Tag Archives: jehovah’s witnesses

The Failed Mayan End of the World Prediction and the Chicago Cubs

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The Mayan Calendar: Note the Disgusted Cubs Fan in the Center

I woke up this morning and what did I see? I saw a world that was still in existence. The sun was shining, and the dog yawning and I knew that it was going to be a good day for the world had not ended.

Not that I believed it would as the Chicago Cubs did not win the World Series. But there were believers who now that the end of the world has come and gone are left asking themselves why, kind of like the Jehovah’s Witnesses do every couple of decades, or those of more extreme millennial Christian viewpoints. Last year a preacher named Harold Camping was predicting that Jesus would come back on on May 21st 201, it was his second swing and a miss which led him to apologize. But he is not alone, there have been over 100 predictions of Jesus’ return since I have been alive that have fizzled as well as plenty by others ranging from New Agers to Death Cults.

So the world didn’t end but the shills that predicted it to certainly made some fast cash which since the world did not end they can now spend on themselves.

That being said I do have a theory that explains the whole metaphysical side of this.

I believe that the Mayan seer that carved out the great Mayan calendar was probably probably a very early, like before they existed Chicago Cubs fan.

From my cursory knowledge of the universe and end times prophecy it is the only explanation. I believe that the soul that worked his ass off carving this masterpiece did so based on the erroneous proposition, that the world was based on the 154 game baseball season of 1908, when the Cubs last won the World Series and that he did not foresee the 162 game season or the baseball strike of 1994-95.

Like any real seer he had no real ideal what he was seering about and to use a biblical term “saw through a glass darkly.” In other words he really didn’t know exactly what he was predicting and in his limited way did the best that he could. Instead he had to rely on interpreters that neither knew him or his world to understand and publicize his carvings.

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The End of the World in 1908

I do think that the Mayan calendar carver looked deep into the future and saw the end of the world. However the end of the world that he saw occurred on the afternoon of October 14th 1908 when the Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series a point in history where the world as we knew it ended and a new world began. Yes he saw the end of the world in a sense, but not as those that profited off of his work have over the past few years.

I believe that when he looked into the future and he assumed that the universe was based on the 154 game season. He did not anticipate the 162 game season, which if he had he would have known that as we know it ended on October 14th 1908 when the Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series.

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Yes my friends, even the end of the world does come down to baseball and in particular the Chicago Cubs.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Filed under Baseball, Just for fun, News and current events, Religion

O Lord I Missed the Rapture Again: Padre Steve Comments on yet another False Profit Prophet

Molly Advises me on False Prophets

Well it looks like Harold “I can predict the end of the world in 3 notes” Camping has missed his prediction again.  The “Rapture of the Church” didn’t happen as he so confidently predicted and once again we have to look elsewhere for the spot on prediction of the end time except that even Jesus said that “no one knows the day or the hour, not even him.”  I think that Jesus, had it right…no one knows except the Big Guy, his “Father in Heaven.”

However as a Christian, even an apostate type as some people in my former church referred to me I still believe the Creed where it says that “He (Jesus) shall come again to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.”  Of course nowhere in the Creed or for that matter Scripture does it give a date, time, year, decade or even millennia when this will happen despite the best for profit predictions of Mr. Camping, Hal “The Late Great Planet Earth,” Jack Van Impe, John Hagee and the hundreds if not thousands of for profit prophets running about, Christian, Jewish, New Age, Jehovah’s Witness, Adventists of various types and even Apocalyptic Atheists.  Yes my friends the End of the World is a money making operation especially when it doesn’t happen as predicted.

Since I was born in 1960 there have been well over 100 predictions setting the date or year of the Rapture, the Second Coming, Armageddon or the End of the World as we know it.  It is a money making industry and the more outlandish the prediction the more money is to be made.

This time was Harold Camping’s second attempt, his first swing and a miss being back in 1994. Now with Camping having to go back and recalculate so he can make another prediction to attempt to make more money as Edgar “88 Reasons for 1988” and “89 Reasons for 1989” Whisenaunt did and as Hal Lindsey continues to do every time that he screws up.  Heck Tim LaHaye has made a mint on his “Left Behind” series of religious fiction books and movies. It’s shameful.

