With 2006 at a close, it is now time for our readers to select the screwiest of the screwballs, and if you want to take part in this, hop on over to my section of TheologyWeb here and cast votes in each of the many Platinum Award threads. Polls close Jan. 30 and results will be posted in next month's feature.

From the Mailbag

Meanwhile, we had some people make a last-ditch run for Platinum this month. Let's start with the mail, and one from the Acharya S Fan Club:

Dr. Holding,

I have been reading some of your apologetics lately, and you have completely extinguished my skepticism. I see the Love of Christ shining through your bitter sarcasm and severe jadedness.

I don't know who it was that rejected you many years ago at your High School dance, but God bless them. For they have empowered you in your divine interpretation of the Holy Scripture.

Osiris, Dionysus, Attis, etc. - you have conclusively proven that there are many differences between these "life-death-rebirth" deities and Christ. However, you have utterly failed to prove that there is no influence whatsoever between these pagan gods and Jesus, whether Jesus is an historical personage or not. Even you, Your Holiest, must admit that Hellinism and Judaism intertwined, lending such inevitable sycnretism to your unrelenting and desperately sought-out faith. Oh, I suppose my conclusions will result in my everlasting writhing and "gnashing of teeth" in the unimagineable torments of Hell. Or is it the watered down version that we discover in the works presented by Lee Strobel? You tell me, you're the expert.

In sum, I've read most of your apologetics articles and the corresponding arguments of your opposed "skeptics." And my conclusion: you're a ***** idiot. A genius when it comes to rationalizing and utilizing ad hominem tactics, but a ***** idiot nevertheless. Thank God the fate of the world doesn't really rest on your skewed version of reality. Because if it was as such, God (YHWH, Elohim, El Shaddai, etc., etc.) would surely be dethroned by an even bigger ******.

Happy New New Year, and Praise Be to Allah!

When told he had won an award, the second letter came:

First Issue: Where on your site can I go to reference my Screwball Award? I want to frame it and put it up on my wall.

Second: I am honored to have actually gotten a response from you, no matter how brief. I know I thoroughly insulted you and dropped a few "F Bombs," but I do think you are brilliant. Oh, that's right, you already knew that.

Anyhow, THIS is your opportunity. If you truly believe that lacking faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ results in eternal damnation, then why not attempt to save me, rather than just issue me a "Screwball Award?" I know you don't know me. I know I'm only an insignificant blip on your radar; you surely have bigger fish to fry. And I know I misspelled 'Hellenism' in my original message to you. Sorry. But why, if you truly believe that you are doing the work of God, don't you reach out to someone as myself and attempt to achieve redemption for what you would consider a "lost soul."

Perhaps you feel that is precisely what you are doing through your apologetics ministry. However, as Lee Strobel and company emphasize in "The Case for Faith," the most effective way to go about it is to reach out with love and compassion. I see no such appeal in your outreach. I only encounter smarmy and self-inflated rhetoric.

Do you do what you do purely for the sake of profit and self-affirmation? Or do you truly seek to save souls? I am asking you with genuine curiosity. What is your answer, Mr. *****?

I invited Mr. ***** to TheologyWeb, where he posted all of 5 messages before leaving -- apparently disapponited that his gratuitous profanity was edited...and, along with his intellect, was not impressing anyone.

From the Christian side of Screwball City, I got this:

http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/fishsymbol.html

Answer to your stupid article: Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

I provided a link to my article that explained what "graven images" were, and the author sent me an entire cut and paste of every mention of "graven images" in the Bible as a response. Yep, that does it. On the same subject, I also got:

Which graven image do you think looks the most like Jesus? The disgusting cross, the fish or the dove.

Then we have this one from La La Land, which was a Platinum nominee:

everything is for free

you can go and stay where ever you want to

you can do what you want to

you can leave when you want to

Gods creation is perfect

we are paedophiles

Jesus and Maitreya van Nazareth

together they are God/ Allah

(day of marriage, 11-09-2005, meaning they are sleeping together from the Heavenly dimension)

Then we have this from the Bureau of Same Old Same Old:

Is it not true that Christianity is all faith??

Faith is a belief, trust, or confidence, not based merely on logic, reason, or empirical data, but based fundamentally on volition often associated with a transpersonal relationship with God, a higher power, a person, elements of nature, and/or a perception of the human race as a whole. Faith can be placed in a person, inanimate object, state of affairs, proposition or body of propositions such as a religious credit//.

I just find it funny you are using logic to defend a faith based religion, not to mention the insults you hurl along with your strew man argument.

Looks to me that anyone involved in this site have lost there faith by proxy of trying to PROVE a faith. Read the definition.

By definition if you are trying to defend the truth of your faith you yourself have lost it sorry.

Here's a hint...faith needs to be defined properly. Check http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatfaith.html

From the Hyam Maccoby Fan Club, we had:

Ok, so you don't like anyone to criticizes Paul/Saul, the real founder of Christianity. I can see why, after all, if Paul/Saul was wrong then the entire Christian religion is wrong.

Could you please tell me, why you think that Paul/Saul has any more credibility than say Joseph Smith of Mormon fame?

Please provide evidence from Scripture, not from the mouth of Paul/Saul, or his friends. Could you also tell me, why Paul/Saul cannot keep his so-called conversion straight.

Then we have a dual performance, the second of which was a Platinum nominee:

Jesus never existed, and Christianity was fabricated by a controlling elite in order to disempower and to control. There is nothing external (outside of the self) that any individual should seek out for the "salvation" of his soul.

God is beyond the comprehension of man. We were not "born in sin." Those who wear a long robe and pretend to be God's spokesmen are the real sinners and the messengers of true evil.

I can prove my point by simply asking you to look at the bloody, genocidal history of religion and examine the way the global power structure continue to utilize it to this day.

I answered, "Whoa....these detailed refutations with a lot of scholarly references make my head spin...." and that spurred the screwiness galore:

Thanks again. There's no mistaking a 'Christian' with his words and actions. Here's why I have no use for the materials contained on your web site:

1.) A race of highly advanced ET's (that means extraterrestrials) about 30 to 50 thousand years ago altered primitive man's DNA, creating the human species. Many ET races did so, which explains the rich variety of races on the Earth. How does your bible explain that??

2.) Another race of malevolent ET's interbred with Earth women and also interfered in historic events- which goes against cosmic law. Their offspring eventually formed the monarchies and ruling elite from prehistory onward. I don't recall the Vatican ever standing up to challenge the idea of "divine right to rulership," unless I simply missed it.

3.) Many researchers believe that individuals within the current global power structure are the direct descendants of this interbreeding bloodline.

4.) Ritual human sacrifice, usury and false religions were created to enslave (gullible) primitive man. Today they are manifested as banking, "nobility," the ruling class, the Trilateral Commission and other think tanks where public policy is decided in secret.

5.) As Christianity in general is a spin-off of Catholicism, spokesmen for this are unknowingly supporting and encouraging the dumbing down and enslavement of a great race.

6.) Adoph Hitler was financed by Wall Street and some top multinational corporations. The Vatican also aided his rise to power. The Jesuits, the Zionists and ruling classes have been, and always will be an occult, Luciferian opposition to the human enlightenment and soveirgnty.

7.) Despite the dark forces currently in control as well as their useful idiots in a multitude of guises, mankind is experiencing an powerful awakening.

8.) The more advanced a civilization, the less need they have for physical manifestation. Also, the more advanced a civilization, the less they tend to resort to war and violence.

