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From the Mailbag

Here's a nutty email from someone on their way to fundy atheism:

I recently read your apologetics page on the story of Moses being reinterpreted from the story of King Sargon. To be honest I found it quite unconvincing, and even though I am a believer I found it pathetic, in that you are basically saying well in any event we choose to believe it really happened because the bible said so. Not a good job of apologetics! It is fairly irrelevant that the practice of adoption was not entirely uncommon in both civilizations, nor is it relevant that the stories have minor differences. One would expect many differences when a story is being passed down by ‘Chinese whispers’ until it is recorded in writing, and even then it is probable that the story would change and morph over time. Just as the story of the great Flood is recorded in several other cultures each with unique takes on the story before being recorded in the bible shows that stories change over time and get passed from culture to culture. Many other cases abound throughout history.

Your answer has only made me think “hey, its extremely unlikely that the story of Moses was not in some way influenced by the story of King Sargon, but perhaps there’s a .0001% chance it wasn’t and actually happened. “

I think you could dig deeper and do a better job, and when the evidence is against you why not just admit that it is extremely likely the story of Moses being set among the reeds is fictional and influenced by the story of the King Sargon?

The March 2013 Loftus Collection

John wins for this comment to me on Amazon:

JP, you cannot appeal to an uncivil era, the one Jesus lived in, to defend your incivility. We are a more civilized people you see. Civility evolves, just like religion, just like morality. Socrates, for instance, would have been booted from any academic institution in today's world he was so very bombastic. Just read the ending of Plato's Euthyphro and see for yourself. Surely you know what he said at his trial and afterward as they were deciding his sentence, right? After being judged guilty by a marginal vote he blasted the Senate, even saying they should give him a pension for what he does. That turned into an overwhelming vote for him to die. And you use that era to defend what you do? I think a better case can be made that this is who you are so that's why you defend it. Please, there is no parity at all between me and thee.

Yeah you're real civilized, John. Getting roaring drunk at conventions and bragging about it, insulting people with disabilities, making up fake blogs, lying about reviewing your own book on Amazon, giving amusement park workers "the finger" for doing their job, posting nude paintings of Jesus to incite people, constantly're definitely "more civilized" than they were. :D

John also wins for what's recorded at

And, he wins for this whine in his new book -- where he fails to mention such things as the name of the forum, how he was caught in a big lie there, all the times he said he was leaving for good and came back, his insults to the disabled, his foul language, etc.:

Can't have readers checking out those claims, can we, John? Especially since it would just ruin your victim complexion.

Mixed Atheist Nuts

Richard Dawkins, who thinks a plausible case can be made for Jesus not existing, wins for this tweet:

Why do I attack easy targets, not 'sophisticated theologians'? Because sophisticated theologians are oxymoronic and numerically negligible.

YT fundy atheist HonestTechnoAtheist, after being challenged to report me to the National Coalition Again Censorship for moderating comments:

I don't know how to even contact them. But at any rate, I don't CARE what THEY say. You sound like a little school boy when you say that.

Awards go to YT fundy atheists creamone, CrazyCarnieCory, and Forrest Coyne -- all of whom I caught plagiarizing this month.

Yt fundy atheist Krenparshaw, on my vid defining fundy atheists:

Ya I saw that video and don't really see it at all. Like in 4:22 where it tries to claim the atheist takes the bible seriously...really? So basiclly it comes down to I voice my opinion about religion and disagree with you so there, fundie atheist I am. You really are a funny person.

Screwball nomination to the TWeb atheist who sent one of our readers a personal message telling them that the use of insults in public debate was the equivalent of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

YT fundy atheist Memphis Applegate gets a Platinum nom for this comment on a vid which included an explanation of a word in Greek:

Every time the Bible says something strange, contradictory, immoral, hateful, disgusting, or just plain wrong, the apologist launch into these painful theological explanations. In this case we actually have to go to other sources - in another language - to explain away what Paul clearly says in the Bible.

