One Way to Respond to Street Preachers: Preach Right Back at Them

I know we shouldn’t stoop to their level, but when Mike Lee decides to give two Christian street preachers a taste of their own medicine by loudly reading from The God Delusion right in front of them, it’s pretty entertaining…

The good stuff starts around the 0:40 mark:

Can you believe it? The preachers didn’t like getting preached at. Shocking.

My favorite lines:

Mike: Do you want me to preach to you?

Preacher: Well, I don’t want you to right now…

Watch the video till the end to see how it all played out.

(Related: The Boot Protest)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

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

    OK, I’m a Christian and found that pretty entertaining.

    But let me say that where did the whole free speech go? I mean, I wouldn’t mind if you preached an ‘atheist gospel’ on the street. As long as I was allowed to preach my gospel too. (Not that I do street preaching by the way). 

    http://deanroberts.net

    • Dubliner

      Was that preacher saying anything the passers by hadn’t heard a thousand times before? He’s just polluting the environment with his noise purely for his own sense of self aggrandisement.

    • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Rev. Ouabache

      Everyone has a right to free speech. No one has the right to an audience.

    • Anonymous

      Free speech – in a legal rather than a more general or moral sense – means that the government doesn’t arrest you simply for having a particular opinion. They can still limit the way you make that opinion known if it infringes on other people’s rights – as long as they don’t shut you down entirely. Free speech also doesn’t mean immunity from criticism or counter protests

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

        And I agree with that, but this is just making a mountain out of a molehill. There’s no point in stopping people from preaching. I never would. Because I think that in a free country you should be allowed to openly have an audience and share your views. Just because you don’t like what this guy is preaching, it doesn’t mean he should be limited or stopped.

        Because I can only assume, but if you listened to an atheist evangelist on the street, I bet you’d all love it. I mean, I can’t say that for definite, but I bet you’d have less qualms about it than someone of a different faith, religion or belief. So I think we all need to calm down about the whole thing, really.

        http://deanroberts.net

        • Anonymous

          You can preach in your church and at closed events your church holds. If your message is so great, people will come. Or more likely, you have nothing to say that people don’t already know

          You can’t just go out on the street and harass random people. These two were especially obnoxious because they used a sound system. In some places there are laws against that kind of stuff. Or people are required to get a permit. When I’m just walking around, I don’t like being approached by people selling stuff or speaking for political causes either.
          But as usual religious people want to be exempt from following the law.

          A solution to balance people’s rights are free speech corners. Again, it’s perfectly permissible to limit the place and time where people can speak publicly.

          • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

            They didn’t really “approach” or “harass” anybody. They just stood there and said what they wanted to say, and anyone that wanted to stood there and listened. It’s not like they impeded people of the option to keep walking. I disagree with what they have to say, and in all likelihood if I had the time I would stay for a while to voice my disagreement, but the way this guy handled it was dickish.

            Also, nobody seemed to be in favor of free speech corners when they were installed at the Republican National Convention or on government property. When you move the places where it’s legal to practice free speech to small corners with little to no foot traffic, it has more or less the same effect as barring it.

          • Nick Hills

            I wonder, is it possible to challenge the religious without having a bunch of people go “You’re a dick! What about free speech? You’re a dick” over and over?

        • Nick Hills

          Did that guy really STOP these people from preaching? No. He merely challenged them. They were using their sound system, so he was using a bullhorn.

          Simply CHALLENGING someone’s opinion isn’t violating their right to free speech. I mean, if someone was on a street corner with big loud speakers, “preaching” the Koran, I imagine you would want to publicly challenge this person, right?

          Or maybe you would just keep your head down and say nothing at all?

        • Anonymous

          Personally, I don’t want to walk down a street or walk around a street fair or open market having someone… ANYone… yelling at me.  Preaching from the bible, reading from The God Delusion, or reciting nursery rhymes.  It’s noise pollution no matter how you look at it.

          As for street preachers, I detest them…. truly detest them.  They are saying horrible, mean things that hurt people and brainwash children and it should not be legal.  Period.

          • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

            “They are saying horrible, mean things that hurt people and brainwash children and it should not be legal.  Period.”

            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
            prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
            speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
            assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

           If we want to try and draw parallels, if various atheists showed up outside my window reading Dawkins, Hitchens or Harris in turn, and using an amplification system, I might enjoy it for the first 10 minutes if I’m not doing anything, but if it is a constant thing (as street preachers tend to be) I would most definitely be annoyed, and would very likely call the police on them.
          Furthermore, I fail to see the connection with challenging someone’s position with limiting his own speech. Nobody has a right to unchallenged speech.

        • Aquaria

          Because I can only assume, but if you listened to an atheist evangelist on the street, I bet you’d all love it. 

          Proof that you’re a dishonest theist (but then, I repeat myself).

          You are massively projecting your stupidity and delusions on us.

          You know what I, an atheist, want when I’m in public? To be able to get to and from where I’m going in peace and quiet. To be able to go about my business without some lunatic shouting–about anything, or handing me crap that’s a waste of paper and ink.

          So, no, you have no idea at all what an atheist would want or expect.

          Congratulations on being the typical smug, arrogant, hateful Christard.

    • Greg

      The point of it wasn’t about limiting free speech, it was about showing the preachers a small sliver of how they make other people feel. 

      The hope would then be that they would think of the advice:

      “Treat people as they would wish to be treated.”

      (Or, if you prefer, the similar piece of advice that Jesus was reputed to have given later – the ‘golden rule’. (Although I’m not keen on that, because what if  a person is a masochist?))

      And if those preachers had then gained some insight from that exercise in empathy, then the world would maybe be a slightly better place! ;)

  • Karen

    I wish I could have been there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.j.jordan Scott James Jordan

    Preacher: Well, I don’t want you to right now…

    I’m sure that preachers know that people don’t like being preached at, but do so anyway because “it’s for their own good” / “we love them” and other BS.

  • Anonymous

    Entertaining but not overly constructive.  Where has the art of heckling gone, that’s what I want to know?  

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

      Hoverfrog, I have to agree, even being a Christian :)

      I do love to watch heckling. Though even that produces very little fruit on both sides.

      http://deanroberts.net

      • dauntless

        You keep saying you’re a Christian. I hope you realize that doesn’t give your message any credibility.

        • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

          Bit of an unnecessary jab, don’t you think?

          • Drew M.

            Well, if you can’t fake intelligence, be genuinely dickish.

            • dauntless

              Giving an example, are you?

              I hardly think what I said was as rude as you seem to think. He used his religion as a qualifying statement in multiple posts, as if it somehow changes the meaning of  the content of those posts.

              • Drew M.

                Yeah, I didn’t see that coming [/rolleyes].

                His qualifier wasn’t trying to give his post “credibility,” but rather to point out that while he’s usually on the other side of the fence, he isn’t on this case.

                “OK, I’m a Christian and found that pretty entertaining.”

                Translation: “As someone who normally might be offended by this, I found it entertaining.”Rinse and repeat for his other posts.In retrospect,

                I guess you weren’t dickish so much as moronic, in this particular case.

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

      Hoverfrog, I have to agree, even being a Christian :)

      I do love to watch heckling. Though even that produces very little fruit on both sides.

      http://deanroberts.net

  • Captainawesome

    This video is funny to me because everyone in that video is being a total dick.

    It’s less funny to me when we get a Christian in the comments here who has a sense of humour and can hold an intelligent conversation and people are still being dicks.

