Reasonfest gets email.

Since I’ve been kicking it in Lawrence I’ve gotten to watch the organizers of Reasonfest doing their last week of organizing before the event (coming to Reasonfest?  Don’t forget to register at the link above and to declare your attendance on the facebook event page!).  One of the organizers sent an email out to all the organizations on campus inviting them to Reasonfest, and I was lucky enough to get to look at some of the email responses they received.  Get ready for a heaping dose of Kansas…

Dear [organizer],

I appreciate your invite to have an open dialogue. While I won’t be able to attend I hope I could share one quick thing with you about myself: I was an abused as a child. One time, my father beat my mother 4 days before my tenth Christmas. I won’t go into any more details. For many years I lived as an incredibly angry, confused, broken and dark person. Then I came to know Christ and everything changed. I cannot tell you how lucky I am. Music is sweeter! The sky is bluer! And I have loved deeper than I ever thought possible. This story is not easy to tell with strangers but it is my responsibility to tell you of the kind of life waiting for you if you just accept Christ.

“They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”- Romans 1:19-20

P.S. If any of you are interested in getting to know God better, there is a great bible study at Christian Garrett’s house! (#21 on the men’s basketball team) email me if you want more details.

God Bless everyone of you!  :)

Because Christians are never depressed and atheists are never happy.  This would be a spectacular argument if not for the fact that Christians are often depressed and that atheists are often happy.  So…it’s actually kind of a shit argument.

And look!  A bible verse!  God’s existence is obvious by looking at nature like the earth and the sky.  Well, we know how the earth formed (it wasn’t god, just gravity and matter).  And the sky, well, what about it suggests god?  We know why it’s blue, we know how stars formed, we know why clouds form and why it rains, and none of it requires an appeal to god.  What, exactly, has god made and how do you know?  I look at nature and I see mindless forces acting upon inanimate objects to produce order.  For everything humankind has explained, this has been found to be the explanation.  God is kind of batting .000 on this one.

Oh and how sweet!  The emailer loves open dialogue, but can’t be bothered to come listen to our message.  But at the end they extend the invite to attend their meeting.  I asked the organizer to get me the details on the bible study.  I’d love to go and talk about whether or not nature reveals the existence of god while I’m here in town, and they were nice enough to invite me (I assume I’m covered under “any of you”).  This will be fun.

Here’s another email they got:

God’s Thinking Is Not Man’s Thinking

Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.–Colossians 2:8

There is a subtle temptation that encourages Christians to be “practical.” that is, they try to do God’s work in man’s way. “getting results” becomes the primary focus. It almost seems that we believe that the end justifies the means. Do not be led away by the world’s reasoning. An examination of God’s Word shows that the means are sometimes even more important than the results. The world tries to convince you that as long as you can accomplish something for the kingdom of God, that’s all that matters. For example, Ananias and Sapphira gave an offering to their church, which was a good thing, but they did it deceitfully. God judges them immediately, not for what they did, but for how they did it (Acts 5:1-11).

Satan tries to trap Jesus with this same temptation. Satan did not question the worthiness of Jesus’ task, but simply offered “practical” solutions to accomplish Jesus’ goal more quickly and at lesser cost. God’s ways are not like man’s ways. “Efficiecny” from man’s perspective is not prized by God. It did not seem efficient to have the children of Israel march around Jericho thirteen times and then blow their trumpets, but it brought the walls down (Josh. 6). It did not appear wise to select the youngest of Jesse’s sons to become the next king, but God saw a man after His own heart (1 Sam. 16:11). At first glance, it does not seem logical for Jesus to have picked the twelve disciples He did, yet through them God dramatically affected their world.

It is never wise to attempt to do God’s work (or any for that matter) in man’s way. It is an age-old temptation that seems to make sense on the surface but often is at variance with the purposes of God.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.–Romans 12:2

I will continue to pray for you. No response required

I see a lot of assertions…but not any evidence.  And “Getting results” as a focus is a problem?  How so?  Do you know why we prefer medicine over prayer?  Medicine gets results.  If you’re not getting results, then you have a big problem.

And the “god’s thinking is not our thinking” line is probably one of the most immoral things I’ve ever heard.  It absolves god of any behavior no matter how evil or capricious.  Watching while million of children starve to death, through the mechanic of starvation that he created, even though it would be trivially easy for god to feed them?  Meh, there must be some compassionate reason (compassion being the will to stop suffering) that god would create the concept of agony and then let children suffer, even as they pray to god for mercy with more fervor than any American ever prayed for anything.  Entire massacres of the innocent, like during the Holocaust?  Meh, god’s ways are inscrutable.

The moment you accept that you’d feed a child when god wouldn’t, you admit…no, you assert that you can make better calls than god.  The minute you would alleviate the suffering that god engineered, you are unmaking consequences that god implemented.  Yeah, if god exists, his thinking is not our thinking.  Ours is clearly better.  Even if god did exist (which, thankfully, he doesn’t) stop worshiping him because you think the creator of cancer must be an unparalleled cosmic genius.

And again with the “Here, I expect you to listen to me dump my position on you, but don’t bother responding.”  So much for do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.  What an asshole.  What are the odds that his assholery is amplified, not inhibited, by the cross he wears?  Pretty damn good I’d say.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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