As usual, view all of the nominated Screwballs for May 2008 on TheologyWeb. This is just the cream of the crop.

From the Mailbag

Think that "lost tomb of Jesus" stuff is dead? Not with the Screwbies:

Dear Sir -

I appreciate your viewpoint and research. Please read the books by Kamal Salibi:

The Bible Came From Arabia

Secrets of the Bible People


The Jesus Family Tomb, by J. Cameron

Maybe your viewpoint will change.

Salibi by the way is another nut who thinks all Bible events occurred in Arabia. Then we have this from the League of Self-Righteous Pharisees:

I was reading some of Dan Barker's stuff and listening to his debates with believers and I came across your site.

I don't know if you ever heard Barker's debate/interview with Ray Comfort, but I heard it yesterday and was shocked. Ray interrupts him frequently, asks him loaded questions and won't let him give a full answer, and raises his voice throughout. Near the end of the interview he resorts to outright ad-hominem attacks, and then accuses Barker of not playing by the rules of the interview when he refuses to be painted with that brush. People that I've played this for agree that even though they agree with Ray's beliefs, the man acts belligerent and foolish, and makes Barker look good simply because of his tone.

When I found your website and noticed a "golden duh" award and your use of "blah blah blah" in paraphrasing Barker's book, I was aghast. Your site goes beyond responding to his book and overtly attempts to make him look like not just a bad person, but also a dumb one.

For a person trying to tell the world about God's love and defend His word, you're acting like a jerk. Someone had to tell you and I'm sorry to sound harsh, but you should tone it down, because there's no excuse for a believer--of all people--to act this way. I would not in good conscience be able to use your apologetics materials to defend the faith when they would give the impression to parishioners that it's okay to belittle and condemn the lost. Good luck and God bless.

The irony is, 1) there are people who have been saying I need to be MORE like Ray Comfort; 2) Barker, a Christ-myther, certainly doesn't need my help to look dumb. In the meantime read Matthew 23 and call us in the morning.

Now this, from the "Duh, What?" Consortium:

You write write saying nothing. I dont understand why if believing is an act of faith, you try so hard to show "evidence"

Its kind of funny your site, you have a "challenge" section, but also you say that you wont answer any mail that doens´t worth it; as well, you claim that you can prove when somebody its an ignorant...that´s new...been a believer doesn´t gives you much of credit to do that.

Have you ever think a little bit outside the bible? oh!, i forgot, I doesn´t deserve the benefit of a doubt because..because you say so,....sorry, cant´help laughing.

Anyway, I don´t spect any anwser from always though that is good to talk with every kind o people, even a believer, but everytime i talk to one of them, makes me think the opposite, shows no critical thinking.

Anyway, have a nice day

This one came from the Rant and Rave Collection:

Your article fails to support one shred of tangible, irrefutable evidence for the existence of the Jesus. Why is it that the same people who zealously debunk or laugh at the "silliness" of fantastic occurrences such as UFOs or Bigfoot, to name a few, have no problem with referencing "scientific studies" or the authentication of credible scientists when it accommodates their arguments, but will totally reverse themselves by hypocritically, suddenly disregarding all rigorous scientific scrutiny when dealing with the untouchable subject of Jesus, who by any standard, represents an event, far more supernatural and fantastic than any UFO or zenomorphic sighting.

