A chance encounter and words unsaid

Last night was my last night with my family for a while.  Today I fly to Denver to be a big, bad celebrity atheist poker player (and to vanquish fellow FtBer, Ed Brayton).  Last night we all went out to eat to celebrate a wonderful time home.

At the table next to us was a teacher I knew from high school.  This was not any teacher, this is one of the two that converted me to Christianity while in their official capacity as a teacher.  He’s one that led the football team in prayer.  All of this was illegal, though I didn’t know that at the time.  Not like my gay-hating, Jesus-loving teenage ass would’ve cared.

He came over the table and said it was good to see me.  He touched my shoulder and I saw red when he did it.  I wanted to tell him how wrong he was then and how wrong he remains.  I wanted to curse him for what he made me into: a young man so confused about the meaning of love that it circumvented my good will and made me into an agent of hate.

More than that, I wanted to tell him that I have become his antithesis.  I wanted to tell him that I earn my living undoing the damage he has done.  I make a living catching people like him and making sure they are punished, and I wanted to tell him that so badly.  More than anything, I wanted to tell him that this generation is rejecting religion unlike any before, and I’m right in the middle of it fighting him.

But I didn’t.  I kept uncharacteristically quiet.  I don’t know why.  Maybe I didn’t want to create a scene with my family there, when we had enjoyed such a good five days.  I think now that I should’ve said something, and I’m really regretting staying mum and letting him walk away without knowing there are people who loathe what he does and despise it without reservation.

Next time, Gadget.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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