Missionary Position

18646199-john-allen-chau

On November 17, 2018, John Allen Chau, the genius whose mug adorns this post, was killed by the indigenous inhabitants of North Sentinel in the Andaman Islands off the coast of India. His demise was caused by a combination of puncture wounds inflicted by bow and arrow and his own abysmal stupidity.

Mr. Chau was a Christian missionary working under the auspices of All Nations in Kansas City, MO, an evangelical missionary group whose statement of purpose reads: “All Nations aspires to see disciple making movements in every people group of the world so that Jesus may be worshipped by every tongue, tribe and nation”.

I wonder if the surviving members of All Nations understand how invasive and annoying a “people group” they constitute.

Before arriving at a point loftier than fish-in-a-barrel mockery, I hope you’ll indulge a bit more of that in the form of a few pointed facts I gathered from articles about the murder act of self-defense that took Mr. Chau’s life. As is the case with most “humble” servants of Christ, Mr. Chau seemed to have a confoundingly high opinion of himself. A journal entry logged shortly before he reached the island declared that “Jesus bestowed me with the strength to go to the most forbidden places on Earth.” You see, Mr. Chau had convinced himself that an eccentric Jew from Nazareth who may or may not have actually lived over 2,000 years ago was somehow able to shield his bumbling disciple from harm while spreading “His” message to people who are, at best, profoundly disinterested in hearing such foreign-tongued nonsense. Immediately upon reaching the island, our intrepid buffoon found himself face to face with weapon-wielding tribesmen. Like most people under the influence of such acute Jesus intoxication, he greeted them by bellowing, “MY NAME IS JOHN! I LOVE YOU AND JESUS LOVES YOU!” I have to assume that his view changed abruptly just before he met his fitting end at the hands of these unassuming natives. Finally understanding the inevitable results of his own folly yet still refusing to cop to it, his final journal entry contained the following course-correction: “Lord, is this island Satan’s last stronghold where none have heard or even had the chance to hear your name?” The fatal arrow shot served as a perfect answer to this ridiculous theological-rhetorical query. (“YES,” said god).

Mr. Chau’s family has since released a statement declaring that they “forgive” the tribesmen, something that I’m sure elicited a resounding sigh of relief from all 50 members of this isolated band of people who are perhaps the last on Earth that understand the importance of minding their own fucking business.

A dissection of the specific dogmatic beliefs of psychotically enthusiastic Christian missionaries could fill a library, so in the interest of brevity, I’d just like to expose the real self-conscious motivation behind the act of uninvited proselytizing. Of course, those prone to such viewpoint assaults aren’t confined to the realm of deistic religion. Anything will do, really. Those who expend such futile effort in the attempt to convert others to their point of view are almost always looking for two things: 1) Validation of said views to bolster one’s own confidence in the specific religion, political movement, etc.; and 2) praise from like-minded others. Regardless of the content of the proselytizer’s speech, God or communism or veganism or Buddhism or Antidisestablishmentarianism have nothing to do with the decision to bloviate so shamelessly. A desire to be recognized, vindicated and praised is the sole cause of such audacious verbal coercion.

A truly humble individual does not proselytize. Attempting to enforce one’s own paradigm onto a group of people who are perfectly happy with their own is an act of emotional violence. On the rare occasion that I meet a self-professed Christian who actually seems to embody the ideals of humility, compassion and charity, I have to check my own broad-brush judgment of people I do not know. This is a healthy thing to do and I encourage everyone to turn their focus inward and root out this latent hypocrisy that we all harbor to varying degrees. But only if you want to, of course.

It bothers me that there are still people out there who do not understand the existential danger posed by the moronic authoritarian in the White House. It also bothers me that there are still people out there who honestly believe that one’s complexion says anything at all about one’s worth. And yes, it bothers the living shit out of me that, according to a recent poll, over 65% of Americans indicated that they believe in “the devil”. But all of that botheration is on me, not the Trumpies or the bigots or the bogeyman battlers. It’s a pretty safe bet that if I truly embraced the radical live and let live viewpoint that I espouse, I’d have precious little about which to ponitificate on this page. But that would be a very small price to pay and it might even make me a welcome visitor should I ever find myself washed ashore on a remote island inhabited by people who have had no contact with the modern world.

There’s a case to be made for devout agnosticism.  It’s a shame I couldn’t share it with John Allen Chau.

4 thoughts on “Missionary Position

  1. MY NAME IS TOM! I HAVE BEEN SENT TO SAVE YOU!

    I mean, if you’re not already too busy or comfortable with your own life. And, really, it’s only if I find the time later, anyway. I’ve got other stuff going on right now. We’ll chat.*

    I hate to say it, Paul, because it might mean I’m slightly evil, but my co-worker and I bust out laughing when we jointly learned the fate of John Chau. That’s wrong, I know, but dammit, the arrogance of humanity, when challenged by reality, can be downright hilarious at times. And this particular religious savior got smacked by reality, hard.

    Thoughts and prayers with the family.

    *But we’ll have to do it here, my site crashed. And I don’t have the patience to sit on the phone with tech support so unless God brings it back up through divine intervention we’ll leave the Word of Tom down for a while. My arrogance tells me you cannot go on without it, by my arrogance is almost certainly and universally wrong. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So well said, but of course I expected that from my favorite blogger. 🙂 It is concerning, isn’t it, that the rest of the world probably sees the USA as a nation of people who embrace and prepare for events like “the Rapture” while in the same breath claim that climate change and “finite resources” are a hoax/myth. Let’s withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement and let everyone else clean up after us (so our grandchildren can have an Earth.) But yeah, we should probably keep one eye open for those flying horses in the sky. (Sigh……)

    Liked by 1 person

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