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 tell them "I grew up in the church. That's where I learned that there is no god. It's been nice talking to you. Have a nice day. Bye"
I'm never rude, especially to the children on a Mormon mission. They have been brainwashed their entire lives. They don't know any better.
I invite them in and offer them wine. Then I sit inappropriately and ask lots of questions about how their religion deals with sex and orgies. They’re usually ready to leave immediately. And they NEVER come back. I think they have a “no-visit” list and I get added. I’ve only tried his with Mormons. I wouldn’t do this with baptists.
Kindness, always kindness. I have had similar encounters with LDS and others. they are always surprised at how happy I am. I usually give them a tour of my home show them how wonderful my life is without god and then explain the burdens that religion puts on one's ability to think for themselves. I turned my garage into an art studio complete with a kick wheel (real, not electric), sink, drawing table (handmade by me), canvas holder (built by me), new sliding glass doors for extra light, and I repaved the floor for level. I show them this and my backyard, complete with backyard chickens, garden and two sheds that I built. I then explain to them that before I stopped believing in god I was always waiting, waiting for someone else to do the work. I was always told to "Cast your cares on God for he cares for you" and other nonsense. This type of "hopes and prayers" thinking prevented me from taking matters into my own hands. Christianity, especially evangelical Pentecostal non-denominational Christians are extremely oppressive. I explain that if I were to let god back into my life that I would again lose my ability to think for myself and I don't want to experience that type of hell ever again. anyway, kill em with kindness.
I used to just tell them "Thanks, but we're Catholic" as I closed the door. Now I have a big "No Soliciting" sign that I will just point to if one should darken my doorway again. I'd rather not get into an argument with someone who knows where I live! Some Christians here in the bible belt can be fairly hostile towards atheists.
I often get Mormons, and the ones around here try to get on your good side through their willingness to help. They usually offer to mow my lawn or rake my leaves, and I let them. I have a big yard. It takes quite a long time. By the time they finish, they usually have to call it a day and go home, and they apologize for not being able to stay and talk. No apology necessary guys!
There’s little I enjoy more than talking to people about worldviews, so if I have time, I invite them in and try to demonstrate that living a reasoned life doesn’t require that a person be rude or uncivil. They are human beings. They are my neighbors. I want to make the best impression I can, and still be candid about my beliefs. The last group that came by, after finishing their required spiel and realizing I was not conversion material, lapsed into just being friendly folks and politely asked if they could snap some pics of my artwork. It was a pleasant encounter, and I like to think they might remember it as being different from their usual experience. I know the Mormon kids are away from home for two years, and live under constant scrutiny doing a mostly thankless task. I try to make my home a sanctuary where they can have a moment away from the glaring eyes of their supervisors, and let their hair down a bit. Some of them seem to appreciate it. I want them to see that there could be more than just one way to live a good life.
I was out walking my dogs. One is tiny and chill, the other is an 80 lb love monster that tried to lick the faces off of Sister Smith and Sister Pugsley. They were both dressed In a white button down long sleve blouse with a high waisted tea leangth navy skirt with black tights and black loafers. I thought they looked so weird. They were super persistant even though I was obviously trying to wrangle a big huge beast. I was curious so I figured I would let them talk. After they wouldn't stop going on and on I eventually kindly let them know I was a believer at one point and no longer identified as such. They asked why, let me know that their church is different and really doesn't sugar coat anything because they actually preach the word (they alllll say that), and tried to leave some literature with me. Later I had to leave the apartment and they were still walking around the building next to me. I was going to wave (it's Texas and friendliness is one of the few redeeming factors of living here in my opinion) but they made a 180 and scurried in the opposite direction of me... the whole thing was just weird, that's all.
Generally, there is an assumption that people can walk up and knock on your door without an invitation. Putting up a clear sign that reads "No Soliciting or Proselytizing" will notify door to door salesmen and people espousing religious doctrine they're not welcome.
My uncle was looking outside his front window a number of years ago. He saw 2 JWs going from door to door, heading his way. It was an older woman and younger girl, maybe 20 or so. They stepped on the porch and he opened the door with "Howdy, gals! Come on in. The old lady's gone and we can have a good time!" They took off as if someone were shooting at them.
Come flat and tell them I am an Atheist, when you can prove to me without a shadow of a doubt, your gods dick is bigger than any of the other god's dicks.. then I might consider it.. until then.. don't spread your crazy on my property or you might be sorry next time. Have yet to see anyone show up to my door since.
Haven't had to deal with it for years but my favorite memory is of Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on the door quite early. I had had a raucous night the eve before. Pulled myself out of bed early and answered the door naked. That was quite effective.
Haven't had any ''door knockers'' in a while, but I do have a co-worker who is a Witness. Talking about religions with this person is a bit tricky to put it nicely. The person is 100% convinced he/she is right, while I have been always a person who questions things and believes that there are always uncertainties.
Always difficult to communicate with a ''complete'' or a ''perfect'' person.
E: Sorry, I kinda dodged the original question with my whataboutism...
I try to deal with them with respect and try to find atleast some common ground. Doesn't always work which results in me leaving the situation.
I'm always extremely polite. I live in a small town and being rude to one's fellow citizens isn't something that goes over well here nor does it go along with what I think is proper.
On one of the hottest days of the year I stepped out of my house and there were two well dressed,middle aged, black women on my doorstep. They were Jehovah's witnesses.
I invited them to come in out of the heat and they said they weren't allowed to go into anyone's house. I offered them ice water and they politely declined.
I told them that I've studied a bit of theology and my views are complicated. They respected that and didn't bother trying to get me to buy into their ideas.
They told me that people in my neighborhood are very nice. My neighbor across the street had also invited them in and offered refreshment. I live in a redneck rural area and they were prepared to be treated badly because of their color. They were very happy be on our road which is populated by nice people.
As a former 20 year door knocker, I should warn you that if you engage with them, your address will be noted as a person of good will. The visits will then multiply. Also, you can't change their minds and they attend weekly ministry school to learn how to overcome objections. You best response is to politely say " No thank you, I'm not interested". Do not offer more information or they will feel engaged. Gently close the door. I only say "gently" because slamming the door is aggressive and hurts their feelings, which isn't necessary.