Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mormons at the Door

I never thought the day would come when a bunch of religious folk (read Christians) would show up at my door preaching the ways of God, Jesus. Or is that God? Whatever. Leave that argument and the conundrum about the Holy Trinity to the theologists.

I opened the door, rather cautiously, to two cheerful young lads clothed in black T-shirt and black pants. "Hi, I'm a disciple of Christ", read their shiny badge. Closer inspection of the badge revealed that they were members of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Mormons. Yay. Throughout the conversation the theme song from that SouthPark episode was going on in my head. Dumdumdumdumdum...

Wasting no time, they got down to business.

  • "Do I have a personal relationship with God?". I replied with a dead pan expression that I am an atheist. In my experience with revealing this bit of "horrifying" news to theists, it's always the double take or the gasp. These guys did both.
  • "Don't you want to know Jesus better? Let's pray!" There's a church down the street and we are having a service. Let's get to know Him better!
  • "Are you a Muslim, Jew or Sikh?" What, I can't be a Buddhist or a Hindu? Close minded jerks.
  • "Do you know of the great sacrifice?" Of course. He died, so that we may live. How the death of one person can magically forgive/pardon/redeem/give a free ticket to Heaven for millions of recurrent sinners for over two thousand years is beyond any rationalistic notion.
  • "It's sad that you have not invited God into your life, we shall pray for you". The single most annoying (bordering on insulting) thing anyone can say to a non-believer.
I should have asked them some of my questions.
  • Have you considered the fact that you could have been indoctrinated into "believing" in an entity that can apparently bring into existence all of creation with a single thought?
  • Do you see this entity? Can you convince me without quoting the Bible or those Golden plates or some long winding theological argument?
  • Are you a Creationist? Do you really believe that the world is 5000 years old and that Man tamed and saddled the T-Rex?
  • You don't believe in evolution, you poison academic institutions with your biblical take on life and you ask for crocoduck fossils... Where do I even begin?
  • Magic Underwear? You're just asking for more punishment.
Edit: I just realized. Absurdity has the power of numbers. Think about it. If a million people told you that 2+2=5, you would seriously start doubting that it equals 4 in actuality. Maybe there is a semblance of meaning to their approach you think. BAM! You've been lured in.
Another example of power in numbers. Were I to say,
" These french fries have borne the fire and brimstone of the Oven for me. Therefore I will worship the French Fries.", you will be quickly escorted out of McDonalds, thrown into a looney bin asylum and be fried with electricity until you start perennially drooling at the mouth. Supposing a million or so people believe in the Covenant of the Fries, could we brand them all as insensible people? No. You actually think that there must be some truth in the Fries. Such is the power of numbers. Propagate an idea and no matter how weak or illogical it may be, with enough people, it gains serious momentum. If people had questioned the concept of Fries in the beginning, (when the fries were ordered at the counter), all of this would not have happened. Rationalizing plays a key role in keeping these sorts of things in check. To prove my point check out the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster :the ultimate kick in the teeth to creationists.

So fine, I have a bone to pick with religion. My point is we can all be good decent human beings without a bearded man in the sky dictating the way we act and behave. If we can help others, live a good life and be of good moral fiber, we have essentially taken religion out of the equation. My doctrine sounds logical and plausible right? If you still need proof, look what Christianity has to say:

If your Gospel is a set of rules and regulations to live free from sin, and condemnation to hell for those who don't. Believe it or not, God labels your message as a perversion of the Gospel:Book of Galatians


But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Galatians 1:8-9


I rest my case your honour.

Religious disclaimer: As an atheist I really don't care about religion and sentiments. You are free to believe in whatever you want to. But when people go about trying to shove their beliefs onto others who don't want it or didn't even ask for it, that's just plain wrong. In which case I strongly urge people to ask questions of their own.

11 comments:

puneeth said...

