Monday, May 10, 2010

#153 Mother's Day

Mother's Day doesn't have anything to do with Christianity, but Evangelical churches customarily make an event of it. The cover of the worship program says "Happy Mother's Day!" and moms present are asked to stand up mid-service while everyone applauds. In the Bible belt chrysanthemum corsages are distributed, identifying the breeders. The plight of the infertile or single woman (neither is exactly celebrated in Christian culture) doesn't seem to be an issue to those who orchestrated the special mommy recognition.

Recognizing mothers during church seems harmless enough and quite lovely really, and it is, if you haven't suffered a miscarriage, infertility or an abusive/absent mother. Statistically, many people attending a church service have been affected by at least one of these. A Mother's Day service couched in God-speak may not be what they need.

Such survivors feel conspicuous if they don't clap and smile during the applause portion of the program (clapping and smiling being the brick and mortar of Christian culture) so some posturing is assumed in order to endure the service. And it's a fresh, caustic hell for the woman who has miscarried to be asked by the guileless church greeter, "Are you a mother? Well you get a corsage if you are! No? Oh, it's a long story? Wait, don't cry. Come back! Jesus loves you!"


Anonymous said...

man, the last mother's day I attended was completely neglected. My own mother thought this was a massive faux pas, as the pastor's wife had borne six children at that point, the recent only a few weeks prior.

Lynn said...

I skipped church today because of Mother's day. I'm happily childfree and the church as a whole tends to praise marriage and family and pity the single and childless (whether they're happy or not) while barely paying lip service to what Paul said about remaining single in order to serve God better.

Anonymous said...

At our church on Mothering sunday the children give a flower to all the ladies present. No one is asked if they have children and a mention is usually made of caring for each other and not just those in our familys

Garrett said...

American mother's day was invented with relatively little religious intent, but it did have something to do with the University of Notre Dame according to people at the University of Notre Dame.

The original British mother's day (often called Mothering Sunday) was in fact religious, but it originated as a day when people went back to their "mother church" and eventually became about actual mothers.

I did a very small amount of research about this a while back, so I could be mildly wrong.