My maternal grandmother (who is awful) has bounced between a few religions over the years, all in various flavors of fundamentalist Christianity.
Forty years or so ago, she settled on the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Who combine all the shitty things about several sects into one morass of awfulness.
This was a formative experience for my mother, who hates them with a burning passion and who is a member of several ex-Jehovah’s Witness websites where people go to vent.
And even after she broke away as soon as she was out of her mom’s house, they sent people to try to ‘bring her back into the fellowship’. Some of these people showed up at my parent’s wedding, to try to convince her that it would never last with a non Jehovah’s Witness husband. Dad, apparently, threatened to throw them headfirst out a second story window.
I’m fairly certain she’s actually cursed a few elders.
But, anyway, I distinctly remember her gathering me and my brother and sister around her when we were kids, and saying, very seriously,
“I don’t care if you three grow up to be gay, or transgender. I don’t care if you decide to flip burgers all your life, so long as you’re happy at it. I don’t care if you choose to worship trees, Ancient Egyptian gods, or nothing at all. But,” and she paused here for emphasis. “If you ever decide to become Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’m going to feel as if I’ve failed as a parent. So keep that in mind.”
Fast forward nineteen or so years. We grow up, I take to actively worshipping trees. Mom is Very Proud of this. Sister is a biologist living in sin with her boyfriend, brother is a physics student living in sin with his girlfriend, I’m married to the closest thing to an agnostic Christian I’ve ever met, and we’ve happily not spoken to Grandma for years.
And on Sunday morning at some unholy hour of the fucking day, there’s a knock on the door, and lo and behold there are three young men at the door with copies of the Watchtower.
My husband, seeing the twitch in my eyelid as we peek out the upstairs window, somewhat blearily, pats my shoulder.
“I’ve got this.” He says, grinning. I know that grin. That’s the Evil Grin.
And then he goes and pulls his old Slipknot shirt out of the drawer, and I know Dis Gunna Be Good.
Long story short, he invited them in for tea and corrected them on everything they tried to tell him for forty five minutes, citing verse back to them and telling them how they fucked it up. He got out the Bible at one point. He started lecturing like a damned theology professor.
By the time they left they looked actively terrified.
It was glorious.