Pastor Mike Stahl’s ‘National Atheist Registry’ Is Nothing New

Wait, another Christian leader of a fringe “church” in Florida did something that’s getting national attention?

Something in that water…

You’ve already heard this by now, but “Pastor Mike” Stahl posted on his now-privatized blog — a year ago — that all atheists ought to be placed on a registry to make it easier for Christians to both proselytize to them and stay the hell away from them and their businesses. (Which sounds like a contradiction, but who are we to question sound Christian logic?)

This is what he wrote:

Brothers and Sisters , I have been seriously considering forming a ( Christian ) grassroots type of organization to be named “The Christian National Registry of Atheists” or something similar . I mean , think about it . There are already National Registrys for convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc..

This type of “National Registry” would merely be for information purposes . To inform the public of KNOWN ( i.e., self-admitted) atheists . For example , let’s say you live in Colorado Springs , Colorado , you could simply scroll down ( from the I-Net site /Blog ) I would have , to the State of Colorado , and then when you see “Colorado Springs” , you will see the names of all the self-admitted atheist(s) who live there ( e.g., if an atheist’s name happened to be “Phil Small” ) . The individual’s physical address , and other known personal information would NOT be disclosed ( though , perhaps a photo could be ) .

Now , many (especially the atheists ) , may ask “Why do this , what’s the purpose ?” Duhhh , Mr. Atheist , for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net – to INFORM the public ! I mean , in the City of Miramar , Florida , where I live , the population is approx. 109,000 . My family and I would sure like to know how many of those 109,000 are ADMITTED atheists ! Perhaps we may actually know some . In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism . Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s , in that case , if they are business owners , we would encourage all our Christian friends , as well as the various churches and their congregations NOT to patronize them as we would only be “feeding” Satan .

Frankly , I don’t see why anyone would oppose this idea – including the atheists themselves ( unless of course , they’re actually ashamed of their atheist religion , and would prefer to stay in the ‘closet.’ ) .

A couple days ago, that blog post earned a second life online and spread like crazy — Stahl quickly privatized his blog and Facebook page. I don’t know if he shut down his public pastorstahl@aol.com email address.

Some courage coming from a guy who wants our names and beliefs to be made public, but it shows you how deranged his religion has made him. (Case in point: He still uses AOL.)

Incidentally, atheists already make themselves know publicly — with location — on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and a variety of other places. I don’t know what more he wants… a Google map with “atheist markers” everywhere?

I dispatched a couple readers in his area to see if they could make contact with him for an interview… no luck yet.

You know, there’s a reason so many atheists are afraid of coming out publicly and it’s because Christians like Stahl treat us as targets. I know a lot of Christians want you to think he’s a crazy extremists who doesn’t represent the faith, but most of what he says isn’t unusual — a *lot* of evangelical churches follow some form of his suggestions already; they’re just not as blunt about it.

Like when they teach members how to proselytize to non-Christians. (I wouldn’t be surprised if they had specific atheists in mind during lessons.) There’s no attempt to befriend us or actually understand where we’re coming from — it’s only about converting us at all costs. Just because they don’t have an “official” list of atheists doesn’t mean they’re not acting on an imaginary one.

Many churches also have Christian business directories — they want to make sure members are avoiding non-Christian-owned businesses as much as possible. To create a list of businesses to avoid (because they’re run by non-Christians) is just the flip side of that.

He lumps atheists together with the KKK and sex-offenders — but it’s not the first time a pastor has referred to atheists as evil or Satanic. This particular instance was just incredibly specific.

If anyone ever created a National Registry of Atheists, though, I’m sure Stahl would be shocked at how long the list is. I’m sure he thinks “admitted atheists” are few and far between but there are millions of us in this country who don’t believe in god and who aren’t afraid to say so.

We’re gaining in number.

Christians who think the way Stahl does? They’re fading fast.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Anonymous

    I emailed him and it didn’t bounce, so. Cue the firestorm of emails explaining just how wrongheaded he is.

    • Anonymous

      Before he took his site off of the public’s view, he said that anything sent to him is “his property” and will do whatever “he wants to with it”.  The alluded to making a profit off of the email addresses and ISP’s by selling the information to whoever is willing to pay for it like hackers, spammers, etc…

      Be fore warned, that by his own admission:  he has no ethics and a typical zealot willing to lie, cheat, and steal… all for “Jesus”. 

  • Cuttlefish

    In his more recent posts, he has been in the hospital for, if memory serves, heart and lung issues.  He may have bigger things on his plate than responding to this at the moment.

  • latsot

    I get the impression that what Pastor Mike *really* wants is for nobody to be allowed to say they’re atheists. That’s what his not-so-thinly-veiled threat seems to imply: say you’re an atheist and we’ll come round and preach at you.  Refuse to say you’ve seen the light and we’ll try to bankrupt your business.

    I don’t know if he cares whether there are actually atheists in the world or not, but he doesn’t want anyone to be allowed to say they are one.

  • Anonymous

    “we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of atheism”

    He has it backward, we do not need to be warned about freethinking, skepticism, or rationality. It seems his whole concept serves as a warning to us of the dangers of religion.

    Tax records serve as a partial registry warning us of where the religious lurk in packs, praying for an opportunity to prey with witless witness should we happen by. Tax records identify church property as tax exempt, also serving as witness to their actual commitment in contributing to the common good.

    Not to mention the special dangers of preying on children.

  • Anonymous

    Like when they teach members how to proselytize to non-Christians. (I wouldn’t be surprised if they had specific atheists in mind during lessons.)

    I would be, for a couple of reasons. One is mostly practical. For many (most?) churches operating within the US (I’m excluding missions) they know they are confronting a mostly Christian public. In areas where the more aggressive churches operate, this is likely more so. So “witnessing” in this case means getting butts in pews, but its a lot safer bet that those butts are already practicing Christians of another denomination or nonpracticing Christians (catchphrase: “I believe in God but not the church”) than assuming they will confront a large number of atheists.

    Beyond that, what I’ve been able to find on the net when researching how Christians should witness to atheists is a lot of caution and several “don’t bother” comments. As far as internet Christians talking to one another, there seems to be a general opinion that atheists have “hardened hearts” and are very unlikely to convert, wheras the “spiritual” are much softer targets.

    • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

      I agree. My parents go to a very strict, Bible believing rural church and I think they were just…confused…when I came out atheist to them. It was as if they didn’t even know that there are individuals out there who don’t believe in God; they can’t conceive of it, much less that their daughter is ONE OF THEM.

      (All of which is weird, given that my mother teaches a required freshman course at a Big Ten university with 40k students…you’d think that would force her interact with other people of differing beliefs, but no!)

      It’s the insular nature of the beast. Hang out with people that believe like you do (they will “edify” you). Avoid non-believers and people of other religions (they will “lead you to temptation”). Atheists are super scary because they have rejected, wholesale, the supernatural – something that is just unheard of in a lot of churchy circles.

      Great comment. :)

      • Anonymous

        There are a lot of myopic Christians that have to restate atheism  into something they understand, such as calling it satanism, hating God, worshipping yourself.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QDAYFV3ZA6TTEJ3VOOSM7SSIDY Ed

    I’d sure like to hear what he has to say in a personal interview.  I mean this guy goes off about atheists on a public blog all over the internet then pulls his blogs when the heats on and hides.  Maybe it’s him that has something to hide and someone should dig deep into his past doings.  Just a thought.

  • Sallyolin

    His “registry” made me think of Nazi Germany, or the Soviet Union, or even Nixon’s “enemies list”. And he kept referring to “Admitted” atheists, which connotes evil and guilt. The reference to the hard-hearted Pharoah is rather a canard, since it was ‘God’ who hardened his heart so Egypt could be punished further.

    • Tasuret

      I felt like Glenn Beck when I wondered if he was a Nazi.

      “You know who else had a National Registry? HITLER”

    • Yoav

      Maybe we should also be made to wear some sort of badge so good christian children can identify us on the street. Wait, where did I hear of such an idea before…

  • http://blog.barrypearson.co.uk/ Barry Pearson

    I note what you say about “converting us at all costs”. For interest, I wrote 6 pages (!) called “How to convert an atheist”:
    http://blog.barrypearson.co.uk/?p=255

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    “Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s”

    - Stating the obvious: It was God who hardened the heart of Pharoh. Does that imply our first born sons should be slaughtered by the loving God?

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    “Or perhaps they are radical atheists , whose hearts are as hard as Pharaoh’s”

    - Stating the obvious: It was God who hardened the heart of Pharoh. Does that imply our first born sons should be slaughtered by the loving God?

