Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Missionary Position

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  • Idiot Savant,

    Where's our famed Kiwi reticence about religion?

    Alive and well over here. I don't even know the religious beliefs of most of my friends, unless you count things like nWoD vs oWoD or 3.5 vs 4e (as opposed to "not at all"). I'm not interested in knowing, they're not interested in telling me, and everyone is happy that way.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    (Not a ninja.)

    How awfully disappointing.

    And you're certainly getting my share - never met a missionary. Or a Hare Krishna at the door come to think of it, with or without tasty stuffed pastries.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Surely if you're going to be missionaries there should be some kind of hardship involved?

    Can I be the first to say - well, they have to live in Christchurch, don't they?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I resent the Queen Street Hare Krishnas that try to hook you in with some inane comment ("People who wear jeans like yours are very intelligent!"), offer you a "free" book in return for a donation, then get disappointed when you're carrying less than a tenner for the donation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    I haven't had the same experience you have, but wondering if maybe being a member of a relatively small (and seemingly shrinking) group is forcing these religious folk to be more up front about it?

    Is there nowhere you can go and risk getting cooked and eaten any more?

    Germany?

    when the Hare Krishnas knock on my door, they bring samosas

    Oh god yes. The krishnas made my last visit to the gathering an absolute delight with their wonderful pakora. ♥

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 313 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Or a Hare Krishna at the door come to think of it, with or without tasty stuffed pastries.

    We used to live up the road (91) and around the corner (95) from the Hare Krishna temple in Bealey Ave. It was excellent for tasty comestibles.

    I'm not interested in knowing, they're not interested in telling me, and everyone is happy that way.

    This certainly used to be the case, before I had children and socialised with other parents. My uni friends are still far more interested in discussing things like the viability of the bus exchange for Call of Cthulu LARPS - the upstairs concourse appears to have no right angles.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I attended a Jehovah's Witness wedding once (I was "seeing"the bride's sister at the time.

    It was more fun than I expected, no alcohol, but whisky flavoured coffee, and much, much risque humour. We cut out, got a truck load of wine & retiured to the nice hotel we'd booked.

    On the way south again, we spent a day in Rotorua & on the spur of the momnent, went horseriding.

    The owner of the horestrek place was a funny guy, we got carried away & started to tell him & his wife about the hilarious Jehovah's witness wedding we'd attended (we exaggerated).

    The humour of our hosts dried up instantly, and the guy soberly informed us that his daughter was the bridesmaid at the wedding we'd attended.

    D'oh!!

    IMO he should have mentioned his religion in the first 30 seconds & saved me some face.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    When I wonder this, someone usually points out to me the large pewter pentacle I wear all the time...

    "Are you Jewish, then?"

    Do they miscount the points?

    And I ate my last apple for lunch but now I'm dying to cut one in half

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • James Liddell,

    Also possibly going somewhere where Christianity isn't already the dominant religion... What happened to the pioneering spirit? Is there nowhere you can go and risk getting cooked and eaten any more?

    Should we find a new frontier, I nominate Garth George to be point man for proselytising the noble savages.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Do they miscount the points?

    I think the problem is not so much maths as General Ignorance. And at least that conversation usually works out to be less offensive than the one where the other person has assumed I'm a Satanist.

    I just really like apples.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    My wife was once accosted by two Mormon missionaries. She was in a hurry at the time. The conversation went:

    Mormon: Excuse me, sir, ...
    My wife: Mate, I'm a girl, and I don't want to hear about your dumb-ass religion.

    At which point, the second Mormon broke out laughing. I think some of them are more committed than others.

    We get JW'd a fair bit, the odd Mormon, and I'm a magnet for the bloody Krishnas (it's the beard). I just smile, say "We're not interested" and disengage. Bit rude, but so's proselytising.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    This certainly used to be the case, before I had children and socialised with other parents.

    Ah. Forced social interaction with mundanes. There's your problem.

    My uni friends are still far more interested in discussing things like the viability of the bus exchange for Call of Cthulu LARPS - the upstairs concourse appears to have no right angles.

    Clearly its the Liao equivalent of a tinnie-house. "Fortified walls? Screw that, what's we're really worried about is something popping through the angles of time and covering us in corrosive blue goo..."

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1711 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    That's spooky - the very afternoon I look up the wikipedia page on Apples (to find out why Braeburns taste so much better than Red Deliciouses, and why the last Cox's Orange Pippin I ate was disappointingly inferior to the ones I remember from several years, and if there was any specific nutrient they're known for that could explain why I'm craving them in unreasonable quantities right now), I see Emma must also have done.

    Or so I deduce from the biblical Latin apple/evil link. It's not something that comes up in everyday discussion.

    *crunch*

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Mormon: Excuse me, sir, ...
    My wife: Mate, I'm a girl, and I don't want to hear about your dumb-ass religion.

