Screwballs of the month

March 2005

 

 

Yes indeedy. They just keep coming and coming and coming, don’t they? But to start, we have a special Achievement Award to give to a certain frustrated apostate who goes by the name Rameus. Since February a thread has been alive at

 

http://www.theologyweb.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46888

 

in which Rammy and I were supposed to debate the Christ myth, and in particular, whether the citations by Josephus and Tacitus did it in or not. And we had discussed doing this as early as January.  But as expected – since we saw him do this before – Rameus offered nothing but hemming and hawing in addition to his big mouth, and now, has passed the deadline he himself agreed to repeatedly (see below) without so much as a peep. Promises, promises. He said on TheologyWeb:

 

I am researching and writing an essay that constitutes my rebuttal to J.P. Holding's two essays. Given that I am endeavoring to produce something of publication quality, and that I am also a full time academic, this is a rather time consuming process that I am pursuing in my free time. My hope is to have the essay completed and submitted to this thread sometime in March.

 

The fact remains, J.P. Holding will lose in the first round. He has no formal education in the subject matter whatsoever (which is demonstrated in his essays) and as such he has no business writing in this field. This will be painfully clear to everyone who isn’t suffering from a fundamentalist concussion when my essay is complete in a few weeks.

 

He also tooted his little horn on a forum for apostates, ex-christian.net (see http://exchristian.com/forums/index.php?s=1fca89fc2ddcf93d637bfdf313200b1a&showtopic=2631 where you will also see enough Screwball comments from the other apostates in the gallery to fill a book), with statements like these:

 

Fundeology-web (Theologyweb) has a commentary thread open on the debate between J.P. Holding and I. Everyone, and I mean everyone fully expects Holding to emerge absolutely victorious. I would appreciate it if everyone would let them have their delusions for the time being and not provide any commentary supporting a Rameus victory scenario.

 

Believe me I'm devoting every free moment I have to researching and writing this essay. They have given me a strict time limit and I intend to stick to it, however this is going to be a formal piece so it’s not something that can be thrown together in a few days. As this is going to be a "production quality" essay, I will be donating it to Dave as a reference piece for Ex-C members to use in the future. Taking the time to make it compelling, articulate, and (most importantly) apologist resistant will pay off in the long run.

I guess the question is Spam, do you want to see Holding embarrassed and discredited (more than he already is, if that is possible) or do you just want him to receive a light spanking?

 

In fact, Rameus even spent some of this time – time he claimed he needed to scribble out his more-precious-than-gold rebuttal – to go visit a forum for Christian youth and try to deconvert them, adding such comments as:

 


When it is completed, and Holding has been humbled, what will you people have to chastise me about?

 

So for Rameus, a Lifetime Achievement Screwball Award – for having the biggest mouth to have absolutely nothing come out of it, for the second time in recorded history that we know of.

 

 

 

From the mailbag

 

It’s hard to know when some of these are serious. But they’re pretty funny anyway, and I can usually taunt them a bit and get them to kick out some more nonsense. For example:

 

You morons dare to mock the Great Gods who gave you your miserable lifes? Your so-called Christianity is nothing but demon worshipping invented by the Jews to undermine the morals and destroy Roman Empire which it did. But you fools were so stupid that you went on worshipping that pseudo-prophet that was crucified for poisoning minds of peoples for the next 2000 years!
In the process you destroyed ancient cultures, tortured and killed millions of innocent people, severely affected progress of science. But all this is coming to an end. Millions are coming back to the real God, Holy Rod. He is the One who rules the world through the King and Queen of Prav'  Svarog and Lada. Dazhbog is one of their manifestations, the God who gives us the goodness of sunlight. And you pigs bite the hand that feeds you?

Remember : my God, mighty Perun, carries a hammer. Your "god" was nailed to a cross.

 

I do seem to recall Perun. I have a great story about him in my article on Dahzbog:

 

At that time his father Perun was walking over that all the sky and lands recognized who was going. Ros also recognized him and told him:

 

"Grettings, Mighty Perun, Svarog's son".

 

"So, you know my father as well"!

