Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – my notes while I was watching the video

Here are my notes when I was watching my chat with Robert.  I hadn’t known that he was going to include his comentary but that’s fine.  These notes are long.  Unfortunately for Robert, I’ve learned to not trust Christians.  I’ve also put these remarks on youtube with the video.  I don’t know if they’ll show up.

It is true that there are Christian scientists. We also have Isaac Newton, an antitrinitarian Christian, who got us a lot of knowledge but also thought that alchemy works. It is true that Christians had to step away from the bible and its contradictions and false claims about reality and try a more metaphorical interpretation.

References to Christian things isn’t a turn off, because I know how Christians think, a lot of different kinds of Christians. Just saying what you believe doesn’t bother me or offend me. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t show how it fails.

Before the Big Bang, we aren’t sure of what was in existence. Currently, we aren’t sure if the BB is part of a series, etc. From what we can see, it seems that there couldn’t have been time. However, we have nothing that says that the laws of physics couldn’t have existed. We also don’t know if infinities really work or not. They are really weird. The idea of a universe that ends seems to go against what the bible claims as some magical event with people flying around, being raised from the dead and either being destroyed or eternally tortured.

I do love the science fiction analogy but it fails since it doesn’t have an omnipotent being, which could do anything by interpretation. Other than Contact, the book “The Hercules Text” is an even better version of that story IMO.

I do understand what transcendence means and so do most atheists. I do see evidence that it happens as claimed by Christians. As for a “nest of vipers”, Christianity is so self-contradictory, and Christians make up their versions in their own image that there is no such thing as true Christianity. And yep, I am critical of Christianity from every perspective. Christians have little choice to be hypocrites since few read the bible, and as above, have made up their religion in their images.

I’m as doubtful about Christianity in general, as each Christian doubts each other. We can see that schism in the current splitting of the Methodist church.

To claim that one doesn’t believe in god, but being a theist is rather silly and seems to be a little bit of a dodge. For a theist to be a theist, there is a god. For Christian, there is the one defined in the bible. Catholics do have other sources they claim just as valid. If there is no god, then there is no eden, then no need of Jesus. Repeating something out of rote if you have no idea it is true then it is pointless.

Properity gospel is silly but it is as Christian as any other Chrisitan claim. JC (Jesus Christ) says that any prayer, any ask, will be answered. Shall we disbelieve that?

People who are different in IQ do have trouble in communicating. However, neither are omnipotent. IF this god can’t make itself understood, then it isn’t omnipotent. Even a smart person can modify their words to help others understand them. This god doesn’t or can’t do that.

That a Christian wants to ignore Paul or at least part of what he says isn’t new. If something is just an “interpretation by Paul” and we can discount it in favor of something else, then why consider any of the bible to be some magical truth? Claims of “mystery” is a way to dodge problematic issues in religion.

“go with the interpretation which leads towards love”. Here is a problematic statement. Christians constantly tell me that they love me, Jesus loves me, God loves me, and there is no evidence of this. Even if you go with the definition of love in 1 Corinthians, this god fails it, and if Jesus is this god, Jesus fails it (though Jesus sometimes seems far more loving with his concern with the poor, the sick, etc). In my experience, for most Christians love doesn’t mean a concern for someone for which you’d do almost anything to make them happy and to protect them. Love for them is obedience to this god no matter what in the belief that this god will protect them and give them what they want.

It isn’t interesting that someone goes to 1 Corinthians and says that it’s a pretty good definition of “love”. In the bible, where we hear about love, it is what the bible defines “love” as. And this god fails that definition. It isn’t that this atheist thinks that the bible is right, I think that it is fairly close to what love is, not that it and it alone has the right definition of “love”. And no, it didn’t make me happy at all. I wanted nothing to do with any bible nonsense. As I said, it made other people happy, Christians who I am related to who I do care about. That’s what real love is.

Nope, no Christ needed to be loving. I am entirely disappointed with Robert that he tries to make that claim.

Christians do indeed disagree and contradict each other. It isn’t using this as a tool, it is a fact that Christians differ from each other in very basic ways. It is true that Christians make Christ into what they want, and no, he didn’t supposedly said anything new or special. We’ve had the “golden rule” for vastly longer than Christianity has existed. The ancient Chinese had it, the ancient Hebrews had it and the ancient Egyptians had it. Jesus had a different interpretation of this god nonsense just like every Christian has a different interpretation of what Christ/god supposedly said. Resurrection comes from latin sugere which means to rise or spring up. In- as a prefix means   insurrection means act of instance of revolting against an authority aka rebel. Of course, in- as a prefix is a pain in the ass. Does this mean “not rising”? Does it mean “on or in a rising”? that last seems more like it. In any case it means the same as rebel though I can understand it can have different connotations to people rather than the denotation that it gets in the dictionary (my English teacher taught me “D – dictionary, denotation; C – connotation, impliCation”

The claim that no one “really” knows what Christ is saying and that this is where “fundamentalism” comes from, is Christians trying to claim each other are wrong. If we can’t trust the words from the authors or the translators, then there is no reason to believe any of them. Jesus says to follow the laws in Exodus, Leviticus etc. Should they all be followed? Some?

