Good intentions does not excuse rudeness!

My wife and I are doing some major remodeling in our home, specifically to our back room. Since we are remodeling the room that used to be our “store all the junk in it” room, we had to find someplace to put all the junk, so our house right now looks like a tornado ran through it. That’s okay with us, because we know that once we have things done, we’ll put everything back in order again. Until that time, however, we probably won’t be inviting many houseguests over, because frankly, I don’t want to inflict our messy home on others.

I don’t know if I have mentioned it or not, but I am usually a pretty easy person to deal with. I don’t stress a whole lot, I work well with others, and I pretty much roll with the punches life throws at me. After all, I have it pretty good…I have a beautiful wife who loves me and whom I love very much, I have a wonderful son that I think the world of, I have a good job, my own home, and the ability to pursue my crazy hobbies as I see fit. However, there are a few little pet peeves that I have that absolutely drive me insane…bigotry, willful ignorance, and people showing up at my house uninvited. The first two are pretty self explanatory, and the third I just find rude, obnoxious, and incredibly annoying. I always call ahead if I am going to visit someone, and make sure they know I am coming, because not doing so could interrupt someone’s plans and inconvenience them. So guess what happened last night?

That’s right! Uninvited guests! Not just one or two, mind you, but thirty!

At our house!

Which looks like someone picked it up and shook it about like a snow globe!

While my wife and I are dressed in ragged, nasty work clothes, covered in sweat, and with pits of wood and drywall clinging to our hair!

So who were these rude and inconsiderate people showing up to our home? Why, they were the members of the church which we had occasionally attended, but had ceased going to because the preacher was a bigoted jackass!

Let me explain. As I may have mentioned before, my wife grew up going to church, and it is an important thing to her. I myself do not care for churches in general, but I go because I like to support my wife, and I like to argue with people, and it gives me the opportunity to do both. I even occasionally learn some things, and I have met some fine people who became very good friends through church. So when we moved to Georgia, we found a church of the same denomination my wife grew up with, and we began attending services when we could. Of course, there were many weekends we didn’t go, because we often use our weekends to travel and visit other places.

It wasn’t so bad, at first. The congregation was fairly small, and very friendly and welcoming. We made fast friends with a few couples, and were “smile and nod” acquaintances with most everyone else. The preacher was very…shall we say, enthusiastic…with his sermons (which was unusual for this denomination), but he seemed to be an ok guy, so we shrugged and figured we give it a try. After about of year of services, though, we began to realize that every sermon he preached was basically a hate speech about one thing or another! Often, his message of hate was buried in a seemingly innocuous lesson, but there was no denying it was there. He seemed to pick a new subject to spew his vitriol over every week…gays, liberals, foreigners, members of every denomination but his own. We grew very uncomfortable with his crapfest, and finally made up our minds not to go back while he was still preaching. Thankfully, it wasn’t that hard to do. We already missed a good number of sermons because our traveling and event schedule kept us out of town usually three weekends a month.

We never heard from anyone at the church for the first four or five months. Then, out of the blue, we get a card from one of the more “fundamental” members (stress on the mental) basically accusing us of “placing our child’s soul in danger,” and basically stating that she didn’t care if we went to hell, but won’t we please think of our child? I wanted to write back a big “Fuck off, bitch” letter, but my wife persuaded me not to. A few weeks go by, and one of the ladies we got a long with real well, half of an older couple that had been out of town for several months right after we decided to leave, gave us a call. My wife talked to her, and she asked nervously if we had received anything unsettling from aforementioned Mental lady. We said yes, and she apologized profusely. She had figured that we left because we didn’t like the preacher, and had mentioned that a few other couples had as well, and that she didn’t blame us.

She is a really nice lady, and from that point forward she kept in regular contact, giving us updates on what was happening, and who was doing what. Then, about two weeks ago, she called to tell us that our former dipshit of a preacher and his family had left the state to take another preaching job elsewhere! Yay! She also mentioned that there was a new preacher, who was a lot nicer, and very much down-to-earth. We said that was great, that maybe we would come and hear a sermon some time, but that we would be busy over the next couple of weekends because we were taking trips down to Florida to help out my sister. She said she understood, that she was going to be gone for the next couple of weeks as well, and looked forward to seeing us again, should we choose to go back.

But apparently, the rest of the congregation either didn’t get the word, or decided that it was best to take the matter into their own hands, so they picked last night to drop in on us! There we are, answering the door looking like a couple of bums who just ran through a wall like the Kool-Aid man, standing in the midst of a wrecked house while they all stood out there in the cold with vapid smiles on their faces…so what do we do? Invite them in, of course! And oh, wow, thanks so much for surprising us, I mean, we really like for a bunch of relative strangers to see us at our worst, while all our personal belongings are strewn about for the world to see! Oh, need a seat? Let us move that pile of clean-but-not-yet-sorted lingerie so you can sit down! They stayed for about an hour. We made conversation with those we had actually missed a bit, we met the new preacher (who seemed like a nice guy, and who looked rather uncomfortable with the whole idea), and finally we told them we had to get to bed but thanks for the visit, and y’all drive careful now, y’hear?

Afterwards, I was beyond pissed off. One, because I hate uninvited guests. Two, I couldn’t tear into them about it because it would have upset my wife, and I don’t want to do that. Three, we understand that you would love to see us back, but how ‘bout sending us a note that doesn’t mention us being cursed to damnation instead of just showing up at our doorstep in the middle of the night?!? I mean, how fucking hard can that be? Worse, my wife, though slightly annoyed, is not as pissed as I am, and so I have no where to vent! She feels they were just trying to “make amends” and had “good intentions” and that however misguided they may be, they are, after all, just concerned for us and our well being. But I say screw that! Good intentions are not an excuse for blatant rudeness! Where were they during the five months we were gone when we heard from no one?!? GRRRRR!!!


