Discussing Religion Over a Fruit Bat Soup

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to dine out with a total stranger. He’s a european who is based in Japan. I’m not going into details how that happened. Let’s just go to the part where we are ordering our respective meals and trying to tell “interesting stuff” about each other. He decided to order a fruit bat soup aside from the grilled fish.

Of course, the questions like, “how do you find Palau” and “what kept you busy staying on this island” came up. I told him that basically, my life here is work, badminton, and church. Those are the routine stuff.

And then this conversation happened:

Him: You go to church?
Me: Yeah.
H: If there’s one thing I hate about Palau, it’s seeing the signs of these different churches. In the live-aboard ship, there were two missionaries. They were nice, of course, but I really don’t like them. How can you be so arrogant to think that you are right and these people are wrong? These religions destroyed the natural state of the island. Religion was invented years ago when we couldn’t explain a lot of things.
M: There’s science now to explain things?
H: Yes. All these religion stuff are just myths. They are like Zeus. Nobody believes in Zeus anymore.
M: Are you an atheist?
H: Yes. That’s what I like about Japan, they don’t have a lot of these “god” stuff.
M: From where are you, originally?
H: I’m from Great Britain. People in Europe now are going in to this line of thinking already. Germany, Denmark…they know better now.
M: *shrugs*

Then the fruit bat soup came. I can’t decide which is worse. The conversation or the sight of a bat corpse.

See those fangs? Bon appetit!

It has been a long night.