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Do You Feel Bad When 'Witnessed To'?


Medjool
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Oh tralala! I'm so happy to find this forum.

 

I had an experience yesterday that I'm struggling with - I live in Taiwan, am American and speak not so good Mandarin. Another mother at my kid's preschool (who doesn't speak English) asked if I was a Christian, said she heard the prayers of my Christian parents and that the Holy Spirit wants her to pray for me and my kids. She actually LAID HER HANDS ON MY KIDS and prayed for them out loud IN THE PLAYGROUND, right in front of other people, and she even waved her arms about and tried to exorcise the demons that keep my teething baby awake at night. Totally pissed me off. I couldn't say much in my wanky Chinese. So I stumbled about with some responses in Chinese, then finally said in English, "what makes you think you know anything about my experience with God" and walked away.

 

Today she said she hoped she didn't make me uncomfortable yesterday and I said she did. She said, "maybe I heard the Holy Spirit wrong" and shrugged her shoulders. I said very coldly, "yes, maybe." And I left. I have this very heavy feeling in my heart - I've never just given somebody my anger and left it at that, no follow up or closure. She's such a nice woman and a very cool mother, it is frustrating that she pulled this on me so unexpectedly.

 

There's obviously no chance I'm going to engage her in apologetics. I could care less what she believes b/c she has demonstrated such indifference to what I believe. And I know how to handle it logistically - I'll just say that we can't discuss religion again and that my spiritual life is none of her business. But it's this feeling that I'm left with that is so hard for me...I feel...spiritually raped. Does that make any sense? Do other people feel this way? It seems like there are some people who can just let it go when they get this crap from Christians - I'm just wondering if my fundy past has me feeling particularly jumpy about this. What do you do with this...heavy heart? Not guilty, but more like you've just been violated by somebody who doesn't give a shit about how you feel?

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You should've popped her in the nose and said, "I'll bet the Holy Spirit didn't tell you that was coming, huh?"

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okay, I'll bite!

 

Man, it must really suck to get that in China of all places. For me, it was right here in Dallas; I had helped a Vietnamese neighbor with his computer or something of the like, and he started showing me some pictures of his kids. His english isn't that great and my vietnamese is non-existent, but when he came upon pictures of his son's confirmation, he actually launched into some sort of weird-ass combination of a sermon and a prayer. It was mostly unintelligible, but hearing an oriental start attempting to talk in "king james version" very quickly and in incoherrent english can kinda set you back a little bit. Weird stuff, and it takes a pretty fair bit to freak me out!

 

Yeah, I guess it did make me feel a little bad. I gently put my hand on his arm and stopped him from babbling; then simply told him that I didn't mean to offend, but that I was an atheist. Then I just drew his attention to some of the pictures of his daughter and the conversation went back on track like nothing had happenned.

 

It felt really weird. I don't know to this day whether the big display he put on was because he perhaps expected that since I'm in the US, I must be Christian. Perhaps his feelings were just that strong, but being from a country that is not dominantly christian, maybe it is just an easy subject to drop. That incident was a couple of years ago and it has never affected our friendship, and he's never launched into any bizzare shows of piety since, so I'm not sure.

 

I certainly don't hold it against him (although had he continued or tried to witness to me, I might have felt different...), but I agree; it does kinda make you feel bad at the moment (kinda like kicking a puppy or something).

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Hi Medjool, welcome to the forum. It's great to have yet another expat on board.

 

I guess I understand your feeling of being spiritually raped. It probably had a lot to do with your parental instincts. If it had just been you she hit up with the dogma it might not have been so disconcerting :shrug: . I actually wish someone would try and witness to me. I think it would be fun. I haven't had that happen for a few years now and here in Russia that kind of stuff just doesn't go on.

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Hello,

 

I get rather annoyed when people push their beliefs on me. I tell them I tried it already, and it wasn't the right path for me. Sometimes they listen. If they don't, I just walk away.

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Medjool,

 

actually, I kind of wish the jebus zombies would try to get me at least every so often! Living in Germany where of all the problems in the world fundyism Isn't one (normally that is), I'd like to kick in some fundy faces - verbally - daily, but I rarely ever get the chance :lmao:

 

Aaaah, how I lust for seeing fundy faces get out of control totally after an unexpected, devastating counterattack by logic and reason and, last but not least, the "against the rules" fact that I'm neither a jebus cultist nor an atheist... :pureevil:

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Welcome Medjool!

 

It really depends on how the "witnessor" handles it. If they are polite and ask me if I want to hear what they have to say I'm not offended (unless they then become condescending, or unwilling to give me equal time as they witness).

 

If, instead, they decide to approach it as if I'm a child and they're here to set me straight then I have no qualms about ignoring them or telling them to fuck off (depending on my mood at the time).

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Coming from a childhood where fundamentalism was force fed to me, it is very easy to get defensive when people start trying to proselytize me. In my younger days I was a real hot-head, and I would vebally punish anyone who started the religo-babble in my presence. These days I am learning to not take it so personally, and to be polite as possible. I realize now that however misguided they may be, they are trying to help me in their own weird way, and attacking them will not help them "see the light".

