When did religion begin employing telemarketing tactics?


During the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore year of college, I decided that I wanted to chill out, go home and just find any old summer gig (in lieu of pursuing an internship or some other intense program).  It was a mistake, one that to this day I regret.

Try as might the only job that I eventually could find was working as “customer service” for a prominent cellular phone company.  But this was back in 2003 and the thing that was all the rage then was home phone service that offered unlimited calling to anywhere in the country.

My colleagues and I were not actually equipped to answer customer service concerns. Instead, we were trained how to try to coddle (angry, sometimes irate) customers who were not happy with some aspect of their bill or service to … Yup, you guessed it- offer them the chance to enroll in more phone services.

You’ve all been through it.  You get the telemarketing call, you tell them you are not interested.  What do they do in response?

Give you a thousand rebuttals, usually prefaced with a man “Ma’am/Sir I understand your concern with X but (insert sales pitch here)”

It was awful.  I don’t have a sales bone in my body, so I just tried to pass people on to the real customer people as quickly as I could while not being penalized for lack of “sales.”

you know how many times I got responses like these?…ha ha

Today on the bus, something happened that, like those telemarketing pitches are annoying. I was texting my friend who was waiting in the airport trying to catch her flight.  A girl sitting next to me saw an opening.  She tapped me on the shoulder and offered me a flier invitation to attend her church.

I’m hip to the game at this point, and am not in the mood to even try to be polite.  But I see that the flier is expensive it’s in color, on glossy stock paper and embossed.  I tell the girl that I probably will not attend so don’t give me the flier, save it for someone who will come.

But wait, there is more.  She is no satisfied with what I have to say.

At this junction can I ask something, why the heck do people, particularly “religious” people who want to smack you over the head with their jumbo Bibles, keep going.  It’s like when you politely decline it’s read as an invitation for even greater glory as they bring you over to their side.  Sigh.

Her rebuttal was “But the event is not even for today”

Um, ok, but I just told you without even reading the flier that I am not going. So, I told her point blank, I don’t care when it is, I will not go.  Please save your flier for someone else.

I then go back to texting my friend.  A normal person who respects a person’s personal space would leave it there.  I think Jesus or one of the apostles said something like if people will not receive you, then leave and shake the dust off your feet as you go out.  (In other words stop trying to force yourself on people).

But oh no, she was not done. Her next tactic, to ask me, “well, what church do you go to?”  Um what? I was angry at this point this shit (excuse my language) was straight up out of those how to “witness” (bka prosletize) video.

I just told her point blank with a very firm tone and without looking away from my phone, “I don’t want to have this conversation.”

She was apparently shocked that I should dare rebuff her encroachment on my privacy, peace of mind and conversation with my friend- finally put the darn flier away and started chatting on her phone, probably about me…. ha ha….

Maybe I should make fliers with these and hand them out to every Bible thumper that comes my way…ha ha

Can I just declare that I hate effing incidents like these?  They didn’t bother me so much before, but I hate them now!  Leave me alone, leave everyone alone! Stop trying to cram your religion down my throat!

I don’t want to go to your church!

As I told my friend in the text explaining what happened: I know that God loves me, I don’t need to attend your church to find that out!

I’m sorry but it seems to me that this rise in the number of randos handing out church fliers, trying to talk to strangers about their particular church or “Jesus” in particular tends to be a numbers game.  The cheesy scripting “Hey, what would you do if you died right now?”  “Do you feel alone, sad or depressed?” “What do you want God to do in your life today?”  —- all of which I have heard used on yours truly—argh!

It just smacks of naivete and insincerity.  Yes, you sincerely want people to believe what you believe, but are you really thinking about that individual’s state of being right now?

Ok, maybe this is what I need to do next time?… or is the picture saying that this what Bible thumpers do?…hmm… let us reflect..ha ha

Are you actually listening to what their concerns are?  Or are you so busy trying to tick of the next thing on your list of tactics that you miss the point.

If your “witnessing” reads like something that came out of a can of Spam, I would suggest that you reexamine yourself.  “Winning Souls” is not a numbers game and people can tell that you are indeed treating them like just a number.

