Whenever my liberal friends can’t come up with the facts to back up their argument, they always accuse the right of “cherry-picking”.
Usually this accusation comes in relation to religious issues; they can’t accept Christianity standing firm on the homosexuality issue while no longer stoning fornicators (and don’t want to sit still to learn about mosaic law and the changes wrought by Christ’s fulfillment of the law).
In a way it is fitting, then, that the blog I read today is about religion and points out the left’s cherry-picking at the same time.
The article focuses on a recent issue of the Jehovah’s Witnesses publication, “Awake!” and it’s discussion of modern proselytizing Atheism. One of the first statements the blog writer makes is
“That’s right. The door-knockin’, rabidly proselytizing cult is rebuking atheists for not keeping their views to themselves.”
Most people, including some weekend Christians, probably think such a statement is funny. After all, JWs are the butt of jokes across the spectrum because they, like LDS missionaries, are more visible in western culture than the missionaries of other protestant religions. We’ve all had our doors knocked on by at least one of those groups.
If we look at that single statement, the summary of the posting by this individual, it quickly becomes clear that it, like most statements from progressives, resonates like a catch phrase but makes a comparison that is unbalanced and inaccurate.
The Atheists the JW’s are talking about are the atheists which post mocking billboards, bus advertisements and television spots out in the public to ridicule organized religion and question the reality of our Creator. These Atheists fling lawsuits at persons who practice religion, they tear holiday tradition from public places, and systematically seek to erase the face of religion from the earth, in the same way the Taliban defaced the Buddhas.
In contrast, the JWs dress in modest clothing, their hair combed, their little tracts in hand, and knock on your door. They ask if you would like to hear a message. You tell them no. They go away and never return. Their 144,000 is leaving and you declined a spot.
I’m not a JW. I don’t even believe some of their stuff. As an ignorant liberal artist i mocked them just like the next guy. I collected their tracts and snickered and giggled with my friends. Once I even answered a door in drag and reeking of alcohol just to freak them out.
I grew up, though. I understand their earnestness. I respect their politeness. They are not pushy. They don’t stick their foot in your door. They don’t lunge at you from behind every bush. They just go away and probably say a little prayer that one day you’ll see things like they do.
To equate those litigious, bible-burning, hairdryer baptizing, billboard buying, name-calling and violent smart-a**es with a religion who offers their view and politely walks away when you don’t want it is nothing short of ignorant and ridiculous.
I read the issue of “Awake!” myself. I was surprised that my liberal friends had claimed it “bored them” and was not well written. I found neither to be the case. the article’s claim that the new atheists are ‘angry” and “militant” came from quotations by leading atheists describing the movement. The JW article was surprisingly tame and objective – something I wouldn’t have expected in any religious magazine.