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.