The same holds true for the question “what is baptism?” Well, we get a pretty good idea from what John the “Baptist” did. However, as Robert says, there are many different version of what Christians think is baptism. In my area, there are the Amish which are a part of the anabaptist movement. What indeed is a “truly” baptized Christian? In Mark 16, it says that any baptized believer in Christ as savior can do magic aka miracles. Is this the reason that no Christian can since none of them were “really” baptized?

Being a “manager” doesn’t help much with facts especially when you have a baseless claim that something that has no evidence is “good” for them. It also doesn’t work when a manager isn’t omniscient and this god supposedly is. There is no evidence that this god can create anything much less a “clockwork mechanism”. This is the argument that this god didn’t want to create something perfect because it wanted “free will”. As those who have read my blog before, free will never comes up in the bible. We have miracles which is this god interfering with human actions. As soon as it interferes, there is no free will. We also have very definite times where this god removes free will: killing a child for the actions of its parents, forcing the Egyptians to give up their wealth to the Israelites, hardening Pharoah’s heart so it can show off, etc.

 

This god pushes people constantly in the bible. Again, what the bible says and what a Christian wants is different. If things that are perfect are “dead”, then that doesn’t give much hope for heaven.

In regards to abortion, this is another example of love as obedience.

There is no evidence that this god is “infinite”. So one can escape. It isn’t nihilistic to be good with the universe ending. Being accepting of death isn’t nihilism. Death is part of life. I get out of the way of someone new. I would miss being alive and I don’t want anyone to be sad I was gone. Not wanting this god or this heaven isn’t nihilism.

“The bible isn’t the message”.   There is no evidence that the “message” is anything different than the bible or that it is “bigger” than the bible. As much as Quakers and Catholics want to pretend otherwise, this is where they started. That they have changed their minds and declared they have some new truth is nothing new; all Christians reinvent their religion in their own image.  There is nothing to show that this god started the message and the universe is around 13 billion years old (we keep refining that number with new information but it is around that old per all the evidence we have) not “3 trillion years old”. Not even remotely.

There is nothing to show that the Christian claims are evolving across time. That is a modern Christian claim. And again, there is no reason for this god for not giving the absolute truth. It is materially false when the bible makes claims that aren’t true. That we are still looking at the universe and though we though it was one way e.g. “steady state” vs big bang, no one said that this was a magical divinely given “truth”. Christians claims truths and then a generation later those supposed truths change, often in response to very human changes in morality or in response to scientific discoveries. Scientists don’t say “God told me this is the truth.”

The BBT doesn’t say that the universe is expanding from a “central point”. The BBT is far more bizarre than that.

We do find and refine what we think is true. The claims of Christians shouldn’t have to do that.  If this god is limited by humans, it isn’t much of a god, especially when Christians claim that this god damns people for not getting things “right”.

“who says what it says and which bible” This is in response to me pointing out what the bible says. Chrsitians all claim that they and they alone know what it “really” says. And, since this is the case, there is some truth in saying “who says what it says”. Christians make that up as they go along, with no more evidence than the next Christian who disagrees with them, “love” not withstanding. If the translation makes a difference, then why does it? Can this god do nothing about that? Why does this god allow “wrong” translations and then damns people who don’t know any better?

Robert says he is a universal salvationist which essentially means that everyone will have a chance at accepting this god and some thing that we will all agree with them that this god is what they say. Robert might not agree with this exactly but this is what I’m going with since the ‘net seems to think this is what it means.   As I noted, this is very much not what the bible says or what most Christians believe. He believes that eventually that I or everyone who isn’t Christian will “eventually lose” and we will have to accept this god’s message. No matter what it is. According to Robert, the only way to avoid the heat death of the universe is to accept his god. If this god is what is presented in the bible, I don’t want it or its afterlife. I have better morals than that and as it stands this heaven can’t seem to exist since it by being perfect is “dead”.

It didn’t surprise me much to have Robert think that C.S. Lewis’ idea of hell in “The Last Divorce” to be preferable to the fire and worms that the bible presents. However, C.S. Lewis presents a hell where Christians forget those they loved. A good review of this book is here. In short form, C.S blames the non-Christian, in my opinion blaming the victim. Honest doubt is claimed to be nothing more than intellectual laziness and selfishness, if one dares to disagree with the author. Lewis also ignores the bible and has that those in hell can leave by choice. The bible never says this and the church fathers never say this either; heck, they claim that unbaptized children are damned because they dare to be born with the nonsense of “original sin”. Then as we know, the RCC invented purgatory since such nonsense seemed too cruel.

Lewis’ argument is that people have to submit, again showing what so many Christians claim as “love” to be nothing more than obedience needed by their god. When a Christians relies on false claims like this “human being can’t make one another happy for long” and “You cannot love a fellow-creature fully until you love God” then we are in classic cult territory.