I submit that the very fact that the Jesus myth is so ferociously defended is based on the fact that there is NO firm, foundation based on indisputable evidence. The entire focal point for Christianity's claim to the existence of Jesus relies on one singular, discredited account by the shadowy Judean, Flavian Josephus, a Roman sycophant, who's alleged references to Jesus, were literally fabricated or distorted in 340 AD by Bishop Eusebius,a Christian zealot who would do anything to validate the fallacious existence of a messianic Christ figure. Is that ALL you have? If the entire case for the proof of Jesus was held in a courtroom for the world to see, Christianity and Islam would lose because neither can offer a shred of scientific, archeological, historically contemporaneous evidence for his these alleged events, written and re-written by the incoherent hand of nebulous Roman sycophants. The simplest explanation is that many Judean messianic figures, or rabbis were extremely concerned and zealously dedicated to the expulsion and overthrow of the oppressive, Paganistic Roman occupation. Christians conveniently forget that in the context of the times, Jews were severely oppressed by the Roman occupiers and only the one sect of Sadducees, elite priests, bowed to Roman rule as in any occupation, one group plays ball in order to appease the occupiers. However, the vast, overwhelmingly anti Roman population of Jews desperately wanted a leader or group of revolutionary's to run Rome out of Judea. You can't begin to understand the pain incurred by orthodox Jews watching pagan Rome soil and defile the holy ground and center of Jewish religion. Jesus is simply a mythological composite of numerous brave Jewish revolutionary's who dared to show dissent and protested against the might Roman empire. 200-400 years later, when Rome badly needed a NEW device to re-take the world and invigorate a dying, anemic empire, they cleverly seized upon a collection of writings based upon numerous Jewish writings consisting of mainstream and hybrid sects then over the years, compiled these writings through endless edits and re-writes, eventually assembling a hacked out collection of propaganda based upon totally disconnected writings in order to VILIFY the Jews and EXHONORATE themselves. This was a brilliant piece of propaganda. Rome decided to utilize this integration of disjointed chaos and create a new religion based predominantly on the Jewish bible but modified to incorporate pagan rituals in order to make it more salable. As we all know, the Romans only knew one method of utilizing power and control and that was through brutal, repression and force. Christianity was not spread peacefully and history DOES prove beyond any doubt that the early dissemination of this new "cult" was done with the aid of the Roman sword. The most horrifying and clearly diabolical aspect of the legacy stemming from the so called Gospels, is the obscene, and perfidious frame of of the Jews. The New Testament, to this day, continues to indoctrinate millions of innocent minds with the deleterious lie that the Jews somehow betrayed and murdered one of their own, another Jew! Never mind that this hideous fairy tale has produced a cart blanch excuse to commit a form of murderous virulence unprecedented in human history, but that it continues to use this fairy tale as a device to vilify and persecute and entire ethnic and religious group of human beings and even more obscene, is the unmitigated gall of Christians to demonize Jews then proceed to hypocritically sit in a house of worship and PRAY TO A JEW! Even within the context of the fairy tale as written by these nebulous people known as the "Gospels", never once does the Jesus character repudiate or denounce his Jewishness or the religion, however, the Italians were conveniently never vilified or persecuted for being of the blood line of the Roman people accused of executing Jesus by the Gospels own disjointed rambling passages.

Unfortunately, the TRUE history of Christianity demonstrates a horrific tale of mass murder with blood on its hands. Very consistent when see in the context of typical Roman rule and the predisposition of human pathology in general. Similar to its distant cousin Islam, both religions are based on a death cult. Every tyrannical regime or virulent sociopath has used the cloak of pious religion to operate behind, using "divine inspiration or a crusade" as justification of continuous brutality, murder and subjugation. The unfortunate tragedy of all this is that it is happening again. Religious extremism with a zero tolerance attitude, is rising fast and again threatens the very existence of the human species or at minimum, another dark age which throughout history has happened just when society was beginning to reach a level of enlightenment only to be viciously thrown back down into the abyss of ignorance, tyranny and destruction.

Without continuing on a needlessly lengthy exegesis, I will submit that as long a organized religion exists as a method of brutal oppression, deception and mass terror, the human species is doomed to eventual extinction. As the great Dr. Carl Sagan used to say when responding to alleged religious mythology, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". It seems convenient that when confronted with the request to present the "extraordinary evidence" suddenly the convenient, cop out response is "we don't need evidence, we have faith". I also have faith, and that is that somewhere deep in the human psyche, we might all wake up from the ensorcelled hypnotic state that religion and delusionary dogma have sunk the species into. Maybe, someday, the human organism can break the shackles of superstition, fear, greed and malevolence to evolve into a more benign form that co-exist within earths divers biosphere.

I tried to challenge the ranter to a debate, but unfortunately, he used one of those anonymous email services.

A shorter rant also, from "our" side:

As an x firm believer in inspired scripture,I find your reasoning absurd on mathematical errors.If ONE word in the bible is errant,then it fails as the inspired word of God.You must surely understand that we're talking about a book supposedly left by the Creator Himself.If God could and did create the wonders of nature,how hard do you suppose for Him to write a book without so many problems for man to try and explain.It should require no apologetics whatsoever.No wonder Thomas said,except I see,I won't believe.

