Why instrusive evangelists should leave their beliefs at the door
During “Holy Week” of 2012, I found that a leaflet had been posted through my door inviting me to a commemoration of Jesus’ death the following day and a “Bible- based discourse” entitled “Is it later than you think?” a few days later. The leaflet was delivered by the infamously intrusive Jehovah’s Witnesses and I was left questioning the mentality of somebody who thought this intrusion into my secular life was appropriate.
I briefly considered popping along to the meetings advertised in order to reply in kind just what I thought of this intrusion, however decided against it when I realised that the events were not discussions but rather religious services. I decided, instead, to write a piece concerned with religious intrusion, especially since in this instance the intruders did not have the consideration to leave their beliefs at the door. Instead, they posted them through and forced their theology and Christology into my home, not giving any consideration for potential offence caused.
This article may seem a disproportionate response to a simple act of junk- mail. However, I found it to be an all too perfect microcosmic example of Christianity’s intrusion on secular affairs and it’s compulsion to evangelise. I consider it symptomatic of religion’s retardation of society just how inoffensive many readers may consider this act.
I am, due to the content of the leaflet in question, primarily centring this discussion around followers of the Nazarene; however the sentiments expressed herein could certainly be applied to the Islamic campaigners that can be seen knocking on the doors of terraced houses in Manchester. The catalyst behind these brazen displays of arrogance is the simple notion that Monotheism cannot keep itself to itself. As a “theism”, it distinguishes itself from “Deism” by asserting that not only does a Deity exist, but that said Deity is concerned with everyday human mundanity. From sexual desire to dietary requirements, this Great Leader is entitled to instruct us in these matters and more.
When a religion is born from such a hypothesis, and it goes on to assert that salvation is possible through the observance and endorsement of its Deity’s revealed behavioural codes, it becomes undesirable for followers to allow flouting of the codes, and also to keep the means of salvation from anybody who has not yet submitted. This is why Christianity cannot leave you and I alone, and the endorsement of evangelism is well attested in its foundational texts (for example in Mt 28:19).
Aside from the patronising and offensive act of posting this leaflet through the door of a house in which an Anti- Theist and Atheist resides, aside from reassuring me that if my life (and it most certainly is) in error, I can be corrected with the help of Jehovah’s Witnesses, there is something incredibly dangerous and downright creepy about the motivations that mobilise these distributors. It is the same conviction that arguably endorses acts of terrorism, jostles for nuclear power and imposes oppressive governmental regimes such as The Taliban.
It is the arrogance of the faithful that knows its claims to be unalterably right that compels its followers to convert, evangelise and inform the rest of us. It is the belief that looks to death with a hungry eagerness. For, if sincere, this mortality is nothing more than a short lived warm up- an entrance exam to the school of eternity. The here and now does not matter, nor my right to live a life entirely separate from religious practise. These trivialities are dwarfed by the prime directive to “save” me – to correct me. Monotheistic commands will never lose their “unalterable” edge – for their rigidity is rooted in the belief that they represent the wishes of an eternal law-giver over whom nobody and nothing possesses authority.
I say the religious are granted too many courtesies. I say that anybody who recognises the right to push this poison through my letter box and into my home or considers my anger thereafter disproportionate, is the product of a society forged by the State’s endorsement of the irrational. It’s disgraceful enough that the faithful retard the development of their own children and families with this utter drivel, but it is quite another thing when this courtesy is extended, without provocation, to my family home. I would be very interested to see what would happen were Atheists to reply in kind, though part of me suspects that the rules of our behaviour wouldn’t be quite the same.Tagged in: atheism, doorstepping, Evangelism, Jehovah's witnesses, Religion
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter