Catholic Blogger: ‘Atheism is as Intellectually Credible as Holocaust Denial and Racial Theory’

Alright, I hate linking to this, but I can’t avoid it. You have to see firsthand the gall of Thomas L. McDonald, Catholic blogger here at Patheos.

He criticizes atheists based off his own prejudices while wishing us all a Happy April Fools Day:

They live lives of sad desperation…

I’m not sure what clinging to an irrational vision of reality gives to atheists.

It gets hard to separate the loud Ministers for the Church of Unbelief from the merely hurting, normal people.

… they don’t really believe it anyway.

Atheists offer people an attractive lie: the world all there is, so you might as well just enjoy it…

It goes on for a long while. McDonald goes on and on about how horrible we “evangelical” atheists are, what with our “reason” and all. He makes all sorts of unfounded, unfair accusations about us… because, I presume, he believes in God and thinks he can get away with it.

And the best part? He shut off the comment thread just in case anyone wanted to respond to his lies… while comparing us to Holocaust deniers and racists:

If you want to accuse me of avoiding a debate, you are 100% correct. Atheism is as intellectually credible as Holocaust denial and racial theory. I don’t debate those either.

You know, I appreciate that Patheos pretty much gives us complete independence on our sites and I have no real connection to other “portals” on here… But, seriously, between Father Dwight Longnecker and this guy, that Catholic portal is just embarrassing.

I apologize to all of you for having even a remote bond to him.

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.

  • Persephone

    “I apologize to all of you for having even a remote bond to him.”

    You could always move. What benefit do you gain from being hosted at Patheos that you cannot have elsewhere?

  • Bert Russell

    And they say the secular community has a problem with civility…

  • jdm8

    Sounds like a troll blogger to me.

  • Gus Snarp

    “Fundamentalist” and “evangelical”. He keeps using those words, I do not think they mean what he thinks they mean.

  • Ryan Jean

    Hemant moving, however, would do nothing to fix the problem these pastors represent. The problem is what these arrogant spokespeople for their faith see as perfectly appropriate commentary on the non-religious, and the best response to that is to highlight their vileness for the world to better see.

  • Marco Conti

    He is a troll. As such he should be ignored.
    He just expressed an opinion on his own blog and then run like the little troll he is.

    Anything we may write here to rebuff his positions (that’s being kind, they are just insults) is only going to validate him.

    I suggest instead to keep an eye on his blog. I have no doubt that sooner or later he is going to write something vile on a future article and the best thing we can do is drop by and rebuff him. That should not be too hard either.

  • Persephone

    Whether Mr. Mehta’s posts are hosted on Patheos or elsewhere, the effect on these problem pastors is the same. However, is it appropriate for him to lend the weight of his good name to a site that would willingly host such dishonest rubbish?

  • primenumbers

    Not even the courage of his convictions to leave the comments on.

  • Bridget Gaudette

    Wow.. talk about your April Fool.

  • Bridget Gaudette

    I refuse to click on the link since I know that’s how he gets paid.

  • Brent

    I assume they own the rights to the “Friendly Atheist” name and it’s really hard to put the loss of such branding, were he to move, into words.

  • DKeane123

    Moving is a bad idea – we now have a chance to respond to his post, if not on his blog, on the same portal. I saw this when it first came up and my first response to the closed comments was – intellectual cowardice.

  • TooManyJens

    Where does the term “combox” come from? About 95% of the uses I’ve seen have been from religious conservatives.

  • Hemant Mehta

    There are many benefits. But, as the other commenters point out, moving somewhere else wouldn’t fix the issue of people saying crazy things. If anything, I’d rather be here and work from the inside to fix minds that aren’t working logically.

  • Usman Bello

    Considering the side of the his post leads to a post where he espouses conviction that the shroud of Turin is really really for reals, his opinion on atheism ranks right up there with now view the opinion of a homeless guy rambling about the upcoming invasion of the brain aliens from the MadeUp galaxy.

  • Q. Quine

    Yeah, I saw this. If he had the guts to allow comments, I would have taken it apart for him. Last year, I also went a few rounds with Longnecker, until he cut off the threads. You would think they would have learned by now that folks are not going to just roll over for them.

  • Brent

    Weird. I hadn’t seen this “atheists are similar to westboro” thing until the other day when it got brought up when I was discussing a family member’s use of religion to argue against gay marriage rights. Someone said that I was to the left as westboro is to the right. I assume someone of some note in the theist community said it recently because i’ve seen it four times in a few days now.

  • Gus Snarp

    I read the whole thing. What utter drivel. The usual complete failure to understand atheism in any way whatsoever. I did enjoy this quote from his sidebar:

    “The doctor doesn’t stop cutting just because the patient is screaming for him to stop.” St. Augustine

    There is perhaps nothing better than using a metaphor based on a medieval view of medicine. Any “doctor” of Augustine’s time whose patient was screaming for him to stop was probably killing them. So his point is what exactly?

  • Brian Westley

    Yep, I called the chucklehead an intellectual coward in the comments on his previous entry; his response shows he’s a complete idiot.

  • Stev84

    I haven’t seen a Catholic blogger at Patheos who isn’t batshit crazy. They are virtually indistinguishable from Protestant fundamentalists when don’t specifically refer to Catholic doctrine. Pretty weird because most Catholics aren’t like that

  • WallofSleep

    “Atheists offer people an attractive lie: the world all there is, so you might as well just enjoy it…”

    Putting aside the bs about that being a lie, I can’t figure out why such a prospect is so offensive and fear inducing for some. Maybe that’s why I’m an atheist, and they remain superstitious.

    “Long you live and high you fly
    And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
    And all you touch and all you see
    Is all your life will ever be.”

    That verse, to me, is beautiful, thought provoking, and empowering in a way. In that I see no lie, but an honesty of ownership. Owning responsibility for your own life and the things you do with it. Perhaps that is what induces so much fear in some.

  • Brian Westley

    Of course, neither he nor Longenecker (nor many of the other Patheos religious bloggers) are willing to have their presuppositions questioned for long.

  • Persephone

    I hope that your plan is successful. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  • Question Everything

    Oh, yes, it’s so scary and sad being an atheist.

    I mean, I’m pro choice (let the woman decide, she knows the most about the situation), pro marriage equality (let consenting adults decide to share their stuff, and heterosexual marriage doesn’t exactly have the best track record anyway), giving (let’s help those we can, because it’s the right thing to do), and live each day as if it could be my last.. because it could be. I see each day as my chance to change the world, though – not as some kind of weird time limit like some theists seem to assume.

    Seriously, I live a fun life! I enjoy what I do, and don’t hurt due to my lack of belief. In fact, I think I’m far happier now that I’m an atheist. Of course, since there is plenty of evidence to prove the Holocaust (mass graves, gassing sites, relatives, etc), and none to prove god, I’m guessing he’s not really interested in any sort of debate…

  • RobMcCune

    After all this time I’m still surprised at how mean and petty catholics can get. I suppose their like toy breeds, yapping because of how insecure they are, overly defensive of their owner.

  • Joe’s World.

    “Dear God, make my enemies ridiculous”

  • Mick

    I wonder how many Catholics agree with everything he wrote? I’m guessing 99% of them.

  • WallofSleep

    They never do. For instance, on YouTube, you can pretty much guarantee you’re about to watch a vid posted by a creationist when the comments and ratings have been disabled for that vid.

    Yet somehow it’s us evil atheists that want to stifle debate.

  • Brent

    It’s a really old term for “comment box” that used to be used on sites back in like…the 90′s I guess. I vaguely remember it from the good ol’ days. Which, not to sound like I’m totally stereotyping, but speaks to that usual conservative lack of tech savvy.