  • griffox

    The boycotting of non-christian businesses really gets to me. This was a big thing when I was a christian. “Don’t shop at ____ because ____ heard through the grapevine that they are satanists or atheists.” Here in Kentucky, many businesses have cross stickers right next to their BBB stickers and it’s just as likely to bring them business regardless of whether people like their service. Minorities don’t have that luxury, though. I have to keep my atheism hidden BECAUSE of Christians who would band together and attempt to ruin my life, business and livelihood. Where’s the “Christianity” in that? 

  • Lorin Kinney

  • Toby Smart

    So he is basically saying the he hates atheiests because they are like “hate groups” !?! Lol.. And let’s not even get started with the sex offendfer thing.

    • Michael Appleman

      Maybe he is confused about what a hate group is. Maybe he thinks a hate group is a group of people that you hate. lol

  • Lorin Kinney

    Hmph. I was going to say, I support this measure. It is at the far reaches of what is likely legal for Christians to do to show that they are not willing to allow religious freedom in this country. I’ll happily and voluntarily place myself on the list, and even welcome the conversion squad. I would also welcome the discrimination that would come from it. That said, I won’t be quiet about that discrimination. I’ll make sure as many people as possible will know that I was declined an academic position or a coffee. My only concern is that the perceived cold war between Christians and atheists will heat up. But it may be what is necessary to wake up a lot of atheists who are already experiencing some milder forms of bigotry. 

    • latsot

      While I’d be happy enough to be on Pastor Mike’s list, I don’t support the idea at all.  I don’t have anything to fear from Mike and his ilk, but a lot of other people do. A list that exists for the sole purposes of encouraging discrimination seems pretty certain to cause more harm than good.

  • latsot

    I’ve just had a comment on my blog purporting to be from Pastor Mike.  It reads:
    “For what its worth , I have abandoned the entire idea and have no desire to do any “atheist list.” It was written mostly in parody ( jokingly ). Instead , I am simply going to continue praying for the salvation of all the lost.The continued hate mail I get is already validating my point.God bless you and yours - Pastor Mike”

    (http://lookatthestateofthat.blogspot.com/2011/08/if-youve-done-nothing-wrong-theres.html)

    I’m not sure what it was supposed to be a parody *of* exactly or what point is being validated by alleged hate mail, especially if the post really was a parody in the first place.  I’m not even sure that it’s really Pastor Mike who left the reply, although it came a few minutes after I emailed him.  

    But I thought I’d share in case it was of interest.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liz-Borino/100001617161901 Liz Borino

      Hate mail looks bad on us no matter what we’re responding to. Hate + Hate will never equal Love.

      • Anonymous

        Lunatics like him consider any criticism, no matter how politely worded, as hate mail

        • http://brane-space.blogspot.com/ Phil Stahl

          FYI, Pastor Mike is my youngest brother. I am an “avowed” atheist, and my book ‘Dialectical Atheism’ features a chapter with my most virulent debates with him. But anyway, his point on receiving hate email is well taken and I sugegst any of those who dispute it read my own blog on the matter:

          http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2011/08/atheists-have-to-show-more-tolerance.html

          The several examples therein – a fraction of what he received – gives some idea of the vitriol, which – as I noted- doesn’t help us in terms of the claim to be paragons of reason or any enlightenment!

          • JustSayin’

            Wow. Those are indeed some violent responses. I’m also troubled by the fact that one would expect those responding so passionately  to your brother’s trolling to be less homophobic. I saw at least three uses of the epithet “faggot” in your small sample. Of course, calling someone “retard” doesn’t help our cause or show us as enlightened, either.

            • http://brane-space.blogspot.com/ Phil Stahl

              Just Sayin’ wrote:

              ” Of course, calling someone “retard” doesn’t help our cause or show us as enlightened, either. ”

              Maybe not, but it’s a damned sight different from rendering rhetoric on stomping someone’s face in or slashing their guts open! See, the conflation syndrome that infects most of the net is part of the problem. We have to distinguish between outright vicious calls or portrayals of physical violence, and merely employing (generic) ad hominem to describe a person to whom it may correctly apply (say like Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, or Fred Phelps).

              So, let’s keep the issue on the use of *violent* speech, not merely irascible (and mayhap) intemperate speech – but which does serves a purpose when not overused!

    • latsot

      I posted a similar comment on Pharyngula and a comment appeared in reply saying that yes, it really is him:

      http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/28/pastor-mike-has-a-plan/comment-page-1/#comment-32882

      If it really is him, he has a new blog and has written about the business here:

      http://pastormikeschurch.blogspot.com/2011/09/relax-my-dear-atheist-friendsthere-will.html

      But I’ve still seen nothing that will confirm that this is the real Pastor Mike.

      For example, he could paste the email I sent him into the comments at any of these sites, then everyone would know it’s him.

      • latsot

        He’s the real Pastor Mike, as it happens.

    • dauntless

      He probably meant satire instead of parody.

  • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

    I posted on this guy from a Christian point of view at 

    http://deanroberts.net/current-affairs/idea-to-create-a-national-atheists-register-just-like-the-sex-offenders-one/ 

    I just want to make it clear though, that religion itself doesn’t make people deranged. It’s what people do with it that does that. Obviously your post will be biased, being atheists, and mine will be biased towards Christianity. But nonetheless, I think this man is a crazy fool, whether or not he is a Christian, and he isn’t reflecting the Christlikeness that we are meant to show as Christians. 

    http://deanroberts.net

    • Anonymous

      I agree.  Christianity merely gives him an excuse and a support system for his lunacy.

    • Mark

      Thank you, if more moderates of every stripe (religious, political, etc…) would denounce the radical fringes of their movements then this world would be a better place.

    • Renshia

      “he isn’t reflecting the Christlikeness that we are meant to show as Christians.”

      Your right, he’s doing a piss poor job of hiding the truth. I think this is the exact “Christlikeness” that the path of religion takes people on. When you have a group that claims be, the way, the truth, the life, the only path, what else could be expected. The arrogance of it demands it.

      Then again, the true trick of christianity has always been to say the pretty words, do the opposite and claim its done in the name of love, in that, he is certainly not doing it with grace.

      • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

        Well, I would contest that you’ve caused your argument to fall flat on its face by using the word “arrogance”, because your comment shows complete arrogance towards Christianity as a faith.

        It seems to me that you’ve handpicked all the bad examples of Christians and how faith has been implemented in the past and made it into your own version of Christianity which you have condemned in the above comment. I’m sad to say that this sort of handpicking is wide spread, and many Christians couldn’t blame you for that, because people have experienced such terrible things by Christians and in the past by the Church as an established institution.

        Unfortunately, there is nothing I wish to fight about or challenge with your comment, because you’re not talking about the same faith that I am. Therefore, I cannot help you come to a more reasoned argument. And for all it’s worth, I don’t think you’d want to come to a more balanced, reasoned conclusion about the Christian faith.

        The ironic thing is that the vast majority of people on this blog are atheists, many of whom are humanists, and thus seek reason, and understanding, and progress. Yet your comment seems to be one of the most unreasonable comments on this whole blog post.

        And on a side note, whilst Jesus claims to be the only way, the way the truth and the life, as you rightly said, isn’t that what atheism and humanism are ultimately saying, but just in a different guise and in a much more subtle way? Just saying…

        • dauntless

          Call it handpicking if you like, but some of us don’t know any other kind of Christianity. And this comes from someone who grew up as a member of a Christian community. 

          • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

            Precisely, which is why I think some of the arguments on here are illogical. Because whilst it may be the only kind of Christianity that some of you know, there has never been an attempt on your behalf to find out about other sorts of Christianity.

            There is no excuse for making wrong conclusions about Christianity due to the fact that you have only experienced ‘one kind’ of Christianity or a wild, crazy, monstrous ‘Christian’ who has made a complete and utter balls out of sharing and/or demonstrating the traditional Christian faith.http://deanroberts.net

            • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

              …there has never been an attempt on your behalf to find out about other sorts of Christianity.

              How do you know? I was introduced to Christianity by my then- and now ex-girlfriend. She talked a fine game, but I saw was people, ordinary people: angry, hateful, resentful, jealous, petty, all deeply religious and all deeply convinced that they were none of those things.  I was expected to lie to a priest(by my girlfriend and her family) to get his marriage approval. He was harsh, unforgiving, though ultimately intelligent. The previous priest was actually pretty nice, but he didn’t last: he went off to marry some girl and live with her in a jungle somewhere.

