Should I have acted differently in this situation?

This evening, I was taking a walk when these two people stopped me on the street. I thought they wanted directions, but they were actually Jehovah’s Witnesses preaching their beliefs.

They asked me if I believed in God and I said yes, and they proceeded to talk to me for quite some time about their beliefs. I told them I appreciated that they took the time to talk to me about what they believe but that I was Catholic, and I said thank you and tried to leave. They then proceeded to tell me that the Eucharist didn’t make sense and neither did attending Mass.

I didn’t want to get into an argument with them, so I just said again thank you but I’m Catholic. One of them insisted that I take her phone number, so I pretended to just so I could leave.

I’m thinking back now about all of it and wondering if I should have acted differently. My aim was to be polite and respectful, and I felt insulted when they didn’t return the favor to me. What should I do if this happens again?

Listening politely while seeking to disengage is exactly what I would like to do. Unfortunately, I do not always act so well. I have been known to become rude. I think you did well.

I think you handled it very well and graciously.

At least they were only Jehovah’s Witnesses - pains in the neck, but harmless. It could have been someone with a gun trying to get your money. We had an incident not too far from where I live. Two people were stopped, a gun held on them, and the robber demanded the woman’s purse. It happened around 8:30 at a restaurant parking lot.

Actually, I think I would have told them I couldn’t stop to talk now; I have to be somewhere.

I think you did as well as anyone could expect in the circumstances. It’s kind of hard to think fast on your feet when someone starts challenging your beliefs, especially when you’re just minding your own business and they intrude into your life. IMO they were being rude when they wouldn’t accept your wanting to leave, especially the person who insisted you take her number. You handled it well. :thumbsup:

You probably did the right thing at the time, however, this should you give you pause to consider the questions they asked you. Next time, study up and you will be ready to defend the faith. And remember, always make the others back up their assertions with fact, not opinion. Then you can begin asking them questions to make them see how their beliefs are rather shaky…

I think you handled the situation very well. If it happens again you really don’t have to talk to them at all. You can say you really don’t want to discuss it right now. I don’t agree with the poster who suggests studying up on the faith and asking the JWs questions. That will just get you into a long involved discussion that may be even more difficult to leave.

I have a slightly different take on this. Let me explain. I would add, though, that I am a trial lawyer; love engaging in off-the-cuff debates with people like JWs; and find those sort of experiences fun: 3 months ago I got accosted by an anti-Catholic Seventh Day Adventist; I had such fun with him, he fled!.

I really, REALLY think it’s extraordinarily disrespectful and insulting for the JWs to do what they did, namely, drop the bomb that the “Mass makes no sense” at a time when you are trying to leave, and I’d tell them so in no uncertain terms.

I’d be tempted to ask them: * How would you like it if I walked up to you, said “the Watchtower magazine [the JW rag] is valueless claptrap,” then tried to just walk away? *(“Because it is, of course!”) How about if there were 2 of me and I took on 1 of you (which these folks do deliberately)?

These folks use the tactics they do because they want to out-debate you; they want to make you uncomfortable; and they expect to do so. They are not generally, “our friends in Christ,” although they act that way – if they were they wouldn’t resort to the “insult” tactics.

Also, I find that these folks are often anywhere from unsteady to completely unprepared for any sort of pushback. I might ask them something like: There are a few thousand JWs worldwide and over a billion Catholics, and we’ve been around a lot longer…if we’re wrong, are you suggesting God would mislead so many people worldwide? There are 32,000 sects of Protestantism worldwide, all of whom claim to have the truth – why are you correct and the 1.2 billion Catholics – who gave the world the Bible, not the other way around – incorrect? These folks are generally unprepared for this.

IMHO, NEVER let JWs, Mormons, etc., talk about what they want to. They’re very rehearsed. Talk about what YOU want to, and watch them flounder.

That said, these things take a lot of nerve and it’s not for everyone. I have no idea how old you are or the circumstances of this encounter, so please – I think you did fine. Just some points to ponder when they come a-knockin’ again…

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