Christian Blogger Edits Post, Gets Accused of Editing Post, Denies Editing Post, Then Blames Atheist for Making It All Up

Every so often, I have to edit/update a piece on this site that has already been posted. If it’s an insignificant change (like a spelling mistake), I just go ahead and change it. If it’s something more significant, I will put an update on the post explaining what I did. It just seems like proper blogging etiquette.

Not everyone does that, though. In fact, Rev. Austin Miles at The Christian Post appears to have made a major change to a piece he wrote, failed to explain that change to his readers, denied ever doing such a thing after being confronted about it, and then blamed his accuser for bringing it up in the first place.

In his latest piece, he talks about how atheists “bully” Christians online, wearing them down by — I’m not making this up — “waterboarding [Christians] with words.”

If you read Miles’ piece when it originally went up on Saturday, you would have seen him talking about Michael Newdow, who tried to get “Under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance:

Take note of the phrase in the second to last paragraph there: “He literally was waterboarding the court with his avalanche of words.” It’s pretty much the worst possible way to use the word “literally,” since what you mean is the exact opposite. I guess Miles does that often.

But if you look at the latest version of his piece, the whole section about Newdow, including that phrase, is nowhere to be found (check the top two paragraphs):

What happened? Maybe Miles found a mistake in his original piece and chose to remove it. Maybe Miles just thought “Communist Atheists” was an unfair accusation and didn’t want it in his piece. Whatever it was, he just removed the section-in-question without letting people know he did it.

I think we now know why he did it, though. And we owe that to some eagle-eyed atheist readers of the Christian Post website.

Brian Westley harped about the misuse of “literally” in a comment on the post (and made reference to another one of Miles’ statement):

Love that: “You are literally a terrible writer” :)

So what did Miles do in response? He denied ever saying such a thing! He accused Westley of making the whole thing up despite the proof to the contrary. In fact, it seems like Miles deleted the whole section from the piece after reading Westley’s comments (just note the timestamps of Westley’s comment, the Google Cache of the original article, and Miles’ comment).

I re-read the story five times without seeing that “QUOTE”. In his scheme to discredit my writing ability he didn’t hesitate to lie about the quote that isn’t there, in an effort to mislead you, the readers, thinking you will blindly accept his ravings, hoping you will not actually check the story he attacks.

Unbelievable.

Jesus might forgive and forget. Google Cache doesn’t.

I know we’re not talking about a major issue here. We’re just talking about a silly word. But I’m amazed at the audacity of a “man of God” who lies in the face of such clear evidence against him. Instead of admitting he wrote the phrase in question, he deleted it, and then cast the blame on an atheist for accusing him of doing it in the first place.

Why the Christian Post lets someone like that blog on their site, I don’t know.

(Thanks to Scott for the link)

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.

  • Stev84

    Ah, the Christian Post. Why am I not surprised? Horrible site full of insane people. They desperately try to appear normal, but it’s really fundy central

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Also in the Christian Post, this may be of interest to you:

    Rare Relics From Jesus’ Birth on Display at Church in ChicagoIf it’s still on display, you need to organize an immediate road trip.

    • Patterrssonn

      What, no placenta?

      • Cecelia Baines

        Mary ate it after childbirth, you know, the holistic thing and fashion of the times.

        • Patterrssonn

          That’s too bad but it probably would have ascended anyway.

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Bubba Tarandfeathered

            The Holy Quad! Father, Son, Ghost and Holy Placenta, I can imagine at the counsel of Nicaea these words being said, “and last but not least what are we to do with The Holy Placenta?”

            • roberthughmclean

              Don’t they serve on Sundays with a mug of the baby jesus’ blood?

              • Cecelia Baines

                You are thinking of “Red Bull”. It gives you wings…..

        • RobMcCune

          There is disagreement on this point depending on one’s theology. Some consider the placenta part of the child, thus having an inalienable right to life until it needs assistance from the government.

          • http://twitter.com/ThundalArchsys Thundal Archsys

            After a long week of fundies driving me nuts by their opposition to my work, and dealing with nutters like this blogger, your comment painted a smile on my face for the first time in a week, I feel.

            I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to clean Mountain Dew of my screen. Kudos to you, sir.

    • Randomfactor

      “During that same century, pilgrims also brought fragments of the original crib to Rome and Pope Sixtus had them preserved.”