              I have seen the mind of religious people, and I have not found it pretty. You say we need to seek out other kinds of Christianity to base our opinions upon. Fair enough. Let me ask you this, though: is it part of God’s plan, as you understand it, to so thoroughly confuse people never previously exposed to Christianity that they throw up their hands in despair and call quits on the whole sorry business?

              I think you do an injustice to atheists here. Like many Christians, you believe that we simply don’t know enough about your religion, and that, if only we studied your kind of Christianity, we would immediately accept it as our own and fill the pews to bursting. That’s not hyperbole, I’ve heard that argument from many Christians in the past, and my reading of your posts suggests you’re leaning in that direction also.

              In fact, I know quite a bit more than you would like to believe. I find it hypocritical, a drain on society and, in recent times, criminally reprehensible. It drags the worst parts of the previous ages into the present and fights tooth and nail against change.

              Thirty years ago, when the AIDS epidemic was getting started, it was called the Gay Disease. Funny thing, though, Christians called it that. Then, as now, there are just not that many atheists in positions of power, and fewer still back then.

              What it all boils down to is that hypothetical Christianity that you love so much is irrelevant. All that’s important is the Christianity that’s practiced by the man(and woman) on the street. And this pastor represents that Christianity far better than you would like to believe.

              • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

                I never denied that the Christianity he was portraying is ugly.

                But again, your experiences tell me  that you haven’t looked at the bigger picture. You talk about ‘religious’ people and ‘priests’

                Which tells me that your ex girlfriend was *probably* part of a Catholic church – just one branch of Christianity. That ALSO tells me that you’re more likely to be based in the Northern States of the USA (if that’s where you are) because there are more Catholic Churches there than in the Bible belt.

                Therefore, you haven’t been exposed to all the different denominations and practices etc.

                Though – I have to say, in any orthodox believing Christian denomination, the traditional doctrines and beliefs remain.

                …is it part of God’s plan, as you understand it, to so thoroughly confuse people never previously exposed to Christianity that they throw up their hands in despair and call quits on the whole sorry business?

                If you mean is it his ‘will’ then no. But the point is that seen as God has initiated free choice he gives people that freedom to seek or not to seek. If you really wanted to find God, he promises (as I believe) that you will find him.

                And just to say – Christians ARE just like normal people. Christianity isn’t about being good in order to win God’s approval. And this is why people get in such a sorry mess when trying to talk about theology they don’t know. But as I said on another comment – I wasn’t here to talk about theology, just to talk about this news item. If you want to talk more about it, you can at my blog (http://deanroberts.net)

                • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

                  your experiences tell me  that you haven’t looked at the bigger picture.

                  Judging the entire experience of a person on the merits of a few paragraphs of text is the height of arrogance. Stop pretending to know people and then passing judgment on them.

                • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

                  I never denied that the Christianity he was portraying is ugly.

                  I don’t believe I ever said that.

                  But
                  again, your experiences tell me  that you haven’t looked at the bigger
                  picture. You talk about ‘religious’ people and ‘priests’

                  About whom else should I talk than ‘religious’ people and ‘priests’ when discussing Christianity? The Pope?

                  That ALSO tells me that you’re more likely to be based in the Northern States of the USA (if that’s where you are)

                  Canada, actually.

                  Therefore, you haven’t been exposed to all the different denominations and practices etc.

                  Though – I have to say, in any orthodox believing Christian denomination, the traditional doctrines and beliefs remain.

                  To what end would I pursue that sort of study? What would I gain by a keener, deeper understanding of subject that has not seen significant improvement in nearly 1,500 years and which, ultimately, is simply a mass of wild guessing, wish fullfillment and stuff simply made up out of the whole cloth?

                  Speaking of free will, I hope you realize that the presence of human free will negates the existence of a personally-involved omniscient God.

                  Sorry mess. By your definition, perhaps, and that’s because you place such a premium on knowing the ins and outs of every tiny little piece Christendom. I don’t. The largest pieces suffice to colour the whole.

            • Renshia

              “Because whilst it may be the only kind of Christianity that some of you
              know, there has never been an attempt on your behalf to find out about
              other sorts of Christianity.”

              Boy there sure is a lot of assumptions flying around in there. How do you know we have never explored the different versions of christianity. You should get your head out of your ass before you tell us what we have or haven’t done. I would bet that everyone that has responded to you have done more home work on the different flavors of xianity than you have. Maybe that’s your problem, neither have you and you think your version is something special. Have you even gone beyond the borders of your town.

              They all think there special and they all think they have the corner on the “true” truth. It would appear your no different. Your ignorant understanding of what atheism is is a direct sign of the bubble you surround yourself in. I have seen many versions of christianity had many wonderful experiences with the people involved in those different flavors. Trust me you seem no different than the rest.

              Screw you and your no true Scotsman fallacy.come back when you have something new.

              • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

                Wow.

                • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

                  Blunt, perhaps, but not untrue.

            • Renshia

              “Because whilst it may be the only kind of Christianity that some of you
              know, there has never been an attempt on your behalf to find out about
              other sorts of Christianity.”

              Boy there sure is a lot of assumptions flying around in there. How do you know we have never explored the different versions of christianity. You should get your head out of your ass before you tell us what we have or haven’t done. I would bet that everyone that has responded to you have done more home work on the different flavors of xianity than you have. Maybe that’s your problem, neither have you and you think your version is something special. Have you even gone beyond the borders of your town.

              They all think there special and they all think they have the corner on the “true” truth. It would appear your no different. Your ignorant understanding of what atheism is is a direct sign of the bubble you surround yourself in. I have seen many versions of christianity had many wonderful experiences with the people involved in those different flavors. Trust me you seem no different than the rest.

              Screw you and your no true Scotsman fallacy.come back when you have something new.

            • mavitygirl

               And here we are back to arrogance.

              Why do you presume to know what religions any atheist has or has not experienced? And please don’t qualify with “I said ‘some of you know’” because you then used “your” in the universal sense regarding attempts to to find others.

              Again, writing technique.

              Please don’t presume that it’s the lack of exposure to the “right” version of (any) religion that leads one to atheism. That’s arrogance.

        • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

          And on a side note, whilst Jesus claims to be the only way, the way the
          truth and the life, as you rightly said, isn’t that what atheism and
          humanism are ultimately saying, but just in a different guise and in a
          much more subtle way? Just saying…

          Not at all. Atheists may believe that only this life is important because what comes after it is personal existence failure. But at the same time, we don’t threaten people with hellfire and damnation and being the subjects of our eternal torture porn fantasies. We don’t fill little children’s heads full of fear of hell and we don’t try to introduce science into religious studies.

          So, no. Atheists don’t do that.

          • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

            Again, more arrogance and ignorance. I’m very disappointed.

            I don’t think all Atheists would agree with your view either. So now we start getting many similarities between Christianity and Atheism in terms of the misconceptions that arise.

            You think that all Christians go around preaching hell to kids and that they eat babies (and just to point out a theological point – we’re not threatening people with hellfire. It’s simply a Christian doctrine). Not true at all – again, this is just based on a narrow personal experience of Christianity. Of course, you then blanket cover *all* Christians with your view. If I did that about atheists however, you would not stand for it.

            Atheism is about saying and trying to prove and *believing* that God does not exist. It’s just near enough the opposite of what Christianity teaches, or any religion for that matter. Which makes it some religion in itself; of what kind, I’m not sure.

            Now we steer off subject. This topic is about a crazy, crackpot Christian who thinks atheists should be put on a register similar to that of sex offenders. The sociological implications of this notion subconsciously state that atheists are criminals and dregs of society. This, I do not agree with.

            But because some ‘Christians’ (whether they are or not is not for me to judge) behave in this way, some (maybe bordering on many) atheists and humanists and whatever you like to call yourselves jump on the situation and you all get on the bandwagon to bang a very monotonous drum saying that Christianity promotes this behaviour and religion is the cause of all wars, and Christians are arrogant and ignorant, and this and that and the other, which is simply arrogance and ignorance in itself. And what’s more, many people who say such things have no intention of opening their eyes to all the Christians who are practising a Christianity that is as close to the Bible as it can be, and not harming anyone, but truly trying to reflect what Christ has said, and loving him for the sacrifice he made.

            There is nothing vulgar about that. And that is why people who make imprudent comments like the one I previously replied to make me cross. Because not only are they ignorant of the things of which they’re talking about, they also don’t want to listen to a better, truthful story about the vast majority of Christians in the world.

            http://deanroberts.net

            • Greg

              No offence, but you don’t seem to understand what atheism is. You claim:

              “Atheism is about saying and trying to prove and *believing* that God does not exist. It’s just near enough the opposite of what Christianity teaches, or any religion for that matter. Which makes it some religion in itself; of what kind, I’m not sure.”

