One of my best friends, Cristina, once said to me "there are two things you should never argue about with people - religion and politics."
For real, right?
I'm all for standing up for what you believe, but let's be honest - even Jesus knew the futility of beating your head against a brick wall. Let's break it down. Simply, because I have 'mom-brain' these days.
When you believe something (anything), it's because you have experienced it personally and you understand it (at least pretty) completely. Anyone with an opinion contrary to your own just doesn't understand - and there's nothing wrong with that.
Unfortunately, we feel like there *is* something wrong with that. We must MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND!
I don't think, innately, it's a bad thing that we want other people to understand. We all feel like we have some answer, some benefit, that would somehow help/enlighten/kickstart someone else's life or way of thinking. It's not so much that we want them to believe what we believe for the sake of saying 'I told you so', but we want them to feel the benefit of that belief.
If I am firm in my belief, and you are firm in yours - what is the point in throwing bricks at each other? I have never, ever, seen someone won over that way. There are definite differences between sharing opinions, debating, and trying to flip someone. Trying to flip someone just doesn't work.
All that being said, I have been called 'stupid' on more than one occasion for my beliefs.
By grown adults.
It goes something like this:
For any of you that don't know, I am a Christian. If you really want to be freaked out - here you go - I am a born again Christian. All that means is that one day, I decided to turn away from my past, apologize to God for everything bad I had done, accept Christ as my Savior, and promise do my best to live rightly from then on out. I was even baptized (again) to cement my new life. At the Jewish Community Center. How funny is that?
I still sin, I still mess up, I still fail and I have no misconceptions that I am any better than anyone else. When some people have a problem they go to their friends, their parents or their therapist for answers. I turn to Christ. It's that simple.
I'm not a big fan of preaching to people who aren't open. And by open, I don't mean 'willing to believe what I believe, absolutely'...by open, I mean willing to listen, and take my experience for what it is. My experience. What you do with that is up to you.
It's the same in reverse. I'll listen to anything you have to say and any advice you have to give. I may not take it - but don't take that personally.
Being called stupid, however, I take pretty personally.
I had an awesome Pastor (Hi Pastor Gale!) that once told me that rationality is the opposite of faith. I totally get that, because God is so not rational. Honestly - what is rational about seas parting, bushes burning (but not really burning), or dead people coming to life (and not in the Walking Dead kind of way)?
You could rationalize yourself right out of believing in *anything*, really.
Many people really rely on this word 'rationally', though, so I'm going to share my story of rationality that I tell when an Atheist calls me stupid.
Alright, here we go.
You (an Atheist) and I (a Christian) are walking down the street together in perfect harmony. We're sharing ice cream, talking about the X-files, telling Bette Midler jokes...all the things that friends do.
(This is my perfect world, people - don't judge me.)
All of a sudden, just as we strike in to the chorus of 'Wind Beneath My Wings' we're both struck by lightening and we die.
Dead. Really dead.
If I, the Christian, went my entire life frivolously believing in this 'God' person - and then I die - and there is no God...what happens? Nothing? Ok. My pride isn't hurt, right?
I mean - I'm dead...I probably don't care.
If you, the Atheist, went your entire life believing that there is no God (and maybe even calling people that do, stupid) - and then you die...
...and God is all 'HI!!!!'
Then what happens?
Rationally, I really don't like those odds.
Love you, though. For real.
P.S. My atheist friends will get it...because they know me, and they don't tell me I'm stupid. No worries.