Now, I do not routinely try to get people fired. I know what it’s like, and it’s awful. But I felt in this case that a complaint was justified.
For one thing, think about it: We pay this guy to drive us. He doesn’t work for a church.
For another thing, we are pretty much held captive on the van. We can’t just demand he let us off. Because most of us cannot walk, or cannot walk far. Those of us who are more impaired really have it bad, because they cannot even object in a coherent manner – maybe they feel upset, but are not sure why.
Finally, we don’t have alternative means of transportation. Because, I can assure you, most of us would rather have our own cars or another way to get places. The van is often late, and sometimes people have to wait for pick-up at doctor’s offices, shops, etc., for an hour or more.
Think about it. Look around the places you go and see if they have benches. Most do not and no, we are not allowed to ask that the driver come into the store to get us (so we can sit while we wait) – unless we are not capable of mobility, we are expected to stand outside the place and wait.
This is why I bought the “Rest-N-Roll”, because it has a chair attached to it. It’s a shopping cart on wheels, with a chair – pretty cool, but expensive, and I had to save up months for it.
So, anyway, we are pretty much at the mercy of the van drivers. Which means, in 2 cases, we put up with listening to right-wing talk shows that the driver has on the radio. I don’t mind, because I think right-wing radio shows are funny. Because the hosts are so outrageous.
And the drivers who do this do not push their opinions on passengers, nor turn it up so loud that we cannot talk to each other, or to them.
We put up with other passengers and their stupidity, such as the woman who goes on and on about how she will damn well say “Merry Christmas” to whomever she wants! In Walmart too!
Completely missing, of course, the whole point of why employees don’t say it. (They do, anyway, so sheesh)
We put up with the passengers who rail against how unruly kids are, when in their day they had prayer in school, and that’s the whole problem now – we need to bring back school prayer!
Or, worst of all (in my opinion), the passengers who accuse the president of treason, state that he hates America, and stop short of using the “n” word. I really can’t stand people like that, because the only reason they don’t like the president is because of his race.
So, anyway, I just tune this stuff out, because even if it’s ever addressed to me by another passenger, I tell them I don’t agree, and that’s the end of it.
But when drivers decide they can bother you about your beliefs (or lack of), no. That’s over the top. And the way this driver did it, qualifies as microaggression. Chances are, 99% of the riders he does this to all state they go to church, or agree with him in some way. This is, after all, a very conservative part of Pennsylvania.
Though I very much doubt he would speak to an Amish person in this way. I would hope not, anyway. He is probably scared of them, which is another weird thing about central PA – fear of the Amish. Another post, another time.
I mean, what did the driver expect? Did he expect me to suddenly say, “Oh! I didn’t realize I wasn’t going to heaven! I have never heard that! What can I do to save my soul??”
No, he didn’t expect that, because that wasn’t his intention. And anyone, even a dimwit like him, knows that most Americans have heard of Christianity. Heck, go to any doctor’s waiting room in the mornings and what do you find? Pat Robertson and the 700 Club on the tv. It’s everywhere.
No, he wasn’t trying to “share the good news”. He was being an aggressive, hateful individual. He was taking out his dislike of non-Christians on me. Or trying to shame me for thinking as I do.
That’s being a dickhead. And I am not at all concerned if I got him fired. Heck, my concern now is that he isn’t fired and I will have to put up with him on another occasion when I use the van.
Because, basically, I have never heard of anyone getting fired for this kind of thing.
What usually happens is the guy is told to not mention Christianity to this particular client, who clearly is just being a bitch (wink, nudge).
That’s what always happens in Memphis, anyway, and I wouldn’t expect it to be different here. I can hope, though.
I have my doubts because, among other things, the van service does not run on Good Friday. Which is not a federal or state holiday. I know this because my check is deposited on Good Friday, and if it were a federal holiday, it would be there the day before.
Which means this is telling us that Blair Senior Services is a Christian company. A Christian company that gets state funds and lottery money.
A Christian company that has prayers before the meals they serve seniors who cannot afford to eat sometimes. I know this because I had to wait for a van transfer at the senior center, and was given the stink eye by staff for not bowing my head when they prayed.
I was sitting off to the side, minding my own business. But even if I had been there for lunch, what gives them the right to do that??
Assholes. For all they knew, I could have been Jewish. Or Hindu. Or…………Muslim. I wonder what they would have said if I had been wearing a hijab?
But here’s the point: It’s these kinds of things that poor people are subjected to, when they do not have a choice in the matter because they don’t have the money to escape/avoid it. It is marginalizing, and it is dismissive. And it takes advantage of a position of power.
It assumes that either everyone is Christian, or everyone needs to be Christian. In the case of the van service not running on Good Friday, it forces an inconvenience on many of us who need to go to the doctor that day, or go shopping. And I resent that.
