I was at a book festival recently perusing a very interesting book on the Casey Anthony "case" written by scholar and ex-prosecutor Wendy Murphy when a middle-age christian walked up to me and began staring at me.
He was intense --remarkably like what I think of as Dr. Mesmer when he was about to hypnotize someone. I looked up and he asked me if knew who killed Caylee Anthony.
Now, after reading Wendy's book, I discovered that I wasn't sure of who it might have been, due to questionable circumstances and statements made during depositions. I said as much to the christian. His eyes grew more dark and intense and then he informed me that it was Satan killed the child.
In spite of the reasonable doubts expressed by a seasoned former child abuse prosecutor (Ms. Murphy), it never crossed my mind that anyone other than a deeply troubled human with a nefarious agenda caused her death. I said as much to the christian and his face became like a storm cloud. He launched into, "you don't understand," and "you don't know," "you're confused."
He began a rapid-fire rant & run through sin, original sin, salvation, jesus-is-the-only-way and so on. "You need jesus, he's the only one who can bring you peace."
He asked what I thought about sin and I said, "you know, I think that it's possible that a person who believes in Original Sin can't possibly have good self-esteem, because they believe that they are, at their core, defective and they may compound their problem by believing that they have to rely on someone outside of themself for validation and to feel good about themself.
They call that condition co-dependence. It's a disease."
Being faced with calm reason, he clouded over even more and started shaming me, repeating his rant that I didn't understand, was confused, wrong and so on. "There are millions (sic) of christians who believe..."
He scowled at me and walked away frustrated, and threw one final jab over his shoulder, "you need to invite jesus into your life; he'll fix your problem."
I was quietly enjoying a book and this christian accosted me with some rather warped rantings and shame. I treated him directly, but gently, and he was unable to accept that.
As I watched him walk off it occurred to me that I hadn't asked him the real question that was on my mind: "If I accept your jesus into my life, will I become arrogant and disrespectful to fellow humans just like you?"
If jesus is like that, or causes people to be like that, he is in deep need of help. If he shows up, I'll call the police.
Filed Under: Opinion