Godspam vs. Atheist Bible Study

This little ditty arrived in my email inbox on Friday - I've reformatted it and added some line numbers to make my comments easier.
  1. In light of the many perversions and jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke, it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
  2. Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding the attacks on Sept. 11).
  3. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.
  4. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"
  5. In light of recent events...terrorists attacks, school shootings, Hurricanes, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.
  6. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school . the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
  7. Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.
  8. Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
  9. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."
  10. Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
  11. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
  12. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
  13. Are you laughing?
  14. Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they WILL think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
  15. Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in!!
Lovely huh? Can't you just hear the violins in the background?

Ms. Graham's answer wasn't actually very profound, but Clayson's question was. How can an omnipotent, omniscient being ignore evil in the world and still be called benevolent? As Epicurus said:
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?"
Ms. Graham fails to realize that not only for years, but also for centuries we've been telling Zeus, Apollo, Mithra and a host of other Gods to get out of our lives. Perhaps they are the ones who withdrew their support? Perhaps they got ticked off and have been hurling lightning bolts at us?

What? You don't believe in Zeus? Well, when you figure out why, you'll know why I don't believe in any other mythic beings.

Paragraph 4 says God is a gentleman. Is this the same gentleman God spoken of in Numbers 31:14-18? (Here, you can borrow my Bible to look this up.)

What about when Moses and his people were crossing the Kedemoth desert and asked King Sihon of Heshbon for safe passage through his realm? Deuteronomy 2:26-35 says that God "Hardened Sihon's heart" to refuse Moses, and in 'retaliation' Moses and his people not only killed Sihon, but also took his cities, and killed every living man, woman and child in them, keeping only the livestock alive.

Where is the 'gentleman' God here? Perhaps King Sihon would have granted safe passage without God's meddling and hardening of his heart.

God hardening the hearts of those he wanted destroyed is a common theme in the Old Testament. When Moses was bringing his people out of Egypt, God 'hardened' the Pharaoh's heart many times, starting in Exodus 4:21. This shows that the God described in the Old Testament does not like compromise - and the refusal of compromise is definitely NOT the trait of a gentleman!!

Ms. Graham says that God had calmly backed out of our lives? Let us do what we want? What about the Second Commandment mentioned in Exodus 20:5 where God says that he's a jealous God? Would a god who jealously guards his spot in the lives of humankind so easily back away?

If God of the Bible existed, and if he wanted to punish New Orleans in a biblical manner, there would be no thing and no one left in New Orleans. The same could be said of Las Vegas and perhaps even Salt Lake City. The Bible makes it clear that God is no gentleman.

In paragraph 6 the famous old Christian lie is again trotted out and told as true. Horrors! God has been banned from school! Show me any American public school that forbids students from bringing a Bible to school and from reading it while on campus. You can't do it! There is no such school. The worst that may happen is that the teacher may ask the student to close his Bible during class, when he should be paying attention anyway.

Show me a public school that forbids a student from praying. You can't do it - there is no such school! Students are allowed to pray in the halls, the classrooms, and the lunchroom - anywhere on campus. The only thing that is forbidden in a public school is indoctrination of the students into any one religion.

If a public school sanctioned praying to Allah over the loudspeakers, or to any of the Hindu gods, the Christian community would be the first up in arms to stop it. If a schoolteacher were to lead his or her class in a prayer to Zeus, you could be sure that teacher would be disciplined or fired. So why do Christians complain when Christian prayers are kept off the school intercom?

Public schools also offer special forums for students to pray and worship, in after school clubs. These clubs are student lead, just like the history club or the chess club. They have a faculty advisor just like any other school club.

It's time for Christians to quit lying to themselves about the Christian religion in schools. The truth is that Christians are not upset over a non-existent ban - they are upset because they are not allowed to proselytize to the students in public schools. And that is what public Christian prayer is - proselytizing.

Christians have always known that if you force enough kids to follow along during a teacher-led prayer, either overtly or through peer pressure, then perhaps you can 'get through' to the Atheist, the Hindu, or the Jewish kids and convert them to Christianity.

For this gain, Christians are willing to lie, either knowingly or just to themselves, about so called 'banned' Bibles and prayer in school. They willingly forget Matthew 6:5 and pray loudly and proudly - in order to gain converts.

Paragraph 7 is a laugh. The Christian 'spare the rod, spoil the child' has produced plenty of 'warped' personalities. And yes, I know that quote isn't Biblical - it's from Samuel Butler's "Hudibras" - but HE got it from Proverbs 23: 13-14.

Take a look at Christian ministers Fred Phelps, or Paul Hill. What about Michael Griffin of "Rescue America"? How many 'Christian' websites are there that have a hateful world view? What about Christian pedophile priests? Being raised Christian obviously isn't enough to make you a moral person. James Dobson's take on how to raise your kids using corporal punishment is revealing.

I'm not advocating withholding corporal punishment - what I AM saying is that Christians have this false view of the world, that it is all black or white, and if you just follow simple (i.e. biblical as they see it) rules, then all will be fine.

If you are wondering why (some) kids can't tell right from wrong, then perhaps you should examine their parents.

Christian fundies believe that people will reap what they sow (Galatians 6:7) and point out that Madeleine Murray O'Hair was murdered (paragraph 5) along with all the other disasters that have been visited on a country that has supposedly turned away from God. This is a perfect example of Christian illogic.

The writer here practices an all too common Christian hypocrisy, "If it happens to you, it is due to your unbelief. But if it happens to us, it can't be Christianity's fault." There are plenty of ministers who have been murdered. How many of them are blamed for their own murders?

There is a favorite game that Christians play - the 'poor persecuted minority' game. They act as if they are the underdog, fighting against an overwhelming oppressor. Almost 77% of America identifies itself as Christian. How can anyone say that America has told God to "...get out of our lives?"

We should, as in paragraph 10, question what the bible says. The bible isn't moral - people are moral in spite of the bible. The Bible is full of bad, even evil.

American Christians at one time used the bible to support slavery. Jesus didn't speak against slavery, and even seemed to condone it, as in Luke 17:7, or Luke 12:43. And don't give me that old tale that the bible was actually talking about servants - the word "dou'lo" doesn't mean servant - it means someone who has sold himself into slavery to another. Typically such a person's children and wife would also become the property of the Master.

The American south had a sufficiency of good Christians who believed that Northerners were heretics for supporting the end of slavery. If the bible had Jesus saying even one thing against the practice of slavery, what are the chances that the Civil War would have never happened?

As paragraph 14 says, it's funny that a Christian may be unsure of what another person believes. I find it hilarious that so many Christian sects believe that other sects are not really 'true' Christians just because they worship differently. How many Christians have gone to war with each other because of differing beliefs?

And why are there so many differing Christian beliefs? In part it is due to Christian authorities interpreting the Bible to their own liking. And it is due in part to so many 'good Christians' practicing 'buffet Christianity' - picking and choosing the soft, fuzzy bits of religion out of the whole buffet. There is no one who can say which denomination is truly Christian.

This supercilious email is a perfect example of the inherit arrogance and condescending mindset of Christians toward everyone who dares to believe other than they. This email is nothing more than Godspam and Glurge, fuzzy thinking wrapped in illogic created for evil purposes. The only reason why I've displayed it is to point out its flaws, and the dangers that can result from thinking in a fundamentalist manner.

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