Happy New Year, everyone! Today, I thought it’d be fun to show you the Top Ten most popular posts of Roll to Disbelieve from the past year, 2018. We’ll count from #10 to #1 according to page views. Enjoy!
(Many thanks to Dale for sending me the list, too. I wish all bloggers had an editor like him.)
#10: The Unequally Yoked Club Reboots.
It seems fitting that the list begin with the gritty reboot of the Unequally Yoked Club.
This past May, I described how my marriage to a TRUE CHRISTIAN™ completely combusted after my deconversion. My then-husband Biff took that deconversion quite poorly. At first, he cajoled me. When that failed, he tried to strike completely-one-sided “bargains” with me. And when that failed, he began threatening me.
Now, a lot of Christians have told me that Biff was not a TRUE CHRISTIAN™. Therefore, they sniff, his behavior shouldn’t reflect on their religion as a whole. We’re talking soon about Christians’ constant efforts to police the use of their label, and perhaps I will manage to address some of those concerns then.
For now, I’ll just say this: Biff handled this situation in exactly the way that his and other evangelical leaders have always taught and advised.
#9: A Christian Learns What “Taking Responsibility” Really Means.
Here, I described a purely jaw-dropping criminal case involving a Christian thief. That in itself isn’t at all unusual. Neither is the thief’s choice of victims: the hand that fed her, her own little Baptist church in Troutville, Virginia.
When Ms. Everett went before a judge, she made the dire mistake of telling him she took “full responsibility” for her crimes. And that judge smacked her into the middle of next week by offering to send her to prison for the maximum sentence allowable.
Turns out she didn’t want to really take “full responsibility.” She just wanted to take the Christian equivalent of “full responsibility.” In other words, she wanted to simper a bit and cry some crocodile tears, then get full absolution and move on like nothing had happened.
To me, this case demonstrated exactly what’s wrong with Christians’ notion of forgiveness. That point was driven home in dramatic fashion when her own victimized church raised money to pay the fine for the thief who’d robbed them blind.
#8: A Christian’s Showdown Fails Spectacularly.
This made me laugh so hard. A super-edgy Calvinist zealot apparently figured out how to set up a poll in Twitter. He used it to ask his almost-entirely-Christian audience which “side” they were on in the still-ongoing fight over what to do about Paige Patterson’s various serious offenses.
Were Christians on Paige Patterson’s side?
Or were they on Satan’s side?
This false dilemma backfired when even the guy’s evangelical followers decided that, given a choice between a domestic-violence-advocating asshat and a boogeyman, maybe they sided with a boogeyman this time. The final count ended up somewhere around 97% on Satan’s side and the ego-stung snowflake even got an earful from the evangelicals on his feed.
This post also featured an explanation of what Calvinism is and why it’s the most evil flavor of Christianity ever created (out of quite a lot of competition).
#7: Wherein I Gently Suggest That Christians Not Weep Over Non-Belief.
In this post, I just got tired of seeing Christians weep crocodile tears over how saaaaaaaaaaaad they claim to feel over learning that someone, somewhere does not believe in the same imaginary friend they do.
I feel that their show of sorrow is little more than pure posturing and virtue-signaling. This sentiment functions as a power-grab. It helps these Christians to equalize things in their own minds when they encounter people who seem perfectly content without their religion.
This one attracted quite a lot of attention from Christian circles on social media. I noticed quite a few Christians insisting, with quite a lot of indignation, that they’re the special snowflakes who act like this but totally don’t do it to virtue-signal and equalize power.
#6: Al Mohler Pretends He Just Had NO IDEA.
Oh, this was fun. Remember that Paige Patterson blowup last summer? While it was in full swing, Al Mohler–one of the biggest names in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)–wrote an impassioned blog post proclaiming his total oblivious ignorance to anything bad going on in the group.
Now, Al Mohler stands proudly as one of the biggest supporters of the misogynistic doctrinal plank of complementarianism. Complementarianism is basic male supremacy, but dressed up in Christianese and sold to women as the will of a real live god of love and justice.
Unsurprisingly, nothing but abuse and scandals have erupted from this doctrine ever since its creation. But that doesn’t stop the SBC’s leaders–all men, of course–from supporting the doctrine that has brought them so much pleasure, personal power, and joy over the years.
So Al Mohler insisted that he totally had no idea that anything bad was happening in his denomination.
In response, I blasted his self-serving blathering to pieces.
#5: The Harm of Conspiracy Theories.