    My thing is this- I have no beef with anyone shilling anything on the sidewalks. I don’t care if you’re selling Jesus, atheism, or a George Foreman grill. But if your product is lacking or your sales pitch is weak, expect to be called out by someone.

    That being said, I think there’s a difference between a street preacher and someone like Westboro Baptist who DEMANDS counter-protest.

    I don’t think any meaningful dialogue happens when two people use PAs to shout at each other, and if atheists want to be included and accepted in society it behooves us not to stoop to the level of those whose actions we object to.

    • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

      Agreed. Why the hell are we on Patheos if all we’re gonna do is flame the people who come here from places of faith?

      • Anonymous

        Dean Roberts hasn’t exactly been very cordial in previous discussions. The tone is friendly, but he’s rather obtuse when simple things are explained to him. He says he wants to learn things, but doesn’t act like it

        • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

          Ah, so the way to combat someone acting like an asshole is to pre-emptively act like an asshole. It’s the Bush Doctrine of Assholishness.

          As for the flaming, you’re right that nobody explicitly flamed him, but someone replied “You keep saying you’re a Christian. I hope you realize that doesn’t give your message any credibility.” It’s, at the least, not exactly respectful or friendly dialogue. The fact that a comment like that has 10 likes bothers me even more.

          • Greg

            Whilst I’m not a fan of that comment, I can understand why the person may have made it (and also why I think the person who wrote it probably made some faulty assumptions here). I don’t think you can say there was anyone even approaching flaming outside of that, though.

            Actually, if I had to write something along the lines of that comment, I would have said something like:

            “I hope you realise that doesn’t give your message any more or any less credibility.”

          • Brian Macker

            “It’s the Bush Doctrine of Assholishness.”

            Except for the fact that Saddam invaded Kuwait first and we were still in a state of war with him, a ceasefire, the terms of which he kept violating.   … or in the case of Afghanistan where the Taliban was harboring a terrorist that had attacked us.

            What would you call Obama’s doctrine on Libya.  He didn’t even bother going to the UN or Congress before dropping bombs there.

            Perhaps you should start calling it the …ClintonBushObama doctrine because they pretty much all do what you are finding offensive.  

            • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

              Well then perhaps we shouldn’t have propped Saddam up because he was fighting the Iranians and we liked that. Then he wouldn’t have had the means to invade Kuwait, now would he? As for Afghanistan, the invasion made sense because the Taliban WERE hiding bin Laden. That’s not really where the “Bush Doctrine” comes from, though…it came from the leadup to the Iraq war. (Also, we should have left Afghanistan when the Taliban were toppled and it became clear that bin Laden was no longer there, but hey.)

              What would I call Obama’s doctrine? I’d call it the Bush Doctrine, and it was out of line when he did it, too. I’m not a Democrat, nor am I an Obama supporter. What you think you are attacking, you are not attacking.

              At any rate, the “Bush Doctrine” thing was an offhanded remark about a phrase that’s pretty commonly used and understood. It wasn’t meant to be any kind of partisan jab at Bush or to start a political discussion.

            • Donalbain

              http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10200.doc.htm

              Authorizes Member
              States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or
              through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in
              cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures,
              notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect
              civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the
              Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign
              occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests
              the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately
              of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by
              this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security
              Council;

              Sorry… what were you saying about the UN?

  • http://www.suburbansweetheart.com/ Suburban Sweetheart

    Oh, this is so very annoying all around. But I’m still glad he did it. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Reed/692599362 Paul Reed

    I find it interesting that people like this just keep on talking away, even when there’s no way anyone’s going to hear what they’re saying. It’s almost like the act of preaching is more important than the message itself…

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      In their minds, they think God knows what they are doing and that is all that matters.  They mainly wan tto impress God that they are out there trying to spread the word.  They are there for the brownie points.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    Well I enjoyed that.

    I found the guy without a microphone even more annoying than the one that did. The kind of preacher that doesn’t even care if he can’t be heard. He was trying to talk over Mike who was using a bullhorn? Seriously? I’ve met one of those kinds of preachers on Xbox Live of all places. Wouldn’t shut up for even a second. Wouldn’t let anyone else’s opinion be heard. If anything, that just proves how afraid they truly are of other opinions. Good for mike for pulling out a bullhorn in that guy’s face. Absolutely deserved.

  • Rich Wilson

    Makes me appreciate places that have no amplification rules for buskers.

  • Anonymous

    Free speech means just that, free speech. I don’t believe in censorship, even when I’m hearing something that I don’t like.  To stop anyone from their right to spout whatever stupid nonsense they like is wrong, whether it’s a fundie religious preacher or a militant atheist or anything in between. 

    It should be up to the local authorities to specify what can be used in the way of amplification, where speeches etc. can be made and all parties should be required to comply with any regulations specified. 

    @twitter-24143444:disqus ;
    You are studying theology at Uni. Have you been given a special task for your course or are you practising for when you qualify? I ask because I’ve never seen you on any blogs before yet today you appear to be everywhere, it’s scary!!! -lol-

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Casimir-Fornalski/652536670 Casimir Fornalski

      He wasn’t stopping anyone from preaching. He was pointing out that their message was hateful and offensive and people were upset with them being there. They could have chosen to stay and blather on if they wanted to. They chose to leave.

      • Anonymous

        I didn’t say he was stopping anyone from preaching. 

        As you say, they could have stayed and argued their point, that’s their right. All I’m doing is making a case that everyone should have the right to free speech and that the local authorities should be the only ones with the power to regulate what amplification should be allowed. 

        That means that anyone, even those coming out with nonsense, as most religious preachers do, even if it is offensive, have the right to have their say (how many times have we atheists said to the religious, ” you do not have the right NOT to be offended “). 

        The other point is that, whatever regulations are in place, they apply to all, no special privileges just for religion. One law for all is my motto, even though it means that I sometimes have to hear crap. 

      • Anonymous

        I didn’t say he was stopping anyone from preaching. 

        As you say, they could have stayed and argued their point, that’s their right. All I’m doing is making a case that everyone should have the right to free speech and that the local authorities should be the only ones with the power to regulate what amplification should be allowed. 

        That means that anyone, even those coming out with nonsense, as most religious preachers do, even if it is offensive, have the right to have their say (how many times have we atheists said to the religious, ” you do not have the right NOT to be offended “). 

        The other point is that, whatever regulations are in place, they apply to all, no special privileges just for religion. One law for all is my motto, even though it means that I sometimes have to hear crap. 

  • Anonymous

    As an atheist I have to say that athiest was incoherent, illogical, and a complete dick.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Casimir-Fornalski/652536670 Casimir Fornalski

      No, he wasn’t. He was simply pointing out the obvious to two very delusional people.

    • usclat

      I have to say you’re wrong. He was coherent and logical if a bit over the top. 

    • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

      As an atheist I have to say that Gorgonzola is delicious.

  • tardis_blue

    I have to say I’m not entirely comfortable with what he did.  He basically bullied them into silence, which is less cool than them standing there preaching.  Yeah, the dude preaching with his little PA was annoying, and I wouldn’t have mind if Mike stood near them with his bullhorn and disagreed with them, or simply read from his book, but he didn’t do those things.  He got in their faces and was rude and belligerent  until they left–which was apparently his goal.   He claimed to speak for everyone there, even, which is extremely unlikely.  I’m sure most of the shoppers didn’t care one way or the other, and there were probably people who approved of the preacher.

