Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Church Lady, Traffic Cop, Spark Epic Prooftexting Battle After Blizzard

 

Sunday, Jan. 20, Grover Heights — The parishioners of St. John’s faced mass impoundment of their cars Sunday morning for parking them after the village snowplow had cleared the surrounding streets, but before the snow-clearing parking ban had officially expired. Feisty church lady, Cheryl Knapp, began a heated argument with Marl Burlon, the traffic cop on duty, once she realized his intention was to ticket, then tow, parishioners’ cars for “obstructing a snowplow” that had already been through.

Knapp cited 1 Corinthians 10:23, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say — but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ — but not everything is constructive,” conceding that the village was within its rights to tow the alleged offending cars. But, she added, “Where is the benefit in ticketing cars for obstructing a plow they are not, in fact, obstructing, since the plow has already cleared the streets where St. John’s parishioners park?” Burlon countered that the village of Grover Heights benefits from ticket revenue, and that it’s not constructive for supposedly law-abiding citizens like churchgoers to be seen flouting even the letter of the law. “When a scoffer is punished, the simple become wise,” he quoted, adding, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s — including lawfully-impounded cars.”

Knapp replied that, by Romans 13:3, rulers should hold no terror for those who do right, only for wrongdoers. Surely, attending church on Sunday morning should not count as wrongdoing, so why was village parking enforcement so hellbent on terrorizing churchgoers? “‘Take up your cross and follow me,'” Burlon shot back, demanding, “Are modern Christians really so weak as to consider parking inconvenience too great a cross to bear?”

Eventually, the local sheriff, Vernon Jones, was called to the scene. By the time he arrived, siren blazing, Knapp and Burlon were deeply embroiled in an argument over whether parishioners’ cars ought to count as the modern incarnation of the “multitude of camels” in Isaiah 60:6, camels which “bring good news, the praises of the LORD”, and whether the streets of Grover Heights were blessed or cursed to be covered by this multitude when they park. Jones conceded that he found it difficult, relying on reason alone, to establish who had the better argument, Knapp or Burlon. “But,” Jones added, “Isaiah 60:6 is my life verse, and I take my arrival here as a sign from the Lord that these camels — er, cars — are blessing our streets with their presence, and since the plow has already been through, they can stay.”

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  1. MarciN Member

    Oh my gosh. That is fantastic! :-)

    • #1
    • January 20, 2019, at 2:48 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Very cute. A wise man, that sheriff. Was he carrying frankincense, by chance? Or perhaps some myrrh? Surely, his sheriff’s shield was of gold…

    • #2
    • January 20, 2019, at 2:49 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Burlon countered that the village of Grover Heights benefits from ticket revenue …

    Oh for pete’s sake. What are you, sir? A cop or a pirate?

     

    • #3
    • January 20, 2019, at 2:54 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  4. Judge Mental Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Burlon countered that the village of Grover Heights benefits from ticket revenue …

    Oh for pete’s sake. What are you, sir? A cop or a pirate?

     

    That’s the sort of thing that gets all of the churches, and the synagogue, and the Hari Krishnas and everybody else mobilized to vote out the whole city council.

    • #4
    • January 20, 2019, at 3:19 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  5. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is just lovely and has made my day!

    Sheriff Vernon Jones, IMHO, wins the Romans 12:18 prize for the day: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

    • #5
    • January 20, 2019, at 3:43 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  6. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Very cute. A wise man, that sheriff. Was he carrying frankincense, by chance? Or perhaps some myrrh? Surely, his sheriff’s shield was of gold…

    I didn’t get a close-enough look, since I was (as usual) scurrying by just hoping I wouldn’t be late. Nor, honestly, did I get close enough to hear.

    It is true, though, that at one point this morning, a sheriff’s car showed up to help settle the matter of parishioners’ cars, and the cars were not towed.

    • #6
    • January 20, 2019, at 4:23 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. RightAngles Member

    2Timothy 4:6 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

    A great story!

    • #7
    • January 20, 2019, at 4:23 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The pirate crack was based on this tune frequently heard in Chicago. @rightangles probably remembers it.

    • #8
    • January 20, 2019, at 4:31 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  9. RightAngles Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    The pirate crack was based on this tune frequently heard in Chicago. @rightangles probably remembers it.

    I sure do remember! (“Recent graduates of the charm school at Joliet” haha)

    • #9
    • January 20, 2019, at 5:04 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  10. Kay of MT Member

    By the time argument was over was it time for church to be out?

    • #10
    • January 20, 2019, at 5:41 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The pirate crack was based on this tune frequently heard in Chicago. @rightangles probably remembers it.

    I sure do remember! (“Recent graduates of the charm school at Joliet” haha)

    Ain’t I charming enough?

    • #11
    • January 20, 2019, at 5:54 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. RightAngles Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The pirate crack was based on this tune frequently heard in Chicago. @rightangles probably remembers it.