      And were they to be brought together, there would be enough to build twelve full cribs. A Christmas miracle!

      • coyotenose

        The baby bed belonging to Jesus that just happened to be in someone else’s manger at which his parents had just arrived for the first time.

        Or maybe they mean that the piece was metaphorically literally from Jesus’s birth, and so actually came literally metaphorically from other gods.

        That would of course mean that the Nativity… was cribbed.
        /meme

  • Rain

    Maybe Jesus did it. I bet you guys never thought of that possibility. No wonder you guys are atheists. How typical.

    • viaten

      So Jesus hacks the internet afterward, not the guy’s brain as he’s writing?

      • Rain

        Oh, maybe he was busy doing a little thing called feeding the poor and healing the sick. Checkmate!

  • Question Everything

    I am shocked – SHOCKED – by the fact that he is denying posting what evidence shows he posted.

    Or the opposite. I sometimes get confused by those.

  • Guest

    The Google cache should be more permanently archived here shortly.

    Rev. Austin Miles. Google Cache of “Print Article”
    format for “Waterboarding With Words to Squelch Christians”.
    Christianpost.com. 2012-12-31.
    <URL:http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:pvfVqni39SMJ:blogs.christianpost.com/the-connecting-link/waterboarding-with-words-to-squelch-christians-13862/print.html&gt;.
    Accessed: 2012-12-31. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6DKBKWgt8 )

  • http://nwrickert.wordpress.com/ Neil Rickert

    If it’s an insignificant change (like a spelling mistake), I just go ahead and change it. If it’s something more significant, I will put an update on the post explaining what I did.

    Yes, that seems to be the best practice.

    A note to all bloggers: People who receive your posts by email, get to see the original with all of its blemishes, and people who read it on RSS might also have the original. You can’t hide your changes.

    • Houndentenor

      Everyone makes mistakes. I have more respect for someone who will admit they goofed and note the change over someone who will either just not accept facts or cover up for the original mistake.

  • Cecelia Baines

    Gee, a Xian lying…..go figure.

    XIans are among the biggest liars, cheats, thieves and duplicitous sects around. Rule #1 – NEVER, EVER trust a Xian, especially one who smiles all the time.

  • Octoberfurst

    What a lying buffoon! He writes something outrageous, gets called on it, then deletes the sentence and says that the atheist is lying because, as you can see, that wording is not there! Just how stupid does he think his audience is? Oh wait, he writes for The Christian Post. Never mind.

  • The Captain

    Misuse of the word literally, figuratively makes me insane.

    Also “communist” isn’t an insult and the bible says nothing against “communism” so Miles is showing his religion really flows from his politics not the other way around.

    • viaten

      “Literally” is the new “practically”. When I was a kid, I’d hear people use “practically” followed by some extreme or exaggerated idea. “I was practically run over by a car when I crossed the street.” For a long time, I literally thought “practically” meant something like “almost”.

      • Sarah

        prac·ti·cal·ly
        adverb
        1.
        in effect; virtually: It is practically useless to protest.

        4.
        almost; nearly: Their provisions were practically gone.

        • viaten

          Thanks. I stand slightly corrected. But I still remember hearing “practically” used way too often the way “literally” is sometimes used today, with exaggerations that are practically nowhere near to being “nearly” or “almost”. My car example was intended to illustrate that and maybe could have been a bit better. But I don’t think “practically” applies to a “near miss”. I’ve also literally heard things like “That wedding practically cost me a million dollars.” (just meaning a lot), “I practically killed myself running that race.” (just meaning it was very exhausting), “I practically drowned in that heavy down pour trying to get to my car” (just meaning it rained hard). Watch this sketch, literally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC2QGojQnUY When I was a kid, a similar sketch would have practically made the same point with the word “practically” with similar exaggerations, literally. :-)

  • Golfie98

    A christian who sticks blindly to his story even when presented with concrete evidence to the contrary. Who would have thought it possible ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

    Whoa! Thanks for the heads-up, time to shellack that fraud…

  • BenFromCA

    I guess, in to process of cherry picking Bible passages, the good reverend opted out of the “thou shalt not lie” commandment.

    • John F

      Actually, the commandment is “Thou shalt not bear false witness” which is even more specifically applicable to this situation.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Because the person calling him out wasn’t a Real True Christian, so who gives a wank if he slanders him? Only RTCs matter in America, you know.

