Even bad movies can have redeeming qualities.
Bruce Willis is a pretty good actor. I’ve seen a number of his movies, beginning with the classic Die Hard.
It proved so hard to kill him, he survived two sequels as well.
Demonstrating omelets can’t be made without laying a few eggs, he also starred in the forgettable film The Last Boy Scout.
However, even that lemon had a few redeeming qualities.
For example, it contained a scene that succinctly conveyed how I felt about a video that a new friend of mine posted on my Facebook wall.
Michael Clifton reciprocated my Junior Brown music video of My Wife Thinks You’re Dead by posting a link to a home movie of two kids performing their own Christian rap song to “save” atheists from themselves.
If Michael knew me better, I might have assumed he wanted me to scream in pain.
While I respect the courage of these two kids try and communicate what they believe, there’s got to be a better way.
Personally, I would have preferred any way that allowed me to remain blissfully ignorant of their video.
I really can’t stand rap music. Really.
It’s akin to the sound of fingernails scratching on a chalkboard. Please make it stop, or just put me out of my misery.
Of course, I was saying the same thing about country music a week ago before I discovered Junior Brown, so I won’t hold it against Michael for trying to broaden my horizons.
But no more rap music of any kind, please.
I’m begging for mercy here.
Mr. Clifton may remain my friend as long as he’d like. I forgive transgressions such as this pretty easily.
But while we’re still on the subject of friendship, let’s clarify something about which My Christian friends (and others) have expressed concerns.
Some Christian apologists have recently recommended using tactics of deception. They suggest converting atheists to Christianity by stealth and pretending to be someone they are not.
I’m no Christian apologist.
I don’t apologize to anybody for believing in God. I don’t consider it a weakness or mental defect.
I rationally went through the same process as my atheist friends through agnosticism toward atheism.
I simply achieved a different result. That’s about the size of it.
There is no stealth in my method of friendship.
When I was a computer programmer, we described intuitive computer interfaces as WYSIWYG (pronounced “whizz-e_wig”, an acronym for What You See Is What You Get). **
That pretty much describes my approach to life. I have no hidden agenda or secret messages to unveil.
I really do like the music of Alice in Chains, Porno for Pyros, Johnny Cash, Junior Brown, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and a host of others.
I also truly enjoy beautiful hymns like Amazing Grace and the Halleluia chorus from Handel’s Messiah. I don’t care if you’re an atheist or not. If you can’t appreciate something that well done, there’s something wrong with you, not me.
I don’t pretend to like things I can’t stand. So, if you’re a “Facebook” friend or someone I know personally, I’m not going to just pretend to like you. I’m not going to tell you things I think you want to hear.
All you can or should expect to get from me as a friend is my unvarnished opinion. I don’t sugar coat my thoughts to make them more palatable.
Your relationship with God (or lack thereof) is a personal matter. But if you bring up the subject, I will almost surely respond if I notice what you said.
Most of the time I simply respond — that’s certainly how Divine Evolution got started.
If you want to call it defending my faith — that’s exactly what it is. If you aren’t attacking it, I don’t need to defend it, do I?
If independent thinking bothers you, we might not be compatible friends.
I only try to put forth a counterargument against what sometimes appears to be an endless stream of well articulated misinformation and cleverly constructed arguments designed to destroy my faith in a Creator.
The more adamant my atheist friends become about winning the argument about God’s existence, the more obvious it seems to me they are completely wrong. Not stupid, not evil, not malicious — just wrong.
As I see it, that’s one of the benefits of our friendship — we provide each other with the perfect sounding board for our opinions, the opposite of an echo chamber.
We provide a system of checks and balances for each other as we both honestly seek truth.
I’m just trying to offer a unique perspective that attempts to explain the truly inexplicable from a holistic point of view.
I don’t know that Michael will ever consider me a great friend, but I hope he recognizes that I endeavor to be an honest and straightforward one. I won’t give lip service to religious beliefs that I don’t hold simply to annoy him.
And if someone else can make the same point in fewer words or better style, I’ll simply “evolve” into a directional arrow.
When I made my recent prophesy of pending death, it might have not been taken by everyone who heard the prediction the way that I meant. So please let me become an arrow and redirect you.
Maybe if Johnny Cash said the same thing in a song, it might seem more palatable.
It doesn’t matter whose voice you hear saying it.
Just hear the hard, cold truth.
Remember Amy Winehouse — only 27 years old. She had fame and fortune.
What a senseless tragedy. Restless and unhappy in life, may she rest in peace.
** A belated hat tip to Becky Brazer for explaining to me what WYSIWYG meant a long time ago.