Pastor Bryan Griem belittles more US soldiers

A few days ago, Pastor Bryan Griem viciously belittled foxhole atheists in the Pasadena Sun newspaper. I encouraged readers to let him know how you feel. He didn’t respond to my letter. But he did reply to at least one.

Elizabeth wrote him a letter. You can read it in this comment. But I wanted to focus on this insane response, so I’m not re-posting it here.

Pastor Bryan Griem’s reply:

Elizabeth,

The thing you did not tell me in this negative letter to me is if your nephew believes in God or not. That was the question to me. “Does it matter if someone believes in God or not when serving the military?” It had nothing to do with the people we send our soldiers to defend. They can be anything, and we still have to be the good guys and do as you say your nephew does, help the Afghani children who need us. Where was I making light of this?

My whole argument is against those who hate God, who pull down our cross monuments to our US soldiers that die serving our country, who want us to remove all the crosses from Arlington Cemetery because they are offensive to the atheist who hates God and essentially everyone who believe in Him. What have any of my comments got to do with good soldiers that serve this country, unless they are like the complainers that hate God and country, and only serve the military to get college money or advancement?

I don’t know your nephew, so how can you chew me out for insulting him? My nephew too serves the United States Marines. I’m proud of him. He serves God too. My father was in the United States Coast Guard. My brothers serve in the  California state police departments as a result them. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the military, but I tire of these oddballs who hate God and want witchcraft symbols on their gravestones, or as my answer proposed, a “thumbs down.”

Only the atheist hates God, and the Bible calls him a “fool.” The Bible calls him that because the fool denies what is true and right and good. The Bible is God’s Word, and as a good Christian minister I have not remained like those other cultic ministers on IN THEORY and kissed the Devil’s behind, I have said what is right. If you would leave my church because I echoed the words of Almighty God, then I think it says more about your faith than mine. I do not want to be an antagonist, I do not want to insult the soldiers, but if a soldier hates God and doesn’t like me telling him that God says he’ll end up in hell for his rebellion, that’s kind of too bad, wouldn’t you agree? Should I just say nice things and tell people who are going to hell that they will be fine; don’t worry about that loser Jesus?

How is that loving? My job is to give them the truth and let the Holy Spirit work within them to save them. Everyone of us is lost without Jesus Christ. If you can attend church and say that’s untrue, then I doubt you are truly Christian. Again, that is not to insult you, it is simply the biblical truth. I’m not in this to be popular with you or people who don’t want preachers to actually say that people must be saved, I just say it and let the chips fall where they may. I have not been mean to anyone of other religions, but I admit in this last article I was hard on those who openly hate god and define themselves as “atheist.” If that is their position, be they soldiers, nephews, or boy-scouts, they are offensive to our Holy God and to the whole of his people (all of Christianity). Tell me where I am wrong in this. Show me a passage of Scripture that says the atheist who dies is just fine having rejected God. Do you believe that? Is your nephew an unbeliever? If he is, thank him for me that he serves our country, then tell him with all seriousness of life and death, that he must serve God and accept Jesus Christ as savior. If you do not, then his destiny will be on your head, not mine.

Sincerely,

~Pastor Bryan

The rare double fail

Listen, Bryan. No atheist ‘hates god’. Your breakdown of the word atheist is simply wrong. The prefix “a” doesn’t mean ‘against’, it means ‘without’. The prefix for ‘against’ is “anti”.

But your use of the term “anti-theist” would still be wrong, because you don’t know what the word “theist” means either. Kind of embarrassing for a preacher. Theism is the belief that there is one or more god. Atheism is the lack of such belief.

Do you hate Zeus? Ra? Set? Ares? Anubis? No. You simply lack belief in their existence, so why would you hate them? How could you even hate them?

It makes sense that you’d be wrong about two parts of a single word. You always came off as a two-scoops type of guy.

Pastor Bryan Griem

“2 scoops of fail, please.”

If anybody else gets a reply, please let me know. This man is too cowardly to answer mine.

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  • Steve

    Just more proof that Christians are mentally insane. He is just a lot further gone than most

  • shouldbeworking

    He hasn’t responded to mine either. And I removed all the adjectives and adverbs too. Maybe he is too busy getting Tebow to put on a proper uniform?

  • michaeld

    And they say atheists are the ones that don’t know anything about Christianity….

  • http://paperdove.org/ nigelTheBold, Abbot of the Hoppist Monks

    Tell me where I am wrong in this.

    Well, we could start with your belief that the Bible is literally true, and progress from there. But, short answer:

    You are wrong in pretty much everything.

  • danielq

    He keeps saying that he is only saying what is true, but the only evidence for his truth, is a rather large and unimpressive work of fiction. He is just like all other christians, when it comes to defining their truths, they can pull everything out of their asses, except for their heads.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mdbyrne marcusbyrne

    I think two scoops of fail sums it up nicely.

