Posted by Jeff (220.127.116.11) on January 07, 2002 at 17:32:32:
Jeremy's way of life right for some but not all
Michael Duff (Columnist)
February 16, 2001
It's hard to be an atheist in Lubbock. We are surrounded by churches, crosses and steeples, far as the eye can see. When a Christian gets lonely, all he or she has to do is open the phone book and pick a number. Atheists don't really have a social network. I guess you could say bars are "temples to wickedness," but even the most dedicated heathen can't stay drunk all the time. What about atheists who don't drink? My idea of a wild night is a six-pack of Dr. Pepper and a Star Trek rerun. Where can wholesome young atheists go for a good time? Pok*mon tournaments and Mensa meetings? I'm too old for card games, and I'm not pretentious enough for Mensa, so this whole situation has left me kind of bitter. The highlight of my Sunday was "Malcolm in the Middle." The Christians are out there praising God and playing miniature golf all night. I did some homework and fell asleep at 10:30. I wake up the next morning and there's this guy named Jeremy in the paper, telling me how God saved him from a life of sin. It made me angry. It's not enough to plaster flyers all over campus and build a church on every street corner, now the Christians are advertising! It felt like they were rubbing it in. Something about that advertisement - bold black borders, dripping with sincerity. There was something smug about it, something distasteful about commercialized Christianity. I was going to write an angry letter, like the letters I saw here yesterday. I sat down to write, and then I started thinking: Do I really have a right to be angry? See, I'm not just an atheist. I'm a libertarian. I believe in free thought, free markets, free love and free speech. Christians have a right to advertise, just like any other business in this town. Should we put special restrictions on them just because they're selling Jesus? Campus Crusade has the right to buy ad space anywhere they please, and The University Daily was right to accept them. I don't agree with Jeremy. I believe in honesty, loyalty, fidelity and temperance, but I don't believe in God. I think belief in God is irrational, but sometimes irrational things produce good results. Jeremy isn't just some cynical marketing construct. Jeremy is a real guy. His life was empty, destructive and pointless. Now he has focus, discipline and a happy marriage. God or no God, this guy is living a better life. I can't endorse the method, but I admire the results. I respect the transformation that has occurred in Jeremy's life, and you should, too. It's hard to be an atheist in Lubbock, Texas. We're out-numbered and out-gunned, surrounded by people who think it's their moral duty to tell us we're wrong. I share your frustration, but don't let frustration blind you to the good things done in Jesus' name.
Michael Duff is a junior English major from Lubbock. He can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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