Monthly ArchiveDecember 2006
Christianity Admin on 06 Dec 2006
If you are a rational person, this article is fascinating in the same way that a train wreck can be fascinating:
The author of the article is writing a letter to the “Holy Spirit”. The author says that the “Holy Spirit” is a real person who “lives inside me and wants to be my friend.” The author puts it this way:
â€¦as God you know everything about me â€“ more than my family, more than my other friends, even more than I know about myself! And as a real Person, you know everything Iâ€™m going through â€“ the good, the bad, and yes even the ugly. You feel joy when I feel joy. Pain when I feel pain. You even know when Iâ€™m lonely and feel like I donâ€™t have a friend in the world.
The idea of someone or something “living inside” another person is uncomfortable, isn’t it? It immediately conjures images of the pod people in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” It is even more uncomfortable when you take into account the fact that the “Holy Spirit” is a complete figment of the author’s imagination.
How do we know that the “Holy Spirit” is imaginary? Because the author himself tells us that this is the case:
How do I get this whole friendship thing going? After all, you are invisible; you donâ€™t speak to me out loud; and Iâ€™m pretty sure you donâ€™t even have a cell phone! So how do I “connect” with Someone who I canâ€™t see or hear???
The reason why people are unable to see or hear the “Holy Spirit” is because the “Holy Spirit” is imaginary. The author is pursuing a “relationship” with an imaginary being, and stating this publicly.
Since the “Holy Spirit” is imaginary, the author creates a letter “written by” his imaginary friend. The “Holy Spirit” tells him things like this:
- “the more you talk to me, the more comfortable it [our "relationship"] will feel.”
- “Speaking of being your Friend, I canâ€™t wait to grow deeper in our friendship! I know it’s a little different than other relationships in some ways since (like you said) I’m invisible and don’t speak to you out loud, but I think you’ll find that since I live inside you and ‘speak’ directly to your soul â€“ those issues won’t get in the way of our friendship.”
- “Basically, even though I am God and I am all powerful, I will not *make you* have a friendship with me. You are free to choose to let me fill you and control youâ€¦” And then, “What Iâ€™m saying here is ask me to fill and control your life. Ask me to guide and direct you â€¦ shield and protect you. Ask me to deepen our friendship. Ask. Ask. Ask â€¦ then ask again.”
- “Just like any other friendship, we need to talk. So talk to me early and often. Tell me what’s good, what’s bad, what’s confusing you. I’m never too busy to listen, and I’ll never grow tired of your voice â€¦ I made you, remember?”
Knowing that the “Holy Spirit” is imaginary, I think we can agree that these passages are downright creepy.
The irrationality of the author’s thinking comes through in statements like this:
The moment you realize that you have sinned, simply tell the Father about it and admit that you were wrong. It’s not like He (and me too) donâ€™t know about it already, and the longer you wait to exhale, the less you’ll be living in my power.
If the “Holy Spirit” is all-powerful and all-knowing, if the “Holy Spirit” knows “even more than I know about myself”, and if the “Holy Spirit” lives inside you and “controls you,” then how can you possibly sin? The whole idea is ridiculous.
Here is the part that is truly frightening to all who think rationally. The author imagines the “Holy Spirit” saying the following:
Oh yeah, and let me talk to you through the Bible. The words of the Bible are not the words of men â€¦ they are mine. They are living and active, and I will make them come alive and active in your life.
Christians believe that an all-knowing, all-powerful being wrote the Bible and that they should follow what the Bible says. Unfortunately, the Bible says things like this in plain, straightforward language:
- Deut 25:11-12
- Genesis 38:8-10
- Deut 21:18-21
- Deut 20:10-18
- Ex 35:2
- Lev 20:13
- Isaiah 13:13-16
- Exodus 21:20-21
- Numbers 31:14-18
- 1 Tim 2:11-12
- Col 3:22-23
- Luke 14:26
- Deut 22:13-21
- Isaiah 40:8
These same kinds of verses in the Koran are what brought us 9/11/2001.
What is society’s appropriate response toward this level of delusion? Shouldn’t we offer treatment to people who are this delusional?
If you are a Christian, and especially if you are a casual Christian, how do you feel about the level of delusion displayed here? Does it make you comfortable or uncomfortable? Please understand that millions and millions and millions of your fellow Christians believe what this author is saying.
