We’re Not Buying Jesus…

Reader Sheila‘s “NO SOLICITATION” sign wasn’t preventing the unwanted religious visitors from stopping by her house, so she now has this message on her door:

Think it’ll work? :)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    It’s like a red rag to a bull. They’ll be round like a shot to convert them to the ONE TRUE FAITH(TM) now that they know that they haven’t already bought a deity from another supplier.

  • WishinItWas

    My GF is always nervous that I will answer the door for solicitors and “be mean to them” by challenging their beliefs and asking them tough questions.
    Now when they show up and shes home I turn into a 5yr old and say “one second, HUN … SOME PEOPLE WANT TO TALK TO YOU” (shes a deist) and I let her not “be mean to them” and struggle to get rid of them ;)

  • http://www.erink.smugmug.com Erin Kohlenberg

    Good one. I might use it!

  • Star Stuff

    I have a LOL cat – kitty indoors, doggie outdoors. We Not Interested In Your Mindless Dogma. And one that says “NO SOLICITING: Magazines, Books, God, Petitions. So far, so good!

  • Otakumommy

    Well, so far so good! It’s been up for a few weeks & no unwelcome visitors yet. I’m well aware that there are some who’ll knock anyway, but I can just point out the window down to the sign :) I just wish that I could catch at least one of them coming up so I can see the look on their face – that would be priceless. From what I can gather, we’re already a topic of discussion at the local church where all of my kids’ friends and parents attend… here’s something else for them to talk about. – Sheila

  • T-Rex

    They’d be better off putting u pa sign that says;
    “Fundys welcome to debate the existance of their imaginary friends for the cheap price of 1 newborn, preferably unseasoned.”

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    @Otakumommy:

    (I love your nym :3)

    That’s a very clever sign, fortunately for me, I have no use of those signs since I live in an apartment. The only Jehovah’s Witnesses who ever come door to door just slide Awake! under the door (I think there’s someone in the building who is a JW, but they don’t bother me, so *shrug*)

    @T-Rex:

    ROFL XD

  • http://www.frommormontoatheist.blogspot.com Leia

    :) I am glad I live in the ‘poor’ part of town, I have lived in my house for two years and haven’t seen one faith peddler yet.

    If things change and they start looking for the needy instead of the well off to pack their buildings, I may need to ‘borrow’ this idea…

  • Mike in FL

    I usually tell them I’m a “day sleeper” and they go away.

  • Ron in Houston

    Nah, I say install a sprinkler above your porch. When one of them shows up just turn it on.

  • Megan

    100 points for perfect grammar and spelling.

  • Drew M.

    From experience, I am happy to report that a fat man answering the door in nothing but briefs is effective against both JWs and Mormons. They’ve not darkened my door since.

  • Steve

    But if they had accepted Jesus as their master they wouldn’t be broke!

  • Parse

    The apartment complex I live in has a ‘No Solicitors’ sign up, and it seems to have done the job.
    That being said, I’m more than willing to entertain door-knockers. Consulting fees start at $60 an hour, two hours minimum; same as anybody else who comes to my door looking to engage me professionally. (For on-demand freelance computer consulting on weekends, that’s pretty cheap.)

  • http://www.skeptict.org Sean Gillespie

    We had a girl come by the other day selling some kind of “history of freedom” book. I turned it over and the back was covered in “standing up for God” nonsense and she started talking about the coming end times. I REALLY wanted to say something to her, but all I could manage was a weak “no thanks” while chuckling.

  • Otakumommy

    @T-Rex: I told one of my friends that if this sign didn’t work, I’d make one that says, “”All Christians that knock on this door will be raped and tortured – HAIL SATAN!” I think there are probably laws against posting something like that, though. Before anyone says anything, I’m not a rapist nor do I advocate raping Christians. I just want to scare them off my freaking porch.

    @Drew: lol! My husband once scared off a couple of little old ladies that woke us up early on a Saturday morning. When he opened the door, they just turned and walked away. Apparently an angry-looking guy with a lot of piercings and tattoos couldn’t possibly want to hear about Jesus. Unfortunate for me that the same rule does not apply to girls.

    @Megan: Thanks, even though I get zero points for penmanship. Writing with chalk is hard :/

  • Timmy

    My fenced in acre, no trespassing sign, and my four boxers assure that I am never hassled.

  • LeAnne

    ugh, my boyfriend and i need one of these terribly. we get SO many solicitors (not just religious solicitors, all kiiinds of solicitors..) in our neighborhood.

  • http://www.cvaas.org Calladus

    I’ve moved into a new place, and have a nice big front porch. Soon I’ll have a table and comfy chairs there.

    I thinking about putting up a sign that says, “Intelligent, knowledgeable atheist would love to discuss your lack of evidence for your invisible friend. Please knock!”

    I wonder what will happen?

