Is it just me, or do other people find it irritating to be approached by those people pushing scripture at outdoor concerts? We’ve all seen them, standing on the street corners with their signs, trying to yell over the music.
I usually ignore them, but last week here in Lockport, I ran into an especially pushy woman who just wouldn’t take no for an answer when I wouldn’t accept one of her tracts.
Why must they mar an enjoyable time with their preaching? Who are they trying to reach? Do I look like I need their religious assistance? How do you tell by how someone looks?
I mean, this isn’t some pagan third-world country. 90% of the people here were raised in some sort of Christian religion and have, by the time they reach adulthood, found their way to whatever beliefs suit them. These people have nothing new to tell anyone, in fact, they’re pretty much literal Bible-believers, so they have nothing we haven’t all heard before.
But in all my life, I’ve never heard of a passage in the Bible that told me to stand on a street corner with a sign with Bible verses on it and pester random people.
I guess people find their fun in different ways. I happen to enjoy going to the concert to see friends who also enjoy going there. I enjoy the music. Some people enjoy going there to have an excuse to ride their motorcycles on a summer evening. I am among those who enjoy a beer or two at the show. But none of those groups try to impose their form of enjoyment on others. I don’t force anyone to drink beer or endure my company. The Bikers don’t proselytize people to ride motorcycles. No one is forced to listen to the music, although it’s hard not to… So why should some religious Bible-thumpers be allowed to use the opportunity to harass people over their religion?
This country was formed by people who left their old countries fleeing religious persecution. The United States is about freedom FROM religion as much as it is freedom OF religion. (In French, the same word is used for both from and of.) It’s time to stop letting these kooks use the First Amendment badger us. The same amendment should protect you and me from their religious harassment.
I guess the biggest insult to me is that they automatically assume that they have all the answers and can “save my soul” before they even know me or what I already believe. I could agree with their religion 100%, but they would still be preaching at me with no regard to my beliefs. Are they afraid if they actually engaged in some kind of religious discourse, that I might actually convert them? It’s always a one-way street to these people.