Screwballs of the month

July 2005

 

Has anyone heard of any reports of escapes lately from their local screwball zoo? Because it seems that last month’s drought is this month’s monsoon.

 

From the mailbag

 

Oh my goodness, where to start? Well, we have this Atlantean Conspiracy-Diatribe Award winner:

I have read both sides of the arguments about Christianity, and I cannot believe why people are still having religious wars in the 21st century.  I used to be a Christian (Roman Catholic to be precise).  Because of all the hypocrisy and drivel that has generated hatred, war, disease and poverty by intra and inter religions, I began to re-evaluate religion as a whole.

So with an objective view I have read most of the available scriptures (including ancient religions that are no longer practised).  Mind bogglin stuff, but the message in all is clear and simple - Good must overcome Evil.  There is no spiritual truth in any of them as they all share and borrow the same concepts, philosophies, stories, fables and myths.  I cannot believe that religious followers are such text book humans that they continue to write continuous drivel defending their faith or attacking another.  One needs to look at the bigger picture.  I have visited most of the lands where the scriptures of religions originated and tranferred myself back in time to the nomadic culture where hardly anyone could read or write, had no modern technology but could only study the climate, the environment and cosmology. 

For the love of power and money, today's religious organisation are playing psychological politics with peoples minds.  Buddhism and Hinduism are almost the same except that one has a pantheon of Gods and the other asks one to believe in oneself.  Confucianism, Taoism and others are similar offshoots. The three main warring factions Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all fighting for supremacy and are from the same line of doctrine.

The Jewish faith originated from Egypt.  Can you count to ten?  If not use your fingers and thumbs, it helped the guy(s) who wrote Moses' diaries in the past…. He borrowed 8 of the 10 commandments from the Egyptian Book of the Dead (it has 77 commandments… a lot of them apply to today e.g. global warming and protecting animal species.  But as he could only count to ten he applied 8 of the 77 to his fingers and added two (again possible from Egypt as monotheism prevailed there too) to his thumbs..and passed them off as the "Word of God".   Visit Egypt and see for yourself the enormity and the science that lay buried for over 4,000 years.  Also visit the Maya Pyramids in South America and you will discover that great civilisation that ceased to exist over 1,000 years was destroyed by reduction of rainforests, which affected in turn evironmentally affected their civilisation.  This is now where we are heading if we do not do anything about it.

The story about manna from Heaven re. Moses' 40 years in the Desert.  One could take the literal sense and believe exactly what was written down in text to be true.  Or one could again dismiss this as pure myth and say we do not believe its raining cats and dogs so why believe this story. The truth is that the story was lost through oral translation and when finally put into text format it seemed like a miracle, but manna is made from wheat grass. In that part of the desert, when wheat grass pollinates, white petals are dispersed into the air and the seeds settle wherever they land. Therefore Moses and his people survived the desert by eating manna made from the wheat grass. Go to the middle-east and live with the nomadic tribes for a few months and climatically adjust to their way of life and you will understand the Bible OT a bit more and why those doctrines were imposed.

It goes on for some time in this vain before our writer gets to the “big picture”:

I believe Jesus Christ existed, but not in the material sense.  Jesus Christ never existed as the Bible storytellers tell us.  Jesus Christ always existed since the evolution of man.  Jesus Christ is just a name given to a body, (male or female) which applies to all of God's begotten children who are persecuted, suffer on their 'cross' and die.  They will continue to die and rise again until mankind become more humane.  Jesus Christ is a part of all of us, the begotten children of God.  So I hope you find the Jesus in you and do something more 'Christian' and worthwhile with your life, because your interpretation of the meaning of life is unique to you and you have got to find your own spiritual journey, just like the rest of us put on this earth.

I was feeling masochistic, so I replied asking for some defense of these views, and got some fluff back:

Its seems to me that you need to convince yourself more than you do others.  Faith and Divine Truth is a personal choice to enable one on their own spiritual journey to find their own meaning of life.  To cut a long story short:

 

God is free and available to all.

God is not vain.

God is not exclusive.

God does not discriminate.

 

I can talk to God when and wherever I like.  I can talk to God in my own words and not follow any form of prayer, worship or protocol to do so.  I do not have to read a book to believe in God, I just follow my heart, listen to my conscience and trust my instincts.  God is with me and with all others because God cares about all of his creation. 

 

Wise words from Reverend Romney, "We must always base our faith on experience, not tradition or dogma. Who Jesus is to us personally should not depend on any particular doctrine. No idea or story about Jesus, including the Resurrection, should ever be a litmus test for faith." He went on, "Even if the Resurrection stories prove to be legends developed by the Christian community forty to sixty years after the death of Jesus, it does not change the core of Jesus' message of forgiveness and grace, of God's liberating presence among all women and men." .

 

It seems someone hasn’t heard that Bultmann is dead.

 

Well, enough of the long diatribes; now we have some smaller gems of wisdom from the Shelled Peanut Gallery:

 

I read your article.  I must say that you are mislead by organized church.  God hasn't changed.  If you say that he has changed his ways on intervening in human with humans then he has changed he is not the same yesterday, today, or tomorrow.  He said that he's an unchanging God, so if what you say is true, then you're calling God a liar or the Bible is a lie.

 

And also this one for the “Nitpick from Bad Reading Award”:

 

You seem to have glossed over the heart of the ten commandments issue which is what you call the ten commandments is not said in scripture to be the ten commandments and what is called in scripture the ten commandments is about unleavened bread and offering first born animals and not mixing the blood with the milk etc. which you refuse to call the ten commandments. This is far from a small issue.

 

The next one requires some background. It started with this letter:

 

 

Judging from your diatribe against Dr. LaHaye, we assume that no fundamentalist can possibly be an intellectual. http://www.tektonics.org/esch/pretice2.html

 

Do you assume that your hatred is the ultimate in Christianity?

