Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Missionary Position

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  • Idiot Savant,

    Yes, they might have to ratchet up the drinking part of the equation to compensate methinks.

    Would that be a Bad Thing?

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Would that be a Bad Thing?

    Not at all, although the implications are disturbing: hypothetically, if the organisers wanted to go on a real bender, who's to stop them inviting Rodney Hide?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Not at all, although the implications are disturbing: hypothetically, if the organisers wanted to go on a real bender, who's to stop them inviting Rodney Hide?

    It has the makings of an extremely dangerous drinking game.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    When I was younger I was a magnet for the religious crazies.

    That's funny, I tend to attract atheist crazies who expect me to accept personal responsibility for the Crusades. And The Holocaust. And every kiddie-fiddling clergyman, regardless of denomination. Then things take a weird and creepy turn.

    Unfortunately, this always seems to happen at parties where I'd rather like to stay on good terms with the host...

    And I've come up with the definitive answer for that hardy perennial: "How can you possibly be gay and a Catholic". "Well, dear heart, I don't suck cock in church."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Now if only more priests had cleaved to that code.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    In some churches (eg LDS), going on missions is a pretty common activity for young people - maybe there are just too many for the cannibal-dancing-round-pot regions to absorb.

    We get Mormon missionaries round central NY, even. Dudes, your religion is from here...

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I used to have a flat mate in Chch who worked nights - when the mormons came around and disturbed her sleep she'd stand there dazed and just let her robe slip until they ran away .....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Sounds like there's a dire need for missionaries to help spread cannibal-dancing-round-pot religions. ... though I dunno, wouldn't that end up as 'cannibal-grooving-along-slowly-while-the-munchies-escape'?

    And, absolutely true story:
    One weekend I answered my door to find a pair of attractive young women, who asked "Can we come in and play with you?".
    Japanese Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    when the mormons came around and disturbed her sleep she'd stand there dazed and just let her robe slip until they ran away .....

    We're having renovations done at the moment. This has meant me sleeping on a mattress in the living room for some nights. Our living room floor is visible through the front door.*

    Two JW's woke me up a while ago on a sunday morning. The changing expressions on thier faces as they realised that the pile of old rags on the corner of the room was alive (well, sorta) and that something was crawling out of it was priceless. Fortunately for them I had pants on....

    *You can't actually see in from the road or anything, in case anyone was wondering. You have to be well onto our property...

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Then there are the apples.

    We love our apples, right? We're famous for it. And you know, if you cut an apple in half horizontally, there's a pentacle inside?

    I quite often cut apples, for the kids at kai time, in a horizontal manner. It's actually a cool trick cos kids don't expect to see a flower in the middle of their fruit. You say it's a pentacle? That works even better. Thanks for that!

    It's just that when the Hare Krishnas knock on my door, they bring samosas.

    I used to think the HK's were wonderful, mostly because they had a restaurant up the top of Queen St that, when I was a poor student, provided many a cheap and nourishing meal. I changed my mind when I met a few to talk with, who discussed what they really believe in. (It's a bit like everyone who loves the Dalai Lama and then get all shocked when they think about what some of his beliefs are.)

    I haven't had the same experience you have, but wondering if maybe being a member of a relatively small (and seemingly shrinking) group is forcing these religious folk to be more up front about it?

    Are you talking about religos being a shrinking group, Morgan? Cos in my VHO, they are breeding and are to be found in unpleasantly increasing numbers all around the place. I feel more and more set upon by people like this. My advice to people whose god(s) I don't believe in? Piss off and leave me alone. I have a very strong set of spiritual beliefs, and they don't involve an old geezer with a long white beard sitting on a cloud. Nor do they involve convincing people that edicts, that are patently humanly constructed to keep people you don't like - like women and such - down, come directly from said old geezer. What don't these people get about the concept of spirit being intangible?

    I've found that barking loudly like a dog gets JW's, Mormons and the like to leave you alone. Quite quickly.

    You know what? After my last comment, I have to admit we don't get door knockers of the holy variety anymore. It may have something to do with the fact that the last testifiers to the goodness of their church were innocently to be found peddling their beliefs when they knocked on my door. And I talked to them for half an hour about my flavour of spirituality. We talked, they nodded a bit, laughed, then left. And have never been seen again. Me? Talk the hind leg off a donkey? Never!

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    There's probably secret "missionary sign" (sort of like hobo signs) scratched on the lamppost outside your house warning others who come - "dog bites", "closet satanist", "turns the hose on you" and now "talks your ear off, never signs up"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I had quite a few Christian friends when I was at University and they never seemed to tire of trying to convert me. Nothing would deter them - not even an offer to introduce them to my own imaginary friend.

    On one occasion I was invited to a party by one of these friends, and I figured "well he likes a beer, so how bad can it be?" I walked straight into an ambush - there were hordes of the buggers and not a drop to drink. It was like being in a den of zombies, all of whom wanted my soul.

    One thing I've noticed whenever I've been in the company of more than a few of these God-Type-Persons is that everyone who is over 18 years old seems to be a pastor. Which must be the equivalent of the modern day work practice of calling everyone above the janitor a manager. Who says the church doesn't keep up with the times?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Billie Connoly tells of his strategy. " When they knock at my door, I shout out that I have a huge erection and in 5 seconds I am going to open the door! 5, 4, 3, ...."

    Its the organised churches that bother me. Must be a comfort to many but who needs them to have wonder at the antics of spiders or the shape of lenticular clouds or the cruelty of cancer?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Phil Goff? Couldn't you have found an actual liberal? Or at least someone from somewhere vaguely on the left side of the political spectrum?

    Tut, tut, you haven't been keeping up with your kiwiblog have you? He's a well-known communist, actually. So he will fit right in at this event.

