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Lockdown has been harder on some

It never occurred to me that lockdown would be especially tough on…Jehovah’s Witnesses? They haven’t been able to go door to door for sixteen months so looks like they’ve been reduced to handwriting letters. This came in the post today addressed to “the Resident” but had our full address and a stamp. Poor silly bastards.

Inside was also a card with a QR code which I imagine whisks you away to their Zoom meeting. Anyone want it?

JW’s are common where we are, which surprised me. They’re aggressive canvassers. Not nasty aggressive, for the most part, but they’ll walk up to you in your garden. This is very much Not Done – the English are fierce about their back gardens. You don’t walk around the house uninvited.

I’m told Witnesses (Witnessers?) caught on here because the Church of England was seen as snooty and highfalutin. Alternative churches flourished in the country. JW’s, Strict and Particular Baptists, various flavors of Methodists. John Wesley preached his last sermon in Winchelsea, not too too far away from us.

I have to laugh when English people get caught up in proselytizing religions. Walking up to strangers and blurting out scripture is so inimical to the national character.

I hope they earn double Jesus points for it.


Comment from Mitch
Time: July 28, 2021, 10:59 pm

Yeah, I ain’t clicking that link Canthark. Yegads that looks hinky as hell.

Comment from Cantharkmycry
Time: July 28, 2021, 11:10 pm

Mitch: I tried pasting the image but that didn’t work. It’s honestly not a risky place to go (would I do that here? Not on your tintype!) But I get the hesitation. . .

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: July 29, 2021, 12:19 am

I also recently received a handwritten invitation – though I stopped reading when I realized it was Jehovah’s Witness. We have a local church. They come around here every couple of years or so. I am always very polite. Eventually they leave. I wish them well.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 29, 2021, 1:10 am

One of the great moments of my life was a visit from a Jehovah’s Witness when I was young and single and had my own little apartment in a section of Tokyo. It was Saturday? morning and I was rockin’ n’ rollin’ round the apartment in just track shorts and a ball cap and smokin’ a ciggy when a knock came on the door. I figured it had to be a friend since my neighbors preferred to pretend that I didn’t exist, and rightly so. So I didn’t didn’t turn down the music, I just walked over and yanked the door open. Opps, not a friend. There was a nice little guy in a blue suit and a tie. He was confronted by an almost naked hairy-chested six-foot tall foreigner wearing a ball cap and sunglasses with a cigarette dangling in his mouth. Not knowing what to say, I said nothing but just leaned in the doorway.

He literally gasped. He started to turn, and I thought he was actually going go run away like he had seen the devil, and I am proud to say, I think I DID look a lot like one of those demons the church had warned him about.

BUT: he stopped and steeled himself. Suddenly I was so damn proud of him. It took all his courage, but by God, he stayed and faced his devil.

He spoke, in English: “I want to tell you about a religion. It is a very good religion.”

Then he looked up at me earnestly, “But you have to believe. Do you believe?”

I said nothing but took my cigarette out of my mouth and blew a column of smoke at him, just like a evil demon or dragon should and would. I just shook my head at him slowly.

He was thrilled, which at first caught me by surprise but I finally figured it out.

He had done his duty like the brave Soldier of God he was, but I had said “No” and that was enough. He could leave now. If I’d said yes, he would have had to enter my lair and talk to me….

He bowed, said, “Thank you very much”, and turned and ran. I closed the door and turned up the music.

I am still proud of that guy. I still don’t believe, but hey….ne tried.

Comment from OldFert
Time: July 29, 2021, 1:16 am

Have only seen Jehovah’s Witnesses around here about two or three times since the Army posted me here, lo some 30 years ago. Retired from the Army in ’94, still here.
They used to visit more often back in my apartment-living days in Austin. I’d listen a bit, then invite them in for coffee. They never accepted my hospitality, IIRC.

Comment from Cantharkmycry
Time: July 29, 2021, 1:41 am

Some Vegetable. . . That is a WONDERFUL story! Thank you!
And wouldn’t you love to know how he recounts the encounter when he gets together with family, friends, and fellow proselytizers? 😉

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: July 29, 2021, 4:15 am

We’ve gotten two such letters in the last six months. There’s a, church? Temple? of theirs just across the creek and up the road from us.

My wicked greedy grasping land baron wannabe uncle became a Witness ages ago, I think maybe to make up for his perception that he’d been wicked and greedy for a lot of his life. As unimpressive once he was ‘saved’ as it was before he was saved. Actually maybe worse since he then figured he had some kind of special “in” with the Almighty.

I’m just as not fond of being told by Jehovah’s Witnesses that I’m goin to hell as I was by the Catholic church every other Sunday, and by the Baptists once they discovered I used to be Catholic.

If their God will send you to hell for ETERNITY, which, in my thinking, is a long long time, for what you do here in your ignorance on earth for your 70+ years, then I have to say I don’t find an entity to be all that loving.
Time will tell though.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 29, 2021, 5:53 pm

When my grandmother died, we found a beautifully leatherbound set of…Watchtowers? No, we never worked out where they came from.

*I* clicked your link, Can’t Hark. Then looked around sadly for a ‘like’ button.

Comment from bds
Time: July 30, 2021, 2:16 am

We got a similar handwritten letter last month.

That brings to mind my most memorable JW encounter. I grew up in northern California, on the edge of the Sierra Nevada foothills. We weren’t quite out in the sticks, but we could see them from our porch. We had a couple acres and a fairly long, straight gravel drive.

My dog, Fritz, was a mix of Australian Shepherd and miscellaneous mutt. He was a medium-sized dog, pretty easy going, but very protective. When he wasn’t running around with me we kept him on a chain off to the side of the house.

One day, I was doing something in the back yard when I heard a car crunching down the gravel of our drive, then Fritz going nuts barking.

He always barked at strangers, but something about these JWs or their car really got him riled up. He broke his chain about the time I came around the side of the house to see who it was, and charged their car. He actually leapt up onto the hood, barking and carrying on. They spun out all the way up the drive, then laid rubber once they hit the asphalt.

I don’t think they went to any more houses in the neighborhood, at least not that day.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 30, 2021, 8:16 am

A wise dog, bds! I had a friend whose family was entangled in the JW cult and who had been brought up as one. He was quite staggeringly ill educated in some ways and obviously deliberately so. If they didn’t actually write the book on how to organise and run cults, they added a few thick chapters to it.

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