General Question

Divalicious's avatar

How can I politely dissuade believers in a certain religion from repeatedly stopping over?

Asked by Divalicious (2170points) September 3rd, 2008

I’ve become a prisoner in my own home! I’ve told them that I have my own church and am not interested in discussing religion with them. They still come to my home. I’ve been hiding out and not answering the door lately, but today was the last straw.

I was sitting in my car finishing up a cell phone conversation (bluetooth in my car won’t let me continue the conversation on my cell) and the persons pulled up in the road behind me. They were laughing and pointing as in “Aha! We caught her!” I re-started my car, backed out of my driveway, and left. They followed me! Turn for turn before I finally lost them by turning left on red. Isn’t this harassment?

I’m trying my best to not bust their chops, but I’m about to totally lose my temper. And that won’t be pretty.

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48 Answers

loser's avatar

That IS harrasment!!! Tell them that you consider it to be as such and that if they come bother you again you will have them arrested. Tell them that their higher power will frown upon them if they have a restraining order on their records and that they may wind up being damned to hell for all eternity because of it. That should get rid of those pesky things!

benseven's avatar

This sounds ridiculous. Tell them that you’re very sorry but if they don’t leave you alone then you will take legal action to ensure you are not bothered again.

Or, buy a decent paintball gun.

Judi's avatar

I wonder if you could get a restraining order?

JackAdams's avatar

The advice of the other three posters above, is both sound, and excellent.

I have a sign on my front door, printed in English and Spanish, which reads as follows:

“UNEXPECTED KNOCKS ARE NOT ANSWERED”

Prior to that, if I answered the door and there was some unwelcome solicitor outside, I would just stare at them with a puzzled expression on my face, and say, “Je ne parle pas Anglais.”

In all instances, they would just apologize for the interruption, and leave.

September 3, 2008, 1:42 PM EDT

allengreen's avatar

Go ahead, bust their chops—sounds like they have very little consideration for you. Just like a MLM freak, religious nuts need to be slapped around and put in their places.
Remember, conventions of civility are not a part of these people’s belief systems. They are bent on saving you from the boogie man, and nothing will stop them, EXCEPT YOU. The more you accomodate them, the more they will bother you. If you join the group they will dominate your life.

Better yet PM me their number and I will tell them to F**** Off—it gives me pleasure.

JackAdams's avatar

Has anyone noticed that only “Christians” bang on your door, to try to sign you up?

I’ve NEVER had a Jew, a Muslim, or a Buddhist do that, which is one reason why I like them, a little bit better, and why I am not a Christian, myself, and proud of it.

September 3, 2008, 1:50 PM EDT

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basp's avatar

I used to live in an area where this was a big problem. One time they happened to knock just as my brothervwas getting out of the shower. He opened the front door buck naked and they never returned.

wildflower's avatar

Next time they come around, tell them you’re too busy to talk, but if they wouldn’t mind filling out this questionnaire you’ll read what they have to say later….

Failing that, just decorate your hallway with various props that look like they’re recently used in some pagan ritual (the more barbaric, the better). Skulls, daggers, fake blood….all work.

Harp's avatar

There is nothing that you can politely do to keep them from coming back.

You can dispatch each new arrival with a smiling but firm “No thanks” followed by an immediate closing of the door. But each local congregation has their area divided up into sections called “territories”, which are handed out to members for canvassing. Every time the territory containing your house gets handed out, you’ll receive a new visit.

If you don’t answer the door, a note is made to return on a different occasion, and many visits will be made until they find you at home. Their goal is to talk to every household in that territory. If you answer the door and give them an unambiguous rejection, they will not follow it up on that cycle, but the next time that territory comes up, you’ll get hit again.

There’s very little legal recourse. They have worked the legal system for almost a century, and the legal precedents in their favor are a mile thick. They have a right to do their door-to-door work despite how the rest of us feel about it. Just develop the art of the quick brush-off. Believe me, they’re used to it.

benseven's avatar

Can I just point out that there maybe Christians observing this thread, and that no matter how you may feel towards the ones you’ve thus far encountered, may be completely different in their approach to dealing with others and may be a tiny bit offended by the use of the term ‘whore’ to describe their sisters / mothers / wives, for example?

Seriously, the Fluther community pretends to be all open, loving and accepting, except if you happen to believe in God. Let’s take all that open mindedness about sexuality, faith, the meaning of life and your choice of socks in the morning and apply a little tolerance when we discuss ANYONE who doesn’t share the same belief (or lack thereof) as ourselves, and maybe avoid the derogatory terms?

I cannot believe some of the bigotry in this thread so far. We’re all human.

JackAdams's avatar

I fear that, one day, someone very mentally ill is gonna answer their door with a firearm, and just start shooting anyone and everyone standing in front of them.

Somehow, I don’t believe that such a tragedy will stop “them,” all that much, but it might slow them down for about 3 days, while they await another resurrection.

