At last, I have achieved my goal!
I recently had a comment exchange on Deviant Art:
http://pjarrett.deviantart.com/ (not a safe site, as my McAfee always reminds me...but they seem to have solved some of their problems...be careful, in spite of its name "Deviant Art" they allow underaged children to post right along with adults! If you're leary of the site...which I can't say I blame you...try my other blog at http://playtheist.blogspot.com/ or wait for me to post something here.)
...with a Christian...in spite of my own advice not to talk to them! In my defense, she claimed to have an open-mind...which most often should be translated 'open-mouth'...who had 'done research' on her own and became a Christian.
So I thought to myself, "Maybe I have a chance with this one."
Always a mistake. The first and foremost lesson when dealing with Christians...on line and in person...is Christians lie. They do it without batting an eye and with such sincerity it is easy to accept their lies...or be fooled by them, rather.
Back to this 'open minded' person who has done 'her own research' before becoming a Christian.
First, I asked her if her open-mind had let her to read Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens or Sam Harris or any of the other atheists out there.
She made the statement that the answer to the Problem of Evil...you all know that, I imagine:
If God is all omnipotent and omnibenevolent, why is there evil in the world? He can be one or the other, but he cannot be both at the same time.
She dared make the assertion that this problem is answered plainly in scripture.
I responded by making the suggestion, as I would to anyone, that since she claims to have done 'research' for her to read
Erhman is an agnostic Biblical scholar with valid credentials...educated and teaches at secular universities, work published in peer reviewed publications, etc. His work is excellent...even though he has pissed off a lot of atheists who are Mythicist (the belief that Jesus did not exist at all based on the large numbers of ancient myths that have been added to his story) with his latest work defending the consensus of opinion of Christian scholarship (the belief that Jesus did exist but 'the historical Jesus' is a never to found chimera) against what is a fringe opinion that has been proven inadequate in the face of the evidence several times in the past.
In God's Problem...I love the title, because it really is his problem and no one else's no matter who rises to his defense...Ehrman shows there has never been an adequate Christian response to this problem. I'm sure her solution is one of many that has been suggested and already refuted. I went on to give her several titles that had helped me when I began my own continuing research into the Bible (my suggested reading list is below).
Her response was to state that she believed all that all the questions raised by the Bible can be answered by the Bible. Seems her idea of 'research' is to read the Bible over and over again...she boasted she had read it from Alpha to Omega four times and was working on her fifth.
She accused me of having a 'cold heart and a closed mind'.
I told her no one can read a modern speech version of the Bible and come away anything but confused. That anyone who isn't a trained scholar cannot possibly understand manuscripts that are dated anywhere between 1700 and 2600 years ago and understand this collection of books written at different times, by different authors, to different audiences and for different purposes. And that if she is reading the Bible over and over again as if it were written in a single voice then she is simply reinforcing her prejudices through Proof Texts that ignore passages that falsify their preconceived notions and not doing 'research' at all. That she needed to stop reading the Bible and start reading books about the Bible.
Her response was downright nasty...always comes down to that: if you press a Christian shit come out. She said: "I've heard of atheists like you who get a Christian online and make them look like a bad person!"
She lied to me...and to others who might take her lies seriously.
She said she had an open mind.
And that she had become a Christian after 'doing research.'
She had not
That she came off looking like a bad person because she was a bad person. She was a liar.
Like I said before, Christians lie.
The form of Christianity we have in the US now is an apocalyptic premillennialist sect that would have and has in the past been declared heretical by the church who now find it better to keep their mouths shut in the face of the tremendous political clout they yield.
97 percent of people in this country would not vote for an atheist but have no problem voting for a Mormon when less that twenty years ago their kind declared Mormonism to be a cult!
97 to 3. That's the hate ratio in this country. We are not only below Mormons, we're below Blacks, Hispanics, and any other minority group you can name...even the dreaded Gays!
When I was growing up I assumed all politicians were liars who had sex with anyone who was impressed by power...Henry Kissinger put it best: "Power is the greatest aphrodisiac." I subscribed to Robert Heinlein...the Old Libertarian and founder of his own religion...when he said: "A good politician is one who when he is bought stays bought."
JFK, as a Catholic, had to convince the nation that he would not allow his religion to have any bearing on his presidency.
Now Romney is running on the platform that he will allow his religion to dictate his presidency.
I only hope he's lying.
But he doesn't seem to be. He speaks of Obama as being 'driven by events' in the Middle East and that he will take a more active approach. He collected a million dollars at a fundraising event in Jerusalem! It is illegal for a presidential candidate to accept financing from a foreign country so I'm sure all the ultra right Israeli groups fed their contribution through American citizens.
In my heyday back in the Seventies and Eighties...before I began my long walk home from theism to atheism...I was involved with Messianic Judaism. This Christian sect is composed of people who are Jewish in the same sense that people call themselves Native American who are only 1/18th of the blood. We were encouraged to look back into our maternal history to find a grandmother who had a Jewish sounding name and lay claim to Judaism through her even though we'd never been to a synagogue in our life!
My Controllers at the time...my father was a Christian minister and I have too much respect for him and the term to call these bastards 'ministers' or 'reverend' or even 'preacher' they are and will always be to me Controllers with a capital 'C'...were a Gentile woman married to an actual Israeli Jew. That put her to the top when it came to Messianic Judaism. Fundamentalist Christians use such groups and other means to funnel funds to the ultra-right Jewish community that keeps building settlements on Jewish land and believe that one day the Kingdom will be restore from Iraq to Egypt as it was when 'god gave this land to them' in a mythical past some three thousand years ago. I say mythical because the consensus of Biblical scholars agree that the Bible was written after the return from Exile in Babylon of the wealthiest and priestly classes in an effort to eradicate the Canaanites (who were not sent into exiles, but remained with the land as good peasants always do) and their religion and to centralize both religious and political power in Jerusalem. To this end, they took various Jewish legends...the Three Kings (Saul, David and Solomon) and the Great Deliverer Moses...none of which ever existed...and showed how Moses through Jethro used genocide and ethnic cleansing to subdue their own, native religions.
Bush was a firm believer in this vision of the reconstructed Kingdom of Israel that he got us in to a war in Iraq in the hope that would lead to an invasion of Iran which he would have been able to do except for those pesky Weapons of Mass Destruction Saddam was supposed to possess turning out to be a pack of lies from an already discredited by the CIA and the espionage community source.
Point is, I cut my teeth on premillennialism through the Messianic Jewish synagogues who are, if anyone else is, experts on the subject.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Anyone who believes God has a Plan for the Middle East is not fit to serve as president.
Wandered around some with this post, but that's the way my mind works.
To go back to the beginning...
I am glad I make Christians look like 'bad persons'. I intend to continue to do so at every opportunity.
The time for C. C. Lewis discussions over tea and crumpets is over.
As Wyatt Earp said at the OK Corral:
"The fighting has commenced, get to fighting or get out."
Books I suggest...anything by Bart Ehrman and: