12 Times I Felt The Christian Love

12 Times I Felt The Christian Love October 2, 2018

Content warning: This post contains screenshots of horrible, horrible language and words I would never use myself. If you find you are easily upset by language, perhaps click back and come back for my next post. I’ll love you just the same.

So, I have this folder on my Google drive. It’s full of screenshots of comments from religious folk over the years. These are the most noteworthy comments. They’re either hilariously funny, complete nonsense or they’re terribly rude. Often the rude ones come from Christians who are delivering said rude comments with a dumbfounding air of moral superiority. It always gets me giggling at the very least that while they want you to think they are morally above you, they cut you down. It’s almost as if they don’t understand that they are undermining their own argument. In any case, I thought I’d share some of the best comments from these “morally superior” Christians. Before we jump right in, though, a disclaimer: In no way is this post meant to imply that all Christians are this out of touch. I have, of course, met far more pleasant Christians in my time as GM than I have rude ones. That doesn’t stop this from being entertaining, though. So, here they are:

12 Times I Felt The Christian Love

1. That time a “loving” Christian, who clearly has “better” morality than I do, decided to use a word that should be erased from our vernacular all together because he didn’t like the fact that I don’t share his imaginary wish-granting friendo in the sky.

2. That time I was damned to hell on Vine steadily over the course of several months by various Christians, some of whom also wished me dead. Let me tell you, after reading these comments all I could think about was how loving Lord Jeeby must be if these are his followers!

3. That time a Christian admitted that they loathe entire groups of people based merely on who they love and are attracted to, despite the fact that all parties involved are consenting adults. Tell me again how religion promotes love?

4. That time a Christian proudly boasted on Twitter about not tolerating artists who are atheist. Yes, that’s right, someone who would likely have you believe that their religion is one of love and tolerance feels some people ought to be excluded from that so long as they don’t whisper magical wishes before bedtime at night.

5. That time a Christian insisted that all pre-op trans women who use the women’s restroom are just there to peep booty. But Jesus still loves them, right?

6. That time a godly dude insisted I was “spiritually ignorant” despite that phrase having no discernable meaning in the adult world.

7. There was also that one time, of course, when a Christian wished my children would die. I almost snapped on this occasion, however, I was able to take a minute and remind myself, GM, their religion is a literal death cult. You can’t blame them for going there, really. I calmed down and told the fella that I hope his kids live long, healthy lives and that he has a wonderful weekend, instead.

8. That time I was told I needed to be whipped because I don’t share the delusion that some magical man lords above us all, hand-picking the winner of Survivor and the recent Grand Final that should have gone to the Pies. My condolences, Oz.

9. That time a Christian tried his precious darndest to insult me, and instead managed to tell me I look young. Now, that’s using your brain, George.

10. That time “Christforloving” insisted, in his first communication with me, ever, that I’m addicted to porn. What the hell does he know? BRB, erasing browser history.

 

11. That time Christ-loving Mardy couldn’t keep it to herself that she was imagining atheists dying. Can’t really blame her though, she’s probably surrounded by graphic execution devices and imagines herself washed in Jeeby blood. When in a death cult…

12. That time a Christian insisted I shouldn’t be allowed to have children because I don’t believe a missing body implies zombie unless I’m watching the Walking Dead. Yes, these are my beautiful, wonderful children.

See more of these screenshots here: godlessmom.com

How would you respond to these remarks? Let me know in the comments!

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Images: Creative Commons/Courtney Heard

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  • Michael Neville

    Some people are just assholes. This lot appear to be using their magic sky pixie as an excuse to be assholes.

  • The more I see how much BS is present on Christians, the farther I’m of their BS -now listening Fundie crap, to vent anger, and reinforcing that idea-.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    One thing I’ve always thought to do when I get free time (right), is to make a video montage to this song

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CobNWUXb1M

    But instead of showing the sappy crap that’s included in this video, I am going to do screen shots of all the loving Christian behavior like that you have here.

    I just need to start collecting them. It won’t take me long to get enough to fill a 3 minute song.

  • Daffodil

    The lack of self-awareness is just mind-boggling!

  • Jim Jones

    Point out that by no reasonable definition are these people ‘Christians’.

    These are the direct words of Jesus:

    Matthew 25:35-40

    ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    And here is another story:

    Why Did God Create Atheists?

    There is a famous story told in Chassidic literature that addresses this very question. The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

    One clever student asks “What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?”

    The Master responds “God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all — the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.”

    “This means,” the Master continued “that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say ‘I will help you.’”

    ETA source: Tales of the Hasidim, Vol. 2: The Later Masters [Martin Buber, Olga Marx]

  • Anthrotheist

    I’m more frightened by the possibility that some people really would be rape-happy murder-monsters if they didn’t genuinely believe in their omni-voyeuristic sky-daddy’s eternal torture dungeon.

  • Chris Hall

    I do like the hypocrisy of you being called retarded by people who don’t know the difference between your and you’re

  • Disagree. The Westboro Baptist Church is just as Christian as Episcopalians, Catholics, and random liberal ‘nice’ Christians. Don’t let them claim that Christian means good. It doesn’t. It means you believe that Jesus was divine and then died and rose again for humanity. The rest of it is a pick-your-own-adventure of contradictory Biblical teachings, some of which are pretty decent and others of which are horrific.

    Also, pointing to Jewish teachings to justify Christianity is … well, it’s insulting to Jews and Christians alike. Judaism is not Christianity-without-Jesus, it’s got its own entirely separate set of theology and worldviews. Do you think what Muslims have to say about Jesus is terribly relevant to Christians or Jews? It isn’t. So why is what Jews have to say about theology at all relevant to Christians? They’re two very different religions. Plus, there’s that nearly 2,000 year history of Christians murdering and persecuting Jews, so using Jewish teachings to justify the idea that True Christians (TM) are Good People is exceptionally tone-deaf to say the least.

