Selling Religion

Yesterday evening when I opened the front door in response to the dog’s barking (aka the doorbell), I came face-to-face with two young, well-groomed fellows standing on our front porch. Before either said a word, I politely told them I wasn’t interested in what they were selling. The “lead” individual smiled broadly and said, “Oh, we’re not selling anything.”

I smiled back and politely responded, “Yes, you are. You’re selling religion.”

Somewhat taken aback, but still continuing his shining smile, he countered, “No, we’re not selling anything.”

I reiterated (with my own best smile), “Yes, you are.  You’re selling religion.”

As he shook his head and opened his mouth to again offer his denial, I looked into the eyes of his partner, then back at him, and assured both of them that … “Really. I’m not interested.”

By now, I could tell he knew that I knew why he was there so he thanked me … and apologized for disturbing the dog. 🙂

I never asked, but assumed they were two-by-two Mormons. Nice-looking, well-dressed, polite. But obviously (at least to me) … on their “mission.”

I feel fairly certain that few believers consider it “selling their religion” when they talk to you about their “God.” But what else should it be called? When they want to offer you something (they think) you don’t have and (in their opinion) you need, is this not a form of selling? No money may exchange hands, but if you accept their offer, a (heavenly) transaction has definitely taken place.

What I think is disturbing to many of us is we’re simply not in the market for heavenly goods. We may have owned them in the past but over time, they lost their value so we permanently discarded them. Some simply have never had any desire to make that initial “purchase.” And some discovered the goods were so fraught with blemishes and flaws that they cursed the maker and vowed never again.

It’s an unfortunate truth, but religious salespeople seem to be everywhere you turn. It almost makes one want to start carrying a sign or wearing a badge that says “No Soliciting. No Exceptions.”

40 thoughts on “Selling Religion

  1. Interesting nan. You had a wonderful opportunity to espouse the virtuous life of an atheist to they who in your mind were lost as fog.

    And yet by your own words, u didn’t even give them a chance to tell u how ‘wrong’ they were.

    Btw, your blog roll of followers reveals more about u than u imagine.

    Like

    • CS, I have no desire to “convert” anyone to my way of life (contrary to what you and other believers might think).

      To leave your religion and all that it (supposedly) offers is a decision only you (or any believer) must make on your own. I may offer reasons why I think it’s a decision that should be considered, but I’m not going to “espouse the virtuous life of an atheist” to anyone. While I admit I find the non-religious way of life far more fulfilling than “Christian” living, to switch lanes is a decision that must be made by each individual.

      As to your last sentence, I’m well aware that the 1,767 (at last count) blog followers represents nothing more than someone clicked a button … oftentimes by a new blogger who is “hoping” that I’ll check out their blog. Which, by the way, I rarely do. So your “smugness” means nothing to me.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. we used to get jehovahs here, but i suspect the effort involved to get to the house (on foot no less) in the middle of the winter was more than any of them wanted to handle. It’s hard to look trim and holy when the 20 below zero wind is rearranging everything you own…

    Liked by 3 people

    • They are EVERYWHERE in milder climate California. They actually set up their little table on a randomly chosen narrow sidewalk along a major highway the other week. I was impressed by the table set up at 6:00 a.m. in the local park. I guess they think the dog walkers and joggers are ready for some BIG J.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well, really, what can we expect? Mark clearly told them to “Go into all the world.” And by-gum, that’s what they intend to do!

        Of course, they overlook a few hundred other verses. But hey … ya’ gotta’ do what ya’ gotta’ do. Right?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Nan. Am I the only one that equates religious people showing up uninvited at my door as the same as a telemarketer spam call? It is the same unwanted intrusion in my view. I am not sure but we never get religious people going door to door here even though we have a church right behind us and many of our park people go to it. The most we get is a bunch of lawn signs saying put Christ back in Christmas. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Am I the only one that equates religious people showing up uninvited at my door as the same as a telemarketer spam call?

      They are worse than the telemarketer. At least the telemarketer is at a distance, and I can hang up the phone. The religious person is at my door. And they won’t take “no” for an answer.

