Feed on Posts or Comments 22 July 2014

Christianity Johnson on 06 Oct 2008 08:33 am

Pandering to Christians

In Raleigh, North Carolina, the local paper is called The News and Observer. Every Thursday the paper panders to Christians by publishing the “Faith” section. It is a collection of feature articles focused on religion along with religious advertising. This half-page ad, entitled, “The following businesses encourage you to visit your house of worship this week”, is a regular feature:

Visit your house of worship this week

These businesses believe that by aligning with a followers of religion, they will get more religious customers. Since the definition of Pandering is “a person who caters to or profits from the weaknesses or vices of others”, you can see that both the paper and these businesses are pandering.

The center panel of the ad this week is also interesting:

What if?

It is entitled “What If?”. It promises that “God can take away our worries!” It also promises that God can help us make decisions: “Talk with Him and trust Him with your daily concerns. Why not let go of your ‘What Ifs’?” Examples of What Ifs include:

- “What if I accept this position and Find I can’t handle the responsibility?”

- “What if I marry and choose the wrong partner?”

- “What if I fly to Paris and my plane crashes over the Atlantic ocean?”

So is it true? Can God help Christians make decisions? Let’s focus on the second What If: “What if I marry and choose the wrong partner?” It is a fact that Christians divorce at the same rate (or even a slightly higher rate) as everyone else. So one of two things is happening:

1) Christians forget to ask God for his help in choosing a marriage partner, and, being a jerk, God only provides help when asked.

2) God is deliberately sabotaging Christian marriages by providing the wrong answer when asked for help.

A rational person understands the real problem: God is imaginary. Therefore, when Christians “trust Him with their daily concerns,” there is no “god” to provide an answer. While Christians believe that an all-knowing “god” is speaking to them, all they are really hearing are random hallucinated voices in their heads. The data proves that this is the case.

If you are a Christian and you would like to better understand the fact that God is imaginary, these two web sites can help:

1) Whywontgodhealamputees.com

2) Godisimaginary.com

PS – the recommended Bible verses at the bottom of the panel are also interesting, since all but one come from two of the most insane Old Testament books in the Bible. When confronted with the many absurdities in the Old Testament, many Christians will claim that the Old Testament is not really part of the Bible. But apparently mainstream Christians, and all of these businesses, do believe that the Old Testament is valid. So when the Old Testament says that we need to kill homosexuals, adulterers and everyone who works on the Sabbath, these businesses must believe those verses to be true.

17 Responses to “Pandering to Christians”

  1. on 06 Oct 2008 at 8:04 pm 1.Hermes said …

    Interestingly enough, the phrase “what if?” (used in the advertisement) is one term used to describe what is commonly known as Science Fiction; ‘what if fiction’.

  2. on 06 Oct 2008 at 11:23 pm 2.Shaun O'Connell said …

    Hey, I think you should do some more research. A lot of the scripture that you use for reference is really out of context. Try reading the whole passage and fitting what is said with the rest of the passage. It may help you understand. If you would like to continue “debunking” what God has supposively “revealed” to people, it would be wise to become more knowledgeable about some of the general motifs of scripture as well. I think that it would help you to read some Christian books of the Puritans or possibly John Piper, a modern Baptist. Of course, you have to run the risk that God will not use such texts to draw you to Him. Hahaha, but a proclaimed atheist like yourself should have nothing to worry about.

    Very quickly, let me agree with you. Praying to God for something to happen in one fashion or another is superstitious. However, you prove nothing because it is also thoroughly unbiblical. Keep in mind that Christianity changes a person’s values. For instance, something can happen in whatever manner it will, but a Christian will pray so that he finds contentment in Christ’s sacrifice instead of in circumstances. The Puritans can teach you amply about prayer.

    I mention this because I found your expositions thoroughly uneffective. I was hoping for something that would challenge me to seek through scripture for possible misinterpretations or translational errors, but all of your examples were easily combatted in my case. Even your lists of excuses were far from what a scripture-loving Christian would think.

    I believe that your arguments may be legitimately effective in disproving Christianity to lukewarm Christians. For example, a person who does not know their scripture (or to a lesser extent than you) may struggle with the content that you propose here. Unfortunately, this is niether profit for you nor loss for the church. Clearly those people had little or no devotion to the Lord in the first place and were not counted yet as part of the flock. However, I say it is no loss to the church because Jesus speaks of the Pharisees saying that they loved God with their lips but not with their hearts. Such hypocrisy is detestable to God.