Why don't apologists grace us with all this explanation when the Bible says something good, kind, or logical?

lao tzu shows his true colors:

Now the casual observer can tell Holding's got issues, but Nick isn't a casual observer. Not telling any tales here, because it's common knowledge, but Nick suffers from an autism spectrum syndrome, as does his newlywed wife, who is the daughter of Mike Licona. So try not to take his lack of social skills any more seriously than you have to.

YT user Nick1Nintendo, on the burden of not being a plagiarizer:

Yeah, 'cause everyone should waste their 500-word limit citing every sentence with MLA. I mean, come on. Also, what does it matter where they got their arguments from? If you can't refute them, you're still sunk

What's the point? It's not like whoever provided the original information - which would likely be impossible to track down, it seems you're laboring under the illusion that these are first-hand sources - knows or cares how it's applied in YouTube comments. Also, 99% of what I know regarding creationism debates, I don't know where I read first. I don't keep a list of every site I've visited or book I've read on file for something as trivial as a YouTube debate.

Jungle George, on why we should be suspicious of Luke:

Which also does not prove that it is totally true! And he admitted he gathered information from others, clearly those trying to get the new religion going. I wonder why his story would agree with other people then? He’s documenting what he’s heard from others:

In other words, because he did what a historian is supposed to do.

firstfloor declares his hero:

I admire most the Matt Dillahunty sort of atheist, the guy who really knows his Bible.

The Christian and Theist Collection

Here's TheologyArchaeology, an example of something wrong with the church today:

Your out of context quoting undermines your argument and your diagnosis, mechanic, etc. examples are absurd. But they do demonstrate that you do not know what other people are talking about or you willfully ignore their context to hold on to some abstract idea of your own.

First, off licensed mechanics are not the only one who knows cars and why would the Holy Spirit lead you to someone who was not qualified to fix it? Second, following the Holy Spirit doesn't mean you diagnose yourself. it means you are lead to the right doctor who will provide you with the correct information and medicine.

Then as to your personal responsibility, uhm... if you have chosen to follow the Holy Spirit, then you have made a personal responsible choice. Instead of disobeying God and His word, you have chosen to obey and follow it. That is being personally responsible.

The Bible is spoken to all of Christ's followers nor just a few 2,000 years ago. If the latter was the case, why have a Bible at all? What good is a book that provides God's instructions if it is not applicable to today's believers? Why should God have to keep rewriting His book just to please a few scholars or others who refuse to obey?

YT fundy troll MrTruth111, on my Trinity vid, when I asked him to give an argument about the contents:

An argument against the vid's contents? Stupid!

Trying to find the best analogy for explaining the trinity is very hard and stupid, because no-one knows, that is why trinitarians call it a mystery and it is not found in Scripture, but somehow they believe this, that is why trinitarians need to wake up.

Collective award to all the Chrstian screwies who think Pope Francis is the "false prophet" of Revelation. This is especially for Thomas Horn and Cris Putnam, who I caught using a false claim about Apollo 16 seeing a UFO. Putnam deleted a comment I left on his blog, with a link to the NASA website exposing his falsehood. Also winning is their stooge alberto on YT:

i would believe 90% of the worlds population over NASA every day of the year my friend

Obsidian, after someone used Robertson's Word Pictures commentary to refute him, gets a Christian Statement Platinum nom:

So do you worship Robertson or God? Is Robertson's belief supposed to mean something to me?... I think the main reason you are exhibiting such a failure of logic is because you have a tendency to let these idols of yours do all your thinking for you.

Westboro Baptist seems to have been trolling YT, and said thiis to a Christian who opposed them:

When you obstruct the Westboro Baptist church to suit your filthy sinful lifestyle, I don't need to know anymore, to be certain of your inevitable destruction

Epoetker adjusts the dictionary:

And I didn't come for the lesbians, I came for the gays. Lesbians aren't gay. Or did you forget that I was a patriarchal male supremacist in your haste to condemn me as a universal homophobe? -- Platinum nom, Christian website -- Platinum nom, Famous Christian. Only real question is: Is Hagee in the display himself, as the jackass? -- Platinum nom