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June 09, 2006

Comments

Brandy

Hello everyone! I had originally thought to respond to everyone's comment through email, but there were a few that I didn't feel quite comfortable responding to in that way. A bit too assertive on my part, if you will.

I just wanted to thank everyone on their response. And to say that really the purpose of this article was to hear about everyone else's experiences and viewpoints.

In my opinion, there really isn't a right way or a wrong way to react to what I've said. Religion is a very personal experience, and we all have a different reaction when our views on it are challenged.

Anyhoo, thanks again.

veronica

I know I am the odd man out on this. Missionaries are a kick. One of the best evenings I've had this year was when two mormons stopped by. As long as I'm not busy with something, I'll talk to them. Why not? Have a real conversation about important things with grownups who don't want to talk about poop, potty-training or Sesame Street? Sounds great to me. It doesn't bother me if they think I'm going to hell. Maybe I'll change their mind.

We've had a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses come by, too, but after the last one I argued with, they stopped coming. I think word got out: "Ooh, crazy, informed lady! Avoid!"

Jess

Argh. This happens to us all the time. My mother, sister, and I are all atheists; my dad was raised Christian but does not attend church or really practice his religion in any way. We usually just don't answer the door when we see them coming, or if we do accidentally open up, we just head them off quickly and say something like, "We're happy with our own belief system, thank you," and close the door.

Wish it were that easy on my college campus. There are two or three people who come almost every day to pace the plaza with *huge* signs -- "REPENT" followed by every class of 'evil' people -- Democrats, homosexuals, those who are not 'saved', educated women, alcohol drinkers, drug users, "abortionists", and birth control users being just a few. (I'd like to meet the person who doesn't fall into ANY of the categories they've got on that sign!) So they stand out there with their signs and their Bibles and shout about how evil we all are, and try to assault us with pamphlets and speeches when we walk by. Like that's going to make anybody change! My friends and I call them the Religion Snipers.

bebemiqui

I don't care what affiliation you happen to have...if you want someone to respect your beliefs, and maybe even want them to share the good stuff you've found, simply live who YOU are in such a way that they'll respect your religious choice. They may even have a better view of that religious group as a whole by your example. I'm a Christian and I have been embarrassed time and time again by the behavior of others who claim my religion. I used to waitress and had some nice old ladies leave me a TRACT (what!?) instead of a tip. Talk about a turn-off. I called their church (number was on the back) and left a complaint. I'm all about just living what and Who and I know and if someone likes that or is encouraged by that, good. If not, maybe I need to re-evaluate my attitude.

Michelle

I wouldn't say I've been rude - I just don't answer the door or I'll talk through the door and say "no thank you." The whole notion of proseltyizing in itself is just annoying. I just remember when I was a young girl and some Jehovah's Witnesses came to our door during our Passover seder - in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. I'm guessing they knew exactly what they were doing.

Jen

The part where you mentioned catching some flak? yeah, well... that's true. Not in an angry way, but I do just want to point out that perhaps that was the reason... but perhaps not. I think it's dangerous to assume that anyone who wishes to share their religion is only trying to get you to come and tithe to their church. (Though perhaps you assume this only about door-to-door solicitations). Some people are just that convicted about their faith.

I do think this is a terrible way to go about getting people interested in other religions and I'm not a proponent of forcing any faith down someone's throat... but it didn't seem that these people were nasty... and I just don't think it's fair for you to assume their intentions.

In any case, I do think you handled it gracefully, which is more than others could say... on both ends.

justice league

What a shame that people don't just say "No, Thank you.", close the door and leave it at that.
What a shame that politeness on both sides couldn't be encountered.
I always just say "We have our own belief's and we aren't interested, Thank you very much." I've never run into anyone who says much else after that.

Robin P

I never understood the need to convert others to my religion. I'm Jewish. Rich is pagan although he kind of grew up Catholic and Baptist. (Don't ask....long story.) Before we got married he asked me if I wanted him to convert to Judaism.

I said no. For me,my religion was part of my upbringing. We went to my grandparent's house for Passover,our house for Chanukah...and we had all kinds of great traditions.

Rich had grown up with other traditions. I didn't want him to give those up.

We have raised Lillianna to be Jewish and Rich shares our holidays just like we share his.
It's a nice blend.

The point is....I didn't even try to convert my own husband. Why would I want to convert anyone else??

Michelle

Well, I'm Jewish, and it's pretty obvious from the Jewish star and Hebrew writing on the mezuzah hanging outside my door. But that stops no one. It's really annoying. It's also annoying that since we've moved into this new neighborhood, every church in the area has sent us invitations to come join them. How presumptious!

Teacher Lady

I really liked this post. All semester long, I had a student proclaiming her religious views for all to hear and it drove me nuts. Especially since I teach a Human Sexuality course. Chapter on birth control? "But the Lord told us to be fruitful and multiply." Wish I could have said, "Your Lord is not the same as MY Lord" without getting fired.

LauriJon

I'm catholic and I think religious solicitations door-to-door reduce religious solicitors to the status of a vacuum cleaner salesman. It's one more step more annoying then phone solicitations at dinner time. I have no desire to convert anyone and believe in live and let live!

Amanda

I loved your post. My husband and I are in the exact same boat. We had this scene occur monthly when we lived in the south. People would come to the door trying to convert us, not to converse with us. It was a pointless conversation.

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