This comic by Zach Weiner (click through to read the whole thing) reminded me of something that happened about three years ago in Göttingen.
I had a conversation with a really nice, if slightly misguided woman about spiritualism, esotericism (her definition of the word, not mine) and religion. At one point, she said this:
If there is no God, then how do you explain that there were no rainbows before Jesus?
Her ingenious debate technique aside, and not being able to convince her that if there were rain/water and the sun/light around before Jesus (which she agreed to) there were bound to be rainbows, my first thought was that there are surely some works of art (cave paintings, Greek vases, ancient Egyptian stuff) depicting rainbows that I could show her. But then I just did a quick Google search for “old testament rainbow” and found, among many other results, Genesis 9-13 (wich Zach references in his comic).
And instead of just showing her some text on the screen of my phone, I found an actual bible so she could read it for herself.
Next, she renounced all religion, became an atheist and devoted herself to a life of science.
No, wait, she didn’t. She was visibly frustrated that she had once learned and then believed this story about Jesus and rainbows. She blamed whoever it was that told her in the first place.
And maybe, if she’s lucky, now she’ll ask some questions first before swallowing whatever crazy shit is fed to her in the name of religion. Even if it is as inconsequential as rainbows.