I remember in church as a kid i'd do silly things like snap my fingers in front of someone's face as they prayed or play with my toy cars in church, making as much noise as I could. What was funny was that the priest didn't go after me for the noise I made during the sermon, but the fact that I played with toy cars as a “woman” he would phrase it. I'm talking about living in Quebec though; their view of religion was a tad more sexist than the rest of the Christians in Canada.
I never took religion seriously and neither did my parents. I thought it was a game, a fairy tale actually, and it was fun for the first few years that I had believed in it with 15% of my whole heart. I made a bet with another kid in my class that I could read the entire bible in one week before he could and get into “heaven”, which was to us like an endgame boss, and surely enough, I did. It was very very boring, but it was the first of few times i'd actually read it, and some of the stuff in there… it really isn't meant for a child to read. My parents had always attached images of fluffy clouds, hugs and pretty angels pampering me with Christianity, and to read some of the more PG13 rated passages in the bible, I was a little shocked. So shocked I didn't take that friend's dollar when he tried to give it to me for the bet the following week. At some point I started getting scared of all the people going to church regularly, all the old people shoving the donation basket in my face or forcing me to eat a flake of stale bread. I even sang for them, but after that week of reading the basis for this whole festival called “The hour where I waste my time sitting there listening to a half homo babbling about hippy crap”, I honestly didn't want to go anymore. When my father tried to get me into the car to go to church, I remember jumping into the closet and yelling: “I'M NOT GOING TO FUCKING CHURCH!”. As I heard myself say that I knew things would just get worst, as I did the most unforgivable thing, I used Fuck in the same sentence as Church. Oooooh boy!
One thing that my grade 8 teacher did right in my french religious school was introduce the lot of us to different religions, and Atheism+Agnosticism. I seperate them because obviously one is the lack of belief in the God as i've learned; can't get the definition wrong these days or an Atheist will light your eyebrows on fire. I read the definition of Atheism written by my teacher, and it said: “The art of denying the earth's creator, God.” Something like that. I was about to raise my hand and ask why it didn't sound right, or why he didn't take credit for creating the universe along with that Earth, but was immediatly stopped by the assistant teacher. Damn she knew me well, and told me, “God does not forgive a disobedient child.” Whatever that meant.
Long story short, that day I searched up Atheism, and got some half truths and lies about it. I didn't really know what to believe, but I did stumble upon some of the works from Carl Sagan, Mark Twain, and eventually you. I watched some videos of your interviews, and before long I really really wanted to read some of your books. Unfortunately when I did get my hands on The Selfish Gene, I didn't get it at all. Terms were too technical for a 13 year old I guess. But I got some of it, and my mom read it as well, she was nice enough to offer reading it to me and attempt to make me understand more of it, even though she was undoubtedly struggling with her own beliefs as she went on. She said she always had doubts (Even though she was abused into it, completely brainwashed and kept talking about miracles and all that BS) within maybe a month or so your book undid approx 50 years of indoctrination. I was so proud of her, it wasn't easy. We went on to reading more evidence against the existance of God on the internet. This is around the time when my Dad suddenly decided to go to latin church and dive into religion like a perv with a stash of porn.
The word “Obey” became the most hated word in my household after that. Throughout high school even up til now, my father believes all women should wear dresses, hats and gloves with long, long skirts. He thinks WEMENZ should all G0 BAK IN TEH KICHINZ N MAEK HEEM A SAMMICH, which is the best way I could express it in stupid speak. Hates any movies about sex or anything he perceives as innapropriate (He tried to stop me from going to see Ponyo recently!), was easily influenced by THE BEAUTY OF DESIGN and then the transformation was complete when he threatened to kick us all out of the house one day if we didn't convert to Christianity once again. Even though me, my mother and my brother aren't as dumb as he thought we were, he still relied on us being ignorant of our rights, about the process of divorce and all that. When I told him I would never be a christian, he threatened to call the cops, then I told him they would only charge him for wasting their time. Fancy that.
Long story short, I tried to get my dad to read, watch and be aware of the evidence against his God. What I did was take some of your books and drop them in random rooms around the house, hoping he'd take a glimpse at it in his anger against me and see the sense in your written words somehow. Well it didn't quite work, as I regret to inform you he ripped your books into shreds, or dumped them in the trash, I don't know, and then took a page out of it and threw it in my face. Something unexpected happened though as right after he did that I laughed at him, and instead of getting mad he simply smiled and said: “I probably should have read that first before ripping it apart, waste of 20 bucks on your part”. It was weird but I welcomed a part of my old dad back.
So my approach to this was probably too harsh for him, but at least it was worth a few tension breaking laughs, especially when I looked at one of our credit card receipts and discovered he ordered more of your books, and reordered some of the other ones he ripped apart like Portable Atheist, God is not Great etc etc. What he plans to do with em, I have no idea. Hopefully to read, otherwise it would be a terrible waste of paper and intelligence waiting to be absorbed by a willing mind.
Oh yes, and if you or the person assigned to read horrid emails such as this one actually got to this point through my rant, I congratulate you, if not, then this was somewhat therapeutic for me. In any case, my spelling mistakes must have been an eyesore.
You are sincerely the greatest hero of these modern times, take those creationists down in the name of reason!
(btw I have no problems with homosexuals, just caught my church's priest eyeing up a boy one day and ever since I can't resist calling them half homos. It makes no sense I know, that guy should be arrested.)