Study Reveals Candy Wrappers More Distracting Than Screaming Babies At Church
In a recent study conducted by Wheaton College, researchers have discovered that hard candy being unwrapped in church is more distracting than babies crying during the service. 8 out of 10 surveyed said it is easier to block out a screaming baby and focus on the preaching than to block out the unwrapping of a piece of hard candy. For those who grew up in a traditional church, this is no surprise.
"I don't know how it is in a contemporary church," says Rev. Jeremiah Long of Mt. Moriah A.M.E. Zion Church in Beulah, Alabama. "I think they send the kids out to a classroom or something, and they drink coffee during church. But when I grew up, between the babies and the peppermint wrappers, it is a wonder anyone heard the sermon. But I will say that as a child, and even now as a pastor, when one of the older sisters of the church starts opening a piece of candy, I lose my train of thought. I'm done until they get it out and in their mouth. I just pause and pace the platform until the storm passes."
The non-denominational Rock Church recently instituted a partial ban on hard candy during its services. "You've heard of the 'worship wars'? We were having the 'candy war,'" recalls worship leader Jim Verge. "We were getting complaints that people couldn't hear the guitar solo during the worship set because the unwrapping was just too loud. It was a fight. The pastor said the sound kept some parishioners awake during the preaching. So we compromised and decided that we would ban the candy while the praise team was up, and then drop the ban once the preaching started."
Hard candy has been the subject of interest for some time. Several years ago another study revealed that it took longer to remove a peppermint candy wrapper in church than it did to remove a CD from its packaging. And anyone who grew up in the 1990s knows what that means.