For God’s sake

27 Feb

Walking on Ecclesall Road a few minutes ago, two young New Zealanders stopped me.

“Hey, we’re new to Sheffield and wondering what there is to do around here.”

“Well it’s no great shopping Mecca and not big on architecture either … “

They nod, smiling.

“… but it’s friendly, and on the edge of the most beautiful countryside in Britain.”

“Yeah, we heard that.”

I wax lyrical, contrasting the equally magnificent but very different scenery of Dark Peak (moor and millstone) and White Peak (limestone outcrops, gin clear rivers and greenery). I tell them where to get buses, the places to ask for: really give them the works.

The taller man hands me a card.

“We’re here to talk about Jesus.”

I refuse the card, stick out my arm for a handshake and with a smile tell them I’m an atheist. Actually I’m irked, but not at his faith. I judge people on what they do, not what they believe, and what he  just did was sucker me. He couldn’t care less about Peak District or Sheffield and his opener was a cheap trick. I guess the way they see it, ends – saving my soul from eternal damnation – justify means. Zealots have done worse things on the back of that calculation.

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