So I’m driving to work this morning, grooving to La bottine souriante, when a car pulls up next to me at a red light. I don’t really pay attention, until I see the guy in the front passenger’s side pulling down his window, specifically trying to get my attention. What the hell? Do I know him? A quick memory scan turns up negative. Has he spotted my rainbow flag bumper sticker and now wants to cruise me? He’s cute, young, with a nice smile and dark spiky hair… and wearing a huge-ass, gaudy gold crucifix, which he’s holding up with a hand graced by an equally huge-ass, equally gaudy gold ring. Get down with your gangsta self, white boy! But wait, he’s not just holding up the crucifix, he’s actually kissing it, in between trying to tell me something which I can’t hear because my window is still up.
Whoah. Is this is how the young queers dress and cruise nowadays? Okay, so the light’s still red, and I’m kind of curious (and kind of apprehensive) about this grinning freak. I roll down the window, and finally hear what he has to say.
“Jesus loves you!”
Oh. Well, that’s great. And Santa loves you too. So this wasn’t about my rainbow flag sticker, but my “Born OK The First Time” sticker, and Darwin fish.
Message delivered, my new hit-and-run missionary friend rolls up his window and, the light having turned green, we drive off in different directions.
Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with these people? Did they just see a passing heathen, ripe for witnessing, and just unloaded their little catch phrase, which of course I have not heard a million times before, not in person, in print, on TV, on the Net, not me, because I was raised by wolves—atheist wolves, in fact—and have only just this week rejoined civilization. Then they move on, their bellies full of the warm glow of a job well done, having earned another brownie point from Jesus. Not interested in a dialogue. Or even in an argument. Not interested in wondering if this brain-dead tactic actually works. Because I can tell you right now, Gentle Reader, that it did not work on me. Not today, and none of the other times that shit’s been pulled. Did I get all misty-eyed at the thought that some imaginary resurrected being loves me, me personally? Did I suddenly develop a driving urge to immediately explore the holy books relating the story of this Jesus character?
No. No, I did not. But was I pissed at the interruption of a kick-ass Franco-Canadian musical moment? Why, yes I was. Was I filled with disdain for the hiphop missionary, and all missionaries like him, repeating words that had no meaning outside their religion, unable to see any points of view besides their own? I believe that was the case as well. Was I motherfucking creeped out by the crazily compulsive kissing of the crucifix? I will not deny this. And was I more grateful than ever for leaving the baggage of faith behind, having seen—as if I needed another reminder—how it can mess people up? You better believe that’s a yes.