Remember … say it with a smile!


A feisty little old lady shows us all how to deal with missionaries:

(via Darkhorse Reviews)

Comments

  1. says

    I once spent some time contending with a Jehovah’s Witness who came to the door of my parents’ house. He was traveling alone instead of with a partner. I’m sure I didn’t smile as much as the sweet old lady and my language was less blue, but I was quite direct:

    “You think blood transfusions are sinful, don’t you?”

    “That’s right. It says in the Bible–”

    “My aunt and uncle have a problem with Rh factor.”

    “–that you can’t eat blood. Rh what?”

    “Rh factor. My aunt’s children would have died at birth if they hadn’t received whole-body transfusions because of Rh factor. Do you think they should be dead?”

    “If they had faith–”

    “They’d be dead. I think they’d rather have medical treatment.”

    “According to the Bible–”

    “Since when is that a medical book?”

    “Are you an evolutionist?”

    “Sure.”

    “Well, you know, if one of your hired men were to fall over dead in the field out there, you could not bring him back to life by the power of evolution now, could you?”

    “You’ve got me there!”

    We went at it for over an hour. My mother told me never to do it again, but I was just amusing myself at the poor Witness’s expense. He did not come back that summer.

  2. Opisthokont says

    I wish that you had a transcript of the whole thing. That non-sequitur about evolution was delicious.

  3. Crudely Wrott says

    The JWs came to my home one day. A family of them. The adults remained at a respectful distance as two beautiful children, boy and girl, around 6 years old, came to the door. They looked up with open eyes while reciting the words they had been given. Understanding that they were to provide an opening for the grownups, and feeling a sudden revulsion at such tactics, I did the first thing that came to mind. Placing a hand on each little head I said something like this: “Thank you so much for coming to see me. It’s very thoughtful of you. But, children, in this home we believe in ourselves and in each other. There isn’t any god here at all any we are very happy anyhow. Now go to your parents and give them my love.”

    They never came back.

    To this day I get a warm feeling whenever I recall that moment.

  4. andyo says

    Back when I was in high school, almost 17 years old, one of my friends died after a horrible accident that left him quadriplegic for about 2 months.

    I wasn’t in the hospital hallway where his family was at the time, but a friend came and told us one (or maybe more) of these Jehova’s witness approached the family and started saying that it was because they didn’t pray enough and bullshit like that. Imagine being told that.

    The guy that came and told us was so pissed off that all that Jehova’s witness was gonna witness was a bunch of 16 year olds kicking him in the nuts until he can’t reproduce. We didn’t, of course, but it was so tempting.

  5. says

    I’ve always heard that a good way to deal with mormon’s is to tell them you’re a Jehovah’s Witness (and vice versa). Apparently the two groups hate each other (although I might be wrong about that).

  6. says

    in the past I’ve taken the opposite track. Of course, I’ve been very religious myself, and have a good track record with converting missionaries that come to my door. Oh, BTW Elder, if you are reading this, I’m sorry they caught you inquiring at the Orthodox Church and sent you to that God-forsaken hell hole in Texas… I do hope you up and left.

    When I was teaching in the south I heard a lot of crap from substitute teachers who apparently thought my hospitalization was a good way to get into the schools and tell students that they were all damned if they didn’t go to church X or Y or Z. I had one sub tell one of my students that her mother, who sufferered from clinical depression and was unable to pay for her meds when her insurance was canceled, was damned because she committed suicide. People like this make me sick.

  7. says

    Thanks TheSciencePundit, I knew I recognized the scene and particularly Trey Parker’s face, but couldn’t remember why I recognized it or who he was.

  8. djlactin says

    My favorite missionary story occurred in Grad school. I was at home writing a paper on evolution (can’t remember the exact topic) when a (lone) JW missionary came around with that ridiculous JW anti-evolution book (“Did life get here by creation or evolution?”) that lists a sheaf of scientific papers from esteemed authors who supposedly argue that evolution is false. All citations have Author, date, Journal, and page numbers. No titles. Just so happened that I had copies of several of those papers on my desk. I invited the missionary in and showed them to her. Of course, the titles clearly indicate that the authors (Gould, e.g.) were not arguing against evolution, but adding to it.

    I informed her that the author was intentionally lying by omission and that the people that had convinced her to propagate the lies were lying to her.

    I felt a little sorry for her; I thought she was about to cry. One more secularist, I think.

