By Derek Mathias
A few months ago, one of the many fundamentalist Christians I've argued with on YouTube claimed that President Obama is the Antichrist, and that he would seek a third presidential term.
Being aware of how our government works, I immediately bet the guy $1,000 that Obama would step down after his second term. My fundie opponent was hesitant, but I challenged him to have the courage of his convictions and put his money where his mouth is. He finally agreed to take the bet, but with one change: If he won, he wouldn't take my money, but I would instead have to delete all of my anti-theism videos and never make another such video ever again. Of course, I agreed immediately.
As the weeks went by, I kept up a dialog with the guy so that he wouldn't forget about our deal. And on Jan. 20, as you know, I won the bet. Of course, I was disappointed that we now have a wee-handed tangerine tweet monkey as our president, but at least I had $1,000 coming to me from my fundie opponent. To his credit, with a little appeal to his honor, he sent the money.
This bet was about teaching a lesson, not about enriching myself, so I wanted to donate the money to a worthy organization. To that end, I've sent a $1,000 donation to the Freedom From Religion Foundation to become a Life Member . . . because I just like the poetic justice of fundies helping to finance an atheist organization.
Unfortunately, the only lesson my opponent learned is not to make bets with me. But there is an important lesson here that we can all take away from this: If people make essentially impossible but testable claims based on the bible or any other scripture, then bet them $1,000 that it won't happen. If they're hesitant, goad them by appealing to their convictions. After all, their religion teaches them not to doubt their beliefs:
• James 1:6 — But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
• Matthew 21:21 — And Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen."
• Matthew 14:31 — Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
It's galling to them when an atheist is more willing to put his certainty on the line than they are. Not only should you end up with some money you can use to do some good, but you may even teach someone that claims based on faith are indistinguishable from claims based on fantasy.
Oh, and one last thing: Thanks, Obama!
Derek Mathias, who creates antitheistic YouTube videos with the username "Underlings," is from California and also a member of FFRF's Greater Sacramento Chapter.