“Folk beliefs”, “infantile babyfied ways of looking at heaven and hell”.   This appears to be what a lot of atheists call “sophisticated theology”. That link leads to rationalwiki’s entry on it which describes how Christians are sure that other Christians aren’t quite getting Christianity “right”, when they are taking the bible at its word. In this, hell isn’t this god daming people to fire and worms, it is the non-believer choosing not to agree with the believer. It’s not their or their god’s fault that they are unbelievable.

“It is essentially pagan to think of God as Odin…”   This is very similar to arguments made by people like Karen Armstrong and Tillich that somehow their god is “different” than everyone else’s god, that it is the “ground of being” and can’t be held to human description so it gets vaguer and vaguer in definition. This vague entity is very hard to reconcile some god that has a blood sacrifice to “save” people.

People that are happy in believing nonsense is most humans: Muslims, Hindus, Christians that Robert doesn’t agree with, etc. That doesn’t mean that any of their beliefs are true. One’s personal beliefs aren’t true and cognitive science accepts this. Cognitive science doesn’t say that Christianity, or any religion, is true.

“It’s okay to take the bible literally.” One would think a Christian would say this since they all take some part of it literally. It just depends on the Christian what parts. And then they declare that those Christians who don’t agree with them aren’t “really” Christians. Robert wants people to take the bible morally, literally, allegorically and what I think he is saying “anagogical” which means “a mystical or spiritual interpretation” of statements and events. Per the wiki entry on “anagogue” this is some kind of a allegory that isn’t a “simple” allegory”, it is a divine revelation.

In that Christians all make claims of how their god (or the holy spirit) tells them what something “really” meant, aka knowing anagogically, there is no reason to think one Christian has a better interpretation than another.

“Religion is like science”. No it isn’t. I don’t say that I believe in science just because it can be wrong or improved. Science does come to truth across time. We are limited humans. It is not true in religion since every religion claims it has the truth and that what it interprets Jesus/God as wanting as the “truth”. What happens is that those supposed truths, declared strongly by Christians, change to another “truth” by Christians who disagree. Science is rarely declared as some immutable truth, and shouldn’t be declared that since we know things can change when we find something new. Religions, such as Chrisitanity, depend on declaring dogmatic “truth” and then they often proceed to kill each over these supposed “truths”. Few theists ever admit that they doubt what they claim is true. If they didn’t think it was true, they wouldn’t believe it.

Science isn’t about “feeling” the truth; its about facts. All Christians claim that their version of Christ is “truth” itself. All claim that Christ manifests in them and again we have drastically conflicting messages from supposedly this “Christ”.

“when there is no ultimate, infinite goodness that exists apart from us, we have removed the fixed point toward which we can aspire.” This is an argument that this god is some moral or ultimate ideal. Most Christians try this. This assumes that somehow we need this god to get better. There is no evidence for this at all. Humans have gotten morally better (subjectively of course) and it is the religions that have constantly changed their gods to catch up. Our imaginations can always make us better. Robert wants to claim we can’t get “infinitely better without his god, but there is again no reason to think his god exists or that it is infinite or better than humans. Infinities are again, weird things, and there is no reason to think that there is an “infinite” better-ness. That idea is attached to the cosmological argument that there has to be some “perfect” being that for some reason has to make the universe, under the assumption that existence is “better” than non-existence. Every religion says that only it gets you “infinitely” better, a claim with no evidence for it at all.

Newton did come up with physics and Newtonian physics works. It still works and we did need quantum mechanics. Einstein didn’t accept quantum physics. Newton’s laws work and are true, quantum laws are true, and we don’t *yet* know how they interact or if they do. We may never know it. That makes neither untrue; this is a false dichotomy argument. Religion claims an ultimate truth and it can’t show it.

Humans are bad at truth and the scientific method helps us in finding it. What we’ve found is no “third party”, and as it stands each religion claims that they and they alone have that third party that agrees with them, with no evidence again. That we don’t need a third party confounds many theists since their world depends on a presupposition that we do. That presupposition comes from the human need to think that intelligent agency is behind everything. The fact is that it isn’t.

There is no evidence for some “far distant truth” from some god. We do rely on us humans. No god can be shown to have done anything and humans reach for the stars on their own. This religion has done its best to squash questioning, killing those who questioned like Giordano Bruno, to keep us from the stars.

That I’ve stopped being afraid of this god or any god I can achieve much. I’ve decided not to believe in a god that limits humans, that punishes humans for questioning. My subjective morality allows me to move forward. Robert, though he is a very nice Christian, does try to claim he has a truth. Searching for a truth doesn’t involve saying “I *know* that “x” is true” which is what he and I discussed on his blog in the comments. Every Christian says that every other Christian isn’t getting the right answer.

It’ll be billions of years until an “end”, but that isn’t usually the end that most Christians are predicting. They have an end where this god comes back, and judges people. That isn’t the heat death of the universe which doesn’t care about anything.

Christianity would be rather bizarre with me in it, but I appreciate the thought. Christians, imo, are terrified. One happy atheist shows that the claims of Christianity aren’t true. Christianity claims a truth and that it is “greater” than everything else.

