Ask Matt Labash

Ask Matt Labash Vol. XXIX: How to deter Mormon missionaries, reader frustration, the evils of chicken abortion

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Hey Matt, the Mormon missionaries in my neighborhood are really annoying. How do you suggest I keep them from talking to me when I am doing yard work? – Matt Hutson

Just tie a pork chop around your neck and have your wife run through the sprinkler in a wet, cut-off abaya. Hold up a second. My mistake. That’s how you keep annoying Muslim missionaries from bothering you at home.

To deter missionaries of any persuasion from disturbing you during yard work, the best thing to do is keep your lawn mower revving loud and at full throttle – without the grass catcher. If they come anywhere near you, pretend like you don’t notice, then blow your cuttings all over them. Test their faith. See how serious their commitment is. If they really want to convert you, they won’t mind doing so while covered in dandelions and fescue.

Though personally, I enjoy Mormon missionary encounters. I usually invite them in for pound cake and caffeine-free sodas. They’re invariably polite and well-mannered. They wipe their feet. They say thank you. They have firm handshakes. They’re some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. The only thing I don’t trust about them is all the Christer bait-and-switching. If you don’t cut them off and force them to show their cards, Brother Enos will usually spend the first half an hour selling you on how similar Mormonism is to Christianity. They even sock it to you right there in their moniker, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Now as a Christian, I don’t claim to have a monopoly on J.C. (though in fairness to us, we did name our whole religion after Him). But if my beliefs and your beliefs are basically the same with slight variation, why did you interrupt me from edging the lawn, to sit in my living room and try to convert me to the teachings of Joseph Smith, which were purportedly passed along on golden plates buried in a hill in upstate New York by the Angel Moroni, who is supposedly a resurrected indigenous American? Even if I’m a proselytizing Baptist, I don’t waste a perfectly good Saturday afternoon trying to do the same to Presbyterians.

Of course, when it comes to spectacular claims regarding holy books, we all have our crosses to bear, so to speak. But even if you don’t buy into the water-to-wine bits of the New Testament, at least Christ’s teachings have stood the test of time, enough so that we mark the whole of recorded human history before His birth, and after. Whereas, Joseph Smith’s extra-biblical teachings have only lasted since 1830, and all Mormons really have to show for it — besides the rock’n’roll genius of Jimmy Osmond — is a BYU basketball team that just this year, won their first NCAA tournament game since 1993. When I share such sentiments with my missionary visitors, that’s when they usually start sweating and leave. Not because I outdebated them in a devastating display of Christian apologetics — I’m not exactly Thomas Aquinas. But  because before I’d invited them inside, I turned the thermostat up to 90 degrees. You try sitting through one of my harangues in your long-john temple garments in that kind of heat. Even when they’re pumping lots of fluids, they usually head for the door before I have to show it to them.

NEXT: Find out why Labash no longer speaks to The Daily Caller