              It isn’t. All atheism is: is not theism. Very few atheists ‘believe’ that a god doesn’t exist – they just don’t believe that a god does exists. Before preaching to other people, you ought to check up on your facts.

              That’s a subtle difference, but it is very important. 

              To put it another way, if someone isn’t a theist, then by definition they are an atheist.

              Immediately you say, or hear, a statement like ‘atheists believe’ you know it is either:

              a) a generalisation
              or
              b) false

              The way you used it in the post above was (b).

              • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

                Well I don’t agree with that definition at all. Because if you’re not a theist you could be an agnostic.

                Either way, the fact of the point I was trying to make remains. People have many misconceptions about traditional, orthodox Christianity, and then someone writes a blog post about one Christian who atheists like to hold as a model example of a Christian and dump all their misconceptions on this blog.

                http://deanroberts.net

                • Greg

                  If I said I don’t agree with your definition of Christianity, and told you that Christianity was actually the worship of Christian Bale, would that make one iota of difference to what Christianity actually is?

                  Considering the wild accusations of arrogance (and ignorance) you’ve been throwing around in this thread, there has to be some supreme irony here.

                  I am an agnostic, just like I’m an atheist. Here, let me help you with the definitions:
                  An agnostic is making a statement about what they ‘know’, an atheist is making a statement as to what they ‘believe’.

                  ‘Agnosticism’ comes from the Greek word ‘gnosis’, meaning knowledge. The prefix ‘-a’ means ‘not’, or ‘without’: literally agnosticism means without knowledge. 

                  Someone who is an agnostic about god, is someone who claims not to know whether or not god exists. That still doesn’t tell you what they believe

                  Atheism, however, is formed from the prefix ‘-a’ and ‘theism’ (from the Greek word theos). Literally atheism means ‘without a belief in theism’, or else ‘not theism’. 

                  Knowledge and belief deal with completely separate questions. For example, I do not know whether or not there exists extraterrestrial life of some sort, but I believe it does, based on sheer probability (given the number of possible places it could originate in such an incomprehensibly large place as the universe, even minuscule odds would mean there is life out there). Clearly, I could also not know, and not believe.

                  It is true that some people have tried to shoe-horn themselves in as a third choice between theists and atheists under the label ‘Agnostic’ – there are (at least) a couple of reasons for this: 

                  1) Like you, they don’t understand the meaning of the word ‘atheism’.

                  2) They don’t want to be called atheists for fear of the stigma that is often attached to that word. 

                  It doesn’t change the fact that they actually are atheists. As a general rule, if you ask atheists whether or not they ‘know’ god doesn’t exist – and press deeply enough to get past a surface answer – then they will freely say that they do not ‘know’. Even Richard Dawkins, the man theists like to amusingly claim is the ‘Pope of Atheism’ has come straight out and said in The God Delusion that he doesn’t claim absolute knowledge. He’s pretty certain, but not absolutely so. There are atheists out there who are gnostic atheists -otherwise known as strong atheists – and do claim to know, but in my experience – and the experience of every atheist I’ve ever met – they are a minority.

                  I hope that clears that up for you.

                  Finally, would you care to back up your claim that atheists like to hold this idiot up as a model example of Christianity? If you can’t, then don’t you have a commandment in your religion against lying (or bearing false witness)?

                  In fact, frankly, if I were asked to provide an example of what I might consider a ‘model Christian’ the person I would pick would likely be far closer to you than this guy. However, I hasten to add, don’t automatically take that as a positive, you have hardly covered yourself in glory with the way you have conducted yourself here.

                  Oh – and to cut off the reply I suspect may come my way – before you start making assumptions about me, the reason I am an atheist has nothing to do with how Christians behave – whatever their particular version. Why would it? I don’t believe in Islam, Hindu, Paganism, or any of the other myriad of religions and gods either. If Christians put me off Christianity, I would just not be a Christian, that wouldn’t mean I’d be an atheist. My reasons for atheism are purely intellectual.

                • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

                  Thanks for your definition on atheism an agnosticism. 

                  But your explanation only confuses me still… but the general point of my argument, even if your definition differs to mine, remains the same in my view.

                  At least you’re better mannered than others in here, Greg. 

                • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

                  The sum up that brilliant definition:

                  Agnostic atheist: a person who doesn’t believe(atheist) in God but doesn’t know(agnostic) whether one exists or not

                  Gnostic atheist: a person who doesn’t believe(atheist) in God and knows(gnostic) no God exists

                  Agnostic theist: a person who believes(theist) in God but doesn’t know(agnostic) whether said God or any God actually exists.

                  Gnostic theist: a person who believes(theist) in God and also knows(gnostic) that God exists.

            • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

              Again, more arrogance and ignorance. I’m very disappointed.

              Arrogance. Ignorance. You throw those words around like pancakes.

              I
              don’t think all Atheists would agree with your view either. So now we
              start getting many similarities between Christianity and Atheism in
              terms of the misconceptions that arise.

              Perhaps they won’t, but I won’t call down Armageddon on them if they don’t.

              You think that all
              Christians go around preaching hell to kids and that they eat babies
              (and just to point out a theological point – we’re not threatening
              people with hellfire. It’s simply a Christian doctrine). Not true at all
              – again, this is just based on a narrow personal experience of
              Christianity. Of course, you then blanket cover *all* Christians with
              your view. If I did that about atheists however, you would not stand for
              it.

              I don’t need you to blanket atheists with anything. I’ll do it for you. Atheists don’t believe in the same Gods you don’t, we just go one God further is all. There. Problem solved.

              When I was a kid, we had just come to Canada, and almost the first thing some other kids who I thought were my friends did was try to convert me. They talked about hellfire and damnation, and funny, but I think they didn’t come up with it on their own.

              Atheism is about saying and trying to prove and *believing*
              that God does not exist. It’s just near enough the opposite of what
              Christianity teaches, or any religion for that matter. Which makes it
              some religion in itself; of what kind, I’m not sure.

              Do you believe in Zeus? Odin? Hera? No? Well, neither do I. So right there we’re the same. The difference is that I go one God(your God) further. It’s not religion, it’s lack of belief in what you believe.

              Now we steer
              off subject. This topic is about a crazy, crackpot Christian who thinks
              atheists should be put on a register … dregs of society. This, I do not agree with.

              Good.

              But
              because some ‘Christians’ (whether they are or not is not for me to
              judge) … Snip for space

              The Bible also teaches to put disobedient children and homosexuals to death. Yes, I know. Old Testament, right? But Genesis, man. And the lineage of Jesus. Somehow, that’s alright to take from the OT.

              There is nothing vulgar about
              that.  … Snip for space.

              The truthful story about the majority of Christians is that they have been rather silent during the whole child rape in the church fiasco. I know. Catholics, right? Not just them, though.  And that wasn’t even the first scandal, either.

              But you are right. Generalizations never lead to anything good. I wonder, though. Were you this vocal when atheists were called not worthy American citizenship? Do you write blog entries when surveys come out saying most people in the US wouldn’t vote for an atheist if he/she was a better candidate? And I am out of typing room.

              • http://twitter.com/deanrobertsnet Dean Roberts

                Well, I’m British, so I don’t know about any of these things.
                But I just want to say that some of your remarks are the same old arguments that atheists have used for centuries, and Christians have given perfectly adequate answers to your objections – but because you *choose* to not listen, you’ll still put on the same old record when it comes to facing issues within Christianity.

                And also, I was vocal about the sex abuse scandals. And I didn’t blame it just on Catholics. I from the very start have been very open to the fact that Christians have made a dogs dinner about our faith many times in the most disgusting ways.

                But I hope this dialogue just shows that I’m not being unreasonable here. I’m not making wild accusations. I’m merely stating the obvious and giving an answer and you’re not listening.

                Which is why I’m going to end this part of the dialogue, because it’s going completely off topic.

                Thank you for sharing your misconceptions. I’m just glad that we agree that this Christian ‘pastor’ should be stopped spreading his preposterous views.

                • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

                  some of your remarks are the same old arguments that atheists have used
                  for centuries, and Christians have given perfectly adequate answers to
                  your objections – but because you *choose* to not listen, you’ll still
                  put on the same old record when it comes to facing issues within
                  Christianity.

                  Perhaps the problem is that you think the answers to the objections are adequate? If you don’t approach these ideas from the point of view that your beliefs must necessarily be true, trust me, you will not consider the Christian responses to atheist arguments to be adequate. View these conceptual conflicts from the perspective of an outsider, and the Christian apologetics soon fall flat and ring hollow.

                • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

                  some of your remarks are the same old arguments that atheists have used
                  for centuries, and Christians have given perfectly adequate answers to
                  your objections – but because you *choose* to not listen, you’ll still
                  put on the same old record when it comes to facing issues within
                  Christianity.

                  Perhaps the problem is that you think the answers to the objections are adequate? If you don’t approach these ideas from the point of view that your beliefs must necessarily be true, trust me, you will not consider the Christian responses to atheist arguments to be adequate. View these conceptual conflicts from the perspective of an outsider, and the Christian apologetics soon fall flat and ring hollow.

                • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

                  Thank you for sharing your misconceptions. I’m just glad that we agree
                  that this Christian ‘pastor’ should be stopped spreading
                  his preposterous views.

                  Actually, not at all. I don’t want to see him silenced. For two reasons: 1st, so long as no actual violence against anyone occurs, it’s just one more religious freak out of millions getting a forum to vent his spleen. 2nd, the more he talks, the more people will come to equate Christianity with him, and I don’t see that as a bad thing. I may not wish to destroy Christianity myself, but I can be hell on wheels passive-aggressively.

        • Renshia

          “you’re not talking about the same faith that I am.”

          So, are we talking the new, latest greatest version of christianity? How is your version superior to the old version? Why is your version any more reliable or trustworthy. Do all the christians follow your new version? Is this new version less likely to commit “such terrible things (done) by Christians and in the past (done) by the Church as an established institution.”

          Yeah see, that there, is the problem. Do you think you just wash your hands of that which has come before you and hold no responsibility to it. Why should we think this new version holds any more validity than the last?

          I have a very balanced understanding of christianity come through reasoned study and investigation. Give me good reason why I should listen to you and your version and I will. Crying the no true Scotsman fallacy will score you no points here I am afraid.

          And on a side note. No, that is not at all what atheism is about. No one offers you the answers on a silver platter, here. You have to seek out them for yourself. For you to say that, you must be thinking of the alter version of atheism you heard from on sunday morning. You should look a little deeper and not default back to established institutional versions of what you have been told.

          That might be a good lead off for your new version of christianity. Think of it as, say, new thinking for yourself or some such slant. Sheep don’t generally like to think, so you may have to lay it out for them.

        • mavitygirl

           ”The ironic thing is that the vast majority of people on this blog are
          atheists, many of whom are humanists, and thus seek reason, and
          understanding, and progress.”

          Nope, not ironic. It is completely expected that the audience you described would be present on this website.

          Don’t mislabel your rhetorical devices.

          Off  topic but an error worth considering if you desire to write effectively.

    • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

      Dean, I agree. But I would like to point something out: Most of us were religious at some point. You really don’t have to mention the caveats :) Of course, having been on your side of the coin, I do recognize that lots of atheists in forums, blogs, etc. have a bad habit of painting with a broad brush… so maybe I’m wrong. Hmm.

  • Leila

    I’m kinda gobsmacked that he compares atheists to sex offenders and the KKK. 

  • Anonymous

    I’d be happy to go on such a list and to have access to it as long as believers do the same.  I don’t want to give my hard earned cash to those crazy Christians and being able to spot them would be quite useful.  Normally I just assume that anyone grinding their teeth, clenching their fists or talking to themselves is a Christian but sometimes I worry that I may be unfairly labelling them.  Some may have genuine medical conditions that have these symptoms.

    /sarcasm

  • Burt Likko

    Brothers and Sisters , I have been seriously considering forming a (Secular) grassroots type of organization to be named “The Secular National Registry of Christians” or something similar . I mean , think about it . There are already National Registrys for convicted sex offenders, ex-convicts, terrorist cells, hate groups like the KKK, skinheads, radical Islamists , etc.. This type of “National Registry” would merely be for information purposes. To inform the public of KNOWN (i.e., self-admitted) Christians. For example , let’s say you live in Colorado Springs , Colorado , you could simply scroll down ( from the I-Net site /Blog ) I would have, to the State of Colorado , and then when you see “Colorado Springs”, you will see the names of all the self-admitted Christian(s) who live there ( e.g., if a Christian’s name happened to be “Mike Stahl” ) . The individual’s physical address , and other known personal information would NOT be disclosed (though, perhaps a photo could be).

    Now , many (especially  the Christians) , may ask “Why do this, what’s the purpose ?” Duhhh, Mr. Christian, for the same purpose many States put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders and other ex-felons on the I-Net – to INFORM the public! I mean , in the City of Miramar , Florida , where I live , the population is approx. 109,000. My family and I would sure like to know how many of those 109,000 are ADMITTED Christians! Perhaps we may actually know some. In which case we could begin to witness to them and warn them of the dangers of Christianity. Or perhaps they are radical Christians, whose minds are as closed as Ray Comfort’s, in that case , if they are business owners , we would encourage all our atheist friends , as well as the various churches and their congregations NOT to patronize them as we would only be “feeding” Christianity. 
     
    Frankly , I don’t see why anyone would oppose this idea – including the Christians themselves (unless of course , they’re actually ashamed of their Christian religion, and would prefer to stay in the ‘closet.’ ).

    • Dave

      Now if you’d said a Catholic priests registry instead of just plain old Xians, it would serve a good purpose!

      • shaun

        There already is a catholic priest registry, it’s called the sex offender registry

  • Greybeard

    Creating a public list of Atheists just because there are public lists of sex offenders is bizarre. He believes atheists are “offenders”. Using such a list to ostracise freethinking individuals  who do not share his fantasy; and to send their business’s into insolvency smacks of medieval witch hunts, or Nazi oppression of Jews. How very christian of him.

    • Gabriel

      We must remember that Hitler and the Nazi’s were christians. Yes this would be very christian of him.

      • Texian

        Actually Hitler and the Nazi’s were atheist.  That of course does not mean atheist are Nazi’s anymore than a few nu tballs who call themselves Christian means all Christians are nut balls.

        • Greg

          That’s why the Nazis wore belts with buckles saying ‘God with us’, isn’t it?

          Hitler consistently referred to ‘God’ (and specifically the Christian one) in his speeches (go read them if you don’t believe me, rather than trusting some third party with an agenda writing on a web page somewhere), and also in Mein Kampf. 

          An extremely weak argument for Hitler being an atheist can be made but to try to claim the Nazi people were atheists is utterly ludicrous.

          • Steven

            Absolutely! The attempts of christians to distance themselves from the horrors perpetrated by the nazis are laughable. The whole EXCUSE for targeting  jews was that they were “evil christ-killers” all throughout history. 

             ”Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” — Voltaire

            the holocaust (and it’s religious rationalizations) are an extremely apt example of this. 

          • theist4atheists

            Nazis where attempting to start there own religion. it involved the idea that aryans came from Atlantis and some other weird shit.

            • AntLion

               The official Nazi Party stance on religion, as ratified in the 1920 Nazi Party Congress, was to promote what the regime called ‘Positive Christianity.’ It wasn’t based on Atlantis or any other ‘New Age’ concepts; it was based on the Judeo-Christian heritage, but rejected those parts of the Bible which were thought to be the work of the Jews. Jesus Christ was held up as the ‘Aryan’ and ‘non-Jewish’ Messiah who was an ‘active’ fighter (not just a preacher), against what Hitler perceived as the ‘falsehoods’ of Jewish culture and religious thought. Positive Christianity sought to eventually eliminate the Catholic Church and unite all Protestants under one National Socialist Church.

              It *is* interesting to note, however, that the Nazi swastika symbol was adopted from Eastern religions (Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism), where it’s a commonly found symbol in those cultures. However, the symbol had found its way into Western European cultures centuries ago, and apparently Hitler wasn’t aware of its origin. It would be a stretch, for example, to imagine him looking favorable upon South Asians and their religions, who are even more foreign to white Northern European ethnic/racial/cultural ideals and stereotypes than the Jews.

              Do some research on Positive Christianity. Many of the key concepts have survived Hitler and have found root in the US, today and are often encountered in the Christian Identity, Christian Reconstruction, and Aryan Brotherhead/Skinhead movements.

        • Anonymous

          I suggest you read “Mein Kampf”. It will cure you of that notion. Hitler was a Catholic who frequently referenced religion in his early speeches. He made a book deal out of Germany’s Christian heritage and thought spirituality is an important part of people’s development and character.

          He may not have believed the textbook dogma of the church, but he was very much a Christian. The few Nazis who bought into the pseudo-norse ideology and mysticism too much – like Himmler – were somewhat ridiculed for it

        • Anonymous

          “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.
          -Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)

          “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

          I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal.-Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

          Every volume and every chapter of Mein Kampf contains Christian symbolism, Christian messages or claims to Christian belief by Hitler.  That sure makes him sound like a Christian to me.

