CA: How Atheism Cost Me my Marriage
Guest Post by Tom Scanlon
So we understand each other, atheism itself didn’t cost me my marriage. That would be ridiculous. But the methodology I used to embrace atheism did cost me my marriage!
As a Christian, I believed in the Resurrection. But I realized that the Resurrection left no evidence, except for numerous stories from eyewitnesses. We all know that eyewitness testimony is extremely unreliable. I can’t rely on eyewitness testimony, even the staggering number of people that claimed to see Jesus after his death (Paul said it was north of 500), because you just can’t rely on eyewitnesses! It’s too subjective.
Realizing the subjectivity of eyewitness accounts, and realizing that there was nothing I could forensically touch or taste that would lead me to the truth, I have to side with the fact that never have I seen a body three-days dead get up and walk. It should take more than inherently unreliable eyewitness testimony for anyone to believe that.
Eyewitness testimony is bad!
So, to be consistent, I started applying that to my everyday life. When Laura, my wife, told me that it was raining outside, unless she was drenched when she walked in the door, I’d go check for myself. She’s an eyewitness, after all. She could be biased towards rain that day since the weatherman had predicted it, and thus be mistaken. She could have just wanted it to rain and believed she saw rain. Or, she could be lying to me to further an unseen agenda.
Either way, the only way to ascertain the truth would be to see it with my own eyes. If Laura announced dinner was ready, I wouldn’t believe her until I smelled the food or saw it on the table. If she told me a story about her past, I would try to empirically verify it, either from her old yearbooks or by looking at her scrapbooks. Not her journals (that’s still eyewitness testimony); only pictures would do!
I started doing that at work, too. I never believed what I was told, only what I could see with my own eyes. There were lots of whispers, and no one wanted to work with me. But I continued to verify every story someone told me, regardless of how mundane. If I couldn’t forensically verify it, I didn’t believe it.
When Laura, or someone acting on her behalf, told me that she was staying late at work or visiting my in-laws, I never believed that outright. If Laura were having an affair, that is exactly the sort of thing they’d tell me to keep it a secret. So I always drove by her office or my in-laws on the way home to see if her car was there.
Laura started to get this crazy idea that I didn’t trust her. “Honey,” I’d reassure her, “it’s not you. I trust you. I just don’t trust any eyewitness testimony. Period. Unless I can get forensic evidence to back it up, then I just won’t accept it on someone’s word!”
I thought she’d understand, but she filed for divorce only six months after I started this. She also filed for an order of protection. Since I was constantly driving by her alleged whereabouts, she got this crazy idea that I was stalking her.
What ticked me off most is that she had no forensic evidence to back up her claim: no tire tracks, no paint chips from my car, nor any surveillance tapes showing my car checking up on her. Nothing like that. Just three eyewitnesses. The judge accepted the eyewitness testimony and granted the order! Can you believe that? How insulting. Not to mention a bit ironic.