Ed Blanch the Internet Atheist

Guest blogger Ed Blanch comments regularly on various religious websites and he blogs at There’s No Sky Fairy where he regularly receives 273 visits a month. Ed is taking a break from his studies at North Jersey College of Technology. Domiciled in his mom’s basement, Ed is busy developing an exciting new video game concept.

He doesn’t have time to write a guest post, but we’ve been lucky enough to have Ed visit the combox where he displays the amazing stuff he learned in his comparative religion class and from the internet. Here’s the latest from Ed.…

Actually no, the apostles wrote about jesus 40 years after his supposed death. And with the evidence there is 3 different time periods jesus could have existed in. Also these apostles got the myth from another guy who wrote about jesus and this all taking place in a mythical realm.

And which eyewitness actually wrote down for posterity the record of this event? I cannot name a single Jewish scribe or Roman diarist or historian who made note of this event at the time. Since it wasn’t recorded, how is it a “hard historical fact”? This is much like the fact that no one at the time noted a guy walking on water, performing all manner of miracles, raising the dead and coming back to life after death himself. Odd that a guy able to do all manner of amazing things went unnoticed by anyone able to write.

And what about the date for “Christmyth” It’s the winter solstice, and it’s widespread celebration, is the one fact in all of it. Everything else is suppositition. As the earliest gospels in existence were copied three hundred years after the crucifiction, there was plenty of time to change dates and remove any inconsistencies.

Jesus COULD have been born in late december, or his date of birth could have been assigned to that date to match the many pagan celebrations. There is no way of knowing. It would be perfectly simple to make John the baptist’s details in the gospels match with a december date for Jesus. There is no way of telling if John’s dates were put in earlier or later.

That’s the problem with evidence that is three hundred years out of date.

So, you are correct, Mr. Longenecker, to note that atheists demand evidence, or at the least, an eyewitness account corroborated by other witnesses. Unfortunately, all that is lacking and all we have are third hand accounts written in Greek, not even in the native Aramaic or the Latin of the ruling class, and it was all written down three hundred years out of date.

In reality, I think you have confused evidence with hear-say. Jesus possibly never existed since his miracles exist in only one book written at least 40 years after his “death”. Another thing is there are about 20 other egyptian gods I can think of right off the top of my head that resemble jesus christ before jesus. So Uhm yeah, seems mythical to me.

And since I know you’re the only one that will read this comment Mr Longenecker, may I just take a moment to say that your arguments are of poor quality, and you are not as smart as you think. You are a coward, and an arrogant fool.

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PS: I used to write the Ed Blanch posts, to show how laughably ignorant, rude and arrogant most internet atheists are. But I’ve stopped. don’t need to write the Ed Blanch posts.  Instead I just lift stuff that real atheists drop into my combox. This is an amalgamation of four genuine comments. Enjoy!

  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

    How can it be a straw man when these are real comments?

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      You seem to be talking to yourself here Father. That or you deleted a comment.

      In any case, try this on for size: Jesus says in Luke 19:27 “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.”

      Am I creating a strawman of Jesus? How can this be a strawman if those were his real words?

      I think you’ll find that context can be important and leaving it out can be dishonest.

  • mike cliffson

    Given
    that
    ( Fr can the better enlighten us) not only protestants reject deuterocanonicals but Anglosphere Catholics generally follow the anglosphere in having them below the mental horizon
    And
    this means that not just macabees but the Greekness of the world in general and the HoLy land inparticular are forgotten about (so scholarly of those demanding modernstyle history, ennit)
    Then
    One should be happy that someone knows that Aramaic was the common tongue, but not the simplification that the nobs used latin, the simplification of them and us , which is true, but……
    It is consonnant with colonial situations that the soldiery did, and those who had to deal with them learnt it, which may well have included the holy family if they were into building chippie-ing as well as/ instead of/ furniture.

