I do not like any form of sidewalk solicitation. I don’t like Greenpeace to do it. I hate when the Democratic National Committee does it. And I don’t like it when high school students are trying to raise money for their band to go to Tuscaloosa (or any such place).
But I have a special negative place in my heart when Jews for Jesus does it. Why this is, I am not sure. Intellectually, I don’t care what Jews for Jesus does or doesn’t do. I don’t give them a second thought. They are irrelevant to me….except when they solicit on the street. And then, I have to hold myself back from yelling at them to go away, from sticking my tongue out at them, and from stepping on their feet. I don’t view them as a threat, and it is clearly a visceral reaction.
This morning, I had a two block walk to the camera shop and this young lady in a very unattractive orange Jews for Jesus t-shirt tried to give me some sort of booklet. I looked at her scornfully and walked on, excessively annoyed, as usual.
On my way back to the office, I decided to stop for a while and watch her in action. I saw perhaps 50 people walk by her. No one took a brochure. About 1/3 of the people appeared to have no reaction, about 1/3 of the people went out of their way to appear to have no reaction, and about 1/3 of the people visibly sneered like I did. The J for J lady did not seem deterred; she was on a mission, I guess. (What that mission is, I am not sure.)
So what is the appropriate reaction, when you are accosted by such a person.
In other words, what would Jesus do?