I ran out of paper for my printer, and I have to print the guidelines for my lecture. I'm a rather confident public speaker (not any good, but confident), but I -really- don't feel too certain about the quality of this project, so I'm edgy, to say the least.
So I walk to the store to get a big pile od good old deadtree, and I'm waiting in line to pay for it...when this skinny woman in glasses walks up to me. She was holding a clipboard, so I thought it might be a survey, but then...
"Excuse me, sir, I'm conducting a survey. Do you have a Bible?"
Ohh. Preaching disguised as a survey. The worst of both worlds. I glared at the cashier, silently asking "why does this store allow this to happen to waiting costumers who don't have anywhere to run?". He shrugged at me and continued working. Buckle up, I think to myself.
"No. Actually, yes, I have an online version on my computer."
"Do you consider yourself a Christian?"
At this point she looks at me over her glasses and flips two full pages of the papers on her clipboard, apparently containing questions to determine what species of Christian I was. Yay, I got the insta-preaching version!
"What keeps you from accepting Jesus as your Lord and savior?"
"The fact that I dispute his divinity?"
"I think that, even if he existed, he might have been just a man. Like Ghandi, you know? Or Martin Luther King. Still a great guy, but we should study him in philosophy class, not pray to him."
Until this point, I was trying to be polite. Because she -was- being nice to me, if annoying. If there is one thing I have to admire in preachers and telemarketers, it's their panache. They are supremely comfortable and steady while facing your bitterest rejection, ignoring body language that implies that you'd like to teleport them to Fire Island. But then...came the clincher.
"But don't you know he died for _your_ sins? And that you condemn yourself to hell for denying him?"
I hate being passively threatened. And I hate myself when I get mean. You'll see why soon.
"Oh, -really-? If he died for my sins, who are we praying for? Isn't he dead?"
"He was made flesh to atone for our crimes, and returned to Heaven after redeeming all of us."
"So he was in heaven in the first place, became a man, came down here to taunt us into killing him, and then returned to all the bliss up there. Wow. Now that's sacrifice."
"You don't understand--"
"Does he have, like, a set amount of lives? Like Super Mario? Because Mario sacrificed himself for me a -lot-. Way more than once. What's the sacrifice if he didn't stay dead, and just returned to being all-powerful?"
"He got crucified, and suffered more than any person, ever!"
"I can think of worse things than crucifixion and lashing. You know what? I think it was all God's BDSM holiday. 'I'll jump inside the flesh suit, get punished long and hard, and then come back good as new to enjoy the afterglow'."