Accepting an invitation from a christian to have a dialog…

A friend on FB recently posted the following video:

And while I certainly like and enjoy the video, that is not the purpose of this post.

What spurned this post one was that another of her FB friends left a comment that struck me as condescending, ignorant, vapid, and frankly insulting:

Christopher [Last-Name-Redacted] – The truth is out there. Unfortunately this video has very little of it. But that’s OK! For God still loves all of us, inspite of the things you or I do. That’s why He is GOD. Isn’t it wonderful!

Obviously the video was ment as comedy/satire, hell it’s even called “Best Of Atheist Comedy & Satire #2“. But since when has a christian ever understood concepts like humor?

So of course, I felt the need to reply. And my reply was brutally honest, some might call it unnecessarily brutal in fact, and direct:

Christopher,
I’m curious about this “truth” you claim to have. Is this the “truth” from various holy books (including the torah, bible, koran, etc) that condones slavery, polygamy, infanticide, homophobia, rape, genocide, etc?

God still loves all of us, inspite of the things you or I do
Well that depends on who you ask. As an atheist there are many religious people who have told me that I am going to hell. Not because I did bad things, but because I fail to acknowledge their delusional beliefs as true…
My best friend is gay, and many religious people tell her that god hates fags, and that she should not have the same rights as straight people.

Isn’t it wonderful
No… It’s delusional and frightening that you can live your life with such ignorance at the core of your beliefs.

I honestly figured there was about a 50/50 shot that he would reply, but having not seen a reply all day I had given up on engaging him in a debate, and had not really thought about him since I had posted my original response.

So I was certainly surprised was I saw the following in my FB email inbox the next morning:

I got your message and just wanted to elaborate on some of the things you said in your message. Yes I do get the Truth from God and Jesus Christ. Also, it comes from the Bible, but not the Koran. The Torah is the first five books of the old testament. You see Jeff all the things I talk about will always revolve around the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. I know this is hard for people who don’t believe in Jesus to understand. I just want to give you an idea of where i’m coming from.

So with that said I already know that you have been talking to the wrong religous people. They were partly right in saying that you and all who fail to have faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior will go the hell. This is His plan for humanity not mine so I don’t know how else to say it. I try not to sugar coat things, but to share the truth of Christ. This is not what we want to talk mostly about, because there is so much more to God than His condemnation. Like love, mercy, grace, redemption, sanctifacation, justifacation, acceptance, holiness, and so much more.

Just to comment on your statement about your best friend being gay and God hates gay people is a very ignorant statement, no matter who says it and it’s just simply not true. 1 John 4:7 says “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” My father in law was once a gay man and now is straight. That’s a whole story that we can get into another time, but i do know gay people and I know it is better to share God’s love rather than to condem someone for there behavior. We are not allowed to judge another man. God talks a lot about this.

So send me back a message if you want to talk more. There is a whole other side to God that people just don’t see or experience.

Thanks

So to my claim that his the bible “condones slavery, polygamy, infanticide, homophobia, rape, genocide, etc”, did he make any attempt at responding? Well obviously not.

He does clarify WHICH “holy book” he reads (the christian bible as if that was going to be in any doubt), but he ignores all of the negative aspects of this book which I specifically layed out for him. This is not to say these are the ONLY instances of horrible “morality” that this book describes, but these were the first ones to come to my mind when responding originally.

Since he failed to respond to any of these claims, I am pushing this list at him once again; this time with links that include quotes from the bible. If he wants to be seen as anything other than a blind fool, I will expect him to respond AT LEAST in general to each of these aspects of vile horrendous teachings in his holy book, if not specifically about each one and how the bible “doesn’t really say that”.

Personally I enjoy seeing christians back-peddle when faced with examples of “scripture” that teaches hateful and immoral things such as these, and we shall hopefully see if this is just another example of that type of dishonesty, or if he actually has a new take on these things I have not seen before…

But to give him a little credit, let’s see what he DID respond to. In his first paragraph he clarified which “holy book” he believes in, and rattled off essentially the typical christian blather of jebus is his lord and savior type and other pointless drivel.

Seen it all before… *yawn*

Then his second paragraph does get into a bit of the meat. Let’s take a look, shall we?

So with that said I already know that you have been talking to the wrong religous people.

He starts with the typical “not a true christian” argument, which incidentally is a logical fallacy. This is an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion. When faced with a counterexample to a universal claim, rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy is employed to shift the definition of the original class to tautologically exclude the specific case or others like it.

