The Hour of My Almost Belief: How Buddha Boy Changed One Atheist

Ella Ruth

“Between the Pope and air conditioning,” says Harry Block of Woody Allen’s 1997 Deconstructing Harry, “I’d choose air conditioning.”

The Pope, however, does have a castle. And cool outfits. But the sentiment of that quote, that in our modern age an individual would choose science, technology, and convenience over mythology (and the anxiety that comes with belief)—remains appropriate, especially in this modern age where “Nones” and “Dones” are growing in numbers while the faithful are seeing declines like never before.

In a world of full of air conditioning, bottled water, Pop Tarts, seedless watermelons, and endless computers in the hands of children, it’s easy for nonbelievers to rely on modern convenience and leave the possessions, miracles, and conversions to badly produced religious movies (and some well produced Hollywood films) and tall tales, where they belong. There are no miracles, there is no Devil, and most parents will choose medicine over straight “prayer-changes-things” sessions any day. We’re awash in a non-religious reality, the whole Western world over.


PHOTO: Ella Ruth

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