3/9/10 Shechem, 32
I went with Marty (church elder) to strike up conversations at a south loop deli. We spoke first to a UPS driver named Tony, then split up to talk to people separately. I spoke with Shechem, (spelling?) a trial lawyer originally from Poland. He is an atheist, but not the type who mocks or criticizes believers. He simply doesn't think much about religion. We had a long, interesting conversation, at first simply about God's existence and ending with an explanation of basic biblical beliefs, which he had never heard before. As a trial lawyer, he appreciated my logical arguments for God's existence, as well as in explaining our legal standing with God as lawbreakers who deserve His justice but need His mercy. Shechem thinks that he doesn't need the threat of hell or the promise of heaven to be a good person. A few minutes later, he later said "No offense, but who the hell does God think he is? I mean, if he created us and gave us free will, how dare he judge us for what we decide to do with it?" I explained that this belief has its roots all the way back to the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were enticed to "be like God" - but without God's help. This false pride is at the root of man's rebellion against God. I think Sheckem came out of our conversation with acceptance that God may indeed exist, and appreciation for the logic behind Christian beliefs.