Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “The Doubter’s Club” review

There’s a new thing making the Christian circuit, a book and website called “The Doubter’s Club” which is intended to convert non-christian, especially atheists it seems.  I’ve listened to an interview with the author and leader, Preston Ulmer, here, and below is my response. 

as an atheist, I have some suggestions for Christians who find they need to bother us about their religion. 

Christians are indeed certain about a lot of things.  They try to claim they are not, but they cannot function as Christians if they do doubt.  Even the bible states this, with JC talking to Thomas.  This god did give evidence in that case, so the claims from Christians that no one should ask for evidence, e.g. “test” this god is based on apologetics that know that no evidence would be forthcoming. 

When a Christian does claim he doesn’t understand something, it is usually when something is an embarrassing point in the bible, like when this god is seen to do something ignorant and violent, where god’s “mysterious” ways are invoked.  That is an obvious dodge to an atheist. 

It seems that Preston assumes that atheists are dishonest.  That is unfortunate.  Theists often want to claim that they know why people are atheists, when they ignore what atheists actually say.  Don’t do this.  You’ll almost always be wrong. 

To consider us as prey in a “long play” is also obvious.  We aren’t stupid.  You want more people in your “tribe” for validation. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just human.  

Most of us do know that Christians disagree in the most basic things, so insisting your version is the one truth doesn’t work.  We also know that you try to convert each other.  A lot of us also know that a Christian, C.S. Lewis, said to hide the divisions from potential Christians (Mere Christianity, preface).

Many of us are former Christians and have read the bible.  We are often more familiar with than most Christians.  If you try to claim we don’t “correctly” understand it, often sheathed in the claim that we don’t know about sophisticated theologians or Christianity,  we will ask you how you can show your version is the “right” one. 

Most of us also know that Jesus isn’t all warm and fuzzy.  This character kills every non Christian in the end times stories.  Luke 19, the parable of the minas, isn’t a great thing either.  

If you assume that we are on a “spiritual” journey, you are likely wrong.  That is an assumption that we aren’t complete as we are. 

Acting like you are doing us a favor is also obvious.  We aren’t the “unclean” that you can feel virtuous by daring to associate with.  We know you have ulterior motives.   We have friends and we do deserve friends, no god or Christian needed. 

The “invitation to imitate Christ” bit is probably the most ridiculous and verging on offensive.  This assumes that your version of Christ is the true one, that Christ existed, and that we aren’t humane, empathetic people.  We know that Christianity, at its base, says that anyone who disagrees with this god deserves death or worse.  That isn’t love and that isn’t something a friend would wish for their friend.  This ignorance assumes that only Christians are good people.  They aren’t. 

For me, the whole thing comes off as creepy. Really really creepy. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – ever so “better”

This is a recent post by John Branyan, a self-described Christian comedian. I’ve crossed swords with him before (and his daughter).  You can also see it here, if you are not feeling the need to give him a click, preserved for posterity.

He is amusing, but not in the way I think he wishes.  In this most recent post, we can see the honest arrogance of a conservative Christian.  As usual, it is full of baseless claims, a little man who is trying to make himself feel important.

Alas, JB can’t explain why, if he is ever so much better than everyone else, he is so very average.  A man who must pretend he is best friends with an imaginary being.  Unfortunately, per his own bible, he, as a baptized believer in Christ as personal savior, he should never lose.  He should never have to buck up that self-esteem.  Alas, the quote from the bible he gives at the end, never works for Christians.  They die, fail, etc just like everyone else.  JB isn’t better than anyone else.     It’s also notable that his god fails in the rest of that promise that it supposedly makes in Luke ““I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority[a] to cast into hell.[b] Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”

JB never gets that help.  Christians never do.  They should be so proud of each other. Now what I’m expecting is that he will insist that he was just “joking”.  Wannabee bullies often do that.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – reminder to Christians who challenge me: do your research

A recent post of mine has been address by Jon, a Christian who I’ve repeatedly crossed swords with.  He has a blog “nonviolent Christians” which is always ridiculous considering how vicious their god is depicted in the bible.  You can see how things went there. He’s also commented here at the Boss’s Office.  One can see just how he avoids questions here and constantly offers excuses.  He has yet to explain his claim that Russell’s Teapot doesn’t work, among other things. Alas, Jon’s supposed “atheist friend” never came to support him or comment.

