See all the hot summer screwball action here. But see the best of the best here.

From the Mailbag

We start with this e-mail from Bigots, Inc. regarding http://www.tektonics.org/gk/goldmice.html:

OK then are other version of Father Heaven not making voodoo when they practice sympathetic magic because they are Gods and not witch doctors?

Why must the King strike the ground to strike Syria?

Why is it Elisha doesn't just have he king strike the ground a few more times? Is there a time limit on YHWH's miracle woking ability? Does stepping out of sequence ruin the "Miracle"?

Why fire the arrow eastward towards Syria?

Why is it the one true god can't provide divine assistance without resorting to asinine witchcraft techniques?

Here's another email, in response to http://www.tektonics.org/lp/nokilling.html, which nominates Platinum for Christian email:

God says “thou shall not kill”. Are you calling God a liar? This Murder thing that people like you repeat like parrots is nothing more than an excuse for killing. Murder is only one aspect of killing.

When folks like you say that God doesn’t know what He is talking about, that means you have exalted yourself above God. In other words you’re an antichrist because you are against Christ. It’s folks like you who deceive the world.

God’s commandments are cast in stone, never to be changed. When God says “thou shall not kill” that’s exactly what he means. There are no by laws or exceptions. All forms of killing are wrong even the killing of animals. Isa 66:3 says that “when a person kills an ox it’s the same thing as killing a man”.

All wars are wrong. All man slaughter is wrong. All animal killing is wrong. All forms of killing are wrong. There is no excuse for killing.

I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years now. That makes me living proof that killing and eating the flesh of dead animals is not required to sustain life. That also means you have no excuses when appear before God in the judgment. God’s original diet for man and still is fruits, grains, and nuts. There are no MacDonald’s’ in heaven because there is no killing there.

You need to turn to God before it’s too late for you!!!

How about another conspiracy theorist for the mix?

...why would people know so little about Hesus and other Celtic Gods? Could it be that the Church either eliminated evidence of past religions or stole various Gods and concepts and made them their own? No, that never happened! People like you are the bane of Christianity, wake up you insolent fool. Are you are doing is proving the lack of intelligence, and compassion towards people whose lives were destroyed, that is prominent with people who claim to have faith in Christ. Sheep you are, and not very bright ones at that.

And here's one from the Saying Nothing Whatsoever Department:

I just want to pass a short comment about this:

"There can be only one good explanation: Christianity succeeded because from the cross came victory, and after death came resurrection. The shame of the cross turns out to be one of Christianity's most incontrovertible proofs!"

The success of christianity and the reasons for it are of course not logically proving that ressurection did indeed occur as a fact. You are basically just trying to explain why people believe in christian god and not giving a proof that whatever they believe in is based on facts. Because there is no link between believing in something and something being a fact.

After all something similar could one say about atheism as well. The idea of religion beeing just a human invention was surrely quite radical and "impossible" when it first appeared in ancient greek yet it survived up to these days and doesn't look like it's going to die any time soon. So, why, using your own logic, shouldn't that also proove there is no god?

Drive-by email comment on http://www.tektonics.org/lp/noswords.html:

You site is disgusting.

Get in therapy, become a real human being for the first time in your miserable, ugly life.

If Jesus comes back, your [deleted] would be burning in hell for being such a heretic.


The June 2010 John Loftus Collection

Strangely enough, John didn't say or do anything screwy enough to win Gold this last month. But you can entertain yourself with the post at http://debunkingloftus.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-to-construct-cash-cow-franchise.html

The Lunchback of Notre Dumb

Not much this round here either. The poor schlep is getting old...older. All he has was this:

Even though man was created by God, did he not begin with eternal life but lost it due to sin? Would that not defeat your argument about the Universe not being eternal?

The June 2010 Atheist Collection

Jaecp continues his legacy of idiocy:

No, you don't need to even be aware of the supposed link between jesus and the zombie horde to write it down.

robertb needs hair treatment for split ends:

I will say that, based on the evidence I have studied, the "scholars" claiming the items you listed are facts surround the word fact with a few qualifiers, like the word possible or probable, like possible fact or probable fact, which, of course, doen't actually mean fact in the factual sense.

Meanwhile, YourMaster sums up Christianity in his usual intellectual way:

Let's build a religion from ancient scraps or copies of gibberish on papyrus filled with stories about stuff like talking donkey's, burning bushes, a tyranical overlord god who wiped out tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of people in irrational fits of anger, who ordered genocide, pillage, slicing open the wombs of expectant mothers, and many other wonderful atrocities, a god man who in a fit of rage killed a fig tree, rose from the dead in a vicarious sacrifice -- and all this because mankind was cursed by an act of defiance by the first woman, who ate forbidden fruit from a magical tree at the behest of a talking snake 6,000 years ago. Then let's tell everyone if they believe this gibberish they'll go to a cosmic theme park when they die. Then let's brainwash them so thoroughly that their minds become numb enough to believe this is the "most logical explanation" of the origins of our species (and our universe) .

