Someone posted a letter to the atheism subreddit this morning that seemed to be too much, even for churches:
Damn. I almost think that sounded Mormon, but Mormons would never write “yours in Christ.” I didn’t want to post this without first making sure it was true. It’s clear from the top that the church is in Tampa, Florida and, from there, it wasn’t too hard to figure out that it was from the Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church (emphasis on the primitive). Once I figured that out, I found the picture everywhere:
But this got me suspicious: look at the shading in both. This is the same picture, and the /r/atheism person just photoshopped the globs over the info. That suggested to me that this could be a fake that’s getting passed around the internet. So I called the number and got a message that mentioned Pastor Fulton. The woman in the message also mentioned the address which matches up with the church’s address on google.
So I’m going to go ahead and say this is legit.
Digging on google also turned up this hilarious story about Fulton back in 2009:
Members of a Macon church have asked police to help them get the church’s Cadillac back from a former pastor.
Harvey Hollingshed, a member of Greater Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, contacted police Monday, according to a police incident report.
He said Bibb County Superior Court Judge Tilman E. Self III had ordered Burnette R. Fulton to return all of the church’s belongings within 48 hours on Oct. 1.
He said Fulton still had the church’s 2003 Cadillac deVille, and presented papers showing that the church owned it. The car is valued at $15,000, the report says.
All the same, you can pay $50 a month to get exposed to this (another product of my googling, and the guy in this video matches pictures from articles about the legal dispute, so I’m pretty sure that’s B.R. Fulton):
Hrm, $50 per month for this or I can have a new video game. Choices.
The atheists on reddit are having a blast with this:
Man, I hope he doesn’t get his god cut off. The reconnection fee is ridiculous, plus they have to send the installation tech out and they always say ” before 2:00 p.m.” but they never show up until after 5. I ended up just switching to atheism because it’s cheaper and to be honest I didn’t use god that much anyway. Same reason I dropped tv service.
They are obviously on one of those Pray-Monthly plans, when what they actually needed is a Pay-to-Pray plan.
No risk of getting disconnected and you can top-up your PrayerBalance at any time.
Yeah, that’s great if you don’t mind the frequent dropped prayers and having your salvation throttled during peak hours and on Sunday.
A long time ago I went Free-2-Pray and avoided the cash shop. Then I just stopped doing any of it all together. Pretty decent way to step down. Plus no server queues and the community is much friendlier, open and accepting.
I just get my content illegally through Pirate Pray.
For me, it’s hard for me to see this as worse than a lot of churches. Hell, it’s more honest. Other churches just have the message, “We’re not making you give us your money, but the bible says you should and god’s never wrong. Also, nice soul you have, it’d be a pity if something happened to it…”
I don’t think cloaking the same message with the implied threat of hell rather than the overt threat of being removed from the church’s roster makes any church better.