  • Raging Bee

    That’s not really hypocritical, it’s just stupid and childish.

  • I recommend a modern-day version of the King Tut solution:

    Put their names/pics on your shoe soles, your car pedals, your ottomans…thus, you could perpetually trample them! 🙂

  • Illithid

    My first thought, like Chris Hall, is to marvel at how many of them don’t know how to spell “you’re”. Especially the first one. I don’t disparage people’s intelligence often, but when I do, I make certain of my spelling and grammar.

    My second thought is that the whip looks like an okay amateur effort, but I prefer a riding crop. More control.

  • persephone

    That’s what scares me. Just how many of these psychos don’t indulge their abusive side out of fear of hell? I think the number of them that abuse their spouses and children, despite the fear of hell, is very telling.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    I just like informing them that I don’t take advice from someone who is my obviously moral and ethical inferior.

  • Jim Jones

    ‘Gentle’ Jesus. “Jesus is love”.

  • Uh huh. And also “I come not to bring peace, but a sword”. Also splitting families apart, terrorizing merchants with vandalism, being a racist asshole (the story of healing the Samaritan’s daughter), killing a fig tree for being a fig tree (lesson: sometimes God will smite you for just being yourself?). Like I said, it’s a big choose-your-own-adventure thing, where you can pull out good stuff or you can pull out bad stuff.

    You don’t have to be Christian to be good. Not all Christians are good people, and that doesn’t make them any less Christian. Not all Christians are bad people either, of course. The two are, frankly, entirely unrelated. A person’s goodness or badness as a person has absolutely nothing to do with whether they are a Christian or not.

  • I’m sick of hearing preachers complaining that they (Jews) do not accept him as the Messiah, but that it will totally happen the day it comes, over Jerusalem, but at the same time being Jews in almost all but name and fanatically supporting them, as in “God did not allow Iraq SCUDs that hit Israel killed anyone, even if one hit an US base killing some people” and similar BS.

    The amount of BS that even universitary (philosophy?) teachers as one I know of who defend that have is overwhelming.

  • But retarded literally means “less advanced in mental, physical, or social development than is usual for one’s age”. So it is hypocritical as well.

  • ORAXX

    Christians reserve some of their worst vitriol for the ‘wrong’ kind of christians. Wrong, as determined by them. The bloody, gory, history of Europe is, to no small extent, the story of christians killing other christians in the name of christianity. You’d think a divine being who could will the universe into existence could have done a better job of getting the message out in order to avoid horrific problems that could easily be foreseen.

  • ORAXX

    You don’t need to know the difference if you have Jesus in your heart. /S

  • Dave Armstrong

    Since I’m banned on Seidensticker’s blog, I couldn’t respond to your comment there, so here is my reply, in a new blog post. Perhaps you could be so kind as to inform Bob of it. Thanks!:

    Atheist Bob Seidensticker Ain’t Afraid to Debate, and I AM? Really?!

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2018/10/atheist-bob-seidensticker-aint-afraid-to-debate-and-i-am-really.html

  • MadScientist1023

    Aren’t you the guy who constantly tries to pick fights with Bob Seidensticker on your blog, but then bans absolutely anyone who makes one post you disagree with? This is kind of a weird place for you to be trolling for your blog, since you would ban most readers here from posting anything.

  • Dave Armstrong

    I ban for insults and inability to engage in civil discourse, as I have explained 492,019,836,298 times — well, come to think of it, maybe 492,019,836,299 times (to no avail):

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/08/my-comments-policy-thoughts-on-amiable-and-constructive-dialogue.html

    I have more debates with atheists posted on my blog (with multiple thousands of their words hosted on my Catholic site) than anyone I have ever seen. If you find someone with more debates than I have, please let me know:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2006/11/atheism-agnosticism-secularism-index.html

    Meanwhile, Bob still has me banned and has absolutely ignored 23 lengthy critiques of his posts, that HE initially challenged me to undertake.

    That’s pretty rich (and hilarious) stuff!

    He’s perfectly free to read my critiques and reply on his blog (and then I will certainly counter-reply).

  • For a large percentage of these, I would begin by explaining the difference between “your” and “you’re” or “there”, “their”, and “they’re” as it is apparent that many of these sweet Jesus lovers did not learn these lessons in school. It makes me wonder if they understand the difference between “they” and “thy” when they read the supposed words of their (note correct usage) God in the King James version of the bible.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Very different tone from what I see from you on my blog . . .

  • Dave Armstrong

    It is true that they are doctrinally Christian: though a piss-poor, extreme Calvinist fundamentalist, worst-imaginable version of a Christian.

    They don’t “represent” Christianity anymore than Stalin or Mao represent atheism. There are wackos and morons on the fringes of any large social group.

    Jesus also talked about “wolves in sheeps’ clothing.” If anyone is that, it is these goons at Westboro. They spew hatred, and that is NOT the Christian message. Christianity is not just a set of beliefs, but also a moral code and way of life: according to our founder, Jesus.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Do you not determine amongst yourselves that Stalin and Mao were piss-poor examples of atheists? And doesn’t that make perfect sense? That’s all we do with goons like the Westboro haters. We simply note that Christianity does NOT teach hatred. It’s contrary to the very essence of the teachings of Jesus, Who told us to love even our enemies and those who persecute (even sometimes kill) us.

  • ORAXX

    I never said there haven’t been terrible atheists. I simply stated that christians reserves some of their deepest hatreds for other christians.

  • adhoc

    Have the number of these pornography addicted mothers? I’m asking for a friend.