9.) Your role as an apologetic goes against the oncoming enlightenment. It doesn't work; it never did. Horse-*** is still horse-*** no mater how many PhD.'s your yes-men and fellow apologists have at the end of their names. No matter how clever you think you are, you are flat wrong; you are obsolete, and you need to get out of the way and stop supporting an evil force ( false religion).

10.) Within the next 6 years or so, you and your ilk will be standing scratching your heads with your mouths wide open because you were advised of your error and responded with insults and arrogance.

Okay.....see you in 6 years then. Meanwhile, remember that this is Platinum quality; this, however, is just plain dull:

I was just thinking the other day... as I sat in my "La-Z-Boy" eating chips and drinking gallons upon gallons of "Kool-Aid" that you seem to make certain assumptions about the superiority of a particular culture over another in your arguments, as though God cannot appreciate and meet the needs of all of them. I don't know if this is true or not, because I may have been affected by the chemicals used in the food-proccessing techniques of the koolaid and chips i was eating, or the formaldahyde in my la-z-boy, which, of course, every american sits in routinenly, as a ritual, almost a religious one. In fact, if i didn't have my la-z-boy, what on earth would i do? I wouldn't be able to think anymore. But I like to think there's some glimmer of hope out there, something in the universe... That might overlook these obvious culturual insuperiorities, and transcend that... But of course, I'm forced to admit, a "shame and honor based culture" is the superior one, and emotions should completely be done away with altogether. After all, an emotion telling you that beating another person is inherently wrong is obviously stupid... what do we need with such an emotion? As long as it doesn't dishonor anyone, or doesn't put anyone to "shame" it's absolutely fine to do so. Down with this evil emotional consciences and feelings I say, down with them! In fact, China should rule the entire world, period.

While this is just plain stupid:

Hey JP - please read every word on the websites:

www.jesusneverexisted.com

www.godvsthebible.com

Then let's have a chat.

I told him I'd been there and done that, so what? He replied:

So? Well... for starters how does it feel believing in and identifying with a religion that at its basis is unfounded and false. Like someone believing in an organized religion based on Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy - only because it makes one feel good regarding life's meaning and a fantasy afterlife.

to all the religion apologists out there who exalt one or more of there favorite "biblical scholars" to back up their empty beliefs.... how hysterical is that!?

It's like finding a scholar regarding Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy, or the God Zeus and actually engage in serious discussions about where and how they lived, and their 'massage' for humanity.

You seem like a bright / educated man... where does all this delusion come from?

don't we just love when our dear, devout, saved, and pure Christian friends stoop to name calling - the hypocrisy and phoniness becomes so transparent..... so hysterical.... always great material for any stand-up comedian.

yes... let's talk about what is moronic... and who are the real 'suckers' are out there.

now stay with me here.... how about the infantile, mental midgets that actually believe that there is an infinite-creative- unconditionally loving-all compassionate-cosmic intelligence responsible for not only creating the universe but every second holding all atoms and molecules together, and orchestrating the entire mind-blowing complexity of life (and non-life)... but yet what most concerns this supreme Being is what his human entities are doing with their genitalia at any given moment (his own priests and ministers are the exceptions here of course), and.... that this ALL POWERFUL BEING just happens to be so insecure and lacking in self-esteem, that he angrily demands that all of his human creations must 'believe' in him - and mind you- only through his horribly tortured and sacrificed son - why? - so this insecure, impotent, neurotic, angry BibleGod can finally feel good about himself and you.

Then, and only then, can you receive the divine stamp of 'saved' and your soul is then allowed to enter some fantasy 'heaven' after the body dies. Yeah... real plausible. How about some real evidence dude... for any of your Christian beliefs... please - something--- anything!

In case you're wondering if critical thinking is getting any more popular, forget it:

I recently read a portion on your site about lloyd grahams book. I began reading the bible when I was eight years old and I am forty now and still study it. Thing is the stuff Graham says makes sense to me. 12 disciples 12 zodiac signs. four gospels four seasons. The halo in the last supper picture representing the sun. When I was twenty I was so high on Jesus that I would never have read a book like that, or I would have said it was trash like you all are. I still learn some things from the bible, but some things in it are fairy tales, we learned a moral to the story in fairy tales remember?

Brian Flemming's Fan Club stopped in, too. This guy also came to TWeb and stopped posting after a handful of messages, when it became clear no one was impressed and he couldn't answer several questions, such as when and how I restructured my site as described:

I was looking at your webpage for the documentary and noticed that you lied and stated that Flemming refused to debate you, when you actually refused to debate him, using your refusal to sign a document as an excuse. It's a benign document intended to weed out nutjobs, which you happen to be regardless.

You engaged in a lot of ad hominem and mud slinging, which comprised he vast majority of your pages on the documentary. It's an obvious emotional ploy to get people to believe you. You lied and engaged in a blatant strawman argument by suggesting that certain statements were made on the basis of certain graphics being displayed (which, in your twisted mind, equate to "he must believe in and follow the random thing shown in the background") in the background for a few second and the odd logic that he must believe everything that the people he interviewed say.

You also accused him of using certain sources, with no evidence at all, another lie.

By the way, he addressed your lies and childish remarks (let me emphasize how extremely childish your website is--constant mudslinging and misdirection--hypocritcal) on his page and other of those who were interviewed--you have refused to address them because you're deathly afraid.

Let's take another strawman argument you made regarding the statement: "Christianity was wrong about the sun revolving around the earth (heliocentrism). Maybe it's wrong about other things too."

You incorrectly equated this with "Thus X group is also wrong about A, B, C, etc.." The operative word there was maybe, not a declaration of "this is the case." However, you're free to be dishonest and lie to convince your readers that you have any idea what you're talking about.

Anyway, you filled your pages with a TON of fluff, maybe 5% or less of them even mention the actual arguments he made. It's mostly you trying to make it long as possible so your mindless minions will think "length=quality."

No evidence for your claim that ancient biographies lacked coverage within the age range you mention. Futhermore, this is the son of God, he comitted God miracles, don't you think that massive portion of his life where he was showing SUPER MAGICAL POWERS would be recorded?

You also have a page attempting to debunk that it could be an urban myth, but all you have is nothing that contradicts myths that have been spread all throughout time. Why would buy someone who was crucified? Million of people, obviously do. Why wouldn't they? This guy performed tons of great stuff--people love to think there's a savior who can do that--then he survived a cruel process while standing by his beliefs, dying for everyone's sins. Sounds like something people would LOVE to believe.

Who would believe in a cruel God that slaughter numerous people for arbitrary reasons and who damned everyone to eternity hell, even if they never heard of the religion? Lots of people, despite its stupidity. The roman/greek gods were openly childish and cruel, and people believe them. Since when is stupidity, cruelness, grotesqueness or any other ****ed up things a deterrant for believing in a religion?

Most important, you don't seem to want to address that your beliefs are NO LESS RIDICULOUS than pagan mythology. You know that it is no less ridiculous than a belief in Zeus and it makes your heart race like crazy, so you run like a baby from that.

Most important, you don't understand where the burden of proof is. When someone makes a bold claim that some magical man with super powers existed, you better damn well be ready to have evidence to support it. The fact is, you don't. For someone who is so great, magical and literally Godly, he is severely lacking in any contemporary documentation.

Where's your proof? Where's any credible evidence? THERE IS NONE. You don't want to own up to this basic fact: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER THAT A MAN NAMED JESUS WITH MAGICAL POWERS EVER EXISTED. You know it, which is why you never dare come close to touching the subject on your website.

