JW #1: We’re here to share the word of God.
Me: I’m an atheist.
JW #1: How long have you been an atheist?
Me: I’ve always been an atheist.
JW #1: Really? Why?
Me: I was raised that way.
That, as you know, was not completely true. But I was trying to get rid of them; I wasn’t about to get into…
Well, I was raised an agnostic, of Jewish heritage. And I attended Unitarian Universalist Sunday schools as a kid. But I’ve been an atheist since I was 14.
That would’ve given these door-to-door humbuggery saleswomen numerable openings to try to convince me of the error of my nonbelieving ways. Indeed, I could hear them mentally going through a checklist of programmed responses to people who tell them they’re nonbelievers.
This is the main reason I’ve usually allowed Jehovah’s Witnesses to leave their literature, which I promptly dispose of in the recycling bin after they’ve safely left. At least something good would come from it (though their pamphlets are usually good for a laugh).
But I’m going through a confusing time right now, after the death of our beloved cat, Nala and some serious personal cognitive dissonance of which I can’t get into just yet. Something in me felt a bit contentious than usual.
Generally, when a Christian tries to proselytize me, I first tell them I’m Jewish. That sometimes works, but I suspect these Jehovah’s Witnesses would’ve fallen into the camp of those who see the J-card as a challenge.
I next retreat to dropping the A-bomb. That will ward off still others. But not these persistent proselytizers for the Christian cult that likely contributed to Prince’s death.
If Heaven is Filled with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Can You Point Me the Way to Hell?
I could sense that the next step in their prompts told them to engage reluctant heathens, when JW #2 asked:
Do you want to see a better world?
Who doesn’t want that? If I had answered in the affirmative, as I imagine so many do, they would’ve launched into their Heaven spiel.
Instead, I shot back:
Not through God, who doesn’t exist.
JW #1: We’re just trying to share with you the truth of what we’ve found through the word of God and the bible.
Me: Yeah, well, I don’t believe in that either. I’m. An. Atheist.
At this point, I really wanted to get back to finishing my cereal, which was growing soggier by the minute. My annoyance was becoming plain. I normally do try to be polite, however. Honest.
My imposing, 6-foot-tall, morbidly obese late uncle with shocking orange hair once thundered, “We’re atheists,” then slammed the door on a group of persistent Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’m not sure if that was actually true of him at the time. Perhaps that’s the reason for the JWs’ probing. I’m betting that more than a few people drop the A-bomb who aren’t actually atheists just to get Jehovah’s Witnesses to go away.
JW #1: We’re just trying to help you find a better world through the truth of God.
Me: I don’t believe there’s any truth in the bible. Look, I write a blog about atheism. I write about atheism for a living.
Well, that wasn’t entirely true, either. I am a contracted employee of Patheos, and I do write about atheism professionally. But that doesn’t mean I’m making a living at it. Witness (so to speak) my appeals for support on Patreon….
JW #1: There is a way to a better life. Have you read the bible?
Me: Look, you’re barking up the wrong door here. I don’t believe in any of this stuff. There is no truth in the bible! Period.
JW #1: We’re just trying to share with you the love of God and the peace we’ve found in the bible.
Me: To me, the bible is complete and utter nonsense.
As I indicated, I’m not usually this contentious. But I am not exactly a morning person. I like to joke that every morning is a new coma awakening for me. I had barely touched my coffee, my cereal was getting soggy, and my cat died.
I’m starting to sound like a country song here. A really bad one.
And to top it all off, I’m currently grappling with baffling, diametrically opposed emotions which are threatening to annihilate each other like matter meeting antimatter. And now this.
Please, please, please would you go away already? I kept thinking. Eventually — once these aggravatingly persistent Jehovah’s Witnesses had run through the entire gamut of their playbook — they left yet another damned soul to continue her descent down the stairway to perdition.
They had already given me a preview of what Hell might feel like … if it actually existed.
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