Highlights of Talking to a Madman

Bloggified by Jake on Thursday, July 2, 2009

I came home from work today and the born again Christian from across the street was trimming the tree in my front yard while his brother raked up the leaves that had fallen from the bushes. For a moment, I considered driving past the house and coming back half an hour later. I don't want to seem rude. I appreciate when he does the yard work so I don't have to, but to say he does it for free isn't really an accurate description. He may not request any money, but I'd gladly pay $30 not to have to listen to him preach to me.

What's most frustrating about arguing with the really hardcore born again Christians is that their beliefs are completely illogical, so they feel no need to make their arguments logical. When you say something like, "The bible says God created a firmament over the earth to separate it from heaven and that rain happens when God opens a trap door in the firmament to let water through. Knowing how precipitation actually works, don't you think we can accept that the bible isn't supposed to be taken literally?" He responds with something about the serpent being a man without a soul so Satan could enter him and tempt Eve and the line of Cain and Noah and "do you remember Joshua?"

Since I had to sit through this, I thought I'd share some of the highlights where he was actually coherent (if not exactly sane):

  1. Science was better 10,000 years ago than it is now.
    "They made pyramids that we don't even know how to make today! And mummies. We don't know how to preserve a body like that?"
    "Yes, we do. Just watch the History Channel. The pyramids had an internal ramp system. And we preserve bodies better now than they did then. If you wanted to be a mummy, that can be arranged I'm sure, it's just that embalming and other techniques are preferred for open casket funerals."
    "Well, if they know how to build pyramids, why don't they?"
    "For the same reason we don't still build covered wagons. Just because the modern Navy is all destroyers and submarines and aircraft carriers doesn't mean we don't know how to build wooden sailing ships any more."

  2. Scientists are all doing Satan's work.
    "Do you know where water comes from?"
    "It's hydrogen and oxygen molecules that have bonded."
    "That's what scientists tell you, but that's not real. Instead of trying to understand how water is formed, they should be out preaching the gospel. That's real."

  3. Pretty women are a sign of the pending apocalypse.
    "That's why you're seeing more and more beautiful women today. Satan knows the rapture is coming and the most potent weapon he has is sex. For if a man looks upon a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery. So the more lust Satan can cause before the second coming, the fewer people will be saved. That's why he's creating so many sexy women in short shorts and bikinis and tight shirts."

  4. The bar scene is hell.
    "Hell is right here on Earth. Just go into a bar and what will you see? A divorced woman wearing tight clothes with her stuff all on display trying to find a man."

  5. Jesus is coming any day... or in a couple thousand years.
    "How can you say scientists shouldn't be studying science? If Copernicus had just said, 'I'm not going to bother looking at the planets and the stars, I'm just going to preach because the rapture is coming any day,' he wouldn't have made any of his discoveries and he would have been dead 400 years without the rapture still having arrived."
    "But to God, a thousand years is like a second."
    "So when you say the rapture is coming soon, that be anytime in the next 250,000 years. Because that's only like a couple hours to God. You'll have to excuse me if I don't wake up every morning waiting for the Horsemen of the Apocalypse to come running down the street."

  6. How do you like them sexy apples?
    "The reason we have so many problems with 14 year old girls getting pregnant is because we teach that the Eve went to the Tree of Knowledge and ate of its fruit, but we say it's an apple or an apricot. It was sex. Eve tried it and that's why she went to Adam and wanted him to 'eat her fruit.' But these kids today think it's an apple so they don't know how dangerous sex is."

  7. Nothing bad ever happens to Christians... unless they piss off God.
    "When you accept Jesus as your savior and truly believe you can heal with the laying on of hands. For God says no one who believes in me shall suffer."
    "Right. That's why no one who believes in God ever gets sick or has a car accident or gets mugged--"
    "No, they don't."
    "What?"
    "I mean, sometimes it happens, but if you truly believe it won't. People who have car accidents or get sick--that's the result of sin. If you sin and don't ask forgiveness and get in your car, the Lord might decide to let you have an accident. But if you get on your knees and ask forgiveness, you will not get into an accident. The bible says that."
    "I'm pretty sure the bible doesn't mention car accidents anywhere."
    "And cancer. People who get cancer are sinners and maybe they've stopped believing. But if they start believing again, then a son of God may lay his hands upon them and the cancer will go away and the doctors can't explain it. That's another reason science is fake."

  8. Heaven is kind of like high school. Fuck you, nerds!
    "Doesn't it stand to reason that if the bible was really God's only message to the world, he should have made it a little more clear? I mean, why say 'fruit of the tree of knowledge' if he meant sex? Why leave so much open to interpretation and argument."
    "Jesus said, 'Praise be unto Him that he has hidden the truth from the scholars and the wise men.'"
    "But why is that a good thing? If the smartest men in the village or the tribe or wherever all say, 'This makes no sense,' why would that be good? Why would God give us a brain capable of seeing flaws in a book like the bible and then expect us to ignore those flaws?"
    "Because you have to come to him through the Holy Spirit."
    "So God gave us the most advanced brain on the planet--making us his highest achievement as you noted earlier--to see if we'd just shut it down because a book told us too?"


That's enough for now. Most of the rest of the conversation was circular logic and contradictory points (like the rapture is coming any day but "any day" could be a million years one). A lot was "In the bible is says..." despite acknowledging that the bible was written over the course of hundreds of years, translated by scholars who disputed the meaning of certain words, and hand copied for centuries, omitting and adding certain passages as the copier saw fit. I really hate that aspect of religious debate. You can't support an argument with itself. "The bible says that the bible is true." Yes, and I say I'm czar of Madeupistan. What evidence do I have? The fact that I said it. And why did I say it? Because it is true.

On the plus side, the front yard looks great.

1 sarcastic replies:

Angie Jackson said...

I like your writing style. I was cracking up at the "sex women are a sign of the apocalypse" ideas. It sounds like this guy is terrified of sex and women.

Sadly the part about "if you get sick, it's yer fault" isn't unique to this guy. I grew up in a faith healing cult, and no one blames a victim quite so fast as someone pathologically incapable of ascribing anything bad to their god.

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