  • siveambrai

    I know in Pennsylvania this applies but if you have a No Solicitation sign posted and someone knocks on your door or posts advertising materials on your door you can call either the police/local government and turn them in. Ignoring the signs can result in a rather hefty fine for the organization.

    Also it’s against Federal law to tamper with mailboxes. So if they put them in your box instead you can still get them.

  • bla

    I had Jehova witnesses on the 21 of may trying to tell me something about end of the world. I’ve started to convince them that in fact the world is going to end TODAY. That was fun. More of them! (They don’t come often; I’d rather place a sign on my phone…)

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

    I actually really enjoy talking to such people, especially when they are from a religious group I haven’t encountered before. Also, I think I have a bit more sympathy for them. They are trying to save us from eternal suffering. In that regard many of these people are more moral than the deities they believe in. They believe in a deity that is fine sending people to burn for eternity, but they are not ok with that even as their deity say it is ok.

    Unfortunately, almost whenever I encounter street preachers or anything similar I’m always in a rush to get actual work done or to get to some place. This makes me almost wonder if there is a God and God uses street preachers to taunt me in a way somewhat similar to how one might have fun with a cat using a laser pointer.

  • vltava

    How about “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”?

  • Defiantnonbeliever

    You could invite them to “Kiss Hank’s Ass” :P

  • Amenhotepstein

    I don’t know if it’ll keep the religious out, but “Broke Atheists” is a great name for a band!

  • http://astrogaijin.wordpress.com Austin

    I wish I got these people, it would make my day a little more entertaining.

  • JSug

    @siveambrai – You can always have someone arrested for trespassing on your property if you have made it clear they are not welcome. That applies anywhere.

    We have been living in our current house for 5 years. There’s a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses that live a few doors down from us. They occasionally have people over for bible study or something. Basically, a bunch of people will show up to their house on a Saturday afternoon, all dressed up, carrying bibles. I have chatted with the couple on many occasions as they take their dog for walks past our house, but not once since we moved in have they proselytized to us. I’m not sure if I should be relieved or insulted.

  • Steve

    You could try something like this:
    http://xkcd.com/501/

    It’s perfectly legal

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Being older than most of the 20 somethings here, I have a nice house in a nice neighborhood so we are JW magnets. Someone comes a knocking about once a month all year long. Usually I’m rushing around to do something and don’t have time to talk. Once, though, I had some time and felt a little feisty so I faked sincere interest in what they had to say and wasted quite a bit of their time having fun asking questions. The only problem was that they then started coming back in mass over the next couple of weeks thinking that they actually had a convert. I had to level with them that I didn’t believe. They still come around about once a month so I guess they don’t keep good records about who is who.

    I wonder what they will say if I told them that I converted yesterday (to the JWs) but I just haven’t been to church yet. Would they move along to the net house or would that just cause more attention?

  • Annie

    A few years back, while my daughter and I were decking out the yard for Halloween, a couple came by to “talk”. The woman asked me why I thought there were so many hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., in recent years. I went into science teacher mode and started to talk about plate tectonics, sea level rise projections, and so on, making sure not to let her interrupt me when she politely tried to. When I took a breath, the man asked if we could pray together. I looked shocked, put my hands over my daughter’s ears and said, “Not in front of the child!” in a disgusted voice. They haven’t been back since. ;-)

  • Nakor

    @Calladus: I like!

    @Otakumommy: You probably can’t do the threatening one, no, but what if you put up one that says “Knock if you love Satan!” :p

    (You could combine this with a trick someone else I know tried once which was to invite them in and then immediately begin reading from the satanic bible. :p)

  • JD

    Aren’t there laws that they have to comply with if it says No Solicitation?

  • Kari

    Annie, you are made of epic win!

    ~Kari~

  • downtown dave

    Jesus is not for sale. He’s the One who payed a price for you. http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

  • itsafairytale

    LMAO Annie!! That’s a good one!!

    My wife’s family is JW. When we moved to a part of town that is considered “the south side of town,” the JW’s started coming in full force. My sweet wife (oh and we are a lesbian, married couple) didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings as JW’s are a small community in Tulsa. She would let them talk and take their paperwork, etc. One day she was not home and a knock on the door. I was feeling frisky that day and I answered (usually I just let them knock). She’s talking to me and trying to see in the house behind me and finally had to ask “is that other girl here? Is she your sister?” I busted out in laughter and said, “No, she is my wife!” I have never in my life seen someone so nervous trying to find me some JW pamlets!! She left and has not been back since!

    SO, if you ever want to get rid of them…just pretend to be gay!

  • Rich Wilson

    I have a ‘no solicitors’ sign but the LDS doesn’t define their actions as ‘soliciting’. Ignore my sign and knock once and you get a terse point to the sign and a closed door. Knock again and you get yelled at.

    No 3rd knocks so far.

