After openly moving out of Christianity and becoming an agnostic, concluding that the Bible is nothing more than a fascinating mess of paper and ink, I have been asked the following question again and again:
"Why do you bother talking about God or the Bible when you don't even believe in it?"
Actually, it usually doesn't come in the form of a nice question but rather an angry command to quiet my voice. Of course, I won't pretend that what I write has much of an influence outside of the few who read it, but you would think, by the potency of the words coming at me, I was akin to the Anti-Christ.
I'm not going to lengthily address the question of why people might do this because the answer to that is quite simple. When someone is wholly devoted to something that completely defines their life, or more importantly, defines their life after death, anything that questions the logic of the crumbling pillars that props that something up needs to be beaten back and silenced. I love the debate and find that the fight keeps me alive and well.
But, do I write about religion, the Bible, and God because I like to enrage believers? Do I do it because poking people in the eye gives me pleasure? Am I a narcissist that tries to belittle everyone who does not see life my way? At points in my life, sometimes daily, the answers to all the questions above is a resounding "yes"! But that is not my underlying reason for why I address the subject.
Let's turn the question around.
Why does a Christian, who thinks that all people who are not Christians, are going to hell anyway, not want someone questioning, reasoning, and logically working through the questions that might lead them back into the fold?! After all, those good Christian folks who are doing all the yelling would be the first to tell me that my non-god is going to send me to hell. And they do a fine job of it. But why do they bother talking to me about my non-belief when they are not non-believers? Makes sense, right?
Ignoring the hell concept, other Christians despise people like me because my voice is out there leading other Christians astray. Really?! If that is going to be your argument, I can think of two very fundamental reasons why you should not attack me with that argument.
First, if I, a mere mortal, am splashing my uneducated words onto an electronic page, and God, an omnipotent, omniscient being, does not have the power to render my words meaningless to those that he desires to be with him in heaven, I think that says more about your god than the power of my words. Words do hold power, but only inasmuch as they form a coherent thought. If my thoughts are coherent (logical) and the Christian's thoughts are as well, what is the problem with pitting them against each other and having the debate?
Secondly, being that I simply ask people to think logically about what they are believing, using logic, anecdotes, reason, Scripture, common sense, and other sources for my material, trying to silence me plays a hand that I would think no Christian, in these modern times, would want to be associated with - that in order to become and stay a Christian, one has to suspend all reason.
If I conclude that the Bible is silly, argue why it is not. But if I am concluding that the Bible is indeed silly, don't argue with me by throwing verses my way about how all god haters will go to hell. I know the Bible. I was forced to read it from cover to cover, scores of times while growing up, not to mention, the Holy Bible, in all forms, is available for free online, twenty-four hours a day.
Let's have a conversation, not a slinging of mud. We both have the ability to type. I use two fingers to do it. Let's do it well.