And finally, Gold and possible Platinum to the chicken of the Flying Spaghetti Monster chuch who mailed this letter to me:

Mr. Holding,

As much as I appreciate your desire to provide aid and comfort to the god hoax that keeps all of us in the sucker-fleecing business enriched, I must advise you that, by exposing a believer (yourself) as a raving psychopath, you are harming the cause you espouse. I urge you to stop publishing your insane drivel before you pull all of us pushers of god out of the god scam on the welfare rolls.

I strongly urge you to consider a brain exchange with a cabbage -- if you can find a cabbage willing to make the sacrifice.

The letter came with a reprint of a rant by some no-name atheist author, William Harwood, excerpted from a book with the title "Why The God Fantasy Is a Crime Against Humanity." Unfortunately, the author of the letter was too chicken to give a real name, address, or email, and signed themselves with the fictional name "Nehemiah Scudder".

The May 2008 John Loftus Collection
John W. Loftus goes for Gold again and again. This was a comment he delivered to a review of his book that found mistake after mistake in it:
BTW you don't know how to review a book, do ya? You must at least end with an overall assessment of the books strengths and weaknesses, who would benefit from it the most, what you learned from reading it, as well as stating its weaknesses. From all I can gather you think there is nothing but weaknessess init, and that's not a fairminded review. If you were my student and you turned this in I would require you to take an Engish composition class to learn how it should be done, something you should've learned in High School. But no, you've learned how to write reviews from an ex-librarian who should himself know better, which means the only reason he doesn't do it is because he's being purposely disengenuous.
Thank you Nick for the review. I amazes me that someone who is only as knowledable as you can think you have actually enaged my ideas. It feels to me as if a high schoooler thinks he has done justice to them.

He had some awesome screwiness on his blog, too, like this:

To answer the accusation from my side, I admit I'm ignorant. That's right. I am ignorant. What am I ignorant about? Most things! Again, let me state this loudly and clearly. I am ignorant about most things. In comparison to that which I do know, I am ignorant about almost everything. I only claim to know a small sliver of things in the totality of that which can be known. I'm not joking when I say this, either. I really am. Okay so far?

But I don't believe in the Bible. I don't believe in God. I don't believe in the church.

How dare I say that when I've just admitted I don't know most things? Easy. Based on what I know I don't believe. Can I do any differently? No! I can only believe that which I can believe. Have I studied these things out enough to have an informed opinion on the matter? I think so, but what difference does it make to me personally if I have never studied these things out at all and I still don't believe? Most people who don't believe in the Christian faith have not studied the issues out in any depth at all, just like most Christians who believe. The bottom line is that I don't believe.

Let me use a couple of examples to make a point. If you tell someone he should believe in Leprechauns, a totally ignorant person can simply say "I don't believe you." It doesn't take any amount of knowledge at all to reject a strange and outlandish claim like this. The believer making the claim can say the nonbelieving guy is ignorant all he wants to, but ignorance isn't his problem. His problem is that the claim is too strange to believe. Strange claims must have some solid evidence for them. If as a believer you do not produce the needed evidence for such a strange claim, then it will do your case no good to call the nonbeliever ignorant. That's the bastion of last resort when all else has failed.

Just think for the moment if a scientist is trying to convince other scientists of a new theory, and he's having no luck. They don't accept it. What good does it do for him to call the others ignorant? The problem is his. He has not established his case.

So, when a believer calls me ignorant because he or she has not provided me what I need to believe, then the ignorance is not mine. It's an ignorance that fails to take seriously his or her role in providing the needed evidence to believe. Such a believer is ignorant for thinking that this is my problem. Even though I am ignorant about so many things, this particular problem is not mine at all.

Loftus also wins for his foray into Youtube videos, for the ultimate in crediblity. Unfortunately we can't link to it, because all the "Related Videos" have to do with disgusting sexual habits...I wonder why. From that video, we have this Screwy comment:

...we begin with a brute fact, either the Triune God who became a man, died for our sins, and is coming again to send people to heaven or hell. Or, you know, we believe that the brute fact is, that the universe just exists

Commenter kbrown45 shares the award for this:

At time 3:05 John mentions that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God. But if Jesus was born of a virgin, he had only 23 chromosomes and was thus a haploid. As a haploid, Jesus could only have been 50% human. Nonetheless, Jesus as a material being could not have been immaterial. Consequently since God is immaterial, Jesus could not have been God

