It's time for the 2007 Platinum Screwball Awards, and those will be at the bottom of this page. In the meantime....yep...they're gearing up for 2008 Awards already....

From the Mailbag

Phew. Tons of wacky emails this round; it's so bad, I had to install a baloney filter. Really. I actually had two idiots write me with this same article from the Catholic Encyclopedia this past month:

Maybe you should read the Catholic encyclopedia, you might notice something about the similarities to the Roman Catholic church and Mithraism. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10402a.htm

The similarities were authored by Constantine, his conversion of the Way by mixing it with Mithraism is why Christianity bears a resemblance to the sun god worship.

Let's compare the RCC with Mithraism. Mithra was born on December 25, the Messiah was not, but the RCC created this holiday.

Well we don't have to bring in the holy day of Easter, we all know it is a pagan holiday named after Istar the queen of heaven and the mother of God.

But let's go there anyway, Istar is impregnated on this holiday, nine months later on December 25 she gives birth to the son of the sun god.

We still celebrate with the Easter bunny who lays eggs, colored the same as the spring flowers.

Next we have the holy eucharist a bread and wine sacred meal, and in Mithraism a sacred meal of bread and wine was also used.

The Messiah never said the bread and wine were sacred in the Passover meal, He used them as a tool to be used only to remember Him.

Lastly Mithraism had a clergy, the leader was called Pater Patrum or Pope, the lesser clergy where called fathers or as the Catholic Encyclopedia like to call them brothers (doesn't look as condemning).

There is one people God hates, in Revelation Yahushua condemns these folks they are called the Nicolaitans, these ruled over the laity just like the RCC's clergy does today.

The similarities are there and they were put there by Constantine to honor his god Sol Invictus Deo. He was the one with the vision of the cross over the sun, an interesting mix don't you think? The cross and the sun?

Wow. The Mithraists had clergy and they used familial language. I'm convinced there's a connection.

This email came from the Land of the Put-Upon Pharisees:

You appear to be a very bitter man and full of conceit. You are extremely proud and your claim that you are an intelligent apologetic is supported mainly by you. You do more harm than good for the cause of bringing people to the Lord if this is the way you talk to people.

I noticed your ego was attached to everything you wrote and you were hyper critical of other Christians. Are you as critical of yourself?

You should be honest with yourself and reveal your motivation for your "ministry." I'm sure it has nothing to do with pleasing the Lord. I am sure it does not please him that you constantly put yourself in a place of judgment upon others.

I have spent enough time looking at your site and so I wrote this letter in haste and do not care what you think of it or me. I am done thinking about you now. I don't even need a reply nor do I care for one. I just wanted you to know that your site is repelling and not attracting anyone to know Christ.

This meanwhile from the People Who Say As Little as They Can in as Many Words as Possible:

Of course you have the bully pulpit here...it is your web sight. And you publish what you please with the last word so I leave myself open to that eventuality and I seriously doubt that you will offer public response to this letter.

I did glance through your web sight and would have a hard time being persuaded that I would want to adopt very much of your world view if I were unqualified to offer any resistance or critical reasoning in my decision.

With approximately 300 varieties of Christians, or groups that use the bible but do not call their selves Christians, that read the same book and come to several hundred various conclusions….no doubt you are applying critical reasoning to avoid believing in the vast majority of them….As an agnostic I only disbelieve in one more religion than your self in order to base my world view on science and reason. I have not seriously wounded, stolen from, or violated any person or groups of people for lack of guidance from a deity. I have no problem explaining to anyone who offers evidence that I and my sweat children and grandchildren are worthy of eternal damnation… that they are sickened with hateful superstitions and I would be willing to assist them to find what meaning and benefits may be gained through skeptical inquiry and free thought…so… I herby offer you that assistance and agree to enter into a dialogue with you that may afford you the benefit of my council. You could with some effort and determination become at least partially as reasonable as myself. This would be a great improvement for you and would require an effort on my part but I am willing to help.

If you find this offer arrogant, insulting and demeaning then perhaps you are able to understand how your stance is perceived when you disqualify anyone who may disagree with you because they lack your personal comprehensive, apologetic, magnificence.

I am forced to offer you every opportunity to refute evolution or some claims made by the scientific community that uses the knowledge afforded by its body of evidenced….the invitation is always open...that is the nature of science….no doubt your world view includes creationism…are you saying that because I lack your depth of understanding about creationism that I am unqualified to refute it or challenge it as a means to accurately describe the nature of the universe….your claims are a bit confusing here. Where are the lines to be draw as to what the potential convert is qualified to understand and refute or accept? So much would seem to be at stake…I potential for eternity in unspeakable torture or blowing your one opportunity for existence by buying into cosmic silliness that gave you a cartoonist view of a Leonardo Davinci painting.

I have an encyclopedia of apologetics that gives a 4500 word dissertation explaining why it is necessary to accept that Eskimo babies deserve to be in hell. To me this is perhaps funnier than anything that I could find on the SAB sight. The black art of apologetics seems to follow no rules of reason or logic aside from concocting a seemingly good argument and submitting it as an infallible truth…with a caution to the layman that they are not qualified to refute it. I grieve for you that you were not born during the Great Inquisition you would have been so much happier in that atmosphere of authoritarian theocracy.

I am not really mean spirited by nature...Just strident in my defense of skeptical inquiry. It makes not sense to offer your own evidence if you do not invite the possibility being corrected

Here's one from Foulmouth Central:

I stand by Tony Bushby's books. As a matter of fact why don't you and all of you **** stupid christians go **** yourselves or better still why don't you shove them up your ***. You might actually enjoy it.

Ah yes. A letter from one of the intellectual quarter.

And one from the Why Bother League:

The quote is from the end of my article on the Christ myth.

"I have personally come to the conclusion that adherence to the "Jesus-myth" is not the result of careful deliberation of the evidence, but rather, is the product and province of skeptical minds in the grips of an obsession."

I would like to change that a little.

I have personally come to the conclusion that adherence to belief in Jesus is not the result of careful deliberation of the evidence, but rather, is the product and province of the believing mind in the grips of an obsession.

Well, I guess since that's the only part of the article set he can answer...

There was also another Bushby not along...

I just read your article about Tony Bushby,i haven't read his book i don't need to there is so much proof there was no historical Jesus as claimed in the N.T.that anyone with any smarts at all can easily prove no such person ever existed,oh yes there were plenty of Jesus's in that era of time but ZERO as the N.T.claims.I am surprised that anyone claiming to be as smart as you claim to be can not see you are showing yourself as DUMB,DUMBER & DUMBEST.So all i can figure is you are in the apologetic business for the money from the churches that you recieve and are willing to lie for that money. More and more things come out day by day now proving your Bible is nothing but fraud,forgery and myths but still apologetics like you twist the real truth into more lies.Christians and all religions somehow can not see the damage that is done to the human race by all of you religious idiots.Pope John Paul the second admitted on his death bed that christianity was a farce and hoped the day would come that the Catholic church would give it's billions of dollars to the poor.There is an ex-priest right now trying to sue to stop the fraud of christianity,of course he is suing in Italy so courts will be hard to find that will hear the case in which he has proof there was no Jesus as claimed in the N.T.You are against a wall now J.P.and soon you and other Bible thumpers will be proved nothing but liars,and it will not take atheists to do that,just the pure simple truth will do it.