      My personal practice is to immediately tell them that I consider my religious views private and personal, so I don’t want to discuss it with them. That usually works. But you have to say that up front. Once you get into arguing, it is too late to use that tactic.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I actually just posted about this, and I’m so glad someone agrees! The similarities between Jehovah’s Witnesses and Telemarketers is uncanny. I grew up as one, so I understand all of the “behind-the-scenes” reasons why they are extremely similar.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s free to join the Mormons up front after they teach you about the law of tithing, but you MUST pay if you want to learn the secret handshakes, get the passwords to heaven, and be certified to wear the secret undergarments. To attend the temple and receive all the covenants of and blessings of Mormonism you have to pay 10%.
    If you stop paying tithing later on, your access to continue temple worship will not be renewed until you do.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Is that 10% of take home pay? Or is it 10% of assets?

      To ask the question differently, do they allow very rich people to cheat, by arranging their affairs so that there is a lot of their wealth that is not subject to tithing?

      Liked by 2 people

      • For regular people, depending on their personal interpretation of “increase”, many people pay on their gross, while others pay on their net income. The wealthy members negotiate a settlement like any business claiming expense, loss, etc.

        Liked by 2 people

        • So, yes, they allow the very wealthy to cheat.

          No surprise here. The churches need the very wealthy to fund them. So they are more likely to apply strict moral standards to the poor than to the wealthy.

          It’s all about the money.

          Liked by 2 people

          • The Mormon church also receives huge gifts from these members.
            My brother is Mormon and lives in the wealthiest ward in the church. Gated community with full time security guards to keep their faith intact. And yes, the wealthy Mormons commune together.

            Liked by 3 people

        • Isn’t it interesting that no matter where you turn … it’s all about the almighty $$$$$!!!

          Perhaps we just think “God” is invisible when he’s really showing himself through the various monetary systems throughout the world. If so, he certainly has no lack of worshipers.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Can you imagine if Jesus became a real person, wearing dusty and tatty robes with his worn hand made leather sandals and dirty long hair and beard suddenly turned up at one of these wealthy gated communities with a few fish tucked under his arm and a loaf of bread to feed the faithful. Exactly what these fools had been waiting for, the return of God to take them to heaven.

            He would claim like he did in the bronze age to be the son of God but after one look from these wealthy so called Christians he would be moved on by security and told to not show his dirty face around there again.

            If these gated nut jobs would only realise that if they were living as the God of the Bible dictated, on the basics of donating most of their riches to the poor and living the simple life Jesus would not have been rejected as a poor and destitute inferior and been able to show off his healing and raising the dead tricks to win their confidence.

            Surely Jesus would have his dad take care of them just like he did with Sodom and Gomorrah.

            Liked by 3 people

    • I read the average Catholic gives about 3% and they don’t do much door knocking. They also give you stuff for free, like bread wafers, palm fronds, and ashes. Drinking and gambling are permitted, if not encouraged.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Hello Jim. So at some point the money becomes the clearly important thing. Do what you wish, believe what you want, but at all times pay us a portion of your wealthy and have our blessing, which means our access into the wealthy world of everything else. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoy the door knockers, I often spend at least half an hour pointing out their delusional beliefs and why they are compelled to believe them. Usually they start looking at their watches and back away after 10 minutes. It is either because they feel the holy ghost leaving them or they can smell my BO.

    I cannot wait for the next ones, should be able to order them online.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. ” No money may exchange hands, but if you accept their offer, a (heavenly) transaction has definitely taken place.”

    Exept, that the money always exchanges hands sooner or later. If you buy a vacuum cleaner from a door to door salesman, you rarely need to pay anything at the moment of purchase, but rest assured, the bill is on the way. Same applies to all religious marketting – Moromon, or otherwise.

