Visit from a Pastor

Last Thursday my wife and I were in the midst of an argument. Nothing major of course, she was stressed out and when she is stressed she screams at me for a while until she feels better and then usually everything is all good. During our argument we saw a little head bobbing around through the window on our door…there was the pastor that performed our wedding ceremony standing there.

I’m not sure who sent him or if he had even been sent at all, this was the first time I had seen him in the three years since we were wed so the visit was quite peculiar. When my wife and I were in the process of getting married we both still believed though we had our doubts about Christianity, nonetheless the pastor found himself easily impressed by us and our resolve to remain virgins until our wedding night, so as far as he knew all was well with our faith at that time. I can only assume that he had gotten some wind of my fall from grace, this is a small town and I am very much an Out atheist, but regardless this is how our conversation went:

Satan

(Wife yelling from the bedroom, me standing in the kitchen trying to get her out the door so we can go eat, we notice his head bobbing through the window)

(I open door, then I recognize him… I invite him in, we sit on the couch…wife runs to the bedroom to avoid this conversation all together)

Pastor: So…are you two going to church anywhere?

(I’d rather just let the cat out of the bag here, get it out on the table)

Me: Well…you see…I don’t believe in god anymore

Pastor, not looking surprised in the least: Let me ask you something…Have you been getting into any sort of Satanic stuff?

(Seriously)

A little background here: A couple years ago a rumor got around that I was getting into the occult…all stemming from a blog post I did about my studies in the occult. So I immediately think that he is referencing the occult. As you will see, this is not the case.

Me, angry at this question: Why in the world would you ask that? What do you even mean?

Pastor: I mean have you been watching TV and reading stuff and listening to evil music?

(I realize that by satanic stuff he simply means anything that is NOT Christian, which really threw me off at first but my mindset what much like that at one time)

Zion

We talked about that for a few minutes and somehow we got to talking about Bible Prophecy:

Pastor: If you read the Bible you can clearly see all of the prophecies coming true!

Me: You know I have read the Bible, and honestly from what I can see there may be a group of individuals trying to MAKE the Bible come true, but most of it is bunk. It’s a book of lies.

Pastor: You watch and see, very soon America will turn it’s back on the nation of Israel and Russia and Iran will converge on her, but Israel will prevail!

Me, very frustrated at even the slightest hint of Zionism: America should not be supporting Israel in any way for any reason, they have a genocidal government run by Zionists that don’t blink when they shoot rockets at Palestinian orphanages and hospitals.

Pastor: That’s right, they do that because it is their land and the Palestinians have no right to it.

Me: So…let me get this straight. It’s OK for Israel to kill innocent women and children because they are trying to live peacefully on land that Israel was promised 4000 years ago by “god”?

Pastor: Of course

(I rage inside)

Me: So, if someone builds an orphanage on an acre of your land and you don’t like it, it’s ok to shoot a rocket to take that orphanage down with everyone inside?

Pastor: No no, I didn’t say that. But it is Israel’s land.

(I try to explain the history of  Isreal from the 1850’s forward and he chooses not to listen) (Here is a post I did during the most recent Israel/Palestine conflict explaining some of that)

(Pastor starts talking about President Obama…somehow)

Obama

Pastor: Obama is a Muslim, he was raised a Muslim

Me, enraged: Obama is a Muslim? He is a professing Christian, I don’t even like the guy but if you are going to criticize him at least have something TRUE to criticize him with, not this fear mongering crap you are talking about now.  Just because an email says it doesn’t make it true. On that note I’m done with this conversation because I won’t tolerate being lied to.

(Somehow we still talked for 15 more minutes, after I calmed down)

Conclusion

As we progressed I was told about hell, and how I would go there if I was not saved. He also mentioned that if I ever was saved that I couldn’t be un-saved so god would call me back eventually (with a certain twinge of doom in his voice) in some way, be it good things or bad things occurring in my life.

This, my beloved readers, is why living as an atheist in the South-eastern United States (more specifically the Deep South of Georgia) is about as enjoyable an experience as living in a tank full of crocodiles. They will believe anything so long as it doesn’t compete with their already predetermined worldview, and if you try to dispel that belief they simply ignore you.

As a side note I now have a Facebook Fan Page, on it I will be discussing the progress of this website and my upcoming book (oh , you didn’t know? That is why you should fan me right now!) so, if you are on Facebook, please FAN ME!

  • bluetreeze

    Lol @ Monica.. I have been known to do the same thing, 'showering' or 'sleeping' to avoid proselytizing.

    But it is truly disgusting how they supposedly believe in peace and love, but can twist their beliefs to condone violence is so many situations. Ugh. There will never be peace with people like that. And you know I don't think they even want it, because if there ever is they'll be all 'oh crap it's the anti-christ and his peace pact!'

    And I have heard all that about the evils of rock music and tv.. I know people that seriously believer demons will jump out of the TV into you if you watch something like The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Idiocy.

    I think we've talked about the fear thing but I really hate it!!! It's like they want god to go all Job on you!

    Maybe the good pastor will come and comment. 🙂

    • I doubt he will comment. seeing as how the internet is probably too full of demons to bother with. Satanic stuff…everywhere

  • I swear this sounds like a caricature, but nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to closed-minded religionists. We've heard it all before but they still think it'll make a difference.

    • oh no…no caricature at all…this is the conversation to the best of my memory…no joke

      which makes it so sad. I wish I was making it up 🙁

  • I've known a few pastors and priests who could talk intelligently, but this one has got to rank way down on intellectual evolutionary ladder.

