Yesterday, I received that ring at the door. You know the one, the one that happens just a little too early on a Sunday to be any of your friends.

There, standing on my stairs, were two well-dressed gentlemen from obviously different generations. They didn’t even need to tell me way they were there, for the tell-tale selection of colours on their pamphlet gave away what they were trying to sell all too easily. What is it with Christian door-knockers and their love of yellow parchment tones and brown text on their handouts?

I had time to read the all-caps ‘JESUS’ on the pamphlet before greeting them with a “Morning gentlemen, how are things?”

They were fine, and proceeded to tell me about some Jesus event they wanted me to attend. I told them that if I had the time to sneak off anywhere, it’d be to the 2010 Global Atheist Convention in Adelaide (which was already on its last day by then). Knowing they were beat, the two gentlemen bade me good day and went on their way.

While Atomique was fairly chuffed by my handling of the situation, I so dearly wish I’d been able to mount a stronger stand. But, with a toddler at your knees, you need to choose to spend your time wisely.

Had I had it in me to open a can of worms, the response may have been drastically different…

“Look, guys – I know you’re trying to do the right thing,” I start, tone conversational and welcoming (I don’t want to scare anyone off), “but really, if you’re trying to make the world a better place, you do it by going and doing good things. You do good things for your friends, your family, your community. You figure out what good things are by examining the world and caring to improve the lives of those around you. What you don’t do is run around convincing people to follow a two-thousand year old guide book on how to get into somebody’s secret country club after you’re dead.”

They probably bail at that point, and, doubtfully, will either of them take any of what I’ve said to heart. But, still, it would’ve made me feel warm on the inside, knowing that I may have planted just the tiniest seed of change in the younger guy’s brain.

Next time, maybe.