What Do You Say to a Witness?
In case some of you were wondering why I sometimes go several weeks between posts, it usually is related to whether I’m taking BART to work. I do my best writing when I’m sitting on the train and already seething about the prospect of having to go to work.
Needless to say, I took BART today. I’m writing this article on my way home. I just encountered a fundie! Ugh! Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t fall under one definition of fundies, because they usually don’t try to erode the wall of separation. Since they’re a fringe group, they know that any establishment of religion wouldn’t be their flavor. (And does religion have “flavor”? They all taste like ipecac to me!) However, one of the other definitions of fundie is someone who tries to foist his own special religion upon everyone else. JWs roam the world doing just that, thus earning my ire and contempt.
As I was walking into the station to catch the homebound train, there was a Witless standing out front, proudly displaying his stack of Awake!s (The title of this rag is a bit ironic. If Witlesses were truly awake, they wouldn’t deny evolution. These people are just barely this side of Flat Earthers.).
As he saw me approach, he shifted on his feet and made his magazines a bit more prominent, both ploys to get my attention. I knew if I made eye contact that this dweeb would say something. I should be entitled to walk down the street without being assaulted by pedlars of first-millennium superstition. Rather than pretend that I don’t see him, which is what I do with the homeless (OH, COME ON! Like you don’t?!), I thought I’d take control of the situation. That puts him in the low-status, defensive position that he tries to put all of his quarry into.
That’s one way they’re able to move as much product as they do, by the way. By confronting you, they take the high-status position in the encounter, putting you into the low-status and defensive state. A lot of people will just take the Awake-brand toilet paper (also comes in pillowy-soft Watchtower design, too!) to get the situation over with as quickly and with the least discomfort as possible.
Most people harbor silly notions of manners and conflict avoidance. Well let me cure you of that right now! Save your politeness for people who are polite to you. Trying to convert somebody on the street is offensive, rude, and disrespectful. You are capable of seeking out any information about religion. You know where all of the churches are. You know where to get the books and the videos. You know you can find the religious radio and TV stations. It’s not a matter of not having access to the information. It’s easy to get. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for some pinhead to be standing in front of stores, transit stations, public squares, or other places trying to convert you.
Do they have the right to peddle in public? Absolutely. Should they? I have the right to fart in a crowded movie theater. Should I? In polite society, we don’t pollute the air that others have to breathe!
So as I was walking into the station, I looked at the Witless and, before he could speak, I said “You’ve got to be kidding!” and marched past him. It did the job. It kept him at bay. My only concern is that I could have said something funnier or more cutting.
So what do you think, dear readers? This blog has a comment feature. You need to be a member to post, but that’s just to keep the ’bots out. I won’t give your email to spammers (but if you post something I don’t like, I’ll send the Jehovah’s Witnesses over to your house to explain a few things to you!).
What should I have said to the JW?