No More Than One Path

Posted: 25 September 2009 in observations
Tags: , , , ,

In the restroom, the students hang fliers.  There are the standard club fliers and audition notices.  A few stalls still have 2005 Women’s Center stickers with informational blurbs about sexual assault and helpful phone numbers.  It’s a perky sign.  I can never decide whether that makes me more, or less, likely to read it.

Occasionally signs are defaced.  The abstinence crew is easy with the pens.  Quick to decry any sex, no matter how non-consensual, the Wait! and Promise Ring contingents are always armed with a witty (and hurtful) remark to jot onto the sexual assault signs.  Once peppered with comments, those signs can never come down fast enough.  Before the inevitable trip to the bin, it’s gratifying to see the backlash from the more reasonably-minded folks that frequent the stall.  Thank goodness they also carry sharpies.

The latest sign to catch my eye fell into the club category and  proclaims that a “large group!” will be meeting this Sunday (Sunday, Sunday) to share supper and fellowship.  There will be SINGING.  And also, PRAYER.  But probably no dancing, unless it’s swaying with the Lord’s love.  Sorry, some of my snark snuck out.

I don’t begrudge groups the right to publicize in the stall.  Paper bulletin boards, walls and doors with your missives, houses to rent, cds for sale and religious invitations.  I’m for it.  Here’s what I’m not for: alienation.  You’re the Swedish Culture Group?  Let’s not write, Swedes Only.  And, for the record, that group (and there is one) does not.  By the way, Dinner Is Only 10 Dollar$$$!  There will be dancing!  Of course, you’re with me here – outright discrimination won’t do.  But what about alienating folks based on your name?  Although I am just as happy to see that a Christian group is meeting as I am to see that FAME is auditioning models and photographers (bring 3 inch heels if planning to walk), the name of the Christian group is One Path.

I wasn’t offended at first, actually I was pondering the inclusion of the “large group!” notation.  As someone who is inordinately shy in new groups, I’d be thrilled to see outright that I wasn’t walking into a tiny, religious room of three.  But “One Path”?.  Why is it just one path?  Lots of folks use the phrase one path but this instance is nagging at me.  If I had considered going to the group (billed only as Christian) I might feel put off by the implication that the group is so steadfastly aligned behind the one. path. that they’ve named themselves that.  What if I had a different, but compatible path?  Am I not welcome?  Is there a screening process?  How can I tell in advance?  Does this one path imply a specific religion?  It’s too much for me to linger over on the loo, but I’m clear on one thing: as someone who isn’t generally put off by the paper graffiti all over the restroom, the words one and path together have certainly sent me into an irritated tizzy.  Clearly I don’t have enough to do.

By way of begging forgiveness for that half-baked bit of piss and vinegar, I give you this photo from our recent trip to North Carolina.


  1. Lisa says:

    The “one path” theory is one of the most frustrating of statements. I could certainly start my own tirade, step up on the proverbial soap box, and give you my opinion, but why give them the satisfaction of knowing they got to us? It’s just another sign of the downward spiral that is organized religion in this world today, and not what the religious leaders from centuries ago ever intended. But there I go…better to stop now and just say, I agree, too much to contemplate on the loo.

    • backlist says:

      if we were local, I’d relish hearing your opinions on end over coffee. 🙂 regardless, I agree that it probably isn’t the intended message since, if you never opened to anyone who believed differently, you’d never have the chance to convert them and, as a consequence, grow.

  2. kidnumber2 says:

    But if you open up to someone who believes differently, the devil may come over you through them and turn you away from the one true path!
    That picture from the outer banks (I assume) is lovely, by the way. Thank you for posting it.

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