    I feel sorry for the person that has to check the plumbing of every person in the restroom. Seems someone is using there* fear to perve out in public restrooms.

    *yes, I know. It just seemed appropriate after reading the messages

  • Dave Armstrong

    It’s hatred of the pretense of appearing to properly represent Jesus Christ and Christianity, not towards the people.

  • Dave Armstrong

    This is actually a fairly solid argument for hell (though you didn’t intend it that way). The idea is that bad people don’t do bad things if they believe hell awaits them as a result. Yes, exactly right: just as some criminals may not do bad things if they think a prison term likely awaits them as punishment.

    That’s human nature (whether Christian or atheist): if you don’t refrain from evil simply because it’s wrong, then maybe you will because it will be punishable by law. All law is coercive and presupposes this very thing: [as a generality] folks won’t do bad stuff if there is a strong penalty for doing so. This holds civil society together.

    Likewise, by perfect analogy, hell prevents lots of bad people from fully acting out their sinful desires. That makes it ultimately a good and just thing. Without it, and the fear of it, things would be MUCH worse.

  • Anthrotheist

    That is true, but shouldn’t be surprising or disappointing.

    I come to your blog as a guest, with the intention of understanding the perspectives of you and your audience on certain topics and in response to certain challenges.

    My response here is an equally genuine expression of my concern over what some Christians say and do. I could make an equally accurate comment about people who would be “rape-happy murder-monsters” if they weren’t afraid of prison or execution.

    And my characterization of God is very far from generous, but then so is my characterization of the people to whom I attribute that supposed belief. I am not making any claim that you, nor anyone else in particular, holds those characteristics or believes that way about God. If you don’t identify yourself with the description “rape-happy murder-monster”, you shouldn’t be offended by the notion that someone who would identify as such would believe in a “omni-voyeuristic sky-daddy.” You make a point in distancing yourself and your beliefs from fundamentalist protestants, I see no reason why you would choose to stop doing so now.

  • Dave Armstrong

    I condemn all of that utterly, in the strongest possible terms (as a Catholic Christian). It’s a disgrace. I’ve condemned this sort of bilge and filth on my blog:

    Are Atheists “Evil”? Multiple Causes of Atheist Disbelief and the Possibility of Salvation

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/can-atheists-be-saved-are-they-all-evil.html

    New Testament on God-Rejecters vs. Open-Minded Agnostics

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/nt-on-god-rejecters-vs-open-minded-agnostics.html

    Legitimate Atheist Anger

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/legitimate-atheist-anger.html

    Will you, likewise, join me in condemning similar sorts of hateful rhetoric and polemics that atheists very often direct towards Christians?:

    The Atheist Obsession with Insulting Christians

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/09/the-atheist-obsession-with-insulting-christians.html

    Not Many “Angry Atheists” Online? You be the Judge

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2017/07/angry-atheists-online-judge.html

    Seidensticker: Christians R Intellectually Dishonest Idiots

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2018/05/seidensticker-christians-r-intellectually-dishonest-idiots.html

  • Dave Armstrong

    As long as you make it clear that you are referring mainly to fringe wackos, I have no problem with it. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Anthrotheist

    I have long contemplated the “punishment as deterrent” concept. I’ve always had some reservations about it, and it is my perception that research and study has supported that doubt.

    From the National Institute of Justice: (https://nij.gov/five-things/pages/deterrence.aspx)

    1. The certainty of being caught is a vastly more powerful deterrent than the punishment.
    2. Sending an individual convicted of a crime to prison isn’t a very effective way to deter crime.
    3. Police deter crime by increasing the perception that criminals will be caught and punished.
    4. Increasing the severity of punishment does little to deter crime.
    5. There is no proof that the death penalty deters criminals.

    So someone being certain that God is watching (and that he will punish them, which can be rationalized away as well) could be a better deterrent than the less certain threat from our criminal justice system, but this only reinforces the fairly derogatory depiction of God as being an “omni-voyeuristic sky-daddy” that will spank you when you get home. And it doesn’t change the fact that I would be more comfortable with people who are barely held back from being monstrous being incarcerated away from the general population, than I am with them continually hanging onto civility by a thread of belief.

  • Anthrotheist

    We all have fringe wackos don’t we? Atheists have our share of outliers: womanizers, elitists, eugenicists, etc.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Yes! I wholeheartedly agree with #1 and #3. Very good. Nice to agree. So, for example, in the tragedy that is happening right now in Chicago, I have heard that there are literally 1000 less cops. The perception is that no one will be caught, let alone punished. Only 5% of the murders in the poor neighborhoods are even pursued / investigated. This included one horrendous example recently, where a 15-year-old boy was burned alive because he refused to join a gang.

    I also agree that if one believes God exists and that He is a just Judge as well as a benevolent Father, that one will behave more morally, if only in a self-interested, self-preservation way (i.e., not from principle and conviction).

    As a Christian, I don’t try to behave according to my moral views in order to escape hell (I worry very little about hell). I do it because it’s right: as I believe I know both in my head and in my heart. And the Christian seeks to be like their Lord Jesus, Who commanded us to “love one another as I have loved you.”

    Seeking to do that (as best we can: very imperfectly indeed!) in turn leads to joy, peace, and fulfillment, as I and many millions of Christians have experienced in our own lives. I’m happy to bear witness to it. But again, neither the reward nor the punishment if we don’t act in a loving manner is (or should be) our motivation to do it. It’s because it is right, and more like how our Lord acted.

    And the ethical atheist has the same view, it seems to be: you feel that certain things are right and ethical and moral, and so you act accordingly, according to your own moral principles: because it’s right, period.

  • Kevin K

    Yeah, that’s the guy. You can safely block him and not worry in the slightest about missing anything useful.

