It's time for the 2009 Platinum Screwball Awards, and those will be at the bottom of this page. Now for a new decade in 2010....see the rest of the best here.

From the Mailbag

We have our first Platinum Skeptical E-Mail candidate already:

With out a doubt I have far less respect for your author who bashed Robert Ingersoll. Ingersoll can't come back and defend himself from your author in a debate. With all the double speak in your author's article, I believe Ingersoll spoke of such charlatans from his article. Your the reasoning I believe the following. "I win by means of nothing but logic and surrender to nothing but logic. I do not surrender my reasoning or deal with men who surrender theirs. I have nothing to gain from fools or cowards". I consider you author a coward and a fool for attacking a dead man who can't defend his past writings.Religions are very effective at turning human beings into sheep. Your among the most powerful instruments of social conditioning.You operate by eroding our trust in your own intellect, gradually convincing us to put our trust into some external entity, such as a deity, prominent figure, or great book. what your are really for is for sheepople forced to submission from a fixed frame of reference ....You and your diatribe.

Your true motive is all based on hyperbole.

Hum, well -- the Bible's authors were dead when Ingersoll bashed them, so what does that say about HIM?

I got a set of emails from a nut named Troy Brooks:

I am correcting you regarding Luke 1.46-47. http://www.tektonics.org/qt/sleepy.html

Search for "Luke 1" on this page and you will understand, http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/spiritsoulbody.htm

A revived spirit is referring to a revived innerman. Emotion belongs to the soul, the outerman. Though when emotion is attributed to the spirit it is speaking of an inner feeling and not the outer feeling of the soul.

Without eyes, ears and body in the spirit (innerman) seeing a vision like John did, why can't we get a spirit message from Lazarus in the good side of hades and Rich Man in the bad side as a foretaste of heaven and hell? Soul sleep or timeless unawares is anthromorphised for us. It didn't actually happen. John seeing the saints "before the throne" (Rev. 7.9) hadn't happened yet so this speaks of visions like the vision of the Rich Man and Lazarus. They are not awake yet, they are asleep. Besides they can't be in heaven and hell yet, can't see each other if they were. I did a search for "thief" which you made no mention of. The repentant thief was told he would see the Lord this day in paradise below and since Jesus went down not up that day, He was not resurrected to Paradise above that day. You can also read it as like a computer turned off then turned back on 10 years later. The computer doesnt realize it's been 10 years for it was asleep so when resurrected from soul sleep the repentant thief will not realize he had been asleep for 2000 years. We are clearly told David is not in 3rd heaven however much the context compares him with Christ who is. I also did a search for "priest" which you don't mention. Recall none can come before the high priest naked. This entails the righteousness of Christ, but also a body. Angels are spirits, we are living souls WITH a body and spirit. When we are called spirits it is referring to that innermost part of us. Just like when God is spoken of as the Spirit, the Spirit is the co-equal and possibly innermost part of God. I am not sure which is the Father can be akin to, the body or the soul. Perhaps because Jesus takes on the body form He can be likened to the body and the Father the soul. The important point is God is Triune and so are we.

A new Harpur fanboi for a new year:

One does not need Harpur's book to know that the Jesus story was a concoction of many ancient beliefs. I knew that long before his book was published and lectured on the subject. One does not need books to arrive at rational conclusions. Had such a character existed, reason tells us he was not the Christ of the Bible, which is undoubtably, mythology. Those who want to make a case for Christ, are simply closing their mind to reality. I can quite understand Harpur not replying to your web page. Why should he want to defend rational argument against stubborn adherence to ancient superstition.

Even had there been a Jesus, there have been many good men and women since those far off days who have sacrificed all for the benefit of others, so why not advance to the present. Religion only creates a malleable society and that is its one great advantage to governments.

This again from the Christian side:

I don't agree with L. Ray's teachings and as a matter of fact; anyone whom relies on the work or input of man after the Bible was wrote. The Bible is the Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit. No matter what anyone say's; whether a one day convert or a theologian whom has studied the scripture for many years or decades. The Holy Spirit continues to baffle and to prove most of them wrong by revealing God's truth to many men and women whom are willing to serve Him. God has revealed so much to me that a theologian could even imagine. I am writing a book, but not to gain any material profits from it but to share what God has done for me through His Son Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is my guide and not man; the created.


The January 2010 John Loftus Collection

John made a jackass of himself right here this past month:

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/mandmblog/~3/vOku6l0yc9s/john-loftus-on-calvin-matthew-flannagan-and-psalm-14.html

The Lunchback of Notre Dumb

Yo Lunch starts 2010 with a dose of humility:

As for fellow atheists, i could not care less what they think of me! I can assure you, however, that when my book comes out, they will be among the first in line to buy it!

What I have up my sleeve, besides my arm, is the most powerful book ever written against Christianity! It will rock the world and send Christ , Jehovah and Allah on their way to the "fiction" section of the libraries!