There is an old joke about the passage in the Book of Revelation about why there is a 30 minute silence in Heaven mentioned in Revelation Chapter 8.  The joke is that the reason there is a silence is so that the prophecy teachers can correct their charts.  I’m sorry but anyone that claims to have cracked the code on the end times is a false prophet and I don’t care who I offend in saying this. So let me say it again. Anyone who claims that they have cracked the code concerning the end times is a false prophet. Back in the Old Testament false prophets got the death penalty and we crushed by heavy stones or in the case of the prophets of Baal that Elijah challenged got turned into cinders, poof and they were gone. Even Jesus had some harsh words for these kinds of knuckleheads and he was pretty loving and forgiving if I recall correctly.

Tonight I was in line waiting to get into Harbor Park to see the Norfolk Tides when Camping claimed the Rapture was to occur.  Well it didn’t happen, the Tides won 8-6 over the Louisville Bats and up in Boston the Chicago Cubs defeated the Boston Red Sox by a score of 9-3.  The Cubs may have won but they didn’t win the World Series so according to my understanding of the end times it isn’t time.

One of the funniest things I saw tonight was a man carrying a sign which said “Worst Rapture Ever.”  Now I don’t know if it was the “worst ever” but it had to be up there, especially for those that screwed up their lives and blew their fortunes promoting this heresy thinking that it was really going to happen the way that they said that it would.  Personally despite being a pretty big grace of God advocate I think that there is a special place in Hell for those that perpetrate such falsehoods under any pretense on people seeking hope in a chaotic world.  Who knows maybe they’ll get a place alongside Adolf, Saddam and Osama in this year’s South Park “Christmastime in Hell” episode.

I think that these kind of for profit prophets do all kinds of damage.  I think that they cheapen what Christians refer to as the “Blessed Hope” something that is both hopeful and holy although it is veiled in mystery is a time where justice and mercy embrace.  The actions of such people mock that hope and drive people away from God.  In fact such predictions by these charlatans are embarrassing, irresponsible and reprehensible.

May that sounds harsh and I actually mean it to be. Camping and others like him should be shunned by any responsible person.  Unfortunately there will be more like him and others will set dates because that is where the big money is to be made, making a profit out of “prophecy.”

God help us.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Filed under christian life, faith, History, philosophy, Religion

Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Heck and Helven…Choices for Eternity

I was reading the comics yesterday when I found this great Dilbert.  I have loved the strip for years and some of the funniest strips for me have been those dealing with religion and spirituality.  Be it Saint Dogbert and his “Out out Demons of Stupidity” or Phil the Prince of Insufficient Light who rules over “Heck” with his pitch-spoon where people are “darned to Heck for minor infractions,” I have always gotten a chuckle or even a belly laugh out of them.

Of course many people and religions have different conceptions of the afterlife for both the saved, sometimes known as the elect or the unsaved that are sometimes referred to as the damned.  Without getting into anyone’s knickers I want to just have some fun with what can be a subject of speculation and even controversy.

Of course heaven is the place of the elect and is usually characterized by streets of gold, angels, pearly gates and lots of time around whichever Deity that the religion in question believes in.  Heaven is a good place and probably where you want to be going if you have to spend the rest of eternity, which I am assured sports fans is a very long time.  Now there are variations on heaven. Some religions have different concepts about it and others have looser or tighter rules as to who gets in, everything from the “All dogs go to heaven” of universalists to the 144,000 of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to the real strict fundamentalists of various religions (fundamentalists of all religions tend to be peas in a pod) who are even more select that the JWs.