  • Otto

    One would think raping children and hiding the evidence, as well as the perpetrators, would be against the teachings of Jesus too…funny how the people that you follow can’t even get THAT right.

  • Otto

    You mean you haven’t banned him yet for some made up offense? I find that hard to believe.

  • MadScientist1023

    Thought so. I’ve seen more than a few threads with atheist readers commenting about how quickly he banned us and how little we had to say. I think I posted on his blog twice, admittedly with some snark but nothing worse than what he said in his last post.
    Whereas his counterpart, Bob, lets just about anyone say just about anything, even if he completely disagrees with what they say and are being completely rude about it. I guess Dave just doesn’t care as much for free speech.

  • Neither set is representative of Christians; they’re all subsets, and equally valid ones, of Christianity. Evangelical Christianity has a far larger following and higher percentage of followers than Stalin or Mao ever did (not to mention that atheism doesn’t say anything at all about your ethics or morality, just your (dis)belief in gods). Stalin and Mao did horrible things not because they were atheist, but because they espoused a specific set of politico-social-economic theories that don’t work and cause a lot of human suffering. They never used their atheism as a reason for doing those things, but pointed to other philosophical underpinnings of their policies.

    The evangelicals who make up Trump’s base, though? They explicitly base their racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-environmentalism, and “America First” foreign policy on their Christianity. They point to a lot of Bible verses to back it up, too. As a Jewish person, I guarantee you that Christians have absolutely spewed hatred for millennia. It’s baked into your religion. I approve of people trying to take it out, I like it when people pick the nice verses instead of the awful ones, but no version is the Real Christianity (TM). Religions are what people make of them, and Christianity has an awful lot of support for being both a pretty good one and a horrifically bad one. They’re both theologically accurate.

    You know what they aren’t? Wackos and morons on the fringes. 80% of white evangelical Christians voted Trump, and they still support him today. 25.4% of Americans identify as evangelical Christian, while another 14.7% identify as mainline Protestant. 70.6% of the US is Christian. That’s over a third of US Christians who are evangelical, and more than half who are Protestant. This is also not counting people who are part of Black churches, which is 6.5% of the population. So white American evangelicals are (25.4/64.1) ~40% of white American Christians. This is mainstream, not fringe.

  • Well, they aren’t Jews in all but name, being that they believe in Jesus and that’s a rather large theological distinction. The End Times theology and hellfire bit is also all Christian- Jews have nothing like that. The rabid support of Israel is more than a little scary, though, because it enables right-wing Israelis to make horrible policy decisions that are emphatically not ‘good for the Jews’.

    Remember, their support of Israel is predicated on their hatred of Jews, not their love. They want us to be ground zero for a nuclear war in the Middle East that ushers in the end of the world. It’s … not good.

  • I was refering to the adoption of Jew customs by those Fundies -“Shalom”, even the star of David, etc.-, not in religion. Anyway, agree with your thoughts.

  • Not all are Calvinists, just in case. Those I know of include mostly Pentecostals.

    And some of them still with the BS of the Catholic Church being the Whore of Babylon and identifying its fall at least here with the end times.

  • Ah, okay. That makes sense.

  • Almost a chimp

    It beggars belief that you could write the following lines without suffering some serious cognitive dissonance.
    I’ve taken the liberty of suggesting an alternative end to the second sentence.

    This included one horrendous example recently, where a 15-year-old boy was burned alive because he refused to join a gang.

    I also agree that if one believes God exists and that He is a just Judge as well as a benevolent Father, that one will behave more morally, if only in a self-interested, self-preservation way (i.e., not from principle and conviction).

    [that] maybe the 15 year-old boy might not have suffered such a horrific death.

  • Dave Armstrong

    My point (which you seem to have missed) was the following:

    1. “Police deter crime by increasing the perception that criminals will be caught and punished.” [atheist Anthrotheist’s point, which I wholly agree with].

    2. As an example of that, see south side and west side Chicago [a city I love and have visited many times; and I am from Detroit], where shootings and murders are occurring on a daily basis.

    3. Part of the reason for that is what we see in #1 above: correct perception that crimes won’t be prosecuted.

    4. Figures show that only 5% are prosecuted in these crime-ridden neighborhoods.

    5. One example of a terrible crime not being prosecuted in Chicago was the burning of this boy.

    6. In order to prevent such atrocities, we need to get to the place of #1 above.

    7. Hell was an analogy to all this: if there is a belief in a hell in the afterlife for those who have acted wickedly and not repented, this will lessen wickedness. I only wrote about it today because both Anthrotheist and persephone were arguing that hell prevents some wacko, extreme “Christians” from doing even worse things than they do. It was their initial argument, not mine.

    What is it in the above that you don’t agree with? Hell is only #7, so forget that, if you don’t believe in it (as I assume you don’t). What in #1-6 do you disagree with? And where does my supposed cognitive dissonance lie? You appear to have greatly misunderstood my argument.

  • Anthrotheist

    I do feel that while you are correct, and ethical atheists feel that certain things are right and ethical and moral, it seems to me a bit different than Christianity minus Jesus. Not surprisingly, I tend to feel that the atheists’ ethics are generally better than Christianity’s, not because it reaches different conclusions (which it doesn’t on a great many topics) but because it in fact capable of reaching new conclusions. It may start with a traditional precept, but it then examines that idea and deconstructs it until it is laid bare, at which point it can be carefully evaluated in all the various ways (e.g., deontological, consequential, virtue, etc.; and naturally which of those is most prominent in the examination is affected by the particular examiner’s biases and preferences). This is contrasted with the Christian morality, which begins with the written word in the Bible which is subsequently examined in order to produce more specific rulings and more rational explanations for rules that necessarily must remain largely unchanged over time.

