When I got home this evening, among the several catalogs for expensive stuff I don’t need, and a copy of the 30th anniversary issue of ASIMOV’S was a small brochure entitled, “The End of False Religion Is Near!” Curious, I sat down and read all three pages. As it turns out, I am being recruited by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. In the very brief 3 pages, arguments were made why I should become a Jehovah’s Witness, and the Bible was cited 23 times. That’s 23 times in what I estimate to be 600 words total.
The tract appears to be designed to people who are fed up with how all other religions have gone soft. It attacks people who use religion to support war (both inside and outside of the U.S.) It attacks religions that “exploit their members by charging them money to pray for departed souls.” It attacks Western religions where church groups “ordain gay and lesbian members of the clergy” and even goes on to attack religions in which “religious leaders have sexually abused children.”
It was interesting and it got me thinking about religions and religious recruiting and I came up with what I think is a fairly novel idea. There should be a company that specializes in “religious recruiting”, a kind of religion broker, if you will, that you would use the same way in which you might use a job recruiter. You would give the recruiter your requirements (e.g. must allow bacon consumption, eternal salvation, and have cool uniforms) and he or she would then put you up to the highest bidder. The religions would reply with an “offer letter” which would detail for you what you would get if you picked them. Naturally, you would take the best offer, so the religions would have to compete for you. And the recruiter would get a percentage from whatever religion you ended up picking.
It would be interesting to sit in a room with a Jehovah’s Witness, Roman Catholic Priest, and an evangelical, and listen to them outline the respective good qualities of their religions, while de-emphasizes the bad qualities. Think of the muted arguments that would take place among such holy men? Threats of eternal damnation and what have you, each trying to one-up the other.
In the end of course, I would have to reject every offer, as none of them would be able to meet my requirements: strict believe in the scientific method, reason and logic, and what can be proved by observable phenomenon. Well, either that or the one where I am all-powerful and everyone worships me.