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Monday, March 21, 2016

God debate at the Fairfield Inn

A couple of days ago I was eating a free continental breakfast with my brother at the Fairfield Inn. My brother Michael—the archetype of your typical belligerent atheist—began telling me about his latest paramour and how she was not happy with my brother dearest. It seems the subject of the very possibility of a creator came up and Jenny told Michael his atheism was a deal in she didn't want to date an asshole. (my words, not Michael's)

At this point a few comments about Michael are in order if you want to fully understand the narrative. He lies ... a lot! (If you're reading this Michael, good. There's something inside you that is wrong. You've lost—or perhaps never had—the ability to know reality from fiction. You toss lies about as casually as a gambling addict tosses chips down on a blackjack table, giving no thought to the eventual consequences. You mad bro? Don't be. It's called truth.) So it's possible he really did have the God argument with Jenny. It's equally likely that there was no argument with Jenny and instead he just wanted a public debate about God, maybe for attention or maybe just for grins and giggles. It's impossible to know. I grew up with him and even I can't tell when he's lying or not. Here's what happened though...the lady working behind the counter jumped into the discussion as though Michael and she had planned it out from the beginning.

She used two obnoxious techniques in our debate and I want to discuss them both.

The first was a Bernie Sanders style interruption of my interruption. She was really on her pulpit—sorry I couldn't resist—and orating away for the amusement of the whole Fairfield Inn breakfast crowd, and her argument—of course—took the form of: "There's lots of religions why are you so arrogant you think you know which of them—if any—are the truth." At the time I simply wanted to correct her misapprehension that I was arguing any particular religion, because I wasn't. I was simply arguing that there had to be a creator. But she did the thing with the palm of her hand, and the rolling of the head thing, and then totally Bernie Sandered me. "Excuse me, I'm talking!", she said. What a bitch! Sorry but that shutting down tactic is not fair play. It's the kind of thing you'd expect from somebody who doesn't want to debate but instead wants to orate.

When she finally—at long last—ran down and at long last closed her mouth, I attempted to correct her. I told her that "our argument wasn't about religion," at which point the bitch interrupted me again to inform me that...palm of hand, head roll: "Excuse me, we aren't arguing." Now she's going to debate the meaning of argue? Well, to make a sad story short, I was discombobulated and thrown off. Black lady and white man arguing—or not?—in a public place, I didn't think this debate was winnable no matter what. I just wish I'd been better prepared. I just wish I'd been fully prepared in the Wintery Knight style of apologetics that I occasionally peruse. I know that the odds of life just suddenly and randomly appearing on Earth a few billion years ago are are so statistically impossible that only a liar and/or troll would embrace such an asinine possibility, but I just couldn't seem to put my understanding into words. Here's Ben Stein. He can say what I should have.

Meanwhile throughout this sad debacle of a debate, my brother can't stop burbling "Magic Man in the Sky!" He must have said "Magic Man in the Sky," about three hundred times! It was like in the movie Rainman where Charlie Babbitt keeps telling everybody that Judge Wapner was on at Five. "Hey bro, I heard you, but where did life come from?"

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