Some even have different levels of heaven.  To go back to the JWs they have “real heaven” where the 144,000 go and then a perfect earth where the rest of the JWs go to pick fruit and pet animals for eternity.  If you ask me that kind of sucks because it is a works system based around how many people you convert to be JWs.  The thing that would suck is like you thought you had gotten the last of the 144,000 available spaces and someone that you converted knocked you out of the competition.  If you are not a JW forget it, you just get annihilated, not even the eternal punishment of hell to look forward to.  The Latter Day Saints have a cool belief that if you are a super cool Mormon man you get to be God of your own planet while everyone else gets regular heaven and only the really bad people go to hell. Of course some Moslems believe that if you are martyred for your faith you get to have 72 virgins in heaven to have eternal sex with, no mention of what happens to female martyrs but I wonder if their virgins would be the ones with pimples and wearing rape control glasses, Moslem nerds so to speak.  The Hindus have a number of different beliefs but the prevailing trend is that heaven and hell are things to help get you perspective in between periods of reincarnation.  Since the soul is immortal and you keep getting reincarnated this sounds like summer school.  Have you ever noticed that a lot of people who believe in reincarnation believe that they were someone famous in a previous life?  I think that Kevin Costner playing “Crash” Davis in Bull Durham asked the same question to Susan Sarandon but regardless why don’t you hear people say that they were a flea on Napoleon’s horse at Waterloo? In Buddhism the endless quest is to attain Nirvana whose lead singer Kurt Cobain off’d himself.  Actually it is to attain Nirvana but that has nothing to do with Curt Cobain.  Nirvana is a state of nothingness which in my mind is kind of boring if you worked really hard to get things right for a multitude of lifetimes.  I guess that I’m too western and wonder what the payback is for working hard only to end up as nothing.  I am also uncomfortable that there will be no more “me” if I am successful, I like me.  The folks who are Jewish have a number of ideas about heaven and hell that are not too much different than those of Christians except the little fact of who gets in. Now this will vary between the three major groups of Jews from the pretty open minded Reformed Jews, to the Conservative and then to the Orthodox Jews who come in various strains of strictness.  The Reformed folks are pretty open-minded and the more extreme versions or Orthodox don’t think that anyone apart from them will get in.

Now as far as Christians we have a wide number of interpretations of both heaven and hell and to whom might be qualified to be admitted to either location. The Calvinists that are really serious believe in something called double predestination which basically means that people were either saved or damned before the creation of the world.  Not much room for choice in that theology.  There is a subgroup of these folks who sometimes are called Antinomians who believe that since they are saved that they can do anything that they want, any sin, no matter how big and still be saved. Personally I think that is really pretty presumptuous and downright scary.  Then those who are more Wesleyan or Armenian weigh in on the side of choice even including that one can “lose their salvation” after they were saved this is often found in Wesleyan and Pentecostal groups.  A similar stream is found in Catholicism and Orthodoxy, where though not technically losing salvation keeps you on edge wondering if you made it or not until you die.  In Roman Catholicism this might mean that you end up in heaven, hell or purgatory.  There are a wide number of interpretations within the Christian faith other than these but these are probably the most common views and interpretations.

So since I have in a nutshell (you are what you eat) in a manner of speaking have presented what different religions think of heaven and hell I shall move on to some of the interpretations of what this means.

As I said heaven, regardless of the religion is “good” unless of course that your religion does not have one in which case it is what it is.  Of course the opposite is true as well, if you don’t have a hell that can’t be too bad, unless of course you guess wrong which would really suck.  It would be almost as bad as when Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson missed the Rapture.

Moving on the Roman Catholic Church has a doctrine that is called Purgatory.  Now Purgatory much to the disappointment of some is now “junior hell.”  It is a place for the elect, or the saved to go to clean up their act and learn to love Jesus better before getting admitted into heaven proper.  It is a place like being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame you may get elected to the Hall but there is a period of time that you get to wait before the plaque goes up at Cooperstown. Likewise there must be a “Purgatory” because the state of West Virginia is described as “Almost Heaven” which would mean that it is in reality Purgatory. Since that is where my family originally comes from and from where my current driver’s license is issued that I too am headed there?

Map of Hell

Now Hell, with the exception of Hinduism is pretty much universally a place that you don’t want to go, kind of like Detroit.  There are many images of Hell including the best which come out of Dante’s Inferno which should not be confused with Disco Inferno even if you despised Disco.

I like the image of Hell as the “Lake of Fire.”  This conveys to me the image of a lake in the deep south which is painfully hot, overwhelmingly humid and swarming with flies, mosquitoes and other vermin.  I cannot imagine anywhere worse.  Rowan Atkinson has a great skit called Welcome to Hell where he plays the Devil welcoming a fresh group of the damned to the infernal regions. I’ve linked that here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFGrQMD6Uqc

Now I have already mentioned “Heck” which is ruled by Phil the Prince of Insufficient Light who “darns you to Heck for minor infractions and Helvin the place that souls are outsourced to due to the unionization of the Angels and Demons.   It seems to me that heck is not a particularly bad place however Helvin may not be too great of place to be.  I really don’t want to know how they would give my harp to me.

