Last week I got into a conversation with someone about religion. She was a woman of faith and the conversation sprang up when she overheard me saying I am an atheist.
It was the first time I’d spoken with a religious person about my loss and lack of faith. The woman was not only faithful, but the worst kind of faithful. The kind that thinks God talks with her every day, and the kind that thinks you cannot trust the words of man. The same kind that I used to be.
It was terrible. It was terrible because I had not spoken with any religious people about my atheism before and my words were clumsy. It was terrible because the thought patterns are literally insane (I feel this is a valid use because I used to think the same way). It was terrible because it was like looking in a mirror and being on the other side of what it was like to talk with me about different ideas.
There were a couple of amusing moments though. The “You can prove gravity” discussion was used when she argued something about “words of men that can’t be trusted”. “Walk off the roof of the building (4 stories) and see how it goes. Prove god is real by asking him to suspend that law for you.” Which she replied “that’s just like Satan tempting Jesus in the desert!”
But I particularly enjoyed the following exchange:
Me: You think God talks to you?
Me: What if he told you to break the window and jump out of the building?
Her: I’d do it.
Me: That’s the kind of thinking that makes people fly planes into buildings.
I decided a few days after this that I did need to talk with religious people more. When I became a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian I spoke a lot with non-christians and also christians of other faiths and became very knowledgable, confident, and capable within that expression of faith.
When I left Adventism to practice messianic Christianity (I refuse to call it Judaism due to its use of voracious lies and deception), I did the same thing again. I again became very knowledgable and confident in that expression of faith. And it was added to what I had already learned – there was little to unlearn.
When I left Christianity to become a Jew I engaged with others again. Wash, rinse, and repeat. In spite of my loss of faith, I still remain comfortable within the identity of Judaism.
Now, that I have been an atheist for probably over a year now, I think it’s time to start the process again.