Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Doorstep Cross-Examination

I've been told by a certain household member that having a discussion with me is like being cross-examined on the witness stand. While I don't entirely agree, I have been known to take a rather direct approach to piercing bafflegab.

One of the most baffling varieties is literal adherence to the words of a religious text, whether it's the Bible or the Buddhist canon.

Although I usually just bite my tongue, nod and smile pleasantly (assuming I've been trapped and didn't have a chance to escape first), occasionally a demon possesses me to jump in with both feet.

This was one of those times.

Two or three members of a religious group showed up at my door and wondered if they could invite themselves inside to tell me something important. I had a bit of time to spare, but not that much, so I engaged them on the doorstep. I'm afraid what followed was essentially a cross-examination.

Q:    You folks believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, don't you?
A:    Yes.
Q:    Every word in the Bible is true, right?
A:    Yes.
Q:    So in the beginning, Adam and Eve were the only people on the earth, weren't they?
A:    Yes.
Q:    Then they had two sons, Cain and Abel, right?
A:    That's right.
Q:    Then Cain slew Abel?
A:    Yes.
Q:    Then, the Bible says, Cain took a wife, correct?
A:    Yes.
Q:    Sooo... Where did his wife come from?
A:    Adam and Eve had more children.
Q:    Oh. You mean Cain married his sister?
A:    Yes.
Q:    But I thought the Bible says incest is a sin?
A:    Well, God made an exception in Adam and Eve's time.  It became a sin later.
Q:    I see.

Soundly defeated, I nodded, smiled sweetly and wished them a nice day.

[Note to self: Remember law school? Courtroom 101? Never ask a question you don't know the answer to?]

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