  9. JM says

    I have an old friend who suffers from hemophilia, which has left him unable to walk without crutches through injuries to his knee.

    A long time ago he was interuptted one Sunday morning by a couple of Mormons/Jehova’s Witness’s who proceeded to tell him he would go to hell because he needed Factor 8 to keep his health.

    His partner remembers hearing only muffled voices at the doorway gradually dissappearing into the distance. When she looked through the curtains she saw him halfway down the driveway waving one of his crutches at two very disturbed young men in white shirts backing away very slowly from something they’d never encountered before.

    Don’t mess with people who know real life.

  10. Susan says

    Darn, I was just taking a walk this morning and saw two Jehova’s Witnesses walking along the other side of the street. I was awfully tempted to cross the street and have a chat with them, but I figured I’d better be nice. Now I wish I had gone to talk to them!

  11. Chinchillazilla says

    Aaaah, I want Mormons who come door-to-door! Why does everyone else get the fancy toys and not me? I could really hone my debating skills and get over my shyness!

    (Actually, my dad’s new girlfriend is Mormon, but I don’t want to rock the boat. She’s nice, anyway.)

  12. Benjamin Franz says

    Jehovah’s Witnesses…Something over 20 years ago, when I was living in my first apartment, a pair showed up on my doorstep. I very politely told them my position and that if they still wanted to discuss it they were welcome to come in.

    They asked to leave about 20 minutes later when I kept shredding their positions on a number of topics (I think on evolution most significantly). They never came back.

    I was never rude or insulting, merely much better prepared to defend my own positions than they were to defend theirs. While being rude can be entertaining (and even necessary on occasion), it is not really needed to deal with most missionaries.

  13. tacitus says

    On particularly combative friend of mine was once visited by a Jehovah’s Witness with whom he had a lively debate for an hour or two. (He enjoys this type of thing.)

    A few days later another JW knocked on the door, so my friend took the opportunity to ask after the previous visitor. He was told that that after the meeting, the first JW had had a crisis of faith and had require intensive counseling to keep him from leaving their religion altogether.

    So close…

  14. Richard Simons says

    I had a couple of JWs come to the house to hand me the evolution booklet. My automatic response was ‘Great, it’s always fun to see the latest nonsense that Behe and the others have been getting up to.’ I would have happily chatted with them for half an hour but they backed off really quickly.

  15. Peter McGrath says

    University days: knock on the student flat door, a glance at the peephole reveals two JW’s. My flatmate is a quick thinker, also tall, thin and vamprically pale. He rushes into his room, comes out clad in nought but a pair of socks, pink briefs and a fetching chunky amber necklace. He opened the door, straight faced and let the JW’s do a few minutes of excruciatingly embarassed spiel as they tried not to look at his packet. I was weeping with laughter behind the door, chewing my fist in an effort to keep silent. Finally he said. ‘No thanks, I’m a buddhist.’ I think they injured themselves fighting to get down the stairwell. They never came back.

  16. says

    One of my friends comes from a family of naturists (most people refer to naturists as “nudists”), although he’s always been clothed when I’ve had occasion to drop in on him. His parents were at his home one time when some missionaries came to his door. (I’ll have to ask him whether they were Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, but it doesn’t really affect the story.) While they were entertained for a while by the earnest proselytizers, my friend and his folks eventually had had enough and began to drop hints that it was time to wrap it up. The eager evangelists could not, however, take a hint, even when they were dropping like cartoon anvils. So the fed-up listeners gradually began to disrobe. The preachers got wide-eyed but struggled on. Eventually my friend and his family were stark naked, the removal of underwear coinciding with the strangulated end of the sermon and a hasty retreat to the front door. Close with merry laughter.

    Not my style, of course, or anywhere close to it, but clearly very effective.

