December 18, 2009

Unintentional - unwanted evangelism

I have a variety of friends who have a variety of religions...and so I have to ask these questions:  How do you feel when you receive a Christmas / holiday card that espouses the beliefs of another religion? For example, do you pagans feel pressured if you receive a card with a Star of David on it? How about  non-Christians receiving a card that includes a bible verse? Does it bother you? Would you say something about it? Or is it simply seen as a nice holiday gesture from a loved one, friend, etc?

I've recently come up against this problem. A few weeks ago Teel and I sent out Christmas cards to family and friends and later I sent out emails, with similar designs and messages,  to others.  I certainly hadn't meant for them to be evangelistic or preachy.....just a reminder that I love those receiving the cards and that I was thinking about them. In response I got several unexpected responses.  My mother sent a Christmas card back that went over the top with bible verses and then followed up with a series of emails that explained that she felt she could no longer send me the silly snowman card she had intended. I certainly never wanted this to happen! I don't mind getting a card covered with verses, but I did not want her to change her behavior because of a card. If she wanted to send a snowman card she should have....I also received responses that boiled down to people feeling that they have to change how they behave around me....that by my becoming Christian they are not sure what they can talk to me about....or that I may be judging them. Some included snarky comments about my trying to convert them.

This is shit.

I don't want you to change who you are. I love you for who you are. I don't want you to treat me any differently than you did before.

I didn't mean to offend you, or preach to you/ at you, or send you some other message. They were simply cards to show I was thinking of you.

I don't know.


His Sinfulness said...

It sounds like you are suffering from guilt by association, love. You are not trying to evangelize, but so many Christians are, and some of them are offensive about it, that it sets all Christians in a bad light.

Yo said...

and this is why I love ya... well said...