Have you had a friend convert from one faith to another? I have. My buddy met a very nice Jewish woman and decided to switch theological teams. He didn’t have any deep reasons why he was changing faiths. It was just going to make his life easier, and who doesn’t like latkes?
If I ever decide convert (hey, it could happen), I’d take my time and ask some serious questions. Here are some.
10. Who is going to Hell?
This sounds like a simple query, but you can find a lot about a faith by asking who is on their naughty list. However, the question may cause the other person to blush because the initial phase of indoctrination is to talk about Magic Candy Mountain and how wonderful the faith is.
I will provide a vignette illustrating one way to work this problem out.
Me: So, who’s in Hell?
Minister: Only God knows for sure.
Me: OK, best guess on this one: Is Hitler in Hell?
Minister: Um, OK, I’d say yes. Hitler is in Hell.
Me: And Hell is forever?
Me: Here’s a followup question: If Adolf Hitler, slayer of 6 million Jews, loads of homosexuals, many mentally and physically disabled people happened to be gay, then would he be punished more than heterosexual Hitler?
9. Has your church ever been mistaken for NAMBLA?
NAMBLA being the North American Man/Boy Love Association and not the North American Marlon Brando Look-Alikes.
8. Who is in charge of vaginas?
The right answer is pretty simple: The person who has the vagina. There are a lot of wrong answers. Here’s 10 of them:
- President Trump
- Mitch McConnell
- Mike Pence
- The husband
- Pat Robertson
- *insert patriarchal deity of your choice*
10. The Pope
7. BACON. BACON.BACON.
What’s the policy? Wonderfully crispy? Deep fried? Maybe crispy little bits of bacon in chocolate bars? Or is your faith more turkey bacon?
6. Flintstones or Science?
Comedian Lewis Black in his 2006 stand-up special Red, White, and Screwed had this to say about some religious beliefs.
There are people who believe that dinosaurs and men lived together, that they roamed the Earth at the same time. There are museums that children go to, in which they build dioramas to show them this. And what this is, purely and simply, is a clinical psychotic reaction. They are crazy. They are stone. Cold. Fuck. Nuts. I can’t be kind about this, because these people are watching The Flinstones as if it were a documentary.
If you’re jumping into another faith, find out if that faith has people riding dinosaurs in it.
5. What sections of your holy book do you: pay lip service to, ignore completely, or only pay attention to during major holidays?
Is everything in the Bible to be taken literally? Even that time zombies popped out of the earth after Jesus was crucified?
and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. — Mathew 27: 52–53
4. I don’t say “Oh my God!” during sex, but I do a spot on Yoda voice. Is that OK?
And if your priest says it’s wrong unless I try to do a Baby Yoda voice, then I’m out.
3. Please tell me you were able to figure out how Adam and Eve populated the world without resorting to inbreeding.
Really, I want to know. Did God give the first family a pass for incest?
*You can insert your own Donald-Ivanka Trump joke here.*
2. Genocide, is it a cute story for kids? A necessary faith-based real estate strategy? Or “C’mon, that was a long time ago! God didn’t know any better.”
The Great Flood was genocide. If you’re killing off 99.9% of the people on the planet, then it’s not just genocide — it’s Super Genocide. Please explain. Do you believe it actually happened? And if it was just a moral story to tell kids, then what’s moral to this mass killing?