Social Question

auhsojsa's avatar

What do you say when they come knocking at the door?

Asked by auhsojsa (2508 points ) February 3rd, 2012

In this scenario, what do you personally do when the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christians and over all Bible people come knocking at the door?
Do your insides scurry? Are you quick to lie? Do you just tell them you’re a Christian already? Etc.

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54 Answers

Charles's avatar

I tell them (I think) they are brainwashed and that I am not kidding.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I smile and just say “No thank you I am not interested.” If they insist I just repeat and start closing the door.
Any literature that is left behind goes in my wood burning stove for heat. 20 pounds of paper is worth $3.00 in heat.

King_Pariah's avatar

I tell them that I was raised christian but after a long and arduous journey, realized that I was actually a nihilist and that they’re wasting their time in trying to convert me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I actually had 3 of them walk up my driveway when I was in the middle of working on my son’s car. They started their speech and I smiled and politely said I was not interested but they continued, trying to tell me their book had all the answers. I said unless your book tells me which pin on this connector is ignition I am not interested.
They got the “hint”.

I don’t recall ever having an Atheist walk up my driveway unannounced and start a sales pitch. I appreciate that.

CWOTUS's avatar

You’re entirely welcome, @LuckyGuy.

I open the door to all comers, whether they come with clipboards and silly polls, petitions, certified mail, briefcases, Awake!, Watchtower, whatever. If they’re at my door on government business that I can’t walk away from (I did have a cop come to the door once, the first winter I was in my current house, to cite me for a sidewalk that had remained snow covered for a few hours too long). When they come with religious entreaties I still smile and tell them in a friendly way (aside from this forum, people really think I’m a pleasant guy – imagine that!) that I wish them luck and greener pastures elsewhere, but they’d be entirely wasting their time with me.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@CWOTUS Peace be with you. ;-)

DominicX's avatar

I would either completely ignore the door or tell them I’m not interested a.k.a. the truth. If that’s not enough for them, then they might have the door closed in their face. :\

thorninmud's avatar

It helps to understand how they see their work. They think that they’re part of God’s process of “separating the sheep from the goats”; in other words they are the instrument by which God gives everyone a chance to declare which side they’re on. If they think there’s even a remote chance that you could be a “sheep”—open to hearing “the Truth”—they will feel duty-bound to persist.

Unfortunately, the only way out is to send an unambiguous message that you are just fine with your status as a lost soul. That doesn’t necessarily involve being dickish. Something along the lines of “Nothing you or your literature or the Bible can say will change my mind. I need to go now.” I positively hate being that obstinate, but that’s goats do.

syz's avatar

Mostly I ignore the doorbell and let the dog bark.

marinelife's avatar

I try to ignore the doorbell. If forced to, I say that I’m not interested. I tend to get angry if they persist in the face of politeness.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I see no reason to be rude in such situations. Ever. I simply tell them what I tell phone solicitors, that I am not interested, I wish them a good day, morning, evening, weekend, whatever and I say good bye and I close the door. It is remarkably effective when done in a pleasant manner.

Qingu's avatar

If only such people knocked on my door.

Assuming I was dressed and sober, I would invite them in, make tea or coffee, maybe even make some cookies. I love talking to religious people. At some point I would ask them why they base their beliefs on a book that condones slavery, rape, and genocide.

TexasDude's avatar

I politely tell them “thank you, but I’m not interested.” They’ve never persisted beyond that point with me.

I used to like challenging them in an aggressive and confrontational way and acting like a douchebag to them, but then I turned 14 and realized that was stupid.

auhsojsa's avatar

@Qingu I’m a struggling Christian. Beliefs aren’t based on condoning slavery, rape, and genocide, if you’ve read the whole book, you’d know there was a chronicle order of how things went down before the seed, Jesus, was planted on earth. Not everything in the Bible was painted in a serious tone. The new testament is much, “lighter” and enlightening than the Old Testament.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I laugh, and tell them no, I’m not interested. The laughter isn’t intentional, and I think it’s a little rude, but I don’t seem to be able to stop myself. I’ve never had people persist if they’ve come to my door. I find that’s more likely to occur if I’m walking down the street, or on a bus or whatever – somewhere public.

Qingu's avatar

@auhsojsa, actually I have read the whole book. :) Except some of the psalms and Chronicles. That stuff gets repetitive.

I disagree that the NT is “lighter.” Jesus explicitly says we should still follow the OT laws so we can be called greatest in heaven (Matthew 5:17). Paul, despite his reservations about needing to follow certain OT laws, says the law is “holy, just, and good” (Romans 7:12). And the book of Revelation is not “light.” It gleefully describes the torture and death of all nonbelievers. It’s a bloody revenge fantasy, remarkably violent even for the apocalyptic genre.

