Sunday, December 30, 2007

The arrogance of the "saved"

I have an older friend at work with a college-aged son who is, appropriately, away at college. He's back in town for New Year's and I happened to meet him as I was getting ready to head home from work on Friday. He was amicable enough, though I was keeping an eye on a number of (mentally disabled) clients at the time and couldn't really talk to him at length. Eventually, however, he noticed my copy of "The Faith Healers" by James Randi, which was sitting on my desk. He paused for a moment, then asked "well what have you learned from that book?"

He then informs me that "college" for him is actually the Honor Academy, a fundagelical ministry training school. I could instantly see where this was going, and I had no desire whatsoever to be witnessed to, especially not with both a group of clients and his mother around to force me to hold my tongue. Eventually I had to leave the room for a moment, and upon my return I found him paging through my book and frowning. To my amazement, he didn't immediately offer to return it when I entered the room.

A few moments passed and I had to escort some of the clients outside to their waiting caregivers. Shortly thereafter, out comes this fellow with my book. He finally hands it over while making far too much eye contact, we exchange pleasantries, and he wanders off. I then notice that he's pasted a sticky note to the inside cover of my book. Upon further inspection, it contains his e-mail, in case I "want to talk", and the URLs for a flotilla of fundie sites:

Way of the Master
- Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort's mutant love child. He was kind enough to note that "hi-speed" is required for this site.
Dr. Dino - Web home of pseudo-paleontologist Kent Hovind. His real home is jail.
Living Waters - Another Ray Comfort offering.

Delicious. This fellow has met me for all of 5 minutes and he's out to save my immortal soul. It's none of my business whatsoever if he's afraid of going to hell for not proselytizing enough, but the more I've thought about this the more it has galled me. Perhaps I'm being needlessly grumpy, but only my personal and professional respect for his mother has kept me from laying into him.

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