He also wins for responding to a challenge to produce an example of the Egyptians recording their military failures, by producing one of their records of them winning a military campaign.

jimbo aka Brooks Trubee is still Golden:

The way I understand it the Christian god somehow impregnated a human woman. Don't ask me how this was done because Christians are kind of sketchy about the process. Let's just say it was done though magic. So anyway this woman then gave birth to Jesus, who was the son of this god, but was also the Christian god himself, since according to Christian theology, God=Jesus+God+Holy Ghost. I don't know how that works (3=1), exactly, but Christians say that it is true so I will go with it for the sake of argument.

Now we are all familar with the depictions of little baby Jesus (God) in a crib in a manger. These pictures show little baby Jesus wearing diapers, which is not surprising since that's what little babies typically wear. You certainly don't want your baby crib fouled by little baby "accidents," especially if the baby crib is where the Almighty Himself takes His baby naps.

With all of this in mind, would it be accurate to say that the omnipotent god who created the universe wore diapers and went ca ca in his diapers at one point in history?

Yes or no?

This question is serious even if it seems like a joke. Feel free to correct me if I have misunderstood/misrepresented any of the theology.

He also wins for saying he was inspired to deconvert because church members in his youth made fun of the thick bread his mother used for sandwiches -- and then claiming he was joking.

brettongarcia nominates Platinum for this explanation of why Christians really did destroy the library at Alexandria, and not pagans:

It's a common mistake among amateur (or biased) historians, to think that once a place is destroyed, that's it; it cannot be destroyed again. A mistake that your mentor R. apparently makes; as you do too. Things destroyed, were often rebuilt. Especially with hundreds of years to do it in. Likely the library at Alex, Egypt, was indeed destroyed - but then rebuilt - many times.

Therefore, likely there WAS a significant, even Alexandrian library there; until you and your friends burned it down again.

Nestorian echoes the award: In response to your assertion that David Hart is only trying to correct the record, I must say that I am more inclined to agree with brettongarcia that David Hart is rather surreptitiously engaging in a bit of historical whitewash here.

I very much sympathize with brettongarcia's sense that Hart's take on the Hypatia incident is uncomfortably reminiscent of the episcopal and papal attitude toward the contemporary sex abuse crisis.

So does Charles Freeman:

But I could not resist the following. I am sure I am not the first to note the astonishing similarities between the murder of Hypatia and that of the De Witt brothers in The Hague in 1672 by a mob. In a partial defence,it was said that a Treatise was found in their papers " brought forth from he'll by the fallen Jew Spinoza, in which it is proven, in an unprecedented,atheistic fashion, that the word of God must be explained and understood through Philosophy". Now we know when the rot set in!

The Pixie shares expertise on first century trades:

Jesus was the (supposed) son of a carpenter, which would suggest his family were reasonably well offer and that he would have had a trade, and could look forward to making some serious cash.

It was a skilled trade. Most of the people at that time would be unskilled labourers and slaves. Compared to them, Joseph would be financially well off, and Jesus could have been too if he had followed the family trade. I am not sure why you would want to dispute this; the fact that Jesus sacrificed a good life to peach his word is more impressive than if he started out with virtually nothing. Although Jesus was born in a stable, it was not for want of money; his parents had the cash to afford it (and a donkey as well). Joseph was of royal descent too, remember (and some say Mary was too).

Tassman burns the cross of the week:

Indeed! What better way for tribal leaders of the nomadic Israelite tribes to ensure compliance to the moral rules and codes of behavior (all designed to maintain the tribe) than attribute them to an all-seeing, punitive god?

Hence the food laws, designed to protect against contamination and the sex laws designed to ensure that every single spermatozoa was used in the propagation of little tribal members rather than being “spilled on the ground” or wasted in non-productive homosexual acts. And, ALL overseen by a bad-tempered deity ready to pounce and punish…or at least the tribal leaders in his name were.

Chrisopher31 offers qualified exegesis in response to someone being criticized on TheologyWeb:

So you think that the "golden rule" entitles you to take a place of judgment in another's life, uninvited?

Because we all know when you put your beliefs out on a discussion board, you're not inviting people to respond to those beliefs.

Composer decomposes a long skein of exegetical blah:

The fundamental problem for so called christians and their alleged ' heaven going for all believers ' is simply NOT legitimately supported by their story book, despite their fervent brain-washed claims otherwise. The story book unambiguously teaches heaven going for all genuine believers is utter none sense.

