Pastor Caught Lying For Jesus
Story here, with hundreds of comments. In brief, Daniel Florian, owner of the Unreasonable Faith blog, caught Pastor Chris Fox posing as an atheist and basically putting forward the usual ridiculous, distorted talking points of the religious machine regarding atheists and their alleged lack of morals.
The constant reiteration of this “Lord of the Flies” style argument tells me two things about religious indoctrinees. First, it seems likely that they have genuinely bought into the idea that morality is external, authoritarian, and dictatorial in nature. They further believe that it requires the “God-stamp” of authority or else it is a meaningless, arbitrary, edict imposed by one group of humans upon another. Morals are neither arbitrary nor meaningless, no matter where you think they come from. This kind of black and white, binary thinking is common among the religious, even though their behavior, like most humans, does not conform to that philosophical stance. In any event, their moral compass is (believed to be) external to themselves, and so they apparently believe they would have no morals without such a structure.
Second, it tells me that many people actually take my advice. I often tell people that if I want to learn about Jewish culture for example, I find the best people to ask about it are members of the American Nazi Party. If I want to understand the atheistic point of view, the best person to ask would be a member of the clergy. Why would he lie?
I’m not going to bash Pastor Fox too hard here. I have seen plenty of Poe posts on religious blogs, so this behavior is hardly confined to religious types. He has apologized, and stated that he realizes that this kind of behavior is misguided. Maybe he’s not lying about that.
I do want to address one of the comments on that blog that seems to have gone off on a bit of a tangent. There are two comments near the top from “revival09”. This is obviously a person with a strong belief in divine magic of the Christian variety. You can go read the posts if you want, they are a little long to post here in their entirety. These excerpts will give you the flavor.
“Hi, it should not be a great shock or revelation that a single church leader would be a hypocrite. As a matter of fact Jesus reserved his harshest words for the “church leaders”. He called them hypocrites, white-washed sepulcures, vipers.
But that could if you searched apply to anyman regardless of his profession. The problem would be if you could describe Jesus as a hypocrite.
You see He never said “Follow them”, He said “Follow Me”. In fact He said do as they say, not as they do….
…I am certainly not a theologian or schollar or anything like but I do have one advantage. I have personally witnessed numerous life changing miracles, healings, signs and wonders by Jesus.”
Yeah. It’s always just one bad apple. How many questionable acts by how many members of the clergy does it take before one apologist admits there is a pattern of behavior among a significant number of clergymen that one might label egomaniacal and immoral?
The book says that Jesus said a bunch of nasty things about the clerics. This is one of those things you have to throw in if you want to create a closed-loop delusion. Denounce the clergy when necessary. Yup. Got that base covered. No need to go outside for an explanation. House of cards intact. Sleep on.
Revival09 either believes that he has seen divine magic, or he is lying for Jesus and believes that the end justifies the means. I would really like to know why he thinks it is that God can’t or won’t heal amputees? I’m collecting the lame excuses that apologists attribute to God’s behavior in this matter.
From revival09’s second comment:
“You’re interested in knowing more about miracles? Of course you are. Why wouldn’t you be. Are you ill? Have you financial problems? Relationship problems? Is your life empty? What are you looking for from the person that you reject?...”
Note the immediate jump to conclusion. If you want to know about “miracles” you must want something. Academic curiosity is foreign to this one. There is no imagining that someone might be genuinely interested in how these witnessed “miracles” either broke the laws of statistical probability, or passed muster as not being outright fraud. Interested parties have been faking miracles for centuries. It’s a well-documented behavior of human scam artists and the Catholic Church.
"…I’m not going to try and Sell my Jesus to you. You need Him not the other way around.…”
Who wants to bet that the author cannot recognize the inherent contradiction in those two sentences?
I leave you with this thought:
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow….”
It took me quite a while to figure out what Robert Anton Wilson meant when he used the word “fnord”. It took even longer to be sure. It didn’t help that those calling themselves Discordians while firmly planting tongue in cheek didn’t seem to have any idea. I can tell you with assurance that the above quote is a fnord. You will see them if you really want to and if you try.