Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "Have you tried the bean dip?" => Topic started by: magiccat26 on March 23, 2012, 09:31:39 AM

Title: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: magiccat26 on March 23, 2012, 09:31:39 AM
I have a deliema and bean dipping is not working.

I live in a small town (approx 3,000) in the heart of the bible belt.  I was raised by parents who were very open minded about religion and allowed me to choose my own path, just as they had done.  After exploring various religions, I know that organized religion of any denomination is not for me.  I'm very comfortable with my decision and have no interest or intention of changing my mind.

Now, I am also a GS leader for my daugter's Brownie troop (3rd grade).  This year, my co-leader asked me to allow a new girl to join us.  She is the youngest daughter of the pastor in our town's largest church (probably 500 people attend service at this church).  She is a sweet child and a wonderful addition to my troop.

The problem is that my co-leader, who also attends this church, has recruited the pastor's wife to try and strong arm me into joining the Wednesday women's worship group, Sunday services, etc.  Her reasoning is that I have done so much for their child that they want to return the favor to our family by bringing us into their church family. 

A nice thought, if I had any interest, but I don't.  This specific denomination is one that I truly do not agree with philosophically.  If I had to choose a religion, I would never select this one...there are other denominations that I find are more in line with my own beliefs.

I have tried bean-dipping to no avail.  If I change the subject, she finds a way to bring it up again, while always adding "No pressure!  But we just really would love to see you more and worship with you!"

I do not want to lie, because I will get caught if I claim to attend a different church.  (Everyone seems to know someone who attends every church within a 100 mile radius).  I'm afraid to offer explanations because I cannot see them understanding that I am quite content as a "heathen".  ;). Telling them other plans is not working because she then invites me to be next event (Currently its Easter and an Easter carnival when the children get to study the crusification through craft stations.). I've even tried just saying, "Thank you for the invite, but I'm just not interested." this only causes her to give me a 15 minute disertation on why I would love it and should give it a try.

I'm hoping the wise people here have some ideas on what else I can do.  I don't want to offend and I don't want my actions or words to result in their daughter leaving our troop...because she really is a sweet girl.

Thank you!
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Jones on March 23, 2012, 09:51:05 AM
I have two tactics that you could use, the first things that occurred to me (can't say I've been in your situation before, so I don't know how well they will work):

"Sorry, I looked into that religion and I have to disagree with some of the philosophies. I don't want to hurt our friendship by getting into a religious discussion with you about them, but I just don't see how I can tuck that difference into the back of my mind and attend this church. Please don't pursue this because it will only end in hurt feelings for us both."

"Thank you for inviting me, but really, I am not interested at all. NO, really, not at ALL. Please don't make me repeat myself."

Best of luck to you on this situation! I'm interested to see what other people have to say.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: HorseFreak on March 23, 2012, 09:56:20 AM
I don't have much to add, but I'd love to hear the replies to this one! I also live in the bible belt and having moved from New England it's quite the shock. I am not religious in any way, shape or form, but haven't had a huge amount of trouble with this topic yet. My problem is people wanting to set me up with men I KNOW are very religious and I don't see that working from either end. Religion can make things very awkward, huh?

I have had to use some variation of, "Please, I don't want to talk about religion." It stopped them flat when paired with a smile and a firm tone of voice. I won't talk about why I DON'T believe what you do, if you don't talk about why your religion is the One Perfect Faith. It's a two-way street and I prefer to avoid it all together.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: O'Dell on March 23, 2012, 09:59:34 AM

"Thank you for inviting me, but really, I am not interested at all. NO, really, not at ALL. Please don't make me repeat myself."


I'd go with something like this as a way to soften my technique when someone won't take no for an answer: Silence. No subject change for them to ignore. No excuses or reasoning for them to argue with. I'll walk away if I can, but keep up the silence for a bit if I can't.

Although in this woman's case I'd be tempted to at least once tell her "I don't think 'no pressure' means what you think it means." :P
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Reason on March 23, 2012, 10:40:16 AM
Counter invite them to worship the purple elephant three headed dragon god with you in the woods in a private ceremony at 3:00am?

Actually, you can try being honest and saying something like "Lately, every time we speak I feel like the conversations always end with you proselytizing at me and it's really making me uncomfortable. Could we talk about something else?"
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Shoo on March 23, 2012, 10:43:31 AM
"Look, I like you and I enjoy having your daughter in my troop. But I'm starting to feel really uncomfortable with the way you are pushing your religion on me.  When I say I am not interested, I really mean it.  So I need you to stop talking to me about it.  Thanks!"
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: MrTango on March 23, 2012, 12:26:49 PM
The next time she says "No Pressure," reply with something along the lines of "'No Pressure'?  Every time you bring it up, you say 'no pressure' when you are, in fact, pressuring me to join your church.  I will not be joining your church now or at any time in the future.  Please do not mention it again."
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: magiccat26 on March 23, 2012, 12:52:41 PM
Counter invite them to worship the purple elephant three headed dragon god with you in the woods in a private ceremony at 3:00am?

Don't tempt me.  My DH was laughing one night when she had come to our home for a cookie meeting and was staring wide eyed at my decor.  Just to explain, my DH and I own a lot of high quality fantasy art prints.  These prints are beautifully framed and on every wall of our "public rooms".  The subject matter is mostly dragons, elves, and other mystical creatures.  While tasteful, some of the elven maidens are rather scantily clad.  ;). There is not a cross, angel (unless you count winged elves), or piece of scripture in sight.  My bookshelves are overflowing with fantasy and urban supernatural stories.  I imagine it was quite a shock for her because my DH and I seem so "normal". :)

My Co-Leader is a friend and neighbor...I know it really disturbs her that DH and I are so casual about religion.  She has been trying for 4 years to get me to church because she honestly believes that our souls are in jeopardy. I think it frustrates her because most people like her and listen to her and end up doing what she wants (she can be very persuasive)....but she has failed to "save" me.  So now she has recruited reinforcements.

It's frustrating for me because I'm very happy where we live.  I love the town and the people...I just wish they would respect my wishes one this one topic.  I've tried to explain to my coleader my own philosophy, but she honestly believes that there is only one path and everyone else, regardless of how "good" they are, will be sent to a very hot place if they fail to worship this specific way.

As I said, her heart is in the right place.  She's trying to make sure she "sees me in the afterlife.". I really do fear that she and the pastor's wife are not going to give up.  I really don't want to deal with this for the rest of our lives.

Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: NyaChan on March 23, 2012, 12:57:09 PM
"Look, I like you and I enjoy having your daughter in my troop. But I'm starting to feel really uncomfortable with the way you are pushing your religion on me.  When I say I am not interested, I really mean it.  So I need you to stop talking to me about it.  Thanks!"

I like this.  I might also suggest going to their church to meet with the pastor and explaining to him what is happening and how it is affecting you.  This is a bit beyond just a social interaction in my opinion.  It is an attempt to proselytize and is inappropriate in the context within which they know you.  The fact that this woman was "recruited" to help bring you in is too much. 
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: gramma dishes on March 23, 2012, 01:07:03 PM
The next time she says "No Pressure," reply with something along the lines of "'No Pressure'?  Every time you bring it up, you say 'no pressure' when you are, in fact, pressuring me to join your church.  I will not be joining your church now or at any time in the future.  Please do not mention it again."

