Screwballs of the month

April 2005



TheologyWeb was down for a bit this past week, but oddly enough that barely put a dent in our number of entries. The Screwballs must be marrying and multiplying.



From the mailbag



Not much from here this time, though; in fact, only two, and the first actually came to me via Answers in Action (Gretchen Passantino’s ministry) and the article they host by me on The Da Vinci Code:


Dear Sir:




There are 360 ways to look at an elephant my friend, of which you have seemed to enjoy

only looking up one long orifice of it. It's a shame you didn't see.


…[L]language is infinite - therefore, any corpus would be skewed: his criticisms taken seriously means we should abandon ways in which a much less biased example may be constructed which provides us with an as accurate a picture as possible of the truth- instead,  he tries to establish criticisms which maximally represent only a few ideas implicitly.


Ron Carr

(PhD, University of Alberta) Assistant Professor

Cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics, field linguistics, Chinese dialectology



My answer may be more fun, though: 


Well, while you've been exploring an elephant 359 different ways looking for who knows what, the rest of us have been actually consulting credentialed scholarship. Do you suppose you might do that at some point in the future and actually show us an error in the original article and how it might be corrected? Or is this odd obsession you have with wrinkled pachyderms keeping you too occupied to actually go out and read a book or two on Renaissance art or church history and actually rebut a claim made therein?


The elephant's attorney called, by the way, and said you'd better stop harassing him and using him in highly personal analogies, it's getting annoying and he'll be in touch with Anita Hill about it shortly.



Then we have this one from one of Ton Harpur’s fans:


I am impressed by your relentless pursuit of detail. You are a prolific writer...employing language to argue fine points of language, logic and history.

After reading your microscopic critique of critiques, I left your site feeling like I was focussed on finding broken needles in a haystack...then remembered that the great mystery of life was in the opposite expansive wonder to be enjoyed.

For example, I do not have the authority to critique Tom Harpur's sources, however, after reading his book, I felt connected to my soul. My Christ is in me, not out there administerd by a church hierarchy or set of doctrines.

Responding to the essence of his writings strikes me as more about truth. Whether Christ was a man or a psychological concept is irrelevant to me. What is important is the understanding that is revealed.


I sure hope that connection wasn’t actually that last chili dog….




Golden dun award winners



Stevie weevie…on hypostatic entities


Steven Carr, as usual, was good for a laugh this time. To the question, “Did Jesus ever actually claim to be god himself?” he interjected:


Of course he did. Remember what Jesus said on the cross :- 'Me, Me , Why have I forsaken myself?'.

Clearly Jesus would only have said that he had forsaken himself if he thought that he himself was God, otherwise Jesus would have said that 'you' had forsaken him.



Brooks babbles again


And Stevie was far from our only familiar face to win Gold this round. Once again, “Jimbo” (Brooks Trubee) got one, and he even doubled up. The first one he wins for posting the famous pic (used by Freke and Gandy on the cover of The Jesus Mysteries) of “Orpheus on the cross”. Brooks said:


According to the caption on the image, it is Dionysus, not Orpheus:


Oops -- two flubs in one bit here:

1) The letters on the gem say "Orpheus Bacchus". Brooks was reading  the caption created by another amateur, and couldn’t even recognize the word “Orpheus” on the gem.
2) Poor Brooks hasn't heard -- the item in the picture is a forgery. As James Hannam (Bede) reported of late:

But there is a final kicker to this story that Freke failed to mention. I found an endnote to the 1952 edition of Guthrie's work (page 278) states:

"In his review of this book [Orpheus and Greek Religion] in Gnomon (1935, p 476), [Otto] Kern [unfeasibly esteemed German expert on Orpheus] recants and expresses himself convinced by the expert opinion of Reil and Zahn [more distinguished Germans] that the gem is a forgery."

Brooks tried to weasel out of this one by claiming that Bede’s comments were too “vague”. That almost won him a second award, but this one was what actually did win it for him.



I nominate jimbo for his elephant-hurling thread here ( Standard fundy skeptic tactic. Unload a slew of questions and statements upon your opponents in one go, then declare victory when no one feels up to typing out a 20-page response.

As TWebber Johnny EC put it:


I nominate jimbo for his elephant-hurling thread here ( Standard fundy skeptic tactic. Unload a slew of questions and statements upon your opponents in one go, then declare victory when no one feels up to typing out a 20-page response.

I enjoyed his argue-till-the-other-guy-falls-down-dead strategy he himself so adequately describes here.

