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Discussion 2 to Meditation 777
If it stops unwanted visits, it is quite helpful

by: JT

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Darin:

It's funny but only a month ago I was being criticized for not being tough enough on religion. And now, I'm too mean. I can't win - and I won't attempt to. Over the years, I have come to recognize that I cannot satisfy everyone, and I don't try to do so. I just meet their needs by providing a fairly open relatively uncensored forum in which to respond. Let the readers come to their own opinions based on the various viewpoints expressed.

You say "I have never had anyone try to force religious beliefs on me." And that's nice and you are quite fortunate. And until I moved to a small city on the prairies, I was in the same boat. But not anymore.

I managed to get rid of the Mormons after about 10 years of visits, but the ladies from Jehovah's Witnesses and those from other churches continue five years later. Uninvited and unwanted.

Here's what I've learned out of numerous visits:

  1. Politeness does not work - it guarantees they will return.
  2. Pure rudeness does not work - it satisfies their sense of being a martyr in an oppressed minority - and it guarantees they will return.
  3. Engaging in civilized discussion does not work - it gives them the idea that you might be open to their arguments and be converted - it guarantees they will return.

So what is left? I suggest that perhaps making it painfully apparent to them that defense of their faith puts them in a morally abhorrent position will discourage their return, because they cannot accept a genuine challenge to their faith.

Deuteronomy 23:2 is morally abhorrent. For that matter, so are Deuteronomy 23:1 and Deuteronomy 23:3. Given that, for the most part, Deuteronomy is supposedly the law that God gave to Moses[1], those that believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God should logically follow these laws. Of course, they don't. I'm unaware of any church that bans men unfortunate enough to be emasculated, that bans bastards and their descendents,[2] or that bans Ammonites and Moabites and their descendents. But in spite of the fact that they don't follow these rules from their god, they still claim the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

And their followers insist on coming to my door unasked to preach it.

The play as yet is just a fantasy. I happen to think it is somewhat humorous, though I acknowledge that not everyone has my sense of humor. I have not yet used the key premise in actual practice, but at some point, I expect my irritation quotient will rise enough that I will do so.

Is it lying? Perhaps there is deception in initially leading the visitors to think the main character agrees with their premise, but still, I personally am illegitimate[3] and it is my intention that the main character in the play also be illegitimate. So stating that fact is not lying.[4] Logically, if I accept the premise the Bible is inerrant, I have to accept that I (together with ten generations of my descendents) am irrevocably banned from any church which preaches the doctrine of inerrancy.

So, Darin - you say you don't see how the play is helpful to any of the characters. I'd say it is helpful to the main character if it discourages future unwanted visitations. And it is pure gravy if one of the minor characters recognizes that perhaps it might be an idea to look at a church with a more intelligent view.

As for the article appearing on this website...

Notes:

  1. As Moses says over and over in one form or another in Deuteronomy "Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land you are going over..."
  2. A simple reason no church enforces their god's prohibition on bastards and 10 generations thereafter: The number of people in the world who do not have at least one bastard somewhere in 10 generations of ancestors can be counted on the fingers of one nose. That includes you, gentle reader.
  3. For many years, I have gleefully used the old line to anyone who called me a bastard "I was born one, what's your excuse?"
  4. If I told them I had lost my balls in an industrial accident, that would be a lie, but it would make the same point.