Subway Evangelism

Greetings from the flatlands. Today, we are going to talk about people that get Don angry. Not everybody gets Don angry, but some people just seem to have a knack for it.

The first major category of people that get Don angry are those people who get onto a mass transit system, say a bus or train like the “L,” and decide that because the passengers have boarded the train to try to get to their jobs or go shopping or do whatever they are evil. People who use mass transit have the devil inside. Women and men, of all different shapes, sizes, colors, races, religions, and professions, are evil scum who are lucky to even be alive. Because these people who annoy me have seen that everyone is evil, they feel that they are justified in preaching to everyone. They go on shouting Bible verses over the roar of the tracks, explaining that Jesus is the only true answer, and then asking you for money. Strange, but I don’t think that God really needs any money, do you? Also, I really don’t think that I paid my fare to listen to a bunch of super Christians. It is never the Muslims or Jews or Hindus or Buddhists or Jians or Parsees, but always Christians. I wonder why?

One way to look at it is that everyone else seems comfortable enough with their chosen path, so they don’t need to yell all about it all the time, or try to convince me that I am wrong in the path which I have chosen. I have had them tell me that I am lost without j/c, and that because they believe in j/c their lives are this or that, and that before they believed in j/c their lives weren’t this or that. What is my point?

People that assume that I want to hear what they are saying are sometimes wrong. People that assume that a whole train full of people all want to hear what they are saying are always wrong. I can assure you that if I am on the train, I do not want to hear what you believe. If you decide to stand up and tell everybody, you annoy me. If you then ask for money because you just “shared” with me, you annoy me a lot. Stay off the trains.

The second type of person that annoys me is the same as the first type. As a matter of fact, they are the same people. Let me explain: Because I cannot find a job where I can use my education, I feel as though it is going to waste. I hate waste. I need to use my education. Understandable? I think so. It just so happens that I took my degree in religious studies. This means that I happen to know a thing or two about religion. Because I feel the need to use my education, and do not have a job in which I can do so, I have been forced to seek otther forums in which to engage in discussion. That is a tricky thing to do though. Lots of people get pretty darn upset when you start offering a point of viewpoint that is contrary to theirs, particularly on something as close to home as religion. Generally, I do not want to make enemies or get people annoyed with me, so I am careful about who I get into discussions with. I will converse with two types of people: People who either understand that because I hold a different viewpoint does not mean that I do not respect theirs, or people who have decided that simply because I paid a fare to ride the train to work, I am evil, need to be saved, and relieved of the burden of my money.

Basically, if someone starts preaching on the train, I stand up and start countering everything they say. I can usually do a pretty good job too, because I studied religion for a long time. Some might say that this is a dangerous thing to do in the city on an “L” subway train, but in reality it is not. After all, if you were slightly inclined to give one of these super Christians either your attention or money, and then saw him beating me up, you would have to wonder whether the super Christian was really treating others the way he wanted to be treated, and turning the other cheek.

What gets me upset is this: If you interrupt a train sermon, and attempt to get into a discussion, you will find out that the preacher actually has very little patience or time for you. He is not concerned with turning you to God; he is concerned with getting your money. The preacher does not want to answer questions; he wants to lecture and collect. Because of this he will, without exception, begin to ignore me (and this is what really annoys me. I hate being ignored). As soon as he does this I will not stop talking to him. When he begins to ignore me, and continues to try to preach, he discovers how incredibly annoying it is to try to do one thing (say read a book or converse with a friend) and have somebody hollering about God and religion and stuff at you. After this dawns on the man, he goes to the next car or gets off the train entirely, and I can go back to reading my book in relative peace until the next preacher gets on.

Living in the city is a good thing, if you learn how to deal with things like train preachers. Stay tuned for more thought from the flatlands.