I get a little tired of all the Jehovah's Witness bashing I hear. I am not a Witness, but my mother was. While I personally don't believe in their religion, I don't think that they are stupid or weak minded because they do. To say such a thing about any religion is plainly bigoted.

I do not agree with many of the teachings and practices of the Witnesses. But you have to respect them for certain things: They don't just preach peace and then go out and support the death penalty and war. They are pacifists. The fastest way to get kicked out of the church is to join the armed forces. Their allegiance is to God, not to any government of Man, and I respect that quite a lot, too. The Witnesses never killed anyone, which is more than I can say for most religions.

Despite their reputation, the ones that I have known only want to talk to you about God, and if you tell them that you have your own religous beliefs they won't try to convert you. Their job is to witness, to show people what God's love has done for them, not to get you to buy magazines or show up at a service.

The next time they show up at your door, show a little compassion. These people sacrifice a lot of time and energy to go out into the world and preach. You don't have to listen, but you don't have to be rude. I always tell them I don't want to talk about religion, but I offer them a glass of water before they go.