Friday, October 30, 2009

Who Is That Jesus Fellow, Anyway?

christian, evangelism, jesus, jack chick, god, bible
In every Chick Tract, there is a moment where the convertee says, with wide-eyed amazement, "Jesus- who's that?!" That used to make me laugh, because what person in the Western world has not heard of Jesus, but now I realize that might be an accurate representation of how fundys are viewing us.

Sam, at The Just Shall Live By Faith, asked what I suspect is a disingenuous question:

Mr & Mrs Atheist*, I am curious as to your reason(s) for why you do not believe there is a God?

I was pretty bored, so I decided to relieve his ignorance.

I was raised Catholic. I had trouble with believing by the age of 6. There's just no proof. Remove the Bible, of which outside historical evidence is slim to none, and what do you have? The same uncorroborated evidence any religion has.

If you really are interested in what atheists think, there are any number of atheists blogs/sites you can visit for more information.

That's the short version, of course, but I wasn't bored enough to write him a book.

ExPatMatt and AnnaSethe jumped into the breach as well:

ExPatMatt said...

because, if there was a God, He wouldn't let Himself be represented by dishonest men like you?

Seriously, one of the final nails in my disbelief coffin is that the 'True Believers' (such as yourself) seem incapable of hold an honest and intelligent discussion about anything relating to either religion or science. If you really had God on your side, y'all wouldn't need to lie and deceive so much.

Also, there is no evidence of any gods.

Anna Sethe said...

Are there no female atheists in your world or are you generally not interested in the opinion of women?

That prompted this:

NayLahKnee LahKnee said...
wow - so much harshness and negativity. A fool says in his heart there is no God. Not my words.........just saying.

That is the gospel equivalent of "I know you are, but what am I", and just as irritating.

Sam said...
no evidence

Matthew, is not the very fact that you are fighting against a God you don't believe exists evidence enough? You see, I don't believe in the tooth fairy, and therefore I would not waste an ounce of my energy, or hours of my time in blog after blog fighting against people who do! I have no desire, no urge, no compulsion to waste my time in such a meaningless pursuit! Why is it, do you think, that Atheists would spend tens of thousands of dollars to run advertising campaigns against a God they don’t believe exists? I would not part with a single cent to fight against the existence of Santa Claus! I would submit to you the reason that Atheists go to all this time, effort and expense is because they really hate the God of the bible! Hate Him enough to attempt to wipe out the memory of Him – not only in their minds, but the minds of everyone else! But they can’t see that their fighting against Him is evidence in itself!

Sam, when was the last time someone tried to legislate based on their interpretation of what the tooth fairy said to them? How many wars has belief in the tooth fairy started? Are disbelievers in the tooth fairy regularly demonized as immoral and dangerous? I didn't think so.

Then we get the Chickian money shot:

Sam said...

PersonalFailure said...I was raised Catholic. I had trouble with believing by the age of 6.
I would submit to you that this is probably because you never heard the true gospel being preached to you at Mass. How can you believe in something you have never heard the truth about? The Catholic church are leading millions up the garden path! Much of their dogma is non biblical! They preach traditions of men, not the Word of God. I would encourage you, please take a bible and read it, and see for yourself!

Sam, I have read the bible. In fact, I own 17 different translations of the bible. I've read every one. I have large portions of the bible memorized, in fact. I've been prosyletized to by every major denomination of Christianity, and quite a few minor denominations. The problem is not that I don't know who this Jesus fellow is. I've seen, and I'm not impressed.

*Originally, that read "Mr. Atheist". I'm not sure why he initially assumed all atheists are male, nor why he now assumes all female atheists are married. Bizarre.


  1. I just left him this (currently in moderation):

    I was raised in a Bible Church (read: Evangelical/Fundamentalist) and briefly attended a different Bible Church, a couple different Baptist churches, and a Presbyterian church. I worked with a youth group for four and a half years. I went on several missions trips. In college I spent a year as the Outreach Coordinator for my college's InterVarsity Chapter. Back in 2006 I was accepted in to the M.Div program at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. I never attended because between filling out the application and having to decide to actually show up for classes I realized that to continue on that path would be to continue to lie to myself.

    For I am an atheist. And it shocks everyone who hears it, both those who I knew from back in the day and those who meet me now and learn what my life's path was just three short years ago. And believe me, I've heard all the sputtering accusations. I wasn't a "real Christian." I wasn't hanging out with "the right kind of Christians." I wasn't going to "the right kind of church." I'm "mad at god." I'm "rebelling." I "just want to go have fun."

    The best part of it is that most of those lines come from people I used to go to church with. They come from people who used to call me "brother" and respect me as a "real man of god." But now to former friends I'm some sort of leperous freak.

    It doesn't bother me, though. Because what I realized is that my Evangelical upbringing was filled with lies and fairy tales. God never intervened, people just prayed, then when things worked out they said, "Oh, hey, look at what god did." It was all about filling in the blanks after the fact. When I realized that it caused me to actually start asking the scary questions and not accept the pat answers any more ("Oh, you just need to read your Bible some more," or, "Well you just need a mentor," or, "God works in mysterious ways"). I suppose it helps that I'm a historian and a pretty good one, if I do say so myself.

