Many feel it is their duty to meddle in others lives. To them it is "helping others right", "doing good" and doing "the Lord's work". They're called missionaries, whether by themselves or their churches or by their comrades. They see others violating what they themselves consider to be the values and ethos of civilization - most typically their personal concept of what is euphemistically called "Christian civilization" (WTF is that, anyway?) - and cannot resist sticking their pointy little noses into the lives and affairs of others. Whether or not the activities of these other people actually affect them directly - or even indirectly - is of course the entire point of this perpetual debate on morality.
I suppose the very first question that pops into my head at this point is "WTF has my morality got to do with you?".
I could also ask these self-appointed crusaders WTF my sexuality, sex-life, choice of a partner, their gender, and who I choose to marry and what I do with them in the privacy of my bedroom has to do with them?
They meddle in the affairs of others, spreading news nobody needs to hear or cares about - and then act all "persecuted" and offended when their noses get knocked out of joint by the all too predictable slamming of a door.
What makes these self appointed guardians of their own narrow-minded morality think that other people NEED to be told how wrong THEY think they are? Who the hell do these people think they are anyway?
Since when is an individual's freedom of choice and free will ever other people's business - no matter how religious, perfect or self-righteous they are?
Because they read something written in a book, written millennia ago by some other equally misguided individual who was just as much mortal and fallible as themselves - they feel justified in acting out of intolerance (and even hatred) for the ways and nature of other people - who really do them no harm of any kind.
If you do not like the idea of marriage equality for gay people, then nobody is forcing you to have a gay marriage - or to attend your gay relative or friends wedding if you don't feel like going. Does it take away anything at all from your own marriage if others marry? If you answer "yes", then wow - you must have a pretty fragile relationship anyway and if it ends in tears it won't be because of gay marriage!
If you don't like abortion and would prefer to raise your rapist's child, nobody is forcing you to discard a few unwelcome cells if you don't want to.
If you don't like the idea of prostitution, nobody is forcing you to make use of their services.
Likewise, if you don't like violence or sex on TV, nobody is forcing you to - so stick to so-called "family" stations and just don't watch it.
And if you find the echo in your empty church disquieting then don't place the blame on other people for your failure to fill it (or as an excuse to fill it) - start by asking "what is chasing people away?" Here is a tip: Start looking at your attitude and whether you are being inclusive or exclusive of people, and I am pretty sure you will find the answer.
Nobody likes having fingers pointed at them - especially for things they cannot help being born - but it has to be said that not everybody seems to enjoy pointing fingers.
Missionaries are hailed as heroes by Christian churches and groups, but what did they actually do that was so wonderful? What did missionaries achieve? For "taking the Word of God to the heathens"? For fulfilling "the Great Commission"? Really? I often wonder if the commission you get as a missionary is that great, but I suppose that is a matter for another day. The monsters who exterminated the Maya and the Inca cultures and civilizations in South America called themselves "missionaries", supposedly doing "God's work". I suppose if genocide can be considered "God's work" then this could be true. They forcefully wiped out all remnants of non-Christian society and culture wherever they went - in much the same way as the 'Ori' in the 'Stargate' series. They attempted to do this in the East during the Crusades and if the Muslim world had no significant military force to match theirs, they would doubtlessly have succeeded in this as well.
One needn't really have to point out that the origin of the "K" word in SA owes it's origins to Christian "missionaries" as well - meaning a non-Christian or "heathen" - and we know what that word ended up meaning. Ironically in less civilized parts of the world (where missionaries themselves ironically became something of a local delicacy - and endangered species) the locals coined a new word to describe them - "long pig".
In South America they destroyed centuries of ancient knowledge and wisdom in a purge that scientists and historians - and global diversity - still lament today. In North America they drove the Red man into reserves and deprived them of their spiritual nature. They tried - and are still trying today to do the same to the indigenous peoples all over the world. They punished them for their beliefs and forced them to believe in a God of printed paper and ink, they taught them that their own ways were inferior and wrong - and took away from them far more than they could ever give in return.
As for my opinion of missionaries, I think they look so much better in the stereotypically large clay pot over a lovely fire in a village. Imagine for dramatic effect, a few large slices of vegetable floating on top. If you can picture this - and adding a few well placed loops of rope here and there brings a smile to your face, then we are on the same frequency. I can easily imagine a gag or two as well - and possibly one or two heathen "savages" mincing around the pot doing a fairly passable impression of "the naked chef", one of whom is holding an egg timer and the other a large wooden spoon. (I suppose I had better stop dwelling on this pleasant fiction before some rather dim missionary folk (who mistook a 1987 parody called "the Homosexual Agenda" for real life) start accusing us pink folk of being cannibals as well as "sodomites", "sinners" and "deviants" and a "threat to Christianity and the rain forest".)
If your family or circle of friends - or anyone you thought was close to you cannot accept you for who you are, or cannot leave you be and continue getting in your face or trying to "convert" you - just ignore them and their zealotry, maybe they will go away - or perhaps if they are a little slow (most bigots are) in taking a hint, you could get a really big clay pot and put it on a really nice big heap of kindling...