First Baptist Church of Norman, though a very uplifting place in itself, gets criticized by outside parties and has trouble with separating religious mentalities and political affiliations amongst surrounding communities. Most arising problems of the church are focused on whether abortion laws are either pro-choice or pro-life, a political stance that I believe should not be associated with religious beliefs. However, this is not the reality of such perceptions and society has to tread lightly in such gray areas.
First Baptist Church of Norman was having a fall festival that was intended for entire families to have fun as a collective whole with friend’s part of the church as well as people who may have stumbled across the festival. Live music was one of the two major sounds that was happening. Several musicians part of the orchestra and rhythm section formed a five-piece band. Their instrumentation included one acoustic guitar, one electric guitar, one bass guitar, one drum kit, and one trumpet. They played a wide variety of music relating to the Christian faith spanning from children’s songs, to classic rock hits from the 70s, to modern popular songs. Again, I believe the church is great with how the use music for their events because they are really good at knowing what the general population of their congregation enjoys. One aspect with the festival that I really enjoyed was that all of the church officials were in attendance and had just as much fun as everyone else.
The other sound that was heard was footsteps from 100 people marching around the festival the entire time. Children and parents walked side by side carrying signs preaching pro-life ideals and blatantly attacking festival-goers with pictures of aborted fetus’. No matter the belief of the individual, it is absolutely disgusting to carry signs of an aborted fetus on the perimeter of a festival for families. Throughout the entire time they marched, several of the group’s representatives would antagonize the main pastor of the church, Dr. Wade Smith. He blatantly dismissed these interjections and talked to the congregation of FBC, where the group was able to over power him with the sounds of people raising their voice.
Though my non religious experience was not as uplifting as the service, I firmly say that this representation of the community in a church and communities surrounding churches have conflicting ideologies that have a very “gray” area of acceptance. Being able to see a protest on people enjoying their time on a nice sunny Sunday with friends and family shows that no matter how far one would like to separate from politics, they always find their way into any situation to promote the impossibility of looking away.
By Calogero Miceli