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Keep it to yourself

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To the editor: I occasionally receive religious information in my mailbox such as invitations to Christian events, pamphlets about local churches, etc. Sometimes they’re addressed to me or just sent to my mailing address. I didn’t ask for them or want them in my mailbox, yet still they come.

My most pressing question is do the people sending these ever consider that people like me not only don’t want to receive that information, but find it truly offensive? Do they even think my personal opinion about religion might not coincide with theirs? If I sent unsolicited information to them about converting to Islam would they be offended? How about Satanism? Both are legitimate religions just like Christianity, but would almost certainly draw outrage from non-believers if they were sent the same kind of information. Why are Christians any different?

I once had a difficult surgery at a huge Seattle hospital. As I was laying in my bed a stranger entered my room, a woman with an Irish accent and a Bible. She introduced herself and began to talk to me about God. Due to my circumstances I couldn’t sit up easily or breathe deeply without pain. If I could have I would’ve very firmly told her to get out of my room and then called security. I couldn’t believe such a large hospital, especially without religious affiliation, would allow a stranger to randomly enter patients’ rooms and assume a right to be there simply because of their message.

Some people reading this will react with “Oh, come on, she meant well.” Not so. To me she was utterly intrusive and presumptuous. No matter how innocent her intent, no matter how much Jesus has meant in her life, it was still offensive to me. My beliefs don’t require an explanation, and I don’t feel badly about telling overbearing Christians to leave me alone. Whether it’s in a hospital room or my mailbox or wherever, I don’t want or need your concern for my salvation.

Always amazing comedian and writer George Carlin said he lived his life by the 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.”

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