I am an atheist. This doesn’t mean I’m an antichrist, it does not mean that I’m a devil worshiper and nor does it suggest in any way that I am a less than wholesome person.
All it means is that I do not believe one person created everything.
Yet when the local team of bible-bashing, God-bothering, devil-dodging proselytes turn up on my doorstep having decided the time is nigh for me to embark upon a life of eternal happiness; when they inquire into my relationship with this all powerful deity by checking up on my God-fearing-ness; when they then have the audacity to query my life choices; when I inform them in no uncertain terms that I am an atheist who doesn’t buy into the hype of all things religion primarily because I’ve never been given reason to; when I casually mention that while I have no problem standing there politely hearing them out I have no intention of joining in their delusion; when they then stare at me, critiquing, assessing, as if my decision to not believe in a fairy tale which honestly, contains no greater aspect of realism than the tale of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny; when they do this, why is it that I feel as though I am doing something wrong?
Don’t misunderstand me, in principal I have nothing against these people; hell, some of my most revered companions are Christians. This is generally because they don’t try to push their beliefs onto me – for that’s all it is: evolution, creationism – these are doctrines, belief systems.
Admittedly one of these doctrines is patently more believable than the other: one is logic, the other fantasy; one is sensible, the other farcical; one is based on actual events while the other is not.
Try this. Regarding the facts surrounding evolution/creationism, ask a devout Christian a few specific questions requiring specific answers, and see how you go. Here’s one I prepared earlier.
Evolution: “Is it a fact that God made the world in just seven days?”
Creationism: “Not just the world, God created the universe.”
Evolution: “Huh. Impressive. How would somebody go about a task like that?”
Creationism: “God works in mysterious ways.”
Evolution: “Sure, but I mean really, because it sounds like magic – was it magic?”
Creationism: “Heavens no, magic is one of the black arts.”
Evolution: “Right, but to make a universe, he must be able to fly or something, yeah?”
Creationism: “I wouldn’t say fly exactly.”
Evolution: “So how’d he do it? I mean, he’s obviously massive…”
Creationism: “He can be both big and small, God is not limited to physical sizes.”
Evolution: “I see, so where’d he sit while he was putting the w – the universe together?”
Creationism: “God is an all powerful being, he is all around us.”
Evolution: “So he levitates?”
Creationism: “God is an almighty being, he’s not up, or down, he just is.”
Evolution: “Ah, right. He’s a being, who is. So where exactly is this being?”
Creationism: “Oh, he’s here, he’s there – he’s everywhere.”
Evolution: “Everywhere, nice one. So does he plan to reveal himself, or what?”
Creationism: “Oh, God has already revealed himself, you just have to believe.”
Evolution: “Seriously? He’s already been? Christ, how’d I miss him? Shit.”
Creationism: “Have faith, and he will return.”
Evolution: “Oh, great. So do you have a time and a place?”
Creationism: “God is already with us, he’s in our souls, all around us, he’s everywhere.”
Evolution: “Ah, Mr Ubiquitous eh? So are you meaning God himself, or is this Jesus?”
Creationism: “Well, Jesus is God, God is Jesus, they’re one glorious being.”
Evolution: “I thought they were father and son..?”
Creationism: “They can be whatever you want them to be, that’s the glory of God.”
Evolution: “Right, God. Then there’s Jesus, son of God. Two separate entities..?”
Creationism: “Yes but it doesn’t matter who you worship, God is everywhere.”
Evolution: “Right, this being who is seemingly everywhere, but apparently, nowhere.”
Creationism: “Not nowhere, he is all around us – you have to believe.”
Evolution: “So you’re saying, if I don’t believe, then he doesn’t exist..?”
Creationism: “He won’t be in your life, no, and gone will be the promise of eternal life.”
Evolution: “Eternal life? Shit man, have you seen my life? Christ, the sooner it’s over the better, I reckon…
Unlike the topic on which it was based, the aforementioned yarn did happen.
What I find so damned unsettling is not so much the bullshit they push, but the force with which these door to door salespeople of the Christian faith try to shove it down your throat.
Here’s my major query: how can a doctrine which causes so much pain and conflict be embraced by so many? All through time religious zealots have believed that by massacring their enemy on the battlefield, they are performing God’s work. I simply do not accept religion as a reason for war and if there is a God, I reckon he’d be dead against it too.
Although I openly confess my detestation for devout God-bothering, I am an ardent supporter of the morals and values that Christianity bring to the game. Who the hell said that in order to be a good person, one must devote their life to some dude they’ve never even met, and likely will never even see?
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Maree N Joseph
Photography by Adam Knight