I like this.  Short, simple, and right to the point.  No room for misinterpretation. 

If even that doesn't work, then I'd start walking away every time she brings it up, or pointedly move on to another person in the room (if one is available).  If she persists even after this, I'd say very firmly, "You know, we've discussed this before.  I've told you how I feel.  So please just stop it!"

People like this really do believe it is their mission in life to 'save' everyone else.  It's pretty hard to beat that down because their feelings about it are really all consuming.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: lowspark on March 23, 2012, 01:14:23 PM
...I just wish they would respect my wishes one this one topic. 

^ This, exactly.

I would just say something like,
Thank you for inviting me but I'm not interested in attending any events at your church. Please respect my wishes on this by not asking me anymore.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: buvezdevin on March 23, 2012, 01:15:18 PM
Would something along this line be workable:

"We aren't members of any congregation, and we prefer socializing outside religious organizations.  I enjoy sharing girl scout activities with you, but I would rather not be lobbied any further to participate in or try out your church activities."

Regardless of whether you say anything else to her, the next time she couches a further invite to church in a "no pressure" statement, I would point out that repeating invitations which are repeatedly declined is a cumulative pressure, whether she intends it or not.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Drawberry on March 23, 2012, 02:18:44 PM
I enjoy the choice of home decor!


Similar situations have risen over the years, as I am quite happy and content to be Atheist.

BG Stuff:
My father's side of the family is Catholic, very strongly. My Boyfriends family, on his mother's side, are extremely religious to a point where I've gotten uncomfortable with some prejudice remarks that have been made, along with not so subtle hints about disliking other races. Boyfriend, who is Christian but not
a strong practicer, has told his mother I am not religious but I don't know if she realizes I don't believe in God at all. I am not entirely sure if the rest of his family (on his mothers side, I know almost no one from his fathers as they don't show up often) is aware of my lack of faith or to what extent, but I have a feeling they would not be too happy if they knew it wasn't just me 'not being particularly religious' but flat out not believing in a God.

We have discussed before that should/when we get married (which at this point in our relationship we both feel like is simply a given and he's proudly said he knows how he will purpose when the time is right, so discussing this topic was not unusual) if he would like to be married in a church with a pastor. Boyfriend said that he would like it just as much if we did something non-demoniacal where we could be married without the involvement of a church and by a Justice of the Peace. Part of me wonders how his mother and her family would feel about this, they have said before they wanted him to be baptized numerous times and put a high importance on this(  he would not have a problem doing so and I would be more then happy to attend this event). It's just I know that his mother and her family put a high value on their religion, and have displayed a lack of understanding for other faiths (and races associated with them) which concerns me at times how they would feel about him having a non-Christian wedding.  We have also discussed that should a child ever happen, what faith we would feel comfortable raising them under as he and I are both clearly completely different in our believes. Boyfriend stated that he would like to wait for the child to be old enough to pick their own faith and discuss with them the different beliefs that are out there, he doesn't want to raise strictly Christian children and would see nothing wrong with them being another faith or none at all. I do know his sister (with a small child) is of the same faith and is raising her daughter to be so as well, so I know that it would be what his mother would want of him. To raise a Christian child that is. I am aware these things are far into the future and are the sort of things you work with when they come up, but I cannot help but feel some trepidation on what may happen down the road.

Boyfriends mother tends to be very heavily into believing that when something is wrong with the world, it is the direct cause of the Christian Devil. That those who are in charge of the world are hands of Satan and that a lack of God in our culture (we live in the United States, where Christianity is the number one religion) is to blame for our problems. She will often go on long rants to me about such topics, to which I often stay politely silent and interject with a different topic when things become uncomfortable.

As a disclaimer to this I want everyone to know Boyfriends family is WONDERFUL to me. They are kind and welcoming and have offered an incredible amount of support to me during a difficult time. Boyfriends mother, though she may or may not know the extent of my religious belief, has been kind enough to respect and acknowledge that we don't believe the same thing. Things may occasionally feel uncomfortable, and I sometimes worry how that side of the family would feel if they knew just how different our views are, but his family has truly been good to me and I will never be able to repay them for it.

Our different beliefs do not in any way make their kindness any less heartwarming and incredibly helpful.
/BG/


Over the years I have gotten very used to (and perhaps even good at) working my way around awkward religious situations. While it may feel like pulling out a single armpit hair at a time, I have found the best method for dealing with those who are pushy is to be honest and up front about your own beliefs. Lying about attending Church, even if you where %100 sure no one would catch the lie, is wrong. Not just because it's a lie, but because it's suggesting you are too ashamed of your own belief's to be confident and honest about who you are. This may lead people to believe you do not truly believe in your faith, or lack of, and may encourage them to try and convert you under the false impression you just don't know what you really want yet.

It may feel awkward and even frightening to tell someone you know (or believe) will not approve of this, but it will be far better then to lie or hide it from them. Be confident with who you are, and bring that confidence into how you handle situations like these.

"I am honored you would like to worship with me, but I follow X and worship to X Y and Z." /topic change/

"I understand that you are concerned, but I have made the right choice for myself and this is what I believe and hold dear. I have always respected you and your family for your beliefs and that's all I ask for myself and my beliefs."

If it becomes continually pushy, or already is, you may have to push back a little as well;
"Jane Doe it really does hurt that you can't respect me for my beliefs. Please do not bring this up with me again" and end the conversation, or bring up a new topic.

You have to simply say flat out "This is not up for discussion".

Similarly to you, I had someone once come to me out of genuine 'good concern' for me. They where NOT mean or angry with me, but truly concerned and I thoughtfully explained why I believe what I do and why I believe both of us deserved respect. She still believed in her concern, but no longer made an issue out of it and let it be.

I have had people who will angrily (why they did so angrily is beyond me..) tell me they will pray for my soul, some to heaven and some to hell. I have had a cousin at the tender age of 7 tell me I wont get into heaven and that I "don't believe anything I can't see with my own eyes" as if I was a horrible person (from the mouth of babes?). I have had people send me incredibly hurtful and horrible things through forums, threatening me with death and an eternity in hell. The reactions I have gotten have ranged from misplaced pity to outright rage. I have had people tell me I am not a true American, that I have no morals, or that I don't deserve rights.

I have had to say approximations of "This is not up for discussion" many times, more times then I care to admit. But when someone becomes belligerent or disrespectful I have no desire or reason to try and hold a polite discussion. It will only fuel the fire and make them angrier, so I find it wise to end the topic where it is and not drag it into the ground to fester.

"This is not up for discussion", used either firmly or casually with a shake of the head and a topic change can do wonders.



Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Brisvegasgal on March 23, 2012, 06:04:35 PM
Would a simple No Thanks work? I haven't experienced this kind of pressure - and it's important to note that this is pressure - but when dealing with my very catholic in-laws (I am agnostic) no thanks has worked for me. Of course it's easier to say this to family than it is to 'friends'.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: AngelicGamer on March 23, 2012, 06:44:34 PM
OP, I have a question.  I hope I don't seem too nosy and feel free not to answer/tell me to go jump in a lake.

