Sunday, September 02, 2007

On faith and time

A couple of years ago, SweetPea's doctor put her on a certain medication. I forget whether they were trying to control her ADD or her depression or what. The medication was an anti-seizure medication that had also started being given to alcoholics to help them stay off the sauce.

After a couple of days on the meds, I can tell you why they did that.

SweetPea was drunk. 24/7.

Now, SweetPea has never “drank” in her life. That's just the way she is. But she was acting just like a drunk person. I'm not sure how that was helping her ADD or depression, but there it was.

One afternoon, I was on the phone with her. The kids were at their dad's, so that meant SweetPea was home alone and, therefore, naked. I had to put her on hold so that I could answer the other line, and when I got back on the phone, I could hear her in the background saying “I'm coming! I'll be right back!” She got back on the phone and told me she had gone and gotten the mail.

Now. Let me pause for a moment to explain our mail. We have a locking mailbox next to our door. It's not on the side where the door opens, it's on the side where the hinges are. So, to get to the box, you open the door up, step out, and go around to the other side of the door.

Remember the part about SweetPea being naked because she was home alone?

Remember, also, the part about SweetPea acting like a drunk person?

I think I'll leave you to do the math on that one.

Anyway, that night I took the meds and the truck keys. I told her she wasn't driving until she was “sober”, and she was sure as hell not taking those meds again. In case you're interested, she had been on the meds about two and a half weeks by that point, and it took almost a full week for the effects to totally wear off.

The next day I went back to work. Because, you know, that's what I do. At some point during the day, there was a knock at the door. SweetPea could see through the security door that there was a lady standing there with a satchel.

SweetPea was still “drunk” and still home alone. She saw this woman's satchel and promptly thought that Hey! Here was a mail person with a package! A package for SweetPea! In her excitement, SweetPea ran to the door and flung it open.

You remember the drunk, right? And, also, the naked? Right.

The rather shocked young woman was not, as it turns out, a mail person with a package. Rather, she was one of those young people who go around delivering The Watchtower where it's least desired. Shocked as she was by the large, naked lesbian standing in front of her, she did manage to stumble on for a few minutes before thrusting some Watchtowers at SweetPea and running for dear life.

It took a year for the Jehovah's Witnesses to come back. It was the same woman. She brought reinforcements.

SweetPea has a definite issue with the Jehovah's Witnesses that do this sort of thing. She has a problem with anyone who tries to “thrust” their religion in her face. I understand where she's coming from, and I agree. If they come to my door, I will either not answer, or politely decline. This is my home. My home where the white light and the spirits live.

Recently, however, they've started prowling the parking lots of WalMart. They've got a good little system working. They come talk to you while you're loading your groceries. Share some scripture and a magazine, have a little chat. The first one that got me invited me to church. I've been nabbed twice now, and neither has taken more of my time than it's taken to load up my groceries. They've both been very nice, and not pushy.

Now, I will say that it kind of irritates me because I feel a little trapped. I wonder if WalMart is allowing this or just doesn't know. But I feel trapped because the only way to get out of it to be unconscionably rude.

Having said that, I want to clarify that I, so far, have not minded the little interactions. They've both been very nice, as I said, and not pushy. They don't ask what religion I believe (HA!), nor do they really push to get me to come over to theirs. They share information that they feel is important. They are doing a task that their faith deems important and vital.

I have no problem with that. Also, I have no problem being on the receiving end of that.

SweetPea thinks I'm knackered for putting up with that and for accepting their Watchtowers. She actually went so far as to say that she questioned my faith because of it.

Personally, I don't see it as being against my faith. It costs me nothing to listen to them. In this case, not even time because they are not extending my stay any longer than it would have been. They are polite and caring and genuinely want the best (as they see it) for me.

SweetPea says that, if they knew, they wouldn't be as accepting of me. They wouldn't want me in their church without trying to change me. And that's true. And I understand that. So why, she says, listen to them? Why be polite and accept their magazines and hear their scripture?

Why, I ask, sink to their level?

I would not go to their church because that is not my path, it is not my faith. Does that hinder me from allowing these individuals to do the job they feel was set for them? No, it does not.

If they knew I am a lesbian and my faith is a heathen faith, they would try to save my blasphemous soul, no doubt. They would likely consider that I would not be worthy of “heaven”.

Because they would surely judge me, does that mean I should judge them in kind?

I don't believe it does. I also don't believe that allowing a person the service of their faith is something that is unacceptable to my faith.

Listening to them for a few moments is not going to change who I am or how I believe. I am who I am and I am strong in my faith. They are not taking any more time than I have to give. Listening to them allows them to fulfill their duties, as they see it.

So what harm does it do?

(plus, I'm generally totally not interested in arguing or debating with them. I don't feel the need to convert souls. Also, you can't convert the faithful. Just ask the Catholics)

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