Let’s get to his comment (his is in italics):

“Is it true?

You have, in the past asked me to provide you with examples of your use of logical fallacies.

If I understand your post correctly, you are arguing that Therapist, Erica Komisar has reached conclusions that do not logically follow from the study funded by the Templeton Foundation.

Abductive Reasoning

I did not watch the video or read the study. I will attempt to determine if your conclusion that Komisar is in error is correct. I will use abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning is the type of reasoning that Darwin used to test his theory of evolution. “

Jon claims he is addressing what I’ve written (https://clubschadenfreude.com/2021/08/10/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-thou-shalt-lie-as-long-as-we-can-get-our-claws-in-kids/this is the blog post involved) but we start with nothing more than Jon referring to relatively obscure(at least for me) claims of logical fallacies.  As usual, Jon, cannot show where I’ve used this.  He cannot cut and paste these fallacies I’ve supposedly used. 

Jon also did not watch the video that I was tearing apart or read the study.  How interesting.  He claims that just by reading what I’ve said he can determine if I am correct.  How he think this can work is indeed a mystery.  He has no idea what Komisar claims which means he has no idea what I’m discussing.

For those of you who don’t want to bother going back to the original blog post, this is at the link for the video by “Prager U” and Komisar says this “As a therapist, Erica Komisar is often asked by parents, “How do I talk to my child about death if I don’t believe in God or heaven?” Her answer is always the same. Can you guess what it is?”  claims that one should teach their children about the Judeo/Christo/Islamo god since it is seen as beneficial by a study done at Harvard, even if you don’t believe in it.   Here’s a transcript of exactly what Komisar says

Now, abductive reasoning is little more than occam’s razor.  Merriam-Webster has a nice article on the differences between inductive, deductive and abductive reasoning.  This is the first paragraph there: “Deductive reasoning, or deduction, is making an inference based on widely accepted facts or premises. If a beverage is defined as “drinkable through a straw,” one could use deduction to determine soup to be a beverage. Inductive reasoning, or induction, is making an inference based on an observation, often of a sample. You can induce that the soup is tasty if you observe all of your friends consuming it. Abductive reasoning, or abduction, is making a probable conclusion from what you know. If you see an abandoned bowl of hot soup on the table, you can use abduction to conclude the owner of the soup is likely returning soon.”  

Darwin may have used abductive reasoning to arrive at his evolutionary theory, going from observations to a hypothesis that seems highly probable.  However, evolutionary theory did not stop being supported with Darwin.  This is an example of how some Christians must ignore the advances of science to try to claim that there is something wrong or unsupported by facts.  Abductive reasoning has long been left behind in favor of deductive reasoning thanks to direct observation of what is predicted by evolutionary theory.

“I did not watch the video or read the study. I will attempt to determine if your conclusion that Komisar is in error is correct. I will use abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning is the type of reasoning that Darwin used to test his theory of evolution.

Abductive reasoning typically begins with an incomplete set of observations and proceeds to the likeliest possible explanation for the set. Abductive reasoning yields the kind of daily decision-making that does its best with the information at hand, which often is incomplete.

With abductive reasoning, a person ascertains the known facts to determine the most probable conclusion.”

Jon then continues with plagiarized definitions of abductive reasoning.  Much of the above is plagiarized by many so it’s rather hard to figure out the original. 

