Local Church Bangs Head Against Wall To No Avail

11 May

EinsteinSupposedly, Albert Einstein (pictured to the left, rocking my own personal haircut) once defined insanity as something like “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” For example – and again, sorry to keep bringing up McDonald’s – but getting a McMuffin, taking a nasty, gristle-paste bite of it, spitting it out and swearing to God you’ll never eat one again. Then six months later, hmmm – those McMuffins used to be pretty good, I think I’ll swing through there and grab one.

Crazy Town. If you want a McMuffin in 2013, you need to go to an organic market and buy the ingredients and make it yourself, or take the ingredients to your Mom’s house and ask her to make it over and over til she does, even if you’re 41.

Science and Church, of course, don’t always get along so well, and as such I was amused and not particularly surprised to see this article: Copper Thieves Rip Off Church For The Fifth Time.

This hits pretty close to home for me, because not only did I live in Grove City for three soul-crushing years, I believe that’s the church where my War On Ash Wednesday post took place. I am not sure about that – I have to admit that churches sort of blur together to me. You remember how on the OSU campus there was a Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell all rolled into one? Called it the Kentaco Hut?

Well I do, and that’s pretty much church to me. Mosques I can distinguish because they’re round and look like space churches. Otherwise, they are basically a series of tall, pointy buildings where several times a year fish fries are held.

And I shouldn’t bag on Grove City like that. It’s really not that bad anymore. In fact, if I were mayor of Grove City, that’s what it would say on the signs when you entered the city: Grove City – It’s Really Not That Bad Anymore!

HamburglarAnyway, here’s the situation. Copper thieves keep rolling up to the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and taking their copper spouts. You might be thinking, say Tom, I know that city like the back of my hand, and that church is three blocks away from the Grove City Police Headquarters. That’s odd.

Yes, and as crackerjack as the Grove City Police really are, I can think of an even more compelling question. Why don’t the copper thieves burst into flames like Nazis prying open the Ark of the Covenant? Why aren’t they wiped clean by the Wrath of God?

I don’t know. Mysterious ways, and whatnot. Free will. The Almighty doesn’t go around micromanaging anything except sexual orientation and tithing and how long He can allow women to be held captive by crazy men and then still get credit for their freedom (ten to twelve years, depending on local zoning codes). Everything else is a barrel-o-monkeys. Go ahead and knock it, but The System Works!

At least that’s my understanding. But religion aside, it does strike me as sort of funny that thieves keep a-stealing the copper, and the church keeps a-buying more, and putting it back. That seems a lot like banging one’s face against a wall over and over.

“The trouble with this last time was I replaced everything and one week later, they took it all again,” said Michael Esposito, whose title is not disclosed, so I guess he’s not the Pope or anything. I imagine he’s the guy in charge of maintenance at the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, and it sounds like he could use a little input here.

Five times seems like a lot. Die Hard learned that, on their fifth one, hopefully. Five robberies is Too Many.

Die Hard 5Right now it’s like a berry patch, the gang just plucks all the copper berries, goes back to the hideout for some copperberry pie, and then waits for the berries to grow back. And four times in a row, the solution has been, well, let’s put the same stuff right back where it was with no changes to our security whatsoever, we’ll just pray that the copper thieves get tired of all the free copper and leave us be.

I’m all for prayer, don’t get me wrong, but back in college, I used to shoot pool with Bigfoot and the Tooth Fairy and God and Randy Butler. I learned quite a bit, let me tell you. For example, in terms of defense, you want to leave the cue ball up against the rail if you know you don’t have a shot and Bigfoot’s up next. Drives him crazy. And the Tooth Fairy can’t make a straight-in shot if you put Cher on the jukebox – that’s foolproof.

And the other thing I learned is, for clarity’s sake, God wants you to pray. He sure does. But when you’re finished praying, He wants you to get up and do something, preferably something to facilitate what you’re praying for. He’s the Almighty, not your intern. Paddle the boat, all right?

Slowly but surely, the gang over at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is internalizing the mysterious lessons the copper thieves are teaching them. For example, according to the article, the damage is “usually a little over $3,000” so “the church is considering putting video surveillance in the parking lot.”

Yep, that’s usually my assessment when someone clips me for three thousand dollars, five times in a row using the same, exact method and means. Hmmm. Maybe we should tighten up security around here. Or at least consider it, which according to the article is all they are currently doing.

There does, however, seem to be something ironic about needing video surveillance to watch a Church. I’m not going to mention any names, but I thought Somebody was Everywhere and Knew When We Were Sleeping, and When We Were Stealing Copper Spouts.

But I guess I might have Somebody confused with Santa Claus. How on Earth could I have done that?

Bad Santa


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