Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Conversations with an Evangelical Christian

Red: So, do you think that homosexuality is bad?

Evangelical Christian: Yes.

Red: Why is it something bad?

Evangelical Christian: Because it is a sin and the Bible says so!

Red: Oh...but how can you be sure that the Bible is correct? How can you be sure that many of its writings are nothing more than a reflection of beliefs that were somewhat popular several centuries ago?

Evangelical Christian: The people who wrote the Bible were inspired by God...

Red: Ok, let me ask you another question. Do you believe that there is a place called Hell where there is fire and eternal pain?

Evangelical Christian: Yes, I do.

Red: I thought that if God represents the highest degree of love imaginable, he should be able to allow his children to progress, to develop, to change...don't you think that the concept of eternal damnation is against the idea of love?

Evangelical Christian: No!

When having such conversations, all the reasons which had compelled me to drift away from virtually any popular religion come strongly back to mind. I really enjoy thinking about the possibility of building a better world where all people could live together in peace, but it is extremely difficult for me to switch off my rational mind as I try to make a number of positive differences in my life. To believe that homosexuality is wrong or evil simply because of what a person wrote hundreds of years ago is unacceptable to me.

As a person, I like supporting my beliefs with various rational arguments. If, for example, I believe that socialism is better than capitalism, I will do my utmost to provide solid evidence to explain my position. I would never even contemplate going out there to praise socialism simply because somebody wrote that it is a great ideology several centuries ago!

I have to admit that during the past few years, my flirting with religion has often been motivated by the desire to enjoy the nice aspects associated with various religions - the commitment to friendship, to helping one another, to believing that we are brothers and sisters, etc. Those things could be quite attractive, especially in a world in which true friendships seem incredibly hard to find. In the past, I had tried to find such things in secular organisations, but the only time I came close to witnessing a genuine commitment to achieving goals such as co-operation with other human beings, helping those who are suffering, and building a fairer world was when I met several Communists at an international seminar in Brussels earlier on this year.

As stated in a previous post, I cannot deny the fact that praying has often made me feel good. Yet, I still wonder whether my mind was playing tricks on me to convince me that prayers really work...

It is so sad to think that there might be so many other people out there who yearn for friendship, support, and love...who try to find these things in a secular way without too much success...and who eventually end up forcing down a number of totally irrational beliefs down their throats simply to have some true friends, family-like occasions, and perhaps even a romantic partner. Why is it so hard for so many people to adopt the nice and practical qualities of various religions (such as caring about your neighbour) without carrying the burden of having to believe in countless ideas which often lack scientific support?



Anonymous said...

This is short from funny/ridiculous, how can you have an 'objective' interview if you write the questions and answer them yourself! DOH!

Red said...

Anonymous: I forgot to mention that the exchange of questions and answers featured in this post was inspired by a real conversation that I had with an Evangelical Christian little more than a week ago. :)