Yesterday morning (Saturday) there came a knock on my front door. I opened it and was greeted by a man, his wife, and their daughter. The man (who said his name was Nick) began a seemingly quite innocuous discussion, to which I listened ever so politely. But when I asked what organization they represented, Nick admitted that they were Jehovah's Witnesses. And that made a world (a universe) of difference in my attitude toward these well-dressed intruders.
My immediate announcement that I'd had considerable experience with members of that particular cult and did not believe in the personal God they served, nor in the existence of a god-man named Jesus, nor in the bible as being anything more than an elaboration of myths, proverbs, and morality tales told to children of ancient nomads wandering in the desert, tall tales of rewards and punishments intended to make their hordes of wild little kids toe the line.
They seemed to be gentle folks so I reigned in my usual caustic berating of organized religion and allowed the two adults to speak freely to me of modern-day living, of the economy, of personal computers, and of other mundane conversational bits and pieces, managing to steer them away from associating each of those separate topics with the Jehovah's Witness dogma.
All in all it was a pleasant enough half-hour's diversion from the eternal toil of my creative writing tasks.
They were such nice people that I wondered how they could possibly believe in all that denominational clap-trap. But then I have trouble accepting that a person (such as Mitt Romney) is sincere in his stated belief in Mormonism. "Mormon" is most often used to refer to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Any person who actually believes that some angel named Moroni brought visions to Joseph Smith in upstate New York during the 1820s who then established the new religion is: 1. mentally unbalanced -- 2. a conniving liar -- or 3. unbelievably stupid... in my opinion.
The angel Moroni delivering to Joseph Smith the whereabouts of the buried golden plates upon which are printed the Book of Mormon.
Moroni And Joseph Smith
Upstate New York in the 1820s
I recently learned that Liberal Mormons take an interpretive approach to LDS teachings and scripture. They look to the scriptures for spiritual guidance, but do not necessarily believe the teachings to be literally or uniquely true. Perhaps Mitt Romney is a liberal Mormon. Suppose?
I've read that a practicing adult Mormon is expected to wear religious undergarments. A young woman (a former Mormon) once laughingly described them to me.
So it goes.
Didn't I make a New Years Resolution on December 31st? To be more considerate of the beliefs of others?
Okay... I'll stop.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"