  • Kristi

    I moved to a small town in Georgia a few years ago, with a church on every corner of the “intersections” there. (thankfully, I have moved since then) Population, 6,000. A group of ladies brought a few charming little “welcome” gifts to my house when I moved in and they asked me which church I could be expected to be attending. When I replied I was an atheist, they asked why. I very politely told them “because there is no realistic foundation for believing in any gods”. They said “just read the Bible!” I replied “I did, thats one of the main reasons I don’t believe it.”

    I never heard a single thing again from any of the neighborhood theists. The lady across the street would not even look at me when we were both outside. Fair enough, at least it kept them at bay!

  • Kristi

    JSug: I was raised JW, the reason they have left you alone is because they actually have a record of “territories” or neighborhoods in which they are to do their “pioneering” work “out in service” as they call it. The Kingdom Hall I attended as a child had rules about them associating with “worldly” people when they were not out in service. Don’t be insulted, be relieved no one has gotten a hold of your neighborhood yet! :)

  • Dave

    Love the sign! I’ve never been bothered by the religious door-to-door types. Kinda makes me sad, sounds like they could be good for a laugh.

    One fond(ish) memory of my youth is my fundy Baptist father yelling at the top of his lungs at the Mormons “In the name of the lord jesus christ, get your blaspheming asses off my porch!” You shoulda seen them run (hes one scary s.o.b. when he wants to be).

  • deathby2

    I was onced witnessed at a gas station. I was filling up and a van pulled up next to me and tried to convert me. When I said no, they sped off.

  • http://atheistreadsbible.blogspot.com/ Jude

    If I’m actually in the mood to talk to religion peddlers, who are frequently women, I ask them how in heck they can tolerate attending a church which is so anti-woman? That applies to every church. My idea is to get them to think. But usually, I just slam the door in their faces.

  • Kerri

    @Annie… you are full of win. :-)

  • aceinhole

    My best friend swears by telling JWs “We’re Jewish.” Says it works everytime & they leave fast.

    I’m an abortion provider so I say “You’re scaring me & I’m holding a pump shotgun.” That has worked swiftly everytime.

  • Otakumommy

    @ Downtown Dave: Jesus isn’t for sale? Tell that to all of the televangelists or the churches who expect families to go without just to support the church. Give us your money, we’ll give you salvation. Like many have stated on here, a lot of these religious panderers are much more interested only in the prosperous. I am touched (not tempted to convert) when someone is truly concerned for the well-being of my soul, but in my experience, those people are few and far-between.

    @ Nakor: I love the idea of inviting them in just to scare the holy hell out of them, but I’m not about to invite anyone I don’t know into my house or even open the door for them. I watch too many episodes of Cold Case Files. Churchy-types are particularly threatening to me – I automatically think of BTK (who was his church’s president) and all of those church daycare child molesters you hear about on the news every week.

    @itsafairytale: I’ll have to remember the gay trick if I’m ever cornered :) lol

  • Zac

    We used to get Jehovah’s Witnesses coming to the door every couple months. Then my brother ate their pamphlet in front of them and we haven’t seen them since.

  • LauraD

    I rarely get solicitors at the house, but I had a Jehovah’s Witness approach me at a bus stop once. It was the first time I referred to myself as an atheist and it shut down the conversation pretty quickly. She couldn’t understand why I didn’t believe.

  • Dan W

    It’s a nice sign, but I bet the door-to-door bible thumpers will (mis)interpret it as an invitation.

    I’ve been fortunate to only encounter proselytizers on my door on a few occasions. The last time was by some middle-aged lady for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I remember I just stood there waiting for her to be done talking then went back inside the house and tore up the pamphlet she gave me. Not sure how I’d react the next time I open my door and see one of those people. It’ll probably depend on what I’m doing at the time.

  • AxeGrrl

    Annie…..that was simply awesome :)

  • http://amandamccarter.wordpress.com Amanda McCarter

    There’s a writer here in Tulsa who pulled a fun one. She had her hair dyed red and has a habit of wearing long, flowy dresses. She just so happened to be wearing a black one when the JW’s came by. She had a cat in her arms when she opened the door. She stroked the cat and gave them a pleasant smile. Turning her head, she said, “Dear, the virgin sacrifices are here!”

    They left with a quickness.

    @Downtown Dave. You can quote all the Bible scripture you want. It’s fiction and will not convince anyone with two braincells to rub together that your invisible friend is there.

  • Esteezee

    I just point to the blank wall next to my door and ask if they can read. Puzzled looks aplenty. If they question my invisible sign that really gets the conversation going.

  • Barb

    @Esteezee: that is excellent, I’m trying that one next time ‘they’ knock.

  • http://considertheteacosy.wordpress.com Consider the Tea Cosy

    So, ’round these parts of the world, ‘solicitor’ is our word for what you call ‘attorney’, I believe.
    Which makes this one of my favourite threads. Ever.


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