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October 13, 2006

Bathroom Cleaning, Hand Warmers, and Hot Chocolate

Ever get the feeling that Christians are much better at grassroots canvassing than anybody else?

October 13, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

Except for the erstwhile Communists, that is. And the occasional Mormons. And the occasional Muslim congregation.

The reason is that all these are religions. No political party can compete with a real religion's ability to proselytize and convert.

Posted by: wcw | Oct 13, 2006 4:33:16 PM

When I owned a home (before the desirability of living in a secure apartment building became apparent to me), I learned the right approach to handle the unexpected doorbell ring followed by the well-scrubbed faces of whatever religious group after the door is opened: don't let them get in the first word. Before anything is said, just say "I'm not interested" and firmly close the door. It works, everytime.

Who could have guessed that some people get off by cleaning toilets?

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Oct 13, 2006 5:06:19 PM

I've done some things like this. Mowed some lawns, washed some cars, even taken "Work and Witness" trips to a couple of countries.

If the people doing this, while being up front about their motives and their affiliation, can really do this without trying to make the recipients feel obligated, then I still think this is pretty cool.

This highlights what I *cough* mentioned in the GOTV thread *cough*, that a big reason why the GOP has such great GOTV efforts is that their base is used to doing exactly this kind of thing, even to the point of having training that specifically deals with their own nervousness, lack of interest and/or hostility from those they contact.

Posted by: Stephen | Oct 13, 2006 5:14:40 PM

No political party can compete with a real religion's ability to proselytize and convert.

Unless it takes on some of the qualities of religion that make us the most nervous (as Communism and Nazism did).

This highlights what I *cough* mentioned in the GOTV thread *cough*, that a big reason why the GOP has such great GOTV efforts is that their base is used to doing exactly this kind of thing, even to the point of having training that specifically deals with their own nervousness, lack of interest and/or hostility from those they contact.

That's a very good point. And if liberals hope to tap into liberal religious America to compete, they'll be disappointed on the whole. It's not just any religious groups that can do this; it's the ones that really ask something hard of their members, including proselyting, outreach, and so on. That tends to leave out the mainstream parts of the older liberal/moderate denominations, where the goal is often more to make religion easy than to make the adherents do something hard. And some of the things that help most with GOTV are hard for most people. We can be grateful that the Jehovah's Witnesses are apolitical--they're very hard workers in the areas that apply to GOTV, and would probably add significantly to the Republican advantage if they voted social issues. (Hope I'm not stepping on any toes here--I know these are generalizations.)

Before anything is said, just say "I'm not interested" and firmly close the door. It works, everytime.

No doubt in part because I did this door-to-door thing myself, and in part because I like to talk to people about their beliefs, I always talk to them. They aren't always happy with the results, but they mostly seem happy to meet someone willing to talk. I don't try to talk them out of their views, but I do explain my own when asked.

Posted by: Sanpete | Oct 13, 2006 5:47:50 PM

I mentioned Communists first for a reason.

In re canvassers, I am too old to argue with them, whether useless PIRGers or the occasional, courageous good-newsnik. But in my callow youth, I would politely commincate my beliefs for as long as they could take it.

That is why I mention the Mormons. They always held out the longest before fleeing. They have my respect.

Posted by: wcw | Oct 13, 2006 6:08:14 PM

ServeFest:Christian Evangelicals::AmeriCorps:the Left

(even down to the capitalized letter mid-word!)

Posted by: KFJ | Oct 13, 2006 7:26:10 PM

I am too old to argue with them, whether useless PIRGers

My favorite response to PIRGers: "Your mother wants you to go to law school."

Posted by: Constantine | Oct 13, 2006 7:30:48 PM

It comes from knocking on doors looking for converts.
The little mall by my moms got bought and turned into a new - gasp - evangelical megachurch ( sometimes change is for the worse). They have knocked on her door twice now trying to convert her. Good luck. She is from france, a liberal and catholic who hasn't gone to church since I've been around.

Posted by: dlake | Oct 13, 2006 10:56:28 PM

That is why I mention the Mormons. They always held out the longest before fleeing. They have my respect.

I actually was in a friends van rolling a joint, years ago, when he (outside the van) was accosted by some Mormons. He invited them inside to talk to us, as long as they didn't mind if we smoked - not specifying what we were smoking - with the windows rolled up. They were very friendly and I really appreciated that they didn't seem phased by the fact that we were smoking weed - though two of the three showed visible signs of getting quite stoned. We invited them to join us for lunch and said we would be happy to hear about their beleifs if they would listen to ours. It was something of a debate, though a friendly one. And I was really impressed when afer lunch, they walked off down the road in their shirts and ties - only for us to see them a short while later, still in shirts and ties, helping a guy under the hood of his car.

My church is really big on finding things we can do for our community - it is just the sort of thing many churches do. Certainly, we happily invite those we help to come visit our church, but the point of doing what we do is not to proselytize, or it is but through the biblical command to reflect the love of Christ and make people want, what we have.

Posted by: DuWayne | Oct 14, 2006 2:24:24 AM

Blessing Wit Credit Crying Student - http://ricktrimspa.501megs.com/ ; 1a9b3 - http://64425.sitesled.com/1a9b3.html ; 65124122ace37ddf 46be78896a 00746212cdfec54e

Posted by: spears | Nov 6, 2006 1:04:54 PM

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