Modern Christianity has obviously evolved away from the text of the Bible, cherry-picking the few parts that coincide with “enlightenment” morality and ignoring the rest. But most of the book is absolutely horrific. Including the NT.

auhsojsa's avatar

@Qingu Horrific? Interesting critique, I’d love for you to cite one example.

auhsojsa's avatar

@Qingu It’s interesting that nonbelievers point out the disgust of the Bible the key horrors, whilst believers tend to pull from the good. I guess it takes a cherry picker to know one :P

DominicX's avatar

Interestingly enough my mom is a Catholic and used to talk to two Jehovah’s Witness women who would come by every now and then and she got to know them in a limited way. That was until they accidentally gave her a pamphlet intended for people interested in converting and it had a part about Catholic schoolchildren pleasing the Devil by going to Catholic school and learning the catechism, etc. After that my mom told those people to leave and never come back. Now, other Jehovah’s Witnesses have come by and my mom brings up that information every time and they all just deny it and say “I don’t know about that…”

DominicX's avatar

@auhsojsa It becomes problematic when some people claim that the Bible can’t be “picked through” and that it’s flawless and/or timeless. Anyway, this is off-topic…

Qingu's avatar

I’ll cite several off the top of my head.

• Leviticus 25:45 says slavery should be legal. You can purchase slaves from foreigners, and you can pass them down to your kids.

• Numbers 31:15. Moses, acting on God’s commands, admonishes his troops for letting the Midianite civilian women to live. He tells his troops to kill all the women—except for the ones that are virgins. He tells his troops they can keep the virgin girls as “booty.”

• Deuteronomy 13:6. If anyone tries to get you to worship other gods, even your own family members, you must stone them to death “without mercy.”

• Deuteronomy 13:12. If a town reverts to paganism, you must commit genocide on the inhabitants, leaving nothing alive.

• Deuteronomy 20:10. If you go to war, offer the city terms of surrender first. If they accept, enslave them. If they don’t accept, fight them, kill all the men, and enslave the women and children.

• Deuteronomy 20:16. The above only applies to towns outside the holy land. When you make war in the holy land, you must “let nothing that breathes remain alive.”

• The entire book of Joshua. One God-ordered genocide after another, each one victoriously described and celebrated.

• Deuteronomy 22 (first section). If a bride cannot prove her virginity on her wedding night, stone her to death on the doorstep of her father’s house.

• Deuteronomy 22 (later section). If a married woman is raped by another man, she must be killed along with the rapist if the rape takes place in the city, since she obviously didn’t scream loudly enough. (If it’s in the country, spare her because she could have screamed loudly without anyone hearing).
If a non-betrothed woman is raped, she must marry her rapist. Her rapist simply pays her dad the brideprice, and he can’t divorce her—“you break it, you buy it.”

• 1 Timonty 6:1. Paul tells slaves to obey their earthly masters.

• 1 Corinthians 11:3. Paul says that man is the head of woman, just as Christ is the head of man.

I could go on at length. Like I said, these are the ones that I remember off the top of my head.

Qingu's avatar

@auhsojsa, there is probably some good to be pulled from Mao’s red book, or from the Turner Diaries as well. No text is completely evil, like the Necronomicon from “Army of Darkness.”

It is worth pointing out that the Bible is the only religious text I know of that actually commands genocide.

Qingu's avatar

The Quran does not order genocide. Its rules of warfare are much more humane than the Bible’s.

And FYI, in the Hindu religious epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, the Hebrews’ methods of warfare (targeting civilians, hamstringing horses, ambushing armies) would be considered offenses against the gods.

auhsojsa's avatar

@Qingu My tone is low key I hope you understand this, I don’t feel hostility with our back and forth I thought I’d like to touch base on that. I really respect your information. However, have you considered the fact that we were not living there in their time? As in, barbarism wasn’t uncommon, and that these laws although they sounded for the most part really militaristic was useful? Do you think we would be where we are right now without such passages of the Bible to be specific? It’s just that I tend to hear a lot, that people disregard the Bible, and history for that matter and the ways of the old was prehistoric, yet, it brought us to where we are now, and no historian no matter how great a critique will ever replace our ancestors feats. My point is, there is no right way or wrong way to have come this far, this far is happening and eventually will have happened, and so forth. There may be worse or better, but to ask someone why they believe in what they believe in is like not knowing what you believe in.

