US – God Works In Mysterious Ways, But Only Humans Get To Work At Applebee’s, Unfortunately – 31 January 2013

I will never understand why this doesn’t drive the rest of you as up the wall as it drives me.

A pastor is presented with a bill for dinner at an Applebee’s in St. Louis where 18% tips are automatically figured into the bill. The pastor writes on the bill “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?” The Applebee’s waitress posts a picture of the receipt. The pastor then calls Applebee’s to get the waitress fired.

Of course, it’s even stupider than that, because in Missouri, wait staff that receive tips can be paid 50% of the state’s minimum wage of $7.35 an hour – but only if what the wait staff employee makes in tips would allow that employee’s gross rate of pay to nevertheless equal $7.35/hr. In other words, the person waiting tables would have to earn in tips the equivalent of half the minimum wage before any of that money would be experienced by that person as “extra” money for having done a good job. (Don’t believe me? Check out the Missouri Department of Labor on the subject: .)

But is this pastor frustrated at the injustice of that? Does this pastor tend to the needs of a huge flock of people that could really use some comfort? No, this pastor grouses about having to pay a service charge and gets the person who provides the service fired.

_And_, on top of that, this pastor invokes the name of the deity to do it. Now, you may have some differing views of God out there – whether you think that is the name of the Creator of the Universe (as many do) or the name of a big Imaginary Friend In The Sky (more of what I think on the matter).

But either way, how can _anyone’s_ view of God be _so_ small-minded? It boggles the mind that anyone could think this is what religious righteousness looks like.

If God is an active and concerned Creator of the Universe, I’d like to think He/She cares more about the struggles of hard working wait staff trying to eke out a decent living than the petty complaints of someone who apparently just likes to throw the name of God around a lot. On the other hand, if God is a big Imaginary Friend In The Sky, it would at least be nice if that Imaginary Friendship made people nicer to real people here on Earth.

You know what, Pastor? If you just paid the 18% to the wait staff, or failing that, if you did anything at all for the numerous people who are struggling all around you, I think any decent God would give you a rebate on the 10% money down you’re already paying. Think about it.

Here’s the thing – I think the person who showed the Internet what the love of God, as scrawled testily on a receipt, looks like…that person has done the rest of us a mitzvah. Maybe it’s not too late for those who want religion to actually be about doing good in the world to see the light.

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