It's time for the 2011 Platinum Screwball Awards, and those will be at the bottom of this page. See the rest of the best here.

From the Mailbag

We have the first At-Large Platinum Email for 2012:

I was doing research about Attis from ancient Greek mythology for personal knowledge and love of Greek mythology and I came across your websites article that was saying the complete opposite then what every other website was saying about this ancient Greek god without even knowing where and by whom your website was created by. As soon as I was halfway done reading, everything that was being said about Attis and the way it was talked about the ways of the Attis cult I was starting to be more and more suspicious of the article because to me it seemed that the article was trying to protect and conserve the Christian belief. Now, you have to understand that before I started to read your article I had no idea who or what your website was about until after I was done reading and became curious about the website that posted the article. To my no surprise I quickly learned that this website is run by religious group who is in war with the open minded and moderate world and who is trying desperately and vigorously to "preserve and protect" its faith in the new age of free thinkers. Lets face it this article is coming from a group whose history is filled with spilled innocent blood "in the name of god" who in old age killed anyone who tried to be a free thinker. Christianity, if we look at history, tells us that anyone who thought and believed the earth was round was executed by the church because in that time earth was believed to be flat. Also people were executed who were into science, mathematics and most importantly who were free thinkers and were open minded, people who opened their eyes to other possibilities. In order to fight against this threat the church came out with a book called Witches Hammer that proclaimed any free thinker, mathematician, anyone practicing science, anyone that believed basically in the world to be the works of a devil and or evil was executed. It is believed that just this book over the span of 300 years was responsible for extermination of no less then 6 million people. History also might tell us that church was also responsible in destruction of the Mayan civilization who were proclaimed to be works of the devil and were aggressively converted to Christianity. Your church just like every other religion has innocent blood on its hands and just like everyone else cannot run away from its dark and painful history. This article was nothing more then biased and hypocritical opinion that comes from a hypocritical aggressive group who will do anything to preserve its falls belief. This letter comes from an individual who is open minded and a free thinker and not possessed by any type of religion whose god are the people and all other living things and praises the universe and the power of all things we still do not understand. Thank you for your time.

Also, the first Platinum Atheist Email. I had quoted Dan Barker: "I'm not a bad person. I'm honest. If I walk out of this restaurant and get killed by a truck, will I go straight to hell?" And I replied: The declaration of being "honest" is a peculiar one, in light of the fact that Barker has at this point already explained how he lied to himself and to others by playing a farce as a "false believer" for months. Our atheist emailer replied with this dead trick pony:

Hey, you lied about your name. Who are you to talk?


The January 2012 John Loftus Collection

John didn't do much this past month screwball worthy, except 1) buy into a "pagan copycat" argument and 2) whine that Mike Licona won't debate him. He seems to forget Mike's son in law is still waiting for Round 2 of a debate at TWeb.

Atheist Miscellany

YourMaster makes the first Platinum Atheist Statement of 2012:

You might think we're ignorant, but we're only ignorant with respect to the details of certain fairy tales, ask us what you like about biology, chemistry, calculus, or any other legitimate subject worth studying (because we're likely an expert in one or more of those areas). Sure ... I heard that god ordered the Jews to slaughter women and children of opposing tribes (in brutal fashion), but I can't cite chapter and verse, and I don't even know the context... but I don't have to understand these points to understand that this is a book, written over the course of a very long period of time, by very ancient and very primitive tribes.

And also says:

I skimmed Augustine once, and I don't think I've ever read anything so absurd in my life, Aristotle Jr., oops I mean Aquinas, please (talk about resurrecting dead & silly arguments).

Metaphysics ... for those who can't handle calculus.

Tassman is polishing his 2012 Platinum already:

In short, it’s all to do with social enculturation in the first instance and brain-washing in the second when and if one is confronted by aggressive political or Christian outreach. This is particularly the case among Evangelicals, whereby the conversion techniques employed by them and political demagogues like Kim Song Il or Hitler, with their organized rallies etc, are remarkably similar.

The Pixie solves the whole atonement debate:

So just to be clear, you are saying that if someone had wanted to kill Jesus, then God would not have protected his son, because that person was doing so by his own free will? I am not talking about forcing the attacker to think differently, just to provide a protection around Jesus, a force field if you like.

