Social Question

ucme's avatar

A bunch of Americans just knocked on my door and asked if I believed in "Christ our saviour", which reaction would you normally give?

Asked by ucme (45342points) December 3rd, 2012

Maybe if The Osmonds came calling & sung Crazy Horses, then perhaps they’d receive a less frosty reception.

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56 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

What is a christ? I have never heard of that before, are you sure you are pronouncing it right? hmmm, nop it don’t sound familiar. Is that an English word?

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

“It’s none of your business what I believe or don’t believe. This conversation is ending now. Goodbye.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

Of course I do, too, thanks for spreading the word.

Oh wait, this was a joke question right? Because I don’t hear Christians bashing Satan constantly….or Wiccans….or Buddhists…

PeppermintBiscuit's avatar

“Do you believe in freedom of religion? You do? Then why are you trying to force yours on other people?”

ucme's avatar

@KNOWITALL Not a joke at all, this really happened, just an hour or so ago.

CWOTUS's avatar

I guess if Wiccans, Buddhists and Satanists came to my door proselytizing, they’d get the same short shrift I give these folks, politely but firmly, “I do not care to discuss this with you. Good bye and good luck to you.”

Aethelwine's avatar

I’ve always wanted to ask for their address and tell them I’ll drop by unexpectedly some day when I have time to talk, but the nice person inside my head just smiles, takes the pamphlet and tells them to have a nice day.

newtscamander's avatar

I don’t, and I don’t need to. I don’t need to have an explanation or an answer for everything, I’m fine with mysteries and unanswered questions.

ucme's avatar

Normally i’d give a polite but firm declaration of disinterest right from the get-go, but these guys intrigued me. I mean, they were dug in like an alabama tick after 10mins of fairly pleasant banter, but it was bloody freezing out, so I sent them on their merry way…eventually.

Linda_Owl's avatar

The last time I had this happen, it was a pair of Mormons (this was before the election). And I told them that as far as I was concerned, ‘Mormonism’ was a cult & that I had no interest in talking to members of a cult. And I shut the door in their faces. I am a non-believer in religion, & I do think that Mormons are a “cult”, just like I think that Scientology is a “cult”!

gondwanalon's avatar

Honestly I feel sorry for those poor souls who are forced to knock on doors and tell people about Jesus and or their religion. Most of the time Mormon Missionaries or Jehovah’s Witness. I try to be very kind to them. They are people with feelings and I know that a lot of people are rude to them. They mean no harm. Without spending too much time with them, I simply explain to them that I have investigated their religion and it is not right for me. I thank them for thinking about me and wish them a great day.

livelaughlove21's avatar

…what does them being Americans have to do with anything?

I’ve actually never had anyone come to my door to talk to me about God. If they did, I’d probably just tell them I’m busy and don’t have time to talk, take their little brochure, and tell them to have a nice day. Yes, it’s annoying, but I don’t know why people get so angry about it. It’s really not that big of a deal.

glacial's avatar

I tell them no, then quickly follow with “I’m not interested”, then close the door. Long experience has taught me that (much as with telemarketers) politeness will be punished by relentless, rude persistence. So I no longer offer it.

Bill1939's avatar

When I was younger I’d invite them in, hoping to have a discussion. I quickly learned that what they wanted to do was proselytize. Now I politely thank them for their intension and bid them goodbye.

Sunny2's avatar

“No, thank you. I’m not interested.” Shut the door.

majorrich's avatar

I no speak the engrish.

FutureMemory's avatar

I have a huge sign on my front gate that says “No Soliciting for any reason”, but before I made that I would just give a quick “not interested” and shut the door.

@livelaughlove21 …what does them being Americans have to do with anything?

The OP lives somewhere other than the USA.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@FutureMemory Yeah, that’s pretty clear. My question still stands.

bookish1's avatar

“My ancestors didn’t give up their religion when the white man showed up, so why should I now?”

josie's avatar

I always say, “No. Thanks for the effort, but you got the wrong guy”

Brian1946's avatar

Usually when I get unwanted visitors at my door that aren’t carrying court orders or search warrants, I tell them “No thanks, goodbye” and shut the door before they get a chance to say anything, regardless of what they’re pushing.

ragingloli's avatar

Normally I would take out my stun gun and incapacitate them.
Then I would sacrifice one of them to the Dark Lord Satan, while the other is forced to watch.
“Your christ did not save this one, did he?”