    Local (hebrew/jewish) nobs knew Greek still. The decapolis were greek cities. Egypt was chockabloc with Greek-speaking Jews, many of whom we’d consider intellectuals. The septuagint was arround the shop.
    There are plenty of implications.
    So Aramaic, hebrew for sticklers and traddies, Greek for anyand everyone , nobs especially but far from only , aramaic at home and synagogue( but cf acts) Latin for the soldiers.

  • http://www.thegoodatheist.net The Good Atheist

    I guess rather than actually respond to these letters, it’s better to just post this? I’m confused by your blog. What are you trying to prove exactly? That atheists are rude to question your dogma?

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      I don’t mind questions. I don’t publish comments that are intentionally rude, blasphemous or ignorantly argumentative.

      • http://www.thegoodatheist.net The Good Atheist

        what do you consider blasphemy? technically, denying the existence of your god falls in this category. It would seem to indicate that dialog with you is impossible if those are your standards

        • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

          atheism isn’t necessarily blasphemy. Blasphemy is being intentionally and needlessly rude or crude about something sacred. Some atheists discuss questions of faith respectfully and with a real intention of learning about religion. Those who question with a real desire to understand more are welcome. Those who question just to pick a fight though, I don’t bother with. I don’t argue.

    • Ted Seeber

      Atheism is rude, crude, and intellectually dishonest, as well as being irrational, so I have no doubt any comment they make would mirror that philosophical muck from whence it was born.

  • Glenn Juday

    Dear OverlappingMagisteria,

    OK, here is the context – in the interest of honesty, and of course in promoting understanding. The quote you cite comes from the end of a parable in Luke 19: 12-28. At the time of Jesus the Middle East was prone to sudden and violent dynastic shifts (how much has changed in our day!?). The kings and rulers demanded and expected absolute loyalty and control over their subjects. The external powers of Greece and Rome wanted the stream of wealth that the eastern provinces produced, but found it economical to operate through proxies, who could be co-opted or upended as needed, even if they were conceded titles that implied a sovereignty that did not exist. This situation created the need for protocols of how to deal with authority that was ambiguous – it might be here today and gone tomorrow. So the entire premise of the parable Jesus was delivering starts out essentially mocking the impermanence of temporal power that ‘realists’ worship, with an implicit contrast to the infinite, eternal power of God seated firmly on his throne. Get it? Jesus is mocking hard-edged ‘realists’ of the world who are always ready to put aside moral scruples to chase the impermanence of temporal power that cannot last.

    It gets better. An accepted custom of the time in dealing with these shifts was to bury a white cloth with the ruler’s wealth that had been extended to a subject. While the ruler might have thought he had purchased the loyalty of the subject, if the ruler did not survive in power, the subject could have the wealth dug up from a place only he knew and when it was seen to include the cloth, it was a public declaration that “I have nothing to do with this man.” This shifty tactic was an effective survival strategy, because if the ruler actually did survive, the subject could always privately retrieve the wealth. In doing so he would avoid the inconvenience of actually having made a commitment that cost him anything or put anything at risk. Re-read the dialog of the parable in Luke 19: 12-28 (parables are a form of covenant condemnation) with these themes in mind and see how the exchanges between the figures become much more meaningful than the simple, conventional interpretation of this parable as “Just go out and always do your best.”

    The set-up for the parable in Luke 19:1-11 is quite interesting too. It is set in the context of a man, Zacchaeus, who was honestly seeking. Jesus came to him, in his house to dine and instruct. So the random quote you happened to select in order to suggest that Fr. Longenecker was being disingenuous is set in the context of a man seeking the Christ, and being instructed that trying to maneuver for pure advantage in the affairs of the world will only lead to frustration, disappointment, and, ultimately, condemnation by one’s own words and actions.

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      Thank you Glenn Judy. That was very interesting.

      I agree that putting things into proper context can drastically change its meaning and taking phrases out of context can do the same. That was the point I was trying to make with that quote by Jesus. Out of context it sounds like Jesus is advocating death, but in the context you provided, we see that that is not at all true.