Thank you for your interest in my book. However, it is a long way off. I have been writing it for years! I am still gathering material for it. That is why i am on Tweb now.

Loftus did the same thing, and we all know how that turned out.

This was also worth note:

Paine, the scholar, pointed out the fact that there little sidetracking was to illuminate the "fulfillment" of a so called "prophecy." In responding to the question that Herod asked of the chief priests and scribes of "where Christ should be born," they said "...In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." Matt 2:5,6

Paine tells us that this passage is in Micah 5:2 and says " I pass over the absurdity of following a star in the daytime..and also of seen it in the east, when themselves came from the east; for it must be in the west to them." Then he goes on to show that it was NOT a prophecy at all! I won't go further with that because you obviously need to read it for yourself!

As was this:

Well, you re right about one thing... Spock and Jesus are both fiction!

And:

Many people have a Bible but few have ever even read it, let alone studied it. That accounts, in part, for it's longevity. Another factor is that it's opposition has beern greatly suppressed until lately. Years ago, you could not find anti-Christian books in stores and public libraries. Soon, you will be able to see the effects of the truth getting out! In twenty years, Christianity , Judiasm and islam will be taken seriously!

Atheist Miscellany

Evolution COV starts us off:

...stop playing the victim argument now Doomrater. Christianity was so unpopular with the Romans because it was taking away their power, so it's no surprise that Christianity would rise when the Roman Empire fell. Besides, Christianity is entirely mainstream now so you guys aren't the "victims" anymore.

Now I'm going to leave this forum once and for all. I'm tired of all the fail here.

Commenter on Vox Day's blog gets the Gold for pomposity as an excuse for inactivity:

As a nontheist, I could offer argumentation to challenge the delusions swirling about in the cranial spaces of Vox Day and his obsequious followers who will be scampering in soon enough in their usual clueless, carefree manner. But to do so is futile, because such challenges to their thinking are not welcome here. Cornering their delusions logically like a powerful beam of sunlight entering through a high, broken, stained glass window of the cathedral of their mind and gradually moving along illuminating the darkened, cobwebbed recesses revealing the cracks and crumbling of the foundation of the centuries-old, man-made structure is more than they can bear. The man at the pulpit, Vox Day, is ready with his steady aim and push of a button of his shoulder-firing tar ball launcher to block the beam of sunlight and spare the congregation its further presence.

capoman1 also vies for this Gold:

My mind will always be open to the existence of all of the previously mentioned. And if I ever see something that SHAKES my view of reality, then I'll have a good reason to consider their existence. So far, my view of reality has always been correct, and hasn't failed me.

robertb is almost there too:

Perhaps, though you should read actual scholarship, as opposed to apologetics.

He also wins for trying to defend Richard Carrier's rather obvious lie in misusing quotes from Josephus.

lost_layman becomes a Platinum nominee with this:

They're not 'clearly post-Mosaic' scribal updates, they're clearly the work of an author living in post-Mosaic time period...just what we suspect.

Marplot has pomposity down:

Just a note: science is applied skepticism. It already is skeptical. So when one expresses skepticism of the scientific consensus, one is actually being skeptical of the skeptical. And that's contrarianism, not skepticism.

Reader sends a convo with a Christ myther that wins:

Me: There is NO evidence for any other crucfied gods before Jesus. Your spreading lies.

Cmther: There is a graffiti of a Baccus with a asses head being crucified and worshipped.

Me: Thats a polemic against Chrisitianity associating it with Judaism. Nothing about it says Baccus.

Cmther: that's only one interpretation. It could be Baccus. He was frequently associated with Donkey's.

Me: He was never pictured with then head of an ass, just riding one.

Cmyther: Well, unless Jesus had a donkey's head, it can't be him.

Me: have you heard a word I've said?

Jacep gets the first Atheist Platinum Statement nomination of 2010:

There is a difference between good and evil existing and good and evil being objective. You keep declaring this, but you don't show why this is.

Automatic Special Platinum to the Secular Web for putting THIS in their bookstore:

http://secweb.infidels.org/book1031.html

I think this makes it fairly clear that accuracy isn't one of their priorities...though we already knew that.

HWCWTD has a simple answer to a theistic argument:

I think infinite regress is not a philosophical foundation of theism because it's too difficult a problem for their hypothesis to contemplate. It's all probability, as unlikely as it is for inanimate matter to simply always have existed, it's even less likely that a complex being could.

Tassman spins out the usual in an interesting way:

Good and evil are objective because they are decided by the consensus of society, NOT individuals, and are based on preserving a cohesive society.

Objective reality about good and evil remains as such for as long as the community says so. It cannot exist independently as moral absolutes and our history of evolving moral standards illustrates this very clearly.

The Christian and Theist Collection

UrbanMonk starts 2010 with some screwiness:

First, the Be-Liable is a book that supports more confusion than it supports clarity. It is not conducive to solving "the case". It's only good for clues. It is basically "spin". It tells us what some people want us to believe about what Jesus said and did. Some of it is authentic. Much of it is spurious speculation, heresay, and prejudiced, and/or based on an agenda.

