It has always frustrated me to find fliers and advertisements attached to my car via my windshield wipers.
Typically, these fliers are merely oil change coupons or announcements of upcoming shoe sales. I did not experience the full annoyance factor of finding such solicitations until last year, when I began receiving frequent deliveries of a newsletter for Alamo Christian Ministries, regularly wedged under my beautiful Corolla’s wiper blades.
And while I am not particularly fond of most Ring Road handouts, the ones that I try to avoid most are those that try to convince me I am not complete without Jesus!
I was not raised under strict religious guidelines, however I do not consider that to be an adequate explanation for why I feel that solicitation of religion is unacceptable.
Regardless of my own spiritual convictions, which really make no difference as far as this particular topic is concerned, I believe that spirituality is a personal matter. It is also a phenomenon that is very effectively belittled when its followers try to peddle it to those who are not necessarily looking to be preached to.
I simply cannot understand the logic behind religious fliers on windshields. I assume that I am expected to feel some kind of inspiration after reading Tony Alamo’s obnoxious newsletter, but instead I am irritated and angered. So when I found volume 05700 of the Alamo on my windshield after a long day at work last week, I decided it might be time to speak up.
I’m going to keep the record straight on this one, too. I am in no way trying to insult any religion or denomination. I am simply quite dissatisfied with their tactics. If anything, being preached to in this matter just makes me less likely to join the faith.
Selling religion achieves the opposite of what it apparently set out to do in the first place. I am far more motivated to explore the depths of religion on my own, in books or in classes I’ve chosen to take than I am to attentively listen to someone trying to sell it to me on the street.
More than anything else, it’s just plain tacky. I can’t stand being approached and asked about my religiosity while I’m on my way to class. I’ll even go so far as to say that I am a little embarrassed for the ladies who sit all day at a table labeled ‘Bible Information’ as they watch disinterested students pass by.
The point is that I don’t need someone to solicit Christ our Lord to me while I’m trying to hurry to sociology. Even if I didn’t have anywhere specific to be, I would rather not subject myself to rantings about how I’m going to hell because I’d prefer not to commit to someone else’s concept of God. Again, spirituality is a personal choice, and by bringing it out into the public arena for exploitation, the tactic becomes counter productive.
A youth group leader once advised me not to judge a religion by those who try to sell it to others. But it is often difficult to make the distinction between the religion and the followers who publicize it.
The fact is that the impression those individuals put forth is representative of their faith, especially when they step out and make the decision to ‘inform’ others of the ‘truth.’
Again, I am not attempting to judge the content of a religion itself, because there are people I know that are religious without being preachy. Even my mother was raised Catholic, but she has never tried to impose her opinions and beliefs on me. Thus, I really have no anger to settle with the concept of religion, nor with any religion in particular.
Just don’t approach me on the street