So anyway, I guess I shall invoke Saint Dogbert to banish the Demons of Stupidity as I go to sleep dreaming of the real heaven where the baseball diamond is the lushest green field with foul lines that extend to eternity.  In this heaven the game never ends and you never get tired.  Not much longer until the earthly baseball season begins again.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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Filed under Baseball, faith, Just for fun

An Anti-Christ does Funeral Homes, Walk-Offs, Donuts and Banks and Visits His Dad

Note: To fully understand the reference to me being the Anti-Christ, please see my posts “Saturday Morning Distractions-Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Door” https://padresteve.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/saturday-morning-distractions-jehovahs-witnesses-at-the-door/ and “So This is What it Feels Like to be the Anti-Christ…Cool.” https://padresteve.wordpress.com/2009/04/07/so-this-is-it-what-it-feels-like-to-be-the-anti-christcool/

While I may be the Anti-Christ to the Witnesses this in no way implies that my dad is the Devil, well again dad was in the Navy, donated a ton of blood and loved his country.  Peace, Steve+

Today started out a bit weird.  Being the Anti-Christ can lead to some interesting situations. The juxtaposition of various events that occur when you are travelling as well as dealing with really serious matters that deal with the end of life get strange.  It’s almost like I am living a Seinfeld episode.  As you know I am out working with my mom and brother to take care of various end-of-life issues, funeral arrangements, financial matters, hospice and the nursing home.

Anyway, yesterday I spent the morning with my dad and then in the afternoon took my mom to De Young Funeral Home in Mudville. This is a trip that she had planned to take with a friend to make pre-arrangements but her friend had the audacity to suddenly die before they could make the trip.  Since then my mom has been putting it off as my brother has not had the time to go with her.  Let’s face it, this is not everyday stuff and can be quite upsetting when you are not in good shape and have to do it for your spouse as well as yourself.  Thankfully I have been through this before working with my wife to make arrangements for her parents.  My mom had no idea all that went into making these arrangements, especially for cremation. Thankfully the De Young people are really good.  The manager there, aptly named Mr. Nice was really good in helping my mom and was fittingly very nice.  My mom was not happy about my father’s desire to be buried at sea.  However, as a retired military wife she is also eligible for this just as if she was being interred with him at a National Cemetery.  When she found out that there was the possibility of burial off the coast of San Diego with my dad, she had a noticeable change of heart.  We were stationed there when I was kid and she always remembers it as one of their best tours in the Navy.  We agreed that when the time comes that they will be buried together at sea from a Navy ship.  It is fitting for a couple who spent 20 of the best years of their life in the Navy to be honored in this manner.  Thankfully as an active duty Navy Chaplain I will be able to arrange the details on the Navy side.  This being accomplished mom and I got dinner and went back to her house.

After resting for a while I went out to the living room where mom was watching the Giants play the Nationals.  It looked bad for the Giants. In the top of the 7th the Nationals took a 7-5 lead.  The Giants for one back in the bottom of the 8th on a Benji Molina home run and held the Nationals in the top of the 9th.  The first two batters went down and the Giants were down to their last out trailing 7-6. The Edgar Rentaria singled up the middle. Emmanuel Burris followed with single putting runners on first and second.  Pablo Sandoval, who in the 7th tripped on the base path trying for a triple came to the plate. I looked at mom and said. “Time for the walk off.”  Mom said “I hope somebody does something.” Somehow I knew going into the inning and even after the second out that Giants would win.  There is something special about this team that the experts don’t see.  I knew they were going to win. The count went to 2 and 2 when Sandoval blasted a shot over the left field wall.  It was the kind of home run that the instant that it was hit that you know is gone.  Sandoval was mobbed by his team mates as he crossed the plate.  Walk offs like that are part of the baseball magic which the Deity Herself has given us.

