left biblioblography: Let's Share - Glimpses Into The Moments In The Life Of An Atheist

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Let's Share - Glimpses Into The Moments In The Life Of An Atheist

There are indeed those moments in real time, when you are confronted/accosted/approached by the religiously inclined. I tend to be an open-minded (as well as open-mouthed) individual - I was raised honest, and I'll go to my grave that way (reason willing).

In January, I was in the Hayward Safeway parking lot, when a thin older black fellow (he'd nearly gone altogether white up top) approached me. "Excuse me sir, can I talk to you about something?"

I said, "No thanks, not interested." Didn't even look at him.

"Sir, I'm a good Christian..."

"I'm an atheist." Still no eye contact.

"You don't believe in God?" Incredulity creeping into his voice.


"Don't believe in God?!?!? I don't like that!" I kept locking up my car, not really paying any attention.

He went from pleasant to shrill in less than a minute. "Who do you think created you? God, that's who!"

I turned, looked him dead in the eye, and said, "Nope."

And I left him there as I went into the store, as he delivered a stormy tirade at my back. I overheard him hollering about, "Who you going to ask for help, then? Huh? What you gonna do when you get sick?"

I was half tempted to go back and crack him one in the mouth. My ma (as I've said before) had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

I came out, he was gone. Good thing, too.

I'll always vaguely wonder why he approached me. Witnessing? Wanting a hand-out? Maybe up for a 'theological' discussion?

I've been in Mountain View for a few months now, and thus far nobody's braced me for the 'good news'. I've gotten into it with some co-workers, more of an open forum thing. (I had one co-worker try to tell me at lunch that 'every man has a god'. I chirped up that I sure didn't have one.)

I wear three T-shirts that I ordered from Cafe Press. One is Friedrich Nietsche: "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." (I get the occasional odd or dirty look at the Googleplex at lunch time, nobody jacks me up.) The second is "Intelligent Design is NOT science" with a circle and a red slash through the initials ID, and the third is a tasteful rendering of Russell's teapot.

I have an eraserboard next to my desk, and I try to write at least one thought for the week on it. One week, I wrote 'Turtles all the way down!" I was asked about it a few times: when I relate the story, I get the oddest looks. Except for my buddy Kyle, who understood it immediately, and found it hilarious.

So come tell your tales. I'll try to trot out a few more incidents, bon mots, mot justes, etc.

Come share.

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buster said...

My partner and I recently came up with the bus fare for a for a guy who desperatly needed to leave town to be with his family. The churches had refused to pay and someone had told him that we were kind people.

When I gave him the ticket he raised his hands, looked to the sky and said "Thank you Jesus."

I gently reminded him that we had bought the ticket and were atheists.

Krystalline Apostate said...

That's a pretty cool story, buster.
Anyone else?

Stardust said...

My husband cracks me up with his responses to god botherers. At work in a meeting a couple years ago,they were talking about plans for a new project that my husband would be in charge of, and someone said they would get this done by such and such a date "god willing" and my husband said, "I am willing, so it will get done." LOL!

Whenever anyone is in my husband's presence who says "thank god" he says "you are welcome" or if they say "Oh god!" he says "Yes?" People who know him refrain now from mentioning the G word around him.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Stardust - I used to do something similar. When people used to say, "Oh, Lord", I'd respond "You rang?"