Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Baptists!

Some Baptists showed up at my door to talk to me about Christianity. That's always fun in a morbid sort of way. Bunch of them. Two little kids were wrestling in the middle of my lawn the whole time, which was hilarious. Two guys my age were talking to me, with a girl and an older guy standing by silent. They were allegedly doing a survey about people's feelings on their community. Then they randomly asked me my faith.

They asked my religious affiliation and I ended up explaining both Wicca and Hinduism (and, as far as I'm concerned, Christianity).

They pulled that "Liar, Lunatic, or Lord" thing on me. See, Jesus said he was God. So he was either a liar or a madman (which in either case means nothing he said was worthwhile), or he was what he said he was. It's a common reply to people like me saying he was a good teacher and fine example of a human. Try to get me to say, "I think his teachings are worthwhile, so therefore he couldn't be a liar or a lunatic, and the only option left is God. Egad! I just became a Christian!" Instead I told them I think we can learn a lot from crazy people.

As much as I enjoy the verbal sparring with these people... I can't help but feel a little bit transgressed upon. I feel like I need to talk to them to stand up for all the folk they'll be evangelizing to who won't be able to make the good counterarguments and earn some respect. Even though I'm glad to do that... I often wish there weren't a need.

I can understand the compassion angle. If you think your patron deity is really seriously going to destroy the souls of people who don't worship him a certain way, then you really are a jerk if you don't try and save people from him, because as far as you're concerned you're doing less than your best for the people around you.

Unfortunately, I'm coming at it from the respect angle. There is no way to respectfully approach beliefs that you are trying to replace with your own. This is why evangelists look for easy targets, people whose beliefs they are not obligated by social pressure to respect. People try to convert foreigners and poor people, not Rabbis with doctorates in theology.

I don't think the question of what happens after we die matters nearly as much as the things we can all agree on, things that need to be done here, where living people are. I would rather help feed the poor with a Christian than argue over whether their deity is going to condemn me.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I reserve the right to disagree with a deity, and if yours does not want me to love my fellow mortals best... I think your deity is wrong, and you won't make a convert out of me. Try and love your neighbor (the poor, the foreign, the infidel) as yourself for a minute, instead of spending all your time figuring out how to change your neighbor into you. Maybe then you'll find some common ground, finally.

2 comments:

Scott Ferguson said...

I am always frustrated by the attitude that any sort of pretense (read: lie) is justified when evangelizing. They used the community survey in order to trick you into talking to them. I once had a local youth group come to my door, ask me for a pen for their alleged scavenger hunt and then hand me one of those god-awful Chick pamphlets. This sense of privilege to indulge in behavior that they would abhor in other contexts represents just the sort of mangled mindset that infects so many Christian zealots.

Cobalt said...

You got real Chick Tracts out of them! Shooooot, all we ever get are these crappy knockoffs that aren't nearly as funny. =P We seriously have a wall of Godspam that we add to whenever they come by. The centerpiece is one of those magic prayer rugs.