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I would belch out “Hail Satan!” and slam the door. I would then proceed to post my experience on reddit and fish for karma. le upboats to the left.

hearkat's avatar

I respond to all intrusions with a “No, thank you,” then I close the door, hang up or keep walking – doesn’t make a difference if they’re trying to sell religion, electric service or perfume.

syz's avatar

“No thanks.” Door shuts.

iphigeneia's avatar

A “bunch” of Americans? They only ever visit me in pairs, and I do think that any more than two unfairly outnumbers the visitee, and is slightly intimidating. I would probably be more anxious to close the door and watch them leave. Usually I take the pamphlet and say “Thank you very much, bye bye!” before they can engage me any further. They think they’re doing the right thing, they’re generally friendly, I can handle it.

@livelaughlove21 It is interesting that it is always Americans. Every time I have spoken to someone who has travelled internationally specifically to proselytise, they have been American. This has happened to me in England, Austria, and Australia. Sure, many people from various countries travel for religious reasons: e.g. pilgrimage, aid work, conferences, but I think it would be reasonable to say that overseas travel for the purpose of converting others to their respective religion is a practice dominated by Americans.

I think, also, that there is something extra uncomfortable in the idea of an ‘outsider’ coming along and telling you how you should live your life.

cookieman's avatar

We get fairly regular Jehovah’s Witnesses in my neighborhood. I politely tell them we’re not interested and to have a nice day. Sometimes I have to repeat it twice before they get the hint, but they’re nice people. No need to be rude.

Now, ya know who I am rude to? The perky, overly-made-up reps from some child modeling agency at the mall. Every single flippin’ time I go there with my daughter, they try to pounce on us. “Sir! Your daughter is sooo beautiful. Have you thought of modeling? She could go far”. I usually say, “No thank you” and keep walking. Last time however, this woman steps in front of us to deliver her spiel. So I interrupted, practically yelling, “Are you trying to whore my daughter out to sell makeup or clothing?!” As she fumbled for an answer that clearly wasn’t in her well-rehearsed script shoppers stopped and stared. “Well? Are you?”

Um… maybe.”, she sheepishly whispered.

I glared at her and we walked a way.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you’ve never had anyone come to the door to try to “sell” you their religion, @livelaughlove21, then it’s easy to understand why the idea doesn’t bother you yet. But when it happens for the third, fourth, fifth… umpteenth time, then your perspective changes.

Junk mail I can look at, or not, and toss. “Junk visitors” are different. Sometimes when I see them in the neighborhood and know what’s up, I simply look at them walking up the driveway – and they see me looking – and I don’t even get up from the couch to respond to the doorbell. (If you can train yourself not to answer unwanted phone calls, not responding to unwanted visitors gets easier and easier.)

augustlan's avatar

I just tell them, “No thanks, I’m not interested. But good luck to you!” Only occasionally have I had to be more firm, but still polite.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@CWOTUS I suppose, but I just have a hard time being rude to people that aren’t blatantly rude to me first. These people seem nice enough, even if it is a mask, and believe they’re doing something good, so being a bitch to them because I’m not interested in their “product” seems unnecessarily rude. I don’t want to be preached at, but I’m not going to disrespect them either.

I find a lot if things and A LOT of people annoying or maddening, but I mostly keep it to myself unless I’m given a good reason to do otherwise. Key word here being “good.”

ucme's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Them stating immediately that they were americans seemed amusing, if not a touch unnecessary to me. I simply stated a matter of fact, no need to read anything other than that into it.

My intent here wasn’t exclusively to solicit examples of hostility to these folks, but a variety of honest experiences, good or bad.
Thanks for your answers :¬)

cazzie's avatar

Any grown-up who comes to my door or calls me trying to ‘sell’ something, especially religion, is very unwelcome. There seems to be a relentless band of Jehovahs Witnesses that go around out neighbourhood. I simply say, ‘Nei, takk.’ and smile and close the door. We also have groups of kids that raise funds for their class trips or sports teams, and I will always try to buy their 50kr box of candy or what ever. I think, in this country, where things are handed to young people quite easily, the fact that they are getting off their butts and going door to door to raise funds for their activities is great, rather than having their hand out to Mom and Dad or the State for everything.

