Tolerance, respect, and dousing the fervour at my door.

As I have grown older, I like to think that I have become more temperate.

I’ve said it before but – as long as you leave my kids and animals in peace, you’ll likely live. Mess with them though and I’ll rip your bloody arms off !!!!!

Seriously – I will have a go.

I think I expect less these days from others.

Counterbalancing that is perhaps a slight contradiction some would say. I think it makes perfect sense.

I will also accept less in the way of bad behaviour.

What this means – I think, I’ll let you know when I’m sure – is this.

I will tolerate your foibles more readily. I have enough of my own. But you will treat me and mine with respect or I will cut you from my life like a pussing sore. As I’m on the home stretch as far as years go I no longer want to waste them of people who do not treat me respectfully. I’m having too much fun with the ones who do.

What’s your point you’re all asking.

Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Specifically the ones who think it is quite all right to knock on my door any time they get the urge – which is usually when I am doing something important – and tell me what I SHOULD believe.

I know an ex-JW. We spent some time discussing the religion. He was raised in the faith. Married a woman who was a minister/preacher/pastor (whatever they are called), and then began to question.

Short version.

He was excommunicated. Which meant his family was told to cease any contact with him.

Great religion that is.

I love the way they keep changing the predicted date of the end of the world, when it fails to arrive on the last predicted date.

I’ve also met some very nice, loving JWs. But eventually they have all gotten round to espousing their beliefs as being the only way to go. I know what their religion teaches. And it is not for me.

I am at present trying to figure out EXACTLY  what I believe about the universe, religion, people. All of it really.

I tried once to give myself to God/Jesus. It was on a Christian weekend retreat. I went along because some friends of mine were going. My marriage wasn’t going well. I was searching. One person (who I had never met before – and have kept away from), was very persistent, and before I knew what was doing I was proclaiming I would take Jesus into my heart. It was that or this woman was never going to leave me alone. And I was vulnerable at the time. It didn’t progress much past that weekend.

Lets be clear.

The Christian friends who I went with are still my friends. My dear, cherished, and I trust I never do anything to lose them, friends.

I have a few Christian friends. They – to me – are what being a Christian means. They are kind. Kind is under-rated these days. They are tolerant. They tolerate me, that says it all. And with each and everyone of them I KNOW that should I need help, they are there.

They accept me – as is. Confused, searching, whatever I am. And yes – they speak of God, of Jesus, of their beliefs. We have had some lively discussions over the years. They have explained things to me.

The Bible is a BIG book. And there are a lot of confusing statements unless someone who is in the know leads you through.

Being the curious type, I like to learn – well about everything. So we have had great discussions. Usually at my instigation.

They tell me what they believe, why they believe that, and that’s all folks.

There is no pressure to join the ranks. I’m sure, believing what they do, they’d really be very happy if I became a Christian. After all, they are my friends, and they’re a bit afraid of where I may end up. But I guess they figure that it’s up to me to work it out.

What I do or do not believe is best dealt with completely separately – that will take a book or two to explain. I have done my research, well some at least.

I have two Bibles, The Koran, read what I could about Buddha, Hinduism, Mormonism, and yes I tried to check out Scientology.

Okay this one is just because weird or not the guy is hot - and I love the Mission Impossible movies

I wanted to understand what makes Tom Cruise so weird. I love the guy as an actor – but he has some serious issues.

I would have had to sell the house to study Scientology. You work your way through layers I guess you’d call them of the church. But each layer – step up – costs dollars before they tell you anything. To get to the end, and then, and only then, do they reveal exactly where they think we came from, you have to fork out mega bucks.

But I like to know these things.

When I want to know them.

I live not far from the local JW church. If I were to yell ‘cccccccccccccooooooooooooeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”’ from my deck, they’d hear it. And that’s the problem folks.

I am too close.

And they keep turning up like locusts (that pun was intentional). With their Bibles, and little magazines, telling me I am headed for Hell if I don’t right this minute get down and become a JW. The rest of the world has got it wrong they say.

They are sneaky too. They send out little grey haired ladies, or mothers with young kids.

The look like this, but underneath...
they're really more like this...

I am unable to use the forceful language I would like to in these cases.

