Monday, 21 April 2014

Now Then

I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend, and that it was special and meaningful for my Christian friends.

One of my friends had a visit from proselytizers on Sunday morning. Not satisfied with her polite rejection, they pushed, as they often do, with a "why not?"

There are many ways one could answer that, from "none of your business" to whatever the reason actually is.

I have given this a lot of thought over the years, and decided that the correct answer is "I do not share your beliefs, in the same way that you do not share mine." If they are really listening, that ought to be enough.

Unfortunately most of them are not listening. They are not there to listen. They are there to proselytize. By definition, if you are knocking on doors trying to push your beliefs, you are very unlikely to accept any rejection as valid. You've been warned to expect rejection, and outright rudeness too. Possibly even threats. You take it on the chin.

Because of where I live I don't get too many door-to-door proselytizers. Ontario isn't the Bible belt anyway, and we are a long way out in the sticks. To knock on my door you have to drive into the boonies, then up my crunchy driveway, alerting everyone, including, and probably having to negotiate, 3 very "keen" dogs. They're harmless but you don't know that. Having done all that you will be faced with a smile and a firm "No, thank you." If you don't turn and leave at that point, I consider you ill-mannered.

I'm big on manners. That is why I will smile and not be rude. But if my good manners in my polite rejection of your sales pitch is met with an objection, the game changes a bit.

I consider proselytization to be extremely bad manners. It is unsolicited. It is spam on two legs.

Unfortunately many churches consider it part of their religious duty. That is not my problem. I have no duty other than to be well-mannered even if they are not. I certainly have no duty to listen to their little presentation, no matter how carefully rehearsed it is, and indeed, no matter how well-intentioned. That is not my concern at all.

Proselytizers are no different to any salesman. If I wanted what you are selling, I'd approach you. I know where you are. Your product is perfectly well-known, it is advertized everywhere. The fact that I haven't bought it means I don't want it.

But your attitude is that you know what I want better than I do. That is arrogant. If you show that arrogance to me, it makes it very difficult for me to be as well-mannered as I'd like to be, and I may just stop with social niceties and tell you the truth. The truth is that you are not listening, you are rude, and you are arrogant.

Of course, saying that makes me the bad person, but what's new.


  1. I had the Jehovah Witness people at my door like clockwork for so many years. They finally stopped and I don't know why but I am really happy about that. Yesterday we drove through a busy intersection where there were religious people going car to car during red lights trying to bring us salvation. I told my kids not to make eye contact and I kept the windows up and pretended we didn't notice them there staring at us. In my area if you are in a town you can't walk 6 blocks without coming to a church or at least a sign advertising a church and I really wonder how they think people haven't heard about Jesus yet. The same group that was in the intersection yesterday goes to bars trying to get people too. I really wonder how that goes over and I am kind of surprised I don't hear about more religious people getting beaten at bars.

    1. Proving that the Godless are not as bad as they are made out to be, there is an inexplicable amount of tolerance shown to these people.

  2. If u talk to a Jehovah's witness at all or take ANY literature from them.. They will write u down in their little books and call u a return visit. Then they get to count u and write you down on their reporting cards at the end of the month. and they will just keep coming back.

  3. I usually stop them with a lifted hand and a "I have a very healthy relationship with God, thank you". They're ordinarily so surprised, it gives me a chance to close the door. LOL

  4. Whenever a stranger knocks at my door, I open it only slightly keeping one hand on the door jam and one hand on the door knob. Sometimes it's not obvious who they are at first. As soon as it's obvious, I say "no thank you" and close the door. They have no opportunity to get their literature into my hands.

    Now just the other day, someone came to the door selling farm fresh eggs. I bought a dozen. When I opened them, there was a religious pamphlet inside. Very sneaky. I actually wasn't bothered by it though. I rather thought it kind of clever. Of course, the pamphlet went straight into the recycle bin. And if they come back, I'll most likely say "no thank you".

    1. Sneaky, clever, and a few other things too - you paid for your pamphlet, LOL.

    2. Well, the eggs weren't over priced so the pamphlet was free with purchase. :) However, it bugs me the amount of paper that goes straight to the bin every day.