“Analysis:

Observations:

1. You strongly feel that Komisar is in error in her conclusions.
2. You did not demonstrate that the Templeton financed study was incorrectly conducted. For example, was the correct sample size used? Where the question in the study leading questions? Etc.
3. You did not demonstrate that Komisar’s conclusions do not logically follow from the results of the Templeton financed study.
4. You use the ad hominem logical fallacy argument and the red herring logical fallacy argument to defend your position and make your arguments.”

Here, Jon tries to analyze what I’ve read, again with having no clue what Komisar said.  #1 is quite true.  2. He tries to claim that I should not consider the fact that the Templeton Foundation funded the report as suspect. 3. He tries to claim I haven’t shown that Komisar’s conclusions do not logically follow from the study.  4.  He yet again makes claims about ad hominem fallacies, and red herrings, but cannot show that these were used.  This is a very common action from Jon. 

When looking at studies, the funder is always to be looked at.  The Templeton Foundation is a well-known foundation that supports research in their attempt to validate religion, with a focus on Christianity.  I encourage folks to look at the wiki about the Foundation, and to look at the various links within it.  I find this one quite damning.  It tracks very well that the Foundation’s tactics go with the notorious “wedge document” written by creationists.   

“Conclusion:

I think that it is highly probable that Komisar’s conclusions do logically follow from the results of the study,

I do not know if your assertion about Komisar is correct. But, I think that if Komisar’s conclusion did not logically follow from the study, you would have shown the inconsistency if it existed. I think if the study had been improperly conducted you would have demonstrated that fact. When someone uses logical fallacies it immediately raises a red flag in my mind about the truthfulness of their conclusions.

If later, I want to determine with a higher probability if Komisar’s conclusions are true, I will need to listen to the video and read the study and then logically analyze them. I do not find your conclusions convincing.”

Now, there is a problem, that Jon has no idea what Komisar concludes nor can he show that anything follows “logically”.  He has already admitted that he has no idea what either say.  I’ve already show that Komisar’s conclusions do not follow from the study.  Right here: “The study was for all religions, not just christianity, so it is not the faith, but the community that is the influencing factor. “

“Ad Hominem Logical Fallacy Argument

You gave me a definition of ad hominem logical fallacy. http://nizkor.com/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

I agree with that definition.

Example of your use of the ad hominin logical fallacy.

“Komisar also goes on to try to lie and claim that nihilism is equal with non-belief in her god.”

Does nihilism equal non belief? You argue that Komisar is wrong because she is trying to lie.”

I am unconvinced. Based on my knowledge of the writings of philosophers such as Jean Paul Sarte, I am forced to conclude that there may be some truth in Komisar’s claim.”


So, again, we see no evidence from Jon that I used an ad hominem argument, nor has he shown anything from Sartre that nihilism is equal to nonbelief.  This is what the link to nizkor said “An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of “argument” has the following form:

  1. Person A makes claim X.
  2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
  3. Therefore A’s claim is false.

“ 

It *is* a lie (a false statement made to benefit the individual making the claim)  that nihilism equals non-belief.  Jon, unsurprisingly, cannot show otherwise.  His being “unconvinced” is no more than a baseless opinion.  

“Red Herring Logical Fallacy Argument:

Red Herring logical fallacy: A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences toward a false conclusion.

Example of your use of the Red Herring logical fallacy.

“Unsurprisingly, this research was funded by the Templeton Foundation who has an investment in wanting religion to be promoted.”

Instead of demonstrating that the study was improperly conducted you seem to be saying it is obvious the study was improper because the Templeton Foundation promotes religion.Where am I wrong?”

Jon presents the claim I’ve used a red herring fallacy  He plagiarized the definition from Wikipedia.  He returns to the claim that mentioning that the Templeton Foundation cannot be done, insisting it has no pertinence, which is false.  The Foundation’s stated intent is quite pertinent to the discussion.  The wiki article shows that there is reason to question their intentions.