This morning my mom, Jeff and I went to the bank to take care of administrative issues dealing with the family trust, an adventure that took almost two hours but again was helpful.  A young lady was quite helpful and again though it took time she made it comparatively easy.  Following this I was once again blessed when visiting my dad.  Today it took more work but I was able to keep engaged for about 20 minutes before putting him in bed.  We talked about baseball and the Navy once again; I described the walk-off from last night.  He still does love the Giants.  We talked about the Navy, specifically Navy uniforms.  He was happy to hear that I wore brown shoes with my khakis and that the Navy was possibly going to bring back the Dress Khaki.  This was one of his favorite uniforms.  I was also able to get Judy on the cell phone for him.  He had really taken to her over the past 7 or 8 years following the death of his mother who Judy was quite close to.  He had asked about her on both of my visits and it was good for them to talk, even if only for a couple of minutes.  I do hope that they will see each other again.

So anyway while most of this does not really fit as un-Anti-Christlike, I was reminded once again today that I am the Anti-Christ; or according to the Jehovah’s Witness one of the many such nefarious creatures.  Can you spell “Beast?”  However as I have noted in other posts I have a high rank among the multitude of Anti-Christ’s.  I am first and foremost a Priest and according the Witnesses all Christian ministers are Anti-Christ’s.  Second I am a Navy Officer serving the government which according to the Witnesses is of the Devil.  Finally I am a chaplain in a Naval Medical Center ICU which routinely tanks people up with blood and blood products. I am like Osama Bin Laden or maybe even Hitler to the Witnesses.

I picked up some Donuts for us at the Mudville “Donut King” on Pacific Avenue. Those not from California really don’t understand really good donuts. We have a lot of “mom and pop” donut shops out here.  Donut King I think is the best in Mudville. I have been going to them since I was in high school. If you go down to San Clemente there is “Surfin’ Donuts.”  These are belly busters; there is enough sugar and fat in these things to fully charge the youth of a third world village to the point where they would need to be put on Ritalin. Add some coffee and we’re cooking with gas. These mom and pop stores put all the chain donut shops to shame.  Of course the hot and fresh “Krispy Cremes” are to die for, but all other donuts are also-rans compared to these.  As I came out of the 7-11 near my parent’s house with my 24 ounce French Vanilla coffee with 4 French Vanilla creamers and 4 Spenda’s, a man got out of a Mercedes Benz SUV.  I thought at first that he was a business man stopping in for coffee when he strode up to me and out came the Watchtower. I was momentarily surprised and he said “Would you like to hear the good news about Jehovah?”  I looked at him and said very bluntly, “No thank you, I’m the Anti-Christ” and continued walking to my car.  The look on his face was hysterical; you would have thought that I had hit him upside the head. He was stunned.  As I got into my car I saw him slink back into the passenger side of the Mercedes, a fine automobile, I must say, as the other occupants, a man and two women glared at me.  Obviously they were going to wait for another target, so I drove off.  It is so cool to be the Anti-Christ to these guys.  Some of my former Fundamentalist friends on Facebook probably think similar thoughts but might at least grudgingly admit that I might get to heaven. If they would admit me I might be out in the visitor’s bullpen but at least I’d be there.  The Witnesses don’t even give me the chance at Hell since they don’t have one. Guys like me get to be instantly annihilated, do not pass go do not burn in Hell. Dante would not be impressed.  So, what the hell?  I’ll have to chat about this with the Deity Herself tonight over a beer.

As always I thank you for your prayers, kind words and thoughts.  Still some more left to do here.

Peace, Steve+

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Filed under alzheimer's disease, Baseball, healthcare, Loose thoughts and musings, Military, Religion

So this is it what it feels like to be the Anti-Christ…Cool

Note: I received a reply from a Jehovah’s in reply to my “Saturday Morning Distractions…” post from a Witless Witness, defending, or witnessing to his faith.   While I appreciated his input, I have to say that is was long, pedantic and didn’t make much sense, even from a Witness point of view. It was just a conglomeration of quotes from witness literature and their extra special “New World Translation”  of the Bible.  It was very Karaoke. In other words my inner Simon Cowell dictator couldn’t in good conscience approve it.  Now I’m open to criticism and dialogue, but this was just not up to par.  If the gentleman is out there and wants to reply, send me another, shorter and too the point response, not a diatribe. As for his post it was rather weak. As Anne Robinson would say: “Sorry. you are the weakest link…Goodbye.” Try again my friend, a little more work and maybe your post will be seen, but then again maybe not.

