It was a raining Chicago day today. So I took the bus home (and I am so glad I did). At the Moody Bible College bus stop, two young women - probably 18 to 25 - hopped on the bus looking like classic home-schoolers. If you are unfamiliar with this look, think ankle-length corduroy skirts, bleached jean jackets, and matching hand-knit scarves, hats, and mittens.
They sat next to me and spoke unusually loud for bus conversation. I easily overheard all they said (without trying). One of the girls was apparently flying out of O'hare and the other was accompanying her since she was afraid to take the "el" alone. Adorable.
Then came the good part. Right before they got off the bus to transfer to the blue line, one of the girls took something out of her purse and set it on the seat next to her (and next to me). I looked at it and my eyes widened. It was a pamphlet! A apologetic, evangelistic tract! And it was wonderful. "The Atheist Test." Apparently based on a book by Ray Comfort, it was filled with arguments that will convert atheists to Christianity. In it's quest to convince atheists, it brimmed with unintentional humor.
Consider this gem (which is written exactly as it appears in the book):
The banana--the atheist's nightmare.
Note that the banana:
- Is shaped for human hand
- Has non-slip surface
- Has outward indicators of inward contents: Green--too early, Yellow--just right, Black--too late.
- Has a tab for removal of wrapper
- Is perforated on wrapper
- Bio-degradable wrapper
- Is shaped for human mouth
- Has a point at top for ease of entry
- Is pleasing to taste buds
- Is curved towards the face to make eating process easy
Now if that didn't just convert you to Christianity, I don't know what else possibly could.
I was ecstatic with this new approach to converting the pagans. I was also hungry for a banana. So I went home, opened up the fridge, and grabbed some fruit. Unfortunately, I grabbed a coconut. I was struck with sudden despair. Where was the perforates tab? Where was the "ease of entry"*? Was the coconut the theist's nightmare? How could a there be a god if a piece of fruit is difficult to eat? I put the coconut down, deciding that I would ponder the coconut another day.
I turned the page, hoping for some argument to revive my shattered faith. This page contained a quiz with "yes" or "no" boxes and "yes" or "no" questions by them.
Question #1: "From the atom to the universe is there order?"
I checked "yes."
Question #2: "Did it happen by accident or must there have been an intelligent mind?"
Uh oh. I was stumped. Do I check "yes" or "no"? My head hadn't hurt that much since I read about Schrodinger's cat. I checked "yes, it did happen by accident or there must have been an intelligent mind." Next question.
Question #3: "What are the odds of 50 oranges falling by chance into ten rows of five oranges?"
Again, this pamphlet was too smart for me. Was I supposed to be able to do this math in my head? I wanted more information. I found myself wondering: "How high were the oranges dropped? Did they have time to reach maximum velocity? What is the terminal velocity of an orange anyway? Were these oranges dropped individually or as a group? What about the contours of the ground - smooth or rough? Why am I still reading this pamphlet?"
That last question struck me the hardest. I put the pamphlet down and went to eat a banana (green - TOO EARLY!). From now on, I'll spend my mental energies on something more simplistic. Rick Perry advertisements, here I come!
In the end, I have realized that some mysteries, like the coconut, are best left unsolved.
*I could easily have written a trashy blog-post about the double-entendre or innuendo in many of the points. If those points escaped you, read the banana arguments again. Still not getting it, congratulations on the purity of your mind!
Just to prove that it's real.