 

I followed the man by his name, and oh boy – he runs a site at http://www.onealclan.com/ that by itself wins him a Lifetime Achievement Screwball Award. I’ll let the lunacy speak for itself:

The young descendent of priests adjusted his kuttóne looser about his shoulders. Suddenly at midday, a great roar rumbled from amid the brilliance of a lightning-like flash enveloping the desert sky. The descendent of priests looked up to witness an immense vehicle descended amid a billowing cloud, accompanied by raging fires that this man described as "enfolding within itself."

As it settled to earth, four creatures attired in uniforms like burnished brass emerged from the smoking orange inferno . Their aircraft ascended to move about in sequence with the strange creatures. The flew about in shifting, simultaneous patterns, seemingly navigated and propelled by wing-like structures upon their backs. These airborne creatures and the strange craft were not the first to be encountered by mankind, but the event was sufficiently rare as to be later recorded as one of history's most breathtaking episodes.

These creatures were literally the most foreign of special agents, commissioned by the Creator.

Nothing so spectacular had been seen since the day a prince of Egypt and his nation of run-away slaves had witnessed a fiery arrival atop Mount Sinai 600 years before. Those men and women had trembled in fear beneath the rumbling firestorm that announced the first similarly recorded arrival - either from beyond this earth or beyond the three-dimensional realm known to mankind.

The prisoner recorded the incident at the river of Chebar in The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel. He portrayed the vehicle as "like beryl," today known as aluminum beryllium silicate, occurring in nature as hexagonal prisms. The vehicle, shaped like "a wheel," hovered above, windows surrounding its sides. Ezekiel described the glowing apertures as like "eyes" encircling the strange craft.

On July 26, 2004, scientists and theologians interviewed on The History Channel's Biblical segment of a UFO Files program  represented the event as "most likely" an encounter with a "UFO" and "extraterrestrials." An extraterrestrial refers to any being whose origin is assumed to be anywhere other than Planet Earth.

But these researchers missed an important point: What none seemed to recognize is that, in the sense that our Creator is not of this earth. He and his servants are - from our earthly perspective - extraterrestrials

If you haven't read the Book of Ezekiel before, without a preset disposition born of ancient artistic depictions or another's representation, The Bible Code Website suggests its readers read it again, carefully, at Chapter One. It's all there, one of the grandest events in mankind's history.

Three related matrices were found, indicating a future prospect encoded 600 years before, that Ezekiel will confront 3 winged angels (representing the Creator) in a dimensional vehicle from beyond earth. The term "wings" today means an appendage pinioned to an aircraft ; and  the term would seem to have been appropriate for anyone of that time to use as well when confronted with beings flying about with artificial attachments of any sort. Ezekiel did not describe the wings as "feathered," as presumed by countless artists depicting angels on canvas.

And you thought we were through with Van Daniken, eh?

 

Then we get this series of letters from the same person who has been apparently taking the same drugs for a while now:

 

Do you want to be right,or are you looking for truth?

Of course there is no evidence,the church has killed to get that evidence gone.

Listen to you hart (that's where god is) and not to your own reflection of truth (your brains).

 

When told he had won a Screwball Award, I got this:

 

Faith is a hypothesis nothing more nothing les.

I don't believe or disbelieve any faith (no religion above the truth),I only do it with that what I know.

And you?

Your answer shows fear (but of what are you afraid?)

And why do you need to humiliate your fellow human (screwball)?

Are you so insecure of your self that you need to humiliate your brothers and sisters in order to feel good about yourself?

This is no judgement,but maybe you could think about this.

Why do you project yourself like this and do you really think that this is the way of love and wisdom?

will you put this answer on your screwball of the month to?

 

When told I would, I got this:

 

My fear?

Your reactions speek for it self:-)

Someone who has nothing to win or lose,has no fear my friend.

Did you see a schrink for your behavior?

Course to me it looks like you have some serious isseus to deal with and I sense a lot of frustration in you.

Why do you hide yourself behind your walls of fear?

Was it that difficult to answer 1 simple question? 

 

Meanwhile back at the ranch, more conspiracies came in, as from this writer:

 

 

I have read the article on Pope Leo X.
Also your comment on the bible being written by egyptian monks.
That in itself is not far from the truth.

Christian have ;earned much, bit not how to apply what they have learned.
They have become helpless and hopeless.
So it doesnt really matter if the statement about Jesus is true or not.
With all thet is taught in the bible, (and no it is not the true source of the knowledge of which it speaks) Christians have not learned anything about the difference between "REALITY" & "ILLUSION".

And the reality of the words are this, it doesnt matter who if anyone actually spoke them, they are true non the less.

Jesus and the bible have serverd on purpose only, to give praise and glory to mammon.
The vatican is made up of pathetic fleshwalkers (my term) who are old, weak.
Who wear nice robes looking like fancy male whores, who practice and seek the flesh of young boys.

Show me where Jesus and the 12 wore these fancy whore garments.

Chritians have become the pitiful of humans.

Televangelists have reaped the glory of God! no, only if that god is mammon, and he is their god.

Another one tell people god made here rich! did he?
No, like everyone else, she got rich off of exploiting god, jesus, and the bible.
And because she serves the god of vanity she got a face lift as well to go with her money.

So you see, it doesnt really matter who did, or did not make this statement,leo, ot lucifer, no matter they are one and the same, fleshwalkers, the statement still holds true, and cannot be denied.

 

 

Your research leaves much to be desired.
Christians have eyes, and still cannot see, Ears, and cannot hear.
Look around, where is the power that was given to the church, they allowed it to be taken.
Dont show believers the money as the televangelist do, show then the power, the realpower, nit the Illusion

Come up with something better.
They will need it.

 

And last from the mailbag, a series of letters we got from “Pastor John” Clark, who we profiled at http://www.tektonics.org/af/clarkj01.html  Was I right about comparing him to David Koresh in the end? Not only right, but prescient. Here’s some letters from him and from his cult members:

 

 

Bro. John:

        I went to Mr. Holding's website and tried to read some of what he had there.  When I read this:

 

                        "Tekton Apologetics Ministries is committed to providing scholarly answers . . . ." 

