Cognitive Dissonance

One afternoon of graduate school I was sitting outside the student union taking in the sunshine. I’m sure I had a stack of books. I do remember I was waiting on a friend. Two younger students, clearly freshman, approached and asked if they could ask me some questions – they were doing a survey. I said sure. It’s very common for psych classes to send out their students to do informal polling for papers, etc.

They ask about life goals – did I have any?

Sure, I am *in* grad school after all. I ask which class they’re polling for.

They deflect.

They ask if I feel like I am able to achieve my goals.

Sure, I keep coming back. I ask which class they’re polling for.

They answer: not a class.

They ask another question.

I ask what they’re doing.

They were recruiting for a Christian organization on campus. Okay. I wish they had been upfront about that to begin with – would have made the conversation more fun from the start. Once we were all aware of everyone’s agenda things got interesting.

Them: how can you achieve your life’s goals without Jesus in your life?

Me: Why do I need Jesus? I can have faith and religion without Jesus.

Them: Huh?

Me: Not everyone needs to go through Jesus to get to God.

Them: Yes you do, if you do not accept Jesus … you go to hell.

Me: Really? All the God fearing Jews that died during the Holocaust went to hell?

Them: No. They accepted Jesus.

Me: Huh?

Me: Uhm.

Me: What?

Then there was a part where I gently explained that not knowing anything about the competition before trying to sell their product was a fail (I was, after all, in business school).

They stood their ground. (Was I now a challenge?)

Me: so, a man who rapes his wife and beats his children can have salvation if, on his death bed, he asks Jesus for forgiveness?

Them: Yes.

Me: And a man that cares for his family and his community and never harms a fly but hasn’t accepted Jesus as his personal savior goes to hell?

Them: Yes.

Me: And you’re okay with that?

The girl cried some more. They slowly walked away. I watched where they went, wanting to see who the would target next. Instead they just left. Maybe they went to the library to read about comparative religion. Heh.

The hypocrisy of main stream religion is baffling to me. I cannot wrap my brain around it. I do not understand how people who claim to be Christians think they have the right to condemn other people. My brain cannot process how Pat Robertson has followers. He says that the Haitians made a pact with the devil. Does he think that because they practice Voodoo? Anything that’s not his brand of Christianity is devil-worship? How do all those people with strong faith, with belief in the golden rule, with a love for their neighbor regardless of their views let this man represent him? Where did all those people wearing the WWJD bracelets go? Do they honestly believe that Jesus would look the other way and let people suffer? If their god is a benevolent one, he would not. And if their god is malicious, how can they have faith in him?

5 smart people left their mark:

  1. pamela, 18. January 2010, 19:24

    I think Pat Robertson actually works for the devil. Swear to God.
    pamela´s last blog ..did you ever… My ComLuv Profile

  2. Lynn, 19. January 2010, 12:33

    Great article.

  3. Beth Partin, 19. January 2010, 23:17

    I am going to remember some of those points you made. Very good comebacks?
    Beth Partin´s last blog ..Denver Shops: Savory Spice Shop in South Platte My ComLuv Profile

  4. Laura Urynowicz, 20. January 2010, 10:38

    Can I get an ‘Amen’?

  5. Tammy, 21. January 2010, 14:57

    I love the use of the word hideous to describe PR, so many times. I should go back and count them.