In Chile, An Atheist Preaches Science in Front of a Church

This is what you miss when you don’t read Chilean newspapers.

TL;IS;DR (too long; in Spanish; didn’t read): An atheist with a loudspeaker is telling his religious neighbors there’s no god :)

Reader Ignacio was kind enough to provide a rough translation:

It’s noon on a normal Sunday on the Batuco main square, and while a good portion of the people are attending mass, Claudio Sánchez, a 46-year-old electrician, sets up, with the help of his wife, a small cart carrying 2 loudspeakers, a microphone, a TV screen, and a laptop. He sets himself up strategically between two evangelical preachers and in front of an evangelical church where a sign reads “The Final Trumpet Temple.” Sanchez turns on his equipment and starts preaching.

“God doesn’t exist,” he says to the people around him, while the TV screen plays a YouTube video about the Greeks. “Jesus wasn’t a god,” he adds. “Original sin is immoral.” Little by little, he feels the apathetic crowd start paying attention in shock, which only encourages him to press on. “Why did God set the devil free? if you believe in God, why do you go to the doctor?”

Five years ago, someone knocked on Sánchez’s door. It was a couple of young Mormons who preached to him about a new Jesus. This caught Sánchez’s interest and he started studying the subject. Then suddenly, one day, he told his wife: “I don’t believe in anything anymore, I only believe in the real world. I’m an atheist.”

But it’s one thing to be an atheist, and another to preach your atheism on the street. Sánchez explained what motivated him to do so: “I won’t rest until they stop putting fear into children’s minds, until they stop telling them there’s a hell.” On Sánchez’s chest, where a cross used to be, there’s a pin with the letters A, T, and O. [Ignacio adds: A, T, and O, when read in Spanish, sounds like "A-TE-O," which means "atheist."] Definitely, atheism can be a religion. [Ignacio adds: That is the journalist's opinion, one with which I disagree.]

“I first preached nine weeks ago, so this is only the beginning. Soon, I plan to perform some scientific experiments here. I have a telescope which I will use to show people the earth revolves around the sun, and not the other way around. I mean, there are a lot of subjects to tackle. You can tell them about people like Einstein or [Hawking], although there are some things [Hawking] says that I do not believe are true.”


About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Excellente!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Tiffany/100001926356049 David Tiffany

    There is a hell.  It’s where all who are in rebellion against God go.  But there is also deliverance.  God, who is holy and just, wants it to go well for us forever, and provided the way for that to happen.   Jesus went to the cross and paid the penalty for our sins.  But for those who choose to reject God’s gift, well, they make their choice.  http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

      Yeah, we haven’t seen this before. This is new and exciting!

    • drakvl

      You’re just lucky my brain’s too tired to think up _Deliverance_ jokes.

      • drakvl

         I was gonna post something on-topic, but then I realized what I had to say was probably a bad idea (basically, a tit-for-tat “If Jehovah’s Witnesses can be annoying, atheists should try to out-annoy them.”)

        So instead, a quick question to David: are you sure you want some of us coming to your site and commenting? I’ll do it; I just want to make sure you’re okay with it.

        • Drakk

           He’s got comment moderation on. Yours probably won’t see the light of day.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001307612167 Denver Tina

      David Tiffany – Take your jesus and shove him up your ass. Thank you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019615523 Eric Goberman

      David Tiffany –  the greeks invented it.  the church stole it and children with no ability to think believe it.
      Listening to people like you say stupid things in the 21 century – is HELL

    • ragarth

       “But daddy! I don’t wanna have a pineapple shoved up my anus in the basement!”

      If you think the kid is wrong in this phrase, you’re sick. If you think the father is wrong in this phrase, then why are you okay with it when the daddy happens to live in the sky?

    • Revyloution

      LOL @facebook-100001926356049:disqus 

      Pull the other one,  it’s got bells on it!

    • Revyloution

      LOL @facebook-100001926356049:disqus 

      Pull the other one,  it’s got bells on it!

    • Nickolas Johnson

      God made freewill and made sin feel awesome therefore created a hotbed for sin to live in. Entrapment much?! If anyone deserves hell it’s God. I mean, dude sent his ONLY SON to be TORTURED for something HE DID. TBH, God is a dick and if hell is where God isn’t hell is awesome.
      But I guess Jesus IS God so the argument of him dying for your sins to appease well, himself, if just a bit of smoke and mirrors to confuse the credulous.

    • Michaelbrice

      Hi David ‘Downtown Dave’ Tiffany,

      I checked your blog, thought I should reply to your silliness. Then I thought “fuck it”, what a complete waste of my time. 

    • http://twitter.com/InMyUnbelief TCC

      Is blog traffic suffering, David, or do you just like poking the fire (metaphorically speaking)?

