“Visible Christians”

In Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Barbara Ehrenreich goes “undercover” for several months as a restaurant server (and later on, other minimum-wage professions) to get some perspective on the lifestyles of many of the working poor in America. One paragraph in her book describes some of her worst customers:

The worst, for some reason, are the Visible Christians â&emdash; like the ten-person table, all jolly and sanctified after Sunday night service, who run me mercilessly and then leave me $1 on a $92 bill. Or the guy with the crucifixion T-shirt (SOMEONE TO LOOK UP TO) who complains that his baked potato is too hard and his iced tea too icy (I cheerfully fix both) and leaves no tip at all. As a general rule, people wearing crosses or WWJD? (“What Would Jesus Do?”) buttons look at us disapprovingly no matter what we do, as if they were confusing waitressing with Mary Magdalene’s original profession.

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