Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jesus Freaks Tell Me I am Going to Hell

As I was walking down 6th Avenue today to the 7 train to go home, I was accosted by an older couple declaring their love for Jesus in a very twisted manner. They were standing outside of News Corp's building (not that surprising) with a sign that read something like "Only a true heretic follows the Pope" or something of that nature. It certainly had the word "heretic" and "Pope" and something about following the Vatican. When I saw the older woman - who looked like something out of an FLDS clothing catalog - I laughed to myself and kind of shook my head, as I do whenever I view unbelievable or outrageous things. As I walked by her husband, who was handing out flyers, he told me, "You're going to hell, with the Jews." At this point I began to chuckle a bit, because the statement was so outlandish, chastising me as a single person, along with an entire religion, as I walk down 6th Avenue on my way home from work.

All of this got me thinking, however. If these peoples' God saw them doing this, what would he say to himself? Personally, I think that he would wonder if they were really spending their time as wisely as they could. Before we get more into it, however, I am taking some liberties with what I assume that these people believe. To begin with, I am assuming that they are extremist Christians. I do not know their denomination nor do I really care. I am assuming that they take Jesus Christ as their savior, and that they believe that all of those who do not will spend an eternity in hell (thus the comment about the Jews). Finally, I am also assuming that they are literarist readers of the Bible. These are three assumptions that I am making of these street corner religious fanatics.

So, considering that Jesus seems like he was a man who, more or less, was a champion of the poor and ill (and for the most part the oft-forgotten or unfortunate faction of society) I would think that they could better spend their time volunteering somewhere like a homeless shelter or a medical clinic. Instead, they feel that their time is best spent outside of Rupert Murdoch's "media" empire, judging everyone who comes by and declaring that they are destined for eternal damnation.

On top of all of this, if they were such strict followers of Jesus and the word, then they would realize that what they are doing is wrong (at least according to the Bible). Does not Matthew 7:1-2 say, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Unless their lives are 100% perfect (which, by the very definition of original sin they cannot be), they should not be judging. Additionally, Luke 6:36-37 states, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." So, by judging and condemning me (and I do not know how many others) they open themselves up to judgement and condemnation, except their judgement and condemnation will come from the same Lord they purport to be promoting.

Again, this is America and these folks have every right to voice their opinion of the way that they think I live my life. I also, under the same amendment that people like this get to yell at strangers, have the same right to portray how I feel about it. What is even more infuriating than their in your face, pushing pamphlets all up on you style (it's bad enough when it's barber shop ads or local massage parlors), is the fact that logic simply escapes these people. Going back to Jefferson's idea of an "informed electorate;" these people simply do not embody that philosophy. Peace.

Photos - The scene of the crime (on the left under the scaffolding) (amblass' flickr), One man dancing with your run-of-the-mill Jesus freaks (danny.hammontree's flickr)


  1. I know this is an old story but I ran into these very same people today in Morristown, NJ. Based on your description it's definitely them. They were handing out flyers...I politely declined and as I was passing them the guy said, "you're going to hell with the Jews". I was absolutely furious...I can only hope that they say this to the wrong person someday and get a little dose of karmic retribution.

  2. "Unless a man is born again he will by no means enter the kingdom of God" - John 3

    That is crystal clear!