You openly admit that it's a matter of FAITH--belief without any empirical evidence. In other words, it's just something you feel--how can relying on arbtirary feelings and emotions be reliable? That's openly saying "*** logic! listen to emotions!"

I know that you're pissing your pants right now, desperately trying to come up with a long series of insults to throw at me instead of addressing my arugments

I invited Screwy to TWeb at this point and he said:

Challenge: try responding to your critics refutations. Despite numerous refutations, you rarely attempt to address them and when you do, you become evasive and throw out a million non-sequiturs and other logical fallacies. Why didn't you refute my e-mail? Do you need time to selectively edit it and come up with incoherent nonsense to reply with?

Ah, so when someone gives you a real challenge, you just engage in childish name calling and run away with your tail between your legs. I knew you'd get enraged over my e-mail and would refuse to refute it. What a coward. *****, inferiority complexes at your age are so sad, I pity you. There is nothing wrong with having a mental illness, but unfortunately people like you are too cowardly to admit to your own problems and get help to *improve* yourself.

[Side note: I noticed that you restructured your website to make more humiliating articles of yours unaccessible. You should probably remove the other pages involving pseudohistory with no citations where you claim you have the correct interpretation of a Bible verse based on something you made up and can't cite credible sources for. Have you EVER used serious source work...even once?]

It's so sad that a man your age is so petty, small minded, childish and stubborn. You're not interested in civil nor intellectual discussion, just lessening your inferiority complex. Your entire website is a shrine to your obsessive and insane _numerous_ hours spent trying to prove that you're not just a tantrum throwing baby, like your parents had called you and the kids in school had called you.

Here's a hint: by your age, most people who are a bullied as a kid have gotten over it, but instead, you've gone to the extreme and formed a histrionic personality disorder. Go take the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, you might be surprised at the results. I suspect you may be depressed as while and not realize it, many people don't correctly understand it and your kind of irrational lashing out *might* indicate it.

Despite all the arrogant boasting on your website that people are afraid of challenging you, you have, yet again, proven that you're completely and utterly full of ***. Me pointing out that Flemming and other people on the documentary have made pages refuting your claims has made you scared as hell.

You see, this is your primary tactic. You engage in extremely long winded mud-slinging and non-sequiturs in order to DETER people from responding. When they DO, you either ignore them, pretend it didn't happen or gloat because people don't want to waste time responding to logorrhoea. "Hey look, they didn't want to spend a million years responding to an evasive screwball, that means I win! I'm right!"

So again, why did you repeatedly lie on your page about the documentary and why do you refuse to provide your proof (the burden is on you) that super magical Jesus is real?

Lots of folks tried hard for Platinum....but only one can win.


Okay, I'll Start One Now
MrFrankZito saves us the trouble of figuring it all out with this easy answer:
There probably are tens of thousands of religions. Each one has an equal chance of being correct. So, even if we posit that SOME religion is correct, any particular one has only a 1 / 10,000 chance of being the correct one. That gives Christianity slim odds, indeed.

It comes down to this: Zeus is equally as probable as Yahweh. Apollonius of Tyana's divinity is equally likely as Jesus'.

He Also Calls A Plumber When He Needs a Root Canal
Brooks Trubee ("jimbo" on TWeb) is as of this typing ahead in the Platinum race, and this may be why:
Here are brief descriptions of the two processes you mentioned:

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt78.html

"Historical method basically involves four things: a) a technique of investigation; b) an ability to identify what really took place; c) knowledge of what others are affirming in one's own field, in cognate fields, and in allied disciplines; d) an ability to express correctly what one has ascertained. Historical critics place much emphasis upon their techniques of investigation, but they are usually not well informed on what non-rationalist exegetes and theologians have said or are saying about their area of research."

http://www.earlham.edu/~seidti/iam/text_crit.html

"The method of textual criticism which has been generally practised by editors of classical Greek and Latin texts involves two main processes, recension and emendation. Recension is the selection, after examination of all available material, of the most trustworthy evidence on which to base a text. Emendation is the attempt to eliminate the errors which are found even in the best manuscripts."

Do you deny that historians have used these same processes to determine that the Bible is full of fables and mythology?

Textual criticism is a tool for deciding whether a story is a myth? That's news. Plus this:

Do you ever notice how Christianity (like other religions) is all just words? It is made up of words in a book, sermons in a church, rationalizations by apologists, praying by believers, back and forth argumentation on discussion boards like this one and so on. But beyond all these words that fly from people's mouths or which are written in books or which are pounded into keyboards, there really isn't anything demonstrably true about Christianity. You can talk about modern day miracles all you want but I defy anyone to actually prove that they happen. Ancient miracles? Why should anyone believe that they actually happened? They are just stories. Words in book with no good evidence to support them. Christians cannot produce their god for anyone to meet and of course they can't say where heaven or hell actually are. Ever meet an angel or a devil? Where is Eden located? Noah's Ark? Ever see a Christian move a mountain with prayer or drink poison without any ill effects? Ain't gonna happen. Ever. I promise you this. It is all just words.

Some Christians might smugly tell me that I should just wait till I die and then I will see that everything they say is true. To these Christians I say that I will absolutely, without a doubt, with no hesitation whatsoever, pay them 100 trillion, billion, quadrillion dollars right after I die and find that everything they said was true. Honest Abe. Scout's honor. Just keep the faith and you will be rich! It is all just words, and words are cheap.

Christians can tell me over and over again till they are blue in the face that they had a "personal experience" with Jesus and that they "know in their heart" that their god exists and that they, or some family member, or some friend experienced a bona fide miracle. It is just heresay to me. And they can forumlate some mathmatical argument for the improbability of life, and they can talk about the unlikelihood that people would die for a lie, and they can rave about how wonderful Jesus was, and they point to the beauty of the world and how it must have had a designer. They can cite the number of Gospel manuscripts there were in 189 AD and they can ask me to show them where Jesus is buried. The point is, it doesn't really matter what they say because they can NEVER do anything other than talk and argue about Christianity without ever showing its reality in any definative, demonstrable way. That is the way it has been for 2000 years and that is the way it will be till Christianity eventually dies out. It is all just words and nothing beyond that.

Letters to Atheist Station
Sam Harris, meanwhile, is way behind Richard Dawkins for the Famous People Platinum as of this writing, which means maybe he should have had his fans included for a win. Here's what some of them said in response to postings of my material (by someone I do not know the identity of) on Harris' forum:
So Pete... Reading Q is one thing, I have not done it, but what about the nag hammadi library. The sources we now have from the past century are provocative to say the least! It took Constantine to settle the debate once and for all. Constantine finally deified the man/myth jesus character and made it practically heretical to believe otherwise. There were a few rogue gnostic factions who held out for a century or so but eventually the notion that Jesus is God won out for popular consumption.

Constantine with his huge cache of money bought up a vast army of scribes clergy to perpetuate his beliefs. The way I see it.

Prior to Constantine, however, it was a total crap shoot. Some folks (numbered in the tens of thousands) believed Jesus was a normal human who recieved nothing but a "commission" from god to preach. He became commissioned when the dove appears at baptism, and decommissioned on the cross when jesus supposedly cries out "Why have you forsaken me"?

And there are a half a dozen variations of that non deified jesus you can read about in Ehrman's book "The Lost Christianities". Good stuff!

I keep forgetting, though, how similar the jesus character is to Krishna etc. That is perplexing. I would really like to get to the bottom of those parallels some day. They seem really great on paper, as in competely destructive to Jesus as an actual person. If the parallels truly are spot on, I do not know how else a person can say jesus is anything but a myth.