 

        I knew that I probably didn't need to read any further.  However, I tried.  Like you said, I, too, am willing to be wrong and consider.  Reading his website reminded me so much of where I was in 1988 - - confusion!  

 

        . . . .  I could not understand the big scholarly words, Bro. John.  But I understood the tender Voice of my Savior.  My prayer for the "scholars" is that they quit hiding behind the big words and just humble themselves before Jesus.  Then they could just rest and receive from Jesus what they need.

 

Love,

Sister Sandy

 

 

 

Dear Sir,

        I am one of the people on Pastor John's email list.    He has been sending your communication by email to the list, as he told you. 

 

        I am very puzzled as to your belligerent attitude to his earnest reply.   It seems to me, after reading your website article, that Pastor John, if anyone, should have the right to have the attitude that you have taken.  Yet he has not.  I do not know Greek at all, but I do know when someone is refusing to return an argument in an academic manner.   My sincere request to you is to please answer his replies straightly.  I would very much be interested in your responses. 

 

        If you are satisfied with your email communications, then why not add them to your website at the end of the article.  That way other people who visit that page can judge for themselves to validity of your arguments vs. Pastor John's. 

 

Thank you,

J. Embry

 

 

 

 John,

 

        I wonder if Mr. Holding would respond as he has if he knew that his peers were witnessing this “conversation”.  I am really having trouble following what he writes.  I could not believe that anyone could be so blind to the truth if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.  Mr. Holding writes many words, but I am having trouble determining what he is trying to say.  But, I get the sense that he is clutching at straw as he sinks in the mire of a self-perceived scholarly wisdom, and instead of asking for help, he throws straw in your face.  Lord help him.  I suppose that if Jesus were to stand before him and tell him a truth, he would accuse Jesus of being demon possessed.

 

 Could Mr. Holding be providing us a glimpse of what the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day were like?

 

MEH

 

 

Hi Mark:

 

        Jesus spoke simply because he wanted to be understood.  Any man sent from God is the same way.  All the"hypostasis" and "homoiousias" jabber from men of Mr. Holding's persuasion is not meant to instruct; it is meant to impress.  It is intended to make the hearers feel inferior, and those poor children of God who have not been taught the truth usually feel just that way.  How many times have I witnessed them cowered by erudite fools who talk like that.  Such talk is not of God.

 

        Yes, this correspondence with Mr. Holding is a glimpse, albeit a very small one, of what it was like when the Lord tried to communicate with the hard-hearted elders of IsraelMr. Holding, I was surprised to learn, a lightweight, much more bluster than substance, and apparently completely unable to conduct a serious and godly conversation when confronted with love and light.  But then, isn't all of Christianity lightweight, really, when compared to the glory of the word of God?  I can only hope that somewhere down the road, Jesus gets to him the way he got through my hard shell and touched me.

 

Jdc

 

You heard the man – pass the Kool Aid.

 

 

 

Golden dun award winners

 

Yeah, we go to the ancient world in the time machine every thursday

 

 

Several TWeb Skeptics win gold for their Anachronisms of the Day when confronted with the material at http://www.tektonics.org/lp/nowayjose.html One styled “Rationalist” offered this pertinent sarcasm that missed the point:

 

It's very nice to hear your opinion on the matter. I must say after a bit of research on the matter, I have to agree that you are quite right.

The message of Christianity was just as unpopular then as it is today. Few people then really were attracted to the idea that somebody who was already dead could, by the reciting of a few phrases and a promise to be a loyal christian (and a bit of tithe perhaps) relieve them of any and all guilt and grant them eternal life. People in that era generally had no concscience and enjoyed evil, and it is also very clear they longed for death as the ultimate finality. I was unaware that this was the prevailing attitude during that period.

Likewise the early Christian congregations were quite unfriendly as you mentioned. From early greek texts on the matter, we know that meetings began with the ritualistic trading of insults, followed by mutual cheek slapping, then a knee to the groin for new members. This was then followed by four hours of silence enforced by the senior member who kept a special mallet studded with nails just for this purpose. Likewise, when fellow christians met, they would pelt eachother with small dried fish kept in special sacks just for such eventualities.

 

Ancient folks would never follow a person who was crucified. Garroted maybe.. hung, beheaded, suffocated, strangled, drown, stabbed, shot, poisoned, dismembered, crushed, drawn and quartered, keel hauled.. but crucifiction is simply disgraceful. Quite unfashionable.

 

Rationalist also wins the Lost with a Delorean Award for this equation in self-defeatist detemporalizing:

 

Mountain Man: How about examples from the time of Christ? Can you show me examples of other martyrs from that time who's followers thought it honorable that they were dishonorably executed?

 

Rationalist: Mormonism.

 

I didn’t know Joseph Smith lived in 50 AD.

 

And “Mike WC” (whom we have labeled “Mike No-Answer”) offered this complete evaluation and rebuttal which wins the “Yes, I Have No Idea What Else to Say” Award:

 

Ho boy, an entire apologetic based on keen insights into first century psychology. Veeeery impressive.

 

When pressed for details, this sort of answer was the usual, for which we also give the Spectre of Diversity Award:

 

I have no idea why you and your fellow apologists consider yourselves so omniscient, Holding. Statements like "The Romans could not envision a god dying like Jesus - period" are absurd on their face. You're just trying to turn people into little robots, acting out your script. You might as well be talking about the coming communist revolution - there is no such thing as inevitability in history.

I have a fairly good handle on modern European historiography. And you know what? Scholars that have a wealth of information to work with don't say silly things like "People of this period would never accept concept X..."

It's only apologists shoving their noses into ancient history that think they can dictate what people would or wouldn't have done. It is absurd method.

Any one individual has countless factors affecting their lives - and a likely large number of those factors are inscrutable. Especially when that person is seperated from us by 2000 years.

