A Frustrating Encounter

Yesterday we had a salesperson come to our door. What he was selling is irrelevant. The impetus for this post is what he included in his sales pitch. Here’s what happened …

The guy started out the same as any salesperson does — asking questions to see if there might be interest in his product. Based on our answers (which were positive), he began his sales pitch. Since there were several things in the package he was offering, this took a fair amount of time.

Having been in sales myself several ages back, I judged him as a fairly talented salesperson. He seemed to provide relevant information, asked the right questions, and had good (practiced) responses to our concerns. (We did end up making the purchase, BTW.)

So why am I writing this post? Well, as the conversation began winding down and we had pretty much indicated we were going to go forward, he began inserting bible scripture and Christian phrases into his closing.

I wanted so very badly to react and express my own position, but my other half isn’t as outspoken as I am so I swallowed down my comments.

I’m sure we’re all aware of the “rules” related to free speech so technically, this person had every right to express his religious leanings. But the thing that burns me is why, in the course of a business transaction, do people feel the need to insert their Christian beliefs? I can accept (although I don’t like it) that it’s part of the rhetoric when people come to your door peddling their faith, but …

This was a business transaction!

So I suppose you’re wondering why I’m writing a post about this incident. I guess it’s because, as I mentioned, I didn’t get to “reject” this person’s “preaching” like I wanted to — and I needed to get the resulting frustration out of my system.

I appreciate you bearing with me. And if you have had similar experiences you would like to share … feel free.

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Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust


More than anything, humans fear death. The end of life. The knowledge they will be gone from this earth, never again to share time with loved ones, watch a sunset, climb a mountain, or simply enjoy Life and all that that encompasses. It is this inevitable fate that creates a heaviness in the heart of every human being.

The ancients experienced this dread as well. So they put their imaginations to work and soon came up with ways to overcome (or at least minimize) this innate, and most unpleasant, emotion. They devised paradises, nirvanas, heavens, promised lands … final destinations designed to offer complete bliss and delight and peace. While not totally removing the fear of one’s demise, the hope of “something better” at life’s end became a rallying cry for the impermanence of human life.

At the same time, there were those who believed not everyone “deserved” to enjoy such pleasures at life’s end. They saw some humans as mean, cruel, evil, immoral. Simply Bad People. So they came up with another end-of-life solution to deal with these malevolent individuals. And while it takes many forms, the end result is pretty much the same — punishment in some sort of “hellish” environment.

The Christians, in particular, took this idea and honed it to perfection.

In Christianity’s early days, there was a contingent of esteemed individuals who claimed “heavenly” knowledge, and it was this assembly that set the standards for proper “Christian” living. They determined that all who lived “godly” lives would, at death, be allowed to spend eternity in “God’s Presence.” However, if a person chose to rebel against the standards set forth by this prestigious group, that individual would be required to pay a penalty for their “evil deeds.” The punishment would come at death and consist of an eternity of suffering in what these “godly souls” christened the Lake of Fire.

This revered group did, however, make a small allowance for those who might come to regret their evil ways. They instituted a simple solution in which “sinning” individuals were required to say a few words (and convince themselves they were Truth™) and they would be SAVED from the horrors of this established end-of-life event.

Even in today’s modern world, there are many who still cling to these tenets put forth so many years ago. They are totally convinced that by remaining “in the good graces” of a supernatural entity, they will be able to face death without fear and/or trepidation.

However, at the same time, there are scores who reject this approach to life … and death. They dismiss the stories and platitudes offered by the religious and believe it is far better to face life’s end with resolve and single-mindedness. These are the individuals who live life with gusto … facing their demise without trepidation or dread. For them, these ancient words contain the real truth … ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Hogwash!

The following comment was made by a Christian on another blog:

Of course, there are many … reasons people choose to disbelieve or walk away from God. We may have prayed for someone and they died, or we suffered some other tragedy and blame God for not intervening. It could be we want to be free from some oppressive version of religion that we experienced, so we look for reasons not to believe.

It seems to me it usually comes down to either being angry with God or not wanting to be accountable to anyone but ourselves. 

(emphasis added)

My response to this statement was the title of this blog post.

Feel free to add your own …

“The Problem With Faith …”

On another blog, someone shared an article on religion that I found rather intriguing. I decided to “pass it on” so others could take a look and see what they think. It’s rather long so you might want to set aside some time to read and absorb.

Religion has been a part of humanity since the first astronomers peered into the sky and created elaborate stories to define the movements of our universe. It made its way into our minds as we fearfully created devils and demons to explain the danger lurking in the darkness of night. It has both enchanted and burdened us as we attempt to define our world with the information available to us as we work our way through history.

However, things are quickly changing. For a growing number of us worldwide, what was once indescribable is now easily explained by the vast data we have gathered as we work towards refining our understanding. We are becoming painfully aware that, although our religions gave us a starting place for thinking about how our world functions, they no longer serve us in that process; and in fact, have left a trail of destruction in their historic path.

More …

P.S. The entire article is superb, but if you see something that really stands out to you, I hope you’ll take a moment to copy and paste and share it in the comment section below. 🙂