Monday, January 14, 2008

" If you are looking for the perfect church...

Prowling about Georgetown, SC, we spotted the Love Chapel at 1645 Front Street. It was difficult to pass this without a second look. The colorful bus caught our eye, but its main message brought us to the door.

We often encounter formidable cathedrals which present as mighty fortresses of faith with inspiring, often scolding architecture. These are fearsome forbidding structures which evoke awe in the faithful, but fear in the sinner by design. The message is not literally articulated, but it might as well be considered as property posted against entry by all, but the righteous. Venial, mortal and fashion sins stay many from the door.

One cannot presume that these formal places of worship do not inside offer the words and acts of forgiveness. They just don't show it on the cover.

Many years ago banks began to realize that the dignity and formality of the classic bank environment felt threatening to both depositors and loan applicants in the lower and middle income brackets. The lower one was in the pecking order of purchasing power, the less welcome one felt, the less bold one was in seeking or confident in receiving a loan. The message strongly implied that pea pickers need not apply. Many, however, had picked enough peas to draw the bankers' envy so formality declined. Banks established informal branches, provided drive through service so one could bank nearly naked, and dress down Fridays unstarched the executive collar. Banks became ever so democratic in offering loans with more creative interest structures and have thereby managed to more effectively pick the pockets of the pea pickers.

The Love Chapel not only allows sinners within their doors, but recruits them. Banks, as we all know, only loan money to people who don't need it. Love Chapel takes the opposite approach. They further dismount the high horse by the slogan posted on their marquee. That photo also shows a reserved parking sign for "First Lady." Making a snap judgment we figure that this is not a space saved for Mrs. Bush.