How is the promise done?  Is there a heavy hand towards co-leader's deity of choice?  Your co-leader might see that you're okay with how things are done in the meetings and think that you're open to having a more personal relationship with her deity of choice.

I do think that, when it comes up, a good "no thank you" would be enough.  It would have to be said several times, which is a bit sad.  If all else fails, you could turn it back on her with how would her deity view her for pressuring a friend?  Or, if you feel it might help, going to their pastor, explaining what is happening, and ask for how to deal with it.  Don't name names, but just say that you know they are members of his church.  I would do that if I really couldn't stand it anymore as it might be seen as more of a nuclear option than a friendly one.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Calypso on March 23, 2012, 08:20:00 PM
You could "shift the ground" of the conversation, and take control of it, yet stay friendly.

"Co-leader, you have a tough decision to make. I really do understand it's hard for you to get close to someone you think is going to Hell. I'll understand, but be very sad, if you decide that's too hard for you. I'll never be joining your church, or any church---I really do get that you're trying to bring something you find important into my life, but it isn't going to happen. I hope you can stay friends with "Me, Non-church-goer" instead of wishing for "Me, can-be-converted someday," but if you can't, I understand."
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: magiccat26 on March 23, 2012, 09:24:34 PM
OP, I have a question.  I hope I don't seem too nosy and feel free not to answer/tell me to go jump in a lake.

How is the promise done?  Is there a heavy hand towards co-leader's deity of choice?  Your co-leader might see that you're okay with how things are done in the meetings and think that you're open to having a more personal relationship with her deity of choice.

I do think that, when it comes up, a good "no thank you" would be enough.  It would have to be said several times, which is a bit sad.  If all else fails, you could turn it back on her with how would her deity view her for pressuring a friend?  Or, if you feel it might help, going to their pastor, explaining what is happening, and ask for how to deal with it.  Don't name names, but just say that you know they are members of his church.  I would do that if I really couldn't stand it anymore as it might be seen as more of a nuclear option than a friendly one.


The GS promise:

On my honor, I will try
To serve God* and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout law.

*God can be replaced with the deity of your choice.

The only problem with talking to the pastor is that this is the pastor's wife.  In this particular religion, the pastor's wife is often responsible for sheperding the women of the congregation (because men don't involve themselves in women's business.)
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: AngelicGamer on March 24, 2012, 01:48:33 AM
OP, I have a question.  I hope I don't seem too nosy and feel free not to answer/tell me to go jump in a lake.

How is the promise done?  Is there a heavy hand towards co-leader's deity of choice?  Your co-leader might see that you're okay with how things are done in the meetings and think that you're open to having a more personal relationship with her deity of choice.

I do think that, when it comes up, a good "no thank you" would be enough.  It would have to be said several times, which is a bit sad.  If all else fails, you could turn it back on her with how would her deity view her for pressuring a friend?  Or, if you feel it might help, going to their pastor, explaining what is happening, and ask for how to deal with it.  Don't name names, but just say that you know they are members of his church.  I would do that if I really couldn't stand it anymore as it might be seen as more of a nuclear option than a friendly one.


The GS promise:

On my honor, I will try
To serve God* and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout law.

*God can be replaced with the deity of your choice.

The only problem with talking to the pastor is that this is the pastor's wife.  In this particular religion, the pastor's wife is often responsible for sheperding the women of the congregation (because men don't involve themselves in women's business.)

Yes, but couldn't he also reign in what his wife is doing?  Especially if she is putting people in the community on edge.

Otherwise, good luck!  And thank you for answering me.  :)
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: kherbert05 on March 24, 2012, 03:34:11 AM
"Look, I like you and I enjoy having your daughter in my troop. But I'm starting to feel really uncomfortable with the way you are pushing your religion on me.  When I say I am not interested, I really mean it.  So I need you to stop talking to me about it.  Thanks!"


I like this. But knowing smallish towns in the bible belt you need to judge if this type of direct response is going to hurt you and your family socially in the town. The big problem is they think they are right so they can do anything they want to pressure you.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Redsoil on March 24, 2012, 03:44:33 AM
"I do appreciate your invitations to church events, and I understand you'd like to see me there, but to be honest, that's not my chosen path.  I do hope you understand and respect my choice, as I do yours, because... "   (your friendship means a lot to me/I think you're a lovely person/whatever bit you want to use here etc.)  "...and I'd rather you not keep inviting me. Thanks!"  Then beandip if need be after that.

Good luck, and I LOVE the sound of your home decor! 
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: pwy a wyr on March 24, 2012, 11:39:34 AM
Hi.
The pastor's wife and your co-leader might even feel a level of responsibility in getting you saved. How about if you took that out?

"I know you care for me and want the best for me. You have made that clear. However, I have looked into your beliefs and your church and have made the informed decision that it isn't for me. If I ever have questions or change my mind, I know I'm able to come to you and ask you. Until that time, I need to ask you to drop it, as you're just making me feel disrespected and not want to spend any time with you. I really appreciate the relationship we've built and would be sad if it had to end."

It acknowledges their good intentions, shows that the input is unnecessary and unwelcome and allows them to back off with a clear conscience with regards to your soul.

I know some might say you don't have to show such consideration to their feelings, but you have to live and work with these people every day.

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: KenveeB on March 24, 2012, 04:33:42 PM
"Thank you, but I'm not interested."
"Oh, but you'd love it if you gave it a try!"
"Sue, I'm really not interested. You've made this offer over and over again, and I really don't know what else to tell you. I'd prefer it if we could just drop the subject completely."

Cut her off before she gets into the 15 minute oration about why you would love it.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: magician5 on March 25, 2012, 01:57:19 AM
"No pressure!  But we just really would love to see you more and worship with you!"

You: "Thank you, that's so kind!" Followed by silence.

If she presses further: "I have my own affiliation that I'm very happy with, but thank you very much."

Of course, you might go the "extreme route". HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z2KNBmZEtA) is my Youtube comedy video "Why I Worship Cthulhu".  "Suzy just loves the unholy orgies in honor of Yog-Sothoth, and we all have fun every time there's a picnic in the caves underneath the cemetery. Sometimes we even make s'mores afterward."
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: greencat on March 25, 2012, 04:16:44 AM
"I don't discuss religion or politics with friends.  Let's stay friends, okay?  Ooo, look, beandip!"
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: JoW on March 25, 2012, 06:13:33 PM
I lived among people like that intermittently for much of my life.  Many of them see your “thank you” as an opening to invite you again.  To get rid of them you need to stop thanking them for inviting you.  You may have to get very direct bordering on impolite.  “I am not going to attend church with you.  This is not open to further discussion.”  Then bean dip.  If your pest continues to talk about her church again walk away. 

Yes, that may end the friendship.  But if every conversation includes an attempt to convert you the friendship is already in bad shape.   