  • RobMcCune

    Actually it’s 100%, and guess who’s the only person allowed to comment on this guy’s blog post.

    [Edit]He can’t even handle dissent from fellow catholics, but then again neither can the church

  • WallofSleep

    I’d hesitate to paint with such a broad brush. I’ve encountered catholics on other blogs that have been kind, gracious, and civil. Ones that have accepted that I’m a non-believer, and have not tarred me as this McDonald character tries to tar all atheists.

    Heh, but then again, they could have just been part of that 1% you speak of.

  • RobMcCune

    Projection probably isn’t even in his vocabulary.

  • RobMcCune

    He was smart enough to learn he should disable comments this time.

  • John

    Actually, in my experience the average Catholic is a lot less crazy than most other flavors of Christianity. It’s just the leaders that are always spouting this stupidity.

  • TooManyJens

    I was around the net in the 90s, and I don’t remember seeing that. Of course, my memory could just be failing. ;) I was wondering if there was a specific service that used it, like maybe AOL or something.

  • Claude

    This guy’s self-congratulation is awesome! “God, I thank you that I am not like other men…”

  • Kintanon

    Because there is an underpinning of christian thought that presents evil things as enjoyable and enjoyable things as evil. They really and truly believe that the only force holding us all back from gleefully peeling the skin from our neighbors children and consuming their tender flesh is the fear of an endless punishment in the afterlife. What this implies is that christians want to do these insane things and only their fear of god stops them. That’s why the idea of just enjoying life is so terrifying to them. If you’re enjoying yourself then you must be doing something evil.

  • Stev84

    Few really. Most Catholics are pretty apathetic about Catholic doctrine and theological questions in general. They go along with the flow for other reasons. There are some very vocal people but they are a radical fringe. For some reason Patheos has attracted a lot of them.

  • jdm8


  • WallofSleep

    Yeah, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen groups of angry, belligerent atheists protesting military funerals while holding signs which state “No-One Hates F*gs”.

  • MichaelD

    That’s ok I wouldn’t want to debate someone who supports an organisation that has hidden child molesters, stolen babies, denied life saving medical care leaving people to die, and engaged in slavery all in the last 40 years.

  • WallofSleep

    That way of thinking says way more about them than it does any atheist.

  • funkotron

    This is the first I’ve heard of my “sad desperation”. If I weren’t so irrational perhaps I would point out that I, my wife, and my friends all seem to think I’m happy nearly all the time. I would probably also ask for some evidence that all atheists “don’t believe it anyway” but since I am totally irrational, I’ll just take Thomas’ word for it.

  • Timothy Brannan

    I am an Atheist and I know I am happier than that guy.

  • invivoMark

    I believe that this is directly related to the fact that most Catholics don’t actually realize what Catholics are supposed to believe.

  • Ken

    You should have ignored this guy.

  • Sven2547

    I guess telling brazen lies about people is considered valid discourse to Mr. McDonald?

    If I went around spewing claims that the Pope is an evil demon, that the Catholic Church is a Satanic organization, and that Catholics are mind-controlled anti-intellectual nutbars on par with Holocaust deniers, would Mr. McDonald find that acceptable?

  • Gus Snarp

    His “combox” has allowed the trackback to this post, so I guess if any of his readers want to discuss this, they’ll show up here.

    Does he have readers, or is this blog post leading to a new influx of hit?

  • Rain

    “This guy’s self-congratulation is awesome!”

    I love it when they bring out the god of the gaps and then congratulate themselves for having it, and then point and laugh at everyone else for not having their own god of the gaps.

  • Carpinions

    Ignore him. Ignore *any* apologist of any stripe who crafts verbal grenades like that and then runs away as fast as possible by not allowing comments. I see it on apologist YouTube videos all the time. Those videos are usually titled things like “10 questions Atheists Can’t Answer!” or “Atheist gets trounced by William Lane Craig in 2 seconds!” And the reason they always say they turn the comments off – like this dude did – is because of all the evil atheists that will just assail and bore him while crashing his blog with traffic. Classic entitled conservative philosophy: The minority 15-20% is the real problem; not the empowered 80% just living life, paying taxes, and going to church.

