I’m generally fortunate when it comes to confrontation with religious individuals. My immediate family is largely non-religious, my friends are mostly atheists and agnostics, my officemates are overwhelmingly on the same skeptical page as I am (lucky me!), and I don’t have a kooky grandmother who insists on sending me Bibles in hope that I’ll start attending church again.
So when the occasional angry message is left on my phone along the lines of, “‘The FOOL has said in his heart, “There is no God!”’ You’re all going to BURN IN THE FLAMES OF HELL!” *slam receiver* I forward it around to a handful of others in the office and smile with them about it. It’s good to see that we’re having an impact out there.
I also keep a “Fan Mail” file in my desk with some of the more noteworthy replies we’ve received, several which display a Tarantino-esque fluency with choice words.
Looking at this latest addition to my file, I feel renewed respect for the modus operandus of most freethinking types when they disagree with someone or something. Rarely do you see an atheist, humanist, or skeptic in the public sphere shouting, red-faced, veins bulging, spittle flying, trying to pound a point of view into someone’s face on Fox News or at a rally. (I know it happens sometimes, but not often.) Rather, we tend to utilize reasoned arguments backed by science to defend or promote our viewpoint and issues. I can’t imagine taking the time to write “Die, Pro-Lifers!!!” or “@!*# You, Pat Robertson!” on a mailer I disagree with and sending it back in—although now that I’m thinking about it…
As for this latest message, I’m really curious about what the writer means by the cryptic phrase "Real Science will return." It’s too bad I probably won’t ever find out what it means, as I don’t foresee getting the chance to have a meaningful dialogue with the author about it. Oh, well, I won’t lose any sleep over it.