    Here in Finland the couple who started the aid group for victims of religion were originally turned into Moromonism, they tell us, they were eager to forward the message and rose through ranks, untill they were given priviledges and found out where all the money they were so eager to collect went. As high status members they were invited to a luxury resort in Switzerland reserved for the high echelons of their church. According to them, that was the moment when they started to question the validity of their religious beliefs.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. It’s been a long time since last Mormons I had got the scoop on the neighborhood from me. I think they moved on to another after that. “There is no way I could ever believe the nonsense you….”
    One day it was two attractive young ladies. I looked horrible, disheveled, unshaven, been doing stinky sweat work (forget what)–a barefoot, nasty, dangerous looking old man. They saw me walking toward them through the full length glass storm door. I saw them whispering to each other as I approached. They wanted me to take their literature (Watchtower) and they would move on. I insisted they come in because I had questions and a video for them to watch with me and my wife. They could not run away fast enough. I enjoyed the brief visit and had a good laugh.
    The video was a Catholic Answers apologist deal about how and why the RC Church was the original and true Christian Religion/denomination. Not one door knocker ever agreed to watch it. Now I settle for a ‘no soliciting’ sign on my door that says no religions and no exceptions. Only one fool was dumb enough to test it and he was selling frozen meat. I wish I could try the method from the movie, “Second Hand Lions.” But my neighbors would object.

    Liked by 4 people

    • This puts me in mind of a story I heard years ago, which I hope is true. The way this guy told it, he was woken up early one morning by knocking on his door by a couple of door-to-door religious pests. He’d gone to bed late the previous night after drinking heavily, and when he went to answer the door he looked terrible — unshaven, red-eyed, messy-haired, wearing nothing but his bathrobe, which happened to be black.

      When he saw the clean-cut young missionaries, he had the presence of mind to yell over his shoulder, as if to someone else within the house: “Hey guys, start the ritual! The sacrifices are here!”

      The pests departed, never to return.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. But what else should it be called?

    I would certainly have described their “product/service” the same way you did Nan. Two-by-two Mormon missionaries with bicycles nearby are a dead giveaway, especially if wearing Conservative attire, white shirt with ties on. I believe that’s their standard Sale & Marketing uniform. 😉

    Of course, they have different “job titles” all essentially meaning the same thing with only slight variations. However, it does often seem (to me at least over the decades) that Christians™ of whatever make and model WANT to speak a different language than rest of the world as if they are members of a very exclusive, elite club. 😄 And yet, they (Mormons or LDS) “recruit” almost anyone out of the lost, evil world. Recently they’ve accepted and included African-Americans into their Church! Apparently Blacks have become worthy. 😉

    Religious solicitors have certainly been on the rise of late in the U.S. After watching Netflix’s “The Family” it seems the same sort of Sales & Marketing campaigns are now world-wide… for political and heavenly reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christians™ of whatever make and model WANT to speak a different language than rest of the world as if they are members of a very exclusive, elite club.

      It has been argued — and I think there is considerable merit to this — that the primary purpose of making members of a religion go out and proselytize is not to win new recruits, but to give the proselytizing members negative experiences with unbelievers which reinforce their own commitment to the religion and their sense of differentness and alienation from the outside world.

      Certainly the techniques used by many proselytizers — pestering targets in their own homes, yelling at passing people on street corners, using weird forms of language, etc. — are far more effective at annoying people than converting them, and don’t look like what religious leaders would come up with if they were genuinely focused on doing the latter. Successful advertising campaigns for commercial products, as a counter-example, don’t use such methods. The Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Mormons, by sending out their swarms of young and naïve door-to-door pests, do win an occasional convert here and there, and no doubt they welcome that — but what they’re really accomplishing is to give their younger members a lot of unpleasant experiences of rejection by “worldly” and “sinful” outsiders, to cement their alienation from the world and commitment to the cult.

      (As an aside, if the real purpose were recruitment, why send young men with limited social skills and very little experience with interacting with people different from themselves? Mature people with more experience in life would probably be much more effective at persuasion. But younger people are more malleable and more likely to have their convictions shaped by the rejection effect.)

      I don’t know if it’s really on the rise or not. Living in the biggest city in the least-religious state in the US, my experiences with face-to-face proselytizing have been years apart. If you live in a small town or a more religious region, I assume it is more common.

