Jewish Journal


October 12, 2007

‘Listen little girl, you’re really cute and all, but I don’t believe in Jesus’


I’m going to withhold my comments on this post, via the Friendly Atheist, and open this conversation, as retold by a University of Colorado student, up to lots and lots of your comments.

A little girl in pigtails came up to me last week while I was sitting in the café. I looked at her and smiled. She smiled back, and then, with nothing else to do, I returned to my writing while she was standing right next to me, staring at me.

“Excuse me.”

“Yes, little girl?”

“Are you a Christian?”

Oh Jesus, I thought. I was never that great with little kids and now I really had to come up with something good, something tactful, something to keep myself calm while, at the same time, not making her run off screaming devil and crying hysterically.

“Why?” That was the best I could do? Okay. Okay, I asked why, that’s okay.

“Because, if, if you’re not, you’ll go to hell. I don’t want you to go to hell.”

“I don’t believe in hell.”

Her mouth dropped open and I looked around to see who my audience was. I had two gray-haired women staring at me, one through her spectacles, the other one from over her spectacles’ rims.

“But there is a hell.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Why not, it’s in the bible.”

Here it goes. Now I have to look like a jerk and be a pain in the ass with a little girl in pigtails. “I don’t read the bible.”

“You should. You’ll go to hell if you don’t.”

“You forget, I don’t believe in hell.”

“Just because you don’t believe in it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

“Do you believe in Lala land?” I asked her.

“What’s Lala Land?”

“A lot of people already live there and they don’t believe it.”

“Is it in the bible?”

“I don’t know, I don’t read the bible.”

“Do you go to church?”

“Not your church.”

“But you go to a church?”

“Listen little girl…you’re really cute and all, but I don’t believe in Jesus.”

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