Monday, March 9, 2015

Proselytizing

Strangers proselytizing to me in public is a big pet peeve of mine. I very much respect people's religious freedoms, truly I do. But I also want people to reciprocate by respecting my freedoms, which include--I THINK-- the right to be free from assaultive, obnoxious proselytizing. 

There's almost nothing that feels more verbally invasive to me than someone getting right up in my grill, making me their captive audience, and pleading with me to drink whatever Kool Aid they happen to be pouring.

The good thing about people who do this is that they're usually not very smart--or at least they're very singular of mind and purpose--and therefore amazingly fun to fuck with.

I once got into a heated argument on the street with a teenager from Mississippi who was in New York City to save the heathens or something. I tried to make her see that she was wasting her time, and that moreover, she should do something more productive with her life besides take a bus thousands of miles just to try to make the sinners of New York City see the world her way.

By the way, I take equal offense when members of my own religion do this. There is some Jewish holiday where you're supposed to make other Jews shake a special plant for good luck or something. And that's all well and good, and I am not knocking it.

But what's NOT all well and good is when this tradition translates into gangs of men (who, by the way, would be perfectly happy to see women have zero autonomy in the world) aggressively shaking a stick in my face and shouting "ARE YOU JEWISH?! ARE YOU JEWISH?!," when all I'm trying to do is take a walk in the fucking park.

I don't feel like I should have to lie and say no, but at the same time I don't want to say yes and indulge what I view as a form of religious aggression and hostility.

That's why I was sort of annoyed the last time a trio of women rang my doorbell, preaching the word of something or other. I think they were Jehovah's Witnesses but I don't remember.
All I know is that NOW I was ready to say I was Jewish!

When I did, I could tell by the look on their faces that they were trying to figure out whether this was a quality that was subject to conversion, or whether it was a more immutable characteristic, and they should just give up now.

I decided to answer this unasked question for them. "It's like your eye color or your height," I told them. "You can't change it. There's no hope for me. I am totally hopeless."

Whether this was true or not, they seemed to accept it, and nodded sympathetically and went on their way.

Yup. Problem solved.

1 comment:

  1. One,
    As Jehovan's are my witness, I may have just become an itinerant Jew! I want to see that same crestfallen look on the faces of my next hopeful JW threesome. And maybe they'll finally take me off their recruitment list.

    I usually just let them ring, wait patiently and leave their life-changing propaganda. It's not hard to see them coming a mile away: Sensible car, middle-aged lady, young lady, very, very, very old lady. The latter makes me wonder if reanimation isn't part of their schtick too!

    I'm still waiting for the day when someone comes up to proselytize in my general direction while shaking their prosthetic limb in my face. That's going to be freaky!!

    Just stumbled across your Mess and I'm kind of enjoying it!

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