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Active Questions

What's the best way to deal with someone pushing religious beliefs?
Race, Religion & Politics / 9:44 PM - Sunday September 12, 2010

What's the best way to deal with someone pushing religious beliefs?

I was recently in a situation where a very religious person was pushing their beliefs on me. I have no problem with them and how they practice or what they believe, but it's simply not for me. A polite thanks, but no thanks didn't seem to do any good, so what do you do then? How can I politely but successfully let them know that I am not interested?

- Asked by itsjustme4sure, A Life of the Party, Male, 29-35

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Happens to me a lot, when I am CORNED in a parking lot.
I simly tell them that I have my own beliefs, and that I AM NOT TRYING TO PUT MY BELIEFS ON THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Response by kismet331, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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I would just continue to tell them that you arent interested and if at some point you become interested that you will let them know. If they continue then tell them that its really not polite what they are doing and that if they are really a faithful believer then they shouldnt be trying to make you feel uncomfortable.
When you say that something should hit home to them.

- Response by lovesgoldens, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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Tell them whats really on your mind, start pushing your non religious beliefs on them

- Response by couchie666, A Thinker, Female, 26-28

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You believe what you believe, I believe what I believe. I'm not discussing this any further.
If that doesn't work....
I respect you enough to agree to disagree. You aren't helping your cause, you're turning me off even more off. Save yourself.

Worse case.... walk away saying God be with you

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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If the polite thanks but no thanks didn't work I'd start pushing my view about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and ask them why their beliefs are more valid than mine. Most of them will back off pretty quickly (because there is no refutation that doesn't also refute their own god) or turn into gibbering wrecks in under five minutes. The fact is most people can't defend their belief in god for longer than this. It's not pretty but they asked for it.

- Response by tfsustfu, A Life of the Party, Male, 26-28

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I think a good way to turn aside someone else's religious fervor is to say, I appreciate your concern for me, and I know you will be praying for me, too, and that is a wonderful thing for you to do. At this point, I think you need to back off verbally and just let God do His work in me. I know you don't want to mess up His plan by forcing yourself on me when it's time to just let Him do His own work.

If that doesn't work--and it should--then ask them if they have ever read Ecclesiastes 3:7. If the haven't, tell them that you think you may be there on God's behalf to lead them to that verse.

Verse 1: There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
Verse 7: a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak.

If that doesn't work, then tell them you don't believe they are hearing from God at all and walk away.

- Response by media4u2, A Father Figure, Male, 66 or older, Pittsburgh, Teaching

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I've never had a problem with, "NO, No THANKS" but I'll admit I have a LITTLE problem with Jehovah's Witnesses and if they are trying to push the Watchtower into your hands I guarantee you can say this and it will send them running:

"My spouse and I are in the military're welcome."

Works every time.

Not long ago, the city of Savannah, Georgia passed a law that made it illegal to come to your door NEKKID.

Apparently, they had a problem with that.

Now, that would just be all kinds of WRONG if it was a kid looking for donations but as for the rest of them...

It's just a thought.

- Response by jenny12, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Other Profession

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I have run the gamut of refusals with religious tractors. From Gee how nice for you to Get the $#@% off my $#@%&*! property. The most successful response however, has been: Not at this time.

- Response by rekkonball, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older, Retired

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Yes, I hate that too. Its really insulting and offensive.

- Response by greenwind, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 56-65, Construction

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Walk away.

Whether it's religion, politics, or anything with which you CANNOT agree with someone and one of you can't let it go - all you can do is walk away. There is no middle ground, and unless the conversation is dropped, it's going to continue ad nauseum.

Sometimes, walking away is all you can do.

I'm a Christian. I enjoy discussing "religion" and such with friends who do not agree with me - hearing their views and sharing mine. But there usually comes a point where, if we cannot "agree to disagree," we need to put the discussion to rest.

There is an old Jewish proverb I learned long ago that seems appropriate here - "You cannot argue a man into heaven." Maybe you just need to remind this person of that?