    So I agree that mature morality means people doing what is right because they value rightness, rather than just to avoid negative consequence (which can be effective but reflects immaturity), my only quibble really was with the means by which rightness was determined between the two groups. I feel the distinction is significant on the societal scale (where I suspect that we probably disagree), not the personal level (in which we do agree).

  • Almost a chimp

    I tend to point out that if they had any genuine faith they’d let their god do the judging instead of thinking they need to play God and speak on its behalf.
    I may also suggest that using a dictionary isn’t a sin, a thesaurus is not the road to Hell, and “Thou shalt not learn grammar” is not one of the Commandments.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Fundamentalist anti-intellectuals are not even mainstream evangelical, which is a subset of the larger category of Protestantism, which is a minority group among all Christians (Catholics and Orthodox together have far more numbers).

    Thus, they are a minority of a minority (evangelical) of a minority (Protestant) Christian group. They’re wacko fringe.

    You simply assume that “racism, sexism, homophobia,” etc. characterizes Trump’s base, which is essentially saying that almost all Republicans have such views (since Trump has an 88% approval among us). That’s simply standard liberal talking-points and lies, and have been so since Reagan. Nothing new at all. My two best friends at my 80% black high school in Detroit were black homosexuals. And that was in the mid-70s. You have nothing to teach me about tolerance and acceptance of others who differ in some way. I’ve lived it my whole life. And I’ve been a conservative since 1982 (was a flaming far left liberal before that).

    So you sit there steeped in hatred and contempt, based on slanderous lies, and you deign to lecture all Christians about how hateful and extreme we are?

    I’m a Catholic: a word you never mentioned in your screed. We’re one of the groups that wackos like this have discriminated against (ever hear of Nativism?). The KKK was just as opposed to me as it was to you as a Jew, or to black people. I used to be an evangelical from 1977-1990, but I was never a fundamentalist. The two groups are very different.

    You can go back hundreds of years if you like, when Christians of all sorts committed atrocities, just like every other large group has all through history. I think you’d do a lot better in recognizing, for example, that Catholics did more than any other group to save Jews during World War II (FAR more than the US government, who wouldn’t even accept many Jewish refugees). Pope Pius XII (who is also massively lied about) saved an estimated 800,000 Jews, and was thanked after the war by people like Golda Meir and Albert Einstein.

    Why not look at the positive from more recent history, rather than the negative anti-Semitism of more distant history? Celebrate the heroes, not the scoundrels.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Yep; I agree. Lots of nuts among the pentecostals, too. Believe me, I know, because I was in charismatic circles for ten years (the 80s). I wrote about their errors and excesses, then, as an apologist, and was condemned from one pulpit for speaking out against BS.

  • Dave Armstrong

    I ban when people are jerks and refuse to engage in civil discussion. Period. I’ve banned at least as many Christians as atheists. You can keep lying about it if you like. It doesn’t change the facts. You just find it hard to believe that so many atheists act like jerks to Christians.

    I’m banned right now on Bob’s blog. Why don’t you go piss and moan at him, too, for opposing free speech? I was engaged in good dialogues with atheists on his blog (other than him) at the very time I was banned.

    As I said, I have more dialogues with atheists, and post more of their words on my blog (running down my God and religion and the Bible) than anyone I’ve ever seen. If that ain’t free speech, I don’t know what is.

    But rant and fantasize on . . . I can’t stop you.

    Bob is the one who is the intellectual coward. He challenged ME (after begging me to dialogue with him, before that, in several emails). I’ve now responded with 23 papers (and many more to come), but he has fallen off the face of the earth.

  • Nuts or worse -mixing NWO/Illuminati nonsense with the Bible, wishes to be raptured while everyone else will be screwed, prosperity gospel (why those who ask for monies do not do the same as they’ll get it mutiplied is anyone’s guess), the Two Babylons BS, the Well to hell hoax as real, and much more-. But it seems I’m not telling you nothing new then.

  • Well, Trump does have over 80% approval among white evangelicals, and the things that correlate most strongly with a Trump vote are misogyny and racism, so yeah. That’s exactly what I’m saying. If you voted for Trump, the best I can say about you is that you decided his obvious racism and sexism weren’t disqualifying for being president, and that’s … not a compliment, to say the least. Christianity does not make people better or worse, but it can serve as an excuse to behave how they want to no matter if that’s a good or bad thing.

    I know the history of Pius XII quite well thank you. Catholics as individuals did save many Jews, but the Catholic hierarchy did fuck-all and was more interested in cozying up to Hitler than working against him. I can’t necessarily blame them- Pius XII was trying to save Catholics- but don’t whitewash your church’s history. It’s damned ugly. Christian anti-Semitism is directly implicated in the Holocaust; I don’t have to go back hundreds of years to point to it. I can also point to the pogroms in Poland and Russia that chased my family to the US around the turn of the 20th century; my great-grandmother (who I knew) was a first generation immigrant/refugee from them.

    In the US, Catholics and Orthodox Christians are a distinct minority of Christians. White evangelicals are around 25% of the population, Catholics around 21%, other white Protestants around 15%, and Orthodox around 0.5%. White protestants are over half of American Christians. That’s not a minority; in fact, that is the definition of a majority (more than 50%). And evangelicals are extremely pro-Trump, and they also tend to score very high on indices of racism, sexism, and homophobia. In fact, I will repeat, the things that most strongly predict whether or not you voted for Trump are not social class or income. They are how racist and sexist you are. It is neither hateful, contemptuous, scandalous, nor false to tell you what the facts are. That you don’t like them is officially your problem, not mine.