 

 

Johnny cracks corn, and we don’t care

 

“Johnny Skeptic” wins a Lifetime Achievement Screwball for several reasons this round. For one, he played a little game at TWeb where he registered several times after being banned and even pretended to try to be a friend of himself. All the while under these false names he denied who he was, even as he used the same language and phrases each time for particular things (like calling me “James Holding,” which no one else does). He also had some other gems, like:

 

What gives God the right to define what is moral?

 

What miracles? Today, millions of Christians disagree as to what constitutes a miracle healing. People living back then most certainly would not have had a better chance of discerning what constitutes a miracle healing. Regarding the feeding of the 5,000, if anything happened at all, and there aren't any good reasons at all to assume that something did happen, a tunnel might have been dug in order to transport the food up into a tent.

 

Widespread destruction of the mainland settlement during any time during millennia to come would have "fulfilled" the prophecy, including being destroyed by bombs dropped from airplanes in the 20th century. Many ancient cities ended up as ruins. The ruins of ancient Babylon in Iraq are a good example. What is usual about that?

 

"But in some people, especially those who are inquisitive and bright, the process continues throughout life. They never stop learning -- and making mistakes. Others try to avoid error by staying in familiar territory. But life is so short, and the world of learning so vast, that I feel safe in stating that if you do not make mistakes, you don't know much." If Marilyn is right, then we can reasonably conclude that James Holding is not inquisitive and bright, or that he knows that he makes mistakes but will almost never admit it, or that he is too stupid to know that he makes mistakes. It is your choice, readers.

 

Johnny gets a Keep Raising the Bar Award for that one, and for this one:

 

Even if I personally saw Jesus die, get buried in J of A's tomb and rise from the dead, I would not be a Christian. Logically, it is impossible to worship a God who has not explained his motives and actions in great detail. No one would vote for a presidential candidate to "rule" over them unless the candidate first answered a lot of questions about his motives and past actions.

 

He shares this award with TealTerror, who said:

 

Here's a list of things that would make both its writer and me believe in God/a religion:
http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/theistguide.html


My favorites:
Just think: What if Jesus had said something like this?

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee that thine energy is as thine mass times the speed of light multiplied unto itself."

If cities condemned as sinful by preachers tended to explode in flames for no apparent reason, if glowing auras of holy light sometimes appeared around believers to protect them from harm, or if atheists and only atheists were regularly struck by lightning, this would be compelling proof.

 

Back now to Johnny, who also said:

 

The fact that you have 304 articles on the Tyre prophecy at your web site proves that you do care, and quite a lot.

 

This last one was made to me – Johnny arrived at this “304” figure by putting the words tyre and prophecy into my PicoSearch engine, apparently not aware that all this does is count together all articles that have EITHER word in them. For that Johnny wins the Abuse of Search Engine Award. And in fact, someone else does too: Ed Babinski, for this post on how to determine truth by search engine:

 

But first visit http://www.googlewar.com/
In the box labeled “Query 1” type “Edward T. Babinski
In the box labeled “Query 2” type “J. P. Holding”
See who “wins” the current “google war” as it is called.

Other “google wars” you can wage:
“Edward T. Babinski” versus “Theology Web”
“Secular Web” versus “Theology Web”
“Talk Origins” versus “Answers in Genesis”
“Darwin” versus “Intelligent Design”
“Darwin” versus “Creationism”
“Darwin” versus “Genesis”
“Science” versus “The Bible”
“History” versus “The Bible”
“Reason” versus “The Bible”
“History” versus “Religion”
“Atheism” versus “Theism”
“Intelligence” versus “Faith”
“Education” versus “Faith”
“Education” versus “Religion”
“Rationality” versus “Authoritarianism”

 

Gold also goes to Edski’s friend, Sharon Mooney, for her Grave Hypocrisy Award. After whining extensively on TWeb about Christian rudeness, I searched out some of her material and found this gem she had authored:

 

Merry Bloody Christmas

As you light the candles this season,
and wrapping up those gifts,
racking up that credit card line
just remember this.

Christmas is a time of year,
supposedly representing "Forgiveness through sacrifice",
by little baby Jesus who was born,
for one purpose, and that was to DIE.

Like an animal brought to slaughter,
on that glorious Easter morn,
while you're decking your boughs with holly,
just remember little Jesus and MOURN.

We're a stupid dumb__s culture,
that celebrates a holiday,
that's founded on a human sacrifice....
so to all the pagans everywhere,
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

 

Great, But You’re out of spitwads

 

 

“Divine Ob” wins gold for his declaration of “war” on Christianity:

 

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=56663&page=1

 

As an aside, I have had a standing challenge out to Dobbie to debate for months…

 

 

Using that semicolon was, like, so rude of you

 

Dizzyblonde wins the Conspiracy in Grammar Award for this comment:

 

You are being arrognat and prideful and it is obvious even in your sentence structure.

 

 

And I also want you to read the thread to me at bedtime

 

Awards as well to “jimbo” or Brooks Trubee, such as this comment, which gets the Injured Mouse Finger Award:

 

If your "answer has been given numerous times" then surely it would be no problem for you to simply cut and paste it here so that there would be no question whatsoever that you did in fact provide it. However, I predict that you will continue to claim that have answered this question "numerous times" but that your will not actually demonstrate that you have answered it even once by cutting and pasting it here.

 

Extra gold as well for the Open Self-Contradiction Award:

 

You can spew insults and act as cocky as you want, but ultimately all you are doing is wasting your life promoting idiotic ancient myths. You just don't get it.

 

Neither does Brooks, it seems.

 

Don’t strain wayne’s brain

 

Wayne Adkins wins the Don’t Disturb My Hayseed Award for his replies to http://www.tektonics.org/af/adkins01.html such as this, to the detailed account of Miller on the "staff/no staff" charge of contradiction in the Gospels:

Again, Holding asserts the Bible doesn’t mean what it says or say what it means;

Yeah I guess I could see that considering the fact that words like contradiction, error, and scholarly integrity don’t mean the same thing for Holding and I.


