The other night, in my quest to find the end of the Internet during the World’s Slowest Deployment, I somehow ended up on the Amazon page for a book promoting Atheistic outreach. The book, titled A Manual for Creating Atheists claims in its description to be the “first-ever guide not for talking people into faith–but for talking them out of it.”
Whenever the word “Atheist” comes to mind, I picture either a college science teacher, a recluse and bitter person with little to say, or a Boston Red Sox fan (I kid, I kid… Go Orioles). I don’t know why, but somehow I’ve made it 20 years of my life without realizing that there were such things as Atheistic missionaries. (Calling them missionaries is, I realize, derogatory towards the men and women spreading the good news to the ends of the earth, but it seems the most apt descriptor here.)
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I scanned the reviews page and couldn’t believe my eyes. Never before in one place had I seen such anti-religious chatter. So many comments either slamming the Christian faith or preaching anti-religious beliefs. Some called Christians “delusional,” while others viewed Christianity as a disease needing a cure.
Of course, I grew up in a Christian household, went to church every week, read the Bible every day, and spent much of time doing Christian-centered things. The word “sheltered” doesn’t really describe how I grew up, because that has negative connotations. My loving parents did a fantastic job protecting me from the evil of the world while preparing me to be out on my own in that very same world. So sometimes I am still finding new things that shock me, even as an adult living on my own.
As I continued to scroll through the reviews of this Atheist’s guide to apologetics, I found one particular comment that grabbed my attention. It was by a reviewer named Gary who, after reading the book, encountered a “deluded Jesus Freak” (shoutout to DC Talk, what up) named Jackie…