Sunday School and Martin Luther King

One of the things I really hated about growing up was Sunday mornings. That’s when I was forced to go to Sunday school (and later on, church services as well).

As someone who believed in Santa Claus longer than I believed in a god (where by “believe” I mean “didn’t seriously question the existence of”), I really resented having my free time broken up by a worthless, boring couple of hours (that includes prep time of dressing up, etc.)

The teachers we had for Sunday school were all over the place, some were really interesting, most were merely dull, and a few were simply dreadful.

One of the dreadful ones was Ronnie Steiner. He was one of a set of twins (I don’t recall his brother’s name, but I’m sure it began with an “R”), though I don’t recollect his brother being as active in our Lutheran church as Ronnie. He was, I would guess about 10 to 15 years older than I was, so in 1962 that would make him mid to late 20s.

I don’t know what the lesson was that week, but for some reason Ronnie felt the need to unload on Martin Luther King Jr. And did he ever.

He went off on a five minute rant about how the Negroes in the South had been quite content to ride in the back of the bus until the Reverend King came along.

And that was a pretty typical attitude among the inhabitants of Richland, PA, in the 1960s. That’s the kind of environment in which I was raised.

Update: I think I just remembered. The Steiner twins were named Ronnie and Donnie, more formally Ronald and Donald. I was probably confused because the Botz twins were both named with an “R”: Ronnie and Roddie.

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