  17. says

    I was raised a JDub and remained as one for about 23 years. Fortunately, books written by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and blogs like Pharyngula raised my consciousness to the point where I realized that my crazy beliefs were crazy. It’s now been two great years since I left them, and I’m feeling better than ever! I’m currently reading Carl Sagans Demon-Haunted World…now there is a book I’d like to lend to some of these crazy people.
    Any-who, here’s some insights I can share with you about JDubs:
    1) You can usually tell the difference between a JDub and a Mormon by how they look. Mormons are usually in two’s, wearing black dress pants and a white shirt. They usually have some sort of backpack or fanny pack as well. JDubs have no color requirements for dress clothes they preach in. Usually, JDubs will be carrying some sort of briefcase, or only carrying their bible. JDubs often travel together in a full vehicle to a street or territory, and will then split up and work in pairs or go solo.
    2) If you don’t want them calling on you two or three (or more) times per year, you can have them add you to a Do-Not-Call list (JDubs keep meticulous records of their activity at each house and each street). You may have to insist on being added. Once you are on the list, they should leave you alone, possibly only calling once every three or four years or so (“to make sure you still want to be on the list”).
    3) I wouldn’t say that JDubs and Mormons have it in for each other. I’m not sure what Mormons believe, but I know that JDubs believe that Jesus gave all of his followers (including modern day Christians) a command to preach from door to door. JDubs often poke fun of other Christian groups who don’t participate in this activity, because they believe that these groups are failing to carry out this “most important” work. Because Mormons do go from door to door, the JDubs have some hint of respect for them.

  18. Steve_C says

    Recently I’ve noticed tables set up in the Union Square subway station upstairs between the L and 4-6 train platforms. I see people taking the Dianetics “stress” test. Nothing there mentions the church of scientology… I have a huge urge to say something to the people holding the E-meter handles and talking to the recruiters. They must be fairly lonely people to actually sit down and talk to total strangers about their problems. I just don’t know what to say to them.

    Any suggestions?

  19. Nescio says

    Last I had JWs turn up, I said something to the effect of “see that church? My dad’s the pastor”. They bade me adieu and left.

    Since my deconversion, I’ve been sorta hoping for them to turn up again, but they don’t seem interested. The closest I’ve got is picking arguments with the Christian students’ association at college parties.

  20. says

    Why, just an hour ago I found a tract left at my door by the JWs. The last couple that caught me at home were unable to explain the ecology of heaven (what kind of ecosystem doesn’t have mosquitoes, flies, or other bugs?).

  21. Elf Eye says

    My favorite visit from missionaries: the summer my daughter became toilet-trained. Since the weather was fine, I let her toddle about in a state of nature so that she could plop herself down upon the potty without impediment. Two missionaries show up, I’m holding the screen door against them, my daughter comes round the corner, is distracted by the missionaries, forgets -her- mission, and puddles the floor in full view. Apparently baby piss has repellent properties because the missionaries turned and fled.

  22. Ragnarok144 says

    I can give you some stories from the LdS side of the tale.

    My daughter’s father is a (very naughty) Mormon who did his missionary work in Utah (I didn’t even know *that* was possible until I met him). Those boys (and few girls) are not trained at all in theology, just how to get in the door and get the conversation going. It takes next to nothing to give them a theological crisis, so invite the young lads in and give it a try. And don’t accept “I’ll have to ask my leader about that.” Keep pushing if you really want to break their brains.

    My baby-daddy and his companion were beginning to go through the Discussions with an attractive older woman who asked, “Do you boys want to see my centerfold? I was Miss July 1970-something.” He admitted that it was quite hard not to take her up on it. See what kind of opportunities are wasted on the religious?

    Right before he arrived there was a scandal with two of the missionaries. There is a flat cost to pay for your missionary activities to the church, but families can give above and beyond. These two enterprising young men rented a house with a hot tub and turned it into party central (which does not take much in Utah). This went on for months before they were discovered by church authorities and sent home.

    I do not know from the JW perspective, but every LdS I know (and unfortunately there are many)practically hisses in rage at the mention of the JW’s. And I bet if JW’s come to your door, whipping out a Book of Mormon and telling them that you would like to tell them about Christ’s time in the Americas would make them run really fast.

    There are so many games you can play with missionaries. Invite a couple in and see for yourself!

  23. tinisoli says

    The Mormons have so much money, it’s incredible. (Is there any mystery to how Mitt Romney is leading the GOP candidates in fundraising?) I was a Peace Corps vol in Tonga, ’99-’01, and I can tell you that every island in that kingdom that has at least 100 people living on it has been given a gleaming white LDS chapel, school, and asphalt basketball/volleyball court. Supposedly the Mormons are (or were) trying to make Tonga the first majority-Mormon country in the world. They sent plenty of missionaries, of course, all of whom received great Tongan language training at BYU-Hawaii before arriving in the kingdom. They even worked the traditional Tongan garb–a polyester skirt called a tupenu, and a woven pandanus mat around the waist called a ta’ovala–into their uniform. Same white shirts and ties, though, even when it was 98 and humid. Lots of Tongans signed up, mostly to improve their shot at getting overseas. I enjoyed telling Tongans about the infamous Mormon underwear and the rules about ejaculating.

