Religion: Two Stories With Commentary

Most of my friends know I’m not a religious person, to the point of practically being atheist. (Maybe later I’ll get into the “practically”; for now suffice it to say that I literally mean “practically” in the sense of being practical). Here are two things I found interesting about religion that take a different (almost mocking) look at those who argue for either side.

There is a viral blog post called “Love vs. Sex” that’s circulated/ing around the Internet. Maybe you’ve seen it. But here’s an edited version, copy-pasted with a few clauses removed. (Try not to be offended, this is a mental experiment ONLY.)

A teenage girl about 17 had gone to visit some friends one evening and time passed quickly as each shared their various experiences of the past year. She ended up staying longer than planned, and had to walk home alone. She wasn’t afraid because it was a small town and she lived only a few blocks away. […] When she reached the alley, which was a short cut to her house, she decided to take it. However, halfway down the alley she noticed a man standing at the end as though he were waiting for her. She became uneasy […]. […], she felt as though someone was walking with her. When she reached the end of the alley, she walked right past the man and arrived home safely. The following day, she read in the newspaper that a young girl had been raped in the same alley just twenty minutes after she had been there. Feeling overwhelmed by this tragedy and the fact that it could have been her, she began to weep. Thanking the Lord for her safety and to help this young woman, she decided to go to the police station. She felt she could recognize the man, so she told them her story. The police asked her if she would be willing to look at a lineup to see if she could identify him. She agreed and immediately pointed out the man she had seen in the alley the night before. When the man was told he had been identified, he immediately broke down and confessed. The officer thanked Diane for her bravery and asked if there was anything they could do for her. She asked if they would ask the man one question. Diane was curious as to why he had not attacked her. When the policeman asked him, he answered, “Because she wasn’t alone. She had two tall men walking on either side of her.” […]

Creepy, huh? If someone told you this story, a shiver would probably run up your spine. But here are the four clauses I edited (you can put them back into the paragraph above):

  1. As she walked along under the tall elm trees, Diane asked God to keep her safe from harm and danger.
  2. She became uneasy and began to pray, asking for God’s protection.
  3. Instantly a comforting feeling of quietness and security wrapped round her, she felt as though someone was walking with her.
  4. Amazingly, whether you believe or not, you’re never alone. Did you know that 98% of teenagers will not stand up for God? Repost this as Love vs. Sex if you truly believe in God. PS: God is always there in your heart and loves you no matter what…..and if you stand up 4 him he will stand up for you.

Yeah, there are reasons why those 98% will not “stand up for God”, but I’m not going to get into that. And don’t get me started on “lies, damn lies, and statistics”…where did the 98% come from? But the main point is that people’s ideas and mental processes change when religion is involved.

To balance out that point, here’s a different joke-story I’ve heard about the debate between people with different degrees of belief. (This is not quoted from anywhere, but retold from what I remember.)

A man was visiting a friend and took a look inside her garage. Rather than a car or piles of junk, he saw a gleaming silvery machine with spinning wheels, intricate mechanical parts, and an amazing, easy-to-use touch screen, along with perfect voice recognition and response. It looked like it could do anything: right then it was washing dishes, doing taxes, drying laundry, and playing ping-pong with the woman’s son. The woman assured him that that was not all it did; indeed it seemed to fill every niche in the household.

“Wow, how did you build this!” the man exclaimed.

The woman paused for a moment, then said, “I didn’t build it. Nobody did.”

The man shook his head. “But that’s not possible! Someone must have made this, they’d make a fortune!”

The woman was silent. “Nobody built it,” she finally repeated.

“Please,” the man pleaded, “Tell me who made this machine. I just want to know.”

The woman looked at him. “How is it that you must believe the machine has a creator, but the entire world doesn’t?”

Touché. There’s no great answer to that one.