I never thought I would live in the city; I am a suburban boy by birth, but I have come to love North Buffalo for all it's charms and peculiarities. It's a good neighborhood. The people are friendly, the streets are clean, and there is little crime to speak of...except at the Credit Union. The place gets robbed fairly routinely. I don't know if the crooks think the credit union is too poor to buy security, or maybe they think the place is brimming over with cash, but it is a favorite spot for heists...at least three that I can remember in the last couple years, maybe more. It gives the kids an opportunity to be on TV running around making funny faces behind the reporter being filmed for the six o'clock news. "Look, it's little Tony!" can be heard on every block when the report is aired; the story is secondary, if that.
The Credit Union decided that evasive action was required. No, they didn't hire a professional security guard. They didn't install a new alarm system. Nor did they teach the tellers jujitsu. No, they hung this sign on the door:
I'm not privy to any security tapes, so I don't know what the crooks were wearing during the robberies, but I'll bet they weren't wearing business suits, zubazz pants or leotards. Therefore, if you are wearing a santa suit, kilt, pajamas, fishnets and mini-skirts, Tyvek suit or pantaloons, welcome. Sunglasses? Squint or get lost. Hat? Let's see that bald spot, punk. Hood? Franciscans take a hike.
It is certainly the right of any business to limit who has access to it based on attire. Heck, the Vatican will throw you out on your ear if you try to sneak in wearing Bermuda shorts, so the Credit Union is not setting a precedent. That being said, the situation caused me to think about the way I have been excluded from discussions, events, and even friendships because I was too Catholic.
I'm sure I'm not alone...friendships lost or drifted apart, discussion taboos among family, passed over in co-worker get-togethers and conversations; all these and more because I fit a pre-determined archetype that didn't fit the circumstances in the minds of the participants. I consider as well Catholics in the arts, in literature, science and politics who are politely and not-so-politely excluded because of their faith. All because we belong to the Church that invented the concept of the college and university, fostered art and saved culture through wars, invasions, and Dark Ages, nurtured great musicians, sculptors, painters, and writers, and literally invented the scientific method of study....pretty awesome, huh?
Heck, we are far more interesting than the rest of the world! So if we are too Catholic, too bad. We don't want to be in your dinky little club, anyway. Oh, and somebody better tell Fr. Stan Fortuna he can't go in the Credit Union. Thanks.