View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Beardless Bard?

I teach at a small, private Christian school that's part of a nationwide network.

It's run by a denomination known as the Plymouth Brethren.

They don't want their children polluted by the kinds of influences they'd encounter in public schools. (Understandable.)

Or even regular Christian schools. (!)

The particular group that runs the school is very traditional - I liken them to Amish in the city. (Or the characters in the movie The Village.)

No radios. No televisions. No computers. No college. No eating with people who are not members of the denomination. Modest dress. Head coverings for women. Everything focuses on family and family businesses.

But unlike the Amish, no facial hair for men.

Yes, the men are all expected to be short-haired and clean shaven.

A gathering of Brethren men looks like a meeting of young Republicans.

When I was hired two years ago, they made an exception in my case. A short beard was allowed.

On Thursday, I was informed that they were tightening the rules across the nation for teachers: No more beards or moustaches.

So if I want to keep my job, I have to shave.

I have had a moustache for 33 years. Except for a foolish six months back in 1986, I've had a beard for the same length of time.

My wife has never seen me without a beard. She says my beard is one of the features about me she finds attractive. (Considering how few attractive features I have, I need all the help I can get!) (That's my view, not hers, by the way.)

She is not happy.

This would also mean that I could not be a natural-bearded Santa this year - losing out on $25 an hour.

Me, without a beard?

I know, a beard is just hair. It will grow back.

But it's been a part of my identity my entire adult life.


I'm looking for a new job.

Too bad: I like this one.

But if I don't find anything else -- razor time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No! Not the beard! I look at the pictures of you from when Bridget was born, and it just doesn't look like you! And the moustache too?! This cannot happen. *is outraged*


- The Daughter

PS I know a legal publisher in Buffalo who will be hiring soon. ;)

1:26 PM  

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