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Religion and Wasps

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

“Jesus saves, Moses invests. The Church – for all your financial needs”

There are certain things that should never be discussed in polite company: religion, politics and the state of one’s bowel movements. Unfortunately for some, my definition of polite company is rather malleable and so it is, with some trepidation, that I shall touch upon religion. You may have been wishing for a frank and honest discourse on my bowel movements, but that will have to wait for another day, for recently I discovered that the danger of hot summer days, isn’t wasps getting in your open window, it’s religion .

I was sat in the lower east wing of PFPT Towers, which is where I do my writing, looking studious and pensive (it’s usually just trapped wind) and as the weather was particularly clement, I threw open my windows with gay abandon (N.B. no gays were harmed in the opening of my windows). As I enjoyed the evening air that filled the room and my fingers tip-tap typed away, a blur of undiscovered genius and unbridled creativity, a smiling face rounded the corner of the building and peered in at me. Mistaking her for one of my new neighbours, come to bestow free wine and words of wisdom about bin collection, instead of stabbing at her with a biro, I cracked my face with a smile and chirped “hullo!”. She wasn’t my neighbour.

“Hello. I’m from the church down the road. If you’re ever lonely or need advice, it’s free. At the church. Down the road…”

And with that, she trampled the flower bed to stick her face through my window and a chubby hand snaked in also, thrusting a leaflet at me. Not having my biro to hand (the curse of the silicon age), dumbfounded, I took the piece of poorly folder paper and stared aghast at this unwelcome intruder, stomping the geraniums (clearly not a true lover of “God’s” great green borders) and disturbing my peaceful leisure time with a theology I had not invited. I felt riled. It would have been less enraging if someone had climbed through the window and changed my TV channel without so much as a by your leave, or changed the temperature of my wine cabinet (that’s a fridge to anyone else).

It wasn’t the Christianity that bothered me per se. I don’t personally believe in any particular religion, but feel it is the right of any person to have a set of ideologies and imaginary friends to offer comfort and a moral code as they see fit. I may not agree with them, but they have been around a lot longer than I have and are the basis for the modern society in which we live today, plus they make some people feel better when they have no-one else to blame for losing their car keys (mysterious ways, indeed). I would also like to point out that I have some simply lovely friends who are deeply religious. I wouldn’t know that of course, as the fact they are lovely means they keep it to themselves. And that is, in my opinion the only proper way to deal with religion.

Like your STDs, your body odour and your opinions on the size of my posterior, please keep your religion to yourself. I neither require it nor desire it, and if I should need it, I know where you are – generally in those big tall pointy buildings, singing funny songs and feeling guilty. I choose not to live by the teachings and judgements of any of the religions, but I respect the rights of those who do, and I do not go into their private spheres to convince them that my way is better, because that would be arrogant and ultimately futile. A more cynical me might even postulate that the reason these religions are so keen to send out recruiters is because bums on pews means funds in holy bank accounts, but that would be a disservice to the vociferous train or street corner preachers who are merely there because there aren’t enough mental care homes in the UK. Like I said, a more cynical me.

So, what did this leaflet offer? What was this friendly local God Squadder pushing? I shall transcribe, with my own personal comments for your entertainment. I’m nice like that.

“Are you worried about the problems life can throw at you?” – No, I’m worried about people stomping on the perennials and sticking their snout through my window while I have a deadline looming.

“Do you find yourself in need of peace?” – Yes, from Bible bashers.

“Are you in financial difficulties?” – I see the church has turned to loan sharking. Maybe they can offer Kerry Katona a job fronting the advert.

“Do you ever get lonely?” – No, I have a life. I also have social media and a plethora of pubs to turn to if I want questionable company and a half-baked idea.

“Come and find help and all the answers for free!” – Free, you say? Nice to know there’s a special offer on religion this week, I was scared I’d have to pay for an annual subscription like normal. As for their claim to have “all the answers”, Google won’t like that.