And here's the first ever screwball email from a full preterist:

It seems to me that any concept of unfulfilled prophecy--be it resurrection, judgment day, and/or Christ's return to earth after 70 AD--is simply veiled Pharisaism in Jesus' name and a blatant disregard for His warning in Revelation 22:18,19.

Isn't belief in fulfilled prophecy the "heresy" that caused the early Christians to be persecuted?

Here's more proof you should not let your computers send your emails for you:

Hi,

I notice that your website has reviews of various Christian and atheist books. You may be pleased to know that my company has released a scholarly work which allows people to find out more about the claims of Zeitgeist the Movie. Could I encourage you to take a look at http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com/zeitgeist.html and consider reviewing it?

Many Thanks

Stella House Publishing

That book, by the way, is by Acharya S...one of whose fans may have written this:

James Patrick Holding wrote this article: http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/osy.html

So far I have found his information to be pretty dishonest and badly researched. I am currently writing an article on religious information dishonesty and I thought I would get your opinion before going to print. Perhaps you could pass this directly onto James? I will give you a couple of examples of James bad research:

Coming was announced by Three Wise Men: the three stars Mintaka, Anilam, and Alnitak in the belt of Orion, which point directly to Osiris' star in the east, Sirius, significator of his birth

Freke and Gandy repeat only the last part about the star. But while some scholars connect Osiris with Orion, they do not know anything about wise men or a star in the east.

Wiki: In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the belt was known as Frigg's Distaff (Friggerock) or Freyja's distaff[2]. Similarly Jacob's Staff and Peter's Staff were European biblical derived terms, as were the Three Magi, or the Three Kings. Väinämöinen's Scythe (Kalevala) and Kalevan Sword are terms from Finnish mythology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Orionis

Was a devoured Host. His flesh was eaten in the form of communion cakes of wheat, the 'plant of Truth'.

Not that anyone in the scholarly lit has reported.

In the Osirian temple at Denderah, an inscription (translated by Budge, Chapter XV, Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection) describes in detail the making of wheat paste models of each dismembered piece of Osiris to be sent out to the town where each piece was discovered by Isis. At the temple of Mendes, figures of Osiris are made from wheat and paste placed in a trough on the day of the murder, then water added for several days, when finally the mixture was kneaded into a mold of Osiris and taken to the temple and buried (the sacred grain for these cakes only grown in the temple fields). Molds are made from wood of a red tree in the forms of the sixteen dismembered parts of Osiris, cakes of divine bread made from each mold, placed in a silver chest and set near the head of the god, the inward parts of Osiris as described in the Book of the Dead (XVII). On the first day of the Festival of Ploughing, where the goddess Isis appears in her shrine where she is stripped naked, Paste made from the grain is placed in her bed and moistened with water, representing the fecund earth. All of these sacred rituals were climaxed by the eating of sacramental god, the eucharist by which the celebrants were transformed, in their persuasion, into replicas of their god-man (Larson 20).

Osirian sacrament Although there were ethical and ceremonial considerations none of these could compare to the power of the divine eucharist, since it was literally believed to be the body (bread) and blood (ale) of the god. Since the ancient Nilotics believed that humans were whatever they eat, this sacrament was, by extension, able to make them celestial and immortal. The doctrine of the eucharist ultimately has its roots in prehistoric (symbolic) cannibalism, whose practitioners believed that the virtues and powers of the eaten would thus be absorbed by the eater. This phenomenon has been described throughout the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osiris

The 23rd Psalm copied an Egyptian text appealing to Osiris the Good Shepherd to lead the deceased to the 'green pastures' and 'still waters' of the nefer-nefer land, to restore the soul and body, and to give protection in the valley of the shadow of death... If this is so, no commentator in Egyptian religion or the OT knows about it. Osiris would possibly be known as a shepherd as such imagery was common in the ANE, but I have not seen it yet applied to him by anyone but mythicists.

Well, this is not true either. http://books.google.com/books?id=aL4...m0FkbHDYIIOhUM The Lord's Prayer was prefigured by an Egyptian hymn to Osiris-Amen beginning, 'O Amen, O Amen, who are in heaven.' Amen was also invoked at the end of every prayer. If so, we want to know where this prayer is recorded, and so would experts in Egyptian religion. The Hebrew "Amen" is never used as a salutation and means "let it be so" which means it is not "invoked" as a deity is. Beyond that, let's see an etymological connection based on the original languages, not on the correspondence of English characters. "O Amen, O Amen, who art in "heaven, turn thy face upon the dead body of thy son, and make "him sound strong in the Underworld." http://touregypt.net/amenra.htm

The teachings of Osiris and Jesus are wonderfully alike. Many passages are identically the same, word for word.

. If so, someone other than Achy's source, James Churchward, needs to put them side by side and prove it. The Egyptian religious scholars don't seem aware of it. http://www.egyptorigins.org/osirisandjesusII.htm http://www.egypt-tehuti.org/articles/holy-families.html

Ah, of course. I was so busy checking the works of credentialed Egyptologists that I forgot to look it up in Wikipedia...next:

Just had to respond to your poor review of Eiseman book. Maybe your beliefs have made it hard for you to be open to the new history that is comming to light about 1st century Christianity. Few modern works are as a complete on this or like topics thats its hard to believe you found nothing worth while in this read. You did read all 963 pages?

Two thumbs down

And then there's this:

You signed off your nutcase rant with the statement, "that's really sad."

I'll tell you what is really sad, it's the ramblings of a man that is on a vendetta to disqualify another man by giving only his opinion, with no proof at all to back up his statements. You did the very thing that you condemn Mr. McKensey for.

In all of the craziness that you have written on your pitiful blog against Mr. McKensey you cite no creditable sources to back up your wailing.

Truth is, and you know it, there is not one shred of evidence that a person by the name of Jesus the Christ ever lived. Not one.

If say there is evidence, I say, prove it, and then pack your clothes for Oslo to pick up your Nobel Prize.

You are and idiot sir, a liar, and obviously a nut case of the first order. You should be committed; and probably have been at some time in your past.

Wacky set of emails here...first:

Imagine the apologetics required for betrayal: http://www.scribd.com/word/download/...?extension=pdf

I asked what the point was, and he said:

The belief damages like the pit of illusion, a child holding a surgeon's knife amongst neighboring playmates in a dark room. Do you really think world peace will be by a coalition of the followers of the patriarchs and the rest of all of us?

I then asked if he was on drugs, and he said:

The patriarchal response typical of the 666 mind virus would be to force something down my throat. Why do you ask if I am on drugs?

Well, uh.....

Anyway, there was also this:

I have recently read your thingy.....you know the one that says that Christianity is so ridiculous that it just has to be true.

Aside from complimenting you on being very funny, I have to ask you one thing: Do you consider Scientology to be true as well?

I mean, if anything, it should be more true than Christianity, right? Being far more ridiculous and all. I mean, it's at least ten times as ridiculous, right? So would that make it ten times more true? Or do you have to divide by two or something like that?

I think maybe the problem might have been that you were trying so hard to be funny that you forgot to explain the existence of other ridiculous beliefs. Don't get me wrong, I am confident in your ability to come up with equally funny explanations for all the strange things that people believe in like Scientology and Mormonism; astrology, homeopathy, dousing-- not to mention vampires, UFO's, and telekinesis. Also did I mention Scientology and Mormonism?

I just think that it's important for anyone who is so funny to cover their subject as thoroughly as possible. Otherwise people might think that you couldn't think of any good jokes and stop being amused.