18 year old YT atheist, who can't understand why I mock his age and inexperience:

I assume you meant Alvin Plantinga. I found him and some of his arguments on wikipedia, and I greatly disagree with him. Also, the only argument of him that tried to PROVE god's existence instead of opposing common arguments against god was his Evolutionary argument against naturalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evoluti...nst_naturalism). The fact that our brain is a product of unguided evolution doesn't mean that our brain is unreliable.

Even worse YT user BARFLY:

Every leading Christian scholar since Erasmus, four hundred years ago, has maintained that the Gospels were originally written in Greek. This proves that they were not written by Christs desciples, or by any of the early Christians. Foreign Gospels, written by unknown men, in a foreign tongue, several generations after the death of those who are supposed to have known the facts - such is the evidence relied upon to prove that Jesus lived.

Nice to know bertaberts is an equal opportunity ignoramus:

Is it possible that the Prophet Muhammed did not exist but was created by the minority Arabs in control of a vast empire of non-Muslim countries in order to justify Islam and give an earthly vindication

Just an update -- HonestTechnoAtheist still puts out crap like this:

Hitler killed because he disliked a group of people. God killed because he disliked a group of people. I see no difference here. Why do I need to have objective source for my morality to call something evil, when YOU don't have that either. All you have is a being who says might makes right. It would take time for me to feed people, plus it cannot be distinguished as GOD feeding people, only humans feeding them. God is the only one who can feed them all right away.

A fan of Christ myther David Fitzgerald tells him:

I hope you send a copy to Bart Ehrman. I can't think he has all the information he should have to be publishing something on the same subject with a different conclusion.

Anonymous atheist said:

There is no clear-cut line between "religious evidence" and "historical evidence", if that's what you are asking. But, there is the act of prioritizing evidence by "believability". As an example, and in order to not use Christianity (because I have the impression people here are way too involved in Christianity to make a fair assessment of its historical validity), let's use Heaven's Gate. If you read any of their self-produced literature, it is stated with absolute conviction and certainty that a spaceship was hiding behind Hale-Bopp. Now, there is no evidence from NASA or otherwise that that is the case. And I would think that you too believe with absolute certainty that there was no spaceship, and not only that, but you also view it as a historical certainty. What was the problem? The problem was that the literature was written by people for whom those "facts" were beyond question. Not only that, the literature was written to recruit more people.

Now tell me how that is different from Christian literature.

Facebook atheist makes this intellectual jibe:

Mary, a barely pubescent girl, was ghost-raped and her fiancee made a cuckold, but did they complain? No. Mary gave birth to her rape-baby and raised him to be a fine upstanding man. But then this heavenly father arranged to have his son killed, so we all could be rescued from God's anger over a couple of people who ate an apple a long long long time ago.

Admittedly, Joseph was said to be over 50 at least, while Mary is thought to have been age 13 or 14. As big as an age difference that is, and as common as it might have been at the time, the age difference between this Holy Ghost fella and Mary was vastly bigger. God was what, over a million or a gazillion years old at the time?

Then there is the incest issue. God the Father and all that, and we all his children. Icky.

Then the power differential. God's like all powerful and Mary is some big nobody from a hick town out in the desert. After the stunt Jehovah pulled on Job, she's going to say no to God?

Sorry. Ghost-rape it was and ghost-rape it shall be, if he tries that stunt again.

The Christian and Theist Collection

Zoli makes eschatology easy:

Well it seems to me that those who does not hold to some shades of futurist interpretation are astonishingly short sighted, lacking of rigour in their theology of eschatology. History (the past 4000 years but especially the last 2000 years) unmistakenly shows that only futurist position is Biblical, consequently no other views can be entertained. All the other (non futurist) views are rightly called "replacement theology" = heretic views.

Spartacus wins the Dunning Effect Trophy:

The only response to my recent questions - regardless of their relevance and regardless of the fact that the earlier criticisms of my unwillingness to examine scholarly sources have been made irrelevant by my recent reading of said sources- has been, "I don't care." It is they and not I who have refused to consider evidence against their position. When the other side would rather engage in sophistry and mockery than explain patron/client and honor/shame dynamics in New Testament descriptions of Hell and in the beginning of Augustine's Confessions, one is made aware of two possibilities that may or may not exist in combination. The first possibility is that one's own approach is problematic. The other is that the other side's approach is problematic. I have considered both possibilities.