    • RowanVT

       This is not a choice. “Do this or experience torture” is not a choice. “Do this or I kill your family” is not a choice.

      The fact that a “loving” God would even create something like Hell proves he is NOT a loving deity. I find the entire concept of hell to be morally repugnant. When I, a human, am capable of greater compassion than a supposedly omnibenevolent being, something is wrong. And it’s not me that’s wrong.

    • Xavier

       David Tiffany, are you a troll who made an effort to sound ridiculous in order to shine a bad light on Christians? Seriously, WTF? God is ‘holy and just’, but he’ll put me through eternal torture if I don’t believe in him despite leading a moral and good life???? If so, you god is a horrible god. If you don’t realize how horrible that is, that just shows me how despicable Christian “morals” can be.

    • Marco Conti

      What a load of crap. Why is it none of you guys can come up with a more convincing argument? Why is that threats seem to be your only currency?

      Love the loving, merciful God, else he’ll burn you for eternity. 

      Does it really sound like a merciful god?

      And another thing. You guys always go on and on with Jesus suffering to expiate our sins. Some even make the argument that Jesus suffering was so unbearable that only god could go through it and only through that suffering he could clean us of sin.

      Crucifixion was a fairly common execution method. I read of Roman emperors crucifying hundreds or even thousands of people so they would line up the road of their triumph over an enemy.

      Was their suffering any less? 
      It’s difficult to make a comparison with something so atrocious, but I seem to remember that crucifixion was a very slow execution method, with the victim lasting several days at time (and ultimately dying of exposure).

      I think the odds are pretty good that maybe hundreds of people suffered at least longer than jesus did. Maybe they suffered even  more.   

      My point is that I don’t see jesus “sacrifice” as being so exceptional at all. Plenty of mortals have suffered as much before and after him. 
      In addition, those mortals suffered through their torment with the terrifying knowledge that their life was over and death would be their only respite. Jesus, if one believes your scriptures  went to meet his makes, literally,  with the knowledge that he was going to be resurrected and exist (“live” seeming a bit inappropriate in his case) for the rest of eternity as a “master of the Universe” of sort.

      big deal. I am sure you’ll find several people willing to go through the same ordeal for mere money, let alone immortality and power.

      Anyway, thank you for being such an idiot. I don’t know what I would do if one of you guys didn’t drop by every once in awhile with the same trite arguments. It lete know I am not wasting my time trying to convince people to think for themselves and ignore your toxic doctrine. 

    • Michael

      You seem to be saying that God has declared war on humanity but if we collaborate with this evil attacker who seeks to burn us for fuel then he will burn other people for fuel and let us be.

      If I thought you were telling the truth I’d be prepping for war against this attacker. But I think you’re just mistaken.

    • Drew M.

      I can’t believe I gave this jerk a blog hit.

    • Jason Horton

      Are you able to provide any supporting evidence for these assertions? No? Well then why should we pay any attention to what you say?

    • Glasofruix

      Am i reading his crappy blog right? He basically tries to “disprove” atheism with bible verses…

    • Drakk

       Got evidence? No? Then fuck off, christard.

    • RobertoTheChi

      I can’t believe I actually wasted my time and killed a few brain cells by going to this joke of a site by the troll David Tiffany.

      Do you also believe in unicorns and the Tooth Fairy? You’re definitely the troll who lives under the bridge.

    • Brian Scott

      I make it a general policy of mine to not abuse members of “the other team” for the purposes of meaningful dialogue. I generally prefer the “nice” approach.

      However, from the blog post I saw I see that you have decided to throw all forms of charity out the window to demonize your opponents. Atheists are “liars”, they really believe in your god but rebel against it.

      Given your vile methodology, I feel no compunction in what I’m about to say, given that your wretchedness is a natural consequence of the following hypothesis.

      I will tell you plainly what EC failed to grasp in his insanity. You are an evaluator.

      That means your assertion of that your “god is holy and just” is an evaluation on your part of an archetype. It is a blasé confession of your values, not a description of a well-defined system.

      Meaning that your double-speak apology is a elaboration of how you wish the world would be. You wish the world would follow your religion and that those who don’t or who believe differently would be punished. That is your motivation.

      Those who are motivated as such are similar to every totalitarian murderer and warmonger who has ever passed through the annals of human history. And thus I evaluate you, not merely deluded, not ignorant, but actively evil. You are not fit to roam among civilized society, and the world will be better off when your conciousness is eradicated through natural death.

      This opinion holds as long as the bigotry in your blog post holds. You are not welcome here. Go away, vermin.