      What I was trying to demonstrate is that Fr. Longenecker was doing the very same thing in this article. Taking the atheist comments out of context can be as dishonest as what I did to Jesus, and can easily create a strawman. Fr. Longenecker didn’t seem to understand this when he wrote “How can it be a straw man when these are real comments?”

  • Malchus

    So you will not argue for your faith? You entertain only those who question nothing? Interesting.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      I spend lots of time with people who have genuine questions and really want to know the truth–even if they are aggressive or obtuse. What I don’t do is argue with atheists. In my experience most atheists are like conspiracy theorists–they begin with the theory and adapt the facts to fit. There are lots of religious people like that too, and I don’t argue with them either. :-)

  • Alex

    Cheers to Fr. Longenecker! I have no problem with atheists expressing reasons for nonbelief. I respect atheists who reach conclusions based on reason (though I may disagree). But I cannot abide intolerant, evangelical atheists who seek to purge our society of religion, ridicule (rather than criticize) religious belief, and constantly claim to be persecuted while they are shielded by the secular media and political correctness.

  • Glenn Juday

    Dear OverlappingMagisteria,

    Thanks for a reasonable comment. I hope you saw that I pre-registered your point. I heartily recommend that all dialog be conducted with a respect for basic norms of fairness. I really don’t see that Fr. Longenecker’s fictional character sketches actually depart from that standard. That is precisely what makes his writing so funny to a lot of us – the shock of recognition.

    There is an art to humor. If it is completely over the top it is either totally boring, or blood libel. I have to say that Fr.’s composite characters (Catholic archetypes prominent among them) cause me to laugh – and want to hear the latest thing they are up to. In this mental universe that we have been invited to visit we find an atheist in residence, pasted together as Fr. Longenecker says from real enough commenters. What’s the issue? It’s a gentle enough portrayal .

    Catholics are told all the time that when our customs, culture, and sacred traditions are mocked (and not infrequently slandered) in entertainment media we should actually take pride that we apparently matter so much. Otherwise the creators of such stuff wouldn’t produce it and they wouldn’t be able to sell it, it is said. Cold comfort for us I can assure you. Well, think of this as a new moment in which atheists now really matter. In many ways atheists, or their functional equivalents, drive our culture. You ARE the establishment. You will need all the luck you can get (since Divine grace is ruled out a priori). If Fr. Longenecker’s gentle good humor is a major problem, hang on because I seriously doubt it will be getting any easier for the collective you.

  • FW Ken

    Atheism as a philosophy it’s highly destructive of the human community. Individual atheists, of course, may be pleasant, decent people. Unfortunately those who post on the internet are most often self-important, sophomoric, and can’t distinguish an assertion from an argument. It isn’t that they disagree with us, it’s that they despise us. They believe their own hype about being the Brights. They are good without God.

    To those atheists who don’t fit that description, my best wishes for a happy 2013.

  • http://www.arsvivendiblog.com/ Inge (Ars Vivendi)

    I’ve been a real Atheist for most of my life. A militant one, too. Reason? Because I was raised in an Atheist family and started to repeat everything that people would say in my environment. I guess that’s how most people are. I never learned to question my own paradigms, they were true in my eyes because everybody around me was saying the same things. Atheists are just normal people in that respect. There are very few people who make a rational, open-minded journey testing hypotheses. It’s much easier not to think about it and just go with what everybody else thinks. Why re-invent the wheel.
    In that respect Atheism is just as much built like a card-house like other belief systems. The moment I really started to investigate and wanted proof of claims they made, I discovered they were merely mocking a caricature of faith rather than faith itself. After I discovered what the Church was really teaching and why, after investigating I gave up on Atheism. I’m Catholic now, and when I look back on Atheism, I still see how it is a belief system that convenient for intellectually lazy people.

  • http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=614 Robin Hilliard

    Is this text supposed to be funny and juvenile, or just juvenile?

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      I think these genuine comments from atheists to my combox are both funny and juvenile.


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