    I learned how the Bible was put together. I learned how it was edited and redacted over the years. I noticed all those places where the Bible made historical references that weren't backed up anywhere else (for the record, you claim external revelation from Tacitus, Pliny, Lucian and several others. Got any citations for that?) or were completely wrong. My favorite: the book of Daniel claims that Darius took over Babylon, then was replaced by Cyrus when it was Cyrus the Great who conquered Babylon and there was another king between him and Darius. My second favorite: the entire birth account of Jesus with the census and everything else is totally uncorroborated by the rest of the historical record. There simply was no census in any of the years which are given as Jesus's birth and there's no way the Romans would have set up a census that required people to travel back to the town of their birth. That would have been a huge mess. It was a story told later in an attempt to legitimize Jesus as a fulfillment of prophecy.

    So, long story short, I stopped believing in the Christian story and the Christian god. I have no evidence that there's any sort of interventionist deity even after 25 years of constantly being encouraged to look for the signs. Therefore, I no longer believe in a god who cares about what happens on this little planet. As such, my default setting these days is atheism.

  2. I can't wait to see the response to that. I was hoping to ask you about that Pliny stuff, though. I see that referenced a lot, but I can't find anything other than vague, evangelistic references.

  3. "Sam, at The Just Shall Live By Faith, asked what I suspect is a disingenuous question:".

    You suspect correctly. The guy doesn't care what you have to say - he knows what you are, who you are and where you're going when you die. He knows that he's right, you're wrong and evolution is a lie.

    Of course, to come to these conclusions he doesn't have to ask you anything about what you think or believe, he can just assert it and it's true.

    He's another theist who is unable to recognize a straw man (I think they might be invisible to believers you know!) and so he'll continue to beat on it until you get bored/frustrated and leave - at which point he'll declare that you left because you couldn't stand to be convicted by the Holy Ghost, or you hate God, or whatever.

    Totally dishonest; and proud of it.


    You never knew Him.... <---my prediction.

  4. Matt: You never knew Him.... <---my prediction.


    I'm working on a bit of a deeply informal, unscientific straw poll. I have a theory that no one from the fundagelical world has a good answer for my story. That's why I come right out, state my bona fides, then say that I realized the evidence didn't back up the claims.

    I went to "the right kind of church," I was heavily involved, I was admired as a true Christian. For that matter, I was one of those. And I left because I no longer believed any of it. That's pretty much the nightmare scenario for the evangelicals.

    It's why I always like pointing out that I mostly get the, "Well you didn't know the right kinds of Christians," and I laugh when it comes from people who used to call me their friend. The single time I honestly respected that statement was when someone said, "I can't help but feel I did something to drive you away." He was still casting about for the pat answers, but at least he wasn't saying, "Well, it was someone else's fault." And since that guy was one of the smartest Christians I knew and he had not come up with a better apologetic, I knew there was nothing else anyone could say.

    Hell, I could run circles around the best apologists these days. You wouldn't believe what I thought of to continue justifying my attempts to remain a Christian...

  5. Geds that sounds similar to my deconversion.

  6. Hell, I could run circles around the best apologists these days. You wouldn't believe what I thought of to continue justifying my attempts to remain a Christian...

    I could believe it. I never tried to hold on to my Christianity, but you wouldn't believe how hard I tried to hold on to my theism. Giving up that last little, warmy fuzzy feeling of "the universe cares!" was painful.

  7. "*Originally, that read "Mr. Atheist". I'm not sure why he initially assumed all atheists are male, nor why he now assumes all female atheists are married. Bizarre. "

    HAhAHAHAHAHAHAHA Why he assumes all female atheists are married. Not sure why, but I found that statement hilarious!!!

  8. So here's my question of the day: what's up with the Land Down Under?

    It seems that there are a lot of religious nutballs down there these days...

  9. I'm from Australia. I'm so ashamed.

    We don't have a lot, but it seems we do have them. They aren't prolific like in America. I think everyone couldn't be bothered listening to them, which usually works out well.

    I posted a reply to his 'Evolution Is Monkey Business' thread, before I saw his 'Frog In The Blender' ultimate evolution smackdown. If I had seen that first, I wouldn't have bothered commenting. I haven't seen flat out lying (intellectual dishonesty) of this kind for a while.

    I haven't felt like kneecapping a fellow Aussie for a while now, but this guy has qualified.

  10. Interesting posts.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. (how did you find me?) :) I appreciate having you there. Feel free to come back anytime.

    I know you read...and I invite others to read my commentary on Psalm 14:1...and it's relative abuse. ;)

    I have a few other posts that you might be interested in - studies that have been brought on to me by honest sincere questions from Atheists and others who doubt Jesus to be who He says He is. Search the "misunderstood scripture" tags as well, the tags for "Hell". I think you might enjoy these perspectives.


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