I argue that there is just as much support in the Be-Liable for what I'm saying as there is for what Christi-anti wants us to believe. The reason is because some of its content evolved from an authentic source (ie. Jesus, the Way) that has been lost in translation from an underground movement to an orthodox (popular) movement.

As far as textual support, John 3 states that those who do not believe in Christ are "condemned already". That is not different from saying we are in hell already because we don't believe. John 16 tells us that unbelief in Christ is what sin is. Paul supports the idea that if we believe, we pass from death to life. Other text supports the idea that people are "dead", whether or not they are breathing air ("Let the dead bury the dead). From this comes the concept of vampires, who, according to legend, are "dead"...even though they may walk around. The vampire concept is furthered by the fact that Christi-anti believes it must drink special blood in order to "live". Also, Jesus words to the effect that Christ is "broken for the many". The many can "live" only as the One is "broken". This is a converse relationship, like moon to sun. Vampires live converse lives as well. They can't go out in the light, lest they perish. I explain that all of matter is a psychic phenomenon. Essentially, sun, moon and earth arise from a kind of psychic vampirism. Its "reality" (life) is sucked from Reality (Christ). Matter can only "live" as Spirit is "dead". Hence, the converse relationship. "People" can't survive the light of Christ. They "love the dark" more than the truth. People are like lies that can only seem true while the truth itself is "dead". As soon as the truth is reasserted, the lies must disappear (die).

As a rule of thumb, what passes for "creation" is a lie...a farce...a mockery...since "the beginning". A material world of time and mass is essentially an imagining...a mental concept. It is ill-concieved of. It imasculates the Truth...makes a mockery of true Creation. It functions like a parasite, sucking the lifeblood out of Reality itself.

The time and material we fondly call "the world" is fundamentally an incomprehensible statement. It begins with a declaration (statement) that there is more to Life...something beyond Everything...a place beyond Everywhere. What is more than Life? Death. As such, the time and material we call "the world" is a concept antithetical to all that is True...against all that is Life...contrary to all that is Everything...a place at war with what is Everywhere. The world is "good and evil" which is fundamentally incomprehensible. It is impossible. Go(o)d does not understand what is not possible. And yet, it is what an insane mind wants, and so it is what an insane mind gets.

I practice eisegesis as a kind of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of dead text...the dead letters of the "law". Familiarity with textual references is not better than necrophelia. What's needed is understanding...a true psychic doctor. The text has been doctored by quacks, and is suffering from blood loss due to too many leeches.

Salvation means we admit that we, as people, do not exist...and accept that Christ exists as our inheritance, given us by our Creator. We accept that we exist...as Christ, not more, not less. If we are really willing to do this, what does not exist will disappear...vanish. Then, what was added to Christ is seen to be an illusion...an elaborate and complex lie. Our existence, as people, humans, elves and trolls...is part of the deception. More than ONE = many. Subtract the many and you restore the ONE.

P(s)aul was a pinheaded neo-Pharisee, traveling the ends of the earth seeking prosylites [sic], who became as much the sons of hell as their pretentious preacher. As if the "god" who produced and formed the world (the god of Israel) was not known to the Greeks!

So does Ty Rockwell:

You are just a 27 year old, snot-nosed kid, and I've been in the Bible for at least 45 years.

Don't be arrogant. If you want to make a case that what I said is an impossible interpretation, do that. Don't play that 'credentials' crap on my thread.

Prove you can read English.

MichaelCadry is back, too:

It is a paradise, and I will tell you even more secrets, because you deserve it. When you die, your spirit leaves the earthly body it is inside of and you are still alive, but your ability to travel is at the speed of light. And the Universe and Heaven are the Mansions that Jesus spoke of. It is beautiful exceptionally and you shall experience and see wondrous extraordinary worlds and mansions that the universe has to offer. And you shall reside in your own star with others who are the same energy and light, and spirit, as you and you, being one of God's many children, shall enjoy the blessing of finally being HOME and WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!!!

By the way, Satan was a man who was deceived by Lucifer and the Beast (Dragon).

Are you Palestinian (Philistine)? ... The Palestinians and the ancient Philistines that Israel had to fight with in ancient times. They only changed their name a bit because they had a bad reputation being called Philistines, and you know it. Look in your Webster dictionary or Funk and Wagnall's.

Did you know our Sun is that 'lake of fire' and that Hell is within the center of the Earth, and that evil spirit is released with every volcanic eruption?? I know it to be true, regardless of what you say, because I was told by an angel. Also that the Lord's 'Great White Throne' mentioned of in the Book of Revelation is really our own white Moon that we see every night in the sky. And His Spirit resides within it along with His Son's. And they stay close and check on us all down here day and night? I could tell you many more things, but you'll probably just twist them also. And I know that everything I speak of in this message is the absolute truth because of Whom I received it from. Shalom is in order, I guess.

