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Don’t come into my house and preach at me

This afternoon, an Evangelical Christian posted a message on the Facebook group for my Unitarian Universalist church (whose members are mostly atheist and typically humanist even if they do believe in a god) trying to get people to attend an “Evangelical Mission.” He gave essentially no context and it was only through my own Internet sleuthing that we figured out the details of the event he was promoting. It was proselytization through spam.

I was initially unsure how I felt about being evangelized to in my own church (yes, I think of our Facebook page as an extension of the church; it’s part of our community which extends beyond the church building. It’s also my main connection to the UCE community at the moment, since getting to church when my toddler’s nap time conflicts with Sunday services is challenging). On the one hand, we pride ourselves on being open to ideas and people of all faiths. In theory, anyone is welcome to “worship” with us – Unitarian Universalism is about orthopraxis (right action) not orthodoxy (right belief).

On the other hand, this person was quite obviously trying to get people to hear the Gospel of Christ and convert to Christianity. I wouldn’t go into his church and begin expounding upon the virtues of humanism. What makes him think it’s OK to come into my church and try to pull me out of it and into his?

The post has been deleted, either by a group admin or by the person who posted it. Given that members of the church were firmly but respectfully engaging with him, I suspect he deleted it after realizing he wasn’t going to win converts. I’d have taken a screen shot, but I never expected the post to be removed.

Despite the post being gone, I’m angry that someone felt it was appropriate to come into my church, imply (albeit indirectly) that my faith (such as it is) is a lie and try to recruit people away from it. I’m angry that he wasn’t open and honest about his intent. And I’m angry that I’m angry, because it was just a Facebook post and therefore seems ultimately inconsequential.

But here I am – angry about something minor that feels like a major violation, in no small part because I’m in the midst of reconnecting to my religion through the practice of UU Lent.

What do y’all think? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill or do I have good reason to be angry about this?

3 thoughts on “Don’t come into my house and preach at me

  1. Your entitled to feelings and, as is everyone. How you act on your feelings is what really matters. Just remember that the poster thinks that he is helping everyone and that he is trying to “save you.” No intent of malice, just possibly misguided.

    1. Yes, he no doubt thought he was doing good. I’m annoyed at the situation but don’t actually hold it against him much. He was acting as he thought was right.

  2. I would be just as annoyed / irritated. I think the problem is that people who adhere to proselytizing faiths view themselves as followers of the One True Religion. Hence, you can’t even use the “well, how would you feel if we did that to you?” argument to have a constructive debate. It’s like arguing with an immovable wall.

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