01 May 2008

Religion

This post over at Marko's place reminded me of a rant I've needed to go on...

Now, I don't mind folks that are sincere in their faith, or wish to share it: it's a natural human response to tell folks about things we find that are good. And trust me, I appreciate when one of the "God Fearing" folks tries to save my heathen soul: I know that they're just doing what they think is best. But there are a couple problems with some of these people.

First off, the door-to-door sales. Y'all need to find another hobby: the rest of society spends a fair amount of time thinking of ways to irritate/embarrass/frighten (if not outright hurt) you folks. You need to get the hint: people don't really appreciate being interrupted in their daily activities to be preached at (and some of y'all REALLY need to learn to be less pushy: more on that in a bit). Even the polite lil' old guy that stopped here at the Privateer last spring offended the hell out of me, with his asking "Is there anything I can do to help?" when he was informed that this was a pagan household...

The other group (although there's a fair amount of overlap) are the "know what's best for you" crowd. They seem to be basically religious hysterics, and they do more harm than they know. From the nosy neighbor who is CONSTANTLY on you about your faith, to the folks outside of the gaming conventions wanting to tell us about how "Jesus died on the cross to save us from the Hell we deserve!"*, these folks seem to be everywhere.

And they always seem drawn to me. One of my sisters is one, and it seems one of my sis-in-laws is, as well.

People, it's great to share your faith, but be respectful of other people: when someone says "That's enough, I don't want to hear any more", y'all need to shut up. That doesn't mean you've "won" the discussion, or that your audience can't refute you, it most likely means that your audience is tired of hearing about your brand of whatever faith (and I've seen 'em in EVERY religion). Personally, when I'm tired of hearing someone's voice, but they refuse to quiet down, I start to feel somewhat homicidal: NOT the best way of winning a convert.


*yes, that's an actual quote from a street preacher at GenCon. GREAT sales pitch!

4 comments:

Kate said...

Oh...do I ever sympathize! One of my workmates has figured out that I'm not blatantly Christian, so now she throws as many Jesus references into conversation as she can.

And Strings...how about coming down to LammasFest in August?

Jenna said...

Seems a common affliction these days. Sadly, the church down the road from me has changed its tactics. I could deal with the fervent adults who wanted to save me... but now they have little girls canvasing my neighborhood during school hours (and by little? I mean 4-9.) in groups. The adults will let 3-4 of them off at the end of the street and work a whole neighborhood ALONE - sorry, one van with an adult watching 8 streets doesn't work - wandering to doors explaining they don't want me to burn in hell... why do I have to make the baby jesus cry by wearing jeans (actual quote.)

I can slam the door in an adults face, I can say quietly "I give at the office, sorry" to anyone above 15.

Any clue how to gently get such small lasses away? (And possibly ram home a few points on child endanderment to some dingbat adults? There are 5+ listed offenders in this neighborhood! I'm tempted to make my point with a baseball bat. Jesus may love the little children - but can he really be okay with hand delivering them to pediphiles?)

Kate said...

My son and I are out of the broom closet, at least as much as possible and within certain reasonings - for example, my boss asked me to keep my Paganism quiet at work as "politically" it would be better. I told her that was fine, because I don't try to bring religion into the workplace anyway, but that if it came up, she had to understand I wasn't going to lie. There's a time and place for that kind of stuff, and the workplace isn't one of them.

But, for the younger set pimping for church government, you might ask them if they've read the "Alanna" books by Tamora Pierce. We did this with our grandbabies who received a healthy dose of Christian beliefs from attending a faith-based school. And, any juvenile fiction we came across which dealt with Goddess belief...well, the children had a decent book collection! In short, we cast "doubt" wherever possible! You could do the same in responding to these young ones!

Babs said...

I went and looked at it. Left a comment:

They come to my house too and I just smile and politely greet them outside, accept their tract, and toss it into the trash as I close the door. As long as I’m polite, they are too. They’re just doing what their church demands of them. But please don’t confuse the Jehovah’s Witnesses with Christians. They’re generally regarded as a cult.

And don’t confuse the genuine Christian’s commission with this idea that people are supposed to like us or that we’re trying to sell anything. It’s not a popularity contest, although I’ll concede that all too many of the churches now are trying to become more worldly to fit in better despite a strong admonition to not be "of" the world and its concerns, and I’d wager a bet that most of the ones who are out there making such a huge name for themselves are practicing a man-centered religion rather than a Christ-centered faith. You can’t see God in them because He’s not.

You know, Jesus told the Seventy He commissioned that if they weren’t accepted in a home or a town, to kick the dust from their feet on their way out (as a testament against them and that what Sodom and Gomorrah got would be a cakewalk compared to what they’d get…but that’s another story there).

But the catch is … no thumping over the head with it. Deliver the message, yes, we’re commanded to do that. And some of us live within a personal relationship with our Savior, so if you’re around us you’re gonna hear it/see it quite often because it’s a transforming presence that is a part of our everyday, every minute walk, directly affecting everything we do and every decision we make. All part of being separate from the world and directly in His presence. “He must increase, and I must decrease” kind of a thing. :)

God bless.


....FootballFullback's Mom ;)

PS - there's another installment of his story up. Glad to see you're doing well!