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Missed Opportunities With Jehovah’s Witnesses

I have been a vocal atheist for a long time and have had long and in depth conversations with people of  many different sects of various religions. Christianity is of course the most prevalent religion in America and I have talked to many Christian sects. But until recently, I had never talked to a Jehovah’s Witness.

A few times I came close to talking to a Jehovah’s Witness. I remember when I was in college, I was home for the summer and a Jehovah’s Witness came to the door of my parents’ house. Unfortunately, my sister answered the door. She rudely informed the Jehovah’s Witness that she was Jewish and practically slammed the door in their faces. After she told me who was at the door, I practically ran after them, but they were gone.

Then a few months back, a Jehovah’s Witness came to my door and I answered it. The problem was that she didn’t tell me she was a Jehovah’s Witness. Instead, she asked me about depression and offered me a pamphlet on the subject. I took the pamphlet and opened it up. By the time I saw that it was a Watch Tower pamphlet (which was pretty quickly) she had already run off. I mean she literally ran.

This woman clearly did not want to spend her Saturday going door to door trying to convert people. I bet she prayed every time that she rang a door bell that no one would be home and that she could just leave the pamphlet. It is sad that her religious leaders made her feel obligated to go and knock on doors. I think 99 times out of a hundred, she probably had gotten the door slammed in her face. It had just so happened that I was the hundredth person and actually wanted to talk to her about her beliefs.

This brings me to what happened this weekend, when two young Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on my door. But I will save that story for tomorrow. The question of the day is, do you or would you slam the door in the face of a Jehovah’s Witness or would you engage them in conversation?

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  • CocosButter

    I usually go ahead and engage them if I have time…lol…it’s always an interesting conversation as long as they don’t get too pushy. They claim to be the only TRUE Christians (I guess like everyone else lol).

  • Scott M.

    I routinely try to talk with them. I keep a couple spare copies of Carl Sagan’s THE DEMON HAUNTED WORLD to give to those whom I think need it.

    I offered a copy to the last couple of JWs but they refused it. I said it was unfair they wanted me to read their stuff but were unwilling to look at my stuff. They walked away empty handed and so did I.

  • MaryLynne

    I haven’t had a chance yet, but I’m ready!

    “Thank you so much, but I’m doomed. I’m afraid I can’t be saved. No, not even the blood of Jesus can cover me. I did the one thing the Bible says is an unforgiveable sin – I blasphemed the Holy Spirit. I said it sucks eggs, and it’s mom wears Army boots, and it is a great big poopyhead. I even said once that I don’t believe it exists at all! So I am so doomed, right? I can’t be saved?”

    I learned from Ray Comfort’s Atheist Central blog that it isn’t enough to bad-mouth the Holy Spirit, you have to deny its existence for it to count as the unforgiveable sin.

    If they are still hanging around and seem to think there is hope for me, I will say, “I would ask for forgiveness and may get my faith back if I could get the answer to one question – If I don’t believe i go to hell, right? Here’s the question – what exactly goes to hell? But what is my soul? It isn’t my feelings, thoughts, memories . . ” and go through all the brain functions.

    Um, not that I’ve spent time thinking about this, or anything. . . .


    • Revyloution

      The Jehovahs don’t believe in a literal hell. According to their dogma, only 144,000 get to heaven. All the rest of the true believers get to inhabit the Earth after Revelations. Non believers just die, and are no more.

      • MaryLynne

        Oh. That’s no fun, then.

        Wait – really? 144,000 get to heaven? Well – how do you pacify people with that kind of promise? Does each person think they are one of the fraction that gets saved? Have any of them ever taken a statistics class? I bet they buy a lot of lottery tickets.

  • http://Myspace.com/the_master_walks_ The Master

    Well it’s not exactly that they arent interested in speaking of their faith, just that they are so used to be treated like shit that they switched tactics and speak of social issues because people are more interested in speaking to them if they speak of Cultural things so they did it that way. I grew up in a witness family myself so I know all about it.

  • Revyloution

    Glad you asked! We have a strong JW presence in our neck of the woods, and they come by often.

    I have a set of pamphlets printed up that I keep at hand. They include a list of common contradictions in the bible, a little map with geographic inaccuracies, and a list of failed prophecies of Charles Taze. (He was the founder of their church, and he made some pretty amazing predictions. They all failed to materialize, of course.)

    I love to chat them up and run them in logical circles. My wife groans when they knock, but I can also hear her giggling to. They are generally quite friendly and willing to chat.

    Their particular brand of theology is pretty odd, but there is one thing you should know before you start debating one. They are taught that anything that contradicts the bible or their church leaders is done directly by Satan. Kinda weird stuff, and if you question them on that directly, they will turn and run.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Did you make those pamphlets or did you get them somewhere? If you got them somewhere, where?

  • Revyloution

    I just made them myself. Mostly copy paste from sites like The Skeptics Bible. I made sure to put the source on the bottom of the page.

    I wish that someone would produce an inexpensive pamphlet that exposed fallacies of the bible, koran, and described atheism in a positive light. I would buy a box of them and pass em out.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      They exist. Here is a list of some that are out there.

      I would like to make some from Dangerous Talk. Why don’t you e-mail me what you have and I’ll see what I can do.

  • http://yamipirogoeth.blogspot.com Sakura

    I try to engage them, only to ask a simple question and see what response I get:

    “If I join and convert and become a JW…doesn’t that mean I could take your place as one of the 144,000 that are saved and go to heaven?”

    To date, I have talked with 10 different JW’s that can not answer that simple question.

  • Timaloha

    This is nuts. Atheists have NO celebrations or ritual days, etc. Festivus is NOT an atheist celebration, it is a made-up comedic theme for a sitcom (Seinfeld). The winter solstice is simply a scientific definition of an annual moment in time when the least amount of sunlight falls on a given area of earth with religious import to paganism. Commercializing atheism is fine as far as selling various atheism-related products goes, but to lay claim to celebrations and holidays in the name of atheism is to imply a religious element to atheism much like the new fad of “atheist churches.” Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. Period.

  • http://www.theoddsmustbecrazy.com/ Wendy Hughes

    I love the lights and decorations, and the closest we come to that in my community is a Winter Solstice party at the local Center for Inquiry. The decorations are awfully similar to Xmas decorations – in fact, short of a tree, they probably are Xmas related. All that Xmas stuff was borrowed from other traditions anyway – there’s no harm in taking it back. We mark time and share celebrations with our atheist friends on a couple of days – Carl Sagan Day, Darwin Day – why not Winter Solstice?