25 May 2011

Yes I am.

Interesting interplay this morning. An SUV drove up, at least 3 people in it. A young man got out, followed by an older one. I figured this was either a legal matter or politics or religion. They had on coats and ties. Cheerful ties, the one was a pale yellow print.

I walked onto the porch but no further. As the young man came alongside the car (still 50' from the porch), I called, "Can I help you?" with the air of one who does not welcome interruptions.

He said, "Yes, Good morning, we've come to talk to you about god."

My demeanor changed. I put on a big, friendly smile, and said, "Oh! No, thank you, I'm an atheist!" As he had stopped where he'd been when I first questioned him, I was loud enough the neighbors on either side could have heard me clearly, had they been outside and not preoccupied. That felt good. It's the first time I've said out loud what I've thought for a long time.

He was clearly surprised. I think most people soften it by saying instead, "I'm not really religious," or something similar. But I was forthright, and even seemed pleased by my declaration, not a bit hostile, not challenging, just friendly.

"Oh!" he said. "Well, we run into all sorts of people!"

"I'm sure you do! Have a nice day!" I said. And thus dismissed, they left. Bemused.

I think they'll think about this for a while. I could have added, "and if you spend a lot of time talking to me you may become one (an atheist) too," but didn't think of it in time.

I feel good. I feel like someone came by, offering to help me get my G.E.D, and I was able to laugh and say, "oh, no, I've already got a Bachelor's, but thank you anyway."

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