Paradox25's avatar

Ah yes, the religionists who’ve knocked on my door, pestered me in line waiting to buy an ice cream cone, etc telling me about Jesus’ ‘love’ for me. You could say something like “If heaven is full of a bunch of aholes like you, then I’ll choose hell”, something I’d said already to a few of them who got a little mouthy with me shortly after my brother passed away. This is why I feel religious tolerence is a pipe dream, because if one’s religion says that it is the only way to heaven, or the one true religion, then these religionists will place much greater importance on trying to save you rather than tolerate your disbelief (or other beliefs).

troubleinharlem's avatar

Wow… this is awfully cynical.

I would talk to them for awhile. While I already am a Christian (not Jehovah’s witness), I would listen to what they had to say. It doesn’t hurt to spend a few minutes of my tine listening to someone talk about what they believe in. I don’t have to agree, but I’ll still be polite.If I’m not feeling up to door-to-door people, however, I just won’t answer. No problem.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t look at this as any different from someone wanting to sell me aluminum siding, a new electric billing company, phone service or any of the other innumerable things that are often sold door-to-door, @troubleinharlem. This isn’t someone “initiating a philosophical discussion”, which as a Fluther contributor I do voluntarily and at length and with pleasure on a daily basis.

No, this is a sales cold call, and I am flat not interested in the product, not interested in “a discussion” initiated by others for their own purpose (since they’re not interested in my input, only their output) and totally at their convenience, not mine.

And I don’t think it’s any more rude to refuse to answer a caller one doesn’t want to receive as it is for others to make the unwanted call in the first place. So if they didn’t think it was rude to come to my door to attempt the cold-call sale, I don’t think it’s rude to refuse to greet them. We’re even.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I tell them I do (believe) but also make up some excuse about going out in 5 mins as a way of getting rid of them if they linger for too long!

livelaughlove21's avatar

@CWOTUS Why are you concerned about making everyone dislike these people as much as you do? If you haven’t noticed, we’re the minority. Is it not possible that some people just aren’t as bothered by this as you are? No need to defend your point to the few that disagree with it.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@CWOTUS : Okay, I think that it’s an interesting discussion to have. I don’t think that religion is a sales call, although I have my own opinions about door-to-door ministries. I don’t really like them, either – I think that it’s a little invasive, but so are Girl Scouts. A few of my neighbors have “No Soliciting” signs, however, so maybe the people in this thread that are against it can buy some. That would help them out.

CWOTUS's avatar

This is more persecution complex on your part, I’m afraid, @livelaughlove21. I’m not concerned about making anyone dislike anyone at all. I don’t suggest “you should dislike people who do this”. All I’m saying, and I’ve been pretty explicit about it, is “I do not like this behavior. I do not welcome this intrusion, and I do not want to have this discussion.” How you got “making everyone dislike these people” out of that is anyone’s guess. I’m not even saying that I dislike these people, but I specifically dislike this behavior. (Hate the sin, love the sinner, right?)

I’m sure that some people aren’t bothered by this. They’ve been saying so, and if it’s not an issue for them, then good on ‘em.

But I guess I am going to finish with trying to defend against your misunderstanding, your misinterpretation, and your misrepresentation of what it is that I’m actually saying.

ucme's avatar

I just heard that they called on a neighbour, who isn’t at all religious, & offered to help tidy her garden of old furniture she’d thrown out, she accepted their offer
Like I said, there was something different/intriguing about these guys, nice as pie & yet stubbornly irritating at the same time.

glacial's avatar

I also classify these visits as “sales calls” (which is why I compared them to telemarketers earlier). I consider their visits to be inherently intrusive, and therefore rude. So I’m not sure why I’m expected to be kind to them.

The point is not that they are religious, it is that they are knocking on my door. That’s why I find it weird that several people are reacting to this question as, for example, “Christian bashing”. That is not what it’s about. If I meet religious people in a social setting, and they want to talk about religion, I have a conversation with them. But I’m not going to let people “selling” religion force me into having a conversation. I do not take sales pitches at my home. Period.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@CWOTUS Persecution complex, huh? Ha, okay, whatever you say, but it seems pretty clear that you’ve been defending your point, even though you’ve already made it very clear how you feel about this behavior.

tranquilsea's avatar

The answer I give really depends on how I’m feeling. Once I had a JoHo ring my doorbell at dinner time. She wouldn’t take no for an answer and I got irritated. I started giving her chapter and verses she needed to read in the bible so she could expand her understanding of what she was pandering at the door. Honestly, I feel very badly about how I treated her. Now I just say, “Not interested” and I close the door.

