Months After an Assassination Attempt, a Bangladeshi Atheist Blogger is Still Speaking Out

Earlier this year, Asif Mohiuddin, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi man, was violently attacked for being an outspoken atheist blogger in his country.

Asif Mohiuddin

Asif Mohiuddin soon after being attacked (via Taslima Nasreen)

The other day, after a month-old email request, I finally heard back from him.

Asif was out on bail but had to go back to court the next day. Still, he found time to tell me his story and explain what he was going through now:

I was very near to death, having one of the injuries 6 cm deep, and another 4 cm deep. There are more than 53 stitches all over my body bearing witness to my horrifying experience of knife attack and stabbing pain. The doctors gave up all hopes for my life, however they could finally bring me back to life after a four hour long operation. I’m still not fully able to move my neck… Doctors told me that it was a clear attempt to murder and I was lucky to have survived despite the attack being severe and gruesome.

Asif reiterated that the attack on his life has not stopped him from being an activist in both the religious and political arenas. It’s not easy, though. He constantly has an eye over his shoulder:

… I don’t have any job right now, and can’t go out of home. Even some religious people threw me out of the area where I was living. I don’t have any place to live also. But I’ll fight till the end for my freedom of speech, my freedom of believing and not believing and criticizing religious dogmas and fundamentalism. Even if I die, some other will take my place and he will keep fighting.

Someone have to sacrifice something for revolution or big changes.

Asif also spoke to Dr. Austin Dacey, who has a much more detailed article at Religious Dispatches:

“It is not very safe to go outside of home nowadays as my name is on the hit list of some fundamentalist groups,” Asif told me. “Our prime minister said that they will arrange some police protection for the bloggers and activists of the Shahbag movement; my name was on that list also. But no one contacted me about it.”

Asif, who told me that he opposes capital punishment on human rights grounds, faulted the government for co-opting the movement to curry favor with secularists even while attempting to mollify the powerful forces of conservative religion. A highly visible atheist, he suggested, made for the perfect sacrifice: “They told me, be a murderer, be a rapist, be a war criminal, but never be an atheist. That is the worst crime ever from their point of view.”

I asked Asif if there was anything we could do for him:

I don’t need any help right now, let me fight my battle for my freedom of speech. You have already helped me by writing about me, and that was a nice article to read. Thank you so much for all of this.

Damn… I didn’t even do anything. Meanwhile, Asif is risking his life for the right to speak out. That’s serious bravery right there.

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.

  • Bitter Lizard

    “Even if I die, some other will take my place and he will keep fighting.”

    Wish I could buy this guy a beer. You can try and kill atheists all you want, theists. It won’t make your god come back.

    • KeithCollyer

      something that was never there can’t come back

    • Matt Bowyer

      R’Amen!

  • Jasper

    It does sort of put into perspective one’s not wanting to be “out” because of loss of friends/family/job or social anxiety.

    • Bitter Lizard

      It makes us American atheists look like a bunch of wimps in any case.

      • Shannon Hawkins

        Just remember that’s where our society used to be, and we’ve come a long way. Although we do need to end what’s left of discrimination against us here, we need to keep in mind that there are still places where our fellow atheists have it much worse. They need our support.

  • Jasper

    Maybe if secularism was the popular majority here in America, we’d put pressure on fellow countries to support free speech instead of, say, advising them to imprison/execute gay people.

  • ShoeUnited

    D:

    ;_;

    Dear Canada,
    You saved those other people.
    Please give this fine individual citizenship.

    Sincerely,
    The rest of the rational world

    • rhodent

      I could be wrong, but I suspect he would choose to stay in Bangladesh if Canada (or Norway, or any other country) made such an offer to him.

      • ShoeUnited

        You are likely right. But I’d still want someone with the power to try saving good people like him.

  • DougI

    Even with god on their side the religious still need to resort to violence. They wouldn’t have to if they had truth on their side.

  • David Trueman

    A very brave young man.

  • CommentMaker

    Christians have been martyrs since 33 AD.

    • Wren

      And your point?

      • CommentMaker

        I think more Christians have been martyred for their cause than atheist, even if you use percentages.

        • NewSoulSam

          And what point are you making here? That whichever faction has the most martyrs invalidates the martyrs of another?

          • CommentMaker

            Just letting you know that Christians are willing to die for their cause.

            • Beet LeRace

              And willing to kill!

              • CommentMaker

                Twisting my words only means you play too much Twister. Go to your room!

                • islandbrewer

                  There was no twisting of words, there. Stop making things up.

                • CommentMaker

                  Listen, my comments never used the word “kill”. That is the typical atheistic twisting of words. It is the absence of logic and reasoning.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  What? You’re going to kill someone?

                • phantomreader42

                  He’s just waiting for the voices in his head to tell him that the time has come to slaughter the infidels and bathe in their blood.
                  He knows his cult has a long and well-documented history of murdering people, and sees nothing wrong with that. He just whines when it’s pointed out.

                • islandbrewer

                  “Twisting words” means intentionally misinterpreting what you said. Beet LeRace was making an entirely different, yet related point.

                  Please learn what the words and phrases mean before you type them.

                  Edit: Wait, you’re the same guy that didn’t know what “oxymoron” meant.

                • Beet LeRace

                  I never indicated I was trying to paraphrase — hence the use of the word ‘and’. I mean it’s not a lie, clearly we all know the vast majority of Christians would NOT kill for their religion OR die for it, so I’m not sure why you’re riled up.

                • CommentMaker

                  Riled up is not the correct assumption. You twisted my comment to say in lieu of dying for a cause that we murder for a cause. That is what your comment said, “kill”. No other meaning but what was intended.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  It’s already been explained to you several times exactly how that is not true. Why don’t you realize that your reading comprehension is poor?

                • islandbrewer

                  Not “in lieu of” – “and” means “in addition to.”

                  While I try to have the utmost sympathy for non-native speakers … LEARN TO ENGLISH!

                • Gus

                  How are you not getting that “twisting your words” would mean someone was trying to make it seem like you said or meant something you didn’t.

                  No one was trying to make it seem like you said that, they were just using your words as a jumping off point to add another factual point, no twisting involved. Setting aside the incredible last of logic and reason in your other comments, this repeated attempt to claim your words have been twisted marks you as entirely without the ability to reason.

                • Goape

                  Do you deny that christians have killed for their beliefs? Undeniably, christians have killed more than they have died, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many of them. Your comments here are really indefensible.

                • pRinzler

                  He didn’t twist your words. He wasn’t saying that you said something that you actually didn’t say. He was just adding to what you said.

                • CommentMaker

                  What does, “and willing to kill” mean to you? Pretty obvious to me.

                • islandbrewer

                  It means that Beet was making a counterpoint, not changing what you said.

                • pRinzler

                  The meaning of the words he said are irrelevant as to the issue of whether he was saying that you said them, as distinct from just adding in his own thoughts which were prompted by what you said.

                • Beet LeRace

                  I think we can all agree that Christian’s SOMETIMES die, and SOMETIMES kill for their religion. What are you contesting here?

                  This girl is confused.

                • islandbrewer

                  And SOMETIMES they make shit up.

                  Ooops, apologies for “twisting your words.”

                • Monica Leskovsky

                  We don’t have to say it; the christian bible is full of excuses to kill for their beliefs. It encourages it in places.

                • CommentMaker

                  Not in the New Covenant or New Testament. You guys find something and think you can hold it over our heads as if we are going to shake and tremble. We know why God wanted the Jews to kill other societies. There is nothing we can say against it either. All we know as Gentiles is that we were given the opportunity of salvation when the Jews rejected Christ, Acts 18:6

                • b s

                  “We know why God wanted the Jews to kill other societies.”

                  Because he’s an evil, genocidal maniac?

                  Or were you thinking something else?

                • CommentMaker

                  It is His creation, not yours. If it mocks Him and degrades Him, He can do what He wants. Right?

                • b s

                  “He can do what He wants. Right?”

                  So he can just kill off whoever he feels like? Is that OT or NT morality there?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  OT. In the NT, he’s much nicer. He sends you to roast in hell for all eternity while all sorts of devils poke you in the ribs with Klingon pain sticks.

                • trekkie

                  “with Klingon pain sticks” rofl

                • CommentMaker

                  If God knows the future and knows a person will never come to Him in repentance, what do you think God is justifiably capable of doing? Come on.

                • b s

                  Then we have no free will and god made some of us exclusively for the purpose of going to hell? Back to OT morality?

                • CommentMaker

                  If someone gives you the gospel you have been called by God. If you reject it then you have chosen your fate.