    • Brittany

      Because those preachers aren’t being bullies? Sometimes the best way to get rid of a bully is to find an even bigger one. Mike doesn’t go off to that street corner every weekend to preach against Christianity. He did it one time to make a point, and it obviously worked since neither of those two preachers have been back since.

      I don’t think what he did was worse at all. Having seen several street preachers in my lifetime, I have to say that ALL of them have been rude to everyone who doesn’t agree with them. They stand there and shout hateful messages to people who just want to go about their day. Mike went in, asked them to stop, tried to make a point for them to stop, and when they refused to- he read a few lines from “The God Delusion,” and then told both of them that they are bigots shouting intolerance.

      Bottom line: they had it coming.

      • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

        Walking down the street with some friends late on Friday night a few years ago. Waiting at the corner of the street for the walk signal. Preacher is preaching – then locks onto me for some reason.

        Preacher walks up close to me, and in an amplified voice:

        “You there sir! Are you aware that the devil walks among us with cunning guise and fair visage so as to tempt us unto the ways of sin and evil?”

        I leaned in even closer, and affected a gutteral, growly, demonic tone of voice.

        “You have no idea.”

        Preacher jumped in the air by a foot, and actually seemed a little bit frightened… Until he saw my friends laughing.

        It was hilarious.

        That is all.

        • JoeBuddha

          FTW…

    • Greg

      He got in their faces and was rude and belligerent  until they left(…)

      Actually, that’s completely false. At the end of the video he says (well, types) that one of them left, the other didn’t, but neither haven’t been back there since.

      His self appointed task was to show them how they came across to other people for about a minute, and then leave (whether they stayed or not).

  • Erinn Foley

    When my dad was in college (60′s), he made up his own pamphlet so that when the campus preachers would hand out literature, he could hand them his back, stating all the reasons to reject christianity.

    • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

      That’s a pretty cool idea. I may do that myself.

    • Jimmyscoops

      Freedom from Religion Foundation has some pretty great “Nontracts” that are exactly this idea. I have a stack of them that I often carry with me if I’m in an area where I know there will be religious people.

  • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

    I’ll just leave this here (it could be of use to some of the commenters as well): http://vimeo.com/13704095

    • http://profiles.google.com/asecretagentwoman secret agent woman

      Thanks for that link. I just watched the talk and think Plait is absolutely right.

    • Greg

      The problem with Phil Plait’s ‘Don’t be a Dick’ speech, is it is entirely a strawman. He’s been asked to give examples, and he only comes back with things like ‘we all know atheists that act like this’ without actually offering anyone as an example. 

      Giving that talk was a bit of a dickish thing to do, actually.

      • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

        Want an example? See the video Hemant posted. In fact, see pretty much every video that guy does. There’s several examples right there.

        • Greg

          But that’s exactly the point – he isn’t an example of the things Phil Plait says.

          In fact, if you think he is in this video, then clearly the point of it has whooshed a long way over your head.

          • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

            No, I got the point of the video. The guy thinks he speaks for everyone (always a sign of a dangerous person) and, rather than try to politely voice disagreement with some street preachers, instead gets a bullhorn, points it at their faces, and shouts them down. The point was apparently that street preachers are stupid and don’t deserve common courtesy. Yeah you’re right. He’s not being a dick at all. The fact that the street preachers were being dicks doesn’t excuse his own dickery.

            • Greg

              No – you don’t get the point of the video then. Stop making crap up, and thus acting like a dick. (Although if your ‘dickish’ behaviour is intentional, then I’ll give you props for the intentional irony, even if you are still on the wrong side of the argument.)

              The point of the video was that doing what the preachers were doing:

              - telling people that they are sinners/going to hell/immoral/generally just being offensive/etc. etc. hooked up to a sound system so that they can’t be ignored -

              is not very nice. RA went up and spoke to them telling them this, and asking if they would stop – but they didn’t want to hear it. He then – for only about a minute, mind – gave them a taste of how it feels to be on the other side. He then stopped, and left, point made.

              You see how literally nothing you said fits in to what actually happened?

              • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

                Cool story, bro.

                • Greg

                  Still wanting to act like a dick, I see. That’s fine, it doesn’t bother me.

                  If you still disagree with what I said, then please tell me, though – I like being corrected. If you can’t do that, at least be decent enough to admit it. 

                  And if you truly meant the phrase to signify that you couldn’t be bothered to read a reply to something you wrote, then just remember how hypocritical you are whenever you call someone a dick and try to post that ‘don’t be a dick’ talk.

                • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

                  No, I just did a quick cost-benefit analysis and came to the conclusion that the benefits of arguing on the internet with somebody I’ve never met and probably never will over the contents of a 3 minute YouTube video don’t outweigh the costs of my time and energy. It’s not really something worth fighting over, and doing so would make me kind of a dick. So if you want to think you’ve won, go ahead. Congratulations, you won an argument on the internet.

                • Greg

                  Given I’ve gone out of my way to say I don’t care about winning an argument, that was really quite amusing. Tells me something about you, mind – especially as you couldn’t bring yourself to simply say something along the lines of ‘we’ll have to agree to disagree then’, but instead tried to make a sarcastic comment about how you don’t care what I have to say.

                  Again: if I’m wrong, I actually like being corrected. What I don’t like is trying to discuss something with someone, and have them refuse to correct my arguments / concede the point if they can’t / or politely agree to disagree. They seem to be the only three civilised ways of conducting a conversation to me.

                  (Incidentally, almost everything you’ve typed in the comments of this blog post has been ‘dickish’, so don’t worry about trying to stop yourself appearing like that now, it’s far too late.)

                • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

                  OK, fine. We’ll agree to disagree. Are you happy now?

                  I’m not saying that I don’t care about what you have to say. I’m saying that I don’t particularly care about this specific conversation. If you feel I’ve been a dick, I apologize. You probably have lots of things to say on other topics that would interest me. This isn’t one of them.

                  There. Are we done now?

                • David

                  you pair of dicks

                • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

                  Let’s be gender neutral.

                  They’re a pair of gonads.

                • dauntless

                  I have no idea what anyone is trying to say at this level of indentation.

                • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

                  It’s almost like the design is intended to stop us from carrying on a thread too long or something.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Lent/1086570036 Jason Lent

      “Don’t be a dick” is one of the few things I disagree with Phil Plait on, especially considering how broad of a brush he uses when deciding which things are dickish.

      • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

        It’s a shame that you don’t value common courtesy.

        • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

          I value common courtesy, but I don’t accept it being used as a hammer to squash dissent, which is often the case in discussions of gods. Often it is enough to suggest that atheists are capable of living happy, moral lives without god belief to be branded offensive. I find that absurd. In this context, Plait making his speech so vague without actually citing what he was talking about is not helpful.

          • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

            Well, I agree that sometimes people take offense to simple statements, and that when that happens you’re not “being a dick.” But I don’t agree that Plait was all that vague. He makes it pretty clear that he’s talking about shouting people down, or calling them stupid for their beliefs, or insinuating that only an idiot would believe the things they do rather than engaging in a calm discussion with them. I honestly don’t see where so many of you are getting this idea that it was a vague speech – I thought it was pretty clear, myself.

