I’ve got to hand it to Christianity. They have a pretty good racket setup. What most likely started as a simple way to keep the uneducated working class in check has become a self-perpetuating machine with all the right gimmicks built right in. Such as “We are right. Everyone else is wrong.” Gotta love that one. No tolerance for diversity, no compassion for your fellow man, no “love thy neighbor” (wait a tick…)
What Christians don’t realize is that no matter how great their book may describe this Heaven place as being, that doesn’t mean that I would want to go there. But gasp! Who wouldn’t want to go to Heaven and kneel at the big stinky feet of the Lord God Almighty for ALL OF FUCKING ETERNITY. It is the utmost of religious arrogance to assume that I want what you have been fooled into thinking that you are getting.
I have a lot of Christian friends. To have any friends in Alabama, one can’t help but have a few (hundred) Christian friends. The Christian friends that I kept more than a week all followed one simple unspoken rule: don’t try to convert me. It’s rude. It’s a waste of your time. It’s pointless. I don’t try to convert all of my friends to atheism. Why? Part of the serenity in my life comes from the status quo. If my friends are happy with their beliefs, more power to them, as long as they keep said beliefs to themselves.
“My favorite movie is The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”
“Thanks for sharing.”
“What’s your favorite?”
“The Shawshank Redemption.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“Well, a lot more people like The Lord of the Rings.”
“Well I’m quite happy with Shawshank.”
“LOTR:ROTK won ‘Best Picture’, and Shawshank got nothing from the Academy. And don’t even try to point to those lesser awards like the Bronze Frog. Those award processes are full of holes. Everyone knows they are a bunch of bunk.”
“That’s certainly the Academy’s opinion. I think I am a better judge of what I enjoy than the Academy anyhow.”
“Well lots of people trust the Academy. The movies they pick tend to do better. Don’t you want to enjoy movies of a high caliber.”
“No thanks, I’m quite comfortable with my regular old caliber movies.”
While I would enjoy conversations of this caliber more than religious ones, they essentially boil down to the same premise. These types of conversations tend to originate from people with the two-year-old “I win” attitude. They grew up with a certain belief, therefore it is the only option they will even consider. Isn’t that a little dangerous? Whether it’s the brand of vehicle you buy, types of food you eat, or deep-seated religious beliefs, it never hurts to at least research the alternatives. If nothing else, research could potentially strengthen your position in your current belief, while at the same time, display your open-mindedness and levelheadedness. The latter benefits, though a far cry from converting me, would increase my respect for your beliefs, no matter how contrary to my own.
Think about it Christians, if you act like a holier-than-thou cunt when engaging with those with opposing ideologies, who would really want to make a life change to be more like you? On the opposite side of the spectrum, presenting yourself as a brain-dead, conformist doppelganger of the Christian faith is not a great way of attracting others. Questioning me ad nauseum about my choice to deny the existence of a supreme being is not going to make me have an epiphany, drop to my knees, and ask for salvation, no matter how much your little pamphlet may illustrate the process as such.
“You know, I used to sound a lot like you. Until [[insert bad situation]] happened, and I turned to the Lord.”
“Good for you. And much like you, no one could have spoon fed you their beliefs. You came about them on your own, and such will be the case with me, if ever. Good day, sir.”
Now, I made up the movie discussion, but that last one actually happened. The person who said that is probably rethinking his prejudice of atheists because of me. Up until I told him, he had no idea I did not share his beliefs. Now that he knows, he probably has a hard time reconciling that with the fact that I am a pleasant person to be around, a great salesman, and a damn hard worker. Sure, none of that may matter to he-who-must-not-be-proven, but I know for a fact that I have THIS life, so I choose to make the most of it. If something exists afterward, despite logic and science, I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it. For now, I choose to live this life with a passion, that only a free mind can know.
It’s one thing to do good because you live in constant fear of a pit of fire. It’s quite another to do good as a personal choice.