                  “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore [you] on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

                • alpha

                  “If you reject it then you have chosen your fate.”
                  Indeed. I have chosen a fate without lunacy or superstition or delusion.

                • Michael W Busch

                  You have yet to provide any evidence that there is any god to call anyone. No, the Bible is not evidence of anything other than “a person wrote this thing”.

                • CommentMaker

                  The evidence you seek is like the king with no clothes. People keep telling you there is no God and you believe it.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Wrong. People keep telling me “there is a god” and then not providing any evidence to support their assertion, so I don’t believe them. You keep getting things exactly backwards.

                • Tom

                  Uh, I don’t think you’re quite understanding the point of that story – the king’s clothes aren’t actually invisible, you know, he really doesn’t have any, just as god isn’t merely undetectable, he’s just not there. You just made an analogy in support of our position.

                  You seem to be trying to say that the absence of evidence is like the presence of the invisible clothes, which misses the point so hard it’s not even funny.

                • EvolutionKills

                  It is a very silly god who would require belief in him on bad evidence.

                  It is a very evil god who would demand the same under the threat of eternal punishment.

                • islandbrewer

                  *sigh*

                  Bruce, Bruce, Bruce. Haven’t you learned that pasting bible verses doesn’t work? It may be influential with christians back in Texas who revere the bible as divine, but for those of us who see it as truthful as Grimms’ Fairy Tales, it really does not work.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  The very notion of Hell is something only a sick, sadistic being could come up with anyways. To be fair, OT morality is way better than eternal punishment for finite crimes. It’s rape, genocide, death, disease, murder, slavery, etc, but at least you can fucking die and leave North Korea … erm. Anyways. It takes the NT happy hippie version to come up with eternal damnation.

                • alpha

                  I must reiterate: Is that OT or NT morality here?

                  Also, your testaments be damned–nothing justifies genocide or murder.

                • CommentMaker

                  You don’t want answers. You just want to mock. You are pathetic. No more responses to you.

                • alpha

                  I do want answers.

                  I am not mocking; I am quite sincere.

                  You have no right to cast judgement on me simply because we disagree.

                  Silent treatment? Wow how mature for someone in at least his 50s. You know what? If you stfu, I say good riddance.

                  Ok, maybe I do mock a bit, but I am still sincere.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Technically, if God is truly omniscient and omnipotent, then sin and punishment are completely irrelevant topics as one can’t be punished for acts predetermined by others and out of our control.

                • alpha

                  Plus it means God invented sin and punishment, so fuck him.

                • CommentMaker

                  Once again, your reasoning does not compare with the Bible. Flawed reasoning.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  I should hope not, otherwise 2,000 years of human progress is completely wasted.

                • alpha

                  You keep trying to call us out for “flawed reasoning”, yet you never reveal where your perceived flaw is. You need to back your claims with proof/evidence.

                • Goape

                  You can’t compare reason with the bible.

                • Fred

                  Repentance for what?

                • CommentMaker

                  For knowing so much you ask too many dumb questions.

                • Fred

                  It’s not that hard of a question. Come on, repentance for what you fucking nimrod? What did I do that needs repentance?

                • alpha

                  Are you saying god’s not necessarily moral? Because a moral god wouldn’t do whatever he wanted, but would restrict his deeds to moral acts.

                • Tom

                  Sure, if you’re OK with the concept of owning intelligent, self-aware beings like property. We’re not; we call that slavery.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Not in the New Covenant or New Testament.

                  Wrong – Mark 7:10, where the author has Jesus favorably quote the Old Testament instruction that anyone who curses their parents should die. And even if you were true, why does that matter? You aren’t throwing away the Old Testament, with its cheerful accounts of genocide, war crimes, and murder. Fortunately, none of the genocides in the Old Testament actually happened.

                  And your apparent anti-semitism is noted.

                • CommentMaker

                  You’re dangerous with the accusations and no facts. I’m glad there is a screen between us, too. Scary.

                • Michael W Busch

                  You assert “the Jews rejected Christ, so God offered salvation to the gentiles instead”. This is one of several parts of the New Testament which have been used by Christians over the last 1900 years or so to endorse anti-semitism. E.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_the_new_testament , and the related idea of “supersessionism”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersessionism .

                  So your using it rather than the more inclusive Christian line of “Jesus offers salvation to everyone, gentile and Jew” was enough for me to say “your apparent anti-semitism is noted”. But perhaps this is merely your being unaware of much of the relevant history. Please go and learn some of it.

                  And I do not understand why my quoting what is said in Mark, referencing the contents of the Old Testament, noting that the genocides in the Old Testament did not actually happen, and noting that you were using phrases that were apparently anti-semitic – all of which are facts – should be considered scary or mark me as dangerous.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Calling people violent without cause is libel. Why do you hate Jesus enough to libel your fellow man?

                • Michael W Busch

                  Technically, it’s only libel if the words are false, maliciously conveyed, and cause damages to my reputation / finances. CommentMaker is merely saying things that make remarkably little sense.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Fine, fine. He only hates Jesus enough to lie about his fellow man, then.

            • Crystal Bandy Thomas

              We did not know this either.

              • CommentMaker

                Well, thank goodness I was here for you.

                • Crystal Bandy Thomas

                  I’m surprised you’re merely thanking goodness.

            • Goape

              So what? This article is about a specific person in a situation that is worthy of discussion. It’s outrageously petty to change the subject to something so irrelevant.

              Furthermore, unless you find yourself living in a place where you are afraid for your job, social connections, and life, if you follow your christian beliefs, you aren’t even making an apt comparison.

        • Tobias2772

          It doesn’t take much to make christian martyr list. Same with their saints.

        • Tom

          Is that supposed to impress us, or something? Certain sects of Christianity are so hopelessly twisted that they actually see martyrdom as desirable or some kind of achievement, but atheists, as a rule of thumb, don’t. It’s not difficult to get yourself killed, and the actual act of dying usually doesn’t achieve much – cases when it does are vanishingly rare. The only instance I can think of offhand of anyone dying for a cause and actually achieving anything by their death itself is Valery Legasov.

          • CommentMaker

            You wouldn’t be having a problem with Christianity if Christ didn’t die. Others have died, too. That seems to either squash a sect or make it flourish. Today is the day Martin Luther King’s speech was given. He was murdered soon after. You think that didn’t have an impact?

            • islandbrewer

              Even if Jesus didn’t actually exist (of which there’s a distinct likelihood), we’d still have a problem with christianity. If he did exist, he’d certainly be dead by now.

              • CommentMaker

                Keep in mind, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead on the third day there would be no Christianity. You could eliminate Christianity if you found His body and gave Christian’s proof.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Ooooh! It’s Jesus again!

                • CommentMaker

                  Is this the same dog?

                • Bitter Lizard

                  It’s Jesus again. You may have given up on Him, be He hasn’t given up on you.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Very Christian of you to speak of Miley that way.

                • aaa

                  What is it with Jesus and asses?

                  Oh, hi CommentMaker.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  “thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass”

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Riight, find some random 2,000-year-old Palestinian body (most likely decayed to dust by now, even the bones) of a person who may not have even existed.

                  The obvious answer is that he totally rose from the dead, not that, oh, it was 2,000 fucking years ago and asking people nowadays to provide any evidence from back then is absurd, ridiculous, and a sign of arguing in bad faith.

                • islandbrewer

                  If Jesus never existed and was just made up, synthesized out of Judaism and the Mithras cult, then there would be no body, and christianity would still be a lie.

                • baal

                  We’re not even sure he existed. That makes it hard to come up with a corpse.

                • CommentMaker

                  I would be trying real hard to find the evidence because if it is true, you have some serious questions to answer after you die.

                • baal

                  Oh look, it’s the mini-Pascal!

                • Spuddie

                  So its kind of like a BASIC or Fortran.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  I’m eagerly awaiting the proof that you’re not a rapist, CommentMaker.

                • CommentMaker

                  Then you would become a believer? I think not. You will always be debased in your thinking.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  So…no proof?

                • Artor

                  Look up “Pascal’s Wager,” and try to understand it. I know that might be difficult for you, but it might help you to understand why we’re all laughing at you for saying such a thing.

                • CommentMaker

                  I read it and it is senseless. It promotes no benefit to society.

                • alpha

                  You may have read it, but did you try to understand it? If you did, you obviously failed.

                • CommentMaker

                  I read it and it makes as much sense to me as Christianity does to you. It is meaningless to me to think that way.

                • alpha

                  Actually, Christianity makes a lot of sense to me. I understand that it serves a purpose in the world, although that purpose isn’t always good. But I can see through all the fallacies of it and make up my own mind about what is moral or isn’t.

