The Dutch are famously blunt. One Christmas, a daughter gave her
Dutch father a gift of expensive soap–the kind that uses words like
“extract” or “essence.” Seeing the soap he asked: “Do you think I smell?”
When you sit down for a meal in Amsterdam, chances are the waiter will
blurt out: “What do you want?” It’s not always easy, like when one lady
spilled her groceries in the supermarket and ten Dutch stood around
giving her advice while she cleaned it up. In their mind, if she wanted
help, she should have directly asked them. Though most Dutch are
atheists today, some believe their bluntness is nevertheless a relic of their
Calvinist past. According to one Dutch website: Calvin taught us
“introspection, total honesty, soberness, rejection of ‘pleasure’ as well as
the ‘enjoyment’ of wealth.” This is interesting, because it shows us how
deeply our past influences us without even realizing it. This is a point I
want to raise every time moralizing atheists go on about how we need to
forgive or live by the golden rule. Where do you think you got that idea
from? The world may claim to reject God, but they cannot get rid of his
DNA in their lives. His fingerprints are all over this place.

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