Chapel Solution: Shocking, Shaming

September 20, 2009

stained glass window

The administration has attempted to discourage excessive talking, “sliding and gliding” and poor attendance over the years, but we at the Optimist have some suggestions of our own to make Chapel a truly enriching experience.

Few moments are more awkward than when a song mentions “standing,” and everyone waits to see who will be led by the Spirit to rise from his seat. Those brave souls who do venture to rise to their feet risk being the only one in Chapel – a social nightmare that persuades many to remain seated. That is why we suggest implementing a 10-second grace period to allow students to get to their feet. After 10 seconds, a tiny electric shock will shoot through the seats of Moody Coliseum, rising in intensity every 30 seconds. After all, the song does not say, “I sit contently in my seat in awe of you.”

Another problem that has plagued members of the Church of Christ for centuries – more so than the debate about the use of instruments in the assembly – is our inability to keep time when clapping. In order to alleviate this problem, we propose a giant metronome be installed behind the stage. A large flashing light will keep pace for the selected song so that everyone can remain in tempo. Those that are unable to keep pace will be asked to cease and desist. We all know Thomas and Alexander Campbell were excellent clappers; we must not let that tradition die.

Few would encourage the heinous crime of “sliding and gliding.” Thus, we believe the best solution is shame. Those who choose to engage in this act – you know who you are – will be found out and given a cowbell to place around their necks for the remainder of the week. Whenever one who has been caught “sliding and gliding” walks across campus or nears a large group of people, she must shout “Slider and Glider” at the top of her lungs to alert others who might otherwise associate with her. We hope this will discourage “sliding and gliding,” but for those that persist, a few days in the stocks outside Moody are not out of the question.

Unfortunately, while these measures are sure to “encourage” better observation of several traditions, they entirely miss the point.

Whether one stands or sits or claps rhythmically is not a product of one’s spirituality. The state of your heart determines the quality of your Chapel experience. Talking during a speaker’s lecture or intentionally clapping out of sync with everyone else reveals a lack of respect for others’ Chapel experience. “Sliding and gliding” shows disrespect for Chapel itself. A truly enjoyable Chapel experience cannot come from new policies, but will instead come when students begin to show consideration for others.

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