 

"Do not be angry, mighty Perun, but walk to the clean field and see your son, Dazhdbog, but be graceful as Dazhdbog is still young".

 

So, he did. Perun went to the field and saw his son playing with a cudgel. Then Perun told Dazhdbog:

 

"Stop boasting, and show how mighty you really are".

 

And the two, father and son, started to fight. They fought for three days and three nights, fought that lands, woods and sea screamed, and finally Perun weakened and fell down. Dazhdbog asked him then:

 

"Tell me your name and name of your father, oh warrier"!

 

"I am Perun, son of Svarog and came from the shining Iriy".

 

Then Dazhdbog said: "Sorry, father! I did not know that this is you because I never saw you before! Rise, my dear father"!

 

After this fight they both got together and Dazhdbog asked his mother to allow him to go with his father to the shining Iriy (the World where the Gods live). Ros allowed him to go and Dazhdbog joined other Gods.

 

Well heck. The guy can’t even give his own kid a spanking? I think I’ll stick with what I got now, thanks.

 

Then we had this one…I think the guy was talking about Acharya S, but I never found out and he never told me, even when I asked:

 

I LEFT THE CHURCH BECAUSE OF GUYS LIKE YOU

 

WHO ARE YOU TO BESMERCH A WOMAN WHO HAS THE GUTS TO TELL THE TRUTH OF AND ABOUT TGHAT WHICH YOU SO ZEALOUSLY PROPOUND FROM YOU PULPITS. YOUR HANDS ARE NOT ALL THAT CLEAN MANY OF YOU IF NOT ALL HAVE BEEN JUDGED AS CHILD MOLESTERS WOMEN ABUSER SO DON'T PLAY GOD.

 

THIS WOMAN ONLY USES THE INFORMATION THAT IS ALREADY IN PRINT AND ASKS THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD BE ASKING SURE I BELEIVE THAT JESUS CHIRST DIED ON GTHE CROOS BUT I ALSO BELEIVE IN THE ARCHEOLOGICAL ACCADEMIC AND HISTORICAL WHOS WORDS YOU PEOPLE HAVEN'T YET LEARNED TO OBEY. OBEY YOU SAY WE ARE NOT UNDER LAW BUT HAY UNDER GRACE WELL GO BREAK THE LAW AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU WE ARE UNDER THE GRACE TO DONOT JUST TO BELEIVE AND SPOUT AND RUN DOWN PEOPLE THAT WE AND I BET YOU HAVEN'T EVEN READ. YOU HATE WITCH CRAFT BUT YOU CAN'T SAY THAT YOU REALLY KNOW ANYTHING AB OUT WICCA WHY BECAUSER YOU AFRE TOO HOLY TO GO AND FVIND OUT WHAT A WITC H REALLY DOSE AND WHAT SHE OR HE REALLY BELEIVES. YOU GUYS ARE NOTHING BUT NARROW MINDED BIGGOTS

 

Whew, glad I’m a “biggot” and not a “bigot” then. I told Jokey here he made the Screwball list, and he said:

 

I would say that ytou are just as big a screw ball as you say I am you base you faith on a lot of forged documents about a guy who waqs a combonation of all the rising god men down threw the agees. too bad you worshi[p tghe throne instead of the power behind the trone

 

Hock dang. Become a Christ myther, learn to spell well. And oddly enough, this from another of Achy’s funny fans just thereafter:

 

Your article, childishly entitled "S is for Stench" turned my stomach with it's arrogance, ignorance and complete lack of any kind of intelligent refutation of any of the works of the eloquent thinker Acharya S.  I'm sorry, but you made a pathetic attempt to discredit S, but failed to refute any of her work, sparsely quoting her brilliant book the Christ Conspiracy, misrepresenting her (there was a cause and effect question put forth, Sabatino and Holding made the mistake of not mentioning S's quotation of Hitler as professing to be a christian and using it as a justification of his persecution of the jews).  It was a cowardly, shameless, subjective/opinion based, insult fest at the expense of a well read scholar.  There were no facts presented, and their was no mention of the facts presented by the Christ Conspiracy.  I was astounded, though I don't know why, by the cowardly and ignorant counter-attack/misfire by you.