- Response by cd92835, A Career Man, Male, 46-55

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just walk away. And everytime they bring it up, ignore them and make a phone call or walk out of the room.

- Response by lady_kryptonite, A Thinker, Female, 26-28

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why aren't you interested? why dont you go to church with them once? if you show applied effort you can either a. get out of it and told them you tried.. or b. have a new interesting experience you may want to repeat. God is good. I promise you're life will never be better.

- Response by meganrocks1322, A Thinker, Female, 22-25, San Diego, Student

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Remember there is a Heaven and hell and where you go is your choice....

- Response by movi, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65, Administrative

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I have no problem telling people to keep thier belife to themselves.If they continue I say We have been thru this for the last time.

- Response by frenchkiss49, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older, Tampa, Who Cares?

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I don't push my beliefs on you so I'd appreciate it if you'd keeps yours to yourself. With some you have to get a little forceful unfortuanately.

- Response by misskitty420, A Cool Mom, Female, 29-35, Student

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tell them that you should have evry right to believe what you want. they should not be forceful in trying to make you believe their belifs. You are a grown up and are able to choose for yourself.

- Response by pepperman46, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 46-55

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Kicking can work, but the most effective thing is to douse the person with gasoline, then reach for a lighter. That aalmost always makes them leave.

- Response by lyon, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Boston, Self-Employed

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As a former evangelical who eventually converted to Catholic (I know, some ppl probably think that's worse, but that is a different conversation), I know where they are coming from. They have what I call a lifeboat theology. The ship (the world and its sinful ways) is sinking, and you better get on the lifeboat (Jesus) or you'll go down with it. They are warning you about your situation and the cure for it. If a man were in such a precarious situation and you warned him once and he didn't their mind it would be wrong to not continue to warn him. I am convinced that this theology is very flawed. Although I firmly believe in Jesus as the way, the truth, and life, it is impossible to know who is really close to him. There may be those who are close to his spirit without knowing him by name, and there are those who "honor me with their lips" and whose "hearts are far from me." The problem with evangelicals is that they seem to think that all that is required for salvation is intellectual assent to a set of propositions about who Jesus is. That allows them to know exactly who is going to heaven (them) and excludes everyone else who doesn't outwardly profess as they do.

The great theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "even the word of truth has its limits." They do a disservice to their cause by this kind of constant carping. The best witness is a life well lived.

To be fair, I have met atheists and skeptics who are just as militant about converting people to their way of thinking. Ditto for scientologists, militant Marxists, etc. I am suspicious of anyone who thinks they have a corner on what is good, beautiful, and true.

- Response by tomtomcat, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 56-65, New York, Teaching

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I tell them "Thanks, but I'm fine and have my own beliefs". Usually the faster you agree with them the faster they'll leave you alone and go to find someone else to "save".

- Response by richsifu, A Rebel, Male, 46-55, Science / Engineering

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Start pushing your own beliefs on them. I had a lady who kept insisiting I come to her methodist church. I said SURE as long as you come to Catholic mass with me. Then I started bombarding her with catholic information. She eventually left me alone about religion

- Response by bellabyrdie, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Who Cares?

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Religious fanatics by definition are crazy, rude and have no respect for people they can't assimilate or control. Your goodwill and tolerance will not be reciprocated and will not buy mercy from their contempt of others. Hang out with crappy people and eventually they will do crappy things to you.

- Response by A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Technical

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You could tell them to go away.

- Response by seajaih, Female, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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By pushing them into on coming traffic.
You don't have to hear their sermons and they get to meet there precious maker.

Everyone wins!!!!

- Response by 1man4commonsense, A Career Man, Male, 36-45, Who Cares?

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OK, the polite route didn't work, too bad. Do as you said in the last sentence, say "I'm not interested, please don't ask again". But polite but firm.

- Response by hearmenow, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older, Other Profession

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Turn the discussion around, ASk them impossible questions or, make rude suggestions D

- Response by duggers, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older

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just walk away. And everytime they bring it up, ignore them and make a phone call or walk out of the room.

- Response by lady_kryptonite, A Thinker, Female, 26-28

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