Friday, April 21, 2006

Me and the Mormons

Yesterday, I got a visit from two very nice gentlemen from the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints on their mission trip. They knocked on the door, and there I saw them: dressed in black pants, white-button-up shirts, and ties. They looked like they were going to apply for a job, not bring the message of Smith.

And here I am, dressed in baggy jeans, baggy green long-sleeved shirt, and hair flyaway while I was licking chocolate off my fingers. My house looked like it could be used as a waste containment center: floor that hasn't been vacuumed in month, dirty dishes piled in the sink, coats thrown over the backs of chairs, papers everywhere. If there was a model of proper female domesticity, this wasn't it.

"Hello" the pale Mormon with the blue tie said. "We're from the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints".

"Oh," said I, nonplussed, "Mormons. Damn, I feel sorry for you guys".

"Why so?" says the one, shrinking back a bit.

"'Cuz" I say, wiping the left over spit and chocolate on my already stained jeans "You got a crappy place for a mission trip. Yuck, Grand Forks. Not to mention, people here are pretty firmly Lutheran".

"Oh," said the tanner Mormon. "I wouldn't say that: most families have been very polite to us"

"Yeah," I thought, "North Dakota nice. Well, I'm just watching TV, might as well have a theological discussion".

"M'kay" I said, "Why don't you come on in? I promise it's hygienic, just messy. I've got some lemonade if you want, you don't drink soda right?"

"No, we don't drink soda" says the tan one.

"And we can't come in," says the pale one. "We're not allowed to be alone with a female."

"You won't be alone, there are two of you" I said. "I promise not to use my feminine wiles on you"

At this the pale one blushes quite pink. The tan one may have been blushing, couldn't tell, but he did look quite uncomfortable. "Never mind," says I. "How about that lemonade?"

"No thank you," goes pale one.

"Well, anyway, you're not going to convince me either: I'm a committed Agnostic", I said

"What does that mean, exactly?" tan one goes.

"It means that god is unknowable, so no one religion is right. Personally, I believe that religion is a tool: it can be used for good or evil. As a committed feminist, I find all western religion to be a tool of the patriarchy and I reject it. Furthermore, I maintain that the musing of a bunch of nomadic Bronze Age goat-herders isn’t horribly relevant to my day and age".

"Oh," says tan one.

"Well, did you know that the Mormon Church has one of the oldest organized women's groups?" said pale one, desperately trying to ply this back to his sale's pitch.

"Yep," I said, "That has no direct control of church politics whatsoever, and got its budget cut again this year. I also know that women can't be prophets or Temple leaders, and are encouraged to be stay-at-home mothers. We also can't be the head of the house, or even the afterlife according to your theology." They look really uncomfortable, as an out I go "Well, I'm a little busy right now, and I feel kinda silly talking in the hallway, so I'm going to have to let you go."

"Well, it was...nice talking with you" says pale one. "Here's a pamphlet for getting a book of Mormon if you're interested".

"Okay then," I say, "Make sure to pray me into heaven if you guys are right."

We share a laugh. "Have a nice day, hope it goes well for you."

In hindsight, I could have been more polite, but I have a difficult time not messing with the fundies. They were very nice, very polite, and seemed committed. I really do hope they're day went well, but seriously: WTF?

The other thing that happened was I got someone looking to put a family law reform initiative on the ballot. Him I was less polite to.

This time, my roommate Ted was home. I answered the door, and he wandered up while I was doing it.

The guy sees me answering the door, and immediately looks indoors for the MAN of the house. He sees Ted, and begins to address him, "Would you like to sign a petition that protects fathers?"

Ted, throwing it back to me, goes, "I dunno, Cass, you do politics, do I want to protect fathers?"

I answered "Well, do you want to protect your father in divorce court proceedings?"

Ted walks away, disinterested and borderline hostile. The guy has nothing to do but address me. "Well?"

"Hmm, are you a Father's Right Activist?" I ask

"Yes," he says.

"Well, then I won't waste your time. I'm a committed feminist, and a daughter of an abusive father. Buh-bye." I said. The door shuts firmly, but not slammed. I lock the door.

Two in one day, I think that’s a new record. I’ve got to say, I suppose I'd rather live under a theocracy than a world that MRAs invasion. Too bad the two overlap so frequently.


At 10:08 AM, Blogger Mitch said...

You go!


I'm growing up in a mormon family.

I'm Buddhist/agnostic right now.

At 5:12 PM, Anonymous The Happy Feminist said...

Rats. Why doesn't anything interesting like that happen to me when I'm at home?

At 8:40 PM, Blogger Noumena said...

(hi; followed you back from Hugo's)

My senior year of college, I was walking home one afternoon when a Jehovah's Witness stopped me. Purely by coincidence, it was in front of a friend's house.

I didn't have anything more entertaining to do, and I was in an asshole atheist phase (now I'm just an atheist), so I decided to listen to his spiel. For about sixty seconds. Then I finished his argument, and gave three reasons why it was a crappy argument. So he tried another one ... and I interrupted that in the middle, too, explained its history, and why it didn't work.

I finally let him go after fifteen minutes of this. As I walked away, he went up to my friend's front door. I heard later he was so shaken he was almost crying.

That still makes me chuckle on the days when I'm frustrated by all the fundy Catholics I go to school with.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Goddess Cassandra said...

Mitch: Good luck with that. I've got a great story about a Mormon friend.


I could have made them cry: I tried instead to not kill their day. I mean, it takes a lot to go up to peoples doors.

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could have been there to see the look on those Mormon's faces when you invited them into your place. I probably wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face once they started blushing at your invitation. Too bad you didn't have a camera on you at the time, that picture would have been priceless.


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