The science geek, the college kid and the Jesus freak: a dialogue

Darren D'Altorio

College Kid: Man, I’m so stoked to finally be in college. All those Sunday mornings I had to wake up early and go to church are over. Now, I can spend them sleeping in, recovering from Saturday night and shuffling to Rosie’s for some grub.

Science Geek: Yeah, dude. I feel you. Church is so lame. I stopped going to church when I was 16. My parents pretty much disowned me for it, but I told them I had the right to choose who was going to brainwash me. And it wasn’t going to be any religious sect.

College Kid: Damn, I would have given anything to have stopped going to church at 16. I was an alter server at mass until I was 18. It was pretty funny having that point of view though. Watching the loose neck skin of the elderly flapping to the tune of “Ave Maria” had me fighting back laughter every week. And watching heads bobbing into a dream during the homily was always comical.

Science Geek: That’s why I stopped going, man. I saw past the bullshit. All those bodies taking up space in pews and shelling out money to pay the church’s bills. Just so they can have a community commemoration when they die and the pearly white gates to retreat to from this world. Most people probably go just to feel good about their lives or justify why they act like pricks the whole week. Like Karl Marx said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” It only stifles your ability to live a proper life on this earth.

Jesus Freak: Hold up. Did you ever think that people go to church to honor and celebrate their lord? Did you ever consider the fact that praising God enables a person to live a life of goodness in the light?

College Kid: Which God? Jesus, Allah, Apollo, Krishna, Yahweh, Jah?

Jesus Freak: Well, I accept Jesus as my lord and savior. By honoring his name, I know I will be saved from the fires of hell.

Science Freak: Did you ever think that one day you will just die? This world will be done with you, and a next world will not be waiting.

Jesus Freak: No. Why would I think with such impunity? I know my actions in this life bear consequences in the next. So, I will act accordingly as God would have me, guaranteeing my acceptance into the Kingdom.

College Kid: I have been acting pretty wild since school started. I drank before college, but I drink about four days a week now. My girlfriend and I have sex all the time. I’ve smoked weed, cheated on a quiz and broken into the Planetarium.

Science Freak: Sounds like you are having a good time to me. Have you hurt anyone? Have you treated anyone poorly? Have you outcast or judged anyone?

College Kid: No.

Science Freak: Well, in my opinion, you are living a good life so far. In “God’s” eyes, you probably aren’t measuring up. But don’t let that notion force you to live in fear. Religion and morals stand as two separate entities. Living a morally sound life is just as good, if not better, than being religious.

Jesus Freak: How can you say that? Morality is the foundation of religion.

Science Freak: Because war, prejudice, sexual abuse, tyranny and genocide don’t enter the mind of a moral person. Yet, religion has been linked to each and every one of those things. Therefore, religion stands separate from morality.

College Kid: Yeah, look at all the religious protesters condemning homosexuality at the Democratic National Convention, citing the Bible as their defense. I’d be scared to be in heaven with those people.

Jesus Freak: Not all religious people are like that. Those are extremists. You can’t stereotype everyone who identifies with a religion as being that way. There are moderates, too.

Science Freak: If you are a religious moderate, you’re a schmuck. It’s oxymoronic. Any religious ideology one subscribes to states to take the prescribed word of God as truth and adhere to it. You can’t be a moderate, picking and choosing what lessons of God suit you. That just makes you bad at being religious. Those extremists, logically, are the best at being religious, sad to say.

College Kid: I’ve read the Bible, the Gita and the Koran. I think that they consist of stories, laying a framework to model life after.

Science Freak: I think you’re right, kid. Religion is false power, an illusion of control over life and destiny. We choose how we act. And any good person knows the difference between right and wrong, without having to justify their actions. Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Krishna – these were good people worthy of being role models, not Gods.

Jesus Freak: You speak


College Kid: What some call blasphemy, others call truth.

Darren D’Altorio is senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].