Written by: Hannah Lindenberg
Art by: Lily Tammik
Tell me why church folk usually seem like the most judgemental people on the planet.
Don’t get me wrong, not all, but there are a good amount of them. It’s usually the older generation that believes one should be brought up thinking that any sort of piercing or tattoo is immoral. They tend to believe that the only way to live is according to every biblical principle quoted in the bible, along with any interpretation they can take away from it. I grew up in a church. I’m used to the whole Christian lifestyle. I saw no problem with it; it’s just the way I live my life. Sure, I don’t abide by every principle. I’m nineteen and a college student, not a nun. But there will always be that kind of lining over me being me and my status as a pastor’s kid. I’m not a saint—I’m my own person—but for some reason, being the Pastor’s daughter, I have to hold myself to a different standard.
The first thing that made all the little old ladies turn up their noses and give me a side eye was when I chose to go to school in Vermont, a pretty liberal state. They were worried I would turn away from the church, however, this isn’t the reverse Salem Witch Trials. No one is going to make me go through a series of tests when they find out I’m religious. My faith is just as strong as it is when I’m back home completing my job as the media support and overseer of toddlers and infants.
When I tell you they lost their minds over me getting a tattoo, I wish I was joking. I got a cute tattoo of three triangles intertwined that mean, past, present, and future, in January of 2019. I think it’s a very cute tattoo. It’s a decent size and on my wrist, so it’s not that noticeable being that I am usually wearing something with sleeves. They noticed when I got back for spring break and during the summer when I wore dresses like they were going out of style. Many grabbed my wrist and asked what it was and if it was permanent. The best is when they ask if my parents allowed me to get it. Not that I needed their permission, but yes, they liked it and said it was cute. The pastor himself was the one to take me. He also happens to have two tattoos, you just can’t see them. I can’t be rude though, because that would go against the whole pastor’s kid aesthetic.
They all reacted the same way when I got my nose pierced; one of the members of the congregation even went as far to ask one of my parents, within my hearing distance, if they let me get it pierced. I can’t clap back though because that would be considered rude and so help me if I happen to catch an attitude with someone questioning what I do with my body.
There was one incident where I couldn’t remember the name of a pastor who came to visit my church and shared a message. He came up to me and asked if I remembered him, I said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t recall. What’s your name again?” I thought I was being polite because I genuinely couldn’t remember this man’s name. He had the audacity to say, “Wow, you can’t remember my name? Are you doing okay in school? Your memory seems to be off. What grade are you in again?” I just had to laugh it off and answer his questions when in reality all I wanted to do was insult this man and drag him through the mud. But again, that would be rude and unkind.
It feels like I’m not allowed to mess up. It’s as if I’ll be looked at differently or they’ll look at my parents in a different light if I was to ever mess up in anyway. How would they react if they were to find out that I have gone to a party where there was alcohol and weed? I think they would be appalled. I don’t smoke, nor do I curse. Sure, I’ll have the occasional drink, but if I’m being honest, I’m not a fan of alcohol. I also like to listen to different kinds of music, it’s not just worship songs or Christian rock/pop/rap being played 24/7. I like some of the songs that Christian artists create, the same way I like songs that other artists have created. I don’t base my life solely around what I’m expected to be.
Yes, I’m a pastor’s kid. Yes, I am religious. Yes, I make mistakes. No, I don’t abide by all the principles. I have a piercing and tattoo that I am very fond and proud of. I am a goody-two shoes, that ain’t no lie, but I do believe that I have the right to do what I want when it comes to my choices. I believe in most of the principles and will abide the ones I feel relevant to my life, but I’m not going to abide by the supposed rules I should be living by due to my dad being the lead pastor of a church.