This is kind of a vent, kind of a teaching moment, and a little bit surprising.
I went to look for Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II this weekend at our local B&N. I couldn’t remember off hand how the Pope’s books would be placed, i.e. by last name? If so, what WAS his last name? I had totally forgot. I realized later it was Wojtyla. Yes, this is how it is listed and put in the stacks.
OK so, I ask a young girl who worked there, and was putting books in their proper place in the religion section, where books by Pope John Paul are. She stood up and said “Pope John Paul the II are in our catholic-ism section.” NOT Catholicism. The word Catholic with an “ism” added to the end. LOL Obviously she’s not a catholic! No biggie – but I KNOW from my previous attempts at searching for catholic books, they don’t HAVE A CATHOLIC-ISM section at this particular branch. I thought “maybe they added one?” So I start following her around the stacks, when I realize she doesn’t know there is no catholic-ism section in her store. :hmmm: We looked pretty silly you can imagine! Then she says "oh we don’t have a catholic-ism section, so it’ll be over here in “religion” desperately trying to smooth over the faux-pas. She is literally steering me away from Christianity to religion. I take one look at the stack and it’s all Buddhism, Islam, Wicca, Hinduism, Taoism, et all. So I turn around and say “NO, first of all it’s catholicism, not CATHOLIC-ism. Second of all, this section is for other-than-Christian religions. We ARE Christians.” She starts to argue this point with me. To which I interrupt to say “fine you check Religion while I check Christianity, and surely we’ll find it.” “It won’t be in Christianity” “Hon, we are Christians, in fact we were the FIRST CHRISTIANS, just so you know – for future reference.”:doh2:
As I turned the corner back into Christianity a nice Protestant duo who had heard the conversation handed me a Pope John Paul II book. They didn’t have the book I was looking for, in fact only two books by our Pope John Paul II, (and I should call and ask them to order more) but I was not surprised by their location, alphabetical, in Christianity.
So I taught one person who didn’t know much about our faith, much less how to pronounce it, a little something about us and our great faith. Yet I found myself pretty irritated by such ignorance as to say we weren’t Christians. Or rather insist we were not. I found myself trying to avoid her when looking for a social study book on breastfeeding. (not much on breastfeeding there either! :shrug: )
Do you all run into similar issues/problems while shopping at secular book stores? Have you asked a local chain to carry more in the Catholic(ism) department? We have a HUGE Catholic populace here, I have to say I am surprised by the lack of books.