At times, religion intrudes on my life in ways that are downright annoying. I’ve been on the road most of the week working on a project. My typical day was 8:00 am until midnight. I was so busy I did not even know about the earthquake in Japan. Yet religion found a way to intrude on my life each and every day.
I don’t mix religion and work, it’s unprofessional. Yet Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and I had to stay silent and tolerant around a bunch of enthusiastic Catholics. It was no big deal. These people were authentic believers for whom Ash Wednesday was an important social and cultural event. I’m completely ok with that and felt no need to discuss religion with people who were celebrating their faith publically. Unfortunately, my week got much much worse.
I stayed at a hotel in Burbank. They were hosting a religious convention. Pastors from all over the country were in every nook and cranny in the hotel’s common spaces. A drink at the bar on my first night attract 4 different people who wanted to share Jesus with me. But wait, it gets worse. My room was in a horrible location. My door was directly across from the elevators. You could step out of elevator three and step into my room. On my first night, a groups of pastors discussed how to bring the love of Jesus to Atheists outside of my door. They talked loud enough to wake me up at 1:00 am.. It was like some horrible nightmare. The next morning I stepped from my room into the elevators and found myself surrounded by bible toting believers. A young one asked me if I knew Jesus. My replay was at least partly driven by my lack of sleep, “I heard your drunken strategy for bringing Jebus to heathen atheists last night through by room door. I don’t need to hear the sober version this morning.”
The older pastors tried to “engage” me in a “dialog” so they could “reconcile” our “conflict”. I use quotes because they over emphasized each friggen word as they tried to get me to stay and “talk it out.”
The best part came last night. I was drinking a few beers with my coworkers in the bar when I overheard four young hipster pastors discussing hypocrisy. They mentioned how they felt it was their duty to help other pastors stay right with god. One of them said something like, “We don’t want our friends ending up as a spectacle on Deep Thoughts.” another mentioned how much the atheist author (that would be me) hates god, and a third said he wishes that the site could be shut down as it hurts their ministry and reflects poorly on the church. I could not help myself, I got up and stepped over to their table and said, “If you don’t want to appear on my blog, I suggest you don’t molest children.” They next five minutes of conversation were priceless. They were all drunk and full of love, but not for me. It was hilarious. I am apparently a monster for highlighting Christian hypocrisy. So, whatever.
My week ended when I returned home this morning. I went to breakfast with my wife at a local eatery. Outside I was handed a Watch Tower by an old lady, which I accepted gracefully. Inside I was subjected to the wisdom of an idiot who thought the earthquake in Japan was part of god’s plan to redeem the earth and that atheists had better get with it or they well be left behind to die in the nuclear wasteland. It’s like I’m being followed by sheeple.
More stories to come…