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Guest Post: The Debate


Guest post by Ian

A couple of days ago, several of us were sitting around at work discussing religion. It was 4 am and all of our work was completed. In the group were Eric – an atheist , Nazzy – a nominal Christian (Church of the Nazarene)  Chris – a Catholic of some sort, Ren – Filipino Catholic, and me – a deist.

We are all pretty close, so no subject is sacred. Any fault or mistake is picked apart and put on display for the entire world to see. Religious discussions aren’t given special treatment, so they can get pretty brutal. Usually they end up with Eric and me being told we are going to hell. No big threat for either of us.

That night, Chris was experiencing his first religious discussion. He is new, so none of us had any idea about his beliefs. Nazzy, the aforementioned nominal Christian, and Eric were trading jabs back and forth about souls, or the lack thereof, and how to tell if there is a god. Since I believe there is a god, just not the Christian one, I was sitting this discussion out. All of a sudden, Chris says, “I can prove there is a god!  Why is water blue?” It got very quiet, since this was a new line of reasoning. Eric gave a scientific answer. Chris asked why then was water clear when you scooped up a handful. Again, much interest and another scientific answer. Finally, Nazzy asked what these questions had to do with why there is a god. Chris said he didn’t know, he just wanted to know if we knew why water was blue. WHAT?? Much derision and laughing was heaped on Nazzy and Chris.

A few minutes later, during a discussion where he was trying to prove that Jesus was the son of God, Chris said, “Did you know there are some who thought Mary Magdalene had a tryst?” Again, I was curious. This time, I asked Chris to explain, since I was genuinely curious. I told him I wasn’t being an ass, I truly wanted to know. Chris then told me that some people think Mary Magdalene had sex before she married Joseph and the immaculate conception story is a lie. I asked him where he heard this. He told me his dad was a Catholic preacher (not sure what type of preacher). I told him he needed to listen better. Mother Mary is a different person from Mary Magdalene.

About this time, Nazzy was telling Chris to shut up unless he knew what he was talking about. Then the conversation turned to the Holy Ghost. Eric and I both reiterated that there is no such thing as the Holy Ghost,  Ren speaks up and says there is. He knows there is a Holy Ghost because there are real ghosts. Nazzy tells him to shut up.  Ren keeps on talking, so Eric asks him how he knows ghosts are real. Ren says, “because I saw it on TV, Ghost Hunters.”

I looked at Nazzy and said, “These guys are on your side, buddy.”

I guess the moral of the story is not to debate people unless you have facts. Know what you are talking about and don’t assume everything on TV is real.

1 Comment

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    That Other Jean

    Chris got the story more than a little garbled, but he’s sort of right. A Greek philosopher, Celsus, wrote in the 2nd century AD that Mary, the wife of Joseph, had a son conceived before her marriage by a Roman soldier called Pantera. It’s not impossible, since a Roman army was in the area putting down a revolt around the time of Jesus’s birth—although Celsus was highly anti-Christian and Pantera was a fairly common nickname for a Roman soldier.

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