Don't worry though-- I truly believe you are funny enough to come up with some good jokes about how Scientology and UFO's are very ridiculous, but not quite as ridiculous as Christianity....which makes Christianity true--- obviously! I mean, the more ridiculous something is, the more true it's got to be, right? It just makes sense!

Thank you for your time, and I hope this e-mail inspires you to reach new heights of hilarity.

And last for this month, another Ultimate Detailed Refutation (TM):

I read your review of the book. It looks like it bothers your that the Bible has, to put it mildly, flaws. Big ones. Sorry, JP, but your review is too late and too little. And too earnest (you protest too much). Simple fact is, the Bible can't be trusted. I love that Misquoting Jesus bothers you.

A fan of Bart


The January 2008 John Loftus Collection

DJ himself starts the ball rolling in his own category with these comments, in reply to a comment he made about my passed-on pooch that won him Platinum below:

So truth is ignored, eh?

Didn't Jesus say the truth will set you free? And don't you argue that truth can offend? And don't you offend with truth? What if Holding went to a psychic to speak to his dog and I said that was stupid? Would you still argue that I shouldn't offend him?

That's just stupid.

But hey, stupid is as stupid does.

And I'm waiting for one Christian here to call Holding on the carpet about this. Tell him what the Bible says about trying to contact the dead. Tell him about the death of animals. Tell him he would've been branded as a heretic had he done that publicly three centuries ago.

Also, though it happened a bit back, Loftus wins for his debate between himself and David Wood in which he compares some of the miracles of the Bible and then asks why God let the Titantic sunk. DJ didn't know that one of the things said about the Titantic was that "Not even God could sink this ship." Loftus also wins for the entry at http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2008/01/hear-ye-word-of-lord.html

DJ's Useful Idiot Joe "Mr Sensitivity" Holman wins for writing a book titled Project Bible Truth!

Matthew Green, however, earned the first Gold of 2008, as he "answers" my material on Jer. 7:22. The whole thing deserves an award, but these parts stand out for the Lazy and Stupid Ribbon:

....I find it ironic that Holding complains that these skeptics insist on a "plain" reading of the text. Do not some creationists insist on a "plain" reading of Genesis ("plain" here, meaning literal?). The question is then, when do we go with what is a "plain" reading of the text and when do we know that a plain reading of the text is not the best reading of the text and another meaning must be sought? By what criteria do we determine whether a given passage is to be read "plainly" and when it is not? Third, why bother translating the Bible into another context that lacked the idioms, language devices, and cultural categories that the Bible was written with? That readers cannot take the "plain" reading of a text because of some Hebrew idiom, why bother even translating the text into English? How much sense does it make?

It's the same problem with other idioms, figures of speech, and literary devices- why even bother sharing a revelation that is written with other cultural idioms, literary devices, and figures of speech? Why think that the canonical gospels are sufficient for the English world? Why not produce a gospel for England, a gospel for the Americas, a gospel for Germany, each gospel recording the events that happened in ancient Palestine with each gospel employing the idioms, literary devices, and figures of speech of that particular culture. What good does it do to have gospels like Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, for instance, which clearly employ honor-challenge riposte and idioms, serve as messages for cultures which are not honor-shame cultures? Why expect pride-guilt cultures to look to them for divine revelation when a simpler solution would be for each culture to have its own gospel, each gospel containing the idioms, literary devices, figures of speech, and so forth, of that particular culture?

....Therefore the Bible should be completely useless for our culture as a means of revelation! Why not have our own gospels, our own revelation, our own sacred text which are written in our own idioms, expressions, figures of speech, and literary devices, where we would know, automatically, what is to be taken, plainly, at face value and what is not?

If I want a divine being to reveal itself to me, that divine being is going to have to use a communication mechanism in a language that I understand, using idioms that I know of, with literary devices that I am educated enough to understand, and if I chose to wrote down any revelation in my own language, using my own culture's idioms, literary devices, and so forth, no person from a different culture needs to learn English language. It would be in no way incumbent on anyone else to learn my culture, my language, my idioms, and anything else that such a Being would reveal to me.

"It's all God's fault I'm so stupid."

DJ's Useful Idiot Harry "Obscene Phone" McCall, however, wins the first Platinum nomination of 2008 in the DJ's Useful Idiot Category:

The Christology (the nature and doctrine of Christ) of Jesus in the New Testament can be found in its formative development especially in the Synoptic tradition.

A case in point here is taken from the Gospel of Luke (23: 34) where, the now crucified Jesus looks down from the cross and said: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

The problem could be raised by any general reader of the three Gospels by realizing that if Jesus himself repeatedly forgave sins (as he does though out the Synoptics only as the word "forgive" does not occur in John), then why did he ask his father / God to forgive them (Luke 23: 34) from the cross?

A solution to the above question can be found in the verses of the paralytic man where Jesus healing is preceded with vocal forgiveness Luke 5: 18 -26 (= Matt. 9: 2 - 8 = Mk. 2: 3 - 12) at which time Jesus proclaims: "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins, (he said to the paralyzed man) I say to you, Arise and take up your bed and go home." (Luke 5:24).

When these two verses are consider together, one finds a Jesus who, when suspended between heaven and earth, looses all his power to forgive sins and, hence, must ask his father to do the forgiving.

Thus, one is faced with an odd Christology where a limited Jesus functions move like a tragic figure in a Classical Greek play than a Christological deity.

So far this is much the same nonsense Harry peddled years back and I answered at http://www.tektonics.org/af/forgiveair.html -- but now watch as Harry tries to actually ANSWER me on this (greatest hilarity in bold):

BTW Several years ago I debated J. P. Holding on a number of problematic Biblical texts (of which this was one) with most ending up on his Tekton Apologetic website and given superficial explanations.

Holding's explanations to solve the above problem is that God is the patron, Jesus is the broker and the believer is the client are the result of a simplistic and confused methodology. Had Mr. Holding bothered to check the definitions of his terms in such standard references as Black's Law Dictionary, 8 edition, he would have found that the terms patron and client are the same thing. Thus, in Black's we find patron defined as: 1. "A regular customer or client of a business."

Moreover, if Jesus is indeed the broker of divine forgiveness, than why was the Temple sacrificial system still valid; a system Jesus both defended and participated in?

In the final analysis, the limited Christology of Luke as displayed in Luke 23: 34 remains highly problematic despite the meager and confused explanation given by J. P. Holding.

The level of stupidity is simply....appalling.

Finally, since he posted there, Hector Avalos wins in this category for responding in DJ's blog:

In regard to your comments ("The Res Gestae is an epigraphic text, not a literary one...",) I think it is a false dichotomy to contrast "literary" with "epigraphic" texts.

"Epigraphic" relates to the medium (texts that are inscribed on hard surfaces) and "literary" relates to the genre. "Literary" texts are inscribed on hard surfaces all over the ancient Near East. There is nothing to prevent us from writing any literary genre on a hard surface.

So it's a "false dichtomy" to make a distinction between something that was, say, etched a single time into a marble statue and something that was copied multiple times for public distribution (which most certainly would not have been done using a material with a hard surface if only because such a task would have been incredibly slow and labor intensive!)? Does he take us for idiots, or is he simply one himself? Seriously, just where did this guy get his doctorate, anyway?

Atheist Miscellany

Nomination for an atheist in the TWeb Paltalk room who argued that Jesus never existed based on zero contemporary references. When we pointed out that we would have to throw out most of history if we used that as a standard, he said, "So? Maybe we do."