I have a particular fondness for the term 'apologist'.

It is a form of rebuttal, a defense against a charge.

It is not a refutation. Today we call it 'spin'.

As an analogy:

Little Billy runs through the house and knocks a lamp off the table, breaking it. He presents his 'apology'; You were careless to place the lamp so close to the edge of the table.

An Apologist is someone who intends to present an intellectually dishonest response. By labelling himself as an apologist, he readily admits his position is not legitmately defensible.

I give the apologist credit for honestly admitting he intends to be dishonest.

I have read the books you mentioned, and in addition to those I would recommend "Who wrote the New Testament" by Mack.

I also recommend either of the two books on the subject by Acharya S, as she is so meticulous in her sourcing, she generates a lot of good leads. Another helpful volume, believe it or not, is "Asimov's Guide to the Bible." I use it a lot to point me in the proper direction.

If you continue upon this path, you will eventually have to spring for a good translation of Josephus and Philo. I'm from the old school, and am happiest when I have four or five books open in front of me, rather than four or five tabs on Firefox.

The Christian myth is really an easy target, taken as a whole, and many authors have advanced theories of what sprang from what, and who shot Sam, etc. What it boils down to, for me, is that it doesn't matter from a religious standpoint, 'cause its all demonstrably man-made, I want to know just to know. I don't think there is any way to ever be sure, though, one way or the other barring a new discovery or something like that.

Mr. Holding,

I regret you having spent (and will continue to spend) countless hours attempting to refute - item by item, apparently, Mr. Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation." The more you write, the sadder you appear.

Simply put, had you been born in Israel, you'd be Jewish (and likely writing to Mr. Harris to defend your positions on Judaism). Had you been born in Saudi Arabia, you'd be a Muslim. Had you been born in India, you'd like be a Hindu. You are a product, not of your scholarship, but of your birth.

So, you spent a day at www.answering-islam.org which, upon a 5 minute review, is nothing more than a sock puppet website designed by rabid pro-christianity zealots-- with preconceived notions and confirmation biases up the buttcrack-- completely hell bent on proving islam is a false religion. Is this how you define intellectual honesty?

But then again, Dawkins has his own screwy elf helpers, as this from his own forum shows:

Highlights include Holding's defense of the Inquistion, slavery, and genocide.

See a real life Christian Apologist at work here:

Letter to a Maladjusted Misotheist A Point-by-Point Reply to Sam Harris by JP Holding http://www.tektonics.org/gk/harrisletter.html

See a summary of the standard tricks and techniques of Christian Apologists here:

Christian Apologetics - Fundamentally Flawed Deceiving the Unsophisticated by Trickery http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/circus.html

Jesusneverexisted is an excellent, brief and comprehensible and it's even available in different languages.

I can't see no reason to read the apologetics other than getting into the right mood, before a good fight.

A very long response to a very slim little book ... what a total waste of time. Some people have waaaaaaay too much time on their hands. I bailed out after the first few paragraphs. I have more respect for my brain cells.
Shaker. Well, you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yells is the one you hit. This guy must feel very threatened.
yeah I got bored too... yawn.. can these fools actually put together an argument devoid of emotion, that is logical in its nature.
bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

Sorry, that was my nose hitting the "B" key when I feel asleep reading. I find it hard to understand why someone would choice that font and white letters on black. I don't know if the writing or the view made my head hurt more.

Wow...I've never seen an apologist go as far as to say the Inquisition was justified (that's as far as I got). It's akin to a white supremacist claiming that the Holocaust never happened. If only more Christians would read garbage like this, we wouldn't need books like Letter to a Christian Nation or The God Delusion...

These are the people Harris and Dawkins see as our future. Better order a bomb shelter now.

It's His Easy Way to Get Rid of the JWs

"Agnostics_R_Us" came up with a fun argument against missionaries:

The basic idea is that from Scripture we can clearly tell most people will not accept the gospel and will end up in hell. The more people know about this deal the more accountable they will be for the information. Therefore, you can be fairly certain that you are basically damning more people worse than the few you are saving. I may assert that no one is truly informed of the reality of the gospel, but it is clear that the Biblical God does not think that way.

Matthew 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

What's a few? I would start with at least less than 49%...but in reality a "narrow path" isn't a "narrower path" and I'd have to envision something in the realm of less than 10%. And what happens to the majority who obviously aren't saved?

John 15:22 [Jesus says:] If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.

Even Jesus himself admits that ignorance is a justifiable defense.

Coming to the conclusion that it is immoral to evangelize is clearly not possible within the Christian paradigm. It is a deal breaker. I'm arguing for internal inconsistency here. Even scamtacular apologists with their extremely low empirical standards use this test when they think they can get away with it (to bolster themselves over other religions). And here I've played their game and won. If we didn't know how it was all going to turn out…that'd be one thing. But…Jesus was stupid enough to tell us and thus we do know that Christian evangelism is morally wrong. According to Biblical principles one must conclude it hurts more people than it helps in eternal ways and yet God commands it anyway. He's so concerned with temporary thirst or nakedness, but when it comes to eternal suffering…pffft. Tell me…what could there be that could make this a pretty picture?

I think that if you actually want to be a good person and love your neighbor as yourself (and therefore God as well), that as a good Christian you would let your religion die suffocating under the weight of its own metaphysical implications. If you are an extremist and still for some "ungodly" reason decide that the Bible is still true (with an evil God in the mix) you could take that a step further, be a hero, and kill all evangelists on the basis they are the worst sociopaths imaginable so as to insure Judgment Day will be that much more tolerable.

I'm sorry…if you want me to "count the cost and take up my cross"…I can't help but come to obvious conclusions such as these based on the "information" from Scripture. Forgive me for taking what the Bible says seriously and not twisting what it clearly says as so many Christians try to do. Its not that there is something wrong with my argument, they actually try to change the meaning of the verses unsuccessfully. As a former Christian it is a patently evil thing to do and is normally the vice of the atheist...but not in this case. The tables are turned. You are to let the verse be what the verse is and not try to worm out of it. Good luck proving me wrong and be glad I don't think the Bible is anything but a metaphysical scam of entirely human origin or else you might find me knocking on your door like a Terminator. ;) That would be great fun though…if it weren't so sick.

The evangelistic sociopath…keeping it real: [knock, knock, knock] "Hello. My name is Christiana. I know there's a good chance you're not going to respond well to what I say, and by saying it I basically make things much worse for you on Judgment day and for all eternity…but if I don't God will be mad…and darn it, I'll be drugged for all eternity, so why should I care! Want to believe in Jesus?"

Plus, I Think I'm a Rabbit

"Member11491" picks up gold for this diatribe against yours truly, in which he claimed I had a mental problem because I had gone on to Brian Flemming's forum mockingly as my Sheila character (pictured here). I said to him, "Jealous that you can't even draw anatomically correct stick figures, huh? Here's a news flash for you: Writing under the other gender, and other forms of persona-taking, is a normal literary convention" and provided several links. To this he replied:

Sorry Hutt, but drawing yourself as a blond female rabbit denotes some serious psychological issues. You arn't writing as a female, you are drawing an avatar to represent yourself as a female. This is also demonstrated with your fierce, illogical defense of fairy tales that have been disproved long ago. Those tales are probably the only thing you have keeping you from falling into the brink of complete depravity.

This is not surprising, especially since you were caught trolling "The God Who Wasn't There" forums as a woman too. You have some serious internal "ted haggard-esque" issues that you should confront. I also see you are getting the snot beat out of you on that biology thread. It's funny, but at this point I know you simply like any kind of attention, positive or negative.