Anyway, sorry about the rant, all, but I really needed to blow off steam.



I can understand a new preacher showing up to try and “win a few back to the flock”, but to bring the whole congregation?

Your anger is entirely justified, IMHO. It’s a good thing for them you didn’t do what Jesus did when He was righteously angry.

Wow I would have been really pissed. So now you’re the neighborhood cause, is it? They have to redeem you?

I was with you up until the point where you let them in.

You know, that is the one thing I miss about not having a church upbringing, and that’s the community. Or I think I miss it. But that’s a nasty, nasty horns of a dilemma, man. I mean, it was nice for them to care. It was really touching, and heck, your leaving may have even done something positive for the community, in that it helped get rid of the preacher. It was nice to have them over, right?

Just… not. right. Then. You can’t get mad at them, cause how do they know? You can’t get mad at yourself, because they didn’t give you any warning. And they were doing good… so… you’re just floating around pissed.

My reccomendation: Play video games? This is what DOOM or Quake or GTA3 is for. Failing that, go split some wood, or something. Something physical and violent. Eventually, you’ll start laughing about how embarassed they must feel, too. Then forgive them, and yourself, and shrug, and keep on moving through life. Right?

You invited them in??

Pit yourself.

Well, think about it. Poeticyde probably isn’t the only person RantingPreacher scared off. The nice lady who called probably surveyed a lot of people, and discovered a lot of them left because of him. Eventually, there was a power struggle, and he lost. Nice calling lady was one of the visitors, right? I’m betting the winning clique took the new preacher on a tour of his errant flock, to do a getting to know you thing. It probably wasn’t just you they visited, they probably went to a bunch of houses in sequence. Makes sense when you think about it that way, right?

THIRTY?? Good golly. Bit of overkill, that.

And yeah, I would have let them in, too - what else are you gonna DO when you’re caught unawares like that? Besides stand there looking like a flounder out of water, gasping and blinking, I mean.

I’d bet the majority of them were uncomfortable being there also. You said the new preacher looked uneasy with the idea.
There was probably one or two old bittys that made the decision for the group and the rest just followed without making waves.

If this just happened last night I’ll bet you get some calls from a few of these people apologizing for the disturbance.

If a crowd comes to your house and they’re not carrying torches, consider yourself ahead of the game. It seems a bit odd for the entire congregation to just drop in on you like that, but you are to be commended for being polite to them for your wife’s sake.

Running through the wall like the Kool-Aid Man…

is too long to be a band name, but it would make a great song title!
I have always enjoyed entertaining guests at my house, but very few people are allowed in my house when it’s messy. I have told people that they aren’t invited in if I feel my house is not up to my own standards. These well-meaning people would have been thanked for stopping by, sorry we can’t invite you in, as you can see, we’re just a little busy.

Take a page from Ms. Manners (or from Jaade, if thisisn’t exactly what Ms. Manners would say), “Thanks for stopping by to see us! Next time, please do call so that we can be better prepared to receive guests.”

No way I would have let them in.

Man, I keep hearing all of these church horror stories, and none of them have I ever experienced. I’ve been church regular for over five years now (Presbyterian) and not once have I encountered a negative experience. The congregation is great. The pastors are great. The pre-school is great. Sunday school is great. The youth group is great. Etc., etc.

I guess I’m just lucky I guess. :confused:

Same here. Uninvited guests have no right to expect to be seen. The proper response at that point was “I’m sorry, but we’re just not up to entertaining this evening”, followed by closing the door.

Turning away uninvited guests is not inhospitable.

The nice thing, at least, is that each and every one of them now owes you an invitation. Of course, you might not want to collect…

Miss Manners has said exactly that in more than one column. She says you are never required to open your house to anybody.
Still, it’s hard to remember when faced with a mob. How did your son react?

So what are you really pissed about, being “flash mobbed” or at having to sit through hate-speech sermons? If you look at the OP, you devote much more information to the latter than the former. When you had their attention as they came to you in your own home, did you take the opportunity to express your opinions on the hate speech? Or did you just passively stand for it, like you sat through the sermons, and then quietly stopped attending instead of registering any complaint; or as you submitted to a poison-pen letter without protest. No wonder you let them in, even though uninvited guests are a pet peeve. You may claim to “roll with life’s punches,” but it sounds more likely that you’re eating your own guts out. Maybe I’m just a rude Yankee, but I do believe we’re put here on earth to do good, not just to behave nicely.

I don’t see that poeticyde had any reason to do so. The minister whose sermons were hateful was no longer with that church, and was certainly not with the group that showed up last night, and the new minister (who gets a clean slate as poeticyde has never heard him preach yet) had nothing to do with it. It would have been VERY inappropriate to go off about the old preacher with the new (and somewhat nervous, I’m sure) preacher present.

You say, “Sorry, you caught me in the middle of doing some renovations, and this isn’t a good time for me to visit. Feel free to call me next week sometime, 'kay?” and then you close the door, turn out the porch light, and forget they’re out there.

Uninvited visitors are a major pet peeve of mine. The few times someone (who has not gotten the message) shows up unannounced I turn them away. I tell them simply, “Sorry, I do not see visitors unannounced.” and close the door. Maybe I’m weird, but it seems to work for me.

Me too. Why didn’t you just say you were busy, and then shut the door?

I have to say, y’all have some very weird shit going on in the name of religion down there. They call you if you stop attending church? They send you notes? THEY VISIT YOUR HOUSE?!? This is extremely odd behaviour, in my experience.

You guys (that is, citizens of the U.S.) keep posting stuff on these boards about what’s going on in the area of religion, and I get the feeling that because you’re immersed in it, you don’t realize just how weird things are getting.

Of course, I could be completely wrong.