Here, I go over why conspiracy theories ensnare so many people–in and out of Christianity. And I offer suggestions about evaluating claims that we fear might be fake news. The post was prompted by a study that came out that discovered that people who buy into Creationism often buy into a bunch of other wackadoodle beliefs in the form of conspiracy theories.I also had fun riffing on the old classic apologetics argument-in-lieu-of-evidence, the Teleological Argument, since we were discussing Creationism anyway.
This one went over 1000 comments–wow!
#4: We Review a Reality Show About Christian Dating.
That “2017” up there isn’t a typo. This entry represents our only 2017 post! It found new legs at some point to catapult into a high position on the 2018 rankings chart. Maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised–it was our #1 post last year too!
It Takes a Church was just a really dumb, totally-staged reality show featuring Christians being their misogynistic worst while pretending that misogyny is totally the BONUS plan for women. Even the woman at the center of the episode we watched got frustrated with how little she was “allowed” to interact with the men her church had picked for her to meet.
I don’t think she ever really connected that frustration with evangelicalism’s general misogyny.
#3: An MLM Might Be Biting the Dust.
Anyone who reads this blog for any amount of time probably figures out pretty quickly that I’m no fan at all of multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs). Like a lot of MLMs, this one’s super-Jesus-y, too, and that irks me very much as well. They’re pushing themselves as these pious ultra-Christians who just want to “bless people’s lives,” in their founders’ words, but nothing could be further from the truth.
All MLMs have a finite lifespan. Some of them live for only months; others last for decades. But eventually they hit an end of victims willing to sign up for the scheme. Without as many victims signing up as are leaving, the scheme can’t survive. And that’s finally starting to happen to LuLaRoe! Hooray! (Also: an update! Things continue to deteriorate in LuLa-Land!)
#2: Reasons, I’ve Got Reasons.
This post functioned as a follow-up post to one I’d written a few days earlier about my deconversion.
After that post went live, I noticed that many Christians saw that deconversion post and immediately began doing what way too many Christians do when confronted with a strongly-worded deconversion ex-timony. Yes, you guessed it. They began speculating about and plain ol’ making up reasons for that deconversion.
Now, Christians act that way because it takes the focus off the real reason that almost everybody deconverts: we discover that nothing the religion claims is actually true. But that’s a really scary and challenging idea for many Christians. So to stop themselves from engaging with that scary and challenging idea, they try to invalidate deconverted people. If they can show that someone’s deconversion happened for less than virtuous reasons, then they’ll feel a lot more secure in their own faith.
This post, then, dealt with those sorts of responses.
The “then and now” wording came about because as time wore on, my reasons for rejecting the religion shifted somewhat to include the new things I was learning about it. (See: “Aww, What’s the Harm?” above.)
#1: The Pope Blames Satan For His Criminal Gang’s Bad PR.
The #1 most popular post on the entire blog for last year is…. (drumroll please!)
As the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report began resonating through the whole world, and as more and more and more evildoers in Catholicism began getting exposed and brought to justice, Pope Francis swung into action.
Yes, indeed: he issued an address about how “Satan” was totally persecuting Catholicism. And he pleaded with his dupes and rubes to continue thinking at the ceiling on Catholicism’s behalf–and donating money to their churches, so Catholic leaders could continue to obfuscate their deeds and defend themselves in court for their sickening crimes against children.
While I was at it, I talked about why Christians like him need an almost-all-powerful boogeyman to blame things on, and what purpose that blame serves in corrupt, decayed systems like Catholicism.
Here’s To Another Great Year!
There we have it!
Friends, thank you so much for your support and encouragement this year. I can’t say enough how appreciated it is. You are why I do what I do.
BTW: Man, did I ever get a surprise when I logged into my PayPal last week, too! O.O <3 <3 <3 <3 THANK YOU FOR THAT BEAUTIFUL SURPRISE. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You made this a holiday to remember and it is very much appreciated.
Here’s to a great 2018, and an even better 2019!
NEXT UP: We probably have to delay the NDE post, but that’s okay – we’ve got a LOT on the dance card as it is. Next time, two Christians at opposites ends of the weirdness horseshoe speculate wildly about why kids today don’t seem terribly interested in their respective flavors of Christianity. Their conclusions made me laugh and maybe they’ll do that for you too. We begin our New Year with a bang – see you soon.
Please Support What I Do!
If you like what you see, I would love to have your support. My PayPal is firstname.lastname@example.org (that’s an underscore in there) for one-time tips. I also welcome monthly patrons via Patreon with Roll to Disbelieve. You can also support the blog through my Amazon Affiliate link! Thanks!
Consider this post an Off-Topic Wonderland 🙂 Didja do anything special lately?