I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. – M. Cole
Currently, the conservative Christians here in the US are doing their best to eliminate the right of women to control their own bodiesby trying to nullify Roe V. Wade in the Supreme Court.
They natter on about the “right to life”.
One has to wonder how they worship a god that kills children for the actions of others.
Now, I know a lot of Christians follow my blog. I’m guessing a good many of them would deny this, but we can see it repeatedly, especially when this god kills David’s son for the actions of his parents.
Where is their concern about the “right to life” here? Why do they worship such a being if they are so concerned about children?
Oh yes, that concern doesn’t exist since their morals are built on might equals right. Nothing more. That’s what you get from a morally stunted people who are greedy, selfish, desperate to be obeyed and willfully ignorant, creating their god in their images.
Unsurprisingly, the QOP and the Trumpees have said the quiet part out loud. Conservative Christians have repeatedly claimed that they dont’ really want a theocracy, but we get to see loony ex-general Michael Flynn saying: ““If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion. One nation under God, and one religion under God.””
Of course, that “one nation under god” nonsense was added to the pledge long after the US was founded. Any reference to this silly Christian god were added by ignorance and fearful men to the pledge, the currency, etc in a vain attempt to get their god to pay attention. It never did, and that crap added to the pledge of allegiance was after the US won both WWI and WWII, so evidently this god didn’t need to be placated or it never existed in the first place.
What would happen, if something so stupid ever occured, would be immediate civil war between Christians, since none of them can agree on whose version is the right one. Christians hate each other far more than they care about anyone else.
Christians are very uncomfortable when a non-christian points out that Christians don’t agree on much at all. C.S. Lewis was so afraid of the problem, he advocated to lie to any potential Christian when it came to the many many internecine contradictions between Christians (preface, “Mere Christianity). That’s a bit of a problem when the bible has this god really hating lies and liars, with exceptions given even if the believer thinks they are lying *for* this god (Romans 3).
We also have another Christian making the same protests, that the disagreements between Christians on the most basic claims of their religion really don’t show that their religion is nonsense. His arguments fail.
“Disagreements among Christians is NOT evidence for the falsity of Christianity. Scientists disagree on all sorts of things. Just take a look at the numerous theories about the origin of the universe. People will always interpret evidence differently.”
There are not “numerous” theories about the origin of the universe. We have the BBT, which is confirmed by prediction and observation. How it exactly happened is up for debate, but not for much. Theists have as many different ideas about the creation of the universe as there are their gods. Not one can show that their gods exist, much less are the creator or how this creation was done. Young earth creationism, anyone? Old earth? Theistic evolution?
Bedard also has the problem that each theist claims a divine and absolute truth being given from a perfect, omnipotent, benevolent being. Why and how could it not get its message across? This god is limited by its creations if it somehow *can’t* make itself understood. How curious. If it won’t make itself understood, then it wants the death and misery that these misunderstandings cause.
Not very flattering for this god in any case.
“I understand when a person is confident in their convictions but that doesn’t give them the right to publicly attack the other person or be disrespectful.
No one should do this but Christians should especially avoid this behaviour. It turns off non-Christians. It injures the body of Christ. It disappoints God.”
Bedard decides he can speak for his god here. And every single theist pretends that their god agrees with them. Bedard is disappointed so his god is too. Bedard doesn’t like the dirty laundry of Christianity exposed, so this god doesn’t either. This god could clear things up with a word, but strangely doesn’t.
Bedard is also mistaken in his insistence that no one has the right to publicly show someone wrong. If this were the case, then no one should dare question wannabee Nazis, white supremacists, etc. Happily, this attempt to claim that showing someone wrong is “disrepectful” is simply nonsense.
If someone is so desperate to depend on lies to try to avoid challenges, then their claims are suspect immediately.
“It is okay for us to have differences of opinion. I would even say that it is healthy. What is not good is when we get nasty.”
Really, good to have differences of opinion is good when it comes to the supposedly divine truth that will determine if you are “saved” or not? That’s rather silly. It’s even sillier since Christians have been far more than “nasty” to each other over these differences. Christians have killed many of each other over these differences. No god to be seen to stop that.
Happily, now most countries have secular laws to keep these nitwits from continuing their murderous ways.
Atheists are indeed known for asking tough question. The reason is most of us were theists at some point and are often much more familiar with a given religion than the current practitioners of it. I, as an example, didn’t go easily into atheism, so I did my homework, thinking that I should go to the source rather than trust some Christian’s claims.
My research didn’t work out so well for Christians but it did work out grandly for me since I don’t have to try to excuse a vicious god so I can still cling to the idea that I won’t have to die.
Christian teens do believe in Jesus and in this god of the bible. I was one of them. They often haven’t a clue what the bible actually says. They just accept whatever the priest/pastor/parent tells them, mistakenly thinking that Christianity equals good. I think they all should read the bible, front to back. That is a great way to discard such nonsense.