One of the passengers saw that sign the other day, that said the van didn’t run on Good Friday. She thought that was wonderful, because she remembers when she was a girl none of the businesses were open on Good Friday from noon-3PM. Now, she stated, no one has any respect for Christians anymore!
I remember as a girl, my mother used to have us be quiet on Good Friday from noon-3PM. So she could read the Bible, or we could just sit and think about the crucifixion, or something because…reasons.
But none of the businesses were closed. Of course, California was always progressive that way, I guess. How is any of that disrespectful?
When I was a child, we sang hymns in school (yes, even in California public schools). I can only imagine how some kids must have felt, having to do that when it wasn’t part of their belief system. That is disrespectful.
What would Jesus do? Well, I’m fairly sure He wouldn’t act like an obnoxious asshole just because people didn’t follow Him from town to town. I don’t recall Him ever pressuring people to think in any particular way.
And He got angry at the temple because the money-changers were requiring people to buy sacrificial animals. Maybe in today’s world, Jesus would have turned over tables at the mega-churches in Memphis. Or at CBN.
Jesus sought out people who needed help. He didn’t just hang around with people who thought as He did – though it’s debatable if anyone thought as He did, as the disciples were all the time complaining that they didn’t understand Him because He often spoke in parables.
Parables. Those things in the Bible that this pagan knows better than most of the Christians she’s run into. In fact, lest you all think I am intolerant, I once worked on the “spiritual” ward of Delta Medical in Memphis (the one job I didn’t get fired from and wish to this day I hadn’t left to come to this horrible place), and used parables as therapeutic tools for the Christians in my care.
So go screw yourselves. I am more than respectful, in general, of Christians. But being a Christian does not give you the right to force it on anyone, especially those who are sick and/or disabled, and helpless to stand up to you. It doesn’t make you superior to other people.
Freedom of religion is freedom to not be dictated to by a government regarding what you do, or do not, believe. Why do you people not get that? You cannot take public funds and then push religion on people. Because we are all different – some believe in some ways, some don’t believe in anything, but we all fund public institutions with our tax money, our lottery tickets, and so on.
Just because our society did that once, a long time ago, doesn’t make it right. And because someone stood up and took it to the Supreme Court, we don’t do it anymore. Just like we don’t deny people the right to vote, or any number of stupid things people did just because they were in power, and they could.
So, if I got the van driver fired, good. That just means that no one else has to put up with his aggressiveness. And, considering most of us who use the van are not feeling all the great physically most days, it gives us a little peace when we’re out and about. It should be one of the places where being disabled isn’t looked down on, and everyone is treated kindly.
As far as Blair Senior Services taking public money and instituting policies such as no van service on arbitrary Christian holidays, I will table that – for now. But if I am subjected to, or see, any religious microaggression on their vans again, I’m contacting the ACLU.
That’s not attacking your freedom of religion, that’s just standing up for the freedom from your religion for the rest of us. Don’t like it? Have your church run a van service like….oh, wait, I don’t know any churches that take their Christian charity seriously enough to do something like that.
Clothe the poor, heal the sick, feed the hungry? Does any of that ring a bell?
Today’s weirdness comes from “Inexplicata – The Journal of Hispanic Ufology”. And if you, like my daughter, have a fear of not only aliens but also of robots (I think this is my fault for watching Dr. Who when my daughter was little), this is probably a story you ought to skip. The person reporting this stated that he had seen some lights in the sky…
“…and shortly after the vehicle touched ground, we could hear footsteps. We saw what you might term a robot, about a meter forty tall and some sixty centimeters wide. It was a square robot. We couldn’t tell whether it had a head or arms. It had an overall metallic appearance. We saw that it stood near our fence, a meter from the house. We have a small dog that barks all the time. The robot was imitating the dog’s bark…” (“Spain: A Spectacular Landing – With Robots (1981)”, Inexplicata – The Journal of Hispanic Ufology, 3/15/15)
By the time the man had grabbed a hunting knife – why anyone would think a knife could defend against a robot attack is anyone’s guess – the robot was gone, and so was the UFO. The place where the robot had been ‘sitting’ was scorched, as if from a heat ‘blast’ (as opposed to fire, though how could they tell?).
Barking like a dog or not, I think if I saw a robot in my yard I would be scared to death. I don’t think I would go out there and try to get a closer look. I’m cowardly that way.
Recommendations for this week – no books, as most of the ones I have read lately are not very good. No movies, either – I am not pleased with the lack of recent movies on Hulu. But I did find a site that shows you where online you can see recent movies, and it’s called “All My Faves”.
It has faves of all sorts, not just movies, and where to find them all on the web. Worth a look. I haven’t seen any of the movies yet, but the ones I was looking for were there: “Buyer’s Club” (Jared Leto), “The Judge” (Robert Duvall), and “Heat” (Melissa McCarthy). Might watch this weekend.
Be good. Be kind. Don’t bring a knife to a robot fight.