Sunday, April 08, 2007

Don't Interrupt My Breakfast

Val and I were in a hurry runing errands and so on Saturday morning before the Buffalo Sabres' afternoon game against the Washington Capitals (which Buffalo won, 2-0), so we stopped at Tim Horton's on Delaware Avenue near Linden for a quick breakfast.
For $8.03, the breakfast was rather good, and while we ate, the place, which was already busy, got even busier when 5-6 carloads of 5-6 people each, all very nicely dressed, parked and came inside. I suspected it was a group of people who had just come from a religious service or gathering, and this was basically confirmed when much of the conversation involved the service and sermon. No problems here.
But when Val and I stood up, a woman age 55-65 or so at the table next to us turned and handed me a small pamphlet, daying, "Here is something for you to read this afternoon." I looked and saw that the cover read, "God is Guiding You Through Today ..." and immediately replied, "Oh, no, thank you," helped Val on with her jacket and left the restaurant.
I am very well aware of people proselytizing their religious or other beliefs, but I was offended on several levels. First, just by looking at us, someone believes that Val and I need some religious or spiritual guidance, and that whatever religious or spiritual beliefs we have or don't have, that that theirs are superior to ours or the correct ones? And we were in a restaurant, eating a meal and leaving a private business establishment, and someone felt they had to intrude on us to do this?
As a Democratic commmitteeman, I hand out political literature by hand as well as drop it off at people's residences (never in mail boxes), but I never, ever would do it in a restaurant, whether solicited or not, and when I hand it out in public settings, I always tell people what it is before handing anything to them, giving them the choice of taking it or not.
Religious and spiritual beliefs may be the strongest and most private of feelings we have, often evolving and almost as often difficult to articulate. I don't need self-appointed spiritual police or proselytizers bothering me as in the above manner.


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