Mormon survival kit
Not much I particularly want to talk about from this week. One of the more entertaining things occurred on Monday night. Monday was a cold, wet, miserable evening. The doorbell rang and, if you've read the entry heading, you've probably already guessed, there were two Mormons. It was a cold night, so I invited them in. I took pity on them. I refrained from drinking beer or coffee in front of them.
We spent an hour discussing religion. It entertained me, and hopefully educated them. As fundamentalist Christians of any persuasion do, they quoted Isiah at me (which can be translated in a variety of ways; one such way is as a proof text for the coming of Brian). I pulled out my copy of the Tanach. Bearing in mind that it is in Hebrew, I was at a distinct advantage when talking about it!
I must say, as much as I disagree with their evangelism and I have serious theological disagreements, I've never yet met a Mormon who wasn't remarkably polite and courteous as an individual. It was one of those rare times where everyone won though. I was entertained, the Mormons got to spend an hour out of the cold and an hour's worth of people weren't disturbed by people on missionary work.
So here are my tips if you find yourself confronted by a pair of Mormons:
1) Invite them in. Remember, like vampires, they can't cross the threshold unless they are invited. Unlike vampires, they need to be invited each time they can come in.
2) Offer them a drink. They will refuse. Like vampires, they will never be seen drinking anything other than blood. Unlike vampires, they won't drink blood, either.
3) Don't attack them physically. I know this should be obvious, but it might need restating. Remember, like vampires, they can be killed by stabbing them through the heart with a wooden stake. Unlike vampires, they can be killed in a host of other ways, but don't do it anwyay.
4) Pick a set of consistent beliefs. They won't pick holes in them anyway, so you don't need to worry about it being too consistent. They will ask you what you believe. It doesn't really matter - you won't convert them, but at least it enables you to control the conversation. Remember, like vampires, there will be no reflection from them. Unlike vampires, they will cast a shadow.
5) Have texts from whatever belief system you are going to claim to have in languages other than English. Preferably the original. Like vampires, they won't be able to read the texts, so you can make any point you like. Unlike vampires, they won't recoil at the sight of any particular religious symbol.
6)Listen politely to what they have to say, but don't take it too seriously. Remember, like vampires, they will try to convert you to their way of life using their mouth. Unlike vampires, they will use words coming out, rather than trying to bite your throat with their fangs (I have never yet noticed Mormons with fangs). And you can always say no.
7)Get them to acknowledge free will, then, some time later, ask how an all-knowing God could allow people like Hitler, Stalin or Minogue to inflict such misery on the world. Like vampires, they will struggle to find a logical, consistent answer. Unlike vampires, they will try and will say something along the lines of "an all-knowing God wept". This can be followed by you asking what good God's tears are if God could have stopped it but didn't.
8) After about an hour, the one who hasn't done most of the talking will decide they aren't getting anywhere and will tell you they have an appointment and have to go. Remember, like vampires, they fear the dawn; are irrevocably altered by it. Unlike vampires, this is more a metaphorical dawning of knowledge than a literal dawn where sunlight kills them. I have seen Mormons out in the daylight. I have never seen vampires out in the daylight.
Or you could just say, "sorry, I'm busy right now."
And remember, even though Mormons may share several similar characteristics with vampires (as demonstrated above), there are several differences and they pose no threat as long as you are careful. Even if you aren't, they won't drink your blood or physically harm you. There are also several easy ways to tell Mormons and vampires apart such as: Ask if they are Mormons. Vampires might deny being vampires, but vampires will certainly not admit to being Mormons.
Look for fangs or dripping blood. While both Mormons and vampires will have deathly pale skin, Mormons will have no signs that they could suck or have sucked blood from someone's throat.
Whatever you do, don't try killing them with plastic or metal stakes through the heart. If they are Mormons, you will kill them but probably face murder charges. If they are vampires, you will only make them mad. Not a good idea.
I'm not sure what you should do if you meet a Mormon vampire though.
Speaking of blood-suckers (the vampires, not the Mormons), voting opens in a few hours for those doing it in person. A brief look through the TV guides shows: ABC - election coverage; Channel 7 - election coverage; Channel 9 - election coverage; Channel 10 -
election coverage the empire strikes back. I guess they've called it already!
"There's Klingons on the starboard bow"
"What's verse - it's the end of paternity leave"
"Mark - the first week"
"Mark - part 2"
"Mark Gerald Allen Lubansky - the birth"
My favourite procrastinations
Guido's musings about soccer, politics etc in Australia
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.
The comprehensive history project