        • Sven

          @36ec760459e27751e65319264f89accf:disqus,
           If Hitles was an atheist, why then, has the catholic church never excummunicated him?

  • http://daniel.bottle-imp.com Daniel

    I’d gladly say “Sign me up”, if it meant they’d leave me alone when they realize there isn’t a chance I’ll convert. My real issue is how this sort of thing creates me general divisiveness, and I don’t think that’s positive in any respect, for either side of the argument.

  • Anonymous

     I noticed that the Pastor has tattoos on his arms. I think we should have a registry of all persons that have tattoos, make them come in to have them and their tattoos photographed at the Police Station, put their photos and a pic of their tattoo with their information (address, phone number, etc.) on a national registry. Then we will be able to avoid all people with tattoos, boycott the sale of their homes, shopping at their businesses, and create a ghetto where all tattooed people can live with people of their own ilk, away from all of us who don’t have tattoos. After all, I don’t want to live near a tattooed person or have my children associate with any tattooed persons.

    • Curt Cameron

      Maybe instead of a registry for tattooed people, we could mark them somehow. Like some kind of visible marking on the skin, some kind of ink, that won’t wash off. 

    • Anonymous

      The tattoos are clearly a violation of Leviticus 19:28. Obviously he isn’t a real Christian

      • JustSayin’

        Oh, no, Stev84. You’re taking that out of context.

        Of course, when they quote the anti-gay verses from the same book, now THOSE are to be heeded in the most literal manner possible.

        Cherry-picking. Ain’t it great?

  • http://diff-path.blogspot.com Jennifer

    Yeah, Pastor Mike, because that’s what Jesus would do.  People like you sure do make me want to convert back to Christianity.  Oh wait, no they don’t, not the slightest bit.  Kind of ironic that you mention hate groups, since Christianity is the biggest hate group of all, as evidenced by your own hateful words.

  • latsot

    FYI Pastorstahl@aol.com has emailed me saying he did make the posts.  He still hasn’t answered any questions though.

  • Gabriel

    Leviticus 19:27 “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard. Leviticus 19:28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.

    I think that these two verses would show that Pastor Mike isn’t a true christian. True christians shouldn’t patronize his church and should attempt to keep anyone else from doing so.

    • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

      I love it :) I knew someone would post this verse as soon as I saw the photo.

  • Gabriel

    The KKK has always held itself out as a christian organization. Almost all pedophiles and sex offenders are religous with the majority in America being christian.

  • Anonymous

    If it’s a joke, it’s a sick one.  But he does write like a crazy person.  When you have several words in bold, italic, all upper case and even underlined, at the same time, you’re probably dealing with a lunatic.  The blog wasn’t blocked earlier this week, so I guess that shows he can’t take people that disagree with him.

  • Alexis

    I can’t wait to see ‘John Smith’ on the boycott list. This makes almost as much sense as the ‘No Fly’ list. 60 Minutes interviewed 7 men with the same name, none of whom had any reason to be suspected of terrorism, but one person with a different name used their name as an alias to send a threatening letter once in the distant past. I wonder how big the list for New York City will be.

  • Anonymous

    As a Christian, I join you in your disgust of what this man says and does, and if he meant it as a joke, it really wasn’t funny at all.  But I find it disturbing that there are people who have responded here with the kind of hatred and animosity that they say he exhibits and that disturbs me, too. 
     
    Anybody can call himself a Christian.  Anybody can take up pew space week after week after week in a church and still not be a Christian.  A true Christian is a person who is in a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ by the infilling of the human spirit.  When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, he embarks upon a life-long process of sanctification in which he, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Spirit’s power, grows more and more Christ-like.  Christ made it clear that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves.
     
    You won’t find any perfect Christians on this earth.  You will only find Christians in the process of being perfected.  And, as I said, you will find people attending churches and, sadly, even preaching from the pulpit who don’t know the Lord personally and are living completely apart from him and NOT following his wishes at all.  Yet they still wear the label “Christian”.  Please do not condemn us all because of people who represent God and Christianity badly.
     
    Thank you for allowing me to post here.

  • Anonymous

    As a Christian, I join you in your disgust of what this man says and does, and if he meant it as a joke, it really wasn’t funny at all.  But I find it disturbing that there are people who have responded here with the kind of hatred and animosity that they say he exhibits and that disturbs me, too. 
     
    Anybody can call himself a Christian.  Anybody can take up pew space week after week after week in a church and still not be a Christian.  A true Christian is a person who is in a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ by the infilling of the human spirit.  When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, he embarks upon a life-long process of sanctification in which he, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Spirit’s power, grows more and more Christ-like.  Christ made it clear that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves.
     
    You won’t find any perfect Christians on this earth.  You will only find Christians in the process of being perfected.  And, as I said, you will find people attending churches and, sadly, even preaching from the pulpit who don’t know the Lord personally and are living completely apart from him and NOT following his wishes at all.  Yet they still wear the label “Christian”.  Please do not condemn us all because of people who represent God and Christianity badly.
     
    Thank you for allowing me to post here.

    • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

      I guess I’m a little confused – can you clarify?

      You say that we ” shouldn’t condemn us all because of people who represent God and Christianity badly”, suggesting that Stahl is misrepresenting Christianity, but then you go on to say that “you won’t find any perfect Christians on this earth”…so then what name shall we give you? How can we make the distinction between the “true” Christians and all the other people that look just like the “true” Christians (but aren’t!)?  Will the “fake” Christians always remain the scapegoat here?

    • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

      I guess I’m a little confused – can you clarify?

      You say that we ” shouldn’t condemn us all because of people who represent God and Christianity badly”, suggesting that Stahl is misrepresenting Christianity, but then you go on to say that “you won’t find any perfect Christians on this earth”…so then what name shall we give you? How can we make the distinction between the “true” Christians and all the other people that look just like the “true” Christians (but aren’t!)?  Will the “fake” Christians always remain the scapegoat here?

    • JustSayin’

      MaryLouise, you ask that we:
      “Please do not condemn us all because of people who represent God and Christianity badly.”

      Then start speaking up more often and more forcefully. The rest of you need to drown out the voices like his.

      Sadly, however, the rest of you religious folk are usually so meek and silent, that we atheists and agnostics can’t help but think you agree or that you condone freaks like this guy.

      And one more thing: I don’t see anything remotely approaching your claim that people in this thread have responded with “hatred and animosity” toward the “good” reverend. The worst that I’ve seen is a few people paraphrasing him by replacing “Atheist” with “Christian.” Wow, the audacity.

      • JustSayin’

        Rather, by replacing “Christian” with “Atheist.” My bad.

    • JustSayin’

      MaryLouise, you ask that we:
      “Please do not condemn us all because of people who represent God and Christianity badly.”

      Then start speaking up more often and more forcefully. The rest of you need to drown out the voices like his.

      Sadly, however, the rest of you religious folk are usually so meek and silent, that we atheists and agnostics can’t help but think you agree or that you condone freaks like this guy.

      And one more thing: I don’t see anything remotely approaching your claim that people in this thread have responded with “hatred and animosity” toward the “good” reverend. The worst that I’ve seen is a few people paraphrasing him by replacing “Atheist” with “Christian.” Wow, the audacity.

    • Greg

      I’m confused. Where exactly are the ‘people who have responded here with the kind of hatred and animosity that they say he exhibits ’.

      I’m not trying to be flippant or anything, but I don’t see them. I’ve seen some ridicule of him, but that is neither hatred, nor animosity, and they’ve not been directed at all people who claim to be Christians too. 

      Also – who are you to say what a ‘True Christian’ is? I’m pretty sure that people like this unhinged ‘Pastor’ will think that you aren’t a ‘True Christian’, too. Indeed, people like those at the WBC certainly do. I don’t understand why I should believe you ahead of them? 

      As it is, I think both of you are as true a Christian as the other. 

    • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

      You won’t find any perfect Christians on this earth.  You will only find Christians in the process of being perfected.

      But the obvious question that springs to mind is, “If there aren’t any perfect Christians, but only Christians-in-process, how do you know what a perfect Christian is? Christians, after all, can’t be like their mythological Christ. He was a God, after all, and mortals, no matter how much they want to, can’t emulate a God. Especially since said God is also on record saying His ways aren’t our ways.

      If no one has ever met Perfect Christians, how do you know to what to aspire? At what point along the journey does a Christian-in-name-only become a Christian-being-perfected? How not-really-Christian must you be before you can’t ever start down the road to perfection? Who gets to decide that? On what criteria? How do you the criteria is valid?

