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Photo Credit: Gawker

Photo Credit: Gawker

by Barton Gingerich (@BJGingerich)

Did you hear about how an Indiana church’s refusal to install gravestone with Colts and NASCAR logos sparked a law suit? Well, you have now.

Two points of observation.

1. Somehow, Indiana has surpassed West Virginia in redneckery (I consider myself a sort of authority on the latter). I mean, who even wants a gravestone that looks like a couch decorated with tacky mishmash etchings of a deer, a dog, a multi-colored NASCAR insignia, and the Colt horseshoe? Look at it–it’s hideous!

2. More sobering is the underlying attitude of the deceased’s father: “I haven’t been back to (St. Joseph) church and have asked that I not be buried there along with my son…I’m told the controversy is splitting the church apart, tearing it in half. But I guess that’s what has to be done.”

Oh, really?

Let me replay the logic here: “I’m working to rupture the fellowship of Christ’s Body and fragment the unity of His Bride because I can’t put up this pug-fugly rock. Yes, yes, that makes perfect sense here.”

There are myriad lessons and warnings in this situation, but let me leave you with just this one. How often have we assumed this position: our parish wouldn’t entertain our own eccentric idea, and we throw a sort of temper-tantrum? We might not be driven to sue our congregation or diocese, but we are often driven to spite. This is a non-doctrinal cause of schism, and it’s bad. Getting over oneself is one of the most important spiritual disciplines to practice.