So: The abolitionists, etc. who wrote as women were OK, but would have had "issues" had they also included a picture.

Wheel of Misfortune II

"Bible Wheel" wins gold for his "rebuttal" to my article on him, which includes these gems:

What is a primary theme of John's Gospel? One is the meaningfulness of life under the true Light of the World, Jesus Christ, as it is written in its glorious opening prologue, In the beginning was the Word ... and [the Word] was the light of men! God designed Ecclesiastes as a kind of "photographic negative" of John's Gospel. Thus the Greek word helios (sun), which corresponds to the Shin KeyWord "shemesh" that dominates Ecclesiastes, is entirely missing in John though it appears in the each of the other Gospels. This is an example of designed emphasis through absence (see Where is the Sun?).

Emphasis through absence. So if the word "sun" is there, it validates the Bible Wheel; and if it isn't there, it validates the Bible Wheel.

This twisted technique accomplishes a host of evil ends. First, it is a straightforward insult from [Holding] to me. Second, its repetition inculcates a sense of disrespect for me and my work in his readers so they will be predisposed to reject my position, thereby relieving [Holding] of some of the "strain" required to produce real arguments. Third, it's just plain creepy to have any human being repeatedly referred to as the "creator," especially in a religious context (we are talking about Scripture you know). It inevitably evokes a subtle sense of Satan in any Christian soul (Gen 3:5, Isa 14:14, Ezek 28:2, etc.).
So please, folks, don't refer to me as the "Creator" of the Hearthstone comics.
Fourth, and most significantly, [Holding]'s refrain is designed to subliminally implant the idea that the Bible Wheel is nothing but mere human invention. It is an attempt to program his readers to prejudicially reject the possibility that the Bible Wheel could be a genuine discovery or a revelation from God. It is a classic, if perverse, polemic technique that has been honed to perfection by his spiritual forefathers (John 8:44). I have little doubt this was his primary purpose, whether he knew it or not (I do not know how much, if any, self-awareness he has). He did the same thing in his subtitle when he called the Bible Wheel a "gimmick" which likewise carries the connotation of something "invented," with one of its definitions being "a trick or device used to attract business or attention," and another being "A device employed to cheat, deceive, or trick, especially a mechanism for the secret and dishonest control of gambling apparatus." This is vintage [Holding] - argument by insidious insinuation. It is serpentine apologetics all the way down the line. It also should be noted here in the context of his sevenfold reference to me as the "creator" that he referred to "God" exactly twice in his article - and both instances were in mockery ("Isn't it amazing how God has worked things out in our Presidency?" and "It's God's way of showing that anyone who tries to destroy our nation's leaders can't do it.") Fine work for a "Christian" apologist (Matthew 10:26).

As of this writing, Bible Wheel is winning in the race for Christian Platinum. I wonder why.

Myth Dusters

A pair here gets the gold nod for paranoia in fantasy:

JosephD3000: In LOTR, Gandalf uses magic, the One Ring is magic, and Galadriel uses magic. Does that mean Lord of the Rings is just as bad as Harry Potter, even though Tolkien was a Christian and his books contain a lot of Christian symbolism? i only saw Lotr

I only saw Lotr felowship of the ring(the first one) and i started sweating bad!! i felt heat all over me i knew something demonic was in it. needless to say i never watched the 2nd and third Lotr

Laurian I´m just back for a few days then off to Spain to await the birth of our first grandchild. Have missed taking part in all your convos. Bet they have been hell raising!!

Have had a few revelations this last week or so that I wanted to share with you all. More details are on the website below, hope the link works I´m not good at that.

It appears to me that the beloved Santa is no less than Satan in disguise who as such is robbing our children of the knowledge of Jesus by taking all his attributes then having captured their hearts dumps them. They then find out that they have been lied to and so to take on the belief of our Lord Jesus is difficult because their hearts have been hardened by the Santa experience. Their trust and hope has been shattered.

A few findings...

  • Santa is an annagramme of Satan.
  • Old Nick is a term used for Lucifer.
  • Claus is an old English name for hoofed claws.
  • Clause is another name for Lucas ( lucifer).
  • HoHoHo is 666 eg.. H ijklmn O six letters between H and O.
  • He comes in the darkness
  • Prince of the air ( on his sleigh)
  • He has helpers .. elves ( fallen angels ) or demons.

interestingly also.... he tries to be God

  • He has hair white as snow
  • Sits on a throne
  • Asks liitle children to come to him.
  • HO Ho HO is like Holy Holy Holy
  • He is omnipresent
  • He knows when you are good or bad
  • He writes down your name in a book
  • He gives good gifts
  • He is likened to a carpenter
  • He answers your requests

Well that´s enough to be going on with. You can put "santa or satan" into google and get more coincidences

Ho ho....ho?

Reason #34,847 Western Christianity Is In Trouble

Yes, I have special contempt for people like these. All of the following come from a forum titled "Teens 4 Christ" and I am rather disgusted by this group, especially "Bro. Randy" who should be hogtied with a rosary and forced to read The Message Bible. These all speak for themselves:

jesusfish: One of my friends (not a very close one, but I've known her for as long as I've been in school) recently was raped. She had been on the way home late at night when her car broke down; a stranger offered to help but then violated her in her own car.

What I want to know is if this is a sin. The Bible and the Christian faith teaches that any sexual contact before marriage is against the Lord, and that all non-automatic actions (i.e. breathing, heartbeat, etc.) are the responsibility of the individual.

Is it her fault that she is no longer pure? Should I take any action to make sure that she's still right with God and Christ?

Bro. Randy: When I started to answer this post, I started to talk about the reasons why someone would be raped and who is at fault. But, that is not the topic here. To directly answer your question: I believe there is a physical purity and a spiritual purity. The physical purity is gone. It was stolen from her. But her spiritual purity may not be. This is where we have to examine the 'why' behind the rape. If someone is dressed immodestly, is drinking or doing drugs that cause her to loose her inhibitions, or is somewhere she should not be, then she did contribute to the crime. For example: There was a girl in our youth group some time ago. This girl was clearly in rebellion to the Lord. One night, she decided that she wanted to visit her friend, but her parents brought her to church. When she got to church, she quickly left and started walking to her friends house. She was raped less than 300 yards from the church property. Was the rapist wrong? Absolutely. Was she? Did she contribute to the situition? Yes, she did. If she had been obedient to the authorities over her (her parents, the church's rules and workers), she would have stayed at church and been safe.

Spiritual purity is a heart condition. By the way -- Spiritual purity can be lost without ever touching another person or being touched by another person.

"Remember, kids, if you're not a Christian and visit your friends instead of going to church, you will be raped and it will be partially your fault." And from this, an irony alert, from another thread:

Bro. Randy: Have you ever thought about why someone would be turned off by Christianity? About why someone would not want to be a Christian?

Could it possibly be Christians that say rape-victims that skip church are to blame for their being raped? Naw, can't be that....now for some highlights of an inane discussion prmoting the KJV:

peperoni123: Here is an article that came across on a website, that uses the King James bible, about other versions of bibles like the NIV, etc.

Revelation 1:5 clearly reads in the King James Bible:

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (KJB)

But you are NOT "washed in the blood" in the New Per-Versions . . .

Oh Happy day when Jesus washed my sins away! - Not according to the NIV, NASV, NCV, CEV, at al!

According to the NIV, NASV, NCV, CEV and other Per-Versions - Jesus Christ did not wash your sins away!

