An acquaintance of mine who is aware I am not a believer, keeps inviting me church functions like picnics & other social events. Several years ago I went to a christmas concert. I had nothing else to do that Saturday afternoon & I like music. Her pastor ended up sermonizing for at least 1/2 an hour of the 'concert'.
Since then I've declined most other invitations because these functions are much too "preachy" for me. Still she keeps persisting.
Finally, last weekend I lost my patience & asked her why she didn't take the hint & stop inviting me to these things.I wasn't interested in being preached to under the guise of entertainment.
She got into a snit & said I was "insulting" her closely held beliefs. I reminded her that she'd shown no respect for my beliefs over the years.
Could I have handled this in another, more diplomatic way?
She has apparently picked you to try to convert you to her church. No, there's no polite way to say no, because she won't accept no for an answer. She's using the manipulation techniques that the church has taught her. Yes, they actually talk over strategies for converting people. Her snit was part of the act, so don't feel bad about it. You didn't try telling HER what to believe, after all. Not following someone else's religion is not insulting them.
I heard a good comment recently that when Santa Claus lands on my roof I'll believe in him. Well, when god personally appears out of thin air and invites me to a church I'll go.
While there is always a more diplomatic way of handling any situation, hindsight is always 20/20. If you had politely declined her invitations repeatedly and she still asked several times more, I think you did what anyone else probably would have done. You are only responsible for your own actions and feelings, not hers. Diplomacy only goes so far sometimes and then you have to be more direct. What I see is her being in the wrong but not being able to accept responsibility for it. I don't see how you insulted her beliefs when she clearly did not respect yours. Given the situation, I think you handled it OK.
I think you should have been way more honest since the beginning. And not let it go that far. I guarantee you that she was taking you attending those events as her doing “god’s work”, trying to convince you.
But what happened, happened. And as you explained it, you did the right thing given the circumstances.
Good luck in the future.
I'd say you were good.
However, I am perhaps them most outspoken atheist I know and, surrounded by theists, live alone with no expectations of every finding a suitable rational (not theist) woman to share my life with so my opinion is rather biased.
Diplomacy doesn't work in trying to reason with a person with a narrow, self-imposed,intolerant frame of reference. It can be neither appreciated nor understood by them.
I'm happy for you at least that you recognize or relate to them as an acquaintance and not a friend.
There's always a 'more diplomatic way' but here you have someone who you've identified as 'an acquaintance' as opposed to a friend, who knows your belief system, but continues to ask you to join her, and when you reach your limit of having to decline, are accused of 'insulting' her belief system. It seems to me that most believers, of whom I was once a member, never once consider how 'insulting' that their repeated solicitations and even proselytizing very often is to the uninterested nonbeliever.
Perhaps you shouldn't have stewed so long that you lost your patience? I don't know. But I can pretty much guarantee you that your friend is confusing lack of interest with "insult", or, more exactly, personal attack, and that is HER problem, not yours. To most fundamentalists, anyone who doesn't share their enthusiasms constitute an irrational perception of an existential threat.
You must be quite young because the answer was to never even get to that point., Be proud of yourself and amplify that with respectful ways that they are out too lunch and you do not want to go
In our younger years we continue to care about hurting other;s feelings and that is a wonderful training ground for reality, We know we are good, as to even care, but the only reason they keep trying is that they do believe you are the one lacking and they can indeed save you.
You are the one knowing and you may serve them a wonderful experience by saying bye bye
Many years ago I worked with a Roman catholic guy and one friday I was sitting in the works canteen tucking into my steak and chips (I think it must have been payday) when my Catholic friend joined me with his fish and chips and then started berating me for eating meat at his table on a friday. He was quite a bit older than me and very kind to me so I just laughed it off.
It is always a touchy subject but if your friend is a christian surely she should forgive you . Of course maybe she feels that it is her duty to save your soul from eternal damnation and will nver let up.
Probably leaving out the opening question would have been better, since it made things personal for her. & then saying you don't like the preaching part because, as she knows, you don't share her beliefs. But if she's been insulting your beliefs for years, maybe it needed to happen the way it did.