How do you handle proselytizing?

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How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby purebread on Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:18 am

Firstly, let me start by saying I'm so glad that I found you guys.

Now to my question. How do you handle proselytizing? I swear I'm a like a beacon for every Christan. Of cause that may have a little to do with living in the Bible Belt. But, none the less, they find me. I think they have built in homing beacons.

They lure me in a a sense of security starting off talking about the weather or how cute my kids are. Then they invariably ask THE question, "What church do you go to?" I'm always like the deer in the headlights and not too quick of the mark so I always tell the truth (must stop doing that) and tell them we DON'T go to church.

Most recently I was at Taco Bell. It was early and the restaurant was empty. My son and I settled by the window to eat our lunch. Now let me just say that I had given my son a good talking too for rushing his food and told him he must eat slowly and actually chew his food. Then a group of 3 elderly people enter, order and sit right next to us.

It all started innocent enough, it always does. "Oh, your son is so cute." "How old is he?" "What church do you go to?" It this point I'm thinking, f*ck! So I answer, "We don't go to church." Game on....... Apparently, their church isn't too far and I should come and check it out. Not to mention they have wonderful children's programs and can lead my children to Christ.

At this point I'm thinking, "Hurry up and finish son so we can go." But no....... he has to take teeny, tiny bites. Sh*t, I just want to tell to hurry up.

So now I'm thinking when I get cornered I can just tell them that I recently joined a new church. If they press me I can tell them all about The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and how we are vegetarian pastafarians.
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby Ubi Dubius on Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:16 am

My friend Brian enthusiastically tells them about Thor. They usually run away.
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby daftbeaker on Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:03 am

Usually, it's a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses. They've been round a few times and I generally take a copy of their propaganda, say thanks, explain I'm not interested in joining and say goodbye. All very pleasant.

They haven't come back recently which is sort of a shame because I was looking forward to asking them why, when the JWs' believe that only 144,000 people will enter heaven, they have over 7,000,000 members (according to their leaflet). That and the 'I've had blood transfusions, does that make me unclean' bit that I keep forgetting to mention.

In your case just repeating any arguments they make but substituting in 'FSM' will probably make them leave you alone quite quickly.
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby PantyGnawer on Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:29 pm

I handle them quite politely. I take their literature and thank them (after all they are just trying to save my eternal soul).

Last year a young kid came to my door to tell me about his church and about jesus. He couldn't have been older than 16 or 17 and was visibly nervous. I was very polite with him and I think he was starting to think that he was getting somewhere with me, up until he asked me if I was saved. I told him no and that I was an atheist.

I think all the blood ran out of his face. I'm not sure if he was more shocked that I was an atheist or that I had admitted it so freely or that he was just excited because he had hit the holy grail jackpot of evangelism. He talked to me a while longer asking me questions about why I was an atheist and such and I answered him politely.

In the end he realized that he wasn't going to turn me, but I think it was a positive experience for him. He likely gets the door slammed in his face all the time by actual christians. I think the fact that an atheist was open to hearing him out and speaking kindly with him kinda blew his mind or at least shattered his expectations.

I welcome proselytizers and rather enjoy it. I suppose its the same twisted part of me that gets a kick out of messing with the young fresh faced military recruiters that approach me in the mall.

Its the same kind of kick I get out of messing with the crazy evangelists who harass people in the free speech are of campus. However, I'm not nice to them at all because they are just plain dicks. Last year I brought up to one of them how the old testament gives prescriptions for how to sell your daughter into slavery. He denied it and asked me what verse. I said hold on and went next door to the computer lab to look it up. When I returned I gave him the exact verse. Rather than even looking into the bible that was in his hand he gave me some mumbo jumbo and changed the subject.
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby Roy Hunter on Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:12 pm

My Grandfather had a great technique for dealing with door-to-door God salesmen.

The Jehovas Witnesses used to come and try to convert him. So did the Moonies. So did the Mormons, the Hare Krishnas, insert sect / cult / denomination here. He listened politely to them all, took their literature, did his research. Then when the Jehova's Witnesses showed up, he tried to convert them to being a Moonie. When the Hare Krishnas showed up, he tried to convert them to Unitarianism. He kept this up for years, and the evangelists' trade union never twigged what he was up to.

I have only once chased the Mormons away from my door with my copy of the gospel (in my dressing gown a la Arthur Dent), a bit drunk, the neighbours are still talking about it, but hell it was worth it...
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:41 pm

My dad, being the president of the board of directors at my Unitarian Universalist church, usually pulls the whole "let's exchange information and make no progress!". But hey, at least it's civil and interesting.

An old member of this forum, LibraLabRat, had a story about this. His young daughter, like 7 or 8 or something, answers the door to the God salesman. They have a little conversation, and when LLR comes by to talk to the nice lady, she's like "Why are you such a bad parent by condemning your child to hell by not bringing her to church on Sundays?" To which the kid responds "We don't need church on Sundays. We have pancakes."

Might've been waffles, in actuality, but it's just as funny anyway.
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby Grey on Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:55 pm

I think I remember that one, Qwerty!

