Scary Christians from Ocala, Florida

Two crazy letters-to-the-editor from one paper!

…There is no excuse for anyone to not know of the coming calamities. Violence, lawlessness, drought, famine and earthquakes in many places. God’s Word has warned everyone, but as in the days of Noah, many will ignore and suffer the consequences. You would have to be dumb, blind, stupid or in denial not to know that there is a powerful, demonic movement in this world today whose purpose is to steal, kill, rob, destroy and separate everyone who thinks differently.

Only Jesus, the Prince of Peace can defeat it. For Christians, “Look up, your redemption is nearer than when you first believed.” Bless God and the brotherhood of believers.

Ken Sizemore

Obviously, all atheists are in denial.

I’d like to point out that stealing and robbing are essentially the same thing, so Sizemore’s being redundant. And that second sentence is not even a sentence! And don’t violence, earthquakes, drought, etc. all happen all the time? Where was Jesus those other times…?

One more letter:

The most educated atheist throughout the world cannot inform us when atheism originated. They have their main perpetuators but cannot identify their founder. The absence of the founder and origin suggest atheism is not a man-made doctrine. The originator is Satan, the very one the atheists deceptively deny exists.

Atheists have been very successful in setting their set of ethics and morals (or lack of them) on others, by legal enforcement. Atheism says down with God, up with man. Regardless of what atheists claim, the decline of Christian morals and the increase of crime and murder are because of the humanistic and atheistic influence in our nation.

We all have knowledge of the existence of God, but most, including atheists, choose to ignore it. Without God there is no accountability and everything is permissible. Today’s society chose to live the standards set by the atheistic and humanistic agenda.

Edward de Bie

When did atheism originate? Atheism in the Western world “has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, but did not emerge as a distinct world-view until the late Enlightenment.”

Wikipedia rules.

Of course there’s no “founder” of atheism. Atheism isn’t a religion. It doesn’t need a prophet figure. You don’t need a special person to point out that something which you can’t hear/touch/feel/observe doesn’t actually exist — it’s just common sense.

The originator is Satan? Someone please walk me through that logic…

I would also like to know what “set of ethics and morals” atheists have. Because atheists are diverse in their beliefs. There’s no list we all adhere to.

And what ethics of ours have we “set on others”? Atheism isn’t mandatory — no atheist I know would ever want it that way. And even though many atheists believe in the freedom of choice and gay marriage, you don’t *have* to have an abortion if you don’t want one, and if gay marriage was ever legalized, no one would force you to have one or your church to recognize it.

While you’re at it, please show me the statistics that prove “atheistic influence” has led to an “increase of crime and murder.” (Good luck with that.)

There was one voice of reason, though:

I am a Southern Baptist, conservative and not promoting any presidential candidate with this letter.

I have heard and read comments about why you shouldn’t support a candidate who is not an “evangelical” Christian. My purpose is to point out the presidency is not a “religious” office. It is “political” office that is regulated by the Constitution. The president has no power to control government. This is a democratic republic, a government of laws.

While everyone may prefer a presidential candidate with honesty, integrity and ability to perform, which supports the Constitution and is of their religious faith, there is no guarantee that any candidate has all these qualities. Justice, morality and leadership are not limited to one’s religious faith. We have had many outstanding political leaders of different faiths. Even the great Thomas Jefferson did not believe in Jesus Christ.

Justice, honesty and ability to perform are the criteria required of a “political” leader, not their private religious preference. Don’t let a candidate’s religious orientation override his deficiencies in judgment, morality and leadership ability.

D. W. Donaldson

I don’t get to say this often, but those are some intelligent words from a Southern Baptist.


[tags]atheist, atheism, God, Jesus, Christian, Ken Sizemore, Satan, humanism, Edward de Bie, Greek, Socrates, Enlightenment, Wikipedia, abortion, gay marriage, Southern Baptist, conservative, evangelical, Thomas Jefferson, D. W. Donaldson[/tags]

  • Miko

    The above logic has interesting applications to Christianity too. There are two possibilities: either we know who created Christianity or we don’t. If we do, it’s man-made and so false. If we don’t, then it was created by the Devil and so evil.

    Of course, atheism didn’t really have to be created. It’s the default position, so it would exist even if no one knew about it.

  • Charles

    The originator is Satan? Someone please walk me through that logic…

    Something deeply ingrained within the fundie mind is that anything non-Godly in the realm of religion is the work of Satan. It is Satan’s fault that someone believes in something other than the One True Branch Of The One True Religion. All other variations and other religious beliefs are actually the direct work of Satan, or being influenced by Satan. This is doubly true when the person being accused of following Satan denies the fact, and another double on top of that if it’s a non-Abrahamic religion.

    This is, of course, a scare tactic to ensure that people don’t convert away, and that they have even more of a reason to go up and preach to someone.

  • Richard Wade

    When did atheism originate? Atheism in the Western world “has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, but did not emerge as a distinct world-view until the late Enlightenment.”

    Atheism was born the first time someone claimed to have special powers, special vision or communicated with invisible entities. It may have happened something like this:

    Scene: a cave 128,254 years ago.
    Limper, a male born with a bad leg has always had to remain behind while the other young males and females go out on the hunt. As a result he gets only the leftovers of whatever the hunters bring back. They tolerate him because he is able to dig up roots with the elders and the little ones, but he is looked down upon and has to sleep near the cave entrance where it is colder. Although he is physically lame, he is very crafty. He carefully observes how people react to things.

