I'm finally home from my vacation and my time in airports, and on planes really allowed me sufficient time to brood on my time away. One of my major problems with traveling to the Midwest is the religiosity of the region. I found my self constantly bombarded with billboards featuring anti-abortion slogans featuring crying on a cross Jesus, commercial for Christian dating sites, bumper stickers of all faiths, jesus fish, and all sorts of other nonsense.
To those who live in these areas, most of these blatant eyesores are actually subliminal, and unnoticed unless they see something that goes against their convictions they barely turn an eye. The targets are typically those who don't believe, perhaps in an effort to convert through the power of annoyance. Even though I was subjected to these things for weeks it wasn't those that really bothered me, it was the religious people.
I encountered an individual which really was unique in their conversion methods, I sense have found out it is common but this was a first to me. They knew I was an atheist and on the way to a local ice cream parlor he said to me (very seriously) "You know, as an atheist if you're wrong you're going to hell. You should become a Christian to cover all your bases."
My reply was a sarcastic remark about how I should also give Buddha, Odin, and Zeus a go as well, just to better my chances in this hypothetical religious lottery I'm apparently in. Apparently to be a Christian these days all one has to do is say they believe and not really mean it and they are covered, which given the antics that come from some of the more insane religious zealots... doesn't surprise me.
I'm sure this was an honest attempt to make me consider the fact I may be wrong in my non belief, and question my loyalty to secularism, science and the other foundations which forum my basis of my opinions on the matter. I found it a rather crude construction, the same logic of a just in case scenario can be applied to anything really.
"You should consider living in a bomb shelter, since you never know when a bomb will land."
"You could consider rolling around in some nuclear waste, you know just in case comic books are right."
Both those examples to me hold about the same amount of weight as the religious one and are as equally laughable. These are examples of what I like to call a culture of fear, and I'll expand upon that in my next blog which I've already begun. I thought I would just be entertaining and fill you all in of this little run in, as it inspired the more serious blog that will follow this in a few days time.