Convicts for Christ

Tonight, we were out in Waikiki and passed a group of men handing out pamphlets. One was shouting as loud as his voice would permit about JESUS and SIN. I had this conversation with a man who had a cross of red duct tape on his t-shirt:

man: [Something about Jesus. He died for my sins or loves me, or something.]
me: Jesus isn’t real.
man: What do you believe in then?
me: Have you seen the Avengers? I believe in Loki.
man: *snickers* But that’s fiction.
me: You’re telling me my god is fiction? Your god is fiction.
man: Well, is there written record of him?
me: YES! Loki is well documented in Norse mythology and there are writings about him which date back to pre-christian times.
man: …

The conversation went on far longer than this, but the rest was textbook and circular. He had nothing to offer me but Pascal’s Wager (repeated at least 8 times), the 2nd law of thermodynamics, “matter can’t arise from nothing”, “0 does not equal 1”, an appeal to authority, an appeal to large numbers, and something about “look at these wonderful things like love and babies”. Basically, arguments that Richard Dawkins rips to shreds in The God Delusion. I’ll leave you with a quote that I think got him to at least consider why he believes in his particular god and no other.

When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

— Stephen F Roberts

The Avengers

I was bribed to see this movie. I am helpless before buttered movie theater popcorn.

– Drawn out fight scenes
– Preaching about nuclear weapons
– Black Widow & Hawkeye because:

    • their characters were not explored enough to make me care
    • they were very mortal, without neat superpowers
    • they were generally uninteresting

– Ironman, because he’s arrogant in an ugly way and his technologies are contrived
– Redirecting of a nuclear warhead by Ironman in his flying suit

+ Loki (this is another post entirely)
+ Dynastic/fraternal struggle between Loki and Thor
+ Hulk and his Hulk-smashing, especially of Loki and of Ironman
+ The idea that freedom is an illusion
+ Captain America’s naive, lost little boy outlook
+ Those giant flying worm-type creatures at the final battle

I understand now why I don’t volunteer to watch these things. They’re addictive. There will probably be at least one character I’m drawn to, and then I become a ridiculous fan girl. I also don’t find epic battles, intergalactic struggle (at the government level), explosions and combat that fun to watch. This means I was bored for about 80% of the movie, but I’ll likely watch the next one to learn a little more about the one character I care about. I’ll be bored for the vast majority of that movie too, and inevitably feel wistful at the very end of the series that I never got to know that one mischievous god well enough to satisfy my curiosity.