One of my wife's friends from nursing school days back in the Philippines has our e-mail address and has recently taken to forwarding chain e-mails to us. Since my wife never really uses e-mail, I am the one who ends up reading these damned things. Being the atheist that I am, I really have to suppress the urge to fire off a response to these silly things. After all, I wouldn't want to alienate my wife's friends, though it is quite a double standard that they can bombard us with Christian e-mail chains, but if I provide an atheist critique then I am upsetting the apple cart.
So, in order to give vent to my frustrations, I will reproduce and respond to them here.
Okay, here is the first one, followed by my responses in red:
IT IS STRANGE ISN'T IT...
how a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?
Uh, no, not really. Because when you spend money in a store, you are actually buying stuff that you need like food or gasoline. When you drop $20 in a collection box in church, you are not acquiring anything of value. And, when the price of gasoline was over $4.00 per gallon last summer, twenty bucks barely amounted to half a tank of gas.
Isn't it strange how 2 hours seem so long when you're at church, and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?
No, because church (at least mass at a Catholic church) is immensely boring whereas a good movie engages your senses.
Isn't it strange that you can't find a word to say when you're praying but.. you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?
What is this statement based on? Why does this person believe that one can't find a word to say when praying? When I was a Catholic, I knew exactly what I wanted to say when I prayed. As for talking with a friend, when you know someone well, you have common frames of reference and shared experiences. What a stupid question!
Isn't it strange how difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel or ZANE GREY book?
Well, maybe because the Bible is a boring book to read. What possible relevance does the Book of Nahum have to my life?
Isn't it strange how everyone wants front-row-tickets to concerts or games but they do whatever is possible to sit at the last row in Church?
Is this asshole seriously suggesting that nobody sits in the front row in Church? Comparing a sports stadium or a concert arena to a Catholic church is disingenuous. The former are much larger, and the further away you are the less involved you are in the action. Besides, it is physically impossible for everyone to sit in the back of Church.
Isn't it strangehow we need to know about an event for Church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda, but we can adjust it for other events in the last minute?
"Honey, my car broke down on the freeway. Can you come and pick me up?" "Sorry, I can't. I have a church picnic to attend in 15 minutes." Fucking stupid!
Isn't it strangehow difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share it with others; but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?
What facts about God are there? Beliefs about God are not facts. The most one can say about God, if such an entity exists, is that it is too vast for the human mind to comprehend. Apart from that, what else can one say?
Isn't it strange how we believe everything that magazines and newspapers say but... we question the words in the Bible?
Who believes everything they read in the magazines and newspapers? I don't. And is this person seriously suggesting we shouldn't question the Bible?
Isn't it strange how everyone wants a place in heaven but... they don't want to believe, do, or say anything to get there?
Sure, everyone likes the idea of a place where there is no suffering. But if such a place really exists, how do I know that you know what I need to believe, do, or say to get there?
Isn't it strange how we send jokes in e-mails and they are forwarded right away but when we are going to send messages about God, we think about it twice before we share it with others?
More like "Isn't it strange how I can have e-mail messages sent to me about God, but I have to think twice about replying with an atheist critique because it will offend everyone?"
IT'S STRANGE ISN'T IT?
No, the person who wrote these questions is strange.
Now that you've read this message, will you forward it to anybody that you consider a friend, family member or foe (enemy).
No, I will not.
If you choose not to share His message you may deprive yourself from being blessed as well as depriving others.... who may need God in their life.
Right. This God is supposed to be so powerful and intelligent and perfect, and yet His message is supposed to be conveyed to me by some idiot who asks stupid questions. I for one am not impressed.