As last year, April proved a little slower on the Screwball front, quantity-wise. In terms of quality, it's still nothing's changed....yep....they're all as screwy as ever.

From the Mailbag

I edited this first one for decency; use your imagination:

i am amazed that you are the most definitive refutation of christianity that i have ever seen. you revel in deciet and receiving ____ ______, mocking every tenet of christianity and humility and then have the audacity to rob your victims. a more repulsive, pus-dripping __________ i have never seen.

continue to consume the _____ of the world, you repulsive cretin.

Told he had won a Screwball Award, the reply came:

sorry, i did not intend to threaten your unchallenged your claim to the title. i do understand that you are subject to bouts of extreme delusion and actually think that you have achieved the relatively lofty heights of mediocrity.

you are an abomination.

Thanks! I appreciate it! Then this exercise in missing the point came about our article listing scientist testimonies:

I can't help but notice that you ignore the contribution of Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, etc towards the creation of modern science, and you also fail to point out the contributions made by many Indian scientists, like Brahmagupta and ?ryabha?a.

Could you please explain to me, or at least update your site, on how the Hellenistic Greeks had a christian worldview when they developed the basis of most of modern science?

Then this email from the Yeah Right PC Department:

I would like to express disappointment with your site. Specifically, this page: http://www.tektonics.org/af/ebon01.html

I am an atheist and one who has read Ebon Musings extensively. I very much enjoy his site, but I also am a truth seeker and so I searched for apologist rebuttals to his writings. Hence, I found your site. My disappointment is this: You seem very knowledgeable on the subjects that you write about, however you also seem very arrogant and haughty. I found this to be a huge turnoff because I find it hard to take seriously somebody who's ego conflicts with their rationality. For example, in the third paragraph you say: "For one thing, Ebon seems in a rush to endorse as many disrespectable positions as he can in as little space as possible." Not only is that an obvious untruth, but it adds nothing of value to the conversation. I write to you not to disrespect you, but to encourage you to think about the way you respond to critics. Your arrogance certainly doesn't help to convince non-Christians and only re-enforces the commonly held atheistic viewpoint that Christians think they are better than everybody else!

Keeping in mind that this is the Ebon who goes as far as endorsing such ideas as that Mithra was crucified and says "the Bible just isn't well written." This came from the Christian branch of the Bhagwan Bungalow:

Yeshua made it very clear John the Babtist was Elijah. I am afraid it is you who twists Yeshua's words to siut you man made dogmas.How can people have faith in the estblishments when they change the words of Christ Himself in order to validate their own dogmas.

17:12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come and people did not recognize him, but treated him just as they pleased. In the same way they will also mistreat the Son of Man." 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 11:26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. "11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy (KARMA) laden, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take my yoke (KARMA) upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

This means to be released from our Karma, and given the rest that Paul talks about in Hebrew 4. Of course this can only happen if you believe that Yeshua is the Christ. It is unlikely to take place if you do not believe this.

That is where faith comes in.

""God is God of the living not of the dead"

This came from your usual fundy atheist:

Although I do appreciate that you recognize me as an atheist. It is indeed a superior intellect. As a matter of fact, I am a dues paying card carrying dyed-in-the wool proud American atheist.

As for temper tantrums. Nah! Not me. I enjoy doing battle with Christ-o-facist history twisters. Their arguments are always composed of parsed out quotes from statements our founding fathers made, as well as misquotes, and outright lies.

As for your anger, I'm not surprised. Have you read any of the recent research that correlates Christian indoctrination of children with mental illness? You might want to consult a psychiatrist about your anger.

Pretty dull, guys. Can you spice it up a bit next month?


I award, first of all, lifetime achievement Gold to Steve "Captain Calvinism" Hays, for his continued misplaced defenses of Calvinism against scholarship by means of the classic Dancing Duh Routine. Good work, Tinky.

He Gives You Permission to Mug Him

Jimmy Higgins earns Gold for a couple of comments. One:

"Evil" is an arbitrarily made up connotation by man, to help explain why the most awful things happen. There is no such thing as "evil".