  24. says

    While I have had fun chasing off these types before, my favorite gag was pulled off by a couple of coworkers. Kate was in the process of helping Angie redecorate her house while Angie’s husband was moonlighting out of town. Of course, the doorbell rang, and Angie opened the door. She chatted with the LdS guys for a bit. Kate heard what was going on, and knew that Angie was too nice to tell the boys to sod off on her own, so she leapt to action. Kate came up behind Angie, gave her a hug, and asked, “Who are our guests, sweetie?” The LdS boys quickly made up some excuses and left.

  25. says

    Another raised-JDub here (left 4 years ago, at the age of 21). I can attest to Justin Wagner’s points above for telling Mormons and JWs apart.

    I’d say that the reaction to Mormonism varied considerably among the Witnesses I knew. The more theologically inclined ones loved to get into discussions with Mormons or Evangelicals; those discussions were among the few opportunities for intellectual stimulation and debate in JDub-world.

    OTOH, a lot of Witnesses really didn’t give two bits about theology, and only went out proselytizing because they were expected to do it (i.e. guilted and shamed if they didn’t). The nice thing about that kind of Witness is that they’re actualy very easy to get rid of, because they don’t really want to be at your door in the first place.

  26. David Harmon says

    My favorite story is third hand, from when I was hanging out in the Neo-Pagan community. Seems there was this Wiccan household, with among other things a forge (smithy) in the basement. One day they were preparing for a Pagan festival when the JWs came calling, a couple of nice young women. A couple of the older women in the household invited them in and chatted with them over the kitchen table while the other residents bustled around.

    And then his big muscular guy comes stamping up the basement stairs, shirtless and covered in soot, shouting “Who forgot to clean the altar! I always remember to clean the altar!” At which point one of the women entertaining the visitors is overcome by temptation: She leans toward the JWs and asks them “by any chance, would either of you happen to be… virgins?”.

    Apparently there were signs of levitation on their way out the door….

  27. Kagehi says

    The biology teacher at my highschool (really wish I had taken that class, instead of one of others she taught as a secondary) liked to invite them in (well they only did it once) for lemonade and lecture them for an hour on evolution. lol Sadly, I have never been very good at letting people hang themselves by their own ropes or good enough at describing details to bury their gibberish, so most of the time I have just reverted to saying, “Please go away, we are not interested.” Have had a few times I was tempted to do something like throwing on something to scare them off, or make some comments like in David’s example, but I don’t get them often enough to bother having stuff lying around for that. lol

  28. craig says

    Two JW women (I assume they were JW) came to my dad’s place when I was living there… I didn’t really say anything, I just answered the door in my underwear. I don’t think any have ever been back since.

  29. says

    My favorite story is third hand, from when I was hanging out in the Neo-Pagan community.

    Does that mean you haven’t verified it on Snopes yet? ;-)

    I have two (actually more, but these are the most memorable) first hand stories.

    The first one involves Mormons (in South America, no less). I was babysitting my kid cousin when the doorbell rang. My cousin went to answer the door (in hindsight it seems irresponsible for me to have let him answer the door, but this was a condo building with a security gate downstairs, so I just assumed that it was someone who lived in the building–most likely one of his friends) and it was Mormons. They asked him “Little boy, are your parents home?”
    At which point he yelled to me “Javier! Is my Mom or Dad home?”
    Of course their next question was “Is Javier home?” I don’t exactly remember how I got rid of them because the only thing on my mind was “I’m gonna kill that little bastard!”

    My other story also happened at a (different) cousin’s house. The doorbell rang, I answered, and it was JW’s. I got rid of them by simply replying “No hablo ingles.” to everything they said.
    The next time I visited there I saw a stack of JW pamphlets in Spanish on the kitchen table. When I asked about them my aunt said that a bunch of Spanish speaking JW’s came to the door one day. She was still working on different theories on how they knew it was a Spanish speaking household. At that point I had to confess.

  30. says

    A technique I quite like for ‘door step zealots’ is to ask them about a certain puzzle I have about God. They almost always fall for this bait. Then I ask them whether it really is the case that God is all powerful? They will always affirm this. Then I ask them, “If God can do anything, then can she [this usually causes a bit of a surprise to them] create a stone that she cannot lift?” Hitting them hard on this paradox is usually sufficient to make them leave, fast. If one plays things very earnestly, and absolutely insists upon getting an answer, it is extra fun!

