An old high school associate (he wasn't a friend then nor is he now) and I have connected through Facebook. Tony was a kid that I (and everyone else) relentlessly fucked with throughout high school. He was very unlikable, awkward, reactionary etc. (he fueled some of those fires too). I have apologized to him and have felt horrible about my actions for years. True bullying.
We attended Catholic schools so were each indoctrinated with similar dogma. I have since realized my atheism and he has gone on to be a Pentecostal minister. I know, huh? We've had several discussion about issues over the last year or 2 and of course we are polar opposites when it comes to social issues, politics etc. (Think gays, abortion etc.) He believes that Obama may be the anti-christ which demonstrates his depth of biblical belief.
After a recent discussion once again about my beliefs, lacks of beliefs, philosophies on life etc. he sent me this:
"A sincere suggestion to filter out the truth from fiction. Take an hour or so and walk the beach when you are alone. Speak to God as if you were talking to a friend. Tell him that you need concrete proof that He is real andthat He is who He says He is in the bible and that you really, from your heart, want to know the truth about is there a God, hell, heaven and whatever questions you may have about religion. Ask Him to make His answer so clear to you that you know that you know that you know you have the answer and their is no doubt. I have a cousin that for all his life believed that there was no God and when you died you went six feet under the ground and that was it. He lived in a log cabin next to a river on a farm owned by his parents. He reminded me of Youl Gibbons, the tv guy. Long beard, hunt, fish, etc. He wanted to know the truth and something happened on that farm, God revealed Himself to my cousin in a way that was so powerful his life was forever changed and he knew there was a God. He had no knowledge about the bible, church, religion because he and his parents were atheists. After that he would always say that God is real. He did not know much about God, still did not go to church, still lived by the river but had an experience in his life that forever changed him. God does answer our prayers IF WE REALLY WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH. Why not do that yourself and tell God you really want to know. If you are correct and nothing happens after death, no loss. If you are wrong and their is a heaven or hell you would want to know for sure. No harm, just be serious with God and give Him time to answer your prayer. Enjoy your weekend."
When a person responds with comments or answers like this, I feel completely disrespected and discounted. Does he suppose that in my 57 years, I've never tried to have a conversation like this with 'god'? Could a person be any more insulting by completely disregarding another's thoughts and beliefs (or lack thereof)?
When I'm on the beach praying to a thing that I don't believe exists, should I pray to the gulls too? Or maybe the wind (there's a wind god, right?).
This is a classic example of people having such deeply entrenched thoughts and beliefs in the supernatural, that they actually stop trying to learn about reality through fact.
I wonder if I had told him that I had converted to muslim if he would have asked me to pray to muhammed or will it still have been 'god'?