The Fight Between Science And Religion Will Cost You Deer-ly

, , , | Right | June 20, 2018

(I have a part-time job as a toll collector on a regional highway. One evening, I am working a shift in a remote section near a heavily-wooded area. A customer drives up to my booth and the following exchange ensues:)

Customer: *exclaiming* “Wow, a huge deer just ran out in front of me! I had to swerve to miss it! Scared me nearly to death!”

Me: “Yes, you have to be careful driving just about everywhere these days. In fact, I just read an article in Scientific American magazine saying that deer population in the US is up a huge percentage due to outdated conservation policies.”

Customer: “Well, thank God I didn’t hit the creature, because that would have been a disaster. And speaking of thanking God, could I interest you in information about salvation through Jesus?”

(He holds a pamphlet out the car window for me to take.)

Me: “Sir, I just quoted an article from Scientific American. Care to check your math?”

(The customer paused for a moment,  looking confused. Then the light did shine upon him, and he sheepishly withdrew the pamphlet, paid his toll, and went on his way. Better luck next time.)

Drop The Mic, And Only The Mic!

, , , , | Friendly | June 11, 2018

(My church runs parent-child dedications where the family of an infant goes up to the altar and the pastor holds the baby and prays for them. This particular child is handed to him in an odd way, and he drops the microphone. Now he can’t pick it up, because he is cradling the child in both arms. There is an awkward pause, and a kind woman in the congregation hollers:)

Congregant: “Better the mic than the baby!”

This Hotel Is For You And Me (But Mostly Me)

, , , , | Right | June 7, 2018

(I work in web design and development for an international hotel company. My actual location of employment is at one of the company’s administrative offices located in the midwestern US. My work assignments are given out to me by the IT department at our east coast headquarters. I’ve never actually worked directly at a hotel. When I go on vacation, I usually stay at our own hotels, since I get nice discount. I take care not to advertise my “corporate-level” employee status; other customers tend to assume that I outrank the hotel’s general managers, or that I have the authority to resolve whatever complaints they might have about their room or their service. I don’t; it’s outside of my particular job description. My particular employer is very frequently — and very incorrectly — associated with the Mormon Church. It’s true we were founded by a Mormon family, and up until about three years ago we were still led by a Mormon CEO, but that’s the extent of our connection. We’ve never been owned directly by the Mormons, and we don’t get our marching orders from Salt Lake City. We are taking a family vacation to another state. On checking in, I have a brief conversation with the front desk clerk about where I work, and what my role in the company is — the normal check that’s required to make sure I actually do qualify for the discount they’re giving me. Unknown to me, that check-in conversation is overheard by a customer reading a newspaper, who noted my appearance and apparently makes plans to track me down later and give me some advice about the company, or the hotel specifically — whatever it is in particular that is concerning him. Later that night he finds me eating dinner in the hotel restaurant, and approaches my table.)

Customer: “Hi. Did I hear correctly earlier that you work for [Company] Headquarters?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “I’ve got to let you know, sir, that I have a prob…”

(Then he notices my table, where I have a glass of beer right next to my plate. Mormons, I’m told, are not allowed to drink alcohol. This gentleman is a Mormon, and he is one of those who assumes I’m Mormon, too, since I work for HQ, and he thinks only “his people” would be allowed that high up in the company.)

Customer: *eyes go big* “Is that a beer you’re drinking? You’re violating the Words of Wisdom.”

(His voice continues to escalate in volume and anger level.)

Customer: “Your behavior is shameful! You’re a pox upon this company; you bring shame to the Prophet! What stake do you belong to? I’m going to make sure you lose your Temple Recommend, you… you…”

(He finally takes a breath and I clarify.)

Me: “Sir, I’m not a Mormon. I understand a lot of people believe we’re a Mormon company, but that’s not the case. I do work for our headquarters, but we have no religious requirement.”

Customer: “You liar!”

(The waitress comes up to try to intervene.)

Customer: *to the waitress* “You! Get the manager of this hotel! This man—” *shoving a finger into my chest* “—needs to be put into his place!”

(As it happens, the restaurant entrance is within line-of-sight to the front desk, and the General Manager had already been informed of an altercation in the restaurant. He walks in right next to us, introduces himself, and offers to take the conversation to a more private area. Judging by the GM’s darker complexion, accented English, and Arabic name on his nametag, he is apparently not Mormon, either.)

Customer: “You’re a Muslim! This is supposed to be a Mormon company! Mormon, you get it? You’ve all been taken over by the heathens! I’m never staying here again!”

(And with that, the angry Mormon stormed off to the elevator, presumably to pack up his stuff and go to another hotel that met his standards better.)

From A Holy Book To A Workbook

, , , , , , | Learning | May 29, 2018

(It’s Ramadan — the Muslim holy month which is observed by strict fasting — and while I’m not Muslim, I teach in an area with a lot of first- and second-generation immigrants. I get a wide variety of races and religions through my classroom. My class is completing a “music reading for beginners” worksheet, where they write the letter names of notes on a line underneath the note and these letters form words which fill in the blanks of a story. We are about ten minutes into the worksheet when I hear a chorus of groaning and protesting from four boys sitting along one side of the classroom.)

Me: “Hey, what’s wrong over there? Why the groans?”

Boys: “This worksheet is all about food!”

(The story on the worksheet is indeed about a girl going out to a cafe with her dad and eating lunch.)

Me: “Yeah, it’s got food in it. Why?”

Boys: “WE’RE FASTING.”

Me: “You’re… Oh, yeah! It’s Ramadan, isn’t it?”

Boys: “We’re sooooooo hungry… This is torture! You’re torturing us, Miss!”

(They make a huge show of fainting from their chairs, and one of them starts chewing on a scrunched up ball of aluminium foil he found in his bag.)

Me: “Haha, okay, boys. If that page is too torturous, how about you turn to page two and do those questions? They have nothing to do with food.”

Boy #1: “Aww, dude, there’s more than one page!”

Boy #2: “What? Oh, fine, we’ll just finish the page we were working on.”

(If you’re going to use Ramadan to get out of school work, at least do it in sports class where fainting is a legitimate issue!)

The Angel Of Death (Metal)

, , , , , | | Friendly | May 27, 2018

(I’m a huge fan of rock and metal music, so I have brought my kids up with it, although I like pretty much anything. My four-year-old and I are in the dentist waiting room waiting to be seen, and my son is listening to some metal, not very loud as not to disturb anyone else.)

Woman: “You should be ashamed of yourself! Making your kid listen to that heathen spawn!”

Me: “I’m sorry? What’s wrong with it? More to the point, what’s it to you what music my kids listen to?”

Woman: “It’s not Christian! They worship the devil!”

Me: “Not Christian? Your religion doesn’t restrict you in what music style you can or cannot listen to. I have many friends who are both Christian and metal fans.”

Woman: “They are not Christian! They are heathens sent by the devil!”

Me: “Does the bible not say Jesus forgives our sins and loves us no matter what?”

Woman: “Well, yes, but…”

Me: “And does it not say judge lest thee be judged?”

Woman: “But…”

Me: “I’m not religious, and with your judging me, I’m more of a Christian then you are. So, if any of us are going to Hell, it certainly won’t be me. Now, [Son], what do we do to people who judge us purely by our choice of music?”

Son: *whilst doing some devil horns with his free hand* “ROCK ON, LADY!”

(After that, she just sat there giving me the evil eye until we got called in.)

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