The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Converting the masses my way

By Mark Bauer/editor-in-chief

Proselytizing, the act of attempting to convert someone to join the ranks of a different belief, is a key component of most world religions.

Still, it’s not entirely a religious idea. We see it in politics, too, and basketball—as witnessed most recently by the acquisition of Jason Kidd by the Mavericks. But, hey, nobody said all proselytizing was a good thing.

A new study conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life indicates that 28 percent of American adults have ditched their childhood faith for a new one.

Those numbers don’t account for denominational differences. When the denominations within certain religions are considered, the numbers jump to 44 percent.

The director of the organization responsible for collecting the data suggested that the religious market for new converts is ripe for the picking, and as such, people can’t afford to sit on their rumps.

Of course, it doesn’t take a study of grandeur proportions to know that much. It’s been documented for a couple of thousand years when Jesus said in the gospel of John that the harvest is ready … for harvesting (I imagine Jesus didn’t speak so poorly. That’s a paraphrase of what is, I am sure, more elegantly spoken.)

In our short, recorded and overly analyzed existence, proselytizing may have been taken to extremes on more than one occasion. People have gone so far as to declare holy wars and martyr people who simply would not recant their religious declarations. It was probably around the turn of the century, and the rise of public relations departments, that we quit burning people at the stake. It simply is not a sexy way of trying to persuade someone to believe as you do. 

But now, as the evidence overwhelmingly points, we aren’t just more civil about our disagreements in the states, we change religious affiliation as often as Michael Jackson changes faces.

Still, I don’t think something so personal, as a religious belief, can be manipulated or coerced. In fact, something about scare tactics and prosperity gospels reeks of insincerity.

But this is all up for debate. Just remember: if you happen to disagree with me, I am more than capable of declaring war on you.

Just don’t be surprised if it’s merely a thumb war.

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