A Nancy Kerrigan Moment24 February, 2008
Why me? Why me? Why? Why? It happened twice today.
Okay, I’m not all that good at whining, but still, why me? The first time was at work. A person came up to me and I said hello. I glanced at the man’s T-shirt and then took a closer look because one of the faces on it looked familiar. The lettering read “Life” on the left and “Death” on the right. Under the word “Death” was Charles Darwin (looking quite serene, I might add). On the other side, under “Life”, was Jesus on the cross, complete with nails, blood, gash in the abdominal wall, the works.
I hoped I could get through the conversation without things getting weird. I was wrong. After he gained the information he wanted about the site, he asked, “Have you been saved?”
I smiled, and said, “Sir, if I was off-duty and out of uniform, I would be happy to have this conversation with you. Remember, as a federal officer, I represent ALL Americans, no matter what religion or faith, if any.”
He turned to his son and said, “See, that’s why we gotta elect Huckabee,” and walked out.
On the way home, I had to stop and put some gas in my car and money into the pockets of American profiteers and foreign potentates. As I struggled with the pump (and the icy spots on the ground), a large black woman approached me (I was still in uniform) and, without any preamble, asked, “Have you accepted the love of Jesus into your life as your personal saviour for your soul?” and began pulling papers out of her purse.
My wife taught me a wonderful response (for those times when I am not on duty). She hasn’t had the chance to use it, but since she thought it up, I’ve been waiting. “Yes, ma’am, I am an atheist, so my brain has been saved from delusions.”
Her jaw dropped. Her eyelids fluttered. She looked left. She looked right. She glanced back over her shoulder. She began to say something and stopped. She tried again and stopped. She said, “Never mind,” in almost exactly the same voice that Emily LaTrella (Gilda Radner) used to use on Saturday Night Live.
If felt good to be able to use the one I had wanted to use earlier in the day.
So, atheospheric bloggers: have any of you come up with a response to “Have you been saved?”
On another note, I’m not sure why I get asked so often. My guess (of course, I can’t be sure) is that, because of my job, I tend to look people in the eye in a friendly manner (sort of welcoming questions). Either that, or I REALLY look like I need to be saved.