I know where of what I've received. I know that the moon is also made up of carbuncle and sardonyx, among other things besides, and of course, 'moon dust'. You might recall in Revelation that there are four faces round about of one sphere. That is how the moon is. There will be God, His Son, and the two chosen by God to sit on His Son's right and left hand. I know it sounds nuts to you, but you don't know as much as you might think.

I know that when the clouds (heaven) departs as a scroll, and there is seen in His Temple the Ark of His Testament, and His Great White Throne, that it is our moon and that His Spirit resides in that heavenly body, and also His Spirit is everywhere and resides in everything besides. But His Seat or Throne is our moon. That doesn't mean to start worshipping the moon. It is for that reason this has not been made known to people sooner. You have to worship God the Spirit, and Jesus the Son, not the moon. You are in an earthly body now, but when you die, you will be given a heavenly body to reside your spirit in, namely a star / planet. It is for this reason it is written that 'The STARS are the warehouses of angels.' Also it is written in Daniel chapter 12:3, "And those that be wise shall be as the brightness of the firmament (heaven) and those who turn many to righteousness shall be as the STARS forever and ever."

It is not ironic and no, it did not go over my head. It went in and made not a whole lot of sense. You use prewritten, seemingly eloquent words that don't amount to a bunch of nothing. If you both get off on that kind of language, I can see how you were enticed by the Q'uaran, instead of the King James Christian Bible, which speaks plain English. It seems to me to be a work of a devil by the words you use. Like hearing the Exorcist II. I have better things to learn than how your fealty is. If you were of the Lord, you would speak with a knowledgeable tongue, but from what I read, you are really messed up worse than I'd even thought at all.

Rainbow Brite adds:

I don't believe in a Satan that is like an angel as a man, but that Satan is our Beast nature gone to extremes. That's what I believe is destroyed in the end.

And this, arguing that Jesus wants government run health care he suggests the medical staff shortage could be fixed through de facto slavery:

Maybe the government should then mandate all high school students get medical certification to fix that, if the private sector won't do it. Kind of like the draft, only for health care. Or at least give incentives for going into health care.

pensoquindi waddles in with:

If you believe in evolution you are not a true Christian.Evolution talks about natural selection and mutation by luck,it says God didnt create earth or maybe you are one of those who says God created everything and left it to its luck. And a scientist dont give me that you cant be a scientist and a Christian because scientists dont believe in faith and thats the only way to be a Christian believe everything in the Bible as it is, "nothing taken nothing added"

OneSizeFit is a winner:

So Proverbs is no use in revealing God's character because it is wisdom literature? Interesting...Also, by relegating the words in Psalms to the Psalmist, rather than God, you are putting half of the prophecies used to validate Christ as the Messiah on the back burner.

Sorry brother, i don't have to "apologize" for God. Which is what tektonics is all about. What a burden.

LDSTrue pops in with a new definition of "faith":

I’m sure you have faith that your car will get you to work. Tomorrow, let’s try this experiment, get up and get all ready for work, get in your car without the key and sit there with full faith that your car will deliver you to work. You'll soon discover that your faith alone will not get your car started and you on your way to work.

What went wrong? Was something wrong with your faith or was it something wrong with your expectations and the way you were applying your faith.

Your faith alone that your car will get you to work leaves your car dead in it tracts and it will never deliver you to work on faith alone. A lot has to transpire correctly for your car to start and run sufficiently to deliver you to work beginning with inserting the key and turning it in the ignition. Jesus and His Apostles say the same principals apply with His gospel within His Church!

stephen goswami has his start:

The hell-wishers are already in hell, judgment catches the judges first.

In Muslim countries women are often condemned to death for flimsy charges. Among them some are virgins. Muslims believe that all virgins go to Heaven after death. So to send them to hell, they destroy their virginity by raping.. Often they die due to gang raping even before execution. But wishing hated ones to hell is in all humanity irrespective of religion. The hell-sending god conception is the terrible result. The ‘Christian’ clergy is also the proponent of that by manufacturing 'Revelation'. Muslims had inherited it from them.

Adopting the holiest name ‘Christian’ is sin enough for Judas- worse us. Worse is to claim as holy priest of Christianity. So these priests are proponent of hell-sending god being devoid of Holy Spirit.

Christ followers should be examples of humility and atonement as Christ and Gandhi was by being the humblest servant. Gandhi’s most favored hobby was to clean latrines in the morning wherever he went.

I once fell to the lure of prestige of the Christian pastors and joined seminary. But observing their pride-degeneration I left. But Heaven- fallen pride-worshipping people reject the humble and adore the proud. So the clergy of all religions are adored to accelerate their degeneration. So Christ criticized them most.

