Okay then, it was a rather disappointing weekend for football pretty much all the way around so I won’t go into it. Suffice to say that I’ve never before been made fun of for trying to remain optimistic. I told my pops about that — I mean I literally got into a weird one-sided fight with a good friend of mine over the UGA game and was so confused by what was happening I think I just went into shock and tried to wait it out — and pops said, “Some people just don’t get it kid. They had a 10 game winning streak. That’s something to feel good about. They’re likely to be even better next year. Also something to feel good about.” And I think where I come down on it is I much prefer to FEEL GOOD about something than wallow in the rage of losing to the BEST DEFENSE in the EFFING COUNTRY. But whatever. I guess we have the Outback Bowl against Michigan State on Jan. 2 and that should be a fair matchup. Maybe I’m just getting a bit more philosophical as I get older but being pissed off just doesn’t appeal to me at all.
Which brings me to that whole atheism thing I’ve been wanting to write a little about since I had a conversation with my brother John about the topic over Thanksgiving. Now, some background: my siblings and I were raised Catholic. Most of us — myself included — have remained Catholic. But my brother John — who also happens to be a very good friend and adviser to me. He’s always protected me and kept things real. Many people don’t have anyone in their life who will do that for them. I got lucky. — went a more Protestant, non-denominational Christian route. We were talking about atheism because I brought it up — there’s a lot more of the militant strain here in DC than there is down South. And John had a really interesting thing to say on the subject. Primarily, he noted, when you’re a humanist and your ultimate and most deeply held belief is in your own abilities etc, you are faced constantly with the fallibility of the thing you respect, believe in, admire, love the most. “How many times a day do you screw up or question yourself?” he asked. And that’s the human condition. So, he reasoned, the common thread in many atheists to prove that they have it all figured out — that they are the intellectual kings of the castle that know that your antiquated system of belief is silly at best, morally retarded at worst — is because they must compensate for the constant wrestling with just how much they question themselves. Very likely more than people of faith. Now, I realize this argument is one easily used toward the whole “opiate of the masses” argument. Maybe so. I used to think deluding oneself was a bad thing…but now, well, see the above paragraph about feeling good.
Further, John told me of a gentlemen at his work place who took it upon himself to tell my brother that he was “lying to his kids” by taking them to church. John has only just started this new job so this guy felt justified saying this to someone he barely knows. “So I get to deal with that f*cker every day,” my brother said. And that’s the second part of this that we hashed out. Inherent in the Judeo-Christian ethic is the idea of free will. You can choose. And yes, I know there are some believers who would give you their testimony or try to save your soul. But most really don’t care. They want to be left alone to believe and are more than willing to leave you alone to disbelieve. And so the proselytizing atheist is just as annoying as the Jehovah’s Witness who shows up on your doorstep and attempts to tell you how wrong you are about what you think. You are no different with your dogma, militant atheist. It’s always funny that you employ the tactic you claim disgusts you. I guess all I’m saying is: go somewhere else with the in-your-face “you shouldn’t believe!” I — and most Christians — really don’t care. You are not shocking to us. You do not worry us. We do not hate you or wish you ill. And we certainly prefer not to be the object of your rage. Most are more than willing to hear a fair, reasonably offered point of view on the matter. But the expectation is tolerance. And that’s something you do believe in, right?
Anyway, carrying on in a similar vein, here’s proof that we do have senses of humor. A friend made this up to accompany the link to the Jesus Toaster (which I think is absolutely hilarious and I want to buy one for someone for Christmas but I’m not sure who should get it…). This is his food-inspired version of most of the Lord’s Prayer. It’s exceedingly clever and I just wanted to share it. Because Jesus freaks have senses of humor, too.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and give us your molasses
have brie, olive oils, bleu, and sauce dispensed just,
and knead us knots anew for bacon!
Cut a sliver with gristle,
Finally, the concert Friday at Catholic U. was lovely and they played one of my favorite Christmas Carols. Here’s a nice version by Sufjan Stevens.