So this afternoon my roommate and I decided to go grab some dinner from the local Chipotle and, as we live only a short distance from the franchise, we decided it was a good idea to walk. Little did I know that the J-dubs district convention here in Sacramento was just getting out (the auditorium is literally smack in the middle of downtown and its attendees have to park in garages scattered a couple blocks away in every direction) so men in cheap suits and women in unflattering dress' were walking all over the place as though someone had antagonized their ungodly ant hill. And, for Sacramento, this of course is the complete opposite of the normative - that is to say, our streets are usually filled with well dressed, immaculately groomed, 'I know exactly where I'm going' government officials that monopolize the state capitol M-F.
However, the greatest difference between the JWs and the locals was that the JWs looked absolutely miserable. I mean genuinely beat down and completely drained of all life. I felt really sorry for them (I know what three days of mental atrophy can do to a person's mind) and I thought that perhaps I was just reading too much into their sullen faces - and hunched postures - and slow, mindless, collective shuffling. However, it was then that my roommate piped up and asked me, "Are those Jehovah's Witnesses?"
I said yes and he said, "Oh my God, they look so miserable!"
I explained to him the effects that a weekend of nonstop - eye bleeding - thought stifling indoctrination with an extra helping of al-a-boredom can have on these poor people. And also how the JWs have a kindergarten grade theology compared to most Christian denominations so that, beyond "go out in service, don't miss meetings, and read everything the borg gives you (and nothing else)", there really isn't anything new under the sun for these people to learn.
Also, by a stroke of luck, I happened to be wearing my shirt with a quote from Christopher Hitchens, "That which can be asserted without evidence - can be dismissed without evidence."
I caught a number of the JWs reading it with bemused faces. One younger guy must have spent almost a full two minutes silently lipping the words to himself as though it were a completely foreign idea to him. Who knows, maybe it'll get him to think about things in a new light. That just because you can make up an answer to a question it doesn't mean that IS the answer to the question. That just because you can make up an elaborate excuse for why some Bible passages may not contradict itself it doesn't mean that it's not in fact a contradiction.
Anyway between my shirt, my burrito anticipating happy face, and the directions I gave to a lost sister who was on K Street and couldn't find L Street (seriously, do you not know how the alphabet works?), I hope some of them realize that not all "worldly people" are bad people. And that happiness is not unique to - if not altogether uncommon - among Jehovah's Witnesses.