His "answer" on how a copyist error occurred in a text:

Those dam--d copyist are at it again.

 

I also give this award to Patristic Saint, for his continued vain defense of the “scholarship” of David Bercot:

 

http://www.tektonics.org/af/bercot01.html

 

 

And another as well to Joseph Atwill and one of his fans, for their reply to http://www.tektonics.org/af/atwill01.html (see it there).

 

 

 

and then he’ll hit me with the fluffy pillows

 

Farrell Till wins gold for this proposed “punishment” for me at the top of a recent article:

 

 

James Patrick Holding is a phony name used by ________, who began using it while he was still working as a librarian at Lake Correctional Institute near Clermont, Florida. I have long suspected that _____ had a dishonest motive for using this phony name, but I won't recount now my reasons for suspecting this. Here, I just want to inform readers that Brett Palmer used _____'s "penname" throughout the article below, because he told me, as he also said in a footnote at the end of his article, that he wanted to focus on the issue of the biblical record of Jericho's destruction and not on irrelevant matters pertaining to _____'s name. Readers will see that Palmer was very civil throughout his reply to _____, so despite my policy of using _____'s real name, I am allowing this article to be posted here. If _____ replies to it in his usual sarcastic, insulting way, I will edit the article to remove his "penname" and replace it with his real one, and I will not allow future articles that reference him to be published unless his real name is used. If ______ wants to conduct himself civilly, I will gladly reciprocate, but if he ants to give us just more of the same, I will be glad to show him that I have some talent for sarcasm too.

 

 

Imagine that. He’ll put in my real name in the only .02% of his site that does not use it. Let’s just be glad he wasn’t doing the job at Abu Ghirab. Say, what are these guys gonna do when I legally change my name in a couple of months, anyway?

 

Be careful, some of them might actually be morons

 

HyperHobbes piles on with the Conspiracy Theory Award with this question to me:

 

So, JP, are the rumors true that you drove a Calvinist pastor from your church and like an Egyptian Pharoah, had all evidence of his Calvinistic tendancies stripped from the entryway of your Church? Could the resulting guilt for this act drive you to scourge all of the Calvinistic Ilk with your, um, wit?

 

And wins also for this gem:

 

I can't for the life of me understand why you feel compelled to label people "morons". What if they are?

 

It’s just a cigar, okay???

 

The Wonka Tasty Fudge Award goes to Mike Ledo (and to Cu Mhorrigan, The Freudian Obsession Award, for supporting it) for this tour de force of sexual exegesis:

In the story of Uriah, David tells Uriah to go home and "wash his feet." Jesus washes the feet of the apostles. I think that pretty well sums it up without going into any detail. ;)

 

 

 

Why he completely lost his mind

 

John Lofuts, whom we profile at http://www.tektonics.org/lp/loftus01.html wins a Lifetime Achievement for all he has done lately, notably a thread on TWeb titled:


"Jesus Was Not Born a Virgin in Bethlehem".

 

 

Plus, site award for http://brotherofyeshua.com/challenge.htm which includes these lines:

You have reached the Web Site of Yeshua/Jesus' Brother

Though many of you call me James, my real name is Jacob

In a previous life I lived as Yeshua's Brother

And the first leader of what is now the Christian Church

 

 

Silver duh award winners

 

 

Pythagoras the Cockroach wins another for these comments which give us new insight into both the logic of distinction and Jewish history:

 

John 10:33 does not say the Jews accused Jesus of being God /Yahweh( that's your false interpretation , you incorrectly reading the minds of the Jews) , only god.

 

The Jews would not have stoned a madman claiming to be God, nor would they have even bothered to conduct a conversation with a madman. There was something in Jesus's claim which irritated them enough to take him seriously.If Jesus had claimed to be God, they would have left him, the lunatic, alone and pitied him, not attempted a stoning.

 

The Jews of Jesus's time could not fathom God come to Earth in the form of a mortal man. It is akin to accusing Jesus of being a mashed potato.


Unless the Jews believed in the possibility that God could be born as a mortal man, such an accusation is nonsensical. One cannot rationally accuse somebody of something one cannot rationally conceieve.

 

Because normal people do not stone madmen, especially if that particular madman claims to be God(Yahweh), because such a one is truly out to lunch.

 

 

A Skeptic named “Mystman” wins the Pass the Remote Award for the following:

 

Assuming that God is indeed allmighty and just, and wants as many of his Children to follow him as possible etc.

And also assuming that the Bible is indeed 100% true, word for word inspired by God himself. (if you're going to use bible verses as proof of anything, the Bible better be fully inspired by God, and not just some puny human's impression of anything)

Why didn't God make the Bible any simpler? He (being the allknowing creature he is), would've known that the inhumanly complicated language would devide his followers, and would even turn some of his children away from christianity all together.

 

Funny how a guy with such bad spelling demands such personalized service. Minnesota shares this award for the thread found at

 

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?t=57360&page=1

 

and it is also shared with an unnamed British Skeptic one of our readers encountered on BBC discussion boards:

 

God was presumably trying to communicate to all cultures, not just to one. Cultures change (as any omniscient god with foresight would know), and a literal description is more likely to preserve meaning than a non-literal one. Scientists such as myself tend to describe ideas literally for that very reason; when metaphors are used (as in Richard Dawkins’ “Selfish Gene”) they are explained at some point in the text itself. If God had an important message to communicate to all mankind, for all times and in all languages, it would make sense to communicate in a robust, factual and therefore literal manner and to spell out metaphors at some point.

