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 used to pretend to be civil but it only encourages them. I used to be more tolerant of religious people and their beliefs. But I look at the world and the harm inflicted by religion and see no reason to be polite. We are in the midst of a cultural war between the intolerance of belief and the rise of secular humanism and rational thought. As a gay man I have borne the brunt of religion attempting to influence our supposedly secular civil government. "Family values" and "Defense of Marriage" are used as weapons in an attempt to infringe upon the civil rights of those of us who do not buy into their narrative. Tax free donations to religious organizations are used to initiate bigoted ballot referendums and our military is used to impose cultural imperialism on other nations spurred on by religious wing nuts who lobby those sympathetic to their cause in Congress and even state legislatures. I now lay in wait for anyone foolish enough to knock on my door with their idiotic babble and bible tracts. I shut them down as quickly as possible, tell them to get off the property and have even been known to chase them down the street hurling epithets. Just recently two women came to my door with two children in tow. I angrily accused them of child abuse and when they hesitated to leave I chased them to the curb with a rolled up newspaper held menacingly in my hand. One woman was in tears. Good! I'm sure I made no converts but neither did they and the fracas drew attention from my neighbors several of whom later congratulated me tired of the annoyance of these people knocking on their doors. The world is embroiled in numerous wars all of which have some religious component to them. Christians, in particular, are responsible for millions of deaths in recent times in their endless Crusades against the non-believers and even violently quarrel amongst themselves as in Northern Ireland. The US military is in the forefront of these Crusades and I resent their activities carried out in my name. Just come to my door with your nonsense. Make my day!
I had a sign on my door that said "No solicitors, especially religious." It worked.
If you give them the opening, they will try to preach as they feel conversion is their religious duty. What I do is simple - as soon as they start talking, I interrupt and say - "if this is about religion - thank you, but no thanks - have a good day" at that point I close the door - by not giving them the opportunity to talk they simply walk away and don't return - you don't have to tell them what you believe - its none of their business.
I understand your inclination to be polite and guard your own identity. Maybe as a gay man in my 60's and having lived out in the open all my life despite the hostility especially years ago I have learned that being direct is the better policy. Look at the gains gay people have made in the past 40 years. I think it is a result, not so much in changes to the law, but in changes to the gay community itself which has refused to live in the shadows an to be more militant in our demands for civil rights and justice. I think agnostics and atheists should do the same. Come out of the shadows and declare ourselves! Society will not only take notice but change for the better.
I certainly aren,t civil to them at all.As an ex JW and an atheist now( also classed as an apostate by JWs)I have a sign on my door and on my letter box that says No Jehovah Witnesses!If by chance they did still grab me as I got in the car, I tell them F... off, I am an apostate.My daughter was molested by one of them in the cult as I call it, and it was kept within the church.She was one of many.To me JWs are just another brainwashing cult,and to cut my story short just use a sign on your post box or door, they won,t be back.As they usually do 6 weekly rounds in the hope that you may be at a low ebb e.g your wife died etc, and they get you when your down .
No trespassing signs and beware of dogs, although mine are actually small, but they don't know that.
I have three large wolf-dogs and wolf head tattooed on the neck so every time they come in past I just pointed at the neck told them that my gods are thousands of years older than theirs and if they like to chance meeting their descendant while pointing at the dogs. They usually almost running away. Use to be polite and just telling them I'm not interested but Jehovah witnesses kept sending new preachers couple times a week as they have base somewhere nearby and they had become quite aggressive and intrusive upon rejection including just opening door and walking in without even knocking (guys worst mistake in life, had to be taken to hospital with bite wounds on booth ankles). They tried it few more times, but now keeping safe distance from all the houses in neighbourhood. Neighbours love me and my dogs now
I try to out crazy them. For example if they claim to have heard the word of God I mention that I hear the word of Cuthulu and he says to unleash choas upon the world. They usually leave quickly after that lol
I do not engage proselytizing people. I simply say no thanks. There really is no point in engaging with people who believe a story that starts with a talking snake.
I got a couple of knockers the other day in fact. Although I think they are cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs I treat them just as I would anyone else trying to sell me something I'm not interested in. I politely say no thank you, smile & wish them a nice day.
They are still human beings (albeit brainwashed) but I won't be shitty to anyone simply because I disagree with their lifestyle or choices.
I enjoy planting seeds of doubt in Mormons. I read enough of their book and of the Bible to know how to confuse them.
I just tell them that I'm not interested in their product.
Engage with them without becoming irascible however blinkered their views on such existential subjects.Few door knockers know much about science and their big argument these days is that despite all the advances in knowledge we still do not know how life began ( although Lawrence Kraus and other top physicists may disagree).My usual reply is that even if their is a deist god who started the whole process of life and the universe in which life exists, there is no proof that there is a theistic godly figure who sent his son to earth to die for us, that we were born in sin or that He sent a further messenger in the seventh century as a final call to arms for those who believe in an after life.
No mutually satisfactory conclusion is ever reached at the door but a I have usually enjoyed myself whilst the caller is happy that the door was opened and a conversation occurred.
I deal with door knockers in the same way I deal with charity muggers who accost me in the street ; "permiso, no hablo inglese". It works a treat here in Australia where virtually no-one speaks Spanish.
I like to start with the core stories in the Bible. Noah is obviously the best one to bring up because it is obviously rediculous. Most of them that come to your door have little knowledge of what they are even trying to sell and haven’t heard real arguments from the other side. I keep the discussion simple but go for the throat with facts that can’t be disputed. Works every time. They never come back and it is always fun for me. Not for them but for me ?
Usually casual Conversation turns into relentless fortune telling about my eternal demise. That turns into asking for supernatural evidence and they always turn up nil. I always offer a polite return when they can wow me with godly powers or intuition, but until then I'll trust what I can see ?.
Jehovah's Witnesses are the most prevalent in my area. I don't deal with them much because if they approach me, I tell them that they aren't allowed to speak to me because I'm a former JW who was "disfellowshipped". (I'm not, but I tell them this.) It's worked wonderfully because other JW's in my area are then warned not to approach me because they believe I've been shunned by one of their congregations.
I learned this trick from my ex-sister-in-law who actually is a disfellowshipped JW.
Never done this myself but I have a friend who answers the door nearly naked!
LOL, I answered the door once directly from the shower with just the towel wrapped around me.
Two JW women were standing there hold the screen door open and I pushed the main wooden door back behind me while trying wrest the screen door from them, the breeze rose up and the main door began to swing towards my back so, not actually thinking but out sheer reaction, I released the hand grasping the towel so I could stop the door, the towel fell to the floor and they left my front yard with extreme haste.
How timely. Last weekend, while nursing a hangover in my bikini briefs, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—only this and nothing more.”
But they wouldn't let up. So I went out and looked around, shirtless and grimy, thinking something afoot and slimey--lo, it was only the Jehovah's Witnesses. Before I could slip away, they espied me and alas I was waylaid for blimey, 30 minutes or more.
So I ended telling this guy I believed in this legendary being named Bruce Lee. I had it on good authority he actually existed and probably could whip any man living or dead, pound for pound, with his bare hands. Since he didn't have any money or food, just a pamphlet, I didn't know what else to tell him.
--I am lying, of course. But isn't that more fun that what really happened?
That's a very, very thorough observation of the world we live it. Very Admirable.