Yesterday morning a very pushing lady who came to my door with bible in hand. With my 3yo daughter standing next to me she smiled held up her bible and went right in to a sermon on how "the bible is very modern in helping us raise our children", and "How it is my responsibility as a parent to teach my children the ways of righteousness and the path to heaven's gate through our savior Jesus Christ." I politely smiled, as a usually do, and said, "no thank you we're fine" and began closing the door. This lady's smile turned to a smirk as she stuck her hand on the door and pushed back saying something about how my children were destine for hell if I did not have Jesus save their souls. My patience was about worn thin at this point, so again I smiled and politely said "no thank you we're atheists" and again began to close the door. The look on her face was that of shock and awe. She looked at me like I was Satan himself. She then again pushed on the door, but I had already closed and locked it. Our front door has a huge glass window in the middle of it so I could see her raise her bible above her head and mumbled something with her eyes closed. Then the lady said, and I quote, "You f@#$ing heathens and your f@#$ing heathen children are going to burn in hell!" That was when I took out my cell phone dialed 911 (but didn't hit send yet) and placed the phone against the window so she could see it. She left mumbling what could only be more choice words of wisdom and making hand gestures that I usually reserve for ignorant drivers.
My daughter is an extremely bright 3 year old and asked me why the lady was yelling at me. How should I handle this one, I thought. Not one to sugar coat things, I quickly told her "the lady was upset because we didn't believe the same thing she did, and some people don't tolerate different things very well. Especially ignorant people who sell lies, like that lady." My daughter, seemingly satisfied, dismissed the event and went back to playing with her sister, but the event leaves me wondering how best to protect my children from ignoramuses like this woman.
How do I handle this if it happens again? Of course I want to arm my children with knowledge, reason, and a fair amount of tolerance, but besides karate lessons instead of ballet, what else is one to do? Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? How do you handle events similar to the one I had? What do you tell your kids, or what did you tell your kids on how to deal with people like that?
That is just outrageous to me that she (not just once but twice) pushed your door open! That is practically trespassing!
Although her actions were unconscionable, I would say this was a good opportunity to teach your daughter about intolerance and the importance of treating all people fairly. I think you handled it perfectly. But I'd say next time, call the police and get that bitch off your property!
I am a proponent of talking to them and telling them that I am not interested in a very calm voice. No thank you, I am not interested. They don't deserve to know why. Just simply that I wish you would leave. meanwhile I dial 911 and have the phone "on" while I continually ask her to leave my property. Once the police arrive I can say "well I have asked her x times to simply leave me alone but she won't leave. Can you help?" No one has to know she is a religious bigot or that I am an atheist. I'd just like to see the look on her face when she is booked for trespassing (and possibly assault too I guess) and then gets carted off in a cop car. I wouldn't even show her the phone...
That is the very reason why I have a crowbar standing next to my front door. I open the door with one hand and have the crowbar in another.
I would've hit send and as for her and the door. You should've closed it on her and leaned on the door until the police arrived and then let it go.
Here's one solution you could try if that lady or her ilk ever come to your house again: Groups like FFRF or American Atheists sell door signs which state, "This is an atheist household. We have no need of religious literature or proselytizing." I don't know how this would affect you relationships with your nextdoor neighbors, but Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and other religious nut-jobs will usually leave without even knocking when they see a notice like that posted on your door.
Another tactic is to hand the proselytizers some atheist tracts and simply tell them that they're not qualified to talk to an atheist because they don't really understand atheism. I don't know how it would effect a Jesus freak like the one that came to your door, but it always sends the JW's off in a huff.
At times like those it's always good to have a nice, folded copy of "Kissing Hank's Ass" on hand. You can exchange tracts and both be on your way. KHA is also nice for leaving in religious racks in laundromats or in those free newspaper jukeboxes you sometimes see outside supermarkets.
It looks like the guy has pulled the nice, pdf-formatted version off his website, not sure why he did that. I've still got it on my local drive, though, and I'd be happy to send it along to anyone who wanted to print off copies for handing out to uninvited front door guests.