They were partly right in saying that you and all who fail to have faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior will go the hell. This is His plan for humanity not mine so I don’t know how else to say it. I try not to sugar coat things, but to share the truth of Christ.

I’ve heard this argument many times. “I’m not saying you’re evil and going to hell, GOD is saying it“. And frankly, it’s complete and utter bullshit. If you DON’T believe it is true (and justifiable), then why bring it up? If you DO believe it is true (and justifiable), then you’re an immoral son of a bitch… Now I have posted before on hell (A few quick thoughts on Hell and Questions for theists re: Innocence, Ignorance, and Hell), so I won’t waste a lot of space here, but I do welcome Christopher to respond here, or on those posts, as there are many aspects about hell that simply fail to stand up to scrutiny when looked at honestly.

This is not what we want to talk mostly about, because there is so much more to God than His condemnation. Like love, mercy, grace, redemption, sanctifacation, justifacation, acceptance, holiness, and so much more.

Yes, god condemning imperfect creatures to infinite punishment for finite “crimes” (crimes such as not accepting things without evidence) that he created imperfect is not the thing christians want to talk about. How fucking convenient for you. Well I’m sorry! Until this pesky little issue is resolved, I don’t give a shit what you have to say about the parts of the bible you have cherry picked to make yourself feel good. The entire concept of hell is one that can’t be swept under the rug. Again I will point you to my previous posts on the subject of Hell, to see if you have any possible justification for such a horrendous teaching from your “loving god”.

The next paragraph (on homosexuality) he once again uses the “No True Scotsman” fallacy as he did before, and ignores the parts of the bible (such as Leviticus and Deuteronomy) he finds distasteful without thinking to condemn them as barbaric, or notice the inconsistency and outright contradictions in the bible.

You’d think that once in a while a christian would actually take the time to read and think about what their “holy book” says on some of these subjects like human rights, equality, morality, ethics, etc… Why is it that moist atheists I know tend to have a better of what the bible actually says than most christians do? And what does that say about the intellectual vacuousness of religion?

He does end his email with a “nice” message, even if it is one that he seems to not be taking to heart himself:

So send me back a message if you want to talk more. There is a whole other side to God that people just don’t see or experience.

So Christopher, I accept. Let’s talk, but I prefer to do it out in the open, not on private messages. I’d prefer this discussion to be in public, where others can learn from it as well…

Will you step up?

Advertisements

About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
This entry was posted in Debate, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Accepting an invitation from a christian to have a dialog…

  1. Tim Weber says:

    Jeff,
    I don’t think you can debate rationally with folk that have abandoned that notion, but I appreciate you doing it. ;-] It is damned (pun intended) entertaining.
    Keep it up, I hope he responds.

    See you in hell.

    T

    • Rodibidably says:

      I’m keeping my expectations low, but who knows. I’d have a few debates that went on for a while and seemed to be cordial, and in the end I think I was able to show people that just because I’m an atheist does not make me evil (I’m an evil bastard for ENTIRELY different reasons than lack of faith).

      I’m glad others are interested in seeing the back and forth. That is the reason I am making it public, instead of going through email like he tried to do.

      As for hell, i forget who said it, but:
      “You go to heaven for the weather. you go to hell for the company”

      • Christopher Bambakakis says:

        I like what you said about how your evil for entirely different reasons than lack of faith. Your right lack of faith is what keeps people away from believing in Christ. Its good that you know the difference. Lots of people don’t.
        I don’t think your evil for not believing. I don’t even know you. I think your in trouble for not. But that’s a big long discussion isn’t it. I am always cordial. I just want to show people how Christ is lived out in my life, not how stubborn or selfish i can be. It’s a constant battle, but one I look forward every day to be a part of.
        Thanks

      • Rodibidably says:

        Christopher,
        I will respond to the longer post tomorrow, I just wanted to point out that I was joking when I said I am an evil bastard…
        I may not be perfect, but I actually tend to think I’m a pretty decent person (a bit egotistical and self centered, but hey at least I know my flaws).

        As for what keeps me from believing in jesus, it is NOT lack of faith, it is lack of evidence…
        I personally see faith as a negative thing (faith is belief without evidence or in spite of negative evidence), not a positive thing as most religious types do.
        If the evidence was there, faith would not be required.