    YOU are the one claiming that bad people cannot be True Christians (TM). I am saying that I will not let that No True Scotsman logical fallacy pass, because it is just that. Christians are not automatically good people, and bad people are not automatically non-Christian. That’s not how it works.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Yeah, familiar with all of it, and with anti-Catholicism, now as a Catholic. I denounced the prosperity gospel in 1982 when I was a charismatic myself (just not a nutty one). It’s one of my oldest papers (of 2000+) posted on my blog:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2016/05/is-it-always-gods-will-to-heal.html

  • Dave Armstrong

    I’m talking about world statistics, not US ones.

    “YOU are the one claiming that bad people cannot be True Christians (TM).”

    I expressly denied that:

    “It is true that they are doctrinally Christian: though a piss-poor, extreme Calvinist fundamentalist, worst-imaginable version of a Christian.”

    But I went on to note that Christianity is not just about doctrinal beliefs, It’s also about a moral code. Hatred and bigotry is not consistent with that code.

    I also defend the notion that atheists can be good people, and even be saved. I linked to my papers along those lines in this very thread:

    Are Atheists “Evil”? Multiple Causes of Atheist Disbelief and the Possibility of Salvation

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/can-atheists-be-saved-are-they-all-evil.html

    New Testament on God-Rejecters vs. Open-Minded Agnostics

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/nt-on-god-rejecters-vs-open-minded-agnostics.html

    I decided months ago that there is no rational discussion about Trump with Never Trumpers, so have at it; I won’t be participating.

  • Christianity is about having a moral code that denies hatred and bigotry? No it isn’t. It explicitly is not about that. Your version is, and good on you. It’s not an inherent part of Christianity to have that kind of moral code, and indeed Jesus says a lot of things that would seem to contradict that (condones slavery, racist against Samaritans, etc.) as well as support it. They’re not doing Christianity wrong if they’re doing it hatefully. They’re doing “being a decent person” wrong, but that’s not related to Christianity either.

    I realize you’re trying to be nice when you say that atheists can be good people, so I’m taking it in the spirit in which it was intended. That being said, it is still an incredibly insulting thing to say. Of course atheists can be good people. They are people. All people are capable of being good (or bad). It should be so bloody obvious as to go without saying, so the fact that you feel the need to say it or write essays about it is just mind-boggling to me. I will note that Catholics are not noted for being universalists, so atheists being saved seems go against your own doctrine? But hey, if you don’t think I’m going get tortured for eternity for not believing in your deity, I guess that’s a win?

    I’m fine not talking politics- I used modern American evangelicals as an example that being Christian doesn’t mean you’re a good person, and as an example it stands. I could just as easily point to a large number of other modern Christian wrongs if it makes you feel better- witch burnings in Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria, the death penalty for being LGBTQ+ in Uganda (promoted by an American mainstream televangelist), support for emotional and psychic torture by way of “conversion therapy”, the horror houses of Mother Teresa, the cover-ups of sexual abuse (not only Catholic, I might add), and so on.

  • Almost a chimp

    Yes, I got your point, but you appear to have missed mine, that a believer could write those words right next to each other without the obvious contradiction – of an agonising death for a child on one hand, and a benevolent, loving God on the other – causing him serious dissonance. How anybody could give those sentences more than a few minutes thought and still come down on the side of God is beyond me.

    The idea of Hell is simply abhorrent; unspeakably agonising torture for eternity is not a punishment, it’s the warped fantasy of a seriously sadistic mind. Yet you can reconcile a God that invents Hell with that benevolent, loving one from earlier. And lets be honest, the bar for entry is set very low, it doesn’t take much by way of sin to get in.
    It is no more than a threat to keep the flock from straying; ever since we invented Gods us humans have weaponised them to keep the masses in check.

  • Michael Neville

    A small child doesn’t steal cookies from the cookie jar because he’s afraid Mommy will spank his bottom. Not committing evil because God will spank your bottom for forever is a childish motivation. An adult doesn’t commit evil because they don’t want others to suffer. So using Hell as a threat is one way that religion keeps the faithful childish.

  • Michael Neville

    Dave Armstrong’s god allowed 12 million people to die horrible deaths in the Holocaust. But then if one reads the Old Testament it’s obvious that this god likes people to die. He kills people just because he can, he orders genocide, and the terms “innocent bystander” and “collateral damage” are meaningless to Ol’ Yahweh.

  • Otto

    >>>”Your version is, and good on you.”

    No his version is not…he just sweeps that stuff under his rug and pretends that his bigotry is not actually bigotry, and his misogyny is not actually misogyny.

  • I’m being as generous as I possibly can and taking him at his word. He’s still not coming out looking well, even with the most generous possible interpretation of his words … but I think it’s worth it, as both a personal approach and rhetorical stratagem, to give people every possible benefit of the doubt. That way it’s harder for people to dismiss what I say as animated by animus because it really isn’t animated by anything like that.

  • Michael Neville

    You banned both Seidensticker and me, along with other atheists, because we disagreed with you. That’s what you mean when you talk about being “jerks and refuse to engage in civil discussion”.

  • Otto

    I get your point and normally I would agree, but Dave is about as dishonest as one can get, I know from personal experience. I tried that tact as well with him and it failed spectacularly, as have many others. If you want to read how dishonest he can be go back and find his ‘discussions’ with Grimlock on his blog over this summer, Grim was about as nice as one can be and did everything to try and facilitate a good dialog, Dave ended up banning him for his efforts. He likes to reel people like us in under the premise of honest discourse but then turns around and stabs them so he can claim victory, he is not interested in discussion, he is interested in telling people how right he and the RCC is, and how shitty and morally degenerate anyone who disagrees with them are, just a heads up.

  • Thanks for the heads up. I’ll probably keep this conversation going, just because this is a much more neutral forum (he can’t ban me here!), but I will be wary of going over to his sandbox.