Today was really cool.  I have discovered what it is to be the Anti-Christ….well at least to Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Of course this is an honor that I do not take lightly, and in fact do not assume alone.  All of us who are Christian ministers of any denomination, liberal or conservative are Anti-Christ. This is especially of Priests of any type, yours truly included.  It’s kind of strange, since all of us Christian ministers regardless of denomination are at least part of the Anti-Christ.  It’s kind of like how Christians talk about the Body of Christ having many members, only the opposite, the body of Anti-Christ having many members.  So all of us in the Body of Anti-Christ need to stick together.  It’s tough to do this alone.

Not only am I the Anti-Christ to the Witnesses because I am a Priest, but I am also, by virtue of being a commissioned officer of the government, I am a servant of Satan because all worldly Powers are his servants. I guess that this makes me part of the  Witness “Axis of Evil.”   Throw in my love for a really good beer and working in a hospital ICU that routinely gives blood transfusions and I am a top level bad guy.  It’s almost like being Osama Bin Laden, only worse. I find this cool that a group could think so highly of me. If only they could send me to hell, but wait, they don’t have hell, just damnation through annihilation.

Of course damnation for the Witnesses is kind of lame.  Those who are faithful Witnesses, the 144,000 or those left picking fruit and petting animals for eternity get to avoid Armageddon and annihilation.  For the rest of us, especially those of the Anti-Christ caste, it’s simply annihilation, poof and it’s done.  That’s lame.  There is no eternal Lake of Fire, no brimstone, no eternal punishment, torture or any of the things that give Hell its own particular ambiance. Dante would not be impressed.

Now when I think of hell I am drawn to the Lake of Fire imagery.  You take heat and humidity and combine them, like summer in Louisiana on steroids for eternity, and that is my image of hell. I hate heat and humidity.  Add to it Demons who are like super-sized mosquitoes on pro-wrestling kind of really great ‘steroids and that would suck.  Add to this the horrible clothes, sackcloth and ashes, and the lack of a good wifi-fi connection or cell phone coverage and hell really is hell.  Simply being annihilated is easy, really no punishment at all, especially when the alternative is working in orchards and petting animals for eternity.  That’s like being sentenced to being a migrant worker with your lovable dog in a San Joaquin Valley Orange grove in the heat of the summer. Perfect world or not, that blows, especially if you worked you ass off to get to real heaven only to get bounced by someone that you converted.

This goes back to the odds of a faithful Witness getting into heaven.  With approximately 6 million living Witnesses fighting for 144,000 slots, the chance of getting in is pretty low.  Even not counting the millions of Witness who have already passed on, only 2.4% get to real heaven.  If you add the guys who got in at the beginning the odds have to be well under 1% of all Witness who get to go to real heaven.  Of course those who do are really special.  They get to rule the world.  The world that they get to rule consists of lower performing Witnesses, orchards and domesticated animals.  In other words you have 144,000 bosses ruling over a Zoo, an Orange grove and it’s pissed off attendants who thought that they were going to be where you are. No wonder there is another revolt in the Book of Revelation, that would positively suck.

So to all my brother and sister Christian ministers and Anti-Christs I send you my regards.  You are not alone, we are one Body, one spirit in Anti-Christ.  Take heart, we’re in this together.

Peace, Steve+

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Saturday Morning Distractions-Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Door

molly-and-daddy Me and Molly, Canine Terrorist and defender of the Realm reading my blog.

The morning was quiet, too quiet.  I had taken a leisurely light breakfast of Kellogg’s Special K with cinnamon and pecans and sliced fresh bananas, with my Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla coffee with non-fat french vanilla creamer.  Laptop on my lap and dog at my side I perused Facebook, read my favorite comics and scanned my home town newspaper’s obituaries and crime beat sections.  What better way of keeping track of old acquaintances? The morning seemed ideal. Then it changed.

Placidly laying next to me on the couch after finishing off the residue of the milk from my cereal bowl, my little canine terrorist exploded into action, alerting me to the danger at hand.   I had not heard anything, in fact I am not sure if the unwelcome visitors even had time to push the doorbell or knock. However my little shit was now at the door barking furiously as she bounced up and down her hackles raised.

