July 13, 2006

Mission: Annoy people into loving Jesus

I don't usually get in strangers' faces, but the only time I felt compelled to do so is when Jehovah's Witnesses come a'tapping on my door.

The ones that frequent my area end up literally sticking their foot in the doorjamb to indicate how much they want to talk to you--inside. Um doesn't this scream Mafia?

My aunt and uncle have been caught in this trap before. They came in the house and wouldn't leave until their entire spiel was exhausted, and my uncle was polishing his shotgun--no, not really.

My response, however, is a little more direct, and sorry to say, rude. A few months ago, inundated with school work, I responded with: "I'm sorry I'm not into your cult thing, Thanks!" After that, they disengaged their foot, pushed some literature in my hands and stalked off. They probably were happy that I at least took something, which I may, someday, pick up and suddenly convert.

The distasteful scenario makes me happy to learn that someone ironically suggested turning the tables on these door-knockers. It makes me wonder if other people hadn't thought of it before. I mean, Jehovah's Witnesses live in communities, right? It would be incredibly entertaining to see a Satanist group storming the Kingdom Hall gate.

Though I understand the importance of sharing one's faith, I find the entire attitude annoying, and would suggest conversations in the normal places of discourse--like barber shops, McDonald's, Wal-Mart and the local PetSmart. People seem to have the most compelling conversations at these locales. Oh, and in rush hour traffic--on a cell phone.

I've received some interesting things from certain groups within my denomination, as well. My favorite(?) piece of missionary memorabilia I found lying on the sidewalk outside of Dick's Sporting Goods.

It was a $5 bill--or was it? No. It said, "Disappointed? Well, you should be if you haven't found Jesus." Of course I was disappointed, gas just crossed the $2.50 mark and I thought I just found money. I was angry at God for a second for creating stupid people that thought this would cause people to convert. :-) No, not really, but, with a background in communications, I cringed. Why, oh, why did everyone get access to editing software and $5 bills?

I keep it in my car's ash tray, though. I've fooled so many passengers into thinking they've found green in my car's ocean of poor maroon interior. Sometimes I find myself into thinking I am $5 richer, too. But really, even when I mistake that bill for money while waiting at the turnpike gate and laugh at my stupidity when it's not, I realize that infinite wealth lies at the base of these approaches. If only there were a tactful way, a tactful communications professional out there...

Missionary teams are so caught up in the mission that they ironically do not worry about their appearance in the public eye. Any philanthropic/religious endeavor needs the same finesse that a Fortune 500 company does for communications. Why doesn't anyone realize this?

Posted by Amanda Cochran at July 13, 2006 10:09 AM | TrackBack

Hah! I just managed to get rid of the pair of Mormons that have been stalking me since my trip to their crib, and one day last week, I came home to find some lit. from the jehovah's witnesses jammed in my door frame. Whew! I'm glad I wasn't home to open the door because I'm just no good at getting rid of 'em and am much more likely to offer 'em a glass of lemonade and listen to their litany for a while until I can start to pick holes in it.

Posted by: moira at July 13, 2006 8:01 PM

I should have blogged my Jehovah story, but I forgot it until I read your post. I'll make it a short comment.

My drive way is long and runs up to the top of a hill. It circles around my house, so you can't see if there are cars home until you are at the top. So I was lounging, should be looking for a job, so as a theology student I was naturally watching PBS Kids and thinking about the New Testament. Well the Jehovah's Witnesses come to the door. I say "hey," a little nervous just because no one makes the trek up my drive way (unless they know we are home). They return short pleasantries and respond with "You don't have to worry about terrorism, it says here in the scriptures." They point and recite. I don't bother looking but immediately rejoice. "That's great news!" It wasn't a sarcastic or mocking tone. I purposely ignored my disbelief and took the comment at face value. Yes! God will protect us. I sold out the show. They handed me the literature and said they'd check back and see if I enjoyed it. Crap...I might have over sold the performance. They'll probably look for me at their church on Sunday. Haven't seen them since, and I hope that doesn't mean they showed up when I wasn't there. I enjoyed the brief encounter, both sides won that day.

Posted by: Stephan Puff at July 13, 2006 9:06 PM

Before I got my home telephone number on the "Do Not Call" list, I had calls from so many telemarketers that I sometimes waited for them to to take a breath and then asked them if they knew Jesus.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at July 14, 2006 10:29 AM
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