All praise be to Jehovah!
I was sitting here this morning, wondering what I could post about. I was at a complete loss. Then I was blessed with Holy Inspiration, divine intervention in the form of a soft knock upon my front door.
That's right! Spring is blooming, the snow is melting, and all sorts if rascally vermin are slithering out from underneath their rocks to face the warming sun. Specifically, those lovely Jehovah Witnesses are making their neighborhood rounds, armed with plastic smiles and laminated pamphlets to ensure that you have heard and accepted the loving word of their God into your home.
Now, I know most people out there are infuriated at the prospect of some zealot darkening their door on a Saturday morning, but I have never been one to shy from healthy debate, especially when its gift wrapped and delivered to my front door. And there is nothing in the world more satisfying than the looks of fury and consternation you are met with once they realize they are faced with someone who has been a student of the book yet has not gleaned the same conclusions.
Without getting into the specifics of my own philosophy regarding religion and God, I can say that few things on this earth are as foreign to me as the idea of the necessity to go around on a Saturday morning and barge your way into someone's weekend to talk about Christ. And the level of conviction they possess regarding the validity of their own ideals is simply staggering. I've tried various approaches in my conversations with the door-to-door missionaries, and it's astonishing how they dismiss claims of atheism, agnosticism, gnostic belief and even variations of their own Christianity with the same arrogant certainty that they know God more closely than you possibly could.
My one long-standing gripe with the hard-line Christians is the devout belief that their leather bound, gilt covered tomes are the unadulterated word of God. With no thought to the logistics involved in the number of translations and versions the book has gone through since the time of Christ, the Word is Law and has not suffered from what amounts to a 2000 year old game of "Telephone". And that's just talking about the New Testament.
Please, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against faith in a higher power, and I believe that the faithful have throughout history done many laudable acts for their communities. But they also have a nasty habit of glossing over the many atrocities that are committed in the name of God. I have found in my experience that the worst offenders in this respect are the various offshoots of Protestantism, clinging to the belief that their separation from the old body of the church exonerates them from these transgressions. But the Jehovah's aren't without stains on their frocks.
A popular topic of conversation around my house of late has centered around a co-worker of a family member. This woman was a Jehovah Witness, along with her family, for many years. After she went through a divorce, she largely stopped her involvement with the church, and as a result was excommunicated from the fold. Now, her ex-husband, with the support of the church's leaders in their community, have told their children that they are not permitted to associate with their mother now that she no longer is a member of the fold. I'm sorry, but I can not imagine anything more alien to the idea of a God that teaches endless love and forgiveness than a church that supports the division of a family. This woman is in no way a dangerous influence on the development of her children, but now that she is not in their church her blasphemy can not be risked upon her own offspring.
During the course of my discussion with these self-righteous devotees, I presented this controversial tale that came from within their own fold. And, true to the habit of burying the dirty laundry, I was met with a quick "Well, those are the bad ones, they don't represent all of us." Excuse me, but doesn't that venerated book of yours preach to ensure pursue the sanctity of your own house before troubling yourself with that of your neighbors? Why not concern yourself with those who are giving your organization a bad name before you parade the streets looking for new recruits, if the spiritual salvation of man is truly the goal here.
After over an hour of discussion, they left amidst promises of returning another day to continue. I think next time they return, I'm going to have to have a pile of good stones ready and put on the mask of the fundamentalist. Let us return to the barbarous golden days of religious fanaticism! We'll see how they like it when I fight fire with fire, madness with madness, and start hinting them in on the blasphemies of their own moniker.
"All I said to my wife was that piece halibut was good enough for Jehovah!!"