And, in response to this by another member of TWeb":

I have no trouble finding the right smilie for you JImmy hmm what is it called when you treat only one one group negatively while treating all other group positively....? Oh yeah being an intolerant bigot. which is what the mainstream secular progressive media would have called this superintendent and city government if it had been any other group. what does that make the mainstream media hmm?

He said this:

A bunch of christians that weren't offended and don't suffer from wannabe martyr syndrome?
The Bro. Randy Circus Act

Over on teen4christ, there's all kinds of Elmer Gantry type stuff on going. The leader of the Martian Brigade, Bro. Randy, leads off with this:

Well, it has happened again. We have had some wolves in sheep's clothing join the Board. Although they were not very active here, they did contact at least one of our members directly. Oh how I wish I could read all of your email for you and filter out the bad stuff. Sadly, I cannot. Two people, Jeremy and Victoria, have joined our site. We have marked them as wolves and removed them from the site. However, it has come to my attention that they have caused a split on another like-minded site. Again, we know that they have contacted at least one of you directly. You too should mark them as wolves. In many ways, they remind me of the Pharisees of Jesus' day. They claim to be super spiritual, in fact, they are very legalistic, but they deny the power and the Gospel of Christ and they twist and pervert the Word of God. If you have had contact with them, you should break it off immediately. If they do contact you, ignore them. Do not enter into any discussion with them. They will deceive you.
I will just caution you by saying this: If anyone who contacts you wants to spend a lot of time talking about me, then be wary.

oldwetdog over there also wins, for the following, in which he actually manages to out-Randy Bro. Randy:

"Exegesis" is "a deduction drawn from text." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/exegesis

Exegesis (from the Greek, 'to lead out') http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exegesis

In a FEW words, "exegesis" is any deduction or conclusion, position or doctrine "drawn from" scripture -- which is a confession that it is not *IN* the scripture!

Randy's flashing "exegesis" as his unbeatable come back *IS* a confession that he bases his Doctrine and beliefs on deductions or CONCLUSIONS _drawn out of_ the text --- BUT WHICH IS NOT *IN* THE TEXT!!

The fact is, that ANY "exegesis" is equal to any other exegesis, since no exegesis is actually in the scripture.

The fact is, the Word of God is the judge of all else, therefore no exegesis can prove any other exegesis. doctrine or deduction wrong.

Randy, the only reason you use empty words like "exegesis" is that you have no Scripture, Fact or Truth to refute the argument.

He also said this:

There it is folks, the "RIGHT" *IS*...rape. We didn't claim the right to forced benevolence, we claimed the right of both spouses to "due" benevolence, and that it is to "defraud" the other spouse to refuse, which implies their right exists even when you defraud them of it. So when Owd says the "RIGHT *IS*...rape.", he is saying that the right to "due" benevolence *IS* the right to rape.

Also, poopscoop3000 wins Gold for these:

Im sorry if I have offended those in this forum but i do indeed feel that aha collaborated with satan during production of "take on me"...watch the video closely several times and you will see many small subliminal images that refer to the prince of darkness. (notable second 19 in the bottom right of the screen) his face looks like it is being covered by a sheik. (terrorist garb)

the fact that you guys continue to try and antagonize my opinions proves every western cliche out there. let me have my opinions and i will allow you yours...satan is out there for i have met him, remember my id name because you will want to contact me when the day of reckoning arrives. for it is too close to even fathom.

And Mrs Debbie for these:

Keep in mind that Baptists are NOT Protestants. We never "protested" and "reformed" like the other religions and denominations. We have been in existense since Jesus established us during His earthly ministry. All other groupd are man-made.

(from a handout in a Baptist college class)

Most people think of Baptists as being Protestant. Catholics feel they have a "superior" religion in that they date their origin to the Apostle Peter, and insist that all other mainline denominations are "rebels" or "wayward children" of the "Mother Church." This is, of course, comtrary to Scripture and history. Where did "Baptists" come from? (What is a Baptist?) Was Jesus a Baptist? Who was the first Baptist?

