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FOR GOD'S SAKE LEAVE ME ALONE

24-11-2006

Andy Goff commits at least three cardinal sins in the course of a single doorstep conversation.

Last weekend there was a knock on my front door. Two worthy looking people were smiling at me as I revealed the satanic den in which I lurk.

The white man - race mentioned here only because it will be relevant later - was thrusting a leaflet at me. My hackles, for I am cat like in appearance, rose and I blurted “Oh No. Not more religion?

“ I wish I had the equivalent of that damned fish sign you see on cars I could stick on my door to warn people like you not to approach”

The smiles evaporated and the leaflet was withdrawn. I was disappointed they didn't try to exact a conversion as I felt in the mood for a diatribe.

For some reason we have a steady stream of god-botherers going for door step conversions in my locale.

Sometimes it's the bank of be-suited Jehovah Witness chaps that imagine that behind my front door there is a soul in need of a saviour. Other times it's a group of aged black evangelicals, usually two women and two men, who spread out to cover the area.

I have also had two little old white women knock at the door and thrust tracts in to my hand.

I never ever get Iraqi Baathists, Iranian Zoroastrians, Tibetan Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, Confucians, Catholics, Satanists (although I might be amenable to that), Druids or any other religions - just Evangelical Christians and Jehovah's Witnesses.

Now why is that? Is it that ‘other' religions are self contained and neither feel the need to spread the word on foot nor expect door-step conversions?

I would be fascinated to know the door-step conversion rate. Are they set targets by their churches? Is there a stern reprimand for those that don't come back with a set number of converts or are they just hoping to discover someone vulnerable? To catch someone at a low point and draw them in to their circle of influence?

Derrick Campbell wrote on The Stirrer this week aboutthe British Airways employee who was banned from wearing a cross round her neck. I have to ask why she wanted to wear it. Did she expect to convert people who saw it? Did she show it as a sign to other like minded people in the hope she could she feel close to them in some way?

I think the British Airways decision was the right one. When I check-in for a flight I don't give a stuff what religion the person behind the desk is and I don't expect them to give a damn about what I believe. I certainly don't expect to be converted on departure, so to speak!

As far as I am concerned people can believe what the hell they like. Just don't bother me with it and, if there was a god, I'm sure he/she would say the same.

P.S. Please don't knock at my door any more. I'm not available for conversion to fantasies. I've got my own, thanks.

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