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See the whole collection for September here...and see the highlights....here.

From the Mailbag

Here's one of those "what the heck" emails, and I don't mean because of the grammar:

Dar friend I accept all your justification, but don't forget when you talking about bible and expert as we know the bible is word of God not expert.

Then we have this from People Who Feel Put Upon:

Your very lengthy and quite angry response appears extreme in the opposite direction. Your use of many very large words is a bit overdone. Viola may indeed overstated his case however your long article appears quite similar.

The September 2012 John Loftus Collection

DJ wins for this rant against Randal Rauser (who also wins -- again -- for thinking doing a book with DJ was a good idea):

Dr. Rauser, I've concluded that you are just playing games, intellectual games, head games. You say you want to engage the non-believer and so you initiated a book with me to show that you do. But you don't listen. Of that I am sure.

For you, apologetics is an intellectual game to see if you can poke a hole in any argument against your faith, and you're very good at it. You don't see that you're doing this because you need a Gestalt Shift, a paradigm change, a new set of eyes. Your faith depends on the holes that you find, the possibilities. Faith depends on possibilities, nothing more. If you had the weight of probabilities behind it then I would be on the defensive, looking for holes in your arguments at every turn. But you are the one always on the defensive, at every turn, and that should be telling.

My case against your faith concerns every major tenant, both individually and cumulatively, as you can see in my books. My case does not depend on the possibilities. I do not have to explain why there is a lack of evidence for what I think. I do not have to explain away the weight of evidence that exists. You do, at every turn.

You remind me of a lawyer looking over a contract for some escape clause even though the intent of that document is clear. That's the game you play. I, on the other hand, want to know the truth. I am not just poking holes, looking for loopholes, or escape clauses for that tiny thing about your faith I can deny so I don't have the believe. I am bulldozing your house of faith down. That I might leave some plank of wood, or a chimney still standing won't help you. Cling to that after I'm done. Proclaim to the world your faith still stands. But that's all you've got.

The fact is that you only have loopholes, escape clauses, possibilities, when the overwhelming weight of evidence is against what you believe. So long as you can cling to them you feel justified in believing. That's faith for you. It depends on these things. Scientology, Mormonism, Haitian Voodoo, the John Frum Cargo cult, and Muslims do the same exact thing when it comes to the overwhelming weight of evidence against what they believe too. Faith has no method. With faith any possibility can be believed. With faith anyone can feel justified in believing anything. So your faith is on a par with all of the other religions who depend on it. They all depend on possibilities not probabilities. They all must explain the evidence away, or deny it altogether.

With this head game you're playing you are demanding that I make a completely certain case against your faith until you'll see that it lacks probability to it, which is an unreasonable standard. Faith therefore is unreasonable. It is an irrational leap over the probabilities.

I adjure you to join the rational world and think exclusively in terms of probabilities. Leave faith behind and see what you get. Hint: You wouldn't be a Christian, of that I'm sure.

The Assorted Atheist Collection

YT user CalumGilhooly wins for many reasons, such as this:

Using the phrase, 'Jesus saved me and will get me into heaven' makes you sound like a complete and utter [censored], doesn't stop you morons saying such idiotic things though. Of course that's why I use the word cult, but the real meaning fits your idiocy precisely. In what way is your indoctrinating cult NOT nutty pile of crap like any other nutty loony fringe group? You rely on lies instead of facts, your pastors interpret the bible for you and tell you what to think, etc.

All over YouTube we are threatened with eternal damnation and torture unless we believe in jeezuz chwist and accept him as our lard and savoury, (snack?). When you manage to present proof that he ever existed and that he was indeed a part of your imaginary sky daddy, maybe we will start listening to your fables, until then, leave us out of your empty threats and vile cult.

YT user bary1234:

Its not ignorance to say that rules and commandments from gawd of the bible are useless garbage. Thats what they are, its a true statement. Its not ignorance to point out that bible is stupid nonsense. Thats the reality of the book. Its not ignorance to point out that god of the zombie cult is a moron. Thats an accurate description of that mythical creature.

Award to a 12 member group calling itself the "Turkel Fan Club" who thinks I am also a creationist named Dave.

YT user and NoSCo fan Vibracone:

Ahhh ok so the bible hasn't contradicted itself here. It's just that the wording and meaning of it all have been utterly lost to time to the point where modern readers can't grasp it...unless you apply the appropriate figures of speech like idioms and 'sarcasm' then see that the bible is totally solid and written by a cabal of very human maligned sociopaths bent on population and mind control, their words have been distorted by trying to carry on their tradition of repression to the modern world

Other Assorted Nuts

apostoli says:

Indeed, the traditions Jesus opposed were all portions outside of the Decalogue, including Moses' ordinances. After all Moses institutionalised murder, vendettas etc. All of which was directly opposite to what we read of God's judgements (eg: Cain). We know from the OT that Moses established the Judges, who became so corrupt the people cried for a king. We know the kingship became so corrupted that the Jews were forced into exile. We know that by Jesus' time, another of Moses inventions, the priesthood, was totally corrupt...so much so that it has ceased to exist. I'm not aware of a single success in Moses' innovations...

This, from an unnamed nut:

for anyone who wants use the bible as an excuse to limit the freedoms of individuals in this country all i have to say to you is the greatest gift God gave us was free will, to make choices for ourselves as individuals so who are you to say people of the same sex cannot get married, and that women cannot get abortions. by limiting their freedoms you are basically saying God was wrong to give us free will. ps drawing the line in the sand, life begins at birth, abortions are not murder

Facebooker named Jani noms Platinum for using The Onion (satire magazine) as a source to argue that the ancient Greeks did not exist.

Screwball to those woho posted this 1960s quote on Facebook:

Let me repeat that no greater curse has ever afflicted the Church of Jesus Christ than the curse of spiritualizing Scripture, that is, making Scripture mean something other than its literal meaning... Instead of spiritualizing, it is 'demonizing' of the Scriptures, for if any 'spirit' has anything to do with that school of Scripture interpretation it must be an 'evil spirit.' ..."No, the Scriptures were not given to us to confuse us but rather to instruct us. Certainly God intends that we should believe His Word with all simplicity. A thousand years means a thousand years; a wolf means a wolf; a lion means a lion. If you read your Bible that way, a child can understand it.

YT user mh11952 wins for this:

I still can't see how we can just use that...to say "Jesus was a Palestine" for example, instead of a Jew is flat out wrong and contradicts the Bible, which is the authority. Location, in modern language is very dangerous and can send mic messages. How much longer before this language changes Jesus to a muslim in the christian community - if you keep associating Palestine in the language.

Reader "np" on Deeper Waters wins for thinking "liberty" for pastors is more important than their responsibility to learn apologetics.

A Christian named Haley wins, for saying this after being told they should read a book by N. T. Wright:

Nah, I read the Bible, I figure my view on heaven is as good or better than Wright's.

Gatsby noms Playinum for referring others to a New Age website to learn about "the third eye".

Screwbal to a Chrisian nut on YouTube who thinks the 9/11 planes that hit the WTC were holograms created by demons.

http://undojesus.org/ -- Skeptical Platinum website nominee

Karen King noms Platinum for a famous person Screwball for propping for a fake Coptic text saying Jesus had a wife.

http://theoldblackchurch.blogspot.com/2012/09/pastors-crusade-against-hivaids-by.html -- Platinum nom.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/27/rona-ambrose-petition-motion-312_n_1919907.html?ir=Canada+Alberta

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/09/27/buffalo-church-vandal-was-angry-with-god/