    I would encourage you to try to learn more about what goes on inside the head of a Christian if you are serious about trying to disprove this “cult”. Again, you should have nothing to worry about. According to your beliefs (or lack there of, hahaha) there is no threat of conversion, but there is only a more vivid insight into what true Christians believe. You have nothing to lose. In fact, in your eyes, you only stand to gain.

    So you may be asking yourself. Why is this fool trying to help me prosecute the church? Well, the truth is, I don’t believe that you can really learn what a Christian believes and remain atheistic. Indeed, the moment that you learn what Christians truly believe about who God is and how He has acted, you will be a Christian yourself. That, my friend, is revelation, and such is from God.

    So I pose a match. My God against yours. If you walk out of these scriptures unconverted, then you have walked away the “winner”, and I could not care less. However, heed Matthew 18:5-6. You would be wise to read this in the correct context.

    I posted my e-mail address when I left this reply. Contact me for any resources. My friend works at a Christian bookstore warehouse. He gets those things for next to nothing. For you, they are free.

    My last note is this. Upon learning more about Christianity you may come to find a very obvious distinction between devout Christians and cultural christians. The latter will be your prey. However, they are but training wheels for you. Try your mettle with a solid reformed theologian. You may find yourself wishing that you had done your homework. Oh yes, and try to avoid nonentities like creation theories and the trinity. Because truly the bible does not teach thoroughly on such subjects so you win no battles there. A humble Christian will admit that they do not posess such revelation from God.

    I hope that this helped. Take care Hermes! Don’t hesitate to contact me for resources. I won’t try to convert you. I believe in election. Therefore, all I do is expose you to the material, God is the one who “wins souls”. But once again, you should have nothing to worry about.

    Pardon any grammatical or spelling errors in the text. Thanks!

  3. on 06 Oct 2008 at 11:59 pm 3.Hermes said …

    Two points;

    1. Have you seen the WWGHA book yet?

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god-toc.htm

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/rationalizations.htm

    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/problems.htm

    2. “So I pose a match. My God against yours. If you walk out of these scriptures unconverted, then you have walked away the “winner”, and I could not care less. However, heed Matthew 18:5-6. You would be wise to read this in the correct context.”

    I prefer 1 Kings 18. (I’ve read your holy book 2x.)

  4. on 07 Oct 2008 at 12:04 am 4.Hermes said …

    Additionally, on context, you can take a look at the WWGHA book and what it has to say about context;

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Awhywontgodhealamputees.com+context+“Join+us”

    Notes on the search string;

    Google.com site:whywontgodhealamputees.com context “Join us”

    The first search term limits Google to the site whywontgodhealamputees.com, the second term searches for the word “context”, and the last term “join us” appears on the footer of the WWGHA book, so you don’t end up with content from the blog (here) or from the forums.

  5. on 10 Oct 2008 at 3:49 am 5.nugget said …

    Hermes,in reference to the example you used, i am not supporting my fellow when i say it’s true with divorce rate in Christianity. Now, the majority of those people (1)have not asked God for significant other; others might (2) not know, according to the bible, what love is? (3) have fallen from faith because of their concerns over their commitment. Through one of those reasons(and many more) God can not interfere with their lives because of their restrictions.

    God clearly states Love and Prosperity in the bible, like you know, since you read it twice. Apparently, you know more than the majority of Christians out there. According to the bible, Love can not be achieved over time, Love is described in the bible(not defined). Love is acquired through commitment, now if Christians do not follow with what the bible says they will simply fall into the hands of divorcement.

    In conclusion, in the bible it talks about everything, as you know. Therefore, every Christian should take in consideration what the bible says and make it part of their lives.

  6. on 10 Oct 2008 at 5:50 am 6.Hermes said …

    Nugget, Christians get divorced at the same rate as non-Christians. Evangelical Christians get divorced at a slightly higher rate. You can look up and review the sources of the reports that show that to be the case.

    If what you said is right, then there must be a compensation on the downside to cause the divorce rates to be equalized.

    Another possibility, and the one I think is more probable, is that all things considered, people in all groups are as moral and as insightful into human nature.

    As an atheist, I draw from any source that I can to learn more about reality and my place in it. That includes, at times, religious books … usually not the Bible … though bang per word comes from non-fiction factual books and other resources. I’m past deep examination of philosophy. (Plug: Blink (Gladwell), Guns, Germs, and Steel (Diamond), and http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab .)

    [future posts will be in newer threads]

  7. on 10 Oct 2008 at 7:26 am 7.nugget said …

    Hermes, i have read that Christians do divorce the same rate as non-Christians. Now, my point is if the bible saids that divorce is bad and if it should occur then it shall be done under certain regulations. My perspective or to my knowledge these so called “Christians” do not have the word of God in their lives. For example, in the book of Matthew and the first book of Corinthians that divorce should never be an option to a household. I gave in my previous comment several reasons on my perspective that Christians continue divorcing each other at the same rate as non-Christians. To the defense of Christians, it saids in the bible that the Lord would pick 144,000 of the over billions people of Christianity. So, basically what i am trying to get at without changing the topic is, How many people say they are Christians but really are not? How many of those people follow the life of a Christian?

  8. on 10 Oct 2008 at 11:29 am 8.Hermes said …

    Bottom line: Christianity is a wash on the topic of divorce. It doesn’t have an impact on behaviour or initial choice of a mate. The exception that you’re attempting to make show is the same one that “a real Christian” is asserting.

    I know that you believe what you say, but as I see it it looks like me to be applying judgement retroactively and on a case-by-case basis.

    Note that you can look up these statistics yourself; you do not need to take the word of the web site

  9. on 10 Oct 2008 at 12:14 pm 9.anonymous said …

    Forgive me for intruding in your conversation but I couldn’t help the fact that people always expect Christians to be perfect. The answer to why Christians divorce is a lot more deeper than that.Let us not forget that Christians are people who make mistakes like anybody else. But to get to the point of the matter, I have seen a lot of cases were God has warned those couples that their marriage will end in disaster or that the person they are getting married to is not the right one.

    I have examples of a lot of couples that approached the elders of the church and said they wanted to get married. Often members of the church would claim they’ve had dreams that the couple’s relationship did not work out. Others would say they have the feeling that this relationship is not part of God’s will. They would then tell the couple about this but the couple would ignore this simple warning and they usually say other people are jealous of their relationship and want to tear them apart and they go ahead and get married anyway.Here you can see God using different people to tell them “DANGER AHEAD” but they usually do not listen because they are so in love and will not hear otherwise.

    I have seen this in my own church a lot of times and the thing is, these couples always end up having a painful divorce.We are taught in our church that when looking for a life partner, we should pray hard about it before making a decision to get married to someone in order to avoid such situations.

    If the marriage was not meant to be, God never stays without giving warning signals either from a friend in church or through the pastors,through a dream or simply giving you that little feeling deep in your heart that something isn’t right. I have seen it myself and watched it end in disaster.The case here is not that these couples are not serious with God, it is because they have ignored God’s voice by making their own decisions because they thought they were in love and turn a blind eye to anything that opposes their relationship.They are quick to jump into marriage while the warning signs are there.

    The other case is that I have learned that the devil (yes, the devil) has targeted Christian marriages and would work hard at it to make sure they end in divorce and therefore break-up Christian families and this often happens if the couple does not pray together regularly because regular prayer in marriage is the glue that binds Christian couples together as a hedge of protection.

    People often overlook these things and question why Christian’s lives are not perfect if they claim to serve God. Well, these are the reasons.

  10. on 10 Oct 2008 at 12:27 pm 10.Hermes said …

    “Forgive me for intruding in your conversation but I couldn’t help the fact that people always expect Christians to be perfect.

    That’s not what I said. I said that the statistics show that Christians get divorced at the same rate (and sometimes higher in the case of Evangelicals) than non-Christians. The analysis of large groups can show us different and important information that anecdotes can not.

    (Note that I’m not rejecting anecdotes, just that they are specific to a particular situation and are not necessarily applicable to a larger group as a whole. At most, they can give potential ways to investigate the larger group but there has to be effort not to introduce bias — and the assumed conclusion — into the investigation based on the anecdote. This can be a tricky thing to do.)

    In addition: Perfection is an abstraction and would be insanity to treat as an attainable goal.

    Why your deity is unable or unwilling to act against your demons is strange to me, unless you mean that you are speaking metaphorically. If that is the case, take a course in human development and/or neuro psychology.