Earl Doherty shows why he is on my Too Stupid to Reply To List. From http://pages.ca.inter.net/~oblio/supp14Three.htm

An apologist like J. P. Holding will explain it (and he has) by saying that hearing the voice of Jesus is hearing the voice of God. But to think that such writers would express themselves so obliquely-and so against human nature-is a solution that does not commend itself to the reasonable and unbiased mind.

Ecothearcy wins for arguing that Josephus never existed and "Antiquities of the Jews" was a forgery (as a whole, not just the Testimonium):

Josephus is never mentioned by the Talmud. The rabbis considered it in whole a frabrication of the 2nd or 3rd century , a compilation of someone who did not know Jeruslame or Rome of the day. video JOSEPHUS, JESUS, AND THE JEWISH WAR

Research medieval pseudographia. And listen to the anomalies between Tacitus and Josephus. It means it is a much newer document and not what it purports to be (in whole, not just in part). It is a frabrication of an ancient document, most likely its early Christian, 3rd century.

Sevivon wins as he started a thread with this gem:

Can you tell me why you personally accept the claim that Jesus was the messiah, please?

I'd rather female posters answered this, because frankly I think males are stupid.

He then got dumber.

Atheist in this conversation wins:

navilagoyimbethisrael: foxxes book of mayters says that the catholic church killed 300 million christians and jes

navilagoyimbethisrael: and alot of muslims

navilagoyimbethisrael: maby 100 million

navilagoyimbethisrael: and 200 million mezo americans

Chaos Scade: navil, I doubt that VERY much

navilagoyimbethisrael: so yeah catholics are killers

Chaos Scade: the world's population didn't even reach 1 billion until 1850

navilagoyimbethisrael: prolly the catholic church has actualy killed a billion people in two thousand years

navilagoyimbethisrael: and i dont see them stopping

navilagoyimbethisrael: wonder why

Chaos Scade: so you believe that the Catholic church killed over 60% of the world's population?

navilagoyimbethisrael: id say yes

Chaos Scade: XD

navilagoyimbethisrael: without reservation

Carpedm9587 wins yet again for the Broken Mirror Award:

Fortunately, MM, you're wrong. The vast majority of adults I know and have ever engaged with recognize childish behavior when they see it - and would label the need of some to engage in insults as petty and immature. So the majority of your "observers" are not reacting to your invective in the way you want them to. They are basically thinking significantly less of you.

You can reject it all you wish - you will find that in the market of public opinion - I am right.

Actually - I take that back - you probably won't. I think you are too deeply buried in your own self-justification to see much of anything except your desire to defend the practice.

Oh well... I said from the beginning this was going to be a waste if the objective was to convince the JPH-cabal to reconsider their ways....

iceage gets Gold for this:

At any rate his "did Socrates not exist" is very very bad example and a significant error.

There is uncertainty and debate on what exactly is authentic Socrates and what is interpolation or legend. From the wiki on the "Socratic problem"

"Most of what we know about Socrates comes from the writings of Plato; however, it is widely believed that only some of Plato's dialogues are verbatim accounts of conversations or unmediated representations of Socrates' thought. Many of the dialogues seem to use Socrates as a device for Plato's thought, and inconsistencies occasionally crop up between Plato and the other accounts of Socrates;"

Add Homonym wins the Bad Banana Gold:

I'm living in an imaginary Planet of the Apes future where the first bunch of chimps has been taught to read, and one of them has just read parts of the Bible, and discovered that humans go to hell if they are bad.

He passes this on to his chimp friends as a joke, and they read up on some doctrine, and realise that chimps are born without sin because their ancestor didn't eat an apple.

One of the more serious chimps realises that the Bible cannot be taken all that seriously in Genesis because evolution is obviously a fact, and humans are closely related to chimps, so hell would likely apply to chimps just as well.

Because of this, they are now concerned that they will go to hell as well as humans, so the chimps want to go forth on a mission to convert all the other animals and plants.

However, a human Christian knows that apes were not created in God's image, so they cannot possibly be responsible for their actions, have a soul, or go to hell. How does he convince them that there is no hell for chimps?

Ratnat wins for this little number:

Interesting...what evidence do you think atheists deny? I do not know of any atheists that use feeling rather than reason to come to their current conclusion. In fact, I would argue that feelings are sometimes what keep some on the fence when reason would dictate otherwise. That said, one who depends on reasonand logic is caught between atheism and deism. Theisim doesn't even come into consideration

Just Me wins for this:

God doesn't want us to be a follower, he want's us to be a believer. God did not give us the capability of independant thought just so that we wouldn't use it.

As with the justification for gratuitous insults, people find justification for their nature, in their Bible. You have found justification to be a follower.

jimbo (Brooks Trubee) tries again for Platinum with the Blind Man's Bluff:

Just Me,

My personal opinion is that these people are very, very insecure in their beliefs and overcompensate by virulently attacking anyone who says or does anything which threatens those beliefs. I think they are uncomfortable when they see people providing rational and intelligent arguments against their beliefs, so they have to label these people as idiots and fools to make themselves feel better about their beliefs. Notice also that they tend to gang up on one person and continually attack with insults, invective and dismissals, in many cases without ever actually answering questions or engaging in any type of rational discourse. I think that in some situations this is done to just make the person give up. At that point, the gang of insult-spewing theists (JP Holding usually being the ringleader) can pretend that the person who gave up trying to talk to them simply could not withstand the power and logic of their arguments.

In short, I see these insults as little more than a desperate defense strategy and as evidence of fear and desperation. People who are confident in their beliefs and know that the facts are on their side generally don't feel the need to insult other people who don't share their beliefs. Also I very much doubt that any of these insult-spewing Christians on TWEB would ever have the courage to insult anyone in public the way they insult them on the Internet.

And also this from jimbo:

Hi Christians,

Won't that be great when you can finally say "I told you so" to all those horrible atheists who refused to bend their knees for your god? Do you think you will ever be able to say this during your lifetime, or will you have to wait for the afterlife to say this? In other words, do you believe that incontrovertible proof for Christianity will ever show up in this mortal life? Or do you think that this incontrovertible proof for Christianity will only be made manifest to people when they die?

And a related question: Do you anxiously look forward to death when you believe you will begin your "spiritual" life in a supernatural paradise with Jesus?

LGM is back in swing, as he claims that Paul was a gnostic, as well as some stuff about Jesus not being a human:

There's nothing in Paul's writings that claim that Jesus was a man who lived on earth. That's your assumption, but it's no where to be found in Paul's writing.

Paul claims that all his knowledge about Jesus and his 'gospel' come from visions and his gnostic knowledge of the Jewish scriptures.

Paul is a gnostic, who never claims to have known any earthly man named Jesus of Nazareth.

That summary is actually mixing two completely seperate parts of the NT mythology.

Paul is the one who claims that Jesus: "And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures"

According to the 'scriptures'? What scriptures? The 'scriptures about Jesus of Nazareth being crucified by Pilate hadn't been written yet.

LGM on orthodox Christianity:

The 'orthodox' Christians? That's funny...guess what makes a Christian an 'orthodox Christian'?

A Roman emperor with an army...

If you didn't notice...There hasn't been any 'Christ' around these parts for quite some time...so until you produce one, I can just as easily claim that Mormons are the 'orthodox' Christians.

