This Essay Is the Worst Attempt at Converting Atheists I’ve Ever Seen

I found it. I found the worst attempt ever at converting atheists.

It’s written by Stan Gudmundson for the Fillmore County Journal in Minnesota, and he genuinely thinks that you’ll believe in God when you’re done reading it.

Let’s see the highlights:

Why do certain atheists continually proselytize their faith? One would think that they would be more timid about expounding on their beliefs and would be cautious in insisting that there is no Creator, no God. Some seem really angry and full of hate for God and his followers.

Okay, so you know this is just going to be full of those usual Christian apologist clichés… but just to state the obvious, we talk about atheism because religious people say and do really awful things in the name of faith, and we’re the reasonable ones trying to inject some sense in the mix.

We also don’t hate God because God doesn’t exist. But damn, God’s followers can be annoying…

[Atheists] have convinced themselves that they are smart enough (they aren’t) and know enough (they don’t) to conclude that they have the absolute truth based on logic, study, and brains alone.

Logic, “study,” and brains are a pretty good place to start when it comes to understanding the world, but no atheist has ever said we know everything. Admitting we don’t have all the answers is freeing. It’s honest. Compare that to believers who insist — with no logic at all — that their answers about the afterlife and miracles and prayer are absolutely right.

We have very short lifespans. We all have comparatively small brains and cannot “know” everything. Our limits do not give us the ability or opportunity to conclude that God does or does not exist. Unless we commit to an act of faith. Atheists commit to one kind and I, to another. Sorry Bubba, but you can’t have it any other way.

You don’t need giant brains and an infinite lifespan to conclude flying unicorns aren’t hovering over our heads. It’s obvious. You don’t need “faith” to say it.

God is no different.

Also… Bubba? Which one of you told him my nickname?

Okay. All of that is preamble for the most convincing argument ever for God’s existence:

In my case, there is concrete evidence that God intervened in my life.

Oh boy… “concrete evidence”! This should be good.

I won’t get into the details except to say it is fact.

… WHAT?!

He didn’t elaborate. That was literally the end of that story. His evidence for God — something so impossible for skeptics to ignore, he calls it a “fact” — is who the hell knows.

Are we supposed to be convinced by that?

But don’t worry. He has another story if you still doubt him.

Once a Christian friend and I were visiting a touristy town in California. As we entered one establishment, I heard in my brain a shout, “get out, get out, you don’t belong in here.” I was overwhelmed with the horrible feeling of being in presence of something truly terrible, truly evil. The hair on the back of my neck and arms stood straight up.

I told myself that I was never going to tell anyone about this. No one would believe me. Or they would think something else about me. We didn’t stay long.

When my friend, who was ahead of me, turned and looked at me, she had a really funny look on her face. As we walked out the door, she asked, did you feel that? She had experienced what I had.

That incident was as real to both of us as the nose on your face. Now, Mr. Atheist, look at all the evil in this world and explain away this encounter to me.

Mr. Atheist here says it was a coincidence.

Or maybe it was dark and sketchy. Or maybe it got cold in the restaurant. Or maybe the friend saw Gudmundson chugging a drink quicker than usual and rushing the hell out of there for no reason and felt something was off.

There are plenty of ways to explain that encounter. But people like Gudmundson never look for those explanations because they’re convinced it’s God. (By the way, we are never told if there actually was anything scary in that place. If it collapsed the moment they left, it’d be a far better story.)

What he experienced was no different than thinking of a friend and suddenly getting a text from that person. It’s a coincidence; we just ignore it all the times it doesn’t happen. It’s not a big deal.

The whole essay is like this. It’s a bunch of tired old apologetic tropes aimed at no one in particular.

I have to at least give some credit to the subscriber who, responding to another article by Gudmundson, did the math and found he paid $0.02 to read the article in that issue. That’s two cents he’ll never get back:

Here’s my two cents worth: Every time I see another one of Stan’s misinformed, rambling, hateful, trite and inane torrents of demagoguery, I am annoyed and embarrassed that it is in my local paper. Much more, I resent paying for it, even if it is only $0.02. It’s not enough to make me cancel my subscription, but it leaves me disappointed.

That may be the finest praise Gudmundson has ever received for his writing.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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