    He’s not interested in evidence, reason or rationality, as shown by his incessant use of ad hominem, allusions to fallacious argumentation, and obvious, baiting, haughty, strutting, boorish attitude hidden neatly behind the banner of “lack of interest”. He wrote that to get a rise, and I think this blog post is giving it to him. It’s almost as if the WBC wrote a blog post and you got upset over it. Of course you and some others here will; that was the point.

    The theists out there that are in charge of some amount of PR for their respective cult are feeling a tad hot under the collar now that the “nones” number keeps creeping upward globally while studies show church attendance is going down. Suddenly a new group of people is making themselves heard and Religions – or at least the big, obvious ones – don’t like it because it means they have not just the ideological fronts they’re battling the other cults on, but now the front occupied by a group of people that won’t take any supernatural crap at face value, *at all*. You will hear them increasingly banging the gongs of action, woeful rhetoric, and self-agrandized persecution because their power is being reduced and they want their damn social entitlements, man.

  • Carpinions

    Not when you meet them in real life anyway, but I can tell you several think stuff like this when pressed via other forms of communication. There are members of my own family that you wouldn’t believe have uttered the stuff they have (be the subject religion, politics, personal health tips, or medicine) via email if you met them in person.

  • WallofSleep

    “…would Mr. McDonald find that acceptable?”

    Not likely, but then people might start mistaking you for a Southern Baptist. ;)

  • Antinomian

    What’s surprising is that they don’t call it the Satan Box…

  • WallofSleep

    I dunno. I can see some entertainment value in picking at such low-hanging fruit.

  • Carpinions

    Yes, and that’s the unfathomably deep immorality of religion: It convinces you so deeply – in some cases irretrievably – that you’re screwed without it, so people start believing that they’re nothing but animals unless they practice the religion’s tenets (however loosely). In fact you could even say the religion convinces them they’ll behave worse than animals if left to their own devices, because animals don’t steal, rape, and murder every second of their life, which is what some priests and pastors no doubt tell their flock atheists do. How else to explain the sub-pedophile respect we get?

  • Carpinions

    No worse than so-called “southern hospitality”, which is anything but when the subject is politics or religion.

  • Carpinions

    For me to now know all of those things are true as a former Catholic, and to realize some of them still go on while others only recently stopped, makes Catholic apologists like Bill Donohue – who spends every minute of his day defending the Catholic Church and dismissing external criticisms of it as an attack on goodness itself – all the more disreputable and despicable because they enable the Vatican in the most water-carrying way.

  • jose

    On the other hand, if the guy doesn’t want atheists there pestering him, that’s his right. I don’t know why those atheists crave after going places where they aren’t welcome.

    Respect personal boundaries.

  • smrnda

    So he’s basically saying that 1. he already knows everything atheists can say and 2. because of that, won’t read any more.

    This seems to be the opposite of what Catholic apologists tell me when defending their faith -the usual deal is that, since I haven’t read all 2000 years of church documents, I’m not really qualified to dismiss it, even when I can score points against central doctrines. Reversing that, no Catholic can dismiss atheism without a similar read of everything there.

    I don’t think the smugness is uniquely Catholic, but could he please explain to my why atheism is so intellectually indefensible? People don’t just dismiss Holocaust deniers by saying “‘that’s absurd! Shut up!” No, we produce facts and evidence to support the reality of the Holocaust. He seems to be missing that step.

  • arensb

    To be more precise, no one hates fstargs except ghyphend.

  • Eric D Red

    I’ve called him out on something else before, and he did allow comments then. That was about transplants, as I recall. And he did a Godwin on that too. He seems to be intelligent sometimes, but with a huge ideological blind spot. He sees anyone who disagrees as evil, and then no logic gets through.

