Now, before I go any further: don’t anybody get all pissy on me. I have a lot of Mormon friends and they are near and dear to my heart. I have some very good Jehovah’s Witness and Baptist friends, too. I have a lot of respect for them and their faith.
But I got a bone to pick with the door-to-door thing. It’s intrusive. It’s disruptive. It’s worse than telemarketing because they’re at your door, in person, wanting into your house. Here we were, trying to watch a little TV, take a Benadryl nap to sleep through some of the allergic discomfort, enjoying a little time with family and… knock, knock, knock. I’m wrapped up in a blanket in jammies, and my husband is in his boxers.
Mormons. Wondering what they can do for us. Wondering if they can come in and do dishes. Noble as hell, but make no mistake: there are strings attached. My husband said we weren’t really interested. They asked him when they could come back.
That did it… you push, you lose. If we already tell you we’re not interested, you don’t keep pushing. Because they pushed, when they asked if there were others in the building they could talk to, we pointed them to all the noisy neighbors that had continually pissed us off over the past 5 months, including the little party animal downstairs who saw no problem with holding parties with loud music both last night (1 or 2 a.m.) and the night before (after 3 a.m.). Two birds, one stone.
I posted this on Facebook (big mistake). Somebody saw it and went all Indignant Smarty-Pants on me and condescendingly pointed out that Jesus told his disciples to go spread the word. Cool, I get that – but I was raised Catholic and among Catholics and Lutherans, this practice is unheard of. I also never heard of Orthodox Christians doing this. So obviously, some Christian denominations interpreted this directive differently.
Then it was implied that I was a hypocrite for blogging and spreading my ideas about nutrition and chiropractic to others but getting my feathers ruffled when people want to spread theirs. I have a few points to make about that.
- The comparison is like apples to staplers.
- I post on blogs and websites, not visit people at their homes.
- When I post links on Facebook, only people who have already opted in will see them. And, they’ll only click on the link if they’re interested.
- When we go to business meetings to talk about our business, we’re meeting with other people who also tell us about theirs. It’s 2-way communication.
- If we were to go to a gym, we’d set up a table with flyers and business cards and let people come to us, not call out to them.
Continuing with the gym example, if we saw someone lifting weights wrong, we would point it out for their safety and show them a safer way to do it – not just start talking about chiropractic and promoting our practice.
I echo another friend of mine who said that religion is such a personal and potentially polarizing topic. In fact, I usually do not discuss it unless it’s a small group of close friends and we already know that we’re all respectful enough of each others’ views and close enough friends that no self-revelation will change how we think of each other.
I disagree with door-to-door religion because:
1 – You never know what people may be doing. They may be getting their first good sleep all week. Their baby may finally be down for a nap. They may be sick. They may be dealing with family matters. They may be jobless and in the middle of creating a suddenly inspired resume. They may be in the middle of a movie. You don’t just show up uninvited to someone’s house. Especially a stranger, especially in this day and age.
2 – They hardly ever stop when you say you’re not interested. They’ve been given sales training, and we know what that’s all about – when someone objects, you have a rehearsed comeback. There’s a tactic, a game-plan, an agenda. I already know some religions receive this kind of training because Discovery Channel-esque cable shows have done exposes, not to mention the anecdotes of our Mormon friends.
3 – I can form my own philosophical opinions, thank you, and I respect others’ ability to do the same. I don’t feel the need to convert someone to my way of thinking, and I appreciate the same respect from others. I’m an adult with an fully-developed prefrontal cortex, and I am capable of higher reasoning and making complex decisions and weighing out options for myself.
To each his or her own, of course – continue to proselytize if you want, but understand that some people don’t want to hear it and if you keep pushing and piss people off, don’t bitch when they send you to their loser neighbors!