Yesterday evening at Union Square I lost it. I was there by myself watchin’ Skater Bob’s bag while he skated around the park, and these blond Christian people came from behind me and started in on this black man sitting next to me. They asked him the last time he’d been to church and if he’d ever heard of Bla-bla Church of Times Square, or something.
It was two of those typical white, suburban, southern, middle age mothers and they had like 3 or 4 kids with them, ages 14 to 17, something like that, and they were all standing over this older black man next to me, treating him like a poor soul. I sat there listening to them getting all worked up, watching these adults demonstrate to these kids how to spread their misinformation to the weak. I saw a couple of the kids looking at me out of the corner of their eye. I know they noticed my tattoos, and that I could overhear them. This went on for like 10 miniutes. Then Bob skated up, and I was trying to control myself, and I handed him a handful of God is Fakes, and he immediately started giving them to the ladies, and then he skated off. Without even looking at what he gave them they looked at me and said “How are you? Are you interested in hearing about the love of Christ?” or something along those lines, and I let go.
I said to them, “I think it’s appalling what you’re doing, spreading this misinformation to others based solely on faith!” And there was one mid-twenties guy with them, total Christian zombie saying, “You haven’t heard our true message of love.” His eyes were deer-in-the-headlights, and he wanted these kids to all turn into him. I was getting more and more furious.
Then I said, “Ok, answer me one question. I only have one question I want to ask you. I’ll answer ANY questions you’ve got.” Their kids were all gathering around me at this point. “Just answer me this” I said. “You’re all going to heaven, right?” They nodded, sure as ever. “Okay, now my question to you is this. How can you for even a moment enjoy a heaven where your fellow human beings are doused in fire every day for the rest of eternity?”
This twenty-something guy was a broken person. He was reciting rhetoric like, “I am based in love, and Jesus’ love gives everyone a chance to see heaven.” And to him, in front of those kids, I said “I have no idea what you’re saying. Why aren’t you answering my question?” And I took this opportunity to rub it in even deeper. “Kids. There can be no heaven while your fellow human beings suffer in hell for the rest of eternity! Do you understand the horror and dismay of hell? Your friends who don’t believe in Jesus will be choking on flames forever, and you think there’s any kind of heaven waiting for you?!? How could you even smile for a minute knowing that people suffer like this??!?” I have to admit I was getting a bit out of control, waving my arms around, my voice raised. The mothers were quickly trying to herd them all away.
None of the adults had any answers for me. And as adults, they were acting as if they were fine with that! That’s what gets me. The frame of mind where you’re an adult running away from a question! I LOVE answering questions! It’s my life’s blood! Then the ladies had the nerve, while they were running from me, to say “Bye now. Have a nice day.” And I lost it.
I shouted at their group as they left “You’re appalling! Kids! Watch your parents run away from a question! I’m asking a simple question and your parents are running away! They say they love people and they run away from their questions! You should be embarrassed and disgusted by them! You people disgust me! I just asked a question and you won’t answer it! You get no ‘Good-bye’ from me!!!”
They gathered in a group with many others about 40 feet behind me. I started talking to the black old guy next to me about how disgusted I was. He was a really great guy, as most old black guys are. He started tellin’ me what they were saying and how they should have answered my question. He also told me that I probably scared them, and that’s why they ran. I look over my shoulder, and they were talking still, the kids all looking at me through the group. They left the park shortly after. I forget how scary an arguing man is when you come from the suburbs. But I was sitting the whole time!
I ended up talking to this guy for an hour or so. The rest of the evening my heart was at a steady pace, and I couldn’t stop reflecting on how horrible it was, and what bad examples these adults were, and how stupid they are. Then I realized, I need a show.