                  Btw, why don’t you engage in human sacrifice as the mesoamerican gods Huitzilopochtli, Tezcatlipoca, Huehueteotl, and Tlaloc demanded? The Aztecs were clearly wiped out. Could it be that they didn’t perform enough human sacrifices? Do you want to be wiped out too? Or do you think all of that is bogus?

                • Artor

                  LOL! Way to miss the point. That’s exactly WHY I referred you to it. You are using it as if it was a logical premise, but the rest of us here already understand that it’s senseless and promotes no benefit.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  If this were intentional trolling, it would be the most brilliant thing I’ve read in months.

                • alpha

                  No benefit to society? How about steering people away from superstition, mysticism, delusion, and other crap associated with religion.

                • ZenDruid

                  If.

                • CommentMaker

                  Absolutely, Jesus did rise from the dead. It would be a big IF.

                • ZenDruid

                  Got evidence? You’ve been taught to talk out your ass, but that doesn’t impress anyone around here.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  I would researching Hinduism really hard if I were you, because reincarnation can suck.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  What makes you say that?

                • CommentMaker

                  Christians would have no hope of living again if Christ did not rise from the dead.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So? You say that like it’s a bad thing. There isn’t any hope of living again. We’re born, we live, we die, our bodies either get eaten by carnivores or decay and feed insects and fungi and bacteria, that in turn get eaten by other things or further broken down into basic elements, which plants need in order to grow. Our consciousness and self is tied into a fragile organ known as the brain, and once electrical activity there ceases and the cells there die, so does every bit of our selves.

                • CommentMaker

                  You don’t have much to live for. I have everything to live for as you do but I have eternity to look forward to. That feels good.

                • baal

                  You only live once, best get on with having a good life now and not wasting it pining away for the unprovable life to come.

                • CommentMaker

                  If I die and nothing is there, what do I do?

                • baal

                  You won’t exist – so you won’t be able to contemplate your non-existance at that point. Much like before you were born, -poof- oblivion.

                • CommentMaker

                  So, I will just live a very happy life until I die. Please let me do that because I like it.

                • Michael W Busch

                  You may believe whatever you want to. But the moment those beliefs lead to you doing things that cause harm to people, we have a problem.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Sigh.

                  If you want to be left alone, THEN WHY ARE YOU HERE ARGUING ABOUT IT?

                  Rhetorical question. Based on anecdotal experience and your own post history, it’s because you want to tell everyone how smart you are and how stupid they are. Unfortunately, you know just enough about the arguments to not realize how little you know about them, so it isn’t working out, and you end up having to defend your ego with posts like that.

                • ShoeUnited

                  What do you think happens when you die? I’m interested if it matched up with actual christianity or if it matches up with Xianity.

                  Because in The Bible you don’t go anywhere until The Rapture. Your soul remains where your body lays until the graves are tore open and the souls are raised from the dead (Revelation). So, I’m just curious if you think you go to heaven (Xian) or if you think you remain with your body like everyone else who’s waited for the last 2000 years in your religion has had to do until the rapture.

                • CommentMaker

                  “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

                  Based upon that statement, I will be with the Lord after I die.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  That’s people doing the same thing as you, wishing. It’s not evidence that it’s actually real.

                • Goape

                  You think that you’ll “be with” (for eternity) an all-powerful entity that is content to watch child rape—and you’re looking forward to it?!

                • Gus

                  You? There is no you after you die.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Incorrect. I have everything to live for. I have friends and family and fleeting joys and the pains that inevitably come. My life is short, and I only get the one, so I should damn well make it worth living. I have working to make the world a better place, to leave a legacy once I’m gone, to change one life or more for the better. I have flowers and sunshine and tea and sex and D&D and just living!

                  Having eternity to look forward to is a nice idea, I grant that. The fact that you want it to be true doesn’t actually make it true, though. If I lived my life as if I was the billionaire I very much want to be, my life would be much poorer for missing out on what I do have. If your God actually exists and wants to punish me for living my life on the evidence available to me, then fuck him anyways. He’s a jerk.

                • EvolutionKills

                  +1 for D&D!

                • Tom

                  Oh yeah, you have so much to live for you can’t even seem to bear the thought of living at all if you don’t get a special extra life afterwards.

                • CommentMaker

                  Knowing that I will live again and forever is just an added feature.

                • b s

                  What does one do forever that one doesn’t get bored of?

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Godbots always miss the point that eternal life without eternal insanity requires God to alter their thinking so much that they wouldn’t be themselves anymore, or even be people.

                  There’s no other way to explain how someone could not go indescribably mad after enough time knowing that even one other person was not in Heaven.

                • Goape

                  Heaven would likely resemble Groundhog Day, only with a more murderous and baby-raping all-powerful (probably a know-it-all) roommate.

                • Tom

                  I refer you to your earlier statement about those who don’t have that “added feature:” “You don’t have much to live for.” You contradict yourself. Again.

                • Michael W Busch

                  That your beliefs make you feel good has nothing to do with if they are true are not.

                  Also, what Feminerd said.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  What a vile thing to say as a witness for Christ.

                • Tom

                  Sentence 1 directly contradicts sentence 2.

                • Gus

                  So you’re saying something real needs to exist for people to have hope? You have a strange definition of hope.

                  What they have is no chance of living again.

                • alpha

                  I fully accept that once I die, I will be dead and will not live again. If you need to believe in a fairy tale because you can’t come to grips with your own mortality, that’s fine. Just leave everyone else alone.

                • CommentMaker

                  That, unfortunately, is a pathetic response. It is no more a fairy tale to me than your fairy tale of a non-existent God. You enjoy your 70+ years, I look forward to an eternity of a greater life.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  What will this ‘greater life’ be like?

                • alpha

                  That’s like saying that Santa is not a fairy tale because children believe in him. Sorry mate, but your unfounded belief does not determine reality.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  That answer completely ignores my question and goes off on an unrelated tangent. Please explain how there would be no Christianity if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead on the third day.

                • CommentMaker

                  Because no one would have hope of being resurrecting after death. Jesus did meet with His disciples after His death when He walked through the wall and showed Thomas his pierced hands. He had a body.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Or he wasn’t really dead at all.

                • alpha

                  Or someone resurrected him. Modern doctors resurrect people all the time; so long as we’re throwing around unverifiable conjectures, maybe some doctor back then knew how to do CPR, gave him a blood transfusion, etc.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  And was immediately declared a witch doing the Devil’s work and nailed to a tree and set on fire. No wonder medicine regressed a thousand years under Christianity.

                • alpha

                  Makes you wonder how come Jesus wasn’t declared a witch… Seriously, if I saw someone walking on water, I would declare him a witch.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  I would declare him Mutant Scum.

                  Probably Quicksilver, but it could be Iceman.

                • CommentMaker

                  The Roman soldiers already said that.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  So what?

                • alfa

                  Well the Roman soldiers were all lying cunts, so anything they said must be false.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Cut the sexist slurs.

                • Tom

                  Evidently it was a different kind of body, since bodies can’t walk through walls. Anyway, if it was OK for Thomas not to believe until he was given proof, why can’t we ask for a similar quality of proof?

                • CommentMaker

                  Good question. Hope you get an answer. Paul got a similar answer on the road to Damascus. That is where he was converted. I just would not wait very long for it to happen.

                • Tom

                  And if I don’t get an answer, as so many others don’t, and thus it be entirely reasonable for me to continue not to believe? Do I still get the eternal torture thing, and would that be fair and just? “Hope you get an answer” is very weak sauce when you’re trying to demonstrate whether or not your god is a vicious, immoral tyrant.

                • Michael W Busch

                  No, he didn’t. Acts was made up by an unknown author towards the end of the first century CE. We know it was made up because none of the earlier Christian texts mention anything that happened in it, and because it contracts both those texts and actual history all over the places. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_the_Bible#The_New_Testament

                  And it is not necessary for Jesus to have existed or for him to have done anything miraculous for Christianity to exist. All that is necessary is for people to have believed that he did. That is not the same thing.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Scientology, as only one example, completely refutes your premise. No evidence of Thetans, spaceships, et cetera, and yet people honestly ascribe to it.

                  Mormonism, likewise: magic scrolls no one has seen…

                  Make sure to claim those aren’t “real” religions.

                • Tom

                  Isn’t living once good enough for you? Greed’s a sin, you know.

                • CommentMaker

                  Faulty reasoning again. Living as God’s children sounds pretty good to me. If that is greedy, I’ll just have to deal with it.

                • alpha

                  Again, you fail to comprehend Gus’s point. “Living as God’s children” entails an afterlife in paradise, does it not? If you’re Christian during your life on earth in order to cash in big time once you die (as indicated by “sounds pretty good to me”), that’s greed. Do you think that someone who violates the Ten Commandments will make it into heaven?

