I finally got the opportunity to stop there today on my way home from work. With the wife and kid doing their own things I had the chance to have my guilty pleasure dinner and just chill out, aggravate people on Facebook, write a post, whatever.
I walk in, get to the counter. Awesome, they have gyros. I’ll have the combo. Not the healthiest thing I should have for dinner, but fuck it.
I fill my drink and walk over to the booth. I can’t help but notice the horrible pop song that’s on. Yuck. Oh well, there’s a TV with CNN. I’ll focus on that while I wait as my pita-wrapped-tzatziki-sauce-smothered-goodness is prepared.
What is this music? It sucks.
Here’s my food. That was fast. Looks great. Tastes great.
Fuck. The song just mentioned Him and He and it’s a dude singing. This can’t be good.
Nom nom. Fries are pretty damn good too and the gyro’s pretty authentic.
The DJ chimes in about the last song and how it’s about the grace of god and how he loves and forgives us and blah, blah, blah.
I have to scarf this fucking gyro down and get the fuck out of here.
I eat hastily and the man who took my order walks by on his way out the door. I psychically tell him to keep going. There must be psychic dampeners in here. Shit. He stops and says those words I’m dreading:
“How is everything?”
I pause for a second. I tell myself I’m going to be the peaceful guy and just say “fine” or put my thumb up and nod.
“Well, I think the food is priced very fairly, it came out quickly, the fries are good and the gyro is better than the one I had at a Greek place a couple weeks ago. My only complaint is (you guessed it, dear reader) the music.”
“Oh, OK. You don’t like Christian music?”
“No. I don’t, but everything else is great. Thanks.”
“Oookay, well, thanks for coming in.” He says, as he proceeds out the door.
Nom nom nom.
Shit. 5 minutes goes by. He walks back in. “Can I ask you why you don’t like the music?”
“Well, I don’t want to listen to Christian music and preaching while I’m enjoying my dinner. Not my cup of tea. I wouldn’t want to listen to rap or hip-hop either.”
I notice his t-shirt contains the word “SAVED” on it. Here it comes… Wait for it…
“Can I ask you what religion you are?”
“Of course. I’m a very happy Atheist.”
Now, this post is getting a little long as it is, so I’ll drop the quotes and truncate the 45 minute conversation.
We go on talking and explaining our viewpoints on God, Jesus, the Devil, Heaven, Hell. You know, all the fun stuff. The entire time I notice he never quite takes in what I have to say except when to load his contradictory responses and repeat his circular reasoning. I push myself to touch on how I understand how he can feel so strongly of his convictions but that it’s dangerous to assume you or a book have all the answers. I elaborate on how I am very comfortable in the fact that I don’t know everything. I find that most born again Christians FEEL they know the answers. For instance, it’s very common (and he tossed this one out there) for a Born Again to ask, “What if you’re wrong?” I always reply with, “I could be, but I doubt it. All the evidence and experiences in my life have lead me to this decision. Like you, I live my life as moral as possible and do my best to help those around me. I do this because it’s the right thing to do and I can’t squander this ONE life I have on this planet. Not because there’s consequences of reward or punishment when I die.”
The conversation, or so it seams – two-way monologue, continues. It’s nothing I haven’t heard before. The usual “Bible told me so” and my favorite “Human Eye” question.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one. “If God doesn’t exist, how do you explain the complexity of the human eye?”
Easy. Evolution. Millions of years of it. And, as complicated as it is, there are animals out there that have way cooler ones (more evolved) than ours. But our brains. That’s the amazing thing. It’s the fastest evolving thing on this planet. We are able to change our ways of thinking generation by generation. Sometimes, even quicker than that.
North Carolina was in the news today for turning down gay marriage. Since I have a number of gay friends I brought up the fact that most Christians (and the Bible) are anti-gay. I explain that no matter what an ancient book or religion says, decent people should be able to come to the conclusion that two people who love each other should still have the same rights as everyone else. He avoids this subject entirely.
There’s no way I can condense the entire conversation into one post. It was a very peaceful debate that went up and down as far as reason goes. Most of the time, however, I couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of there. I knew at multiple points in the conversation that he was preparing for his turn to talk rather than listening to what I said and forming an expanding response. We both knew it was time to go. I gather my phone and shades slowly and politely and start scooting my ass out of the booth. I’m thinking this booth is a foot longer than it really is so what happens?
I scoot my ass out of the booth right onto the floor with a thud. Ass first. Feet in the air. My sunglasses go flying into the air. I mutter, “Holy shit!” and laugh and so does he. I’m sure it’s the funniest thing he’s seen all day.
In hindsight, I bet he saw this as Divine Intervention from Above. God giving me a little nudge.
But of course my rational mind sees it for what it is.
I am one clumsy fuck.