This Might Result in Unsubscribers

They say you’re not supposed to discuss politics, religion or sex. With whom? They make for the best conversations, come on. The first and last topics are infinitely interesting, but the one in between I seldom discuss because, but for these next few paragraphs, I don’t entertain notions regarding religion.

For starters – the competition between the different religions. Really? Why’s one superior to another? Aren’t you all just trying to get into heaven? Leave each other alone.

That’s another thing. As I always say, I don’t need the promise of heaven to be a good person while I’m here. And I know I lead an ethically ‘better’ life than a lot of so-called religious folks. We all know what’s right and what’s wrong. I don’t need no jive ass preacher teaching me about heaven and hell. Okay, I stole that line from The Blues Brothers.

Why am I required to recognize that Jesus died for my sins? Why is that, actually? I didn’t ask him to. And for real, I have a tough time with all that stuff in the bible. If it’s treated as a reference tome, a type of Aesop’s Fables, if you will, I can see the value, except for all that smiting and stuff. Each religion tailors it to suit their philosophy, and that’s cool, if you’re into that. If I think it’s cool you think dudes used to live til they were 1,000, you can think it’s cool that I think that’s highly unlikely.

I don’t mean any disrespect to those who have faith. But those of us who have not should have the same respect. Right?

This post is inspired by a little note slipped in to my daughter’s backpack at school last year.  I was going through it, and I asked her, what’s this? She had no idea, it was a sealed envelope that had nothing to do with school and that she hadn’t seen before. It turned out to be a sort of form letter, apparently given to her and all her classmates, an invitation to come hang out at a new Mormon church that had just been built and as I recall, any old heathen was welcome to come visit before it was officially open for business. I’m paraphrasing, of course. I was a little put off, my daughter really didn’t know this boy whose parent would have prepared this invitation, and expressed no interest in accepting the invitation.

And then, last week, on the second day of school, no less, another sealed envelope that she had no idea where it came from, appeared in her backpack. It was from this same boy’s parent, inviting her (with her name handwritten in the blank space on the form invitation) to his ‘baptismal’. I’ve met this little boy, he is sweet, but he’s not a friend of my daughter’s, whom she’d hang out with or anything. I’ve never seen a form invitation for a birthday party, but I’ve now seen two forms for these religious services.

What’s going on? Is recruiting at school allowed? I’m becoming irked by this practice. I will not say anything to this boy’s mother however, who is actually really sweet and incidentally has a terrific sense of humour.  Of course, I now know that she is Mormon, but I did not know that when a couple of years ago we were both at our kids’ baseball game and she was rattling off the activities of her children and started naming them all, and I stopped her at 5 names. “How many kids do you have?!” And she told me she was pregnant with her 6th. And I said, “Are you crazy! What are you, some kind of religion?!” And she just laughed and laughed. Imagine my moment of “oopsie” when I opened the invitation to the church-warming.

P.S. Don’t ever ask someone if they’re “some kind of religion.” I meant it humorously and she took it that way, but really, you just never know. I won’t use that one again.

So fine, I am happy to continue receiving these invitations and also happy to continue not acknowledging them. I won’t make a big deal of my daughter’s backpack being surreptitiously filled with invites to religious events, and I expect no one to make a big deal of our declining them. I think it’s very cool that people have all their faiths and very happy for them that they’re all getting to heaven. And people should be just as happy for those who just believe and have faith in themselves, their families, hard work and an honest existence, and nothing else. Well, plus, the Habs. But really that’s all.

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Comments

  1. Good post. I agree with your thoughts about people randomly soliciting new recruits to join their club. I live close to Utah in the states and the Mormon recruitment efforts here are really strong.. I also know many Mormons and they, despite what you’d think, have never tried to recruit me since we are friends. It seems there are only designated scouts!

    I guess you could just say this.. God created the earth. Man created organized religion.

    Keep posting 🙂

  2. Great Post! Surprising that someone would sneak the invites into the children’s backpacks. Makes me wonder who is putting them in there…the child, the teacher, the mom???
    Maybe you could invite the children to a being a good person without religion party. Just because it’s a good way to be, not because someone is telling you to.
    THAT would probably get you in trouble.

  3. Different strokes, I guess… Personally I’m a churchgoing girl, and there’s been a lot of good in my life because I’m religious (and yes, there’s been some bad, the occasional joke or misunderstanding and whatnot) but I’d never, ever even dream of trying to convert someone out of the blue. If I were a mom, I’d be very uncomfortable with these little secret notes in my child’s backpack. It just seems wrong to me. It’s strange to recruit people out of nowhere but it’s especially strange to do so with entire families before getting the parent’s consent. Has someone freaked out yet over invasion of privacy?

    I don’t know, I believe in open and honest discussion of people’s faith or their decision not to practice, but it has to be open.

    • Well stated. Thanks for the comment. No, as far as I’m aware, there’s been no freakout, and I do explain to her what the notes are and what they involve. I believe other parents treat the invitations as I do, meaning, they respond or don’t, but respect everyone’s beliefs.

  4. Lovely post. I don’t know why anyone would unsubscribe over this, unless they were really thin skinned. We should all be able to tolerate each others opinions, even the folks who hold diametrically opposed views.

  5. This was a good post. I couldn’t agree with you more. I personally get slightly annoyed by others trying to change my religious beliefs, for example; Jehovah’s Witness’ waking me up on Saturday mornings

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