September 3, 2008, 2:17 PM EDT

Judi's avatar

I have heard that it works if you say you are one of the other religions that do door to door canvasing. I haven’t heard if anyone being quite as rude and scary as you describe except maybe Scientologists and that’s only rumors because they sue anyone who says anything bad about them., or so I hear…

PeterM's avatar

A friend of mine was being repeatedly harrassed by a couple of missionaries from some white-bread evangelical-type church. They were visiting him and his mother at their house every day. One day my friend saw the two missionaries walking down his driveway, and he snapped.

(I should take a moment to mention that my friend was (is) well over six feet tall and well over 200 pounds. Back then he had a rather magnificent afro, too.)

With lightning-like speed he ripped off all of his clothes, seized a large African devil-mask from the wall and put it on, went to the door, and when the doorbell rang he flung the door open and said “YES?!?”

They never came back.

Remind me to tell you the story about my friend and the mooner some time…

allengreen's avatar

Hey Ben—do you think that folks who believe in Santa Claus deserve special protections or considerations? If you happen to believe in 7 day creation, and a pissed off daddy figure in the sky, then the rest of the world needs to adjust themselves to accomodate you?

And anyone that disagrees with the strong arm christian tactits is a bigot? Are not the christians the real bigots, since they only accept their own religion as legitimate? Everyone else is going to burn in hell right?

allengreen's avatar

@Pete—This guy is my hero.

tinyfaery's avatar

Ok. My dad is an asshole, but it works sometimes. One day when the JWs (as he used to call them) came to the door, he opened it, and in a bellowing voice exclaimed “get the fuck off my porch, and don’t ever come back here again”. It worked.

benseven's avatar

Allen, did I ask for special protection or consideration?

No, I asked for the same respect Flutherites have for every other race, sexuality or religious belief.

Did I ask the rest of the world to adjust themselves to accomodate me / Christianity?

No, I believe what I asked for was that the bigotry ensuing in this thread be toned down a notch – same as I would for any other minority or faith taking such an unnecessary verbal beating.

Was I calling anyone a bigot because they disagree with door-to door?

No. Why? Because I disagree with door-to-door. I disagree with any old-world tactics used to shove my faith down people’s throats. I disagree with the preaching of hellfire and brimstone as a means to scare people into conversion.

What I disagree with more is the use of the word ‘whore’ to brand every person of a faith you’ve never met, and probably never will.

By the very nature of its teachings, Christianity describes itself as the only way. However, that doesn’t mean I, or any other Christian, is a bigot who will decry every other religion with ‘you’re going to hell’. I have a number of Muslim, Buddhist and even Atheist friends who would happily share that I’m a tolerant, rational human being able to co-exist with those whose views I don’t share. Would your friends say the same for you?

For some reason you think the limited pool of idiots you’ve been exposed to is an accurate reflection on the entirety of a faith. Why is that? Because you’re getting passionate about the way you and others are treated by said idiots, about how your space, time and ideas are trampled on by their brash and needless bible-bashing. That in itself is a righteous anger, you have every right to be raging mad, but you have no right to tarnish myself and my entire faith with the same brush, resorting to petty name-calling and childish retorts about my beliefs.

wildflower's avatar

@benseven:
There’s a world of difference between those who practice their religion without bothering anyone and those who take it upon themselves to push their religion in everyone’s face.
Most of my family is Christian and I know that they share my view on these door-to-door-hallelujah-types (aka god-botherers).
If you ask me, these characters have put themselves out there and until they stop bothering people, the people they bother won’t stop finding colourful and insulting terms to describe them (anger and annoyance is funny like that).

Unless you make a habit of chasing down people to preach to, you should not feel offended by any of this (but if you do, well, see above)

JackAdams's avatar

@benseven: Unlike other, so-called “minorities” (Christians make up 30% of the world population, so they are a minority), Christians CHOOSE to become/remain Christians, and it’s a philosophy or ideology, not a “race” of some kind.

So, animosity toward them is something they can easily avoid, by leaving that sect, should they so desire.

Anti-Christians or Non-Christians aren’t “bigots,” unless they hate without selectivity.

September 3, 2008, 2:52 PM EDT

benseven's avatar

So that means anyone of any religion should have to put up with this kind of crap, because they can always leave in order to avoid it?

That’s a nice backwards view of tolerance you have their mate.

wildflower's avatar

As long as they keep telling me I’ll burn in hell for all eternity (which admittedly just sounds like moving to a warmer climate to me, but I know how severe that is in their view), I think I can allow myself to utter the odd expletive in their honor….

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allengreen's avatar

@benseven—so, I hit a nerve. Usually when I get mad and rant on and on, there is some truth in whatever it was that made me mad—I’ve caused you to think (THINK!) and that was my objective.
Secondly, “What I disagree with more is the use of the word ‘whore’ to brand every person of a faith”....I wished to brand the Church or Religious Institutions as Whore’s, in a “Revelations” kind of way, not individual christians as whores, AND I MEAN NO DISREPECT TO ACTUAL WHORES EITHER.

