Debating Religion (in spanish)

13 Nov

It’s something about their eyes. About the devoutly religious I mean. Wide eyed, trance like, my Spanish teacher’s husband preached the words of the bible to me this morning.

It’s a conversation difficult enough in English.  You can imagine it in Spanish.

I made the mistake a few days ago of confessing to my evangelical professora that I did not believe in God.  Now she’s dragged me to her humble home set high on a hill to meet her husband.

I tried to hide behind my sunglasses.

But I was getting bored and restless feigning nods and grunts of acknowledgment as he rambled away.  Plus the conversation was taking place on my Spanish lesson’s time – so to get the most out of it, I decided to take on the preacher at hand and challenge him with some questions.

If there is a God, then why do some people die in the most gruesome of manners?

>God tests your faith in him by putting you through hard times

Then why do some people get killed and others get spared?

>It is the devil that tempts the sin in man to commit murder, etc.  God does not actually kill you.

If it is the devil that induces murder, why do some innocent people still die prematurely, say through sickness?

>It’s another test from god to see if you will continue to believe in him.

Then it’s god that causes illness? Why do some people get sick and other’s don’t?

>Because some people are more devout than others.

But what if there are two people, and both believe in God, and both are good and moral people.  Say one of them gets sick and dies but the other one lives on.  Why has that happened?

>Well it’s actually the devil that chooses people to get sick, sometimes randomly.

It is nearly impossible to have a rational conversation with religious folk as their faith is so irrational.  He wasn’t able to see through his hypocrisies and often referred to memorized axioms from the bible.  Religion is a cultural defense mechanism that people have developed to cope with difficult times.

My Spanish teacher and her husband believe that those who are rich signed a pact with the devil.  Poor people would have their turn in the next life.

As we stood on their hill overlooking the lake, I thought back to the Mayans who were so devout that they actually wanted to be sacrificed.  Competitions would be held and the winner in gladiator type battles would be the one sacrificed, not the loser.  I could see how an entire population, even slaves, could be kept at bay using religion.

Here were two people standing in front of me, using religion to justify their meager existence, content to live in poverty so long as they go to church twice a week.  I’m so fortunate to come from a place and time where I’ve learned to question everything around me.  Behind my sunglasses, I shuddered at the thought that had I lived in a different time, I might have been as lost as well.



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