    But I’ll stack my combat credentials, awards and decorations against his, since Christians like him are the bravest and most honorable soldiers I’m sure mine won’t even compare.

    Wait?

    Has this douche ever worn a military uniform? Just what I thought.

    They have a saying for a guy like that in Texas, “All hat no cattle!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/KacyRay kacyray

    It’s actually a case of chronic intellectual narcissism. I’ve seen this many times in the past, and if you pay attention, you will notice it right away.

    To wit: Faithers can be broken down into two broad categories. Those who recognize that their beliefs are exactly that – their own beliefs. Those are people who, while mistaken, are at least rational and healthy enough to recognize the realize that each persons paradigm exists in the confines of their own individual mind.

    But then there are the narcissists – those who believe that their own perception of the world and their experience in particular represents an intrinsic, “real” reality, such that there can be no honest disagreement with them. These people don’t accept that there are people who don’t believe in god – to them the existence of god is an obvious fact (after all, if it wasn’t, they wouldn’t believe it, would they?), therefore anyone who denies it can only be doing so out of rebellion and a hatred for (their) god.

    These narcissists are easy to pick out. They call atheists “god haters”, they claim that all atheists are dishonest, and they never, ever, EVER speak to atheists as people who have an honest disagreement wish other ideas to offer.

    That’s why they so freely fling the moral condemnation around. To them, god is as obviously real as your commanding officer, and rejecting his existence is as clear a violation as spitting in your CO’s face. So the moment you identify yourself as an atheist, you’re already evil.

    It takes a severe case of intellectual narcissism to be oblivious to the boundary between one’s own faith-based beliefs and the real world around us. Those narcissists are almost not even worth dealing with. They’re damaged.

  • jamessweet

    Show me a passage of Scripture that says the atheist who dies is just fine having rejected God.

    Facepalm.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Pastor Griem:

    My whole argument is against those who hate God,

    Do you understand the difference between hating something and not believing in its existence?

    who pull down our cross monuments to our US soldiers that die serving our country,

    1) So they died serving their country, not serving Jesus?

    2) Only the ones on public land.

    who want us to remove all the crosses from Arlington Cemetery

    Can you name even one person who promotes this action? Or are you bearing false witness?

  • otrame

    That guy reminds me a lot of an actor who played a kind of creepy nerd who made a deal with some demons so he could get laid on the TV show Blood Ties. He’s not, but boy he looks like him.

  • The Lorax

    Debating religion with these folks is like running on a treadmill: you’re doing an awful lot of work and you end up really tired and out of breath, but ultimately, you don’t get anywhere.

  • ArmyGirl

    Why in the world would I be hated for “hating god”? I’m an atheist and I “hate” god about as much as I hate Santa, the Easter bunny and the Tooth Fairy. When did this become a Christian Army and this war become a Crusade? For the record, I did not join for all the great benefits like education and whatever other nonsense he professed. I joined because I am a patriot as my forefathers were. My family has served in the Army before there was an Army. It is my family’s tradition, not our religion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stevenbrungard stevenbrungard

    Bryan seems to revel in being blessed while others are not.

    What a small universe to live in when everything comes down to a single book.

  • N. Nescio

    I had my former theist self write a very polite letter inquiring how his comments squared with what Jesus had to say in Matthew 5, specifically “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”, figuring that this dickhead pastor would outright delete anything that appeared to be from an atheist.

    Not a word in response either, though I imagine his inbox is getting awfully full these days..

  • http://thegodmurders.com Gary DeVaney

    I wonder how much the good preacher loves this God:

    http://www.thegodmurders.com/God'sEvilDeedsC&V.html

  • cag

    The Bible is God’s Word

    In that case, his god is a liar and a fool. Couldn’t even get the creation story correct, earth first then the sun and stars, and the contradictions – original case of Alzheimers.

  • AZ Skeptic

    I wonder if Pastor Bryan realizes he probably does more for the secular movement than he ever could for Christianity. Everything about him shouts “RELIGION IS INSANE.” I suspect he’s made more than a few people question their faith.

  • Jonathon Peters

    Here’s my fun little reply to the guy:

    This is in response to your comment on the opinion article: “In Theory: Should the military test spirituality?” in the Pasadena Sun.

    I’m an atheist and a veteran. I’ve been in dangerous situations where my life and others were in danger, and I did my job. I did my job well because everyone came out alive and okay. Your assertion that having belief in an afterlife makes someone fight harder for their life is patently false. If this is the only life I have, I’m going to fight with every ounce of my being to keep it, and so will most other people regardless of their faith. Calling anyone who wears a uniform a Chicken insults us all, sir.