    The Combat Philosopher

  31. J Bean says

    I positively look forward to visits from missionaries. My line is to smile cheerfully and say “No thank you, we don’t believe in gods and goddesses”. This usually works, but the last bunch asked me if I believed “in a higher power”. I continued to smile and said, “No, and we don’t believe in unicorns or leprechauns either.” They were shocked and asked me if I believed in evolution to which I smiled, nodded, and said “Yes, and we believe in mathematics, too”. Then I shut the door. It was quite a delicious encounter.

  32. Carlie says

    I know a lot of people have made atheist tracts – I’d love to make one in the style of the evangelical protestant little blue booklet to whip out whenever visited by any of the above plus the fundie Baptists, if I ever have the time. Of course, I have no graphics skillz, so there’s no hope, but I can dream…

  33. MAJeff says

    Aaaah, I want Mormons who come door-to-door! Why does everyone else get the fancy toys and not me? I could really hone my debating skills and get over my shyness!

    Come to Boston. You can always find a couple of ’em on the train. Some of ’em are actually kinda cute–wouldn’t mind taking ’em home and giving them a different kind of “spiritual” experience…or at least a hell of a lot of fun.

  34. NJ Osprey says

    On Saturday mornings, my very large (but friendly) Labrador mix enjoys sitting on the front porch. Seems JWs are just not interested in our home.

  35. JohnnieCanuck says

    Some of you may have read this from me before, but.

    A long time ago, a couple of J double U’s caught me raking the front lawn. Somehow they introduced the idea that Jesus wants people to have as high a birth rate as possible. The rationale being the more people, the more souls and thus the more souls that will make it to Heaven. Apparently He evaluates His performance with just this one measure. The increased number of souls heading to Hell is not as big a concern to Him.

    I pointed out that what they were talking about was geometric growth without limit, and they agreed! I skipped over the quality of living they were contemplating and told them there was only a finite amount of Carbon on the planet and that would be the end of their plan.

    “Not so”, they said, “we will just expand out into the galaxy and then the universe.” I am not sure if I laughed then, or just smiled and shook my head. Whatever it was, they beat another of their many retreats.

  36. Opisthokont says

    Well, while we seem to be trading stories, I will give mine. Actually, it’s my partner’s father’s, but it is good anyway.

    He was on a ladder one afternoon, both hands busy, installing a ham radio antenna, when some missionary types came around, and asked whether he had time to chat.

    He said, “No, does it look like I do?”

    They did not take the hint. They assumed (as many do) that nothing could possibly be more important than dropping everything that one has to do at the time, so they kept at it, in spite of his continued hints that he was really not in a position to talk.

    Eventually (and I do not recall which side started it) the conversation turned to evolution. “Do you believe in evolution?” they asked.

    He had a brilliant idea, and said, “Well, I believe in both evolution and creation.”

    “What?” they asked. “How can you believe that?”

    “It’s easy,” he said. “White people were created, and black people evolved.”

    They went away and never came back.

  37. khan says

    As a child I attended an Episcopal church in a small town in Upstate NY.

    The priest (well educated and fluent in English Latin Greek and Welsh) lived in an ordinary old house several blocks from the church.

    He told with amusement of the time some JWs knocked on his door and he invited them in to talk about their faith.

  38. Tinni says

    So here’s my story. I was raised catholic and told to say any time either JWs or Mormons knocked at the door: “My parents are not home so I can’t open the door” while my parents waited for them to be gone. I once asked why we were being so rude to those people… which turns into my grandma’s experience with them. Apparently she was cooking and attending her colicky baby. They came in started talking away and didn’t even blink while my mom (the baby) threw up, began screaming in earnest, and the food in the stove started burning and bubbling to the floor. My grandma kicked them out rambo style! She was so mean the next time they had the nerve to knock, they never came back.

  39. Sara says

    An older friend of mine discovered by accident that Mormons on mission are tasked with getting close to people – making themselves useful, etc. One fall she got a pair of them to do most of her fall yard cleanup – raking, covering beds etc, by stringing them along letting them think she was interested in more information….

    I’ve never had the nuts to try that one though.

  40. LesserOfTwoWeevils says

    Actually, the BEST way to tell if it’s the LDS (Mormons) at your door is the nametags. Every LDS missionary wears a black name badge (White if they’re serving their missions in Utah) pinned to their jackets or clipped onto those white shirts, (or both), a rectangular plate with with their names and ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ printed on it in the major language that they are prosyletizing to.