Loftus' Useful Idiot Harry "Obscene Phone" McCall wins yet again as well, for his take, "Child Sacrifice is Divinely Commanded in the Bible!" as reported by Loftus. Among the passages he cites:

Exodus 22:29-30 "You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. 30 You shall do likewise with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its dam; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.
Circumcision was probably a substitutionary child sacrifice (Exodus 4:24).
Child sacrifice should be understood within the whole concept of human sacrifice as a whole, which pleased God (Leviticus 27:28).
The prophet Micah wonders if he should sacrifice his oldest son "as a sin offering" (6:6-8).
In the New Testament God the Father sacrifices his only son (Jesus) as the central redemptive act of Christianity, and God still seeks to fulfill his lust for human sacrifice by burning humans forever in the lake of fire.

Useful Idiot Lee Randolph adds to this Gold. A poster named Jason provided a detailed, contextualized exegesis of the alleged "child sacrifice" texts. Lee Randolph the Red Nosed Skeptic replied:

I find it strange that you keep posting with as much as much as you are wrong. I'd be embarrassed if I were you. One minute your preaching about understanding things in context and the next you're totally disregarding it.

Human sacrifice has always been part of some religion. You can get a used book on it cheap from amazon.

So how do you explain god sending his only son as a redeemer, to save you by his blood, by his sacrifice?

The most important aspect of your religion is rooted in a human sacrifice.

Where did those passages John presented come from? The satanic bible?

Your using your moral compass which is independent of the bible to choose the good parts and disregard the rest.

like I said, I'd be embarrassed if I were you.

Useful Loftusian Idiot Ed Babinski also wins for saying:

Simply reading book titles and descriptions is an education in itself, and a reminder that philosophy and religion still appear to raise more questions than answers.

It speaks for Edski's lack of intellectual horsepower that book titles and descriptions are enough to give him an "education". Ed "I'm Talking and I Can't Shut Up" Dumbinski also wins as he explains once again how, because there is a diversity of views on some things, and he's too stupid to figure out who is right, Christianity must be false:

The less people know about some things the more they argue over them. And what do Victor Reppert (of the blog Dangerous Idea) and Paul Manata (of the blog Triablogue) actually "know" about the things they are discussing -- things that constitute some of the most heavily discussed and unresolved debates throughout centuries of Christian theology and philosophy?

In this case Paul (the Calvinist) and Vic (the C.S.Lewis-ian/Arminian) toss at each other grandiose concepts and words that have a core of incomprehensibility not only in and of themselves, but also in the different ways different thinkers have conceived of them relating to one another:

God / nature

omniscience / free will

predestination / free will

divine goodness / human goodness (or lack thereof w/ exception of "common grace")

Both Vic and Paul remain "certain" that any incomprehensibilities in each case accord with their religious/philosophical words and definitions to a far greater degree than the words and definitions of the other fellow's alternate system of explanation.

And finally, Edski wins for this:

Speaking again of N.T. Wright, in his latest book he preaches that Christians will be resurrected in a new body to live on a new earth, which raises all sorts of questions. Will people be raised with or without sex organs? Will resurrection bodies have the anatomy of Barbie dolls? (In which case, how "PG-rated," finally a "family friendly creation!") Why have that stuff between your legs for eternity if it's to be of no use?

Well, gee, Ed, maybe you can use that part of you for a brain sure aren't using the one you have now!

The May 2008 Atheist Collection
bahamut wins for this conversation:
historic salve: I've already explained why the Jewish reaction wouldn't have been recorded.

bamamut: Not satisfactorily, of course. The Bible states an event occurring that was much more noticeable than a mere disgruntled act by a few disaffected types. You seem to be claiming that there was an event both great enough to shake up a major religion and region in its time and yet small scale enough to fly under the "official" radar. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

historic salve : If by "it" you mean the crucifixion itself, we have several references in Paul, four references in the Gospels, and two secular references within less than a century.

bahamut: A century is a long time in terms of human history. That's like saying that the US Civil War didn't appear in the official records until the early 20th century.

sdogunlucky wins for this misconcption:

After you die you are walking along the beach with God...

That story usually seems to get everyone motivated, its probably that story that started the Crusades.

Phoenix Gamma takes the cake for genre analysis:

I highly doubt that Genesis is supposed to be a parable, because it's the first thing you read when you open the book.