 

You should be ashamed of yourselves.  Isn't it bad enough that you believe in myths and teach that they are reliable, literal accounts of historical fact?  If that wasn't bad enough you had to try and discredit a well read scholar who made dangerous facts to your religion accessible to the lay man.  You should be ashamed of yourselves, it's ignorant, spiteful, pagan and irresponsible.

 

Please accept that the veracity of your religion is in question and the longer things go on, and the longer and harder people scrutinize it, the less and less reliable and trustworthy it becomes.  It is dwindling and hopefully, with the help of Acharya S and others like her, all people will see your religion for the myth that is and shameless ignorance like this will finally be laid to rest.

 

What with the usual number of specifics I get from, this crowd, it’s a real hoot.

 

 

 

Golden duh award winners

 

 

 

I’ll have the Caesar’s salad

 

One award this time goes to a website brought to our attention this month, authored by one “Francesco Carotta” said to be a linguist and a philosopher (in other words, not a credentialed historian).  Apparently this is a book also, and it asks:

IS JESUS DIVUS JULIUS?
(IS JESUS THE HISTORICAL FIGURE OF DIVUS JULIUS, THE GOD TO WHICH JULIUS CAESAR WAS ELEVATED?)

Not your standard Christ-myth here; rather, it argues that Jesus and Julius Caesar were the same person. Here’s some of the basic arguments:

The bust of Caesar in the Torlonia Museum resembles Jesus significantly. Even the wreath he wears, the oak wreath of the soter, the Savior, corresponds in form and significance to the crown of thorns worn by the Holy One.

(Don’t ask me how he knows this bust “resembles Jesus significantly” when no one knows what Jesus looked like.)

Both Julius Caesar and Jesus began their careers in northern countries: Caesar in Gaul, Jesus in Galilee; both cross a fatal river: the Rubicon and the Jordan; both then enter cities: Corfinium and Cafarnaum; Caesar finds Corfinium occupied by a man of Pompey and besieges him, while Jesus finds a man possessed by an impure spirit. There is similarity in structure as well as in place names: Gallia > Galilaea; Corfinium > Cafarnaum; occupied/besieged > possessed (both obsessus inLatin). The similarities remain consistent throughout (when occupation or besieging is referred to in the one text, possession is used in the other, etc.)

(No, I don’t know where Jesus “crossed” the Jordan and how it was “fatal”. And Julius Caesar had a successful political career long before he went to Gaul.)

Pompey is the political godfather of Caesar and competes with him in the same way John the Baptist does with Jesus.

(The same way? When did Jesus ever push through legislation on John’s behalf?)

Antony and Lepidus became Caesar’s successors, the first as flamen, high priest of the Divus Julius cult, the second as pontifex maximus, just as Simon and Peter do with Jesus (they both melt into one figure – Simon Peter).

(Two into one, isn’t that convenient. When did Peter become a high priest?)

Decimus Junius Brutus betrays Caesar as Judas betrays Jesus.

The other Brutus is Caesar’s murderer and Barabbas is a murderer.

Octavian is the young Caesar, his posthumously adopted son. John is adopted by Jesus as he is dying on the cross.

Nicomedes of Bithynia was said to have had nightly meetings with Caesar as did Nicodemus of Bethany with Jesus.

(Nicodemus is nowhere said to be from Bethany. And be careful: The “nightly meetings” Niceomedes had with Julie were allegedly homosexual liasions.)


Cleopatra had a special relationship with Caesar as did Mary Magdalene with Jesus.

(Ah, Dan Brown scholarship. So Cleo was Julie’s patron and financial supporter?)

The Senate is Caesar’s enemy, just as the Council is Jesus’ Satan.

(Yep, you can tell that Carotta is a linguist – he knows how to play word games for fun and profit.)

 

Brooks tips his tam-o-shanter to the creator, lucky

This gem comes from Brooks Trubee (“jimbo” on TWeb) who went past his usual vacuity of thought to come up with this sound bite. For context, a Christian said first:


And if you think serious christians are so bad in power (How many did Calvin execute ? 1 ?) look at what atheists in power have done. Mao killed 10's of millions as did Stalin. Both of whom where fanatical atheists like yourself. If history is anything to go by it is atheists in power who think they know best that are the most dangerous not serious Christians.

