Saturday, July 16, 2011

UPDATED - Pet Peeve of the Day: Jews For Jesus DON'T Promote Littering

Since writing the post below, a couple of J4Js have commented here, including quite possible one of the members I saw handing out literature the other day at the subway station @ 34th and 6th around 5 PM.  She and the first J4J commenter both insisted that they clean up any of their literature left on the ground by recipients who discard them.  

Most, if not all of us, are prone to episodes of confirmation bias.  In this instance, I, an atheist who also greatly detests littering, saw members of a particular religious group handing out literature in a public place and then seeing the same literature scattered all over the subway station steps and the sidewalk outside.   I guess for me it was a two-fer and I jumped on it based only on what I directly observed.

But, to quote Jerry Ohrbach's character at the end of the movie Dirty Dancing, "When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong."   I hereby apologize to the Jews For Jesus of NYC for accusing them of enabling littering and for referring to them as assholes.  In instances such as this, it can be all too easy for a blogger to delete a post and flush it down the memory hole.  Instead, I will leave the original post below intact as a reminder, to myself and others, that we should be mindful of making hasty accusations, especially in a public forum.

That being said, of course, as an atheist, I find it odd that a being that presumably can communicate directly with every human being simultaneously needs to rely on a few people to hand out pamphlets in a subway station in order to get its message across.  However, I support their right to do so.

The original post follows:

It's not uncommon to see Jews For Jesus in New York City subway stations handing out flyers and pamphlets to passersby.   What really annoys me about them is that often just a few feet away from where they're standing are pamphlets they handed out that the recipient hastily discarded the moment they realized what had been given to them.  The J4Js (for short) know that most of the literature they hand out ends up as litter and yet they don't seem to care.  Great way to promote your religious beliefs, assholes!  Of course, the recipients who litter are assholes too, but the J4Js are culpable knowing that most of what they hand out ends up on the sidewalks or subway platforms.


Spanish Inquisitor said...

What? They don't recycle? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Actually all their literature says please dont litter and I have seen them pick up loose brochures that people had thrown on the ground after their done. Next time you see a Jfj why dont you ask them about that?

Tommykey said...

Hi Trankster. I did point it out to one of them the other day and she was non-responsive, which made me think she just didn't give a shit. I certainly hope she picked them up, because I saw her today at the foot of the stairs leading up to the street leve, and as I was walking up the stairs, there were dozens scattered on the steps.

LadyAtheist said...

The guilty group in D.C. is Falun Gong.

I think they get brownie points for the effort, not the results.

Sorcharose said...

Actually if I remember your face correctly then I want you to know I did pick up those papers. You just need to understand we pick up at the end of our time in the subway, were down there for 2-3 hours at a time and we pick up all the papers that we can see/ get to. The reason I couldnt pick it up when you pointed it out (if it was me you were talking about, I had a man inform me the other day that there were papers all over the ground while I was passing out stuff) because there were over a hundred people coming up the stairs and I didnt think that it was a good time to be bending over picking up brochures. Just know your comment was hear, we do "give a shit" and we do clean up after all the people who throw our brochures on the ground to the best of our abilities at a time where we will block as little traffic as possible. We also are not required to pick up the brochures others throw on the ground either we do it because we dont want to promote litering, hence why it says "Please do not litter" on all our literature.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Money quote:

"I find it odd that a being that presumably can communicate directly with every human being simultaneously needs to rely on a few people to hand out pamphlets in a subway station in order to get its message across."

So the littering thing is just an amusing distraction, something to chew on, but easily resolved. I'd love to hear the JfJ response to the substance of the above quote.

If I was to predict, I'll bet it's the usual non-JfJ (i.e. Christian) apologetic rationalization. Same old, same old.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

BTW, I like the new look. The old one was getting stale.

Sometimes cleaning house is refreshing.

Tommykey said...

BTW, I like the new look. The old one was getting stale.

Thanks. The background reminds me of my bookshelves, though of course mine aren't nearly as big!

A few months ago I clicked on the blogger profile of a Christian who commented on a post at The Atheist Experience. In her profile, she declared that she was on a divinely ordained mission. Then I clicked on her blog and saw that her mission seemed to consist of handing out pamphlets outside of a Walmart.

All I could think was "So, there's this being that is powerful and intelligent enough to create a universe filled with billions of galaxies, and it needs people to hand literature outside of a Walmart that will mostly be discarded anyway.