Dislodging my laptop from my lap I rushed to the door yelling “MOLLY DAMMIT SHUT THE HELL UP OR I GET THE BOTTLE!”  The “bottle” is what we call the “Molly Bottle” a small spray bottle filled with water with which we soak the little shit when she fails to obey when people come to the door.  As I got to the door I moved her back and opened the door just a bit, leaning over to keep an eye on her while seeing who was at the door. My eyes spied a woman with a book bag with an Awake magazine, while Molly charged the glass storm door barking furiously. Looking up I simply said “Go away or the dog will eat you.” and closed the door.  Satisfied Molly trotted back to the living room. Judy said “Did you punish her her for disobeying?”  As Molly and I each got back on the couch and Molly moved next to me, I said “no, but I almost told her that she was a good girl.” Judy, looking disgusted said “I think that you just did.” Molly wagged.  All was right in her little world and peace returned to our quiet abode.

Now let me get this straight.  This is not a hit piece on the Witnesses.  They have every right to waste their Saturdays bothering people who just want to be left alone, like yours truly.  I just don’t get it though.  When I was a young person I would attempt to counter-evangelize them as they came to the door, since of each pair one is always in training.  Giving up on that as I got older I would politely tell them that I was not  interested.  As I have gotten even older and come back from Iraq my resentment for anyone ignoring our doormat which plainly states: “We love our vacuum, we found God, and we gave at the office,” has become palpable.  I don’t want to be bothered by the Witnesses, vendors or any other solicitors.  I will however give the young Mormon missionaries a nice greeting as one of their Army Chaplains saved my ass and career when I was a young chaplain. He is now the denomination endorsing agent. Both Judy and I provide these young men with his contact info should they desire to enter the military as a chaplain. They are usually surprised by our friendliness and leave somewhat perplexed.

What I don’t get about the Witnesses is the illogic of their whole system.  Now I know that atheists say this about all religions.  But as one who believes firmly in the Deity,as expressed in both in the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds, I just don’t go around knocking other people who believe in God for the fun of it.  I do respect the beliefs of others even if I disagree with them.  I believe in our country that we have a wonderful history of tolerance for wide variations of religious practices, and that this tolerance is good for everyone. I will not mess with the Witnesses gooned up understanding of the Godhead, hackneyed translation of the Bible, the many times they have predicted the Second Coming and missed, or their somewhat odd social customs or limitations on medical care here.  I will only focus on the odds of going to real heaven if you join them.

Like I said, I just don’t get it.  The Witness system is one that if you join you will be destined to fail to make the grade.  There is no way around this cold fact. The Witness only believe that 144,000 will get to top level, real heaven.  The rest of them, number 144,001 and higher will end up petting animals and picking fruit on a perfect earth.  Unbelievers are simply annihilated, do not pass Hell and do not collect $200.  The Mormons have a much better deal, if you are a male Mormon who has done all the right Mormon stuff you get to be God of your own planet.  Now I have no desire to be God, far too much work and trouble if you ask me, but a pretty good deal if they are right about this stuff.  For the Mormons good religious folks get to second level eternal life, especially if they have been baptized by proxy by a Mormon friend or relative. Real scum get to go to hell.

Let’s face it.  If there have been millions and millions of Witnesses since they came into being and only 144,000 boat spaces in heaven, then the odds are stacked against you for getting in.  Since you acquire points by bringing other people in you are in effect creating more competition for those slots.  Not really a good idea if you ask me, not that I’m selfish or anything.  Now let’s suppose that you became a Witness, handed out tons of Watchtower and Awake magazines and ushered in gazillions of other people into the faith.  Let’s say that you did enough to break into the top level.  You work your way up to 144,000 and then pass away.  You got in  right?  Not so fast.  Joe Schmuckatelli the lapsed Catholic that you converted the week before you passed away got serious about his new found faith.  He really hustled and was a superstar, the guy was a hall of fame Witness converting half the population of Salt Lake City to the faith.  Hey, I said he was an all star, he even out hustled the Mormons on their home field.  Old Joe not only gets in, but by getting into the top tier he bumps you out.  It’s just not right, its unfair.  You work you ass off and end up picking fruit and petting animals for all eternity.  That just blows.

Anyway, thank God for my little canine terrorist.  Peace, Steve+

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