Friday, August 15, 2008

#19 Not Smoking

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There are no ashtrays outside of churches. This is because no one in Christian culture smokes.* When a Christian culture member sees someone smoking they automatically assume, consciously or subconsciously, that that person is not saved. The reasons for this are not entirely clear.

Occasionally a member of Christian culture will have a drink, but not a smoke. The drinking Christian enjoys talking about wine and feels relevant because he knows things about wine. He is careful though to not make another Christian "stumble" by seeing him drink, unless their drinking has been adequately discussed with the non-drinker. This special breed of Christian will be discussed further in a future post (as will "stumbling").

It is not entirely clear why smoking is so taboo in Christian culture. On one hand, Christians hold the belief that your body is the temple of God and you should not defile the temple with something unhealthy. On the other hand, Christian culture members are not known for their cardiovascular fitness. They are especially not known for their cardiovascular fitness in the Bible belt. When church lets out it's a mad dash for the Cracker Barrel. Seriously, watch out.

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19 comments:

Simone said...

I want that ashtray.

Shari said...

Growing up (and going to church) I experienced the opposite. Many, many of the church goers smoked - we even had a designated smoking area outside the church. Drinking on the other hand is a sin, a horrible sin. It was not tolerated - not even for communion – grape juice is used in place of wine.

amy said...

too bad cigs are deadly. i would smoke all day long, i would start a smoking bible study group too, if they were healthy for ya. i used to smoke all the time, until i got worried about pushing up daisies. does anyone remember those "truth" ads? i can't deal with the FDA approved rat poision and all the other shit they get away with putting in tabacco. bummer for me and many others!

juls said...

I don't smoke for genetic reasons not religious reasons.

Don't catholics smoke though? (j/k!)

No offending! Um, but there's an entire blog post. I've met fellow Christians who absolutely hate catholics. It's hilarious. I'm not sure who they are fooling but I've gone to mass and I don't think they are worshiping Mary.

Will K said...

I smoke and I'm a PCA Seminary student (who's more Christian than a seminary student, right?). Granted, those not cheering my friends and me along definitely look askance at us smokers.

...and now I'm going outside to smoke; thank you very much.

Todd Gwennap said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will K said...

CTS is taking over this thread little by little. I love it. :)

Todd, the only time of the day on campus surely is not only between chapel and class. Your excuse is too thin for me. Do better, please; the world is watching. :)

stephy said...

This gave me an idea to write a post on theology students smoking pipes, but that's more of seminary culture thing I guess. :) My husband went to Regent College & he said half the guys smoked a pipe there. It seems a lot of them smoke cloves too. Maybe clove cigs are the gateway drug to real cigs?

Will K said...

Please do write one on pipes; you could always qualify it as "Stuff Stuffy Theology Students Like." If I werent so stuffy I wouldnt like that stuff. Seriously, at least half the guys at CTS "claim" to smoke a pipe; about a 1/3 actually do.

Clove cigs are the gateway drug to hell. :)

Todd G said...

You caught me, Will. I'll try to think of a better reason not to join you.

And I don't know whether your last comment was directed at anyone in particular, but I take quite personally that you would think I only "claim" to smoke a pipe.

That hurts, Will.

By the by, I tried cigs in college, but couldn't really get into them. I'll take a good cigar or pipe any day.

amy said...

do theology students inhale?

serenasnape said...

If they made fair trade cigarettes I might consider them!

stanford said...

In all seriousness, why don’t churches have ash trays? That is a great idea. There is a fundamental assumption in their absence that I am really uncomfortable with. Like the absence of changing tables in church’s men’s bathrooms.

Love the idea of a ‘Stuff Stuffy Seminary Students Like” post

Should have suspected Regent. :)

RecoveringBaptist said...

I had the "joy" of being on the committee who chose our pastor. I'm proud to say that he's a pack a day cigarette smoker. And yeah, we're PCA, so most of the men in our church smoke pipes and/or cigars. I think that goes with the stuff stuffy theologians enjoy. That and good Scotch.

marie said...

that "your body is a temple" argument is used to classify a million other things as automatic sins, even though they aren't specifically referred to in the Bible. Tattoos, drugs, getting drunk, even overeating.

Anonymous said...

The smokers I knew in church were the "baby" christians from the local detox centre. Everyone was so happy that they gave up the heroin, crack, satanism or whatever that they tolerated the smoking.

nadine.w said...

I love the Fray's song lyrics:

"i found God...smoking his last cigarette..."

it just makes me happy when i sing that line. haha.

Mon said...

I had a friend bribe me into bible study via brownies. There were also cookies, Hawaiian Punch, and sundaes.They hosted bible study on a biweekly basis and Sunday church had the same after treats.

Granted Catholics are certainly known for after-mass coffee and donuts (tacos for those on border regions!) but they're also a little more laxed on the smoking issue. My Catholic school priest made no hiding of his cigarettes and iced tea vice, it was part of his charm.

Anonymous said...

No smoking allowed, or any talk of smoking. (People whispering: I heard Ryan smokes!). But overeating highly processed, sugar-filled snacks at church-sponsored events is expected. If someone passes on the desserts or mentions the possibility of healthier snacks for kids, that person might as well wear a sign saying "crazy hippie leftist" and won't be asked to Chick-Fil-A after church.