  • kevin white

    I’m glad i got out of the catholic church. They give anyone a blog nowadays.

  • SeekerLancer

    “I’m not sure what clinging to an irrational vision of reality gives to Catholics.”

    Look! I can do it too!

  • cipher

    I told you two years ago I didn’t think moving here was a good idea.

    That aside (because I’m an “I told you so” kind of guy), you really ought to complain to the administration at Patheos. This is supposed to be a diverse, multicultural, “Can’t we all just get along?” little corner of the web. Isn’t this guy violating the bylaws, or something?

  • cipher

    I see what you did there.

  • nojinx

    Are there such things as personal boundaries in public forums?

  • Jason Thibodeau


    What is the point of even mentioning this person. He has clearly indicated that he does not want to engage in conversation or have a debate. Are not such people best ignored when possible?

  • chicago dyke

    i don’t think you should move. i’ve had fun at other patheos blogs, and discovered atheist writers i wouldn’t have thanks to the a-channel. and some fun religious writers, too. your “good name” is your own, just as father dork here owns his and nobody else. patheos is just a portal, and good blogging idea. anyone who ascribes it with more is in big trouble, because for any religious view you think patheos is “favoring” or “suppressing” there’s an example of the opposite view here, or proof that they are not in some post someplace else here.

  • jose

    It’s legal to continue pestering the guy despite his expressed wishes because of what you said. But I said personal boundaries, not legal or institutional ones. I’m talking interactions between individuals.

  • slaq

    Are we really, really sure that this isn’t a Poe? Like really sure? Maybe it’s a late April fools joke?

    Because he practically checked off every box on the stupid atheist stereotype checklist. I find it hard to believe that a person can be that inclusively stupid without trying.

  • Sean Doherty

    “Atheism is as intellectually credible as Holocaust denial and racial theory.”

    Projection on his part, since the Catholic Church supported a lot of what Hitler did.

  • Obliged_Cornball

    He said himself that he’s not interested in discussion – that’s fine. I will therefore feel no guilt in ignoring his opinions entirely. No hard feelings, just not worth my time (or yours).

  • LesterBallard

    Doesn’t this asshole have some child rapists to defend?

  • nojinx

    Is it appropriate to be blogging without comments enabled on this site? Is this not supposed to be a discussion about faith? I think a short letter to the Pathos staff is in order, if only to confirm their intention with this site.

    If you have to manage your blog like a fascist propaganda machine, that is a bad sign for your credibility. Maybe Pathos is not the right venue for Mr. McDonald’s style of “debate”.

  • SeekerLancer

    It’s amazing that he can blather on so angrily and reject discourse and then accuse all atheists of being angry and unreasonable. Pot meet kettle.

    You’re not the bigger or brighter person by shutting down the comments, you’re just showing how indefensible your position is by refusing to put it up to scrutiny.

    Edit: As a side note, didn’t your new pope say he wants to reach out to the “nones” and open a dialogue? Way to heed the words of your so-called infallible leader. You’re off to a smashing start!

  • primenumbers

    And the Catholic ideas that the whole of the Jewish people were “Christ killers” and were guilty of deicide, played a causal role in the demonization of the Jews and the resulting holocaust, along with Luther and his demonification of Jews.

  • Prometheus

    well, that Sam Rocha guy seems alright..probably because he’s actually an academic and thus, is actually tolerant of dissenting viewpoints but yeah, the rest of them are fucking crazy. They make me embarrassed to be a (sceptical yet emotional-attached to the church) Catholic

  • nojinx

    Got it, you are saying to not talk about Mr. McDonald’s personal life. For a minute there I thought you were saying we should not send comments to him or have a discussion with him on one of his posts.

  • Park James

    This guy made a very similar comment some time ago, and JT tore it to shreds. He is just a crusty asshole who thinks that being hyperbolic and presenting no evidence is the best way to make an argument. In what possible way is the denial of a god (much less the very specific, catholic god) in any way similar to holocaust denial? Goddam, what a dick.

