What would you do...

greek goddess
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What would you do...

... if you got the following email?

Backstory: During my first 2 years of college, I was still trying to be a Christian, even though I had doubts. I participated in a student-led Bible study during the first year, and a personal Bible study with the sender of this email about a year ago. She's a very sweet woman, but ultimately did not bring me any closer to god. The Bible study I engaged in with her was sort of my "last attempt" at being a Christian - and the final straw was when she told me I couldn't believe in evolution if I wanted to have faith in God, because every word of the Bible is true. Shortly after that, I decided I was wasting my time, and backed out by saying I was going to be too busy to continue into the summer. (Which was partially true.)

Well a little over a week ago, I'm walking out of the science building, having just left a 2 1/2 hour lab, totally not paying attention... and there she is with another woman handing out pamphlets on the street right next to where my bike is parked. I didn't notice her until she addressed me.

She hands me this pamphlet about a summer bible camp, and the other lady chimes in, and they're trying to convince me to go. So I said I'll be taking an intense summer course, as well as continuing my internship at a research lab, so I'd have to see if I could work it into my schedule around these activities, and also if I could afford it - to which they replied "Don't worry about money, just pray about it. God always finds a way."

I didn't have the heart to tell this woman I was now an atheist, because she's very kind, and paid for a couple meals for me, and allowed me to accompany her to her church a couple times, so it would probably break her heart. A couple days after the encounter, she sent me this:

Quote:

Hi [Greek Goddess],

I'm [X]. Do you remember I gave you flyer about Purdue conference when I met you in front of Tech a few days ago?

I'm sending E-invitation to you, so watch 2min. video. It will be such a life-impacting experience!

I hope to see you soon. When is your available time? Can you let me know? Perhaps, we can have lunch together.

Love, [X]

Hi! We would like to invite you to our upcoming 2008 UBF International Summer Bible conference.

Dates: July 24-27, 2008

Location: Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

Please click here to view our invitation video!

What would you guys do in this situation? I have no desire to meet with her or discuss anything, because I'll probably have to divulge that I am no longer a Christian. I know I shouldn't really care, but she invested a fair amount of time into meeting with me, so I feel it would be disrespectful. Any ideas for a tactful reply?

ps - mods, if the email is too much you can remove it & just paraphrase it

 


HisWillness
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greek goddess wrote:What

greek goddess wrote:
What would you guys do in this situation? I have no desire to meet with her or discuss anything, because I'll probably have to divulge that I am no longer a Christian. I know I shouldn't really care, but she invested a fair amount of time into meeting with me, so I feel it would be disrespectful. Any ideas for a tactful reply?

I'd probably stick to my guns about being really busy. You're right - it would probably get messy as soon as atheism came up. I don't see you having an obligation to this woman, seeing as she had an ulterior motive for engaging (and feeding) you in the first place. I know that's a passive way to deal with it, but I wouldn't personally want to spend a lot of energy on her.

To be honest, though, I'm a bit of a grouch when I get crowded like that. My advice in the past has been for people to pray that I become a Christian/Jew/Muslim, etc., since that will both fulfill their obligation to pray and their obligation to hunt down potential converts. But I consider pestering people to be obnoxious.

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You know somewhat what my

You know somewhat what my personality is like by now so this shouldn't be a big surprise. I'd be honest and tell her I no longer consider the Buybull to be anything other than utter bullshit and that studying it would be a waste of time I could spend either expanding my knowledge and education or having a good time.

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tactful

that simply put, you are too busy in the summer to do anything outside of your studies and your lab work, and if she doesn't understand from there and pushes the topic, you can either divulge your atheism at that point, or simply ignore any further requests, if she pushes, then go to shove.


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Can we fuck and suck first

Can we fuck and suck first ?  All of asking why is a waste of time, when we could be fucking. "How" to fuck better is a better question .... and practice !  I want to fuck , I don't ask "why", .....  god FUCKS 

      Show me your stuff      SEX and .... practice !

      I want to satisfy you GG  I don't ask why , I just do .....  scream pleasure ! YEAH !