”Please explain why anyone in his or her right mind should think that a collection of ancient books which contain all of the absurdities, cruelties, violence and contradictions that are listed above should be considered the perfect work of an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good god. If you succeed in explaining away all of the above cruelties, violence, absurdities and contradictions, I will provide you with several more pages of verses to work on. If you successfully explain all of those away, you will then have to spell out why the Bible, supposedly a perfect instruction manual for life, needs so much interpretation and rationalization and explication and cannot just be counted on to mean what it says. Then you will have to explain to me why the various Bibles that are available today differ so significantly from one another, and why the tens of thousands of Christian sects have such conflicting doctrines and dogma. Which sect is right? How do you know which sect is right? What is this knowledge based on?”


It seems Brooks wants to have the excuse of, “I was waiting for an answer and never got it” when the time comes….

See spot run!


A Christian winner of a Golden Screwball Award this round: “JohnBill” who afforded us the latest update from the field of ophthamology:

Are you aware of patterns of lines or spots that float in your field of vision? ...In time, you will realize and understand that these floating impressions are actually, physically and truthfully spirit entities that are with you. You will discover that many spirit entities continually attempt to contact you and to physically connect to various places on your body.

Yep. Floaters are evil spirits. Bet you didn’t know laser surgery was good for exorcism.


Church is heck!

I also offer a special Gold award to something written in 2004 or so, but highlighted now because I was recently alerted to it. This award goes to a confused Christian named Stuart Dinenno, who we wrote an article about, and is so dumb he makes Jack Chick look like a scholar. Here's a sample of pearls of his wisdom:

The Children's Church - The practice of separating children from their parents and whisking them off to a dumbed-down version of the congregational meeting (which is really little more than a day care center), is also an anti-scriptural abomination.

The Choir - If we were living in the biblical nation of Israel before the resurrection of Christ, and if we were worshipping in the Temple at Jerusalem, and if the choir were composed of the descendants of Levi, then having a choir would be biblical. But we live in modern America, the Temple was destroyed many centuries ago, and the local choir does not consist of Levites. Singing, under the New Testament, is to be performed for the church by the church; not for the church by a select group on a stage wearing robes.

Ya'll goin' straight to hay-ull. Stu sez so. So there. As TWebber JohnSparks asked, though: If I wuz to wear Levi's to church, then kin I sing?


What’s your angle, Pythagoras?

Finally, a Lifetime Achievement Award goes to TWebber “Pythagoras,” who issued these gems in an attempt to show that the Trinity was of pagan origin:

In the 1670's, Sir Issac Newton quietly studied the Trinity and came to the conclusion that the doctrine was foisted on the Church by Athanasius in order to swell the numbers and fill the coffers. He concluded Arius was right and he claimed that the Bible had prophesied the Rise of Trinitarianism("this strange religion of the west", "the cult of 3 equal gods") as the abomination of desolation. After Newton, others such as Matthew Tindal, John Toland, Gottfried Arnold, Goerg Walch, Giovanni too came to the fore.

It was 325 A.D. at Nicaea that the doctrine of the Trinity was rammed through by Athanasius(using Mafia tactics) in a Council that was overseen by Emperor Constantine who, ironically enough,thought of himself as God-incarnate.(Constantine was a Sun Worshipper, who killed his own son and wife and converted to "Christianity" on his deathbead.) Many of those present at the Council of Nicaea were opposed the doctrine of Trinity, siding with Arius. Even after the Nicene Creed, the Trinity was still hotly debated for decades and centuries."

Ingersoll studied the matter in the last century and explained how it works-- this Trinity business


So? Fact: Jesus was officially made God by the Romish Poppery in 325 AD.


And Jewish Wisdom theology? According to Pythagoras, this came from the Kabbalah, and it is useless to check interestamental lit. You’ll just have to get the full laughs from the thread:


Silver duh award winners



Though never a very intelligent poster, TWeb’s “Lazy Agnostic” went far enough to win an award this time. The first, as reported by TWeb member Jaltus:


In response to the question "Are you that stupid?" Lazy Agnostic replied:

Maybe. What do you mean?


As TWeb member “Arnold” noted: “When in doubt - waffle.”



Our usual entrant Steamer won a Silver this time as well; he has also said he is leaving TWeb, so this may be a farewell presentation:


Dead men do not come back to life. This is a historical fact. The only way the resurrection is possible is to pre-suppose the existence of god, otherwise it is impossible.

