I know this might not come as a shock to many here but, I thought I would share it anyway. I have been operating as an Atheist with the understanding that ALL people have the ability to drop the shackles of their belief system. I thought they where just misguided. I felt if a person was provided enough evidence to totally dismantle their belief in a positive discussion with NO aggression they would drop it and start thinking for themselves. Well.....I was wrong.

I actually have a court date now because of it. The guy actually tried to beat me up after I proved him wrong on every point he tried to make and he was unable to answer even ONE of my questions. They funny thing is that it was almost 4 hours later when he attempted to assault me. I'm not mad at the guy I just really don't understand.

I didn't even ask for the debate. I was at work. He came to me asking questions about god, satan, ghosts, even aliens. I simply answered them. While the conversation was taking place every other employee including management got involved and started asking me questions. Mind you, I live in the bible belt. For someone to say the things I am saying is unheard of.

He was not the only one to try to "stump the Atheist." The others asked questions as well. After the conversation was over two people had changed their minds! YAY ATHEISM!! I think about 8 have really strong doubts about their religion but aren't ready to take that leap. But the one guy just walked off quietly. Didn't say a word about it the rest of the day. He talked to me like normal for the rest of the work day.

When we got off he waited for me in the parking lot. He approached me and asked if I thought it was funny to bring his coworkers to hell with me. I was about to respond when he swung at me. I was trained by the military so the altercation didn't last long. I called an ambulance to come pick him up and stayed to speak to the police department. Now I'm going to court. WTF?!?!?!? lol Oh well, I live by a saying I learned in the Army. Stand for something or fall for anything.

The Update for easier reading.....



Ok so here's what happened. I know I kinda spoiled it but, I knew a lot of you where on the edge of you seat trying wanting to know how the courts would deal with it. Basically the judge told him "EVEN THOUGH this man doesn't believe in Christ he was able to act with more morality than you are even capable of understanding. You are a menace and uncontrollable. Your actions have put a bad name not only on yourself but, on all people who believe as you do. You ought to be ashamed and I hope when you go to your probation violation hearing the state picks this case up and runs with it to the fullest extent of the law."

You like that? "EVEN THOUGH"?? As if we are incapable of being moral by the "Christian" standard. In my opinion he acted better than Christians did during the Inquisition. He addressed me "Mr. 'A' (I don't wanna use my real last name) I apologize for this inconvenience and the court will not take any more of your time. You are free to leave unless you have anything to add?" So I calmly said "Your honor, the only thing that I would ask is that you put yourself in his position. The man lost his job, the use of his arm, his pride, and now quite possibly his freedom. I understand he broke the law...however I broke his arm. I know this is not a carnal society as in the days of the Inquisition (yes I said it) but I feel like he has had his punishment. The only thing I would like to stress to this court is that we Atheists DO have morality however, to our advantage, it's NOT God given. Therefore we can and DO alter it to fit the situation. This man only acted as every Christian in the past acted when their beliefs where put through the scrutiny of science. I don't fault him. I fault society. That is all I have to say."

At this, the judge recommended some ridiculously large amount of community service and that he write a formal apology which I declined to accept. I signed a form before I left the court that said he apologized and left it at that.

Now Bring on the Church debate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The later update.....


First and foremost I wanna thank EVERYONE for the support. You guys are still AMAZING!!!!!!!

I spoke with the pastor today. He claims that it's just standard b.s. He said that we wants an open format and to allow audience questions. I asked him what kind of "standard" b.s. he was referring to. His response was "oh, you know things like no cussing and the like." I told him we could just go on good faith that I would refrain from things like that to which he said "I thought Atheists had NO faith?" Good point. He laughed and I told him that he would have to make sure to give me this arrangement no later than Wednesday seeing as he wants me at church on Sunday. He agreed that he would have it done earlier than that. I asked him who I would be debating and he said that he had MANY volunteers but, was "told by God" he should be the one to do it......the phrase "Why hast thou forsaken me?" came to mind but, I resisted the urge.

