How can I discourage proselytizing?
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20-06-2017, 02:03 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
I'm from the UK and I work for a US company which means spending time in 'Murica from time to time. Thankfully not in the Bible Belt.

I have had US colleagues come to me and invite me to church and have always declined with the explanation along the lines of...."....well in Britain, religion is treated as something very personal and is not discussed at work or socially and I'd prefer to keep it that way."

Seems to work.

Best of luck mate.

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20-06-2017, 02:03 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
Also, have you tried a spray bottle and a rolled-up newspaper?

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20-06-2017, 02:49 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
Plan activities on Sunday and invite them to join you.
Have a few beers instead of going to church.
Talk them into doing things they normally wouldn't do on a Sunday.

Or

Accept their invitation and go with them to a church service. Make sure you drive your own car.
Stand up and make a scene every time the preacher lies. Take an air horn with you and blast it when they try to pray.

And make sure everyone knows who invited you.
You will embarrass them so much that they will never invite you again.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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20-06-2017, 04:49 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
(20-06-2017 01:18 AM)SYZ Wrote:  Can I ask who first invited you to their church, and why they did so?
First couple of weeks I was staying in a guest house. It had been organized by one of the local managers. I was invited by the guest house owner who also happened to be the sister of said local manager.

(20-06-2017 01:18 AM)SYZ Wrote:  And who exactly are the people still hounding you?
Everything from people at work to random person on the street who I hadn't met before but somehow knew my name, or at least knew me as "that British atheist guy."

(20-06-2017 01:26 AM)M. Linoge Wrote:  Seriously though, the civilized way to handle the situation is to endure their treatment. Either squeeze the frustration into a ball and release that at some later point, or do what believers do and go to your happy place while they talk in your general direction.
I'm English. We're good at repression.
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20-06-2017, 06:24 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
(19-06-2017 04:43 PM)inq101 Wrote:  Hello all.

I'm looking for advice on how to handle over eager Christians trying to convert me. I'm currently spending a lot of time in the US on business. I need to spend about 3 weeks a month in Alabama overseeing a project. First weekend there I was invited to church. I turned them down saying I didn't believe in a god. Since then I have had various people, many of whom I hadn't met before coming up to me and trying to drag me to church or preaching at me.

Does anyone have any advice on how to get this to stop? I don't want to be rude, I am representing my company after all, but this is getting to be really annoying.

Thanks for any help or suggestions.

Well I can tell you what to do, but if you are representing your company you might not want to try it. I would simply ask them how you can reliably distinguish what they are calling a god from something that is merely imaginary. In my experience this chases them away faster than anything. Usually I only get one half hearted attempt and then they flee. Do this a few times and the word will get around. You can be polite about it. Sure I'd love to come to your church but I need you to answer one question for me first. They'll quote the Bible all day and argue about evolution but when you take the conversation to the fundamental principles of their belief they won't want to have anything to do with you. At least that's been my experience. Hey, it worked on the Jehovah's Witnesses. I haven't seen hide nor hair of them since.

Alternately, you could just say no thank you, I don't consider the question of a god debatable and I'm certainly not going to enter a debate where the final argument is the point of a gun.

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20-06-2017, 06:45 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
(20-06-2017 02:03 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  ."....well in Britain, religion is treated as something very personal and is not discussed at work or socially and I'd prefer to keep it that way."

Personally, I think this would probably be the most effective approach.

Most people aren't stupid and will take the hint.

For those who just don't get it, perhaps a simple, "Please, let's get back to business, shall we?" or something similar, and steer the conversation back to the business at hand. Given that you're representing your company, it's important (I think, anyway) that you maintain professionalism at all times.
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20-06-2017, 07:26 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
(20-06-2017 04:49 AM)inq101 Wrote:  
(20-06-2017 01:26 AM)M. Linoge Wrote:  Seriously though, the civilized way to handle the situation is to endure their treatment. Either squeeze the frustration into a ball and release that at some later point, or do what believers do and go to your happy place while they talk in your general direction.
I'm English. We're good at repression.

Not as good as church folk.

(20-06-2017 02:49 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Accept their invitation and go with them to a church service. Make sure you drive your own car.
Stand up and make a scene every time the preacher lies. Take an air horn with you and blast it when they try to pray.

Alternatively (and less likely to embarrass your company)...

IF you go with them to their church (which I very very very very much DO NOT RECOMMEND, as this will be a hostile environment to you)....

... take notes, and ask them questions after the service.

"So, this part about God so loving the world that he sent his only son to die horribly for it..."

"John 3:16."

"Er, yeah. But isn't God supposed to be omnipotent, though? If he WANTED people to live forever, couldn't he have just snapped His omnipotent fingers and done it WITHOUT his son being brutally tortured? How was Jesus's suffering needed for salvation if God is truly omnipotent?"

"... uh..."

"Isn't that less God so loving the world, and more God so hating Jesus?"
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20-06-2017, 08:12 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
Silly Deity pretty much sums up what I say which is, “Thank you but it is my personal policy to not discuss or share my religious beliefs in any way except with my spouse or my closest and dearest friends.”

In essence letting them know they are neither.

If you want to make it a bit funnier you could say with a smile, “Thank you but it is my personal policy to not discuss sensitive topics like religion, politics or which team is better, Alabama or Auburn except with my spouse or my closest and dearest friends.”

I would bet that the talk would immediately turn to college football. Yes

Good luck.

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20-06-2017, 08:20 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
(20-06-2017 08:12 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  I would bet that the talk would immediately turn to college football. Yes

Given that the OP comes from a place where the scores for football games rarely break 6 points, that might be a fate worse than proselytizing.
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20-06-2017, 08:28 AM
RE: How can I discourage proselytizing?
Tell them you'd love to but...

Your witches coven meets at the same time.

You already have plans to throw a virgin into a volcano to appease the volcano gods.

Satan told you you didn't have to go.

You left your holy water in your other suit.

Wink

On a serious note, I would just smile, say thank you, tell them you're not religious, and change the subject. If they keep pushing, just tell them you are here for business purposes and not religious ones. Then continue changing the subject back to business-related topics. Just do your best to be professional--even if they're not able to be.
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