I've heard a few Christians tell me while we're talking about faith-related matters that they're "not trying to convert me" or preach at me. My response? Don't worry about it if you are. By that same token, I've heard nonbelievers say, "It's okay for them to believe whatever they want so long as they don't preach to me." Personally, I don't have a problem if they do. Now, if they want to preach creationism in a science classroom and push their beliefs THAT way, then I have a problem. However, just having a conversation with me where they try and convince me to become a Christian as well? I have no problem with it. In fact, I sort of relish it.
Why should I worry about it? Sure, people like that might be annoying when they bring it up at the wrong time, but if we're sitting down to have a conversation, then go ahead and give me your best pitch for faith. After all, what's the worst thing that could happen? You could say something that might convince me? Oh, Heimdall forbid that would happen!
For me, I'm secure with my position. If there's an argument for faith that I haven't heard, then I'd love to finally hear it. Unfortunately, I keep getting the same thing over and over again. Honestly though, it's fun for me to give the counter arguments. There have been a couple of times where I've had fundamentalists get all bent out of shape when I refused to play along with their little script. I practically drove one guy crazy when I kept turning all of his arguments for Jesus into arguments for the existence of Superman. He kept trying to tell me that we KNOW that the planet Krypton doesn't exist. I told him that there's no way to know that, as we have not explored the entire universe. (And I was basically just doing the same argument as him - as he told me that there was no way that I could KNOW that God doesn't exist - even though I made no such claim to begin with.)
Kirsti has said that her birthday wish is for my "brother Angus" to try and proselytize to me. He's already made it abundantly clear that he knows jack-squat about the faith he supposedly professes. (He thinks that Jesus wrote the Bible, for instance.) For some reason, it hasn't happened. Strange, because he's done it with complete strangers and other family members...but never me. I've heard that he's said that he "loves me even though" I'm an atheist. Geez, the way he says that, you'd think I was running a still or something! (To Kill a Mockingbird reference there.)
Personally, I think that people usually don't preach to me for a couple of reasons. Number one, I don't get it from strangers much because they tend to target young people. I certainly got it a lot more when I was in my teens and early twenties, back when I didn't have a whole lot to say on the issue (and still believed in God, but was smart enough to know that their arguments were full of crap). Number two, as for the people who know me, they're probably afraid of what will happen. I'll listen to everything they have to say, but I won't play along if you're giving me that long-since rejected spiel. (Try a new one though! That might get you somewhere!) I think it might be even fair to say that I get somewhat...ummm... "disagreeable" when people tell me things that don't make sense to me. I kind of get like a dog with a piece of rope - I just ain't lettin' go, and the harder you pull, the harder I'll pull back.
I guess the opportunity just won't come up very much for me. Sure, I have this blog, but this is for my personal thoughts and I don't force anybody to come here and read it. Sure, I link each new post to Facebook and MySpace, but again, I'm not making anybody click on the links. In person, I really don't try and go around converting, or de-converting people - honestly! (I know that some of you know me best through my internet persona.) The way I explain it is that in person, I don't have an offense. I do, however, have one hell of a defense.