Tramming Their Faith Down Your Throat

| Friendly | January 21, 2017

(My boyfriend and I are running errands on a particularly rainy and cold day. At some point we are on a tram stop and are waiting for our train, minding our own business, when a peculiar-looking old lady starts talking to me.)

Old Lady: “Excuse me, can you read?”

(I assume that she needs help with the tram plan, because I have often been asked for help with it in the past, so I just say yes.)

Old Lady: “You see, I need to… I need to make you a present… For Christmas… For you to be happy… It is important… About this book, you know, you do have it in your home, don’t you? The Bible?”

(Having guessed what she wants, I try to back out quickly, but politely, being far too nice.)

Me: “I have read it, I don’t have it, and I’m an atheist. You might not want to waste your time with me.”

Old Lady: “But this isn’t good, not at all! You’re so young! You need to let yourself be saved!”

Me: “Everyone’s entitled to their beliefs or lack thereof, so could we please leave it at that? Thanks.”

(I walk two steps away to my boyfriend, who has been playing with his phone, in order to ask him something unrelated to the old lady. She, however, doesn’t give up and decides to try and convert him. Note that he’s agnostic, but doesn’t like religious zealots who try to convert people on the street or walking from door to door.)

Old Lady: “Excuse me, can you read?”

Boyfriend: *not having heard my interaction with her, he just stares at her blankly*

Me: “He’s with me, and an atheist, too. Could you leave us alone, please?”

Old Lady: “Why? You want to lead people away from God! Why?! You are evil!”

Me: “Not sure about evil, and about leading people away from God. I’m not speaking to strangers on the tram stop, trying to convert people, now, am I?”

(She looks at me meanly, but our tram comes and we get in.)

Boyfriend: “Boy, she was weird… You are aware that I’m agnostic, though, are you not?”

Me: “I am, but it’s none of her business. I know that if you have questions, you’d look for a theologian or a priest, the way normal people do.”

(Seriously, I respect people’s beliefs, no matter what they call themselves, but not when they start hurting others’ freedom, and zealots who try to “save me” are extremely annoying.)

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