short people high knobs

short people high knobs cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

The church can be accused of false advertising when it says it welcomes all but makes it impossible for some to join or stay or participate.

If the church is worried about numbers and is doing anything to grow, including making false claims, then it needs to get over it. Just admit you don’t welcome short people. Don’t worry! There’s plenty of tall people out there who don’t believe in shortness and will join your exclusive group.

Just look at Starbucks on the one hand who supports same-sex marriage and Chick-fil-A on the other hand who opposes it. Both have taken a stand and both are doing just fine.

So take a stand! Be honest! Raise the knob and keep people out you don’t want in.

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  • David said: “Raise the knob and keep people out you don’t want in.

    Wow, that is interesting. And I agree. I can think of two good ways to get groups to change:

    (a) Open Debate: suggest to them that they need to change (as many of your cartoons do). Debate, suggest alternatives.

    (b) Freedom: just ask people to be honest and let the free-market decide if they want to support their values.

    So I’d imagine you’d agree that letting the Boy Scouts raise their door knob as high as they like is a good freedom for Boy Scouts to have. Because people can vote by keeping their kids out.

    Right? Or is that not what you are saying?

  • I think that’s so true, the thing it’s actually conditional.

    We welcome everyone as long as they are just like us…or willing to become just like us.

  • this whole thing’s tongue-in-cheek. i think.

  • Well, we can have the churches lie about their openness, only to have the welcomed meet highly disappointed after years of investment. That is not a good outcome either.

    Hmmmm, should they be honest and take who they want, or should the government step in and say, “Look, we decided who you have to include.”?

  • Some churches do welcome short people, fat people, black people, white people, liars, adulterers, murderers.

    We welcome them. But we are not going to put up with them wanting to take over and change the rules.

    That would be like you inviting a guest to your home, and then they start to knock down your walls and remodel the place the way they would like.

    Nope. Not gonna happen.

  • What Jesus had to say about people who weren’t following “the rules”:

    – “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Mk 10:14)
    – “Call him over!” (Mk 10:46-52)
    – “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mk 2:27)
    – “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” (Mk 14:6)

    Church is not a garden club. If you have a problem with people “taking over” something, then you have a misguided view of what ministry is supposed to be in the first place. God bless people who come into a strange church and want to find a place to be a servant leader and to apply their own gifts and ideas.

  • Steve: who took over it and owns it now that it can be taken over by someone else?

  • it’s like when we say: “all are welcome”
    but in reality we really mean, “all are welcome, but be prepared to be changed into our image.”

    lord have mercy on us.

  • Annie

    We are a straight couple who no longer are on the inside of that window, looking down. We appreciate your articles about the difficulties of leaving the church, as that’s what we have done. You are right about all the ways it’s very hard. We’ve never experienced divorce, but imagine this is similar. The PCUSA is not totally “welcoming” as a body, and our church leadership finds the PCUSA to be too liberal. The congregation was TOLD we’re splitting from the PCUSA. Both active musicians who helped lead worship, we are very sad, but could not stand up there, saying, “Yeah! We’re on board with splitting from the PCUSA!” We’ve left our “family” of 25 years and are unable to find a “welcoming” church that doesn’t involve a long commute. Our weeks are now without rehearsal evenings and long Sunday mornings of worshipping & fellowship. Thank you.

  • Beth

    In my experience the church is welcoming if you are hetero and republican. And take the bible literally, of course.

  • Thanks for simplifying what we, as church, so often do. Many of us struggle to “lower the knob,” and will eventually succeed, but because we are involved in human institutions, that isn’t necessarily quick and easy. Keep up the articles. This is important stuff.

  • hey rob. i’m glad you are involved in human situations. that’s more than can be said for many. i appreciate your comment.

  • i’ve had to force myself to grow tall…. and sometimes i wonder whether it was worth the effort

  • Well, Steve, at least your bigotry is honest. “Those people” (whoever they are) are welcome to visit, as long as they know their place. Hmmm… where have we heard that before?

    And that’s the message I take from the cartoon: better there were no bigots, but I’ll take an obvious one over a covert one anyday.

    Sabio, on your question about government intervention, I think that’s somewhat different. I think there’s a separate discussion to be had about morality, what “should” be done under the circumstances, rather than what people are forced into. Not that their isn’t a role for that in some cases, but it’s a different set of principles to consider.