  2. Rebekah Bibles says:

    [Editors Note: I accepted this comment, even though it is obviously spam, because for once it’s spam that is relevant to the subject, and for some reason it make me chuckle a bit…]

    If the invitation is accepted, you will earn an additional 3% commissions on every sale the friend generates through the Partner Online Program. Rebekah Bibles

  3. writerdood says:

    It’s a pretty cordial discussion considering the passions involved on both sides. I think I’d need some pills in order to continue a discussion with this guy. Anyone who gives me the, “God’s sending you to Hell for not believing in what a bunch of other people wrote about him two thousand years ago” routine generally send me off on an apoplectic rant. The patience displayed on both sides is commendable. I’m glad you’re able to continue this kind of discussion, even if it is fruitless. Maybe the rest of us will learn something from your tenacity.

    • Rodibidably says:

      writerdood ,
      We’ll see how long it remains cordial.
      I’ve had ongoing debates with theists before (a back and forth with “moot” on this post: https://potomac9499.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/an-open-question-to-all-believers/ being foremost among them)…

      I do hope he joins the discussion here, but I also hope he does not use same old tired arguments that have been discredited countless times before.

      I’m trying to remain hopeful, but not naive, however only time will tell…

      And yes, I like my blog to be a place where people can hopefully learn from both sides, if I’m lucky, I’ll earn from Christopher, and he’ll learn from me…

  4. brokenspectrum says:

    At least I won’t be lonely or surrounded by morons in hell…

    • Rodibidably says:

      brokenspectrum,
      Well, if hell is real I have to assume that Fred Phelps and W are going to be there for all of the hatred they spread in their lives, so there will certainly be some level of stupidity as well…

  5. brokenspectrum says:

    Btw, I hope you don’t mind the shameless self promotion here. But I recently wrote an article about a little “discussion” I had with two conservatives that you and your readers may find entertaining.

    http://brokenspectrum.com/2009/10/09/slamming-my-head-into-a-brick-wall-a-discussion-with-the-inept/

  6. Christopher Bambakakis says:

    Jeff,
    I was not expecting this kind of response, but I am very excited about the format which you have opened. I am not very familiar with this, but I will do my best to keep up. I will only be able to answer your questions a couple at a time, because of time constraints. I am getting married on sunday, so right now I am pretty busy. I really like your respone, because it gives me a chance to really give me view on my belief in Jesus.

    So here goes! I do know that the video is a comedy and is put together well. So I am not without a funny bone. I am glad it opened this discusion though. To comment on the issues that you talked about. I wanted to discuss slavery first. Now remember I am not an authority or a scholar on this, but I do have some knowledge on the matter, so just keep that in mind. Slavery in Bible times is generally different than slavery in the past four hundred years. Slavery in the past couple hundred years has been based mostly on race. Slavery in the Bible was based not just on race but on social status. People became slaves because they sold themselves into it for not being able to pay a debt or sometimes it was to have their needs taken care of. Slave owners were often wealthy and would take care of their whole households needs. Also though slaves were also taken by force. Many peoples in the Old Testament were carried off into slavery by conquering nations. The Isrealites were often taken into exile for their disobedience to God.

    I cheked out your link about slavery. Lev 25:44-46 talks about how slaves should be treated, which is way better than how they were to be treated by other nations of the time. People could and would treat their slaves any way they wanted to. The Isrealites probably did the same until God spelled it out for them. God places boundries on our behavior that is meant to help us. God never condoned slavery instead He set rules on how slaves were to be treated. Imagine what it was like before He said anything on the matter or when people simply didn’t follow what He said. Exo 21:2-11 Also talks about what to do when having a slave. Without these rules people were free to treat their slaves anyway they wanted. Slavery was an excepted practice in Bible times. God simply placed limits on what the Isrealites could or couldn’t do. I really love the verses Eph 6:5 and 1 Tim 6:1-2 We are called to respect people in authority whether your a slave in the Old and New Testament or whether we are a free citizen now in the present. Luke 12:47-48 was taken from a parable “a short moral story” that Jesus was using to explain that we are all respobsible for what God has given us. For those that know God’s will, they will be disciplined more for not doing what is required of Him. Those who haven’t discerned His will but still do things that deserve some kind of punishment for their actions will be dealt with less harsh. Punishment is from the Lord not necessarily from other people. Also God’s will is not known to everyone, but only to the person He is speaking to. That’s why it is not other peoples business to pass judgement on other people. God is the great equallizer. His consiquences are always fair and just. Ours are usually not, even thoug we try our best with what we know.