I'll admit that I didn't conduct myself perfectly or even particularly well throughout the conversation, but I am just as sure that Andius and AAG's arguments are fundamentally flawed. The difference in our positions is that, while I can see the presence of patron/client and honor/shame dynamics in the New Testament, they have insisted on the primacy and ubiquity of these themes. I have studied the Classics and I know many who have studied the Classics. Nowhere in these experiences have I encountered anyone who insisted so much on patron/client dynamics or placed such an emphasis on the incomprehensibility of these ideas to modern readers. The problem is not that I am not doing justice to my education, but rather that my education does not agree with their prejudices. In the end, this isn't a question of my education, it's a question of the validity of almost every study of classics or "great books" in modern academia. There are difficulties in reading any text not from one's own culture, but I've never seen anyone emphasize these difficulties so much. It's not nearly as difficult as they seem to think it is to step outside of cultural prejudices and understand ancient authors on their own terms. Yeah, they talk about honor and shame, but it's not nearly all there is to it. This emphasis on the primacy of patron/client has no parallel in anything else I've ever read or heard on the topic.

YT user Schnel127, on white supremacy in the Bible:

It does imply it. speak to any decent pastor I'm sure he'd tell you. Now you're probably deceiving yourself which is a sin. You did sound like a 12 year old... I'm not saying that to be mean. Everyone has the right to be proud of their race. It's genetic and God's creation therefore putting diversity in the world. White Pride. You'd have to be pretty ignorant to speak with such absolutes about Jews not controlling the media. "If a man thinketh he knows something he knows nothing"

Ed Dingess wins a Platinum nom for having conversations with a spambot.

ThePuppyTurtle wins for refusing to read books I told him to weeks ago, and so coming up with stuff like this:

The Problem with Holdings model is that Honor as he must think of it is nonsense. Honor is a synonym of reputation. The Sins of non-Christians have no effect on God's reputation. So PTM is False. He must posit Honor as it has never been understood before, by anyone. I also at the fact that he insists that this is what a person reading the text at the time would have understood, which is probably why it took 2000 years for someone to come up with it.

Damning someone over Honor is also extremely Petty.

Lady Minstrel suggests a scholarly source:

GOOGLE THIS....YOUTUBE ALL NEW VERSIONS ARE VATICAN VERSIONS..

Alleged prophet with a website wins:

I once heard a testimony where the Holy Ghost was falling upon the people during worship. The preacher testified how the piano player got so filled with the Spirit that she fell off of the piano bench and the piano kept right on playing! No other explanation could be found except, “Jesus knows how to play a piano!”

Webers_Home breaks the ice with nonsense:

Getting into heaven is only half the battle; and actually the easy part. The real challenge is staying. Naturally people would be on their best behavior at first; but what's to keep them that way? and what's to prevent them from being evicted? because if the wages of sin on earth is death (Rom 6:23) then the wages of sin in heaven can't be any different.

Jer 13:23 . . Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

When I was a young man; thoughts like Jer 13:23 often crossed my mind; even before I read the Bible one time for myself. I figured: okay, if today I reform and become a God-fearing man, and will-powered myself into keeping all the commandments; and somehow managed to make it to heaven; I seriously doubt I could keep it up for eternity— maybe for the rest of my life; but certainly not forever. It would only be a matter of time before I fell off the wagon and showed my true colors.

No: one look at the Lord's sermon on the mount as per Mtt 5:1-7:27 and I knew I was toast. In point of fact, I'm really not all that good at so much as turning the other cheek; and judging from the Lord's beatitudes; it's clear to me that the Bible's God isn't interested in one's behavior nearly as much as He's interested in one's personality.

Can the Ethiopian change the color of his skin or the leopard remove his spots? Answer: No. So then what's to become of rank and file pew warmers in heaven when it finally comes to the point where their true personality forces God to evict them?

http://zeenews.india.com/entertainment/and-more/99-year-old-man-files-for-divorce-over-wife-s-1940s-affair_103049.htm -- At-Large Platinum nominee

http://www.crossoverchurches.org/5.html

http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/04/9955796-piracy-church-gets-approval-from-swedish-government

http://skstamps.deviantart.com/art/Its-a-LIE-273974838

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvT2YDlUl2g&feature=fvwrel

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithforward/2012/01/god-speaks-to-pat-robertson/

http://www.11alive.com/rss/article/220841/3/Student-disciplined-after-reporting-knife-at-school

http://www.christianpost.com/news/lifechurch-tv-pastor-kicks-off-revival-wants-idiots-for-christ-67047

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-16554123

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/highschool-prep-rally/school-t-cougars-because-middle-aged-women-might-161402778.html

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/adverts-advise-pip-implant-women-221351609.html

http://thebiblicalnaturist.blogspot.com/2011/06/when-is-nudity-ok-for-christian.html -- Christian website nomination for Platinum 2012.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-wife-to-spend-24-hours-in-bed-on-church-roof-to-teach-sex-lessons-66640/ -- Famous Christian Platinum nominee.

http://www.christiansagainstnike.com/ -- Christian website Platinum nominee.

http://zaknafein81.wordpress.com/

Award to the History Channel for offering a show that says the Bible teaches that Jesus will cast the actual god Hades into hell.