A Baptist is one who holds to Baptist Distinctives. Someone who believes and practices these distinctives is Baptistic, though he may be a member of another denomination. Jesus, John, and the other disciples were not called Baptists, but they were Baptistic. They were called "Christians" and believed as we do regarding the Distinctives.

There have been various names for Baptistic people through the years, though John was the 1st to be labeled "Baptist" and the term did not resurface until around 380AD.

Baptists never left the Catholic church; we were never part of it; we existed before it did.

There's Also a Law Requiring Stupidity

Bugmaster made the following Golden comment on Slacktivist blog entry:

Actually, under YHVH-ean law, a Jewish man is not only permitted, but required to visit a prostitute during the days when his wives are all "unclean", because the alternative is to waste his seed, which YHVH doesn't condone for any reason. YHVH is very pro-life in that regard. AFAIK prostitutes have their own union in Israel (or at least they used to at some point); they pay taxes and everything.
To Breed or Not to Breed

The following entries appeared on christianforums.com:

PeaceLover02: What are the ethics of child free couples? I personally believe it is unethical to be "child free". I believe it is selfish and frankly quite sickening. What are your opinions on child free couples?

Merciel: Everybody should be celibate. If Jesus is all that we Christians really need, then surely none of us need spouses. It's like with a car. If I have one car and need only one car, it'd be rather gluttonous to have two. In any case, I think anybody who thinks that celibacy is so easy should take that vow themselves.

Well, that's two people at least who should remain child-free...

ECK! Ooo!

It isn't Stephen van Eck, but it is Gold enough to be, as one "ECK" says such things as:

The precise accuracy of Dan Brown's confused statements about Mithraism is less important than the wider point: Christianity, like any religion, is little more than an agglomeration of various religious and philosophical ideas and influences.

You don't seem to realize that whatever Christians may believe about what Jesus' statements mean has absolutely no bearing on how those statements were originally intended. I am not arguing about what Christians say the Gospel says; I am arguing simply about what it says. I expect the Christian beliefs to be full of rationalizations and thus actually a bad guide for establishing the meaning of passages like Matt. 7:7.

The evidence for Christianity, Mormonism and Islam is indeed equal. In each case there is a text that provides a central religious narrative surrounding a prophet figure. This text also sets out a series of doctrinal points. The content of all three texts is generally assumed to have been revealed by God, but there is no evidence for this. In each case there are contemporaries who claim to have witnessed supernatural confirmations of the validity of these revelations. In each case there are also contemporary and unaffiliated historical accounts; for obvious reasons the coverage in this case is better for Mormonism than for Christianity or Islam. (They are especially thin for early Christianity.) But these accounts really have very little bearing at all on the tenets of the religion in question. And that's about it for positive evidence.

I have looked at the article by Holding on tektonics that is supposed to show "strong historical evidence" for Christianity. It provides no historical evidence at all: not one iota. The entire text is devoted to asserting that Christianity is an "Impossible Faith." That it survives today, Holding argues, and that it is such a shining example of "How Not to Start an Ancient Religion," somehow means that it is true. The supposed "comparisons" with Mormonism, Islam and Mithraism consist almost entirely of assertions that these religions are somehow less "impossible" (or "more survivable," I guess one might say) and thus somehow less likely to be true. That all of these arguments are deeply speculative and subjective need hardly be mentioned. That the perceived "probability" or "impossibility" of a religion has no bearing on whether or not it is true should be obvious. And, finally, "strong historical evidence" doesn't come through speculation about how likely a given religion is to survive, but through discovery and analysis of primary source documents. These documents do not provide anything adding up to "strong historical evidence." That's why people like Holding are reduced to making such peculiar arguments in the first place.

Preterism, full or partial, is besides the point, and again I think you are being obfuscatory. The theological position of the preterists was a later attempt to rationalize difficult statements like Matt. 24:34 and Luke 21:32. But your own argument suggests that the interpretation of Jesus' disciples provides clues to Jesus' intended meaning (a point I disagree with, but I am only trying to point out your logical inconsistency). From Paul (whose writings all date before 70), we know that eschatology was the central focus of many early Christian communities; in this they had clearly been inspired by the unambiguous rhetoric of Jesus recorded in Matt. 24 and elsewhere. Does their interpretation show that Jesus' statements in Matt. 24:34 are to be taken literally? If so the preterists look to be in trouble.

