Monday, April 23, 2007

Religious door-knockers

First read the story of how, in early 2001, the French government had warned the CIA and the American government that Al Qaeda had given the go ahead to hijack planes in the U.S.

You'll notice this quote: “You have to remember that up until 2001, hijacking an airplane did not have the same meaning as after Sept. 11. At the time, that meant forcing an airplane to land in an airport to carry out negotiations. We were used to handling that.”

Patently untrue, of course, and the French knew this because Algerian terrorists had tried to do exactly the same thing to the Eiffel Tower in 1994 as was done to the WTCs in 2001.

On a completely different topic, connected in no way with September 11, I had a pair of religious fundamentalists knocking at my door Saturday trying to convert me to their religion. How far away from the city do you have to move before these people will leave you alone?

"Aren't you worried about the cruelty and misery in the world?", one of the two well dressed women asked me by way of introduction.

This was a tough one for me, because the first response that pops to mind is: "Yes, and it's generally people trying to push their religion on each other that causes most of the misery... or at least provides really good excuses and motivation so the wealthy and powerful can manipulate the poor in to killing each other."

Believe me you, I thought long and hard, but finally said, with utmost courtesy and the idea in mind that we nonbelievers probably need to improve our reputation, "We're all atheists here, so we're really not interested, thank you."

"Can I leave you with a few pamphlets?" she asked, extending her unwelcome presence as I tried to close the door.

As entertaining as those might have been, I wanted to make sure to crush all aspirations and hope of conversion and said simply, "No, thank you."

"Oh, what a cute boy!" she remarked.

With a sigh at this further extension of the intrusion in to my Saturday morning, I turned to see my 16 month old son standing behind me, examining these guests.

He put it to them as simply as I should have put it to them. With a madly flapping hand, he called out, "Bye bye, bye bye."

And I closed the door.

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