We were in church this morning and something struck me that I have noticed before. However today it just seemed more acute to me. I thought about the respect, or lack thereof, people give each other.
A couple of pews in front of us were three young people, a young man and two girls. They were probably in their early to maybe mid-teens. They certainly were not being blatantly disrespectful, but they were playing and giggling among themselves. Then the young girl in the middle decided to apply eye make-up to her friend, all while the music was playing on stage. Then this same girl was on her cell phone during the sermon, not talking mind you, but doing something on it (texting, playing a game, whatever) and not respecting the pastor who was giving the sermon, by simply listening to what he was saying. It occurred to me that in this day and age we are not teaching our youth that they need to show respect. They are not getting the lesson that to expect respect, you must first give respect to others. We as parents, grandparents and mentors are failing them by not demanding that they give respect before expecting it in return.
Later in the sermon there were some people speaking rather loudly in the congregation while the pastor was trying to make his presentation. Apparently some folks nearby said something to them, (We were in the balcony and this exchange took place on the main floor out of our direct site) and they decided to leave. I am not sure what exactly was said but there seemed to be some cause for concern because some members of or church (off duty police officers) were alerted to the event and went outside to see if there was anything going on that might be cause for alarm. Apparently during this commotion one of the people stated that the person speaking loudly had been drinking. Now how much sense does it take to realize the going into a church worship service on a Sunday morning while you are intoxicated is disrespectful in and of itself, let alone getting loud with your commentary during the sermon?
I am sure all of you see more and more of these types of behavior every day in your interactions with the public. What I wonder is how bad is it going to get before we as Average Red Blooded American Citizens stand up and say “enough is enough”? These events took place in a church, where respect should be prevalent! We should expect and even demand respect in our houses of worship, but do we? I didn’t. Why? Maybe because it is too politically incorrect to say to someone, “You are out of line. Stop it”. Maybe too uncomfortable to stand your ground regarding your expectations, even with a teenager, because you might offend them because if their behavior?