April 19, 2019

Ridiculous Cross Parades Blocking Traffic

Jesus carrying the cross

I have the day off of work because the Christian majority couldn't possibly be expected to work on Dead Jesus Day. I got up at my usual time and worked from home for a couple hours before heading to the local home improvement store. I needed fertilizer, weed killer, and a few other things. Everything is growing this time of year, and I had recently discovered that I had used up almost all of my garden supplies last winter.

I made it to the store without incident, quickly found everything I needed, and started home. The traffic was unusually bad, but I figured it must be because everybody else had the day off too. Then I came upon an accident. It did not appear that anyone was hurt, but one of the vehicles appeared to be damaged to the point that I was not sure it was drivable. Strangely, the traffic did not improve after I had passed the accident. In fact, it got even worse. Even with many people having the day off, one does not expect bumper-to-bumper traffic at 10am where I live. I was puzzled.

As I crept up over a small hill, I saw police lights. As I got closer, I could see two police cars with their lights on. Neither seemed to have pulled anyone over, and there were no other vehicles near them that would have suggested another accident. Why did it look like there were people walking on the road? As I got closer, I recognized a familiar sight. Somewhere between 30 and 50 people were walking down on the shoulder of the road in single-file, and the man at the front had a large wooden cross draped over his shoulder. Evangelical fundamentalist Christians!

There were two police cars with two uniformed officers in each providing traffic control as these Christians brought traffic on the busiest street in town to a standstill. In places where the shoulder was not wide enough, the officers positioned their cars in the right lane so as to close it completely. I wonder if these Christians paid the police department for this service or if my tax dollars were paying for it. I hoped for the former but strongly suspected the latter. I wonder whether these officers would provide this service for Muslims, Jews, Satanists, or any other group that decided they'd like to block traffic. I couldn't help but think of the accident I had passed earlier. There had not been any police officers there. I guess they had other priorities.

I am all for religious believers, including Christians, being able to practice their religion. The thing is, there are many places for them to do so without disturbing others: churches. I have seen these ridiculous cross parades many times here in Mississippi. They always occur in public places, almost always take place on the busiest street in town, almost always disrupt traffic, and often take law enforcement officers away from their jobs. I have no problem with these Christians doing this, but they need to find somewhere else to do it. They need to learn how to practice their religion without involving unwilling participants.