I’m rather surprised at myself that I didn’t put a link to more about the study.  I can remedy that now.  Here is an article: Religious upbringing linked to better health and well-being during early adulthood | News | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health  It says “One limitation of the study is that it consisted mainly of children of white females of relatively high family socioeconomic status, and therefore might not be generalizable to a broader population, though prior research by VanderWeele suggested the effects of religious service attendance for adults may be even larger for black versus white populations. Another limitation was that the study did not look at the influences of parents and peers on adolescents’ religious decisions.” 

That prior research has the conclusion “Conclusions and Relevance  Frequent attendance at religious services was associated with significantly lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality among women. Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that physicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate.”  Which is also ignoring that it is community, not religion, that could be the causing factor.  There is an assumption of correlation here that cannot be supported. 

This is what Jon harvests when he doesn’t even try to look at things but just to attack me.  So he is wrong in many places.  I have to wonder if he tried this to cast doubt on my methods so he could cling to his beliefs.  If so, that didn’t work so well.   

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “Who’s on the side of science now?” how saying something doesn’t mean it’s true

Caroline (a Christian who I’ve tangled with before) certainly has written an amusing piece on her blog, insisting that science supports theism.  No matter how much she wants to “boldly proclaim that not only are science and faith not in conflict with each other, theism is the worldview better supported by science” it isn’t even remotely true.  It is notable that she doesn’t’ say it supports Christianity.  That’s what she means. 

Caroline tries to falsely claim that it is really Christians who are “on the side of science.”.  Of course, Caroline also makes this claim “For instance, I believe that I am not going to contract COVID-19 unless God allows it to happen, and that for a morally justifiable reason.”  And “A bug is no match for God.“ and “I live without fear of things I can’t see because I know he sees them and has absolute control over them.“

oh and isn’t this a typically conservative Christian bit of nonsense “What the parable doesn’t teach is that we are obligated to put ourselves in need to possibly extend the lives of some who are mere statistics to us.”  This is regards to if humans should care about others and if the locking down for the pandemic was necessary. It’s very nice to see such honesty.

So much for Caroline’s claim about being on the side of science.  I wonder if she regrets these word “ I’m praying that our government leaders increase their concern for the wrong being done to many of our neighbors in their directives meant to protect the lives of a relative few. And to also hold as of primary relevance that God ultimately decides who lives and who dies.”  This was written back in May of 2020.  And hundreds of thousands of deaths later….

Caroline’s claims aren’t supported by the science she claims she supports.  Her lies about abortion are quite pitiful.  Science supports the fact that a fetus is not the same as an adult or a child.  Science supports that a fetus requires a human to exist (at least so far).  Science supports the fact that if Caroline prevents women from having legal abortions, they have a chance to die from illegal abortions.  One has to wonder about Caroline’s disregard for life as indicated here and above. 

“Honestly, it’s like they really don’t know how babies are made. You rarely hear from pro-abortion folks, “practice safe sex,” and never hear, “refrain from sex if you’re not open to conceiving a child by it.” They fail to make the connection between sex and reproduction. Science, people!”

Funny how people like me, like Planned Parenthood, etc always are saying practice safe sex, advocating for easy access to birth control, etc.  Quite unlike Christians like Caroline.  She is an incompetent liar as usual. We aren’t the ones having a fit about condoms being handed out. 

Caroline is confused about gender and sex.  Science supports that there is gender and there is sex, and does not support the conservative claim that things are only binary.  Caroline of course simply ignores the science that contradicts her claims.  Psychology is one of the sciences and it is bemusing to see Caroline run to it when she wants to claim how the poor children are being somehow injured if they are told that gender isn’t a fixed thing but try to claim it isn’t important otherwise.  Caroline is also terribly ignorant about DNA and genetics, if she thinks gender is “hardwired” there. 

In that not all Christians agree with Caroline, there is no reason to think she or they have any knowledge at all about some magical being in the sky. 

The next claims are even more pitiful.

1.  Physics does indicate a beginning for the universe we have now.  We have no evidence that some magical being is required.  She does try hard with the philosophical argument of a first cause.  It is not scientific.  We do have examples of things “popping” into the universe. 

