Gag Reflex

ctf039Today at church, there was a husband in my line of vision who was playing with his wife’s hair. And not just playing with the ends or something discreet, he would plant his claws into her scalp, then rake them all the way through her long locks. Gross me out. And the more intently he listened, the faster he stroked her head. I forgot to medicate my acid reflux this morning…

On behalf of many Christians sharing this sentiment, I’ve posted the following thoughts and manifesto which Carolyn McCulley linked to:


I admit, touch is not one of my “love languages.” Few things wake me up as fast as having my wife’s elbows and knees jabbing me in the middle of the night. Or what other people would call “snuggling.”

I therefore always thought I was the only one that didn’t like the “during church massage.” But on my blog, when I briefly mentioned a lady I’ve seen at church that rubs her husband’s neck during service, a number of people commented. Suddenly, I was awash with an ocean of hope. Although I have mentioned this issue before, this time I was filled with the sense that I am not alone. I am not that weird. Perhaps, I thought to myself, I can join an underground resistance dedicated to the elimination of the “during church massage.”

And the more I thought about that idea, the more I realized that every underground cause needs a manifesto. Some brief document that lays out our thoughts about the terror we so valiantly struggle against. I googled the name of the organization I wanted to join and didn’t get any good results. So I knew it had to be me. I had to make the first move in this battle. And thus this essay was born.

The People Against Massages In Church (PAMIC) Manifesto

1. The difference between a pat and a massage.
We recognize and respect the need to pat someone on the back. Sometimes, it’s good to say “Hi” or “Good job” or “Your chair is currently resting on my big toe” with a small tap on the back. We support that. But when you pat more than four times and then linger, you have now crossed into massage territory my friend. And you’re about to find yourself on the other end of a “PAMIC Attack.”

2. Circles are great for cheerios, not church.
We recognize and respect the need to lay a hand on someone as you say hello or want to show your spouse support during a prayer. But when you start rubbing in a circle, a square or any other geometrical shape, you are now giving a massage. That’s not a big deal right? Wrong. Your rotating hand is creating what we call a “circle of distraction.” People around you will not be able to focus on the sermon as they instead become hypnotized by watching you. God hates that. It’s in Numbers or Exodus I think.

3. There are consequences if you try to massage us.
The members of PAMIC are attractive and funny and Godly and often smell very nice. Please don’t get confused by those four things and think it’s OK to ever give us a back or neck rub during church. If you do, we can’t be held responsible if you suddenly find yourself in some sort of karate arm bar lock, a sleeper hold or at the bottom of a wicked leg drop.

4. Don’t confuse not loving in church massages with not loving life, Jesus, our spouses etc.
You will assume, based on our plans to rid all churches, in all countries of “during church massages,” that we are not loving people. That perhaps you are rubbing someone’s neck as an act of worship or praise or affection. And that members of PAMIC are not into any of those things. That is adorable. It’s possible we held hands with our spouses as we walked into church. We might give back rubs at home. We could be amazing “snugglers” but when it comes to touching folks at church, we follow the Bible. And there’s not a single example of someone in the Bible giving someone else a neck or back rub while Jesus taught. I dare you to find me a verse that show someone massaging someone else while they listened to the Sermon on the Mount for instance.

Is this extreme? Perhaps, but few great revolutions started quietly. We will not go peacefully. We will march and protest and launch thousands of PAMIC Attacks. (A PAMIC Attack by the way is when you squirt someone that is trying to start a during church massage with a squirt gun full of vinegar. Or what we call at our house, “sass juice.”)

Non-massagers of the world unite!


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jules
    Mar 09, 2009 @ 21:01:57

    hahaaaa 😀


  2. Justina
    Mar 12, 2009 @ 00:26:20

    i’m in!


  3. karli
    Mar 13, 2009 @ 09:19:59

    I have ALWAYS hated this! Definitely gag worthy.


  4. Sarah
    Mar 20, 2009 @ 14:54:57

    I will join the revolt… of my pet peeves. Even excessive handholding in church is too much, IMO. 🙂


  5. Maverick
    May 05, 2009 @ 06:17:15

    C’mon what’s wrong with PDA?


  6. Jonathan
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 14:21:59

    hmmm maybe it’s annoying and distracting because you don’t have that in your life, and you actually want something like what they have. That’s the only reason it would catch your attention.


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