But Ben, the bile in the last paragraph of your response is kind of defensive, one minute you are tolerant and rational and the next minute you are bible thumping and calling down hell fire and brimestone. I am not raging mad, I am sick of those who cling to 11th Century ideals—like jihadist, and Christians.

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PeterM's avatar

I suppose it’s pointless to try to change the subject or calm things down? All this doesn’t seem very Fluther-like to me. But then, I’m relatively new.

I’d be sorry to see the thread deleted, because that would also remove my story about my friend and the missionaries. Which was, by the way, a true story. He’s the funniest guy I know, and a real weirdness magnet.

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benseven's avatar

@ Allen – thanks for the thoughtful response, and I had realised shortly after posting that it probably wasn’t really meant as a slur on every Christian on the planet, but there you go.

As for the bile, Christians have that too. Anyone who pretends otherwise is pulling the wool over their own eyes. I get angry, I say what I think, whatever. There’s no hellfire and brimstone there though – bible quotes and condemnation are the last thing I’d use in a discussion about religious marketing tactics!

@Jack – I can’t say I can accurately measure your intelligence purely from posts on an internet thread, but I wish you continued success in assessing mine. I also spoke about ‘logic’, when “casting the first stone”, which is different from intelligence. Your post resorted to pointing out my spelling mistakes, instead of staying on (or rather, off) topic.

I’d like to state for the record I love it when folks use bible verses to try and be topical when slating Christianity. The irony is delicious.

All I wanted to point out, in the first place is a) not every Christian will agree with these tactics either, and b) in an open-minded and diverse community like Fluther, I don’t expect to see derogatory terms and intolerances thrown around like that, regardless of how mad it makes you. If I’ve got those two across, I’m happy enough to have been slated for a personal faith I never forced on anyone, or for being a Christian unafraid of expressing his viewpoint.

Divalicious's avatar

Wow, this thread got a bit off-topic. For the record, I’m also a Christian. I was brought up that way, and I’m tolerant of people brought up in other religions. Live and let live. However, I take offense at being strong-armed on my own front porch by people who’s beliefs I simply can’t follow. I have very little free time and I hate to be held hostage by fanatics during my few hours off of work.

The insults to Christianity surprised me, though. I thought Fluther was a more tolerant place, but then I haven’t been a member very long. I’d almost think it was sponsored by the ACLU… hehehe. I will forgive the lame barbs and insults. (For real insults, listen to inmates mouth off 12 hours a day like I do.)

Thank you to those who gave suggestions on dealing with my “visitors”. I’m going to talk to some deputies at work to find out exactly how emphatically I can say “No”... for instance, OC spray if they foolishly chase me again.

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andrew's avatar

[mod says]: All right. Time to clean up the discussion.

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scamp's avatar

Hah! This is the first time I posted knowing it would be removed. I am so happy that at least you saw it first.

Now, to get back on topic for the thread. If you are being annoyed by people harrassing you with their religious beliefs even tho you have politely told them in the past you aren’t interested, go to their church. Act very rude, loud, beligerent, whatever. I bet they stop trying to recruit you after that!

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JackAdams's avatar

Andrew,

I certainly do respect you, and admire your even-keel (considering what I and others somethimes post on these threads), but I feel compelled to say that, sometimes (again, respectfully) censorship (in an of itself) is just about as “bad,” as the remarks being deleted, and, IMHO, an affront to those who originally wrote the “Free Speech” provision of the US Constitution.

I dare say that if Thomas Jefferson or George Washington were alive today, that those two slave-owners would damn you, for your deletions, regardless of how “justified” some of us may believe they were.

Respectfully,

Jack Adams

September 3, 2008, 4:34 PM EDT

JackAdams's avatar

To return to the topic at hand, I must say that I envy those who live in “gated communities,” because anyone attempting to enter the property of such, must get past a security guard (“Rent-A-Cop”) who won’t allow solicitors on the grounds.

Oh, to be wealthy enough to live THERE!

September 3, 2008, 4:40 PM EDT

allengreen's avatar

I agree Jack about the censorship—Jack Adams for President!

wildflower's avatar

@Divalicious: One alternative is to find out where these people live, sign up to be an Avon rep or similar and start going to their place at the most annoying times (I’d recommend dinner time). Once they start getting annoyed, make a deal with them to stop it.

JackAdams's avatar

Wildflower: Not AVON, but rather a fictitious company like, “DILDOES Я US,” or that real lingerie company (sold by home parties) called, FUCKERWARE

September 3, 2008, 4:54 PM EDT

marinelife's avatar

If people do not take no for an answer, then they forfeit the right to politeness. Be rude. Call the police.

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wrestlemaniac's avatar

Hey I apologized, and you didn’t answer my Q on what religion they were.

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