  • Otto

    You banned Grimlock for none of that, he was nothing but civil with you and you were a complete asshat to him.

    >>>”Meanwhile, Bob still has me banned.”

    You banned Bob first, and then you went to his blog and acted horribly in an effort to get yourself banned. It was only after all that that you started your posts, of course he ignored you.

  • Otto

    So you come on here with the premise of support only to try and get sympathy for stuff that doesn’t even come close to what GM is describing…wow you are a dishonest work of art.

  • Almost a chimp

    But it’s only because he loves us!
    When one’s god is as cruel and vengeful as the O.T. monster, religion is less faith and more abusive relationship.
    “I only hurt you because I love you so much. You made me do it. You’ve no idea how much it hurts me when you disobey”.

  • Withheld

    Ugh, the grammar… Also the first guy calling himself Macho Man (tysontoocool)

  • Illithid

    You banned me for being “off-topic”, when you derided Trump critics for calling him racist in your post (not the main point, granted, but it was in there) and I disagreed, citing his ad against the Central Park Five. I was neither insulting nor uncivil.

  • Dave Armstrong

    I’ve written about the NT and slavery in one of my 23 critiques of Seidensticker that he has completely ignored:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2018/08/seidensticker-folly-11-slavery-the-new-testament.html

    I’m a nice person in general. 🙂 I only say atheists can be good people, in response to stupid, ignorant Christians who deny it. You have to understand it in context. We agree that there are good people in all large social groups, and it’s perfectly obvious. I was addressing those who deny it. So there is no intended insult there at all.

    It’s not universalism to say that an atheist may be saved. It’s Romans 2 (see my paper). The Bible says that people are judged by the works they do, if they have never heard the Christian gospel (or, by extension, if they never properly understood it, for a variety of reasons). I’m just giving rather obvious biblical teaching.

    No one knows who goes to hell or heaven: not with absolute certainty. They may say they do, but since they can’t know the future, they don’t. Even John Calvin said we don’t know who is of the elect. But lots of his followers disagree, and it’s stupid.

    My second paper drew the distinction between mere ignorance, and willful rebellion. The Christian position is that if one truly knows that God exists and that Christianity is the way to salvation, and rejects it and Jesus, that they will go to hell. That’s what I believe. I was fighting against the notion that all atheists automatically go to hell, simply by virtue of being atheists. Most atheists I have debated (and it is many dozens) have only a very dim understanding of what Christianity is: so they are not rejecting it as it actually is. I’m not talking about lousy Christians, but about the actual doctrines, and God.

    One of my sub-specialties is analyzing atheist deconversion stories. I have yet to find one that exhibited a proper understanding of what was rejected. Rejection of a straw man is not an impressive reason to make a major change in worldview. When I went from pagan to evangelical and from that to Catholic, I understood what it was I was rejecting or modifying, and what I was accepting.

    I also fight Calvinists when they say that those who end up in hell were predestined from all eternity to do so. I consider that outrageous and blasphemous. It turns God into a demon.

    You can find all kinds of Christians committing very serious sin. You won’t get any argument from me on that. It’s always been that way. It was during Bible times and it is now, as always.

    But the good news is that Christianity has also transformed many millions of people into better people than they were formerly. So does Judaism and most other religions, which (in our view) have varying degrees of truth in them, but usually a great deal of good.

    Christianity holds that people are radical mixtures of good and evil. Solzhenitsyn said that the line between good and evil runs through every human heart. We all have original sin and concupiscence (propensity to sin), but we also have the potential of betterment and transformation and salvation through God’s grace.

    I actually like you in a weird sort of way. I like and admire people with zeal, even though I may totally disagree with their positions. Better that than apathy. It’s very difficult to persuade an apathetic-type / who gives a damn about anything? person, but a person of passion can sometimes be persuaded.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Thank you. I perceived that.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Lots of atheists who have been banned on my site have an ax to grind, and they are lying about me. I ban because people did not behave. B_E_H_A_V_E. I believe that in order for good discussion to occur, people have to be civil and at least listen to each other.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Actually, Christian views of hell, the afterlife, and angelology were largely developed directly from Jewish beliefs in the intertestamental period, when they underwent rapid development (and when Jewish apocalyptic literature was thriving). I have written about it (as one who is fascinated by All Things Jewish):

    Jewish and OT Views of Hell and Eternal Punishment

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2017/04/jewish-ot-views-of-hell-eternal-punishment.html

  • Dave Armstrong

    I’d have to go back and look at it. I’m sure I had a good and consistent reason at the time.

  • Otto

    You made a claim and I refuted it with citations…you didn’t like my point because it showed how horribly the Catholic Church treated people putting their theology ahead people’s welfare. It had nothing to do with behaving, it had everything to do with you not liking the subject matter. The only person lying is you.

  • Dave Armstrong

    I see what you are saying; fair enough. It goes to the problem of evil, which I have written about many times; for example:

    Problem of Evil: Treatise on the Most Serious Objection (Is God Malevolent, Weak, or Non-Existent Because of the Existence of Evil and Suffering?)

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/treatise-on-the-problem-of-evil.html

    Why Did a Perfect God Create an Imperfect World?