I have had two such visits, infact i had one just four hours ago. irritating enough that they ring your bell just when you have settled down to relax, and even more irritating that they ask you so many questions. But the best in all this is that we hav a church gathering every sunday in our building and we get free pan cakes and coffee. And that's my sunday brunch! i go right in time for the pan cake and i happily eat and get back. Jesus/God helps me fill my stomach ;)

Arjun said...

I thought christians followed the "Da Vinci Code"??

On a more serious note, I agree. If these were the middle ages, we'd be burned at the stakes for heresy. But take solace in the fact that our numbers are growing. Maybe we could form a religion for atheists. But then that would be a bit ironical, wouldnt it?

vigneshjvn said...

Haha! Good one! Although I doubt asking rational questions would reach them. You should probably just quote Homer: "Why can't I worship god in my own way? In my deathbed!" I'm sure it would work! :D

Vyaas said...

MORMON UNDERWEAR?!?!

prateekmathur said...

i am not an atheist...i believe in God...i don't think that God id restricted to one religion or ,worse, one caste.but yes, there is "one bearded guy" in the sky who is, to say the least,relevant.
ur post is one of those horror serials in India, or tobacco commercials, or Mutual funds ads, that put one disclaimer of their cons just to "not-hurt" the sentiments of those who disagree and then say the most hurtful things.
the propagation of a religion is a necessary evil. i don't support it but coz it leads to tension n riots etc but still it is still necessary. don't doubt the intention of everyone who comes to ur door talking about jesus..be atheist but don;t be cynical...!

Avi said...

@Mathur: No macha.. Why does religion have to be propogated? I mean, with the exception of people in the remote reaches of the amazon, i doubt there is anyone born into the modern world who hasn't already heard about some form of major world religion already. Anyone trying to propogate one particular religion is implicitly saying "My religion is better than whatever religion you are currently following". That is something which i find logically in-compatible with talks of religious tolerance. Its kinda hypocritical isn't it.. To say we accept all religions, but still.. ours is better than theirs so come over to this side.. ;). And just to clarify.. i m not atheist. I do believe in god. (very deeply sometimes..) Just not very religious though..

Shrey said...

Haha, God loving peeps knocking on the door and serving free advice is super annoying. But religion does have a very important purpose.

While you may be a jolly good guy because you were brought up well or educated well, all of humanity is not of decent moral fiber, they need something to make them believe in the importance of goodness, and that's basically religion.

Religion also seeks to answer some very important questions that science doesn't manage to do satisfactorily, like the origin of mankind, life and the universe. But of course you're free to disagree on their claims.

Religion is also important for identity's sake, we are from a certain culture because of religion. Besides all this, the world would be a really boring place if the only frame of reference used to study things was science. The spiritual paradigm is very interesting in many cases. I'm no religious fanatic or anything, just thought I'd add my 2 paise :)

Great blog btw...

blade said...

@shrey: I second that!. Wait a second. You have said lots. There are human beings that have grown up in ways where morality isn't a word known or heard of. Some people believe in science and rational approaches to perceptions in life, live it well. Some live it bad. Some use 'There's no God' as a license to live as they want. A lizard doesn't know how a tube-light works. You cannot sit down beside one, explain to it about particles that have energy and momentum but no mass. Like an ant that can JUST build a home, save, eat and die; Like a dog that can JUST eat, love, bark, mate and die, we are humans who can JUST talk, write, mate, love, think, build rockets and die. Probably.

P.S. My english is not the best. :)

blade said...

I almost forgot what I finally did want to say. God to us, could be, could be what the tube light is to the lizard :-)

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ahalya said...

hey Nikhil completely agree with u....i had a similar experience wen 3 half baked nuts tried to convince me into converting by sayin tht worshippin Lord krishna wud never get me to heaven....and i ws like heck i dnt wanna go to heaven!!!dint u knw hell is the new heaven nw!!! :P i mean im nt religious and i believe tht these are an individual's choice...but i despise ppl degrading other religions to prove their point....thts the whole reason y we dnt ve global peace....bcz of cracks like these!!!! anyways good one :)