Wampokoop on circumcision:

Why would god create the penis the way it is if he wanted us to slice off a piece of it? circumcision is some madman's idea that had a lot of religious power, he hated penises and wanted them all mutilated.

Amnouy demonstrated his usual ignorance in this post:

Nope! As an historical event it [the crucifixion] has only been attested in the gospels, which are Christian propaganda, interdependent, contradictory, late and therefore NOT reliable history.

There is NO other attestation of Jesus' crucifixion. None! Anywhere!

SeaSanctuary gets kookier and kookier:

ANE is a code word for 'whatever sounds good for Christian apologetics is strongly definitional for everyone involved in Bible times.' the head in the sand approach works wonders ;-)

A proper approach to history is to treat miracles as no different than any other thing and to suspect no bias when a religious group is giving a historical justification for their own religion.

Or at least that's what lazy, special-pleading apologists tell me.

Carpedm does it again amd reaches for the heights of narcissistic delusion:

I don't associate "honor" with "credibility." I am honorable or dishonorable regardless of what others think of me.

And yes, my morals are more moral than someone else's - by definition. They are mine. If someone else's were more moral than mine - then they would BE mine.

TomGC takes Gold:

God himself, by Christian definition (being omnipotent), has the power to purge the world of sins whenever he feels like it. Sending his son to do this seem stupid to me, and God doing it himself is both faster and better. And even if he does need to send something to Earth, can't it be a dummy that mimics Jesus perfectly?

Reader sends this comment from a super fundy atheist friend of theirs who has taken it all to the natural conclusion:

Textual Criticism is a fools enterprise. A misguided modern scholar-made myth. Without the originals, we can know nothing. Period. There is no other conclusion a rational person can accept. We have to accept that most of history, including secular history, is a farce. Created in the minds of the historians who think they are relating events that happened in reality. I am ok with this.

the_eliot_one on what the world would be like without Judaism, Islam, and Christianity:

I should imagine society wouldn't have been terribly different. The religions develloped according to the society they were in. In the age of monarchies and exploitation, they were oppressive and violent, in the age of ancient superstition, they were sacrificing animals to cleanse them of crimes and curry favour of Jehova. In this liberal age they condemm the authoritarianism, exploitation and practice regular aid to the rest of the world. So all in all, not terribly different.

Mike Wright nominates for the TWeb nOOb Platinum -- if he isn't a parody. Here's just a small sample of his nuttiness. Marks with * signify Platinum nominee comments:

Considering how important the resurrection of jebus is to xians it gets mentioned once in the whole bible. That being the end of mark's gospel. But it gets worse for them. The end of mark's gospel is considered to be a fake. So basically nowhere in the bible did it say that jebus rose from the dead. No only is there no evidence for the resurrection but their bible doesn't even teach about it.

...I was watching Indiana Jones yesterday and although I realise that archaeologists don't really spend all their time running around old tombs I think we can learn more about biblical archaeology from these films than we might at first realise. Indiana Jones hears about these things and goes off to looks for them and of course finds them - that's how archaeology works. But suppose that he didn't find the hold grail or the ark of the covenant? What would he conclude then? Well obviously that these things don't exist. So if the bible is true what happened to the hold grail or the ark of the covenant? Did the first xians clumsily loose it? Have they been found and lost in the back of some warehouse? Or did jebus not exist? I know which option I'll put my money on...Now if archaeologists discovered the ark of the covenant and everyone died who saw it xians might start to have something in the way of evidence.

We all know that religion causes wars, violence etc however how do we prove this? Well one trick I've always found works in debates (often stumps people and makes them resort to ad homin attacks) is referring them to Imagine by John Lennon. He is famous and has a lot of respect so his analysis of the situation should win anyone over

Nobody seems to be using my blog and posting intelligent comments. If you want me to keep on bringing amazing arguments to the web and showing xians rationality then please vote on the poll at the side and leave comments on the posts (you know 'i wish i could come with arguments that good' or 'i was an xian before reading your blog but now i've lost my faith) Otherwise it seems a bit pointless me writing such good posts only for nobody to read them Now maybe there are lots of people reading this blog who are just to shy to comment on anything so don't be shy.

