|Killing in the name of LAWN!
About a month ago, while taking out the garbage, I saw our next-door neighbor standing on his front porch, beer in one hand and a garden hose in the other. Connected to that hose was a large green bottle of lawn fertilizer/weed killer that he was indiscriminately spraying on his perceived lackluster yard. The smell, although familiar, still burned my nostrils and caused my eyes to run like a millstream. As I made my way back into the house, searching for Kleenex and an antihistamine, I began to wonder: where did our obsession with perfectly groomed green lawns come from? Obviously, this was a product of culture, which begs the question: do you think most cultural changes are positive or negative? I don't believe it's always an either-or question; I do think we have to weigh cultural changes on how it positively or negatively affects the population as a whole.
Concerning the American penchant for meticulously manicured lawns, I would say this cultural shift is negative. While every Tom, Dick, and Lary spray noxious chemicals on his property, we lose more and more of our natural fauna and flora. But damn it, our lawns look fabulous!!!
An excellent article entitled The American Obsession with Lawns explains the history of this cultural shift. One of the taglines from this article is the statement: "Lawns are the most grown crop in the U.S.—and they're not one that anyone can eat; their primary purpose is to make us look and feel good about ourselves."
"Making us look and feel good about ourselves." I wonder how much of this has infiltrated Christianity and our Churches? Has our attempts to look and feel good inadvertently removed the metaphorical flora and fauna of our Churches? Recently a Facebook friend posted a video of their church service where the worship band was playing: What's the frequency, Kenneth, by REM to apparently help the congregation tap into the Holy Spirit's "frequency." Decent song, but I don't think the Apostle Paul would have recommended this tactic to Timothy to raise the church's spiritual awareness.
I could drone on for hours, but I'm more interested in your thoughts on these matters:
1. Do you have a well-manicured green lawn? (No judgment...well, maybe a little:)
2. Do you think culture has positively or negatively affected today's Christian church?
3. Are you a fan of REM's music?
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