Sunday, August 3, 2008


I am trying very hard to be the adult here, but I want to stomp and complain and BITCH, so blog, you are the place I am going to vent tonight. Hopefully this way I can get it out of my system and not be excommunicated next week.

And I am deliberately NOT using the name of my church - I don't want any search engines picking this up (especially after I've already used the word bitch and may use hell and damn before I am finished). The two of you who are my only readers will know, I am certain, what I am talking about.

I was asked to begin a book club last year. And yes, I was asked by the leader of my church's women's organization. So I set a date, and a place, and invited a lot of women generally (and some women specifically) to come. We met - we all made some suggestions - we picked a particular book to read that month - and the pattern was established.

And we've read some pretty good books.

Sounds okay, right?

NOW the plot thickens (I love that expression - like adding creme of tarter to a soup).

I should mention somewhere in here that members of my church tend to be rather conservative, although the church as a unit remains STEADFASTLY out of politics (which I just love) - and my local congregation takes that conservative tendency to EXTREME levels (read that pretty far right).

But (back to the book club). since I was also responsible for the church's sacrament meeting bulletin also, I made certain that our little group received the publicity it obviously needed (since it began and has remained a relatively small group) by putting in every week the book we were reading, and the date and time of our next meeting.

No problem - never a comment - this went out to EVERYone in our congregation that attended sacrament meeting EVERY week.

Until about three weeks ago.

The book club had agreed, upon my suggestion, on reading Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope." My husband had read it, and recommended it - no one else had any book to recommend - okay, decision was made. We weren't reading it really as a political book, but to gain more insight on Obama's life and views.

And I, of course, if regular fashion, put my little note in the sacrament bulletin, "The Book Club will meet on ____ at ___ to discuss this month's selection, 'The Audacity of Hope' by Barack Obama."

AHA! Now, suddenly, this gets attention.

It didn't help that at this exact time I had asked to be released from doing the sacrament bulletin. I was having an increasingly difficult time with sitting for more than 10 to 15 minutes. And since I needed to be at church 2 hours before to make copies (an extremely long tale about 'our' people never get anything done early, but I'm not going to get into that), I needed to stand through most of our services, and generally had choir practice for an hour afterwards, it was getting more and more difficult to last through our entire block of meetings, let alone the time before and after.

So, when my little book club announcement did NOT appear the first week that I do NOT create and copy the bulletin, I asked the executive secretary (who was doing it until someone was formally asked) why not?

I think that is what started the whole ball rolling.

Suddenly the book club listing in the regular women's organization listing disappears - I am asked to NOT distribute my regular fliers to the youth and children's organizations until the women's organization president (a newer one since I was asked to begin the book group) has spoken to me. And when I ask her what's going on, SHE needs to talk to the local church's leader first.

Then, extremely embarrassed, she explains to me that all readings for the book club must be approved IN ADVANCE by the local church leader.

I will bet you five million, thirty-eight thousand, two hundred and fifty-six dollars ($5,380,256) that NONE of this would have happened if the book club selection had been John McCain's "Faith of My Fathers."

Okay, I am going to be the grown-up now. I will have the book club list IN ADVANCE submitted.

But oh, I am SORELY tempted to simply submit what we have read for the PAST year and get it rubber-stamped. I am also sorely tempted to simply hand over the leadership of our book club to someone else who will only accept 'church-approved' reading choice.

Thanks - I need to get that out of my system.


Jen said...

GEEZ- You wouldn't want to LEARN anything about a possible future president of the country, would you? Heaven forbid you make an educated, well researched & thoughtful vote. This kind of thing really REALLY annoys me. It's not like you were asking them to read romance novels about heaving bosoms- it's a freaking political biography, people!
Good for you for being a grown-up, though... I would probably be all passive aggressive and start being that crazy woman who gets up in testimony meeting and starts expressing my gratefulness that the "local church leaders" have so MUCH TIME on their hands that they are able to give such eager attention to a little ole' woman's book club. And then I would start wearing jeans to church, and then I would probably be excommunicated.

Because, you know- all evil starts with reading books about democrats.

Harmony said...

I ditto Jen's comments and.....