(Yes, I know I'm not as polite as most of you.  That's why I mostly stay logged out and read.  Maybe I can learn something.)
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: BeagleMommy on March 25, 2012, 09:04:58 PM
I like the idea of saying "No thank you" and then complete silence afterward.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: breny on March 25, 2012, 09:27:00 PM
I just say simply, "Thanks, but I don't do church or organized religion." If they persist, I add, "God and I are cool with each other." It throws them off their game and messes up their prepackaged arguments.  I can't remember anyone trying to tell me that god and I aren't cool with each other.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Danika on March 25, 2012, 10:55:00 PM
I lived among people like that intermittently for much of my life.  Many of them see your “thank you” as an opening to invite you again.  To get rid of them you need to stop thanking them for inviting you.  You may have to get very direct bordering on impolite.  “I am not going to attend church with you.  This is not open to further discussion.”  Then bean dip.  If your pest continues to talk about her church again walk away. 

Yes, that may end the friendship.  But if every conversation includes an attempt to convert you the friendship is already in bad shape.   



(Yes, I know I'm not as polite as most of you.  That's why I mostly stay logged out and read.  Maybe I can learn something.)

I have to agree. OP, you have been very polite. It hasn't worked thus far. Now, you have to get firm.

I used to live in what I called the Bible Belt of the North (a city with many zealous fundamentalists and evangelicals). I finally just had to move because I couldn't stand it anymore. I am the same race and I am straight, so they assumed that also meant that I held a lot of their beliefs. I did and do not. Once we planned to have a family, I told my DH that I would not raise children in that city because I wanted my kids to be exposed to more than just one way of thinking.

I advise that you do not JADE (justify, argue, defend or explain) your position. Just firmly say "You have invited me before. My answer is and always will be no. I am not interested. Please, do not bring this up again." If you get anything other than a verbal confirmation that they heard you, if they start saying "But..." smile, and firmly say "Please, excuse me" and just walk away.

I wouldn't want to JADE because I don't want your daughter to be branded a heretic or anything at school. There could be repercussions for her. Let them wonder what religion you are or are not. After that, if they ask you again, just keep repeating "I said I was not interested" and excuse yourself.

Next, be prepared for them to try to have your daughter for sleepovers on Saturday nights so they can take her to church with them on Sundays.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: nuit93 on March 25, 2012, 11:27:52 PM

I like this.  I might also suggest going to their church to meet with the pastor and explaining to him what is happening and how it is affecting you.  This is a bit beyond just a social interaction in my opinion.  It is an attempt to proselytize and is inappropriate in the context within which they know you.  The fact that this woman was "recruited" to help bring you in is too much.

I'm not sure this would be the most effective method...for all we know the pastor is encouraging this very method.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: gramma dishes on March 26, 2012, 01:23:10 PM

I'm not sure this would be the most effective method...for all we know the pastor is encouraging this very method.

I agree.  The pastor almost certainly knows this is going on and if so, you can be assured that it's being done with his blessing.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: mechtilde on March 26, 2012, 01:35:10 PM

I'm not sure this would be the most effective method...for all we know the pastor is encouraging this very method.

I agree.  The pastor almost certainly knows this is going on and if so, you can be assured that it's being done with his blessing.

I've heard this method advocated myself.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: gingerzing on March 26, 2012, 02:53:51 PM
I have used the phrase "Thank you for your invitation, but I am content with my spiritual path"    Used it on the door-to-door folks a couple times. 


A completely nosey question that you can ignore if you would like. 
You mentioned that your parents were fairly open about different religions/spiritual paths.  Would it be something that you would let your daughter go to?  Perhaps not to this brand but to any other church that may be closer to what your views are?  Granted some brands of church -which these two sound like - don't always feel like the same brand, but different color are as right.   

Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: BarensMom on March 26, 2012, 03:06:14 PM
Evil me would say "I believe in God, it's the believers I have a problem with."  Or, "If you call what you're doing no pressure, I hate to see what you consider high pressure."

Really, just tell them once more that you're not interested, then ignore.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: EMuir on March 26, 2012, 03:36:36 PM
Right now you are in their good graces because they think they can convert you.  I would not say anything direct about your beliefs.  If you convince them you are not salvageable, they may turn a cold shoulder and ostracize you.

I would tell them you prefer to worship privately for personal reasons that are too painful to discuss. 
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: magiccat26 on March 26, 2012, 03:55:23 PM
I have used the phrase "Thank you for your invitation, but I am content with my spiritual path"    Used it on the door-to-door folks a couple times. 


A completely nosey question that you can ignore if you would like. 
You mentioned that your parents were fairly open about different religions/spiritual paths.  Would it be something that you would let your daughter go to?  Perhaps not to this brand but to any other church that may be closer to what your views are?  Granted some brands of church -which these two sound like - don't always feel like the same brand, but different color are as right.

Kitten has been to church once with my coleader's daughter.  She spent the night and since they were going to church, she went with them.  I have no problem with this as it is how I was exposed to many different religions growing up.

I will NOT, however, allow this to become a weekly thing as I don't feel it's healthy.  Kitten and I discuss religion.  I want her to grow up open minded and I fear her attending this specific church would narrow her mind.  Just an example that boiled my blood...one of my moms related to me a conversation she had with her 8 year old about her terminally ill Grandmother.

Girl:  mommy, will Grandma go to heaven when she dies?
Mom:  well baby, no, not unless she repents and accepts *Deity* as her savior.  She hasn't, so we need to pray for her.
Girl:  I will pray for her and talk to her about *Deity*.  I will tell her that I love her and don't want her to go to ****.
Mom: I think that's a wonderful idea.  Maybe she will be brought to *Deity* if she hears it from your sweet lips.  You are my little angel.

Nothing like using your child to guilt and manipulate your Mom who is dying of cancer.  I kept my lips tightly shut on that one and changed the subject.  Luckily bean dip works on her.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: kansha on March 26, 2012, 05:50:51 PM
so she had no problems telling her child that her beloved grandma is going to hell? >:(

Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: kherbert05 on March 26, 2012, 07:03:21 PM
so she had no problems telling her child that her beloved grandma is going to hell? >:(



You have to understand. They are right and god is on their side - so nothing they do to further the "cause" can be wrong or immoral.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: jedikaiti on March 26, 2012, 07:07:18 PM
I have used the phrase "Thank you for your invitation, but I am content with my spiritual path"    Used it on the door-to-door folks a couple times. 


A completely nosey question that you can ignore if you would like. 
You mentioned that your parents were fairly open about different religions/spiritual paths.  Would it be something that you would let your daughter go to?  Perhaps not to this brand but to any other church that may be closer to what your views are?  Granted some brands of church -which these two sound like - don't always feel like the same brand, but different color are as right.

Kitten has been to church once with my coleader's daughter.  She spent the night and since they were going to church, she went with them.  I have no problem with this as it is how I was exposed to many different religions growing up.

I will NOT, however, allow this to become a weekly thing as I don't feel it's healthy.  Kitten and I discuss religion.  I want her to grow up open minded and I fear her attending this specific church would narrow her mind.  Just an example that boiled my blood...one of my moms related to me a conversation she had with her 8 year old about her terminally ill Grandmother.

