Showing posts with label New Atheists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Atheists. Show all posts

1/8/10

Sam Harris Proves Karen Armstrong’s Point

Sam Harris—atheist activist and pseudo-neuroscientist—attempted to take Karen Armstrong to task and did a splendid job of strengthening her point. Karen Armstrong wrote an article with which Sam Harris took umbrage yet, being an emotive reactionary he simply fails to respond intellectually and merely poured derision upon her whilst providing even more evidence to back up her original point.

Sam Harris wrote:
In her article ("Think Again: God," November 2009), Karen Armstrong discovers that Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and I have mistaken "fundamentalism" for the totality of religion. (Sorry about that.) But do Richard and Christopher really hold religion responsible for "all human cruelty"? That is a surprise. I hadn't realized that they were idiots.[1]

Well, welcome to the light of day Mr. Harris.

Considering statements such as Christopher Hitchens’ “religion poisons everything” (it is right there on the very front of his book).

Or, Richard Dawkins’ statement:
Imagine, with John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch-hunts, no Gunpowder Plot, no Indian partition (religious riots between Hindus and Muslims where more than a million people were massacred), no Israeli/Palestinian wars, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacres, no persecution of Jews as “Christ-killers”, no Northern Ireland “troubles”, no “honour killings”, no shiny-suited bouffant-haired televangelists fleecing gullible people of their money (“God wants you to give till it hurts”). Imagine no Taliban to blow up ancient statues, no public beheadings of blasphemers, no flogging of female skin for the crime of showing an inch of it.

The fact that this is jejune, myopic, historically absurd and that he backs away from it when challenged does not negate the fact that he promulgated this position.

The problem is not that the debunked New Atheists are only ever seen asserting that religion responsible for "all human cruelty"? but that they are so lacking in making balanced statements that one is virtually forced such a conclusion. Whether it is Sam Harris, “If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, Harris explains, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion”[2] or the New Atheists anti-historical denial that atheism motivated Communism they, themselves, are to be faulted for the manner in which they come across.
Sam Harris prescribes capital punishment for thought crime and is then shocked when people are shocked by the fact that he prescribes capital punishment for thought crime, “Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.”[3]
Sam Harris’ first book was titled The End of Faith—Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason and not The End of the Various Human Nature Related Dangers to the World—Whether Faith-Based or Not.

But what is Sam Harris’ specific response to his notion that Karen Armstrong mistakenly believes that the New Atheists “really hold religion responsible for ‘all human cruelty’”? He adds fuel to the fire and proves her point by launching into a tirade against religion—and he did not realize that he is an…well; his words, not mine.



Let us glean from Sam Harris’ article:
I can't quite remember how we got it into our heads that jihad was linked to violence. (Might it have had something to do with the actual history and teachings of Islam?) And how could we have been so foolish as to connect the apparently inexhaustible supply of martyrs in the Muslim world to the Islamic doctrine of martyrdom?...

The point is not whether Sam Harris is correct but that he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. He has a chance to elucidate the fair and balanced views which he claims to hold but he does not, will not or cannot.

He then references, “a preoccupation with witchcraft” such as “belief in the curative powers of human flesh” in Africa.

He notes that in “Kenya elderly men and women are still burned alive for casting malicious spells.”

That “In Angola, unlucky boys and girls have been blinded, injected with battery acid, and killed outright in an effort to purge them of demons.”

That “In Tanzania, there is a growing criminal trade in the body parts of albino human beings -- as it is widely believed that their flesh has magical properties.”

And concludes, “I sincerely hope that my ‘new atheist’ colleagues are not so naive as to imagine that actual belief in magic might be the issue here.” Again and again, that is not the point; his understanding of her assertion was that he and the New Atheists hold that “religion responsible for ‘all human cruelty’” and he proves it and adds more weight to it.

In part, Karen Armstrong replied thusly:
It is clear that we need a debate about the role of religion in public life and the relationship between science and religion. I just wish this debate could be conducted in a more Socratic manner. Socrates, founder of the Western rationalist tradition, always insisted that any dialogue must be conducted with gentleness and courtesy, and without malice. In our highly polarized world, we really do not need yet another deliberately contentious and divisive discourse.

I think that she simply does not understand; to personages such as Sam Harris “religious” people are antiquated evolutionary vestiges no more to be regarded with respect than a mosquito that in biting you.

Since Sam Harris’ worldview is premised upon a rejection of God his responses cannot help but being emotionally motivated and charged, he is certainly exciting and inciting but he is simply in error.