To which Brooks shot back:

Neither of these mass murderers believed in little green leprachauns. I am assuming that you don't believe in little green leprachauns either. So you, Jason, and Stalin and Mao are all fanatical alittlegreenleprachaunists! If history is anything to go by, alittlegreenleprachaunists like yourself are mass murdering fanatics when they get into power!!!! (sarcasm)

I agree – it’s nice to see something besides the usual pink unicorn stuff.

 

 

 

This week’s sign that the apocalypse is coming

 

Dumb comments like the ones following – from one supposedly a Christian – are almost enough to convert me back to dispensational futurism. Apparently this fellow, “Greg,” read my item on capital punishment (http://www.tektonics.org/af/cappun.html) and in particular, what I said about John 8:

John 8:3-11, Jesus does not endorse stoning of the adulterous woman. A good point, but invalid in context. Because the Romans held the rule of life and death and the right to implement CP, this was a challenge to Jesus to commit sedition. If he had said, "Go ahead," he would have been arrested. By itself this offers no injunction against CP, since it was not really an option; moreover, Jesus' reply indicates, "If we are to enforce it this time, some of you are next." The constraints of Roman power were acknowledged -- though CP itself was not thereby repudiated.

The following is the exchange that followed. I’ll let it speak for itself; my words in regular print, Greg’s in italics.


I take offense at your dismissal of John 8:1-11 as an argument against capital punishment. You seem to be saying that Jesus only condemned capital punishment to avoid being arrested.

No, not really. I'm saying that he neither affirmed nor condemned capital punishment in what he did, because it wasn't even an issue that was open to discussion. The Pharisees came not for a point of view on the law and what to do, but to trap Jesus. Nothing else.

I'm not sure what Bible you are reading. I think you need to re-evaluate your position.

I am reading the Bible we all know as well as the works of those who know what it means. I think you need to read more carefully and stop being so reactionary

I understand the intent of the Pharisees. I am saying that it matters how Jesus answered them. If you believe Jesus is "the truth", then it should matter to you. Jesus could have just as easily upheld Moses Law and said, "stone her." He certainly didn't have a fear of going to jail or angering the Pharisees. Instead, he used the situation to teach a lesson, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." In other words, sinners don't have the right to condemn other sinners to death. How can any Christian sit on a jury and condemn someone to death knowing the lesson taught in John 8:1-11?


So you don't believe that Jesus (or the Father) had a specific time in mind for when he would go to trial and be executed?

Absolutely. Even if he had been arrested, he wouldn't have necessarily been executed. Who can predict what would have happened? God was in control of the situation. Again, you are saying that Jesus answered the way he did to be crafty and avoid being arrested. I choose to believe
that Jesus answered the way he did because he was telling the truth.

He wouldn't necessarily have been executed for the capital crime of sedition?

Keep digging your hole; it gets deeper with every response...

You can't admit when you are wrong. You have to remember who you are talking about here (God). You are making assumptions. You are saying that Jesus answered the way he did to avoid being arrested and being executed because his work wasn't done. Do you think God would have
allowed that? Do you think God wouldn't have found a way out of that situation? Do you even realize that God is omnipotent? You say that Jesus neither confirmed nor condemned capital punishment, when his words obviously condemn capital punishment. You are a very poor debater. I can't debate someone who makes assumptions and doesn't look at the facts.

I will admit I am wrong when I have been proved wrong. All you have done is provided a series of contrived gymnastics which have no dealings whatsoever with the social and legal realities which govern the text. I suppose next you'll tell me that Jesus didn't really run from being stoned (John
10:39) because he didn't want to be killed, and the time was not right. Why not? God is omnipotent; He could have used force fields to deflect the stones, or made Jesus appear to be where he was not so that they really threw stones at an optical illusion while the real Jesus stood to the side invisible, laughing and eating Galilee Crunch Potato Chips. You're only assuming
that such a snack didn't exist; God is all powerful and could have made some.