If creator judges any of his creation is hell worthy then he is there all ready. This world steeped in false infatuation is in hell already. We, Christ-followers try to raise them to Heaven by our humility example in persecution, gulags, jails and tortures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e27TTHcMQsw&feature=PlayList&p=3B60CFB32FF9E243&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anPLO_dfu7s&feature=topvideos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8NcnjbD3bU

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1241612/Two-men-arrested-police-follow-footprints-snow-burgled-cash-machine-house.html

http://www.grimandthejc.com/?p=27

http://arian-catholic.org/arian/arian-home.html

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXSsO4p-3ws&feature=rec-fresh+div-r-5-HM

http://secondbookofdaniel.com/

Pat Robertson gets the first Famous Christian Platinum nomination of 2010 for this:

And you know Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, uh you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True Story. And so the Devil said "OK, it's a deal." And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island is Hispaniola is one island. It's cut down the middle. On one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc.. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. Uh, they need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God and out of this tragedy. I'm optimistic something good may come.

For similar reasons, Danny Glover wins the first At Large Platinum nomination of 2010 for suggesting that Gaia was behind the quake:

http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/pact_with_gaia/

Dan Barker gets the first Famous Atheist Platinum nom:

An atheist organization is blasting the U.S. Postal Service for its plan to honor Mother Teresa with a commemorative stamp, saying it violates postal regulations against honoring "individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings."

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is urging its supporters to boycott the stamp — and also to engage in a letter-writing campaign to spread the word about what it calls the "darker side" of Mother Teresa.

http://www.thepathoftruth.com/

Mehmet Ali Agca (who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981) wins for his comments on release from prison:

In the name of God Almighty, I proclaim the end of the world in this century. All the world will be destroyed; every human being will die. I am not god, I am not son of God; I am Christ eternal.

Maybe the prison system should win one for releasing him.

Screwball to TSA for not knowing what tefillin are"

Sources tell KYW US Air flight 3079 from LaGuardia to Louisville was diverted to Philly after a Jewish male removed a "tefillin" for prayer purposes after takeoff. The removal of the "religious item" prompted a bomb scare aboard the plane.

http://www.johnmacarthurexposed.com/What-is-CGM.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7079312/Fans-campaign-for-heavy-metal-to-be-recognised-as-religion.html

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20100128/tuk-driver-faces-trial-for-blowing-nose-6323e80.html -- At Large Platinum nominee


2010 Platinum Screwball Award Winners

At-Large

St Matthew-in-the-City Anglican Church in Auckland and Archdeacon Glynn Cardy for putting up a billboard with Mary and Joseph in be with the caption "Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow"

Christian E-Mail

Dear Techtonics.org,

I came across your website through Lambert Dolphin and would like to share some of what I shared with him on the topic of music in the church. I read your defense of allowing instrumental music in the church in worship, but I noticed that it was not an in-depth treatment of the subject. Very few "expositional" bible teaching ministries are aware of the amount of scriptural testimony there is in the bible on the topic of music. When it comes to music, there is much that is "lost in translation" because although there are many negative associations with musical terms in both the Hebrew and Greek texts of the bible, the corresponding English equivalents do not have the same negative connotations in English. The following excerpt contains a small part of the "hidden" testimony in the bible on the topic of music. There is much more. (As an interesting short study project, take the names found in the short genealogies of Numbers 25:14-15, put the basic meanings of the names on a sheet of paper in the order they are found in the passage, then form a sentence around them and place that sentence in the context of what Balak, Balaam, and the Moabites were trying to do to Israel at the time) Now to the excerpt I mentioned -

The church has been ignoring another area of scriptural testimony in a way that shows just how superficial they are willing to be in an area of teaching that is very important to people's ability to think and reason clearly. That would be the subject of music in the scriptures. I became a Christian after struggling through 10 years of reading the bible from cover to cover before God used a series of people and circumstances to free me from the mental shackles that growing up Catholic had put on me. I am grateful for the people and ministries that taught me what it means to be born again and how to grow by studying the word of God. I also grew a lot by hearing and reading "expositional" bible teaching. But several years ago I came across a website that pointed out some of the biblical testimony on the subject of music, and when I thought back on all of the "expositional" bible studies and sermons I had heard, I realized that every time a verse with a musical reference came up they always switched to bible study - "lite" mode. Chapter after chapter of looking at the meanings of Hebrew and Greek words in depth, but once a musical passage comes up, they stick to the English text and cast everything in a positive light. I imagine you have heard of the "first mention" principle in bible exposition? I have never heard a bible teacher apply this principle to the first mention of music in the bible. The first mention of music in the bible is Genesis 4:21. "And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ." Jubal is one of Cain's descendants, which is not a good start, (Cain's name also comes from a musical root word) but there is something else in this verse that escapes notice in an English translation. The Hebrew word translated as "handled" is taw-fas in Hebrew and means, "to manipulate, i.e., to seize; to wield (as a weapon); chiefly to capture; to use unwarrantably (without authority)". You can look up it's meaning for yourself and trace it's usage through scripture. It is not an innocent word. (Taw-fas is also related to the words tofe which means "timbrel or tambourine" and tow-fawf (Tophet), the name of an infamous location associated with child sacrifice, and is also a code word for the fires of Gehenna in Isaiah.) Why don't "expositional" bible teachers 'expose' these facts? Does this sound like God giving music to mankind as a gift? On the contrary, the first mention of mankind and musical instruments in scripture shows a man seizing them without authority and wielding them as a weapon to manipulate and capture people. Any of the scriptural mentions of music should be looked at in terms of all the information on the topic in every passage. I have never seen any "expositional" bible teaching ministry talk about the meaning or usage of the Hebrew word tophas. Since I already mentioned Cain, I would like to share something I discovered when I began to do an in-depth study of music in the bible. Cain and Judas both have at least 5 things in common.

