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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As in, go buy a bullet proof vest?!!
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.

Wow. What an experience. It sounds so childish to "duke it out" in the parking lot over a discussion at work. It is scary to think this person waited for you to come out to your car in order to punish you for daring to speak your mind and for answering questions about atheism. In his mind, he was protecting the weak of mind/spirit, I suppose, but it certainly doesn't justify physical abuse on his part!

All I can say is you must have frightened him. Fear and Anger are closely linked in our brain's wiring. Maybe he started to doubt his beliefs for a split second and it scared him into an aggressive response. But he waited and sat out in his car plotting a way to punish you for your freethinking ways.... so he can't really use emotional instability as his excuse!

Please tell us how it works out for you in the courts. I want to hear how the legal system views this sort of thing in the Bible Belt region: Self protection v Free Speech. I'm concerned that they'll say your behavior wasn't appropriate for the work setting (your speech) versus HIS action out in the parking lot (his aggressive behavior).
Yeah I have been worried about it to. Here's the kicker though....I used to be a cop untill they downsized recently. So I doubt anything will come of this however I am VERY interested to see how it pans out as well
Yeah I'm with you now. That's what I learned. Not everyone is capable of life without god. It's almost like they NEED it to exist. As far as not having the conversation at work....I'm with you BUT I did back out of the conversation a few times before. They just kept asking how ANYONE in their right mind could not believe in god. Eventually my pride got to me and I let go. One just called 30 minutes ago. They want me to speak at their church. Apparently one of the women listening is married to a local pastor
wow, did you accept? that would be so interesting! You need to make sure you do your homework with the kind of example you would set for an entire church.
Yes I did. I will be going in 2 sundays. lol believe me I'm VERY well studied. And I just read the new Dawkins book. I'm armed to the teeth ;)
Yeah,do let us have an idea of the talk they want you to give.
I can't imagine any churches around here (except the UU) allowing an atheist to speak his/her mind. I'm also in the bible belt.(NC).
These are my favorite kinds of blog posts btw.

Do have it recorded or take notes or something. I always learn something when I watch others debate with theists. You really need to learn the kind of reasoning that works and the kind that doesn't.
I was shocked myself
Loved your blog.
wow, that blog was amazing! It's SO true!

i want to take it to a Christian and see what they have to say. It would be interesting. have you tried it yet?

If you accompany it with bible verses that tell women to dress modestly and keep silent in the churches, I KNOW you'll get some uncomfortable squirms.

Sounds familiar to me...




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