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oh wow! i looked at how far that was and I didn't realize that Memphis was at the remote corner of TN. That's a long way away! TN's a long state!
Eight Miles outta Memphis and I got no spare. Eight Miles Straight Up. Down Town Somewhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz2ET5K6zY0
Well the swine flu is still kicking my ass but, I'm getting better. Hopefully I'll be at least 90% by Sunday. I got a chance to review my "stipulations" agreement. Apparently he is gonna do a sermon first then introduce me as a "non-believer" You know what? I never got that. You don't call someone who don't collect stamps a "non-stamp collector" so why call me a "non-believer" Oh well....I guess I'll save that for the debate. At any rate, there where things about language and respect. He asked that I dress "formally" I'm assuming no "God Free" or "I love Jesus.....it's his fan club I can't stand" T-shirts will be acceptable uniform. Anyway, all in all it looked pretty standard. I'm still looking for the catch. I know it's in there. I don't know why this guy would not want to have an informal private debate first rather than subject his entire lively hood to my skepticism and the scientific method.

I have come to two conclusions. Either this guy is a "closet Atheist" or (the one I'm hoping for) he is soooooooooo convinced that he can stomp my arguments in the ground with out even hearing them first that he is willing to do so in a public venue in front of hundreds if people who count on him for answers and leadership. I truly hope it's that latter of the two. I have been reading on the contradictions in the book itself. I know that "man's word" is inferior to "god's word" so I plan to show that the very book contradicts itself factually. Not just the evil yawey vs the meek jesus. I mean factually. Once I tear that apart then I'll get in to the nightmare of the countless other b.s. in the book.

I'm not sure if there will be an opening statement by the pastor or not. But, I do know, at the end of the debate the audience is allowed to question us. That is the part I'm concerned about. A passive aggressive pastor is not a concern. But a well educated biologist who happens to be a creationist will be a bit of a challenge. The probability that I will have one is remote but, the chance of it is worrisome.

Anyway, I'll be sure to get back to you guys asap. Now.....back to my nyquil, thera-flu, and sleeping pills...........

Thanks for the support again guys!
Sleep tight.

and good luck!!
...introduce me as a "non-believer"

If he calls you a non-believer, you should say you believe in lots of things - that which is supported by actual evidence. You believe the earth is not flat and not the center of the universe, the sun does not go around the earth, the stars in the sky at night are not lights on some invisible dome separating the "firmaments", etc... all things that contradict the science and history of the bible. (350 more examples here.) Show how the only evidence they have to site that God and Jesus are real is unbelievably flawed and not an historical record. (Not one word was even written by an eyewitness.) Maybe say you are a non-faith-ist instead. Faith by definition is believing in something that has no proof. Faith is just an innocent sounding word that actually hides and justifies someone's belief in magic, myths and the supernatural. Good luck!
Well, any updates, do you end up going today, or was the flu still kicking your ass? Any people walk out of the church when you were introduced or heckle you?
Yes I went. Twice in fact. But, I'll not get ahead of myself. I went on an hour early. I just wanted to look around (mainly for emergency exits JUST IN CASE) and get familiar with the area. I left and ate a hearty Mc Donald's breakfast and then came back. I was seated as any other visitor. I was not treated any differently. I sit down and patiently waited. First there was awful music. I mean awful. The musicians where not horrible but the "singers" where absolutely horrendous. During this process a few people came to the front steps and cried and all kinds of glorious crap. After that the pastor thanked everyone and asked everyone to take a seat....not a problem for me since my ass had not left the bench since I got there. The nyquil had me a little tired.

The pastor begin his sermon by proclaiming that lately his beliefs have been under attack by the mainstream media and science. He said that he is not upset by it because he believes this is foretold in revelations. He proceeded to tell the church that he believes the son of god is jesus. He died on the cross for our sins, defeated the devil, and rose on the third day so that we might meet his father. Whoever believes in that will not die but live eternally in heaven. Ahhhhhh.......so refreshing to hear the church has something NEW to bring to the table.