    • The Other Weirdo

       That Jesus went to the cross is not beyond the realm of the impossible.  Lots of people did in those days. However, you must provide evidence for your assertions, specifically with those where you claim to know things  you couldn’t possibly know. Please provide the following:

      Evidence for hell.
      Evidence for rebellion against God.
      Evidence for hell being the destination of choice for those in rebellion against God.
      Evidence for God.
      Evidence for deliverance.
      Evidence that God is holy and just.
      Evidence that God provided for a way to bypass the rules that he himself set up.
      Evidence that Jesus, assuming he existed and went to the cross, paid some bizarre torture porn fantasy penalty.
      Evidence that any of this, or your other assertions about God.

      Thank you.

  • ciberprofe_roberto

    Maybe he is only the first….

  • ImRike

      ” Jesus went to the cross and paid the penalty for our sins. ” I get so tired hearing this! If friggin’ Jesus went to the friggin’ cross and paid the friggin’ penalty for our friggin’ sins, then why are we going to friggin’ hell????

    • Nickolas Johnson

      Uh duh, he died to give us forgiveness from himself for the something that needed us to be forgiven for that he originally gave to us. Yeah…it makes sense…

      • Rowdy

         Ha!  Hahahahahaha!

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

      Also, if Jesus suffered and died for our sins, then we better do a lot of sinning because otherwise he would have died for nothing!

  • Brian

    How does saying “God does not exist” equate to “Preaching about science”? The only thing remotely scientific about this article was Sánchez’s mentioning of Einstein and Hawking.

  • http://profiles.google.com/julielada Julie Lada

    Ah-Te-Oh.

  • Xeon2000

    Some people still think the sun revolves around the earth. What is this, the dark ages?

    • guest0303

       I heard of people that still think the earth is flat

  • mints11

    He missed an important point in the translation…

    “Claudio Sanchez toma la plaza de la ciudad para pedir que no mientan mas a los niños”
    Claudio Sanchez takes the city’s park to ask [people] to stop lying to the children.

    He hit the nail! I’m more concerned about children eating all this crap than adults.

  • Foster

    I hardly see how showing that the Earth moves in a circular or even (closer to the truth) an elliptical orbit around the sun is an argument against theism.  The first philosophers to suggest that such a system would create a simpler model with fewer epicycles were Christian.  Aristarchus suspected it might be the case, but he never presented any reasons he thought so.  That was left up to Kepler (Lutheran) working off the star observations of Tycho Brahe (Christian).

    • Bryan

       Yeah, but Kepler at least was trying to chart the planetary movement because he thought they would all have “perfect” motion that would sync up with basic geometric forms. This was meant to show that God had created an orderly, logical universe, but Kepler could never make it work.

      I think you’ll find throughout history that most scientists and philosophers believed in some sort of supernatural system, and, especially during the middle ages, the only framework for intellectual thought was Christianity. That was because the Church had money to fund the arts (usually sacred art), members of the clergy had far more free time than most other people, even aristocrats, most clergy could at least read and many of them were scribes (whereas the general populace was largely illiterate), and working against the church would have gotten you branded as a heretic and excommunicated or worse (which happened to many Christian scientists once their findings were found to contradict scripture; just look at Galileo.

    • Artor

      It’s relevant because it demonstrates how science can show you the real world & how it works, as opposed to religion, which just makes shit up and is usually wrong. Yes, some scientists are Xtian, but they do their science in spite of that, not because of it.

  • Guest

    Wow, reading Davids blog is both hillarius and scary at the same time. Not a single argument there makes sense.

    “(Have you been in those mind twisting, frustrating debates and arguments
    with professed “atheists” trying to prove to them that God exists?  God
    set me free from that.  It’s not your responsibility to prove the
    existence of God.  It’s God’s responsibility.  And He’s already done
    it.  He has proven His existence through Creation, Conscience, and
    Christ, the Word of God.”

    Nice one David! You have lost every debate with those stupid atheists, using their silly reason and logic, but thats OK, God freed you from that, so you dont have to think anymore and hurt your brain!

    Seriusly man, proven his existence by…

    Creation: False, since all scientific evidence points to the bible being wrong about earths age and natural history altogheter. But really thats irrelevant since the Bible states that no one is around to witness the event, so there is zero proof for it.

    Conscience: Electrical signals in your brain. Done. No God needed.

    Christ, the Word of God: Gee wiz, a dude ages ago said some clever things and also some bizarre things? And none of his miracles can be proven? And the account of his life was written long after his passing by authors who only had second hand accounts, most of them not written down and probably twisted in the biggest game of chinese whispers ever? He HAS to be the son of god! By that logic every person ever put in an asylum for muttering strange things could be a messiah. Woops.

    Your blog is nothing but you trying to shut out the voices of people who make way more sense than you and your religion. Fail.

  • Gringa

    I like the call-out on the left: “Claudio Sanchez took to the city plaza to ask that they no longer lie to the children”

    • Gringa

       oops – just noticed that someone pointed this out below :)


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