2011 Platinum Screwball Award Winners

At-Large

Florida job service that spent money on superhero capes for the unemployed.

Christian E-Mail

God's inspired words NEVER lie in the least, as you say it does in Luke 14:26.

No wonder God says that MANY are called but FEW are chosen.

I believe God means every thing He says in the way He says it and not the way your LIARS say it in ANY WAY.

God is not 'OUT OF CONTEXT' and He is not to STUPID so that He can not tell us what He really means by the way He says it. If you are a parent, I know exactly why God said to 'HATE' you in Luke 14:26.

You probably belong to one of the 15,000 RELIGIONS on earth that thinks theirs is right but the others are wrong and Christ NEVER COMMANDED ANYONE to start a Christian RELIGION of ANY KIND. Never did, NEVER WILL. (Matthew 15:7-9) You worship Him in VAIN.

You nor ANYONE on earth can show me a single verse where Christ complimented ANY RELIGION, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, CRAFTED TEMPLES, the DEVIL or Christ's biological mother. PROVE ME WRONG. I do not need your phony interpretation, I want a verse and not your EXCUSES.

At-Large E-Mail

John Loftus

Loftus started a self-serving poll asking of anyone wanted to see him debate William Lane Craig. The answers he allowed for votes:

Yes, to see a student debate his former professor

Yes, in order for John to be introduced to Craig's fan base

Yes, I enjoy debates

No, I don't care for debates

No, I wouldn't want to watch John get trashed because I care for him whereas I don't care about the other atheists who got trashed by Craig

No, Craig should not introduce John to his fan base even though he has no qualms about doing this with other atheist debaters

No, although John has 3 master's degrees, Ph.D. work, considered by many to be "a leading atheist spokesperson" with some critically acclaimed books, he's not qualified

No, John needs more debate experience even though he has had, and arguably won, more debates than most atheists before debating Craig

No, my views are not represented by either side in this debate

At-Large Website

Skeptic Website

http://ladyatheist.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-top-ten-grievances-against-bible.html

TWeb veteran

Tassman

Christian website

http://www.scatteredchristians.org/

Skeptic E-Mail

How can you dare to preach to us atheists when even many christians disagree with you? For example you misleadingly make out that beleving Jesus did not exist is something only atheists believe whilst keeping very quite about the fact that even some christians doubt Jesus ever existed. For example this article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14417362) interviews a church priest who points out that Jesus is as likley to have existed as dionysus! Maybe if you have evidence that jesus existed you should share it with the guy. Or take your claim that Christianity wasnt ripped off from mithraism. Well Rob Bell (who I understand has a much bigger following than you do) recons that these similarities between Jesus and Mithras do exist (http://youtu.be/7KvJc2VUFHY about 1:50 in) I guess your going to say that vicars of large churches arent true christians whilst you are (despite the fact that your youtube videos only get a few hundred hits suggesting that everyone bar 300 people recognise you for the joke that you are).

You will always get fundamentalists like yourself who deny evolution, believe jesus existed and that mithraism didnt exist however until you can convice other christians can you please not try on people like me.

Famous Skeptic

Richard Dawkins, for refusing to debate William Lane Craig.

Famous Christian

Harold Camping

Christian Statement

Joe Hardy (re Geisler-Licona debate):

Should we permit an atheist to join ETS (Evangelical Theological Society) if he says he believes the Bible is Inerrant, believes in the deity of Christ, and believes in the Trinity?

TWeb noob

bertaberts

Skeptic Statement

GodKillerAtheist (responding to my query on what he thinks the Hebrew word in Leviticus meant re bats/birds):

You paint a false representation that the bible is an ancient book. The problem is that it's been updated thousands of times. It's even been updated this year. The Hebrew version was updated in 1977 Why didn't they repair this error? Fact is they didn't want to

Special Awards

http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Potter-Harry-Christ-Fascinating/dp/0615430937/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

Ed Dingess.

Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church.


Diamond Screwball Winner: Harold Camping.