    What your bible contains is roughly 2 hours of spoken word by this guy Jesus, and all of it from second or third-hand sources compiled in an incomplete book by the Catholics nearly 1900 years ago. NOT A SINGLE WORD WRITTEN IN FIRST PERSON ACCOUNTS! Yes, I’ve read the bible, I’ve read a lot of things. I don’t believe in it, though I never recall in the recorded words of Jesus where he condemned a single person like you have in this response. The words of that guy dying on the cross, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” is quite a far cry from your words, “Atheists be damned. They will be. So I really don’t care what they think regarding these tests. I’m tired of having their constant nagging, their constant opposition against God — their evil.” Well, I hope you remember well that with this statement, you forsake every single atheist who had their blood spilled in every war in this great nation so that you could give your opinion that you don’t think that atheists deserve fair treatment in their own country. Shame on you.

    What you wrote in response to this opinion piece is not only self-righteous, it’s appalling. This is the type of discourse which is tearing this country apart at the seams. If you believe in the “Natural Rights” granted by the “Natural God” in the Declaration of Independence, they apply to everyone. Not just Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs…EVERYONE. They’re rights because WE THE PEOPLE fight for them, while YOU the vocal “clergy” hide behind your intolerance. “I have no spiritual input because I don’t believe in the spirit. So here’s my ignorance….” Oh, this is a good one. This is exactly the point of the article. You’ve definitely shown your own ignorance. The point being that the Constitution has the separation of church and state written in more than one place (yes, I’ve read that too and put more faith in it that a 1900-year-old edited and mistranslated tome). If you’ve taken the test, and don’t follow Christianity, it’s easily construed as forced religion, not on any mental well-being or capability to do the job.

    I’ve been told several times that I’m going to hell, sometimes by other service members. I don’t find it offensive, I find it misguided. I find it especially misguided probably due to the fact that the people telling me this swore up and down about how Christian they were, yet the same had no issues with lying, cheating, stealing, and sleeping around on their wives. Atheist doesn’t mean against God, it means “lacking belief”. I’ve spent my entire adult life keeping quiet about matters of faith except in small circles. I don’t whine about being treated differently. I guess it’s one of those things you wouldn’t understand because it’s easier to exploit and control your own flock in the name of Jesus than trying to teach them tolerance and love in the style of Jesus. When I read misguided attacks like yours, the need for restraint is gone.

    “I wonder what the military puts on gravestones of atheists, a thumbs-down? Listen, all religions are protected by our laws, but atheists don’t countenance America’s documents that mention God. They don’t actually deserve rights that even bizarre religionists have. If it could be shown that people who deny God create military weakness, however small, what should commanders do when choosing a winning military?” I really tried to come up with some words that fit how enraged this statement makes me feel. The military puts whatever the service member wants on their grave-stones. Your religion is protected – I should know; I fought for it, and every other religion in this country. You have freedom OF religion, I should have freedom FROM religion. If you could show me one document that denying God creates military weakness, I’ll show 10 that discount your one. I can tell by your words, you’ve never served, but if the attitude you put forth in your messages holds true and you were to serve next to me, I’d still save your sorry ass while you prayed because it would be the biggest way for me to say, “Fuck You,” for the rest of your physical existence.

    Sincerely

    Jonathon Peters

    Veteran, Atheist, Moralist (Because it’s the right thing to do, not because I fear any after-life), Scientist, Generally Nice Guy (except when people shroud their intolerance with Religious Bullshit)

  • http://www.nutwoodjunction.blogspot.com/ Beth

    I got a reply. See my post on your Facebook page. Man, what an arrogant twit.

  • davidct

    I expect that this fine christian only responds to people he can bully or members of his mutual admiration society. He is a shining example of the arrogance that ignorance can bestow on a person. I can think of two scoops of something else brown and soft that he should try.

  • Bones

    I bet the membership of that church is shitting bricks, because he just went and announced to the world that his church is now a target. Not that anyone will cause them harm, (they should not, either) I’m just saying, in his and his followers’ paranoid ignorant minds, THEY ARE OUT THERE, what if they come for us….? “Quick! Bolt the doors, hand out the rifles, and get the women and children down to the bunker!”

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    I don’t hate Bryan’s god, I just don’t believe in him. Also I don’t hate Odin, Zeus or Huitzilopotchli.

    Bryan isn’t having a discussion with actual atheists, he’s responding to the prejudices, opinions, and myths he has about atheists. His strawman atheist is much more satisfying for him to denounce than actual atheists, of whom he’s probably met few if any.

  • http://inmyunbelief.wordpress.com TCC

    Steve:

    Just more proof that Christians are mentally insane. He is just a lot further gone than most

    Just as long as you’re being reasonable about this and not generalizing about all Christians based on one bigot.

  • Ruth

    When did our country stop allowing freedom of speech/ expression? Pastor Bryan certainly has every right to tell it like it is. I resent the pressure to eliminate God that is put on us Christians by atheists (a minority). What sad people you must be to want everyone to suffer as you must. For what is life without God and his son Jesus?

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