Jeanne Phillips fumbles another easy one with a flaccid answer in today's installment of Dear Abby:
Dear Abby: My husband and I are not religious. We believe that people are entitled to their own beliefs. My problem lies with my brother-in-law and his wife. They are two of the most judgmental, sanctimonious people I have ever known. They “hate” (their word) Mormons, Catholics, etc. How would you suggest I respond to their criticism of our “lack” of Christianity and their offers to pray for us? —Biting My Tongue in Great Falls, Mont.Oh, Jeanne, “selective deafness” isn't going to work with these god-botherers. Otherwise they would have gotten the hint long ago that their religious babble isn't appreciated by the tongue-biter and her husband. By offering to pray for them, the self-righteous duo is setting up a perfect rope-a-dope situation. Seize the opportunity! For example, thus:
Dear Biting Your Tongue: If your relatives are an example of people who practice Christianity, heaven help the rest of us. If you must interact with them, practice selective deafness, and when they spout hatred, excuse yourselves.