Similarity #1 - Judas Is-Cariot. Many bible scholars believe Iscariot is a transliterated form of the Hebrew phrase "man (ish)of cities (kerioth)". Judas means "praise". "Praise man of cities". Who is the first man associated with a city in scripture? Cain!

Similarity #2 - Striking a shepherd: Cain, through the meaning of his name (kahyin - "a lance, as striking fast and holding") who struck his brother Abel, who was the first shepherd; Judas, because according to psalm 41 he was the person who "lifted up his heel" against Jesus and was used by satan to try to triumph over or "roo-ah" over ( mar by splitting the ears with sound) and strike the Chief Shepherd, Jesus. (Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered)

Similarity #3 - Emphasis on material gain: Cain through his name which also means "to acquire and hold fast" and "to procure and sell", and Judas through his thieving money from the purse.

Similarity #4 - Funerals: Cain through 'koon', the root word for his name (koon means "to strike a musical note, also to sing a dirge at a funeral) ; and Judas through the "glosokomon" which in addition to meaning a case for musical mouthpieces or a purse, can also mean a casket.

Similarity #5 - music: Cain through the meaning of the root word for his name and Judas through the 'glosokomon' he stole from.

Another area that is ignored are the meanings and associations given to musical terms in the bible. Nearly all of the names for musical instruments in scripture have negative connotations or they come from root words that do. If God is as fond of what we call music as most Christians assume, why would the Holy Spirit have musical instruments denoted by words with the meanings that they have? The commands for musical worship in scripture are not meant to be taken literally. From Paul's writings and the words he used in connection with "psalms hymns and spiritual songs, the early church fathers knew that the musical worship commands in the old testament are fulfilled and done away with as far as a literal sense every bit as much as the commands for sacrifices were. But that is a whole long study in itself.

There is one final thing I would like to submit for your consideration. One of the most flagrant cases of superficial teaching by the church is in the area of teaching people the basics about how our adversary works. "Know your enemy" is a common term and is good advice. So what do most Christians know about the first mention of our enemy in scripture? They know he is called a serpent and he is subtle and crafty. That is not enough. We hear all about the way the "serpent" used a false diversion and outright lies to deceive Eve, but if you look at all of the meanings behind the name of the serpent in Hebrew, it becomes obvious that there was more than likely an attack that started before the serpent spoke his first word.

The word translated as "serpent" in Genesis 3 is "nachash" or "naw-kawsh", which has many other meanings than a serpent. If you look at how the bible describes Lucifer in Ezekiel 28, it becomes easy to see how he fits the three main meanings of the word nachash. The description of Lucifer's "timbrels" (tambourines) and "pipes" dovetails perfectly with the nachash. The sound that a rattling tambourine makes closely resembles one of the meanings of the word . As I understand it, the meaning of the word nachash as an active verb is "to hiss" (hence it's common translation as a serpent). The "hissing" of a tambourine has been used extensively in movies and t.v. as a way to let people know that something sinister is about to happen and to create anticipation and suspense. This is probably how the nachash laid his groundwork for his later verbal assault on Eve's understanding of God's word.

Most people who read Ezekiel 28 don't realize that the "pipes" mentioned there are not musical pipes at all. The Hebrew word denotes "a hollow receptacle or bezel to mount a gemstone in". This mounting or bezel would undoubtedly be made of shiny metal. Shiny gemstones and mountings fit perfectly with one of the other meanings for the word nachash. In addition to meaning "to hiss" as an active verb, in it's passive form it means "the shining one". I believe the nachash in Genesis 3 should be seen in both ways.His timbrel makes a "hissing" sound to create hype, suspense and anticipation of some occurrence. The nachash probably created expectation and suspense in Eve in this way before he began speaking or was even seen by her. Once he had her in suspense and interested, he made his grand appearance, dazzling Eve with the sight of his shiny copper or brass colored coat. (nek-o-sheth is a closely related word which means copper or bronze.)

