Having a religion in the U.S. is a lot like having a vagina in that it’s everybody else’s business, and there’s always someone out there trying to change it. Personally, I don’t understand this preoccupation with religion. Much like a vagina, as long as you’re not flapping it around in my face and not using it to kill people, I don’t care what you do with it. Some people, however, make it their personal business to poke around in other people’s god-vaginas.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are a prime example of this phenomenon. I suppose I should say Confrontational Jehovah’s Witnesses because it’s unfair to generalize too much.
Growing up, you could always tell when the Confrontational Jehovah’s Witnesses (hereafter referred to as CJW’s) were in the neighborhood. A line of cars would appear in the cul-de-sac, noiselessly, as if placed there by the hand of God Himself. A procession of women in linen dresses would then make their way from house to house asking occupants if they’ve heard about the Word of God. How they think you could live in the Midwestern United States and not have at least a vague idea of what Christianity is, I’m not sure.
Coming from a fairly small blue-collared town, not a whole lot else of significant entertainment value went on, and as children, we found watching the CJW’s and the ensuing panic amongst the neighborhood adults almost as good as Saturday morning cartoons.
Sometimes my mom would get a warning call from one of the other neighbors, an unfortunate soul who had opened the door and now wanted to protect others from falling to a similar fate.
Sometimes we would see them first.
“Mommy! The Jehovah’s Witnesses are coming!” We would yell. We knew the drill. It was the same drill we had carefully perfected for Christmas carolers. Don’t talk. Turn off all the lights. Hide in the basement.
CJW’s are not alone in their quest to systematically destroy the Amazon by distributing literature in attempts to convert their victims.
Which brings me to the topic of Confrontational Protestants.
Now I know I said that it’s unfair to generalize, but I admit that I tend to lump most Protestants into one category. I understand that there are a gazillion different types of Protestant- Methodists, Lutherans, born again Christians, and whatever that English one is, for example. But I don’t know them all because frankly, I don’t care, and God probably doesn’t give two shits either.
Confrontational Protestants (hereafter referred to as CP’s) seem to be in the business of condemning people to Hell, also while systematically destroying the rainforest like their CJW brethren. If you’re looking to have an identity crisis, seek out a CP. They’re fond of saying things like, “You’re a really great person, and I accept you for who you are. But by the way, you’re going to Hell because you haven’t accepted Jesus into your heart, and all your dead family’s in Hell.”
They seem to be stuck on this idea that Catholics don’t know who Jesus is.
Sometimes you might get really lucky and find a CP who doesn’t want anything to do with you, and that’s great. For example, a CP might have a child in school with you, and you aren’t allowed to play with that kid anymore because you’re a Catholic and your eternal sin might ooze out your nose and get all over his Pokémon cards. At first this might seem like a bad thing, but this is a good way to limit the number of head cases you have to deal with when you reach adulthood.
Catholics of course, are not without blame, and they too come in the confrontational variety. As a confirmed Catholic, I can only speak to the internally directed confrontation, but I’m sure Confrontational Catholics (hereafter referred to as CC’s) are just as bad as their non-Catholic counterparts. Divorced? Not okay. I’m not sure what happens to you, but it’s probably bad. Gay? Not okay. Birth control? Nope. Pregnant and unmarried? Don’t bother coming back to church until you’ve had the baby. And by the way, you’re going to Hell. Can’t get your kids to Sunday Mass because you’re visually impaired and can’t drive? Maybe God will forgive you, but it’s unlikely.
Why would someone join one of these Hell-condemning cults where people force you to undergo procedures where bits of Jesus are inserted into your right ventricle, you might be asking. First of all, not everyone who identifies with a religious affiliation is a confrontational self-absorbed Hell-condemning maniac who thinks that “eternal sin” can be spread like the flu. Second, it’s none of your business.
But my religious affiliation, like all of my reproductive organs, seems to be everyone else’s business anyway.
I don’t think religion and faith have to be the same thing. For me, religion is part of my cultural heritage. Sometimes I go to Mass, I take Communion, and in the winter I get ashes smeared all over my forehead. I never drink the wine though because that seems to be the number one way to spread SARS.
I am 100% confident that God gives zero shits about whether or not I do these things. I am also 100% confident that God doesn’t give a fuck what you do with your genitals. Penis and vagina? Fine. Penis and penis? Cool bro. Vagina and vagina? Right on. I’m sure he also doesn’t care about which type of birth control you’re allowed to use. Don’t want a baby right now? Fine. He has other stuff to concern Himself with, like Ebola and the international one-man shit-show that is Vladimir Putin.