Psychoanalysis by SteveC

Reacting to a TWeb member's use of a Tinkerbell avatar, TWeb Platinum N00b candidate stevec said:

I bet you believed in Santa Claus once, too. And the Easter Bunny. And the pixie in your picture indicates that you probably believed in the tooth fairy, so when these are proven to be a myth, you are forced to stick with the one thing you need desperately to hang onto, "God". Pity, must have been earth shattering for you to find out the truth.

Now you know why Cap'n Hook had dentures.

The April '07 John Loftus Collection

Loftus himself wins for his performance here, a duplication of his work on TWeb. He also wins the "Bon Voyage" award for his comment regarding Peter Kirby's conversion to Catholicism:

In my opinion he never was an atheist in the first place, or that if he was one, someday he'll return to the atheist fold.

In addition, Loftusian useful idiot dagoodS wins Gold for a skein of ignorance which includes such schoolboy mistakes as not knowing that the reason the Sanhedrin could not stone Jesus was because Rome held capital power...and then taking "mob violence" attempts to stone Jesus (John 8, 10) and others as some sort of evidence against this. Gold also goes to Loftus' useful idiot Joe Holman (who ran from TWeb with his tail between his legs, as "material_miser") for pimping with the VTech tragedy for the purpose of babbling about the problem of evil.

Word from the Nutsy Brigade

Sevivon1913 has some Gold comments this round, aside from using the Toledeth Yeshu as a source:

Of course the early Church didn't have women "leaders". A helper who reads out the liturgy for the Mass is not a leader. St Mary Magdeline was an apostle, not a leader. The Church leadership was male; Apostolic Succession was male; St Peter the first Bishop of Rome (and Pontificus Maximus) passed down his authority to a long line of male Bishops up until the present incumbent: Benedict XVI. Name just one female successor to the leadership of the Church.

Christianity wasn't invented until the 4th century as an amalgamation of various concepts. Jesus didn't exist. He was an amalgamated personae who could unite the Roman Empire under a single religion. Therefore, he was never resurrected.

And we close Gold with these Golds, from SlapShot, speaking of Fred Phelps:

You gotta love ol' Fred Phelps. Who better put put a face on religion in America?! He does more for atheism than the atheist could ever do. Thanks to the BBC for putting the loving words of his clan on world wide tv.

And, a comment on Facebook:

"We now have the Bible in English. In fact, it gives us further meaning in English than what it had in the Greek."

nickcopernicus takes the Sex Education Award for this lecture:

AFAICT, if there was a historical Jesus then he was the resut of a sexual relationship between a male human and a female human. If Jesus' parents were humans, then he was the son of a human, not a god.

Mary, A woman has no y chromosomes. If Jesus was male then he had to get the second part of his genetic information from somewhere.

To say that the Holy Spirit did it via miracle is to say that the Holy Spirit did via Magic.

This begs the question of how the Holy Sprit did it. So the creator of the universe can't produce a Y chromosome?

And another:

Learn how to capitalize words like [H]ebrew before you start throwing around ancient languages. If you cannot convey your argument correctly in English (probably your first language), then how am I suppose to think you know anything of [H]ebrew?

"al3", from an insurance forum, wins the Death of History Certificate for these comments replying to notes about how many have been killed by communist atheists over the years:

My goodness christians have that beat by a country mile in the past 1000 years alone. If they are not killing each other, they're after Jews and Muslims. They did a great job on the native Americans, and an equally good job on black Africans.

Oh, and tell me how many "christians" worked in the back-office of the concentration camps, drove the trains to those camps, grew and sold food for the gurads, and who watched the smoke rise from the ovens as they walked to church each Sunday. And where did the Germans build the biggest camps? In the most 'christian' country in all of Europe.

