Yesterday afternoon, Tina and I met with a Catholic group about doing video and possibly photography. The work would essentially be to create promotional videos about the missions projects that the group does.
I’ve asked myself the hard questions about working with this company, and I’m not opposed to doing this kind of work. You all know that I tried helping my dad and a pastor spread the word and raise money to help refugees hiding in South Asia back in 2010.
Just because I don’t agree with a person’s philosophy doesn’t mean I disagree with their want to help others in need.
Later that afternoon, I met with a 55-year-old guy who used to be a youth pastor in my hometown deep in the Yeshua Fog™. He lives here in the suburbs now.
Let’s call him Bill. More below the fold.
Bill is now as far from religious as a lot of people can get. He’s not a full-blown atheist. He says he’s agnostic. But he explained that one of his make or break moments came from seminary, and how it informed him that there’s no way to really believe in all that stuff.
And when we had a discussion about my atheism in which I said, “I don’t believe there’s good evidence for god, but I can’t disprove one,” he asked why I didn’t go with agnostic.
“Because I think agnostic is like sitting on the fence. Maybe one of the religions has more merit than another one. I say none of them do.”
He accused me of being provocative. I really don’t mind that.
But our sitdown was a meet and greet setup by a guy that went to my high school. We’ll call him Steve. Steve thought that Bill and I need each other. Bill is an artist. He works a circuit of schools to teach kids and adults about poetic expression. It’s badass work if you ask me.
But Bill needs marketing and promotions. And he’s reaching out for it from different avenues. He already sells books. But now he needs some videos.
Essentially, it was fun entertaining the thought that I might work with a group that I disagree with and one that I do.
I want to tell you more about Bill
During the recent blogathon, I talked about a church that my parents helped start. It’s the one that I lied about learning Genesis 1:1 in Sunday School.
After my parents decided to leave that church, it went through several different changes. Around the time I was in high school, that church changed its name and the youth group attendance boomed. I was involved in a large youth group already, but lots of kids talked about how cool it was over there.
This was largely because of Bill’s leadership.
And rightly so. Bill’s a mix between Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ed Harris. He’s got piercing blue eyes and an ease about sentence delivery that most of us can only dream of having.
We talked about buddhist philosophy and I told him about the hindu ideas that I experienced in Bali.
All in all, it was refreshing to talk one on one with another non-believer. And even though I don’t agree with his all his views, his views don’t make me cringe.
For instance, we both agreed that there is something beautifully mysterious about the idea that the two guys like ourselves would get together last night at that time for the reasons we did. But that doesn’t indicate a god for either of us. Bill make attribute a higher power of some kind and doesn’t know what that is. I find it coincidental and awesome.
Bill loves science. He quotes Einstein. And he’ll break into a poem if you’re ready.
He’s an artist. And I think an artist listens to his doubts about the world more readily than most. There are events that allow those things to surface instead of restricting them.
The Cringe Phenomenon
You know how you’ll read something a religious person writes and you kind of cringe? I think I pinpointed that it’s because of that confidence.
I don’t claim to have the answers. But looking at the world with educated eyes and a culmination of life experience informs me that biblical miracles and happenings are likely not true. Why? Because they don’t happen within the framework of observation and data.
Faith is faith. And when someone is confident about faith without observational data and tells you how confident they are, you can’t help but grit your teeth and make that suck noise.
But when Tina looks at me and tells me she believes there’s something higher out there, but yet she’s not confident, I can empathize with her. The cringe phenomenon has decreased.
Does that make any sense?
I look forward to talking and writing more about Bill. For me, he’s like meeting a celebrity. I don’t get gooey eyed when I do. But I am turned on when they are a real person, wanting to over achieve and make other people better.
And that’s what Bill wants to do … I think.