Several years ago i was explaining to an xian how their illogical belief in the trinity was stolen from plato. They asked me for evidence for this and so after some quick googling I found a reputable historian called Kersey Graves. Did they accept it? No. They ridiculed me and called my source stupid (as you do when you know you've lost a debate) Then more recently I get the xians who tell me hat zeitgeist the movie or wikipedias aren't reliable sources. There really is a worring trend amongst xians to just dismiss my sources as invalid.

So what do xians use as their source? The bible. You know, that book full of talking donkeys, errors and contradictions. Nuff said. Give me kersey graves and wikipedia any day.

This version uses the word whale - you obviously have the church approved version with all the contradictions edited out. The SAB is the more reliable translation...*

Obviously (the Da Vinci Code is a) novel and so there is a lot of fiction in it but in terms of historical facts it's reliable.

Monty Python's life of brian is based on history.

a historian is an expert in history. Rook Hakins is the rational response squad's expert on history

and hat's why dan brown often gets historians coming up to him telling him how factually accurate his books are? Stop reading your narrow band of deluded xian historians.

Are you saying than dan brown is lying when he says lots of historians agree with him? For a start his wife is an art historians and she agrees with him.

does someone hve to have published peer reviewed papers to be a historian? why? who says so?

Baigent and Leigh peer reviewed each others work

How would you feel if I went and destroyed most of the evidence for something then claimed you were stupid because you didn't have any evidence for something that's blatantly true?

Spirit5er also nominates for Platinum nOOb:

As the dictionary implies, worship is not limited to singing praises to the worshipped object.

"Reverent love for a sacred object" justifies the word "worship". That ought to settle the debate, since all fundamentalists happily admit that they have a very reverent love and devotion to an object they view as sacred, the bible.

And Psalm 138:2says God has magnified his word ABOVE his name. SO they have biblical precedent to find the bible to be more important than God's own name or power, since it was only because of the bible that they know any specific doctrinal truths necessary to salvation or a fruitful Christian life.

Yes, Christians have good reason to assert they dont' worship the bible. The bible itself says believers should worship only God.

However, the bible was written in ancient times when people didn't think too critically, and the biblical authors apparantly never understood that a strong dedication to studying the bible as a fundamentalist is the same as worshipping God directly, minus the singing and praying. Singing and praying are not essential to worship.

The point being that the Christians are stuck with a primitive book that tells them to worship only God, when in fact this would not be possible unless they also worship god's book, requiring them to worship more than God.

I am sorry that you don't think critically enough to ask whether the constant identification of gnostics as "heretics" in ancient church writings (and modern fundamentalist commentaries) is justified.

Did you ever stop to ask youself why some biblical authors took the time ot refute gnostic ideas, if in fact the gnostics were obviously heretics? How many times has your pastor taken the time to tell you that Jesus was a man? You see then, that something which is obvious, probably wouldn't need mentioning or rebuttal. This in turn implies that the biblical authors' choice to offer rebuttal and condemnation of gnostic ideas proves gnosticism wasn't so very far from the truth that it was too obvious to need mentioning. What's funny is that Christians 2000 years after the fact are "certain" gnosticism is heretical, when the only history for it they possess comes from distinctly biased prejudiced sources.

Godelwood also wins:

Jesus' return was a simple carny trick....of course the ancients fell for his miracles...they were simple also.( because of their adherence to mystic explanations of the world)...and as for my venting on you, that is because you are so smug and prideful about your limited view of the world, that you are a natural target! IF you truly wanted to understand the meaning of life you would devote your study time to physics, sociology, geology, and psychology......and take the info of the ancients for what it is.....stilted in perspective, and tainted by mysticism! It's like attempting to understand ancient Chinese by studying French cave paintings.

nickcopernicus, too:

"Graded" Absolutism...An oxymoronic, watered-down version of moral absolutism. Why call it absolutism if it's not absolute?

Pitchforkpat also wins for starting "Bible art" threads.

The May 2008 Christian Collection
jwarrend, gharfish, and Vivian all win for participation in a whiny "don't be mean to vicious fundy atheists and don't be mean to us for saying not to be mean" thread.

saladfingers, who proclaims that TIF is on life support, wins nomination for Platinum nOOb for Christian (or, pretend one):

These theories may have been proposed, but they all were stillborn. The only reason that TIF is still alive, is because it is on life-support, which consists of the fallacy ridden arguments of a few members of TWEB. I am saying that all the esoteric philosophy that explained the death, burial and resurrection, in exacting detail, mitigated any perceived shame.