The bible is indeed violent just like Pulp Fiction the movie. I just don’t get the analogy Robert uses. This bible has that this god intentionally assigns innocents to the worst fate ever. You can try to ignore that part of the bible but it is still there. No free will in Chrisitanity at all

Those of you who don’t know Pern, it’s a science fiction, kinda fantasy series of books with dragons on an alien plant with the descendants of colonists. You can read about it here.

But at least we agree with Game of Thrones and George R. R. Martin. 😊

What the Boss Likes – Vel video chats with a theist

Now you too can see Vel and Robert chat about Christianity and atheism.  For those of you who don’t know the history of this, I found Robert’s blog post on WordPress and countered his claims that he can prove that his version of his god exists.  Then we decided to chat live about it.  I think we both had a good time.  We’re also both fans of fantasy and science fiction.

He’s edited it some and I haven’t watched it completely yet.  Hopefully it keeps intact my parts.  If you notice anything out of character or a missing chunk of argument that you know I’d offer, let me know.  He is a Catholic with some differences from some of the dogma. (robert, if that isn’t quite correct, let me know).

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “Why can’t animals talk?”

of course this isn’t history but a sadistic story

Rabbi Gellman, who used to be part of the God Squad with a catholic priest, still has a syndicated column. I occasionally address them there. This time it’s a column that in my paper is titled “why don’t animals talk”.

Now many cultures have myths on why this is. They are just-so stories like Kipling wrote. Raven can’t talk anymore because he stole fire for mankind and carried it in his beak.

The answer we have from the rabbi to ostensibly a third-grade girl is that it is somehow to teach humans “not just about right and wrong but also about wrong and right and even more right.”   (Italics mine) What the hell? This certainly drives a spike into the objective claims of morality from theists. If this god allows something that it kinda isn’t good with, but there is a better idea, then why not require the truly “good” idea? The rabbi wants to have it that eating meat is okay with his god but its better if we could eat without causing some animal to “suffer and die”.

In this column, Gellman mentions Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 9:3. They are, with a little added for context (the specific verses are italicized):

26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”27 So God created humankind[e] in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing odor, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, for the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth; nor will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.

22 As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night,  shall not cease.”

1God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life.” – Genesis 8-9

So, we have a god that has no problem with killing and burning animals for its own pleasure, so Gellman’s claim that this god is all about veganism isn’t true in the slightest. This god is so all about meat is that he rejects Cain’s offering of fruits and vegetables, and approves of Abel’s offering, also making it questionable why Abel was bothering with killing animals at all since they weren’t eating them, and why this god had to kill and skin animals to make clothes for the newly naked Adam and Eve. The rabbi claims that his god gives the allowance to Noah to eat meat “grudgingly”. That is no where in the verses.

The rabbi then gives a rather horrible little story (midrash) about how Noah wanted a hamburger. He has the snake being truthful and saying one has to make a hamburger (and seemingly implying that it was being evil, which begs the question, why was this snake on the ark?). Noah, for no reason other than personal want, kills and eats his friend the cow. This is from a person who chats regularly with this god. The end of the story is that animals don’t talk to humans because that Noah ate one of them and they are upset.

So are animals upset with this god too since it demands their death?

Which of the cows did Noah eat and how does this work with the other utterly silly story in the bible where it can’t make up its mind on how many animals Noah took with him on the ark?

If we can eat “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything” then why the claims we can’t eat some of these things in Exodus and Leviticus? This god is so forgetful, losing things, forgetting what he’s said before.

This a prime example of theists making up nonsense thoughtlessly and making things ever worse for their bible’s claims.

“Back of all these superstitions you will find some self-interest. I do not say that this is true in every case, but I do say that if priests had not been fond of mutton, lambs never would have been sacrificed to God. Nothing was ever carried to the temple that the priest could not use, and it always so happened that God wanted what his agents liked. Now, I will not say that all priests have been priests “for revenue only,” but I must say that the history of the world tends to show that the sacerdotal class prefer revenue without religion to religion without revenue.” – Robert Ingersoll (lots more excellent quotes here for those who don’t think atheists used to be as feistyt as they are now)

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – oh darn, did someone say that out loud?

Recently, I’ve noted some silly theist posts here and responded to them since the theists, Christians, want an echo chamber and don’t allow non-Christians like them to post.

One has caught my eye, where Haden (whom you’ve seen referenced to before having the blog amusingly named “Help Me Believe Strengthen the believer. Answer the critic”  (and be so unsure of your “answers” that you don’t allow anyone to address them)) cites another Christian’s post from the blog “Stephen J. BedardChristian Apologetics, Leadership, Disabilities, History and More”

This post is about if you can or can’t reason someone into believing in Christianity’s claims.  The base claim is  “Really? How do they know? Have they interviewed every single Christian and discovered that not one came to faith through apologetic arguments? It is so easy to make assertions without any evidence to back it up. Christians get annoyed when atheists make unfounded assertions, we should be careful not to do the same.”

