I like an occasional debate with those I disagree with, but if they only want to beat their own drum and denigrate my reasoned rebuttals and refuse to even consider them it’s not worth my time. Conservative Religions are a case in point. I once rode over the Khyber Pass with an Islamic missionary who tried to convert me as I enjoyed the scenery, which included farmers plowing their fields with automatic rifles on their shoulders, murderous feuds and banditry being endemic there long before the Russians, followed by the Taliban and us. His insistence that I simply accept Mohammad as the one and only “Seal of the Prophets,” after which spiritual revelations come to a dead stop, and I must do so at the cost of abandoning all other worthy spiritual paths. Well, it didn’t sit well and I told him my Buddhist take on direct access spirituality. His anger was tempered by perplexity. How could I, raised a Christian, not accept without question the faith I was born into, until that is, the final installment, or newer testament, in the form of Mohammad, was revealed to me? Didn’t I realize that all other paths, besides the Abraham descended ones, led to the fires of hell? My disagreement was tantamount to blasphemy.

Change the names and places and I encounter the same incurious closed minds among Christians of various persuasions. Jehovah Witnesses being a prime example. Nice folks when I worked with them selling insurance door to door in South Dakota. That job allowed them to sell jewelry on the side, and, you guessed it, espouse their faith with free Watchtower literature and gentle prodding to accept their only one way truth and be saved from the eternal fires of the very hell Muslims feared. Fear and thus hatred of the satanic other is the common thread of all these dogmatic beliefs.

Long before and after, I’ve been accosted, nay, harried by Bible thumping missionaries trying to save my freethinking ‘soul’ by any means necessary. Well-meaning Christian friends have led me into ambushes disguised as friendly dinners and social gatherings similar to the Amway marketing technique. I try to be polite, but I was hungry and the promised food came much later if at all. Fire and brimstone spews at me when I rebut them and I’ve come to rely on sterner strategies to keep them at bay.

Door knockers can be just as obnoxious in their approach. Jehovah Witnesses once interrupted my shower and I grabbed a towel to open the door, expecting friends, maybe even lovers. The well dressed couple seemed embarrassed giving their salvation spiel to a dripping wet half naked man, but unrepentant Hippie that I am, I’ve no prurient shame in my natural flesh and found their discomfiture funny and the blushing woman attractive. At least I could get a chuckle if I have to endure hearing the same old tune. The nervous man finally asked me if there was a better time to come back, which I didn’t want to encourage, so dropping the towel about my loins, I cut it short, uncovering my immodesty at the threshold. Opps! They beat a hasty retreat, never to return. I’d found the best way to get rid of unwelcome interruptions.

Now, if they’d wanted to stay and join me in the shower? After all, saving precious water in a drought makes us good stewards of our Planet. Well, that could have made for a different, more pleasurable ending, perhaps I’d even convert them to my Satanic lifestyle.

Which reminds me of my encounter with the Christian LOVE family. Ah, yes, God’s whores, they called themselves. If only I’d known. But, busy now, that must wait for a later telling.

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