    • MelanieDawn

      That was wonderful. Thanks for posting it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/asecretagentwoman secret agent woman

    I don’t generally mind street preachers – sometimes they are wildly, if unintentionally, entertaining.  I used to cut class to listen to a pair of hysterical preachers who would stand on the campus and call us whores and whore mongers.  Good stuff. But I do take issue with the use of a microphone – you should only be able to hear them if you elect to walk up and listen. Otherwise they are infringing on my right to be at peace and away from messages of intolerance.  I would have preferred that the guy stand next to him and read from “The God Delusion” rather than point the bullhorn at the other preacher’s face.  I think it doesn’t help to be aggressive in your protest.

    • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

      “Otherwise they are infringing on my right to be at peace and away from messages of intolerance.”

      That’s not really a right. As atheists are fond of saying, you don’t have a right to not be offended.

      Now, is whoever owned the storefront this guy was yelling from decided that he didn’t want him there, it IS their right to make him leave.

      • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

        This is not a matter of offense. By using an amplifier, he is extending the reach of his words to the houses and stores nearby, who may not choose to want to listen to what he’s selling, be it Jesus or Amway. he has gone beyond expressing a point of view to becoming a nuisance.

        • Pete

          Yep. I am pretty sure that it is called “Disturbing the Peace”. 

        • http://www.stealingfirstbase.com Stealing First Base

          Meh, fair enough, but if there’s not a law against it where he is he’s not really doing anything wrong, either.

          • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

            He may not be doing anything illegal, whether it was wrong may be debatable.
            I can’t think of any valid justification of the preacher’s actions that doesn’t also allow for Mike Lee’s response, which is, all other things equal, most justified as it is a response to a provocation.

            That said, while I support this video being made, I don’t think such a bombastic approach is beneficial as a standard response. The point was made, no need to hammer it home.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    Amplified preaching in a public place is just rude.   It’s not like anything they’re saying is news.  Every media outlet and the internet is saturated with Christianity; it’s not like someone is going to walk by and say “Oh, gosh, I never heard that Jesus died for me!”  The preachers think they’re going to get brownie points in heaven for intruding into the lives of others, and yet they’ll tell you that non-Christians in some far-flung undeveloped corner of the world are damned because, theoretically, they are able to find out about Jesus, but didn’t convert.

  • http://withinthismind.com/ WithinThisMind

    There was someone at the college I went too who would stand with his little microphone and preach at folks walking by.  One of the guys in the electronics department made a little doodad, and whenever the preacher would start up, horrible feedback came through his microphone setup.

    Frankly, I think street corners should come equipped with such doodads.

    You have a right to speak.  You do not have a right to be provided with either forum or audience.

    • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

      Hmm… Wonder what the cost-per-component would be.

      If someone could whip these up on the cheap we could probably sell them online.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Blaine-Higgy/1448513092 Blaine Higgy

    I don’t have any problem with a street preacher (of any topic) UNLESS they are using some sort of amplified sound system as this preacher was.

    If a street preacher wants to use the sound system that “god gave him” fine but ban the use of electronic boom boxes while street proselytizing.

  • Anonymous

    Was he rude? Yes. Was he any more rude than the street preacher was? No. I don’t see anything wrong here. Two sides met to practice their freedom of speech and one side walked away embarrassed and defeated. Hint, it wasn’t the atheist side.

    I don’t believe we should limit free speech to certain areas or certain subjects as some people here have suggested. That’s ridiculous. I do however believe that you should be willing to face the consequences for your speech and that’s what happened here. If someone wants to speak badly about others I do not care if you’re a religion or not. You face scrutiny and criticism just like everyone else.

  • Drew M.

    Ah, Mike Lee. You’ve completely won me over since the library video.

    Well done!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Lent/1086570036 Jason Lent

    This was obnoxious and does nothing to help attack the things the Christian was preaching. Anyone with sense should be able to realize the garbage he’s saying by simply letting his own argument try and stand up to informed criticism; quoting Dawkins only adds fuel to the  absurd Christian apologetic attacks on atheism.

    • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

      I disagree. Quoting Dawkins was incidental. This wasn’t an issue of substance, but of style. The preachers were faced with the same type of behavior they were engaging in, and surprise, they found it distasteful.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Lent/1086570036 Jason Lent

        Quoting Dawkins wasn’t a criticism of on the grounds of substance, either. Essentially, if you’re going to argue with an idiot using the same tactics as the idiot, there is no winner to anyone watching from the outside. It is a matter of being able to provide cogent, well-reasoned criticism without appealing to similar arguments.

        Rather than open the book and read out the first line, a dialogue with the Christian would have been more effective at rooting out how weak his case is. Unless, of course, you see vigilantes getting into shouting matches with street preachers is something you consider relevant to the open criticism of religious claims.

        • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

          Demonstrating the problems of a technique by copying it is a good way to highlight the problems with it. I think the point was well made that Mike knew the tactics he was using are obnoxious and that was the point of copying them, to show them.

          As for engaging the preachers in debate, that is a lost effort. There is a time and a place for religious debate and discussing with a guy with an amplifier on the street is not it.

  • Dan W

    Nice video. Gave the obnoxious street preachers an idea of how annoying their behavior really is.

  • Anonymous

    I have had a problem with some of the previous videos from The Religious Antagonist, because he was picking on people like librarians and the homeless, and making atheists look bad.  This video was great, because he picked the right target.  He found a couple of guys who were being entirely and obliviously obnoxious, and gave them a big dose of exactly what they were dishing out.  I loved it!

  • Crundy12

    Sorry, but I don’t agree with this at all. Had he stood across the road reading TGD until they came over and complained about how oppressed they are then it would have been fine. Simply saying “I don’t agree with you and so I’m going to shout you down” smacks of intolerance, which is apparently what he’s trying to defeat. Total atheist fail.

    Right idea, wrong execution. This guy does NOT speak on my behalf.

    • Brittany

      Clearly you’ve never had to deal with street preachers yelling horrible things at you- even if you’re just walking by. 

  • MakeTheMostOfLife

    Im from the UK.

    I did a similar thing with a street peacher while on a
    visit to LA. An hour long back and forth in front of a big crowd. Was
    fun, we just don’t get the same caliber over crazy over here!,

    It really
    felt like it was worthwhile. Some of the crowd clearly had not been
    exposed to the counter points I made.  I don’t get why more people don’t challenge these guys on the street?

  • Mark Robn

    Usually when I street preach, Atheists will ask questions versus being rude. I answer their questions: they go home thinking about what I said. So, I have to say: rudeness on either side is not desirable, but frankly: I have never met anyone that was sincere that I couldn’t answer their questions. (Then again, I have a high IQ, I am well-read in the subjects of the Big Bang Theory, the Theory of Evolution, and the Theory of Relativity. I guess I am not your run-of-the-mill street preacher.) — the best argument I ever heard from a rude atheist is “arf, arf, arf” because all they seem to know how to do is bark at me as they drive by, shunning my invitation to talk. Oh well, with the above advice given by Hemant Mehta, I see now that the Atheists I run into, the sincere ones, are not true Atheists: these people seem to listen to sound argument and solid doctrine. (Rude people are just too stupid to carry on an intelligent conversation, I suppose.) — I may purchase his book and refute his arguments within it: I have done it before, I am sure that it can be done again, if this is the best “response” this guy has.

    • Cake

      Answering questions and giving actual useful answers are two different things.