2. She tries the argument from beauty, which is a common Christian tactic and reveals just how ignorant and selfish they are when they have no problem ignoring that there is a good bit in this universe that isn’t beautiful at all.  She also tries the “complexity” argument and cannot show that a god is needed for that either since we get to see how complexity is evolved into being and it can be evolved out too.  There is nothing scientific about either of her arguments. 

3.  Then we get the ol’ “fine-tuning” argument.  That isn’t scientific either.  We don’t know yet what exactly is needed for life to be or how far things can vary.  She lies again when she says that fine-tuning is accepted by “most cosmologist and astrophysicists”. 

The wave that Caroline mentions doesn’t exist and we currently are watching religion fail since it doesn’t reflect reality.  The recent poll about how acceptance of evolutionary theory is rising terrifies Christians like Caroline.  So much for her claims about science.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – thou shalt lie, as long as we can get our claws in kids

Wow, one of the more unpleasant videos by conservative Christian liars I’ve seen in a while. I found this on a Christian blog by a Dr. Bob.  It’s about how even atheists really need to teach their kids about the Christian god.  For their good, of course.   It’s a few years old but still a lovely sample of how much some Christian rely on deceit to spread their false claims.  Just like ol’ C.S. Lewis in his encouragement to lie to potential Christians about the contradictions between Christians and their hate for one another.

No need to tell children about an imaginary being who damns people to eternal torture for no fault of their own.   A vicious god that kills children for no fault of their own. 

I do love the video since it shows just how vile conservative Christians can be.  It shows that Komisar (evidently a jewish believer), and christians, have no problem with making false claims about religion and misrepresenting that Harvard study.  The study was for all religions, not just christianity, so it is not the faith, but the community that is the influencing factor.  Unsurprisingly, this research was funded by the Templeton Foundation who has an investment in wanting religion to be promoted. 

So any religion is fine, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc.  Christianty, Judaism: nothing special. 

Komisar also goes on to try to lie and claim that nihilism is equal with non-belief in her god.  Alas, that is not the case at all.  Komisar says to lie to your children aka “Fake it”.  She excuses her lying by saying that all parents falsely promise their children that nothing bad will ever happen to them.    Hmm, this is rather close to this god saying that it will take care of every believer like the lilies.  It doesn’t do as promised and all believers have is blaming victims to excuse their god e.g. You didn’t pray enough, etc. 

Amazing how that works when this god of Komisar’s says never to lie, not even if you think you are lying *for* it, Romans 3, or if she is jewish “No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.” Psalm 101 and “11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19.  She also claims that the only way for a child to be taught gratitude and empathy is by organized religion.  Of course, she means her version of Christianity, no other.  Alas, we have millions of people, who needed no religion to be humane humans.  Observation outweighs her lies. 

In conclusion, all she has is “think of the children” as a basis for her attempts at recruitment for religion. It’s so sweet to see her false concern for free choice of religion offered as a reason why parents should bother their kids with baseless myths.  Ah, the pure hypocrisy there. 

“prager u” is not a university at all, just a conservative media company known for its false claims. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – christians afraid of science fiction

Now, one of our favorite thoughtless conservative Christians, Winter Knight, is now very afraid of us nerds.    Why?  Because science fiction makes atheists!  <cue scream>.  He found a nice little article from a conservative Christian/desperate Catholic/white nationalist rag called The American Spectator from 11 years ago to support his “research”.     

That original article is quite whitewash job, claiming how important the Catholic Church was to astronomy.  It entirely ignores how the RCC was material in holding astronomy back, and its murder of those who dared to disagree with it.  The author, one Hal Colebatch, is “shocked” that it was noted that many science fiction writers are noted to be atheists.  I *think* this is the compilation of essays he is talking about.  It does look good.  Alas, it’s kinda expensive. 