It really depends on the context. If they ask me a loaded question (do you know Christ died for your sins?), I ask them if their mother knows they're gay. If they're polite and minimally annoying, I tell them I'm not interested and smile. If they come to my house (and it's always JWs that do this), they always ask "Are you looking for religion?" I tell them, "No. But good luck to you," and shut the door, same as I do cable salesmen. My mother tells them to wait a minute, shuts the door, and then leaves them to wait on the lawn.
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:59 pm

Oh, that reminds me of a good tactic I thought up a while ago. Works best on like a saturday morning, waking up slightly hung over, in a pink bathrobe hastily put on, unshaven, holding a pot of coffee in one hand, and uneven sunglasses on.

Throw up the horns and say, very kindly "Hail Satan, what can I do for you?" :evilgrin:
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby ChowMein on Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:30 am

I can't handle them anymore , they contradict each other so badly , I've used every tactic thus far mentioned .
The JW's are the most tenacious and very polite btw , I've been to a few meetings but have found them wanting in common sense , but that's just my opinion.

I'm going to go Monty Python on the next group or maybe gasp in mock horror and thrust a crucifix in their faces ( whoever they may be ) and shout , " BEGONE YE HERETICS , YE VILE BLASPHEMERS , MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOULS FOR YE ARE IN LEAGUE WITH SATAN , OHHHH , JESUS WEPT !"

Sorta cruel , but I can't take anymore of their simpleton dogma . It seems to me that they approach everyone as if their IQ's were 50 or lower .
I've tried to have debates with them or ask them the hard questions , some in a vein similar to PG's . They ALL thus far , evade such questions , some more expertly than others .

It is generally at this point where I sometimes burst out laughing .
They have yet to begin to think that some people like myself are not atheists or sheep or have actually walked in their shoes .
I am aware of their methods and training , I've seen their proselytizing materials first hand since I have family and dear friends that used to be as fervent as them .

I have read the training manuals of hard line fundamentalists , the JW's and two others , which I have since forgotten .

What I found to be disturbing is that each sect has a section on how to respond to each others' dogma and how to react to specific responses .

It is the uncompromising dogmatic , bias stances that still has me believing that religion is a horrible thing and leads only to God's people hating and killing each other in his name , as history has shown us continuously.

I think the UU is more in line with what Jesus was talking about .
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:34 am

ChowMein wrote:I think the UU is more in line with what Jesus was talking about .


You've made me very happy, Chow. :zen: And not just for knowing what UUism is.

Though we run into an interesting conundrum. We don't want to be proselytizing or annoying like so many are... but we're so cool, and so we find so many people who are UUs and didn't know it. :P Luckily the whole "talk casually about it with friends and neighbors and invite people who would fit in" approach works wonders.

Anyway yeah. for all the different religions... a lot of it causes strife. But a good guidline is to just take all the crossover, and if Buddha and Jesus don't agree on a point, throw it out. You end up with nothing but Love. Hint hint.
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby daftbeaker on Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:16 am

Qwertyuiopasd wrote:
ChowMein wrote:I think the UU is more in line with what Jesus was talking about .


You've made me very happy, Chow. :zen: And not just for knowing what UUism is.

Unseen University-ism? :haha:

ChowMein wrote:I'm going to go Monty Python on the next group or maybe gasp in mock horror and thrust a crucifix in their faces ( whoever they may be ) and shout , " BEGONE YE HERETICS , YE VILE BLASPHEMERS , MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOULS FOR YE ARE IN LEAGUE WITH SATAN , OHHHH , JESUS WEPT !"

Have you tried borrowing Cardinal Fang's Inquisition uniform and attacking them with the soft cushions? :shocked:
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby DaveL on Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:31 am

Door to door atheism anyone?

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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby Robbobrob on Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:35 pm

Once, when I was in college, I was working security with another person in the dorm we lived in. In walk two campus crusaders. We have a friendly conversation, then they ask what religion we are. I answered "Taoism" which made both of them kinda twitch, never havign heard of it before, and then they asked my co-worker, and she said "Atheist" and that pretty much ended the conversation.

I could not believe the two crusaders had been that sheltered that they were not prepared for eastern philosophy and atheism.....me and the other security person laughed for a long time once they left.
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby PantyGnawer on Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:48 pm

Robbobrob wrote:Once, when I was in college, I was working security with another person in the dorm we lived in. In walk two campus crusaders. We have a friendly conversation, then they ask what religion we are. I answered "Taoism" which made both of them kinda twitch, never havign heard of it before, and then they asked my co-worker, and she said "Atheist" and that pretty much ended the conversation.

I could not believe the two crusaders had been that sheltered that they were not prepared for eastern philosophy and atheism.....me and the other security person laughed for a long time once they left.


They were expecting and were prepared for answers such as episcopalian, lutheran, baptist, catholic, etc.
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Re: How do you handle proselytizing?

Postby Cardinal Fang on Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:49 pm

Last time we had the god botherers round, they asked me "Are you looking for God?".

I simply said "I was, but I found him down the back of the sofa".

They left.

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