I like that  .....happy  girls  !  happy guys !   


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Part of engaging theists is

Part of engaging theists is picking your battles.  This isn't one of them.  If she confronts you about it in person, or wants to preach to you, that is a different story.  In the event of that happening, it is in your strategic benefit to explain to her the reasons why 'god' is the furthest thing any sane, rational, independent woman would believe in.  Then it would be your duty as a rational responder to hand her this website addy, and ask her to come on to discuss her views if she truly feels these are "life changed experiences" that really occur.  For now, though, this e-mail is best handled with a "no thanks, I'm busy".

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"No thanks, I'm busy" is

"No thanks, I'm busy" is probably best. But if it were me I would be a bit blunter, especially as she isn't actually a part of your life anymore.

I think a simple "sorry, not interested" is a bit curt, but may stop confusion and her inviting you to something else.

That invite is so funny and yet so serious!

Zen-atheist wielding Occam's katana.

Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51


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I agree with those replying

I agree with those replying that this is one situation that you can avoid bringing up your atheism.

 If she were constantly emailing or calling you leading up to the invitation then I would suggest something else.

 

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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Can we

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Can we fuck and suck first ?  All of asking why is a waste of time, when we could be fucking. "How" to fuck better is a better question .... and practice !  I want to fuck , I don't ask "why", .....  god FUCKS 

      Show me your stuff      SEX and .... practice !

      I want to satisfy you GG  I don't ask why , I just do .....  scream pleasure ! YEAH !

I like that  .....happy  girls  !  happy guys !   

 

You scare me, dude.

Wish in one hand, shit in the other, see which one fills up first.


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Jello wrote:I AM GOD AS YOU

Jello wrote:

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Can we fuck and suck first ?  All of asking why is a waste of time, when we could be fucking. "How" to fuck better is a better question .... and practice !  I want to fuck , I don't ask "why", .....  god FUCKS 

      Show me your stuff      SEX and .... practice !

      I want to satisfy you GG  I don't ask why , I just do .....  scream pleasure ! YEAH !

I like that  .....happy  girls  !  happy guys !   

 

You scare me, dude.

Yeah, that one was pretty heavy-handed. I mean, we all know you're just joking around, iGod, but ... jeez.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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HisWillness wrote:Yeah, that

HisWillness wrote:

Yeah, that one was pretty heavy-handed. I mean, we all know you're just joking around, iGod, but ... jeez.

iGod.  ...I like that.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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She's making a false

She's making a false assumption about stuff that's important to you.

 

My response would be friendly but unequivocal. Along the lines of "Hi - nice to bump into you again after all this time. I'll always be grateful for the kindnesses you showed me in the past. But hey, since that time my views on religion have changed very much and now it would be completely hypocritical of me to pretend to be interested in your suggestion. Of course if you're interested in having a chin-wag over a coffee or two about whatever (except religion) then drop me a line some time."

 

As you said, you owe her a kindness or two in return for hers (whatever her motivation) and repaying that kindness without being obliged to by an invisible friend is a perfect way of showing her that generosity of spirit is not something patented by christians.

 

I'd wager she passes up on the date though. And if she doesn't, but then steers the conversation round to what you said you didn't want to discuss, then your obligation is over anyway.

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I wouldn't say to her that

I wouldn't say to her that you're an atheist.  Just reply back saying "No thanks, I have done some thinking and have realized that christianity just isn't for me.  Good luck to you and your camp."  This way she hopefully won't send you any future emails.  Also, using the 'a' word will be more likely to draw a response from her.  If you letter her know nicely that you aren't interested now, and won't be in the future, then you could put an easy stop to this now.

 

On another topic.  I graduated from Purdue in '05.  I loved watching the video only because it meant that I got to see pictures of my campus Smiling  My time there was the best of my life, hope you are enjoying it.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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Personally, I feel being

Personally, I feel being upfront shows much respect and tact. Then again I don't mind telling anyone I am an atheist. If someone has a problem with it the problem is with them and not me. Being honest about the situation would be the right thing to do. I always just tell people I am an atheist and most tend to leave you alone.