The bible states this logical inconsistancy which is the fallacy of begging the question. In order for the ressurection to be possible it first must prove that a god exists and then prove that this god is Yahweh. Here the bible fails miserably in terms of either proving a god exists or in describing the beginning of the universe.

Now then, since the resurrection itself demonstrates the fallacy of begging the question (petitio principii), what reason would you have to base a good chunk of your life and probably a good percentage of your income on a fallacy?


Meanwhile TWeb Skeptic “Cognos” wins a couple of silvers, the first for this OP:


This thread is about the color blue.

And this thread is about something called "God".

What is this thread about?

Is it about blue or is about God? It must be about one thing or the other, right?
There can be only right religion. There can be only God, right?
There can be only color, right? Blue. All other colors are not true. Blue is true. True blue, right?
God is true, blue is true, God is blue.

The sky is blue.
The sky is also grey.
The sky is also red.
The sky is also orange.

But God is only blue. True blue.

And this thread is only about the color blue. But it's also about something called "God".

Only my God is blue. Your God is not.
The color blue. Or the colour blue. What's the difference? "u". ("u" is not blue, so you are not true.)

Some people say that God has no color, that God looks like this:

But I can see otherwise. I not "u". Eye see. "U" don't. ICU. IC God. God is blue. Kind of an icy blue. That's what I see. Not an IPU. This is what an IPU looks like:

If you squink, you can see it too. UC the IPU? You too?

This thread is not about the color blue. It is about something called "God".


I think Dr. Seuss’ attorney is on the line…then he wins a second for this bloop:

The fact that it is only about 40 years ago since the alleged assassination of John Kennedy, and that some of the supposed eye-witnesses are still alive means that this parody is exactly like claiming that Jesus resurrected 2,000 years ago, when most people were illiterate but they were experts in evaluating evidence; the printing presses were slower than they are today; and the technology to edit film had not yet been perfected.

There were printing presses 2000 years ago, yep. And there were TVs in Columbus’ day, but no one used them because there was nothing on.






Bronze duh award winners




This and that…”Slayer-2004”, a somewhat reasonable TWeb Skeptic, pointed us to this:


An islamic fundamentalist trying to convince other muslims that it is ungodly for them to celebrate april fools day because they lost a war .

Then we have “Cu Mhorrigan,” from TWeb. Cu desperately wanted a Screwball Award and even campaigned for it, but the only genuinely spontaneous entry was this one, theocratic dictators:

Gee, Contempt for people that are more interested in acting liek theocratic dictators is seen as bigotry. Tell me is hatred of Hitler Bigotry? Or Stalin?

What you fail to realise is these monsters are simply waiting to take over the government and thus take over our lives. But I guess you wont realise it until they come for you for "Not beliving in the same kind of Jesus" they do.

Hitler and Stalin like theocratic dictators?: What God did they believe in, we wonder?

TWeb oddball “shunydragon” wins the Amusing Recall Award for this quote of the New Testament:

Historically all the abrahamic religions have been a pretty violent agressive bunch. Selective nice quotes say little about the context of the whole Bible and history.

In the following famous 'Woe to the Pharisees this judgement is then given over to falliable people.

Luke 11:49 - Therefore also said the wisedom of God, I will send prophets and apostles, and some of them shall slay and prosecute.


TWebber “preterist1” gets a Divine Dictionary Award for letting us all know that the debate will be on his terms:

There is no such thing as a partial preterist. This is a new made up name for futurist. They try to save face by using the title partial preterist as if they really believe what the Bible is saying but will not go against the man made creeds. In fact they are truly Hyper-futurist with their wrong interpretations.


While “Clarice” wins our New Age Mumbo Jumbo Award for an extended sermon which included the following:


So, slave to this world, what are you going to do? There is always a way out of your slave-hood. That Way has been clearly stated in this message - can you see it or are your eyes blinded? And if you see it,  have you the will to choose it? I really doubt it. Thus you and the rest of the slaves will soon depart to another realm, where you and  the other slaves may continue your experiment in self-centeredness  without infecting the rest of the universe with your poisonous schemes. Christ will reclaim this planet for Spirit, Truth, and God.  Christ will "come again in Power" and the world will be transformed.  For if this were not done, you would destroy this planet, and it would die. And you would be dead too, as the result of your unmitigated selfishness - dead not only in body, but also in Spirit. The earth would become as lifeless as the moon, and the enslaved souls here would enter a still more painful existence than the one they are now destined for. But by Grace, the earth will be redeemed, purified, and transformed. The planet will be initiated into a new vibration and realm, and nothing will ever be the same again.