      Liked by 4 people

      • The last time the Jehovahs showed up here it was a veritable gang of five or six, and it verged on hysteria. The woman who was doing the proselytizing was a woman I had gone to highschool with, worked with as a waitress, years before, and her claim to fame was as a “tip stealer”. She’d clean your table for you, and pocket the tip. Bless her heart. She was also famous for having a viciously public affair with a neighbor, all over town. And here she was, straight faced and sincere, dragging along (as they so often do) a kid of about 11 or 12, possibly as protection, while she looked me straight in the eye (I know you know I know just don’t smirk please) and said her piece. I never let on. Eventually they drifted away, never saw her again. I almost felt sorry for her, having to deal with people she knew…

        Liked by 3 people

      • There may be some merit in this person’s argument, but speaking from experience …

        Although I didn’t belong to a church that went door-to-door, I was systematically encouraged to “witness” whenever the conditions allowed. And while psychologically speaking, the core purpose may have been to “reinforce” my faith, the storyline was definitely to “convert the lost.”

        However, when push comes to shove, I think most non-believers agree that anything connected to religion is, at its core, psychological and emotional. Moreover, religious leaders know this … and capitalize on it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hello Infidel753. What you are writing rings true. When I was 17 in an SDA church boarding school we were sent out one Saturday dressed fully in our church best suits on a very hot New England day. We were handed pamphlets to give out and advised to mention ( push ) certain book series. Every one of us in the dorm dreaded this, but I was new to the school. I had not grown up in the reiglion, but was there due to a wealthy donor. I was clueless. So walking down the street all alone, which I had no idea where I was, knocking on doors and if any one answered hoping I sounded at least coherent and not as hot sweaty angry as I was. Yes I got interrupted as soon as I started, and yes called a few names, all I dismissed. What stuck in my mind was the man with his kids on their front lawn, him drinking beer , all of them lifting weights while having fun. Knowing everything I was about to say was bullshit but also knowing I would be quizzed on it later and needed a possible or two as I had to stay in the school for my own safety I walked up to them.

        It went as bad as it could have right from the start. I introduced myself from the script we had been given and the older man, I now realize was maybe late thirties, simply took over. He knew the speil, he was not angry , nor judgemental, but offered me the chance to sit with them as they worked out and talk. He even offered me water on a really hot day. Everything I tired to bring up he had a response for. I was desperately out of my depth and floundering so I went for what I thought would be the ultimate strike. I told him our body were a temple to god and defiling them was a sin and sign of our contempt for god. How he asked as he took a sip of his beer from the cooler. ( I grew up in a very alcoholic boozed filled house hold before going to the church school. ) Well I started to describe all the things I had read in Ellen White’s required reading series of books. Boy I had them now!

        He came over and sat next to me and asked how my body as a temple was any better than theirs? Simple question, no heat , not argumentative. I couldn’t answer. So he had me take off my suit coat and do some lifting. Then his sons, then him, and then me again. Of course I couldn’t do what they did. I was totally deflated.

        The man was better than the people I grew up with he was not angry not abusive. He offered me a second bottle of water, it was a really hot day, and asked when I was to be picked up and where. I told him in a few hours and where. He said I could stay there with them and enjoy the music, maybe lift weights, enjoy the day or I could keep walking the street. He introduced his sons. I stayed there. I guess you could say he did far more to educate me than I did to convert him. He saw an unsure stumbling teen and simply talked to him. Rather than the others who had shouted at me, called me names or slammed their doors in my face. I don’t blame them, I think what we were forced to do is very wrong.

        Long story short what had started out as a dreaded chore I was not prepared for and struggled to even do turned into a pleasant afternoon with some cool people lifting weights and learning new body building stuff. Later that night in the dorm as everyone was telling their horror stories I realized I had gotten off really lucky. It has changed how I handle young people coming to my door trying to preach, because once I was them. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Professor. I use to live in West Palm Beach which was swamped with cute young Mormon missionary boys in their black pants, white shirts, and black slim ties. They were on every street corner. I guess like the homeless we had they needed living assistance. I wonder if the two groups argued over which corners each got to mine from. I live in North Fort Myers now and have not seen a single missionary team in the 16 years we have been here. Disappointing. I learned too late that they are good eating according to the new websites I have since started following. While I understand transporting them across state lines is illegal how does one entice a pair to your home for … and extended visit? Just asking for a friend. Hugs. 😀😃😄😉😉😎

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Or maybe in your youth you paid on an installment plan (tithes, offerings, etc.) and realized you were paying for something you weren’t receiving. Were you paying for sermons, prayers, what? What services were you paying for? Salvation?! (Shut up, Church Lady!)

    Liked by 1 person

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