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The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
My 23rd birthday party was coming up soon, which would be another good excuse to invite Shelley around. I walked over to her house and rang the incredibly loud bell. Her mom answered the door.
‘Hi, is Shelley here?’ I asked.
‘She’s at her music lesson,’ her mom answered.
‘I wanted to invite her to my birthday party.’
‘We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses,’ she replied. ‘We don’t celebrate birthdays.’
‘Oh, ...’ I started, feeling a bit shocked and searching my head for something to say. Nothing came to mind, so for some reason I said, ‘Thank you.’
Shelley’s mom closed the door, and after standing there for a few seconds trying to take in what just happened, I strolled home, watching the ground. The problem was more than Shelley missing my birthday. The main problem was that our religions were completely incompatible. Well, according to the little I knew about the religion anyway. When I got home I found a book that my parents had on the Jehovah’s Witness religion and started reading. There was one thing that I particularly liked about the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine, and that was a disbelief in a place where people get tortured when they died. Of course the bible does mention such a place, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a publication called the Watchtower magazine, which seems to teach them the ‘proper’ interpretation of the bible, and they are discouraged from using their own brains to interpret it. The book also mentioned ‘They are taught to restrict their social contact with non-members to a minimum’, which made me feel even worse, however it went on to say ‘It is acceptable when it is an opportunity to preach’.
My only hope would be to try and convert her. That was, of course, assuming that her heart was in her religion, and she wasn’t just involved in it out of fear of the consequences of leaving. The consequences, according to the book, of those who ‘enter the world of Satan and become part of the Antichrist’, or in other words ‘quit the religion’, are that they are supposed to be shunned by other Witnesses, including close relatives, with no social contact and no greeting. Would she give up her family and friends for me? It was unlikely.
So, I spent that evening writing a precise, accurate and easy to understand explanation as to why my religion was correct, a little confusing perhaps, but still correct, and her’s was wrong. It was not that difficult. This information had been drummed into my brain every Sunday since I was a baby.
I didn’t see her for a few days. I was too shy, and had become a bit paranoid about bumping into her mom seeing as our last encounter had made me feel rather uncomfortable.
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