KNOWITALL's avatar

This whole conversation makes me so proud to be a Christian. Jesus was persecuted and killed on display. Persecuted like Muslims, Wiccans, as are some athiests and agnostics and people of all religions like Quakers, Amish and Mennonite.

America was founded on a concept of religious freedom- they fled from persecution elsewhere to find a land where they could live and worship w/o fear. I applaud anyone who shared their intellectual convictions with others, even in the face of violence, rudeness, or apathy

As for ‘sales calls’, what they getting out of it? They make no money from missions, some JW’s even travel and forfeit their families, friends and entire life for the term of their mission. The only reward they receive, as far as I know, is the satisfaction of following the Lord’s mission statement. To spread the good word of God’s love to people who may not have had the opportunity to hear the name of God ever in their lifetime.

I have witnessed miracles, I have had God help me out so many times in my life…sheer dumb luck couldn’t have done these things. Yeah, I don’t go to church, and I don’t hang out much with other Christians, I drink some alcohol, and I smoke cigarettes- hey I’m not perfect in any way, but I still love my Lord and am a pretty good person. So cut us unperfect Christians some slack please.

glacial's avatar

@KNOWITALL Not all of us are Americans… but your country was also founded on the concept of a land where they could live and refrain from worshipping without fear. And personally, I applaud anyone who holds his own religious beliefs without being so rude as to push them at other people. I am glad that your faith has brought you happiness, but my attitude toward you would change if you showed up on my doorstep with a handful of tracts. Do you see the difference? It is not based on your faith. It is based on your respect of my privacy.

And I was not making the “sales calls” analogy because I think the proselytizers are making money from selling religion. I do not think that. The analogy holds nonetheless.

Finally, and I have said this here before, to those who have been through the wringer of religion and come out atheist, the word of god is not “good news”. I really wish people would stop calling it that. It’s actually kind of horrifying news. Although, I’ll admit, “Good News” is a pretty strong marketing ploy.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Understood, but that’s what so many people from elsewhere tend to forget about America and it’s founders, a lot of it was about religious persecution in England/ Europe. And yes, a lot of people just wanted to get lost here and start fresh, like the cheeky Englishmen who had disgraced their families….lol

I absolutely understand, that’s why I’m a bad ambassador for Christians, I can’t do it. I can talk to you here about how I feel and why, and speak for conservative Christian Republicans and their mindset, because I am one, to a degree (don’t ream me for that, I’m a liberal Rep!)

Hey, my auntie told me not to say God around her or her friends ever, I understand some people aren’t open to the God experience, and as you respect me respecting your privacy, I respect your right to not here about God from me.

Good luck with some of the others though (the HARDCORE CHRISTIANS), I don’t think they can ever really get that because you’re telling them not to do something that God explicitly tells Christians is their duty. Peace.

ucme's avatar

Had it been some “looney toons” from the westboro baptist church, then my reaction could well be…........

bookish1's avatar

Nice one @ucme ;)
I told some Westborians to fuck off once. I’ve seen God Hates Fags signs with my own eyes!

tranquilsea's avatar

Some of my BEST religious conversations have been with Roman Catholic followers as I’ve run across them in my life. They were respectful, inquisitive and very non judgmental. That is the attitude I love talking with. Then we can have a mutually respectful conversation about our differing beliefs.

I have had so many door knockers in my life and they are simply frustrating.

hearkat's avatar

I compared it to sales, because regardless of whether they are making a profit, their tactic is the same: to try to convince me (someone who was going about my life minding my own business) that I want or need something that I am currently happy living without. And I am very nearly as annoyed by junk mail, billboards, commercials on the grocery line and nearly every other advertising/marketing gimmick out there. If there is something I am desiring – whether a new mascara or salvation of my soul – I will do the legwork and research and figure out what is best for me.

tranquilsea's avatar

Really, if I wanted to find out more about Christianity I could just walk into any one of the 5 churches that are all around me.

I agree with you @hearkat. I hate sales calls.

NostalgicChills's avatar

“Listen, I can’t talk right now- I’m going to be late to my Satan worshippers meeting!”

ucme's avatar

@NostalgicChills Oh okay, thanks for answering anyway….enjoy ;¬}

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