However, the bible doesn’t agree with this at all.  It says that the only way you can believe in if you were picked by this god to be able to believe.

Then Mr. Bedard tries this:

“What some people may mean by this is that it is not arguments that bring a person to salvation, it is the Holy Spirit. Of course that is true. But that would also mean that you cannot preach a person into the kingdom or you cannot evangelize a person into the kingdom but most people do not say that. Apologists understand that their arguments are only part of the picture and that it is ultimately the Holy Spirit who brings the person to Christ.”

So, he seems to believe in the part of the bible where Paul says no one can accept this god unless they were chosen to, e.g. no free will.  This would make apologetics entirely useless, and they aren’t just a “part of a picture”, they don’t work at all. It becomes no more than preaching to the choir.

Now, I tried to post these points on Bedard’s blog and of course, they don’t appear.  However, what *does* appear is quite an example of a Christian speaking (typing) out loud what Christians generally don’t want to admit.

You may or may not be familiar with a Christian who goes by “Evolution is a Hoax”.  He is one of those Christians who lies, etc when it comes to atheists.  However, here we get to see what he really wants on what he seems to think, with good reason, a friendly website.

“we should compel people to come in. And our weapons of our warfare are to pull down arguments. We should and sow seed even on stony ground and if possible remove the stones from the field. Its a simple solution.”

Nothing like Christians wanting to convert by the sword.  Ol’ Hoax also goes on a rant here and as usual, a Christian can’t go very long without attacking another Christian.   Hoax also admits, like the Jesuits, that they need to get to the kids early because they won’t question lies. “Most success happens when you are in a Sunday school room and you have a clean slate with few arguments and they will listen to the gospel and feel the love his sacrifice conveys.”

What a failure of a god when it can only be believed by children who are lied to.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a Christian’s excuse for supporting an anti-christ aka Trump

Haden, over at Helpmebelieve.com, has done a great job at showing just what some Christians will do to gain power. Haden, unsurprisingly, is a Trumpie.  Nothing new is here.  Pretty much every Trumpie will make the same excuses.

As some of you might know, the editor of Christianity Today, a magazine started by the Billy Graham family of pastors, wrote an article on why Christians shouldn’t support Donald J. Trump.   Haden is quite sure that it is wrong for Galli to have pointed out why Christians shouldn’t support a liar, a cheat, a self-proclaimed sexual abusers, someone who has said he doesn’t need forgiveness by Haden’s god, and who idolizes murderous dictators that kill their own people, including Christians.

“It is no secret that evangelicals are split on Trump. Many are his strongest allies. Many view him as an abomination. Many voted for him simply because they did not like their other options. “

Vanishingly few evangelical Christians find Trump an abomination. Most voted for him because they are indeed bigots and wannabee theocrats that will do anything for power. We know that they want judges appointed to give them a chance to legislate their religion into law.

It’s something when Haden claims this “Although, naturally a Christian evangelical publication is going to lean right and conservative.” This does seem to be a tendency but what is this reason when their supposed savior was a communist who supported the sick and the poor? It seems that again, Christianity is made up by the believer, not the other way around.

We do know Haden’s stance, anything for power and anyone who doesn’t agree with him is not a true Christian. He isn’t objective but he does want to claim that *no one* is, as an excuse for himself. Haden says he will likely vote for Trump in 2020. “I won’t vote for anyone else”, and he admits that. Someone who won’t vote for anyone else has declared that Trump is indeed is “favorite guy in the world.” His bias *is* in the open.

As much as Haden doesn’t like facts, there are some that show that his intended choice, above anyone else, is indeed someone that Christians wouldn’t vote for.

Haden tries to argue that Trump, by trying to force a foreign power to conduct a baseless investigation of an American citizen, isn’t “really” an abuse of power. What is Haden’s excuse? That Galli hadn’t mentioned all of the evidence in the editorial. Of course, one can read the report from the House to see all of the sworn testimony and evidence. We don’t have the actual transcripts since they have been hidden by Trump in a separate confidential server.  Funny how Trump isn’t willing to be under oath and is terrified if any of his closest people are under oath. An oath to be honest before Haden’s god. Hmmmm.  We do have the evidence, Haden, and you again try to ignore that fact.

The editorial, and Haden’s (plus other evangelicals) actions do paint themselves as ignoring their bible and their god.  The editorial in CT has “That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.” Haden is offended by that last statement.

Hmmm, how dare anyone expect Haden to be loyal aka faithful to his god and to what the bible claims? Well, what does the bible actually say about a man like Donald J. Trump and his known actions? Is salvation conditioned on support of Trump or not?

Is salvation connected to actions at all? Well, that’s a problem for Christians since, again, they disagree if it is or not. There is the “always saved” bunch, the “actions will happen because of faith” bunch, the “faith alone” bunch, and “any good act is rewarded” bunch.

