I was at home the other day, minding my own business, when the doorbell rang. Two ladies tried to draw my attention to a pamphlet extolling the virtues of their particular brand of religion. I told them I did not wish to discuss my spiritual life with them, and they left, with a parting insult about me “not being open to discussion.”
Am I alone in finding such behaviour offensive and unwelcome? My beliefs are my own business, and nobody else’s. If I choose not to discuss them on the doorstep on a Wednesday morning, that’s my business too.
It’s the arrogance of these people that I find so extraordinary. It appears that they believe their form of religion is so superior to mine, or to anybody else’s, that it gives them the right to try to change my mind. Well, they have no such right. I would never attempt to convert anyone to my way of thinking. I would consider that to be an act of such unpardonable rudeness that I couldn’t do it.
If I as a Westerner feel insulted and offended, what would it have been like if I had been a Muslim, a Native American, a Chinese communist, or a Polynesian islander? Pass the cooking pot, Alice, and hand me the recipe for boiled missionary.