On my way in to class this morning, I noticed two people walking up and down one of the streets here in Sharpsburg, studying houses and writing on clipboards. One was a middle-aged man and the other, on the same street about a block down, was a younger woman. I thought they looked a little strange, just standing there staring at houses from across the street and writing, but I went to class and forgot about them.
Returning from class this afternoon, I noticed they were still here. They'd moved on to another street, but it was the same two people. There they were, gazing at houses from across the street and writing things down on their clipboards. Approaching the door to Ashley's apartment, I noticed a flyer had been folded up and tucked underneath her “Do Not Sit on Steps” plaque. (People are always sitting on our steps.) Here's the flyer:
In case the Whitest Jesus Ever up there doesn't clue you in, they were Jehovah's Witnesses.
Easter is this weekend, when Christians all over the world celebrate the execution and resurrection of Jesus. I won't get into what a sick and very stupid theology the whole “Jesus died for our sins” deal is. For now, I'm more interested in why the Jehovah's Witnesses made their Jesus so goddamn white. I should really take back the “Whitest Jesus Ever” crack, since when I worked at Pilot I saw copies of The Watchtower
with images of Jesus that made the guy in that flyer look positively Semitic. Jesus lived in the Middle East, for Christ's sake, and these guys draw him as though he spent most of his time at his bungalow in Malibu.
Whatever the reason for their noticeably caucasian Jesus, the Witnesses want you to know that not all the faces you'll see should you choose to visit the Kingdom Hall will be as white as the Son of God. On the back of the flyer was this picture:
See there? Not all white folks. Just remember, if you're ever at a meeting of Jehovah's Witnesses, seating in the Kingdom Hall follows the pattern displayed in this photo — it's white person, black person, white person, black person, and so on. Remember that now, and save yourself some embarassment later.