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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I think Viper and Nordmann

I think Viper and Nordmann both give good suggestions. I think I would combine their two suggestions into the following:

"Hi - nice to bump into you again after all this time. I'll always be grateful for the kindnesses you showed me in the past. But since then I have realized that christianity just isn't for me."

 

I think that the best way to get her to realize it's not gonna be fruitful to keep pressing the issue, is to give a kind but firm statement that it's not gonna do anything for you to be part of all that. Show her all the respect she deserves because of her kindness, and then just gently ask her to respect your right to make up your own mind in turn. Any decent person would have to accept that, and if she doesn't then you owe her nothing anyway, and then you can just ignore her after that, or tell her to leave you alone.

 

Personally I would add: "If you ever feel like maybe you need more in your life, I'd be happy to meet with you and talk about it."

 

...or something like that. But that's just because I'm a bit of a missionary, and anyway, I've have loads of time on my hands, so it's easy for me to say. Since you actually have a life, that would probably not be a good idea.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


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The Truth, The Whole Truth

The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth - So Help Me, God !

   I actually jump on the opportunity to discuss my atheism and use religion, jesus, and buddha too make my points.  Example:  "When the east heard that a jew, we call Jesus, said he was god, they said COOL, one of them Jews finally figured it out. And of course Jesus also said ye are god(s) too ! " .....  I tell them "I AM an atheist for jesus, who was also an atheist like buddha, all is god, all is ONE" ...... "There was no beginning, there is no end, only the eternal .... In this sense nothing is born, nothing dies, and that is the "SAVING" message, the "Good News" .... Yes the AWE ! I call it GAWED !" 

  I also tell them of RRS and ask them to join my e-mail list. 

   ((( SEX is fun !  I like talking dirty to girls and try to move the conversation in that direction, in a fun, humorous, honest way. Healing the prudes is an important mission of mine. 

   Writing to SHOCK is way fun too !    


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I need to remember IamGod's

I need to remember IamGod's line next time proselytizers show up at the door if there's an attractive female - "Only if we can fuck and suck first." There's a small chance of getting some and if not they'll probably leave me alone afterwards.

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Ok, sorry it took me a

Ok, sorry it took me a couple days to come back to this~ but here I am.

Well first, over the weekend, I received a call from this woman, and I simply told her that the program sounded like a nice opportunity, but I didn't think I'd be able to attend. So that was that.

She then asked if I could maybe meet up for lunch sometime this week, so I told her I'd try to email her my schedule. But I think I'm just going to tell her that I don't really have time because I still have work, & I'm preparing for my final exams next week. This actually is true, because between work, meetings with professors, and studying, I really am short on free time for most of this week. (And to be honest, if I'm going to take the time to meet up with people, I'd rather have it be with certain friends that I need to catch up with - not her.) I think to "seal the deal" and keep her from contacting me, I'm going to add that I need to focus on finishing up my degree and doing well at my internship, so I'm not interesting in getting involved with their organization at this time.

(Oh, I think it was V1per41 that said you went to Purdue~ I actually attend Northwestern in the Chicago area, but they move this bible thing around the midwest every summer. Apparently we hosted it last year, so this year it's Purdue's turn. Idk who else hosts it, and I don't really care, lol. Purdue was actually my  back up school, and is my dad's alma mater though, so I'm quite familiar with the campus. It's a great school, glad to hear you have such fond memories.)

 

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Can we fuck and suck first ?  All of asking why is a waste of time, when we could be fucking. "How" to fuck better is a better question .... and practice !  I want to fuck , I don't ask "why", .....  god FUCKS 

      Show me your stuff      SEX and .... practice !

      I want to satisfy you GG  I don't ask why , I just do .....  scream pleasure ! YEAH !

I like that  .....happy  girls  !  happy guys !   

Um... I like sex too... glad to see you're so enthusiastic about it.


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i agree with the people

i agree with the people above but fyi - college religious groups commonly use free meals to lure people in.  i kid you not... here they actually have a little fund set aside for that and try to grab the freshman who didn't quite plan when it came to the campus meal plan.