Why don't we "update" our "archaic", "hard to understand" song books?

Isn't it irreverent and sacrilegious that these new Per-Version people will "update" the words of God - without "batting an eye" - and yet would not dare even consider "messing with" the song "Are You Washed In the Blood"!

Aren't you glad Brother Elisha Hoffman, the author of "Are You Washed in the Blood", still read and believed the "updated" and "archaic" King James Bible? He might have come out with some silly occultic nonsense like Stephen Curtis Chapman's "Lord of the Dance", or Carman's blasphemous "Holy Ghost Hop", et al.

And now, some crazy notes from a thread mangling 1 Cor. 7:1:

Tiffany09: No. It's not ok to hold hands. The bible says that men aren't supposed to touch women. 1Co 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a woman. I think that goes for men and women.
a_teen_saved_by_grace To touch a woman I think it can be very dangerous. Reason being is that holding hands, hugging, and kissing should be dealt with after marrige. Now some people may disagree. But think about it, if you are going out with a guy if your a girl and if your a girl going out witha guy, and holding hands occurs then it can lead to hugging then kissing and even into sex before marrige. A chain reaction. So even if it does seem harmless and if you think if won't happen to me, it will.
Bro. "Penguin Lust" Randy: Adultery, fornication and lust are clearly forbidden. These are the fruit of a dating couple touching. If touching (holding hands, kissing, or whatever) does not do something for you, why do you do it? When I touch my wife, it does something for me!
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. This is the absolute best: the simple fact, as we have discussed, is that when a man touches a woman, it does something to him. It stirs a desire for more physical contact - that desire, unless it is within marriage, between a husband and wife, is illegitimate. We call it lust. There are occasions when it is not lustful. For example, a grandma type giving you a hug, or shaking hands at an appropriate time.
Mrs "Little" Debbie: Scripture was not taken out of context here.

The good news is, these people are so scared of sex that they probably won't breed....Oh wait! Someone with some intelligence showed up...

Marshall Rose: I didn't have to look long before I started noticing a pattern among most commentators concerning 1 Corinthians 7:1. Every commentary I've seen so far agrees that the phrase "touch a woman" is an idiom. For those of you who don't know what that means, it means "figure of speech". As we all know, the Bible uses the phrase "knew his wife" as an idiom for sexual intercourse. Likewise, the phrase "touch a woman" was an idiom for sexual intercourse, or touching sexually (I won't go into details). This phrase, at least not according to the Bible scholars, is not talking about holding hands, hugging, or even the occasional affectionate peck on the cheek. I hate to sound like a relativist, but speaking from personal experience, I do not consider these things to be sexual, not even in the slightest.

But nope....

Bro. "Ostrich Hed" Randy:
If, in a romantic relationship, holding hands, kissing, etc. is not sexual, then why do it? I go back to the simple fact that those things either do something for you, or you are dead. Otherwise, why do it? The first time you hold hands, you are awkward, but you quickly notice that you like holding her hand. Soon, you and she are comfortable with it, so holding hands progresses to an arm around the shoulder. That too is awkward at first, uncomfortable, but it's really nice. Hey - I will be the first to admit: ladies are addictive! I am certainly addicted to my wife! From there, the hands begin to go other places. Kisses are exchanged. The physical relationship progresses. This is how God designed it to be. It starts with the first romantic touch - holding hands. What you are not admitting is that holding hands is a form of sexual contact. There are commentators out there who will claim that the blood of Christ is no different than mine. There are commentators who claim that it does not matter what Bible you read. I can even find scholars who will say that Christ did not rise from the dead. Regardless of who they are, or what they say, when the commentator disagrees with the Word of God, the commentator is in error. Pure and simple.

Given all this, it is no surprise to find in their rules these comments:

NO DEBATING. Teens-4-Christ is not a 'debate' site. You will not change our minds, do not try. A quick read of Romans 1 will show that those who debate are in the company of adulterers, sodomites and murderers. Therefore, debating will not be allowed.
Don't Disturb the Gaytheist
Reader "Sir-Think-a-LOT" nominates "Gaytheist" for this exchange they had on TWeb. I can understand why, having found myself that a debate with her is like nailing jello to a wall:

Gaytheist: I have never understood this jph label or what is wrong with argument by outrage. When something is outrageous, it is appropriate to be outraged, and such a reaction may be a good reason for believing or acting in a given way. For example, I am outraged by the idea that a divine being would command his followers to commit genocide against their neighbors. From that I conclude that OT Judaism is a barbaric religion, as is the Christianity that derives from it, and any religion that worships such a purported deity. Yes, it's argument by outrage, but what's wrong with that? We should be outraged, if we have any humanity or compassion.

STAL: Well theres two reasons.

first is It assumes(by implication) that your morality is correct(or more correct than someone elses). Someone else who holds a different standard for morality will naturally disagree with you.

For example: I imagine we would both agree that Hitler was wrong to attempt genocide of the Jewish race. However to a Neo-Natzi or other racist, it would be immoral to not extermnate them, and let them keep 'poisioning' humanity. So expressing outrage at these people will not win the argument, because they have no reason to be outraged at what he did.

Secondly, very rarely do people ever do reasearch into whyparticular act was commited. Morality is as much about justification as it is about actions themselves.

For example we feel outrage when someone tells us that Hitler ordered the deatl of six million Jews. Why? Because we know about his master race plan, his attempt at genoecide and so on. These are things that most people would rightly feel outrage at(although not everyone, think of those above mentioned neo-natzies).

However what if I said that Paul Atradies ordered the death of six million Harkonnens. Do we feel outrage at that? Perhaps at first. But lets add a few more facts here.

Atradies happens to be teh ruler of a reletively peacefull planet that is the sole source of a substance necessary for inter-galactic travel(and thus is very important to the rest of the universe). He has, up till this point, been very generous with this substance, ensureing that there is pleanty for all trade and pleasure travel throughout the universe, at reasonable prices. The Harkonnen decided to take over the planet, kill Atradies and horde the substance, selling it at absurdely hight prices in order to make a fortune. Also, there happens to be billions of Harkonnen, and killing six million of them was the only way Atradies could convince them that the price was too high for the profit they would make.

Given all of that do we still feel outrage when someone tells us that Atradies killed six million of Harkonnen. Probably not. If anything we feel outrage at the Harkonnen for wanting to horde such a valuable substance just to make themselves rich.

Basicly mearly expressing outrage is not an argument. It is a cheap way to score points with people who happen to agree with you.

Gaytheist:

STAL: first is It assumes(by implication) that your morality is correct(or more correct than someone elses). Someone else who holds a different standard for morality will naturally disagree with you.

Yes, I do assume that most TWeb participants are opposed to genocide, infanticide, slavery, and stoning people to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath. It does take me aback when I find that this is not a safe assumption.

STAL: Secondly, very rarely do people ever do reasearch into whyparticular act was commited. Morality is as much about justification as it is about actions themselves.

Yes, when I discuss OT atrocities with TWeb apologists, they tend to invent justifications for Yahweh out of whole cloth, with no support for their assertions, as: those Perrizites were really evil. I want to ask, really? How do you know? Outside of the Bible, which does not describe them as such, I have never found a specific reference to them. Tell me all about their incredibly evil acts, and how you learned about them. Are they so evil they slaughtered innocent little babies, like the Hebrews? Are you sure you're not just making stuff up to justify the unjustifiable? Plus, how evil do you have to be to justify slaughtering you as an infant?

STAL: Basicly mearly expressing outrage is not an argument. It is a cheap way to score points with people who happen to agree with you.

