I had an experience of the third kind. An old woman aged about 60 ish knocked on my door late one afternoon on the 27 of August. She was pleasant and said she was conducting a survey and held onto a large pad and pen.
She said she was conducting a survey on the local community feeling’s and she mentioned she was conducting it for the church down the road with the aim of improving things. She proceeded to ask questions such as, what do I think would be the best way we could improve our overall lives, did I have a job, was I or any member of the family drug addicts or alcoholics, did I have money problems, personal problems etc. That appeared to not have much relevance to the community.
As she was reading from a standard type of lined writing pad rather than a survey type of question sheet I became a bit suspicious, however it soon became quite evident that she was using this questionnaire system as a cover to evangelise and recruit people for her church.
She fitted comments into the conversation such as the church was important, and that society needed the Christian God. Of course, my interest automatically peaked up, and she obviously did not realise who in hell she was talking too. As I realised her real intention, I took in a long deep breath and prepared myself for a Christopher Hitchens moment of retribution.
I was in no hurry, so during the first few minutes I invited her to preach by explaining I was not a religious person but it interested me and I asked the time worn and most relevant question an atheist can ask these poor indoctrinated dears, by suggesting I would be happy to convert if only she or someone could show me any real evidence of the existence of God.
We somehow got onto miracles of God, and I suggested miracles had never been proven and that they did not occur. She quickly whipped out her mobile phone and claimed she had witnessed a limb growing in length due to a healing session in her church and did I want to see it with my own eyes.
Of course, who would not want to see God suddenly growing a limb? The movie had a church priest kneeling in front of a person sitting in a chair who was supposed to have one leg shorter than the other, the priest had cradled both feet wearing a pair of shoes in his hands and one foot was shown to be about a half inch longer at the heal than the other. Sure enough, the priest said some subservient words to invoke the mighty one into action and of course he produced a miracle and the shoe soles equalled up as the leg grew within a few seconds in front of my eyes…. I was just flabbergasted.
I said to her that it is a trick, not a miracle, but she would not hear any of it by claiming she knew the short legged guy well and she had no doubt that he was honest because he was a Christian. Doh… of course why did I not think of that?
She changed the conversation by asking if any of my family members were religious. I told her my parents were English and originally classed themselves as Church of England. Well, she let loose with some righteous venom, claiming that they were not a real church with real love of God and merely another form of Catholicism. I then suggested that the Catholic Church should be permanently closed down due to their molesting priests problems and she enthusiastically agreed saying none would be saved and they would all go to hell. I also casually suggested that she should try to convert a couple of my Muslim neighbours when she gets the time.
I wanted to get back to the miracle part of things and I said to her, “why did God see fit to grow a mans leg a half inch in the rich country of Australia, while he sits back and allows 20,000 children to die every day in poor countries from starvation and disease as we speak?” This question I could see troubled her whirring mind and she blurted out something about none of them being Christian.
This was becoming more interesting by the second, so rubbing my hands together I said, “so your God is a selective God then, is he?” She then became more troubled and claimed it was the governments problems and that Christians should have but will get there and convert all these people. I could already smell the blood, so I just had to say, so therefore you Christians are at fault and your God is at fault for allowing other religions, therefore he made a huge cock up didn’t he and people are dying without his help, why did God make all these mistakes?”
My blanket bombing mission was a bit overwhelming for the old lady because her face wrinkled up and with her hands in front of her face (not sure if she was trying to ward me off with the crucifix fingers or the middle finger) but she started walking backwards between the van and car through the carport practically sobbing (I kid you not) that she did not want to hear me say things against her beloved God because she had a special relationship with God who she loved more than anything, and then she was gone.
This may sound a bit cruel of me to do this to an old lady who is probably younger than I am, however she did push her luck with the deception of a survey, I was not rude and did not abuse her, I only asked questions about her God. To react as she did suggests to me an advanced indoctrinated mental disorder gone beyond simple religious faith.