Using Terror To Proselytize

This is a sensitive topic that will likely offend many. It is not my goal to do that, but it is something that I feel strongly about and I am not real good about mincing words. I know that is considered fashionable to say that you “tell it like it is” and that this is how some people try to excuse being blunt or lacking tact.

I am not making any excuses. I want this to heard with the edge and irritation I feel, so now that I have prefaced this remark let’s jump in head first.

There are many religious groups within the U.S. that believe that they have a mandate from G-d to proselytize, to reach out and try and pull in as many new believers as they can. I am a believer and a proponent of the first amendment and am not interested in curtailing that.

If these groups want to go after new believers they should be allowed to do so, but what bothers me are those people whose “missionary style” involves threatening non-believers with eternal damnation and punishment for their refusal to agree with them.

This is rude, obnoxious, unbecoming and grounds for consequences of a more serious nature.

I understand that these people think that they are doing “G-ds work” and that they may have the best of intentions. But the “best of intentions” is why people burned witches at the stake, why the nazis loaded people like cattle onto trains and murdered them.

Good intentions are not license to act irresponsibly or reason enough to ignore certain behaviors.

I have expressed these very sentiments to those who try to witness to me and have been told a number of things such as “the devil has your soul in his clutches, let me help you” or “you only say that because you know that you are going to hell and you are not strong enough to break free on your own.”

Well, I don’t believe either statement to be true and I am not going to change my mind. I have spent many hours considering what I believe and why and am comfortable where I am and most happy about it.

There is strength in religious plurality. I believe that we benefit from a diversity of thought and opinion, but I am not advocate for trying to force conversion by sword or by or other more thinly veiled threats . There are those out there who would chastise me for posting this and to you I say, shush.

I need not sit in the back of the bus or tap and shuffle for master. I demand the same rights and courtesy as anyone else, no more and no less.

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