...I was descended upon by what looked like a roaming band of zombie youth. The tallest one in the group addressed me:
What he said: Hey, there, friend. How are you?
What I said: I'm tired.
What I was thinking: This is going to get weird.
What he said: Tired? That's life, friend.
What I said: Yeah.
What I was thinking: I was right. This is going to get weird.
What he said: Do you see these people I'm with? These are my nine friends here.
What I said: Oh.
What I was thinking: Oh.
What he said: Do you want to know something, friend?
What I said: Yes.
What I was thinking: No.
What he said: Not one of them is worried about being tired. Do you know why?
What I said: No.
What I was thinking: Meth?
What he said: It's because they've all found Jesus, my friend.
What I said: Really.
What I was thinking: Where? At a bus stop? Under the couch cushions while looking for change?
What he said: Have you ever thought about what Jesus could do for you?
What I said: Not much, really. Religion isn't my thing.
What I was thinking: If your god really is omnipotent and omniscient as your people claim, then he's directly responsible for my mother's stroke and the fact that my sister has been deaf since she was about three. If the Lord, or Jesus, or one of their henchmen ever happens to appeareth before me, I just hope that I remember, among the pyrotechnic light show that should accompany any such apparition, to kick God square in the nuts as a "thank you" for services rendered. [Note: If anybody is offended by this, then remember that God in his omnipotence is entirely responsible for my having said what I've just said - this was all God's will.]
What he said: That's OK, bro. I'll be praying for you.
What I said: Thanks. I really appreciate that.
What I was thinking: If you really want to waste your time praying, then could you at least pray for me to win the lottery?
What he said: Been to the pool in the hotel yet? We're all heading there later for a party. You ought to go.
What I said: Awesome.
What I was thinking: Mental note: Avoid the pool at all costs. In case these guys run into me in the elevator later on, then remember to take the cyanide suicide pill kept in the heel of my left shoe.
What he said: Well, good night, brother. I hope to see you at the pool later, and I hope that you'll one day realize what Jesus can do for you.
What I said: Totally.
What I was thinking: Maybe he could do my ironing.
I can really relate to Rory on this.
The inclination some people have to push their beliefs down to other people throats is one of many hints that made me figure out I wanted to get out of religion back when I was a teenager.
It is not to say all religious people behave like this or to affirm that the non-religious don’t. At least my friends that are religious don't ever do this with me, and even my mother gave up already.
But this is definitely a behavior that I found pretty normal and justified when I was into religion, and here is why: They taught me to believe that I knew better than anybody, and that the power of my religion was the knowledge of all those things that were revealed by God and than therefore cannot be questioned.
So, if you are not lazy, and you go out on the streets with the conviction that you know better who is going to stop you of doing this?
Later, after failing miserably many times, I figured out what was wrong. When somebody you don’t know approaches you to tell you he knows your problems, and also their solutions, what is your first thought? Clue: You think that you know exactly what his problem is, and also how to solve it immediately ;)
So my transformation from a religious person to a non-religious person was learning that I didn’t know better. Learning that I could hardly grasp anything, that my knowledge was not even enough for me, so how could it be responsible to tell other people to live according to my faith? I learned I was an ignorant, and ignorance is something that nobody will ever take completely away from me.
It is again an “arrogance equals stupidity” thing.
As I said, I didn't “lost” religion only for this. There were lots of other hints.
Besides, I don't want to begin preaching for atheism, agnosticism or nihilism. For me the whole concept of preaching is wrong.
Sometimes it is hard to remember that I found Rory's blog just because of his Microsoft dittoheadness.