                • Artor

                  Umm… I hate to break this to you, but Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. That’s a fairy tale. And no, concrete proof wouldn’t do anything to Xianity. Those guys are immune to evidence. See; evolution “controversy.”

                • CommentMaker

                  We are just going to go back and forth with no visual evidence. You have no proof either.

                • alpha

                  Well, not exactly. The burden of proof is on the Christians since they are the ones making the outrageous claims. If you were talking to a Muslim and he claimed that Muhammed departed on a flying horse, he would be the one that has to convince you; it would be ludicrous for you to have to prove that something like that didn’t happen.

                  Of course, maybe you accept the Muslim account of the flying horse, in which case why are you Christian and not Muslim?

                • CommentMaker

                  No. But I accept this one:

                  “Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire [appeared] with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” 2 Kings 2:11

                • b s

                  “No. But I accept this one:”

                  Right, because it is so believable. But that story about the flying horse? That’s crazy talk!

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Yeah, because that doesn’t at all like people freaking out on shrooms or having mental breakdowns.

                • islandbrewer

                  Wait, wait, wait. If Mohammed didn’t rise to heaven on the back of a winged white horse, he would have died here on earth, and there would be a body. Isn’t that proof enough for you, Commentmaker, that it actually happened? You have yet to produce Mohammed’s body, so that proves that he rose into heaven on a white horse, right? The ball’s in your court, now.

                  (Sidenote, Commentmaker: I’m trying to teach you a lesson on “burden of proof” and the “null hypothesis.” The one making an extraordinary claim (Jesus rose from the dead/Mohammed flew on a horse) needs some sort of positive evidence. A lack of a body in either case doesn’t count, because it also conform’s to the null hypothesis, or what things would likely look like if your extraordinary claim wasn’t true.)

                • CommentMaker

                  Jesus rose from the dead and you don’t believe it. Mohammed takes off on a horse and you expect me to believe something you don’t believe anyway. That’s dumb.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  You seem to have a reading-for-comprehension problem. Nobody is asking you to believe in anything, only provide actual evidence for what you already believe.

                • alfa

                  “Jesus rose from the dead. That’s dumb.”
                  Fixed that for you.

                  We don’t expect you to believe in a flying horse. We in fact expect you to NOT believe in a flying horse. What we are saying is that if you don’t believe in something as ludicrous as a flying horse, why believe in something even more ludicrous like a zombie?

                  Going back to the Pascal’s Wager issue that came up elsewhere in these comments, we are pointing out that you rejected the wager with respect to Islam. If the wager doesn’t apply to Islam, why should it apply to Christianity?

                • islandbrewer

                  No, you’re dumb.

                  I DON’T expect you to believe it. I expect you to not believe it, and to see that the two stories are equally not credible. I expect you to try to understand why your claims are just as ridiculous as the claim that Mohammed flew on a horse.

                  WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND THIS?!

                • alpha

                  haha virtually the same reply I had, minus the bit I added about Pascal’s wager. Gives me some confirmation that it was reasonable to use “we” in several replies when trying to back up one the other atheists on here’s claims.

                • islandbrewer

                  You know, I had to resort to explicitly outlining my rhetorical devices, and he still doesn’t get it!

                  “No body means Jesus rose.”
                  “Well then, no body means Mohammed flew into the sky. too. Do you believe that?”
                  “No, why should I believe that?”
                  “GAH!!!! The stupid burns! It burns! Aaaaah, what a world!”

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  It’s YOUR logic. You are refusing to ascribe to YOUR OWN ARGUMENT.

                  See, this is how people learn that you are a worthless liar. You are showing it to them.

                • Lori

                  Sounds more like an alien abduction.

                • Goape

                  No one else is making a claim. We just don’t believe yours. What do we have to prove? Do you not believe that we don’t believe you?

                  Here’s an example of your flawed logic: someone says to you, “I once kicked a football clean over the Rocky Mountains”. You reply, “nah, don’t believe you”. Then that someone replies back, “but you don’t have any proof I didn’t do it”. Are you then supposed to be swayed into some more accepting stance? It’s laughable.

                • ShoeUnited

                  I’m sorry but you’re wrong. Jesus did rise from the grave. And then was beaten with shovels.

                  Never underestimate the power of zombies.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Not much of a power, really. Shovels totally defeated him and he hasn’t been seen since.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  …why the hell isn’t there some kind of shovel plant in Plants vs. Zombies!

                • Gus

                  If people didn’t believe Jesus rose from the dead on the third day there would be no Christianity. FTFY.

                  Christianity does not need Jesus to have even been real, much less been crucified, much less resurrected, to exist and to have spread. It only needs enough people willing to believe it.

                  Don’t believe me? Did Joseph Smith find gold tablets with Egyptian writing that he was able to translate through a magic hat into a new addendum to the Bible describing how the Jews populated America and fought wars here with chariots long before the first European arrived? That an angel named Moroni exists and was somehow involved?

                  Yet Mormonism exists, and has grown.

                  Did aliens called thetans kid banished to earth, somehow involving a volcano and do they now inhabit our bodies?

                  Yet Scientology exists and has grown.

                  Did Buddha sit under a tree and receive enlightenment that allowed him to enter a new state of being?

                  Yet Buddhism exists and has grown.

                  Did Mohammed receive the word of God in the desert?

                  ….this could take a while….

                • ShoeUnited

                  Or if he came down, spoke in Aramaic, and let people drop pencils through his beauty marks, we’d have proof that he really existed. Ball’s back in your court.

                • Michael W Busch

                  You have the burden of proof exactly backwards.

                  People die all the time, and only a very small fraction of 2000-year-old human skeletons are preserved. So the null hypothesis is “if there was a historical Jesus, he died and his bones were smashed to meal or simply left unlabeled”. If you want to claim otherwise, you need to provide the evidence for that claim – and the requirements for doing so need to overcome the a priori probability deduced from the evidence that tens of billions of humans have died* and not one has come back to life.

                  *For definitions of “dead” that involve total anoxia to the brain for 3 days.

                • EvolutionKills

                  All Christianity need was the ‘belief’ in Jesus. No dead body, no empty tomb was needed to affirm simple ‘belief’ in the risen Christ. Especially considering that the earliest writings speak exclusively of a spiritual and celestial Jesus, one experienced through ‘visions’ (read: hallucinations). A physical Jesus doesn’t show up until decades after the supposed events with the writing of the Gospels, which most likely originated as allegorical stories mean to hide the ‘truth’ of the story. It can be argue that the Gospel of Mark fits right in line with contemporary writing of other mystery faiths, and that reading the Gospel as a literal story about a literal man was a cover for the ignorant masses; the true Gospel lied in understanding the allegory of the story, which was only explained to members of the Jesus cult.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e7uhaed594

            • Artor

              I would rather he had lived and still be rabble-rousing today.

        • islandbrewer

          Many of those christian martyrs were killed by other christians. Eastern Orthodox and Coptics killed by Catholics, Huegenots and Lutherans killed by Catholics, Catholics killed by Protestants, Cathars and Bogomils killed by … well everybody. Mormons killed by Baptists.

          Edit: Crap, you’re going to pull a No True Scotsman, now. Aren’t you.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Yeah, probably. You set him up for it so beautifully, after all.

          • Bitter Lizard

            It’s called an oxymoron.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Damn you BL! I snort-giggled.

            • Artor

              No, I think Commentmaker is just a regular moron.

              • Michael W Busch

                Not necessarily a moron. But certainly distressingly ignorant and unwilling to admit to and correct mistakes.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Well, his church downplays the size of Catholic Charities to make itself look larger, so it isn’t a stretch that they don’t consider Catholics to be Christians…

        • Crystal Bandy Thomas

          Thank you, we did not know that.

        • Joseph George

          And plenty of Christians were killed by other Christians for being heretics, or even because they were supposedly witches?

          • CommentMaker

            That’s old news. We do not do that today.

            • Bitter Lizard

              Bullshit.

              http://www.thecontroversialfiles.net/2013/04/witches-burned-alive-in-kenya-africa.html

              Edit: should probably warn everyone that this leads to a pretty graphic video of Christians practicing their faith, so proceed at your own discretion.

              • alpha

                To be fair, tribesmen in Kenya would probably burn suspected witches regardless of their religion. Any society that believes in witches is going to burn suspected witches.

                Not defending the Kenyans in the video nor Christianity, I just don’t think what happened there really has anything to do with Christianity.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  That was merely the first result I got for “Christians burning witches in Africa”. Here’s a link to the second result:

                  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/18/african-children-denounce_n_324943.html

                  Quote:

                  The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria’s 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.