It also highlights the strange morality of people who don't. After all, if we don't agree that infanticide is wrong, we don't agree on much. Especially odd from people who condemn abortion.

Frankly, if the picture of a grown male, armed with a sword, running it through the belly of a six-month infant ripped from his mother's arms, doesn't outrage you, there's something very wrong with you. And if you can come up with a justification for that, ditto.

Here's a hint....you don't support "argument by outrage" with more outrage....

I Didn't Do Quantum Physics, Either
Collective award to the whiners in the Nat Sci thread of TWeb on my homology article, including and especially Barry Desborough and Soundsurfr, whose main argument was, "But in your article on A, you didn't address arguments on B through Z."
One For the Road
And of course, Doubting John (John Loftus) wins his usual award, for himself and his blog, and is even now campaigning to be awarded Platinum...too bad he can't even win that so far (Brooks Trubee is ahead by 5 votes at this moment). Try harder, DJ. But still....

Loftus himself wins for his own words:

I watched the movie Troy (starring Brad Pitt as Achilles) just recently. I liked the movie a great deal even though it was long. It was very entertaining and loosely based on Homer's The Iliad, along with Greek mythology. You ought to watch it! So long as it's even close to how the ancients thought about the gods, it's enlightening.

Instead of cracking a book about the ANE written by a credentialed expert, he watches a Brad Pitt movie. He also says this:

Take for instance the problem of evil. If you believe in a Christian God concept, then God is your answer. God knows what he's doing, and what he does is good, even though they have no answer as to why God didn't explicitly condemn slavery, or create all human being with one color of skin.

Just think of all the race based conflict and race based slavery that would never have existed if we were all one color of skin. But apparently your God wanted this, knew about it in advance, and created it anyway. Isn't that like throwing a bucket of chopped up fish in shark infested waters during a scuba dive? It sure seems similar to me.

And one for his crew as well. Useful idiot dagoodS shows his ignorance of, among other things, usage of dual names in first century culture:

Levi/Matthew

The explanation given is that Levi and Matthew were the same person. The authors just used different names....

Or is it more plausible that Levi and Matthew were the same, and the author of Matthew failed to note the alternative names. The author of Mark failed to note the alternative names. And the author of Luke failed to note the alternative names.

So, dagood sets the expectation arbitraily ("duh, authors would HAVE to note the alternative names!") and then whines when it isn't met. He claims that "[t]he authors of the Gospels display a propensity to list dual names, when known" and picks examples of no relevance, mixing together family identity markers such as "son of" (which is NOT an example of a "dual name" as "Simon Peter" is) and other inapplicable material with what are truly dual names (only ONE!).

Not many here this round. An unnamed Yahoo debate member wins the Kersey Graves Heritage Award for this:

I have heard Xtians on these boards claim that their religion is unique and does not borrow from other beliefs. Some have even been dishonest to the point they have tried to say other religions have borrowed from Xtianity.

So I ask, what is unique about Xtianity?

A: it has a demi-god for a hero, very Greek you might say.

B: Xtianity has the Eucharist, once again can be shown to come from older Greek cults

C: Xtianity claims a virgin Birth; this is a very common theme.

1: The Greeks themselves tied into Virgin births of their Demi -Gods, Heracles being a known example

2: The much older virgin Birth comes from Egypt and is no other then Horus.

D: Many Xtians have attempted to claim the Trinity is a Xtian theme, of course once we study we find a much older Egyptian Trinity, between Horus, Isis and Osiris.

E: Many Xtians attempt to claim the resurrection is a Xtian theme, of course this also comes from Egyptian religions with the Osiris cult.

F: In Xtianity we have Jesus as the bride groom; once again this can be seen thousands of years earlier in the older Sumerian legends. City states had a Goddess and the Goddess would marry the King.

G: Even the Madonna scene is no other then Horus and Isis a much older Egyptian theme.

H: WE have the Son of Xtianity and the Sun of Mithraism Worship, Mithra also born of a virgin in a cave had three wise men attend him. Mithra was worshipped on Sunday, the new day adopted for worship by Xtianity.

So could somebody please tell me what is so "original" about Xtianity.

Ishmael earns the Beached Whale Trophy for defending Thomas Paine with the nanny nanny boo boo gun:

Now it might be that Paine's hermaneutic was a disaster and that the aburdities that he points out are not absurd at all in the proper context, but that was not his problem nor is it mine, it's methphorically speaking, yours.

Stuart Shepherd earns the Scam Buster Award for these comments:

Christians rely on God to fulfill his promises to them. But can they depend on God to fulfill his promises as they expect he will?

We can learn a lot by examining God's "track record". We can read about promises he made in the past to people and see how he fulfilled his word.

God made the following promise to King Zedekiah, King of Israel. (out of context verse) Jeremiah 34:2-5 God told Zedekiah that he would die in peace and be buried with his fathers. But the following is the fulfillment of God's promise. (out of context verse) Jeremiah 52:10

Zedekiah had his eyes plucked out, was put in chains, was put in prison, and died in prison in Babylon. I think that Zedekiah must have been disappointed in God's fulfillment of his promise to him. What makes you think that God will not screw you like he screwed Zedekiah?

So Zedekiah was a bad manager and God was no longer obligated to fulfill his promise. I get it. Watch out that God doesn't have a "catch 22" waiting for you when you think you will collect on God's promise.

If Jesus, Mary, and Joseph had been DNA tested it would have revealed if Joseph were Jesus' father. If any other likely suspects were tested, who knows what might have turned up.

A male has XY chromosomes. A woman has XX chromosomes.

In order to have a male child there must be a Y chromosome contribution from a male.

Now if it is your contention that the Holy Spirit contributed a Y chromosome into Mary's womb in order to conceive Jesus, then that constitutes rape if the contribution was not voluntary with the consent of Mary. Is the Christian God a rapist?

DesertFox gets the KJV Bonus Award for this one:

But God don't talk in Arabic. He talks in a REAL language, namely, English. It's true that back in them days He translated that to some other language after Speaking it in English, but after all, it's His universe and He can do what He doggone well wants to do.

ex20171 picks up the Crass Use of Oklahoma City Award for the following misinformation:

I see your from Tulsa,OK hmm thats the home of Tim Mcveigh right? Wasnt he a Christain? Why yes he was!! *lol Yeah you have to becareful cause them Christ worshipers are baby killers! Yeah the love to run truck bombs in buildings with day care centers! So dont try telling me they care about peace!

rex20171 shares the award, too:

Christian suicide bombers beat Islamic suicide bombers any day of the week, easily. In a face off between the two religion's fundamentalists, Islamic suicide bombers would come off simply as just pure amateurs. The Islamic suicide bomber might destroy structures around him or her and kill dozens and, in the case of 9/11, thousands of people at a time, but, in comparison against Christian fundamentalists, this scale of devastation is a but pin drop breaking the silence. Christian suicide bombers are also better funded.

Sevivon1913, making a last run at Platinum, won the Hell on Earth Post Award:

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - Matthew 10:34

Intolerance / racism / continuation of slavery / hatred / hellfire / blind faith / the glorification of being dumb / the condemnation of being smart / polytheism / occult magic (exorcism and healing) / etc / etc /etc

And let's not forget what Jesus is going to do to non-Christians for eternity (the most violent concept I've ever encountered in a religious text, far worse than any temporal violence).

"Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. " - Luke 13:23-28

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." - John 15:6

...it's not important what the new testament teaches. The Church predates the writing of that terrible book. It's the Church and not the New Testament which have executive control over the masses. Power lies not with those who wrote the Book, but with those who interpret it.