  • Park James

    Not with all the time he’s spent defending the protectors of child rapists (like the pope emeritus). There’s only 24 hours in a day.

  • Carmelita Spats

    Thank you for mentioning the white elephant in the room.

  • TheBlackCat13

    It is his right, but it is pretty cowardly to insult them without giving them a chance to respond.

  • TheBlackCat13

    It is his right, but it is pretty cowardly to insult them without giving them a chance to respond.

  • TheBlackCat13

    It is his right, but it is pretty cowardly to insult them without giving them a chance to respond.

  • John Swire

    I was just thinking exactly the same thing. The (few) Catholics I know do not resemble this troll. However much we might disagree on faith they inhabit the modern world and approach it with warmth and pragmatism. This chap is just nuts!

  • Rain

    Apparently you don’t exactly have to be a rocket scientist to be a Catholic blogger.

  • Craig Reynolds

    Mr. Mehta has no need whatsoever to apologize for whatever tenuous bond he may presume to have with Mr. McDonald – all of us humans are bonded by virtue of our existence, for good or ill, on this, the only planet and only life we know. It is apocalyptically unfortunate, however, that the likes of Mr. McDonald with such limited humanity and weak capacity to appreciate the logic and science of the real world demand domination and exercise rule through politics and wealth over our common, fragile environment.

  • jose

    By all means, do continue pestering him against his will. I’m not like his father or anything.

  • fsm

    I say we just call him a bibliophile and watch his head explode.

  • nojinx

    He must reap what he has sown. Cheers!

  • DougI

    Can’t expect much more from an intellectual coward. Maybe he’s still feeling the guilt of the Holocaust, you know, something started up by that Catholic Hitler with the church’s stamp of approval.

  • Randy Robbins

    He does realize he is on the same side as Westboro right?

  • David S.

    One of the big problems with the Internet is that it can provide people with an echo chamber so they only hear voices that agree with them. One of the graces of the Internet is that it’s hard to insulate that echo chamber. In any case, Patheos was not designed to be a space for that echo chamber; it was designed to be a place where people of many religious beliefs can talk and communicate.

    I don’t approve of people going into complex intra-Christian discussions and starting repetitive arguments. But again Patheos is not a single-religion system, and it’s hardly intruding for atheists to want to discuss your opinion about atheism.

  • David S.

    He went to a website subtitled “Hosting the Conversation on Faith”, totally bashes another group on that website, and then it’s somehow our problem that we wish to discuss the issue with him? If you don’t want to have a conversation on the subject, go to a different website.

  • Helanna

    So true. You know, it’s probably because I’m not even capable of true happiness because of that big God-shaped hole in my life, but all the judging religious folk tend to do just seems exhausting to me. Can you imagine having to care so damn much about what other people are doing with their lives that in absolutely no way, shape, or form affects you?!

  • randomfactor


  • Carpinions

    Ya but to me, this is booby-trapped low hanging fruit. It looks like the real thing until you touch it, it explodes something in your face, and realize you were conned. Meanwhile the one who planted the fruit gets what he wants.

  • flyb

    +1 on the Pink Floyd reference

  • phantomreader42

    Some are born stupid, some achieve stupidity, and some have stupidity thrust upon them. :P

  • phantomreader42

    Given that it was just over a decade ago they apologized to Galileo, I’m surprised catholic apologists are even allowed to know what a rocket is.

  • phantomreader42

    Well, it’s not like christians have any rule against bearing false witness, is it? :P

  • Jason Jenkins

    Pathetic. What a loon.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    I’d say the opposite. Most Catholics do know pretty well what they are expected to believe. Then they decide for themselves what they want to go along with. What many value is the community and family aspect and they tend to avoid rocking the boat if it puts that in jeopardy.
    Sez the non-Catholic. ymmv.

