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One advantage of living in a warmer climate is the luxury of year-round use of a front porch.  Front porches allow neighbors to call greetings, tune in to the regular comings and going of fellow dwellers, watch out for one another, and receive early warnings of approaching salespeople.  As Martha might say, “They’re a good thing.”

One of the neighbors receives a daily visit from “The Son.”  He seems nice enough, but it’s apparent his visits, while welcome in general, wear on his aged, Greek Orthodox parents.  I know the latter as I see the Missus walk to church every morning.  She’s a sweet lady who still dresses to the 9’s and does her own shopping.  I see her walking with her little wheeled cart, too.  Mister, with walker, ambles down to the coffee shop at the end of the block a few times a day to enjoy a smoke.  He tinkers in his garage and waves to passers by.  I like these people; they remind me of what I remember of my own great-grandparents.  

The Son, the visitor, is a different story. It seems he is a committed Evangelical.  Jesus is praised often within earshot.  Friends and family via cell phone are scolded a lot, too.  Jesus apparently would not approve of some of these people.  Though I am not positive, I swear I’ve seen the Missus roll her eyes and Mister take a stroll more quickly that usual when he visits.

I’ve taken to calling him “The Gawd Squad.”  Judging by his glances at my license plate, bumper stickers, and cauldron out front, (okay, not the last part) he’s not so sure of me, either.  He seems to enjoy spreading the gospel and how it applies to women within ear shot and “glancing over” distance from me.  He did not find the Tim Tebow/Peyton Manning joke I shared with another Colts-jersey clad neighbor funny.  At all.  (You know the one, Tim Tebow loves Jesus, but it looks like Jesus loves Peyton Manning…) Apparently NOT funny.

Today, The Gawd Squad and other family members were visiting.  Two tween boys with baseball gloves, ball and bat and 5 other cars were visiting Mr. and Mrs.  We have a big yard, so I offered the side yard space (it’s 2 city lots)  The Tweens grumbled among themselves he didn’t “talk to” them he just “lectured about G-d”  he didn’t want to toss around a ball, he just wanted to “lecture.”  Bummer little dudes, I bet Jesus would have hit grounders to you and maybe even some pop flies.

It got me thinking about this breed of Evangelicals.  They seem not to see the gifts in front of them.  They are too busy worrying about what everyone else is doing and trying to control that, rather than being present in the moment.   This type of Evangelical is so wrapped up in working toward the “next life” they seem not to appreciate this one.  This type of Evangelical is busy casting aspersions on others and playing referee for what is “Christian and G-dly” and what is not.

This is the type of Evangelical asserting its will and its version of holiness and morality on the Republican Party and in turn on the Nation.

I have some advice for you folks – go play baseball with your nephews, go have a belly laugh, stop worrying about what other people are doing, live your lives, and allow others to live theirs.

Maybe if there were more sandlot baseball games on Sundays and less proselytizing we could end some of the gridlock in Washington and play nice together.  

Originally posted to Progressive Underpants on Sun May 06, 2012 at 07:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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