    The thing that makes me wonder the most is seeing how much mis- or dis-information there is about the LDS. (Mormons to most of you). If I see so many things about the LDS that are so obviously untrue, how many of the stories about the JWs are just as flawed and twisted from the truth..?

    I’m Atheist now, but for the first 20-odd years of my life, I was raised very staunch LDS. I even served the full 2-year mission! I lived (among other places) in both Missouri and Utah, two of the strongholds of the church, and I think I’ve seen every single commercial and film the LDS church ever released. In Missouri I used to visit the LDS Visitor’s Center there, where children were given free run of the movie rooms – Any film we wanted to see, they’d queue up and run for us. It’s simply astonishing the things I’m told now that the ‘Mormons’ believe in, things that I never once saw in my years in the church.

    Oh sure, they’re wrong – as is every other bloody religion out there! I’d have to say the the LDS have some of the best teachings and programs of any church I’ve ever seen.

    They’ve got THE best program of church welfare for down-and-out families, and a well-supported program to allow members to try and give back some of what they’ve been given. (I’ve worked on the church farms, in the canneries, in the storehouses where the food is disbursed to those who need it.) Their practice of trying to keep a year’s supply of food on-hand in every home – How often has that helped out entire communities, when disaster strikes?

    Yes, they prosyletize. That’s one of their problems, I’m afraid to say. They choose young men when they’re far too young and inexperienced to know the realities of life, (And some few women, but not nearly as many volunteer – there is far less pressure put on the women to serve missions.), teach them a language, (If they’re going someewhere where a foreign language is spoken), and send them out the door for 2 years to spread the story of the LDS church, and the Truth as they see it.

    Still, from all the misinformation and disinformation I hear about them, I have to wonder just how bad the misinformation campaigns would be if they DIDN’T send people out to tell the story of the church as they see it. Even here, I see second, third, and even further removed-from-the fact rumors.

    I was always into science and biology as a child, and I was never dissuaded from studying anything I wanted to learn about. My Mission was actually a real help as I began my adult life. Saving up to live for 2 years on my savings, then living away from home and on my own for that time was a GOOD thing for me. It helped to open my eyes to the real world and get me started with the skills I’d need for life.

    Of course, that led immediately to my subsequent atheism, but that’s been a problem for the church for many years. (They try to get returning missionaries married off as soon as possible when they get home, as otherwise the percentage of young men who remain in the church after their missions drops to the LOW double-digits.) It wasn’t the anti-mormons who showed me the light though – The antis just want people to join THEIR churches instead! They tend to use exactly the same tactics as the creationists – lie, distort, qoute-mine.

    Yes, the LDS church has a lot of money – Not having any paid clergy makes a BIG difference in how much a church can save!
    How many Xtian churches do you know of that actually work completely by volunteerism, with NO paid pastors, organists, missionaries, etc? There are a few, a very few. They can turn a lot of that money back to their members, that’s a good part of why there were all those nice churches in Tonga.

    Yes, temple-worthy ‘Mormons’ wear funny underwear. WHY they do it leads to such AMAZING flights of fancy though! I could explain that, but this post is already getting long, and most/all of you don’t really care anyway.

    I have to say, if I could believe in God at all, I’d still be LDS. They at least seemed to have the most consistent message of any other Xtian church today, seemed to actually believe and care enough to take care of their own and even the communities around them where possible, seemed to try hardest to actually live their lives by the example of Christ, not like all those other weird ‘saved by grace alone’, pick-the-passage-to-believe-and-discard-the-rest sects.

    HOWEVER – As I said, once I realized that the whole ‘God’ concept was fatally flawed and not backed up by any evidence whatsoever, I was forced to discard ALL churches at once, including the one that made the most sense to me.

    That doesn’t mean I like to see untruths printed about people who really do sincerely believe, and who try to actually live their lives for the betterment of all around them. I’ve got nothing against telling them straight up that they’re wrong, that the whole edifice is built upon feet of clay, that the most basic of their beliefs is wrong, and therefore all the rest that follows is also based on a lie – But I try to refute them based on what they actually believe, rather than building up and knocking down strawmen!

    Really, if you don’t like them when they come to your door, just tell them you don’t want to hear it, and you’d rather they didn’t come back. LDS missionaries WILL take ‘no’ as an answer. If you wanted to know what the LDS -really- believe though, you could always invite them in to chat – They’ll even give you a Book of Mormon for free!

