Here's another email I got from a guy I correspond with regularly. I always enjoy his messages. This time it is about the irritating nature of fundamentalist Christians, plus some right-on observations about the Bible.
Hey Brian, how are you?
As always, I enjoyed your latest post. This part really stood out to me:
“Atheists like me have seen through the trickery. We're no longer willing to play the God Game. We have no patience with those who promise salvation after death. We recognize the con job being promulgated by religious leaders who lust after money and power while hypocritically preaching worldly detachment and humility.”
I have a friend who has offered me some free career counseling. She is very good at it so it sounds great, right? Right.
She is a very devout, hardcore Christian. Shouldn’t be a problem right? Right…
She is a woman that my wife prays with and does not know that I am an atheist. I can tell by some of the things she talks to me about that my wife has said something to her about certain changes in what I believe. So instead of career counseling, most sessions so far turn into a Bible study of sorts.
Yesterday’s session started out on the right track, talking about my resume and other opportunities in the field that I’m currently in. By the time I politely let her know that I had to go teach a self defense lesson, it had turned into her talking about us living in the last days and that there is a call on my life to teach and I need to seek God regarding that. Ugh.
I was surprised at the anger that came up in me later in the day.
Seek God about the “call” on my life? Yeah, I did that for about 30 years. You know what God said to me about it? Nothing! Not a damn thing! Because he’s not there. And if he is, in the Christian sense, he’s an asshole. Now that I’ve learned to use logic and reason and common sense, it’s amazing how glaringly obvious things about religion are to me now.
My wife could tell something was up, so she asked me. I watered it down a little, but I think I shocked her a bit. LOL Some things I threw out there…
Let’s assume, for just a minute, that the Bible is true/accurate. Isn’t it interesting that there are only a handful of people, all from the same small part of the world, who had spectacular encounters with God, and many of these folks tell the rest of “us” that we just have to believe by faith.
If I told someone that I was abducted by aliens, but had no proof, they just have to believe because I said so, they’d probably think I’ve finally lost it. Yet, that is what religion is asking us to do.
Preachers from the flavor of Christianity I came out of talk about how God wants to have this real and amazing relationship with humankind. But he is markedly silent and the amazing encounters we read about in the Bible cannot be proven and apparently, only happened during that time.
She said something about getting into the word of God more often, meaning the Bible. I should have just left it alone… but I did not. I basically said that I do not believe the Bible to be “the word of God”. It’s a collection of books/stories, songs, poems, letters, etc. The book of John clearly states that Jesus is the Word of God. Not a book. Yeah, that went over well.
Anyway. Like you said about no longer being willing to play the God game, I’m not sure how much longer I can pretend that I’m not an atheist. I’m pretty sure people close to me will start to figure it out.