For this is the will of God,
that by doing good you may put
to silence the ignorance of foolish men

—1st Peter 2:15

[1] Sam Harris, “The God Fraud,” Foreign Policy, January/February, 2010
[2] Jörg Blech, “THE NEW ATHEISTS - Researchers Crusade against American Fundamentalists,” Spiegel, October 26, 2006
[3] Sam Harris, The End of Faith—Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2004 ), pp. 52–53


This essay is copyrighted by Mariano of the “Atheism is Dead” blog at http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com.
It may be republished in part or in its entirety on websites, blogs, or any print media for whatever purpose—in agreement or in order to criticize it—only as long as the following conditions are met:
1) Give credit to “Mariano of the ‘Atheism is Dead’ blog at http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com”
2) Inform me as to which essay is being reproduced and where it is being reproduced via the comments section
at this link

Continue reading Sam Harris Proves Karen Armstrong’s Point...

11/26/09

Fundamentalist Theologian Asks: “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” and “Why Does God Hate Amputees?”

Indeed, a rigidly dogmatic theologian has demanded answers to the questions “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” and “Why Does God Hate Amputees?”

The theologian has even advanced the issue by proposing an experiment that will, once and for all, ascertain the answer.

The theologian has authored a website titled, “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” This person will remain nameless because they remain nameless on their website (they used to title the website “Why Does God Hate Amputees?”).

The dogmatist proposes that “Is God real, or is he imaginary?” “is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself.”
He concludes that “If God is real and if God inspired the Bible, then we should worship God as the Bible demands.” But that “if God is imaginary, then religion is a complete illusion.”
Guess what? Religion is a complete illusion even though God exists. Unless we are employing the only definition of “religion” with which the New Testament agrees,

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

Of course, the theologian reasons that “Belief in God is nothing but a silly superstition, and this superstition leads a significant portion of the population to be delusional.”

Now comes the invitation to conduct an experiment:
But how can we decide, conclusively, whether God is real or imaginary?

Since we are intelligent human beings living in the 21st century, we should take the time to look at some data. That is what we are doing when we ask, "Why won't God heal amputees?"

If you are an intelligent human being, and if you want to understand the true nature of God, you owe it to yourself to ask, "Why won't God heal amputees?"

Note the qualifiers: if you are intelligent, a human being, and if you want to understand the true nature of God. If these things apply then you will ask “Why won't God heal amputees?” Fine, but is the question the point? Cannot many answers be proposed? It would seem that the answer is more important than the question. Yet, the question is the starting point.

This fundamentalist theologian has actually devised the experiment whereby to scientifically determine whether or not God exists.

The experiment is prescribed thusly:
For this experiment, we need to find a deserving person who has had both of his legs amputated. For example, find a sincere, devout veteran of the Iraqi war, or a person who was involved in a tragic automobile accident.Now create a prayer circle like the one created for Jeanna Giese. The job of this prayer circle is simple: pray to God to restore the amputated legs of this deserving person.
I do not mean to pray for a team of renowned surgeons to somehow graft the legs of a cadaver onto the soldier, nor for a team of renowned scientists to craft mechanical legs for him. Pray that God spontaneously and miraculously restores the soldier's legs overnight, in the same way that God spontaneously and miraculously cured Jeanna Giese and Marilyn Hickey's mother.

Let us take a moment to note that the references to Jeanna Giese and Marilyn Hickey’s mother. Jeanna Giese is referenced due to the fact that it was reported that via a “prayer circle…Jeanna was the first human to survive rabies without the vaccine.”

Marilyn Hickey is known in Christian apologetics circles as a health and wealth teacher aka prosperity “gospel” preacher aka name it and claim it proponent or sarcastically stated: blab it and grab it.
Marilyn Hickey claimed that upon finding out that her mother was found to have a brain tumor she was out of town and so she “sent God's Word long distance to my mother's brain.” Shortly thereafter, “she was X-rayed again by her doctors, there was no evidence that any tumor had ever existed!”

It should be noted that if God healed these people then praise be He! If not then they may have been mistaken, seeking to defraud, etc. Yet, overall; God can heal people and can do so even if the evidence is not sufficient to convince an atheist.

Now, I have responded to this issue in the essay Evilbible - the Polemical Saga Continues, part 1 of 5. Thus, my concern in this essay is to focus on the details of the proposed experiment.

