Saturday afternoon, and it's pouring rain. My doorbell rings, and on my way to answer it I try to decide if it will be kids selling chocolate bars to raise money for schools or sports teams, or someone who thinks I should pay less (or at least pay them) for my gas or electricity bill. Wrong on both counts - upon opening the door, I see a well-dressed man of 30 or so, accompanied by a boy about 10 (I surmised that they were father and son). The man says that they are going around my neighbourhood talking to people about what is important in life. and asks if they could leave me a pamphlet to look at. (I think they might have identified their church, but it was said so quickly I didn't catch it, but I am reasonably certain that they were neither Mormons nor JWs; likely just run-of-the-mill fundamentalists.)
OK, my sign says "No Flyers Please", but I guess they figure that a pamphlet which proclaims the good news of salvation does not qualify for my prohibition. So, I politely decline, saying that I don't need any more paper. A split second later, I decide that was a pathetically wimpy way to turn away evangelists, and add, "We are atheists here". The man looks a bit surprised, and says something like, "I see. Well, have a nice day", and off they go.
Did the boy ask his father what an atheist is, as they walked down the street, or later that day? I certainly hope so, and I wonder what the father will say in response. (I did feel a twinge of guilt for potentially disturbing the child's faith, but quickly decided that was silly - they were the ones who came to *my* door, and I said nothing rude or otherwise inappropriate.)