Sunday, January 11, 2009

More Pretzel logic

Another atheist on Craigslist attempts to be an expert on religion.
My comments follow each of the guy's points.

Christians -

"Christians are so mislead from the truth, they have no clue what they're doing. The Christian culture is very robotic and Christians just accept what they are fed by generations of Christian leaders that root back to the Roman Empire."

Pretzel Logic Alert: Christians being accused of being “robots” who “don’t know the real truth”.

"If Christians had any understanding of historical facts and opened up their minds to the truth, they would be amazed at the biggest lie ever told. It's a fact that there were over 30 gospels written about Jesus."

Um, if the author of the post had any understanding of history, he’d know that there were several “forged” documents created to look like “gospels” in order to convince the ignorant that they were authoritative.

"Early Roman Christians were anti-semitic and could never admit they worshiped a Jewish Rabbi. Early Christian priests sat down and edited those 30 gospels down to 4, they also removed any parts that would be considered "Jewish" teachings, in an interest to promote wide acceptance of their Jesus in the Roman Empire."

Baloney. The original 4 Gospels were in existence and being quoted from by the early Apostolic church fathers before the end of the 1st Century. The other “gospels” were written later. On top of that, the writers of the “false” gospels were aware of the original gospels and used them as source material.

"During this period their were many religions, many Gods and many diverse beliefs. It wasn't until a Roman Emperor hundreds of years after Jesus' death accepted Christianity and made it illegal for any other religious beliefs in all the Roman Empire. From one day to the next, all the pagan Gods, temples, cultures and traditions were adapted into Christianity. I can prove through recorded history that everything you know about Jesus comes from pagan Gods and pagan beliefs."

Wrong. Emperor Constantine made Christianity the officially recognized state religion of Byzantium, but other religions were still practiced in the Byzantine Empire. Also, here is a link to a library of articles that address the Christian “copycat” myths:

"The Romans turned a good Jewish Rabbi into a pagan God. What absolute disrespect for the roots of Jesus. You should stop seeing everything in black-and-white and open up your minds to what is really going on. I challenge anyone to a debate that is based on intellectual facts, not New Testament scripture that you can spin any way you want..."

I’d like to see the author's reasoning behind the statement of a Roman Centurion at the Crucifixion, when he said “Truly, this man was the Son of God.” (Mark: 15-39)

The OP’s assumption that New Testament scripture isn’t factual is patently flawed. The New Testament Books have been certified as some of most reliable documents in all of ancient history. In fact, “spinning” New Testament scripture is intellectually dishonest.

What’s even more intellectually dishonest, however, is to make spurious assumptions based on questionable documents, like the OP has probably done. He needs to name his sources before bashing believers as “robots”.

Nice try. Thanks for playing.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

They Just Refuse to "Get It"

Here's another bit of wisdom recently posted on the wonderful "God Is For Suckers" blog, a fountain of insight into the minds of the Village Atheists. Our good friend "Stardust" posted this gem:

5 January 2009 by Stardust

It’s been awhile since I have written about Pastor Mondo because I have been trying to ignore the bullcrap he writes in our local paper’s “Pastor’s Corner” and save myself the annoyance. But my husband pointed this one out from a couple weeks ago. Mondo intentionally proves that his religion is not a religion of peace, but a religion of divisiveness, pitting family members against each other, friends against friends, neighbor against neighbor. And he seems excited about it! Frightening that this guy lives in my area and that he has a whole flock of sheeple!

"Stardust" is at it again, posting blanket comments and peppering her speech with tired cliches like "sheeple".

What "Stardust" doesn't seem to have the capacity for is to separate religion itself from the people that apply it in ways she finds distasteful. Instead, she takes the easy road and tosses out the "baby with the bathwater". Although she tries to limit her remarks to Mondo's commentary with the words "his religion", she doesn't really bother to present a more "balanced" (at least in her opinion) interpretation of the biblical teaching she's attacking here. Besides, she titled her post "Religion divides", not "Mondo's Religion Divides".

Yet, I'm not even going to go down the road of calling all atheists "evil" simply because Josef Stalin starved 25 million of his own people to death building an atheist empire. It's a simple matter of intellectual honesty.

"Notice what Jesus said He was not going to bring, peace! How do we make sense of this? The world has always been divided between those who are followers of the true God of Israel and those who are scoffers or haters of God and His truth."

Unfortunately, "Stardust's" analysis of the Pastor's commentary above is oversimplified. That's understandable, because she believes the Bible is a bunch of hogwash and not worthy of serious study. Therefore, she really hasn't a clue about the point Jesus was making.

