Jun. 9th, 2007

In conclusion: I don't trust systems that require door to door missionaries

So, I got accosted by door-to-door missionaries for the first time today. I'm excluding the campus people who hand out holy books, pamphlets, and occasionally chocolate and hot cocoa and/or tell me I'm going to hell if I don't quit my sinful ways. (Which apparently includes going to college -- I maintain if a divine being wanted me to not go to college, he wouldn't have made me so darn good at advanced physics and mathematics.)

Actually, I'm exagerating. I was waiting for a bus and two guys with the Mormon church were walking in the neighborhood. They stopped, asked me a few questions, took my 'no, I'm too busy to talk to you later about religion' politely and gave me a card for their website. Part of me wonders if I was a sort of safe person for them to talk to. I was obviously waiting for a bus, so we couldn't have a long conversation, and it gave everyone a polite bow-out if I wasn't interested (considering the odds, it's likely that I would be. It's even more likely that if I was interested in converting, I would be talking to friends about it, rather than two strangers). I've heard there's a lot of pressure on younger men in that church to do the missionary thing (my sister's friend John made it sound like it was pretty much required), which bothers me, since the people actually dealing with cranky heathans like me* would get flack from their higher-ups for not dealing with the cranky heathens -- they get told 'put up or leave' and don't get to say 'well, why can't we change the system?'. Truthfully, I think if one is going to advocate door to door prosetylising**, one should be willing to put one's time where one's mouth is -- which might still make one annoying in my book, but at least one isn't an annoying hypocrite. (I feel the same way about important CEOs and politicians who advocate that one parent should stay home with the kidlets so that they don't develop into thuggish whores (or whorish thugs, I forget) -- if they think it's so important, how come stories like how Tony Blair took a temporary paternity leave are unusual enough to be news?)

* Okay, I'm not cranky. Even my obligatory 'brag on the internet about sticking it to the Man' fantasies involve tea and an honest and interesting discussion on religion. I'm kind of lame like that.

** Does that even work? I mean, it seems like it would have about the effectiveness of internet spam, which is only profitable beacuse it takes very little time, CPU space and money to send out a million emails about herbal Viagra. Which makes me think it has a different purpose in the religion, and the rare people who convert from it are just an added bonus. Which makes me more worried about the young people doing it, and more suspcious towards the Establishment -- I don't like or trust hidden motives, even if I know a lot of society probably has them loaded into its structure.

And now I'm back here, because I forgot that the spot I was waiting at wasn't a bus stop on Saturdays.