I’ve been working out of town, in Lynchburg Virginia, the past two weeks and staying in a motel. Every morning I go downstairs to have my breakfast. This past Sunday I was eating breakfast and there was a woman standing by the microwave which was close to my table. “How are you this morning?” she asked.  “I’m fine, thank you” I responded, I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to talk in the morning. I’m also a live and let live person and am always polite, but I wasn’t interested in getting into a conversation.
    “We came here to go to the church across the street,” (Thomas Road Baptist Church, the one Jerry Falwell founded) “we came to hear (somebody?) Sing.” I didn’t say anything.
    “Are you going to church today?”
    “No I’ve got to work today.” I said, hoping she would get her food and go sit down somewhere.
    “Well you know the lord don’t you?”
    Oh brother, I thought, I really didn’t want to go there. “Oh yeah, “I lied wishing this to be over. I was getting irritated now. I really didn’t want  to get into a discussion about beliefs .
    “That’s what I’m all about, this life isn’t all there is you know.”
    This whole encounter I felt like was an invasion of my privacy. I would have liked to have told the woman to mind her own business, but I really just wanted to finish my breakfast in peace.
    I’m just wondering if any of you have had a similar experience, and how you handled it, or how I may have handled this differently.

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I'm afraid I'm not as polite as you were - when writing, I can edit my work, but once I open my mouth, there's no editing, no take-backs, and I'm generally as surprised as my listener, as to what might come out.

I might have politely said, "I make it a point to never discuss religion on an empty stomach." I might just as easily have said, "So you've got a little time before church starts - wanna fool around?"

I never know.

I'm in same boat and early morning tends to mean I misplaced my filter until coffee kicks in. I try politeness first but usually goes downhill rather fast.

I understand this and it's happened a lot to me in the past. As a younger man I was responsibility-bound to a small town in Florida for five years; a real church community. I did my damnedest to not cause shit, but there's a point of no return; I try to avoid the conversation, then I try to change the subject, then I try to act like I'm simply not 'all there' and drift away, ignore them and leave them bewildered...it's maddening. 
But if I've been conversationally cornered, and I either have to lie or come-out, I have to 'just do it'. And I try to be civil, friendly even. But invariably, no matter how tolerant I was of them, they can't just accept my short & sweet, "I don't believe!" and get past it. It's sometimes hard to be honest.

You act like you're not all there...I love it.

I recently helped an old lady to get some heavy shopping into her car and took the trolley back for her while attempting to give her the coin deposit back. She insisted I keep it and said she would say a prayer for me in a rather pious voice”. My mind said “Shut it Reg” but my mouth said “What just the one?” She gave me “the look” so I smiled and thanked her for her consideration and wished her a good day. I decided not to go there as it would only have been bad manners on my behalf. She meant well but my initial thought is always “Oh here is another one of them”.

Later that evening the new posse of young Mormon missionaries (my neighbors a few doors up) were reading that book to the local children (8-11 year olds approx). I sat down amongst them and politely told them not to shit in public as I had an agreement with the last crew that they would not bother the locals with their religion. Make a call to Jonathan, now back in Utah and ask him about me. Problem solved.

I always enjoy it when a theist starts spouting their faith to me. If I know they mean well and are not being “holier than thou” they will have my respect and a civilised conversation will flow. If they want to be in my face about it then they better be prepared because I will not respect anything they say. I have no time for it because they already detest “my kind”. They will remember me though. Bring it on. I am always ready..Lol. Next one please.

When the funnymentalists turned up in a local car park on a “conversion drive” they had to call security to get me to turn off Slayer (this). I was playing it at volume 11 and staring at them with my fists clenched on the steering wheel. It was hilarious!! I did not even look at the guard nevermind turn down the music. I ended up with a bigger audience and my friend came out of the local store with bags of pasta which he put on my car and started worshipping it. So they came out to save some souls and thirty minutes later went home head fucked.. Result.  

 

I'll get there someday.

and my friend came out of the local store with bags of pasta which he put on my car and started worshipping it

Fantastic!

If I walked the streets trying to convert people to the divinity of my imaginary friend Gavin, then I would expect them to laugh at me and to treat me like an Imbecile. Yet somehow Jesus is treated with respect and politeness. More and more religion seems like a mental illness to me.

Doesn't it , though ?
Completely agree.
Its okay to have differing opinions about other topics. But when it comes to religion if your opinion is unfavorable, you are automatically rude.

Ug, I don't have air conditioning in my apartment yet, so it's a lot cooler outside than it is inside. You now have me seriously wanting to go walk the streets telling people about the divinity of my imaginary friend Gavin instead of trying to sleep in this sauna.

Just today I was interrogated about my religious beliefs at work. I work with the public. I ended up coping out and saying "I was raised Catholic," and grunting and "ummm-hmmm-ing" in affirmation through the rest of the conversation. I felt a little shitty for lying but I did not need to be evangelized today, which was already a tough day. I also do not need to deal with any blow-back at my place of work either. Apparently I am very good at lying (for shame, damnit!) and swallowing my frustration--the customer thanked me for being "so genuine." Christ on a fucking unicycle!!!

It really pisses me off. I'm working. I'm a captive audience. I have to be polite to you. Part of my job is to steer conversations away from heated topics like religion, so I can help my customers. It's not the time or place. In addition, why do people feel it is appropriate to ask such personal questions of strangers? If I weren't working, I might have decided to grill him on his voting record, his diet, or his spending habits.

Thank you, Keith. Thank you TA. I really needed to get this off of my chest. 

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