 

 

MichaelCadry wins the Joseph Smith Award for various revelations, such as:

 

 

I'm sorry I'm being so brief here, but I don't know how much I can write in this forum here and also, it is easier for the reader. The third angel visited me exactly another week later and said "Do not follow after the beast and his image, nor receive his mark/power in your right hand or forehead." And the angel explained to me about this Israeli psychic named Uri Geller, and that he was doing simple miracles by using his right hand to rub on and bend silverware and using his mind to concentrate on moving watch hands and compasses, etc. And this man said in his book that he asked his teacher when he was younger if Jesus could do these miracles and move the hands of watches? And the angel explained to me that he was the antichrist and that God was allowing Satan to have someone come in the devil's name doing miracles, like God had allowed Jesus to come and do miracles. It is hard to explain, but I digress again. And the angel explained to me that the Lord said in the Bible do not believe in fortune tellers, psychics, astrologers, witches and wizards, and do not suffer a witch to live, in the Bible. And that this psychic was urging others to be able to acquire his powers by concentrating and believing that they could have them. And the angel said that God would not allow more than 666 other persons to acquire these powers in their right hand or forehead/mind, and that this was the number of this man, like the number of a captain and his army, or a leader and his followers. There is much more I know about this man, but will not include it here.

 

Mike had these wise words for a preterist as well:

 

Wow! You are a piece of work. You are so mentally confused by the devil and demons that it seems nothing could ever help you except a great intervention by God or our Lord Jesus Christ. You really should listen to yourself and see what you are asking others to believe of yourself.

When have we got that 'hail the weight of a talent??' When has Babylon been annihalated? When has it been so far that a the lion can lie down with the lamb??? When is it that a man can lie under a tree and fear no man or evil coming upon him, because the earth is full of the knowledge of the Lord???

I'll tell you right now. I am a virgin with women and am 50 years old this October. This is because it is written, there are 144,000 redeemed from the earth. These are the firstfruits who follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth...These are they who are not defiled by women, for they are virgins...' See Revelation 14:4.

 

More from confused Christians; here’s “David O” on Glenn Miller’s article at http://www.christian-thinktank.com/fem09.html

 

Glen Miller seeks to disobey the specific and plain commandments of the Bible, and to teach you to do the same.

Women were commanded to stay silent in church, they may prophesy and pray audibly outside of church.

Read 1 Corinthians 14 carefully. It is not obscure, Paul claims that those who would not acknowledge it as being from the Lord should be allowed to remain ignorant. You are free to remain ignorant. Women's heads should be covered when they pray. Long hair was given to them for a covering. Ever notice how bossy short-haired women are. Watch for it. The shorter the hair, the bossier the woman.

(Miller): “We have already noted above that v.10 says a women should have (exercise?) authority over her own head. ["Paul means that she should exercise wisely her right to decide whether to cover her head in a way that will honor her husband..." BBC:in loc.]"

[10 For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.] (KJV says 'power' on her head.)

This is a shameful reversal of the clear meaning of scripture. God is the head of Jesus, Jesus is the head of the church, the man is the head of the woman. The sign of authority goes on the one who is under authority. The power of the Holy Spirit was on the heads of the apostles in the form of a flame. This stuff is not unclear. You are just afraid to obey it. Jesus is not the head of God. The church is not the head of Jesus. The woman is not the head of the man.

 

And other David O pearls as well:

 

That's why it is significant that they only paid 30 for him. We humans short changed God. I am forcing nothing on the scripture. I am seeking to take it seriously, and obey it. It doesn't make sense to you because you don't want it to. You force things from scripture, that has been the big effect of modern theology, higher criticism. It is just a feminine sort of cynicism used against the Bible. It's an "I'm cooler because I hate more stuff than you and am disillusioned," kind of trip. It is based on erasing scripture.

I can hate my father and mother and still honor and obey them. I can love them, too-at the same time! So can you. The Bible doesn't contradict itself. When it seems to, that means we are to ask for wisdom, which is a consequence of the fear of God. The wisdom of God seems like foolishness to us until we understand it. God likes it that way. It is the glory of God to hide a thing, the glory of kings to reveal it.

Peter and Noah both were commanded to eat pork. I am not a Jew, so I get to eat pork. I have a close personal relationship with pork and pork by-products.

I do not allow untrustworthy sources like 'history' to trump the Bible. I have read reviews of performances of my band (Houston big city paper) that had little to do with reality. I was there for the performance. The newspaper lied. Our understanding of history is based on a LOT of conjecture. The Bible can validate history, but history has no effect on the Bible. The Bible is enough, put away your history books. Codes and cyphers are broken by taking just the message itself and comparing it to itself. The Bible is the same. Other documents are written in different code and will confuse you if you try to use them for understanding. ALL scripture is profitable for doctrine, reproof, etc...

 

 

Tate4242 earns the Spirtualism in Poultry Award for this comment:

 

This may sound kind of far fetched perhaps....but if there is a spirit or soul in a chicken that voluntarily comes into the body of a chicken previous to hatching....then this would make chickens some of the most courageous creatures in the universe......voluntarily coming into a form that is going to be treated with essentially zero respect and kindness......Wow!!

 

Zipperhead wins the High Density Calvinism Award for this comment:

 

Mad_Gerbil: Joshua to the people of Israel: "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve".

 

Zipperhead: How do you know that choice was FREE?

 

And in further defense of broken Calvinist analogies:

 

If you don't grab the rope, will you die? YES, so you prevent yourself from dying by grabbing the rope. you save yourself from death by grabbing the rope, Your choice was what saved you, they just helped.

 

“Malcolm” wins the Constipated Pharisee Award for these comments:

 

1 Cor 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Some practical theology. A simple question, really: Does your avatar glorify God, or does it reflect the world?

On one "Christian" message board I have previously been a member of, one of the moderators actually had a picture of "Dr. Evil" from the Austin Powers movies as their avatar. It may seem like a small thing, but if you think God isn't interested in the small things, then you obviously haven't been reading your Bible properly.

3 John 1:11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.

1 John 2:16 For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world.

James 4:4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Gal 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

So, how does your avatar glorify God?

 

Of course, God is holy and worthy of ALL glory. Jesus Christ died for us, to save us from our sin. I'm sure, in the light of all that, He totally understands you wanting to use a picture from a television show as your avatar.

