Paranoid Christians Providing Entertainment

Many of you have probably seen the round-up of “The 35 Best Times Someone on Facebook Thought The Onion Was Real.” I am saddened by how many of them involve gullibility on the part of Christians. Here are some examples:

There is an entire web site, “Literally Unbelievable,” dedicated to The Onion being taken seriously on Facebook. Once you have finished laughing at the original satirical article in The Onion, you can now get additional laughs by looking to see who took it seriously!

In related news, a paranoid religious family fled to sea to escape the malevolent U.S. government, in a story that I wish were in The Onion rather than actual news. When one of the parents justified their action by saying “The Bible is pretty clear,” it is hard to believe it isn’t satire.

Lest any atheists think that they are immune from paranoia and foolishness, you can check out the recent comment thread on this blog involving a Jesus mythicist of the Zeitgeist astrotheology sort.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Lest any atheists think that they are immune from paranoia and foolishness, you can check out the recent comment thread on this blog involving a Jesus mythicist of the Zeitgeist astrotheology sort.

    -What is this thread? I can’t find it on the 1st page of the blog.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath
      • Bradley Robert Compton

        I REALLY can’t tell if that person is serious or not.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          He really does seem to be serious, although being a great practical joker remains a possibility.

          • Nick Gotts

            Of course there are plenty of foolish and paranoid atheists, but is robert on that thread an atheist?

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              That was the impression I got. I could be wrong. Perhaps we should get all sides to acknowledge that there will be people who are deranged and unwell in any group, and their views and behaviour ought not to be taken to reflect on that group or its ideology.

              • christopher

                I don’t think so. In his arguments with me, he repeatedly (mis)identifies me as a “literal christian.” That combined with his talk of the arrival of the Age of Aquarius spelling the end of “literal religion” suggests to me that he’s some sort of New Ager.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  You could be right. He is quite loopy, and so whether he is atheist, New Ager, or something else, he probably is what he is in his own distinctive way. :-)

                  • christopher

                    It’s actually rather sad; he may very well be mentally ill. He certainly meets the criteria for clinical delusions, with his absolute conviction that I must be lying about my religion (and risking damnation as a result, according to the religious beliefs that he insists I have), apparently for no better reason than that I keep disagreeing with him.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      In which case, it might be best to just ban him, rather than prolong this any further. I hate banning anyone, but have done so with people who seemed to be mentally ill, or merely trolls here to insult without ever contributing to genuine conversation, in the past.

                    • christopher

                      I don’t think he’s just trolling – whether his beliefs are a product of mental illness or not, I am sure that he truly holds them and would like us to adopt them. Banning him may become necessary, but I generally prefer to try to hold off on that as long as possible – even the delusional can occasionally be reasoned with, because the strength of a delusion can wax and wane. In that sense, I’m trying to plant seeds, although I admit that I may be hampered a bit by my tendency to get a bit heated. I may want to try another tack.

                      And, if nothing else, he’s provoked some interesting discussion, even if mostly in one direction. All that said, this is your blog, not mine.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      My preference is always to avoid banning whenever possible. My main reason for banning someone will be when their behavior would result in others not wanting to be here discussing things on the blog. And so as long as Robert is not making you and others in that thread want to leave, I won’t ban him. If that changes, do let me know!

                    • christopher

                      I will! Actually, in a strictly causal sense, it’s sort of the opposite – I wandered through here while wasting time link-chasing, and only stopped long enough to comment in order to dispute his points. That doesn’t mean I won’t stick around if he leaves or is banned, though.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      If his presence led you here and is keeping you here, that is all the more reason to keep him around! ;-)

                    • arcseconds

                      unfortunately, insisting that one knows better than you about what your own religion is about is rather common.

                      If that’s evidence of mental illness, then there are a lot more mentally ill people around than I ever imagined…

                    • christopher

                      Nah, that’s normal. If he were just saying “Sun-worship implies XYZ, so if you don’t believe that then you’re not a real Sun-worshipper,” I wouldn’t necessarily regard that as delusional. It’s his absolute conviction that I don’t even consider myself a Sun-worshipper, that I must actually be a Christian who is lying to him about my beliefs, that makes me think he ought to see a mental health professional of some sort.

                    • arcseconds

                      There are two or three of us around here who complain from time to time about not dissimilar treatment from some scientific materialism true believers, who are quick to accuse one of being a Christian 5th columnist when one deviates too far from materialist orthodoxy.

                      Granted, they don’t sound quite as unhinged as our helios biblios friend…

  • Bradley Robert Compton

    My favorite ones are where somebody tells the person that the Onion is satire, and then they continue to defend the article’s truth.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Yes, those are particularly wonderful. :-)

  • Lothars Sohn

    But how on earth do you know that these comments don’t stem from militant atheists who are making fun of fundies? ;-)

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Poe%27s_Law

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com


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