Essays About


Despite their good manners, I dislike when Mormons knock at my door to sign me up for salvation. Whether the product is heaven or a vacuum cleaner, I am not much for salesmen. Can they know what's best for me, who do not know me? At least Mormons wear starched shirts and neckties to warn me I am the object of their calling. More cunning were the undercover missionaries I knew in college, who befriended people in order to convert them. Friendship and proselytizing are incompatible, for the latter requires molding others into your image, while the former requires leaving them as they are. Genuine friendship means respecting your friends enough to let them be damned.

Missionary work and genocide are founded upon a common premise. Only the conclusion from that premise differs. The syllogism of genocide: we are good, you are bad, therefore we will kill you. The syllogism of missionaries: we are good, you are bad, therefore we will convert you.

If, as missionaries believe, people must hear the true religion or be damned, it is poorly planned that God sets tribes in the middle of jungles where they will certainly never hear it, and then, as if scrambling to correct this oversight, commissions the chosen to search through the vines and provide them the code to heaven God forgot to. Missionaries are like God's software patch to fix a faulty program.