So yesterday evening I had another run-in with Christians. This particular group comes with the same Canadian youth pastor every year. (The same guy I met Canadian Jason through from Hate Mail 127, and those Amazing Stranger Xtains from pg 2). He knows me now, and each year he has a new group of Christian kids from some bible-belt state. He came with the group yesterday and they all started singing to his guitar there in the middle of Union Square. I immediately went and tried handing them all God Is Fakes. Some took them, but most refused, stunned at what I was doing. And the pastor guy said “Normal Bob Smith! Good to see ya!” And they continued singing their songs even more confused.
He’s a nice guy, very friendly, kinda looks like a character from Lord Of The Rings. Picture of him: normalbobsmith.com/amazingstrangers/as_02_bob&christians.jpg
This year though, when he came over and said hi, I was of course friendly as ever, but I found myself a little more bothered by what he was doing. I told him “Nothins changed with me, except that maybe now I am more disturbed buy what you’re doing, and the misinformation you’re feeding these kids.”
I also said, “So how do you feel about the bad rap Faith is getting now that you got people using it as an excuse to crash planes into buildings?” He replied, “Well, there are proper uses of faith, and improper uses of it.”
Anyhow, he always brings over several of these kids to meet a real live atheist. That’s me. So I sat with Skater Bob and a few friends and waited. He asked if I’d mind, and of course I did not, so he brought over a group of like 5 kids, all girls, ages 16 to 18. All clueless sheep.
This time, unlike the other times, the Canadian youth pastor simply walked the kids over to me, introduced me, and walked away. I had them all to myself, and they were speechless. They had no idea what to say, so I started it off with a question to them that I was very curious to hear their answer to. I asked them if they had had any other options of beliefs in their lives, or if the only belief they’d ever been introduced to was Christianity. Of course they were all speechless, and after asking the question twice got them to admit that they all only’ve had Christianity as an option. That led me right into telling them to look around, seeing hundreds of different cultures and beliefs around them (on a NYC street), and picturing a paradise for themselves while all of these people burned in hell. I must have come back to that scenario 4 times during our hour visit. And they tried to get out of it with things like “That’s why we’re out here preaching” and “Everyone has the choice, and if they choose to reject God, yadda yadda yadda.” And I would not let it go. Each time I’d come back and say “But you know that these people, people just like me who don’t believe in your god, are going to burn when they die. And you’ll have to deal with knowing that while you sit atop your throne made of cloud up in Heaven!”
It was a very satisfying discussion, mostly because they were inquisitive, at a loss for answers, and blindsided. They wanted to know why I thought it was bad to be a Christian even if it’s pretend, and I told them it was because they were being discouraged to understand the world.
“Do you understand the entire world?” One of them asked.
“Not entirely. But that does not make me stop trying to understand it. You are being told that the different languages started at the Tower Of Babal, when that’s not how languages began. You’re being taught that Adam & Eve was where it all began, when in fact, there are very real answers that science has discovered!”
At one point I brought up the story of Abraham willing to plunge a dagger into the chest of his child for God. The kids said, “But he didn’t! God stopped him!” And I replied, “But he was going to do it! He was going to kill his child for God! What the hell kind of religion are you guys a part of?!? Ask yourself what the hell am I doing supporting this behavior!!!”
Anyhow, I decided that some people come to Union and their thing is hacky-sacking, or skateboarding, or peeping girl’s ass-cracks. Mine is badgering Christians. It’s the most satisfying feeling, and I’ve been enjoying the one on one (or four, or eight, or twenty) more than ever before. I look forward to one day doing this same thing in devil makeup with a camera crew.