Hugo said that I don’t know any outspoken atheists. He must mean except for the two that I hired when I was still working. As well as the one that lives next door and the one across the street, as well as my wife's sister and brother-in-law. She's outspoken to the point of - well, they might read this so I'll leave it at that. The fact is, I love atheists - mostly for the humour and Hugo has provided loads of humour.
A couple years ago I read a book called “The Devil in Pew Number Seven,” or maybe it was number three. I can’t remember. Anyhow, it’s worth getting. True Story. One of the villains of the story, now a convicted murderer got out of jail in 1999 and CNN just did a thing on it. The gist of the article is about the woman, who was 6 or 7 when this guy shot her parents right in front of her and her brother. You see, she's now a Christian and she has forgiven the man. She forgave, she says because of the love and mercy and grace that Creator God, through her faith in Jesus, has implanted into her heart.
Hugo said to me this morning, “You don't understand atheists Rod, so it's time for you to stop pretending otherwise.” Ok, let’s let atheists themselves help us understand them. Let me start with comments from two Christian readers of this article. Then I’ll move on to the humour.
“If any of us have a difficult time forgiving someone who has hurt us deeply, please read this story carefully. Read all 4 parts. I pray that just as Rebecca was filled with God's Grace, we too be filled with the same Grace that allows us to let go and forgive.”
“As a Christian, I serve a God of Mercy and Justice. Thanks to God's mercy I have salvation and so can everyone else, even drunken murderers and terrorists who plot to kill innocents
Now to the atheist humour
“You two are so clueless you MUST be Christians Would you still be spewing such nonsense if this were to occur to your children? You geeeezus fanatics really scare me.”
“But don't Christians (and believe me I'm not one of them but I'm guessing your are) believe that if you repent and accept Jesus you are saved and will go to heaven? Then she very well might see him again. And those who live good lives but have never heard of jesus will spend eternity in hell. Religion is funny.”
“Am I supposed to feel sympathy - compassion - empathy for this monster? If it was my child that he killed I'd make sure he wouldn't be around.”
“The sadness of all this is very obvious....could I myself forgive those that destroyed this family?....absolutely not.....prison or no prison, I would have certainly put more effort into making them pay.....Big Time!”
“This story makes me want to throw up. Oh BOO HOO! Feel sorry for him!! He's a CHANGED MAN. Harris Williams has FOUND JESUS, so everyone should forgive him! What a load of BS. He's a convicted murderer. Speaking of that... he was convicted to life in prison, so why was the guy released after little more than 20 years?”
“If someone did that to one of my loved ones I would immediately extinguish their whole gene pool.”
“While forgiveness has some therapeutic value for the victim it is highly overrated by church people.”
“The predilection to forgive the worst of acts is one of the most reprehensible aspects of Christians. Such forgiveness allows evil to live on, and flourish. Forgiveness is the Christian cop-out”
“Right, we're all weak and spineless. If invoking "God" is the only way you can offload responsibility, have at it.”
What do you mean? Those comments don’t strike you as funny? Kind of focussed on vengeance you say? Kind of filled with hate? You think? Hmm. Well, ok. What makes it funny, at least for me, is that after all these functional atheists fantasise about murder and mock Christians for forgiving, this next guy tries to set us straight about how wonderful atheists are. I'm ready to be educated Hugo.
“Some of us don't need a "God" crutch. While it's true that belief in God can give person strength, it is not true that people can only forgive with God's help. People forgive for many reasons, one of which is they simply don't want to live with the bitterness and anger any longer. Atheists and agnostics forgive all the time”
Ya I can see that. We just read about all the desire to forgive that oozes out of atheists. I guess I didn't understand them after all.