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Lion in the Lambs' Den

By The Lion --

About a month ago, my mother brought home a newsletter from her church because there was an ad for a job she thought I'd be interested in. I took a few days to hem and haw about the implications of an atheist (who's borderline anti-theist) helping a church promote its religion. After a couple weeks of phone/e-mail tag, I eventually caved in and met with the pastor who placed the ad.

Lion and Lamb, Hoxton, N1Image by Ewan-M via Flickr
Now, my mother told me not to mention my atheism (why would I?!) but I knew the pastor was going to ask about my church attendance since that's obviously his job as a pastor. I was bashful about outright saying I was an atheist and he put me at ease by saying he was just curious. Long story short, he was more interested in what I had to say about God and the Universe than my portfolio. Go figure.

In a stranger turn of events, he invited me to speak next week about my personal background with atheism and arguments for it to roughly 100 of his flock (including my mom). I'm pretty confident in my ability to present my argument since Unemployment has graced me with the Gift of Entirely Too Much Free Time and I've been browsing web sites related to atheism and religious debate for a while now.

Some things I plan to go over:
  • Define atheism/dispel misconceptions
  • Offer alternative answers to the questions religion supposedly addresses (ie. ethics, origins, science)
  • My issues with the Christian doctrine
I don't proclaim to be an expert by any means, but the main reason I'm so confident about this speech is because I'll be talking to evangelicals. I can't think of easier arguments to knock down than the ones proposed by bible literalists. I'm not expecting to change minds necessarily since evangelicals are also very stubborn, but I think if I appear knowledgeable and reasonable enough I can plant that first seed of doubt.

The reason I'm sharing this with you is that I'm not an ex-Christian and I could use some insider information. What are some of the things that made you start questioning your faith? What other topics should I touch on? Is there a certain way I should approach this situation? Are there topics I should stay away from?

The pastor mentioned there will be a discussion after my speech where audience members get to ask me questions. He wants my arguments to make his flock think. I want my arguments to make his flock think themselves right out of their faith, never to return.