Guiding: Thou Shalt Not Pee

It’s Now or Never

Washington National Cathedral

Many folks visiting the Cathedral these past few years, and even some working there, have lamented the “disneyization” of the place.

First they started charging to enter.

Then they locked the doors to ensure no one was sneaking in to God’s great house free.

Next came the multiple gift shops, some right off the worship space.

They also began renting out the place for bashes, complete with wet bars within a soda spritz of the Great Altar.

And, of course, they have been charging buses of school kids a fee for entry forever.

At the Washington National Cathedral religion is truly for sale.

I took a group there today and we parked in the underground bus garage, having just left Arlington Cemetery.

Our last stop before leaving Arlington was to use the restrooms so we would be all set at the Cathedral.

In the Cathedral garage as we exited the bus I was met by a staffer who said to take my group to the restroom there.

I informed her that we had just used the restroom and were ready to go.

She cast a stern look my way and told me that she had been working with groups all week and that is what they all said until they were in the church and had to use the facilities.

Was she the Pee whisperer?

Then she said they would not be allowed to use the restroom in the Cathedral.

Goodness gracious, a no-pee zone.

I polled my group in front of her asking who felt the urge and it was 34 nay and one yea to which she seemed somewhat deflated.

It’s an odd God that makes you pay to enter and then says the toilet is off limits.

I’m taking my holy water elsewhere.






  • Victoria Huckenpahler says:

    I’ve been visiting the Cathedral my whole life, having grown up in its shadow. The place has done nothing but deteriorate in recent years. They used to have a superb resident calligrapher who scribed beautiful Christmas cards. Now, the cards are so cheesy that I’ve asked them to take me off their mailing list; I can honestly get better cards at the drug store. Next, they abolished the lovely greenhouse where I used to pick up plants. Next, post-earthquake, they moved the contents of the Herb Cottage to the garage where newcomers couldn’t find it and where the fumes from the school busses were so toxic that several of the salespeople resigned. Next, they turned the Cottage itself into a charmless, loud coffee shop. And finally they did the unthinkable: turn a place of worship into a museum, only available to those willing to pay. They have lost this lady!

  • Jane Stubbs says:

    Many Protestant religions—even the Episcopal Church which used to have many members with deep pockets are in steep (membership) decline. So if you don’t join that church and tithe or donate, you won’t have much say in their policies. I understand that the 2008 recession hit them hard (I also miss the garden shop, etc.) and then the earthquake… Who will pay?

  • HenryL says:

    Typically, a great post.

  • Joe blow says:

    Hey Eric, got to go cat -lick, we never charge to get in. We may Shake You Down once you’re in the place, but never at the door! So the place is deteriorating,? Sounds like a good project for a certain famous Builder who now resides in DC! They say he did a nice job at the post office!

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