In the past I’ve had some harsh words to say about Islam, but to be fair I’ve never had any Muslims actually knock on my door to try and convert me to their religion. I only wish I could say the same for Christians. About 3 or 4 times a year they come round, usually Jehovah’s Witnesses, sometimes Catholics or Mormons or God knows what else. I used to engage them in conversation and debate about the issues, even inviting them in on occasion, until one time two Mormons came in and they were so aggressively stubborn about everything I had to literally threaten to beat them up to get them to leave, and since then evangelists have been about as welcome and as interesting to me as a brick through the window. Besides, years ago I used to work with some Jehovah’s Witnesses from whom I learned the art of arguing endlessly in circles. It’s a talent I still possess, though I try to use it wisely – i.e not at all, because you always come back to the same place, the brick wall we know as the Bible. The Bible is true because it says it’s true, and because it’s the Bible it must be true, and round and round and round we go. I feel dizzy now just thinking about it. I think it’s ironic that Alcoholics Anonymous use religion to get people off booze, because I think religion is quite a lot like hard liquor. Some people can handle it and some clearly can’t, and those who can’t can be inclined to make a public spectacle of themselves. And that’s because religion is very powerful stuff. I think it’s a lot more powerful than we’re prepared to admit. I think it’s mind-altering stuff that affects people’s behaviour in the most humiliating way often. Just imagine, for example, if your god told you to drink a bottle of whisky every day for breakfast, what a different person you’d be on the back of that little sacrament. I think evangelising your religion door to door is like a drunken alcoholic going around with a bottle of whisky urging people to drink from it, and thinking that they themselves are some kind of advertisement for this activity. Whenever I answer the door to Christians I find myself feeling involuntarily sorry for them, for the wretched pitiful state they’ve allowed themselves to be reduced to by this mind virus. I always feel like asking them why I would want anything to do with a religion that does this to people. I believe in certain things quite strongly, some things very strongly, but I wouldn’t dream of going around knocking on doors interrupting people’s dinner to tell them about it, especially if I knew they had probably heard it a thousand times before, because that strikes me as a good way to make enemies. Especially when they’ve got the nerve to pretend that they’ve come round to share some good news. “Have you heard the good news?” I thought nobody really said that, but they do. Obviously, as soon as I noticed the Bibles they were carrying I had a ballpark idea of what this good news was likely to be, and I wasn’t disappointed, or rather I was disappointed, because normally if somebody asks me if I’ve heard the good news my reaction is likely to be “Great, I love good news, but wait, let me guess what it is… Let’s see now, the Pope has been impeached – that would be good news. No? That is a shame, isn’t it? We live in hope. I know. President Ahmadinejad of Iran has come out publicly as gay and had himself stoned to death. Not that either? Oh dear, what a disappointment. Ah, I’ve got it. The Organisation of Islamic Conference has been officially declared a terrorist organisation. No? That one really does surprise me. Still, it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? OK, I give up. You might as well tell me. What’s the good news? Oh but wait, before you do, it’s not Jesus again, is it? Tell me, oh tell me it’s not Jesus again. It is? It’s Jesus again? You have disappointed me. I was so looking forward to some genuinely good news, but it’s just this stuff again. This fatuous puerile guilt-laden fantasy fairy tale story of Jesus, this insulting garbage again? That’s what you call good news? Are you sick? Well that’s a silly question. Of course you’re sick, and you should see a doctor.” That’s what I should have said. However, what I did say was: “I’ve been thinking about this issue for some time now, because you two are not the first people to knock on my door with a similar proposition, and based on the accumulated evidence that I’ve seen standing on this doorstep I have concluded that Christianity is simply too high a price to pay for eternal salvation, and therefore I have elected to forfeit my eternal soul and go directly to hell, so you can cross me off your list of potential sunbeams for Jesus in the happy knowledge that you will never ever have to knock on this door again. Isn’t that good news?” But answer came there none, because they were already halfway down the street, and for me that was very good news indeed, which I believe was the original point of the exercise, so everyone was a winner. Peace. Now that is something worth evangelising.