What to Do When Family And Friends Evangelize
By Patti Wigington
Here at About Pagan/Wiccan, we get frequent email from people asking for help with relatives or friends who insist on preaching at them. Typically this comes in the form of either really aggressive evangelizing (leaving Chick tracts on your dinner table, screaming that you’re going to hell), or passive recruitment tactics (“Why won’t you come to church with us just once? Are you afraid you might enjoy it?”). Sometimes, it’s the person on your email list who forwards you all those ISN’T JESUS GREAT!!! chain letters, in which recipients are told to spread the word even further if they’re proud to be Christian.
It’s bad enough to be evangelized at by strangers, but when it comes from friends and family members, it presents a sticky social wicket. After all, if you’ve got to have dinner with these folks on a regular basis, you can’t very well scream “Leave me alone! You suck!” at them. On the other hand, it’s unfair that you have to endure proselytizing from people who, in theory, should be able to respect your beliefs, even if they don’t agree with them.