… ha ha

I’m not a fan of proselytizing, but I usually can deal with it in smaller doses.  I know what some people respond to this kind of approach, and are grateful for it.  That is fine for them.  I respect that. But, I also think that when someone politely declines your advances, I think it’s just a matter of respect and courtesy  for them and for yourself, that you drop it.

It seems to me that if you continue, then you are “starting something.” Anyone who believes that God is the one that converts people/changes hearts, knows when to shut up and go about life because GOD is in control of everything.

I am picking on the Bible thumpers in particular today, because quite frankly I am only ever approached by strangers from Christian sects.  I think when we talk about religious discussions among family members, then we are talking about something totally different (just an ending caveat).

I’m not an atheist, but this might be a nice change of pace…ha ha…


7 thoughts on “When did religion begin employing telemarketing tactics?

  1. Religion is a beautiful thing. But when you feel you are entitled to spread it with a shit deep knowledge of your own religion, you are not spreading your religion, you are just inflating your ego…

    I also had a beautiful girl asking me whether I have time…I said sure…she asked me whether I know, that the world is soon going to end, and only Jesus can save me….I was intrigued, she gave me a pamphlet for the local church, with glistening eyes and smile of pride. The pride of conversion…which i feel is the most evil thing in the world.

    I asked her what is the subscription fees for this religion of hers. She didn’t understand the question. I said, well if you are selling God, I need to know the cost, and asked some of the people around whether they want to avail the ‘saviour offer’. Then two of her body-guard church brothers show up and ask me whether there is any problem. I said yes, there is a problem, and I need them to take this girl away from me or she will need a saviour…gone she was…

    • gazelledusahara

      I agree with many of your points. Ugh, this girls tactic with asking you the “time” smacks of what I refer to as Spam in my post! (I hate stuff like that) but your retort about asking the cost, was genius, I might have to use that one.

      • 🙂 well in India u find everyone..from jesus sellers to truely sincere seekers of truth and inner peace..it just is a matter of what resonates with u… I’m sure thousands of people may have been ‘saved’ by that Christian bimbo of mine.. 🙂

  2. KG

    I don’t think this is a new thing…at all. At least you were approached in a public place. Try when they knock on your door and bother you at home. This happened a couple of times to me at my old apartment. The local Jehovah’s Witnesses would leave pamphlets in our laundry room. Two LDS guys knocked on my door on a Saturday morning, and wouldn’t go away even when I told them I have a religion already; I went to a religious school; I know the Bible. They still asked to come in. Sorry, I’m not letting random guys into my apartment, no matter how respectable they look. I don’t mean to pick on Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons; there are a lot of religions and Christian denominations that do this–those are just the religions from which I’ve experienced proselytizing. It’s apparently an organized part of the LDS faith–young people are expected to go on “missions.” The two guys who visited me were from Colorado, and had been sent to my university town as their mission.They seemed perfectly nice….just, persistent. And it’s even more of an intrusion when they specifically come to your house. The next time someone came by, I realized what they probably were, and I pretended that I wasn’t home. I guess at least I had that option! They slipped a flyer under my door. Being a good ecologist, I recycled it. 🙂

    • gazelledusahara

      you know, I don’t mind as much when they come to my door, I feel like knocking on my door, you expect to get turned down (and yes, two Mormon guys knocked on my door on night when I was in Michigan, I told them my biscuits were burning and had to go…ha ha… they were nice about it though… I doubt they would have done me harm… )

      I think these bus/train/outinpublic sphere people are the worst. The girl in my post was so offended that I didn’t want her stupid flyer. When you knock on my door I can close it in your face. When you sit next to me on the bus, it’s hard to shut a conversation down… yesterday was the first time I did it… but it won’t be the last!

      (I seriously thinking of getting some counter fliers, to have on hand just in case)

      • KG

        Yeah, I didn’t feel like my safety was threatened by the Mormon guys. Just as a general rule, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to let strangers in when I’m home alone.

        You make a good point–you were a captive audience on the bus.

        Ok, now I’m curious. What would your counter fliers say?

  3. gazelledusahara

    haha I don’t know… Maybe something crazy and super weird… like how the world was founded by the great potato… maybe if I look like I sincerely believe that then they will back off…ha ha… But knowing some of these people… smh, it will just make them think that trying harder is the way to go.

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