Yeah, tell me about the 'christian' tolerance and understanding for all those who dare to hold that Christ was just another guy in a long line of 'other guys.'

There is no hisorical evidence that there ever WAS a Jesus. He never wrote anything, never composed anything, and all we have are some pagen tales.... written some 300 years after the fact.

If there is any one group of people I'd be embarrased to be, it is a 'christian.' Hell, those folks will have a holy war over whether or not to sprinkle or dunk at their own bapisism. Oh, and how ARE things in Northern Ireland these days? How long have those guys been killing each other over there? We going on about 300 years now?

Oh yeah, tell me how terrific 'Christianity' has been for the world. I want to hear it again and again.

Jim Eisele takes the White Flag of Fundy Atheism with:

What is Christianity without truth? This is the question that I concern myself with. The political reality of it. Because Christianity has surrendered truth to the atheists. These types of posts are evidence of the truth bankruptcy of Christianity.

I have personal sympathy for you. But, at the same time, I wonder if you realize how silly you seem. Talking about this resurrection and stuff. A "resurrection at the end" is a big thing to swallow. Christianity is an enormous thing to swallow. Being a Christian for convenience is one thing. But it has been refuted. On the internet. Where everyone can see.

At any rate, as posts like this show, you don't even get the supposed benefits of Christianity until you die. What kind of god is this ?!? Essentially, you have assigned a cruel character to your god. Which makes me nervous about the type of person YOU are.

Taoist takes the Trajectories in Christianity Trophy for his Christians who don't believe in raising the dead:

The issue is general. Christians don't notice their own behavior toward atheists because it does christians no damage. Instead, they pretend the backlash comes from nowhere. They don't ask why atheists react negatively toward them, or they rationalize the reasons away. If you folks could just keep your delusions to yourselves, we'd let you be. But you proselytize them, and then berate us for pointing out the absurdities.

The dead don't rise and walk. Brains begin to decay within minutes from lack of oxygen.

Sure, it's easy enough to find christians who don't hold any of those beliefs. But find an atheist who does. It shouldn't even be an issue. These ideas are not rationally defensible, yet somehow christians still find a way to defend their fellow adherents who hold them.

Hey, they're your brothers and sisters. If you can't find the "stones" to correct them, what choice do we have? Clean up your own house and the problems will go away. Or just keep the door closed so we don't have to see it.

Finally, Dave_G wins the Ultimate Refutation Award for this argument against God's existence:

Oh yeah? Well I know that he DOESN'T exist.

http://www.abelard.org/category/category.htm

http://www.churchacrossamerica.com/

A nomination for Christian Comedian Keith Deltano, who did this in a presentation to high-school students to promote sexual abstinence:

The critique of Deltano's performance at Dominion High was conducted by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. It included criticism of his decision to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of condoms against HIV by dangling a cinderblock over a male student's genital area. The group said the drill gave a message of fear and shame and misrepresented statistics about condom failure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0MfqO3TvKQ

"Go to Church and you could win A FREE CAR!": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSxnZYhJ-Cg

An award for whoever set up this debate between Sam Harris and Rick Warren: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17889148/site/newsweek/

http://fulfilledprophecy.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=23612, nominating this post:

"Also worth a mention is that two days after the attempted animal sacrifice on the Temple Mount, a huge earthquake and tsunami caused death and destruction on the Solomon Islands.

Solomon built the first temple on Temple Mount."

http://www.gobible.com -- This site deserves a screwball just for the phrase "Plug into God without unplugging from life!" So, God isn't worth our complete attention, or is our ADD culture just incapable of focusing complete attention on God for more than a few seconds at a time? Plus it's only available in KJV and NKJV...

http://galileowaswrong.com/

http://www.thedisciplewhomjesusloved.com/ -- The author, who has also written me email, rejects external testimony about the authorship of John because it is outside the Bible, but uses extrabiblical deduction and speculation of his own (including failing to understand the honor-shame dialectic that renders his most important arguments moot). Sample email from him:

Any Christian that I know would claim that the word of God is "prime evidence" and that non-Bible writings are not able to overcome the facts reported in the Biblical record, so your willingness to reject the Biblical evidence and look to the selected opinions of some writers that can be found written in some second and third century non-Bible documents is quite surprising. But then again pointing outside of the Bible is the only course of action for those who seek to defend this unbiblical man-made traditon because the Biblical evidence makes void this tradition of men.