Qingu's avatar

I appreciate that you’re low-key; I meant what I said about being nice to religious folks who try to convert me. My problem is not with the people but with the content of the Bible. :)

I have three points in response to that.

1. It’s true that the bronze age was a barbaric time. But the Hebrews were uniquely barbaric. The Babylonians, the Greeks, and the Romans conquered plenty of people in warfare. They all engaged in horrible atrocities against civilians. But more often than not, they assimilated the conquered people’s culture. They didn’t seek to exterminate the cultures they conquered by wiping out every man, woman and child who belonged to it. Whereas the Hebrews apparently celebrated such exterminations—at least according to their holy texts.

2. The Bible doesn’t characterize this barbarism as a vestige of ancient times. I already cited the passage where Jesus says we should still follow these laws. And God himself says these laws are great. In Deuteronomy 4:2, he explains that all of the laws I mentioned should never be changed, and that other nations will look on their justice and wisdom in awe.

3. As far as such laws being “useful,” I am honestly at a loss for what you mean. This sounds like you are condoning genocide. Are you?

auhsojsa's avatar

@DominicX I agree it becomes problematic at that point. But like it or not, everyone in the world will have their own perceptions on any and everything. What I read and gather, isn’t what another might gather, how could we? We haven’t had the same experiences, we don’t share the same brain.

auhsojsa's avatar

@Qingu
Deuteronomy 13:12 (the one you posted is incorrect btw) So I’m not sure which version you are pulling from.
It’s a tricky slope for your number #3. I am against killing another. Let’s not forget in the Old Testament God is talking to those peoples and commanding them what to do, as opposed to continuous rules. For example a continuous rule is one like, don’t eat pork it’s unhealthy.
Anyways for me, I personally love what Jesus talks about. Love your neighbor, for me wipes out “kill a nation” or anything of that sort.

Qingu's avatar

Deuteronomy 13:12:

If you hear it said about one of the towns that the Lord your God is giving you to live in, that scoundrels from among you have gone out and led the inhabitants of the town astray, saying, ‘Let us go and worship other gods’, whom you have not known, then you shall inquire and make a thorough investigation. If the charge is established that such an abhorrent thing has been done among you, you shall put the inhabitants of that town to the sword, utterly destroying it and everything in it—even putting its livestock to the sword. All of its spoil you shall gather into its public square; then burn the town and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt-offering to the Lord your God.

Note that this is a “continuous rule.”

But as for the other genocide commandments, I don’t really see how a one-time genocide is somehow more excusable. The point of a genocide, after all, is to be a one-time thing.

And Jesus said a lot more than “love your neighbor.” and by “neighbor” he might well have simply meant “fellow Jew/Christian.”

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Qingu I’m guessing that you probably don’t have many religious visitors a second time. ;-)

cookieman's avatar

I tell them to wait right there while I go get @Qingu. They immediately run away.

Qingu's avatar

I’ve never had a visitor!

cookieman's avatar

Exactly.

zenvelo's avatar

I explain that I am a Roman Catholic. That scares ‘em away.

GladysMensch's avatar

I had a roommate in college who would play dumb. He’d invite them in and listen to their spiel.
“Who? Jesus? Never heard of him.
And he did what now? No way.
On water? Get out.
A blind guy? You’re kidding, right?
Uggh, that’s a horrible way to go.
And his dad was a god? And he didn’t stop it?
I don’t know about this. I mean, if the old man doesn’t care about his own kid, why’s he gonna care about me?
Yeah yeah, I’ll have to think it over.”

TexasDude's avatar

@GladysMensch that’s one tactic I’ve actually considered using just for the sheer absurdity of it.

GladysMensch's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Yeah, it was fascinating to watch their faces when they believed they had encountered the only person in the western hemisphere who hadn’t heard the story.

Jude's avatar

“Thank-you, and Merry Christmas!”

No, really, I just take the pamphlet and say thank-you. I’m not rude. The ones around here don’t discuss their religion, unless you ask them to. They hand you a pamphlet and wish you a nice day.

I love Canada.

Jude's avatar

I don’t understand why people have to be rude.

wundayatta's avatar

“God?” “What is God?”

Mostly people don’t want to take that on. Nowadays, I have kids and fluther and all kinds of reasons not to engage in conversations with strangers when I know these conversations will go no where.

