Sunday, May 18, 2014

No Match for Proselytizing Boys

There are two young Mormon males who loiter on corners and wander the downtown streets approaching strangers in the hope of spreading the word and securing their own place in the Celestial Kingdom. They are well-groomed, handsome, polite, sharp and religion-assured.

They are also a fucking nuisance.

I, however, am no match for them.

When I realize they are heading straight for me, in a panic I fumble with my keys, hoping to make a quick getaway.

But alas it is not to be. I’m too imperfect and klutzy and they are programmed machines who come at me with a strong and steady stride. Again, I’m no match.

“Do you have a moment, ma’am,” they ask in unison with sure, friendly smiles, as if we all don’t know what’s about to go down here – that they’re religious fanatics and I’m a heathen destined for their version of hell.

“No, I’m sorry,” I stammer like the frightened animal I am, “I’m actually running late, so…”.

Undeterred, they interrupt to let me know that’s no problem and firmly place a Mormon “business” card in the palm of my hand. They say it’s fine, they don’t need to take up my time. I can learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (LDS) in the comfort of my own home by checking out the website printed on the card – an item that has now been forced into my possession, thereby immediately becoming yet another chore with which I must contend. See? A nuisance.

My vehicle has become a veritable storehouse of religious paraphernalia that nobody else will take. Everybody else seems able to say no. I envy their conviction.

As for the Mormons, I thank them – actually thank them – for giving me what essentially is now garbage because that's where it'll ultimately end up, and promise I’ll check out the site. Just add this fib to all the other little white lies that chip away at my soul bit by bit.

But at the moment I'm not worried about my soul as much as I am relieved to be free of the Mormon boys. I only want to get out of there as fast as possible and in my haste practically kill myself getting into the car. I'm like a trapped rabbit who's been suddenly released by a wolf, not because the wolf has seen the light and rejects carnivorism on the spot, but because such a sly creature understands holding off on immediate gratification is likely to yield larger gains in the future.

They – the wolves, I mean the Mormon boys – say, “You’re welcome,” for letting me go, as if they have selflessly extended me a charitable kindness to their detriment and my benefit. They then skip off into the setting sun, careful not to touch hands as that might be misconstrued as sinful behavior since they aren’t married to each other and they’re both…well…boys.

Boy-on-boy love is a no-no in the world of Mormon Wonderland, with its magic underwear, planet Kolob, golden plates and prophet, Joseph Smith, a purported conman, to name but a few of the religion’s more bizarre beliefs.

And while anti-gay sentiment might not be a bizarre belief in the religious world per se, it is a bigoted, ignorant viewpoint and one the Mormon faith, like many other faiths, teaches. In this case, although the LDS Church does concede being gay may be inherent and consequently not a conscious choice, it nonetheless prohibits acting upon homosexual urges and thoughts because, as with any adulterous temptation outside of heterosexual marriage, this would be a violation of “the law of chastity”.

Mormonism furthermore spreads the misinformation that homosexuality can potentially be “cured” through prayer, self-mastery and other pious measures, failing which gay people must remain celibate. This by the way is a tweak in doctrine, as before 2007 when the LDS Church “clarified” its stance through a published interview with two of its prominent elders, homosexuality was seen as a disgusting “heinous” sin that had nothing to do with genetic or biological determinism.

Same-sex orientation was pure evil before, but now it’s what? An unfortunate birth defect God uses to test faith and encourage spiritual growth through adversity in a paternal act of divine love? Absurd.

Of course this leaves one to ponder, if a religion can revise its teachings in a sorry attempt to keep up numbers by appeasing evolving cultural norms, does this not automatically indicate an ERROR in dogma and therefore bring the ENTIRE faith into question or at the very least its varied interpretations?

You can’t have it both ways – you can’t say your particular religion is the infallible word of God, while simultaneously correcting this infallibility or disregarding the more unpalatable and barbaric tenets of a faith and its scriptures.

Ambiguity, error, and not to mention terror, imply a human hand, not an omnipotent one. It appears humankind continues, as from ancient times, to disguise evil in a cloak of fake divinity. And if you don't have an eye for it, appearances can be extremely deceiving. Evil, after all, is a master of deception, found in the most unlikely, holiest of places.

But all evil aside, when I am finally safe in my vehicle, in resignation I throw the Mormon card in with the Watchtower pamphlets and service programs from a myriad of denominations in addition to other religious propaganda I’ve been begrudgingly accumulating. What am I supposed to do with it all? Read it? I've done that and I don`t agree with their interpretations, nor do I want to emotionally invest in their fictions.

In any event, I don’t know if these proselytizing tactics work on others, but as far as the various principalities and dark forces vying for my soul, it does nothing but instill a stubborn resolve to avoid and reject ALL OF THEM.

Therefore, as a preventative measure to thwart future attempts at conversion and to protect myself from the cunning ways of faulty religion as well as a conditioned mind, I am considering a Flying Spaghetti Monster talisman around my neck, or pasting a bumper sticker to my car that reads:

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TESTIMONY HERE, FOR I AM A PIRATE, A BORN-AGAIN PASTAFARIAN AND MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER.

MAY THE SAUCE BE WITH YOU.

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