The New Guy Jehovah’s Witness

The Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped by my house today. They stop by my house frequently because they have a church that is about a five minute drive between our place and town, so they canvas the areas around us quite often. I had just returned from taxiing my kids all over from camp and the horse farm. In all the craziness I had forgotten my wallet as I took off on these excursions and had barely any fuel remaining in my truck. The DTE (Distance to Empty) gauge read 19 miles left as we left the horse farm which is probably about 5 miles from our house. When we reached the driveway at about 11:30 am it said 3 miles left – so much for accurate DTE gauges. In any case I was praising the freakin’ Lord that I had just barely made it home and that I had a few gallons of gas in one of my gas cans that I could use to get me back to work.

Apparently somebody was listening…

The kids went inside and I grabbed the gas can and as I was filling up my truck a blue mini-van pulled into the driveway and an older gentleman stepped out all dressed up in a suit. Now, we don’t get a lot of random visitors where we live and as high-brow and sophisticated as the people around us can be, we almost never see anyone in a suit. I was pretty confident who it was.

I’m not going to bash the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Maybe some of my readers are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I don’t want to offend anybody. I’m not a religious guy, but I don’t particularly care what people do with their religious beliefs. I am always respectful and polite when they visit us and shoo them away gently. I do think perhaps, in this day and age of do not call lists and no solicitation anywhere policies, that maybe people of any sort shouldn’t be going door to door selling anything. Especially something as high-end as eternal salvation! I’m also not sure why they have continued to stop at my house. I would think that after 15 years of rejections that someone would have made some notes in the record books about our house that say something like “not a good sales lead” or “200 pound slobbery dog on premises” or “the devil hath taken relentless hold of these people and shall not succumb.” I guess that’s the sign of a good sales force, persistence, persistence, persistence.

As the gentleman approached, he broke the ice by saying something about needing to fill his own car up with gas. I laughed and waited as he started the rest of his pitch. Usually these folks are pretty slick with the sell, they have the scripts all nailed down and the brochures ready to hand out. But this guy kind of screwed it up. He asked me something about when I thought kids should be introduced to religion, but he stumbled through it and then kind of started over and stumbled through it again. Honestly, I wasn’t listening terribly hard because I was busy preparing my rebuff statement and although I wanted to tell him that my kids only go to church when we are attending weddings and funerals I kept my mouth shut. His struggles with the script reminded me of the restaurant my wife and I were at the other night where the waiter tried to tell us the specials but could barely remember his own name and had to keep looking at his cue cards. We felt bad for this waiter and figured it was probably his first day on the job. We gave him a nice tip!

Maybe it was this Jehovah’s first day on the job as well. Maybe he was “the New Guy Jehovah’s Witness.” Maybe they gave him a quickie training and said “okay, go knock on some doors and try to sell people some eternal salvation.” I felt some empathy and thought maybe they should have given him a badge like they do cashiers at a retail store that says “TRAINEE”. Then I wouldn’t have been so concerned that he blew his lines.

I politely told him that we weren’t religious people and he said thanks and got back in his van and drove away. Hopefully when he got back to the office he made some notations about us in their record books.


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23 responses to “The New Guy Jehovah’s Witness

  1. I think it is nice you are polite. They want to save your soul, of course, plus graft ten percent of your life earnings in the form of a perpetual weekly tithe. ANd then there is the little bonus their own souls get, earning accrueing “Crowns of Glory” in heaven for their ‘witnessing’ hours logged, thereby elevating their status for eternity over other, lazier Jehovahs Witnesses (and other Christians) so Really, that whole door-to-door thing is sort of a soul competition, like Special Spiritual Olympics. If you can’t be rich and important here, you can be rich and important later, “up there”…

    • Ohhh… so that’s what they are looking for. I guess we’ve never gotten that far along in the conversation.

    • Will (ex-JWcult member)

      This is pretty inaccurate. There is neither any specified tithe in JW/Watchtower cultism nor “Crowns of Glory” related to service hours. There is a rigid authoritarian dogma which rejects individual thought and tolerance and causes family breakup by Pauline extremism- errant once-believers are shunned and expelled even by their own parents. They do believe that most of those they visit will soon be brutally murdered by their “Loving Father” and so they will likely have the option to live in your home when you’re gone.

      • chicagotodetroit

        Huh? You must have us mixed up with someone else. Why would we bring death to the people we visit? So we can take over their homes? Ummm, I’ve never met a homeless Witness who needed a place to live so bad they’d have you killed so they can take over their house. Nowhere in the Bible, or in any of our literature does it say that.

    • chicagotodetroit

      Sorry Spectra, the Bible doesn’t say that we get bonus points for going door to door.

      When we visit you, we are expending our own gas money and time because we truly believe that encouraging people to read the Bible for themselves is important, especially since Jesus and the apostles set the example in going door to door (Acts 5:42) to look for kind, honest-hearted people who want to learn about God.

      Trust me, going door to door and meeting people who can be downright nasty is NOT a way to elevate yourself above others. Anyhow, Jesus specifically told his followers that they are not to seek prominence.