    I sure do remember! (“Recent graduates of the charm school at Joliet” haha)

    Ain’t I charming enough?

    There’s nobody charminger.

    • #12
    • January 20, 2019, at 5:57 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    2Timothy 4:6 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

    2 Timothy 4:6 sounds like an excellent life verse for Church Lady Knapp.

    The Babylon Bee used to have a handy-dandy life-verse generator, but alas, it now seems broken. Answer these three questions, it says, and it picks a life verse for you. Only, the three questions are gone now. I have screenshots of some old results:

     

    Last Sunday’s reading included Isaiah 60:6 –

    A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.

    Perhaps someday I will hear “A multitude of camels shall cover you” and successfully suppress my snorfles.

    • #13
    • January 20, 2019, at 7:42 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. RightAngles Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    2Timothy 4:6 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

    2 Timothy 4:6 sounds like an excellent life verse for Church Lady Knapp.

    The Babylon Bee used to have a handy-dandy life-verse generator, but alas, it now seems broken. Answer these three questions, it says, and it picks a life verse for you. Only, the three questions are gone now. I have screenshots of some old results:

    Last Sunday’s reading included Isaiah 60:6 –

    A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.

    Perhaps someday I will hear “A multitude of camels shall cover you” and successfully suppress my snorfles.

    Hahaha! That bit about the camel reminded me of Johnny Carson as Carnac the Magnificent: “May a diseased yak back up into your sister” etc

    • #14
    • January 20, 2019, at 8:32 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. Flicker Coolidge

    Well, somebody’s good at following the letter of the law but ignoring the spirit, isn’t he.

    • #15
    • January 21, 2019, at 12:41 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  16. Flicker Coolidge

    The spirit of the law was to keep the road clear so that the snow plow could pass. The impoundment was meant to clear the road of cars blocking the snow plow. The fine was meant as a minor punishment for a minor infraction.

    The sheriff was taking the money unjustly because they weren’t impeding anything, he was hurting people by punishing them on a technicality for his own financial gain, for his colleagues and himself. That’s the same spirit as saying “Well, the world isn’t fair” to justify your your own acts of injustice.

    I’ll put it another way. God requires justice tempered with mercy. In this case impounding all those cars and following the letter of the law was neither justice, nor mercy.

    • #16
    • January 21, 2019, at 12:50 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  17. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    2Timothy 4:6 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

    2 Timothy 4:6 sounds like an excellent life verse for Church Lady Knapp.

    The Babylon Bee used to have a handy-dandy life-verse generator, but alas, it now seems broken.

    Bother. There are indeed days when I’d like some spiritual guidance, and that sounds as if it would have been just the ticket.

    OTOH, I did find this Fake Bible Quote Generator. Plugged myself in, and the first one I got was:

    “I say unto thee: prepare ye not bushels of ointment, but canisters of housewares.”

    Helpful, but not completely on point, so I tried again:

    “They that give subtle compliments to the everlasting God shalt be spared the internet trolls; they shalt remove decrepitude and lust.”

    And finally:

    “Wait upon the God of Israel and thou shalt dispel frailty; thou shalt totally max out thy restraint.”

    I guess it’ll have to do.

    • #17
    • January 21, 2019, at 2:53 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Larry3435 Inactive

    I have no problem concluding that impounding the cars was petty, vindictive, and wrong, but my takeaway from the exchange is that you can cite scripture to prove anything on either side of almost any issue. Which makes me wonder how helpful it is to rely on scripture to resolve issues that were unforeseeable at the time scripture was written.

    • #18
    • January 21, 2019, at 5:15 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    I have no problem concluding that impounding the cars was petty, vindictive, and wrong, but my takeaway from the exchange is that you can cite scripture to prove anything on either side of almost any issue. Which makes me wonder how helpful it is to rely on scripture to resolve issues that were unforeseeable at the time scripture was written.

    So noted.

    The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
    An evil soul producing holy witness
    Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
    A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
    O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

    — Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

    • #19
    • January 21, 2019, at 5:59 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Of course, the Devil can quote Shakespeare too, so there’s that.

    • #20
    • January 21, 2019, at 6:01 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  21. Stad Thatcher

    Good for the Sheriff, but I still think the obstinate cop deserves a raspberry. Police officers have some discretion when it comes to issuing traffic citations (much like prosecutorial discretion). Being legally right doesn’t necessarily mean being fair when it comes to justice . . .

    • #21
    • January 21, 2019, at 6:32 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  22. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Thanks for this posting, @midge. It’s always good to hear the news from Lake Wobegon.

    • #22
    • January 21, 2019, at 7:19 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    I have no problem concluding that impounding the cars was petty, vindictive, and wrong, but my takeaway from the exchange is that you can cite scripture to prove anything on either side of almost any issue. Which makes me wonder how helpful it is to rely on scripture to resolve issues that were unforeseeable at the time scripture was written.