    At which point, the second Mormon broke out laughing

    Ha, literal LOL with attendant odd looks from colleagues.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Stuart Coats,

    I've found that barking loudly like a dog gets JW's, Mormons and the like to leave you alone. Quite quickly.
    It also works for charity collectors and salesmen. Although when I did it to the guy trying to get me to sign up for an American Express card in Wellington airport I then had a security guard watch me closely for the rest of my time there.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    offer you a "free" book in return for a donation

    Quite a while back they could have made a friend for life of someone I know who would like nothing better than free literature, until she found out it wasn't free.

    I've found that barking loudly like a dog gets JW's, Mormons and the like to leave you alone. Quite quickly.

    My good lady's favour story involves the persuasive powers of chickenpox.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Or so I deduce from the biblical Latin apple/evil link. It's not something that comes up in everyday discussion.

    Unless one tends to attract religious crazies. But my recent resurgence of interest in the apple-evil was down to the latest QI annual, I think.

    The star inside the apple thing is one of those cool tricks to show kids. Makes you wonder, though, why we always cut apples vertically, and kiwifruit horizontally.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    I've found that barking loudly like a dog gets JW's, Mormons and the like to leave you alone.

    Why be so elaborate?

    Anyone who knows me will tell you my default position is almost pathologically polite (OK, until about the third drink) but I find a simple, fierce 'PISS OFF' will suffice.

    I find it presumptuous to just bowl up to a stranger and start talking religion. If someone does have a 'relationship with God' its an incredibly personal thing and not the sort of thing to bandy with strangers.

    Yeah, God, I'm back.... and THIS TIME ITS PERSONAL.

    Hmm.

    Just uncorked the third drink....

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    So I'm quietly mooching around in the garden when this First Jehovah of the Latter Mormon Saints or something wanders up and, with the American twang says "have you found Jesus?"

    "Didn't know he was bleeding lost", I reply.

    But my curiosity is piqued, because I agree you often see earnest looking white people in suits wandering around NZ trying to tell you about their invisible friend.

    It turns out that, according to some survey somewhere NZ has one of the highest ratios of Atheists in the world. I suspect an anally retentive statistician somewhere refused to put Agnostic on the form.

    Anyway, they've been coming here for years because of this. He said NZ has a reputation for being one of the toughest places in the world. I suggested that is because religion is a phase a civilisation goes through rather than an end in itself, and as we're fairly mature and laid back, we're sort of over it.

    This perplexed him. After much angst (you could see the years of brainwashing in play) he said he could see why Noo Zeeeland was such a tough assignment, and he needed to go back to his church for some "spiritual refreshment".

    So I said,"well if you're off for a beer and you're not going to spout any of that god bothery bollocks I'd be happy to join you for a couple of cold ones."

    He nearly melted on the spot, politely made his excuses and almost ran down the road.

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    When I was younger I was a magnet for the religious crazies. I think I had every earnest christian kid at my high school praying for me but these days my life is blessedly (pun maybe intended) free of such things. Some of my friends are quite religious but I've only ever found it out months to years after meeting them and usually because they are telling a funny story about something totally inappropriate their kid said right in the middle of a sermon.

    Creepiest experience ever was when I was about 13 and I had fallen asleep in the sun in our back garden only to be awakened by a middle aged JW man standing over me who said "you were so beautiful sleeping". Total ick.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Creepiest experience ever was when I was about 13 and I had fallen asleep in the sun in our back garden only to be awakened by a middle aged JW man standing over me who said "you were so beautiful sleeping". Total ick.

    Eeeeewww!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • poffa,

    Gee talk abot coincidence but i've just finished Dawkins the God Delusion and started Robbins Skinny legs and all and just before reading this I finished the bit about 'Astarte, the goddess, the great mother, the light of the world, the most ancient and widley reverd divinity in human history.' (pg 44, skinney legs and all) or the sacred cow. Rite now the do do do do or however from the spooky tv show is playing in my head , maybe the is a god, or maybe the readership is so large now coincidence like this can occur, but if ur looking for connection to cows that would be it.

    auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Clayton,

    We have two gates and a plaque on the second that reads "Beware of the Dog". Would-be door-knockers stay away by and large, and although I wouldn't presume to say that correlation equals causation, I will say that they don't know our terriers are large on bark, short on bite.

    The most interesting missionary I ever met was a young Ugandan at a youth group function back in my still-Christian teens. He was I suppose twenty-four or twenty-five, but keep all us teenagers enthralled with tales of Idi Amin and his bishop-assassinating ways.

    I remember him (the missionary, not Idi Amin) as very sweet and understated and wished, even then, that all missionaries were similarly so.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • horse,

    Phil Goff? Couldn't you have found an actual liberal? Or at least someone from somewhere vaguely on the left side of the political spectrum?

    Palmerston North • Since Feb 2007 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Phil Goff? Couldn't you have found an actual liberal? Or at least someone from somewhere vaguely on the left side of the political spectrum?

    Yes, they might have to ratchet up the drinking part of the equation to compensate methinks.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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