    More seriously, one's position on the political spectrum is in large part a matter of which angle one's being viewed from.

    I remember a large number of delightful Alliance nutters (circa 1993-94) who were adamant the Labour Party (under Helen Clark, no less) was a right-wing party whose sole reason for existence was to advance dog-eat-dog capitalism at every opportunity.

    Their proselytizing was almost as annoying as that associated with the door-knocking god botherers, come to think of it. They had some saintly old white guy who gave orders, too. Not many people believe in him now, though (although a few do in Christchurch).

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Japanese Jehovah's Witnesses.

    In our old house (down the road from the International Centre of a Christian school and round the corner from an evangelical church) we used to get this a lot, cute young Asian women who would ask if they could come in and 'practice their English'.

    And I've come up with the definitive answer for that hardy perennial: "How can you possibly be gay and a Catholic". "Well, dear heart, I don't suck cock in church."

    I was in the Square once with my Best Friend, heckling this religious loony - a process through which I met this other Wiccan. He asked my friend if she Followed the Path too. She told him she was Catholic, at which he arched his eyebrows and said acidly, "You must be a very tolerant Catholic."

    Yeah, dude. Pot, kettle.

    There's probably secret "missionary sign" (sort of like hobo signs) scratched on the lamppost outside your house warning others who come

    Ha, now this makes a lot of sense.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Oh, and we didn't make it to Drinking Liberally (which I keep typing as 'liverally') last night because my daughter's audiology appointment ran an hour over time, so I can't report on Phil Goff's new political orientation. My last close-up knowledge of him dates from the late eighties/early nineties, when he was slightly to the right of Labour Centre, but I have heard tell that before that, back in the Muldoon years, he'd been a raving Commie pinko.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    TBH most missionaries don't annoy me that much (as long as I can get away from them). What does annoy me is the people who insist that everyone has a spritual side. "Oh," they say, "you do have an inner spirituality, even if you don't believe in God." No. No, I don't. I have the spiritual impulses of a brick. I neither believe in any supernatural being nor feel an inner sense of wonder at the universe. And I get annoyed when someone else professes to know better than me about my own bloody mind, thanks very much.

    To be honest, often the people with nonspecific religious beliefs are the worst offenders here.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Where's our famed Kiwi reticence about religion?

    Or was it more an unwillingness to talk about something that is complete bollocks, and just nodding in agreement rather than voicing the words. "Dont talk complete shit"

    I have the spiritual impulses of a brick.

    Me too. But it took a while to turn in the brick I am today.Still I'd rather it out in the open than locked away in individual minds, cause like consipation, toxins can build up and the next thing ya know a nasty outbreak occurs, boils sores, preaching, accosting people in the streets
    Me, as the recession really bits, Im expecting an outbreak of religiosity to occur. Humanity is that predictable now. And Ray Comfort shall return to these shores and bring his banana with him.

    "Well, dear heart, I don't suck cock in church."

    haha The best illustration of the human minds ability to compartmentalise I've seen in a long time. Neuroscience would have a feild day with your thoughts, I suggest submitting yourself for study.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Darel Hall,

    DL went well last night - maybe 70 - 80 people at the Goodbye Blue Monday bar in the Lanes. Good questions, mostly people were interested in asking about foreign affairs issues (Zimbabwe, Israel/Palestine).

    Rodney Hide is not out of the question as a speaker because the key point is not that the speaker is left but who does the broadly left audience want to hear from in this more relaxed environment.

    Next up Therese Arseneau and we're still working on Kennedy Graham on the politics of water. Maybe then an articulate speaker from the right? Maybe Neil Miller?

    I'm also working on an "open mike" event where anyone (left, right, satanic cow, whatever) with a political view gets five minutes to speak.

    Always open for ideas: darelhall@xtra.co.nz

    Christchurch • Since May 2007 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    Never had door-knockers when I was young, because dad was the local Presbyterian minister - hence I can hold a pretty in-depth discussion on the Bible without even drawing breath. Arguing with the door-knockers is quite fun (especially with the Mormons), but most of the time they get a polite "not interested thanks".

    One early Sunday morning door-knocker did get me out of bed looking a bit worse for wear, when I told them I wasn't interested they said "Isn't there anything in the world you 'd like to change?" I said "The number of people who knock on my bloody (actual word spoken may differ from that published here) door at 9:30 on a Sunday morning". They went away.

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 261 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Y'think these religious types would know enough about their intended targets not to bother us on Saturday or Sunday mornings. After full nights of drinking, dancing, copulating, and smoking the devil weed, we just can't function before noon.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    I think Jimmy Carr sorted out the missionary problem quite nicely yesterday. When asked whether he'd ever really pondered the important questions of life he replied "Money over bitches?"

    Jimmy's been ripping Twitter up this week.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    My last close-up knowledge of him dates from the late eighties/early nineties, when he was slightly to the right of Labour Centre, but I have heard tell that before that, back in the Muldoon years, he'd been a raving Commie pinko.

    Yes, being slightly to the right of the labour centre at the time translated into swinging a pretty sharp axe at the whole free education idea, no? It's got to be the beef that many people have with him to this day, surely.

    To me, he'll always be an adorable Zeppo Marx lookalike.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    To open another area for the debate: there is the non door knocking missionaries who do go to some fairly nasty places in order to do good (for a given value of good).
    My parents worked in PNG in the late 60's as medical officers, in the refugee camps on the Cambodia border during the Pol Pot era and later in the Phillipines. OK you can make arguments about inflicting your worldview on someone else and suppressing their culture, but OTOH lives were saved and suffereing reduced by their being there.
    Yes it is possible to help people without bringing along an ideology, but should trying to exempt any ideology over rule helping people?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    Emma are you a weak or a strong atheist? What lead you to that view, rather than agnosticism?

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report Reply

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