      For example If I were to ask you, Mathew 6.5 the response usually goes, “how that verse really doesn’t apply to you or “jeebus really didn’t mean what it says”

      • Mark Robn

        Well, If you asked me about Matthew 6:5 (which you did in another, different posting on another different comment line concerning another, different article on Disqus – you sly dog, you) — I would answer it like I did there. You see, Cake, you don’t understand 4th grade English, because you don’t seem to have the ability to pick up the dictionary and look up the definitions of the words “prayer” and “preach”. Although I am not an English professor, and though I don’t have the time to educate you on English and grammar, I can tell you for a fact that Prayer and Preaching are not the same words: one is done inside or privately in public (that’s Prayer) and one is done in crowds, in public, as protected by the pesky U.S. Constitution that many of you would Love to get rid of… (and that would be Preaching). — I hope this helps you to understand the difference. — P.S. The book of Matthew is not applicable doctrine for the Christian, but I don’t expect one as unlearned as yourself to comprehend why that is so; just know that it isn’t, and hopefully, instead of fooling around with ding-dong christian posers (believe me, I feel your pain on that one), you need to find someone, preferably an Independent Baptist or the like – someone who actually knows what sound doctrine is. Unfortunately for you, there aren’t many like me around this country, but if you like, I could point you in the right direction.

        • Cake

          I forgot the third option, word games. Thanks for the reminder.

          After reading some of the blogs you post on, I’m thankful that there aren’t many like you. I can only hope you go to heaven. Soon, like right away. We’ll be better off without you.

          • Mark Robn

            Wow, I gave you a cogent, coherent, anyone-can-check-for-himself answer… and you come back with “word games”. I didn’t play any word games, Cake: I just reminded you that anyone who reads this posting can check the dictionary and the Bible for themselves, because – you know – they have brains of their own and are not brainwashed and stupid like you are. I just reminded you of that simple fact: if you can’t handle the truth, well that’s just not My Problem, is it?

            • Mark Robn

              PS — What I would like to know is this: why is it that whenever you say something to a rude person, like you Cake, that can’t handle the simple truth for what it is, why is it that Atheists like you threaten people with death? — Here, let me quote you: “I can only hope you go to heaven. Soon, like right away. We’ll be better off without you.” — Game, set, and match: if empty threats are all you have to come back at me with, well it seems you need to read Revelation 19. Missed that one, did you?

              • Cake

                PS Crazy person, I hope you come to realize, after you’re done patting yourself on the back for a 3rd time for being supposedly smart with such a high IQ, I wont see a reply that you post to yourself unless I specifically look for your posting history for more amusing crap that you spew.

                • Mark Robn

                  Cake: 1) you have already admitted that you have trolled my other comments, without my knowledge. I don’t really care what you troll, but if you do actually read something, you should at least make a sincere attempt to understand what it is you are reading.

                  2) Once again, Cake, I use dictionary definitions for words, and especially for the word “truth”. That’s how I – and the rest of humanity, as you say – define words that We use. We, the rest of humanity and myself, do not define words like you would merely have us define them.

                  3) I don’t stand on street corners and yell about “Obama”: it’s a waste of my valuable time to attempt to make Obama look like a toilet floating projectile via street preaching – he does a good enough job of making himself look stupid all by himself.

                  4) You ask “Threats, where?” but all you had to do was actually read what you write; I quoted what you said, so it’s clear to the average reader. Why is it that you can’t even comprehend what you write yourself?

                  5) I don’t really understand what your mind and it’s being screwed with has to do with what we are talking about: I am talking about verifiable facts, evidence, and proof. Just because you know some people you think of as “christians” as being dumber than you, this has no bearing on me and what I show people in my life. I can’t help you live as an ignorant person in an ignorant part of town. Perhaps if you stop talking to only those who you think you can outwit, and perhaps if you find someone who’s a little more learned in the subjects that I am educated in, and if you can shut your alligator yap long enough for an intelligent, coherent thought to pass through your impenetrable cranium, so that the thought has about 15 minutes to soak into the brain-cell lacking gray matter that floats like a toilet-bowl submarine in that bulbous head of yours, well maybe then you could attempt to catch a hint of what I have told you thus far.

                  What scares me is that teens and children think they are adults and that young adults think they are smarter than God. Well, if you’re so smart, Cake, then why can’t you shut your mouth for a minute and actually attempt to see if what I’m saying even holds water? — Oh, I know why, it’s because you think that once Socialism hits America full-swing, you think Obama will automatically make you one of his Elites, and that you will rise from the level of Commoner? (I guess you have never read “The Communist Manifesto”, have you? You are about to become a victim of it, it’s too bad you missed that one as well…)

                  6) My guess is that you have not signed up yet for Obamacare, but you go right ahead and do your research: you and all your Obama-cronies who actually have to work at a minimum-wage job are getting ready to find out what a Mind-F**k really is, in about 3-6 months. I already see many Obamanites getting madder and madder as they wake up from the fog they have been living in, as they sign into this system. Oh, how funny it’s going to be when you find out that you have to pay for it as well, and that, with the institution of this “Affordable” Healthcare Act, that the premiums (do you know what a “premium” is? No, you don’t: but you are getting ready to find out, Cake) and that the co-pays and that the actual payouts from this system will kill the health care industry. You think the doctors and hospitals you go to now are sub-standard, just give it 5-10 years under this system… or did you not do research on socialized healthcare with Canada and Europe as examples? Missed all that, did you?

                  * By the way, I am not a Republican. I vote voting records and beliefs, not politics. I don’t really know what politics and Obamacare and the fact that Obama killed Americans on American soil has to do with anything we are talking about here.

                  … and if you don’t have the guts to actual read what I type, well that’s your problem, not mine. I don’t really care whether you read this or not.

                • Cake

                  TL DR

              • Cake

                Threats, where? I just want the best for you. Good luck in getting to heaven. Besides it beats praying that god will mindfuck someone in to submission like the standard christian offering when they say, “I’ll pray for you.”

            • Cake

              You’ve already exposed your batshittery to me on another blog. You seem to be using a rather different definition of truth than the rest of humanity. So no it’s not my problem. You’re just not worth the time.

              Goodluck standing on streetcorners and yelling about Obama. I’ll be signing up my mother for the affordable health insurance that the republicans didn’t want her to have.

    • Daniel Schealler

      Oh well, with the above advice given by Hemant Mehta…

      I don’t have a clue what this refers to.

      Can you please specify for me the advice that you say Hemant has given in this context?

      • Mark Robn

        The advice he gives in the Headline to the article you are commenting on, above —
        One Way to Respond to Street Preachers: Preach Right Back at Them

        • Daniel Schealler

          Kind of a broad definition of ‘advice’, but accepted all the same.

          I see now that the Atheists I run into, the sincere ones, are not true Atheists: these people seem to listen to sound argument and solid doctrine.

          In that context, though, your comment comes off as a bit of a passive-aggressive double standard, based on an equivocation around how you’re using the term ‘preaching’.

          When you street preach, it’s okay, because you have a high IQ and are well read, and (presumably) you listen to sound argument and tough questions.

          If an atheist preaches, then that entails NOT doing all these things. So atheists who do all the same things you do – the ‘acceptable’ atheists – aren’t preaching?

          It’s a an unfair cheap-shot.

          • Mark Robn

            Daniel, thank you for responding: I will respond to this once.

            1) Definition of “advice”: guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action — this is the textbook definition of the word, not a “broad” definition at all. The enclosed video and the context of the article narrow the headline down to the point of defining the word “advice” as well: in other words, an example and instruction are also given in the article.