Girl:  mommy, will Grandma go to heaven when she dies?
Mom:  well baby, no, not unless she repents and accepts *Deity* as her savior.  She hasn't, so we need to pray for her.
Girl:  I will pray for her and talk to her about *Deity*.  I will tell her that I love her and don't want her to go to ****.
Mom: I think that's a wonderful idea.  Maybe she will be brought to *Deity* if she hears it from your sweet lips.  You are my little angel.

Nothing like using your child to guilt and manipulate your Mom who is dying of cancer.  I kept my lips tightly shut on that one and changed the subject.  Luckily bean dip works on her.

EvilJedi hopes the grandmother told the kid "Don't worry dear, I'll have your mommy to keep me company in He!!"

This is why I try to keep EvilJedi under wraps - it's not the kid's fault she's being raised by an obnoxious unprintable word.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: violinp on March 26, 2012, 07:14:18 PM
so she had no problems telling her child that her beloved grandma is going to hell? >:(



You have to understand. They are right and god is on their side - so nothing they do to further the "cause" can be wrong or immoral.

Exactly. I was invited to a Halloween party by a friend. The Halloween party was at her church, which surprised me, but I said I'd have to ask my parents. My parents refused outright, explaining to me that it wasn't a party, but rather an event to scare children into being inducted into their brand of religion. Thing was, I was already of the Blue faith, just in a different shade.

And this friend wondered why I didn't want anything to do with her, and didn't understand why it would be wrong to invite a friend to such an event, especially if they are the same color faith as you. *headdesk*
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: RubyCat on March 26, 2012, 08:13:11 PM
The line I have always used is that "I don't do organized religion well."  I don't know if it would work with these folks but I have always found it to be a way of telling people that I was not willing to join their church but that it was my "problem" not theirs.  I hope you can find a way to get them to back off & still retain the relationships. I find that folks like this usuually mean well but over time, their attempts would wear on me seriously. 
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Danika on March 26, 2012, 09:10:21 PM
The line I have always used is that "I don't do organized religion well."  I don't know if it would work with these folks but I have always found it to be a way of telling people that I was not willing to join their church but that it was my "problem" not theirs.  I hope you can find a way to get them to back off & still retain the relationships. I find that folks like this usuually mean well but over time, their attempts would wear on me seriously.

I think folks who are overly religious don't really understand the term "organized religion." They're not sure what that means. In their worlds, they are "saved" and what they believe in is "the truth." So if you say "I don't do organized religion" it means as much to them as if you were to respond "I do not like washing my car." I don't think they comprehend the answer. You'd have to further explain "a faith that follows a book, where many people believe the same thing, read the book, believe in the same leaders like DietyName1, DietyName2" for them to understand what you mean by "organized."
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: RubyCat on March 27, 2012, 05:53:37 AM
I didn't mean it to come off so casual. Maybe tone of voice makes the difference. In my case it's not so much that everyone follow the same book or believes the same things. I can't help believing that we all have our doubts and crises of faith at times. I don't think you have to accept 100% of the teachings 100% of the time, but that it's acceptable to join up with a group with whom you share enough common ground. My problem with "organized" has more to do with the hierarchy and the politics that can cause issues within some congregations. There are many good ones out there but I've seen and experienced enough bad that I'm reluctant to get involved with an organized religious group which is why I say I don't do organized religion well.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: gingerzing on March 27, 2012, 08:03:27 AM
Thanks Magiccat.  I assumed it was something like that.
And yes, unfortunately, there are some in the faith that have twisted stuff around.   
My personal belief is only *deity* knows someone's heart. 
I have had a couple friends "fall away" from organized religion because of hurtful things said, questions ignore, or something else in the running of the group.

Stick with "thank you but no" "happy with your spiritual path", and even the "I don't do organized religion for personal and private reasons" should all be acceptable answers.  If in the course of a conversation you can move from a gentle, "thank you but no" to a couple "No thank you." to "We have discussed it and the answer is no, please don't ask again." 


Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: 25wishes on March 27, 2012, 08:26:55 AM
I feel for you as I come from New England but spend winters in the South (AL, not FL). Big culture shock.

I think I might say, "you know, I have respectfully declined your invitations to join your church and you keep pestering me about it. This is making my opinion of your church go way down. Is that what you are trying to do, get me to think less of your church?"


Reminds me of a run-in (down south) with a lady (total stranger) who found out I am childless (age about 35 at the time). She started in on why I should have kids, I would love it, etc, . Finally I said "why are you trying to make me feel bad?" She had no answer for that.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 27, 2012, 08:42:00 AM
I feel for you. We're not quite in the bible belt as we're in Maryland, but it seems like we're on the outer edge of it sometimes.   The town where we live is full of churches and the boys have told me some of their friends have said that if someone doesn't believe in J.C., they're going to hell. 

I talked to them and told them some people believe that but that in our family we believe that everyone has the right to believe whatever is right for them, and they will not go to the hot place for it.

And oh my word, that just makes me sick that the one woman used her little daughter to try and push her sick grandmother to their religion. 

Quote
EvilJedi hopes the grandmother told the kid "Don't worry dear, I'll have your mommy to keep me company in He!!"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! I LOVE IT!
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Twik on March 27, 2012, 08:45:14 AM
The next time she says "No Pressure," reply with something along the lines of "'No Pressure'?  Every time you bring it up, you say 'no pressure' when you are, in fact, pressuring me to join your church.  I will not be joining your church now or at any time in the future.  Please do not mention it again."

That was my thought. The "no pressure" line is really an opening, because you can then say, "Well, when you repeatedly bring it up, it feels very much like pressure to me, and I would appreciate it if we do not have to speak of it any further."
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: SeptGurl on March 27, 2012, 12:38:03 PM
The next time she says "No Pressure," reply with something along the lines of "'No Pressure'?  Every time you bring it up, you say 'no pressure' when you are, in fact, pressuring me to join your church.  I will not be joining your church now or at any time in the future.  Please do not mention it again."

That was my thought. The "no pressure" line is really an opening, because you can then say, "Well, when you repeatedly bring it up, it feels very much like pressure to me, and I would appreciate it if we do not have to speak of it any further."

POD. This most certainly is pressure. I like this response. I might add something to say that you respect their beliefs and hope they can respect yours as well.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: violinp on March 27, 2012, 12:52:24 PM
The next time she says "No Pressure," reply with something along the lines of "'No Pressure'?  Every time you bring it up, you say 'no pressure' when you are, in fact, pressuring me to join your church.  I will not be joining your church now or at any time in the future.  Please do not mention it again."

That was my thought. The "no pressure" line is really an opening, because you can then say, "Well, when you repeatedly bring it up, it feels very much like pressure to me, and I would appreciate it if we do not have to speak of it any further."

POD. This most certainly is pressure. I like this response. I might add something to say that you respect their beliefs and hope they can respect yours as well.