                  Now, granted, that’s Nigeria, not Kenya. And you’re right that witchcraft beliefs predate Christianization in some areas. But Christianity certainly does have something to do with Christians burning witches much of the time. In any case, it refutes CM’s assertion that “we don’t do that anymore”.

                • alpha

                  Fucking horrific.

                • Tyler

                  Very happy I stumbled on this thread while at work. Pure gold.

                  I like the “You don’t have anything to live for. I do.” part the best. Beautiful.

            • Joseph George

              What about the little children being killed as “witches” in Africa? I would bet that you were unaware of that. That being said, you were the one to bring up old news first. . .

              • CommentMaker

                Putting everyone who claims to believe in God into the Christian column is ludicrous. That is stinking thinking, or better said, logic and reasoning.

                • Joseph George

                  They are self proclaimed Christians. And the only criteria for being a Christian is believing in Jesus. . .

                • CommentMaker

                  Believing it is living it. Just like a bodybuilder believes in exercise. The results are obvious.

        • Monica Leskovsky

          Yes… by people from other religions though, not atheists. Shocker. How much persecuting have christian religions done? Anyone remember the Inquisition? The Salem Witch Trials? Holy war after holy war?

        • Michael W Busch

          This is not a who-has-been-killed-more contest. Cut the irrelevancies.

    • Bitter Lizard

      And ever since they found themselves in power they’ve been martyring everyone else as well as their fellow Christians. Christians always liked obsessing about the martyrs from early Christianity because they felt like it gave them a license to kill with impunity.

    • Bitter Lizard

      By the way–martyrdom? The Muslims are waaaaay better at it than you guys these days.

      • islandbrewer

        Don’t make it a competition!

        • Bitter Lizard

          I am so making it a competition. Get to work, CM!

          • islandbrewer

            I must up vote because I unexpectedly laughed, damn you!

          • ShoeUnited

            I like your style. We need to start an X prize (christians don’t actually swallow their own bullshit enough to actually go through with it, but they’ll do anything for money).

            For every 100 people of your own religion you martyr, you get 1 Million Turkish Lira!

    • NickDB

      Big deal, Christians were martyrs in a time that it was perfectly acceptable to throw people to the lions. We’re supposed to be in a period of civilization and free speech and equality etc.

      Just further proof the theists are antiquated.

      • CommentMaker

        That freedom does not exist in certain parts of the world, mainly in the Islamist society.

        • Bitter Lizard

          Yep. That’s what happens without secularism.

        • NickDB

          We rest out case.

        • Michael W Busch

          There is no one thing you can call “the Islamist society”. There are many different cultures that have Muslim-majority populations, and there are some Muslims who are Islamists and assert that Islam should be used as the basis for politicial and social structures. But very far from all places currently lacking in appropriate freedom-of-speech have Islamist governments, or even Islam-dominated cultures.

          Freedom of expression is currently lacking in many important ways in some Christian-dominated cultures (e.g. Russia and even to some extent the United States), some Buddhist-dominated ones (e.g. Thailand and Myanmar/Burma), some Hindu-dominated ones (e.g. India) and some predominately irreligious ones (e.g. China).

          Which is again why having a secular government is incredibly important.

      • NickDB

        Ok, it was never perfect-ably acceptable to throw ANYONE to the lions but you know what I mean.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Classic narcissist. “Me too, me too, but first and better! Everyone stop looking at the atheist and look at MEEEEEEEEE!”

      • CommentMaker

        I’ve only added a second dimension to the comment stream. Christians are martyrs, too. So are Hindo’s and many other religions. Politicians happen to be martyrs in some cases. Look at MLK.

        • Tom

          People more astute than you will notice that martyrdom wasn’t actually the point of the article you’re commenting on, but one person’s brave actions as they continue to live, in the face of the real threat of death, so you really don’t add anything to the discussion. Your post is a non-sequitur.

        • Michael W Busch

          In addition to all of the inaccuracies and irrelevancies you have written, which have been addressed elsewhere:

          The word for a follower of Hinduism is spelled Hindu and the plural is Hindus.

          “Hindoo” is an archaic spelling, and now derogatory and racist in usage. Watch your typography.

    • The Other Weirdo

      How did the world benefit from these martyrs?

      • CommentMaker

        It gave the others a desire to do more for the cause. Martyrdom works that way in most cases.

        • alpha

          Yeah, but how did the world benefit?

          • CommentMaker

            There are some questions that do not have measurable evidence, however, Christianity did spread throughout the world more than anyone expected.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              And why is this a good thing?

              • CommentMaker

                See my comment above with 6 points.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  See Gus’s response. He gots it.

            • alpha

              You *still* haven’t answered the question of how the world *benefited*. It seems you are starting with the assumption that Christianity is inherently good, so it’s spread is good. If that is the assumption, the logic is sound.

              BUT. I (and apparently Feminerd, and everyone else that has been arguing against you) disagree with that assumption, so we must treat is as a claim that needs to be proven if we are to have an intelligent conversation.

              You still haven’t even attempted to justify your implied claim that Christianity is good. Either do so, or admit that maybe it’s not.

              • Gus

                I was just thinking about this issue today in regards to missionaries in North Korea. I believe in the freedom of conscience, and that North Korea is wrong to imprison, much less mistreat, these people. But I also don’t believe they’re doing anything that’s any good to anyone. North Korea needs things that missionaries who necessarily have to operate by stealth cannot begin to provide, even if one had the best possible assumptions about missionary work providing more than just Bibles and preaching.

                And frankly, I’m not convinced one goes to North Korea to spread the gospel because the people of North Korea need that. There are people one could be a missionary to who are every bit as much in physical need and in imagined spiritual need, as anyone in North Korea. No, they go to North Korea to be heroes and martyrs. It’s entirely selfish. They want to feel like heroes, they want to guarantee heaven by martyrdom in the name of Jesus.

              • CommentMaker

                The world did benefit because the Bible has commanded Christians to:

                1. Love God. 1 John 5:2
                2. Love their neighbor. Luke 10:27
                3. Love your enemy. Matthew 5:44
                4. Husbands love your wife. Ephesians 5:25
                5. Love and help the underprivileged. Matthew 25:34-36
                6. Obey the Government. Romans 13:1-5

                There’s more. Keep in mind that Christianity has continued to learn and understand these truths. If you stay in the Salem Witch trials you have missed the point. These verses were in the Bible all along.

                • ZenDruid

                  I’m not inclined to actually do the research, but I’m sure there are one or two sensible and noble sentiments expressed somewhere in Mein Kampf.

                • alpha

                  What the Bible commands and what Christians do are very different things. Nonetheless,

                  1. Again, you are implicitly assuming this is a good thing, and I disagree.
                  2 & 3: Why are Christian churches denouncing children of witchcraft and burning them? Why do Christians discriminate against gays? Why do Christians all-too-often resort to violence to get their way? Because the Bibles says to do so. Where’s the love in that?
                  4. I recently went to a wedding wherein the pastor read a Bible verse dictating that the wife must obey her husband. What kind of love is that?
                  5. Why do Christians spend so much money building elaborate churches instead of donating all of that to charity? This has been happening throughout the history of Christianity, eg giant, lavish cathedrals in Europe, and modern day Evangelican mega-churches with top-of-the-line audio system, live bands, TV shows, etc. Where is the love of hoarding all that wealth instead of, say, donate to Katrina hurricane relief?
                  6. You are implicitly assuming governments are inherently good. But some of the most significant social progress often occurs due to civil disobedience. Think Civil Rights Movement during the 60s. Blacks in America may still be treated as poorly as 50 years ago if it wasn’t for civil disobedience.

