Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Digressions on a Pamphlet

It's not your fault, Will.
I came home today to find that someone -- I'm thinking a Christian of some stripe or other -- left a pamphlet at my front door. "JESUS TAKES AWAY the SIN of the WORLD" its cover proclaims beside an illustration either of Jesus himself, the bearded fellow to whom the phrase is being attributed, or Robin Williams's character from Good Will Hunting. It might be more fitting to call that the lower portion of a hair-helmet rather than a mere beard, but I digress.

It invites me to a gathering this Sunday that will explore how Jesus accomplishes this feat, and as if the cover weren't enough to entice me to drop all my Southie friends and join up with whatever they're offering, the inside of the pamphlet clarifies:
John the Baptizer stated that Jesus "takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) This drew attention to Jesus' role in saving obedient mankind.
"This drew attention to ...?" Who wrote this, first-year journalism students? It's also interesting to see that it's limiting Jesus's salvation powers to obedient people, which is surely a boon to those who wouldn't want to be saved by anyone who willingly saves disobedient ingrates. It does tend to overturn the cover's bold claim by suggesting that people are saved only when they follow orders, but if they follow orders in a manner that gets them saved, aren't they ipso facto without sin? If anyone is saving anyone, it sounds as though people are saving themselves. Or to put it another way about sin: "people call those imperfections, but no, that's the good stuff."

But I digress again; back to the pamphlet: the cover's helmet-headed gentleman is revealed to be either Jesus or John the Baptizer, which is good because I'm starting to run out of Good Will Hunting references, since I can't really think of a seamless way to mention how weird-looking Minnie Driver is or come up with a decent allusion to solving the whole thing on a chalkboard while I'm supposed to be emptying the garbage.

Sigh. The best part of my day is coming home, and, for about ten seconds, I think maybe no one has left any religious propaganda wedged in my doorway. (Cf.)

This blog post does not have a message, but if it had one, it might be to encourage you to see Good Will Hunting if you haven't already. It's a pretty good movie. Along with Matt Damon, Robin Williams, and Minnie Driver, it also features Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, and Stellan Starsgard, who is the real-life father of the guy who plays handsome vampire Eric on True Blood, a tee-vee series I can't justify watching and can't stop watching.


Sheldon said...

That there is a Jehovah's Witnesses pamphlet. How can I tell? The illustration style. It hasn't changed in years. And if it flusters you that this religious propaganda is in your doorway when you come home, take heart man, I had this shit crammed down my throat till I was sixteen and left home. I was the disobedient type.

Dale said...

Sheldon, you are correct! Ding! I'm glad you left that group. They're annoying.