But if we look at the bible itself, it seems rather clear on at least what this god doesn’t want in a leader. But in the bible we do have that problem that Paul claims that *any* leader is put in place by this god, so obedience to a leader is indeed required for salvation, despite what Haden says “So, does Galli really believe that if one votes, or supports Trump, that one is not loyal to God? If pressed, surely he would not make salvation conditioned on support, or non-support, of a president. Even if we tone down the language to that of obedience, surely this is an overreach.”

Ummm, yep, Haden, your bible does literally say this: Romans 13 if you are confused (or trying to ignore it).

Haden’s also horrified that anyone dares not call him the only True Christian, and that other Christians might find this to be the case. Haden of course does this repeatedly. And oh no, someone dares to speak prophetically about how Christians should act? You mean like Pat Robertson, Robert Jeffress and others that Haden follows? Such the pot calling the other Christian kettle black.

Indeed, Haden, who will take you seriously after you support Trump? He offers these excuses:

  • “The truth of the Gospel message is not dependent upon the character of the Gospel messenger.”

In that no Christian can come up with a “truth” here that they all agree on is the problems Christians like Haden have.

  • “The effectiveness of the Gospel message is not dependent upon the character of the Gospel messenger.”

That Christians can’t agree makes a completely ineffective message since the message changes with each Christian.

  • “If a person will only accept the Gospel message on the condition that I publicly denounce Trump, that person does not understand the message.”

If a person notes that you ignore your bible, that person understands that you cherry pick what you want to accept.

  • “A vote for Trump is not a justification of all of his actions and words. I repeat: a vote for Trump is not a justification of all of his actions and words.”

This from a Christian who wants you to think he doesn’t completely support Trump but who will vote for NO ONE ELSE. It is a justification of all of his actions and words.

That people vote for Trump means that they *have* justified his actions and words to be more important than following what the Bible says. Haden desperately wants abortion to be made criminal. He will accept anything as long as he thinks that will happen. He is indeed saying that as long as he gets what he wants “the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end”. Haden literally says this “if we don’t vote for the conservative candidate that has the best chance at winning, we are more likely to get a president who will make our efforts toward ending abortion that much more difficult.” The end justifies the means, a suitable amoral idea that goes well with the “might equals right” claims of conservative Christianity.

There are no false dichotomies as Haden would claim. His words out his intentions. Unlike Haden’s claim “We can support the candidate that is most pro-life “friendly” while at the same time calling-out his moral failures.” , these people never consider or call out Trump’s moral failures. They invent excuses for them, just like Haden is doing.

For people like Haden, abortion is just a “think of the children” lie that they use to try to hide their desire for a theocracy. That they consistently elect people who cut help to families and children aka “innocent human beings made in the image of God” and who have no problem with over a thousand children lost in Trump’s immigration nightmare, and who don’t want children to have the best chance in life, shows that they are not “pro-life” at all. Not caring for children after they leave the womb shows that all they want is control.

For someone who wants to toss about the term “genocide”, Haden doesn’t want that term being used for his god when the bible has it commanding genocide committed on other people. If genocide is wrong, then it is always wrong. If not, then Haden’s god is as subjective as Haden is. Haden assumes he knows what his god is concerned with “At the risk of going too far, let me ask, what is God more concerned with? The way other people view you, or the genocide of millions of innocent lives? The question is really: Are you willing to support a president with a less than perfect moral life for the sake of ending abortion, or not?”

Hmmm, a god that commands genocide? This god has done nothing about abortion. The bible only mentions the killing of children as being approved of or being done directly by this god. If we go with the bible, abortion is at best no concern of this god, and at worst, approved of by this god. Are you willing to support a god that is like this?  A god that wants you to go for a “lesser of two evils”, which is not a biblical idea? Are you willing to ignore the parts of the bible that say not to follow a liar, a cheat, an adulterer, etc?

“Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” – 2 John 1

As we end up seeing, Haden is all about winning and power. “To them I say: show me the pro-life candidate with a perfect moral life that actually has a chance at winning.” And then we see this “Whatever option you take, far be it from me to question your “loyalty” to God as Galli has done.” Except, you know, when Haden insists that some Christians really aren’t Christians, like Mormons, JWs, etc.

Haden insists that some candidate needs to be supported, but we have the bible saying to not bother with the actions of this world. It would only be someone who is quite sure that this world is it when he is so concerned about it. That an evangelical has no one to vote for shouldn’t be an issue.

It seems we have a schism between conservative Christians and Trumpie Christians. Haden is a Trumpie Christian, close to a conservative Christian, but another step away in being sure that he and he alone can decide what this god wants and ignoring even more of his bible as is convenient. Even the OT, the bastion of conservative Christianity, doesn’t go far enough for him. Losing this “base” isn’t a bad thing at all. For all of the claims of “irrelevantness” about who Billy would have voted for, Haden found it necessary to mention.

The hypocrisy of conservative Christians and Trumpie Christians is fun to watch. They are after each other with knives, and all about who knows their invisible friend best.  I do feel sorry for the Christians who are good people in spite of the religion.   They often get tarred with the same brush.