Go ahead, worship whatever deity, cult leader, shiny silver alien you like, that is your private personal right, but please respect the sanctity of a woman’s home. An open window is not an invitation, it’s a ventilation system – use the doorbell like a civilised person so I can ignore you like a civilised person, or better yet, carry on living your life the way you see fit and leave me to live mine as I see fit, which from now is with the windows closed and a sharpened biro to hand at all times.

About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

24 responses »

  1. Your message shows as a grateful man

  2. Fantasic post…you’ve outdone yourself. Now, I’m wondering, where are the Jehovah’s Witness people when I feel a rant (not nearly as eloquent as yours) coming on?

  3. The Jehova’s Witnesses…. I do admire their tenacity and perseverance ….. I wonder if they actually recruit new members by knocking on doors.

  4. Having another jw living near you is like garlic to a vampire. By the way, were any gays abandoned by you opening your windows?

    • I may start playing hymns when there’s a knock at the door, like when people play scary loud dog barking tapes.

      I would never abandon a gay, I would take him to the Battersea Gays Home.

  5. What a perfect observation/response. Love it!
    Why is it they arrive whenever I’m frantically trying to finish something and they want to chat…once I was trying to plant a mid size palm tree and there was this huge hole I had been on my knees digging and saw 2 pairs of feet standing there. One started with “i can see you are busy” – and I interrupted “Yes I Am” (sorry, it was very hot and I was tired). When one said something about they knew “someone that always was there to help” I said “Great – here’s a trowel – that side over there needs to be a little deeper.” They hurried away.
    Darn. I thought God had finally heard my prayer and sent help.

    • I can’t believe they didn’t get stuck in, after all, surely tending “God’s” great green Earth is “God’s” work and they are but “His” servants? Lazy.

  6. eremophila

    The last lot who came to hassle me – and I live way out in the middle of nowhere! – got short shift when their main focus was propagating fear. I’ve noticed it’s really been the main tactic in recent (fearful??) times – maybe love isn’t working, so let’s try fear???
    Really, they are the ones who need to be fearful of receiving my rage!
    Good on you for tackling this subject 🙂

    • This lot have moved on from fear and have zoned in on the loan sharking and financial worries. The bank may have better interest rates, but the church has those little wafer thingies.

  7. Jehovah’s Witnesses. An amusing bunch. They go door to door spreading the “good news”. What pray is that good news? Why, there are 144,000 places in heaven for those who are willing to take part in the JW pyramid scheme. So, wait. There are 144,000 places in heaven and you are going door to door actively telling people this and inviting them to join you? Are you mental? Tell nobody! One of those places could be yours! Ah… hang on… I’ve got another question: how many practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are there living right now? There’s got to be more than 144,000 right? Ooh another question: how many Jehovah’s Witnesses have died since this whole crackpot afterlife lottery was hatched? In fact, weren’t those 144,000 placed filled centuries ago? Ooh another question: why 144,000? It seems an unusually round number with roots firmly in the imperial measurement system.

    I’ve never tried it but I think most JWs should have imploded by the 2nd or 3rd question there.

    • Odd how most people have focused on the JWs. I’ve only ever been bothered by Christians, none of the other cults/sects etc seem to want me.

      You’re forgetting one vital thing. Faith overcomes logic and reason eeeeeeevery time.

  8. Oh, the dangers of a first-floor flat. One never knows what might waft in.

  9. Lovely post.. Wrote on the same subject on my blog… Not as awesome as us of course… chk it out… and I love the way you end your posts …keep it coming

  10. What you say is so true – but I have to wonder, are the Christian and Christian-like religions the most pushy over there too? Over here they are constantly putting their flyers every where, sending out mass mailings with their propaganda in it to my home when I did not ask for it, and just generally being really pushy and invasive (I had a JW stop me in the street last winter, I couldn’t believe it). The other religions don’t bother people here. They exist and are friendly but I’ve never been harassed or sent unsolicited mail from the Muslims – and can you imagine if they did? People would be outraged but some how it’s ok if the Christians do it, but watch out any one else.

    • You make a good point. I’ve never had Islamic literature thrust through my letterbox and even when I lived in an area of London boasting a heavy Jewish demographic, I never had them trampling so much as a leaf!


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