In the past few months, I have been approached not once, not twice, but three times by solicitors who want me to find Jesus through their website. I am deaf, and apparently one of my neighbors alerted this group that there was a deaf man in their neighborhood in need of salvation. This website purports to translate the Bible into American Sign Language, making it accessible for those who are deaf. The first time someone came by, I simply said that the Bible wasn't my thing, and when pressed, I politely told them I wasn't a believer and wished them a good day. I was very polite, but still ticked off. This same group followed up today with a different batch of solicitors, this time three nice ladies, two sisters and their mother. I took their pamphlet and told them I would take a look at it later because I was hungry for dinner and didn't want to chat.
Never mind the fact that I am an atheist. First of all, I have a master's degree and attended UC Berkeley, where I majored in English literature. I also work as an editor, and am more than competent when it comes to reading the English language. I am sick of these solicitors who assume that (a) deaf people cannot read, and (b) I am a Christian or someone who is seeking life's answers and can find them in an old collection of folk tales.
I try to be as polite as possible to these solicitors, but as soon as I say good-bye, I toss their pamphlets into the recycling bin.
Even worse, my massage therapist e-mailed me a link a few days ago to this very same website, saying it was oh so cool that the Bible has been translated into sign language. I considered this guy a good person (and a great masseuse), not the type to go about pushing religion on a client. Make that a former client; I will now look for a new massage therapist.
When these people just won't leave you alone, what do you do? I might expect this type of in-your-face solicitation in the Bible Belt, but I live in California, far from the Bible-thumping crowd.
One thing you can do with some of these dips is pull the old switcheroo on 'em. They want to give you a tract? Lay your own tract on them! Attached here is something I put together a little while back which can give you a starting point, or you can use it yourself if you find my positions agreeable with your own.
If you do come up with something on your own, please post it here. New ideas are always welcome
That's a good start. I tend to avoid confrontation, though. I'm on pretty good terms with my neighbors (I live in a small family neighborhood where everyone says hello when we pass on the street), and would like to keep it that way. I don't even know which of my neighbors pointed these solicitors in my direction, although I have a few suspicions.
I'm on good terms with my neighbors as well ... but between 2010 and 2012, I had at least three visits from Jehovah's Witnesses where they either wanted me to justify my atheism, explain to them how a universe could come from nothing (cue Lawrence Krauss!), or counter some other lame argument they thought they could lay on me. I should also mention that the nearest Kingdom Hall is miles from here, so my visitors were not what I would call my "neighbors."
They were treated politely in all cases. Their arguments WEREN'T, though ... which may be why they haven't been around lately!
I've been reading the book Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary. The author is quite gentle and kind to religious people - yet he intelligently skewers apologist claims, and very perceptively writes about why religious people believe.
That sort of book is probably more likely to have an influence on religious people. They aren't likely to even read the more caustic atheist writings. So perhaps one could give door-knockers a flyer for the book, detailing some points made in it.
And the book only costs 99 cents on Kindle! Even impoverished door-knockers can afford that.
The question then becomes: would such people (who generally aren't wild for technology) even OWN a Kindle?!?
I don't own a Kindle. Amazon has a free Kindle app that can be downloaded to a laptop.
It's one of the wiles of Amazon, to pull you into their domain in stages.
Hopefully most of the door-knockers have a laptop :)
Yes, but are those same tambourine bangers allowed to read anything not sanctioned by their cult?
Loren - thanks for sharing your fantastic document - very well done. BTW, I have a favorite response to solicitors that I stole from an old college bud years ago: "Sorry folks, but I'm not superstitious."
You're more than welcome, Bertold, and thanks for pointing out the one glitch in it - FIXED! Thing is, I haven't had any JW visitors since the last encounter in 2012. Wonder if I scared 'em off! [grin!]
Hey Loren I really like your "Hi I'm and Atheist doc" so I hijacked it. Hope you don't mind. Going to send it to a few Christians I know.
Please use it all you want, John. That's why I put it up here: to be used. If you get any reactions to it, I'd love to hear 'em!
I 'll keep you in the loop. Thanks again