The article makes little sense in that Hal isn’t sure why writing science fiction makes one able to consider the question if there is a god or not.  Unsurprisingly, Hal thinks that only theologians are qualified to talk about this, the old “sophisticated theology” argument.  The mere fact of being an atheist doesn’t necessarily make one a good anti-apologist, nor does being a science fiction writer.  However, many science fiction writers are polymaths and they have indeed spent time in thinking about such things as all of the possibilities of a universe, including whether or not there is a god involved. The article wraps up with a Christian so upset that people don’t mention them in every breath.  

Poor WK he is upset that reading science fiction shows that religion is anti-science.  Now, what science fiction he is reading is beyond me since I do not recall a single instance of this and I’ve read a LOT of science fiction.  Religion is rarely if ever mentioned, so where WK is seeing this persecution of poor WK is a mystery.  As noted above, it’s just the need for attention.

What WK seems to be most bothered about is that a fair amount of science fiction shows that humans and aliens aren’t that different and humans aren’t as special as a conservative Christian must believe he is.  WK and his god aren’t needed. 

WK is upset that his god might not be the creator.  For all of his lies about intelligent design, he just can’t stand it if his god isn’t considered the designer.  He also again lies about the multiverse hypothesis (not theory) and the false claims about fine-tuning and of course hasn’t a clue about the Big Bang Theory, still insisting that it’s evidence for his rather silly god.  The BBT does show a beginning; it doesn’t say it was the only one.   

Here’s his whine “. And that’s why when we produce evidence for them in debates, they will believe in speculations rather than go where the evidence leads.”  Nope, we consider the speculations of WK and find them to be unsupported since our creationist has no evidence for his claims.  His religion is revealed as nothing more than speculation and fiction. 

Here’s another gem from WK “They seem to think that untestable speculations are “good enough” to refute observational evidence –“   Hmmm, WKs god?  The ultimate untestable speculation.   No evidence at all for it.  We can see that WK has never read science fiction or watched it.   Alas, nope, it doesn’t make the mysterious of the universe seem easy to understand to the atheist.  WK whines that SF invents imaginary answers to the questions of the universe.  It can, and surprise, that’s what the bible does, showing it to be the fiction it is.  As WK himself says, this fiction is accepted becausethere is a  “want and need to believe in those speculations”.

Alas for WK, fictional characters and real humans can be moral and intelligent without WK and his god.  The bible are myths that the Christian wants to believe. 

Us SF fans want both the evidence for the BBT and the imagination for warp drives. As we know from many interviews with scientists, it was science fiction that caused them to question and move forward, not listening to religion which says “we already know the truth”.  Poor WK, the cosmic background radiation and nucleosynthesis shows his primitive myth about gods and creation to be wrong. 

Then ol’ WK entirely goes off the rails, and rants about how atheists are only atheist because we want to enjoy sex.  Poor dear, he is always about the sex.   I guess the poor fellow is jealous of so many things.   Alas, our worldview is not discredited at all.  Poor WK, he can’t even get other Christians to agree with him.

If WK really wants to see religion in science fiction, he should watch Babylon 5.  There is a whole episode about religion, The Parliament of Dreams, but alas he’ll be upset with it since it dares to show *all* of earth’s religions, as well as those of aliens.  There’s also a great episode about Christianity and monks:  Passing Through Gethsemane.    And then we have G’Kar, an alien who shows the best of what a spiritual sentient being can be (after being a general pain in the ass through out much of the series). 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – conservative Christians losing their Sh*t over a blue furry alien puppet

Yep, folks, we have morons again losing their shit over imaginary character.

Not remembering how stupid they looked when they had a tizzy over the Teletubbies, we have complete idiots like Candace Owens (hilariously idiotic black gal who shills for conservatives) taking a fit about Gonzo the Great, a Muppet. And she isn’t the only one, here’s one, and here’s one, etc.

For those of you not familiar with Gonzo, he’s one of the Muppets, like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, etc.

This, my friends, is Gonzo:

The blue one is Gonzo. Camilla is the chicken.