Double POD.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: KenveeB on March 27, 2012, 01:16:09 PM
The next time she says "No Pressure," reply with something along the lines of "'No Pressure'?  Every time you bring it up, you say 'no pressure' when you are, in fact, pressuring me to join your church.  I will not be joining your church now or at any time in the future.  Please do not mention it again."

That was my thought. The "no pressure" line is really an opening, because you can then say, "Well, when you repeatedly bring it up, it feels very much like pressure to me, and I would appreciate it if we do not have to speak of it any further."

I think this is my favorite response. Completely nonjudgmental on the religion issue, just pointing out that it's NOT "no pressure" when she keeps bringing it up. Sometimes people don't realize just how often they bring up something that's important to them -- after all, they think about it all the time -- but if they have it pointed out they're good at responding.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: TheVapors on March 27, 2012, 01:25:37 PM
The next time she says "No Pressure," reply with something along the lines of "'No Pressure'?  Every time you bring it up, you say 'no pressure' when you are, in fact, pressuring me to join your church.  I will not be joining your church now or at any time in the future.  Please do not mention it again."

That was my thought. The "no pressure" line is really an opening, because you can then say, "Well, when you repeatedly bring it up, it feels very much like pressure to me, and I would appreciate it if we do not have to speak of it any further."

Yep to these thoughts.

She's pressuring alright.

"You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: magician5 on March 31, 2012, 09:21:28 PM
The way I was brought up, my duties in life were to include "bringing the lost to [Deity]". I was shown, chapter and verse, where this "Great Commission" was (Matthew 28).

However, I don't know how it morphed from "sharing the Good News" into one of the most offensive things I can imagine. Sure, we're supposed to tell people that they can have a personal relationship with [Deity]. But then, why do they go on to detail exactly what that personal relationship should be?

I ask people who attempt to convert me (without ever asking if I'm converted in the first place) "I have a personal relationship with my wife, too ... will you try to tell me exactly what that relationship should be like? It's personal and private, give me credit for honesty, I will not discuss my most personal relationships with anyone.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: magiccat26 on April 01, 2012, 08:56:00 AM
My DD (9) was invited to spend the night at a friends house.  The family recently converted to this church.  Since it was a Saturday night sleep over, I asked the mother if they would be attending church on Sunday...she said yes, but Kitten was welcome to come with them or she would drop her off at home on her way.  I told her that I would talk to Kitten and let her decide. 

I love my DD ;).  We discussed it and I made sure she understood that she was welcome to go with her friend, but I wanted to prepare her for some of the things they might say or do (like trying to convince her to try and get us all to come, to tell her that theirs was the "one true faith" or even convince her to be baptized.).  I tried to give her some kid friendly "bean-dip"...things like, oh, you'll have to talk to my Mom about that or I'm not comfortable talking about that without my mom.

After we discussed it for awhile, Kitten looked at me and said, "You know what Mommy?  If they can't respect our feelings than I don't think I want to go to that church.  It doesn't make sense to go somewhere where the people try to tell you what to do or think and they don't listen.  I'm going to ask Mrs. K to bring me home."

Success!  I don't mind my daughter exploring different paths of Faith, but I'm proud of her for already learning that she can say no thanks and recognize when a group is attempting to force their beliefs upon her.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out when the Pastor's wife learns that Kitten declined to attend church with her friend.  (Small town, news travels.  *sigh*)
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: gramma dishes on April 01, 2012, 10:04:01 AM
...   I asked the mother if they would be attending church on Sunday...she said yes, but Kitten was welcome to come with them or she would drop her off at home on her way. 

Well at least the other mother gave you that option.  I suspect it never occurred to her that you (or Kitten) would decline the opportunity to attend their church with them (and I'm sure that was a least part of the motive for asking for a Saturday night sleepover), but apparently they didn't push it.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: magiccat26 on April 01, 2012, 10:26:58 AM
...   I asked the mother if they would be attending church on Sunday...she said yes, but Kitten was welcome to come with them or she would drop her off at home on her way. 

Well at least the other mother gave you that option.  I suspect it never occurred to her that you (or Kitten) would decline the opportunity to attend their church with them (and I'm sure that was a least part of the motive for asking for a Saturday night sleepover), but apparently they didn't push it.

Actually, I've never felt like this Mom is trying to convert me.  Of all the Moms in our troop, she is one of the most open-minded.  The Saturday night sleepover made sense with our girls' schedules this weekend...so I do not suspect an ulterior motive.  I only asked about church to ensure Kitten packed appropriate clothes.  While I may not be a church-goer, I do believe that if/when we attend a house of worship we should follow the dress code.  :).  It was nice that she was the one who offered us the option (to go or not to go), and I was prepared for Kitten to go.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: Danika on April 01, 2012, 06:05:56 PM
Good for Kitten for being strong enough to make a decision that she feels comfortable with. Good for you as a parent for raising her to be strong like that.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Minmom3 on April 01, 2012, 11:25:42 PM
...   I asked the mother if they would be attending church on Sunday...she said yes, but Kitten was welcome to come with them or she would drop her off at home on her way. 

Well at least the other mother gave you that option.  I suspect it never occurred to her that you (or Kitten) would decline the opportunity to attend their church with them (and I'm sure that was a least part of the motive for asking for a Saturday night sleepover), but apparently they didn't push it.

When the girls were in 4-H, one of the other families in the dairy goat project was Very Christian (fundamentalist, evangelizing, lecturing ALL of us, etc.).  They kept asking DD#2 to spend Saturday night and go to church with them on Sunday.  They were quite openly pushy about it.  After a few weekends in a row, DH and I were a little bit tired of it, and at the last invitation from them, told the other Mom that while DD#2 was available to spend the night at their house, we had plans the next day, and I would have to run over before they left for church to pick her up.  Upon which news, the other family piled in the car (we were at the 4-H farm doing tear down from the County Fair), peeled out of the farm spraying rocks and gravel all over the place, refused to talk to us ever again, would not look us in the face at group events, and accused us of being very rude to them and unwelcoming.  Tried very hard to get us in trouble with both the club leader and county leadership.  When they got nowhere with that, they left the club and went to another one, stirred the pot there as well, and finally quit 4-H altogether. 

Trying to set boundaries with that mother was exhausting, and it went on for months and months.  It was a huge relief to me when they finally left the club, although I felt sorry that the friendship between the girls was ruptured like that.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: gramma dishes on April 02, 2012, 10:12:59 AM

...   Upon which news, the other family piled in the car (we were at the 4-H farm doing tear down from the County Fair), peeled out of the farm spraying rocks and gravel all over the place, refused to talk to us ever again, would not look us in the face at group events ...

Sounds like you accidentally stumbled on the answer to your problem!   ;)
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: gingerzing on April 02, 2012, 10:16:56 AM
Good for Kitten. And good for you to give her some ideas if she did decide to go. 
Perhaps she would have had a time to say them or perhaps not, but the decision was hers. 
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Minmom3 on April 19, 2012, 09:08:23 PM

...   Upon which news, the other family piled in the car (we were at the 4-H farm doing tear down from the County Fair), peeled out of the farm spraying rocks and gravel all over the place, refused to talk to us ever again, would not look us in the face at group events ...

