I don't like proselytizers. I don't like them in any way shape or form, whether they be evangelical Christians, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Baptists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Sixth Day Adventists, 23rd Day Adventists, whatever! I just learned that Jews are now going door to door and I don't like them either! I don't even like people coming to my door to sell me magazines or ask me how happy I am about my phone service. The religious ones are intrusive and the marketing ones are annoying and they all happen to choose to knock while I am in the middle of something and/or nap time so the dog goes crazy and wakes up D.
Bottom line, I do not like proselytizers. If you love your religion so much, go sing about it in your church and make a YouTube video about it and mail me a letter. Don't knock on my door asking me if I've "heard the good news" because unless that "good news" involves Clive Owen, being skinny without dieting, and a stable bank account, I'm not really going to listen. And, if you leave my doorstep shaking your head and feeling that I am less of a person because I don't share in your "good news", well let me just give you some advice on where to stick it.
In the past, most people that have knocked on my door, wherever I have lived, have been adults. Some are pushy, some are nice, some start praying on your doorstep when you try to be polite and not scream at them to "fuck off", but 95% of the time, they are well dressed adults who are interested in dialoguing with me about Jesus and his dad and why I should become a zombie. That's fine and dandy with me. But as of late I've noticed a new trend with the Witnesses: children.
Since moving to Florida, every time the Witnesses have knocked on my door, the ADULTS have hung back on the sidewalk about 10-15 feet away and let a SMALL CHILD walk up my driveway and knock on my door with their little hands gripping the many copies of The Watchtower. How absolutely vile is that? It horrifies me to no end. I am finding it very difficult to find the ways to describe how much that disgusts me. Children should not be used as manipulative means to push your god. Do these people think that I'm going to see a kid and say, "Oh yes! I believe in Jesus now because this little boy just knocked on my door." And how horrible can I feel closing the door in a child's face after saying, "No thanks hon!". Can you imagine what that does to a kid? I mean, it's hard enough getting a door shut in your face as an adult, but how about for a little child? Walking up to big doors, with strangers behind them , who say "No" to you. It's traumatic I'm sure.
But it doesn't end with children for these people. No, it gets worse. I thought I had seen it all when the toddler knocked on my door a few months back with his BABY sister in his arms, but today took the cake.
At about 9:30am this morning, I saw the Witness troupe coming up the block. I didn't see any children in tow and I was thankful for that. I put the dog out back, preparing myself for the inevitable knock and my, "No thank you, we are Atheists" speech, but no knock came. I saw the group standing in front of my house and for once, I thought they had seen my sign and understood it, so I moved along with getting D ready to go out. And then I heard it. A feeble knock on the door. Instantly I thought it was a child and got grumpy, but when I opened the door I was greeted with something so reprehensible that I was almost rendered speechless.
She was an older woman, maybe 60 years old. She walked with a cane and appeared to be hunched at the back. What startled me was not her appearance but the fact that she was MENTALLY HANDICAPPED. She was so severely handicapped that she could not speak, emitting small grunts as she tried to hand me her "Jesus saves" pamphlet. I was appalled. It is one thing to push small children, who will one day grow and learn and form their own opinions on what has been taught to them, but to take advantage of this woman and EXPLOIT her in this fashion infuriates me to no end. As usual, the "normal" (for lack of a better word) people sat on the sidewalk 10-15 feet away, while this poor woman, manipulated and exploited by those who purportedly work for a "loving god", sat on my doorstep with vacant eyes trying to peddle salvation.
What do I do? What could I do? I smiled, said "No thank you" (omitting the "we're Atheists" part since she wouldn't understand anyhow) and closed the door. I watched her shuffle back to her group and continue her trek in the hot sun. I wanted to cry for that woman and I wanted to kick the people in charge of her in the face repeatedly.
I still have an awful taste in my mouth from the whole experience and if there is ever cause for me to hate another person or group, I think I found it today.