Some peoples stomach drop when they see them on the doorstep, some get angry, whilst others stand and listen with a kind of pained patience. Me on the other hand actively look forward to their little visits, although I have an uncomfortable feeling they’ve been warned about me.
Jehovah’s Witnesses. Charles Taze Russell’s door-to-door God botherers. Read on, dear readers, for the troozers 3 golden rules for dealing with the watch tower inhabitants;
A bright cheery “Helloooo!” always puts them on the back foot, and the look of surprise mixed with what-have-we-got-here that flits over their face is a joy to behold.
Rule #1: Always be polite, excessively so.
Apparently “Who?” is somewhat frowned upon, within the Jehovah community, as a reply to their “We are here to spread the message of God”.
Rule #2: Be joyously dim.
“Ahh, you’re an Atheist”. Now there’s not a lot you can come back with after an accusation like that, however “No, I always stand like this” is a golden classic that can be used in almost any situation…
“Wait, No… What…?”
Ah the blessed Rule #2 never disappoints or fail to deliver upon its promise.
Of course the above is just but a part of a longer, slightly more tedious conversation about religion, ethics and morality. Not that ethics or morality are tedious topics but the “divine righteousness” of one side precluded any form of argument or view to the contrary.
“Let me ask you a hypothetical question; If the laws of the land were suspended for one day and you were able to kill without fear of prosecution, would you do it?”
The reply, of course, went along the lines of God seeing and judging all and some place called Devon not opening its gates to you, who knew Devon had gates made out of Elizabeth Hurley? (I have a feeling I misheard this section of their reply)…. and there in lies the rub; Some of us wouldn’t kill cos it’s just not a nice thing to do, whilst others have to have some invisible overseer and a threat of goodies being removed to stop them.
Which is the more ethical or moral standpoint?
Rule #3: Be comfortable in being responsible for your own actions.
I think 1) I may have blown my chance for yet more doorstep theological discussions in the forseeable future, or at least until they get more raw recruits in, and 2) that there’s a VERY special place in hell for me somewhere… although of course that is one thing that both the Jehovah’s and myself have in common; No belief in hell.
(Unofficial Rule #3a: a little knowledge about your door-stepper is always nice).
I am beginning to come round to Sam Harris‘s view that “Atheist” isn’t a term I should be labelling myself with, after all there’s no term for someone who doesn’t believe in Zeus so why have a label for something you are NOT, surely you should be labelled for something you ARE?
As my new found friends leave my doorstep to wander back down the drive I have a feeling that I may have picked a fair few labels after all, and some of them may not be considered entirely Christian either :-/