Yesterday was my Birthday. I awoke early as work men began to drill the car park of the apartment block where I live. Pouring a cup of vanilla earl grey tea I pondered the last 44 years and what they had meant. I mooched over emails and the news on the internet and then suddenly there came a knock at the door. Now usually only neighbours knock and then very rarely. To gain entrance to the apartment block you have to press the relevant buzzer and then speak through an intercom system but with the work men being around and the job being electrical related I suspected it may be one of them who wanted to maybe advise me on a turn off of power etc.
I opened the door to a smartly dressed woman around fifty years old and a teenage kid. Regarding her quizzically I noticed a sepia coloured leaflet in her hand and then it dawned on me…. Jehovah Witnesses!
Containing my anger I asked her how she had gained entrance and she said a lady had let her in downstairs, I’m guessing it was the old lady on the ground floor who is fairly ancient and can’t hear very well and doesn’t generally know what day it is. She’s an old dear and I couldn’t really get angry at her for such a thing. The neighbour below me is Christian and I doubt she would let them in, my neighbour was at work so that leaves one other.
Anyway, the usual opening lines came, Jesus being the saviour, end of days, world full of bad stuff going on and the usual doom and gloom. Then she paused and asked
“Do you have faith, what do you believe in?”
JW’s usually like to find out early on what your orientation is, as they don’t like many other faiths.
“I’m an atheist.” I replied.
Now I’m sure they hear this a lot so she didn’t seem too taken aback but what she didn’t realise was that her intrusion had in fact led her into an ambuscade of reasoning.
A sharp exchange of sentences followed and it dawned on her I knew my stuff, especially regarding religion. I have to say her understanding of the bible seemed limited and she was adamant Mark, Luke etc of the gospels had actually met Jesus in person! Erm nope. I pointed out I believed Jesus was a fictional character, that there is poor historical evidence for him and he was probably a later folklore construct who bears uncanny resemblance to many other historical folklore figures (See the Raglan Scale).
Creationism came into it, Adam and Eve and the fact Cain and Abel were their first kids who then married, erm… hang on, where did the wives come from?
During all this verbal sparring the kids eyes looked glazed, he yawned nonchalantly and probably wished he was somewhere different, after all kids should be kids right? not dragged from door to door! This is the what angers me about religion, the fact kids are indoctrinated early on and told all this crap especially during those early imprinting years when the brain soaks everything up it can. The rational and the moral thing would be to let a child become an adult and decide for themselves what they think is right, will selfish people of faith do this though? No, because faith is control.
I was fortunate, my parents let me decide for myself, I was allowed to grow, question and examine the world around me, to make my own choices. For all my parents knew I could have ended up liking anything, Islam, Buddhism, Paganism who knows? But at least I was gifted with choice and not indoctrinated. Jehovah’s Witnesses, fundamentalist Christians, Jews, Muslims, Evangelicals aren’t given a choice.
Jehovah’s Witnesses alongside Evangelicals top my list of the most irrational kind of faith based people, they won’t listen, they won’t compromise and are completely blinkered. To be fair to Evangelicals they don’t use kids in their obsessiveness like JW’s do but they probably have more irrational fervour.
The conversation didn’t last long and I won’t tolerate cultists on my door step, she soon beat a hasty retreat though I was polite and wished her a good day, then I was back to my tea, only my tea had gone cold!!!!