The author offers many of the common apologetics when it comes to defending a god invented by the ignorant and fearful from a couple of thousand years ago.
The bible has this god repeatedly committing or condoning genocide. It doesn’t start in Deuteronomy, it goes back to Genesis e.g. the magic world-wide 28,000+ foot deep flood. The author mentions Deut 20: 16-20 “16 But as for the towns of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes remain alive. 17 You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as the Lord your God has commanded, 18 so that they may not teach you to do all the abhorrent things that they do for their gods, and you thus sin against the Lord your God.”
This is a good place to start. It shows that this god requires genocide *and* this god and its people fail at it. As we know, “it’s the thought that counts”. Those peoples were never destroyed by this god or its people. History does not notice or corroborate the baseless claims in the bible. So, we start off from the point that this nonsense never happened.
But if it did…
There is a difference between war and genocide. Both are quite awful, but I personally know WWII veterans who were part of the freeing of the concentration camps who did know that war, all though awful, was worth stopping what was going on. Genocide is not war. Per the UN, genocide is defined as: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: a.Killing members of the group; b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
What the bible god commands is genocide; it is not war. War does not require what genocide does; war is against militaries and economies. Innocents do indeed die but they are not the focus of the conflict.
It is no surprise that our author tries to put quotes around “innocent” when he refers to anyone but his god’s supposed “chosen”. He has no evidence that they are anything but innocent but he must try to imply they are not and somehow “deserve” what this god supposedly does to them.
Our author then mentions the story of the “curse of Ham”. This is just after the flood, where Noah is drunk, and something happens between Ham and Noah. Even scholars aren’t quite sure. The interpretations go from Ham just seeing Noah naked (if this is a sin, I do wonder how Jewish ritual baths worked), to Ham having raped Noah, to Ham having slept with Mrs. Noah. So we have the story of the flood, where this god committed genocide by drowning against all except 8 humans, and this drunkard and his family are the best that he could find. Hmmmm.
Going further in the story, Noah, rather than cursing Ham, curses his son, Canaan to be the slave (not servant) of his uncles. This is a lovely example of how this god has nothing to do with fairness or justice, harming someone who did nothing for the actions of another. To be blunt, this is simply stupid. However, this god repeatedly does this, starting with punishing all humans the actions of two, Adam and Eve, to killing the son of David for what David did, up into the new testament, where this god uses the ‘original sin’ nonsense to condemn all humans that it didn’t allow to accept it. These stories belie the false claims of Christians that their god wants free will, the unfettered ability to choose.
As an aside, the term Canaanite is from the bible and covers many Semtic people in the middle east. The Israelites are considered Canaanites and there is no evidence at all that they were some how separate and came from Egypt after being enslaved. They are just another tribe that tried to make itself important. Canaan is mentioned in historical texts. History doesn’t notice the rest, like the lies about the tower of babel and its supposed effect on linguistics. Even the bible itself can’t get that story straight, with it saying before the tower of babel myth that there were already many different languages.
The maps that our author uses are not quite true, only invented to support the nation building myths of the bible. There is nothing that shows that some god “gave” the rights to a chunk of land to any one people. But they certainly love to pretend it has. “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Well, evidently this god wasn’t paying attention during the Holocaust, when this favored people, plus many many others were exterminated in the desire for genocide. It likes genocide, maybe it just didn’t care. (FYI, Christians will often make a claim that since the Jews don’t agree with them, they somehow lost that favored status. Problem is that no one picked it up just as if it were imaginary.)
The author goes onto try toclaim how “evil” other gods were. No evidence of this at all. These gods are as imaginary as Yahweh, the bible god. Unsurprisingly, our author is concerned about sex, and goes onto attack those gods since they were often fertility gods. They were often war gods too, just like a typical mountain god like Yahweh. He forgets that worship of his god was full of violence, sacrifices of animals are violence. And then we have the incest promoted in the bible repeatedly, from the “first” family, Abraham, Lot, etc. The argument will often be that since this god didn’t mention that it was wrong until the whole nonsense with the laws, then it was just peachy. That makes a problem with any claims of objective morality. If a moral is objective, it is always in play.
There’s also no evidence of child sacrifice, at least no more than what we find in the bible e.g. Abraham and Isaac, Jephtha’s daughter, various mentions of dedicating *all* first borns for sacrifice, etc.
Still being concerned with sex, our author has to mention where the term “sodomy” comes from. Yep, it is part of the bible myths, and what our author forgets is that Sodom’s worst sin was being greedy “49 This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it. “ Ezekiel 16. It has nothing to do with sex. The only mention of sex in that episode is when Lot offered his daughters, his property, to a violent crowd.