A double attack of sight and sound was used to get Eve "enchanted" and in a different state of mind before the subtle twisting of God's word began, and then finally, the outright lies, started leading her to disobedience. This is the basis of what "enchanters" and sorcerers do. "Enchanter" is the primitive root meaning for the word nachash. Music, hissing, unusual symbols or objects, weird behavior and other strange SIGHTS and SOUNDS are associated with enchanters in scripture and are used to alter the victim's perceptions. (Advertisers are constantly encouraging people to enjoy the "enchanting sights and sounds" of such and such a vacation spot so the link between enchantment, sight, and sound is not hard to nail down. I also capitalized and underlined the words sight and sound because they are major traits linking Lucifer with the nachash that tempted Eve, and are also prominent later when Babylon's groundwork for expansion begins in Genesis chapter 4 with Lamech's 4 children.) Out-of-the-ordinary sights and sounds make the person less discerning, more open, and more likely to believe the enchanter (mainly by causing the body to release endorphins, dopemine, adrenaline, etc., which are basically internally produced drugs that alter conciousness. The endorphines are nearly identical to morphine. Anyone can be affected by them, but the "weak" can easily stumble into back into bondage to the flesh through their effects). The use of music and sound is one of the fastest (and the most powerful) ways to get these feel-good endorphins and other hormones flowing. Couple this release with dazzling visual images and you have the explanation for the huge popularity of music videos today, and for the nearly universal love affair that cultures all over the world have had with "the performing arts" throughout history. }

You may argue with the inferences I have drawn from the meanings of the Hebrew words or the associations between them, but at least now you know a very few of the negative things associated with musical terms in the Hebrew language. Greek is no kinder in this regard than Hebrew but to delineate both lists would take a lot of reading. If you want, I can send a paper that I wrote a few years ago outlining what I learned when I first decided to do an in-depth study of musical references in the bible. I titled it "Hearing God and entertainment". Let me know if you want me to send it. I welcome any comments or questions you have on what I have shared here. I also have some questions on other topics but this one should probably come first since I believe that everyone's ability to reason and think clearly is being affected by the saturation of music and visual entertainment that we are bombarded with continually.

At-Large E-Mail

Interesting, but you made a few mistakes. Jesus Christ wasn't a Jew. If he was he was a pretty funny looking Jew. He had reddish blond hair and a blond beard. His ancestor King David had reddish hair. Jesus Christ was white, pure blooded; not Jewish, who are hybrids. Also, the roman catholic church is the biggest pagan cult in the world today. Pope Benedict is the head of this church, and he is a homosexual.

John Loftus

stevegemma1973 said...

(quoting Loftus) "If anyone thinks this argument effectively deals with mine then he is probably a sophomore in college like Nick was when he wrote it (I presume, correct me if I'm wrong). *No sophomore could actually understand the relevant issues involved*."

What? Then why do you have a blurb from a college freshman/sophomore both on your website and on the back of your book?

Here's the review from which the quote by Chris Hallquist on the back of your book was pulled. Note the date: 2006. http://www.secularstudents.org/node/550

Here's a link to Hallquist's website, which lists him as a senior in college this year: http://www.uncrediblehallq.net/about/

And here's a link to your website, on which you quote from Hallquist -- then a freshman in college -- complimenting your book:

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspo...e-atheist.html

John, shouldn't you even try to respond to the undeniable evidence I've presented that proves your hypocrisy? If no college sophomore could understand the arguments in your book, then why include a blurb from one on the back of it? If no college sophomore could understand the arguments in your book, then why keep Hallquist's recommendation up on your blog?

Loftus' reply:

stevegemma, you just are not making any sense. Where did I ever make such a claim in the first place? Please learn to read. And even if a sophmore is typically not that knowledable there are indeed exceptions. Nick is not one of them. Hallq is one of them (and not just because he recommends my book you twit). Hallq himself is an author of two books (one published on the Internet Infidels and the other one ready to go). Nevertheless Hallq is now a senior in college and he still maintains what he wrote. In fact check back and I'm sure he will still think maintain what he wrote when he's a professor at a university. that's my prediction. Stay tuned. Sheesh. That was easy.

You guys major on straw men and personal attacks. You are idiots. Grow up. No wonder I have no respect for you or the small minority of people who follow Holding over at TWeb, and no wonder I make a mockery of you people. You deserve it. All of you.

At-Large Website

http://www.tjresearch.info/

Skeptic Website

http://bythebookcomics.blogspot.com/

TWeb veteran

Ty Rockwell

Christian website

Tie:

http://thelovecommandment.com/the-best-defense-against-swine-flu/

http://www.demontest.com/

Skeptic E-Mail

A man was born of a virgin named Mary. He was called the Son of God. He led slaves out of Egypt. He killed a giant. He was blinded on the road to Damascus. Finally, he was crucified, died, and rose three days late, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and ascended into the moon. Sound familiar? It should. This is the story of the one you Christians call "Jesus." You know who's story that is directly copied from? The story of the Norwegian god Quetzalcoatl. He was born of a virgin named Svarog (the Old Norse name for Mary), and was called the Son of God. He led Slavs (note the lack of an "e", a Christian plot to deceive inattentive listeners) out of Ørken (the Norse version of "Egypt" a mythical land with a story so powerful that the Christians made a real area called Egypt), killed a Giant (the Christians were less subtle this time, the name "Goliath" remained across all the cultures), was blinded on the road to DÅM ÅSCUS (An ancient Norse city). DÅM ÅSCUS was destroyed by Christian terrorists in the first century to cover up the evidence of their tale, but recent archaeological discoveries have proved the existence of it. Quetzalcoatl was finally nailed to a tree, died, and rose 3 days later, just like the Jesus story. Before Quetzalcoatl ascended to the Heavens (or Moon in Christian mythology), he destroyed Sødøm and Gåmmøråh.