There is neither condemnation nor endorsement of capital punishment, for the issue was moot. It's like asking of their is condemnation of endorsement of flying to the moon by flapping your arms. Get with the program and stop mangling the texts to support your preferred point of view.

So, I'm supposed to look at the social and legal realities which govern the text behind everything that Jesus said, and try to imagine what the people in the text were thinking? Instead of, looking at what it clearly say's in black and white or black and red? That sounds vaguely like moral relativism, which is what is truly destroying our society. The facts that the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus and the fact that Jesus was pointing out their hypocrisy don't negate the condemnation of capital punishment. If stoning wasn't the issue, why is it even in the text? The story could have just as easily involved any number of other Mosaic Laws that weren't punishable by death, if it was only about tricking Jesus and the issue was moot. But, I'm not dealing in "what if's", you are. People are always asking, "What would Jesus do?" Do you think Jesus would "throw the switch" on a criminal sitting in the electric chair?

 

(“So I’m supposed to look at the social and legal realities” as opposed to reading the text in English with my own presuppositions. That one by itself wins a Screwball Award!)


Dang. For once you said something sensible. Now all you need to do is learn that objective seeking of context is NOT "moral relativism". Get past that ostrich mentality, and you'll do just fine. Finding out what these people thought is why we have sociologists, anthropologists, and literary scholars.

I already explained why in the article (stoning was not the issue). Enough already.

(Re other Mosaic law) Except that punishing by death was the ONLY privilege taken by the Romans from the Jews and the ONLY possible avenue to charge sedition. Nice try. Try
thinking of it in terms of the "render unto Caesar" bit.

(Would Jesus throw the switch?) If they were guilty? Yup. And if you're going to insult my sources
(credentialed scholars with knowledge of the ancient world you obviously lack) you'll need to do a lot better than that.

You and your so-called scholars can rely on your theories and conjecture as your guide. I'll do the Christian thing and rely on what Jesus said in the Bible. My NIV Study Bible study notes do not say that in John 8:1-11, Jesus neither condemns nor condones capital punishment. That is
basically your opinion. If I have to choose to base my beliefs on what Jesus said or what some condescending egghead theorizes, I'll choose Jesus.


And that’s it. I reminded Greg that his NIV notes were written by a scholar (ahem), but I think this speaks for itself as an example of the shameful, individualistic and postmodern attitude afflicting Christianity in this country. And if that doesn’t convince you, our final gold medalist is another confused brother on TWeb, “smaller,” who produced an entire library of Screwball statements from the imagination of stultified fundamentalism:

In the KJV of 2 Thess. a colon is placed immediately behind the beginning of Paul's statement of exactly what "the lie" or "delusion" consists of.

You may also be quite startled to see that you and most believe that delusion.

11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

You see, you believe the lie.

As is the practice with self righteousness, the very statement of what "the lie is" will be projected upon "others."

 

(Hmm. Never mind the blanket condemnation, and that the Greek had no such punctuation…Paul used the KJV, and that’s all he needs.)

 

In each person there is a Child/offspring of God that is being fashioned, a vessel of honor. And in each there is a vessel of destruction. One being judged and eventually destroyed. God deals with each of these positions in entirely different ways in "each person." He carefully crafts each one.

He could look at Peter and speak to satan in Peter. There was satan. There was Peter.

 

(Now that’s new – Jekyll and Hyde as an exegetical framework.)

 

There is always a twofold meaning to most scriptures. This is one reason Paul called The Word a "two edged" sword. One edge is written against satan and his messengers, one side is written "for" God's children whom ALL OF MANKIND are. If any man believes the lie they will spout the lie, that "ALL" who were bad will perish. This is not true. The "cause" will perish. The CAPTIVE WILL NOT perish.

