Monday, March 27, 2006

Door-To-Door Dogma ...

The doorbell rang.

I wasn't expecting anyone. Everyone I know who lives around here is on vacation. And everyone I know who doesn't live around here wouldn't make the trip.

At least not without calling first.

So I peered out my living-room window and saw two men standing by my front door. From the looks of 'em, they were either Jehovah's Witnesses or the Feds. Either way, I wasn't interested.

The doorbell rang again.

I didn't answer.

But later, as I checked my mailbox, I noticed a leaflet stuck in my door. "All Suffering Soon To End!" it proclaims, sitting here on my desk now. Apparently, if the illustration is to be believed, the end of suffering will mean that an attractive black couple will sit in a clearing in front of a log cabin in a lovely mountain setting, not at all alarmed by the enormous moose standing mere feet behind them. The lack of suffering will also mean it will be perpetually fall, a white neighbor chick (is it Paris Hilton?) will approach on horseback, a black horse will graze behind the moose, and though it is fall, red tulips will be in bloom and we will enjoy bushels full of pumpkins and apples.

As if all that weren't curious enough, this particular leaflet is in pretty bad shape. The edges of it are very worn. It makes me wonder where this leaflet has been.

Politics and religion are the two off-limits topics in this world, but I have a few things to say. I'm not a religious person. Spiritual, absolutely. Religious, not at all. I think organized religion is responsible for most of the strife in the world. People commit heinous acts in the name of their gods. Much blood has been spilled over the centuries by one group of people demanding that another group of people convert to a particular religion. Religion purports to be so welcoming and loving, but really, you're welcome only if you believe the same things as the religion in question. Everyone else's beliefs are wrong. Well, what's that about?

But the bigger question I have for the Jehovah's Witnesses out there (and other religious groups that send their members into the field to drum up business) is this: What makes you think that people are sitting in their homes, thinking, "Gosh, I really *want* to be part of an organized religion, but I just don't know how to go about it. I surely wish someone would knock on my door and hand me a frayed leaflet and invite me to join their church."

Then again, I feel the same way about telemarketers: If I really want life insurance or vinyl siding, I'll come to you. You calling me and interrupting my dinner is not going to make me realize that I've been meaning to insure my life or re-side my house and that I simply can't wait another moment to get those balls rolling.

And by the way, is anyone else pissed off about the fact that the IRS can now sell the contact information on your tax returns to marketing companies? (Ah, there we go. A side of politics to go with your religion entree. Enjoy!)

8 Comments:

Anonymous Ethan said...

Re: Door to door religious conversion, this is a large part of the term "witness". Not to speak for the religious groups that do this, but my understanding is that it's not "just" that you converted, but that someone "witnessed" you do it. Thus the door to door thing. And yes, if you go to them directly, they'll make time to witness your conversion. Either way.

This is a topic too broad to fit neatly in this comment box but there's the post-it note version as a springboard to any research you choose to do on the topic.

("You" not confined to Beth, I mean anyone who wants to learn more about the subject on their own terms.)

(PS: Beth, my "old" web site has been refurbed and may be accessed by clicking my name.)

2:58 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

And by the way, is anyone else pissed off about the fact that the IRS can now sell the contact information on your tax returns to marketing companies?

Yeah, kind of defeats the purpose of the telemarketers bill that passed a couple of years ago. Now they have a "relationship" with you so they can call you any time they wish.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Eth: Well, they won't have to witness anything for me!

Jeff: EXACTLY. Congress spends all that frickin' time and money to establish the Do Not Call registry, and then this? Oy.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

You were the target of Jehovah's Witnesses, eh? You're lucky they left after only two rings of your doorbell. My mom and I literally hid behind our door when a bunch of them knocked on our door continually so they wouldn't see us moving around inside of the house. The hazards of not having a garage in which to park the family vehicle, I guess.

8:12 PM  
Blogger est said...

First, sorry for my lame english it's not my mothertongue. Secondly,sorry again but I'm not going to disparage Jehovah's Witnesses for the good reason that I admire them! I think that there's a lot of things that most people should know about them and actually don't.
For example did you know that Jehovah's Witnesses were the only religion against war ? Which means that if everybody in this world was part of that religion,the U.N wouldn't even have to exist!
Did you know that a long time before the scandal of the contaminated blood , Jehovah Witnesses considered the blood as something sacred and that they had allowed a lot of people (who afterwards were afraid of getting transfused unclean blood) to have access to numerous and safer treatments?
Did you know that they were the only religious group which during the second World War had had the courage to stand against Hitler and prefered to go into camps not to deny their faith?
Do you really think that they all are masochistic and love to wake up early every sunday? And yet they do it day after day, year after year! In my opinion they really have God's backing and are the only true religion because anyone else in their situation would just drop it!!!!!!

9:09 AM  
Blogger est said...

First, sorry for my lame english it's not my mothertongue. Secondly,sorry again but I'm not going to disparage Jehovah's Witnesses for the good reason that I admire them! I think that there's a lot of things that most people should know about them and actually don't.
For example did you know that Jehovah's Witnesses were the only religion against war ? Which means that if everybody in this world was part of that religion,the U.N wouldn't even have to exist!
Did you know that a long time before the scandal of the contaminated blood , Jehovah Witnesses considered the blood as something sacred and that they had allowed a lot of people (who afterwards were afraid of getting transfused unclean blood) to have access to numerous and safer treatments?
Did you know that they were the only religious group which during the second World War had had the courage to stand against Hitler and prefered to go into camps not to deny their faith?
Do you really think that they all are masochistic and love to wake up early every sunday? And yet they do it day after day, year after year! In my opinion they really have God's backing and are the only true religion because anyone else in their situation would just drop it!!!!!!

9:09 AM  
Blogger est said...

First, sorry for my lame english it's not my mothertongue. Secondly,sorry again but I'm not going to disparage Jehovah's Witnesses for the good reason that I admire them! I think that there's a lot of things that most people should know about them and actually don't.
For example did you know that Jehovah's Witnesses were the only religion against war ? Which means that if everybody in this world was part of that religion,the U.N wouldn't even have to exist!
Did you know that a long time before the scandal of the contaminated blood , Jehovah Witnesses considered the blood as something sacred and that they had allowed a lot of people (who afterwards were afraid of getting transfused unclean blood) to have access to numerous and safer treatments?
Did you know that they were the only religious group which during the second World War had had the courage to stand against Hitler and prefered to go into camps not to deny their faith?
Do you really think that they all are masochistic and love to wake up early every sunday? And yet they do it day after day, year after year! In my opinion they really have God's backing and are the only true religion because anyone else in their situation would just drop it!!!!!!

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Alice said...

Did you know that they were the only religious group which during the second World War had had the courage to stand against Hitler and prefered to go into camps not to deny their faith?

...
hmmm. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I swear this thing happened during the 2nd world war that had something to do with the Jews and genocide... idiot.

you piss me off. take your 'comments' i.e. religious propoganda elsewhere.

10:58 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home