So after leaving class the other day, i was walking towards the exit. an older man in a suit was standing by the door handing out bibles to everyone who passed by. So as to not hurt his feelings, i kindly smiled and took the bible. Once i was out of the mans view i offered it to another classmate in hopes that they were christian: she said she already had one. After that, i got home, and placed the bible directly in the garbage.
After pondering this for quite some time, i realized how bothered by this i truly was. How could this man honestly expect everyone passing through that door to be christian? What if i would have said "no thanks"?
I discussed this with a friend of mine who instantly claimed i was misinterpreting the situation. he stated, " the man was giving you an opportunity to see a different side of things. He was not expecting you to be a christian." I replied "he could have simply asked "would you like a bible?" rather than just handing it to me in a slightly presumptuous manor. Its easy to see why i thought he expected me to be a christian.
I'm not one to bash other people's religions, but to me this is another example of christian ignorance. What if the same situation happened with another person who was say, muslim or hindu?
Okay, so I've decided...
My new plan in these situations to ask if they've considered the alternative. Just as they witness to everyone, we should do the same. Not in an abrasive way, but in a kind, informative way. There's no need to tell them their beliefs are stupid, just offer them another way of thinking. That's typically their approach and the Christian community is growing everyday. We should do that same.
It may help to step into his worldview for a moment. He believes that the Bible comes from God and contains life and death information. He has acted on that information himself and believes it to work in real life. He beleives that the Bible is similar to a cure for cancer, and that everyone - including himself has it.
Therefore, when he hands out bibles, acting on what he completely believes, he does so out of compassion and love for his fellow man. Its possible that he is mistaken about it, and its possible that nobody wants one, but he sleeps better at night having offered. Sleep better at night in the sense of loving people, not religious duty.
So I think entering his worldview atleast helps us to think the best of people, which we should do whatever we think about God.
Trevor, thank you for reminding me of the kind of atheist I strive to be. It's easy to get all high and mighty and forget what it's like to be in their shoes. I know. I was there once too.
I personaly cant step into his shoes. Many people think they are promoting the ultimate cure having failed examples with it. But they still trying to peddle it to everyone around not(or slightly) understanding the impact. I would be more tender dealing with person freedom especially if I care of my better sleep at night.
We have a lots of sound examples about misleading ideas resulting in thousands death. Jim Jones also beleived that he was doing only good things but 918 of his "sheeps" has died in 1979 in Jonestown. Please let me rest on wars those were not free from religious leads and content. I have pretty fresh examples too.
His actions were towards one and only one reaction - your conversion to his way of thinking and living.
I doubt he had anything in his mind but generations of mind control.
Restricting your right to freedom of movement
Anyone handing out literature of any kind at or near a college building entrance should be kindly but firmly told not to encumber a fire exit -- if the person doesn't move away into a a public, open space: then notify campus police.
Restricting your freedom of movement -- you can't easily turn around hindering others coming out -- and you can't put yourself inside a comfortable range of personal space. You were at a disadvantage -- this was a typical in-your-space assault on your right to avoid contact with anyone inhibiting your freedom of movement.
No wonder you were slightly frightened, obviously embarrassed and afterwards irritated -- taking that damn Bible was the price you (and others) paid for this xian's lack of respect. It doesn't surprise me that you got rid of that xian garbage quickly -- no gift is ever thrust upon us.
xians are zombies -- they hate you but want your brains
Somewhere between 50-65 CE, Saul of Tarsus (aka "saint" Paul) founder of xian cult writes to an underground cell of proto-xians in Corinth, Greece about what makes him and them special.
Saul, tent maker and salesman, markets to a vast underclass of slaves and uneducated urban poor of the eastern Roman Empire an easy-to-own inverted snobbery. A simple minded doctrine of anti-intelligence, anti-education, anti-refinement -- it is the essence of xian hatred of "sin" projected onto the world -- nihilism:
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. 26 Brothers [sic!] think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things— and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are. . . . 30 . . . Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1Cor1:25-30 NIV(1984)
That is --
We stink, but stinking is godly.
"no, thank you" would be just fine as a response.
every time i walk through hermann park in houston, i pass by the same woman looking to convert people to christianity. every time the same question, "do you know our lord and savior, jesus christ?"
"no ma'am, i'm an atheist." that usually ends the conversation. i could have said, "no ma'am, i'm a humanist" and then could have had a long conversation about that. it still would have started with "i don't believe in any gods."
but that word.... atheist. it still scares so many believers. in this particular woman, she just muttered a bothered "fine" and walked briskly away as if i carried the ebola virus.
her memory must be short, because every week the same question. one of these days when i have an extra half hour i will probably stop to ask her why it is so important for her to convert people. i can guess at her motives: she really believes and wants to save people, she believes that the more people believe the more likely it is to be true, and possibly she cannot entertain even the notion that she has wasted a good deal of her life on a fiction that has no guarantee.