What Jesus was talking about specifically was that He was going to introduce a reconciliation between God and all His people, Jews and Gentiles alike. And this was going to be extremely controversial among the old-school believers. Unfortunately, this verse has been murdered by many a Village Atheist, trying to claim Jesus was preaching anarchy, which is just ridiculous.

"There is no middle ground, for Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30). Jesus came to challenge each of us to make a choice as it relates to His claims as being the Savior of the World. I am a personal witness of seeing houses divided over the truth claims of Jesus. Sometimes, it’s a teenager standing with Jesus against the atheism of a parent, other times it’s a wife standing firm in the Truth while her husband is a mocker. Jesus said He came to bring division as it relates to who He is."

"Stardust" tries to use the quote above to claim that Pastor Mondo is out to destroy families.

But the question is, who's really doing the "dividing"? Why is it always the fault of the "religious" half of the equation? Does "Stardust" really labor under the delusion that atheists are non-confrontational by default, as she is suggesting through her comments? Especially when she posts on a blog that is known for showcasing its religious intolerance?

I know this is anecdotal, but in my travels on the Internet, I don't see a whole lot of Christians going on tirades over family members who are godless. They generally comment about how they try to be patient and continue to pray and minister to these loved ones, hoping they'll be influenced by a good example. Google it for yourself.

On the other hand, it's very easy to find explosive rants from atheists about religious relatives and friends, laced with vulgar comments and dripping with "drama". Atheists love to complain about how "no one respects MY views", or, "they're always trying to shove their religion down MY throat". It's an example of how narcissistic atheism is, whether or not atheists care to realize it.

Mondo conveniently leaves out the part that he is responsible for that divisiveness and warring within families. He teaches them not to accept the other and get along in harmony, but to fight against that other person with differing beliefs. I have experience with this in my own family. Fundie family members who think they are better than the others and that the rest are somehow bad and worthy of going to their imaginary Hell, whatever they imagine it to be. And it isn’t the atheists or the ones who believe differently doing the banning of communication, it is the fundamentalist Christians who are brainwashed to think those who believe different are bad people.

"Stardust" here is interjecting her own opinion without much to back it up. She is suggesting that Pastor Mondo encourages families to break up over Christianity. The fact is, there are biblical guidelines for dealing with non-believers within the family, and those guidelines do not encourage the family to dissolve. Until "Stardust" actually attends a few of Mondo's services and at least tries to keep an open mind, she really has no business judging a pastor's teachings based on her atheist worldview alone, fueled by a few newspaper articles she didn't like.

I'd also like to know what "Stardust" means when she says "banning of communication". Judging by "Stardust's" condescending comments towards believers, I imagine that she's not a whole of fun to be around if you mention that awful "J-word" in her presence. Could she be the one causing a ruckus at family gatherings?

Mondo shows just how right that Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and others about religion being evil. The holy text they follow is evil, and a threat to all when in the hands of these crazy fundamentalists who use interpret the Bible to war against fellow humans. It may not be a physical war, but it is a war they are promoting by brainwashing their sheeple that everyone who does not believe as they do is somehow bad.

"Stardust" needs to learn the difference between the "bad" and the "lost".

Then "Stardust" here needs to tell all the people who run the skid row missions and women's shelters about how evil religion is.

She also needs to explain what is evil about a "holy text" that tells people to "love your neighbor as yourself" or "care for the widows and orphans". I'd also like to see an expose' of the "evil" in the story of the Good Samaritan. All in all, broadbrushing the Bible is a common trait among atheists.

Once again, "Stardust" seems to be enslaved to a line of prejudice that colors her world and paints all Christians the same shade. Personally, I wouldn't do that with all atheists, although I've been able to form a fairly accurate assessment of the more militant godless, based on their online commentary.

And citing Richard Dawkins' views on religion? Give me a break. Dawkins is a really smart guy when it comes to physical science, but incredibly ignorant when it comes to Theology. He actually misquoted the Bible in his book "The God Delusion", which shows that even he doesn't consider religion a subject worth studying seriously, but rather a competitor that he underestimates. Too bad more atheists don't realize this.

Then after telling us that those of us who do not believe as he does will be ground to powder (Matthew 21:42-44), he ends by wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”. Well, it is said that truly crazy people don’t know they are crazy!

"Stardust" really needed to read that Bible passage the Pastor was citing, because her understanding, once again, is stunted by prejudice.

Matthew 21: 42-44 is a quote from Jesus to the religious leadership, who were mocking and blaspheming Him. Atheists do that quite regularly and with wild abandon all over the Internet. The God Is For Suckers website, on which "Stardust" regularly posts, rests on a bedrock of anti-Christianity, and is loaded with profanity, mockery, and blasphemy.

