Matt HealeySunday,28 April 2013

The Snap:

One of the nice things about hiking the Appalachian Trail is trail magic. If you are unfamiliar with trail magic, it is when a group goes to a trail head — where the trail intersects a road and there is parking for people who are hiking a section of the trail — and sets up a grill and serves food to the hikers. Generally the food is things like hot dogs and burgers, donuts, soda, candy, etc.

The Download:

The most common type of group that does this is a church group. They are proselytizing. They sometimes want you to sign in with a name and an address so they can send you stuff. I usually give a bad address so that I do not have to get the material. Generally, I do not like the proselytizing. Especially if it is the IN YOUR FACE type.

What I have found on the trail though is that it is not the in your face type. It is soft sell conversions. They do usually have bibles that you can take. Why you would I have no idea — after all, they weigh a lot and hikers go for light weight over everything else. But they do not try to force them on you. They also do not go out of their way to ask if you have accepted jesus as your lord and savior. They tend to just give you food and water and are ready to talk about god if you want. This is what I think church recruiting should be. It is non-invasive and does not cause people like me react with anger. If more of the religious were like the people who manage the trail magic sites, then I would have less of a problem with religion.

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Image Credit: Flickr

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