    I have to go but I look forward to the next time. I am sure there will be some other questions that you have. Also I will elaborate more as best I can.
    Thanks!

    • brokenspectrum says:

      You’re saying that God didn’t condone slavery, but instead of not condoning it in the bible, God decided to allow it, but just tone it down a bit?

      A God with no backbone…

    • Rodibidably says:

      Christopher,

      I was not expecting this kind of response, but I am very excited about the format which you have opened.

      I’m glad you’ve agreed to participate in this discussion. You’d be surprised how rare it is to find somebody willing to engage in an open dialog such as this.

      I am not very familiar with this, but I will do my best to keep up. I will only be able to answer your questions a couple at a time, because of time constraints.

      Not to worry. You’re not expected to have every answer, just a willingness to be thoughtful in your replies. If all goes well I’ll give you some areas to look into or think about, and you’ll do the same for me.

      I am getting married on sunday, so right now I am pretty busy. I really like your respone, because it gives me a chance to really give me view on my belief in Jesus.

      If you’re getting married now, I’ll assume (and hope for your bride’s sake) that it may take a week or two for you to reply. Not a problem at all.

      I do appreciate your sharing your views on jesus, I just hope that you understand I will bring up many things that you may find blasphemous and/or offensive (such as the fact that there actually is no historical evidence for the existence of jesus).

      I do know that the video is a comedy and is put together well. So I am not without a funny bone

      Your original comment seemed to show a lack of understanding that this video is intended as comedy, perhaps not to your particular taste, but comedy none-the-less.

      That said, even though it is comedy, it actually makes a number of very valid points, which we can get into later.

      Slavery in Bible times is generally different than slavery in the past four hundred years. Slavery in the past couple hundred years has been based mostly on race. Slavery in the Bible was based not just on race but on social status. People became slaves because they sold themselves into it for not being able to pay a debt or sometimes it was to have their needs taken care of. Slave owners were often wealthy and would take care of their whole households needs. Also though slaves were also taken by force. Many peoples in the Old Testament were carried off into slavery by conquering nations. The Isrealites were often taken into exile for their disobedience to God.

      Let’s start this in simple terms. IF I were to list the worst things that are part of human history they would be (in no particular order):
      slavery, genocide, rape, pedophilia, murder
      Now perhaps you’d add more things to this list, but I think it’s fair to say, no matter your morality, that we can agree that these are among the worst things humans can do to one another.

      Now for a moment, let’s go with the assumption that the christian god is true. This god knows all, and is moral. If this god is going to give us a list of rule, we’ll call them commandments, what do you think should be in that list.
      Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife OR don’t enslave your neighbor’s wife and beat her…
      Don’t covet your neighbor’s ass (possessions) OR don’t rape children…
      I ask you, which do YOU think is more important for an all knowing and loving god to tell the world?

      Now, let’s assume that for some reason god “forgot” to add that in during the old testament. Well we have jesus and the new testament, SURELY the “prince of peace” would think to mention something on the subject, right?
      Well he does give examples of how and when to beat your slaves. Hmm, that doesn’t sound very moral to me. I don’t even claim to be the son of god, and I can tell you in plain English “don’t own other human beings you sick fucks”
      .

      Now you rightly say that it was a different time, and if this is true, then what other morals ideas from today do not apply to then.
      And more importantly, what other ideas from then don’t apply today?
      You seem like a fairly moral and religious person. Have you ever eaten lobster? Perhaps you’re a vegan, but obviously all christians are not vegans. So do you think christians are going to hell for eating shellfish? The passage about eating shellfish being an abomination is right near the passage about homosexuality being an abomination.

      Now let’s say that their version of slavery is more like our idea of work. Would you ever condone a boss beating their employee? If not, why is that different than slave owners in the bible being told by jesus when and how to beat their slaves?
      Would you ever condone selling your daughter into sex slavery? The bible does… And it’s quite clear that at least one type of slavery (for women) is sexual in nature. This is not quite an employer / employee situation (unless perhaps your office is a lot different than mine).
      Obviously, this is a bit of a quagmire of a subject, but I do hope you’ll think about it a bit further.

      There is NEVER an excuse to enslave another person.
      There is no justification for beating a slave (or employee if that is how you wish to look at biblical slavery)
      .
      There is no justification for forcing a woman to have sex against her will. Especially your own daughter.

      —–

      I don’t want to overwhelm you too much right off the bat, so I’ll leave it here for now, we can go over more after you return from your wedding/honeymoon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s