  • DavidMHart

    So when they say “10 questions atheists can’t answer” – technically they’re right … not because atheists couldn’t answer them, but because we’re not allowed to because comments are disabled. I see what they’ve done there :-)

  • RedGreenInBlue

    @Joe’s World. and randomfactor

    +1 each for comments :D

    -1 each for the coffee now in my keyboard :(

  • DavidMHart

    I don’t think ‘all getting along’ is ever going to be an option. But since it does claim to be “hosting the conversation on faith” (as opposed to, say, hosting one-sided rants), it would be worth asking the administrators to change the rules so that all posts by all bloggers have commenting enabled unless a specific good excuse can be produced for each case.

  • godlessveteran

    Just another asshole Christian troll. Of course he turned off commenting – like all Christers, he has no defense of his hate-filled spew and is afraid of anything in opposition to his petty-minded views.

  • GCT

    It is his right, and it’s also our right to criticize his ideas, actions, and bigotry.

  • GCT

    Let’s call it what it is. It’s atheophobic bigotry, plain and simple.

  • rwlawoffice

    Hemant, I read the blog. Like other recent examples, your very selective editing or reading into something that isn’t there in an attempt to make a point is becoming a habit. You have more integrity than that.

    As for his unwillingness to deal with the rude and hateful spew that comes from atheists on sites like this, that is very commonplace and directed at Christians who dare to express an opposing viewpoint.

  • GCT

    So, you’re contending that this isn’t an example of atheophobic bigotry?

    And, it’s pretty rich to talk about hatred spewing from atheists while simultaneously defending such hatred from someone ‘on your side,’ not to mention your own hatred towards gays and atheists.

  • Jonathan Duran

    He should keep up the insane babble, as he’s actually doing more good for atheism by showcasing Catholicism’s most witless lies.

  • LenKoz

    Wow. I just finished reading the article. That guy is a f***ing a**hole.

  • abb3w

    While we’re calling out the Patheos Catholics with subjectively bad comment policies, I’d add Rebecca Hamilton of Public Catholic to the list of those who I consider to moderate with far too heavy a hand. I subjectively consider that she makes Father Longenecker seem the soul of tolerance by comparison.

  • abb3w

    “Evangelical” might fit with some stretch, in the more general sense of “seeking to spread a message”. “Fundamentalist” doesn’t even come that close, from what the sociological research I’ve read indicates.

  • abb3w

    Those devout/observant enough to become bloggers here at Patheos are not very representative of those in the US who self-identify as “Catholic”, since a large part of the latter are relatively unobservant.

  • abb3w

    Closing comments on one post is an excellent way to draw attention to the other stupid stuff you might be leaving open for criticism.

  • abb3w

    Some do, some don’t. It tends to be the less authoritarian who are more willing to risk diverse expression of opinions — which tends more often the irreligious than the religious at this point in the West. However, that’s not an intrinsic and invariant tendency, nor without outliers.

  • Ms. Anne Thrope

    You can’t spell “fundamentalist” without “mental.”

  • abb3w

    There’s also the “Participate in the global dialogue on religion and spirituality through responsible, moderated discussions on critical issues across religious traditions” from the About page. Patheos allegedly isn’t intended to be a collection of undiscussed monologues.

    The downside of “moderated” is that some appear to take that as license for smothering of any dissenting opinion, particularly as being “rude”. Similarly annoying, moderation to enforce brevity of response precludes nuanced discussion.

    Simply turning off comments outright, however, seems a step further.

  • abb3w

    In so far as it facilitates his being able to give more proximate rebuttal to the rubbish.

  • abb3w

    He had the blog under that name before he came to Patheos; there are several other pre-existing blogs that have re-hosted here, as well. I can’t imagine they would all be so foolish as to sign a contract that would preclude moving their blog again, especially after the ScienceBlogs fiasco.

  • Michael Harrison

    I think it’s good to be reminded these viewpoints exist.

