||[Sep. 4th, 2005♥10:57 am]
So a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door this morning, just as I was getting ready to put Darcy out. I could hardly keep from laughing at first, when I saw the guy pull out his bible and I was tempted for a moment to just say I wasn't interested, or worse, make trouble so that they wouldn't want to hang around. When I'm in the mood, I can send men of cloth running for the hills. Heh.
But then he started talking about why they were doing it. Apparently the New Orleans floods had prompted them. Essentially, they were going around trying to say to people, "Look, we know things have been getting pretty bad lately. Under conditions like this, it can be very easy to just give up and lose hope. But we're here to tell you that God is still watching out for you." It didn't seem like such a bad thing to be doing, so my heart softened and I let them stay and talked with them for a while. They were trying to make a difference in the only way they could, spiritually. Usually I probably would've hustled them off the porch. As politely as possible, but I wouldn't have bothered to listen to the whole story. This morning, though, I felt sympathetic, even though I'm not really a religious person. It just struck me as I stood there that they didn't want my money, didn't even really want to take up that much of my time unless I wanted them to. They were just going around, trying to give people as much hope as it was their power to give. Which I think is a noble thing, and definitely no easy task.
We talked for a while about this and that. Actually the gist of our conversation was not unlike one I'd had with Dan a couple of days earlier, when the reports were first coming in about people dying and families being broken up by the flood.
I have to give him credit, I asked him questions and made points that were difficult to answer, but he didn't flinch, just did his best to answer even if it was a bit of a struggle. From what I gathered, one of the main differences between their sect and, say, Protestantism or Catholicism is that they feel that their teachings are closer to the true meaning of the bible than any other. He said, "We don't say something as being true unless there is one or more scriptures to back it up." I didn't say anything, but at that point I was kind've skeptical. The bible is known for being extremely subjective and open to interpretation. If it really was crystal clear, only one possible meaning could be inferred from it, therefore there would only be one religion based on it.
They also don't believe in the immortal soul of the human being. They don't believe there is an afterlife. They believe that when we die, we just... die. And that one day, if we deserve it, after the day of judgement, we will be resurrected.
Was interesting, anyway. They were trying to get me to join a bible study group, but I wasn't about to go that far. I guess it was a mutually beneficial exchange, in the end. Even though he couldn't add another notch to his belt of convertees, I think he felt that he probably got through to me in some way. And I got out of it a sense of hope; even though they weren't doing anything in the practical sense, it was still nice to see some evidence of optimism and kindness, even when things are looking grim.