      In other words, how do you know this pastor isn’t on the same path as you, just at a different point along it? What gives you the right judge him not fit to be Christian? Where is your spirit of forgiveness?

      • dwasifar karalahishipoor

        Well, from a strictly logical point of view, the absence of examples of a perfect [x] does not mean we can’t know what we mean by a perfect [x].  For example, in geometry, an ideal plane has no thickness.  Obviously we cannot actually find one of those to point at, but nonetheless we know what we mean by it.

        That said, I am just being a smartass.  :)   I agree with you generally.  I think the “no perfect christians” thing is just a dodge, there to allow them to forgive themselves in the name of god for whatever they do that doesn’t make sense.  It’s one of those faith-based life kludges that are the intellectual equivalent of fixing something with caulk or duct tape; it makes things appear to fit together that don’t, but it won’t stand much pressure.

  • Anonymous

    When I was a child, in cars, I would rock and say…things. Just sounds, whatever sound I felt like saying, making up words that sounded good to my ears. I never got a job as a pastor, but I did get, years later, a diagnosis as having Asperger’s Syndrome.

  • Anonymous

    Go ahead, make a list.  Be sure to create one for religious folk too … then cross-referenced them with “convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc.” and lets see where we stand.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. what a kook.

  • Udo

    Most states have statutes making the maintaining of a
    blacklist illegal.  Should we report him
    to the authorities?

    Fla. Stat. Ann. § 448.045

    “Agreeing or conspiring with another person or persons in
    order to get someone fired or prevent someone from obtaining employment.”

  • Annie

    I think the title of “pastor” is rather loosely used here.  I don’t know what his credentials are, but apparently his church only exists in the cyberworld, in the form of a blog with a paypal link.  That right there speaks volumes. 

    • Michael Appleman

      That’s basically what real churches are isn’t it?

  • http://theotherweirdo.wordpress.com The Other Weirdo

    I’m sorry, but did you just AOL him?

    AOL, verb: “To AOL someone.” “Did you just AOL him?” “AOL him on his favorite forum, that will learn him.” To call somebody you don’t like an idiot because he or she still uses AOL.

  • T-Rex

    I’m just glad I live in south Florida along the coast away from all these crazy f’ers in central and north Florida. Look up the word bigot and find this ass wipe’s picture. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it for as long as I breath. Fuck religion.

  • Charvakan

    I am thinking of sending him my name to put on the list…  I think all atheists should do that.

  • http://twitter.com/rgaltizer R G Altizer

    Funny, because I suspect he’d get really upset if the local mosque decided to compile a list of all the Christians in the area.

    He can add me to his Atheist “Do Not Call” List.

  • dwasifar karalahishipoor

    If such a list existed, I’d use it to find out where to shop.  It’d help me avoid getting screwed over by someone who thinks they’re automatically forgiven for it.

  • Nazgul7of9

    The fact is these kinds of databases already exist and could conceivably be used in the future to target subgroups for discrimination or even elimination. Unfortunately this is growing more and more likely as societal and economic pressures escalate and hate rhetoric and blame the _____s mentalities flourish.  The framework is already present and people of this mindset such as Mr. Stahl are out there. The Jehovah’s Witnesses who go door-to-door preaching immediately after each stop write in their notebooks a summary of each resident’s religious stance and receptivity to their sects views.  Large combined databases of this kind of data, such as what one charges on their credit cards, checks out from the library, buys with their grocery discount card or movies they rent have been gathered, cross-referenced and are data-mined by the government and others. After 9-11 these efforts have escalated on the pretext of fighting the “war on terror.”  Profiling is one form of this, take for example the case of Yasir Afifi, a 20 year old college student, Muslim and U.S. citizen, who lives in California who found an FBI tracking device on his car even though he has no criminal history or hate group memberships.  Truly if the Nazis had these kinds of databases they would have had no trouble rounding up all the Jews, Gypsies, gays and whoever else they found undesirable. Don’t think it can’t happen here.

  • The Friendly Christian

    Amen.  As a United Methodist Pastor I am deeply offended by people who claim to be pastors (no seminary/training) and then make outrageous statements like this.  Please don’t lump the rest of us in with those who claim the name.  His words are not spoken with compassion, love or any attitude that would come from following Christ.  His words are spoken from a place of prejudice and fear.  Truly sad.  - the friendly Christian ;0)

    • http://purl.org/NET/JesseW/SundryStuff/ Jesse Weinstein

      Thanks for speaking up in opposing this.  As someone said above, the more moderates who speak out against the extremists, the better. 

      As for “lump[ing] the rest of us in with [him]“, I don’t see any examples of Hemant doing that in this post (nor do I remember any in past posts, although I may have missed them).  I also haven’t seen any examples in the comments on this post (feel free to point out instances I overlooked, and we can discuss them).  As such, since atheists are often accused of such lumping (as in the comment linked below by Dean Roberts, right on this page), please be careful about implying it, especially without providing examples.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting on the blog, though!

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/09/01/pastor-mike-stahls-national-atheist-registry-is-nothing-new/#comment-300489063

      • Sincere Christian

        I agree with the Friendly Christian, and I believe he may be saying “lumping” not to speak for him, but I also read other articles & watched a video blog where the people were highly offended (they should be, I myself as a Christian am offended by him…seeing as if he were truely following the example of Christ, he would NEVER have written or dreamed it up!) & began to say the like for Christians.  Unfortunatly, many “Christians” have fallen in the public eye, or done some pretty outragous things in the name of God…None of which did God call them to do, say or be.  They dishonor the name of God.
        “why would any Christian seriously think it appropriate or moral to create a “national registry” for atheists?” Its not moral, or Godly…I am sorry that this man calls himself a Christian…It is very sad!  -Sincere Christian

    • Grisha

      Who gets to decide who true Scotsman is?

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      I’m not sure I see any “lumping” going on here. But I do have a couple observations to make:

      First, for every “Pastor” Stahl out there who makes these outrageous pronouncements public, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other people who agree with him, but who aren’t as public about it. It’s not reasonable to just dismiss him as one lone guy. He probably speaks for plenty of other Christians. We just don’t know how many. That should be as much of a concern to you as anything else.

      Second, it’s one thing to ask not to be “lumped in” with guys like this. It’s quite another to do whatever it takes to correct him and bring him back into what you view as the “Christian fold.” I’ve found that there are lots of mainstream Christians out there who are willing to stand off to the side and ask that outside observers not confuse them with extremists, but who refuse to take the extremists on directly and do something about them in a concrete fashion.

      My guess is that it’s easier for more reasonable Christians such as yourself just to stand off to the side and ask not to be “lumped in,” than it would be to take action, correct the extremists like Stahl, and thus demonstrate — by deed rather than only by word — that your own religion means enough to you that you would take on those who would make it seem like it’s something you claim it isn’t.

      Unfortunately the integrity of your own religion is up to you to police. Either you and your fellow reasonable Christians will do so, or you won’t. Outsiders can’t do it for you. If you choose not to police it, then you’re tacitly admitting that Christianity means whatever it means to the shrillest voices within the religion. And I would think this is not an outcome that reasonable Christians would want.

      But then, I’m just a cold-hearted, cynical, skeptical, godless agnostic heathen. What can I possibly know about such important things?

  • matt harding

    Dear Hermant,

    You’re rhetoric in this post makes it seem like  atheists  are persecuted homosexuals afraid of coming out of the  “closet”. Really? Maybe you should have read more Vonnegut during your time in school. It’s a big world and Mr. Stahl is but a very, very small part of it– I would guess that his “idea” strikes a chord with the culture in which he lives and it’s quite easy to make fun of him, but I’m sure that many of his neighbors identify with his sentiments. Does this make it “right”? No, but at this point it also doesn’t make it wrong– Stahl is using a public venue to  assert his idea of what is right and you are doing the same, albeit you are using rhetoric advantageously,  while Mr. Stahl appears like a buck-toothed, gun-toting hick, sans rhetorical ability. Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?

    Cheers,

    Matt

    • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

      You’re rhetoric in this post makes it seem like  atheists  are
      persecuted homosexuals afraid of coming out of the  “closet”. Really?

       Yes, really. Every gay atheist I’ve known has said it was much harder to come out of the atheist closet than the gay closet. When I told my parents I was bisexual, there was less of a negative response than when I told them I was an atheist. The closet is real, and the consequences for coming out are equally real.

