There were never such devoted sisters

It's been a while since I've listened to church dogma.  Almost two years.  Yes, I've had a few family members email me things like "We're praying for you" and stuff like that, but nothing really all that intense.  Nothing like a Sunday School lesson.

The sister missionaries in my ward have been coming over lately.  They dropped by around the time Conrad had his name removed from the church's records and have come over multiple times since we had a (female) roommate move in with us.

The last time they came, which was a few days ago, and today when they came, I couldn't help but realize how much my attitude toward religious teachings has changed.  At this point in time, it seems no more to me than utter and complete nonsense.  And it leaves me baffled.  I look at these two women, and they are intelligent and respectable women.  They are clearly sane and are well-adjusted to society. And yet the things that come out of their mouths are so utterly ridiculous.

One example was something that they said the other day when they came was that thing about how God answers prayers in many different ways.  That sometimes he says yes, sometimes he says no, and sometimes he just makes you wait.  How is this an indication that god answers prayers?  This is no different from the placebo effect.  If you are sick and you take a placebo, rather than the actual medicine, sometimes you will get better, sometimes you will stay the same, and sometimes you will get worse.  That's just the way it goes.  And taking the pill itself has absolutely zero effect on the outcome.  To me, this is completely obvious.  It is glaringly obvious.  How can anyone actually believe that a priesthood blessing of healing actually has an effect on the person being blessed?  It is no more effective than taking a sugar pill.

As I was listening to the sisters today, I didn't really hear the message they were sharing.  I just heard "we believe in fairy tales".  It just eludes me how they can devote a year and a half of their life to something so childish and nonsensical.  And that they can sit down and seriously relate these ideas and stories to someone and expect them to be taken earnestly.  I simply don't understand.

If I were to go door to door and tell people of the good news of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the only people who would listen to me are those who have been diagnosed as mentally insane.  I would not be able to get a sane person to buy into such a silly tale.  And yet every day sane and mentally stable people relate such silly tales to each other, and take them seriously.  They talk of how muttering some words under their breath helped them locate their car keys, or how putting a drop of oil on someone's head healed their broken femur.  To me, there is no difference between these kinds of stories and the claim that the FSM gave me a free bowl of ramen every day of my freshman year of college when I would praise his saucy meatballs.

That's really how I see Christianity now.  It's weird to see so many grown people take it seriously.  It's weird to see some universities require belief in god in order to apply for employment.  I can't wrap my mind around how an institution of higher education wants only people who believe in such ridiculous nonsense to educate its students.  That makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

The sisters have said that they will be returning next Wednesday.  I am always kind and welcoming of people who visit my home.  I am also honest, and I will not hesitate to share my feelings with them as often as they are asked for.  They have given me no reason to be unkind to them, nor do I expect them to.  So I will be gracious, as I am toward all people.  And part of that graciousness is informing them of my true thoughts and feelings, which I have done and will continue to do.