on shutting up

by bezzle

Today some Jehovah’s Witnesses came to our door and carried out a conversation with my mum.  It was, as expected, evangelical in nature.

My mum was quite amiable to them, and they weren’t aggressively pushing her to ‘sign up’ or whatever the correct term is.  It was quite chilling for me to overhear the whole conversation though.

(On a sidenote, they pulled the whole ‘nationality’ card again.  I doubt saying ‘Jehovah’ in Mandarin means much to most Chinese-speaking people, especially those who aren’t Christian at all.)

I generally abstain from talking about any religion at all, but the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ visit to our house just then has unnerved me quite a bit and I thought I might as well blog about it.

Going to O Week, I think everyone’s at least walked past the large variety of various Christian stalls.  I’ve been…well, I wouldn’t say accosted…approached! That’s the right word.  Approached by people who obviously want to talk about Jesus and why they believe and why I should at least think about it.  (The other religious stalls, if any, have yet to talk to me.  Many thanks.)  Each time I’ve been noncommittal but firm enough to reject their offers, but I guess all this Christianity overload in one week is making me think about things.

Firstly, I don’t really like talking about religion, or more specifically whether God exists (THERE ARE RELIGIONS THAT DO NOT INVOLVE ‘GOD’) and the same tired old topics for several reasons.  None of which I have thought about distinctly, but I’ll try to verbalise a few neatly here.

Absolutes: Debates about religion involve things like God either exists or doesn’t (Schrodinger, anyone?) and other absolute statements that quite frankly are unresolvable.  One either has to believe, or totally reject the idea.  I’m partial enough to be firmly on the side of God/gods not existing, but if God/gods exists for you, I’m not going to do anything about it.

Evangelists: I understand, evangelists are rarely the sum total of a religion, but if you try to convert me because your religion tells you so, I am further unable to agree with your views.  Your religion sounds suspiciously like a pyramid scheme.

Beliefs: when people disagree about religions, they are disagreeing with what is quite often an important part of people’s livelihoods.  I may not believe in your god(s), but I am not going to insult your intelligence, disrespect your religious texts or continually attempt to discredit the spiritual beings you believe exist.  And likewise, you should not attempt to convert me or assail me with reasons as to why I should believe.

(Call me out if I ever do this stuff.  I get the feeling I’d snap if I came across a Scientologist or something.)