Why do you not have any cross-cultural psycholinguistic historians to back up your claims? Or any psychologists who specialize in how the minds of ancients worked?

Because this is a field that has not been established as a discipline perhaps? Perhaps because determining what an ancient may or may not have perceived about a given event is impossible without much more evidence that a discipline like this could provide?

All you have are a few biased theologians making assumptions upon assumptions upon assumptions!

The resurrection was always being preached, as well as being interpreted to the converts in a positive light, with the help of some esoteric theology, rich with mysterious imagery and very powerful, very alluring symbolism.

Yes, and they would interpret and re-interpret the complexities of the Christ story until their rationalizations of everything sunk into the subconscious minds and synergized with the symbolic and metaphorical subtlties of the story (which I think you will agree the Christ story possess in abundance), until whala, a conversion! Now they become "embedded" within the new Christian group, and honor is lavished upon them (again, depending upon the degree of their conversion).

As it has already been established in another thread, there was no persecution during the first decade or 2 (save the ones like Stephen who outright provoked authoritative figures with insults in public...but I don't call that persecution...I call that suicide).

Every time I hear of a modern day martyr somewhere in a muslim African territory, I just cannot help to think to myself "why were they there in the first place"? I just don't understand it.

'm just throwing out very real possibilities here under the assumption that the basic psychology of the ancient is the same for us today.

You must be, unequivocally, the single most stupidest person alive. The psychological makeup (brain chemistry, neural wiring etc.) is the same today as it was back in those days. It is the same back then as it was today. It is the same no matter what culture one is in.

Do you want to address the points that I made, or concede defeat?

All of JP's explanations can be boiled down to his flawed view of collectivist psychology. JP lacks the multi-disciplinary competence to make such exagerrated claims as he does. There is alot of good information on tekton, but you have to take everything with a grain a salt. The basis of many of his arguments are founded upon a black-and-white view of collectivism, while in reality, collectivism is actually mutli-dimensional rainbow of fruit colors

Crimson Hellkite wins for this:

I subscribe to the theory that Pericope Adulterae only referred to that one particular sin, since the Pharisees themselves had slept with the woman but only wanted to condemn her and not themselves.

Nomination for Joe Barron, a minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church; in Dallas. Reason: trying to get a supposedly 13 year old girl (really the cops) that he met on a chatroom to have sex with him.

Here's one from Gary Denke for the loony bin:

O... My... G-d!

There has been enough Hele Stone weathering of the Jeremiah Ezekiel described lion head, calf head, and face as a man (clockwise) Stone carvings of Heel Stone throughout the millennia, and of those flying eagle's wings centering them on the Heelstone southwest face.

Now vandals are destroying what is left of the Stone which the builders rejected that Jesus Christ described in the Holy Bible Gospel, whereunder rests Daniel the Prophet identified Ancient of days throne described in the Revelation of Jesus Christ by Saint John the Divine.

Well hopefully these vandals did not cause even further Heel Stone damage to that lion head, calf head, face as a man (clockwise) and flying eagle's wings (centering) of the southwest face of Heelstone that faces the King James Bible described seven (7) Stone Archway.

The head of the corner Stone of the Avenue has been weathered enough!

The head of the corner Stone of the Avenue has been destroyed enough!

The head of the corner Stone of the Avenue has been damaged enough!

Save the Heel Stone! Save the Heelstone!


Ray Comfort also wins:

A massive killer quake in China--proof that there's no God...or fulfillment of Bible prophecy?

Don't let doomsday prophets fool you. Just because there's been another big earthquake, it doesn't signal the end of the world. It does, however, bring us closer to what the Bible calls "the end of the age." Do you want evidence that the Bible is the Word of God? Of course you don't, but here it is anyway: Look at the signs the Bible speaks of (combined from Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 1 Timothy 4; and 2 Timothy 3), and relate that to contemporary life on earth.

It says that at the end of the age there will be earthquakes in various places, famines, diseases, people becoming fearful of the future, nation rising against nation, wars, people would be deceived by religious leaders who said they were from God, a dead religious system, materialism, a forsaking of the Ten Commandments, money-hunger preachers who would have big followings and slur the name of Christ (see 2 Peter 2:1-3), a denial of the Noahic flood (how true is that one!), increase in violence (watch the news tonight), haters of God (listen to His name blasphemed daily), an increase in knowledge (think of the Internet/computer age), an increase in travel (air travel), false converts who would fall away from the Christian faith and get into the occult (see 1 Timothy 4:1-5).

