Saturday, October 24, 2009

Adventures in missing the point

C and I were at the mall yesterday and picked up a new mixer (after the one we got for our wedding finally bit the dust, 24 years later.) When we got it home and opened it, we found a Christian tract inserted into the packaging.

So, first, we learned that there are people who think it is an effective use of their time to go around poking these tracts into boxes of appliances at major department stores. I assume these are the same people who give out tracts in lieu of candy on Halloween or leave them on the table at restaurants in place of a tip.

Second, upon examining the tract itself, we learned that 1) evolution isn't true and that 2) if we can just be persuaded that evolution is a false, liberal lie, we will immediately want to give our hearts to Jesus. Seriously. 11 of the pages of the little booklet were about evolution. The last page offered a prayer one can pray to become a Christian.

So, here's what gets me: I know the kind of person who thinks that Christian tracts can change people's lives. They tend to be very sincere people who really want other people to have eternal life. Do they really believe that disproving evolution is the path to spiritual transformation? Really? If you're going to spend a little money and who knows how much time to spread the message of the Christian faith via little booklets left anonymously in the home appliance department, why would you not use literature that was actually about Jesus? Maybe something about forgiveness and grace or the remarkable life of the Son of God? I can even understand something scary about hell and eternal damnation and ways to avoid it, if that's your thing. But evolution? Seriously?

It reminds me a lot of when I was working in a nursing home and realized that many of the residents were looking confused about the religious tract they had been handed by a visiting preacher. I asked one lady to show me her booklet and found that it was entitled "The Sin of Licentiousness." I laughed out loud and then offered to dispose of it for her. She told me that the print was too small anyway and she couldn't read it. I assured her that she wasn't missing anything.

Anyway, we trashed the tract and are enjoying the mixer.

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