Being polite to Jehovah’s Witnesses

jehovahs_witnessesA Redditor wonders if there’s something wrong with him for being polite to missionaries who knock on his door. I don’t think so. While I do think it’s maybe a bit excessive to refrain from throwing out their pamphlets (mine always go straight in the “circular file”), I don’t think there’s any need to get all high-and-mighty when dealing with such people.

First of all, it’s not like you’re going to convert them to atheism or agnosticism, even if you decide to argue with them. And secondly, it’s not like it’s a big news flash to those folks that lots of the people they talk to don’t believe in what they do — especially fringe groups like the Jebbies and Mormons, who don’t even have the support of their (arguably) fellow Christians.

That doesn’t mean I think it’s a breach of etiquette to tell them to keep their pamphlets, or to argue with them — after all, they opened themselves up to that dialogue by knocking on your door to talk about religion — but neither is it some moral imperative. If you’re more interested in getting them to go away, and taking their pamphlets is the quickest and easiest way to achieve that goal, then go for it.

(cartoon — based on a real sign controversy in England — via the Campaign Against Political Correctness)

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28 responses to this post.

  1. Or ask them if their visit means the church has reconsidered allowing you to return to the church. They’ll quickly shut up and leave, without so much as another word, if they think you’re someone who’s been excommunicated.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Shannon on September 17, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    My husband yells at them and slams the door. But he does that to any solicitor, not just religious.

    Me, I take the pamphlet, and let it go at that. I don’t know, I just don’t feel like arguing with random strangers on my doorstep, whoever they are. I smile and am polite and either take the religious pamphlet or say no thanks, we don’t want a free demo of a vacuum cleaner, etc. I just don’t feel like going through life worked up over everything.

    Guess who has lower blood pressure? LOL! (ok, ok, that’s genetics)

    Reply

  3. Posted by Brad on September 17, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I take their information, and keep them as long as I can at my house, offering to let them go through their materials, engage in dialogue, etc…

    I figure for every minute spent at my house talking to me (who knows that their beliefs are incorrect and seeks to tell them so), that’s one less minute they can spend at someone else’s house trying to convince someone who may not have that knowledge. I take as much information as I can – anything that gets information out of their hands and causes them to have to spend add’l $ to make more.

    Reply

  4. What’s wrong with a polite “no thank you” and closing your door? You aren’t obligated to speak to them any further than that, it’s polite and non-confrontational. It wastes as little of your time as possible and lets you get on with your day. You could say “No thank you, I’m an atheist” and close the door if you want to remind them that we exist, but engaging with them is like teaching a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

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  5. I’m with mathyoo. I say no, thank you, and shut the door. (And am glad I live in a gated apt. building now where they rarely get in!)

    Reply

  6. Posted by Brian E on September 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    One JH woman was walking around the other week and was dragging her poor son (about 8 or 9) with her in full-on dress clothes on an 80 degree day. THAT made me want to smack her rational!

    Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on January 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      I remember those days of being dragged out “in service.” They are over now!

      Reply

      • Posted by lyn on April 26, 2012 at 6:47 pm

        Interesting comment – I remember my parents dragging me to Sunday School and church with no air conditioning and choir practice and church camps and barbecues that were sooooo boring and ladies teas at the church and church sing-alongs and so on in the name of the United Church. No one finds that irrational do they!!! Be balanced in how your view things and realize that it is all about training your child to have a level of spirituality….which does not happen much any longer because the ones raising children are actually children themselves and have been taught nothing about spirituality and morals. These comments are so lame and short sighted

    • Posted by Anonymous on October 26, 2014 at 3:31 am

      Idk bout that cuz my mom would tell me to take my tie and suit off if i wanted,plus it didnt really bother me

      Reply

  7. A couple of mormons showed up at my doorstep the other day. I was quite nice and politely told them up front that I wasn’t interested. They persisted that they have something important to share with me, and how can I be sure it won’t change my mind. I asked them whether they believed something could change *their* minds. That shut them up for a minute, but they just couldn’t leave without asking me how I can be so sure that there was no god. I told them it’s the same reason that makes me not believe in Santa Claus. They left looking offended, but hey, they brought it upon themselves.

