Today I was stopped for a chat by a stranger as I walked down the street, my ukulele slung across my chest …. This happens often; the ukulele is an incredibly approachable instrument. It’s like seeing any animal in its infant form; it’s innately adorable and people want to come up closer to admire it 🙂
This fellow, however, turned out to be a Jehovah’s Witness; and after a few moments talking about busking and music related stuff; he proffered his Watchtower material and asked me if I was a person of faith, and we ended up in a more than 15 minute conversation on the nature of religion; the Bible; spirituality, and the concept of a faith-community.
I’m pretty sure that some of my answers surprised him.
No – I don’t feel that we are doing worse than at any time in history – to me that’s an awfully microcosmic view. Just in the last 60 years we’ve made amazing strives in human rights; and an even longer view proves that we are moving (albeit slowly) towards a more inclusive and accepting society; often in the face of religious opposition.
No – I don’t think that the concept of a man dying for my sins is a good thing. To me it’s morally repugnant to think that human sacrifice (even a voluntary one) could absolve me of the responsibility or consequences of my actions. Also, I find the concept of sin morally repugnant, but that’s a completely different conversation.
Yes, I think it’s wonderful to spend time with a group of people who think in similar ways and believe in similar things. It’s one of the things I love most about being a musician; the community. I just worry about it when a lot of rules get involved for what you can or can’t do, think, say, etc … which seems to be the hallmark of most religious groups.
I think he knows he didn’t change my mind … and I hope he knows I wasn’t trying to change his. He was really very nice; not at all pushy or full of fire-and-brimstone. I genuinely hope for good things for him; and that he gets the sense of community and strength that he feels he receives from his faith community… I’d just rather not drink the kool-aid.