It all started out innocently enough. We took the metro to the same church we had attended with Robbie, only to discover that it wasn't there.
Apparently they're getting a building upgrade.
Unfortunately, there were no other chapels accessible by metro that we could get to on time.
It was Easter Sunday though, and we wanted to go to church. We decided a church of another denomination would have to do, and would probably be a good experience. Rob remembered a church across the street from the White House, so we headed there.
Notice the smiling face.
Still happy as we check out Lafayette Park...
This is the church we went to—St. John's Church, an Episcopalian parish known as "The Church of the Presidents" because every president since 1816 has attended there.
It was Easter Sunday, and there was only standing room in the back. Here comes the meltdown part. When I asked Joey what I should write about this he said, "NOTHING! How embarrassing! I didn't know better!" But I convinced him that this is something worth remembering.
Here's the deal. He thought we should not be attending a different church, that it was wrong. I seem to remember something about us "going to outer darkness" for this great sin. :) When we (gasp) sang along with the liturgy, he glared at us and told us to STOP. IT. When it came to part of the service where you greet the people around you and a nice, impeccably dressed hostess shook Joey's hand, he glared sullenly. No "Peace be unto you," certainly no smile. She graciously said that she thought he wasn't ready to be out of bed. Soon after the service ended and we left. Joey promptly sat down on a nearby bench and refused to talk to us. Long story short, we made him come with us to breakfast, where we explained that we were clearly failures as parents if he didn't understand our beliefs about other religions. What we told him is summarized much more eloquently by President Hinckley:
“We want to be good neighbors. We want to be good friends. We feel we can differ theologically with people without being disagreeable in any sense. We hope they feel that same way toward us. We have many friends and many associations with people who are not of our faith, with whom we deal constantly and we have a wonderful relationship. It disturbs me when I hear of any antagonisms. … I don’t think they are necessary. I hope that we can overcome them.
“Be respectful of the opinions and feelings of other people. Recognize their virtues; don’t look for their faults. Look for their strengths and their virtues, and you will find strength and virtues which will be helpful in your own life.
“We ought to live together as sons and daughters of God. We have a common Father. That means that we are brothers and sisters and we ought to live together in that way."
One thing about Joey is that when he realizes that he's wrong, he is very sorry and contrite about it. He apologized tearfully and sincerely and learned a great lesson. Someday when he's on a mission asking people to attend a different church, he'll have a great story to tell about his experience doing just that.
We spent the rest of the day at Arlington National Cemetery. Joey's assessment: "It was awesome." He's such a chatterbox.
And we ended the day on a high note, at Nando's Peri-Peri restaurant, on Jake's recommendation. YUM.