So I was sitting outside Starbucks with my girlfriend today after school. And two ladies came up to me and introduced themselves. Apparently they were from the church down the street and wanted to "ask us a few questions". I figured this would be a good opportunity to see first hand what happens when an atheist crushed someones religious arguments.

So I agreed to the questionnaire. But, as with most religions, I was misinformed about what I had just volunteered for. The entire questionnaire consisted of "what is your name?" and then she proceeded to waist my time by preaching the gospel and what Jesus and god can do for me in my life.

So for the first minute or so I sat back quietly formulating what I would say to her once she stopped flapping her yap. But all of a sudden the "what do you believe in?" question popped out of nowhere. So I answered truthfully. I said I was atheist... I had totally forgotten that that word right there ignites a spark that bursts into flame inside a christian. All of a sudden she was praying for me and telling me and my girlfriend to repeat a prayer and it all happened so fast I forgot everything I was going to use to crush her with.

But in the end she seemed to have a satisfied look on her face. I assumed she was assuming she had saved someones soul from eternal torture. So she was getting ready to leave and began telling me to read the bible a chapter a day. And she was going to hand something to me that looked like the first few pages of the bible. So politely as I could, I told her keep it for someone else and that I'm set on my non beliefs and there was nothing she could do to change it and that she basically wasted her and my time.

The look on her face after I said that was priceless. She looked like I had just bitten the head off a puppy or something. That made up for me losing my grounds. It made me happy :P

But afterwords everything I wanted to say started coming back to me. I had a million questions to ask and it made me want to kick myself for not keeping my cool.

So that's my story of shame for the day. I got preached, sat back and took it like a bitch.

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Comment by JustJoshNYou on February 19, 2009 at 6:32pm
Haha thank you all for the graet responses. Being a lover of debate, and a lover of pissing people off, I can't wait to use them :D
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on February 19, 2009 at 10:50am
You can continue thus:

Y. What church do you belong to?
Y. What is its address? Write it down for me, please.
Y. Who is your pastor? His telephone number?
Y. I think the moment of my time is over now. Thanks for talking to me. It has been a real pleasure.

Other approaches.

Y. Excuse me a moment, please. [Put phone or watch up to ear or simply cup a hand over an ear.] [Pretend to talk to the invisible person on the phone.] Hello. ... Yes, sir.... Female, about 40, greying hair, about 5 feet something, .... [look at X and ask] How tall are you, maam? .. X. Why do you want to know that? Y. My boss wants to know. X. Who is your boss? Y. I am not at liberty to say, maam. [Ignore X] The subject refuses to answer, sir.

Another approach:

X. Jesus died for your sins and wants .....
Y. Do you believe man was created or evolved?
X. Created by god.
Y. You think man is too complex to have just evolved, then?
X. Yes, of course. Don't you?
Y. Was he created to look like god? You know, in his image?
X. Yes, it says that god created man in his own image.
Y. Who is more complex: man or god.
X. God, of course.
Y. Then it stands to reason, doesn't it, that someone must have created god. Who do you think did that?
X. Er.. the important thing is that Jesus died for your sins.
Y. Now wait a minute, we haven't established whether there is god who made god yet, have we? So we can't continue with this conversation and make any sense, can we? I think you should go home and think about it, don't you?

Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on February 19, 2009 at 10:22am
The expected social response to being asked a question is to answer it. You can reverse this to your advantage. For example:
X. May I have a moment of your time?
Y. Sure. What is your name?
X. Bill.
Y. Bill what?
X. Bill Smith.
Y. Do you live around here?
X. I want to tell you about ...
Y. Just a moment, please. What street?
X. What concern is it of yours?
Y. Well, you could be anybody, couldn't you? Can I see some ID, please?
Comment by cj the cynic on February 19, 2009 at 9:58am
Sure, borrow away :)
Comment by Wanderer on February 19, 2009 at 9:13am
Don't be ashamed. What you did is what most of us would do - keep the peace. Most people dislike confrontation so we avoid it as best we can, which is main reason our society can function. I've been in similar positions in the past and even though I've thought of various responses, I invariably fall back to the one that allows both of us to disengage from the conversation peacefully.

Comment by Phillip Law on February 19, 2009 at 4:54am
Next time don't wait for them to finish, just tell them to stop when you see an clear opportunity to waste them. That's what I do. If you let them continue yapping they'll never finish and it gives them the satisfaction of preaching (cos preaching is just that, it's one-way). So don't let them have it.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on February 19, 2009 at 1:55am
Deaf Atheist, my favourite response to the JWs was thus:

What church are you from? - - - Oh the JWs! Don't you believe that accepting a blood transfusion is against the will of your god? - - - What is your church's position on suicide? Is that wrong? - - - Well that puts me in quite a quandry. I have a rare blood disorder. If I don't get regular blood transfusions I would be committing suicide. Good day.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on February 19, 2009 at 1:48am
Cj the Cynic, that's a great response! May I borrow it?
Comment by DeafAtheist on February 19, 2009 at 12:20am
I was once approached on the street by a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses about 10 years ago and told them I was an atheist. The were intrigued and asked me why. I didn't have the time or inclination to get into a religious debate so I simply told them that I had no belief in anything supernatural. They followed me home like a couple of lost sheep braying at me the whole way. They even came back again the next day bringing pamphlets they hoped would be enough for me to abandon my ability to think critically and join their flock. They asked if they could come inside but I told them I was busy today and it wasn't a good time. They thanked me and left, returning AGAIN the next day. This time I didn't even bother to answer the door. Needless to say they never came back again. Of all the Christian sects I dislike the Jehovah's Witnesses the most. At least other Christians have enough decency to leave you alone at home. I think if one of them ever comes to my door again I'll quote Dr. House and say, "Oh, you're selling religion... Sorry, I just bought some Islam yesterday".
Comment by cj the cynic on February 18, 2009 at 11:34pm
I think you handled it pretty well. At least you made clear your beliefs and didn't sit there and pretend you cared. Normally when religious peddlers approach me, I tell them that I have to consult the Dark Lord before engaging in a conversation with mere mortals. The look on their faces is quite amusing.



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