The recent success of an interview (28,000 views) I did with Tim Mills, the Harmonic Atheist, has brought me increased attention from Evangelical Christians.
The same happened with the Vice News interview (1.8 million views) I did two years ago.
Media interviews I do always bring out knives, pitchforks, and pyres, but it seems, at least to me, Evangelical hostility levels have dramatically increased, so much so that I have had thoughts of throwing in the towel. So much vitriol toward an insignificant atheist. What gives? Judging by their attacks, you would think I had kidnapped their firstborn or slept with their spouse. One man, whom I have banned and blocked numerous times, is trying to get at me through family, friends, and acquaintances. Yesterday, he went after my youngest son’s transgender roommate. That didn’t go very well for this Evangelical man. He happened to run into a young man who is more than capable of handling themselves. In fact, I suspect they enjoyed eviscerating this man. Earlier this week, my youngest daughter received a cryptic email from an Evangelical man, saying that he was trying to get a hold of me. Of course, he wasn’t trying to contact me. I am one of the most accessible people on the Internet. I am but a click or two away. No, this man wanted to let me know that he could get at me and my family. Why else did he list all the publicly available email addresses for me, including several email addresses I haven’t used in twenty years?
The fact that I have a lot of serious health problems has made it easy for Evangelicals to say that these maladies are God’s judgment or God trying to get my attention. The unrelenting pain that is literally choking the life out of me is “God” trying to get my attention. Someday, hopefully not today, tomorrow, or next week, I will die. I know that I am on the short side of life; that either disease, accident, or the damn cat will one day put an end to me. I can only imagine what Independent Fundamentalist Baptists (IFB) zealots will say on their blogs and what preachers say in their sermons upon hearing reports of my demise. “Bruce knows the truth now!” “Atheist Bruce Gerencser now knows that God exists and Hell is real!” These followers of Jesus will feign sadness as they speak of my death, but they will silently say to themselves, “that God-hating, Devil-loving motherfreaker got exactly what he deserved. No one mocks my God and gets by with it. ” (Motherfreaker is a Baptist swearword. An Evangelical recently got upset with me because I used a swear word in one of my posts. I am sure you can imagine my response to him. Please see Evangelical Swear Words.) 🙂
Let me circle back around to this idea that God gave me fibromyalgia, gastroparesis, and degenerative spine disease because he is trying to get my attention; that every night I writhe in pain in bed, unable to sleep, my suffering is a message of love from the Christian deity.
What’s with God “trying” to do anything? Is he weak and powerless, unable to do what he wants? If God is not willing that any should perish, how is possible that Bruce Gerencser, a frail, broken-down biped, can thwart God’s will? Surely God can easily and effortlessly reach me at any time. “Nothing is too hard for God” and “with God all things are possible,” the Bible says. Yet, it seems that saving me is too hard for God and that it is impossible for the Big Kahuna to reach me.
If my suffering is God trying to get my attention, does this mean that if I repent and put my faith and trust in Jesus, my chronic pain and illnesses will immediately and magically disappear? Crickets are all I hear from Evangelicals. They know there is no connection between my health problems and God. None. Shit happens, and this is my shit.
I have a three-year-old redheaded grandson named Silas. He’s a handful. Silas has no fear of anything. He must be watched at all times. Our living room is small, 16’x20′. We have three lamps in the room, along with an overhead light. I HATE the overhead light. My grandkids know not to turn the light on when I am in the room. Not Silas. He will run over to the wall switch, give me a look — you know, THAT look — turn on the light, and run off. No matter what I say or do, Silas keeps flipping the switch. Mischief is his middle name, some sort of karmic payback for my own childhood mischief. If my mom were alive, she would be smiling.
Imagine if I determined to teach Silas a lesson about the overhead light. I decided that the next time Silas turned the light on I would break his arm. Boy, that would get his attention, right? This is EXACTLY what Evangelicals are saying when they say that God has afflicted me to get my attention or to teach me a lesson. What, exactly, did I ever do to God to deserve such punishment? Or is God okay with Bruce, the Evangelical-preacher-turned-atheist, and that it is Evangelicals who want to see me suffer? Sadly, many Evangelicals are sadists. Unbelievers have what they can’t have, so they rail against them, uttering threats of suffering, death, and Hell.
If I broke Silas’ arm because he kept turning on the light, I would deserve to be arrested and locked up for my crime. So it is for the Evangelical deity who inflicts suffering on finite beings. If such a deity exists, he is unworthy of our worship.
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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