Friday, May 29, 2009

A Word On Proselytizing

I'm a big fan of Penn Jillette, and this video of his, really got me thinking. I have mixed feelings about proselytizing, on the one hand, he's right. If I knew without a doubt that a truck was barreling toward someone I loved, I'd do everything I could, to get them out of the way in time. I honestly believe that every religious person is wasting away the one life they will ever have, how can I, in good conscience just look the other way? Besides, Chabad and others can sell their wares, and try to be Mekarev people, why can't I do the same..?

On the other hand, who am I to involve myself in other peoples business, or to make conclusions about how they should live their life...

I grappled with this when I was first starting to question everything I'd been raised to believe, when I tried to broach the subject with my wife, it didn't go over too well. She was satisfied with what we were raised, and didn't want to question it. So we agreed to disagree, I didn't discuss my thoughts with her, and she didn't pressure me about hers. I didn't want to force her into anything, lest one day she wake up and blame me for losing her family and friends, among all the other problems that come along with doing what I did.

Luckily though, over time my heresy - inadvertently - started to sink in, and before long she was right along side of me.

For years I used to picture my ultimate fantasy: sitting with my family in Pizza Hut, just like a regular American family, why Pizza Hut of all places? I have no idea, that's just the way it was. One day, purely as a joke I suggested we go out to Pizza Hut, I was shocked when my wife said "sure"! As we sat there in Pizza Hut I had tears in my eyes, here we where, a regular American family.

I still don't have a solid opinion on "spreading the word", but I'm leaning towards Penn's way of thinking.


kisarita said...

Wasting their life?
If they had something so great they could be doing (and sitting in pizza hut doesn't really cut it for most folk) instead but their beliefs are holding htem back, then i might see your point, but if they're living a nice happy life? why do you think you are helping them?

Feivel ben Mishael said...

I feel bad for you.