  • rwlawoffice

    So Hemant posts multiple blogs daily bashing Christians and other people of faith and its ok, but a Catholic blogger bashes atheists and he should be banned. Got it.

  • rwlawoffice

    Thank you for proving the Catholic blogger’s point. An opposite viewpoint is viewed instantly by atheists such as yourself as hatred and bigotry. The word bigot is thrown around so much that it has lost its meaning. I have now heard the term “atheophobic bigot” several times now. I guess Herb Silverman’s post that the atheist community should learn from the gay community is taking hold. I guess Christians should now start calling everyone who disagrees with them Christaphobic bigots.

  • cipher

    You don’t get it.You get NOTHING; that is the problem with you. You exist in an isolated bubble of reality defined by your authority figures and your harsh, vindictive theology (which you’ll claim isn’t vindictive because it offers forgiveness to all who accept the fact that they are utterly worthless and in need of salvation).

    Hemant reports what is going on in the world as it pertains to his area of interest. What the other fellow wrote was a diatribe. There are a lot of Christian bloggers I think are perfect fools, but I don’t think they should be shut down, nor do I think McDonald should be. Nor would I have anything to say about him if he were an independent blogger – but he isn’t. He blogs under the sponsorship of Patheos, the administration of which is (purportedly) attempting to create a diverse, pluralistic online environment. McDonald’s rant is antithetical to that endeavor. I’ll throw in that Hemant allows dissenting comments, whereas McDonald disabled comments on that post because he simply didn’t want to deal with dissent – and he admitted it. He wasn’t even embarrassed (although he certainly should have been).

    In any case, I didn’t say McDonald should be banned. I said Hemant should speak to the admins about him. Go back and read what I wrote; it’s self-evident. I shouldn’t even have to point it out – but you knee-jerk react to anything you perceive as a threat to your authoritarian, conservative Christian worldview. I said this to you once before – if you practice law with the reasoning skills you demonstrate here…

    And although I’ve said repeatedly that you shouldn’t be here, I’m glad you showed up this time as there’s something else I want to say. In our last exchange, you accused me yet again of attempting to drive you away by exposing your identity, and I told you, yet again, that I wasn’t trying to expose you, that I was only addressing you by name because it’s readily available online. You responded with the following:

    That is exactly what you did and what you were trying to do, but like a liberal when you are called on it you deny it. There would be no other reason to mention it as the normal practice here is to post by nicknames. In fact, you had to go and investigate me in order to find out my real name and then find the opportunity to mention it here. That is a little stalkish to say the least and shows your motive.

    I said I thought I recalled seeing your name on your Twitter account, and you replied that your Twitter account doesn’t display your name. I then checked, found it displayed there and posted a link to it in reply to you, and although you continued to post comments here for a little while afterward, you didn’t respond, nor did you change your account. In fact, I just checked again, and your name is still displayed there as plainly as the sun in the Texas sky.

    You’re a man barely afloat in a sea of denial, Robert. You see us as liberal stereotypes, yet you are a compendium of neoconservative and evangelical talking points and not, apparently, much else. To use one of your savior’s metaphors, you see the motes in others’ eyes, yet refuse to acknowledge the beam in your own.

  • coyotenose

    Poor little lying trash. It must be hard for you to wake up every morning and know that YET AGAIN, you have to be dishonest about how words work.

    Even harder than waking up every morning and making excuses for sending money to help murder Ugandans, eh?

  • coyotenose

    He’s so paranoid and dim that he isn’t aware that anyone would stumble across his full name just by doing a search using his Patheos handle to try to find a quote of his. Shocking, I tell you.

  • cipher

    You know, it’s the second time I’ve called him out on it, and it’s the second time he’s failed to respond – yet I just checked his Twitter account, and his name is still displayed there.

    I don’t know what his deal is (apart from being a Christian blowhard). I find communication with such people impossible. I hope he just leaves me alone from here on.

  • G

    I keep reading it as ‘cumbox’.