While I do reject any non-Bible source that contradicts the plain evidence of scripture and make no apology for doing so, those who want to sell the idea that their favorite non-Bible source is just as important make a habit of changing the subject because they have no Biblical evidence to support their claims. So you can feel free to quietly withdraw from contention on the subject because you clearly do not place paramount interest in what the Bible has to say on this.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/18/national/main2699800.shtml?source=mostpop_story

http://www.officialprussianblue.net/ with such comments as:

Sesamie Street - If you think it's an innocent children's show, think again. All peoples of different races and backgrounds living together in peace and harmony in a utopian city. Downplays the real condition of the third world and propagates an "all cultures are equal" message.

I believe Futurama (from the same creator as The Simpsons) is also a subtle form of propaganda. It takes diversity to a whole new level. Not only are whites peacefully co-existing with other races, but humans are peacefully co-existing with other species (aliens, mutants, robots, etc).

This new (relatively new) Winney the Pooh movie. In the movie, Winney, Piglet, Rabit, etc. meet a hefilump. Traditionally, hefilumps and woosels were evil, scary, and to be avoided. In the movie, it turns out that they weren't so bad after all, and they're also quite friendly. Another way of promoting "tolerance" and "diversity"...

http://libertytothecaptives.net/easter_not_worshipping_in_truth.html

http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2006/06/bibles-war-on-marriage.html

Finally, the culture watch website wins for this comment:

Some of the cartoons which made up the bloc still linger on in the mornings, alongside such darkly violent animated programs as Teen Titans, in which teenage superheroes - among them the demonically-powered Raven - battle opponents like an assassin named Deathstroke.

Warofthemorning (http://warofthemorning.stumbleupon.com/about/) on Stumbleupon : the bible is a human creation which makes it a subset of humanistic. this makes your either/or application invalid. then again, if you also think that divinity requires the anthropomorphication of itself in human form endowed with special powers, i don't suppose you would really care.

and

It wouldn't be hard pressed at all. it's a collection of texts all based on a progression of monotheistic thought from ancient sumeria through to the present. its revisions and editing are well established thoughout history.

it would be hard for me to say i disagree with you because that would imply that you are making a valid point at all.

RedPill: If everyone was being exposed equally to the same evidence, then there would be similar ratios of Christians to non-Christians throughout the world. But there aren't so people aren't all receiving the same opportunity to be saved. People almost always believe what their parents teach them to believe about God. Is it fair to condemn a non-Christian to Hell when the reason he/she does not believe in Jesus is for the exact same reason that you do believe in Jesus? -- It's what your parents taught you to believe.

Wyzaard: In a democratic society, one (ideally) ruled by the people and for the people... those in authority serve us, not the other way around, and in this case it is quite reasonable to rebel against those who purport to uphold 'standards' that are not communally held...

wordy: I agree, the math behind the stat is maybe science but the way they ask questions has nothing science about them. We don't know yet if it is possible to ask a person about themselves without getting biased answers.

Another way to put it. What people tell about themselves changes depending on so many factors that it is hard to predict what comes out of them.

Take me or myself between 1963 to 1983. I would have answered such polls that I had no faith in any kind of gods and that I was not a bit religious. I would say to them that I hated all aspects of religious traditions and wished all religious traditions to be banned and put in museum and only shown to people immune to the message.

If you ask me now me "knows" by every fiber of my body that I have been very religious all my life but that I hated religion cause it abused my religious feelings when I was in the boyscouts and school. We had obligatory religious indoctrination those days. Sweden i Christian nation those days.

despite me very religious me still have no faith in gods.

So the polls gets it all wrong.

It is possible to be very religious and still be a strong atheist.

They have not done their science.

The purpose of polls is to serve those who pay for them. Think Tanks or Lobby companies working for christian politicians or such.