  • matt harding

    Dear Hermant,

    You’re rhetoric in this post makes it seem like  atheists  are persecuted homosexuals afraid of coming out of the  “closet”. Really? Maybe you should have read more Vonnegut during your time in school. It’s a big world and Mr. Stahl is but a very, very small part of it– I would guess that his “idea” strikes a chord with the culture in which he lives and it’s quite easy to make fun of him, but I’m sure that many of his neighbors identify with his sentiments. Does this make it “right”? No, but at this point it also doesn’t make it wrong– Stahl is using a public venue to  assert his idea of what is right and you are doing the same, albeit you are using rhetoric advantageously,  while Mr. Stahl appears like a buck-toothed, gun-toting hick, sans rhetorical ability. Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?

    Cheers,

    Matt

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    There was this one guy, in Europe, back in the ’20′s who had a national registry of people he disagreed with. Didn’t end very well.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    There was this one guy, in Europe, back in the ’20′s who had a national registry of people he disagreed with. Didn’t end very well.

  • Charles Black

    The craziness this guy exhibits is really scary to me.
    Does anyone here really think they just want to convert us? They will kill us if they don’t convert us by lynching just like what happened to black people in the Southern United States.

  • Guest

    Wow, this is just wow, it’s a bit weird, specially for me, cause my Mum’s a Catholic and my brothers, a Christian, My Fathers a Atheist so if he heard about this, it would make him Furiose, and personnaly it makes me Furiose, cause by the fact i’m a satenist (and i’m darn proud of it), it’s just as my father says, keep your opinions to yourself, so basicully to me, i find this SHIT, it’s a insult to all of the religions out there,  so if this is a joke or something, i swear it’s a sick one, so yea this is my opnion good day.

  • Drew M.

    As usual, the Thinking Atheist hits one out of the park.

    http://youtu.be/ZTHyVWCoJdg

  • http://profiles.google.com/sourblaze David

    I managed to place that guy into my Google Reader.

    http://pastorstahl.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

    That way I can keep up to date on what he’s up to. Oh, and be able to read some of his older stuff, too.

    ~Infidel

  • Grandma Kate

    My experience has been that there are few people zealous enough to really care what religious persuasion, if any, a business owner is.  People might give lip service to the idea, but when it comes down to it, what people usually care most about is getting a good deal and quality service/product.

  • Daniel W.

    I definitely understand where you’re coming from, but just don’t judge
    EVERY Christian for the distorted views of a few. Christian is a general
    term used by hundreds of religions and millions of churches, so you
    can’t hate on EVERY one that say’s they’re Christian because radicals
    hate on atheists. Where I live, the Christian church I went to NEVER targeted atheists, they just “witnessed” to everyone that they could.

     And the whole “making a list of Christian stores” isn’t to boycott atheist stores, it is to support people of the same background. It would be like someone of Hispanic origin going to what’s his name Joe’s  Mexican grocery store. It’s silly, but humans like associating with people who are like them. It doesn’t mean they’re against people who are not like them, it just means they like having something to talk about deeply with another person.

    Yes, some “Christians” judge the world from their pedestals, but does the Bible not say “judge not, lest ye be judged.” Christians who judge others are just plain stupid and not being Christians at all.

    I was raised in a small Christian church, and I now walk my own road between ragged and wrong, so I’m not in complete favor of Christianity or organized religion, but I can tell you that not every Christian hates, just like not every Muslim wanted to attack America on 9/11.

    Here’s the thing, people are individuals to be judged of their own actions, and possibly judged for the ones they associate with. I beg you, please don’t judge ANY group for those who claim they are of the same caliber, because if you did, you would be no better than hating christians.

    • Daniel W.

      this is the poster, again. don’t get me wrong, “witnessing” is not what i represent, and neither is the “making a list of stores” i was just adding my individual input to contribute to the article

    • ACN

      We don’t need to judge all christians by this idiot.

      We have been perfectly capable of judging christianity on the merit, or lack thereof, of it’s supernatural ideas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=24503494 Eireann Michael Dolan

    here’s his contact info since he’s made his blog private: https://alcoholicsconspicuous.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/stunt-queen-pastor-michael-stahl-was-probably-lie-telling/

  • http://www.facebook.com/scumbagstyle Mark Hurley

    Since he probably won’t read my email, and I don’t want to have wasted my time entirely, here’s what I sent him.

    “Pastor” Stahl,

    I would like to respectfully add my sentiments to the entirely justifiable outrage your inbox must be riddled with.

    I
    am sure you are aware what the creation of your Atheist Registry
    infers. The only possible outcome of this list is for your extremist
    Christian friends to cause violence to innocent people across the
    country. There is no difference between this proposed list and any of
    Hitler’s registries in the ’30s. These kinds of lists are the hallmark
    of oppression, and the thought that someone who calls himself American
    could even conceive of such a registry frightens me to an extreme
    degree. Sounds like someone thinks he is entitled to cast the first
    stone.

    Additionally, I am officially requesting an apology from you for
    summoning the gumption to compare me to a domestic terrorist and a sex
    offender. This incident has proven to me that I, an atheist, am composed
    of more morality than your pathetic, hateful mind could ever conceive
    of. Atheists are, for the most part, good, honest people. Unlike you, by
    the way, who said this registry idea was a joke, that we’d never hear
    about it again, and yet continued your bigoted crusade behind closed
    doors. How’s that for honesty, you small, hypocritical man? You ask for
    transparency from honest American atheists, who are entitled to all the
    rights and priveliges afforded to all American citizens, and you
    privatize your blog and Facebook. Hypocrisy of the highest degree!

    You now have my email address. I do not trust that you will do the
    “Christian” thing with it, but I offer it because I will never be
    ashamed that I do not believe in man-made myths and monsters. I am
    damned proud that I do not have the reasoning faculties of a three year
    old, and am not afraid of the judgment of an imaginary dictator in the
    sky. The very idea of the Christian God is un-American; a kind of
    invisible Kim Jong Il that can convict me of thought crime, invade my
    privacy, dictate who I may or may not love, what I should eat, or what
    my loving wife may do with her own body. Our great country is too good
    for your childish, “all powerful, all knowing” god who somehow needs
    constant adoration, and for his followers to oppress those who do not
    believe in him. There are good people and bad people in the world, that
    is a fact. It takes your God to make a good man do terrible things.

    Frankly, I personally believe that Christianity has been the cause
    of most of the world’s problems for 2,000 years, and I look forward to
    the day humanity as a whole drops the silly superstition. I doubt you or
    I will live to see that happy day, I am not naive. But I do know one
    thing: most of the atheists I have encountered have been decent,
    generous, accepting, happy people, which is so much more than I can say
    for the one Christian I am writing right now. I can guarantee I have
    read the Bible more than you have; at least, it seems so, as I follow
    Christ’s teachings more than you do. Give it a read sometime, that guy
    had some great ideas. It would certainly teach you a thing or two about
    loving your neighbor, and judging not. I also recommend you reconcile
    yourself tot he existence of atheists. Our numbers are far larger than
    you realize, and growing. I suspect you may be experiencing some doubts
    in your own faith, or you wouldn’t be so adamant about oppressing us,
    kind of like those Republican senators who are so ashamed of their being
    gay they try to enact laws to take away the rights of homosexuals.

    I suggest you end your crusade of terror post-haste, and inform your
    followers (if any, I know you don’t have a congregation, what exactly
    are you “pastor” of?) that yours were the actions of a hateful,
    small-minded bigot, and you are attempting to make yourself right with
    God over it. Tell them you have decided to live as Jesus did, accepting
    all humans, no matter if they disagree. Until then, I await your
    apology, which I will accept with the grace and tact of a good man, who
    is good without God.

    Yours in extreme disappointment,

    Mark James Hurley Jr.

    PS
    I would appreciate it if you would pass it along to your friends that I
    don’t need any witnessing done at me. I am aware of everything they
    will say, I probably know the history and teachings of their church
    better than they do, and nothing they say will change my mind. I’d
    rather just save everyone the time, time they’ll be needing to shave
    their knuckles, time I’ll need for my volunteer work. On the other hand,
    if they would like to hear some logical arguments that disprove their
    God, I’ll be happy to chat with them. But let them approach me. It is
    extremely rude to harass people with our beliefs.

  • Jackoroberts

    I would tell him to go to hell but you know…….

  • Bobb-o

    I support this effort by Pastor Stahl!  He and anyone reading his blog should absolutely boycott the businesses and products of ALL atheist and secular individuals!  

    Starting with Alan Turing, Linus Torvalds, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerburg.  

    (The reason why people like Stahl are so passionate in their hate is because they recognize they are part of a dying breed, and it’s very frustrating to them that their entire belief system is becoming less and less relevant in today’s world.)