I like religious people. Well. Truer to say I'm fascinated by them I suppose. but if you knock on my door with your watchtower or whatever I'll invite you in for a bit of a chat and a cup of tea.
I'm quite upfront about it. I always lay out my table:
'I'm not a believer and I'm not going to be. But I am really interested in why you believe.'
Usually, they think I'm pretending and still go through their whole spiel until they realise they're not getting anywhere and make an excuse to leave. But the Mormons that came once. They meant it, they had their foot in the door and they weren't leaving until I Mormonised. This, dear Reader, is how I got blacklisted by the Mormons.
Firstly, I refused to call them Elder as I clearly had ten years on both of them. I did it very politely and we had a bit of a chat about how as I wasn't part of their Church and rather sceptical about God their title meant nothing to me and using it really made me feel a bit silly. They persevered for a bit until I explained I did have a legitimate claim to being referred to as 'Master' as I do little but read and reckon I can get away with calling myself a scholar*. At this point they gave up on the Elder and we all reverted back to Mr's.
Then we had a very long chat that came back repeatedly to how I should become a Mormon. Frequent mention of Hell was made.
Eventually. The youngest of the two (who I think was about eight) stood, gave me the most patronising smile I have ever seen and took my hand. Then he placed the Book of Mormon in it.
'You should take this and read it,' he said patronisingly in a patronising way. 'It has a lot of very valuable moral lessons in it and I think you might learn something.'
'Okay,' I told the Mormon and ran upstairs. I returned with a copy of the novelization of 'Star Wars'
Placing it in the Mormon's hand I smiled beatifically at him.
'You should take this and read it,' I told him. 'It has a lot of very valuable moral lessons in it and I think you might learn something.'
They didn't stay much longer. And they left the book, which if you ask me was just rude.
*not of anything useful mind, but they didn't know that.