Hmmm, Gonzo the Great is a puppet or more correctly, a Muppet. As written, he (and I use that word out of simple ease) is likely a space alien, so poor Candace has no idea what sex it could be. Gonzo often has *chickens* as romantic interests. Yep, again we have conservatives showing just how stupid they really are.

Addendum: And funny how we won a world war with this:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpg-w2W1-GI

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – and how Christians worm into US government

This isn’t surprising at all, but should be broadcast to all. There is a rather slimy Christian group called HillFaith in Washington DC. It’s run by Mark Tapscott, a former aide, editor for the Washington Examiner, part of the Daily Caller, a notorious white surpremacist website (founded by Tucker Carlson no less) and a reporter for the Epoch Times, a Chinese-based conspiracy rag.

Boy, ain’t he a great one!

Unsurprisingly, he spreads conservative lies and promises if you come to his little talk, you’ll get Chik-fil-a! Nothing like being a walking, talking stereotype.

In his latest post on his website (no comments allowed) he is shilling the amazing Christian liar Frank Turek, who is a creationist and an utterly incompetent apologist.”

“Do you have enough faith to be an atheist? Now, you may be saying to yourself “wait a minute, atheists don’t have any faith, so that’s gotta be a mis-print or some other kind of mistake.”

And it’s true, atheism is popularly understood to be the opposite of faith.

Dr. Frank Turek explains why he still doesn’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

But the reality is that the more you learn about human beings, the universe in which we live, and how it all came to be, the more difficult it becomes to remain an atheist.

Is that a skeptical look on your face?

Then plan on joining the crowd at HillFaith’s “For Hill Aides Only Monday Club” every Monday at noon starting on July 19 for the next 12 weeks at 109 2nd Street NE, right behind the Supreme Court building. That’s the Liberty & Faith town house office suite with the 10 Commandments stone in the front yard.

Each Monday will feature a 25-40 minute video of Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org addressing key aspects of the Faith vs Atheism debate, followed by a spirited discussion and Q&A led by HillFaith’s Mark Tapscott. Lunch is provided from Chik-fil-A.”



Now isn’t this sweet from Mark’s website? “

Is HillFaith partisan?

No, HillFaith is rigorously non-partisan, witnessing to and seeking to serve congressional aides and employees without regard to their employers’ partisan identification or personal leanings. Jesus is neither Democrat, nor Republican, and His life-changing Grace and Salvation are available to every person.”

ROFL Poor dears I guess they figure this doesn’t apply to them. “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers” Proverbs

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – one more theocratic Christian cult in the US

From the Washington Post:

“The church is called Mercy Culture, and it is part of a growing Christian movement that is nondenominational, openly political and has become an engine of former president Donald Trump’s Republican Party. It includes some of the largest congregations in the nation, housed in the husks of old Baptist churches, former big-box stores and sprawling multimillion-dollar buildings with private security to direct traffic on Sundays. Its most successful leaders are considered apostles and prophets, including some with followings in the hundreds of thousands, publishing empires, TV shows, vast prayer networks, podcasts, spiritual academies, and branding in the form of T-shirts, bumper stickers and even flags. It is a world in which demons are real, miracles are real, and the ultimate mission is not just transforming individual lives but also turning civilization itself into their version of God’s Kingdom: one with two genders, no abortion, a free-market economy, Bible-based education, church-based social programs and laws such as the ones curtailing LGBTQ rights now moving through statehouses around the country.

This is the world of Trump’s spiritual adviser Paula White and many more lesser-known but influential religious leaders who prophesied that Trump would win the election and helped organize nationwide prayer rallies in the days before the Jan. 6 insurrection, speaking of an imminent “heavenly strike” and “a Christian populist uprising,” leading many who stormed the Capitol to believe they were taking back the country for God.”

Apologies if you’ve read WaPo articles and this is behind the pay wall for you. Let me know.

More hateful bigots aka theocrats on the rampage. This is why I stand against theist nonsense.