Christianity jntb on 06 Dec 2006
A New York Times Journalist, Nicholas Kristof, published an article entitled “A Modest Proposal for a Truce on Religion” in which he criticizes atheists and certain authors of books about atheism. I wanted to send an email to Mr. Kristof to respond to his article, but the New York Times website requires that I pay money to do that so I have posted my response here.
In the article, Mr. Kristoff asserts that I am a member of a militant, in-your-face brand of atheism and that my leaders are Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. He couldn’t be farther from the truth, but as the New York Times has discovered over the years, the truth rarely sells many papers so why bother with it.
The truth is, I have been a lifelong skeptic of religion since about the age of 4 or 5 when I attended Baptist bible school during the summer. I attended Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian services over the years, engaged in bible study so I am hardly an obnoxious participant in an atheistic movement. Nothing about religion really ever made any sense to me, and while I suspect that it rarely makes sense to many other people, few are willing to state so. It is taboo in America to criticize the Christian god but perfectly acceptable to criticize every other supernatural entity, so you better keep in line or you may be out of a job or your property may be vandalized, but at the very least you will be ostracized by your family and friends who occupy your social circle. Rare is the person who doesn’t experience one or more of these reactions upon identifying themselves as a non-believer in the Christian god. It’s a high price to pay for personal honesty in the country that most vociferously expresses that we should all be allowed to be free.
Mr. Kristoff, what you do not understand is that I never had any atheistic resources to rely upon for the first 35 years of my life. My only real exposure to atheism was watching Phil Donahue interview Madelyn Murray O’Hair on his show sometime in the early 1980s. While I wouldn’t describe her as militant, I can understand why she was viewed as militant. Nobody would take her seriously until she did something serious. At the time I watched her, I still believed in God, whatever form he was that didn’t make any sense to me. I thought God existed, just not in the form stated in the Bible. Nevertheless, I was secretly cheering for her accomplishments at getting rid of prayer in the public schools. I didn’t want to pray in school and I was made to pray in school — yes, organized prayer had already been prohibited in public shools before I started attending school, but that didn’t stop school officials from allowing organized prayer to be held across the school speaker system. Bow your head and at least act like you are praying or you will be ostracized by your own classmates. Is that the freedom Americans cherish? That was unjust, illegal and just cruel. I hated it. I had no atheistic resources to rely on. They didn’t exist.
Over the years, I managed to live my life in abstentia of religion. I had a mild belief that there was a supernatural entity that existed, but probably only due to the mass delusion that others had for the same thing. Once the Internet came into being, I did on occasion lookup references to atheism. I didn’t consider myself an atheist at that point, but perhaps agnostic. The atheist resources on the Internet were not very good. I don’t mean to criticize the publishers of early websites, but there wasn’t a lot of meat to the material they published, or it was written in a way that anyone would consider as caustic. I turned into an atheist 5 years before finding this website, WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com. Before that, I had not read a single atheist-oriented book, magazine or even newspaper article (are there any?). I found WWGHA to be very courteous, simple, direct and quite effective in delivering the message that a rationally-thinking human being cannot consider the Christian god to be valid. I found a home.
I never knew who Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins were until I visited the forums at WWGHA and read the posts of other forum member who had read books by those authors. For me, no one — absolutely no one — contributed to my atheistic beliefs prior to me identifying as an atheist. That’s hardly evidence for an atheistic movement, and no author of any work can take any credit for me becoming an atheist. I became an atheist through my own rational thought.
So, Mr. Kristoff, go ahead and delude yourself that there is some coordinated atheistic movement. Enjoy your fantasy that atheists are proselytizing. A journalist like you should not misappropriate words. You obviously do so to further your own religious agenda and your own religion doesn’t even give you the basis to correctly express non-religious concepts. While you are asking for a truce, is a journalist like yourself really searching for the truth when you identify WWGHA as sarcastic and disrespectful, or are you looking in the mirror?
Christianity emodude on 05 Dec 2006
Our humble website was mentioned in this recent NYTimes article by Nicholas Kristof. The full article can be found at Richard Dawkins website here:
And in response, here’s a letter from Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, who also gives our site a nice mention in his reply.
Is the recent resurgence of Atheism “obnoxious”, “intolerant”, “mean”, “contemptuous” and “fundamentalist” and this article would have you believe?Â Or isÂ it the case that any criticism of religion is viewed as “intolerant”?
How did religion acquire its extraordinary immunity against normal levels of criticism as Richard Dawkins put it?