 

(Our pal Sheepdog on TWeb said it well: “I don't know why, but i keep imagining a pre-apostacy Farrell Till. but anyways, I can't begin to parse how badly smaller has maligned the "two edge sword" metaphor in Hewbrews 4:12. this individual is worse at handling the scripture texts than some of the usual suspects.” )

 

 

 

Silver duh award winners

 

Theists don’t believe in God

 

In the area of Brethren in Need of Vocabulary Lessons, we have a comment from one “InChristAlways” at TheologyWeb:

 

 

Don't forget about the atheistic Jews in Israel. Jesus came to them and by golly, they missed it, although scripture is plain as day He was not only going to come them, but rain down WRATH on them after He came.


http://www.theologyweb.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48283

 

Atheist Jews, hmmm. Just sit them down right next to the Carnivorous Vegetarians, why don’t you?

 

 

And the annals of tacitus were forged in the 18th century

 

Brought to our attention, a comment by a Skeptic under the name “Gideon Mage” at

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.co...ndpost&p=527574

…or the gospels were quoting from clement, more likely, since they were written in 381 c.e.

 

 

and no dancing on Sunday, either

 

Some time ago one of my favorite targets for delivering a good spanking to was a half-educated (degree from Bob Jones U.) ex-fundamentalist who styled himself  FormerFundy”. His specialty was applying topspin ever time he turned around (you can see links to our discussions at http://www.tektonics.org/twebarchives). FF (or Gargamel, as I have labeled him) tries to avoid me these days, for good reason, but he did have it out at

 

http://www.theologyweb.com/forum/sh...13&page=1&pp=16

with a member named Twilly Spree, on why Christians shouldn't laugh at religious satire.

TS: I'm going to see Jon Stewart do stand-up in Chicago in a week. I stinkin' excited. Wooooooooo!

FF: You know that he makes fun of your God and your Christianity on a regular basis on his show don't you? He is no friend of Christianity.

TS: I'm sorry you have no sense of humor.

FF: I have a great sense of humor and I enjoy it immensely but that is because I agree with Jon Stewart. Belief in God is silly. If I were a believer in God, I would be offended.

TS: Well we're going to have to disagree. I love him

FF: Apparently you love him more than your god, which is fine with me but somewhat problematic for you

Next week: Gargamel hits the beach with Barney Fife to ask Christian women there why they don’t feel guilty about wearing bikinis. Stay tuned.

 

Archie bunker, famous freethinker

Our old friend Johnny Skeptic hasn’t been on TWeb much lately – he’s been put under restriction for violating rules there – but someone noted this gem from a site where the webmaster exchanged letters with him:


Regarding my statement about black basketball players on the average having an advantage over white basketball players, I could also say that white chess players have an advantage over black chess players. The basketball reference and the chess reference are not condescending judgements. They are simply well-known facts. I could give many more examples, but those two examples should do. I do not praise anyone because of their genetic and environmental advantages, and I do not criticize anyone because of their genetic and environmental disadvantages.

http://www.geocities.com/atheismsucks/arealisticapproach.htm

 

 

 

Bronze duh award winners

 

Yes, we haven’t had this category before; but we’ve never had so many entries, and of such varying quality, before, either.

 

A reasonably friendly atheist on TWeb gave us this one from a Muslim:

 

Yank no disrespect, but the Quran has nevr been contradicted and never will!!
So even if someone doesn't believe in the Quran, it is still a fact and a book of science

 

http://gawaher.com/forum/Homosexuality-t7160.html

 

 

While a Christian told us about a site at

 

http://www.community.thebeastmovie.com/

 

and said,

Take your pick from here man. Almost everyone on this forum is a Christ myther and are looking forward to a movie that will promote the Christ myth (among idiots).

 

 

 

Our old friend Stevie “the ancients were too stupid to build a dam” Carr popped in and after this will probably disappear again for a few months, but before that, posted at

http://www.theologyweb.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50136

Psalm 89
8 O LORD God Almighty, who is like you?
You are mighty, O LORD , and your faithfulness surrounds you.
9 You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.

Is this true?

Does God still the mounting waves of a surging sea?

Given a brief lesson in poetic license, Stevie then swung the pendulum back the other end of absurdity:

I always wondered about the claim that God was mighty.

It seems it is just poetic licence.....

God doesn't rule over the sea. That is just poetry.

Nic-sounding words, though.

And the sad part is, he hasn’t changed since we gigged him for that “can’t build a dam” error 9 years ago.