How (Not) To Deal With Jehovah’s Witnesses At Your Door
So, this bullshit happened the other day.
Let’s set the scene, shall we? It’s 10 am on a weekday during spring break, so I’m home with my 5-year-old boy and 11-year-old stepdaughter, who are currently arguing about whether or not the dining room table is out of bounds. I’m still in my pajamas because it's 10 am on a weekday during spring break, and I am at home with my 5-year-old and 11-year-old, who are currently in mid-argument. When, exactly, would I have had time to put on presentable clothes in which I could have better debated the origin of our species? When, I ask? Would it have been before or after I had to strip the little one’s bed because someone decided he could have soda the night before? Maybe it was while they ate breakfast and fed corn pops to the dog until he got sick? Oh, I know! While my little guy made a jungle gym of our new television mount, which we bought to protect our new smart TV from being destroyed by the very same force that threatens the mount?
Right. So. I’m in my fucking jammies.
This is the fun part of people coming over unannounced because this is when my 13-year-old rescue dog with emotional baggage, shit hearing and even worse sight, decides to meltdown. Of course, my 5-year-old wants to help Mommy in any way he can, bless his heart (#NoHoly), and runs to open the door while my German Shephard/Lab cross bolts toward it next to him, snarling and barking. This is my cue to try and race the two of them and get there sooner than either of them so that whoever is on the other side of the door does not have their jugular ripped out by Cujo and bleed all over my son.
Success. I win. I hop out the door as fast as I can without a moment to remember I am still in my pajamas and slam the door shut, sealing the churning clusterfuck inside.
I take a deep breath and turn, “Sorry! My dog is aging and can’t hear me anymore. We still love him, though. What’s up?”
Of course, during this explanation, I’m taking in their rosy faces, their blank stares, their piles of leaflets in their hands, and my brain is saying in really slow motion, “Ohhhhh Shhhhhit, Jehoooooooovahhh’s Witneessssssess!”
Pretty sure some air left my smile, and I felt that twitch. You know, the one you get when you’re trying to force a smile, but it’s not happening, and it’s like your face is fighting you? Yeah. That twitch. So, I’m about to enter a creationism vs. evolution debate with a goddamned (#NoHoly) twitch. In my jammies. While my children and dog destroy my home on the other side of some wood. Here goes.
“Hi, I’m Lisa, and this is Megan. Are we interrupting?”
I want so badly to retort with some sarcastic question like, “Did something give you that idea? I can’t imagine what!” but we’re new to a town of 12,000, and I don’t know how Jehovahy the town is as a whole nor how fast rumours of the new infidels with bad attitudes will spread, so I say instead, “Not at all. What can I help you with?”
“Well, there’s a meeting on the 14th-” I’m starting to think maybe these are canvassers for some local cause instead of J-dubs, but my hopes are quickly dashed as she opens a pamphlet to a melodramatic painting of Jeezy in his flowing robes, rays of golden sunshine pouring over his open palms and pasty, white skin.
I quickly interrupt, “I’m an atheist."
Shock and awe. I can tell they don’t hear that one around these parts often.
“Oh, really?” The feathery one called Lisa asks me.
“Were you raised that way, or did you just decide for yourself?” Getting a little personal there, Lisee-poo.
“No, I wasn’t raised atheist exactly. We weren’t really raised as anything, but given the blaring lack of evidence for a god, there was really no other direction to turn in.”
At this point, Meghan turns to look at me. Her eyes are completely dead, absent. There is no thought going on at all behind those irises, just turning cogs getting ready to spew forth a recorded message.
The best way to describe Megan would be distant.
She looks me up and down, making it painfully obvious she’s judging me for still being in my jammies at 10 am on a weekday. This bullshit always strikes me as hypocritical. I mean, I don’t give a fuck. I couldn’t possibly give any less of a fuck. You know what’s going on behind my closed front door. I do not give a fuck when anyone judges me. There comes a point when you clean your fortieth pair of poopy pants when giving any fucks at all about what people think of you flies out the door with a red and white polka-dotted rucksack and an erect middle finger. I do not. give. a. fuck.
They are currently in the middle of trying to get my interest in their religion piqued. A religion that worships a man and a book that teaches that judgment is not our entitlement. They’re trying to sell me on it... while they judge me. It makes me want to laugh, but I contain it.
Her eyes finally come back and meet mine after giving my neon pink jammies a good look over, and they glass over a little and veer towards each other, and she suddenly looks a little cross-eyed.
“You know the Bible has lots of mentions of science, and they all coincide with the evidence we have today.”
“Oh?” I humour her. This is gonna be good.
“For instance, are you familiar with the part of the Bible that explains that the World was created in 6 days?”
“Well, did you know that recently, many scholars have suggested that the term day was just a figure of speech and that it could be referring to as many as thousands of years?”
First, she said the Bible mentions “science.” Then she used this “for example.” The direction of her conversation is completely nonsensical. Second, scholars? I’d love to meet these “scholars.” They’re probably about as scholarly as I am classy, standing out here in bare feet, neon jammies, and my husband’s work hoodie. But third,
“It’s still off by a few billion years.”
“Yes, of course.” Says Megan. Lisa is getting antsy and sees she needs to tie this up.
“Would you be willing to read something? I mean, you might find it interesting,” She asks.
This, I don’t mind. I’ll fucking read anything. I love mythology, especially. Which is what they’re peddling. Let’s be honest.
“Sure, I would. I’ll read anything” I am now the proud new owner of a copy of Watchtower. Score.
“Well, it was really nice talking to you. I always find it very interesting learning about other people’s beliefs,” Megan explains.
Beliefs? Does she know what atheism is?
I thank them for stopping by. I know I’ve probably invited a follow-up visit, but here’s the thing about me: I firmly believe that the only shit that gets to you is the shit that you let get to you. Somewhere in those ladies are people who deserve respect, and while they’re not so willing to give me the respect I deserve, it doesn’t mean I have to stoop to their level. If that means that my kindercluster has to be interrupted once more to make it clear to them that I will never be assimilated as a jeebot, then that’s what I have to do.
They walk off blissfully down the driveway, and I turn to go back inside only to find my ittiest bittiest one has locked me out. Jesus fucking christ (#NoHoly).
How do you deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses or other religious people trying to get you to believe? I’d love to hear your stories!