            2) Passive aggressiveness is defined as: indirect resistance and avoidance of confrontation. I believe that posting a comment on a public blog stream such as Disqus disqualifies that particular criticism.

            3) I am not the one “equivocating” here. The Headline did that for me.

            * I believe all three points above answer the charge of who it was that first took “an unfair shot”.

            Now, for the lone remaining charge of “double standard”:

            4) Atheists have made it clear to me that they do not want to be perceived as following any religion or religious system (even though they do). However, operating on the presumption that they do NOT follow a religion or such, then how can they “preach” back to street preaching? — in other words, the definition of “preaching” is to deliver a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people. Isn’t it true that responding to street preaching in this manner is not “preaching” but is, in fact, mockery, derision, and ridicule for the sake of being contumacious?

            You can’t have the Cake and eat it, too, Daniel. So, please establish which side of this paradox you would like to stand on — Do you want to be able to “preach” your religion, as the above article advises? or Do you want to say that your personal opinions are better than the opinions of anyone else simply because you choose to look at only one side of the coin, per se? — Pick one, please, for they both cannot exist in the same space at the same time.

            Because if your not genuinely “preaching”, then all you are doing is mocking and ridiculing that which you do not understand. People only get angry when they don’t fully understand what is being said or presented. I have encountered many cases where once all the pertinent information was presented in full and all the questions were asked and answered in a kind and complete manner, that Atheists who are sincere will actually listen first, then walk away from the conversation with a little more understanding of how they have been lied to all this time and in school. When a person seeks the truth, he won’t care what package it came in when he finds it.

            Of course, we always have the Internet and thus, we will always have an open forum, where intellect and the communication of ideas will give way to mockery, ridicule, and eventually Jungle Ethics. Just like in the Scopes Trial: intellect and the Bible will win the court case, but the damage caused by ridicule and mockery will be all too effective in destroying any future considerations of the matter. America 2013 proves me right on the money about this historical fact.

            (Then again, I did ask for it when I commented on this stream. That’s why I don’t mind answering the comments, at least answering them once over.)

            5) So, as for the Double Standard, my advice to you Atheists would be this:

            a. If you want to attempt to preach to a street preacher like me, one who is learned and well-versed on the subjects at hand, I would welcome such juvenile attempts at ridicule. It improves my faith, my preaching, my understanding of what genuine Atheists are like (boorish and bombastic versus thoughtful and thorough. You would not upset me in the slightest by expressing your opinions to me via “preaching” / rudely shouting back at me, for I have come to expect this from the typical Atheist.

            b. If you don’t like Double Standards, and I address this especially to you Daniel, then why do you support this article? Either admit you follow a religious belief, or admit that it is not preaching that Hemant Mehta is talking about, but that it’s juvenile tactics and “tit for tat” that he is advocating. Honestly, Daniel: I thought you Atheists were smarter than this.

            c. I have never really had a problem with Atheists when I street preach: it’s usually other religious folk that give me the hardest time. If Atheists show up, that actually helps my preaching session and my case. If an Atheist wants to read a book aloud to me, I will shut my mouth and listen to what he has to say – saves me the trouble of reading it later.

            Will an Atheist do the same, considering when I am street preaching: will he shut his mouth long enough to actually hear what we genuine street preachers have to say? Will we finally get the same respect we are willing to give to another human being, even if he merely disagrees with what we are currently saying.

            Only if he is sincerely looking for the truth. Really: I have no problem with anyone coming to me in sincerity, in peace, in an inquisitive manner. I don’t mind questions or comments. See, I am not out there street preaching to show everyone “look at me”, I am not out there to fight cops, I am not out there to cause trouble.

            My reason for street preaching is actually to learn, not to teach. And, I am willing to show anyone respect if they first show it unto me.

            How about you, Mr. or Ms. Atheist? Can you keep your mouth shut and just listen for once in your Apple-infested I-phone life? or, will you resort to the foolishness of retaliation for a biased and merely perceived injury?

            Can’t wait to see you on the street corner! – M

            • Daniel Schealler

              If you don’t mind, I’d like to take this one part at a time. Don’t want to miss the trees for the forest, so to speak.

              From the top:

              1) Definition of “advice”: guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action…

              Where – specifically – did Hemant suggest that responding to preaching with preaching is prudent?

              He said it was one way to respond. At no point did he say that it was a prudent choice.

              To the contrary. Hemant said:

              I know we shouldn’t stoop to their level, but when [specific occurrence]… it’s pretty entertaining.

              That doesn’t strike me as a recommendation of prudency. Doesn’t strike me as a recommendation at all. That whole ‘we shouldn’t stoop to their level’ thing – the very first sentence – sets the tone of the OP as being predisposed against this particular pattern of behavior in general terms.

              Rather than prudence, Hemant’s only claim was that, in this specific example, it turned out to be entertaining. Which is not the same as suggesting it is prudent, in this case, most cases, or all cases, or any case.

              By your own definition, the OP does not constitute advice. Hence my assumption that you were using a broader definition.

              Pedant at me and I’m fully prepared to pedant right back at ya.

              As before though, I’m happy to let the ‘advice’ thing slide. You’re the one who tabled it again. So we can let the ‘advice’ thing go, or you can double-down. Your call.

              Reminder: One point at a time, please. We’ll get to the rest eventually.

              • Mark Robn

                So, your answers to my earnest and solitary response will all be “ridicule” and “boorish” versus “thoughtful consideration” and “genuine inquisition”. Very well: I will give your further responses the consideration they deserve.

                • Daniel Schealler

                  I’ll take that as a: Let the ‘advice’ thing go.

                  Moving on.

                  2) Passive aggressiveness is defined as: indirect resistance and avoidance of confrontation. I believe that posting a comment on a public blog stream such as Disqus disqualifies that particular criticism.

                  I checked. I disagree with your definition here.

                  I quite like Wikipedia’s:

                  Passive-aggressive behavior is the indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, hostile jokes, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible.

                  With that in mind: Your original comment wasn’t actually passive-aggressive under this definition. Therefore, I admit that that I was incorrect in my choice of terminology. Mea culpa.

                  Oh well, with the above advice given by Hemant Mehta, I see now that the Atheists I run into, the sincere ones, are not true Atheists: these people seem to listen to sound argument and solid doctrine.

                  That said: I still think you were being indirectly hostile in your criticism, which I view as a problem. I like hostile criticism to be direct and specific. Gives someone with a mind to counter-argue something solid to get a grip on.

                  As it stands, I can’t be sure about what you were actually getting at – I have to infer, and I don’t know you well enough to presume to know the inner workings of your mind, I’m more likely to be wrong in my inferences than I am to be right.

                  (Note: It’s just gone midnight here, so I’m heading off to get some sleep at this point. Might be a few days before I get back as my weekend’s looking kinda busy. Apologies in advance if I leave you hanging for a few days.)

                • Mark Robn

                  Opinions vary… I think Atheists attempting to interrupt those already speaking, with information that is counter to what has been spoken, in an attempt to either ridicule or countermand that which was said – whether they consider it being under advisement or not – constitutes hostility.

                  Like I said: opinions vary… but facts are facts, aren’t they?