And, quite possibly the dumbest argument against miracles ever, by Godelwood:

and what if frogs had wings?!?
The Christian Collection

Meh_Gerbil regrettably did himself no favors with a rant this past month, though he only got screwy here, when he quoted:

If the apostate won't bring anything to the table, yet still insists on speaking, the table may as well be brought to him, and broken over his head, so to speak. Since it is a fact that there is no amount of intelligence that cannot be disputed by the constant application of stupidity, it seems on the cards that the most ethical, as well as most expedient, manner of dealing with suchlike is simply to put them in a position wherein, since it is obvious that they won't shut up, at least they won't be heard.

And then said:

For some reason, when I read the part I emphasized here, the word "gulag" came to mind. If we are free to insult people who disagree with us, why not strike them, or perhaps imprison them? I mean, Christ does say "Turn the other cheek" but maybe Ecclesiastes can be used to justify violence.

IncRus wins for this:

Originally posted by iSparko: Incy. You keep saying the persons are separate AND distinct. We just say they are distinct and NOT "separate"

IncRus: You and ApologiaPhoenix are NOT even UNITED in your definition of "Trinitarianism! Earlier, ApologiaPhoenix posted: Trinitarianism says there is only one God and not three. It says the persons are not separate AND distinct. Who is correct spatko, you or him?

Reader says:

I hate to say it, but my dear old great aunt deserves a screwball award, for thinking that as long as a person is a Christian, they're electable, regardless of their political track record. Also for believing that the statement "Bill Clinton is a liar" is "judging" in a "wrongful" way--as in "judge not lest ye be judged.

Also nominated, this movie review from a Christian site:

Sexual Immorality (S): The only content applicable to this investigation area is Natalie Portman wearing a dress that exposed a large gap over her chest. Such a display of skin normally not seen is clearly sexual: clearly intended to tease, to incite lust in the male viewer. If she had worn a dress that covered the gap, the Sexual Immorality investigation area score would have been 100. Sure, some highfalutin, high society performers wear such clothing for such affairs, but does that make such a cultural-specific display acceptable? If you think "Yes" then the fact that some cultures eat other people makes it acceptable since it is a cultural-specific behavior. Don't argue with me about what is morally acceptable. Argue about it with God. He will give you a much better Answer than I ever could. [1Cor. 8:9, Matt. 5:28]

It's a review, by the way, of Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium.

Another Screwball nomination to a member of the King James Bible forum. Someone said:

Someone was getting into a hissy because one version of the KJV changed the spelling of "Saviour" to "Savior" and "thoroughly" to "throughly". A more reasonable member (who I can call so from his posts in the other thread I linked to) asked "So do you think spelling changes change the overall message? Obviously, it they change the meaning there is a problem."

To which MC1171611 posted this little gem which is our first Christian platinum nomination:

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5)

I've never been too concerned about the "message" or the "meaning." It's the words that I'm concerned about.

The Best of the Rest

Just one at-large nomination of Hugo Conti for his theory of hidden mirror images in paintings:

Hugo Conti, a self-taught Argentinian historian who leads a mysterious group called "The Mirror of The Sacred Scriptures and Paintings," the writings conceal much more -- a key to secret images.

"It is easy to find invisible images in Leonardo's paintings. Many of his characters seem to be staring into space. In reality, they are indicating where one must place the mirror to visualize the images," Conti told Discovery News. ...

"The Last Supper," in which other probes have so far revealed a hidden Mary Magdalene, a woman holding a child, and a musical script, reveals a key image when a mirror is applied. According to Conti, one can see the Holy Grail itself overturned on the table when viewed with a mirror.

"The glance of the apostle James is not directed to Judas, but to where the Holy Grail, only viewable through a mirror, is overturned on the table, just between Jesus' hands," Conti said.

http://roboshrub.blogspot.com/2005/11/jesus-was-vampire.html is the first Platinum nominee for 2008:

Jesus was a Vampire

Now, the psuedo-theological-intellectuals and right-wing giants will dispute my thesis in any way they can. However, I believe I have sufficient grounds to declare Jesus a vampire. Here is my reasoning:

1. The whole ressurection thing.

2. The whole disciples-drinking-his-blood thing.

3. Vampires fear crosses. Why is this? Look what happened to Jesus!

4. Everyone knows that vampires are allergic to silver, and Jesus lead an immaterialistic life. Coincidence? I think not.

5. He walked on water. Vampires cannot be submerged in water (or made to cross running water) unless inside their coffins. It is physically impossible.

6. He could fly.

7. Leonardo DaVinci's Last Supper contains hundreds of thousands of bats.

8. It's in the bible, in the letters to the apostles.

http://exchristian.net/testimonies/2008/01/bible-was-not-product-of-some-deity.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHx9tuwkz8Y

http://forums.kjbchurch.com/index.php?topic=1091.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2nt6aKuN9I

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_6k94KO8C

http://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/scripts/bulletin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000419

http://ourhollowearth.com/

http://www.wendysmodestdress.com/ is the first Christian website Platinum nominee for 2008:

Back July of 2000 a brother in church accosted me, I was wearing a nice black dress which my beloved had purchased for me. I needed a girdle to get into it, silt to the knees, skin tight, hose, heels, hair to up there and makeup... see it was in church, this brother grabbed me, kissed me after saying oh baby come here. I didn't talk with him again, I was mortified to cause a brother to stumble. I got rid of all of my shee shee dresses then and there and haven't looked back since. I now wear clothing which doesn't accentuate my shape but makes it very obvious that I'm a lady and not a man. The best thing about all of this has been that it led me to learning about submission which I am still learning regularly.
Do you know what medical students are exposed to as they are learning about medicine? In one college course, students were required to "examine" other stripped down students! This is abominable. Is it worth it to go through that kind of education and ignore God's Word? Looking on nakedness is a shameful and intolerable thing. And most employment for doctors and nurses requires looking on other people's nakedness (bathing patients, giving shots, operating, examining, etc.) What will we do as people who have been bought at the very high price of the blood of God? What will be most important to us? Our careers... or our integrity as priests of God?

Alisson Kilkenny says that religious people can't be feminists: http://www.buffalobeast.com/121/godhateswomen.htm

http://comments.deviantart.com/1/40451529/625717394

http://www.happierabroad.com/Debunking_Christian_Arguments/Page1.htm

http://scaryjesus.blogspot.com/

http://z4.invisionfree.com/Theflatmarssociety/index.php?showtopic=86&st=0&#entry4086406

Ladies Against Feminism's Scott Jonas (in drag, perhaps?) argues that it is unchristian for women to play sports, and so also nominates for Platinum:

http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/Hot_Button_Issues_21/Should_Women_Play_Sports_15741001574.shtml

It shouldn't be a secret that women's sports promote immodest attire. The pressure to be immodest is just one more reason women should avoid sports, and in many cases we shouldn't even watch women's (and sometimes men's) sport competitions. The Apostle Paul often referred to how athletes ran races "unencumbered" (i.e. nude), because of the Greek influence in sports during his day. Based on what Mr. Eldridge writes, the question of whether or not women should participate in sports should be easy to answer.
Given that sports may very well foster pagan and humanistic attitudes, I urge parents to think deeply about this issue and about whether or not any members of their families should participate in organized sports programs. As a minimum, I hope you will agree with me that we should keep our daughters away from competitive sports and spend our time training them how to be Biblically feminine women, wives and mothers.

