Dear Mormons: I do appreciate you stopping your car to ask if I needed help carrying my groceries home today. It’s something we don’t see very often these days. However, when your next sentence is the beginning of your religious script that is designed to convert me, it makes me wonder if the only reason you asked to help was to have a chance to proselytize.
Any respect for what you just did just flew out the window.
Why can’t you just offer to help someone without attaching strings? Could it be that people are just not responding well enough to the door to door thing so now you must push your faith on people walking home? Were you driving around waiting for an opportunity like this?
I didn’t take them up on their offer, by the way. I enjoy the exercise and fresh air after sitting all day at work (I write for a living), and I don’t drive with strangers, especially two young men I don’t know. When I told them thank you but I don’t need a drive, they went right into their script as I’m standing there with my heavy groceries. Really?? Is it so hard to just do a kind deed for the sake of doing a kind deed?? If I offered someone a ride, I wouldn’t try to convince them to become an atheist– I’d just want to help them out!
They asked if I had ever talked to a missionary before, I told them I used to be one myself. They then asked if I was a missionary with their church, and I said politely and very briefly that I was once a Christian missionary but I am no longer religious. They looked very shocked indeed! lol. I then wished them well and continued on my way with my groceries. I kind of wish I had flat-out said I was an atheist instead of simply not religious, that would have made an even bigger impression I’m sure.
Dear Jehovah’s Witnesses: You’ve come to my door several times. It’s getting old. How many times do I have to politely tell you that I’m not religious and don’t want to be before you will respect that? I would be much more impressed if you came to my door when I first moved in to offer me cookies, building a friendship. When I never see you except when you’re pushing your faith on me, it’s a HUGE turnoff. You make it perfectly clear that you only care about promoting your religion- you don’t care about me as an individual person.
The same goes to any Christian or religious group that uses these tactics. I know some other fundamentalist/religious groups do these things as well. If you’re handing out flyers for a community outreach event or program, that I can respect, even if I don’t like the underlying witnessing that may be present there- but at least it’s something of substance.
What I respect the most is when people simply help each other- no strings attached. If someone asks you what you believe or why you’re doing it that’s great, those are the opportunities you should look for! But don’t push it on people, especially after making them feel obligated by doing something nice for them!