Today marked the third time in as many months that I ran across Mormons proselytizing in the street. As I was making a left turn into a narrow street I was forced to swing out wider than I had intended to avoid a Mormon on a bicycle importuning some luckless local on a motorcycle in the middle of the intersection.
The Mormons smiled patronizingly at me when I yelled at them colorfully to stop hassling people in the road. They were indifferent to realize how dangerous such activity is. As the light turned green, they were still there, preventing the scooter driver from moving forward.
In Taiwan customary usage is that if a pedestrian or bicyclist is struck and killed by a vehicle, the vehicle driver will generally do jail time regardless of who is actually at fault.
Each time some Mormon runs out into traffic to harass a local sitting at a light, he threatens the safety and well-being of every individual in that intersection, because whoever hits him is going to jail, most unjustly.
Religious proselytizing is by its nature dehumanizing, turning human beings with needs and agendas of their own into mere objects that validate the proselytizer's own insecurity and need for control of others. Every Mormon missionary who behaves in such a manner simply makes it that much harder for those of us long-term expats who have to live in the stink they leave behind.
Eventually even the seemingly limitless tolerance of the wonderfully patient Taiwanese will reach its limits, and all here will suffer.
It is high time this dangerous and discourteous activity of plunging into traffic to accost passing motorists was brought to a halt. It is time that Mormon missionaries displayed maturity, dignity and restraint, and behaved as responsible members of the foreign community whose widespread acceptance in Taiwan they constantly abuse for their own religious purposes.
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