Just what the world needs, another horrible Christian videogame: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVfV2OzEHwg

http://doubtingthomas426.wordpress.com/

http://forum.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=messageboard.viewThread&groupID=101047600&page=0&EntryID=52076927&CategoryID=0&get=1&adTopicId=0&lastpagesent=2&Mytoken=E4E23644-638D-4042-A99A510D746E497E47143146

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZCA77nDmcpQ

http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2008/01/irrational-atheist.html wins the first Skeptic website Platinum 2008 nomination:

Thanks for your Christian think tank information Thomas. However, there are too many parallels to pass off as mere coincidence. Like Hendrix Keats said and William pointed out, it takes much less of an assumption to see the parallels of christianity to previous myths than it does to buy the story of "died, risen from the dead and divine." That sounds like a fairly tale to any rational person that hasn't been indoctrinated to believe the incredible by faith. I know it must be impossibly hard to accept and come to the realization that humans invented religion because they are fallible, imperfect and want so badly to believe in something greater than themselves. I know where you're coming from. The desperation to discredit atheists is a symptom of the persecution Christians have always felt because they have so little to concrete fact to back up their myths. I have to tell you that it is arrogant and childish to believe that 1.5 billion Muslims, 900 million Hindus, and 1.1 billion secularists are wrong and you are right. You are living a belief system based on fallacy and ancient myth, but if it works for you, it's all good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STffFN57zFM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71eBjNbdXDg&feature=related

http://www.bestofgooglevideo.com/video.php?video=764

Westboro Baptist Church is picketing Heath Ledger's funeral: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,324966,00.html

The irony meter blows up yet again for this at-large Platinum nominee:

(CBS) A Utah retailer of family-friendly tapes and DVDs - Hollywood films with the "dirty parts" cut out of them - has been arrested for trading sex with two 14-year-old girls.

Orem police say Flix Club owner Daniel Dean Thompson, 31, and Issac Lifferth, 24, were booked into the Utah County jail on charges of sexual abuse and unlawful sexual activity with a 14-year-old.

Thompson's Flix Club was one of several Utah-based video outlets that traded in edited versions of R- and PG-13-rated films, catering to clientele who wanted to watch hit movies without nudity, sex, language or graphic violence.


2007 Platinum Screwball Award Winners

There were a handful of Platinums that went to entries in categories where there was no competition. These were:

  • John Loftus wins one automatically for his Big Blog Lie, but he'll win another of his own for his screwist comment of the year.
  • In the Famous Skeptic category, I'll make this a group award for Harris, Dawkins, Dennett, and Hitchens.
  • Skeptic Website: Zeitgeist
  • Hector Avalos wins a Platinum Book Award for End of Biblical Studies

    Now here's the rest:

    Skeptic: Nickcopernicus on Stopping STDs Originally posted by Raphael : It's called Abstinence programs. You may have heard of them.

    1.) You cannot get pregnant if you do not have sex.

    2.) You don't have to buy condoms or the pill if you don't have sex (not that you have to pay for those anyhow)

    3.) You can't get STD's if you don't have sex.

    4.) Your chances of getting HIV/AIDS are dramatically reduced if you're not having sex. (basically you're left with accidental infections)

    Nickcopenicus: What idiotic proposals.

    Christian -- for the first time, we have a tie:

    Mrs. Debbie On Rock and Roll:

    All of the rock, etc., has the basic drum beat that is used by the Satan-worshipping tribes of Africa. If you were to study it out you would realize it. Did you know that "rock and roll" got its beginnings from the black African culture? THAT is how the beat was introduced into our current ungodly music - "Christian" rock included.

    When Moses and Aaron were on Mt. Sinaii they heard what sounded like war in the camp. Turned out it was "music" - a "music" that typified idol worship - something that was totally against the music they knew as godly. When they came down and saw what was going on they were appalled to see the people dancing sensually in all manner of undress. Where did the people learn of this music? In Egypt when they were in captivity! Hmmm....and where exactly is Egypt?? Wonder of wonders - Africa.

    (Just for those of you who will try to condemn me for being racist.........some of my best friends have been black. I have nothing against them. Unfortunately the majority of their race has made a bad name for the ones who take care of their families and work hard.)

    Nazaroo Says Bruce Metzger is a Satanist: [Bruce] Metzger was a satanist, a secret member of the Jesuit cult.

    If his opinion were an honest one, based on mere imprecision, or unscientific methodology, or if it were concerning an issue upon which there was plenty of room for diverse opinion, discussion, without any serious consequence, then I'd say, great. No harm done. Respect him all you wish, grant him every courtesy.

    However, the case is somewhat different.

    Metzger is no 'absent-minded professor' amicably chatting about an irrelevant and harmless subject, but a professional soldier and master propagandist in a full scale war against the text of Holy Scripture.

    I know C.S. Lewis, and Metzger was no C.S. Lewis. A better parallel would be Herr Goebbels, of the S.S. propaganda arm.

    At Large -- for the second time, we have a tie:

    The French police for this:

    Police banned the soup kitchen last month, arguing that the handouts discriminated against Jews and Muslims who do not eat pork on religious grounds. The administrative court said the distribution was "clearly discriminatory," but could not be stopped because the organizers offered to feed anyone who asked for help.

    And Professor Ward Churchill -- for linking 9/11 victims to Nazis.

    TWeb nOOb: Jackie Fox

    TWeb Veteran: Wyzaard

    John Loftus: On Toby's Memorial Thread

    To my comment, "I'll miss you, little buddy," on the departure of my beloved poodle:

    So, you're talking to a dead dog, eh?

    Is he listening or something?

    John Loftus' Useful Idiots: Andrew Atkison Deconverts for Uh...Good Reasons Atkinson also offered the following appraisal of Loftus' book:

    I think your book is the best overall refutation of Christianity written, especially at the popular level. I think your book is superior for multiple reasons.

    1. Its scope and coverage is more exhaustive on issues crucial to Christianity then other books.

    2. You anticipate objections from Christian philosophers and theologians that most skeptics do not, due to their lack of familiarity with the other side.

    3. The book packs so much in such a little space, it has amazing brevity and at the same time brilliantly dismantles many core Christian beliefs and deals with many central issues that are left out of other works

    4.Your familiarity with Christian Theology and philosophy makes you much better at drawing fine and important distinctions that other skeptics miss, due to their lack of expertise in the other side.

    5. The personal Deconversion narrative woven through out the book gives it an informal and personal touch that makes it more fascinating to read than other skeptical books. Plus you are the only skeptical author that I know of that was a highly competent Christian Apologist and Philosopher, this of course is another unique feature.

    6. Your non-abrasive style sets your book apart from many other skeptic books. You wrote the book in such a way as not to polarize the believer. The average believer would be much more likely to read this book than other similar books due to your respectful manner. This I congratulate you on.