Face it, you pathetic Christian sheep, your religion is a lie based on the pathetic mythology of drunken Vikings.

Famous Skeptic

James Randi, for endorsing the Nazareth myth Famous Christian

Metropolitan Community Church of Glasgow, Scotland:

A publicly funded exhibition is encouraging people to deface the Bible in the name of art - and visitors have responded with abuse and obscenity. The show includes a video of a woman ripping pages from the Bible and stuffing them into her bra, knickers and mouth. The open Bible is a central part of 'Made in God's Image,' an exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. By the book is a container of pens and a notice saying: "If you feel you have been excluded from the Bible, please write your way back into it."

The exhibit, Untitled 2009, was proposed by the Metropolitan Community Church, which said that the idea was to reclaim the Bible as a sacred text. But to the horror of many Christians, including the community church, visitors have daubed its pages with comments such as "This is all sexist pish, so disregard it all." A contributor wrote on the first page of Genesis: "I am Bi, Female & Proud. I want no god who is disappointed in this."

...The community church, which celebrates "racial, cultural, linguistic, sexual, gender and theological diversity," had suggested the "interactive" Bible and pens and Mr Schrag, 34, [one of the artists who created the exhibit] said he had been intrigued. Christian Statement

Pop wins by an astounding, unanimous 34-0 vote:

Kabane reported this one, here's the fully story.

pop Christian:

kabane, are you familiar with the revival ministries great awakening movement? they have been an instrument for saving over 300,000 souls for Christ. guess what? they didn't use INTELLECTUALISM or EVIDENCE. they preached the hope of the gospel of Jesus with love and care. so, no offense, ur ways methods are useless. the true method is evangelism. explosive evangelism. I wonder how many of those conversions were permanent.

Kabane replied by citing Apollos, Paul's admonition to test everything, and the speeches of the apostles. "Pop" said:

forget about ur apostles. sure, i appreciate them and admire them, but the one whose ways we should follow is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. and that's what u fail to realize is that Christianity is all about Jesus, much more than it is about apostles. Jesus NEVER appealed to evidence. ur a CHRISTIAN but it seems that u aren't a diciple.

Kabane informed him that Jesus did not have to appeal to evidence for the resurrection, considering that he was the one being resurrected, and that the speeches of the apostles are scripture. Pop then decided to declare that the NT wasn't written in Greek:

Peter, John, Matthew, Mark, Paul, Timothy, James, Luke, and every other writer in the new testament was hebrew! they spoke ARAMAIC! so how are they going to write in a language they don't know? their personal accounts were written in aramaic (probably) before they were ever put together in Greek. genius.

Kabane informed him of the magic of being bilingual. When he again pointed out Paul's admonition to test everything, he began to butcher the Bible in an effort to save his skewed definition of faith:

we shouldn't be disciples of Paul, we should be disciples of Jesus. Jesus was perfect, Paul wasn't. Paul letters in my opinion are more about advise to Christ followers on how to live.

When told that he has essentially destroyed 50% of Christian doctrine by denying the authority of Paul, he declares:

now, you're trying to be a Christian the way Paul was, when we're supposed to be the way Jesus was. and your definition of faith is the most stupid thing that i have ever heard. no offense. being a Christian because of the evidence, come on man, you can't seriously tell me that's not idiotic to the most extreme degree.

TWeb noob

Hooks

Skeptic Statement

Pitchforkpat: Even though moral relativism is a fact, that doesn't mean I espouse, promote, or advocate moral relativism.

At-Large Statement

Jo: If someone depends on evidence to base their beliefs on, then their testimony is built on a foundation of sand.

Yo Lunch

I addressed an issue which you duck with a silly photo of an antique instrument of science and COMPLETELY MISSING the point that it is IMPOSSIBLE for Mary and Joseph to have "followed" a star!

Special Awards

Both Hooks and John Loftus receive Special Friend of the Disabled Platinum Awards for their remarks about people with disabilities in the past year.

Kermit Zarley (aka Servetus the Evangelical) wins a Special Award for his efforts in promoting Unitarianism and his cheap way of promoting it through a "ha ha guess who I am" contest.

Stephen Huller wins the Book of the Year Award for The Real Messiah.

Conservapedia wins a Special Award for their attempts at Bible "translation".