I'm new to all this and have finally opened my eyes and more so, my mind.  I was lost in the world of religion and now that I am free of it, I feel great!  I do have one question.  How do you handle the religious folk that come to your door wanting to talk to you about religion, church, etc?

Views: 283

Comment by Jeremy Williams on February 27, 2014 at 4:01pm

Thank you for your input and thank you for the welcome! :)

And yes, no one should interrupt dinner for anything!!! lol

Comment by Jeremy Williams on February 27, 2014 at 4:15pm

I hear ya!  I recently moved to a new town and have been there since last July.  I had 2 guys come to my door last month but didn't answer the door because I had my kids there and I don't trust people lol

Comment by kris feenstra on February 27, 2014 at 4:32pm

I don't get door-to-door preachers where I live. Such missionaries are not all that common. A couple of times there were religious dvds left at the front entrance of my apartment, but I never met whoever left them.

I do run into street preachers now and then. Most of the time I am curt yet civil with them. If they are friendly or they have an amusing opening pitch, I may stop to chat, but mostly I just ask questions to see how they respond. I answer their questions honestly in return, but in most cases it doesn't take them too long to figure out I'm not some easy mark who hasn't given the subject matter any thought. Sometimes we can have a friendly chat while disagreeing. I don't have a problem with that as some of these people seem genuinely well-intentioned. Even if I'm wrong about that, I already know I'm not buying what they're selling, so they cause me no grief apart from minor intrusion.

In one case I gave a guy a pretty hard time, but it had nothing to do with his religion itself. I think he was representing the Hare Krisna movement. He tried to force a book into my hand. I said I didn't want it. He insisted, saying it was free. I still wasn't interested. He persisted while blocking my path on a busy street. At that point I decided taking the book was easier than bowling a man over to get by.

That's when the guy asked for a five dollar donation, which I refused. He explained about the printing costs and blah, blah, blah, then instructing me to return the book. I refused. He started to open his mouth again, and I just went off in a very calm, yet unpleasant explanation of what it meant to call something free, what it meant to give something to someone else in exchange for no money versus five dollars, what it meant to sell something, and what it meant to sell something on the street side with no license to do so when a police officer is standing no more than five meters away. Then I started in on what a money trap the whole thing was and reduced him from a supposed spiritual man to a petty con man. I don't remember if he said anything in return after that, but he looked pissed off and perhaps defeated, so I walked away with the book I never wanted in hand because hey, sometimes I can be petty toward people I think are assholes.

Comment by kris feenstra on February 27, 2014 at 4:32pm

My son's new favorite phrase is "would you like a spot of tea" (from Beauty and the Beast, Mrs. Potts)

One of my favourite movies growing up. I actually watched it again for the first time in ages last year, and it definitely held up.

Comment by Jeremy Williams on February 27, 2014 at 4:36pm

Nice story Kris.  I have never talked to anyone trying to push anything on me like that and I've never answered my door.  I know I piss a lot of people off at work by a few things I say about religion and you can tell how mad they get, but they are also my friends and don't really retaliate too hard.  I'm just trying to learn more about this life now.  Thanks for your input Kris!!!

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on February 27, 2014 at 6:35pm

I get callers all the time. Ireland has become less religious over the last number of years but during that time it has become very cosmopolitan with over 90 different nationalities living in my part of Dublin. This has led to a proliferation of new religions and many are very keen to spread the “good news”. So when they call to me I invite them in. I will offer them a coffee and a seat and allow them to tell me all about their Gods. Most common are the Jehovah Witness and Born Again types. There is a Mormon HQ a few doors up that rotates young Americans. Only once have they managed to stay more than 2 hours. They get so confused and uncomfortable because it takes them about an hour to figure out I am an Atheist and I am trying to get them to confront and challenge what they profess to believe.

