Bob Meets the Christians January 16, 2008

Bob Meets the Christians

Bob Wire was visited by a couple female Christians last weekend… so he decided to indulge them in conversation:

“What took you so long?” I said, bracing myself for the intervention. The younger of the two gave me a quizzical look, then took a step forward and opened up her Bible, pointing to a lengthy passage. “I assume you’re familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. When was the last time you said it out loud?”

“Oh, not since the fourth quarter of the Miami-Pittsburgh game. Jesus Christ, did you see that sloppy field? It looked like they were playing in a goddamn barnyard!”

“Um, no,” she said, glancing down at my boxer shorts. I had flopped out. “I missed that one. Um, do you have a robe or something?”

I quickly tucked my Little Toby back in and hastily apologized. “Sorry. Sometimes he just needs some air, I guess. Anyway, I don’t…”

“Our father, who art in heaven…” she began.

“Whom,” I said.


“Whom. Should be ‘our father whom art in heaven.’ I’m a writer.”

Shockingly, they don’t make much progress in any direction.

It does make for an amusing read, though…

[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

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  • Phil Robey

    Actually, it should be “who” in the Lord’s Prayer. Who is the nominative form, used for the subjects of verbs-“who art in heaven”-while whom is the objective case, for indirect objects or possession-“it was given to whom.” Some writer…

  • Mercurious

    LOL I read the whole thing and I loved it. I once had one come to my door. An older lady. *darn* I did spend about 15-20 minutes talking to her and I did tell her point blank that I was an atheist. I almost thought I saw the glimmer of a real challenge. At that time I was working nights and she came in the early afternoon. I’m standing there in about 50° weather with just a pair of shorts on, half awake and bed head. After about 10 minutes I challenged her to use her own head instead of answering every question with bible passages. Time after time I’d tell her, “Don’t quote me a passage, that will mean nothing to me. Tell me what YOU think.” She couldn’t even do it once. Didn’t take her long to really realize that she had no chance of “tempting me” and she took her leave. I spent the next 5 mins just snickering to myself. Defiantly made my day more enjoyable.

  • Elsa

    I’m pretty sure “who” is correct…

  • Susan B.

    *cringe* Actually it IS “who”, since it’s the subject of the clause “who art in heaven” rather than the object. Pretty funny despite that, though.

  • Steven Carr

    Of course, in school in Britain we were forced to recite this prayer practically every day, as part of compulsory religious worship.

    Normally , when I speak to Christians, after a few minutes, they refuse to open their Bibles and look at the passages I point out….

  • Actually, it’s “Our Father WHICH art in heaven…” Matthew 6:9, King James Version.

    I think it’s the Catholic version that uses “who”….

  • stogoe

    I think it’s only the KJV that uses “which”, because I’m sure I’ve seen ‘who’ in several newer translations; the Revised Standard and NIV at least.

    But ‘which’ does sound cooler. Makes ol’ sky-papa sound alien and unknowable, rather than just your old man.

  • Another cringeworthy line: “I believe in carbon dating that shows some fossils to be millions of years old.”

    No, no, NO! Potassium-argon dating or uranium dating would show fossils to be millions of years old, but carbon-14 has way too short a half-life.

  • Vincent

    I think which is gramatically correct. Which art in heaven is an adjective clause describing Father. which father? the one in heaven.
    Though who may be just as acceptable.
    Whom is just absolutely wrong. That’s like saying “me am sitting at my desk”.

  • I think it’s funny how condescendingly superior we can feel while being wrong. I laughed more at the “whom” and “carbon dating” business than I did at the rest of it. A little humility with all that smugness would be nice.

  • Milena

    Agreed. The “whom” and “carbon-dating” not only bothered me, but also added to the condescending tone, which pretty much ruined the whole story. =/

  • I have a JW lady who visits me quite regularily thinking that she’ll convert me from my Anglican ways. I always brushed her off at the door but over the Christmas season she showed up and I was in a good mood and it suddenly occured to me that here was a very kind and respectful person who was visiting me regularily out of a a feeling of real duty and love. Or at least that’s how I choose to take her visits. It improved the experience immensely once I stopped thinking of her as a pest. We don’t agree on a lot but we do enjoy talking to each other and what used to be a hassle is now a nice and appreciated break in my day.

    My current thought is that when these people visit you either tell them politely to leave or you politely engage them. It was nothing but an unflattering reflection on me when I was treating the JW as a hassle.

  • Chris Kenny

    ouch. Even I know it’s ‘who.’ And I never finished my undergrad degree.

    1. “Who is in Heaven?” “HE is in Heaven.”

    2. “Who are you in Heaven with?” “I am in Heaven with HIM.”

    If the answer to the question is HE, then WHO is correct. If the answer would be HIM, then WHOM is correct. So the second conversation’s question would actually be “With WHOM are you in Heaven?”

    Um, and yeah… I agree that this condescending attitude in Wire’s story turned me off to the whole thing.

  • Bob Wire

    Hey, you got me on that one. “Who” is, of course, correct. Even though I knew it was wrong, I said it for comic effect. It didn’t work. And the carbon dating discrepancy has been pointed out to me. I don’t feel that I need to be up on every point of science to declare that I’m an atheist, but I do need to know my way around the English language to call myself a writer. I appreciate the kind words as much as I do the corrections.

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