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When the Belt is too Tight! Surviving the Bible Belt

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This post may not set well with some and for that I apologize in advance, however, with that said, this is My Blog, and I am going to vent.

For those of you that don't know, I live in the Bible Belt. That is, we have more than 15 Different churches in less than 10 square miles around us.

This year, like last, dh wanted to build picnic tables, benches, and adirondack chairs and sell them roadside. I, on the other hand, did not. People have this tendency to stop under the guise that they are interested in purchasing furniture, only to use the opportunity to drill you about your religious affiliations.

For example, less than an hour ago, I was working diligently on a new piece that will publish in the morning, fully immersed in the article,when my big lab started barking furiously.

Generally, this means someone has approached the house and he doesn't want them getting to close to mom without her knowing. So, I stop mid sentence, slip my sneakers on and find a couple sitting in a tiny hybrid car, inquiring about the 6 ft spruce picnic table that dh built a couple days ago.

The table, is on the lawn, complete with a sign that states the price/type of wood/ etc. I'm not a salesman. I don't do hard sells. It is what it is, you either want a picnic table, or you don't. The quality is clear, the price is clear, it's not really an item requiring extensive discussion.

He asks several questions, what kind of wood is it? Spruce. Is it pressure treated? No, it's currently natural and can be stained any color or treated with Thompsons Water seal. How many years should he expect it to last?
How many children do we have? What church do we attend? (To which I respond, Well, that's a loaded question). How many years have I been married? (I give no response at this point).

Ok, I was quite polite answering the first few questions. But let me just tell you, I do NOT appreciate people coming to My home, which is also my place of business to drill me about my family, my marriage and my spirituality! If and where I attend church is my business, and mine alone. What my families religious denomination is, is Personal and no ones business.

He then proceeds to tell me that his son is the Pastor of a New Church. So far, 38 minutes have passed. My dog is sitting at my feet, panting heavily in the sunshine, wanting to climb into the vehicle, it is quite clear that these folks have no real interest in the picnic table, they are simply recruiting more bodies to the church.

He then proceeds to tell me that this church is geared towards 30 Something families, and he believes that I fit that category based on my looks, and that "unchurchables" like myself would find some much needed spirituality in their lives. Yes, folks, he called us "Unchurchables", to which he explained, those with No Religion. (Excuse me? I didn't say I wasn't religious, I said, "that's a loaded question", in other words, "It's none of your damn business what we believe, it has nothing to do with the sale of a picnic table")

Ok... Now in my head I am counting to 10 to keep from losing my cool. I say, Well, if you decide you'd like a picnic table, please feel free to stop back and purchase one, but I have prior commitments and need to get back to them. I walk away from the vehicle, silently seething in fury at the unmitigated gall these people possess.

I understand that people feel strongly about their religious/spiritual beliefs, because quite frankly, I feel strongly about my own.

What I don't understand, is where does a person get the idea that it right or okay to shove those beliefs onto someone else?

What is in their heads to make them think they have the right to invade my home and my family and demand to know what my religion is, which church I attend, or to ask me personal questions about my children or marriage?!

So now, they've left, I'm aggravated as all hell, trying to focus on the work they interrupted in the first place.

Folks, as you can see, the belt is much too tight, and I am finding it increasingly difficult to be affable in these types of situations.

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  1. Janice Terrell's Avatar
    We have the same problem here. These people knock on the door and start asking questions and want to give you literature. I used to say, very politely, "I don't impose my beliefs on you. Please afford me the same courtesy." Then I would quietly close the door. Now, as soon as they start talking, I quietly close the door. But, you know what - they just keep coming back.
  2. bcoffey68359's Avatar
    Finally someone that feels the same way I do -thank you .It makes me so mad. We live on a main highway so between sales people and religious folks I am pretty frustrated. I know some churches require you to round up new folks for the church -glad mine does not because I would tell them off. I have hung a sign on my porch that states If you are a sales person or a religious person other than ( which I stated) Leave me alone and no-one will get Bobbi-ne
  3. jaime's Avatar
    What a day! I feel it was very rude of a stranger to ask such personal information. I usually answer these type of questions with something smartalic until they get if they ask how many years I've been married I ask them which time. I think you handled it very professionally! I hope you have a better weekend.
  4. Baggz1971's Avatar
    Sorry to hear about that. If this had happened to me I wouldn't have been so polite as you were. <rolling my eyes> I would have went balistic. especially saying the "unchurchable" kind. Some people.
  5. Tarrien's Avatar
    I'm not a christian, I can really relate to you when it comes to this sort of thing. I don't mind the religion, I don't mind the beliefs, its the believers.

    I've been harassed time and time again by really religious people because I wore a pentacle for some time for good luck. I don't mind it if people invite me to their church and are friendly but when the religion is imposed on me I'm not too pleased. So I completely understand how that man asking billions of unnecessary questions would really make you fume.

    Unchurchable? The only way I could see anyone saying something remotely like that is if they're extremely ignorant or you have a really scary imposing outfit on which I'm guessing its the first in this case. Jeez, if he thinks you're unchurchable then by the term alone (sounds like keep out of the church to me*) he should've left before asking any questions.
  6. wilbe95's Avatar
    Hum? Think if the next time someone knocks on my door that I could tell them that I am "Unchurchable" they would leave me alone? Might have to try that one, LOL Usually I just say "ignorance is bliss" as I close the door.

    So did you make the hubby move the furniture?
  7. mdowdy's Avatar
    Oh my goodness, you handled this better than I would have. Funny how someone has the nerve to call someone "unchurchable" when they are acting like they have never stepped foot in a church. Since they are saying things like this to you, I am sure they are saying it to other people as well. I don't imagine the church will be growing by leaps and bounds with this attitude. It's funny the things people do and say in the name of their religion and its supposed to make you want to join them.

    I can relate but my story would be a family story not a complete stranger. I'll have to fill you in one day
  8. KawaiiGiggle's Avatar
    i hate people like that.. i honestly say your religion is yours. i won't pressure you, and please don't pressure me. your god is yours and my god is mine. live and let live. i will talk to people about religion and god, but i do NOT try to force it on someone and then try to convert them. just no.
  9. janetaba's Avatar
    Liss, I commend you on your ability to keep your cool under fire. Their behaviour was totally uncalled for. We have the same kind of thing on Saturdays here in the outskirts of Houston, TX - the local Jehovah's Witnesses (Kingdom Hall is less than a mile away from my house) goes through our neighborhood. The last time we were outside doing yardwork and they were passing by, I was offered a pamplet. I usually just take them so they'll just go away, but this time was honest with them and told them to keep it and give it to the next person since it was probably not going to be read anyway, and that it was a waste of money and resources to end up in my trash can. They thanked me for being honest and went on about their way. I do know that the Evangelicals can get pretty pushy though. Oh, I was wearing my pentacle on the outside of my shirt that day. Maybe that had something to do with their leaving.
  10. FreebieQueen's Avatar
    So did you make the hubby move the furniture?
    yes, I made him donate it to the bait shop guy that lives down the road. He's always cooking breakfasts & fish frys, etc, so I told hubby to load it up and drop it off to the guys. lol

    They thanked me for being honest and went on about their way
    I can never seem to get out of it that easy.

    Oh, I was wearing my pentacle on the outside of my shirt that day. Maybe that had something to do with their leaving.
    LOL, that'd do it!
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