Just in case Christians are a bit forgetful about what their god says about following someone just for power and excusing what he does when convenient:

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7

14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?” – 2 Corinthians 6

“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.” – Exodus 23

“And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”” -Luke 18

“Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death19 is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!””- Proverbs 26

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.” – Romans 3

Some will chide me for using the bible to point out the failures of Christians and Christianity, mostly Christians. But how else to show such hypocrisy and thoughtlessness?  No one needs the bible or Christianity or Christians to be a humane person.  If you aren’t even going to try, you get to be held responsible.

Not So Polite Dinner Conservation – Those magi, and yay, a child is destined to be killed

On the road, over two thousand years ago

Balthasar: hey guys, I was doing up that kid’s astrology chart.

Caspar: what kid’s?

Melchior: You know, that one who is going to be king of the Jews one day, you gave the myrrh.

Caspar: Oh yeah. What about him?

Balthasas: I think we got the wrong one. Damnit, I knew I should have read those Jewish myths more closely. This one is dead in a little over 30 years, tortured to death by the Romans and Jews.   That Jupiter in retrograde is a bitch.

Melchoir: But I did a chart and shows that this kid would be celebrated for millenia.

Caspar: So this god made a kid, had it killed for what this god decreed to happen in the Jewish myths and then people celebrated that? But not the Jews?

Balthasar: (tossing his scroll onto the camp fire) This stuff is such crap. When we get home, I’m just sticking with observation and experimentation.

/satire

On our road trip to see family this weekend, my husband noted that it was really weird to have a big winter celebration in honor of the birth of a child that was decreed to die in a few decades because of its father needing a death to make itself happy for something it did intentionally thousands of years before.

Of course, the story about the magi is yet another time when the bible shows its failure in making any sense. The magi go into a house, not a stable or manger. Per the story, the kid was around two years old, since Herod supposedly had a massacre of children of that age (no evidence for this either). The eastern orthodox churches have up to 12 magi (which makes me think of the scene in The Life of Brian when the roman soldiers are filing in and out of the hide out of the People’s Front of Judea) visiting which would just be funny.

 

And of course the actual scene with the magi:

Being happy about a birth that only leads to death and misery required by a god though the actions of its supposed archenemy for no reason is a greedy sadist’s act.

It’s a lot more coherent to celebrate the sun’s warmth, the turning of the seasons and the best things in life: food, drink and the people you love in your life.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – talking to Christians, Christians talking to non-Christians etc

This weekend I was at an holiday craft show with my art.  Despite rather awful weather, standing in a puddle the first day and being wind-whipped the second, I did fairly well.  It’s always a nice thing when people actually buy something you’ve made or even just compliment it.  I hate to admit I do like the external validation 😊

One of the things I was selling were these little resin casts of cat faces.  The mold comes in a set with a good kitty, having a gem in its forehead and a bad kitty with little horns.  Now, if you have cats, you know they can be bad kitties often, mine currently having been chewing on my yule tree.  I sold quite a few of these little guys.

I had wondered if, since this was a Christian sponsored event, anyone would comment.  And sure enough someone did.

A nice millennial-type gal came up and bought a magnet and a holiday painting of a couple of candles with a Christmas tree in the background.  She then came back and asked me if I was into “witchcraft” and picked up one of the kitty heads, a back one with gold horns.  I said, “Nope, they are just kitty heads, if you are into witchcraft or whatever doesn’t mean much to me if you see them that way. I’m an atheist.”  I may as well have grown a third eye, but she hid her surprise well.  “Oh well, I was wondering since this is a church event. Okay, thank you.”

And then she came back again with her boyfriend.  “I mean, I just have to ask, were you a Christian before or how did you…..”  she trailed off.   I grinned and said “Yep, I was raised a Presbyterian and was one until probably my early twenties.  Then I read the bible and realized that there was no evidence for anything in it.”

“Oh. Well, did you read “The Case for Christ”  by Lee Strobel.”

“Yep, it’s a very bad set of claims that have no evidence for them.”

“Oh it’s such a powerful book.”

“Sorry, I didn’t see it that way and I can answer all of his points.  I’ve also read Craig, Lewis, and they are trying to convince Christians, not convert anyone.”  They were at a loss so I gave them my business card and invited them to email me if they wanted to talk further.  They wished me Merry Christmas and left.

I was half-expecting to be asked to leave if they ran to the organizers but nothing happened.   But this is the mission that has to ask the entire community for donations when there are hundreds of churches around, so I think they are happy to have anyone support them.  Incidentally, if you are looking for a review and rebuttal of Strobel’s books, there are a couple here: https://infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/strobel.html  and https://infidels.org/library/modern/paul_doland/strobel.html  They are all a rehash of the same poor arguments.

Now, I’ve been finding various Christians insisting that they have such great ways to answer skeptics, like these two Christians could have used.  Haden Clark, over at “Help me believe”  does this.

In this blog entry, we have Haden claiming he has 5 tips for talking with skeptics. Let’s look at how well these will work.

As someone who claims that they know “a bit” about Christian apologetics, Haden thinks these ideas will help someone.  When the someone finds they don’t, well, it doesn’t look good for an apologist.   When promises don’t come true, belief in them fails as religion is finding out as more and more people leave it.  What Haden gives are excuses.