Sounds like you accidentally stumbled on the answer to your problem!   ;)

It would have been an unadulterated relief, except that the wife then starting trash mouthing us to club leadership, saying we had said horrible things about their church, that we were unwelcoming to them, etc.  It was very upsetting until the club leader called me and told me not to worry, she'd been aware all along of what was going on, and that she'd been waiting for an explosion to happen when that family pushed our family just a little too hard on the church topic, and she (club leader) knew we'd been as patient and polite and welcoming as it was possible for an die hard atheist to be towards a fervent Christian bent on gathering new church members.  When nobody else was too sympathetic to the wife's drama, she left pulled her daughter from the club in a huff, and enrolled her daughter in gymnastics the same week.

I have NO problem with people's religion.  They are welcome to it.  I may even go to a ceremony/event at 'your' church if I like you and I can watch and am not required to participate.  But I get hugely offended at being asked to defend my atheism, or at being disparaged because I refuse to join 'your' church.  I have NEVER been able to stay friends with someone once things head down that path, because they won't let me be, and won't respect my right to believe what I do. 

All 'your's being generic, of course, nobody on THIS forum has ever spoken to me that way...
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Drawberry on April 20, 2012, 12:32:24 PM
  But I get hugely offended at being asked to defend my atheism, or at being disparaged because I refuse to join 'your' church.  I have NEVER been able to stay friends with someone once things head down that path, because they won't let me be, and won't respect my right to believe what I do. 

This. This so much.

Boyfriend is Christian and has expressed that if his grandmother (who is rather sick and in the care of his aunt) really wanted him to be baptized he wouldn't have a problem with it, and I asked if I would be welcome to attend that event. Unsure of how the church would feel about me attending, and he assured me that he would make sure I was there if I wanted to be.

I would always want to be part of something important like that to him and his family. I can enjoy the company of others, and offer my support even if that's something I don't practice or believe for myself. I've come to realize that an assumption has developed (even among other atheists) that because I don't believe in god it means I must hate religion and those who follow it, because of this generalization someone who may not know me might assume right off the bat I would have some ill will towards them and will immediately go into the defense.

I really want to know who decided to throw around these rumors and assumptions :/ because I am really tired of people going right into the comment of "Oh you hate Christians?" when they find out I am atheist. It's like a never ending 'blond joke' that I can't get a word in edgewise. Really it can become incredibly tiring..
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: ItsyBitsy on April 20, 2012, 11:29:00 PM
My response is to say something to the effect of "Thankyou, however, we prefer to keep our faith privately"  99 times out 100 this response works. 

-Bitsy
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: blue2000 on April 30, 2012, 09:04:23 AM
This. This so much.

Boyfriend is Christian and has expressed that if his grandmother (who is rather sick and in the care of his aunt) really wanted him to be baptized he wouldn't have a problem with it, and I asked if I would be welcome to attend that event. Unsure of how the church would feel about me attending, and he assured me that he would make sure I was there if I wanted to be.

I would always want to be part of something important like that to him and his family. I can enjoy the company of others, and offer my support even if that's something I don't practice or believe for myself. I've come to realize that an assumption has developed (even among other atheists) that because I don't believe in god it means I must hate religion and those who follow it, because of this generalization someone who may not know me might assume right off the bat I would have some ill will towards them and will immediately go into the defense.

I really want to know who decided to throw around these rumors and assumptions :/ because I am really tired of people going right into the comment of "Oh you hate Christians?" when they find out I am atheist. It's like a never ending 'blond joke' that I can't get a word in edgewise. Really it can become incredibly tiring..

I've run into a few atheists online who really are like this. They publicly and vociferously trash any mention of religion or beliefs that aren't their own. It is almost like they can't settle for having a different opinion than someone else. They have to be the most anti-religious person EVAH. With bells on! (but not church bells, because that would just be wrong ;)).

Maybe we could get the never-ending 'atheist blonde' jokers together with the never-ending 'religious blonde' jokers and watch their brains overload. ::)
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: GlassHalfFull on May 05, 2012, 12:02:54 PM
The next time she says "No Pressure," reply with something along the lines of "'No Pressure'?  Every time you bring it up, you say 'no pressure' when you are, in fact, pressuring me to join your church.  I will not be joining your church now or at any time in the future.  Please do not mention it again."

That was my thought. The "no pressure" line is really an opening, because you can then say, "Well, when you repeatedly bring it up, it feels very much like pressure to me, and I would appreciate it if we do not have to speak of it any further."

Yep to these thoughts.

She's pressuring alright.

"You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means."

POD, and I love that movie!
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer.
Post by: Bottlecaps on May 09, 2012, 11:51:45 AM
"I do appreciate your invitations to church events, and I understand you'd like to see me there, but to be honest, that's not my chosen path.  I do hope you understand and respect my choice, as I do yours, because... "   (your friendship means a lot to me/I think you're a lovely person/whatever bit you want to use here etc.)  "...and I'd rather you not keep inviting me. Thanks!"  Then beandip if need be after that.

This. :) This is pretty much the response I give people when I receive repeated, pressured invites to their church or worship gatherings. I'm agnostic. I don't always come out and tell people that I'm agnostic, but I explain that their chosen path is not mine and let them know that I value their friendship regardless of their belief system (or lack thereof), and I'd really appreciate it if they could value my friendship regardless of my beliefs (or, once again, lack thereof) in return. Always say it with a big smile, but make sure to make it clear that you'd appreciate it if you didn't receive any more invitations.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: shutterbug on May 16, 2012, 01:15:28 PM
I'm a Buddhist atheist, so I've been in similar situations before.  I would simply reply, "No, thanks."  If she continues to pressure you, say, "I have different spiritual beliefs.  No, thank you."  If she continues to press it and bean-dipping doesn't help, flat out ignore her and walk away if necessary.  And don't worry about appearing rude -- she's the rude one for continually pressuring you when you have made your preferences crystal clear!
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: lurkerwisp on August 28, 2012, 11:22:39 AM
This. This so much.

Boyfriend is Christian and has expressed that if his grandmother (who is rather sick and in the care of his aunt) really wanted him to be baptized he wouldn't have a problem with it, and I asked if I would be welcome to attend that event. Unsure of how the church would feel about me attending, and he assured me that he would make sure I was there if I wanted to be.

I would always want to be part of something important like that to him and his family. I can enjoy the company of others, and offer my support even if that's something I don't practice or believe for myself. I've come to realize that an assumption has developed (even among other atheists) that because I don't believe in god it means I must hate religion and those who follow it, because of this generalization someone who may not know me might assume right off the bat I would have some ill will towards them and will immediately go into the defense.

I really want to know who decided to throw around these rumors and assumptions :/ because I am really tired of people going right into the comment of "Oh you hate Christians?" when they find out I am atheist. It's like a never ending 'blond joke' that I can't get a word in edgewise. Really it can become incredibly tiring..

I've run into a few atheists online who really are like this. They publicly and vociferously trash any mention of religion or beliefs that aren't their own. It is almost like they can't settle for having a different opinion than someone else. They have to be the most anti-religious person EVAH. With bells on! (but not church bells, because that would just be wrong ;)).