    Reply

    • Posted by lyn on April 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      Wanna get a mormon – remind them that they go to other countries and seek out people door to door and bring them into their religion. However if Canada & the US went to war with these other countries…Mormons believe in sending their members to war and fight. So they go to the other country and fight to kill the residents of that country which are members that they converted into their own church. Talk about hypocritical!!! HA.

      Reply

  8. Posted by Jessica G. on September 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Actually, as a former Jehovah’s Witness, may I advise that you do not take their literature. If so, they will write your name and address down in a little notepad and begin returning bi-weekly or monthly so as to leave more literature with the end goal to convert you to their religion. It’s called a “return visit”. Isn’t that delightful!? “No thank you, I’m not interested” punctuated by a closed door works much better as your address is then noted as “NI” (not interested) and they will only return again when they work that neighborhood again, in six months or a year depending on how big your community is. Just sayin’… 😉

    Reply

  9. I am one of the least respectful people in my apartment complex to the Jehovah’s witnesses or ANY Christian that comes to my door with the “good news” that I am going to hell because I am a transsexual and refuse to believe in fairy tales. It is a shame that Denver has an anti-pitbull ordinance because if it did not and I had my own home, they would be running for the gate faster than you can say “mental case”.

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  10. I think it is disgusting that people treat Jehovahs Witnesses with such disrespect. They are people too. I advise anyone who is rude in this world to grow the dam up!

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  11. Posted by Anonymous on January 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, let me just say, we do not
    have an opinion as to your response to us at your door.

    Do as you like. Listen; don’t listen. Take the literature;
    don’t take the literature. Makes us no difference whatsoever.

    That is referred to as ‘free will”.

    Now, you
    have a nice day 🙂

    Reply

    • Posted by Badshah on August 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Having said that, Anonymous, you do understand that according to JW doctrine, those of us who don’t take your literature and never subsequently join your religion, are slated to be massacred by your god soon. And this “makes no difference whatsoever.” Typical of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In their meetings they plainly state that the preach out of love for Jehovah, and also for their fellow man. I think Anonymous actually told the Truth, which is odd for a Witness.

      Reply

  12. I have a bunch of atheist pamphlets which I keep near the door. I am nice and polite and argue the case for a principled, pragmatic agnosticism, but I always only accept their literature if they accept some of mine. They always refuse.
    Although, I spoke to my dad about this and he says they never come back after he talks to them, because “they hate Roman Catholics and they hate commie bastards”. I have found this to be true, as well.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jamin on February 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      1st we don’t hate anybody, 2nd (at least in the spanish) most of us have come from catholic families and still have catholic family members, so no we dont hate Catholics

      Reply

    • Posted by lyn on April 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      To begin; JW’s take the time to get their schedule prepared for the day and consider it throughout the week to be “out in service”. They work at a territory that has been provided to them which is a map of the area with each home on it – done with loving concern and extensive work mind you. They then take their hard earned dollar to purchase gas then their time to seek you out in your home. That is not an easy task. So…if you want one of JW to take your literature why don’t you take the same drastic measures to try and find them in your region. This is not child’s play – they take it very seriously…too bad you didn’t do the same. The fact they have gone to such an extent proves they care. The 2nd part of your point is absolutely retarded and proves you know nothing about JW’s. They do not hate RC, or anyone…don’t be an ass.

      Reply

      • Posted by Badshah on August 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm

        Lyn, please scroll the page up to the post by “Anonymous on January 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm”

        Although your attempt at generating guilt on the part of this boards members is admirable, you fail because one of your dear brothers or sisters let the cat out of the bag, Here, I will report what was said:

        “As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, let me just say, we do not
        have an opinion as to your response to us at your door.

        Do as you like. Listen; don’t listen. Take the literature;
        don’t take the literature. Makes us no difference whatsoever.

        That is referred to as ‘free will”.

        Now, you
        have a nice day”

        Apart from the snarky attitude, it also shows the real Truth, as to how JWs view other people. Not an ounce of love.

        As for your denial that JWs hate Catholics, I was raised Catholic but became a JW for 35 years. Don’t lie. I never met a Witness who didn’t despise the Catholics. Only those who are unacquainted with your putrid religion would believe you.

  13. Posted by Anonymous on May 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    i totally agree with lyn!

    Reply

  14. Posted by Yam on June 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Y’know, Prince is a JW. If there’s a knock at my door, I open it, and he’s standing there, I’m through. (bemusement(.

    Reply

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