  • http://andybreeden.com Andy Breeden

    Ah, I still remember the day when Christian Post blocked me. It sure freed up my schedule.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Kramer/1217598709 Hugh Kramer

    “I’m amazed at the audacity of a “man of God” who lies in the face of such clear evidence against him…”

    First, It’s not audacity, it’s mendacity. And second, why should you be amazed at it? If you’ve read more than one of his columns, you know this guy lies for a living.

    • ScrewGinger

      au·dac·i·ty

      /ôˈdasitē/

      Noun

      . The willingness to take bold risks: “her audacity came in handy during our most recent emergency”.

      . Rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence: “she had the audacity to pick up the receiver and ask me to hang up”.

      Synonyms

      boldness – daring – hardihood – impudence – insolence

  • Supermoves3000

    Couldn’t care less if some blow-hard misuses the word “literally” or calls atheists “communists” or “Communists” even. But the fact that he’d brazenly lie about editing his story speaks volumes about his character. I looked at some other of his other stuff and he’s an idiot in the Pat Robertson mold. “The school shooting is the result of a nation without God!” “Superstorm Sandy happened because Americans aren’t obeying God!” “They’re taking away our Jesus!” “Obama is coming for your guns!” It’s almost like somebody invented a fictional character to embody all of the worst Republican Jesus stereotypes.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    This guy has the title “Reverend”? That means he who is to be respected, revered, worthy of great honor.

    Uh huh.
    Maybe it should be spelled “Reversed,” as in turned backward, backing up, moving or acting in a manner contrary to the usual.”

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Bubba Tarandfeathered

      How about Retarded as in “Psychomotor retardation” Activities usually requiring little mental effort can become challenging.

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Bubba Tarandfeathered

    @Rev. Austin Miles self aggrandize much?

  • SeekerLancer

    If your best argument is essentially “stop using the truth against me” maybe it’s time to realize you don’t have an argument.

  • Trickster Goddess

    Puts me in mind of an interview with Bill O’Reilly (on someone else’s show) I once saw. Bill was asked about a comment he made on the air. Bill denies he ever said it. They play the tape of him saying it. He still denies he ever said it.

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

    What do you expect from a man who lies for a living?

  • Robin

    When you’re in the habit of defending the indefensible it just becomes a reflex I suppose.

  • Sami Hawkins

    Gotta love the internet newbies who naively believe that hitting delete erases all evidence of what they wrote. I learned at a young age that anything I ever did on the internet would be saved in some form and that anyone dedicated enough could dig it up and trace it back to me.

    Maybe this is just a stereotype, but I can’t imagine an atheist blogger making this mistake. Even the old fogies on our side tend to be pretty tech savvy.Maybe it’s just because of the difference in average ages, but I’ve noticed that fundamentalist christians tend to have a much poorer understanding of technology and social media than the groups they rant against like atheists and gays..

    • http://twitter.com/ThundalArchsys Thundal Archsys

      Well, we know that, at a societal level/average of populations, high religiosity show correlation to lowered IQ, and that technical capability is related to curiosity (since most tech skills are personally discovered, rather than taught or whatnot), which is related to higher IQs, that, at least in a statistical sense, to expect anything else from off-the-deep-end religious folk seems folly…

  • ScottyO

    Rev. Miles has now accused Michael Newdow and me of hacking into his computer to steal drafts of his articles and are using them to discredit him. I’m not sure why, if this was true, he didn’t immediately state in the comments that what Michael and I posted were stolen drafts. Or why he originally denied writing it at all. Or how he thinks his stolen writing got onto the Google Cache version of his page. Or why we would hack into his computer to get his drafts when we could have just made stuff up. Evidently he feels that accusing us of a federal crime days later on a different web site is a more acceptable way of dealing with it.
    http://revaustinmiles.com/index.php/more/398

    • The Captain

      I just saw this while going back to check the drama on his first post. At this point I’d say a very public campaign to the CP is in order. He STILL does not get it. He thinks he can say that the google cache is some fake that you made to make him look bad. He’s tripling down on his lie while still not understanding what the fuck google cache is. Fucking amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/Brimshack northierthanthou.com

    I haven’t seen such a remarkable combination of petty and stupid in the same gambit for some time. Just as well that he is in someone else’s camp, so to speak. People like that never get an issue right; they just choose between different kinds of mistake.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X