Gransnet forums


Feeling ruffled (again!)

(45 Posts)
Eglantine21 Mon 16-Apr-18 10:14:21

Really I’m sort of posting on the back of another thread and a response, but Ididnt want to hijack.

One or two of you may remember me posting about this little club I belong to. I really enjoy the activity and I don’t want to give it up but.....

Two years ago a lady moved into the area and joined the club. She is a friendly, confident person and very socially active and soon after joining extended invitations to barbecues, lunches, Christmas drinks etc
Lovely I wish I could be like her. She’s become a popular, central member of the club.

After a while she started using the social activities as a springboard for inviting people to her Church, Bible studies, church based activities like concerts. I got ruffled because I thought I was being invited to, say, lunch and it turned into a bit of evangelism. since then Ive turned down invitations but, of course I see her at the club, and now she has started to promote her church activities there.

Why am I ruffled today? Well last night she invited people to a Fashion Show. For charity. Which charity I asked? Well it was a birth charity. Which one? A pregnancy advice charity. Which one? A militant anti abortion group.

It’s the lack of transparency. The deception dare I call it. I said I couldn’t support bullying and intimidation! She was very cross.

But to get back to the start. Now I feel I can’t go back to the club. It’s sort of become her club and several people are going to the Fashion Show. I do like what we do at the club. but I feel embarrassed about going to the next club meeting.

Nanabilly Mon 16-Apr-18 10:23:51

Don't let that one person drive you away from what you enjoy.
Others maybe did not ask the questions you did and so will find out on the day what it's all about and some will be cross then but others just will not care as it's a morning\afternoon out .
Just be polite in your refusal to join in with the things you don't want to and let the lambs follow bo peep!
I hate it when people are not upfront about theses kind of things it's dishonest and deceitful .
Have you considered having a word with the club committee if it has one. Explaining exactly how you explained it to us.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 16-Apr-18 10:24:00

I couldn't support any anti-abortion charity. As for her 'peddling' her religion through the back door, well, I have no time for that either. Religion is personal and you or anyone else in your club should have the right to enjoy your club without this other person pushing her religious views.

sunseeker Mon 16-Apr-18 10:29:23

I am sure there are others at the club who feel as you do. I wouldn't stop going as you do enjoy it. Could you have a quiet word with her and explain you feel her actions are inappropriate. I do think inviting people to attend a fashion show which supports anti-abortion without making it clear upfront is a bit devious.

Izabella Mon 16-Apr-18 10:31:58

Totally agree with Nanabilly. Pass it by the committee and I hope you can continue to get what you need from the group.

kittylester Mon 16-Apr-18 10:33:37

I think you are going to have to brazen it out Eglantine but that is much easier said than done. You will probably find that lots of people feel like you and are not brave enough to stand by their principles but might follow your lead.

DD1 has a similar thing going on at the moment. Her 9 year old daughter's best friend has a very evangelical mum and holds regular barbecues to push her message. She invited lots of the families from school including DD. DD is resolutely non religious and is currently treading a very fine line between principle and her daughter's friendship.

glammanana Mon 16-Apr-18 10:34:35

Eglatine Don't be out off going to your club by this lady she is cross because you have seen through her intentions and doesn't like it.
Ignore her when you go to your club and enjoy the company of others that you know there they will soon become aware of her back door antics.

TerriBull Mon 16-Apr-18 10:57:33

I think it's underhand Eglatine, I remember years ago when I was a young mum, I was in a circle of half a dozen new mums who did weekly coffee mornings with babies in tow. We turned up to one, where the host mum had set up a stall in her living room of baby clothes and proceeded to do a very "hard sell". I was really annoyed at being practically forced into buying a couple of things I didn't really want. She wasn't very popular after that.

There must be others that feel as you do Eglantine your views are quite rational. Religion and ethical matters are very personal and it's very wrong of this woman to peddle them at a social event, it's also a presumption on her part to think that other participants will necessarily share her stance on such matters. I think that should be put to her. Don't let her ruin your club. It's amazing how pushy some people are though.

Luckygirl Mon 16-Apr-18 11:05:52

This back door religious message is a real pain - and not about the sort of honesty that Christians hold dear. It is wholly unacceptable.

If there is a committee, then go to them. If not, I would be inclined to say what you think to the lady - she is not backward in thrusting it down your throat when you take the bait and go to one of her events. Just say "It is lovely that you organise so many events, but I would be grateful if you could always make it plain at the time of the invitation if there is an evangelical element to it. That way it is more honest and people can choose whether they wish to go or not."

Eglantine21 Mon 16-Apr-18 11:20:15

Eeek Luckygirl! Just the thought of being that assertive? I’m cringing enough at the little bit I did say. I just get the feeling that the others thought I was the one who was being rude.

There isn’t a committee. It was just a group of about 8 people who enjoyed doing the same thing. We just met up, did our stuff and mostly didn’t meet in between so I haven’t made the closer friendships within the club that she has.

mumofmadboys Mon 16-Apr-18 11:27:20

Perhaps you could say nothing. Politely refuse her invites and enjoy the company of the other eight. Try not to engage in conversations about her behing her back. Good luck! The others will then make up their own minds.