                • CommentMaker

                  1. Loving God and His high moral standards produce some great people. The thing is, you probably never see them because they are helping the poor and that is where you are not.
                  2 & 3. We are not denouncing children of witchcraft and burning them. We are instructed through the Bible (Romans 1:27-32) that homosexuality is wrong. We simply exercise our rights when we go to the polls and vote. Simple. Christians do not resort to violence.
                  4. He also said that the husband must love his wife. Christendom is not for everyone. The bible speaks to slaves, children, wives and husbands. All are responsible to their creator to do what He has commanded. There is a reason for it and I have discovered that it works being married some 30 years now. My wife and I have no problem with it. If you do then let your wife or children rule the house.
                  5. Valid point. I have asked the same question. Even the salaries of church employees along with the book writers and music CD’s and videos. No argument from me. To be clear, the SBC has an organization that helps in disasters. They are the 3rd largest compared to the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Lots of money is pumped into that organization.
                  6. Civil disobedience is a tough question. Yes, there have been changes, however, we still have prejudice and a President who throws gas on it. Once we forgive, we will begin to grow. Jesse and Al keep fanning the flames of unforgiveness. The SBC has repented publically to blacks for their part in racism. The only thing is, no black church has stated that they forgive. The SBC presently has a black president who was reelected this year in Houston. Until there is a statement that there is forgiveness to those who admit and request forgiveness there will be no end to racism.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  So the Christians that have killed abortionists, blown up government buildings, kill those children accused of witchcraft and pass laws making homosexuality a capital crime. What are they, then?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  1) Loving God also produced the Crusades and the Inquisition. We don’t see them anymore because secularism stomped all over the idea that it was acceptable to kill people just because they thought different than you. Also, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

                  2 & 3) Actually, good Christians in Africa do burn witches, in large part because Christian missionaries preach that verse a lot. Take local beliefs about witchcraft and combine them with Christianity’s injunction to kill witches, and people kill people accused of witchcraft, all in Jesus’s name. Christians also (very rarely) engage in domestic terrorism- they bomb abortion clinics, assassinate doctors, attempt to blow up IRS and other federal buildings, and build heavily-fortified compounds that refuse to comply with lawful government requests. Christians in the US also support and encourage the laws in places like Uganda that make homosexuality a capital crime (punishable by death). You know what else is condemned in the Bible besides homosexuality? Eating shrimp and pork and wearing mixed fibers. They are all abominations; exact same words. Do you eat bacon? Do you wear fabrics with multiple types of cloth in them? Then congratulations, you are doing exactly as much wrong as having sex with another man.

                  4) Love is an emotion. Submission is an action. You can fake love, but not submission, and love from a position of power is not true love. Many slave owners “loved” their slaves, but that doesn’t make slavery at all acceptable. Women are people, dammit, and people are can never be ethically ordered submissive to other people because of their gender. Thanks, Christianity, for the bonanza of misogyny you have bestowed upon our society. Now sit down and shut up while we try to fix it.

                  5) SBC is not primarily a disaster relief organization, so most of the money sent it is wasted. If you want to help, send money to the Red Cross. Or Heifer International. Or Kiva. Or any number of other places that won’t waste money on preaching and Bibles.

                  6) Wait, you think our first Black president is the one fanning the flames of racism? You think that people should just forgive the status quo without working to change how fucked up it is? You have no idea how condescending and utterly blind you sound right now, do you? Pointing out that how things are is unacceptable isn’t being unforgiving, you jackass. It’s pointing out the problems we still have, which will never get fixed if someone doesn’t go pointing them out.

                • alpha

                  Wow, it seems like we might be finally getting somewhere. For many prior comments, you have gone off on tangents, non-sequitors, or otherwise didn’t directly address the discussion that was happening. Kudos for replying directly. (Sorry if that sounds condescending; I’m pleasantly surprised with your thoughtful reply.)

                  1. Believe it or not, I engage in charitable work too. So do many other atheists. And many Christians to do very little. Here is an interesting article on how Christians are more charitable in some settings, while atheists are more charitable in others. http://secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=generous_atheists

                  2 & 3. In the US, Christian-led violence is pretty uncommon, so you are partially right. But in other parts of the world, including places in Africa as others have pointed out, Christian violence is very common. The American Christians are a small minority of the total Christians in the world, so you can’t ignore this if you are talking about Christianity as a whole.

                  4. I’m not advocating that my wife or children “rule” the house. I’m saying that anybody (eg wives) being commanded to obey someone else (eg husbands) is unjust and conflicting with true love. I would much rather manage the house jointly with my wife, making decisions together, and treating each other as equals. I’m glad your marriage works, but I’m curious what would happen if you started exercising your power as “ruler” and didn’t let her question you or your decisions.

                  5. Good for the SBC. Do you happen to know how much each organization you listed actually collects for charity? Conceivably, SBC could be 1/10th as good at collecting and utilizing donations vs the Salvation army and still be 3rd if other organizations raise even less funds.

                  6. Yes, there are still issues. My argument was that civil disobedience was a huge step in addressing some of the issues. I agree that civil disobedience is a sticky issue, but sometimes going against the government, if done properly, is a good thing since the government isn’t always right, just, or moral.

                  I’m signing off now. Cheers.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Catholic Charities is the third largest charity, not the SBC. I’d say that you could probably figure out why they’d want to play with numbers to put themselves ahead of CC… but I rather doubt you can.

                  You still don’t understand how racial healing works. And you presumptuousness that an apology ever requires overt forgiveness. ESPECIALLY WHEN THE RACISM IS STILL GOING ON, is, again, narcissistic.

                  The United States has a black president. That doesn’t mean it is free of racism. Repeatedly talking about the SBC’s president as if his existence negates racism is moronic, moron.

                • baal

                  The world did suffer because the Bible has commanded Christians to:

                  1. Stone

                  2. commit Inces (and not commit incest, see stoning in 1)t

                  3. keep slaves

                  4. Kill babies – psalm 137

                  There is more. In fact you could skip the direct links and just go read the skeptics annotated bible for a while. keep in mind that Christianity has owned these truths and may even support them today. These verses were in the bible all along.

                • CommentMaker

                  1. The Jews were to be holy. If they sinned they were to be stoned if it met the requirement.

                  2. Inces was not permitted though it happened.

                  3. Slaves were people who had a MASTERcard to pay off debts. They just had to work of the debt from those they borrowed from.

                  4. Babylon sacrificed their kids.

                  Why don’t you go to Ephesians 2:8

                  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God,”

                  You do not believe in God but want to mock Him with your interpretation of the Bible. You are wrong.

                • alpha

                  3. What you are talking about is indentured servitude. That is a sticky issue in and of itself; slavery is something entirely different and completely immoral. In particular, note that slaves are enslaved AGAINST THEIR WILL.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  The rest of your gibberish has been thoroughly rebutted. I just wanted to say that I love how you automatically misspelled “incest” the same way you saw it misspelled, even though the other person got it right a moment later. That’s awesome.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh, we’re sharing Bible quotes now. Howzabout:

                  1) Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5)

                  2) Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2)

                  3) Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:34-37)

                  4) A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. (1 Timothy 2:11-12)

                  These are all horrific things in your holy book. Do Christians continue to learn and understand these truths too? Keep in mind I only got a little bit of the NT in here; for the really good (bad) stuff, the OT is where it’s at. Sex slavery, genocide, human sacrifice, rape … it’s all in there.

                • CommentMaker

                  1. Christianity was widespread. There was instructions to slaves. Is that hard for you to digest?
                  2. We are also slaves to our employers. We are not all union workers. Slavery was different in Bible times. If someone didn’t have money, they would sell themselves to a person to work for them. It was wages in advance and they paid their bills off that way. They worked off that money and were freed when payment was complete. We do it today with “MASTERcard” but it is different.
                  3. When a person converted to Christianity there were problems that could not be compromised. Some parents were atheist. There is no compromise with that. Same with the Jewish religion.
                  4. Women are protected by their husband. That is part of his responsibility. Also, women do not teach Biblical doctrine to men in the church. The Bible also speaks of a woman’s power of influence over the man. (1 Peter 3:1)

                  The OT was under 5 other Covenants: Adamic Covenant, Noahic Covenant, Abrahamic Covenant, Mosaic Covenant, Priestly Covenant and Davidic Covenant. The New Covenant is found in the New Testament. Which are you wanting to apply? FYI, none of the OT covenants apply anymore.

                • alpha

                  Ok, I said I was signing off, but this is ridiculous.

                  1. Why were there no instructions to Christians to free slaves? That would have been the moral response. Unless you think having slaves is moral, in which case…. I don’t even know how to proceed with this discussion.

                  2. No, we’re not slaves to our employers. Slavery, at its very core, entails loss of freedom. Employees are still free when they sign a job contract. For instance, employees can quit their jobs if they want.

                  3. What happened to “love thy neighbor” and “love thy enemy”? Should love not include compromise?

                  4. Sorry for bursting your bubble, but there are plenty female pastors in the US. Is it just and moral to condemn them based on their gender?

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh for fuck’s sake, do I really have to tell you that slavery is bad? Unacceptable, in all forms? That giving instructions to slaves condones that abominable institution, and any book full of good morals wouldn’t say anything like that?

