jackshoegazer: (Jesus/Dinosaur)
[personal profile] jackshoegazer
There is a regular proselytizer on campus who hands out Christian literature, little comic books illustrating Bible verses and the like.  Normally, I don't have a problem with him and I often take the little handouts for an entertaining read.  I do love religion after all.

However, today, when I walked past, he was yelling about almighty God and the usual propaganda when one particular phrase jumped out at me.  "YOU DON'T HAVE TO DIE."

And I just wanted to grab him and say, "Yes, I'm sorry, but you do.  You have to die.  You are going to die.  And nothing is going to stop it.  You are going to die.  The end.  Nothing you believe, nothing you say is going to erase one little bit of that fact.  It takes incredible strength to live your life in a good and noble way, knowing that in the end, you will die.  So maybe, just maybe you should be concerned about your own life and your own legacy in this world than in some imaginary one in the next."

I don't know why that grated on me today.  Because I don't not-believe in an afterlife or reincarnation or heaven or any of it.  It's all just as likely as eternity as worm food.  I just think that, well, we should "be working for a paycheck, rather than waiting for the lottery."

Date: 2011-12-09 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pretzelcoatl.livejournal.com
I keep on mentioning it to people, but I'm really enjoying Rapture Ready! since (among other things) it addresses how evangelical Christianity has become about fearing death (which is why things like Left Behind became so popular). When I was growing up in a mainline/liberal church, though, death always seemed to be something that wasn't to be feared - since Jesus died, everyone was saved to begin with, so you might as well focus more on being a good person here and try to make life a lot better for people who are having a shitty life instead.

But then, that would be a difficult for a lot of people to grasp. People always seem to need to have a group to target that gets excluded from in-crowd.

Date: 2011-12-09 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dodger-winslow.livejournal.com
Because you don't believe in something, you'd deny someone who believed differently the right to express their beliefs in a public manner? Clearly you didn't act on the instinct to do so (assuming "I just wanted to grab him ..." means you didn't do so, only wanted to), but the instinct to require consensus or silence with your own beliefs is the same instinct that drives the intolerantly uuber-religious to action that seeks to persecute, silence and/or ridicule you and yours for believing differently than they do.

All well and good to think you should work for a paycheck rather than waiting for the lottery yourself. Might bear some self examination when you start feeling the urge to silence anyone who'd dare to disagree on that point anywhere other than behind their own closed doors.

Or, you know, not ... especially if this is just an expression of your frustrations made in your corner of a public venue because you feel like expressing those frustrations in a public venue. But still bears noting: tolerance works both ways. That whole golden rule thing can be a real bitch in that regard.

Date: 2011-12-10 03:53 am (UTC)
ext_6446: (Tifa & Aeris)
From: [identity profile] mystickeeper.livejournal.com
Is this the guy who stands outside of Humanities? If so, one of my favorite undergrad memories was walking outside from a lecture, and two girls started full-on making out in front of him. Everyone cheered.

Date: 2011-12-10 01:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mysterysquid.livejournal.com
Um, wow. right.

Always tempted to actually check they've READ the bible...

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