Two Jehovah’s witnesses came to my door a few hours ago. I usually enjoy having conversations, but I had a busy day and was expecting maintenance as well, to deal with a leaking water heater, so I wasn’t in the mood today. Both of them were fairly old and had trouble putting words together. The main talker especially so. He seemed perfectly nice. And I think I was pretty polite when talking with them. I listened, smiled, made interesting faces, nodded, made a couple brief comments and questions, all those cues that humans put out there when invested in a conversation.
Then he got to his main question. He asked “Do you ever wonder why bad things happen to good people?” I said, “Not really. Being nice doesn’t mean an earthquake won’t destroy my house. Those aren’t really connected.” He powered through that though, by basically ignoring me, and said the bible deals with why bad things happen to good people. (He repeated this set up 4 or 5 times in the handful of minutes we talked.) I guess he isn’t bothered when bad things happen to bad people. You know, fuck those guys, right? Let’s call it justice or something. They don’t deserve our sympathy. (Karma! Wait, are you guys Buddhists in disguise!?) Why not ask why bad people exist in the first place? Then everyone is happier. These are things I might have asked if I was in the mood, but I just wanted to get it over with without being rude.
Anyway, then the nice old man read a passage from the bible in which someone asks god why all these bad things happen. He says, “See, this is a very serious question. It sounds like he is complaining in this passage but god never tells him he’s complaining because the question is so important. And the bible answers it.” But then he balked. Rather than telling me the glorious answer (to this question I may have had when I was a kid), he said they have a pamphlet addressing it. It was like he was just a trailer and couldn’t give away the ending to the movie. A curious way to approach introducing/pushing a religion. This answer could have blown my mind to the point that I throw away all my science books and pick up a bible. Well, maybe not this answer since I wasn’t particularly interested in the question to begin with, but why not complete the thought? Sure, the answer may have been in his pamphlet or on their website, but then you are relying on someone else to act. At this point, you have no draw. Give me a reason to want to look into more. Pull me in with some example of your wisdom! Then, I’ll seek it out.
I just thought it was a strange way to try to bring someone in. Maybe if that question was important to me I would have read his pamphlet from front to back, but I don’t know. I think most people would throw it out even if it was something they worried about.
No complaints really. The guy was nice enough, but could have used some personality. I’m happy to engage in conversations with friendly religious people. Be a little more well read in that one book you’re supposed to read though.