Debate while volunteering
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22-10-2016, 08:41 PM
Debate while volunteering
I started writing this not knowing it was going to be long so forgive me.

I've been volunteering for Hillary's campaign the past few months and we are now in the canvassing phase, going door to door of registered Dems or unaffiliated voters to see who they are voting for, if they'd like to vote early, etc. It's pretty non-confrontational because most are likeminded.

When I was doing simple voter registration, I would run into the occasional Christian zealot who would somehow work Jebus into the conversation. The common theme there was "I don't vote because Jebus is the only leader for me." (Insert vomit noises here.) Generally, I giggled and would just say something such as, "Ok, I'm here all day if you change your mind." Once or twice I used logical, rational thought to fuck with them a bit, especially the ones who said they won't vote but if they did they would pick Trump.

On my last day of voter registration, I literally made three people audibly gasp simultaneously when they were filling out their mail-in ballot request and one of them asked me, "You know our lord and savior Jebus, don't you?" I turned to her and said, "Well, I'm an atheist, but I do know Jesus, he sprays my lawn every other month." That's when they gasped. I proceeded to troll them a little about the Bible, Krishna and other "saviors" who experienced the same things as their beloved Jebus only centuries earlier.

But today was an entirely different experience. I went door to door at a huge apartment complex, chatting with Dems, and only a handful were either undecided or voting for someone else. If they're undecided, I'm supposed to try to see if I can answer any concerns they may have and convince them to vote for Hillary, etc. If they are a strong Trump supporter, I basically just thank them and move on.

Near the end of my day, I indulged my debating side with this one Latino. He came to the door in a T-shirt and underwear. I asked him if he was still supporting Dems and he said, "Well, not Hillary." So I asked him why not, and he said abortion. He said he just couldn't vote for her because he's a strong Catholic and she supports abortion. He said he supports god's will and abortion is against it. From there, we were off to the races. At first he just slipped in that bullshit that Trump was spewing at the final debate about ripping babies out of the womb a couple of days before the due date. I told him that never happens electively, that it only happens out of medical necessity and that he should really learn to think for himself instead of believing everything he hears from a blowhard on TV. He said even if that were true, he just can't get on board with any abortion.

I asked if he believes his god is omniscient and he said of course. So I said, then your god knew when he created humans that they would be able to abort fetuses, yes? He chimed in with how his god doesn't ever interfere with free will, to which I replied, he hardened the pharaoh's heart. He didn't know about that. I said, interesting that you believe in a book you haven't read thoroughly. And besides, I said, your god could have just as easily made it impossible for the human body to be able to abort a fetus. He had no answer and tried to change the subject. I wouldn't let him.

I asked if his god has a plan and he said yes. I asked if his plan ever changes and he said no. I asked him if everything that happens is part of his plan and he said yes. I said, so, when Hillary wins, that's god's plan, right? He foresaw her winning and upholding Roe v. Wade, yes? He looked at me for a good five seconds and I could see the wheels turning. But he just went back to free will.

The conversation meandered from there to Pope Francis (he's a false pope according to this guy). I asked him if he believes popes are closer to his god than any other person and he said yes. I said so, he has god's ear? And he said oh yes. I said, can you tell me why all popes have prayed for world peace every Easter and yet there is always war? He said, this pope was a false pope. I said, do you hear yourself? You are condemning the pope of your religion, cherry picking what you want to believe because it suits your comfort level. Besides I said all popes. And if god has a plan and it can't be changed then why pray?

Behind him was a picture of Pope John Paul II and I said, so, John Paul was a real Pope? He said, oh yes, he was the real deal. I said, do you believe in evolution? He said, you mean like do I believe we came from apes? I said, well sort of; we have a common ancestor with apes, all living things came from one common ancestor. He said, no way, I don't believe that. I said, John Paul believed it and he believed it so much that he made it part of the Catholic Catechism. He said, well the pope was wrong about that. I laughed and shook his hand and said man, that is the funniest thing I've heard all week.

I said isn't it funny how you seem to make your own decisions about your religion and its leaders and believe what perfectly fits your preferences rather than the other way around? He then said he was happy we could talk like this and that if I asked god to prove he existed that he would. I asked him if he did that and he said yes. I asked what proof god gave him and he said his children and other miracles. I said no miracles have ever happened. He said they are all in the Bible and have you ever been to somewhere where miracles have happened, like the Vatican. I told him I have been to the Vatican and I have been to Lourdes and there are no miracles.

I then said just because your holy book says there were miracles doesn't mean there were. I said that book is a claim, not proof. He said sure it is. I said, OK let's use your criteria for miracles. They are in a book and someone wrote about them. That means there really is a guy named Superman who flies and can stop bullets. He didn't respond to that and asked if I knew what faith was. I said of course. He said what is it? I said, to you, in a religious sense, faith is believing in something without proof, it's a form of confidence or trust in something that you can't verify. The secular definition is just confidence. He said, right, you have to have faith and you'll know god. I said, why should anyone use this method for believing in something when they would never trust this method for proving or believing in any other thing in life?

He just repeated, "You gotta have faith." I said, "OK, George Michael, I gotta go, thanks the conversation." We shook hands and parted friends.

It's just remarkable to me, still to this day, the mental gymnastics these believers will perform to enable their god, their religion and their beliefs.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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