An unnamed Christian wins the Faith Aids Award, as reported by a reader:

Christian: How can you believe in Jesus, you're a jew.

Me: Shut up, there are enough morons who think Jesus never existed already, we don't need you making more.

Jew: We don't believe Jesus was the savior, we believe he was a prophet.

Me: Try that line on your rabbi.

*inaudible*

Teacher (also Jewish): How do you know? The bible's all lies. It was written by some guys.

Me: No kidding. Here I was thinking it was was written by jesuit lizards.

Christian: That's what faith is, it's not about proof... *inaudible*

John Powell wins the You Know Better Ribbon for the following:

That's why in general the facts of science are more reliable than the facts of history.
Casey sees things. Mark was written in Greek. Casey suggests it was originally written in Aramaic and then tries to back translate what it said in Aramaic.

Of course, Casey is only the most credible scholar on the Aramaic background of the NT today.

Disney wins the Grinch Award for what happened as reported at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,236796,00.html

"They told me I either needed to alter my appearance or I needed to leave the park because I was impersonating Santa Claus. They told us that Santa was considered a Disney character,' said Worley.

http://unifiedview.blogspot.com/2006/11/racism-and-pro-life-connection.html -- argues for a connection between those who oppose abortion and racism. Okay...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CQKxq6gkTc

http://www.eso.org/outreach/press-rel/pr-2006/pr-45-06.html

http://jeffperado.blogspot.com/2006/12/oscar-wilde-would-be-proud-if-he.html -- Jeff showed up on TWeb to defend his "Bible errs about pi" argument.

http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1865.cfm

http://www.apologizingforjesus.com/ -- this one was fun. I had gotten an email:

I have just put a new Christian apologetics website online, and I was hoping that you could take a look at it and give me an opinion and perhaps share the link with your readers. I hope you will find the site to be a valuable resource and one that brings glory to our Lord Jesus Christ. I would appreciate it very much if you could give me a link from your site. Here's the link to my new site: http://www.apologizingforjesus.com.

Sorry -- gotta get up earlier than that to fool me....

http://www.blasphemychallenge.com/ -- Rational Responders was nominated for Platinum based on this childish prank plus their support of Brian Flemming

http://www.leftbehindgames.com/

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=88083 -- Minnesota, Zoroaster, and Pitchforkpat play the Three Stooges.

http://christianparty.net/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8x14cLGh5o

http://forchrist-contramundum.blogspot.com/

http://www.libertytothecaptives.net/

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Sun+of+God+

http://www.johnnythebaptist.org

And now, since there are no better people to teach our kids Christian morals than seafaring folk known for rape, murder, and theivery, I present CHRISTIAN PIRATES!:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKZec6aDhww

http://www.metroactive.com/thrift/thrift1.html

And an Institutional Award for all those now referring to Christmas by saying:

"Happy Unwrapping!"

taoist: I have no objection to faith based education which does not include indoctrinating children with scientific falsehoods or morally reprehensible doctrines likely to damage society as a whole.

(Translation: "I have no objection for faith based education so long as it conforms to the tenets of my faith (or lack thereof).)

SpiritWoman: How easily you forget that Jesus was a Jew, he never put pen to paper but taught oral tradition, which is by the way, still practiced today by modern hebrews as was commanded by G_D. Jesus was a mystic and he was the WORD, oral, not on paper or stone.

Stevencarrwork: God allows abortion to continue. We have to trust that allowing abortion is the right thing to do, whatever we may personally feel about the subject. If sin brought death into the world, then what is keeping Satan alive? Is God keeping death from having a hold over Satan? Or is this another Christian ad hoc hypothesis? Sin brings death where there was no death, except when it doesn't?

Wyzaard: Exactly how does someone 'allow' themselves to become pregnant... do they idly flip a 'pregnant' switch or something?

and since you cant prove that this religion (called radzxxxisim btw) is the right religion, you cant break its rules because you would end up in yzzxyysa (a version of hell where you get poked with tiny chop sticks, and its freezing cold all the time.)

oh and its ''bible'' is called the øæøåøæ and everything it says is true because its about this guy that did alot of cool things, and alot of people saw him do it 2000000 years ago, and they say its true so it must be.

wiseman: What you view as the truth has been created by humans, not by god. Knowing the truth about god is like eating a grapefruit, it is sour until you put sugar on it and the bible is like a tonne of sugar that has burried the grapefruit. Dig out the grapefruit and you will find god.

Narnian: WHO DO MUSLIMS PRAY TO? - To the alter ego of Muhammad; a punishing, capricious, forboding, distant "man in the sky" whom you must never call "father" and whom you are a "slave" to.

DO MUSLIMS MAKE REQUESTS WHEN THEY PRAY AND IF YES, WHAT DO THEY ASK FOR? - It is not Islamic to pray spontaneously like this; Allah is too "Great" for that, and too distant. Islam means submission. Allah knows what is best for you, so there is little negotiation etc, unlike christianity.

Raven55: I don't believe in male gynecologists because I know what a gynecologist does. Imight as well let him have sex with my wife. It's basically foreplay without the penis entering into the picture. Anyway, there's also the fact that they will lust, and they shouldn't be looking at anyone's wife, daughter nude. I know a lot about Gynecologists because I came close to going to school to be one. Then I came back to Christianity and I see that a male looking at a nude women is wrong, and what they do.

A Blog: Once upon a time, God was spending eternity floating in a void. He found that he had a bunch of special powers, and that he could manipulate quantum mechanics and sub atomic particles. He also found that he could play with relativity and with gravity. From there he started experimenting. During a good part of eternity, through trial and error found out the relationships and reactions between time, light, matter, gravity, etc. he made nebulas, galaxies, stars, and solar systems. All this time wondering why he was created and he wondered where all of the things that he was manipulating, including himself, came from. If there was a greater intelligent being outside of his existence and his experience and beyond his universe. There had to be something there for god to create things in. If god created everything including himself, dimensions and time; then, how would god have the time to create time?

Steven Anderson: The King James Bible is God's word and does not need any additions or corrections. We ought to thank the Lord that we are privileged to have been born in America and have such easy access to the pure word of God. Many people throughout the world are not even privileged to have a part of the Bible or any translation of the Bible, but we in America have the perfect, complete King James Bible. Let us appreciate this gem for what it is and work to reach the rest of the world with its saving power and life-changing truths.

kupov: Ive read the Da Vinci code so i'm qualified to answer any and all religious questions you may have.

Forrest: Everything in this physical world is a manifestation of the spiritual. Heb 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Is there anything physical that is not a substance?

Ikkyu: I wouldn't get too focused on the history at this point and if Buddhist thought had penetrated Judea at that particular time. I would simply say read the links, the stories are extremely similar.

shunyadragon: No, I believe that every worldview including my own is transitory and relative.

The desire for security, expressed most significantly in the evolution of the human family and community for the success of the species is a motivating factor for various religious beliefs, including in some cultures the belief in God, in different cultures throughout human history whether God exists or not.

pitchforkpat: Crystal, with all respect, I'll explain why I'm not responding to your last post and why I'm probably not going to respond to your posts in the future....That's why your posts are so frustrating and why you substitute any opportunity for substance with venom. You're young enough to remedy this, though. I suggest starting with a remedial English course, then set goals to read a book every month and work up from there. Good luck. Again, it's not your English skills that make you dumb or anything. It's your English skills that expose the dearth of your reading experience rendering your opinion practically irrelevant.