It's church. You might not want to be so rude.

You don’t expect to come across rude people at a church service.
I guess, from a pure seating arrangement, church isn’t that much different than, say, a movie theatre. That could explain why, at more church services than I can count, I have encountered the Pew Anchor.
You know: The guy, woman or couple who sits at the end of the pew and won’t budge.
When you approach them to sit down, whether it’s just you or your entire brood in tow, they do one of two things: a) stare straight ahead as if they don’t see you or b) have the audacity to glare it you, as if they do, in fact, own that pew.
What they do NOT do: kindly move over so you can sit down.
Now, I get that some people, especially older people, prefer to sit on the end because they have a medical issue or concern. But by and large, most of the Pew Anchors I see regularly don’t seem to have that.
Often, I will see the Pew Anchors when I am walking into church and sit a row ahead of or behind them. But last week, there was no room, so I had no other choice.
I smile first. “Excuse me.”
Pew Anchor in the tan sport coat doesn’t budge. He actually gives me a dirty look.
I raise my voice a teensy bit, so people nearby can hear my words. “EXCUSE ME. Would you mind moving over so my family and I can sit down?”
Big sigh from Pew Anchor, and this: “Fine.”
He and Mrs. Pew Anchor slide over, but don’t take up all of the open room on the other side, leaving the six of us squished together more than what’s necessary. I think it’s out of spite.
As Pew Anchor listens to the reading, something about the importance of tolerance and kindness, he nods his head as if in agreement. I stifle the urge to mumble something about hypocrisy.
It’s church, after all.
So….have you encountered rudeness at church, of all places?
church pew 2

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  • People are people. If they feel they are entitled to the entire pew, that's how they feel. They probably take up extra seats on the CTA also.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    People are people, heaven knows, but I would respectfully submit that the when their sense of entitlement infringes on others in any way, they can be called out on it. Just like the people who won't give up seats on a crowded bus or train, even to a 9-months-pregnant person! (Story for another day..!)

  • People are people... hypocrites are hypocrites... rude is rude! People need to get over themselves. We ARE the village, people!

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    You're title was very ingtriguing! My dad is a pew anchor, and I think it is completely acceptable. If somebody wants to sit in the pew with him, fine, more the merrier! But he will stand up, step outside of the pew and allow the other people to sit down. Is this okay? Or is this bad manners? I think if someone gets to mass early to sit where they would like to, they should be able to sit at the end of the aisle. Coming in later shouldn't give you a better seat to mass.

  • In reply to Meg Kyne:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's never bad manners if you accommodate people, like stepping out and allowing someone in. My issue is with the cranky folks who glare at you and then make it very difficult for you to go into the pew, or the ones who stare straight ahead and won't move an inch. I've even seen people stick their legs out so it makes it harder for us to get past them, and I've had others who sigh loudly, even when they have a lot of space left in the pew.

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    Read a few more of your posts....all so relatable, great posts!! Would like to vent a little more about church people, or people in church, if you don't mind...I can't stand the people who cut you off in the church parking lot and race their cars out of there...were they not listening to the sermon? Does church holiness not follow people outside of church? Does the church holy grounds not include the parking lot? It drives me bananas!!

    Now I'm being caddy, but the really loud prayers/singers/chanters who are always a phrase or a sentence off. I get soooo confused, I don't know whether to stay on cadence with the priest or jump in with the enthusiastic participant. Usually this enthusiastic person is a member of my family.

    People who sneeze and then participate in the sign of the peace. I just saw you sneeze all over your hand. No, thank you!

    This is really a great topic that is hardly discussed. Thank you again for this post!

  • In reply to Meg:

    Yes! So true about the parking lot, too!

  • I am Catholic, and there are so many rude people in church.

    Texting.....
    Filling out Lottery Tickets......
    yaking away.....
    little kids bouncing around in the pews.....
    and the Priest always taking the money basket before the Holy Communion when it is brought up to the alter..... ....

    there are even people who carve their names in the pews.....

    and whatever happen to meeting a nice lady at church?.......one you can married someday?.......

    never see young women in church......they stop going to mass at college time, come back when they get married or are over 60 years old.

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