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They also sometimes invite

They also sometimes invite people to things without mentioning it's Christian/religious and you would have no idea it was from the subject matter.

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shelleymtjoy wrote:i agree

shelleymtjoy wrote:

i agree with the people above but fyi - college religious groups commonly use free meals to lure people in.  i kid you not... here they actually have a little fund set aside for that and try to grab the freshman who didn't quite plan when it came to the campus meal plan.

MattShizzle wrote:

They also sometimes invite people to things without mentioning it's Christian/religious and you would have no idea it was from the subject matter.

Yes, good points. I knew I was getting involved with a religious group when I started doing the Bible studies.

But my brother, who is a freshman at the same school, was almost lured into Campus Crusade at the beginning of the school year. His roommate is his best friend from high school (we went to a Christian high school), and apparently this kid's youth pastor is actually an alum and head of the Campus Crusade program here. They had literally just moved into their dorm room a few hours ago, when a couple Cru guys came to visit and talk to the roomie. When they found out my brother had attended the same xtian hs, they were like "Oh, you should join too!"

The two of them did attend a barbeque for the group, and my brother was thinking of joining. When I asked him why, he said it was because they don't drink and are clean, and he's not much of a drinker/partier - well since the beginning of the year he's gotten more used to being around alcohol, though he's still not a heavy drinker. (Nobody at our hs really drank, so I was also a bit sheltered when I entered college - hence my embarrassing spectacle of an 18th birthday 2 weeks into my freshman year.) I asked him if he was joining for religious reasons, and he said no - he wasn't religious and thought it was pointless. I basically had a talk with him and told him that these people would probably harrass him multiple times, but that he would just have to stand his ground - because, as I know from experience, once you throw them a bone, they never leave you alone. If he didn't want to pray for everything and go on silly retreats every other weekend, he was going to hate the experience. I told him that he would find other like-minded people that didn't have a religious agenda attached to them, and sure enough, he did. He does now officially identify himself as atheist, and appreciates the advice I gave him early on.


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I disagree with all of the above

I don't think it is a good idea to let even one single religious nut say some offensive insanity and get away with it while you stand there like Hank Hill and Boomhauer nodding your head and saying "yep". When you do that, they just think they can keep on doing it.


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I understand the appeal of

I understand the appeal of remaining silent about your opinions, however your silience reinforces their belief that you are on their side.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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Most any mention of religion

Most any mention of religion and my atheist preaching begins.

"I have not come to bring peace, but a sword" .... of debate against the hypocrites of the temple / church preachers of embarrassing repulsive evil dogma lies of separation and idol worship.

    Me and god are ONE, as you and everything is ONE,  .... as atheist Jesus/Buddha philosophy tried to explain ..... Most Xains are "Paulines" never understanding the simple "saving" message of story Jesus/Buddha, that all is connected and ONE. No master .... You Xains, etc are 100% god, but blind to this simple truth of yourselves ....

  "Love ( to heal by understanding ) the enemy" ..... said righteously indignant atheistic story Jesus !

    What is God ??? Well what is not "GAWED" ! ???     


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Silence is golden

I've tried ignoring people like this and it has worked a couple of times.  Dodging their questions has not worked well for me in the past.  To come right out with it, telling your friend that she drove you to Atheism would be sweet revenge.  I'm not sure how fucking and sucking would work out between two women, but whatever trips your trigger.  Christians are so sneaky, membership by deception.  I've seen that one before.


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I've been in a similar

I've been in a similar situation before, and politely saying "no, thank you" only resulted in the person pushing the issue, and it wasn't until mentioning being an atheist did they relent. Awkward as it was, in the long run, I felt better off that it went that way. Then again, it was at a job, and soon after, I started getting the cold shoulder from my co-workers. That complicated matters a bit, but I digress. You may have handled it just fine, I suppose.


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Although it would be

Although it would be awkward, maybe even painful. I'd give her the truth.

She will continue to attempt to bring you to god as long as she thinks there is even a slight chance. I sense that you don't want to hurt her feelings. You can be nice while telling her the truth.

YOU will be better, stronger and more confident, for telling her the truth.

