Visitor Cards

January 13, 2009

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You step into a fundamentalist church and are immediately accosted by a greeter with a visitor’s card. Nothing says “Welcome!” to a visitor like a card asking your for Name, birth date, address, phone number, e-mail address, children’s names, and blood type. Ok, that’s stretching it a bit. Since when do fundies contact people by e-mail?

“Just drop this in the offering plate!” says the usher happily, leaving you to forage around for one of those little pencils that are stuck in the back of the pew. For a moment you consider leaving a fake address and phone number but isn’t it extra wrong to lie on a church questionnaire? With a sigh, you scratch the answer in.

And what’s this? At the top is a large garish sticker that reads “GUEST” in orange letters. The small print helpfully instructs “peel and affix to clothing.” Excellent! As if you didn’t already stand out like a sore thumb.

After the third hymn the same usher trips down the aisle with the offering plate. He knows you’ve got a visitors card and his lifted eyebrows tell you that burying it in your hymnbook is not an option. So into the offering plate the card goes. You idly wonder how much trouble it would be to sell your house and move three counties away…