                  In contrast, in the real world – and not some virtual made-up electronic blogsite world where opinions seem to hold the weight of facts – if you and I were in the real world, we could sit down with all the pertinent information for a few days straight, going over the details, then it would come to the same conclusions that all – and I mean 100% of – other such conversations have come to.

                  Take for instance one time, I was in Target and a salesmen came to me, offering smart phones. I talked with him for about 20 minutes: I discovered he was an Atheist. He told me to watch a certain video, which I did – I went home that day and watched it. Then, I wrote a nice 1 page letter showing him a few errors in the video, and I gave him two points of contact for him to respond.

                  It all ended very friendly – no hard feelings, no insults, no tit for tat… I told him to contact me anytime. He said he would.

                  I am still waiting. That was over 8 months ago.

                  Oh — and that’s only one example out of about 7-8 times in the last year or two that I have talked to Atheists in public. (I don’t approach them: they approach me.) / in total , I guess I have talked to about 10 or more Atheists in the last 5 years about these subjects.

                  They never come back with questions. I guess some of them found the Lord and got saved.

                  I am still genuinely looking for the answers from Atheism.

                  There is no hostility (no intention of violence or hurt): although I am rude, blunt, firm, and a little clever with my musings and such, never-the-less there is a method in the madness, per se.

                  Now, if you want to be in touch with your feminine side and say I am “passive aggressive” and that’s why you are rejecting the information, well all I can say is two things:

                  1) If you were an honest person seeking the truth, when you found the truth you wouldn’t care what package it came in. — You would accept a million dollars cash in a brown paper bag, wouldn’t you? or are you going to say “wrap that cash up in a pretty box for me: I don’t want to accept the money because I feel the bag is passive aggressive.”?

                  so, if you want the truth, you will take it like it comes, no matter how it makes you feel.

                  That’s 1)

                  and 2)

                  Opinions vary.

                • Daniel Schealler

                  I withdrew my claim of passive-aggressiveness, but you have attributed that point to me again.

                  Are you listening to me?

                • Mark Robn

                  Daniel, that must have gotten lost in the cross fire of this blogging experience. — I don’t think / and I didn’t think / whether or not I am “passive aggressive” has anything to do with the issue: the issue is “will Atheists listen to sound reasoning if offered the chance?”

                  My answer is two-fold:
                  1) Atheists will not listen to reason on the Internet: they are not forced to accept the issues and facts as they stand while they participate in a virtual “free-for-all”. (Then again, I am slowly coming to learn that, if I want intelligent conversation, sadly the world wide web is not the place for it.)

                  2) Atheists do listen when you interact with them personally in that thing we call “real life”. In the real world, you can talk to and with a person in confidence. You can demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt the evidence you have that supports the fact that Theory of the Big Bang, the Theory of Relativity, and the Theory of Evolution all have serious holes in their logic, their evidence, and their calculations.

                  So, my conclusion to this matter is this:

                  * I do appreciate your insight and candor concerning this matter, but until Atheists (for the most part) begin to analyze “the other side of the coin” more thoroughly, I am afraid that ridicule and retaliation – as demonstrated in the above article – will be the weapons of warfare that the one-sided Atheist will bring to the table.

                  My advice, therefore, to you Daniel is this:

                  If you really want to learn about the errors of Relativity, of the Big Bang, of Evolution, you will have to do like I did:

                  1. study all you can
                  2. study the other side
                  3. read books you don’t agree with

                  I hope that helps you. — M

                • Daniel Schealler

                  Mark, that felt like a signing off comment. Happy to take it as such.

                  Parting words from myself on this:

                  You keep telling me that atheists on the internet do not listen to reason.

                  However, when I – very reasonably – withdrew my claim that you were being passive aggressive? You did not listen.

                  Chalking that up as being ‘lost in the crossfire’ is a weak excuse. My comment, including quotes referencing you, was only 287 words long.

                  I am trying very hard to engage with your points, listen to what you are saying, reflect upon it, and then respond with any difference of opinion as clearly and precisely as I can. In other words: To be reasonable.

                  But rather than engage over the internet with a reasonable atheist, you keep ignoring the reasons I’m giving you for my disagreement, and instead keep telling me about how how atheists on the internet just aren’t reasonable.

                  ————-

                  You have given me some advice in your parting words to me. I hope you consider my following parting advice to you with all the seriousness and gravity that I presume you would like me to consider your advice to me.

                  Everyone who engages in post-hoc rationalization thinks they are being reasonable. We’re all vulnerable to cognitive bias, myself included.

                  Consider the possibility that perhaps your primary motivation in posting your first comment here was not to seek out open and fair-minded engagement, but rather to reinforce your belief that atheists who argue online don’t listen to reason.

                  And notice that, if that were the case, and if that represents how you usually go about speaking to atheists online, then it shouldn’t be surprising that your closed-mindedness on that issue is often met with a similar reaction in others towards you.

                  It is possible that you are not as reasonable as you think you are. And yes, of course that applies to me too. The easiest person to fool is ourselves.

                  Well, I think that’s it for our conversation, Mark. I hope you read this far and will allow yourself to consider my advice to you with an open mind.

                  All the best in your future endeavors.

                • Mark Robn

                  I honestly did not see your response / if you can’t accept that, that’s your problem.

                  The issue once again is not about how reasonable I may or may not be, the issue is — do atheists listen or do they retaliate. I have my answer – they are deaf.

                  I have not been close-minded. I have answered all your questions. The problem is: you didn’t ask any questions… except for “are you listening to me?”
                  * and I told you that I just didn’t see where you had recanted; must not have been much of a recantation.

                  Like all atheists all you have is “it’s possible”, to which I reply “Opinions vary”. All I know is, I am 100% successful in life, whereas in an open virtual forum, it is not possible to demonstrate all I know unto you. Some things are just not possible, Daniel.

                  I think I have found one more thing that is not possible with atheists on-line. It’s not possible that they have the slightest interest in keeping an open mind.

                  Lessons learned. / I hope you have a good day; don’t get killed out there, be safe.

                • Daniel Schealler

                  I honestly did not see your response / if you can’t accept that, that’s your problem.

                  I do accept it.

                  The only way you could have missed that part of my comment was if you fired off a reply without reading it properly first.

                  That is what ‘not listening’ looks like.

                  Neither have you answered all of my questions. Earlier I asked:

                  Where – specifically – did Hemant suggest that responding to preaching with preaching is prudent?

                  You did not answer this question with anything specific.

                  You didn’t engage with either of my other two reasons for disagreement (first sentence discourages course of action, and only claim was of specific-case entertainment value not general prudence).

                  You asserted that you were right and I wrong without offering any reasons as to why.

                  You asserted that it was obvious that you were right and I wrong, without offering any reasons as to why.

                  I offered specific reasons for my disagreement with you.

                  You offered no reasons for any of your assertions to the contrary.

                  But despite all of this, you are confident that you are the reasonable one in our discussion, and I am the unreasonable one.

                  Consider the possibility that you are not as reasonable as you think you are.

                • Mark Robn

                  Answer: if you spend time and money writing such an article, it is evident that prudence is assumed.

                  2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

                  2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

                  2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

                  2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

                • Daniel Schealler

                  Answer: if you spend time and money writing such an article, it is evident that prudence is assumed.

                  Firstly, it should be noted that I asked for something specific, and you answered with a general assertion. Tsk.

                  Secondly, I think your assertion is not true in this case for specific reasons.

                  1) The opening sentence of “I know we shouldn’t stoop to their level” sets the tone as being opposed to the kind of response in question.

