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August 8th, 2006

There is a church in our town that has one of those changeable signs, where the minister can put up a thought for the day.

I don’t know where he gets these ideas, but quite a bit of the time I have to resist the urge to pull over, pound on the door and debate him on syntax, philosophy, or the inability on his part to understand the implications of what he’s writing.

Last week, it was:

JESUS CALLED
HE WANTS YOU TO COME HOME

Now, for the last six months, I’ve been working for a conservative Lutheran charity. As a lapsed Roman Catholic turned practicing Episcopalian, stirred up with heavy doses of hardened cynic, this is occasionally a challenge.

My mother is Lutheran. I speak Lutheran, but as a second language. I can get by.

A big part of my job has been finding dead Lutherans. In the database. Not just laying around anywhere. I help find death records and obituaries to confirm the location of donors so we don’t waste postage trying to send bulk mail to the wrong astral plane. During the course of a week, I read a lot of obituaries. It is more than a little depressing.

And I know what it means when “Jesus calls you home”. It means you’ve hopped the last flight out with a one way ticket, and I can decease your record and stop your mail.

I don’t think

DROP DEAD

is an appropriate thing to write on a church sign.