Wednesday, May 09, 2007

6 Fun Things to Do to Persistent Proselytisers

"You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend."

Richard Jeni, American actor and comedian on religious wars

Remember: I’m against proselytisers, not their gods.

v. pros-e-ly-tized, pros-e-ly-tiz-ing, pros-e-ly-tiz-es

v. intr.
1. To induce someone to convert to one's own religious faith.
2. To induce someone to join one's own political party or to espouse one's doctrine.

v. tr.
To convert (a person) from one belief, doctrine, cause, or faith to another.

At one time or another, we probably have had smartly dressed young men (or old, wrinkled ladies that smelled like cabbage) rapping on our front door with a religious tome of some sort in his hand and asking permission to ‘come in and tell us about his religion’. I call them god-peddlers1. Usually, they are marginally polite2, and would leave quietly with a friendly smile when you tell them to ”Go jerk off,” try some other household because you aren’t the least bit interested.

Occasionally – to draw an analogy to vacuum cleaner salespeople – there are those who wouldn’t budge till they get their chance to perform their much-rehearsed sales pitch in your living room ("yesh, my god is better than your god because he can suck 99% of dust particles from your carpet!"). This variety of proselytisers has Kevlar for skin and no amount of disbelief or cynicism can dampen their fanatical enthusiasm3.

Over my years in college, this species of god-peddlers have knocked so often on my hostel door that they have left their knuckle prints there. It was infuriating at first, especially if they were friends of my housemates, and I can’t refuse entrance to them. But knowing me, I’m definitely not the sort to take this bent over. Here are some of my favourite things I did to preserve my sanity, and to ensure that these religious maniacs would mark me as irrevocably damned (thank you) and stop bothering me for good;
  1. I always have some Marilyn Manson’s, Darkthrone’s, Cradle of Filth’s or other evil sounding bands’ songs stored up somewhere in my laptop even though I don’t listen to them. Just press play, sit back, and watch the expressions on these god-peddlers as they talk. They usually look as if they are constipating.
  2. There was once during the Chinese New Year of 2006, a bespectacled, timid looking man came to my house gate with an arm-load of medical brochures (and a Watchtower Bible in a sling bag which I didn’t see till it’s too late). After doing me the favour of dispensing a brochure to me, the Jehovah Witness apparently thought I was morally obligated to listen to him and insisted on coming in. I told him that I’d rather he talk to me out there – under the blazing Chinese New Year Sun. I had an umbrella and unfortunately for him, he didn’t *smiles innocently*. After several minutes of heated (in more ways than one) discussion, and him saying things that offended my religion (if I actually have one that is), he asked if he can return a couple of days later to continue our "meaningful conversation". I said "Sure, why not?" but told him to come back four days later instead. Four days later, I went to KL.
  3. When I was in Taylor’s College, after several visits from this ‘friend of a friend’4 that was adamant that I required salvation from eternal damnation; I went and bought a dozen black candles and arranged them in a circle on the dining table where this ‘friend of a friend’ often sat at and talk to me (and my other housemates) about his particular sect of Christianity that I’ve never even heard of. On all his subsequent visits, we would light the candles and stare at him blankly and wordlessly as he talked. He stopped coming after just three episodes of our ‘brain-washed cultist’ act5.
  4. Try reading a Harry Potter book while one of these proselytisers talks to you. Some folks of certain religions apparently consider the children’s novel to be "blasphemous" and "wrought by the devil himself". If he tells you that Harry Potter is evil, point and laugh at him.
  5. In my first month in Manipal, I was rudely awakened from my sleep by one of the local students. He had some flyers with him on which a big "Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour?" was printed in capitalised, bold letters. I said "Assalamualaikum" and shut the door in his face. No offence, dear Christian friends of mine, and pardonnez mon fran├žais – but it was 2.00 fucking am in the fucking morning.
  6. By far the funniest thing to do is to try to convert them to your religion while they try to convert you to theirs using all their arguments and reasoning against them. If they tell you that you’ll go to Hell if you don’t join their club, tell them that they’ll go to your religion’s version of Hell if they don’t join yours. If you don’t have a religion of your own, try to convert them to Shintoism, Embolism, Malapropism or whatever –isms you can think of. If you do it right, it’s endlessly entertaining to watch them try to refute their own ideologies without them even noticing it.