    And for the recommended reading he offers, which includes:

  • Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker
  • Atheism: The case Against God by Smith
  • The Case Against Christianity by Martin( This I consider A must read, it has many interesting points.)
  • The Empty Tomb
  • Jesus is Dead, by Robert Price
  • The incredible Shrinking Son of Man by Robert price
  • The Born Again Skeptics Guide to The Bible [by Ruth Green]
  • The Jesus Puzzle
  • "Challenging the Verdict: A Cross-Examination of Lee Strobel's "The Case for Christ" by Earl Doherty
  • The Secret Origins of the Bible( Must Read)
  • The God Delusion by Dawkins
  • God is not Great by Hitchens
  • Bible Prophecy Failure or fulfillment?
  • Deconstructing Jesus by Robert Price
  • Gospel Fictions by Randel Helms
  • Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
  • The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy by C. Dennis McKinsey
  • Biblical Nonsense: A Review of the Bible for Doubting Christians by Jason Long
  • The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris
  • The Age of Reason Thomas Pain (MUST READ)
  • Kens Guide to the Bible(This one is funny)
  • The reason driven life by Robert Price
  • Russell On Religion (Brilliant)
  • The Jesus Mysteries Was the Original Jesus a Pagan God?
  • The Bible Against Itself: Why the Bible Seems to Contradict Itself
  • The Dark side; How evangelical teachings corrupt love and truth

    Christian Website: Non-Calvinists Go to Hell! http://www.outsidethecamp.org -- ultra-Calvinists who think non-Calvinists and even "tolerant" Calvinists are risking hell. Sample quotes:

    It matters not whether the heretic is John Calvin or John Doe. If that person promotes damnable heresy, then that person is unregenerate.

    Do you bow at the feet of these people and maintain that they are Christians no matter what they have said? Or do you judge by God's standard alone, no matter how famous or how respected these people are by religionists? How you respond tells a lot about you.....

    Finally, people say that when we put people in the Heterodoxy Hall of Shame, we are condemning them to hell. This is a false accusation. We are condemning no one to hell. We are not saying that anyone in the Heterodoxy Hall of Shame is in hell or will go to hell. We do not judge who is or is not reprobate (non-elect) among those who are unregenerate. That is not for us to know. We do not know if God saved some of these people after they made these quotes or will yet save some of these people who are still alive. What we do judge is that a person who confesses a false gospel, a damnable heresy that denies an essential gospel doctrine, is unregenerate at the time he makes the confession. And we know that if God chooses to save such a person, that person will no longer confess a false gospel. When God saves an Arminian, he is no longer an Arminian. When God saves someone who believes in universal atonement, he is no longer someone who believes in universal atonement. When God saves a tolerant Calvinist, he is no longer a tolerant Calvinist.

    Famous Christian: Unnamed persons

    In this article at http://www.charismanews.com -- award to the people (not) named in an article here. You have to get the July 27 archive, but here's a quote:

    Just when I thought we charismatics had finally taken enough abuse from the egomaniac ministers in our midst, I've learned that some of our leaders are taking things to a new extreme. We've moved beyond the red carpets, limousines and entourages of the 1990s. A new strain of the celebrity virus is spreading in large segments of the church.

    One friend of mine in Texas recently inquired to see if a prominent preacher could speak at her conference. The minister's assistant faxed back a list of requirements that had to be met in order to book a speaking engagement. The demands included:

  • a five-figure honorarium
  • a $10,000 gasoline deposit for the private plane
  • a manicurist and hairstylist for the speaker
  • a suite in a five-star hotel
  • a luxury car from the airport to the hotel (2004 model or newer)
  • room-temperature Perrier
  • Non-Christian Theist: Drachronicler Says Yahweh is a Dragon

    Before dismissing this out of hand, I would ask everyone read the whole post., and read it from the premise that Yahweh and El (Elohim) are two seperate entities, (as many serious Biblical scholars have proposed), with El being the Creator, and Yahweh being the most important of the Bene Elohim, which also in include the Creature Satan, long associated with flying serpents and dragons.

    Bottom line, Yahweh is a created creature that was in existence long before mankind could evolve. I realize concepts like "evolution are beyond the understanding of many here, but this is why virtually every human culuture originally regarded their "gods" as dragons. They are the most suitable of the older creations to become the Bene Elohim, apportioned to all the human tribes in Deuteronomy. And I mean the real version found in the dead sea scrolls, that were not change from Sons of God, to Sons of Israel. Ah, but this is already getting over the heads of the Sunday School set out their who do not even know their Bibles are not the same as the original Bible.

    If we only had that "original bible" you would see "more dragons" than at a Harry Potter Convention. But I do the next best thing, and fill in all the missing blanks where the dragons were removed. And not with my own creativity but with ancient Hebrew scripture. The part where Moses is swallowed alive for not removing his son's foreskin is a good example of the "missing dragons", but I bet the Sunday-school level hecklers have no idea what I am talking about.

    Skeptic Email: Idiot Sheep

    Dear idiot sheep

    I came across your site, tektoniks, and was amazed how how crap it was. I always thought Christians were embarsed about the lack of historical credibility behind the bible and yet you try and come up with excuses about it.

    Richard Dawkins says in his book The God Delusion that historians laugh at the historical evidence for Christianity and are in serious doubt that Jesus existed. You should read the God Delusion and learn from it. Then you'll realise that the church randomly chose which gospels made it into the Bible, that the Bible got it wrong when it said Joseph was a carpenter, that Mary was never meant to be a virgin, and that the Bible was meant to be treated as fiction and the authors never expected it to be taken seriously. Christians skip over the section on the historical evidence when they attempt to review the God Delusion ... I wonder why? Why don't you listen to what real historians say about Jesus such as Richard Dawkins, Robert Price, Dan Brown, Christopher Hitchens, Bart Erhman, Brian Flemming, Sam Harris and many more. I bet you can't find one scholar who isn't a Christian and thinks Christianity is true.

    Your website has won my personal award for worst site on the Internet. Welldone (the welldone was sarcastic by the way)

    PS If Christianity is true then how do you explain the fact that Paul never mentions Jesus in his letters. That's right, the word Jesus never appears in a single word Paul wrote. Clearly Paul had never heard of this Jesus guy. I know what your going to say, 'the devil went through the bible and removed all the bits where Paul mentions Jesus' but that sort of answer won't work for intelligent, rational, scientificly minded people such as me

    I gave her a link to my article on Earl Doherty and high context....this was her reply:

    Is that the best you can do? All I asked was you to find me a passage where Paul uses the word 'Jesus' and all you could do was give me a longarticle about someone nobody has heard of. Lets put it like this so that a nicoompoop like you understand: Brian Flemming can explain in one simple sentence why Paul hasn't heard of Jesus whilst you take pages of complicated stuff to try and explain the truth away. Using ocrum's raiser Brain Flemming is right.

    I notice you didn't answer my other challenges. I supose they're too difficult for you. Oh - and you cant spell - dum is not spelt dumb!

    As you gave me an article to look at, heres one for you:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_Buddhism Last time I looked Wikipedia was a neutral sauce unlike your own website. Looks like Christianity was plajarised from buddhism.

    Whoops, that must be an embarasment for you.

    a real historian needs historical evidence. All the people I gave do ... unlike you. I don't think Brian Flemming would claim on his DVD that in the Bible Paul has never heard of Jesus if that weren't true and would The God Delusion have sold over a million copies if it was rong? You should all read your bible as much as peple like Richard Dawkins and Brian Flemming do.

    On page 383 of the God Delusion (paper back edition) richard dawkins says 'I must admit that even i am taken aback at the biblical ignorance commonly displayed by people in more recent decades' Pen and teller said on their show that if peple read the bible they become atheists and I think you prove them right by showing how little you know about what is in the bible.