    Yes, @larry3435, that is the joke.

    “Prooftexting” is bible-ese for quote-mining (itself humorously called contextectomy) the Bible, citing biblical passages not so much because it makes sense to do so, but because these passages pop into your head during the course of your argument and you figure quoting them (whether they really apply or not) is a great way to fool your interlocutor into thinking you’re making a point. The deception involved in prooftexting very often is not deliberate — prooftexters are usually fooling themselves as well. But the fact that there are better ways to apply biblical wisdom to modern life is what makes a prooftexting battle so funny.

    I don’t know how, exactly, our feisty church lady, the traffic cop, and the guy in the sheriff’s car resolved the parish parking situation Sunday morning. I wasn’t close enough to hear, and didn’t have time to stick around, being needed at church for other purposes. I suppose it wasn’t with Bible quotes — but it could have been. Hence the tag “almost really happened”.

    • #23
    • January 21, 2019, at 7:25 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  24. Stina Member

    Caryn (View Comment):
    Or perhaps some myrrh?

    Myrrh-th is what he carried.

    • #24
    • January 21, 2019, at 7:56 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  25. Stad Thatcher

    “We wish you a Myrrhy Christmas.”

    Now I know the actual origin of the term . . .

    • #25
    • January 21, 2019, at 1:46 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  26. Flicker Coolidge

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    I have no problem concluding that impounding the cars was petty, vindictive, and wrong, but my takeaway from the exchange is that you can cite scripture to prove anything on either side of almost any issue. Which makes me wonder how helpful it is to rely on scripture to resolve issues that were unforeseeable at the time scripture was written.

    Well, Jesus did it. One of my most intriguing passages is when He said that you know neither the law nor its power, you are not married in heaven but are like the angels who serve God.

    But especially, “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

    • #26
    • January 21, 2019, at 1:54 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive

    Love it, Midge! Blessings to Rattler Ranch!

    • #27
    • January 21, 2019, at 1:55 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. Larry3435 Inactive

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    I have no problem concluding that impounding the cars was petty, vindictive, and wrong, but my takeaway from the exchange is that you can cite scripture to prove anything on either side of almost any issue. Which makes me wonder how helpful it is to rely on scripture to resolve issues that were unforeseeable at the time scripture was written.

    Well, Jesus did it. One of my most intriguing passages is when He said that you know neither the law nor its power, you are not married in heaven but are like the angels who serve God.

    But especially, “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

    Being God, Jesus had a unique capability to understand scripture, which is not available to you or me. Jesus may be the only person who has ever been an accurate interpreter of what Old Testament scripture means. For the rest of us, scriptural interpretation is fraught with the possibility of error.

    • #28
    • January 22, 2019, at 4:15 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Flicker Coolidge

    I think overall what bothers me most about this story is that I’ve never heard of “proof-texting” accomplishing anything good when the purpose is to get someone else to give you what you want; in this case at least the fines and impoundment fees.

    For example, I once had a long-standing Christian acquaintance, mid-forties, at one time a friend, who had once again lost a very good job due to his own sense of justness, and after a year and a half of living off friends family, church members and strangers, he was finally off unemployment benefits and had no place to go, except start the cycle all over with in his mother’s basement, and so he came to me. He wanted to stay in my smallish RV that I kept in a paid spot in a local park, and I considered it for a while before deciding he’d probably destroy my RV, get it confiscated, or conveniently dump his waste in the local waterway and get me big in trouble. So I said No.

    The next week he pulled out his bible and read me the “if someone is hungry and cold and you say to him be warm and filled” part, snapped the Bible shut and said with mildly concealed anger “Take that as a rebuke!” I’ve thought about that a lot and it has led me to hold pretty powerfully to a principle that the Bible is meant for the edification of the reader, for the reader to incorporate into his own life, not to use as club on the head to get from someone else to give you want you want.

    • #29
    • January 22, 2019, at 3:28 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    2Timothy 4:6 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

    2 Timothy 4:6 sounds like an excellent life verse for Church Lady Knapp.

    The Babylon Bee used to have a handy-dandy life-verse generator, but alas, it now seems broken. Answer these three questions, it says, and it picks a life verse for you. Only, the three questions are gone now. I have screenshots of some old results:

    Last Sunday’s reading included Isaiah 60:6 –

    A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.

    Perhaps someday I will hear “A multitude of camels shall cover you” and successfully suppress my snorfles.

    Over the past ten years, I have mused over the thought that it would be easier to have greater faith in the Lord if my teeth had been made from whatever indelible and non-breakable material that my toe nails are made of. I am at that strange stage of life where I need only look at a tortilla chip to break a tooth, while yet I need a chain saw to trim my toes.

    And never have I thought of my teeth as a flock of shorn ewes.

    • #30
    • January 22, 2019, at 6:46 PM PST
    • 5 likes

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