      The Bible says that each one should give according to their own ability (both financially and with time in the volunteer ministry). Our statistics show that most of us volunteer on average 10-12 hours a month. Some do more, some do less. What counts is your effort; it’s not a competition.

      BTW, no one knows how many hours we volunteer each month except ourselves and the person who tallies up all the hours and sends the final number to the branch office in New York.

      We don’t tithe for the same reason, nor are we solicitors. Our organization of over 7 million is run ENTIRELY on voluntary contributions of money and time from the members. Not a single one of us are paid. No fundraisers, no pledge drives, no government handouts. We don’t even pass a collection plate. There are very few, if any, nonprofits or churches that can say that. If you want to donate, there is a discretely located contribution box in the back of the auditorium.

      We’re not at your door to ask for money. We just want to encourage you to see how the Bible applies to today; it’s not just an old dusty book to sit on the shelf. If you don’t want us to come back, just let us know (politely please) like someone mentioned in a comment below.

      I wouldn’t worship a God who made me “compete” with other people for his love, or who required me to solicit money from strangers. Would you? SHOULD you?

  2. bigsheepcommunications

    Wow, your Jehovah’s witnesses travel in mini vans? I’ve only ever seen them traveling in pairs on bicycles. I always shoo them away too, but years ago, a friend of mine, who was caring for her terminally ill father, actually invited them in and drafted them into coming by her house on a regular basis to keep her dad company. Brilliant, huh?

    • Yes, they are always driving. Of course where I live it would be pretty tough to travel around on bikes. Plus they are always very well dressed and the women are typically wearing dresses. As for your friend, yes that is brilliant!

  3. Polite words and kindness is free; it’s a pity some people are stingy with them. I can be short, too, even though I was taught the above!

  4. First, the bike riding folks are LDS–Mormons. The Jehovah’s Witness are the WatchTower publication folks. Reading your post I remember the advice given me when I told a person I am always polite to salesmen on the phone and allow them to give their pitch before I say no thank you. The advice was, tell them immediately so they can move on. Being kind wastes their time. I do the same with LDS and Jehovah Witness folks. I politely, but quickly say, Thanks, but no thanks.

  5. Steve,

    Please disregard any comments posted about Jehovah’s Witnesses. They all come from people lacking accurate knowledge about us. We are always amused when people tell us what we believe. I would like to see any one of these respondents walk up to houses, knock on the doors, and start cold conversations with complete strangers about the most important questions of life — the origin of human beings; the purpose of life on this planet; why the inhumanity, suffering, death?; what the future holds for mankind, where answers to these questions may be found. Most people are sitting at their televisions watching Glee or surfing the web and posting inane comments. We believe in personal dignity and respect each one’s individual path in life. Witnesses are not coming there to convert you. They are seeking people who are interested in knowledge and answers to those great questions about existence and the future of man and the planet. If you do not want Witnesses coming to your home, you only have to notify the next ones who visit to permanently remove your address from their territorial list. If someone inadvertently visits again, just politely tell them that you have previously asked that your address be removed from visitation lists. That should take care of the issue.

    Kindest regards,
    Carolyn Neal
    Jehovah’s Witness

  6. Hi Carolyn, thanks so much for visiting and for the comments and input!! This is what I love about blogging, the interaction that can develop from a single post. You never know what topics will draw an audience. Interestingly enough I’ve always thought I should tell whomever visits to remove us from the list, but for some reason never have. I will follow your advice next time. Thanks again for the remarks, it’s nice to hear from someone on the other side of the table.

  7. I just tell visitors I am an devote atheist and they move on to the next house. We do not get that many – Australia is not a very religious country, despite what some politicians might try to say when it suits them!

    Glad you had some petrol – I know about those inaccurate DTE thingies. I come home with quater of a tank and wake up to a guage showing empty the next morning. Weird. No, I don’t think I’ve been siphoned!

  8. We used to get Jehovah’s Witnesses and all sorts of religious visitors coming by our house and trying to convert us. Then all of a sudden we stopped getting anyone, which was really strange seeing as we live kitty-corner to a church. Then one day as my mom and I pulled into the driveway, we watched a pair of them walk up to our porch, see our Virgin Mary statue, cross us off the list and leave. We’d received the statue from a prank my neighbors pulled during a crazy party – but now we’re keeping it!

  9. “The devil hath taken relentless hold of these people and shall not succumb.” That is hysterical!

  10. I have a sign on my door that keeps everyone away. It is funny and not rude at all, but I really don’t like people coming door to door trying to tell me or sell me anything in my own house. If I am interested I will seek out information myself thanks 🙂 I will post a pic on my blog for you of the sign, it is pretty funny 🙂

  11. You’re are much nicer than I would have been. While I wouldn’t have cursed him out I would have engaged him in an aggressive and challenging discussion about religion, and tested his resolve–new guy or not!–to see how his religion could stand the test of my cynicism. But then again, you’re probably nicer than me. . .

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