“I’m sure you don’t want to talk to me. I don’t believe in God.” I say this in a firm voice that conveys the deep unlikelihood that they will be doing anything other than wasting time if they engage with me. They go away. Better than that, now. I’ve been living there long enough that they never even come up to my door in the first place. I see them knock on a few doors on the street, but they seem to have a list and know which ones are a waste of time. So my guess is that they don’t proselytize blindly. They have street lists, just like Democrats and Republicans have voter registration lists.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’ve done both what @Jude does, and what @zenvelo does. Both work well. I find @Jude‘s method to be quickest if I’m heading out some where. I find telling them “I’m a Catholic” keeps them from returning.

In our past home, our neighboorhood was clost to a JW Kingdom Hal. They came regularly (sometimes more than once per week). They were incredibly rude and pushy people. My neighbor was a Presbyterian minister. He finally resolved to informing them both verbally and by letter writing that they were no longer allowed to park in his driveway or he would call the police.

The JWs would arrive by van load upon our neighborhood, park their vans in the neighbors driveway, then would walk our ‘hood for about an hour berfore they’d leave.

My current home is in a very Catholic village. The JWs rarely come by. If they do come, they don’t stay for long.

harple's avatar

Usually I am able to suggest the part of the bible that contradicts the part that they are basing their visit on that day, and thus far this has tended to leave them feeling unprepared and they leave their literature and move on. (I may avoid all religious questions on here, but I’ve had enough input to argue a case in either direction in real life.) I make a point of talking to them on the door step, in whatever I am wearing at the time (even if that’s nightwear). If I’m busy, I tell them so. Because they know that I will talk to them if I have time, they don’t seem to mind.

I’ve moved since I had these regular visits, and in this new place I have yet to have such a visit – I miss the challenge really!

JilltheTooth's avatar

I wonder how many of you who are condescending or rude or pretending to be disingenuous and naive really think that they haven’t heard it before? My name is Jill, and every time someone comes up with what they think is a clever new take on Jack and Jill, I have already heard it. About a hundred times. Yawn.

harple's avatar

@JilltheTooth No really, I genuinely DO wish I took up the piccolo, how insightful of you to notice! And that song about taking my harp to the party but no one asking me to play – never heard of it! ;-)

Blondesjon's avatar

My grandmother Dorothy would invite Jehova’s Witnesses in for coffee and, when everyone was comfortable, begin explaining to them exactly why they were going to hell.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I’ve never had any experiences with Jehovah Witnessii coming at my door, but if there’s a religious person trying to talk to me about their religion/god or whatever, I’ll just tell them that I’m not interested like @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard. If they continue to persist, I will be continue to be respectful. When they start becoming total douche nozzles, that’s where I will spring into my “Jesus vs Batman” argument that I have been perfecting in showers where I pretend to hold debates and talk to myself. Thankfully, that’s never happened, but it’s stored in my head like a nuke.

mazingerz88's avatar

Whose there? Lol.

I have my uncle who is what seems to be a Jehova’s Witness pastor(?) and two of his friends come over to talk to me and my brother years ago one Sunday. At that point in time, I have already read the Bible back to back and had a good time discussing it with this female Jehova’s Witness who took me on.

She even turned to my uncle and exclaimed that I would make a great Witness. I grinned, all the while glancing at her ample bosoms. : )

Symbeline's avatar

get the shotgun!

Well, I don’t actually know who it is until I open the door. In that scenario, I say that I don’t believe in anything, which is true, and that I’m not interested. I’ve only ever had Jehovah’s Witnesses knock though, no other religious people. They can be pushy, but they leave when they don’t get anything out of me.

Keep_on_running's avatar

Not interested. It’s just such an invasion of privacy and disrespectful when you say “sorry, but no” and they keep talking. Like, wff? Did I invite you here?

Keep_on_running's avatar

Just to add: Of course they’re not mean-spirited people, but I put them all in a category along with salesmen. My home is my humble abode. A place to come and take shelter from the world. I want to escape all the in-your-face advertising.
So when these people come to my house and ring and knock whenever they like, I just think it’s not right. I’m never rude to them, but their practice doesn’t sit well with me.

downtide's avatar

I tell them I’m not interested. If they keep trying to sell their religion to me I close the door in their face.

Skylight's avatar

I put two signs on my door long ago that has seemed to do the trick; No Solicitng, and No Proselytizing. I cannot stand it when people peddle religion door to door. Mormon Missionaries are the worst. They just won’t take no for an answer. Once, in the pre door sign days, I told them I found salvation through Satan. That was fun. I think once I told a couple of them I was a practicing witch. Ha.

mazingerz88's avatar

( a Knock Knock joke on Jehovah’s Witnesses )

Knock, knock!

Whose there?

Jehovah’s Witness…

Jehovah’s Witness…

Jehovah’s Witness…

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