    Early one morning Limper is looking out of the cave entrance and sees the antlers of a buck elk just disappearing over the far ridge. Glancing around he confirms that no one else saw it. A big buck means a herd is close by! Suddenly he starts gasping and babbling, staring into the embers of the fire guarding the entrance, as if he’s seeing something amazing. He chants and sings nonsense, and grasps his one and only prized possession, a boar’s tooth, holding it up to his forehead. The rest of the clan look at him with a mixture of amusement and annoyance. Limper, moving his arm as if it is being forced by an invisible hand draws an elk in the sand with his boar’s tooth. Then as if in a trance he says that he has had a vision that an elk herd is over the far ridge.

    The others look at each other with questions in their eyes. Big Hands, the leader comes up to Limper and looks him in the eye, then looks out at the ridge. After some consideration he sends two of the adolescents to go check it out. Within an hour they come back very excited, saying that they found dung sign and track sign. Big Hands looks at Limper with a new wonder and respect. He immediately organizes a two-prong hunting party in a pattern that has worked well before in the rare opportunities they have had to hunt elk.

    As all the able-bodied members grab their weapons and file out, Sharp Edge, a good hunter and the best tool maker stops to look down at Limper, still babbling and scribbling in the sand. For a fraction of a second their eyes meet, and they immediately take each other’s measure. The hunt will bring back valuable meat, and Limper will enjoy a new status in the clan, with better food and a warmer place to sleep, protected by the competent but gullible Big Hands. Sharp Edge doesn’t know how Limper did it but he doesn’t believe the trance act, and both men know it. Without a word he turns his perfectly made spear down and draws a line in the sand between them. Then he rushes off to catch up with the hunting party. The struggle between them will continue for over twelve hundred centuries.

  • TXatheist

    I happened to catch the pbs program History of Disbelief which Austin pbs agreed to carry unlike all pbs stations. The commentator gave Epicurus credit for being the originator of religious skepticism.

  • Scotty B

    Regardless of what atheists claim, the decline of Christian morals and the increase of crime and murder are because of the humanistic and atheistic influence in our nation.

    Oh great. Now we can’t even point out that many Christians have poor morals because its somehow our fault.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Pre-socratics? Vague, very vague. Now, if you want both early and developed, how about Carvaka?

    It was all said a lot earlier than people think. Nothing much has been added.

    And, sorry to have to say it, Wiki quite often drools. The more I use it the less it seems like a good idea. Free doesn’t make up for competent editing and the need to defend a reputation for objectivity.

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    Has anyone done a study to see if brain function changes as a result of the constant brainwashing of being in a cult or fundamentalist religion? This is not a snarky joke but a serious question.

    Also, I have to note that Christian morals aren’t really all that “moral” if you ask me. They’re juvenile and over-simplified morals that are appropriate for a 4 year old, but not for a mature adult living in a complex society.

  • Vincent

    The absence of the founder and origin suggest atheism is not a man-made doctrine. The originator is Satan, the very one the atheists deceptively deny exists.

    This is the old logical fallacy known as “the god of the gaps” but from now on I think I’ll call it the Satan of the gaps.

    p.s. Ever notice how in some parts of the country the phrase is “the devil is in the details” but in other parts it’s “god is in the details”???

  • PrimateIR

    My purpose is to point out the presidency is not a “religious” office.

    Someone’s been on vacation for the last eight years.

    Atheism was born the first time someone claimed to have special powers, special vision or communicated with invisible entities.

    Ramen to that!

  • Polly

    The first letter is not that crazy; wrong and hopelessly myopic, but not crazy. Lots of “everyday” fundies believe this.

    The second letter on the other hand is looney. The anti-logic of assigning the “founding” of atheism to Satan is mind boggling. And this statement is typical of the blind fundy HOPE that America is going down:

    Regardless of what atheists claim, the decline of Christian morals and the increase of crime and murder are because of the humanistic and atheistic influence in our nation.

    Well these statistics for Florida hardly indicate the end of the world is drawing nigh. The trend has been mostly flat with some small increases and some decreases. I don’t have the figures, but for most of the 90′s and early 2000′s I remember that, nationwide, violent crime was decreasing.

  • Richard Wade

    From the second letter:

    Without God there is no accountability and everything is permissible.

    This tired old idea that without an authority figure over our heads threatening retribution we would all become murderers and rapists, etc., etc. should be confronted every time someone brings it up.
    It reveals two things about the author: one that he doesn’t pay any attention to the world around him, where many people who don’t believe in his punishing father figure still maintain a good level of civil behavior, and two that he himself is operating at a low, childish level of moral development. Most people base their expectations of other’s behavior in a hypothetical situation by their own expectations of themselves. In other words he’s revealing that without a threat of punishment he is the one who would run amok. It’s a self-perpetuating system: Using an imaginary daddy-will-be-mad to keep himself in line prevents him from growing up and taking adult responsibility for behaving himself, based on positive principles.

    This is one the drawbacks of convincing people to “become as little children.”

  • http://www.apostrophism.com apostrophism

    I live in southwest Florida, and I thought that my town was pretty frighteningly conservative/fundamentalist until I saw a recent letter to the editor. The author was angry because every time he submitted a letter to the editor in the past, and it included Bible verses, the references were taken out before it was published. I think there might be a closet freethinker on the paper staff.

    At least my town isn’t as bad as Ocala!


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