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?
Nice polite people: no thanks I am a Buddist.
Pushy obnoxious people: get off my property and never come back!
The worst was on a cold, blustery winter day, temps in the low 30's with major wind chill. Huge guy in floor-length heavy overcoat, boots, scarf, mittens came to my door carrying a tiny little girl, maybe 4, wearing nothing but a pink party dress & dress shoes with ankle socks. I told him if he didn't get that child into proper outdoor clothing in the next 3 minutes I was calling the police. Apparently Gawd wants children to get frostbite so my soul will be saved?
I just tell them I'm agnostic. Had one lady say "Well we know some people who have had experiences that led them to believe that way" and I wanted to say it's more about what hasn't been experienced but oh well. Mum used to say she was Catholic, that seemed to work the best.
I live on an island and am spared Door-knockers. However, some time ago I did find a pamphlet from the local 7th Day Adventists by the door. I took the pamphlet along with a recent FFRF newsletter to their hall and left them with a message of thanks for sharing their info. and I am returning the favor. No more pamphlets.
My late partner would actually go after business people for leaving copies of their religious beliefs in the waiting areas and she often would take this material and hide it. Sometimes I got a little nervous being with her but learned a trick or two.
I look them straight in the eye, tell them I'm a committed atheist and a proponent of secularism, atheism, and the dying out of religion on this planet, that I admire the New Atheists greatly, and that I am the very definition of them wasting their time, and I do it in one breath. Been practicing. These days that say in reply things like: "Do you know anyone nearby we could help?" I reply, "Why, so you can spread your religious virus to them? You must be joking." By then they've had enough and leave. All I need is a black cat to hiss at them as they turn to leave and it would be perfect. Point here: tell them straight and let them know we are non-believers in the 21st Century and we are different.
If they are out walking in the heat in those "modest" and too formal for the weather clothes, I offer them a drink of water and a moment's respite from the heat. I'm very firm about having zero interest in what they are selling, but if they respect that I'm okay with a little polite chit chat while they cool off for a minute. I may or may not volunteer that I'm an atheist. Their religion is none of my business and visa versa is where I normally leave it. I'm seriously not interested in a debate. If they are driving door to door I feel less concern for their comfort and do not invite them in. But I make it clear there's no point in trying to preach to me. I say something like, no, I'm good. Only if they become aggressive do I drop the bombshell that I don't believe in God's and that they are truly wasting their time.
Nice! You handled that with far more diplomacy than I do. I usually bring up something in the bible that contradicts their verses they are quoting because as we all know, they love to quote that bible as a tool to sway you to their side and as we also all well know, that bible is full of contradictions that can be used against them. Works rather well too because most CHristians do not really know the book that is the bastion of their faith.
Here in the bigot belt it is JWs and Mormons. i rather enjoy engaging with them if they agree to my conditions, which are generous considering they are invading my space with offensive proselytizing -- to wit, I'll go first for 5-10 minutes and then you can ask me questions if you wish, but your question time comes out of your matching time to preach to me. Having considered all they can offer decades ago, it is kind of sad to see their feeble attempts to convert me. i once told a pair of wet behind the ears mormons that heaven sounded interminably boring, but hell, on the other hand, while not the best climate, at least would have some cool folks to hang with. The JWs -- we could at least agree their was no hell. Not in the biblical sense anyway -- but hell exists. I walked through its gates when i visited Auschwitz.
I have also regularly met Christians who think the only difference between us Jews and them is that we're still waiting for the Messiah. I tell them Messianism is only one thread of Jewish thought and hope, and that the tumultuous historical nexus of the Roman Empire at its height was a main driver of wishes for a righteous, political savior. Overlooking that overall context led to a misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Jesus's nature and role. Desperate persecution of Jews after their decimation in Judea and in their Diaspora, caused the pre-existing Messianic thread to blossom into hopes for a Jewish Savior of the Jews--largely to save them from their here-and-now oppressions, not to show the right way to an afterlife.
They regularly invade my neighborhood with flyers. It’s quite annoying. Recently some religious coworkers at my job filed a claim that I was “threatening to ‘bomb’ the tattoo policymaker for making me cover my tattoos at work” ... As silly as that sounds, they literally got the police banging on my door as loud as door-knockers themselves. Eventually this will all get sorted out as I have nothing to hide from law enforcement, let alone investigators of alleged terrorists, and the police were very friendly and said I was cool. I figure it takes one to know one in this case, as far as people whose “sincerely held religious belief” causes them to hate and assume all of us LGBTQ people are “taking to the terroristic,” and I definitely have to say, a number of mornings I open my front door in my apartment complex and despite the “no soliciting” bylaws in effect in my complex, it feels like a “bomb” went off with all the flyers littered everywhere! Some of the “fallout” always makes it to my doorknob! XD I think it’s hillarious actually. I honestly tend to just ridicule those aggressive superstitious losers with Gay Satanic imagery.
We have a glass door, so I can see if its an adult or a child/adult. If its the latter, I open the door and politely but firmly say no. I don't care to hear your spiel. If its an adult, then I'm more.. brusk.. open the door and if I see a bible/religious item, its a very firm NO and the door closes. if its salesperson (cable tv), you've got .005 seconds before the NO comes out. I look at uniform/logos, etc.
Generally I'm pretty kind. I politely decline their offer. Once in a great while, if I'm bored, I let them in and either a) act like I'm totally in to what they are offering "I'm a convert! Hallelujah!" or b) totally debunk their ridiculous arguments (I'm a seminary grad and know the bible pretty well). But I have to be in the mood, and usually they are not impressed. I'm sure they get it all and are only doing it, not because they believe it themselves, but because it's "what you do" if you are a _____ (fill in the blank).