Found on stumble upon....
Arguing With the Christians
By Bob Wire, 1-15-08
It was halftime of the Green Bay-Seattle playoff game on Saturday, and I had just gotten off the couch to promote myself some nachos in the kitchen. Our dog, Houdini, suddenly started barking like mad, and then the doorbell rang. Wow, I thought, it’s almost like he’s clairvoyant. Or perhaps he can see through that big window right next to the front door.
I grabbed my half-full (always the optimist) bottle of Red Hook ESB and went to the door. I opened it up to find two women standing on the porch, smiling warmly, clutching Bibles. I could see their black Lexus parked at the curb at the foot of my driveway. Great, I thought. The freakin’ neighbors have turned me in. Found out I was an atheist and sicced the Christians on me.
“What took you so long?” I said, bracing myself for the intervention. The younger of the two gave me a quizzical look, then took a step forward and opened up her Bible, pointing to a lengthy passage. “I assume you’re familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. When was the last time you said it out loud?”
“Oh, not since the fourth quarter of the Miami-Pittsburgh game. Jesus Christ, did you see that sloppy field? It looked like they were playing in a goddamn barnyard!”
“Um, no,” she said, glancing down at my boxer shorts. I had flopped out. “I missed that one. Um, do you have a robe or something?”
I quickly tucked my Little Toby back in and hastily apologized. “Sorry. Sometimes he just needs some air, I guess. Anyway, I don’t…”
“Our father, who art in heaven…” she began.
“Which,” I said.
“Which. I think the original prayer says ‘which.’”
Normally, by this point, I would have had Rusty pour the boiling oil down from his bedroom window, but she was attractive, and had nice legs. So I humored her.
“Well, anyway, the Lord’s Prayer is a passage that can be…”
“I’m an atheist,” I interrupted.
Her cohort, who was positioned on a lower step a few feet behind her, piped up for the first time. “Maybe you’re an agnostic? You’re questioning your faith?”
“Nope. Been a devout atheist since I was 15,” I said.
“Swear to God. I have my own blend of spirituality, and it doesn’t involve an old white man wearing a toga. It comes a lot closer to the Native American way of worshiping the Earth, being a part of the Earth. But I’m also an existentialist. A pragmatist.” Then I let her have it with both barrels: “A secular humanist.”
Unfazed, the looker cocked her head a bit, and said, “So you think that the Earth and all God’s creatures were just created out of nothing? You don’t see the hand of God in everything?”
“To quote Lou Reed, I don’t believe in magic; I believe in numbers. It’s from ‘Magic and Loss.’ Great album. I believe in science. I believe in the evolutionary theory. I believe in carbon dating. I believe in the existence of fossils that are millions of years old. I think the Big Bang theory holds some water. I guess I just don’t feel the need to have the answers to how it all began. I really don’t care. I just decided early on that I can’t buy into the whole Judeo-Christian doctrine, man. I mean, come on. A lot of the Bible sounds like a magic show. Turning water into wine? Loaves into fishes? Coming back from the dead? It’s all just a little too much to swallow, really. And Moses parting the Red Sea? I’m supposed to buy that? I’ll bet it was just low tide.”
She started to stammer, but I pressed on. “I’m not saying you’re wrong to believe whatever you want. Each of us is free to have his or her own beliefs, our own faith. I’m a live-and-let-live kinda guy, you know. Whatever gets you through the night. But I also believe that people should not try to cram their religion down someone else’s throat. My values and the Christian values have a lot in common, actually. A lot of the differences between us are just semantics.”
She thrust her Bible at me. “But look in here. It shows how the Lord provides a Kingdom of Man that will allow all of us to live on in eternity after we pass from this world.” She was starting to talk pretty fast, and her cheeks were apple-red.
“Oh,” I said, tucking Little Toby back in after he’d flopped out again to see what all the ruckus was. “We’re gonna pass from this world, all right.” I took a pull off the Red Hook. “We’ve ruined the planet. Fouled our own nest. You ever read any Kurt Vonnegut? Yeah? He was a pretty sharp cookie. He said that it’s too late for us to do anything now. Our species won’t be around for three more generations. James Lovelock? Heard of him? The Gaia theory? This planet is more than just a dirt-covered rock. It’s a collection of systems that makes up one big system. It’s pretty much a living organism in and of itself.” I was on a roll. “The planet is going to be fine. Right now global warming and tornadoes in Washington and worsening hurricanes, all that, it’s not God’s wrath or some Sunday School horror story. It’s the organism Earth trying to rid herself of an irritating pest. The pest is us. The Earth will be fine.”
She exchanged looks with her fellow evangelist, who gave a nearly imperceptible shake of the head, signaling “let’s move on.” But the hallelujah hottie would not give up that easy.
“So, what do you think is going to happen after mankind is wiped from the Earth? Don’t you know that the Lord is waiting for us all in the Kingdom of Heaven?”
“Kingdom of Heaven?” I said incredulously, giving Little Toby a reassuring scratch behind the ears. “You mean Las Vegas? Is that where that is? Because if we all end up in Vegas, well, that would serve this species right. That’s exactly what we all deserve. Sin City.”
Her eyes were shining with frustration and faith-based fervor. “No, I mean Heaven, which is a reward for all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. If you invite Jesus Christ into your heart, all your sins will be forgiven, and you will have a place waiting for you in Heaven. It’s all right here in the Bible.” Again, she thrust the black book at me.
“You know, I have read the Bible. When I was a teenager. Maybe I’ll read it again. I mean, it’s a good book. Not THE good book, but a good book. I just happen to think that it’s fiction. Kinda like Harry Potter, but with fewer girls.”
A miracle transformation came over her face, as she decided to turn the other cheek. She tucked her blonde hair behind her ears, pulled her sweater tightly around her, and put her Bible under her arm. “Well, ah, thanks for your time. I hope you do decide to read the Bible again, and that you can find some hope in there for mankind.” She lifted her chin at her fellow evangelista, and they walked down the driveway toward their gleaming Lexus.
“Have a good afternoon, ladies,” I called. “Give ‘em hell!”
[Cheater’s Note: I have gone back and corrected a couple of minor mistakes that distracted from the article as a whole. Thanks to those who pointed them out to me. Nobody’s perfect. ~BW]
[Bookmark NewWest.net/BobWire today, and ye shall be delivered!]
Find Blogs in the Blog Directoryhttp://www.top-blogs.com/cgi-bin/rankem.cgi?id=ednor59