Our author goes on to repeat the baseless claims that this god gives certain land to certain people as an excuse for genocide being fine. One of the more amusing bits of this is that those supposedly awful people, the Midianites fine for Moses to marry into. “But Moses fled from Pharaoh. He settled in the land of Midian, and sat down by a well. 16 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 But some shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and came to their defense and watered their flock. 18 When they returned to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come back so soon today?” 19 They said, “An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock.” 20 He said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why did you leave the man? Invite him to break bread.” 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage. 22 She bore a son, and he named him Gershom; for he said, “I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.””
Later “6 Just then one of the Israelites came and brought a Midianite woman into his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the Israelites, while they were weeping at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he got up and left the congregation. Taking a spear in his hand, 8 he went after the Israelite man into the tent, and pierced the two of them, the Israelite and the woman, through the belly. So the plague was stopped among the people of Israel. 9 Nevertheless those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.” Numbers 25 and of course we can’t forget the genocide in Numbers 31. This god certainly needs an editor.
Next we get a common excuse of a Chrsitain for his god, and completely in line with approving of genocide. “It may also be helpful to remember that Amorite children grew up to be Amorite adults whose iniquity would continue to worsen.” NO evidence of this, especially not if there is free will. If there is not, then a lot of Christians have a problem. This argument is that “It’s better to kill the kids since they might be like their parents” aka not like us. This is why genocide often requires the children to be killed or taken away and indoctrinated. Christians tried that with various Native American tribes.
Here’s another excuse “. Using the term ‘children’ in an argument can mislead unless we consider the history of a people, especially in light of how they sinned against God.” Aka, they shouldn’t be considered children since that might make someone question their orders. Hmmm, the same argument is given when a tyrant wants genocide “They aren’t human.”
Our author has caught up with Exodus now. He has that this god will take the Israelites to the “promised land”. Land already occupied, but genocide will work here.
The events in Exodus can also be considered an attempt at genocide. In the same 3 chapter of Exodus, we have this “19 I know, however, that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.[c]20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will perform in it; after that he will let you go. 21 I will bring this people into such favor with the Egyptians that, when you go, you will not go empty-handed; 22 each woman shall ask her neighbor and any woman living in the neighbor’s house for jewelry of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters; and so you shall plunder the Egyptians.””
Nice little bit of mind control there with allowing the Israelites to steal. Now, we have Moses asking for a three day weekend, and this god saying he will do things to Egypt to make the pharoah let the “people” go. However, as the story goes on, this is not this god’s plan at all. He wants to show off, and mind controls the pharaoh so he doesn’t allow the Israelites to go and this god has a chance to keep killing and killing. Men, women, children, animals, who have no control in the situation, killed just so this god can show off. ““Go to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his officials, in order that I may show these signs of mine among them, 2 and that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I have made fools of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them—so that you may know that I am the Lord.” Exodus 10
Christian teens, humans of all ages, do question religious claims and excuses. If your elders have to invent arguments to convince you it is okay to kill kids to take their land, to kill kids as punishment for the actions of others, etc, then your religion has already lost the moral high ground. All you have is might equals right.
“The Roman Catholic Church has abused more than 300,000 French children since 1950, according to an explosive report that an independent commission has just released. The Freedom From Religion Foundation applauds the work of the investigators and once again urges the U.S. Department of Justice to initiate a similar, long-overdue investigation.”
Our Attorney General here in PA did a great job of investigation in the state. Unsurprisingly, the abuse of religion aka cults is everywhere. And unsurprisingly, it’s conservative Christians who block legislation and investigation into this abuse.
I do know that quite a few Christians follow me. Some will try to claim that Catholics aren’t Christians. That doesn’t solve the problem since plenty of protestants, etc also abuse others and this god doesn’t do anything at all, when it had no problem killing people for doing the “wrong” thing in the bible.
And do forget about using the “free will” lie you often use. This god could allow the thought of abuse to exist, thus preserving free will (which the bible doesn’t even mention), and then kill the abusive assholes after that.
I’ve been going through some items my aunties have given me, old craft supplies, a LOT of beads, and Christmas ornaments. Most of what I got was circa early 70s.
Now I just have to wonder what some poor Chinese man or woman had to be thinking when asked to make the manger scene. Look below. I do love the happy face Jesus. The ornament was probably about the same time the proto-emoticon made its first appearance.
There appears to be a happy cow, a hyena (I think it is supposed to be a sheep) and one random duck. Not sure what Joseph is doing, other than winking at the camera about the whole nonsense that some god got Mary preggers (spouse says he has partaken of the weed). Mary herself looks like she’s about to be sick.
It is unfortunately nothing new to find a Christian choosing to lie. This one, Stephen Bernard, decides to repeat the lies of deathbed conversion. And he can’t even get the spelling of Thomas Paine’s name right. This is how knowledge destroys religion.
