I wonder if there is a classification for somebody who believes in God, considers that belief a private matter and detests proselytizing.
If there is, put me down as the poster child for it.
I’m baffled that such a simple outlook on religion seems to be so misunderstood by many. Maybe I’m naive, but I’m of the opinion that each individual has a unique outcome to be gained from religion. Maybe it is seeking peace that there is indeed a holy creator up above. Maybe it is looking for direction or advice from a support structure. Maybe it is to broaden one’s knowledge on where we came from and where we may be going. Maybe it is to reaffirm that leading a “good” life will be rewarded. Maybe it is a combination of the above points and several others I haven’t even mentioned.
It isn’t up to me to judge where people are going on their faith journey. What I don’t get is why others think it is OK to make that judgment.
Some people take on the Crusade of converting others to their religion or even their specific church. I take up arms on defending my religious privacy. When the two forces collide, a Holy War of sorts erupts. I must look like a tortured soul because I’m a magnet that draws religious solicitation. I get approached more than you can imagine and if I’m pressed for time and somebody asks me where I worship, the best response you are going to get from me is, “None of your business.”
Depending on my particular distaste for the exchange, you might get a variation of that phrase with some choice expletives strewn in. The more expletives, the higher my level of frustration.
When I have some time to waste, I like to engage in a dance of sorts. Actually, it is more like fencing. If I hear, “So where did you say you worship, again?” it comes out sounding like “ En guarde!” and my first thrust is usually something like, “I wouldn’t have told you (a perfect stranger) where I worshipped in the first place.” Whether I scored a point is immaterial because my opponent doesn’t care about getting slashed; he or she only cares about pushing forward.
I’m now transported to a corrida where El Toro invites you to his place of worship. I unfurl my red cape and try a polite “No thank you” knowing that the bull will run through the fabric, stop on a dime and continue the charge.
Now I’m out of the bullring and in a used car lot where I’m standing face-to-face with a salesman. He won’t take that simple no for an answer, so he probes for the model I want to buy. Do I need direction? Am I looking for answers? Is it fellowship I’m seeking? When I tell him I’m fine with the car I’m currently driving, this is unacceptable.
The dance is done. I did what I set out to do – waste some time.
A smile comes across my face as I realized I’ve wasted his time, too.
You can reach Scott at email@example.com to proselytize to a wall.