Repeatedly I have told them to ‘go to buggery’, usually in more pleasant terms and tones than that.

I request that they take note of my objection to their constant harassment – because that is exactly what it is – and stop calling here.

So they send out new ones.

Oh yes they do !!!

JWs: “Hello, we would just like to talk to you about your relationship with God.”

Irate Me: “I have told you people not to come and knock on my door. I am not interested. I have my own beliefs.”

JWs: “I’m sorry, but I am sure I have never been here before.”

IM: “Then put a notice up – stay away from …….”

JWs: “Certainly. But perhaps I could just leave these with you?” Pushing pamphlets at me.

IM: “No you can’t”

JWs: “Are you sure?”

IM: “I’m sure. Now please don’t come back. Tell the others to not come here. Stay away. Far away.”

JWs: “Of course, sorry to trouble you.”

They are very polite.

Two days later.

New JWs: “Hello, we would just like to talk to you about your relationship with God.”

So I have decided to fight fire with, well, water. I am putting a bucket of it near the door, and getting the hose placed strategically should I already be outside.

The next time I hear: “Hello, we would just like to talk to you about your relationship with God.”

There will be some very wet JWs. Maybe that will quench their desire to convert me.

If not – well I will sure feel a lot happier.

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

28 thoughts on “Tolerance, respect, and dousing the fervour at my door.”

  1. I’m with ya on this one Jo. You should do what I used to do when I lived on land, and they could still find me. When they would knock on my door and say “Hello, we would just like to talk to you about your relationship with God”, I’d give them my most innocent smile and say “Great! When I converted to Satanism in Prison, I was told I couldn’t tell anybody. What would you like to know about him?” Surprisingly, none of them ever came back to pick up the books they dropped as they jumped over the hedge.

    We should sit down someday and compare notes on religion and spirituality. I’ve tried all the ones you mentioned and more, and have come to the conclusion that I am spiritual, but not religious. Religion can be good for others, if it makes them kind, loving people, as some people need or simply enjoy the structure. I feel I’m in church every time I wake up, look around, and see all the beauty and wonder this world holds. If I want to talk to God, I talk. If I ever need to see what he (she?) has done for me, I simply look around at this world. Man has done a lot to ruin this planet, but it’s still a beauty, and filled with amazing creatures, people and wonders.

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    1. I once said something like that to the local Anglican vicar at the time – who was ‘a friend’ – about feeling like that, and not needing a church. We had a discussion and he told me that I was going to Hell, while the old ladies who went to church every Sunday, but treated the single mums like vermin, and were mean to everone else would go to Heaven. My reply: “I think I’d prefer Hell”

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    2. So very True RoughWaterJohn… Religion is mans made rules… Spiritual is a way of being.. And nature is all you need to communicate to that Divine love and light.. which encompasses us all..
      ~Dreamwalker

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  2. I feel the same as you Jo about life, getting older i think makes you go like that. All you want is life to be easy with no shit thrown into the mix 🙂
    We would get Jehovah’s Witnesses round once a year but they get short shift from me. Its the bloody Mormans that are the trouble here 2-3 times a year they come round i just chase them from the door.

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  3. Very interesting post Jo. I get so angry when I hear how stupid some of my fellow Christians can be. Can I come and watch you throw water on JWs?????….hehe
    Love ya,
    Wendy

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  4. Good Morning Jo.
    Thank you for the visit.
    Why is the alignment on this comment so strange?
    Life is full of questions.
    I am glad I came over to see your post before I did mine today…was going to post a joke about the All Blacks!
    I have a friend who was a JW for a while.
    She said she took a couple of months of being chased away from doors.
    Then,one day,she said fluck this and left.
    She is quite normal now.
    Love your post.

