Let’s talk about proselytizing.

“Have you heard about the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?” You might be asked this very question while standing in line at Wal-Mart or the grocery store if you are lucky enough to live where I do. This happens often enough, yet I still can’t grapple with why it is socially acceptable. Despite living in a rural area, we still get our doorbell rang by the Witnesses, Mormon’s, and Christian’s. The last Witnesses that came to the house luckily didn’t make it past the front steps, but they did threaten to come back and show me” the truth about Jesus that is hiding in the Bible that you read”. I guess she assumed I was a Christian. Luckily I haven’t seen or heard from them since. This was bothersome even before I was atheist, but even more so now. I have never been the type to shout my convictions from the rooftop. I have always been of the opinion that whatever I believe was no one else’s business or concern. So why do strangers feel the need to come to my private residence and ask to come inside my house uninvited and share what they are happy about? I know the logical answer to this question is that they are compelled by their beliefs to save my soul and share the good news. But what if non-believers did the same? What if the atheists of the world decided to jump in a van and drive around neighborhoods with a copy of a science book and Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” and showed people what we were so happy about? How well would we be received?

On the other hand, how do you feel about atheists proselytizing? Do any of you have an opinion? Do you feel the need to attempt to change the minds of religious people? Personally, I don’t feel comfortable engaging someone in a discussion for the sole purpose of telling them they are silly for believing in fairy tales and they should really rethink their stance on life. I am fine with expressing or even debating my beliefs when asked, but I am not about to go out of my way to broach the subject of my beliefs. I hope to always be respectful of others and give atheism a positive name. What are your thoughts?

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10 thoughts on “Let’s talk about proselytizing.

  1. Personally, it’s not something I talk about unless someone is talking about their religion or what I should believe or why I should do this or think that. When the conversation is one that includes my lack of belief as part of the reasoning, I do not hesitate to ‘proselytize’ as it were, when it is appropriate.

  2. criticofchristianity says:

    “How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” – Penn Juliette. Proselytizing Christians are bloody annoying, but it’s their way expressing their concern for our souls, so their motivations are good, sort of. I enjoy talking to them anyway. They are so hilariously stupid 🙂

    • anothernone says:

      I am a big fan of Penn Jillette, but I’ve never heard that quote. I read the whole transcript and admit it is true and thought provoking. Like he said, if they knew without a shadow of a doubt someone was about to get hit by a bus, how could they not save them? Lucky for them, there are no buses in our paths. =-)

      • The trouble with the bus thing is this: You can in seconds find that indeed your previous course of action would have probably been problematically involved with parts of a bus you don’t want to know up close. With that whole hell thing, well, they can’t show you hell so it’s like saving you from an imaginary bus about to hit you while you are sitting on a bench outside the office where no buses can physically go. It’s not just annoying, it’s effing stupid.

  3. I wouldn’t care much about other people’s beliefs, if they didn’t vote to coerce people like me based on them. Various groups want to ban abortion, ban “vices,” impose forced charity such as welfare and Medicaid, impose subsidies, force employers to abide by labor union rules, impose minimum wages, etc.

    When people use the government to coerce me like this, then I have a serious problem with the beliefs that cause them to do it.

    • anothernone says:

      Ohhhhhhh, you have struck a chord with me. What you have posted above is something that drives me crazy about religion. We have to stand up for smaller government and separation of church and state. I hope one day my kids don’t have to worry about suing their employer over birth control and pay astronomical amounts of money for people on welfare.

      I think you have inspired my next post!

      • Cool! 🙂 I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately, a large proportion of atheists are leftists who want to impose their vision of a good, “humanistic” society on everyone else through government force. Aside from Objectivists like me, there seems to be just a few libertarian atheists like Penn Jillette. Glad to find another who thinks government should stay out of the forced charity business.

        Thanks for adding me to your blog list! 🙂

  4. anothernone says:

    I know what you mean. I went to a local atheist meetup group last week and was the odd man out. I am new to the group so I didn’t comment a lot during the political part of the conversation. Even in the Bible belt, my being an atheist libertarian is unheard of.

    You are welcome for the add! Thanks for the like and the comment as well. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. It’s nice to see another fan of Ayn Rand around here. I really started to dig into her writings when I began to pay attention to Ron Paul.

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