A young preacher started to shout about heaven, souls and hell to passers by. I decided to talk to him a bit. I asked him how he knew what he believed was true. He tried to shout his answers back at me (so others could hear) but I reminded him of the following:
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
At this point he decided to keep the conversation between us. Long story short, after talking about prophecy, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel and saying only believers in god are actually good (which I conclusively debunked), he asked me how i thought “good” was defined. I told him “good” and “bad” are defined by society mainly in terms of what produces happiness to you and others. It is an evolving concept. He objected, he said morality, to be true, can never change. I said, no way even bible morality changes. Is it good or bad to have slaves? I asked him, where in the bible was slavery ever abolished?
It goes without saying that he did not want to answer. “It is opening a can of worms to discuss that”, he said. (Really? And to think that I once believed opposition to slavery was an universally accepted concept. I wonder what would an African American evangelical would have said in this same situation.)
To finish i told him that if he gave me an answer, whatever it was, i would leave him and let him continue to
scream preach at the people passing by. His answer was: slavery is good depending on the master. At that point I shook his hand (and my head) and left.
Is there any doubt how religion warps the mind so much that the obvious (humans are not property) becomes questionable if it contradicts one’s delusional notions? Believers might think that being a slave to god (whatever that means), to depend on another for your decisions, to delegate your reasoning to a third party is the most wonderful thing ever. But I know otherwise. History has taught us as much. That is why I spoke out. That is why I talked to the preacher. Because once upon a time that preacher standing there was me.
Never be afraid to respectfully speak your mind. Never. Specially when it is so fun to do so.