    No i am not DUM - you are. are you seriosly saying that peple who base their beliefs on science, evidence and reson are dum when peple who base their beliefs on fairytales are not?

    clealry your theologyweb forum is crap and only used by dum idiots. i dont normaly post on forums becos i dont normaly have time however when i do everyone thinks im inteligent. why not try using some forums for clever peple like http://richarddawkins.net/forum/ and http://groups.msn.com/FightingIgnorance2

    Christian Email: JPH is Going to Hell for Using Scholarship

    How did the Apostles, and the martyrs for the faith, survive, without you stellar instruction on how to properly render the commandments of Christ null and void through the Semitic totality concept. I knew you were an eternal securest since you consistently conclude the acts of disobedience (sin) as common and unavoidable for anyone that is a follower of Christ. Without the STC method, how do you interpret Jesus conclusion of the sermon when He said,

    (Mat 7:26) And every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand:

    According to the Lord of the universe, anyone that doesn't obey what He just taught, by conforming his soul and life to it, and notwithstanding is fully convinced of final blessedness, is a fool. I'm sure the STC method can prove that the one who obeys what Jesus said with a "faith that worketh by love" is the real fool, but we'll see whose word will stand in the end, yours or Christ Jesus. Then it will be hopelessly to late James. At least take heed to the Apostles warning,

    Jam 3:1My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

    If your doctrine is not according to godliness, and does not preserve someone in the faith, you will receive a greater punishment than the outright sinners. I apply the same warning to myself. Hold on to your position of authority for your own glory James. You're going to lose your soul in the wager friend. Your opposing Jesus doctrine which is "according to godliness".

    Told he'd won a Screwball Award, this response came:

    I'm confident your response comes strait from the heart of a true prophet James. I feel so ashamed to discover that I don't meet your approval. I'm sure you take much comfort in the empty flatteries of your blind followers. Carry on James, it's glaringly clear that your determined to stay in the ditch.

    Rev 22:14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to(authority over) the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    This scripture in no way applies in the literal sense of the meaning. Certainly not to you James.

    At least examine yourself while you still have breath. Just a suggestion from the Apostle.

    Which text gets the award? Or is it my complete inability to uncover the hidden license within the gospel? Mysteries that one can only discover after a thorough study of the tekton analysis archives. You'll fleece the flock despite any warning James. Your wisdom exceeds that of the Apostles, since they weren't as logically "sound" in thier reasoning as you pretend. You can't be bitter and unforgiving, yet still expect to inherit eternal life James. You would fit right in with the philosophers, whose folly is easily discovered in light of the scriptures. I think they may have given out a similar "screwball award" to anyone that disagreed with their vain imaginations. Don't forget that Christ's words will judge you on that terrible day. I stumbled onto your article via a google search. I witnessed the classic Calvanistic foolishness, but he was more subtile than you. It's been interesting James. I'll hold fast to what Jesus taught and walk circumspectly. I hope you make it James. If your doctrine is wrong, you'll be left speechless. Your pleas for the right to self worship will be refuted in the presence of the holy assembly by the great and righteous judge. Is it worth the risk to have a little bit of fleeting glory in this world?

    Not outright James. Your conclusions are mixed with error or simply unsound regardless. No wonder you're not very effective against the pagans. No compassion James. When you're challenged, you morph into a living /ad-hominem, /that displays how well you can live out the part of the scarecrow, always building the strawman. James, tell me you don't believe that the only Calvanist are the outspoken ones. You're right there with them on their sacred cow doctrine of security in sin. You boldly profess it in your opinion papers. I'm still looking for your classic replies in the Scriptures. I am certain someone wise as yourself would be trying to rescue my soul from error. Naturally out of love. Almost forgot to add that in, and it's so obvious. Don't respond James. Take your deluded opinions all the way to judgement. You're 100% correct in all your interpretations, and your worshippers are 99% accurate (giving the master the higher esteem) in their conclusions. I must be deceived for sure. You didn't try to convert me though James. You gave me three awards in succession which could lead me into idolatry. My T-shirt says "JPH still has time to turn". I don't want any one to burn.

    At-Large Email: Mithra Madness II

    Your page on Mithra is quite vitriolic and not very scientific in its rantings...

    Trust me, I'm not going to go scientific here either. Just conversational observations, that's all.

    The fact is, like it or not, the Mithric Cult did influence early Christianity.

    Get used to it.

    It's quaint that you wrote a web page for all to see your emotional outpouring of fear about this issue.

    Even a bit humourous too, as you instruct so much on Mithric Cult practices in order to prove no connection what so ever with Christianity, but you end up proving the opposite. Reread your page, and note where you do this.

    Also... In Rome, a 15 minute walk from the Trevi fountain... there is a catacombe... it is somewhat difficult to find... ask a local, or get a book...

    In any case, there is a catacombe and after you decend into it, leaving the modern world behind, and you enter ancient rome... there is a Mithrichristian Temple.

    Yes, I said it. A Mithric/Christian Temple... When both cults (Christian and Mithric) were "underground" in Rome, they were actually underground in the catacombes, and they shared that same place of worship. Kind of like the Sheraton or Hyatt Hotels do for Christians today, they let out the room for a couple of hours to one cult sect of Christians, then a little while later, they let it out to another cult sect of Christianity. Then take a walk up to Vatican city, and tour the place and witness all the collected artifacts of pagan religions including Mithric Cult Statues. They are facinating.

    These people hanging out together, and sharing worship places... must have had one or two conversations... ya think?

    The fact is Christianity has borrowed quite heavily from many pagan religions, and even assimilated clearly pagan practices when they couldn't stamp it out of the people's habits. Christians tore down Temples... only to build churches and cathederals upon those sites, because the pagans wouldn't stop going there. Christians knocked down Tannenbaum Trees on the Solstice... When the pagans brought their Tannenbaum inside to protect them from Christian vandals... the Tannenbaum became a Christmastree complete with a manger down below. Elves were to come down the chimney to get their gifts... Now it's Saint Nicholas delivering them... yet, he still has elves as his helpers...

    Here's a big one. Easter... still named for the Goddess of the day. We decorate, hide and collect coloured eggs... honor hens, and rabbits in chocolate sacrifices... a celebration of Fertility, Sex, Reproduction, Eggs, Rabbits, Flowers! OH MY! ... Oh wait... this is the most significant day in Christianity... and yet it doesn’t even have a Christian name... more BORROWING from the available pagan sea of religions... The early Christians did the same to appeal to the Greek and Roman populace that was killing them... after enough borrowing, they began to resemble pagan cults too thus, less killing... and Constantine did the rest.

    Look, that Christianity borrowed from pagan religions is not a bad thing, nor does it harm your faith. Do kids collecting coloured eggs make you love Jesus less? Hell no.

    Does the smell of a pine Christmas tree in your living room make you want to stop going to church? Hell no. Who cares if it is a borrowed pagan custom! It's been stolen from the pagans for a long time... so long now that most people don't even recognize that it ain't Christian at all. So who cares?!

    Jesus hasn't threatened to stop coming down to turn into a cracker on Sunday because of it!

    Who cares if Christianity completely ignores their own Savior's birthday every year... only to pretend to celebrate it on the pagan god's birthday Solstice! No one really knows!

    If Jesus didn't like it, I'm sure he would have sent down some brimstone or other mass murder curse upon mankind, as his Father is so fond of doing.

    Besides, the pagans do all the fun stuff any way. Easter, Tannenbaum, presents, Bachanalia, Drinking, Dancing, Sex-magic!

    Christians... sheesh... without some pagan influence... Christianity just wouldn't be any fun at all.

    Celebrate Christianity's ability to assimilate other religions, and make them part of it's self. If Christianity would continue to do this then we would be one world religion.

    Chrislamabudhijewiccans - with one book (intstead of 12) written by the creator of the entire universe for our tiny planet and it's people - and maybe no more wars.