                  Also, you fail soooo hard at biblical slavery. Israelites could only hold other Israelites as slaves for so long, debt slavery, etc, etc. Foreigners, though? They were chattel slaves: born as slaves, passed down as inheritance, and died as slaves. All their children were slaves. Women, both Israelite and foreign, could be forcibly married to another slave or the master- ‘forcibly married’ also means ‘raped’. She could also just be raped by the master with no marriage involved. Wage workers are not slaves. It is so sick for you to say that. You can find another job, you can go home after work, you do not belong to your boss. You have workplace protections that your boss may not violate. If you are being harassed or forced to work in unsafe conditions or too many hours or paid below minimum wage, call OSHA. It’s their job to stop that from happening. You are not a slave, and to compare yourself to one is … nauseating.

                  So Christianity tearing apart families, that’s totally fine. Really. Imaginary sky wizards are a totes legit reason for leaving your wife or shunning your kids.

                  Women were protected by their husbands? Since when? They were property, you dumbass, and weren’t protected at all from their husbands. What you’re basically saying is women aren’t allowed to be full people. That’s … you’re leaving me speechless with rage. You incompetent, inconsiderate, misogynist imbecile without the brains of a guinea worm!

                  Your misunderstanding of OT would be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic. God made one covenant, with Abraham. He said so. Those other covenants? Figments of your imagination. I suggest you actually read the book you are talking about. And if none of the OT stuff applies anymore, than witches are fine and so are gay people, since Leviticus is right out.

                • alpha

                  Bravo Ferminend, that was a beautiful tirade. Spot on. Much better expressed than my attempt below yours.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Oh, he hit some hot buttons. Slavery, gender, misunderstanding the OT … add in abortion, and you’d have a piss-off-Feminerd bingo.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  No, gay people are still bad because… Well, they’re icky. Or something.

                • CommentMaker

                  God only wants us to live in freedom where the government allows slavery or anything that goes against humanity. If there was slavery and I was a slave I would be instructed to be a hard working slave, and I would.

                  Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph told his brothers many years later that it was God’s purpose even though the whole family was affected by him not growing up with the family.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  God’s just fine with slavery. God is Good and Loving and the Source of All Morality. And you can’t see how this doesn’t make any sense at all?

                  Slavery is inherently immoral. If God thinks slavery is acceptable, God is also immoral. Congratulations, you worship an evil deity.

                  Also, that whole Joseph story? Jews read that as a tale about how selling your siblings into slavery is a total jerk move. The family was punished by God for being assholes.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Good job ignoring everything Feminerd wrote in order to still manage to not have a point and to make excuses for raping slaves.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  1. Citation needed that this is a good thing.

                  2. Predates Christianity. You’ve been told this. Why do you hate Jesus enough to lie?

                  3. Not a good or bad thing.

                  4. Negated by extreme misogyny in the Bible.

                  5. Pretty damn decent. There aren’t a lot of examples of this before Christianity, though it’s worth noting that hospitals for the poor came from India before Christianity existed. (that’s related to how Christianity developed from spreading Eastern philosophies.)

                  6. Used to justify the “Divine Right of Kings” as described IN THE BIBLE, starting in the OT. The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were written largely to combat that Biblical notion. Thus, you are living in a country whose secular foundations had a lot to do with resisting Christianity-enabled tyranny. It’s worth reading about.

            • ShoeUnited

              Well, no. There are rarely questions that have measurable evidence. It’s answers and evidence that have measures of evidence. If your answer doesn’t have any measurable evidence, it isn’t a good answer.

              • CommentMaker

                Your questions have no answers I am willing to put in print. I see how you twist and destroy anything I say and I am not going to cast pearls before…….!

                • ShoeUnited

                  I didn’t have any question. I merely pointed out that you failed to understand the purpose of a question and answer format.

                  Anyway, nice casting of stones there. Judge not lest ye be………!

                • Gus

                  Look, we’re all swine here. So do us a favor and keep all your “pearls” unsullied.

                • CommentMaker

                  Calm down. You know who you are.

                • ShoeUnited

                  Not actually saying the word swine didn’t save you anything. Jesus believes in thought crimes according to your religion. So it doesn’t matter if you did the act or not, simply thinking about it already is a sin. So not saying the word swine didn’t save your ass according to your Bible. You’re just as much in trouble as if you had said it.

                  Matthew 5:27-30
                  27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

                • CommentMaker

                  LOL. Glad you picked up on it, however, the truth of God’s word that is presented here has been condemned by almost all atheist. That is apostate. We shouldn’t subject God’s truth to mockery. It is not a sin on my part to tell you that.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Do you mean that everything written down in any religious text is exempt from analysis and criticism and you should, by golly, just be accepted as it is spoke to us from On High™?

                  Or just the Bible?

                • CommentMaker

                  I do not read any other religious text. It would just be the Bible for me.

                • alpha

                  Why don’t you read other religious texts? What if the Quaran is right and the Bible is wrong, and Allah will smite you?

                • Tom

                  Why? If you don’t read something, does that somehow stop it from being true?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  So that would be a ‘yes’, then. Thanks for making that clear.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  LOL. Glad you picked up on it

                  Snerk. He still doesn’t realize that we are more familiar with the Bible than he is.

                  Claiming something to be true does not make it so. It’s merely another show of your ego and lack of understanding of fallacies.

                  That’s not apostasy, by the way. Jesus wept.

                • islandbrewer

                  You do realize that many of us actually were christian prior to losing our belief. Some around here were diehard bible-believing evangelicals. Many can quote chapter and verse better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

                  And we still mock your nonexistent god and the collection of myths you call his word.

                  We do so because it deserves to be mocked. If you would just listen, we’d explain why. We’ve been explaining why, and at every turn, you show you just don’t understand.

                • CommentMaker

                  By using your reasoning and logic you will notice that most of my comments came from questions you atheist really didn’t want answers to. All I have been doing is answering questions thrown at me. I have discovered that atheists have a set of thinking that is really illogical and unreasonable because you have as much fact and evidence in what you believe as Christians do. The same thing you say mockingly about Christians can be said about you.

                • islandbrewer

                  By using your reasoning and logic you will notice that most of my comments came from questions you atheist really didn’t want answers to.

                  Bullshit, Bruce. Name one question we “don’t want answers to.”

                  All I have been doing is answering questions thrown at me.

                  No, Bruce. You have failed to answer questions, either by ignoring them or pasting some nonsense in response.

                  I have discovered that atheists have a set of thinking that is really illogical and unreasonable because you have as much fact and evidence in what you believe as Christians do.

                  Gosh, I love when theists try to insult me by bringing me down to their level.” You don’t really understand evidence, how it works, or things like the null hypothesis or burden of proof.

                  The same thing you say mockingly about Christians can be said about you.

                  But it really can’t. The meaning sails over your head, every time, Bruce.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  Are you having sexual thoughts about Jesus again?

                • ShoeUnited

                  He may not be, but Gus now has me thinking about his sullied pearls. It wasn’t a place my mind wanted to go.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  I am not going to cast pearls before…….!

                  Thanks for demonstrating your narcissism and bile again.

                  There’s something you aren’t willing to out in print? I highly doubt that after the sexist, venomous screed you wrote to Kodie the other day. Did Jesus love that you did that?

          • b s

            “how did the world benefit?”

            Fewer christians?

            • CommentMaker

              Bad math. It was more Christians.

              • The Other Weirdo

                So you’re saying killing yourselves off in wholesale job lots is how you grow? Wow, that’s some death cult you’ve got going.

                • CommentMaker

                  Christians do not kill themselves off. Muslims do.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  First they’re martyrs, then they don’t kill themselves off. Man, make up your mind already.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  Not commonly anymore, but there was the (Catholic, so Christian) guy in France who committed suicide over them allowing gay marriage. Because more love in the world is bad or something.

                • Artor

                  You don’t know much history obviously. More Xians have been killed by other Xians, mostly for being the “wrong” kind of Xian, than by anyone else. Your statement is laughable. Wow.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Sending massive numbers of Christians to die in wars of religion and ideology is equivalent to suicide bombing, thanks.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Yeah, we know. Muslims have been blowing themselves up for years now, and taking out the occasional building as well as all those innocent bystanders, all for the cause. Are you saying this is a good thing?

          You haven’t answered my question. Please do me the courtesy.

          • CommentMaker

            Muslims have increased their numbers over the past 10 years. Does and increase in members provide you an answer or do you require a formula? It seems that the offense causes people to look into what the Muslims are about.

            In a better way, the offense of the cross causes people to look into Christianity. That is why we have grown so much over the centuries.

            • ShoeUnited

              So you’re saying Islam is better than Christianity.

              • CommentMaker

                That is why I have a problem with atheistic reasoning. It is always flawed.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Only the Sith speak in absolutes.

