In the Cleveland, Ohio, neighborhood where I grew up, Sunday morning silence was as sanctified as kielbasa, Bernie Kosar and P.O.C. beer. You didn't blast your stereo, rev your Harley or, during the three weeks each year when it's warm enough for grass to grow, start your lawn mower before noon on the Lord's day of rest. (Well, my Lord actually takes Saturdays off, but that's another story.)
Anyway, it's a day of rest, right? So why does the Eastland Baptist Church at Gallatin Road and McKennie Avenue have to blast their church bells for hours on end beginning at around 9 a.m. every Sunday? I live three blocks away, and still, those blasted bells jar me out of a sound sleep, er, religiously every Sunday morning. And they go on...and on...and on. Pity the poor folks who live directly across the street from the church.
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And worst of all, it's tinnily blasting forth from what look like World War II-era British air raid sirens. Or perhaps they were spare parts from Quicksilver Messenger Service guitarist John Cipollina's amplifier, shown to the left. Mind you, I saw Metallica last year at The Basement, a space the size of my living room, and these bells rival that show for sheer decibalic fury.
I've searched backward and forward through the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments, not to mentioned scoured the teachings of everyone from Joel Osteen to Creflo Dollar, and nowhere do I see anything along the lines of, "Thou shalt be a public nuisance" or "Though shalt wake thy neighbors at an ungodly hour."
So what's the deal? How is this spreading the Gospel? Would Jesus approve of such disregard for neighbors? Is this somehow supposed to make me want to be a Baptist? Maybe Scene editor Pete Kotz, our resident Catholic, can tell me if the papal folks would condone this sort of behavior?