Respectfully,
Lenny

"The righteous rise, With burning eyes, Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies, To beat and burn and kill"
Witch Hunt from the album Moving Pictures. Neal Pert, Rush


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If she gives you a hard time

If she gives you a hard time about it, or tries to push Christianity on you do this:

 


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I thought this might be relevant...

From the advice column, 'Dear Prudence'

 

 

Quote:
Dear Prudie,
I have been an atheist for the last several years, ever since losing my (Christian) faith following a close friend's untimely death. Recently, my boss's mother told me about a serious and risky surgery that her other child would soon have. After I said to her, "I'll keep him in my thoughts," she responded, "Oh, would you please pray for him?" I said yes, and she began talking about her belief in the power of prayer, a belief I once would have shared. At the time, I wanted to comfort her in any way that I could, so I agreed with what she said. Also, it hardly would have been appropriate to launch into a "Why I'm an Atheist" speech. Later, though, I felt very uncomfortable with the fact that I'd lied and acted as if I shared her beliefs. Is this kind of thing a no-win situation?

—Not a Believer

Dear Not,
Maybe when you said you would keep your boss's brother in your thoughts, you were telling a white lie because you didn't intend to really think about him again. I agree, people should not be shanghaied into professing beliefs they don't have, and there are times that if you feel pressured to do so, you simply have to say, "I'm sorry I don't share your point of view." Additionally, when someone says they'll keep an ailing person in their thoughts, instead of their prayers, it should be a tip-off that they don't do prayers. But in this case, by going along you've simply tried to console a woman in distress. You're right: If you had responded to her request with, "I'm sorry, but I don't pray," she would have felt worse, and by causing unnecessary awkwardness, so would you.

—Prudie

 LC >;-}>

 

Christianity: A disgusting middle eastern blood cult, based in human sacrifice, with sacraments of cannibalism and vampirism, whose highest icon is of a near naked man hanging in torment from a device of torture.


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Louis_Cypher wrote:From the

posts made by theists in the "Freethinking Anonymous" forum will be DELETED

READ THE RULES


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Archbishop_Of_Canterbury

Archbishop_Of_Canterbury wrote:

Louis_Cypher wrote:

From the advice column, 'Dear Prudence'

 

 

Quote:
Dear Prudie,
I have been an atheist for the last several years, ever since losing my (Christian) faith following a close friend's untimely death. Recently, my boss's mother told me about a serious and risky surgery that her other child would soon have. After I said to her, "I'll keep him in my thoughts," she responded, "Oh, would you please pray for him?" I said yes, and she began talking about her belief in the power of prayer, a belief I once would have shared. At the time, I wanted to comfort her in any way that I could, so I agreed with what she said. Also, it hardly would have been appropriate to launch into a "Why I'm an Atheist" speech. Later, though, I felt very uncomfortable with the fact that I'd lied and acted as if I shared her beliefs. Is this kind of thing a no-win situation?

—Not a Believer

Dear Not,
Maybe when you said you would keep your boss's brother in your thoughts, you were telling a white lie because you didn't intend to really think about him again. I agree, people should not be shanghaied into professing beliefs they don't have, and there are times that if you feel pressured to do so, you simply have to say, "I'm sorry I don't share your point of view." Additionally, when someone says they'll keep an ailing person in their thoughts, instead of their prayers, it should be a tip-off that they don't do prayers. But in this case, by going along you've simply tried to console a woman in distress. You're right: If you had responded to her request with, "I'm sorry, but I don't pray," she would have felt worse, and by causing unnecessary awkwardness, so would you.

—Prudie

 LC >;-}>

 

 

Ahh another person that is afraid to admit their belief in god , fear not believers we put the atheists to the torch many years ago and they are not very much , a minority , and so will remain one ,as if you are an atheist you are doomed to no existence after death , which will remain the preserve of organised religion for ever more

Ahh, another pea-brained coward, shaking in his boots and soaked in his own sweat because he's afraid he just blew so much of his life, and there's no reward at the end of the tunnel. Just a whole lot of empty nothingness.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940