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Home » Stories, True and Otherwise

Witness This (or, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus")

Submitted by on March 11, 1996 – 9:22 PMOne Comment

Last Sunday, after a high-octane brunch which derived its only nutritional value from the ketchup on my homefries, I snagged a Times and holed up in my apartment to celebrate the fact that Big Brother had turned the heat back on.I had just opened the crossword when my buzzer started braying.Unfortunately, the intercom works about as well as two cups tied together with a string, so I always buzz the person in and hope I don't find a member of the Manson family on my doorstep.No such luck this Sunday; my door swung wide to reveal the dreaded Jehovah's Witness, Julia.

(Before I proceed with my tale, a brief word about my religious upbringing.I was raised as an American Baptist, which in its Northern incarnation means that, as long as you believe in God, He has to forgive you no matter how badly you screw up.Not a bad gig, if you can get it.Add to the mix my aunt, an Episcopalian minister, who gave me The Teenager's Guide To Common Prayer as a birthday gift.Twice.On this unique foundation I built my own personal faith, namely that God is a lot like Oz, an old guy with a comb-over, standing around behind a ratty curtain in his sock garters and a brown bathrobe and chewing on an unlit El Producto.Admittedly, this view does not flatter the Almighty, but any higher power that permits LaToya Jackson to continue existing does not deserve my compliments.Now, back to our story.)

I did not assume a welcoming posture.Julia took the hint, handed me some Witness "literature," and retired from the field.I had only let her in the first two times so that I could find out EXACTLY what the Witnesses believed in and thus mock it with a higher degree of accuracy.Boom!Slammed the door and eyeballed the literature, which, like everything else about the Jehovah's Witness mojo, is about as subtle as a truck.I direct you to the "From Our Readers" section of Awake!, where the cryptic "R.B." decried the Satanic nature of computer games:

I am a computer software evaluator, and I was recently given a copy of the game Doom II for evaluation.I found that the game utilizes demonic symbols, such as inverted crosses and pentagrams.I hope people realize how bad these games are.

Thank you, Mr./Ms. B., for completely missing the entire point.(Jehovah's Witnesses miss the point in almost 200 countries around the world, including several that you and I have never heard of.According to the Service Year Report in The Watchtower, they converted someone in Chuuk last year.Chuuk?)

But what do I expect?These people sincerely believe that 1) the world sucks; 2) mankind caused the suckage; and 3) God will save us eventually.Humans can't change themselves or their world.Witnesses point to the Bible — "an instruction manual for life on earth" – to prove this.

Yeah, whatev.First of all, the Bible also says that 99-year-old Sarah gave birth and that, after the breaking of the seventh seal, silence will reign in heaven for about half an hour.Nice idea, but I can't see St. George sitting on keg of Schlitz, stopwatch in hand, yelling, "Smoke 'em if you got 'em."From what I understand, the Apocalypse doesn't really include a potty break, so let's not take the Good Book too literally.

Secondly, the Witnesses had off possible criticism by explaining that God let the world get messed up because he has a master plan that mere mortals shouldn't question.Excuse me?Haven't we heard this line of reasoning somewhere before?From the Watergate conspirators, maybe?Sorry, folks — no religion whose aspirants remind me of G. Gordon Liddy will convert me anytime soon.(God?Nixon?Ever seen them together?Coincidence?I hope so.)

Finally, spiritual purity bores the hell out of me.You want me to join a sect that does not allow drinking, smoking, or basic common sense, and then you want me to learn how to brainwash people in countries like the Republic of Kiribati (one convert last year), and the you want me to troop around and annoy people until they submit to my will?I could join the Army if I wanted to do that.

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  • Jessa says:

    AMEN! The majority of my extended family is part of the Jehovah clan, and they treat us as less than human because my mom raised my sisters and I Catholic (oh, and trust me, after 12 years of Catholic school, I have a lot of issues with that religion, too…I prefer to think of myself as spiritual). By the way, there are all different degrees of Jehovah-ness according to my boyfriend, who was raised as a Jehovah's Witness (he is not a practicing Witness, though). Some worship centers allow dancing; some don't. Not that it matters, since all my Witness relatives freak the hell out when they come visit, going out dancing, getting hella drunk, and doing lots of things good ole Jehovah would have a FIT about!