The heaven, [even] the heavens, [are] the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. (Psalm 115:16) KJV story book

Story book rewards are to be given to by story book christ at his alleged story book return. "And, behold, I come quickly, and MY REWARD IS WITH ME, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Rev. 22:12) story book. Alleged rewards and inheritance are reserved in story book heaven. They come down out of story book heaven with story book christ at his return.

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:9) KJV story book

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Psalm 37:11) KJV story book

For [such as be] blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and [they that be] cursed of him shall be cut off. (Psalm 37:22) KJV story book

The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever. (Psalm 37:29) KJV story book

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. (Matthew 6:10) KJV story book

And hast made us unto our God kings and priests : and we shall reign on the earth. (Rev. 5:10) KJV story book

Your alleged evidence contradicting that please?

The June 2010 Christian and Theist Collection

Mormon jo7241974 says this about biblical exoeesis:

"Proper exegesis" is a concept of man. I recall that the only time the Bible teaches us the idea or concept that a teaching may "not be of God" is when we are testing whether the teacher is teaching Jesus did NOT come in the flesh, etc. Trinitarianism and non-trinitarianism were not part of the criteria we were given.

Another Mormon, Brother Aardvark, in defense of Joseph Smith's composition of the BoM:

You are correct. But what some considered "spinning", others recognized as revelation from God.

What is the difference between, say, Shakespeare's writings, and Paul's NT letters?

Why is one considered the word of God, and the other isn't?

Many people think Shakespeare's writings are more prolific and written much better than Paul's NT letters.

What about the Apocryhpa and the other letters Paul wrote that were not canonized? Do they sound different than the canonized stuff? When Paul was learning to write in school (or where ever he learned to write), do you think he ever wrote fiction? Was he intelligent enough to do that? Is this cause for a believing Christian to doubt Paul's letters in the NT? Were they just letters conjured up in Paul's mind, or was there something else at play here? If God gave Him the words couldn't God do that today, or is the canon closed?

Would that fact that Paul could write well mean that it was Paul's words and not God's words?

Urbanmonk wins for this analysis of jimbo (Brooks Trubee):

...should Jimbo be faulted for never changing the message he has for those who never change their message? Jimbo raises doubts the same way a comedian raises doubts...by simply observing the ridiculousness of the way people usually think (without thinking). I'm all in favor of raising doubts when it comes to dubious superstition. At the same time, it could be argued that Jimbo still believes in superstition, or he probably wouldn't expend so much energy debunking it. Nor is a materially generated cosmology exactly superstition-free. Jimbo is not yet free enough of superstition to consider the truth of a Divine Self. And so, the way i see it, Jimbo is simply presenting one side of a false dichotomy...another side of the same coin of unbelief in Christ...the same unbelief that so-called Christians propound so eloquently, so rhetorically, and so mistakenly.

Imo, although Jimbo is not willing to enter the Promised Land himself, he serves as the leader of a first step that needs to be taken in order to exodus a contented brand of enslavement, tempted by the proverbial flesh pots of Egypt. Jimbo raises doubt about the status quo, and helps people see that they are enslaved to bookish doctrines that tempt us to hold onto our flesh, our bodies, and our hopes for a glorified body (glorified ego) in the future. That first step is taken when we are willing to doubt the veracity of our cherished traditions. How is this different from what Jesus did?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts2359

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100602/ap_on_re_us/us_rosary_suspension

http://www.666blacksun.com/Bible_Conspiracy.html -- Skeptical Wesbite Platinum nominee

http://www.gazette.com/articles/haggard-65454-ted-church.html

http://www.sodahead.com/living/if-god-is-the-most-powerful-being-in-the-universe-why-was-it-so-easy-to-kill-him/question-1043045/

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/should-this-be-the-last-generation/?pagemode=print

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/04/AR2010060403296.html

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

http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/community/blog/23678

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/woman-alleging-rogers-exposed-her-affair-says-others-have-had-privacy-breached/article1606893/

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/cbc/100528/canada/canada_toronto_toronto_theives_feces

http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/article.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=36&Issue=04&ArticleID=09&Page=0&UserID=0&

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/06/sharia-in-dearborn-mi-2010.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/06/sixyear-olds-can-now-get-free-unlimited-condoms-in-massachusetts-town.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUC8WrTNWL8

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/06/26/g20-saturday-protests.html

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

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1290341/Diplomats-accused-sex-assaults-human-trafficking-36m-unpaid-fines.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSjccl6qyQM&feature=related

http://www.slate.com/id/2258484/