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Oh, that's nasty. If someone laid his or her hands on my daughter, "prayer" or not, I would probably lose my temper and send them right to the ground with the hardest punch or kick I could muster.

 

She has major problems if she thinks she can do that to someone else's kids. "Spiritually raped" is exactly the right term for crap like that.

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It's an awful action. I don't think this person would consider it so pleasant if a Satanist came up to her child and ask the devil to come in to it. She would feel offended and attacked.

 

It's amazing that religious people (like I used to be :) ) can't see it from any other angle than their own.

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I find aggressive witnessing or evangelizing to be a form of spiritual rape too.

 

For me it has to get past a certain point of the witnesser just not getting it. It sounds like it definitely got past that point when the woman in question laid hands on your kids.

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I had to share a cube for 8 months with a born again fundy who kept evangelizing to me. I did finally get him to realize that he could not prove whether his god existed, but he still kept turning every conversation into a religious one. I finally got fed up with him and asked my boss for a cube of my own. My boss asked why, so I was honest. He was very understanding.

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Wow, you guys are wonderfully supportive. Thank you so much. I was feeling bad yesterday about leaving her so coldly, but now I feel like it was okay to do, as it got the message across that she really overstepped her boundaries.

 

I avoided her today, but soon I will have to face her and just tell her to not discuss religion with me, and try to show her that I truly am happy and at peace. I'd also like to tell her that if she honestly feels compelled to pray for me, then she should use the effort to pray for all those in the world who have no voice or freedom. I have so much more than I truly need in this world, why waste her breath on me?

 

Anyways, thanks again. This forum is so warm, and I'll be coming back!

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See you around then!

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She'd be cute if she wasn't crazy.

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Oh tralala! I'm so happy to find this forum.

 

I had an experience yesterday that I'm struggling with - I live in Taiwan, am American and speak not so good Mandarin. Another mother at my kid's preschool (who doesn't speak English) asked if I was a Christian, said she heard the prayers of my Christian parents and that the Holy Spirit wants her to pray for me and my kids. She actually LAID HER HANDS ON MY KIDS and prayed for them out loud IN THE PLAYGROUND, right in front of other people, and she even waved her arms about and tried to exorcise the demons that keep my teething baby awake at night. Totally pissed me off. I couldn't say much in my wanky Chinese. So I stumbled about with some responses in Chinese, then finally said in English, "what makes you think you know anything about my experience with God" and walked away.

 

Witnessing to them without coming to you first was already taking it too far, but putting her hands on their heads is downright creepy in more ways than one. If I had kids and somebody EVER pulled a stunt like that, trust me when I say it would not be a pretty scene on the playground.

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Welcome Marjool,

 

Religion or not, what that woman did was just plain rude. You have every right to be upset. She is the one in the wrong, not you for reaction to her.

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Madame M, Taiwan is kind of China and kind of not. (China thinks it is and Taiwan wishes it weren't) It's a democracy here, so there is freedom of religion, and amazing acceptance of all religions. It's quite the melting pot, actually. Which is why this crazy Christian mom took me by surprise. Most evangelicals I meet here are so happy! to be living in the Lord (sic) but still don't push their beliefs.

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Madame M, Taiwan is kind of China and kind of not. (China thinks it is and Taiwan wishes it weren't) It's a democracy here, so there is freedom of religion, and amazing acceptance of all religions. It's quite the melting pot, actually. Which is why this crazy Christian mom took me by surprise. Most evangelicals I meet here are so happy! to be living in the Lord (sic) but still don't push their beliefs.

 

Medjool,

 

I just noticed that I spelled your name wrong in my earlier post.

What does it mean?

 

Taph

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Taph - Medjool is a very yummy kind of date grown in California. I discovered the western food market here sold them last winter and I ate several every night for months because I loved them so much! I finally OD'd on them, but it kind of became my username for lots of things after that.

 

What does Taphophilia mean? I've been reading, catching up on posts here and have enjoyed your postings.

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I thought Christianity was banned in China. That is what I heard when I was a Christian, how any chinese who were found to be believers were being martyred for the faith. LOL!

 

Anyway, welcome to the forum, Medjool. I get annoyed but then brush it off when people push their beliefs on me. My MIL is like that, always tryi9ng to drag me into her fantasy reality in which Mary, Jesus, God, Holy Spirit and assorted Saints are doing crap on her behalf.

 

I probably would have told the woman, "Oh yes, tylenol usually runs off the demon of toothaches" and then removed my baby from the vicinity.

 

I can kind of understand how you would feel "spiritually raped" because she was forcing her beliefs on you without your consent and it involved delving into your personal business (parents) and physcial touching of your baby.

 

I get four hours of fire and brimestone every Saturday night following this group.

http://www.pbase.com/lautermilch/repent

 

I would love to do cartoon captions on some of those pics! LOL!!

 

So how did you end up leaving that street group?

 

I left Christianity a while before I met up with the street preachers. I belive in the right of free speech and cover many groups on my website the protest in public. It does not mean that I agree with their cause.

Someone suggested to me that I hang out with the street preachers to 'test my faith'. I listen to hours of fire and brimstone and to be very honest it does not raise one iota of desire to go back to Christianity. So I guess I am free of it once and for all.

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