I had to travel to another newspaper owned by the company I work for to learn some of their software today. It's an open office with everyone in one room, and we had a lot of interesting conversations on all sorts of subjects.
At one point a reporter made a comment about a photo he was running, and noted that the woman had made comments that it was only with the help of the lord that she had been able to move her Radio Shack store to its new location. One of the other reporters said that it was good that Jesus had died on the cross 2000 years ago so that he could be available to help her out. I noted that that must be why 60 people were tortured and slaughtered in Baghdad last night, because God was too busy making sure Radio Shack got a great new location.
Then I noted that I'd been really religious at one time, but was now an atheist.
"Wow, from a believer to an atheist," one of the reporters said. "Didn't you consider agnostic?"
"Yeah. I stopped at agnostic for about three days, then zoomed right to atheist," I told him, and everyone was laughing. "Actually, I was a minister. I was a Jehovah's Witness for about 30 years."
Well, it was a room full of reporters, that caught their attention, and they began throwing questions at me right and left. It was really fun unlike actual JW witnessing, completely devoid of embarrassment. We talked about disfellowshipping and shunning, what Witnesses are known for (not celebrating holidays, birthdays, etc) and their experiences with JWs they knew.
Then the office manager says that her kids have JW friends, and those kids come over to her house and celebrate their birthdays. "I didn't do anything like that when they were little," she said, "but now they are teenagers and they said they'd like to celebrate their birthdays, so I told them they could come over to my house and do it, and they do." I thought that was pretty cool.
It also gave me the perfect opportunity to tell one of my favorite explanations of JW-think. I tell them that the Witnesses don't celebrate birthdays because the only two b'days mentioned in the Bible were occasions when someone was killed. "Now the Witnesses feel that that means God is telling us it's wrong to celebrate birthdays," I said, "but I think God is just trying to tell us, hey, don't kill anyone on your birthday!"
Why is anti-witnessing so much more fun than JW-witnessing? Oh yeah, because it makes sense, and it can be very funny as well!