Thursday, April 01, 2010

Door-to-door religion fail

I worked from home today. It is something I do not do often enough. It gave me a opportunity to catch up on the minutia of my job. Plus I like  the peace and quiet.

At 11:00 am this morning I heard pounding at my front door (my doorbell is disabled on purpose). The pounding was repeated several times and caused my dog to go into super yappy mode. Whoever was pounding had no intention of going away. I thought it might be my gardener. It’s Thursday, the gardener comes on Thursday… But no! It was door-to-door religious zealots hell-bent on getting me to church on Sunday.

There were three of them. Two women and one man. All were young and overly enthusiastic. My gardener told them I was home. They made a short pitch about their “authentic and honest” new church which was not like the 30 other churches within 2 miles of my home. The were non-denominational and aligned with the true love of Jesus. Plus their worship leader had a real cool band.

I’m polite until people piss me off. Since they were just selling their brand with smiles and faux love, I politely replied that we were an atheist household and would not be attending church on Easter or any other Sunday for that matter. This did not deter them. No, they actually said, “Our church welcomes Atheists,” and “We have a ministry dedicated to reaching out to Atheists, you would feel welcome among us!”

I stepped on my urge to confront the absurdity of their statements with snark. We talked amicably for a few minutes without coming to anything like an understanding. They thought I believed in God but had reasons to hate him or felt injured by religion and was unable to feel comfortable in “mainstream church”. I was at a loss for words for a moment, I was not getting through to them. but then I remembered the standard Christian hang-ups regarding sex. I asked if they believed in sex outside of marriage, they replied with the normal programmed response, “No!”

I saw an opportunity to use an analogy to make my point.

Going to church to be with Christians and learn about Jesus for an atheist like me is akin to Christians like you attending an orgy to be with swingers and learn about sex. You may think about it in the abstract occasionally, but if you are true to your values, you will never attend.

They left soon after. I think they were disappointed that I would not take their church info or agree to further discussions.

I thought about the encounter most of the afternoon. I need a better analogy. Does anyone have a suggestion?

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