No greater love than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends. That trumps prayer. That is the standard established by your savior.
Do not presume we are fools. The fool says in his heart, “There is no god.” I am no fool: I tell you openly: “There is no god.” To do less is to lie, to condescend, and to treat you as a child, for whom I may suffer fantasies until that child can face the hard truth of a merciless and deadly universe.
You are an adult, and you deserve the truth. When you die, you are dead, and these moments I give you from my life to remind you what is true is a sacrifice of a piece of my life for your sake. I have no eternity to anticipate. In less than 100 years I will certainly be dead. But I will give you some of my life so that you may live a better life yourself. That is the atheist standard of love.
Sometimes, I think that Jesus of Nazareth may have tried to tell you about this standard for love, but you were so intent on keeping your fantasy alive that you wouldn’t hear him. And I cry for you. And then I write this.