Trick Tracts Views: Phamplet-Peddlar Pedantics

After being hit on the street by an alarming number of phamplet pushers, I wrote this essay to share in my frustration at the unwanted solicitation.

Everywhere I go now I'm inundated with neatly dressed men pushing little booklets in my face, proclaiming, "It's coming," and "Jesus saves!" It's enough to make you never want to leave the house. At Mardi Gras, they were on every street corner and Jackson Square was literally teeming with Jesus Freaks running around shouting for God and hauling giant crosses; equipped with wheels for "carrying the weight of the cross", I'm sure. A few of the modern, electronically hip crosses had speakers inside each half of the "T".

Just this weekend I was confronted by two young men filled with God's spirit handing out booklets in front of two fraternity bars. I politely said no thanks, and wondered if divine intervention was going to step in when a group of liquored-up football players beat the living shit out of them. Would Jesus save them, then?

"They're everywhere," I thought to myself; likening the growing number of Jesus Hawkers I'd seen to a coming plague. Before, you only had to worry about Jehovah's, who last I saw, had moved from just soliciting you at your home to knocking on your car window at gas stations. I've seen these Booklet Distributors before, but their numbers seem to be growing. Somehow, the hypocrites are converting the masses and my only question is this - "how in the hell is that happening?".

These people are sitting there, proudly, going completely against the teachings of the man they're claiming to worship! Have you ever seen such blatant, yet unrecognized, hypocrisy? They're so busy condemning and trying to recruit that they don't even realize they are doing worse than the people they're chastising. Jesus Freaks, as defined here, are the people that claim to follow Jesus' teachings and example. Jesus saves, these people assert, yet they, only, can interpret his true meanings. These people generally shun the church, and are a special cult all their own. Jesus Freaks go against everything Jesus stood for. I'm not saying that I'm a follower of Jesus, per se, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to read his purported words and figure out these people are doing just the opposite.

First of all, Jesus never preached hellfire and damnation. That is a tenement of the Church - of Christianity - and if these people are, as they claim, disassociated from the Church, its false idols and erroneous worship, then they need to take this concept out of their pitch. Jesus said, "Follow me, I am the way and the light." Never have I seen ", and if you don't you will burn in hell," tacked on to the end of this. Jesus never told people they had to worship his way, nor did he indicate they would be punished if they failed to do so. Also, Jesus never spread his word by pushing it in people's faces. Jesus let his words speak for him - and people either came and believed, or turned away and didn't. He didn't push pamphlets into people's hands, yell at them during festivities, or stop people walking down the street and peddle his thoughts like a slick salesman. The very way they go about trying to "save" others is in direct opposition to Jesus' non-obtrusive and simple lifestyle. Jesus didn't judge people, he didn't go around telling everyone they were "wrong" or "sinful" and he didn't push his beliefs in everyone's face.

I actually sat and read one of the little booklets, and to be blunt, it was actually really warped. There's just no other way to put it. In this little piece of heaven, a Catholic man died. He was an upstanding member of the church, spent his time doing for the church, being a youth minister, and donated much money to the Pope's pockets.

This man, let's call him Catholic Joe, goes to God for judgment. He's thinking, no sweat, I've done all I was supposed to do, and lived a good life. He gets to God and God basically tells him he's going to burn in hell for eternity. Catholic Joe asks how this can be, if he was such a good Catholic. Here God starts attacking the Catholic Church, quoting from the Bible, and bitching about false gods, and misdirected worship.

Catholic Joe begs Gods forgiveness and asks if he can be given a second chance if he renounces the Catholic Church. God tells him no, and reminds him of his one chance, when he sent one of his messengers and Catholic Joe blew them off. Consequently, one of the "messengers" is a neatly dressed woman handing out a booklet.

Catholic Joe is sent to burn in hell and the Jesus Freaks happily remind you that they seem to know the only true way to salvation, and by not listening to their Booklet Distributors - and following organized religion - you'll be joining Catholic Joe in the hot seat.

Does this bother anyone but me?! What kind of world would this be if this booklet were the Truth? Booklet Distributor Jesus Freaks are the only true way and God's a cold and heartless bastard. Sounds idyllic, don't it?

And, still, I go back to what I've been saying all along - what makes them believe they are the one and true only way? What makes them so wise that they have found the path and millions of others have missed it? How are they so sure that their young religion is the only true one when compared to religions that have been around since time immemorial? And, most of all, what makes them think they have the right to push it in everybody's face?

Okay, fine, you found the path that rings true to your soul. It doesn't mean it's my path or anyone else's path, and you can't make it others' path and you shouldn't try to. You don't push your religion on to other people. It's rude, it's unethical, it's indecorous, and mainly, it's downright aggravating. I don't care what your beliefs are - no more than you care what mine are except that they aren't yours. I don't shove my beliefs down your throat, and you should respect that and do the same. You don't want to listen to what I believe, practice, feel or have sought out - so I don't want to hear what you have to say. You are judging my dogma as wrong without ever hearing it or giving it a chance, and immediately trying to convert me to yours.

What's wrong with you people? Go, worship your God and leave everybody else alone. No one cares, wants to hear it, read it, or accept it. We're glad you found it; now keep it to yourself. Religion is a personal thing - and I'm not interested in yours.

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