    • Evolution is satanic…so uh…

      yea he is pretty low

  • So sad to see such misunderstanding and just plain ignorance and this is a man who instructs people.

    • yes, and people will devour every word that this man says…nothing scares me more than that.

  • al

    Nothing like a bit of mindless prejudice to keep dumb beliefs intact….

  • al

    I of course meant the pastor!!!!!!!

  • Jordan

    Best way to approach the "Obama is a Muslim" argument:

    Remember when he had the Yale Professor and the Cop to the White House for beers?

    Muslims don't drink alcohol.

  • Richard

    I live around Brunswick, GA, for a while and worked around Waycross and that region. You have my sympathies. Do what I did, move the hell out. I live in Ohio now and it's much better with regards to religion.

    • As badly as I want to leave there is something about this place that I love on top of ALL the things I hate. I want to find some way to change this community or at least leave it changed…I think that might be my final goal in life — to help remove prejudice, ignorance, and stupidity from my little neck of the woods.

      I'll probably need to live to be 200 to ever realize that dream.

  • Jonathan

    Dude, reading your post reminded me why I got the hell out of South Louisiana. There was the time that the car windshield repair guy tried to convert me, there was the time that my mom's childhood church mailed her a pamphlet saying "Come learn about Islam – the religion that spawned terror," there is the legislature trying to bring creationism back into the classroom, and on and on and on.
    It is better elsewhere, just like Richard said.

    • LOL@ Islam inspiring terror.

      1000$ says that whomever presented this Islam presentation had never read the Qu'ran.

      If Biblical creationism is allowed in the classroom then so should the Nordic, Hindu, Native American , etc stories.

  • I think the whole Israel thing is the most worrying, this pastor clearly saying it is ok to shoot rockets at a defenceless orphanage if it's on your land, wait who said it was their land? …and how can it be alright for the worlds third/fourth largest military to continually debase the palastinian people who only have the basest weapons [rocks et cetera]. This guy is a nut job and sadly it seems the case with all too many of these proffessed leaders. Theism sucks.

  • Eric

    Matt,

    I've been checking your blog out for a few months and thought I'd pop in. As an ex-Christian myself I must say I'm impressed at how you're able to admit so openly that you're an Atheist. I'm pretty open about my beliefs when it comes to my friends and my girlfriend, but as far as family or older acquaintances go I don't know if I could ever be able to admit it to them. I certainly wouldn't enjoy getting into a dispute with a pastor, so your blog is definitely inspiring. I'm from Alamo (since you're from Eastman I'll assume you know about my little hole in the mud), but I've lived in Savannah for a few years and I've definitely found it a more accepting atmosphere than Alamo ever was for a non-believer. I've pretty much spent my entire life encountering people such as that pastor you spoke with, and it infuriates me that people who claim to be men of God can 1) pick-and-choose with their beliefs and 2) have such little value for the lives of non-believers, such as saying it's okay to bomb an orphanage of young, innocent Palestinians because "that's Israel's land." It is outlandish beliefs like his that cause violence such as that, as well as what is going on in America with people murdering abortion doctors and spreading the fear-mongering that Obama is a closet Muslim. Thank you for standing up for what's right and not for what everyone else believes to be right.

    • Wow Eric, for some reason I missed this comment last time….All I can say is thank you sir for such kind words and encouragement.

      I agree, it is this lack of value for any life that isn't chosen of god that is quite possibly the very reason in which we are so quick to go to war and the reason why religion is it's most common cause.

  • Scooterwes

    With regard to human life, evangelicals – for all their shrill screaming about the evil of abortion – are the most enthusiastic about killing humans, if you have the correct reason! Your ex-pastor clearly demonstrated that!

    I recall that one of the commandments that Moses brought down was "Thou shalt not kill". However, killing Palestinians is no more evil than stepping on ants, right? A million or so Iraqis dead, as war collateral? That's fine. Sending people to the gas chamber, even though some are clearly innocent? No problem. So, apparently, some kinds of human life are less valuable to them.

    Come to think of it, God didn't actually MEAN it when he wrote that commandment! Because fairly soon after that, he told Joshua to kill any man, woman, child, baby, or animal who dared to be living peaceably in the territory that he promised to the Israelites. Sure, there were variations: instead of killing the virgins or young women, take them instead to serve as captive whores for the Israeli men!

    I now believe, as opposed to my previous "life", that Christian/Jewish/Muslim theology actually cheapens the value of human life, rather than making it more sacred.

  • I knwo the feeling

    I prefer to remain anonymous about this but i am from the same little bo-dunk town you are speaking of, my parent would freak if they found out, even though i have never gotten i trouble my entire life, right on the buckle of the bible belt and you are not alone in you lack of gullibility and presence of a bit of innate intelligence.

    • Matt

      It’s awesome to hear that I’m not alone. I have met a couple other local skeptics through them commenting on this site and every time I do it shocks the hell out of me.

      I may retain your email and send you something if that would be ok?

  • I know the feeling

    Yeah thats cool your on one of my friends Facebooks.

  • keep in mind that not every christian believes this way. unfortunately there are ppl who try to push their beliefs and explain things that are’nt true.

  • Best way to approach the "Obama is a Muslim" argument:

    Remember when he had the Yale Professor and the Cop to the White House for beers?

    Muslims don't drink alcohol.