Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Out Take, Part Deux

A couple o' interesting thangs happened this past weekend... aside from me goin' green... one o' which was me bein' graced with an impromptu visit from the pastor o' the church next door.  Yeah, I live next door to a church, which makes me wonder if they shouldn't have their insurance coverage re-evaluated coz... well, just be-coz.  The possibility o' lightning strikes on their building have prolly increased exponentially since I moved in, but we digress.

So... said pastor pressed a couple o' flyers into my reluctant hands on Saturday afternoon and we exchanged pleasantries for a moment or six, at which time he noticed my USS Mason ball cap and inquired if I'd been to Viet Nam, seein' as how he and I are "of a certain age."  We exchanged military stories and I learned he had been an Army helicopter crew chief and door gunner during Viet Nam, serving one three-year tour and then mustering out.  Our similarities began and ended right there, as Thailand was the closest I got to Viet Nam during the war, and I was a "lifer."   

The pastor then switched topics and asked if I'd ever attended a Baptist church before.  "," sez I, adding that I'm not a very religious sort o' person.  I told him that I've lived in a number o' cultures that aren't Christian and that those cultures seemed devout, were generally good and happy places to be, and weren't much different from us (Americans) in ethical and moral respects.  I added that I thought it was just a LITTLE bit presumptuous for anyone to claim any religion knows The Truth, especially those of the Christian persuasion, when two-thirds of the world's population... at least... believe in sumthin' other than Christianity.  I hastened to add that I acknowledged there IS a Supreme Being and my personal issue is I don't know what Her name is, largely based on my experiences with other cultures.

That was the wrong thang to say.  What followed was about a ten minute dissertation on the fact that The Deity At Hand most certainly IS a Him and why his way... said pastor's way... was The Way, which reminded me a LOT of sumthin' like this (start at 2:18, everythang before is just static):

Emphasis on "The Church o' the Presumptuous Assumption," and heavily... at that.  Now I'm not against missionary work and I understand the place it holds in all o' the major religions.  So I listened ... or rather let the pastor run on until he was outta breath and outta biblical quotations... at which time I thanked him for his time and wished him well on a lovely Saturday afternoon, which it had been, up until this point in time.  

If there's ONE thang I wish The Deity At Hand would save us from it would be door-to-door proselytizers.  That's mainly coz I don't really NEED to be saved, thank ya very much.  We're doin' just fine, as we speak... thanks be to Athena or whatever Her name is.


  1. Why would anyone believe in a religion that they didn't think was the truth? If we don't think our religion is the Right One, why would we believe it?

    I don't think door to door proselytizing is a good idea, but there are religions that think it is, and they think it is neighborly. You were very patient even after pushing the preacher's button.

  2. (1) A helicopter door gunner? Geez. Talk about a high-risk gig... those guys had a pretty limited life expectancy, didn't they?
    (2) My standard approach to proselytizers of any faith is, "I understand that your faith requires you to do this, but I'm not in the market for a belief system. I wish you well. Good day."

  3. Good post Buck. Never did like that door to door stuff either. I wonder if that's similar to what people in other cultures feel when a missionary comes knocking? And, that audio clip just made my day. "Dear friends, Godamighty I'm hungry...a mighty hot dog is our lord!" You been looking for a deity name, maybe it's Oscar Mayer.

    Barry, my wife's standard response to proselytizers is to seriously say that everyone in our household is a member of the 7th day Agnostic Church, which ain't too far from the truth. It makes for some confusing looks.

  4. I used to work with a fellow that said "He never saw a man yet, that when he finally did get a little religion, that he let it make a fool out of him." I'm sure the guy was wiser than his years, because the older I get, the more religious fools I see.
    Like you, I generally let them go through their whole speil, then, send them on their way!

  5. Why would anyone believe in a religion that they didn't think was the truth?

    Good point, Lou. But what baffles me is the many different versions of the truth that are out there. They ALL can't be true, can they? Or mebbe they can... I'm no theologian.

    Barry: That was my response to (1) and almost my exact same comment... he told me he lost more than a few friends. I like your second point. I should have just been up front with the guy and said the same thang without beating around the bush.

    Dan: Thanks. I've often wondered the same thang about missionaries in foreign lands... how the locals perceive them, other than as dietary variations, perhaps. The clip is (obviously) from Firesign Theater and I have almost all their stuff on vinyl. They were BIG amongst the stoner crowd back in the day.

    Ed: I usually stop 'em dead in their tracks, before they even begin. But this gentleman lives... so to speak... right next door. He really was bein' neighborly.

  6. A wrought iron fence with locked gates is my friend. Now, if I could just figure out something similar with the politico robo calls!

    Two high school friends are missionaries -- one in Honduras, one in Egypt. I worry about their safety and admire their faith. But, I wouldn't want either of them to get preachy with me. My Deity at Hand and I are on very good terms.

    1. I'd worry about your friends too, especially the one in Egypt. That ain't a very nice place to be at the moment.

      I like to think my Deity and I are on good terms, but I have this sneaking suspicion she doesn't appreciate me NOT calling her by her given name. That tends to piss any woman off, deity or no.

  7. World's best religious knock-knock joke...


    Who's there?


    Jesus who?

    OK, you're going to hell. Next!


Just be polite... that's all I ask.