Religion is not for me and almost definitely never will be. I say almost definitely because I might go senile. If others need it, want it, socialise through it, have it in their very core, cherish it, are guided by it, are comforted with blind faith in it, depend on it, live it, respect my personal choice not to partake in it, don't spend time telling me my life would be so much better with it, don't legitimise judging others with it, don't start wars in the name of it, then it's fine but it's not for me in the same way as horoscopes aren't.
Anyway when I got home last night I found a leaflet asking me, 'would I like to know the truth?' The leaflet then prophetically asked my next question - so obvious, I said it aloud as I read it,
'the truth about what?'
Well, in fact, some pretty heavy duty questions like:
*Does God care about us?
*Will war and suffering end?
*What happens to us when we die?
*Is there any hope for the dead?
*How can I pray and be heard by God?
*How can I find happiness in life?
(It turns out all the answers are in the bible and you don't need to go to the library, the internet or a bookshop.)
And then it dawned on me. Andy's let the Jehovah Witness' in again.
He explained that he was cleaning the front room, all curtains open, when he became aware of a man and a woman peering in through the front door and being the sweet not-wanting-to-offend man that he is, he opened it. He gave them five minutes too. Apparently the devil is running amok on earth and God isn't paying any attention.
I asked, 'is that it?' How is that meant to convert, help or come to that inform anyone? I pried further. He explained that the two of them had become a little tongue-tied and didn't really put their message across very clearly. Perhaps Andy was the first person to listen - ever - and they therefore had not ever got as far as thinking about what they might actually say.
It reminded me of the time my sister and I let the Mormons in. It was 1987. We were only young and oh-so-whacky and we giggled a lot. There was certainly wasn't any conversion happening.
I know their religion binds these people to go forth and convert - but are they doing so with absolutely no expectation of any success?
I wonder what the door-knocking conversion rate is. Have they got a good sales department that researches this stuff? Better conversion from terraces than semi-detached, better in a clean house than a messy one - that kind of thing. And what would the conversion scenario be? The Mormon/Jehovah/? knocks on the atheist's (or perhaps agnostic's - give him/her some outside odds) door and says,
'the devil has taken over, you need to convert if we are to stop him.'
'Ah you have a point, I had never thought of it like that, count me in.' And what happens then exactly? I bet they don't have a welcome and initiation speech prepared (if their recent performance is anything to go by). What would happen if everyone said yes? Have they got adequate gathering accommodation for mass chatting about these important questions? Is the aim really to convert everyone - even the Archbishop of Canterbury and Paul Merton say? Are the Mormons racing with the JWs (perhaps a tally chart exists somewhere)? Would they ever reconcile with half each? What would they do with the time they formerly spent converting? Sit in over-crowded buildings wistfully pining for the good old days when they had space?
I don't think they have thought this through.
So less time trying to work out the truth and a little more on practicalities and realistic marketing I'd say.