So I’m sitting in an IHOP in Union City, Georgia (30 minutes or so south of Atlanta) this fine Sunday morning. As to be expected, it is quite crowded with folks fresh from church and lots of fathers and their families enjoying a nice Father’s Day brunch.

I look up from my book when the corner of the restaurant bursts into applause as a middle-aged couple walks in. Both are wearing white t-shirts that say “VALIDATED BY GOD” on the back in big gold letters with black trim.

This of course has me instantly curious. What exactly does it mean to be validated by God? What process does one go through to be validated? What sort of things might cause one to fail this vaildation procedure? What color of ink does God use with this stamp of validation? What are some of the perks of this validation, or consequences of not being validated? What is the going rate in the black market for forged godly validation documents? What might the purpose be of announcing this validation to the world with a t-shirt?

I’m assuming that the wearers and their party are Southern Baptists, but I could be wrong. Maybe they were just baptized, and that’s what the t-shirts signify?

I will forever be baffled by the behaviors of those who practice organized religion…

Why not ask them?

Because the answer will take so much longer than the question that she’d need the life time of Methuseleh to survive it.

I have, and I’m sure I will again, but there was no way for me to indulge my curiosity this morning in person without making a scene. I was already making enough of a scene sitting there in my default fuzzy-legged dykiness.

I’d have loved to ask them if I could get a T-shirt.

“I go to casinos a lot, and the parking’s a bitch, so …”

Given that they were apparently worn by an established couple,
given that they were recognized and applauded by a number of people in the restaurant,

could it not be that the couple just renewed their wedding vows at church and the crowd was congratulating them after they dressed down and came out to eat?

They couldn’t have been the very cream of the crop Southern Baptists, however. Ten thousand of them have gathered in Nashville this weekend for a door-to-door evangelical crusade.

Save me! Save me!

Strike that.

When did God start following cGMP?
The universe sure as HELL isn’t iso 9000 compliant, so the change must have come within the last 6,000 years.

I don’t know for sure, but my first instinct is that the observer of said shirts is first supposed to note the fact of their marriage. And its heterosexual nature.

You know, it’s odd.

We were having a Yard Sale this weekend (poorly attended), & we didn’t see one.
A puzzle.

Perhaps it was like a parking validation. You go to church, pay $5.95, God stamps your shirt, and you’re free to wander the chruch for 4 hours.

It could be a statement of support for gay marriage.


And there will be alot of sweat and spit flying around. Actually, it can be pretty entertaining if you ask just the right questions to set them off.

It means that the t-shirts are 100% cotton, and not one of those cotton/polyester blends.

You guys are funny.
This reminds me of an ad on TV that got me giggling - you can sign up your mobile to recieve daily messages from The Lord. I mean, it would take him ages to text so many people - does he use txt abbreviations and his thumb must get really tired. What kind of a mobile would he own? If he has a pxt phone, he could prove his existence!

Dunno if I’d want to take the risk.

If you Google “validated by God” (has a Limbaughesque ring, doesn’t it?) you get some mighty funky links. I would prefer not to set off the following rampage. I’d need extra Handi-Wipes and my toast would get cold.

And whatever you do, DON’T CLICK on the Salt-Licks. You’ve been warned.

Get someone from the Methodist tradition, particularly the Nazarene/Holiness end of things, and they can wax eloquent for quite a bit of time on the distinction between salvation, justification, redemption, etc., all of which are distinct things (in their view) which God does for those who turn to Him. It seems possible that some theologian in the Methodist/Nazarene/Holiness tradition may have defined “validation” as yet another element of that conceptulaization. I’m flagging Alan Smithee’s name here since he is a United Methodist seminarian (IIRC) and probably can make more sense of this concept than I can.

Dammit, I’d never have noticed that link if you hadn’t’ve mentioned it.

It mean that if it weren’t for that horse, they never would have spent that year in college.

tdn he was in town last night! 'Twas a great show. But he didn’t do that bit.