For quite some time now I have been reading the Bible. I do this because I think that amidst all of the hooey there are a few gems of moral value, or perhaps they are more like Quartz, or maybe just fools gold, well the point is that there's something there. I also have been writing down humorous texts (and yes, just so he doesn't internally combust, I will say that Seth was doing this before me and gave me the idea).
Now this week I went off for 4 days to Natures Classroom, a school trip. This camp happened to take place on Christian fundy land and there were many many crosses as well as mucho posters about "Meeting Jesus: You will never be the same again." But that's just a side note.
The real subject of this post is a certain conversation that took place between me, Seth, and a certain Christian cabin mate who was getting annoyed at my atheism.
As I recall, the conversation started when I entered the room, after hearing my other cabin compadres talking about the joys of red wine or some such thing, and said something about red wine being the blood of Christ and how he must have been wasted 24/7. Perhaps not the best way to start off a conversation with a certain Christian cabin mate who was getting annoyed at my atheism, but I had had a bit too much of the blood of Christ on that particular day anyway, and besides, what's done is done.
Soon a rather heated debate ensued between me and the aforementioned Christian about the existence of God, God's plan for us all, and how after this certain kid had an encounter with Jesus "He was never the same again." Eventually we got to that inevitable point in any cross religion debate where the one, losing the power to his argument, starts questioning the other's proof. And then I took out the proof, my Bible.
Before I go on, I'd just like to clarify: this kid is a wonderful person, and great to be around. Normally, we would have been best of friends. That night, we were both jerks.
But I wander. Here's the meat of this post:
During this argument this boy accused me of "doing nothing but make fun of the bible." (and yes, this is a direct quote, I had a notebook with me at the time). His statement made me pause because, though I do have the highest respect for all people and their rights to practice what they believe in (along with the normal "as long as it doesn't hurt anyone" speech), I knew right then that I was right, and that he was wrong, and that he knew that he was right, and that I was wrong, and that I could never convince him or myself otherwise. I told him that I wasn't making fun of the Bible, that I respected the life he chose. And of course he didn't believe me. He was most likely praying for my forgiveness or some such thing.
One of the greatest obstacles this world faces is difference of opinion, and the greatest difference of opinion in the world today is religion. The only way we can accomplish anything for the betterment of the human race is if we understand the human race we are attempting to better. I got no where with my argument because no matter what either me or my opponent said, neither of us was willing to accept the possibility that we were wrong. A most recent post on the Evangelical Atheist talks about a solution, education. I agree fully. We must educate kids about ALL religions, as well as life before them. Then, and only then, will we have a world that can accept itself in all its differences, and work towards its own betterment.
Thank you for your time.