    I don’t suggest that in any effort to convert anyone – I agree that the LDS are as wrong as everyone else, but I hate to see people posting or accepting falsehoods without looking up the realities.

    Over and over again we see creationists spouting about what ‘Darwinists’ believe. Should we just accept that, or get the real word straight from the horse’s mouth? It seems to be very much the same thing, in my eyes.

    Is this long enough yet? Sorry. ^_^;

    LoTW

    The Lesser of TWO Weevils!

  41. Paula Helm Murray says

    The JWs will leave your porch the first time you tell them, the Marmons need to be told you’re calling 911.

    I soooo glad I read this at home. I had a good but NSFW guffaw.

    Thanks for sharing.

  42. Tina Rhea says

    Best story I’ve heard was about a man who had various snakes, scorpions, etc. in terrariums. When a couple of proselytizers came to the door, he invited them in, listened for a while, and then asked to see their Bible. He read out the passage about how believers will handle snakes and scorpions and not be harmed, then asked the visitors to open the cage of their choice and hand him the inhabitant. When they declined, he said that he didn’t see why he should believe in their religion since obviously they didn’t. End of discussion.

  43. Richard Simons says

    My father-in-law, who was an Anglican minister, told me that the local JWs thought it would be a real coup to convert his children so they came round every Sunday while he and his wife were at church. The children had been brought up to be polite to adults and could not cope. So he went and visited one of the minor JWs for an afternoon and severely shook his faith. When a senior JW complained he said ‘Well you’ve been visiting my parishioners so I thought I’d return the favour’. And that fixed the problem. (I think that was probably the only time he tried to convert anyone.)

  44. John C. Randolph says

    My uncle Chuck used to invite them in for a bit of bible study. Don’t know if he managed to convert any of them to the Baptist church, but I’m sure they walked out knowing rather more about the incompatibilities between the bible and the book of mormon.

    -jcr

  45. John C. Randolph says

    Actually, I’ve managed to get most door-to-door proselytutes to get lost by telling them I’m a Jew.

    -jcr

  46. says

    LoTW,

    I do know what you mean to some degree. But I actually READ the stuff before I invite the LDS or JWs into my home to do their studies. Sometimes you can’t convince someone by showing them where you’re right, but have to show them where they’re wrong… and people can’t do that effectively unless they know.

    My old Book of Mormon used to practically GLOW with all the color highlight markers (for about a dozen different catagories of arguement) and the spine was pretty badly damaged with all the color coded post-it bookmarks. It was a little tougher with the JWs because the Watchtower puts out so MUCH stuff, but there are a couple central texts (Reasoning from the Scriptures, the Greatest Man Who Ever Lived) that they seem to ALWAYS get back to quoting…

  47. One Eyed Jack says

    Julia Sweeney covered the JW thoroughly. Anyone that has not heard “Letting Go of God” really should. I’ve never laughed so hard.

    OEJ

  48. anonymous says

    “I know a lot of people have made atheist tracts – I’d love to make one in the style of the evangelical protestant little blue booklet to whip out whenever visited by any of the above plus the fundie Baptists, if I ever have the time. Of course, I have no graphics skillz, so there’s no hope, but I can dream… ”

    You could always print some out from online sources or order some.

    http://www.luciferianliberationfront.org/llf2.html#Anti-Tracts! hasn’t been updated in years but is one of the best sources of tracts you can print out and staple together.

  49. says

    That’s funny to hear from the J-Dub perspective that they don’t necessarily hate the Mormons. I’ll second the person above who said that the Mormons hate the J-Dubs. Why? Well, because their “obnoxious” missionaries ruin a neighborhood for wanting to talk to the sweet LDS mishies!!! LOL!!!

  50. chris y says

    Many years ago, I shared a rented house in a family neighbourhood with my girlfriend and another guy who needed somewhere to live.

    My GF answered the door to a couple of Mormons who asked to speak to the man of the house.

    GF: “Which one?”

    Exeunt Mormons.

  51. Nona says

    My favorite tactic is to say, as sweetly as possible, with a big smile on my face, “Oh, that’s very kind of you, but I already have a religion.” And shut the door.

  52. says

    After the JW incident at our door, some Mormons came to the door (again while I was not home) and asked John if he had ever read the Book of Mormon. Well, having grown up in Montana, he indeed had been exposed to the religion and read the book on his own. John replied: “Yes – and it was hilarious!”