Over the last few years I have “saved” 4 J.W.’s which has really annoyed the local boss. He is doing his best to convert me and brings around “trainee” door steppers with him so that they can meet a “real live” Atheist. The Bible belt born agains are interesting but difficult to reach. They may question their faith at times but not the certainty that their god exists! Once 2 of the local Mormons called while the JW’s were in. So I invited them in at the same time. They argued over the interpretation of Scripture for a few minutes while I started to despair for humanity. The J.W’s left as I remarked how important it was that they all “study to show themselves approved unto God as long as they rightly divided the truth” (2 Timmy 2) :-)…

Then the Mormons dropped to their knees and implored their God to show me (Brother Reg) the light. I asked the “weaker” one if he actually believed that he could communicate with this spirit that created the Universe in a two way conversation. It was like I had hit him. He went white in the face and started stuttering. He was going to say “yes” but realised how silly that would have sounded. At the same instant he knew he could not say “no”. The confusion was too much him…..cognitive dissonance got slapped by a reality check…….and that ended their visit. He kept staring at me and I really wanted to tell him “yeah man its all a delusion” but that was for him to do. The Mormons no longer call to me. I am in their bad book.

Once my ultra-Catholic (“Are you a Catholic or have you chosen to go to Hell”) neighbour asked me why I would even bother to talk to “those people”. I said “Yes, they do believe in weird stuff, like a god creating everything and deciding to have a human child that died for us and rose up from the dead”. “Man, that is weird shit they believe, is it not?” “And to make matter worse they actually believe this son of their god is going to return and take some of them back with him for all eternity!!” Imagine believing that!! He no longer speaks to me :-)…..

Comment by Davis Goodman on February 27, 2014 at 7:12pm

I wish them a great day and I get back to my life.

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on February 27, 2014 at 7:49pm

How do you handle the religious folk that come to your door wanting to talk to you about religion, church, etc?

This hasn't happened to me since I sold my house. Once a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses came by. I offered them lemonade, pie and an hour of my time. They accepted. We chatted on my deck.

After the initial niceties I cut to the quick. Everything you folks believe is based on the God claim. Thus, the rest is academic until you establish that God exists. What evidence do you have? Well, said they, the Bible says blah blah blah. The Bible is the claim, said I, not the evidence. I'm willing to consider the claim, but you'll have to produce some evidence, not a more emphatic repetition of the claim.

Oh, said they, can you prove God doesn't exist? Are you, I asked, familiar with a burden of proof fallacy? Allow me to explain...

And so on. Everything they tried, I shut it down by pointing out the flaw in the reasoning or the intellectual dishonesty, and explaining that I didn't find it persuasive at all. They kept pressing me to bypass that-- let's just assume for now that God exists-- and redirect to the Bible, but I wouldn't allow them to gloss over their failure to establish the God claim.

They had been trained to address certain responses to particular statements and questions. But they were unprepared to go off-script and handle direct challenges to theism itself.

They were visibly shaken when we parted company an hour later. I got firm, warm handshakes out the outset, but at the conclusion it was like shaking the limp, cold hands of two corpses. They left in a daze, somber and silent.

That's how I handle it: straight for the jugular. No need to get into the Bible, just show me your evidence for God. Until you establish that he exists at all, there's no reason to consider any words, deeds and qualities you want to attribute to him.

Comment by James Cox on February 27, 2014 at 8:07pm
I either let them in if I have nothing better to do, or engage them as best I can with minor interest.

About the last time they appeared at my door, we had two very beautiful puppies that love everyone, the puppies were also representing 120 lbs between them. I heard the door bell, then the puppies ran to the door expecting fun people to play with. As I opened the door I noticed the 'Watch Tower' magazine in one hand, and in the other the presence of fear is if they had seen their own deaths via large teeth, and sharp claw. I spoke to these dear folks though the screen, 'it might not be the best time right now'. They ran off, just about falling over themselves. I think they truely missed an opportunity for enjoying the expression of unbottled joy and excess licking!
Comment by Teri G on February 28, 2014 at 6:27am

Welcome to TA!

We generally don't get any door to door church people. In my life we've had maybe 2. The one we completely ignored but the other I went out to our gate to chat to. I was about 16 at the time and simply kept posing questions to the guy who eventually seemed to get overwhelmed by this teenager who seemed to know more about his religion than he did (probably an amateur Jehovahs Witness). He obviously had no idea what to do when people opposed his views. 

It can be lots of fun to chat to the people if they are friendly! It depends on your mood and the type of person they are though.

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