The Athiest and the Evangelists
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29-03-2012, 09:18 PM
The Athiest and the Evangelists
Thought you all might enjoy this story.  

I had a conversation with three Christian evangelists today.  These guys were going door to door in my neighborhood inviting people to their church.  They come to my door and handed me a pamphlet for their church.  I responded politely with a thanks but it probably wasn't necessary and told them that I wasn't a religious person.  They proceeded to say that was fine but inquired as to why I was not religious.

"Well I'm an atheist." I said.  "I was also formerly an Evangelical Christian."

This really piqued their curiosity - it surprised me a little.  I'm living in the deep south, right in the heart of the snake handlers and convulsing mouth foamers mind you.  Most people in this part of the world think you're  crazy or demonically possessed when they hear those words.  But these guys were interested.  They had simply never met an Atheist.  They did want to sell me on the Good News and what followed was about 10 or so minutes of their Jesus sales pitch against my condensed version of my exodus from religion to rational thought.  The evangelists walked away from it a little exasperated and a bit confused that their pleas to accept Jesus Christ to avoid hell didn't phase me at all, but we all shook hands at the end and I wished them well on their way. I told them that I didn't feel faith was an acceptable basis for guiding my life by but that I had been on their side of the fence before so I knew where they were coming from.  I also told them that I can't touch them if they do not want to consider reason and rational thought and if they really did believe what they were preaching, that they should continue to do so.  I encouraged them to read their Bibles, but to be skeptical of it and ask questions.  I thought it was a very positive exchange.

But what really flooded me about that encounter was that I finally realized that I was comfortable with who I was in my lack of faith and had no problem admitting so.  I say this because I also felt the same thing about the Reason Rally in Washington DC last weekend.  Something happened there and I believe it was the first time that Athiests, Agnostics, skeptics and unbelievers finally came into the light en mass and told this to the nation and the world.  That we no longer view religion as untouchable.  That we can face a system of organized religions with a lot of political and social power and say with perfect unashamed comfort and clarity that we no longer fear them.  That we are COMFORTABLE with who we are and not needing a deity to guide our lives.  That we can reply to the darkness of this demon haunted world that we no longer will be controlled by fear and superstition.  That we can respond to believers with this message without hate or malice in our hearts.  That we will make our voices heard.  Sure, I admit I was one guy speaking to Christians who were more importantly nice people first and them religious second.  But it's profound that I as a non believer would do so.
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29-03-2012, 09:22 PM
RE: The Athiest and the Evangelists
(29-03-2012 09:18 PM)Carlo_The_Bugsmasher_Driver Wrote:  Thought you all might enjoy this story.

I had a conversation with three Christian evangelists today. These guys were going door to door in my neighborhood inviting people to their church. They come to my door and handed me a pamphlet for their church. I responded politely with a thanks but it probably wasn't necessary and told them that I wasn't a religious person. They proceeded to say that was fine but inquired as to why I was not religious.

"Well I'm an atheist." I said. "I was also formerly an Evangelical Christian."

This really piqued their curiosity - it surprised me a little. I'm living in the deep south, right in the heart of the snake handlers and convulsing mouth foamers mind you. Most people in this part of the world think you're crazy or demonically possessed when they hear those words. But these guys were interested. They had simply never met an Atheist. They did want to sell me on the Good News and what followed was about 10 or so minutes of their Jesus sales pitch against my condensed version of my exodus from religion to rational thought. The evangelists walked away from it a little exasperated and a bit confused that their pleas to accept Jesus Christ to avoid hell didn't phase me at all, but we all shook hands at the end and I wished them well on their way. I told them that I didn't feel faith was an acceptable basis for guiding my life by but that I had been on their side of the fence before so I knew where they were coming from. I also told them that I can't touch them if they do not want to consider reason and rational thought and if they really did believe what they were preaching, that they should continue to do so. I encouraged them to read their Bibles, but to be skeptical of it and ask questions. I thought it was a very positive exchange.

But what really flooded me about that encounter was that I finally realized that I was comfortable with who I was in my lack of faith and had no problem admitting so. I say this because I also felt the same thing about the Reason Rally in Washington DC last weekend. Something happened there and I believe it was the first time that Athiests, Agnostics, skeptics and unbelievers finally came into the light en mass and told this to the nation and the world. That we no longer view religion as untouchable. That we can face a system of organized religions with a lot of political and social power and say with perfect unashamed comfort and clarity that we no longer fear them. That we are COMFORTABLE with who we are and not needing a deity to guide our lives. That we can reply to the darkness of this demon haunted world that we no longer will be controlled by fear and superstition. That we can respond to believers with this message without hate or malice in our hearts. That we will make our voices heard. Sure, I admit I was one guy speaking to Christians who were more importantly nice people first and them religious second. But it's profound that I as a non believer would do so.


That's awesome. Too damned bad I couldn't make it to the rally. I absolutely love talking to religious people and debating them. My favorites are the mormons and the Jehova's Witnesses.
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29-03-2012, 09:44 PM
RE: The Athiest and the Evangelists
Yeah the Mormons don't skimp. No pamphlets here, you get a whole book! Just don't ask me for the magic undies - it makes 'em cranky.

"IN THRUST WE TRUST"

"We were conservative Jews and that meant we obeyed God's Commandments until His rules became a royal pain in the ass."

- Joel Chastnoff, The 188th Crybaby Brigade
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30-03-2012, 08:25 AM
RE: The Athiest and the Evangelists
Great story...
The power of positive atheism can convert the borderliners to rational thinking.
They probably thought, "How can this guy be so confident in not believing in god".
This actually shakes their foundation more then an attack on their religion.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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30-03-2012, 08:57 AM
 
RE: The Athiest and the Evangelists
This weekend i will raise a glass of a very nice red wine and toast in your honor, sir!
I only WISHED someone had confronted me this way when i was a young bible thumper.
Planting seeds softly...thats how we turn the tide.
DONT make statements but ask questions.
I LOVE how you not only identified yourself as an atheist (must be mad at my pretend pal) but stated you were EXACTLY where they are...THATS what freak folks out, and they RARELY hear it put in those terms.
A toast to a job well done!!! HERE HERE!

Denicio
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