The Atheist and the Believer – A Parable

The Atheist and the Believer – A Parable

An atheist was thinking hard about some things Glenn Beck said on his radio show the other day. He said something that made sense to the atheist and that rarely happened. Glenn said you should leave your church. To an atheist that is a good thing, but this was really confusing because Glenn was always going on about how he finally found peace through Jesus.

I beg you look for the words social justice or economic justice on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. ~ Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! – Glenn Beck 3/08/2010

Social justice? Economic justice? Code words powerful enough to have holier-than-thou Glenn tell people to leave their church? The atheist thought he should find out about these words. Was this common ground between Glenn and the atheist?

It was going to take more research than cheaping out and looking up “social” and then “justice” in the dictionary. That wouldn’t give him the whole answer. Glenn said the code was in those two words, together. The key must be putting the phrase in context and context needs a running start. That means looking into the past, finding a history.

Social justice is mentioned in the Federalist Papers. Number 7, one that Hamilton wrote. Hamilton wanted a national bank and somebody else’s wife. He must be a fascist and a cad. Discovering what “social justice” is is going to take a lot of time, so what about “economic justice?” If anyone should know, one of the most prestigious universities in the country would. So the atheist looked to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. There he found lots of stuff cross-referenced having to do with “economic justice.” There were entries for “Distributive Justice,” “The Philosophy of Economics,” “Libertarianism,” “Exploitation,” and some guy named John Rawls (the only Rawls the atheist had ever heard of was Lou). All he wanted was a simple answer and what he was finding were pages and pages and books upon books to read.

As luck would have it (according to the atheists) or, maybe, it was a godsend (according to believers), an amiable Christian came along. The atheist thought he would ask him. He questioned the believer about the two phrases that were codes according to Glenn. This believer was shocked to hear what had been said. He then quoted from his Bible:

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James. 2:1-4)

The atheist asked what that meant and the believer said that people shouldn’t treat rich folks better than poor folks and just thinking less of someone because of their circumstances was evil. The atheist said it just sounded like you should treat everyone equally and he tried hard to do that. Equality is at the heart of social justice the believer said.

Then the atheist asked if the Bible had anything about economic justice and the believer then quoted this passage:

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. (Acts 4:33-35)

So you believe it is good to give people who need it a hand up? The believer replied affirmatively and told the atheist that he believed God profits those who eliminate poverty around them by bestowing His grace upon them. The atheist thought about that and realized it always felt good when he could help people out. So economic justice also seemed like a good thing.

The atheist and the believer agreed that social and economic justice really were good things. The atheist then had one last question for the believer. Why he had not left his church as Glenn had commanded? The believer said that this was the easiest one of all to answer and that if the atheist would just look into his own heart of hearts that it would come to him. The atheist looked deeply and then the tight lips and furrowed brow that had strained his face since he had heard Glenn were replaced by a comfortable smile.

“Is it because Glenn Beck’s a complete douche bag?”

And off they walked arm in arm into the warmth of the sunset knowing they had more in common with each other than some radio guy and reality.


2 Responses to “The Atheist and the Believer – A Parable”

  1. cantaffordacarriage Says:

    this is freaking hilarious. where you do you click to give it 5 stars?

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