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  5. Food for thought as ever Jo. I get JW’s here and it bugs me how they dangle the carrot, they do their research before they arrive and already know who I am and what I do – amazing how they come here and start talking about music and show an interest in learning to play an instrument.
    I have a regular and he’s always giving me the latest copy of Watch Tower and telling me about the interesting articles, then he started going on about how he’d like to learn to play piano…. So when I asked him why he didn’t take up lessons he said he didn’t have the time. To which I replied, ‘in those Watch Tower magazines, have they never done a piece on time management?’ to which he suddenly said,
    ‘Actually, yes they did..’ and whipped said magazine from his briefcase. I replied,
    ‘ well, why don’t you take some of your own advice and bloody read it then?’

    hehehehehehe – true story. Not seen him for ages now……

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    1. Thank you.
      🙂
      Probably because as my kids tell me: “Mum – you are not like other mothers, actually you are not like other people.”
      They say they mean that in a good way too.
      I do wonder sometimes…

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  6. Haha, I like the many comments on this post. My hubby once answered the door and with a whispery demons voice, pretended to be posessed and welcomed the JWs in. For some reason they declined. I think if you freak them out enough they do have a secret sign that will notify themselves to avoid your door. I heard this rumor from a JW himself.

    I echo the Capns sentiments and invitation, also had quite a chuckle over nuggets and pearls comment.

    Oh heres a technique I use if the situation warrents it, Just start to randomly twitch as they talk to you, or invite them in and have the radio turned to static, then with your most pleasant tea party voice say, “Isn’t this a good song? I like it.”

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        1. Well now how’s a girl to keep her head in any proportion with you around Marcia – you make me feel all special. 😉
          2
          Definitely check out Sara’s blog – you”ll keep going back I promise !!!!

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  7. arrgh… dont get me started on JW’s I have a cousin who married one.. and well I wont go there… least said lol. But he had to go to court so that if anything should happen to the kids they would get blood transfusions .As she would say it was the will of God..

    But We get them all the time around here too… I have no problem with anyone and their beliefs thats their affair… But like you when they come knocking and spouting their quotes which you can if you wanted to engage them pull holes in it all.. I often think of the 44,000 or some God given number they say are to be saved only through them.. I asked one very nice Old gent one day How many members have they got yet.. as if its over the odds that are being saved What happens to the rest?… 🙂 ..

    Being a medium and I travel to different venues etc.. I was once met outside with a So called religious caring peoples Group I won’t mention their denomination who had placards saying we were Devil Worshipers.. DuH! .. I just wonder the mentality of people who cant think for themselves… and follow blindly what they are told..
    I would never dream of trying to indoctrinate people . We each of us are placed here to learn and grow and to me a spiritual being is one who is caring and kind and has compassion for others who do not judge a book by its cover.. Unfortunately for JW’s they come with the Watch Tower in hand little booklet.. and yes its little old ladies and I feel for their families, dragged around as soon as they can walk..
    I am always polite as best I can be when I get the knock on the door from JW or anyone and Im prepared to listen to a point.. But not be preached to..
    ..Spiritualism is a recognised religion here as I’m sure it is in Australia.. And I can honestly say I don’t even associate myself to any one religion anymore..having been brought up in Church of England.. then I went to Methodists and I did my own finding out and reading to come to my own way of being… For to me Being Spiritual is a way of life a way of being.. Not a teaching to follow of someones rules.. which by the way get changed when it suits..
    Wow… didnt mean to go on so… But a good Rant every now and again does us good… And I can only add… Every one dies…. Everyone of us crosses over… regardless of Creed or colour.. and we each of us have eternal life… Its up to us how we live it.. having been given Free Will here on earth.. So live life and love living… 🙂

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    1. I too was originally (and for most of my upbringing) brought up C of E, with a small stint in the Catholic religiion when I lived with Mum. I do think I am spiritual – but I am still looking for THE answer for me I. I too believe in free will – and I do believe that there is a place for all us us in whatever comes after. It seems impossible to me that the native who lives in the jungle blissfully unaware of God, or the gay guy I worked with who possessed the sweetest soul I knew, will not have an after because of their so called ignorance of God ,or their love of someone of the same sex.
      What first made me so mad about the JWs was a friend. At least I thought that that was what she was becoming. Yes I knew she was a JW, but although she did mention God, at first her visits were nothing to do with religion. The time came however, when her teenage son and daughter were sitting at my table, pulling out their bibles, and quoting me to convince me of the peril I was in. I was so angry that she did that to me, and to them. I am no longer angry – I feel sad for her children, but my tolerance for JWs is quite small these days.
      And yes I intend to live life and love doing so 🙂

      Like

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