This occurred in Albuquerque, New Mexico while I sold real estate for Falls Land and Development Co. 1970-71
Audie was a handsome, neatly tailored conservative Baptist turned Mormon. Hard working and easy going., he pored over the newspaper to improve his reading skills. Customers never realized that Audy’s sons helped him memorize the contracts. He asked customers to fill in the unique personal data on the contracts to make sure the data was correct. Actually, he did not trust his spelling. You would never guess He was anywhere near his forty-five years.
Tom was a rotund Seventh Day Adventist. He killed time reading magazines or watching the game on TV. There was no problem working on Sunday morning. Everybody should know that the Lord’s day was yesterday. Looking down his beak nose, he griped and moaned to anybody within earshot about the terrible state of the world and moral corruption. Tom was sure his sixty years and strong religious convictions gave him the right to issue moral rulings on almost any subject.
Waiting for Sunday morning customers in search of investment property to wander into the real estate office, we got bored. Like whittlers around the stove, we chewed on just about any subject. The Sunday paper often sparked righteous discussions between Audie and Tom. I was one of the group when it came to sales. They respected my salesman-of-the-month trophies. In these conversations though, I was considered a hopeless outsider. Each referred to himself as a “saint” and tried to enlighten the other about how the other was following a misguided faith.
They were God’s artillery corps hurling verse after verse from one to the other. Never was there a calm discussion of logic or fact. Only verses to be stated from memory and used as absolute proof of the other’s ignorance. I was not even welcome in these discussions because I tried to reason and be logical. That was heresy indeed. The one thing they agreed upon was the fact that I, a Catholic, was only a slight notch above an atheist. I worshipped statues and a Pope in Rome. They even quoted the same scriptural verses to show that I was a damned sinner beyond hope.
I hate to admit it, but their barrages made me wonder, to doubt even more my long questioned worthiness to be with God. They seemed so sure. I have always been so unsure.