Let me preface this post with the following disclaimer: I may not agree with most people’s religions, but I do respect your right to believe and ascribe to any philosophy you want to. Really, I do. I am even open to mutual conversations with peers about their beliefs. I think you can learn a lot and it’s pretty fascinating to tell you the truth. But, you see, what I rreeaallllyyyy do not agree with is the whole: Hey stranger I’ve never met before, I’m going to ram my unsolicited religious beliefs down your throat because [Name that Diety] tells me you need to be saved! With that wordy disclaimer behind us, let me tell you a story.
I was recently walking through a store when this tall woman walking with a man came up to me.
“Oh Hi” she said
“Hi?” I managed to utter as I gave her a seriously quizzical look while rapidly trying to figure out if she was part of the group of friends I’d just been introduced to at a recent event.
Stranger Danger: “Can I ask you a question? Will you help me?”
“Oh, okay” I said as I conspicuously eyed the exit – ready to head out. She probably is just looking for the restroom or a nearby restaurant or store, I thought.
Stranger Danger: “Have you cdmaljfiealj.”
“HAVE I WHAT?” (Note: I think I’m going deaf – but, really don’t ask me if you can ask a question and then whisper your question in a bustling store, you butt.)
Stranger Danger: “Have you heard of a female jesus?”
*What is this a fucking random survey? I glanced at the guy who was walking with her and who had stopped too.*
“Uhmmm, perhaps? I may have heard that before. I’m actually on my way out…”
Stranger Danger: “Well it’s actually a final prophecy in the Bible. We believe there will be a female prophet that will descend to earth.”
Well, shit, that’s news to me lady.
“Urgggg ok.” I said clearly creeped out and uninterested…wtf am I supposed to say to that? “OMGAWD female diety OMGAWD!!!!”?
Stranger Danger: “Do you believe in God? Are you religious?”
Really lady? You’re gonna bust open a can of religion on me by fuckin’g Macy’s perfume counter? I do NOT know you.
“Uhm No – not really.” I say sharply.
Stranger Danger: “Do you go to church?”
WTF – These are the moments where I want to just creep the other person out as much as possible by dropping shit like “Yes, despite what I have just told your overly inquisitive self and that this is absolutely none of your business. Indeed, every third thursday I attend the Church of the Star Spangled Unicorns” and then make a memorable exit by galloping off into the sunset. Of course I couldn’t do that.
“No, but really, I’m not interested.” I say as I begin walking away.
Stranger Danger: “OH, well we’re having bible studies and we are inviting people to them.”
Fuck you socially-imbedded-politeness-feelings-of-obligation. “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested.” I state again as I scoot further away.
Stranger Danger: “Well you should come.”
Fuck this shit. You should learn to read social cues!
I blurted out a loud no and broke away from the awkward situation like a gazelle during a lion attack, determined to put as much distance between myself and crazy pants as possible. What the fuck, persistency! Looks like I’m going to have to start being an asshole samaritan and just saying fuck you or completely ignoring every person who asks me a question anymore.
And that’s where my post ended…until I decided I needed to add the quintessential cherry on top: the perfect pictoral representation of my story. Of course, that led me to immediately google “female jesus” where I found this holy-fuckin-shit-what-the-fuck-I-just-learned-something-knew and crrazzzyyyy article “Jesus is Back, and She’s Chinese.” Here’s a sneak peak if you don’t have the time:
A fast-spreading sect named Lightning from the East is alarming Christian communities across China by winning large numbers of converts to its unorthodox tenets, often by abducting potential believers. Its followers, who say they number 300,000 but whom observers measure in the tens of thousands, believe that Jesus has returned as a plain-looking, 30-year-old Chinese woman who lives in hiding and has never been photographed. They credit her with composing a third testament to the Bible, writing enough hymns to fill 10 CDs and teaching that Christians who join her will ascend to heaven in the coming apocalypse.
…Lightning from the East has burrowed further underground in China. But already its followers hand out leaflets in Chinatowns in New York City and San Francisco. Lightning could soon strike the West.
So, yeah, holy fuckin’ shit. I think I got struck by lightning.
– Improve your how to be an asshole skillz
– When questioned about religion, perhaps it is better to say you attend the Church of the Star Spangled Unicorn and gallop away.
– Do not google image “female jesus.” That’s what I did after I read that scary ass article and unfortunately for me it’s a bunch of creepy crucified naked women and the occasional vagina. With that said, I’ve created my own.
Nerd alert: If you’re into health communication stuff you may also find the following bit interesting:
Today, the Communist Party’s restrictions on religion help sects flourish. China’s 18 state-sanctioned Protestant seminaries can’t graduate enough ministers, and in the countryside, believers commonly outnumber ordained preachers 50,000 to one not enough shepherds for an expanding flock. The unavailability of rural health-care means that “seven out of 10 converts come to faith through illness” after people pray for their recovery, estimates Faye Pearson, a teacher at China’s biggest seminary, in Nanjing.