they were sending, loud and clear.

That, in my opinion, is pretty messed up.

When people do things like this, it’s often an easy and convenient means of placing themselves on a pedestal. It’s often done out of ignorance and fear.

That’s pretty messed up.

What really upset me so much about this, is that I’ve spent the last ten years staying away from the church. I had been so disillusioned from the years that I spent as a monk and a friar while studying for the priesthood. Finally, I was making some tentative steps back and even looked forward to using my music in the Church once again. I think I even prayed for that just a little bit.

Then, there was that notice and the message it conveyed. A notice from a church whose mission is supposed to be one of healing and reconciliation, yet it was so disaffected and destructive.

That’s pretty messed up.

I’m not going to name this parish. No matter how much I’d like to have people google the Pepsi boycott and come across my frustrated opining about this parish, my years of wisdom has taught me to never, ever burn bridges and I’m going to stick to that.

I’m not going to become an avid Pepsi drinker. I simply prefer the nutmeggy flavor of Coke over the minty undertaste of Pepsi. I'm not going to participate in the next Pride Parade, either, because it's held in June and it's not air-conditioned.

I will, however, be singing at the Episcopal cathedral beginning next Sunday. (Their head pastor and the local bishop are both girls.)

Let the healing begin.

Update: I just received an email from the anti-Pepsi church inviting me to sing in the choir on a permanent basis.

Hmmm. I think I'll stick with the Episcopal church from now on. Even though Anne Bolyn and Catherine Howard didn't fare too well with the church their hubby initiated, I think it will serve me well to make this change.

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At 11:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do think you should tell them why you have chosen not to sing with them. Some bridges need to be burned.

At 2:19 PM , Blogger Bad Alice said...

Hi! Thanks for dropping by my blog - glad you enjoyed the post.

I didn't know this about Pepsi. I'm surprised my (ultra-conservative Presbyterian) workplace hasn't made a pointed removal of all Pepsi products from our kitchen. I think they're lazier than Catholics about boycotting stuff that could inconvenience them.

BTW, I scrolled down and just about spit out my coffee reading about your redecorating. I should have been working on a newsletter, but this was so much more fun.

At 8:56 AM , Blogger Barb said...

I am intolerant of intolerance! Did that make sense? I was raised catholic but I think it scarred me very early on. When I do make it to church now it's usually Methodist (although I don't obey the "non-gambling" thing). I loved the Moravian church we went to for years in Raleigh, NC. Sadly, there is not one here.


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