 

Also amusing was Malcolm’s answer to the Law of Non-contradiction:

 

Sounds like you've created God in your own image and put Him in a nice logical box. No wonder you can't comprehend anything I'm talking about.

 

When it was suggested by ApologiaNick that we know 2 + 2 =4, Malcolm said:

 

This is an excellent example of your general self-centered philosophy.

An actual Christian would say, "God has determined that 2 + 2 = 4, therefore I know it is true and fully agree with Him."

There's a big difference. And out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.

 

He also said, on Bible contradictions:

 

I believe they are actual contradictions. Trying to deny that they are actual contradictions leads to all the power being syphoned out of Scripture as one verse or another is "explained away" according to the personal opinion, prejudice, or intellectual wisdom of the particular human being who is attempting to fit God into his "logical" box.

Nor do I accept in the slightest that admitting and accepting that they are real contradictions destroys anything. Scripture can only be correctly understood with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Anything else is mere human wisdom and that is what destroys the power of the Word of God - and, BTW, that is why we see such a mess of denominations and theology in the church today, and why we see "Christianity" being represented by such "false prophets" as Benny Hinn, Max Lucado, Dave Ramsey, Dave Hunt, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Bruce Wilkinson, and countless others.

 

Full website award for The Universe People:

 

http://www.cosmic-people.com/default_e.htm

 

plus for “dim.com” for various things, notably a picture of the pope shooting pink fireballs from his eyes:

 

http://dim.com/~randl/tmanc.htm

 

Luffy” wins the Blatant Self-Contradiction Award with this exchange:

 

Luffy: In itself, it means nothing of the kind. All that I meant by that is that people in the ancient world had every reason to believe in God. We no longer have many of those reasons - things which once seemed magical are now explained by our understanding of nature.

 

04shadesofgray: What caused the universe?

Luffy: Unknown.

 

 

Bronze duh award winners

 

 

NTSCRIBE on TWeb gets a Bronze for arguing for a position that baptism was required for salvation, being referred to my article at http://www.tektonics.org/af/baptismneed.html -- and thinking it was in agreement with his views. TWeb member Sparko adds of this chap: I also got a kick out of him arguing that speaking is tongues is a sign of being saved, but you have to be baptized in Jesus' name first. Then I told him about Acts 10 where Cornelius was speaking in tongues before being baptized so he says 'well exept in that case.'

 

When he finally realized that my article was contrary to his position, he quoted Bible verses in opposition which the article itself dealt with.

 

Swami “Lazy Agnostic” wins Bronze for this exercise in mind-reading:

 

Johnny EC: I believe that a Ten commandments monument should be displayed in courthouses, along with a pillar representing Hammurabi's code, they both represent how societies need Order and Law to function and thrive.

 

LA: No you don't. You think the TC are a display of piety which will make you brownie points with God. You're not afraid of Hammurabi.

 

“5thRabbiNPadres” offers the following paranoid collection revising history as we know it:

 

after veiwing this thread I was reminded that christians often ponder murdering other people who do not agree with thier religious veiws ,after all they have been taught by jesues to murder those who do not accept jesues as their king and master ; Luke19:27: "As for those enemies of mine ,bring them here and kill them in front of me" The previous verse is the perfect example of a S&S subliminal message (saturate and suggest)the earlier parable overwelms the reader into false reasoning about meaning of information provided . Practicioners of the dark art of subliminal advertiseing all agree the text ofthe new testament was written by a genius in the genre.Christians historicaly have murdered more people in the name of their g-d than any other religion. A startleing statistic few christians are willing to face is that 1 out of every 2 jews over the past 8 centurys has been murdered by them . When we jews see the macabre symbol of christianity ,we veiw it exactly as it is -the symbol of death :the new religion of the necromancers (those who worship death)

 

What part of christian history dont you understand ?pograms ? blood libels ? life sureity blackmail ? how many crusades ? a thousand years of inquisitions ? and if the xians were not too busy killing jews they were killing off the entirety of Incan civilization -all of the north american indian tribes(a few survivers) untold amounts of africans(they used as slaves) polyneisians and finaly each other (centurys of witch trials ) Christians continuosly are involved in countless deaths of those who disagree with them "et al" {{postscript}}~ i may have missed a billion or so murdered souls but this is just a general overveiw ~

 

they only want to learn enough to be able to convince you into beleif in their weak man/g-d idol -they seek to indoctrinate you into the horror of christianity -if you would agree with them that Edited by a moderator.is deity and messiah they will soon have you in a torquamadah like position -Never forget their minds are full of evil thaughts (worshipping their idol) until they turn for their wickedness they are no differant to us than Haman -the word rasha has special meaning in this instance -what does the wicked person do to gain acceptance ?=he makes central to his essence the letter shin (The acronym on the mezuzah for shaday ) all of the rashas actions are hipocriticaly pretences as "Holy Causes" that is why the father at the seder is told -hakeh et shinav- to unmask the rasha by removeing his "shin" his piety that they(xians) use to mask their evil now go from this place of evil and study TORAH !

 

CuMhorrigan has another bronze for:

 

you are going to find that there are countelss examples of Christian Stupidity and the fruits of it. I mean Think of what our scientific and cultural development would be if Charlemagne had not sacked and destroyed the Library of Alexandria or the countless othe Pagan temples which house Scientific and Other knowledge. Oh yeah I forgot with your people Knowledge is evil.

 

Iasion wins for starting a thread by saying:

 


Apologists often claim Luke was an eye-witness to the Gospel events.

 

While rthearle shares the award and gets his own Misguided Enabler’s prize for the followup:

 

There has been at least one claim here that all four gospels were written by eye-witnesses.

(Can't find it - too many results when searching)

 

 

We close with several examples of scholarship from Skeptics and such at christianforums.com, contributed by BronzeArcher:

 

joebuddha

First he created us to love and believe in him. (Not sure why)

When we don’t give him this praise he demands he damns us. (Seem kind of like the child not getting what he wants in the store so he throws a fit)

He then tests people to make sure they do love him. (Abraham)

And to top it all off he seems quite shy, being he doesn’t just show himself. (Everyone would believe if he made himself believable to all)

Why would god do such things if he was confident in who he is? If god had a high self image of himself he wouldn’t need others to make himself feel good or feel the need to take out his anger on others.