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/08/why-did-a-perfect-god-create-an-imperfect-world.html

    Replies to the Problem of Evil as Set Forth by Atheists

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2017/11/replies-problem-evil-set-forth-atheists.html

    Dialogue w Atheist John Loftus on the Problem of Evil

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2018/02/dialogue-w-atheist-john-loftus-problem-evil.html

    And I have grappled with objections to hell too:

    Replies to Some Skeptical Objections to the Christian Doctrine of Hell (“Religion Is Lies” website)

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2006/05/replies-to-some-skeptical-objections.html

    Hell: Dialogue with a Philosophy Graduate Student

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2018/05/hell-dialogue-with-a-philosophy-graduate-student.html

    Dialogue: Hell & God’s Justice, Part II

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2016/02/dialogue-hell-gods-justice-part-ii.html

    Can Hell Actually be Defended? My Shot …

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/10/hell-can-actually-be-defended-my-shot.html

    A Defense of Hell: Philosophical Explanations of its Plausibility, Necessity, and Factuality

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/12/a-defense-of-hell.html

    Exchanges with an Atheist on Hell & Skepticism

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/12/exchanges-w-atheist-on-hell-skepticism.html

  • Illithid

    I’m not at all surprised that you’re sure of that. It was over a year ago, which is a longer slog through my Disqus history than I care to undertake. If I’ve found the correct post, you seem to have deleted my comment. Still, with several first-person living witnesses, we have better evidence for your habit of intemperate banning than we have for the resurrection of Jesus.

  • Dave Armstrong

    Time for me to leave now, as the sniping and feeding frenzy from others is commencing, and that never goes anywhere. I did enjoy talking to you. Take care!

  • Meh, I simply don’t believe any deities exist. I’ve seen no evidence that they do, and the mountain of evidence for natural processes gets higher every day. Do I have to understand every single nuance of a doctrine predicated on a thesis that I soundly reject? I think not. I don’t need to get into the weeds of Catholic theology in order to reject deities in general as nonexistent.

  • Almost a chimp

    Defending the indefensible; theology in a nutshell.

  • Modern Jews generally reject the apocalyptic cults of 2,000 years ago, though. Clearly Christianity is a child religion of Judaism, but just as clearly Judaism rejected a lot of what Christianity kept.

  • XakirTatsu

    This is why I haven’t started my podcast :<

    I'm glad you still kept writing.

  • Yamezz Cuross

    These assertions are not borne out by the evidence. In general, the most religious countries in the world have the most crime and violence, the least religious the most peaceful. The most religious states in the US vs the least show the same trend.

  • MystiqueLady

    “Macho Man” Probably trying to overcompensate. 😉

  • Withheld

    I can only think of The Village People when I hear that.

  • Grimlock

    Looks like I’m a bit late to the party here. Oh well. We’ll see how this goes.

    This is actually a fairly solid argument for hell […]

    Not really. It’s at best an argument for that the perception that Hell exists is a good thing. To see why, picture two scenarios.
    1) The set of people A believe that Hell exists. Also, Hell exists.
    2) The set of people A believe that Hell exists. Also, Hell doesn’t exist.

    The impact on the behavior of the people in set A is identical. The difference is of course that in (2) there is an absence of an absurd amount of excessive suffering.

    […] Likewise, by perfect analogy, hell prevents lots of bad people from fully acting out their sinful desires. That makes it ultimately a good and just thing. Without it, and the fear of it, things would be MUCH worse.

    It’s not precisely a perfect analogy. Here are a few differences:
    (I) While there is of course some ambiguity, laws are in general well specified, predictable, well known, and accessible to the public. Not so for Hell, where even the existence of it is not firmly established or well known. Not to mention that there is some slight disagreememt over what will make it so that you end up there.
    (II) Civil laws are not so much about moral behavior as they are about rules to facilitate pro-social behavior. Hell is about punishment for immoral actions.
    (III) In some (*cough* more enlightened *cough*) societies, laws and their corresponding penalties are not only about punishment and deterrence, but about rehabilitation of criminals. Last I heard, you could only get one-way tickets to Hell, meaning that rehabilitation doesn’t figure into it.

    You say that Hell makes it so that lots of people restrain their actions, and has a significant contribution to pro-social. While you merely assert this, I’ll actually grant that the idea of Hell has some effect on immediate behavior. (What I don’t grant is that the longterm effects of belief in Hell are pro-social.) My reason for granting this is in part this fascinating study: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0039048

    What I find interesting here is that belief in Heaven has the opposite effect on pro-social behavior. My point? If you want to say that Hell is a good thing because the belief of its existence facilitates pro-social behavior, you should also say that Heaven is a bad thing because it has a negative influence on pro-social behavior.

    Of course, both of these positions are wrong. Even if one were to grant the existence of Heaven and Hell (I don’t), both things have other impacts than their impact on pro-social behavior.

    Take Hell. It has a negative impact in the form of creating a fear of Hell in some individuals, resulting in psychological suffering. Clearly a negative impact. Then there’s also the aforementioned utterly ludicrous amount of suffering involved.

    So let me quickly summarize. The actual existence of Hell is redundant to the alleged positive influence of the belief in Hell. Even if one grants that Hell exists and has a positive impact in the area of pro-social behavior, there are still other impacts that are negative, so the assertion that it’s ultimately a good and just thing is unjustified.

    I’ll end on a related note. Let’s assume God exists, and wants us to be moral, and that God can choose between the following two models:
    A) Hell exists, the consequences of ending up there is aimed at rehabilitation (or, if impossible, containment), and knowledge of God’s existence is obvious and apparent to everyone. The consequences of actions are well known, so that everyone can make properly informed decisions about their eternal fate.
    B) Hell exists, the aim of the consequences suffered in Hell is punishment, and knowledge of God’s existence is not obvious and apparent to everyone. People can’t make properly informed decisions about their eternal fate.

    Given what Antrotheist mentioned below, the perception that you’ll be caught has a greater effect on pro-social behavior than harsh punishments. Seems to me that God allegedly chose B, but that A is the far better choice in pretty much every way.

    How peculiar. It’s almost as if the notion of Hell is the result of fallible humans.

  • dorcheat

    Dave A. said 492 billion and some change explanations. Surely your hyperbole is showing.