I work at a Walmart, sucky job, but it's a way to get by as a college kid. A few weeks ago an older couple came through my line (I'm a cashier) and after paying, there was no one behind them, and they gentleman said "Son, have you heard lately that God loves you?" I was caught off guard, tired, and had heard this opening line before. I have heard this, surprise, so I said yeah, hoping he'd give me a smile and say something about God and leave. Instead, he asks "if you were to die today, would you go to heaven?" I say "sure" knowing that any resistance will be met with more religious BS, and I just want to get him out of my line. He quickly says "you don't sound too sure!" and gives me a quick and dirty version of the Jesus story. Then he starts praying for me, for God to reveal himself and his "holy power" to me right then. I wait, wanting to bust out laughing, wanting to mock or refute him or at least state my atheism, and admit I just didn't want to discuss it. Instead I smile politely and he says "if you feel compelled by the holy spirit, say this prayer with me right now, if you mean it." and goes on the "Jesus save my soul" prayer.
I kind of stare at him, knowing he expects me to start begging Jesus for forgiveness or something, so I tell the truth, with omission, and say I was baptized and saved when I was 14, and that I was in church my whole life. He says praise Jesus, and tells me I should visit his church, and leaves.
Does anyone else do this, pretend or omit their atheism to keep from having disputes in inappropriate circumstances? I wonder if I can honestly do this again, it seems wrong to me to deny a central part of myself because of social problems. Is this a problem for everyone?