Christians Aren’t Crazy Enough, Says Atheist. Also Wrote This Post. (But Actually)

My brother is an atheist. A Sam Harris-loving, Christ-denying, honest-to-God atheist. We don’t agree on much when it comes to God or religion. (No, really Laura?) But he is my brother so naturally, when I was bored of writing about feminism (for now), I asked him what I should blog about next.

(To be clear, this is the guy whose advice on how to improve Catholic Cravings was: “be less Catholic”. But his friends said I should use more gifs too. The gifs are for you guys!!)

But ask away I did, and you know what he said this time? You should blog about why Christians aren’t crazy enough.

You should blog about why they should be crazier. 

Crazier? Really, crazier? Like more crazy?

Because here’s the thing, I already thought we were pretty weird and crazy.

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I asked him to explain.

Well, he said, (and I’m paraphrasing here because I don’t wire tap the car when I’m chatting to my little brother), if you really believed what you say you believe, you’d be actually bonkers.

If you actually believed that God is real (which He’s not, he clarified) and that my life – and everyone’s life – depended on belief in Him, then shouldn’t you do anything to make sure we all believed? 

You wouldn’t have a job or stuff like, or be concerned about all this “earthly” stuff, you’d just be evangelising all the time.

ExcuseMeSir-40624

Whether people wanted to hear it or not.

Talk to the Hand

Wouldn’t that be pretty annoying? I asked.

Um yeah, was the emphatic response. You’d be (and I quote) “a f***ing annoying lunatic.”

But what else could you do?

He said that Christians believe the vast majority of their lives – an almost infinite majority – will be in heaven. So why would you even bother about what happens here and now? You’d be all about heaven and making sure everyone’s there.

“I mean, you have a whole bunch of people with two possible destinations. One’s heaven and one’s hell and flames and all that.

And you have one job – to get as many people as possible into column A.” (A, being heaven, I assumed.)

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But Christians, he continued, are so normal. Religion is just so “earthly” and “convenient”. You’re supposed to be living by these invisible, hidden heavenly rules – but you’re so normal. You should all be crazier.

Christians aren’t crazy enough.

Hmm, said I.

And you should blog about that, he said.

And you should blog about how your atheist brother said you should blog about it.

It’ll be like…

(Ok, the inception bit was my idea just then.)

But yeah, I thought… why not?

image

And I won’t add any commentary. That would just confuse it and make it about all the reasons I’m not crazy enough. (Like, what about loving people where they’re at? What about speaking with gentleness and respect? What about care for creation? And sanctifying the world in our ordinariness? NO, Laura, NO. This is not the time and place.)

It will be just what you said, I told him… An abbreviated, creatively enhanced, gif-adorned version of what you said. And I’ll call it like, “Christians Aren’t Crazy Enough, Says Atheist.” He admitted that even he’d click on that… even though it had no pics of kittens.

So thanks bro for writing my next blog post. We make a great team. (*older sister starts tearing up at sibling love*)

And in thanks, here, have a kitten…

The 15 Funniest Cat GIFs Of The Summer

[And yes, this conversation actually roughly happened. I couldn’t make this brilliance up even if I wanted to. This stuff is GOLD.]

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23 responses to “Christians Aren’t Crazy Enough, Says Atheist. Also Wrote This Post. (But Actually)

  1. I’m not entirely sure why Christians need to be crazy if we truly believe in our faith. We should live our lives as if it was a billboard. Why would a non-believer want to buy crazy? Better to live our lives full of joy, hope, and love… all fruits of the Holy Spirit. A non-believer should be tempted to ask, when they look at our lives, “Why is she/he always so happy? What’s the secret?” And that’s the opening we need to talk about our faith.

    • The ‘problem’ with that theory is that it has been shown pretty conclusively that one can be happy without being a believer. I am. So I’m happy you’re happy. But it isn’t going to make me want to be a believer.

      • The billboard of my life wouldn’t be very interesting if I’m happy because life is good. It would be more compelling if I can maintain joy, hope, love despite life’s hardships.

        For example, my wife and I are going through a period of extended chastity. If I were still an atheist, I believe I would pour myself into my work, avoid coming home, and resent my children for decreasing my wife’s libido.

        The only explanation I can give for why I still feel so much joy, how I love coming home to be with my daughters and how I can continue self-denial to the point where it seems my wife is taking advantage of me is because of my faith in the Holy Spirit. My happiness is not rooted in my marriage or children, but in God.

        It’s true that one can be happy without God just as it is true that the sun shines on both believers and non-believers alike. The only difference is that believers want to thank the source of that warmth.

    • I think it’s worth pointing out that my brother meant “crazy” in the broadest sense, as in radically different from the world around us. I agree that this should manifest itself in joy, hope and love. 🙂

  2. Very interesting point…I think rather than total craziness (which let’s face it typically drives people away) we need more love. I think Christians need to show how real this faith thing is through our love for each other. On a side note I think that’s why so many people have been drawn to Pope Francis. Because even non-Catholics or non-Christians have to admit that he truly strives to live like Christ and be the living example of Christ’s love.

  3. Your brother is quite right. I bet he has secretly been reading the interviews with Pope Francis. The Pope speaks the same language as your brother: viz. Christians are called to be saints; saints are crazy (by the standards of the world); therefore Christians are (meant to be) crazy. A syllogism…

    • Exactly Francis! 🙂 I would be VERY surprised if my brother was reading the Pope’s interviews though. I think it’s more likely that he recognises that Christians make radical claims about the nature of reality and that this should naturally express itself in radical action in accordance with our beliefs. And by radical, I mean radically loving and holy, of course! 🙂

  4. In a way, your brother is right. Yesterday was the feast if St. Teresa of Avila. She wrote about putting “our hands to the task” and having a “holy daring”. As she wrote and as Pope Francis has been saying, we are called to be saints. Being holy like the saints is being radical for Christ.

  5. “If you actually believed that God is real (which He’s not, he clarified) and that my life – and everyone’s life – depended on belief in Him, then shouldn’t you do anything to make sure we all believed? ” Well, Christians can’t make anyone believe; neither can God for that matter. Faith is a gift (not a gif) and Christians ARE crazy! They are crazy enough to open the gift – wildly and frenzied like a five year old at his birthday party!

  6. Pingback: Christians Aren’t Crazy Enough, Says Atheist. Also Wrote This Post. (But Actually) | Veronica's miscellaney·

  7. Awesome post! Your brother is right — We should evangelize non-Christians as if their lives depended on it (because it does).

    My wife is a non-practicing Buddhist / borderline atheist. I hope you wouldn’t mind if I borrow your concept!

  8. Laura, I think your brother is onto something in that we Christians should be visibly crazy – in a “Johnny Foreigner” kind of way, if you don’t mind me linking back to my Downton Abbey post (http://vox-nova.com/2013/02/09/something-strange-about-those-catholics/). But he is mistaken to think it’s all about “getting people into column A.” In other words, I think your own musings that you were trying to refrain from adding are right on. Ours is a this-worldly craziness too.

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