Scripture also says that mockers would say that these signs have always been around (did you just say that?). We are even told why they would mock such clear truth--because they love their lust (2 Peter 3:1-7). That cuts close to the bone.

The May 2008 Random Theist/Unclassified Collection

Muslim Doctor from India, Zakir Naik, earns a non-Christian religious person Platinum nomination:

"The pig is the most shameless animal on the face of the earth. It is the only animal that invites its friends to have sex with its mate. In America, most people consume pork. Many times after dance parties, they have swapping of wives; many say 'you sleep with my wife and I will sleep with your wife.' If you eat pigs then you behave like pigs."

LDSTrue wins for this response to my point about the use of Greco-Roman rhetoric by Paul:

Paul referenced an approval of baptisms for the dead which is in black and white plainly before our eyes and I totally understand the direct inference without the "Greco-Roman rhetoric" decoder ring! Yeah, they were all Harvard grads in Corinth so Paul could speak in the Greco-Roman coded rhetoric

Lotus Prince wins for this reply to the point, "The Son is eternally generated by the Father, and is not a created being at all":

Huh? So Jesus is some sort of hologram with infinite batteries?

Platinum nomination (book) for Burton Wolfe's The Case Against 'Jesus', which:

  • Argues that Annals 15.44 is a forgery and says there are no copies of Tacitus from before the 15th century.
  • Says Peter Jennings of ABC News was the worst of several "propogandists for Christianity" in television because he mentioned the Tacitus reference as evidence for Jesus. PBS is also Christianity's "private broadcasting service."

    Pat Condell atheist commentator, wins an at-large award:

    I think after 2000 years if anything, [Jesus] owes us another crucifixion, you can't live on past glories forever, who does he think he is, Woody Allen?

    The Swiss government wins an at large award:

    At the request of the Swiss government, an ethics panel has weighed in on the "dignity" of plants and opined that the arbitrary killing of flora is morally wrong. This is no hoax. The concept of what could be called "plant rights" is being seriously debated.

    A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community is not in danger, or if our actions do not endanger the species, or if we are not acting arbitrarily."

    Rene Salm also Platinum-nominates for his book The Myth of Nazareth. and Rook Hawkins, high school graduate and ancient texts expert, is writing a book:

    Around the turn of the First Century CE, a Hellenized cult formed around Jesus Christ (Greek: Iêsou Christou) who was a spiritual being which brought about the Gnosis (knowledge) of the Logos (The forethought, or first thought) - sometimes referred to as the Monad or "one" by which was only achieved through Sophia (or wisdom). It is even said that this being was also a rank, achievable just by attaining Gnosis.

    The confusion of the early centuries of the Common Era (CE) bring on multiple different interpretations of this cult, and from it springs Orthodox Christianity. Over time, and various slander wars, the Orthodox Church wins out and crushes the Gnostic and Mystics movement. They burry or destroy the texts and canonize the books that fit their philosophy. What doesn't fit originally is made to fit with forgeries and minor altercations of the texts. Get ready for the book that will change the world.

    You just can't pass up the scholarship of a guy who spells "bury" with two Rs.

    The Burmese (Myanmar) government wins a screwball for dragging their feet over cyclone aid.

    Abdel-Qader Ali wins for killing his daughter. She fell in love with a British soldier in Basra. Please note, according to her friends she had done nothing physical with the soldier. However... It was her first youthful infatuation and it would be her last. She died on March 16 after her father discovered she had been seen in public talking to Paul, considered to be the enemy, the invader and a Christian.

    Though her horrified mother, Leila Hussein, called Rand's two brothers, Hassan, 23, and Haydar, 21, to restrain Abdel-Qader as he choked her with his foot on her throat, they joined in.

    Her shrouded corpse was then tossed into a makeshift grave as her uncles spat on it in disgust.

    "Death was the least she deserved," said Abdel-Qader. "I don't regret it. I had the support of all my friends who are fathers, like me, and know what she did was unacceptable to any Muslim that honours his religion."

    "Speaking with a foreign soldier, she lost what is the most precious thing for any woman." -- non-Christian website Platinum nomination