Does god have low self esteem issues? Or could he be just a reflection of our very own human insecurities?

 

truthmonger89

The bible is packed full of lies. If "greatest" means most outrageous, then no, this one is no more outrageous than any other lie in the bible, they're all equally outrageous.

 

quatona

And how come it had to be a son, of all possibilies thinkeable? Why not, say, a brother, or ten daughters (I concede, though, that a simple goat might not have done justice to the occasion)?

 

  

Danhalen

Why did God send Jesus to earth 2000 years ago? Back then it was much easier for people to believe in the particular dieties of one tribe or another. So it wouldn't really be that much of a chore to convince some Israelites that Jesus was in fact "God on earth" (I'm not saying it was easy, but it would have been easier than now). In our modern age of reasoning and science, we are growing increasingly skeptical of anythng that is (defined as) supernatural or divine. The deities of yesterday are being replaced with actual models of reality and medicines that are proven to heal. We can find ways to explain what was once "unexplainable". It seems to me, that if God is so important, we could have used Jesus more now than 2000 years ago. As we are continually driven to empirical data that consistently provides results, we find ourselves in a state of mind that we do not need to believe in the "spiritual". God would have better served his purpose by bringing the vessel of salvation to "we the skeptical" in this modern day of science, rather than bringing salvation to a small outpost of farmers and goat herders looking to fill their world with meaning.

 

Freodin

Why not send Jesus as son of Adam and Eve and have him killed by Cain? Would have saved a lot of trouble, wouldn´t it?

 

Thinker

Like us in the modern age, the ancients assumed that God acted according to their standards, and wrote the so called `scripture' accordingly. This assumption runs a very real risk that the image of God presented in `scripture' differs very greatly from the way God actually is.

Christs message was badly distorted by inadequate communication (writing skills of the biblical authors, and their own extremely warped cultural understanding) right from the outset.

 

Among the dead sea scrolls was the `Habbakuk Commentary' - basically a copy of that biblical book, by then several centuries old, with comments written in every few lines by a more recent author, who was attempting to understand that biblical book in the context of his own time and culture because the old time and culture no longer had much meaning. CHANGE HAPPENS.

 

Yep. Their cultural understandings very greatly constricted the way in which they could understand the world around them - including somebody as remarkable as Jesus. Certain key ideas, particularly those for which they had no concept, or ran strongly counter to their culture, would have either been immediately distorted or suppressed. This includes *ALL* the NT biblical authors. Or to put it another way, would the biblical authors really be able to make an even superficially accurate description of the computers we are using in this debate? I expect an answer here.

 

 

Plus some from Darth Executor, from gamefaqs.com:

Blood Knight

The 10 commandments are just an ethical set of rules to me. The basis behind these rules have not been scientifically proven, not to mention some religious phenomonon have been explained through underground research.

 

LinuxRocks

Actually no. Atheism isn't a religion. It is just like a moron religious person to spout off some BS like that. Religion is the opium of the masses as Karl Marx, Lenin, and Mao have stated. It is a tool of the bourgeois aristocracy to control the masses. Not to mention it is false BS made up by humanity to explain what they couldn't. It's a bunch of myths and legends.

Humanity likes a good story, that's what religion is. It has been passed down from an age where people were moronic and didn't know ****. You know why there are so many religions??? It's because each culture has there own way of explaining things. No religion is more right than another, they are all wrong. For the majority of humanity instead of thinking, they just jump to conclusions and say it is "god". There is always a logical explanation for everything. (Religion isn't a logical explanation.) Just because humanity doesn't see it, or doesn't know about it, doesn't mean there isn't one. Religion is an ignorant Earth only view. Humanity needs to look past this pathetic planet and see that humanity doesn't matter. Humanity needs to learn to think for themselves and not have a cult that worships a made up deity control there lives. All that religious crap and praying and other BS is all in the human mind's imagination.

 

Captin Woehrle

well i do agree with you BUT unfortunately he and all the other religious fanatics do have a right to their beliefs... i just cant stand the damn people in the subways... today they were handing out "jews for jesus" and im thinking to myself... isn't that just catholic??

 

(The one following was a reply when Darth asked for a rebuttal to my article at http://www.tektonics.org/whatis/whatfaithhtml )

 

Bard of DorAr

"a full rebuttal to this article or shut up." Happy?

Seriously. Your arguement is that Faith isn't what we as the majority of the world define it but by what your religious canon defines it as. And we're all wrong because your religious canon says so.

I'm infallable because I say so and because I say so I'm infallable.

The word Ninkumpoop means To dance joyously because I say so, since I say so it is so.

The article flies in the face of logic, reason and the dictionary. This will always be the barrier here, Prime.

 

 

 

 

Plus some from nathanlpaylor, from the BBC forums:

 

Maybe He would be a bit more tolerant and understanding of us if He had actually had to raise a child, I don’t know of any sane parents who would damn their children for eternity for some vague and confusing technicalities! He failed to be a useful parent to Adam and Eve and He rejected them at their first mistake; He failed to be a useful parent to his other biological child Jesus he was just an absentee father. What exactly does He do for His creation apart from exist?

 

Jesus came to earth to die for us, so here Satan is actually helping him by forcing Judas to betray Jesus. This makes Satan look like part of the plot and helping Jesus since Satan could have forced Judas not to betray Jesus and so ruin everything.

 

 

However, apart from in the gospels, the New Testament seems to be in some doubt about the manner of Christ's death.  The significant matter in these ancient myths is the "dying and rising again" part, rather than insisting on exact details, as some popularist commentators have done, rather damaging their argument in the process. But that there were a host of resurrection myths in the ancient world, there can be no doubt.