Street-Side Christians Trying to Save You

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You know the feeling. When they give you ill-designed pamphlets with Jesus on it and tell you how you are going to go to hell without the mercy of god.

Here are some replies to their annoying questions you can use the next time (from http://www.iamanatheist.com/):

The Bible says that atheism is wrong.

“The Bible also says some guy’s donkey talked.”

 

Deep down you really believe in God.

“Deep down, you really don’t believe that.”

 

You’re only saying you’re an atheist to rebel against authority.

“And if the Beatles grew long hair to rebel against authority, then they really had no hair — is that what you’re saying?”

 

If you don’t believe in God, you’ll go to Hell!

“If you don’t stop believing in God right now, I’ll punch you in the face.”

 

Why are you mad at God?

“Because he’s supposed to be all good but he doesn’t even have the common decency to exist.”

 

Without God there is no morality.

“Are we talking about the God that ordered Moses to kill babies and asked people to set animals on fire because he liked the smell?”

 

God is perfect, and He couldn’t be perfect if He didn’t exist, which proves that He exists.

“No, it just proves he isn’t perfect.”

 

People who follow Jesus are good, so you should follow Jesus.

“Chemotherapy can cure cancer, so everyone should have chemotherapy.”

 

Jesus was either a liar, a crazy person, or the son of God. He spoke against liars, and his behavior wasn’t crazy, so the only remaining possibility is that he was the son of God.

“So you’re telling me that if a polite, honest-looking, well-spoken, nicely dressed man walked up to you on the street and introduced himself as the earthly incarnation of God, you’d figure he probably is? Have you considered the possibility that you’re the one who is crazy?”

 

There were eye witnesses that Jesus worked miracles.

“There are eye witnesses that Bigfoot exists, Uri Geller works miracles, and aliens abduct people.”

 

Most people who know about Jesus believe in Him.

“If most people jumped off a bridge…”

 

I know from personal experience that God exists.

“No he doesn’t. He told me so himself.”

 

God wants you to believe in him without rational proof.

“Then he’s certainly doing a fine job of not tempting me with evidence.”

 

You say you don’t believe that God exists, but the word “God” is meaningless if there is no such thing, so you are admitting that God exists even as you deny his existence.

“That reminds me, I don’t believe you owe me $100.”

 

Hitler was an atheist.

“I don’t know about Hitler’s religion, but I do know that he was heterosexual, so can I assume you’re against that, too?”

 

Einstein believed in God. Do you think you’re smarter than Einstein?

“If he believed in God, yes.”

 

The founding fathers intended the United States to be a Christian nation. Atheists aren’t welcome.

“Are you sticking with the whole ‘slavery’ thing, too?”

 

The universe is so complex that someone must have designed it.

“I don’t know — that sentence was fairly complex but there was obviously not much thought behind it.”

 

Well, evolution’s only a theory.

“So’s your old man.”

 

There’s proof that God exists, like the Bible and miracles.

“If your twenty-year-old son still believes in Santa Claus because he read a book about Santa visiting and presents magically appeared on Christmas morning when he was a child, would you praise him for having faith in the face of overwhelming evidence or call him an idiot?”

 

My parents raised me to believe in God. Are you calling my parents liars?

“Can we talk about the Tooth Fairy for a minute?”

 

There are so many wonderful things in the world, how can you say there is no God?

“It’s really pretty easy: ‘There is no god.’ See?”

 

There is so much beauty in the world that only God could have created it.

“My wife’s beautiful, and my mother-in-law made her.”

 

If there is no Heaven, then where do you go when you die?

“The same place you were before you were conceived, I assume.”

 

You can’t prove God doesn’t exist.

“So?”

 

You can’t see air, but you believe in it.

“I can’t see ignorance, but I can smell it. Right now, in fact.”

 

You can’t see love, but you believe in it.

“And I agree that god, like love, is just a concept.”

 

God made His image appear in this tortilla!

(Eats tortilla)

********

Please stop hedging when you mention our lack of belief. Atheists are atheists. We’re not “self-described,” nor do we “claim” to be atheists. You don’t want us to start saying things like, “This is my friend, Julie. She calls herself a Christian,” do you? Then man up, brace yourself, and use the a-word all by itself. Practice in front of the mirror if you need to. You’ll know you have the proper calm, factual tone when the glass doesn’t shatter.

Please stop capitalizing the word “atheist.” Unless it comes at the beginning of the sentence, you’re just wasting ink. We know you’re probably trying to be polite, but it doesn’t work that way. There is no guy named ‘Athe’.

Some of you keep insisting that we’re angry at your god. And then you laugh at us for being so silly – being angry at someone we don’t even believe in. Well, you’re right. That would be pretty darned silly. That’s why we don’t do it. Are you annoyed at Zeus? Do you have a grudge against the faerie folk? Of course not. It’s the same for us – how could we feel anger or hatred toward a non-existent being? (Some of his fans cheese us off, but that’s another story.)

Stop saying that deep down inside, we really do believe in your deity. Belief in the kind of guy who can create an entire universe with the force of a few well-turned phrases is not the sort of secret that fits neatly into a back pocket, as it were. If we thought this fellow was real, we’d be the first to know. And people don’t tend to keep that particular nugget of information to themselves. Ever notice that?

Please understand that “You’re such a nice person! I can’t believe you’re an atheist!” is not a compliment. Believe me, every single one of us has considered replying, “And you’re so smart – I can’t believe you’re a Christian!”

How can our lives have any purpose without God? One word: chocolate.

It’s sweet of you to worry about us, really it is. But it’s not terribly helpful to tell us that we should go ahead and believe in your particular faith “just in case.” Just in case what? In case a deity who can’t distinguish heartfelt faith from apple-polishing affectation happens to be running the show?

Please quit asking us how or why we “turned our backs” on God. The whole point of being an atheist is that we don’t see any reason to think we did any such thing.

Anyone who was born in an English-speaking country and is more than two minutes old has heard about God and Jesus. It’s annoying when you assume that atheists just haven’t heard enough about them, and that’s why we’re still atheists. Many of us have done extensive research on the subject of religion. Many of us credit our atheism to exactly that.

Please stop telling your atheist acquaintances that you’ll miss us when you get to heaven. No, you won’t. If you turn out to be right, you’ll be in heaven – the place where, by definition, people don’t feel sad. And if we’re right – well, guess who won’t be feeling much of anything?

If you’ve ever said, “You can’t prove there isn’t a God” – first of all, congratulations. You’re officially four years old. Second, we never said we could. But until you can show some serious proof that there is one, we see no reason to believe. There’s nothing wrong with taking a leap of faith, provided you acknowledge that’s what you’re doing. Atheists simply prefer other forms of exercise.

Stop asking us how we can be moral without God. It’s simple. We’re awake, and we’re not idiots. That’s all it takes to figure out that sharing the planet with so many other people is a lot more pleasant when we also share some basic ideas about acceptable behaviour. I don’t like being stabbed; therefore I support laws against stabbing and promise not to stab anyone myself, no matter how much I may feel like doing so. See how easy?

So far as being a Christian is concerned, you’re either a member of a persecuted minority, or part of a solid majority. Figure out which one of those is the case, and then live with it. You don’t get to switch back and forth depending on whether you think you can smother dissent better at any given moment by either whining that everybody’s always being mean to you, or bellowing that this is your house and you make the rules.

Speaking of persecuted minorities: Christianity used to be one. Did you fight your way to freedom of faith just so you could treat nonbelievers the same way they used to treat you?

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