                  2) The only subsequent claim is that, in this particular case, “it’s pretty entertaining”.

                  The combination of these two is a natural rebuttal to your assertion. In this case, the justified assumption is that time and effort were put into the OP on account of entertainment value of a specific encounter.

                  I have offered both of these reasons before.

                  I reminded you of them in my previous comment.

                  You are clearly not listening to my reasons.

                  Which is to say:

                  You are clearly not listening to reason.

                  ——————–

                  A reasonable person knows that scripture is unpersuasive to anyone who doesn’t already accept scripture as an authoritative source.

                  For this reason, a reasonable person does not quote scripture at an atheist (unless the scripture itself is the point under discussion, of course).

                  You know I am an atheist. But you are quoting scripture at me anyway.

                  Therefore, you are not being reasonable.

                  ——————–

                  Consider the possibility that you are not as reasonable as you think you are.

                • Mark Robn

                  Daniel, you said:

                  1) The opening sentence of “I know we shouldn’t stoop to their level” sets the tone as being opposed to the kind of response in question.

                  but that’s not the opening sentence, is it?

                  The opening sentence is:

                  I know we shouldn’t stoop to their level, but when Mike Lee decides to give two Christian street preachers a taste of their own medicine by loudly reading from The God Delusion right in front of them, it’s pretty entertaining…

                  This is blatant support for retaliation, not a plea for restraint and consideration.

                  and it’s dishonest of you to not quote the entire sentence.

                  So much for who’s reasonable and who’s not.

                  Matthew 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

                • Daniel Schealler

                  If you were actually listening to my reasons, you would know that when I first quoted that sentence I used the following notation:

                  I know we shouldn’t stoop to their level, but when [specific occurrence]… it’s pretty entertaining.

                  Firstly: I did omit details, true. But not dishonestly. It was obvious the parts I had removed, and I provided the gist of what was missing in the snip. And I also assume that the two of us can both scroll up and read the original content, it’s right there.

                  I did so for brevity and to draw attention to the two points in that sentence I felt were relevant. This is a perfectly legitimate use of a quotation.

                  Secondly: You did not acknowledge or respond to this point until your eighth comment later. I had to wrestle it out of you. This pattern is inconsistent with someone who is listening to reason.

                  Thirdly: You have not acknowledged my third reason for disagreement – that the claim was only as to the entertainment value of a specific occurrence. Neither prudency or general support for the course of action taken in that context was given or implied.

                  1) Definition of “advice”: guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action — this is the textbook definition of the word, not a “broad” definition at all.

                  This is blatant support for retaliation, not a plea for restraint and consideration.

                  Fourthly: The original point that you raised was to do with recommendation of future prudency. You have now shifted your goal posts to that of retaliation, and you have also left out completely the ‘future action’ part as well.

                  That is evasive and inconsistent and unreasonable.

                  Finally: You’re still quoting scripture at me. If you were listening to my reasons, please use the word zebrafish in your next comment to prove you are reading this, you would either stop doing that or acknowledge my objection to your use of scripture and provide a counter argument to justify its continued use.

                  Consider the possibility that you are not as reasonable as you think you are.

                • Mark Robn

                  Oh, and one more thing before I go — you need to find a friend in your life who is a believer in God (like me – I am an Independent Baptist bible believer. Don’t find a dumb “christian” or other religious person; find someone who is well-read and versed in the subjects I am).

                  If you are going to talk about these important subjects, why waste your time with some idiot who doesn’t know anything? Find someone who is just as smart as you, or smarter, that can explain correct Bible doctrine.

                  Find a Bible reader, a Bible believer. Then you can pick his brain about issues you have. You will be shocked at how you have believed a lie all this time.

                  Note! — I never told you to have blind faith; I would never peddle unto you something that I don’t possess. I don’t believe the Bible because of blind faith or my mommy told me so: I believe the Bible because I read it (3 times, on my 4th), I believe the Bible because of the scientific evidence I find in the pages of the Book (not talking about Genesis… yet), I believe the Bible because God has proven – proven! – to me time and again that He exists and that He is exactly who He says he is from scripture.

                  But, before you do that, you are going to have to give him at least 1% of your trust. You are going to have to really open your mind and heart, and not just merely say you do. Then, you will have to become born again: you will have to receive the gift that God offers unto you.

                  Because, you see, by default, when a man dies without Christ, he/she will go to Hell upon death: gravity is an awesome force. Because God is a Holy God and a Righteous God, He cannot allow sin to enter into His heaven. God is love – true – but God is also Light, this is a fact even most lame christians can’t comprehend. And, make no mistake: you need to receive Christ as Saviour, if for no other reason than to escape Hell.

                  Like I tell my daughters: go ahead and learn all you can in secular school. A person is always at an advantage when he fully understands the full scope of the matter. You must have both sides of the coin in equal amounts, Daniel, or you will never see what I am talking about.

                  Receive the Lord Jesus Christ today. John 1:12, Romans 10:13

                • Mark Robn

                  PS: The Headline follows the definition as it stands. I see that you do understand and comprehend the truth in the matter when I said that this is obviously a call for more mockery and retaliation from the surly Atheist to respond “in like manner”, so to speak. — I take it you don’t want to admit the truth in this matter, thus you summarily dismiss it as a submission to your position, which is “let the Advice thing go”. Therefore, I accept your concession on this point, where you concede that I was right in my previous judgment.

                  Now, like you said: Moving on.

        • Cake

          And thats where you stopped reading? Maybe you should reexamine the beliefs that you have regarding your intelligence.

          • Mark Robn

            Cake, after reading about 7 or 8 of your responses, I have come to the conclusion that you, my friend, are a pod. Frankly, type what you want from now on, because I would rather talk to people like Daniel S. here than waste my time with a pod.

            • Cake

              Sense, you make none.

  • Clay Wells

    I believe in free speech, but I also think there’s a line, somewhere. Is it okay to yell “fire”? So too, it should not be okay to yell at people while they’re walking down the street. If you threaten someone with assault you will go to jail, but if you threaten someone with hell, it is okay? And what about the businesses that these street preachers stand near. Don’t these businesses lose money? This street preaching should be outlawed. It causes fear and confusion in a community. If we let preachers run wild, there would be fighting, bloodshed, people hiding in their homes, confusion in the neighborhood, and deep hatred amongst families and neighbors.
    I wonder how churches would like it if Muslim’s stood outside their churches and preached loudly at them. I know what would happen. There would be a bloody fist fight, or the cops would come and haul the Muslims away, and yet just the other day, on a Sunday morning, there was a very loud and arrogant street preacher standing in the middle of 16th street in downtown Denver, yelling his sermon out to everyone that walked by. Is this not effecting the businesses in that area? Will people not start to avoid that area and go somewhere else to shop?
    Preachers think that people will leave the area because of their wicked hearts and the conviction that their preaching brings. Do you not understand, preacher, that you have gone so far out of the way of human reason, logic, and unity of man-kind that people are afraid you in the same way that they are afraid of a crazed drunk yelling his mouth off? Not only that but people can see your arrogance and they are disgusted by it. I personally felt like I was being verbally assaulted when I was on 16th street. I quit going down there because verbal abuse tends to ruin my day. I’m guessing that most people feel the same way about this issue and have decided to stay away from 16th street, for fear that they might lash out violently which is what people tend to do when they are assaulted verbally.


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