I am ranting, a bit tongue and cheek perhaps, but it’s still quite true! I simply must proclaim that in very liberal, extremely secular Washington state, we are the absolute masters of all legalism! Like, literally. I kid you not, one of these days I shall roll my eyes into the back of my head and they will just get stuck there.
Pierce County Sheriff office actually tweeted this out yesterday, “If you were the person who called 911 to report unsupervised kids selling drinks at a stand in Gig Harbor, please know that they are great kids & their mom was with them. And if you are one of those great kids, please know that our deputies reported the lemonade tasted awesome!”
It was very cute, accompanied by a picture of all the deputies enjoying the lemonade.
All cuteness aside however, all this legalism is really most annoying! Have you ever been pulled over for having “low wattage” on your license plate bulb? I have…twice. What can I say, apparently I am a dim bulb. What makes it so galling is that somebody actually complained, which means somebody actually scrutinized me thoroughly enough to come up with some semi plausible, legalistic, driving violation.
Once somebody actually reported my cat for trespassing and…..intimidation. I had a heck of a time keeping a straight face when two cops and animal control read me the laws about keeping dangerous animals contained. Also, I lost all respect for my alleged manly alpha neighbor……
We are just phenomenally legalistic, downright fascist really, and that’s the polite way of putting it. People here will call the cops over anything and everything.
Yesterday I watched a woman at the grocery store actually report a clerk who she said “had a bad attitude and was being insensitive to her glutin free needs.” I honestly just wanted to smack her in the back of the head, which would have given her something real to cry about. I pondered calling the cops to report an annoying woman in the process of annoying me…..
Plastic grocery bags, styrofoam to go containers, disposable coffee cups, and straws, these are all serious violations and there is absolutely no grace, nothing that resembles forgiveness or even common sense. Somebody at the recycling center actually scared the crap out of me by releasing this piercing shriek. I thought somebody had been stabbed! Dazed and confused, I endured this lecture about the evils of plastic clam shells, while still looking around frantically for the stabbing victim.
I actually had to calm the woman down, do some crisis counseling, and take her over to see the picture on the list of rules to assure her I was practicing sound recycling doctrine and placing things in the right bin. I also wanted to slap her so she would have something real to shriek about.
She rather smugly said, “well that’s not how we do things where I’m from.” I did not resist the urge to inform her she should really go back from whence she came, a paradise she no doubt had to flee after totally destroying it with all her self righteous shrieking.
I’m not sure if people are aware of this or not, but legalism is not just a blight on the churchian potato that taints all Christians as potentially self righteous hypocrites, it is also just an unfortunate aspect of human nature! Indeed, you can have totally bizarre, downright cultian, excessive religious legalism, without any religion at all!
Like when you feel the need to call the cops on kids having a lemonade stand…
In fact, it might even be worse, because without Jesus I have no context in which to speak of grace, mercy, and attempting to love your neighbor. Secular legalism is kind of like perpetual suspicion and condemnation with no chance of redemption. That’s part of the reason I often call this area the 9th circuit of hell.
Pray for me. I’m half mad already.