Then the pastor made his first blunder of the evening. He renounced evolution.....BAD CALL. But, I listened intently and kept taking notes. He then referred to the HUMAN atrocities such as slavery and genocide that MAN has committed against man through science......EWWW bBAD CALL NUMBER 2 SIR. Again....I listened. He then said that science is attempting to answer the WHY question and should stick to the HOW question....could he play in to my hands any better than that? Then he delivered his own ultimate "coup de grace" he actually proclaimed "I follow but ONE science book and it is in the KING JAMES BIBLE! The unbeatable word of GOD!"

He then said "Now listen to me God's people....we have here tonight an unbeliever. He is a self proclaimed Atheist. He wants to share his beliefs with us and we in turn will share ours with him. James if you could stand up for us." I got a round of applause that was forced at best. I could tell you EXACTLY what was said but...well I'm sure most of you can but 2 and 2 together and sustain these rather elementary arguments that where put to me.

After totally destroying everything the pastor said I then explained what I was. "In closing I would like to add. I am an Atheist. An atheist, in my own definition of the word, is simply a denial of any and ALL things that can not be proved or disproved in REALITY. I don't believe in unicorns. I don't believe in Santa. I don't believe if fairies. Why? There is no evidence for them. The same is true for your God. You can believe in your religion or God or any God for that matter, all you want, it still doesn't make it true. You can have your own truth...but you can NEVER have your own facts."

I then looked at the pastor for guidance on the questions/answers part of the discussion only to find him starring at me as if he just allowed the Anti-Christ to speak to his congregation. He quickly snapped out of it and thanked me for my time. Then he told everyone that we where available to answer any and all questions after the service was over. There was a clear sigh in the audience. So I kinda stepped out of line and ON THE MIC asked "Sir, I thought we where doing that publicly with the microphones. I mean I have no problems with that if you don't." He kinda looked upset but, recovered quickly with "Sure we can! If it's no trouble for you."

This is getting kinda long and it's been a long day but the majority of the questions where to the preacher seeing as he didn't refute one not even ONE of my points. He stumbled over about 6 questions before finally saying "I was genuinely not prepared to defend the Bible. I came here to defend God." To which I replied "But, sir, did you not earlier say and I quote 'I follow but ONE science book and it is in the KING JAMES BIBLE! The unbeatable word of GOD!'? If you can't defend that then you shouldn't say it."

To that his response was he would come back later this evening with answers to all my questions. He just needed more time to prepare. I agreed and thanked them ALL for having me. I came back later that evening. He had mysteriously got sick. His understudy led the congregation instead. No mention of the earlier service was made. Not one person asked a single question about it either. Sickening really. So did I waste my time? I'm not sure. I hope not. But even if the words of wisdom fall on deaf ears, who's to blame? God for making the man deaf! lol
Without being there, it sounds like it went as good as it could have. No death threats (yet), you equaled if not overwhelmed the pastor in the eyes of the believers in the room. I can bet at least one person in that audience if not more are non-believers stuck in a believers lifestyle. Those are the first ones to get too, the rest of the flock will follow with time. You made 'atheist' something that people can see and experience, not just a idea they can distance themselves from.

Glad to hear it went so well.
Well like you said.....for now. We shall see. When the bricks start flying through the living room windows I'm pulling out the AK's!!! LMAO
how do you have ak's? those aren't US military weapons.
You done good son, you done good.
Great job, James! I'm glad the congregation was as polite and respectful as they were. I have to say I'm a little surprised that the pastor didn't put up a better fight. Like Judd says, there are almost certainly a few people there with serious doubts about their religion. Those are the ones you were really talking to. The rest of them at least learned that atheists don't have baby's blood dripping down their chins at all times.

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