P.S. Stock image of pill-bottle courtesy of requiemstock of

Facing damnation in the hells of all the world’s major religions,
k0k s3n w4i

1 Not your god-lah. Don’t so perasan, can?
2 I said ‘marginally’ because no god-peddlers or proselytisers are ever properly polite. How would they know they aren’t interrupting my dinner, my afternoon nap or my daily blood-letting rites to appease infernal demons when they ring my doorbell?
3 In fact, they relish the challenge.
4 Which fancied himself as some sort of teenage messiah, WTF.
5 We kept bursting into manic laughter because the situation was sooo funny. Thankfully, Messiah Wonderboy got the message anyway.


pinksterz said...

on no. 6:



pinksterz said...

btw, the pic.

why don't put Kontroversy instead of the controversy?

you love k right?=P

innshan said...

yea, i heard some marilyn manson's songs on ur laptop. i love it! funny~

and what hppend to d 2am stalker? when was it? at nehru or achara? but what you did is acceptable at this moment. i would be pissed off too. haha~

mrbherng said...

To cut all those conversation short, you can just try this.

Open the door and ask, "are you looking for someone or anything?" and no matter what his reply is, like " can we have a talk about..." you then go " oh sorry, can we have a talk about... isn't home sorry about that"

and just shut the door.

bubbly soda said...

lol! seriously... i can't stand those people. To me religion is something you go to when it time. you can't convert a person. I've always believed that it is within yourself. convertion just don't work.

michellesy the un-believer said...

AHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAH - you really don't kid around, do you? =P

# 2, 4 and 6 - we've had this conversation no?

Heh - I'm going home during the upcoming semester break, so I'll be able to try out #4.

Mainly because I will be compelled to buy the latest HP book in KL when it comes out.

I say compelled because:
1. I am a kepochi who can't bear to not know what's going to happen next
2. I won't be able to pick up the library copy I ordered 6 months ago.


Sh*te - I'd forgotten all about it too. Until the library emailed me to tell me they'd ordered 500 copies so everyone on the waiting list could borrow it for a fortnight each.
DOH! *smacks forehead*

Double sh*te - guess who benefits from my foresight - my sister.
Who normally couldn't be arsed to put anything on hold.
But who will read HP if it just 'happens to be lying within arm's-reach".
And who will also be in Australia when HP is launched.

Dammit! BTW, I'm holding off buying the latest HP until they release the entire boxed set (fingers crossed that it will be in hardcover too).

ps: Gah - I just realised I have just book-nerd-spammed all over your post that, really, had very little to do with either HP or my unholy (pun intended) and totally uncool obsession with books.

pps: Teenage Messiah wtf! LOLz!!!

ppps: Cradle of Filth wtf wtf! I feel unclean just hearing the band name LOLz!!!!

k0k s3n w4i said...

Go for it! Tell them if they don't convert, they wun get into Pink Heaven. They'll be thrown in to Purple Hell and be forced to wear purple tights with yellow spots *gasp*!
P.S. fixed the K with a ballpoint pen, d. ;p

at tagore that time-la. tot I told you before? you were sleeping like maut d.

Where's the fun in that? The sick person in me demands that I make life Hell for them - so they can better appreciate their Heaven nxt time.

Admirable stance, girl. Self-discovery is the way to go. I'm going start my own religion and call it Kok-o-logy.

@michellesy from k0k the inf!del
#3 too, I believe.
My sister will definitely buy the HP book when it comes out, so I shan't. My battle plan involve waiting for Shaki (the bloke I sit beside in class) to finish reading his in the afternoon, and take it fr him at night. in that period of time, I would go into offline hibernation. You won't believe the length ppl would go to to spoil the story for you. DUring HBP, the interweb was awashed with links leading to one page websites with a big "SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE" on them. I was lucky that I got to read it on day 1.

michellesy said...

LOL - I see that Shaki has his uses, apart from annoying the hell out of you 24/7 .

Yeah, there are some advantages to being a fast reader - YOU get to shriek out the spoilers at the top of your voice, thereby inciting murderous intentions in the people around you XD

fuolornis said...

i do agree with this sometimes. Religion cannot be forced. There are many ppl out there that do not realise this. They js like to bug ppl sometimes. I myself was frus with these ppl

k0k s3n w4i said...

The annoyance is mutual. We both try our best. I think Shaki would definitely shout the spoilers to me when he pass me the book - if he don't already know that I will then spoil each and every House episode for him when he gets them from me.

Wah, agree sometimes only ar? ;)