Maybe we could get the never-ending 'atheist blonde' jokers together with the never-ending 'religious blonde' jokers and watch their brains overload. ::)

DH's college roommate and for a while best friend was like that.  Every single chance he got he'd spew really hateful things about how religious people are stupid and every person of every faith in existence was completely wrong and how teaching religion to children ought to be considered child abuse.  DH and I are both religious people, and these repeated statements were very hurtful to us both.

Like the OP, we were extremely tired of his trying to convert us.  Unlike the OP, no amount of politeness worked in our favor at all.  Eventually we had to just tell him what was wrong in the most simple terms available.  When we explained that he was being very hurtful to us, he ignored our requests for him to stop.  He tried to claim that poking fun at someone's faith isn't insulting.  (On what planet, I ask.)  We had to block all connections with him, online and off, for it to sink in that maybe we really meant it when we said that he had been cruel.  Though I don't actually think he understood that much, since he later stole his girlfriend's email password to send more insulting messages, this time claiming we're committing horrible censorship for not listening to him speak his mind.  :c

Some people just don't comprehend when the statements they make are hurtful to others.  They're not going to understand unless told directly and without any room to mentally maneuver out of seeing their own actions as unkind.  If they're convinced completely of how right they are, on whatever the topic may be, no amount of explaining will change their mind or let them see the cruelty of their own actions.

OP, I'm not suggesting that you have a heart-to-heart with this person over how they're hurting you with their pressure.  Just know that it's totally okay to just zone on out and ignore any discussion of religion.  You don't have to engage a person who is completely set in their belief on that topic.  :)
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: Danika on August 28, 2012, 04:23:12 PM
... he later stole his girlfriend's email password to send more insulting messages...

What I don't understand about people who think like this, no matter what they're trying to convince you of, is why they think that will work. How would insulting someone and being a huge boundary stomper convince them to come to your way of thinking?
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: jedikaiti on August 28, 2012, 05:02:30 PM
... he later stole his girlfriend's email password to send more insulting messages...

What I don't understand about people who think like this, no matter what they're trying to convince you of, is why they think that will work. How would insulting someone and being a huge boundary stomper convince them to come to your way of thinking?

Not to mention possibly trashing his rel@tionship with his GF - if my guy stole ANY of my passwords, for any reason, they'd be changed immediately, and so would my relationship status!
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on August 28, 2012, 06:39:53 PM
I have to say I haven't met any atheists who are quite so adamant about the superiority of their lack of faith over having faith of any kind, and I'm glad! Oy!

DH believes, but he doesn't like going to church because he just doesn't like organized religion.  He'll go with me sometimes, like this weekend he's going with me because a church about a 1/2 hour from us is doing a "Kirkin' of the Tartans" ceremony and with both of us having Celtic heritage, it didn't take much to twist his arm about that one. :)

Anyway, I did know an atheist in high school, as he was on the Cross Country team with me.  One day on the way home from a meet we got to talking about religion and he said he thought that having faith in a higher power was naive and childish, like believing in Santa Claus.

Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: hobish on August 28, 2012, 06:44:22 PM
I have to say I haven't met any atheists who are quite so adamant about the superiority of their lack of faith over having faith of any kind, and I'm glad! Oy!

DH believes, but he doesn't like going to church because he just doesn't like organized religion.  He'll go with me sometimes, like this weekend he's going with me because a church about a 1/2 hour from us is doing a "Kirkin' of the Tartans" ceremony and with both of us having Celtic heritage, it didn't take much to twist his arm about that one. :)

Anyway, I did know an atheist in high school, as he was on the Cross Country team with me.  One day on the way home from a meet we got to talking about religion and he said he thought that having faith in a higher power was naive and childish, like believing in Santa Claus.

 ;D I think he stole that from a comedian. I wish i could remember/Google properly who it was, but i beileve the line went, "After Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, Jesus Christ didn't have much chance."
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 28, 2012, 10:57:32 PM
I have to say I haven't met any atheists who are quite so adamant about the superiority of their lack of faith over having faith of any kind, and I'm glad! Oy!

DH believes, but he doesn't like going to church because he just doesn't like organized religion.  He'll go with me sometimes, like this weekend he's going with me because a church about a 1/2 hour from us is doing a "Kirkin' of the Tartans" ceremony and with both of us having Celtic heritage, it didn't take much to twist his arm about that one. :)

Anyway, I did know an atheist in high school, as he was on the Cross Country team with me.  One day on the way home from a meet we got to talking about religion and he said he thought that having faith in a higher power was naive and childish, like believing in Santa Claus.

Guh, being an atheist myself, I have met far too many...but I've also met far too many believers who think they're superior to me because of their faith.  Point being, they are on both sides and all of them are just as annoying as each other.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on August 29, 2012, 05:31:35 AM
Yeah, unfortunately there's always going to be some folks in any sort of group who will give the whole group a bad reputation, causing people to say "Wow you're not bad for a ____" when they meet the decent ones who actually make up the majority of whatever group it is.

I get really annoyed when I'm already part of a religion but just not the same denomination as someone else and they take it upon themselves to tell me I'm doing it wrong because I'm not part of their denomination, then proceed to tell me what's wrong with my church.  ::)  Usually these are just acquaintances anyway so I have no problem limiting contact with these people or eliminating it all together.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: Sharnita on August 29, 2012, 07:10:18 AM
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/27/atheist-group-removes-billboards-targeting-presidential-candidates-religious-faith/


There was recently an article about an atheist group that had billboards up mocking the religious beliefs of both leading political candidates.  It was pretty smug and disdainful, not to mention that people who embrace those beliefs would find them grossly misleading. 
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on August 29, 2012, 07:27:48 AM
Is it just me or do those billboards smack of bitterness?  It's like someone was raised in a very strict, fire and brimstone kind of environment where a fearsome God was portrayed and the person who wrote those billboards probably seemed to think it was either that way or atheism, without realizing that there were other options, and that not even two churches of the same denomination are going to be exactly alike.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: Sharnita on August 29, 2012, 07:32:09 AM
Is it just me or do those billboards smack of bitterness?  It's like someone was raised in a very strict, fire and brimstone kind of environment where a fearsome God was portrayed and the person who wrote those billboards probably seemed to think it was either that way or atheism, without realizing that there were other options, and that not even two churches of the same denomination are going to be exactly alike.

I think they come off as dismissive of the actual theology of the beliefs of those candidates and their religious denominations.  I don't think the group felt any obligation to represent them accurately or fully because the organization has no respect for religion in general - or at least the people who chose those billboards do not.
Title: Re: When the "God Squad" won't take no for an answer. (Minor Update - Post 51)
Post by: Jones on August 29, 2012, 10:47:48 AM
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/27/atheist-group-removes-billboards-targeting-presidential-candidates-religious-faith/


There was recently an article about an atheist group that had billboards up mocking the religious beliefs of both leading political candidates.  It was pretty smug and disdainful, not to mention that people who embrace those beliefs would find them grossly misleading.

Wow. Those billboards just...wow.