1)   You are not Superman

This is where Haden says that the apologist doesn’t need the answer to every objection.  Aka how dare someone expect a Christian to know what they are talking about.  So, Haden advises, if you don’t know the answer, it’s okay and Christianity has lasted 2000+ years so it doesn’t need you.  The problem with this is that Christianity has changed vastly in those 2000+ years because Christians don’t know much about their own religion.

2)  Ask the First Question

Here, the first question is “If Christianity were true and you could know it with 100% certainty, would you become a Christian?”  The problem here is which Christianity?  Christians don’t agree on the most basic things, so the apologist has a problem.

Haden, like most Christians, assumes that he and only he has the “truth”.  And that any “level-minded” person would agree with him.  With the lack of evidence for any truth, Haden has a problem with his question.  If Christianity is what some Christians claim, I’d not have much problem with following it.   If it is like other Christians claim, I might believe in this god but would never become a Christian.  Since I read the bible, I certainly would never become a follower of this god if the bible’s stories were true, even if I might believe in it.

Haden also makes claims about people he has supposedly interacted with but it’s hard to know if these interactions ever occurred.  Haden claims that if someone won’t agree with him that they would become a Christian if he could show Christianity true, then he can’t discuss things with them because he needs the excuse that they will “never” accept what he says, a common Christian excuse.  As opposed to what Haden claims, yes, as skeptics, they are indeed rejecting Christianity because they find it hard to believe.  If this god was shown to be the violent primitive one in the bible, there is good reason not to accept it, even if one does believe it exists.  Haden recommends prayer to his god to get people to agree with the apologist, which never works out and offers another problem: why does this god not answer his believers?  Well, as most of my readers know, this is when this god becomes “mysterious”.

It’s easy for Haden to recommend low-hanging fruit and avoid someone who might offer some resistance.

3) Ask More Questions

A rather curious bit of advice considering the advice given above.  Haden is quite sure that most people haven’t thought about why they believe or why they don’t.   So he advises asking questions of the target of his conversion:  “What do you mean by that?  And “How do you know that?”

Those two questions get Christians in a lot of sticky situations for them.  That second one is the common one where some creationist tries such nonsense when asking “how do you know that evolution happened?”  And then when asked “how do they know the events in the bible happened?”  they find they can’t come up with a valid answer that won’t show their question to be asked in hypocrisy.

The first question is when the Christian ends up trying to redefine words so their claims work.   In Haden’s example, he says that he defines a “fetus” as a human child and non-christians claim it is  “clump” of cells”.   Well, we don’t since most of us know that a fetus is beyond the clump of cells stage.   We also know that a human child is what a fetus becomes.

He also tries to shift the burden of proof from himself and onto the person he is asking questions of.  He offers a strawman atheist claim “In this scientific age, we know miracles don’t happen” and then proceeds to attack it.   What would have been said is that “In this scientific age, we have no evidence that miracles happen.”   If Haden wants to claim that they do, then it is his burden to show that miracles happen now and have happened. His attempt to shift the burden is easily recognized and laughed at.  He also wants to try to redefine miracle to gain an advantage.  Since in his Christian context, a miracle is a action by his god that is not explainable by natural laws, then we know what he is claiming happens.   That we have no evidence of this is his problem.

Just asking questions doesn’t take the “stress” off the apologist at all.  It just shows that they can’t answer what is asked and need a trick to avoid doing so.

4) Don’t Get Sidetracked

So, here, when the Christian apologist is asked questions, Haden advises to avoid answering.  How not surprising.  And I really don’t remember asking “What about dinosaurs?” to a Christian.

He tries to avoid the problem by simply asking “who cares?”  aka “I haven’t a good answer so I’m going to falsely pretend these things don’t matter.”  These “silly questions” are posed since the Christian and their religion make claims that aren’t supported by evidence.   They make claims that aren’t supported by even their own bible.  These things have plenty to do with the Christian and their religion, despite Haden’s false claim that they don’t.

Haden claims that the only things that matte are his god’s existence and the resurrection.  Okay, then we can ask questions about those too, which makes Haden’s protests look very funny.  There is no evidence for those claims either.

Haden believes in the innerancy of the bible, but claims that even if it were true that the bible contained contradictions, it wouldn’t mean that his god doesn’t exist or that Jesus didn’t rise from the grave.  Unfortunately for Haden, that is exactly what it means since there is no reason to believe the claims about this god’s existence nor the resurrection.  The bible is his only source of claims for both.

5) Be humble.

The world “humble” is a problem for Christians because they really really want to be called humble, but they also want to claim that only they know the “TRUTH”.  They want to win arguments no matter what, despite Haden’s false claim that they don’t.

When they find that their claims aren’t being accepted without thought, that’s often when the “I’ll pray for you” comes out and the discussion ends.

I’ve let Haden know that I’ve done a post on his, but he seems loathe to let me comment.  That seems to speak volumes about his confidence in his claims.