The leading atheistic writer in American colonies: “Stay with me, for God’s sake; I cannot bear to be left alone , O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter? I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. 0 Lord, help me! Christ, help me! No, don’t leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.””
amazing how Paine said nothing of the sort.
“No sooner was Paine dead than the ghoul sat gloating upon him. I found in the Rush papers a letter from Cheetham (July 31st) to Benjamin Rush: “Since Mr. Paine’s arrival in this city from Washington, when on his way you very properly avoided him, his life, keeping the lowest company, has been an uninterrupted scene of filth, vulgarity, and drunkenness. As to the reports, that on his deathbed he had something like compunctious visitings of conscience with regard to his deistical writings and opinions, they are altogether groundless. He resisted very angrily, and with a sort of triumphant and obstinate pride, all attempts to draw him from those doctrines. Much as you must have seen in the course of your professional practice of everything that is offensive in the poorest and most depraved of the species, perhaps you have met with nothing excelling the miserable condition of Mr. Paine. He had scarcely any visitants. It may indeed be said that he was totally neglected and forgotten. Even Mrs. Bournville (sic) a woman, I cannot say a Lady, whom he brought with him from Paris, the wife of a Parisian of that name, seemed desirous of hastening his death. He died at Greenwich, in a small room he had hired in a very obscure house. He was hurried to his grave with hardly an attending person. An ill-natured epitaph, written on him in 1796, when it was supposed he was dead, incorrectly describes the latter end of his life. He
"Blasphemes the Almighty, lives in filth like a hog,
Is abandoned in death and interr'd like a dog."
The object of this letter was to obtain from Rush, for publication, some abuse of Paine; but the answer honored Paine, save for his heresy, and is quoted by freethinkers as a tribute.
Within a year the grave opened for Cheetham also, and he sank into it branded by the law as the slanderer of a woman’s honor, and scourged by the community as a traitor in public life.
The day of Paine’s death was a day of judgment. He had not been struck blind or dumb; Satan had not carried him off; he had lived beyond his threescore years and ten and died peacefully in his bed. The self-appointed messengers of Zeus had managed to vex this Prometheus who brought fire to men, but could not persuade him to whine for mercy, nor did the predicted thunderbolts come. This immunity of Thomas Paine brought the deity of dogma into a dilemma. It could be explained only on the the theory of an apology made and accepted by the said deity. Plainly there had to be a recantation somewhere. Either Paine had to recant or Dogma had to recant.
The excitement was particularly strong among the Quakers, who regarded Paine as an apostate Quaker, and perhaps felt compromised by his desire to be buried among them. Willett Hicks told Gilbert Vale that he had been beset by pleading questions. “Did thee never hear him call on Christ?” “As for money,” said Hicks, “I could have had any sum.” There was found, later on, a Quakeress, formerly a servant in the family of Willett Hicks, not proof against such temptations. She pretended that she was sent to carry some delicacy to Paine, and heard him cry “Lord Jesus have mercy upon me”; she also heard him declare “if the Devil has ever had any agency in any work he has had it in my writing that book [the ‘Age of Reason’].”* Few souls are now so belated as to credit such stories; but my readers may form some conception of the mental condition of the community in which Paine died from the fact that such absurdities were printed, believed, spread through the world. The Quaker servant became a heroine, as the one divinely appointed witness of Tom Paine’s recantation.” The Life of Tomas Paine, Moncure Daniel Conway
The same goes for the claim of Voltaire’s last words since there is no source for them at all. What we have is this “May 26, 1778.
The dying man returns to life on hearing this great news: he tenderly embraces M. de Lally: he sees that the King is the defender of justice: and he dies content.” written 4 days before Voltaire died.
And Robert Ingersoll’s last words were evidently, “Oh Better.” “ROBERT INGERSOLL CROSSES THE RIVER” The Record-Union of Sacramento, California on July 22, 1899 We also have this “Robert G. Ingersoll Dead The Famous Agnostic Passes Away Suddenly at His Summer Home Religious Views Unchanged No Evidence that He Abandoned Agnosticism, Though He Expressed Hope of Immortality” from the New York Times, printed on July 22, 1899, the day after Ingersoll died.
I suspect the rest of the supposed “quotes” are lies too, but no reason to keep on since we have three in a row already.
It’s always great to see Christians ignore their bible when convenient for them. One might think that this god has no problem with liars, and one would be very much mistaken. This god even hates those liars who think they are lying for it, Romans 3. I guess hell will be full up with TrueChristians(tm) and there will be no room for an atheist at all.
Amazing how this god doesn’t do a thing about these TrueChristians(tm) lying in its name, just like any imaginary character. No smiting at all. Shucks.
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.
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 “4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. 5 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! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. 7 But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; 9 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.