Sunday, January 22, 2017

Cruising for Jesus

Last year my wife and I went on a cruise for our birthdays.  Another couple joined us and we set sail to enjoy a week long getaway. My wife and I enjoy cruising. We've been on a handful but this was our first experience with Royal Caribbean. We were excited because we've heard great things about RCI and we had even upgraded to a junior suite.  It was set to be a fabulous voyage, not to mention I purchased the premium beverage package!

It all started off with a bit of a letdown when we got to our cabin. It smelled of mildew and the floors were soggy wet. However, this isn't a post to complain or recommend Royal Caribbean. It's about what happened to me while on this vacation.  I believe it was the 2nd day of our cruise and I was enjoying the buffet lunch when this elderly chap with a walker stopped at my table with the biggest shit eating grin and held out a card to give to me. 

I took the card, looked at what it said and immediately handed it back to him saying, "thanks but I don't want the card".  The card was a simple make. It was yellow with a smiley face on it, and it said, "smile, Jesus loves you"!  The man looked puzzled as to why I did not want his card. I imagine everyone else just takes it without question, but that's not me.  He tried to give it back to me, so I politely informed him I did not believe in God, and do not want his card. He then started to tell me how he was going to pray for me and told me how old he was, which was proof positive for a God. 

I didn't wanna be a dick here, and just wanted to enjoy my fucking vacation. So I just told him he looked very good for his age, and I'm happy that he is happy with his beliefs. He didn't want to end the conversation though. He went on about God and how he's allowed him to live this long (I think he was in his 90's).  If I really wanted to be an ass I would have told him my mother was a devout Christian and she died when I was 5, but I didn't (she didn't). Instead I reiterated that I do not want the card and I'm happy with my life. By this time, my non confrontational wife sat down and he saw his out. He handed his little card to her and she gladly accepted. He turned towards me again with that smile and said God bless and he'll pray for me and see me around. 

I was livid, and this set me in a bad mood. Later our friends joined us and I told them what happened. They shrugged it off and said they would have just taken it, said thank you and thrown it away later.  So I had to put this into perspective from an atheist standpoint (they are Christians but not devout). I asked how they'd feel if, instead of a Jesus card, it was a Satan card. Instead of "Jesus loves you", it was "Lucifer loves your soul". I asked if they'd be so polite and accept his card then. They said they would not and hinted at understanding my complaint. 

After this confrontation I seemed to not be able to avoid this old man!  He was everywhere, and so were his damn cards!  He would place them on every table and even in the restrooms on the toilets and sinks.  No employee seemed to clean them up and instead left them to be seen by all. I was beyond frustrated at this,  because I felt Christianity always gets a pass.  This is the same everywhere, as I've experienced. Nobody seems to bat an eye when a person publicly makes Christian statements; but when the statement has something to do with an opposing viewpoint, especially regarding atheism, these same people will say to keep your opinions to yourself. 

It's such a gross double standard it makes me sick. It makes me wanna lash out even louder and tell everyone their beliefs are nothing more than a fairy tale!  But I don't, because I'm better than that.  No, I stay mostly silent about my beliefs now. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I just can't help myself.  I also proudly tell folks I'm an atheist if asked or brought up, but I don't wear it on my sleeve.    I used to be a lot more vocal about my disbeliefs.  My parents can't seem to understand this concept, and the same goes for much of my family.  They'll say things along the lines of, "you can believe whatever you want, but why do you have to be so negative towards other people's beliefs"?  And, "why can't you just keep it to yourself"?  

They are missing the point, and show their ignorance when they ask such silly questions, or make such silly remarks.  They don't understand how the pro religious statements made by the majority of people are actually negative towards my personal beliefs.   I don't ask anyone to to keep their religious opinions to themselves, but I do ask they respect my right to express my beliefs equally.  If I have to shut up, then so do you!  Christians do not want that however.  They want to be able to express their beliefs openly, while suppressing mine at the same time.  They think their God favors their county, but they seem to forget the issues that forced many to flee their mother countries to found the United States.  

This "I can do/say this, but you should be silent" attitude has gone on long enough.  I'm so over it.  I don't want special privileges here.  If I make a post that you disagree with, then I don't expect to get a pass.  I expect you to to voice your disagreement, and respectfully request you expect the same from me.  We need to have this openness.  I want you to know why I feel your beliefs are unreasonable, and I want to know why you feel mine are.  But what I don't want, IS TO BE BOTHERED WHILE I'M ON MY FUCKING CRUISE!

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