Whether they be Witnesses, Mormons, or another proselytizing religion, how do you deal with people coming to your door to spread their religion?
I just had my first experience since getting a place of my own and had a decent conversation through the crack in my door. After I told him I was an atheist he tried to use apologetics; when I told him I was familiar with his arguments and didn't find them convincing further explaining that I take a scientific route of belief and chose not to believe until there is evidence for a god. He understood and thanked me for explaining and listening to him and he left with a handshake. I was surprised at myself for how civil I was to him but how does everyone else usually respond?
If I'm not working on my website - I take the time to talk to them. I've only had Witnesses come to my door and when I am able, I invite them to chat on my back deck. I've had some good conversations and even made a friend who I learned a lot from and despite our differences we continue to remain friends to this day 24-years after our first conversation. I don't feel the need to negatively react to door-knockers because they don't know whose door they're knocking on and the fact that they keep doing it despite some frightening encounters demonstrates a great deal of courage.
Politely point to the "Do not knock sign" I calmly explain I don't share their beliefs and wish them a good day. No need to be rude. They're people. Just misguided people.
Im not trying to intentionally be mean but usually I start laughing and tell them that they have no idea what they're about to get into..most of the time that's enough.
You were certainly more polite and accommodating than I'm willing to be. I haven't had one since I told them I was a witch.
The most fun I've ever had was with the Mormons the last time they stopped by. I enthusiastically thanked them for the Book of Mormon. They asked me if I was familiar with it. I gushed about how I loved it and it was my absolute favorite Broadway show. If you haven't seen the show, you really shoud.
I conpletely forgot that I could also offer them a beer and an anti-depressant. Who knows? It could turn into an orgy of some kind.
I believe in being civil, like you, and I sometimes have a conversation and explain my views but it depends how busy I am. I make it clear that I am a practicing atheist and i think it is good for them to hear that there are such totally opposite points of view.
I honestly quite like Mormons. I think they're generally quite invested in their faith and community, and often do good work. There are strong ideological differences between us, but I'll invite Mormons in for a cup of water if they've been walking around all day. I like to explain that I am atheist, and that I have no interest in their religion, but that I am happy to share some stories with them or a little bit of food.
Generally, I hope to show them the kindness they don't often see, even in self-identified Christians, and it brings me pleasure to show them a little kindness.
I invite them in and debunk the Bible for them.
It always gets me on their "no knock" list
A quick story: One peaceful Saturday afternoon in Burbank, Ca. about 6 years ago, there was a knock on my door, peaking threw the window I could see three woman, two men, Latino, dressed very well and carrying bibles, so I opened the door with a big smile on my face and said "hello". The lady closest to me said, in English, "Hi, we are from the church of Latter Day Saints and we wanted to...."...I interrupted her in prefect Spanish (I'll translate...) "Oh, I am sorry, I do not speak English"...and she smiled so big and said, in Spanish, "Oh you speak Spanish, so do we" (as she looked behind her and they were all listening) ...when I said, in English, "sorry I don't speak Spanish"...and shut the door. They started at each other, as to confirm that they all just experienced the same thing, shook their heads and walked off the porch. Priceless.
I usually just tell them I'm Catholic. I did engage with a couple of Mormon missionaries once. They really wanted to chat with an atheist, having never met one before. Nice kids.
Here's a great one.
I used to work for a small town newspaper up North and every week we would call this guy, Mr. Green, to get the weather report. Now, it was a bit of a joke to see who would call him, because he was a HUGE weather fan. He could tell you, off the top of his head, the temperatures etc. for this day in the year going back decades! We would be on the phone with him FOREVER!
Anyhow, some JWs came to his door one time and their opening gambit was to mention the weather. Well, 45 minutes later the JWs were looking at their watches. "We really have to be going ..."
Posted this elsewhere but friends of a friend were butchering some chickens when Mormons showed up at the door. The guy, still wearing a bloody apron and carrying his bloody knife opened the door and said "yay, Christians!" They ran for a block.
I used to try to scare of them away, but lately I've taken to speaking with them and asking them what they believe and why they believe it.
I am always keen for a chat if I have the time. I regard this as a subset of my overall approach of "know your loonie." That's also why I keep tabs on Fox News - how we laughed. If they've made the effort to knock on the door, I really want to know what their motivation is.
I put up two signs, that keeps them away, as well as salesmen, and others: [amazon.com]
I'm always civil. If i have time I'll engage and discuss religion but mostly they seem to turn up when i'm practicng so i just say 'thanks but im not interested'
Years ago i did used to go out of my way to wind them up but thats not very nice and ive grown out of it
Hit on ‘em. Invite them in for weed, drinks, and sex.
I've used this approach on them before, with good effect. They seem to always travel in pairs and one or both of them always has a BuyBull in their hands which you get to kinda use as a prop. After the introductory small talk, focus your attention on the mouthy one doing most of the talking, like so:
You: Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden because they consumed the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, is that correct?
Them: That's right.
You: And we all know that the Forbidden Fruit wasn't actually apples like in the children's stories, but the Knowledge of Good and Evil, right?
Them: That's right.
You: And who was it that wanted Eve to taste the Forbidden Fruit and thereby talked her into learning exactly what was good and what was evil?
Them: Satan, the Serpent (or some minor variation thereof) they will say with fervent conviction.
You: And how do we know today what is good and what is evil?
Them: It's all right here in the BuyBull! (as they smile and raise it up in their hands to display it)
You: (as you point to their BuyBull, look them straight in the eyes a little squinty-like, very slightly lean toward them and only very slightly raise your voice to speak through clenched teeth) EXACTLY! DO YOU REALIZE YOU ARE HERE TODAY DOING THE WORK OF THE SERPENT?
Immediately as this irrefutable logic hits them, their eyes get a deer-in-the-headlights look of fear, they blanch white as the blood drains from their faces, and they have nothing to say. Sometimes they will momentarily look down at their BuyBull in horror, but they will always avoid further eye contact with you best they can as they go into a kind of stunned shock, and the conversation is basically over at that point. It's a good time to scold them a little bit if you want on the value of applying some critical thinking skills to what they are actually doing as opposed to what they thought or have been told they were doing, but it isn't really necessary. They will leave, never to return, and you'll go back to what you were doing before they interrupted you with the satisfaction that you've almost certainly made another religious 'kill' that they will never unlearn or recover from. And you'll enjoy a little chuckle every time the rest of that day and afterward that you remember the looks on their faces.
It depends if im high I might come to door in underwear smoking a jay. robe open. gun in hand playing porn loud
I am going to Hell for that one, wait...there is no such place....NEVER MIND!