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?
I ask these “fundamentalist door knockers” into my house-lock the door & offer them some tea or coffee then go through their tiny minds like a chainsaw. I torture them with facts and knowledge about the cruel Bible & why their imaginary God is a psychopath. And in our discussions which become an interrogation it becomes very clear why belief in a religion and an imaginary God is a mental illness.
Since I used to be the one doing the knocking, I have some compassion for these folks. It was never a natural thing for me to do and I hated it. I was dragged into it by my parents. Depending on my mood, I either don’t answer the door or I explain that I’m a former and no longer interested.
I love it when religious door knockers come knocking at my door. I have heard of many people slamming the doors on their faces, but not me. I invite them in and ask them questions. I used to be a Christian for many years and thought I knew what I believed and why I believed them until I started questioning my own beliefs, and I found out I really had no good reason to believe these things any more. Now, I use the same techniques on them as I used on my self. When questioning them, it is easy to find out from them that they are not fully sold on what they themselves are being sold, which they begin to manifest by their stuttering and stammering. All in all, I handle them by questioning them not to show them up, but to help them as much as I have helped myself. I can still remember that I was once where they are not very long ago. It doesn't offend me that they sometimes express sympathy toward me for my non beliefs, because I was once where they now are. I have had good conversations with believers as well.
I invite them in. I never mind discussing. Since I am a school teacher, by nature I am open to others expressing themselves as they make sense of the world around them. We all need to connect with others. Many door-knockers are surprised to be invited in. I've learned that one way to say "No" is to find a way to say "Yes."
When I lived in a neighborhood where people would go door-to-door, I posted a NO SOLICITING sign. Of course they would ignore this. My first question to them was to ask if they could read. When they said yes... I told them they must have missed my NO SOLICITING sign. They automatically jump to the "Oh, we aren't asking for money!"
It was then I would reach into the little drawer in a plant stand I had by the front door. I kept slips of paper in there with this printed on it...
noun: solicitation; plural noun: solicitations
the act of asking for or trying to obtain something from someone.
I would hand them the definition, then close the door.
In the Netherlands we have stickers (provided by the local gouvernement) that you can put on your mailbox. In my case Yes to charity and No to sellers or religious proselytizing. It really works in the Netherlands and do not get interrupted anymore. It saves you time, frustration and you can evade those silly discussion. So I agree with Chainsmkmtair that a sign may be a very effective way of prevention. Otherwise you can also shock them by answering the door naked if they are too stubborn to respect the sign.
I tell them "I have my beliefs already, but thanks" and move to close the door.
If they get pushy, I get inappropriate.
I was challenged a few weeks by an Ernest young man who put his foot in the storm door..."may I ask what those are?"
That pissed me off.
Looking at his foot I followed it all the way up to his eyes.
"I believe you would look a LOT better naked in my bed"
He turned a few shades of red and pulled his foot back.
"You boys have a nice day"
I shut my door.
In our neighborhood we have a homeowners group rules that helps keep solicitation of thus Hyperion. this helps to keep the door knockers out of the neighborhood. And the event that we get door knockers we just call homeowners groups leaders tell them about the problem and they send security out
I have had Witnesses come and "visit". I hear them out and even take their literature. I have found that, if you question them enough about some of the idiotic parts of the Bible they will reach a point where they will not be able to find an answer. Since I am retired I have plenty of time and there is plenty of shit in the Bible to ask questions about.
I like engaging them civilly. I tend to go for a Platonic questioning route and let them talk and inevitably they talk themselves into something silly. Usually this repeats over and over, but I'm good with that if I have the time.
I get the feeling they never get to talk without it being a pitch and I've had some lovely conversations on mild sunny days where the elder of the two rushed the younger away when they started nodding at my statements.