                • alpha

                  What you need to understand is that at some point we get so frustrated with YOUR flawed logic that we can’t take you seriously any more and start making ludicrous, often sarcastic, claims.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Islam is growing in low-rent areas of the world rife with poverty, ignorance and superstition. Oddly enough, that’s exactly where Christianity is also growing. Increasing your numbers is not an indicator of anything but people’s desperation for anything that promise, but not necessarily deliver, on something better in the future.

            • Michael W Busch

              Muslims have increased their numbers over the past 10 years.

              That is not relevant to how many people are committing acts of terrorism. Nor are most terrorists Muslim – many are Christian, others are Hindu or Buddhist or Jewish or of some other religion or irreligious or motivated neither by religion nor by irreligion. Your wrongful stereotyping and apparent Islamophobia are noted.

              And it happens that as a fraction of the world population, the number of Muslims has been basically constant for the last several decades.

              And no, “the offense of the cross” is not why Christianity is so popular. Its being popular now is due to historical processes that track back to a large number of relatively small events, many of them entirely accidental.

              • CommentMaker

                Accidental? Do you mean “by chance”? Like evolution? Now that’s reason and logic!

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Evolution is not “chance”, any more than water taking the path of least resistance is random. Again you demonstrate that profound ignorance of a primary scientific concept that you espoused the other day and then went oddly quiet about.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Yes, actually, and yes, it is. Consider the following alternate history: A childhood illness that Paul in reality recovered from kills him (infant mortality in that time and place was quite high, so his dying young was fairly probable). Something you could call Christianity might still have spread and become popular, but it would not have been the Pauline Christianity that is popular in reality – because Paul wouldn’t have been around to write what he did.

                  History is a bounded chaotic system, and small events due entirely to random chance can have large outcomes. For another example: move a particular single grain of sand in the mid-19th century, and St. Petersburg gets flattened by an airburst in 1908. Or knock over a particular cup of coffee in LA in the mid-1990s and the US would probably currently have a different president.

                  Or go back five million years and change a particular particle interaction between a cosmic ray and a DNA strand. Humans as we know them would never have evolved – although there might still have been a population of apes that became a tool-using apex predator with a world-wide range and a liking for steel and silicon wafers.

                  Your ignorance of history and of evolutionary biology is quite shameful. Please correct it.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              First, the number of Muslims has grown because the POPULATION has grown, especially in third-world countries. It’s peculiar to use “Muslims” as a term for Islam, by the way.

              Second, the reason Christianity and other religions have grown is because they’ve been intentionally spread. It isn’t fucking magic infiltrating peoples’ brains. When you give people, especially hungry people, gifts attached to listening to you preach, that is going to happen. That is in fact how most cults spread (and become religions if they are good at psychology.)

    • ShoeUnited

      And for the most part stopped right around 306 A.D. when Maxentius became Emperor. After that Christians having learned from their troubled early history (with spotty martyrdom) then turned around and killed anyone who disagreed. The same with Islam. And ancient roman beliefs. And this has been going on for the last, let’s see. The Jews killed Atheists too. So I’d say roughly two to five thousand years or so.

      If you’re going to get into a dick waving contest, make sure you’ve got the bigger dick. Otherwise you just look like an asshole.

    • Michael W Busch

      And that does that exactly nothing to excuse people trying to kill Mohiuddin, and has nothing to do with that he is not letting that silence him.

  • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

    He is amazingly brave. I wish there was something I could do to help him somehow.

    • Bitter Lizard

      We can only hope he’s somewhere relatively safe, laughing his ass off at us fucking with CommentMaker.

  • Gus

    He has courage that I do not. I have no doubt that I would remain solidly in the atheist closet were I in his position.

  • TopHatProfessor1014

    If Christians ever tell you that atheists aren’t being oppressed, show them articles like this and ask for their response.

    • baal

      We do. They either don’t reply or they pull out some version of the “no true” fallacy.

      • alpha

        I didn’t know there was a term for that fallacy, thanks.

        • The Other Weirdo
        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Well, it’s not a REAL fallacy. REAL logical fallacies account for the existence of God.

          Gah, I threw up in my mouth a little just writing that.

          Edit: I forgot a “not” and ruined the whole damn thing.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Generally they won’t argue it doesn’t happen. They just claim that Christians get it worse, as if that matters. It all has to be about them. (See Commentmaker, in this thread.)

  • saber

    Wow that is incredible, I wish there was something I/we could do…can’t he get asylum somewhere on the grounds of religious persecution or something? :(

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    A very brave individual. I wish him the best and I wish that there were something constructive that I could do to help him.

  • Indeed

    Listen to me because I post comments on the internet. Let’s just agree that religion poisons everything.

  • alpha

    Whoa. I think CommentMaker gave up. Good job, team.

    • CommentMaker

      So, all you were doing was trying to wear me down. Keep in mind that I had no less than 25 responses constantly for most of the day. Each of you were full of silly questions you already had your canned answer for even if I gave you an accurate answer. You truly do not what to have a conversation, just mock and jab insults and condemn. Giving up is not the right answer either. I just got fed up with the looney tunes.

      • islandbrewer

        I didn’t have canned answers for you. I had sincere questions. I was trying to make you see that your claims are every bit as credible as things you choose to reject. Your “logic” is embarrassingly hole-ridden. I tried desperately to coax you into an actual conversation, but that can’t last too long when you start just pasting bible quotes. Do you really not care to listen, or are you truly that oblivious to what we’re saying?

        And, you fail to understand and misuse rather common phrases and terms.

      • ShoeUnited

        I’m pretty sure this article isn’t about having a conversation as you see fit. I’m pretty sure it also wasn’t appropriate for you to come in here swinging with a “Christians had martyrs too” ‘fuck you’ kind of attitude.

        You weren’t here for a conversation. You were here trying to make a conversion. They both start with ‘con’ but they don’t mean the same thing. You’ve said the same things that every Xian has ever said before (canned apologetics if you will). None of them hold water. We can’t help it if your canned responses match other canned responses. We can’t help it if your only argument is “Well I believe it so you should too!”. That’s not a reason. The Bible isn’t a valid source of anything. When Bible quotes don’t go your way you just ignore them. So really, if you can ignore it when it suits you then what use is it to argue from it? You’ll just change your mind when it cramps your style. That’s not even a starting point to even have any kind of faith, let alone convince others that they should have faith.

        Maybe if you didn’t come here prepared with a sermon, the atheists wouldn’t treat you like a street preacher. Maybe if you understood how logic, reasoning, colloquialisms, and evidence worked you wouldn’t be blowing the same hot air that Xians have recycled for the last 100+ years.

        I have the right to ridicule if the ideas are ridiculous. Next time, bring your A-game. But I doubt you will. And don’t be such a whiner.

      • alpha

        Wear you down? No, that wasn’t my intent. You wore yourself down with all the stupid shit you were saying (like about how being employed is the same as being a slave, and it’s cool for god to do whatever he wants, including murder and genocide), and generally talking out your ass most of the time. Yes, you had a lot of responses from us at all times because there are a lot of issues with Christianity and especially with what you were saying. Seriously, I encourage you to try to understand why we were coming at you/Christianity from all fronts. Hint: personally, it’s not because I have anything against you or want to shame you or anything like that. Same as islandbrewer, I also tried desperately to coax you into an intelligent conversation, but you kept going off topic, on tangents, avoiding questions, grossly misinterpreting what we/the Bible were saying, etc. I would like to point out that we actually found a sliver of common ground when I kept pushing you to justify why you think the spread of Christianity is good. We found that common ground because you actually reasoned for once and provided some evidence. That part of the conversation was fairly intelligent, and I would have loved to see more of that.

        Btw if you want to talk about canned answers, look at your own responses more closely please. Every Bible verse you quoted or referenced is a canned answer; every tangent you took is a canned answer; every avoision of a question was a canned answer.

        Our questions weren’t silly. You’ve apparently been indoctrinated to take a lot of things for granted regarding the goodness and morality of your god and Christianity, so you’ve never allowed yourself to ask the kinds of questions we were asking with regards to that. I can see how that might make you think the questions are silly since YOU wouldn’t even bother thinking about it. But they were all legitimate questions.

        Yes, there was mockery at times. I used it as a rhetorical device to try to help make my points (in particular, to point out absurdity). Sorry if you thought I was simply trying to insult you and/or your religion. But then again, you started the whole thing off by going off about how Christianity has martyrs too, which constitutes a mockery of poor Asif Mohiuddin and his plight. You also made a mockery of reason and of morality.

  • edgar ayala

    Hemant, could you start a fundraiser for Asif?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      At the moment, there’s no need for one (or a place to send the money even if I wanted to).

  • EvolutionKills

    Asif, you are one amazingly brave human being!

    Good luck and best wishes, our hope goes with you!


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