Not So Polite Conversation – and another set of lies from John Clayton

And yet one more lie from John Clayton.  This is the usual tactic of so many Christians, to try to scare people into believing.  This is what I hate about some Christians, that they want to cause harm in the world for their benefit. 

“It is interesting to read the responses of various groups to what we post on this site. Atheist reactions to our discussions about the futility of atheism have been especially interesting. We have occasionally made the statement that one of the problems atheists face is that they see no purpose in their existence. On the other hand, atheists have responded that their pleasures in life serve as a purpose.”

It’s even more interesting to know that John hasn’t printed a retraction from his lie from the blog post earlier, when he tried to pretend that Ulysses S. Grant wasn’t for the separation of church and state.  Alas, atheism is just no belief in god, and it is not futile or not.  It just is.   Now a worldview might be futile but atheists are all over the place on those.  

Our pleasure in life does serve a purpose, but John wants to pretend it can’t.  He needs to pretend so in order to make a job for his imaginary god. 
 

“Vladimir Putin recently made a statement published in Time magazine (July 5/July 12, 2021, page 6), “There is no happiness in life. There’s only a mirage on the horizon.” That is a quote from Leo Tolstoy, the Russian Nobel Prize winner in literature. Putin used it concerning the struggles between Russia and the United States. It is interesting that the Russian dictator living in the 21st century would draw on it. But, what did he mean by “happiness?” “

Oh noes, Puty-Pie said something!  Whatever shall we do?  😀  I do love conservative Christains who consider Vlad an expert in anything at all.  Vlady might be a nihilist; most atheists aren’t.  Who cares what Vlady might mean by happiness? 

“Happiness and pleasure are two different things. For example, sexual pleasure is not happiness. A biblical example is the rape of Tamar by Amnon in 2 Samuel 13. After he raped Tamar, the passage tells us, “Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred for her was greater than the love by which he had loved her.” Thus, sexual pleasure is not happiness, and neither does having massive amounts of money bring happiness. Unfortunately, the life stories of some of the richest men in the history of America are largely tragic and often ending in suicide.”

Happiness is “a state of well-being and contentment; joy” (MW)  and pleasure is” a state of gratification;  a source of delight or joy”.  So they are related, pleasure leads to happiness. 

Of course, John thinks rape is sexual pleasure.  He is ignorant and disgusting.  So his attempt to claim that sexual pleasure does not lead to happiness fails entirely, and shows him to be a complete asshole. 

Money can bring happiness; it just depends what you do with it.  So John fails again.  Being wealthy doesn’t cause suicide.  Being mentally ill causes suicide in most cases.  Severe physical pain can cause someone to choose suicide. 

“How does an atheist deal with tragedies and illnesses in life? If the things you think will bring happiness are put out of reach by something you cannot control, what do you do? That is when the futility of atheism becomes apparent.”

Atheists deal with tragedies and illnesses in life a lot like other humans do, but we don’t think some god caused it for some mysterious purpose and try to excuse what an asshole *it* is.  We know that death happens, accidents happen, some people are evil and cause harm, and the universe doesn’t care if we live or die.   So we rely on our own strengths and those of our friends and family.  If we can’t do something, then we can choose to do something else.   

“On the other hand, Christians find happiness in fulfillment. Contentment is another word that that describes the fulfilled Christian who sees a purpose in life and hope for the future. Feeling God’s Spirit working in you as promised in Acts 2:38 will bring contentment. That is something that atheists cannot fully understand because their belief system does not allow it. — John N. Clayton © 2021”

If this is true, then no Christian would commit suicide and they do commit suicide.  Most likely, John will blame the victim since he can’t admit that his god and religion fail.  Feeling some god obviously doesn’t bring contentment then. 

Most people see purpose and hope in the future; no John or his god needed. Most people are also fairly content, again, no John or his god needed. 

Sometimes life sucks, sometimes it doesn’t, it can depend on luck, hard work, and education.   Sometimes we have no control over things, sometimes we do. Think things through and plan. It helps.