Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – 7 responses to common Christian nonsense

I stole this list from Bruce Gerenscer, a wonderful atheist who used to be an evangelical pastor.  Do read his blog.  I added my usual short and sweet responses.  Nothing new, but if you want to cut and past them, you are more than welcome.  Most can be used for any type of theist.

  1. I’ll Pray for You

“Oh that’s nice.  So, what are you praying for? I do need to know so I can give you reports on how well you are doing. ”

If they own up to what they are praying for:  “Hmmm, okay, so how long should that take?   And if nothing happens, what can I put you down for as why:  your god doesn’t consider you a Christian and thus won’t answer your prayers as it promises; your god loves an honest atheist and is fine with me; your god doesn’t exist?”

  1. Have You Ever Heard the Gospel?

“Why yes, I used to be a Christian and I’ve read the bible in its entirety as a Christian and as not. Now, do tell me what your magic decoder ring is that tells you what is to be taken literally and what is to be claimed as metaphor or simply ignored since it is inconvenient and how do you know that it is better than the magic decoder ring that your fellow Christians have?”

3. God Laid You on My Heart

“God did what to you?   Oh, you’re claiming that your god told you to bother me.  Nah, that’s just you needing external validation and you think I’d be a prize to be won to make yourself feel better.”

  1. God is Trying to Get Your Attention

“What, with you?  You’re the best representative this god has? Such a shame.  How about if this god pays attention to those dying of hunger, who suffer from amputations, etc.  He can help them.  I don’t need it.  But it’s easier for you to lie and claim your god is interested in me rather than it doing something.  Oh and claiming that misery is this god’s actions to force people to worship it?  I sure as fuck won’t worship some vicious asshole like that.” 

  1. You’ll Go to Hell if You Don’t Accept Jesus

“Umm, which hell?  Christians don’t’ agree on what it is or even if it exists.  Your sadistic fantasies don’t bother me. Oh, it isn’t *your* fantasies, it’s just what this god needs?  Nice “I am only following orders” excuse, my dear.”

  1. I Know the Holy Spirit is Speaking to You

“Really?  What is it saying?  I do know that Christians all claim that the ol’ HS is speaking to them, but funny how it always give everyone a different message.”

  1. Do You Want Your Children or Grandchildren to Grow Up Without Knowing God and Having No Morals?

“Yup, I do, if they are your morals.  Sorry, dear, I don’t react well to attempts at engendering fear for someone’s imaginary friend.  Pity that Christians can’t agree on what morals their god wants.  You just get back to me when you can do what the bible promises every baptized believer in Christ as personal savior can do.

addendum:  always curious when Christians like e.g. “to feel attraction toward or take pleasure in; enjoy” my posts.

11 thoughts on “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – 7 responses to common Christian nonsense

  1. Some of this stuff is absurd. Some of it is the kind of thing that should never be said, but some of it is just disgusting. Being afraid of “God” throwing one in hell is no greater virtue than being afraid of the Soviet Gulag or ISIS or whatever it is. How is it better to “believe in Jesus” for fear of being tortured after death than it is to deny Him for fear of being tortured before death? Obviously, I’m not asking you. I just wish people would stop spreading fear. I hope for this fear to someday be brought to an end, completely.

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    1. Hi Raina! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Christianity is about spreading fear. it depends on fear of this god to cause obedience. That’s largely all Revelation is and we have JC himself ginning up the specter of hell to cause people to believe. “40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”

      Earlier in that chapter, it has JC admitting that he/God have intentionally kept some people from being able to accept it, destroying free will, and damning people for no fault of their own. and earlier in the book we have “28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

      and later “45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

      The other gospels chime in “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’” Mark 9

      Fear of hell is what the bible depends on. There is no justice with finite actions being punished eternally.

      You’ve claimed this before: “I don’t think this world is all there is, but my notion of Justice isn’t throwing unbelievers into the fiery hell forever and ever. It might constitute in letting those who defend or commit atrocities suffer a “fiery hell” of “This is what you would do or have done to others” until they can see how evil and bad that is and want to change: want to love and do justice.”

      your bible has little to do with what you want to believe. You’ve also written this “Someone once asked me why God doesn’t make His existence hopelessly obvious to everyone, and I think this is why: God want humans to have the choice to believe in Him or not to believe in Him, to accept Him, or to reject Him.”

      again, your bible say entirely the opposite. “18 So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.” Romans 9

      “20 For it was the Lord’s doing to harden their hearts so that they would come against Israel in battle, in order that they might be utterly destroyed, and might receive no mercy, but be exterminated, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.” Joshua 11

      “16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. ” John 15

      “10 Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

      I know you pick and choose what you want from the bible. You can do that and I have no problem in pointing that out. Each Christian makes their religion in their own image. Happily, yours is nicer than most; but no more true.

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      1. The Bible says lots of things, many of them contradictory, and of course I believe some and not others, so feel more than free to point that out 🙂 (Though it’s picking and choosing more by accident than purpose, since while I quote from the Bible a lot since it’s accepted and looked to by many people, I quote from other people and works also and, in many ways, the Bible is no more important to me than many other works, and is not the source of my beliefs, though some parts of it may be supplementary).