Teetime Mon 16-Apr-18 11:59:12

Mmm tricky one. Ever the bureaucrat where clubs and societies are concerned I wondered if you had any club rules or even a constitution (we were certainly asked for one by the bank when we set up a Croquet Club). These documents enshrine the club values so this is where you could lay out your standards e.g. openness, inclusion, equity, voting rights that kind of thing. Its easier then for issues such as this to be tackled by the club committee rather than by individuals. Glad to send you ours by PM if it would help.

Synonymous Mon 16-Apr-18 12:07:58

Eglantine you have my sympathy over this situation from more than one direction. Some people have absolutely no empathy whatsoever and more enthusiasm than discretion whether they are Christians or not. Reactions to someone evangelising also vary widely as some can feel very challenged and others can just ignore it and enjoy the activity. If you feel too uncomfortable then just ask her nicely about her agenda for each activity as in whether it is evangelizing or socializing so that you can make an informed decision about whether to go or not. Just tell her that you are not interested or feel uncomfortable - whatever - and ask her to respect that. It might just work.

In our own case, which was obviously very different although with similarities, our friendship circle was invaded and taken over by a couple just like the person you describe and eventually DH and me were excluded by some blatant lies and pretty dirty tricks. It is not much consolidation to us that recently that couple plus another couple completely overreached themselves, exposed themselves as untrustworthy and liars and subsequently left the group. The original group have since approached us with apologies but since it will never be the same we are just polite and approachable. It was very painful at the time but the trust has gone and we have moved on. sad
It is probably best to anticipate the almost inevitable outcome and widen your circle - just in case..

Eglantine21 Mon 16-Apr-18 12:35:41

Yes, I think you are probably right Synonomous. Time to look elsewhere. It was your reply on another thread that chimed with my experience and led me to post.
I think the group has changed, and become more of a clique of those who now go to the church and meet up socially and those (me and a couple of others who hold back a bit) who just want the couple of times a month activity.

Luckygirl Mon 16-Apr-18 12:45:38

Come on Eg - you can do it!!

Synonymous Mon 16-Apr-18 13:15:14

Consolation not consolidation! Wretched predictive text! Grr!

Tweedle24 Mon 16-Apr-18 13:23:15

Can you speak to the other members who do not want to get involved in the evangelism ? Maybe bring up the subject at your next meeting saying that the club was formed for a particular interest and that pushing other agendas is not appropriate!
No need to be nasty, just say that you do not wish to be preached at and, whilst you are happy for her to follow her beliefs, you would rather they were kept outside the club as it makes you (and some others) uncomfortable.

Bluegal Mon 16-Apr-18 17:21:19

I’ve always steered well away from assertive people. One reason I don’t like joining clubs of any description since I first joined the girl guides. Even at 10 I knew it wasn’t for me ?.

If you enjoy the club in the most I would carry on going and ignore this person. Never feel intimidated! Other people can make their own minds up. Some will follow others will give her a wide berth. takes all sorts

gummybears Mon 16-Apr-18 17:36:34

I can't stand back door evangelism. The deception of it all is frankly cultish and not in accordance with the teachings of Christ. Jesus didn't tell the apostles "follow me, we're going on a pub crawl"

BlueBelle Mon 16-Apr-18 18:15:49

I hope you find a solution this is not a nice situation at all , especially as she seems to have won over most of the others I probably wouldn’t be able to stay without saying something although it’s a shame that it’s all been pulled from under your feet
I think I d have to say why I was leaving and then go I don’t think I d b e able to enjoy it any more knowing she had infiltrated for obviously her own means
I hope you can work it out

GillT57 Mon 16-Apr-18 18:51:28

A most unpleasant time for you, and devious and untruthful of this person to use your friendship group to push her evangelism. i am sure that others will feel uncomfortable at the anti-abortion fashion show. Like you, I would not be able to speak out, maybe take the higher moral ground and just distance yourself from anything she is involved in? Easier said than done, I know, but hopefully others will see her for what she is. Don't bad mouth her ( not that I think you would), just say, if asked, that you are uncomfortable with this person's taking over of your previously friendly and casual group to push her evangelism.

Chinesecrested Mon 16-Apr-18 18:59:05

I agree with Bluegal in that I'm not a "joiner". Clubs tend to get "cliquey" and just too reminiscent of the
school playground! Much happier in a one to one or small group situation, plus there's less likelihood of anyone being able to manipulate the group for their own ends.

Anniebach Mon 16-Apr-18 19:06:10

Surely members are free to accept or not, if they do attend and it isn't what they want they will refuse the next invite ?

Eglantine21 Mon 16-Apr-18 19:47:46

Oh yes Annie, absolutely it’s up to them. But they might not know what it is really supporting and they will have supported It financially by the time they find out.

I really think she should have been honest, rather than saying it was a birth charity, then trying to sidestep into a pregnancy advice charity and only coming clean as to what it was actually going to support when I pressed the issue.
She has a viewpoint. I disagreed with it and with her pretending it was something else to get me to pay to go and so support what I believe is wrong.

It was the underhand side of it that ruffled me, like when I was invited to lunch and found myself in the middle of a recruitment to Bible Study.

Bridgeit Mon 16-Apr-18 20:10:34

Of course you can go to the next club meeting, in fact I think it is even more important that you do. This woman is deceitful & manipulating , you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Don’t let this sanctimonious person edge you out, carry on being yourself, just be polite if necessary & avoid conversing any more than necessary.