  11. on 20 Oct 2008 at 3:46 am 11.Agnostic said …

    I find it amazing whenever I hear people saying they are 100% certain that God does or does not exist. Both positions seem illogical. There are some excellent arguments in this site, but at no time is there is single moment where the anonymous author recognizes the possibility that disproving the Bible does not disprove God. Is it not possible that the Bible is simply one example of man’s attempt to define God? I have read the TaNaKh (a.k.a., the Old Testament) hoping that somewhere within the difficult to understand and often obviously false text, I would find something touching – a portion where the authors (who obviously thought about God a lot) put something into words that many of us think we may feel, but find difficult to express. Rarely have I found this, but it would be inaccurate to say never. It is at least interesting to find a connection with an author from 2,450 years ago.

  12. on 20 Oct 2008 at 3:47 am 12.CenterGuy said …

    Many Christians think agnostics are going to hell, and many atheists think agnostics are just plain stupid. I think it is somewhat like driving. Those who are going faster than you are reckless and those who are going slower than you are timid. As long as someone doesn’t push their believes on me, we’ll get along. However, I do think it is worth pointing out that some atheists are as aggressive about pushing their beliefs as Evangelical Christians. The two have more in common than they realize. It is similar to the political extremes. At some point, the nuts on the left and the nuts on the right both agree that the country is terrible and must be destroyed in order to be redeemed. William Ayers and Timothy McVeigh are decent examples (there are better examples, but the names are too obscure).

  13. on 20 Oct 2008 at 3:48 am 13.Leprechauns? said …

    if the goal of this site is to protect us against all the evil religions out there, it will fail. The way to “convert” people is not through logical arguments with a nasty tone, it is through asking questions that can’t be answered and leaving it at that. Zealots on both sides will remain firm, but the way to the large center is through respectful questions not by comparing God to Leprechauns. Because most people want to believe in God and/or some kind of after-life for themselves and their loved ones, it is a sensitive issue. Atheists who really want to remove religion because it is dangerous would be better served by a different approach. It is also disingenuous to pretend that all religions are equally harmful. Frankly, that politically correct position should be more mocked than someone who still believes in Santa Clause. The website talks about how the Bible is sexist, which makes sense since it was written thousands of years ago. The author rips apart section after section. However, there is almost no focus on the religion that is practiced TODAY by a billion people and is often as primitive as the culture of the Bible. Isn’t it worth asking the question: Why do atheists have so much fear and anger toward Christianity, but rarely mention Islam? Could it be that Atheism is itself a religion of the political left – blindly ignoring the glaring dangers of the world’s most threatening and most sexist major religion. The hypocracy of educated, feminist atheists who suggest that Christianity and Islam are similar makes me think that they are blinded just like religious fanatics. Islam should be public enemy #1 for every feminist atheist, but instead they push for respect and tolerance from the savage Christians. How can they excuse the Islamic treatment of women or the violent events that constantly take place in the name of this religion? Easy…atheism is often anti-Christianity, rather than a simple logical conclusion. I am not Christian, nor have I ever been or ever will be, but clearly they are the targeted here.

  14. on 20 Oct 2008 at 9:23 pm 14.Hermes said …

    Leprechauns?, what you don’t know is that this site (and others) have deconverted many Christians. Yet, it is not the one and only method of getting the point across…so, if people don’t snap out of illusion at this site, they may at some other.

  15. on 20 Oct 2008 at 9:26 pm 15.Hermes said …

    Agnostic, I’m also an agnostic. An agnostic atheist. I don’t claim to know for a fact that no gods exist, but I believe there are none.

    If you want to learn about what other people think about these positions, take a look here;

    Poll: “What is your religious position?”
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=833

    Feel free to add a comment or two, and vote your own position in the forum.

  16. on 20 Oct 2008 at 9:32 pm 16.Hermes said …

    CenterGuy: “However, I do think it is worth pointing out that some atheists are as aggressive about pushing their beliefs as Evangelical Christians. The two have more in common than they realize. It is similar to the political extremes.”

    First off, take a look at the “What is your religious position?” poll I linked to above.

    Now, you your comment….

    How many agnostic or even gnostic atheists push laws to ban Christians from public office, or to prevent people who they disagree with from marrying?

    Pile up the bigotry, the ignorance, and the calls for harm against other humans on both ‘sides’, and it’s clear that the scales do not balance. If you disagree, feel free to tell me what evils have been done in the name of ‘atheism’ that are even as bad as those done in the name of Christianity or some other religions?

  17. on 20 Oct 2008 at 9:35 pm 17.Hermes said …

    3:46 am – Agnostic posts
    3:47 am – CenterGuy posts
    3:48 am – Leprechauns posts

    Either you are a rare set of identical triplets with uncanny timing, or you type faster than you think!

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