        By the way, how do you know that nicer things aren’t truer than nastier things? That’s a crude way of putting what may be my core assumption/belief about reality, and a very important element in how I’ve come to believe what I do, and you don’t have to believe it, but how do you know it’s false?

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      2. Yes, I know you believe some parts and not others. The question is why, other than your personal preference? So, it appears that you have a very syncretic religion, not Christianity not Buddhism, etc.
        Your core assumption of reality appears to be that everything that you consider “nice” is what is real/true and the rest is not? Is that what you are saying? I’d like to clarify before I continue.

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      3. That’s a crude & simplisitc way of putting it, but, yes, my core assumption of reality is that, ultimately, what’s good or “nice” is true and what’s bad or “nasty” is not. This gets complicated to put into words nicely (it may be an illusion I keep for myself, but I prefer novels since it seems to me at least that I communicate my ideas with more subtlety/precision through the medium of a story that expresses what I mean, than through talking about it in the abstract, so just letting you know – what I say here is, in my own opinion, rather badly done) since it sounds too readily like I’m saying that people’s experiences of pain, misery, sorrow, or horror are unreal or don’t matter, but what I’m saying is, while those experiences feel very real (what does it mean for an experience to be real?), it is my belief that they are based on illusion and/or incomplete experience or understanding of reality. What is best is always true, ultimately at least.

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      4. it does sound *exactly* that you are saying that people’s experiences of the “bad” don’t matter. It also sounds like you are saying that only you “really” understand the universe and the rest only suffer because they don’t agree with you.

        To assume what you think is best is the only truth is rather blind.

        Baring hallucinations, which can be checked out by talking about them to someone else to compare reality, I’m quite sure what I experience is real and affects me.

        I wonder if you’ve ever had something really bad happen do you, Raina. I can happily say I’ve not. But I don’t think that people who have bad things are at fault for some “misunderstanding” of the universe. That stinks of blaming the victim to me.

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      5. I don’t think any of us truly understand the universe, and I don’t think evil isn’t real in that sense. I don’t think that a child is at fault for being raped, or a father for not being able to feed his family or … anything of that sort. I don’t think people only suffer because they don’t agree with me, and I don’t assume that only what I think is best is the truth. I think the real Best is the Truth, and that I know that Best imperfectly; I think the truth is better than the best I know.

        To put it another way, there’s an idea that suffering arises from existence; that in order to be released from suffering one must forego all attachments and desires and identity. What I’m suggesting is something somewhat different: that suffering and evil occur because the world is not yet fully made, as it were; because, as a whole, what is is not yet fully aware of what it is and desires. It’s hard to explain, but in my “philosophy of reality” there isn’t really room for blame at all (this is something I struggle to explain to Christians too; many of them are thinking about sin and blame and merit and guilt, and that’s not what I’m talking about at all). So what I’m trying to say isn’t that pain doesn’t hurt, or that atrocities aren’t evil, but that …

        Perhaps the mention of hallucination is key to this. I don’t mean pain is a hallucination – for that matter, a “hallucination” is not, with regards to this thought of mine, necessarily of any less account than an experience in the same physical world which we all share and subject to verification by others. I suspect not all hallucinations are equal, but I am not at all sure that certain horrors are necessarily less horrible to experience because the experience cannot be verified by others on this earth. And I most definitely, DEFINITELY do not think that people who have bad things happen to them are at fault to misunderstanding the universe, and that is why the bad thing happened to them. I think none of us yet fully understand the universe, and that includes myself, and it is not half-way obvious that people who have bad things happen to them understand the universe less than others. The opposite may, in fact, be true.

        No, to me all the horror and evil in this world only… no, it doesn’t make me more certain, but it brings out my certainty that it can’t be the real story. That whatever I suffer, whatever others suffer (and my anger at the sufferings of those who seem to me to be the most innocent of human beings brings this out most), the horror and grief and atrocity can’t be final… can’t really be real. It must be remedied, cured, fixed. That’s my belief … not that those who suffer horrible things are at fault for it.

        Recall, in the Christian story, the most innocent one of all suffered the worst of all: and rose from the dead. That is what draws me, and it is certainly not victim-blaming to say that the innocent may suffer more than the guilty. But I believe that the suffering is not the whole story: that all the best that we desire (that of which the deprivation or contradiction constitutes our suffering)shall be true.

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      6. I’ll address the rest later. However, this is interesting me: “Recall, in the Christian story, the most innocent one of all suffered the worst of all: and rose from the dead. That is what draws me, and it is certainly not victim-blaming to say that the innocent may suffer more than the guilty. But I believe that the suffering is not the whole story: that all the best that we desire (that of which the deprivation or contradiction constitutes our suffering)shall be true.”

        In the Christian story, a god declared that it needed a blood sacrifice to offer salvation from punishment that it decreed for every human because of two humans that this god exposed to evil by either intent or stupidity, when they had no idea what good and evil were,

        And to you really think being cruxified is worse than starving to death? Having your limbs blown off? Christ had an inconvenient weekend.

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