    I wish I could have been there to see their faces.

  53. bernarda says

    When Mormons or JW’s etc. come to the door, I find the best way to piss them off is to talk about sex.

    If it is a couple of guys, I ask them if they are gay, or two or even three women–that has happened–if they are lesbian. I have asked the guys that if they aren’t gay, do they want to get it on with me.

    Sometimes there is a mixed couple, and I ask the guy if he has thought of screwing the girl. One time I so pissed off a guy that he had to be restrained by his female partner from attacking me.

    Adults with children can be handled another way. One time one of these idiots came with a child of about 10 or 12. I told him that I didn’t care how he screwed up his own life, but that it was criminal of him to screw up the life of the kid.

  54. says

    “Somehow they introduced the idea that Jesus wants people to have as high a birth rate as possible. The rationale being the more people, the more souls and thus the more souls that will make it to Heaven. Apparently He evaluates His performance with just this one measure. The increased number of souls heading to Hell is not as big a concern to Him.”

    So… if we were to clone thousands.. millions.. billions of embyros… and assuming they all have souls… then bin them after the first few divisions and recycle the glassware.. that would be billions of innocents going straight to heaven and only a few going to hell? Assuming you weren’t sainted for bringing so many to heaven in so little time?

  55. Johnny Thief says

    We were visited by JW’s on CHRISTMAS morning one year. I know that they don’t recognize any holiday or birthdays, but they must know that 90% of Amercia was home opening presents & cooking a Christmas dinner at 10 am,… I knew that most doors they would knock on would only piss most people off on the one day even flakey people feel a swell of faith, & couldn’t figure out what their angle was.

    As they left, I imagined them getting ‘lucky’,… maybe banging on a door of a widow who is spending her first Christmas alone without her husband. Or a family where a parent took off the night before with all the money in the household,… Christmas, ruined forever,… when out of the mists, why, if it isn’t the selfless JW’s, forsaking a warm , comfy Christmas to prey on the weak like a pack of jackals,…

  56. BruceJ says

    Large dogs, and a perimeter fence around our property (which we have because of the canine crew) tend to keep ’em away.

    Of course, they don’t stick around long enough to find out that the dogs’ preferred method of dealing with strangers is to wear them out by bringing them slobbery balls to throw.

    Though once upon a time, back when I was in College, my hirstute room-mate answered the door wearing shorts, a blanket around his shoulders and a ferocious hangover; growled at the little old ladies that he was a Druid, and it was about time for a human sacrifice, and to please hang on while he located his sickle…

    Never bothered us again.

  57. pkiwi says

    Late to this over the chocolate holiday, but here is my JW story. Staying in a small mountain village (about 20 small huts) with some friends enjoying the walking & partying, when a pair of JW’s came by, obviously stopping by and seeing who was home. I proceeded to bait them with evilution talk, using ecological examples to hand (Nothofagus distribution, kiwi’s etc.)- figuring better they bug me than ruin someone elses day. The main guy was in a brown polyester suit, with a kid of about 15 wearing a thin nylon shirt. I had warm coffee in hand, a large jacket, and could feel the fire at my back. They were standing outside. It was cold. Really cold. The kid started to shiver and look really miserable. Light snow was falling while the main guy was getting worked up while I reeled off biological facts. They gave up, on the verge of hypothermia I think, just before one of my friends was going to prance out naked and ask whether I was coming back to the ‘orgy’ (sigh).

  58. says

    The Combat Philosopher: Ah, you use your powers for mischief, it seems …

    LesserOfTwoWeevils: I had both a LDS colleague and a run in with one of their missionaries when I was in Pittsburgh. It seemed that there was in some segments of the church an attempt at many noble things – but in both cases there were huge blind spots, alas. I did enjoy my lunches with the colleague – he was otherwise a very brilliant and capable fellow. I also agree with the world-wiseness – he was very “focused” in a way, whereas I am the opposite, so maybe it was just an exaggeration, but …

    chris y: Honesty does often work best, no?

  59. coffeedryad says

    My parents had some missionaries leave their street without even getting close enough for sect-identification – came up to their porch, and turned around, and zipped right off. Y’see, back in those days they were in the SCA, and they were involved in putting on an authentic medieval-style passion play… and so there was this great, big, bright papier-mache mask of Titivillus out on the porch to dry.