I am known around the workplace as "the heathen" (one of a few actually), we also have "the preacher". I have written about this particular individual before and while he is a generally nice man, he does have his annoying qualities. One of which is to periodically approach me with a theological 'challenge' as he is convinced that one day I will come into the 'fold'. I have never really believed in god despite being raised in a catholic home. I claimed I did for most of my childhood and adolescence but there was a never a complete cognitive 'belief' time where I can honestly say I was a Christian.
When my colleague approaches me with assertions of my future conversion that he can “see” coming, many times I will reply with the same, saying that one day I see him losing his faith. He doesn’t like this counterpoint when it is used, so periodically a new tactic is endeavored. He attempts to present a particularly ‘good’ apologetic argument he has discovered. Quite often these are rehashed and overused reiterations of the same, already rebutted, apologetics that are prolific all over the world wide web.
On the event of our most recent dialog I was quite busy with a project that was being done as a favor and when presented was already past due. I did not have time for a lengthy discussion that would eventually lead to my preacher co-worker shaking his head and stumbling off humming some comforting hymn in order to reassure his faith, so I decided to “nip it in the bud” as Barney Fife would say. When he approached me he began with a story about a friend of his that found Jesus on the way to jail (a story he has already related to me before), so I cut him off.
I asked him a paraphrased plain and simple query, one I have heard so eloquently postulated on the Non-Prophets and Atheist Experience podcasts. Below is the quote from one of the shows.
"One question I like to ask Christians that makes them wriggle is this: If you could go back in time and successfully rescue Jesus from the crucifixion, would you do it?So, here is the paraphrased version I asked the coworker:
I have yet to hear a Christian utter a yes that wasn’t then qualified into a no.
Me, I’d rescue the poor bastard in a heartbeat. Christians have no morals."
“Speaking of Jesus, let me ask you this. You occasionally sing the gospel lyrics, ‘from the earth to the cross my debt to pay from the cross to the grave from the grave to the sky Lord I lift your name on high’. If given the opportunity, being present at the crucifixion and knowing what you know now, would you save this purported ‘saviour’ from murder? If you knew you could succeed and assuming you love him as much as you claim, would you retrieve him from torture and death, or would you watch him suffer and expire in order to win your so-called salvation? Which is essentially a selfish act.”
My coworker’s eyes seemed to expand three times the size of their original state, he said nothing and shook his head as he walked off. This time, he was not humming a reassuring hymn, but it seemed as if he was truly perplexed about what actions he would take.
I was able to return to the project at hand, without further interruption from ‘witnessing’ events.