A Drama in Two Acts

Act the First: Two PERSONS and a GODBOY in an elevator.

Person 1: The other day I was stuck in traf­fic for nearly two hours. Sheesh!

Person 2: Yeah, it’s a real night­mare since the con­struc­tion began.

GodBoy: When I’m stuck in traf­fic I like to pray to Jesus!

Person 1: I won­der if the plans they have for light rail will help.

Person 2: Can you imag­ine the con­struc­tion issues with that?

GodBoy: I can’t wait for light rail! Then I’ll be able to sit and read the Bible instead of hav­ing to drive!

Person 1: Actually I’d like to see more bike paths.

Person 2: No joke! Less traf­fic con­ges­tion, less pol­lu­tion, and a health­ier pop­u­la­tion. Wins all around.

GodBoy: When I ride my bike I lis­ten to ChristGasm on my iPod!

Person 1: Hey, man, do you have to turn every­thing we talk about into some kind of God or Jesus issue?

Person 2: Yeah. This one-​​track-​​mind thing of yours gets pretty fuckin’ old. It’s like reli­gion has fried your capac­ity to carry on a ratio­nal dis­cus­sion about any­thing else.

GodBoy: …I’m going to pray for you.

[Exit.]

Act the Second: Two PERSONS and an ATHEIST in an elevator.

Person 1: The other day I was stuck in traf­fic for nearly two hours. Sheesh!

Person 2: Yeah, it’s a real night­mare since the con­struc­tion began.

Atheist: They’re just widen­ing the road so the Jesus freaks can get to church more quickly.

Person 1: I won­der if the plans they have for light rail will help.

Person 2: Can you imag­ine the con­struc­tion issues with that?

Atheist: Can you imag­ine light rail filled with reli­gious lunatics all spout­ing off about their god?

Person 1: Actually I’d like to see more bike paths.

Person 2: No joke! Less traf­fic con­ges­tion, less pol­lu­tion, and a health­ier pop­u­la­tion. Wins all around.

Atheist: The thing I hate about bikes is all the damned Mormon mis­sion­ar­ies. Sheesh!

Person 1: Hey, man, do you have to turn every­thing we talk about into some kind of God or Jesus issue?

Person 2: Yeah. This one-​​track-​​mind thing of yours gets pretty fuckin’ old. It’s like reli­gion has fried your capac­ity to carry on a ratio­nal dis­cus­sion about any­thing else.

Atheist: …At least I don’t believe in god.

[Exeunt. Curtain.]

====

The point of this exer­cise, of course, is not to den­i­grate either reli­gion or athe­ism; it’s to high­light obses­sive think­ing and its dan­gers. Just as an overzeal­ous reli­gious con­vert will find ways to tie absolutely every­thing back to his reli­gion, an overzeal­ous athe­ist con­vert will dis­play evan­gel­i­cal zeal in his mono­ma­ni­a­cal pursuit.

More suc­cinctly, if you’re an athe­ist as a way of get­ting back at God for piss­ing you off, you’re not really an athe­ist at all. You’re just a recal­ci­trant whiny brat. True non­be­liev­ers live quiet, worth­while lives with­out ever once feel­ing that they have to brow­beat their irre­li­gion into the zeit­geist … just as true believ­ers do.

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