The Bible made it quite clear that the people who attack Jesus are going to get punished. Yet, "Stardust" labels Mondo as "crazy", as though he's misapplying scripture, when in fact, she just doesn't understand the verse in its context.

I pity these folks for the lives they lead, thinking they are somehow special and the rest of us are deserving of an eternity in torture. It’s all so unnecessary, all so pointless and counter-productive to all things civilized. Certain sects of Christianity, like Mondo’s are downright dangerous to humanity and goodness.

"Danger, Will Robinson! Fundie approaching!" I'm still waiting for an atheist to come along and explain with any amount of reasoned thought why people like Pastor Mondo are "dangerous to humanity and goodness". Then I'd like to know why the moral relativism of atheism is so naturally good for humanity, when atrocities committed by hard-core atheists in positions of power say otherwise.

People will jump on me for personally attacking "Stardust", as if she's been singled out for persecution. Yet, she has no problem attacking people like me. Call it "Tu Quoque" if you like, but I will continue to find inflammatory anti-Christian rhetoric in places like God Is For Suckers, and deconstruct the faulty reasoning behind it. After all, fair is fair.

Personally, I pity people like "Stardust", who make blanket statements about a faith she clearly doesn't understand or care to. I'd like to know where all this hatred comes from, a hatred that many in the militant atheist community aren't willing to admit they hold.

Of course, the typical atheist will tell me I'm the "hateful one" here. Any time a Christian takes exception to being used by as a punching bag by angry atheists, we're the ones labeled as "hateful".

Friday, January 2, 2009

The "Power" of Atheism

Village Atheists abound on the Craigslist website, and their so-called "logical reasoning" is so funny! Here's a response to a post by an atheist who was claiming that Christians are the real power in Government and society, and that atheists present no real threat to that (man, wouldn't that person make a good Christian?). A typical atheist responded to that post with this gem:

"RE: Re:Re:We Atheists are powerless (Attempting to think)

Speak for yourself,but I have more power than any believer.Anyways logic and reason trumps irrational beliefs any day. Oh and here's some sex stories in the bye-bull believers will enjoy: "

(The respondent posted a link to pornographic site, which I won't link here. I'll get to that in a bit).

First of all, I'm just wondering: what "power" does that Village Atheist think he has that a Believer doesn't? Can he fly? see through walls? lift a 40 ton boulder and throw it? commit a felony and walk away free?
Atheists love to claim they have some kind of "freedom" or "power" that Christians don't. But when you ask them what that is, they'll reply with something like "well, uh, I can think anything I want", or "I can enjoy life more than a Christian".

On the first point: Christians can think anything they want. They voluntarily choose to control their thoughts to conform to the thinking their God encourages.

In fact, controlling one's thoughts is something nearly all people do to some extent. Ask a sex offender, for example, where all his crimes began, and he'll tell you that they started in his mind. Do you allow your thoughts to dwell on just anything? Of course not. The idea that atheists enjoy some kind of mental freedom that believers don't is just plain ridiculous.

Atheists will counter with "But, we're talking about the freedom to consider the natural causes of a Universe without any gods, that's what we're saying". I have news for you: Christians consider that, too. It's just that Naturalism loses because it doesn't make sense when analyzed carefully.

Also, the idea that the decision to become a Christian is not a product of "free thought" is just absurd, spurred on by a pesky Urban Legend that claims all Christians are "brainwashed", and had their religious beliefs forced on them by their browbeating, authoritarian parents. Ask a pastor if all his kids were perfect little Bible-thumpers, and you'll get a real eye-opening experience. Even Billy Graham's son Franklin was a PK (Pastor's Kid) who got himself into some trouble before he entered the ministry.

On the second point: Christians enjoy life very much; in fact, they'll tell you that Christianity increased their enjoyment of life much more than their previous existence ever could. I won't expound on this, the testimonies are too numerous to count. Let it suffice to say, go ask a Christian yourself.

In both cases, the Village Atheist was repeating generalities that atheists love to spread in their own circles, even though claims are simply spurious. But, as the old saying goes, a lie repeated often enough...

The atheist finished his response with a link to a website that took stories from the Bible and reworded them to make them graphically sexual, even where there was no sexuality implied. That's real mature! Another fine example of the lengths Village Atheists will go to offend believers, even when it involves murdering the Bible text and spreading bald-faced lies. Can you say "intellectual dishonesty", boys and girls? I knew you could.

I suggest to the Village Atheist crowd that, if they're going to brag about how much better they are than believers, they might think BEFORE posting links to ridiculous websites like the one this Craiglist respondent felt necessary to share with Christians.

Why do these people consider their silliness such a badge of honor, anyway?