Why do I refer to an obvious atheist as a fundamentalist dogmatic rigid theologian? Because he is speaking as such. How so? Allow me to repeat the terms of the experiment adding emphasis and then parse them in order to elucidate:
For this experiment, we need to find a deserving person who has had both of his legs amputated. For example, find a sincere, devout veteran of the Iraqi war, or a person who was involved in a tragic automobile accident.Now create a prayer circle like the one created for Jeanna Giese. The job of this prayer circle is simple: pray to God to restore the amputated legs of this deserving person.
I do not mean to pray for a team of renowned surgeons to somehow graft the legs of a cadaver onto the soldier, nor for a team of renowned scientists to craft mechanical legs for him. Pray that God spontaneously and miraculously restores the soldier's legs overnight, in the same way that God spontaneously and miraculously cured Jeanna Giese and Marilyn Hickey's mother.


Note that, in keeping with the spirit of experimentation, the proposal is extremely detailed. We will instantly begin to realize why this atheist is, in reality, a theologian:

1) The God whom the theologian has in mind is one who is subject to experimentation—this represents a theological position: God may be experimented upon or be otherwise subject to experimentation.

2) The amputee must be “deserving”—this represents a theological position: God considers some people “deserving” of healing (apparently if you are not healed then you are not deserving).
2.1) We must first ascertain this God’s standards or else we would not know who this God considers “deserving” (except, perhaps, base it on who is healed).

3) The “deserving” person must have had both of his legs amputated—not just one and it cannot be a female (alright, “his” may be taken generically).

4) The examples are even more rigid: one must be sincere, devout, a veteran and it must be the Iraqi war. Not, for example, a veteran who fought in Desert Storm only in order to have the US Government pay for his college (alright, being an example we may disregard this).

5) Examples two: must be a person and must have been involved in an automobile accident that may be described, perhaps by definition, as having been tragic. It could not be a horse, could not be a motorcycle accident, etc. (alright, being an example we may disregard this).

6) Next a “prayer circle” must be formed, not a square—ok, just kidding with this one :o) but…

7) The prayer circle must, you got it, “pray to God”—this represents a theological position: God may be prayed to, God hears prayer, God responds to prayer.

8) The prayer is prescribed as requesting (or demanding?) that God would (or should?) restore the amputated legs—this represents a theological position: God can do such a thing, God will do such a thing (technically the experiment is meant to prove this but let us state it this way since it is the presupposition of the hypothesis).

9) That God would do this for the “deserving person” was covered in 3).

10) The “healing” could not be done via a “team of renowned surgeons.” Could it me one renowned surgeon but not a team? Could it me a team of surgeons as long as they are not renowned?

11) The “healing” could not come about due to successful grafting of the legs of a cadaver. Could it be the grafting of the legs of a living donor or two?—this represents a theological position: God would not (or is not being allowed to?) work through “team of renowned surgeons” through grafting.

10) The “healing” could not be done via a “team of renowned scientists.” Could it me one renowned scientist but not a team? Could it me a team of scientists as long as they are not renowned?

11) The “healing” could not come about due to successful crafting of mechanical legs—this represents a theological position: God would not (or is not being allowed to?) work through “team of renowned scientists” through crafting.

12) God must perform the healing “spontaneously.” Oddly, spontaneous means occurring without apparent external cause but the experiment is proposing the action of an external cause. Yet, I would imagine that what was meant by spontaneous is instantly—this represents a theological position: God’s miracles are (or should be?) instant and cannot taken any longer than an undefined span of time.

13) It must be done “miraculously”—let us just say “Granted” and yet—this represents a theological position: God can perform miracles (miracles that are spontaneous).

14) It must be done “overnight” and apparently not during the day, or over two nights—this represents a theological position: same as above.

15) Lastly, the miracle must take place “in the same way that God spontaneously and miraculously cured Jeanna Giese and Marilyn Hickey's mother”—this represents a theological position: God may be experimented upon in that it is expected that concocting the same circumstances will produce the same results.

Number 15) may actually be the most important presupposition in that it also plays off of a misconception. The misconception is that there is a formula whereby we can get God to do as we please—yes, even things which we considered benevolent. The misconception is that we can pray anything, throw in a “In the name of Jesus” after it and it is a done deal (or is it, “In the name of Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus!”).

Succinctly, I will simply state that this misconception is premised upon a misunderstanding and misapplication of certain texts of scripture which, only upon their surface (the un-contextual surface), seem to imply as much. Yet, since I have already dealt with these with relation to evilbible.com’s contention that Jesus Lied I will leave the interested reader to consider that essay.

The concocter of the experiment, the one who asks “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” and “Why Does God Hate Amputees?”, is a theologian because he presupposes what God is like before even determining whether God exists, and then concocts an argument whereby to seek to prove that his particular concept of God exists.

If the experiment were ever to be realized and failed it would only disprove this particular atheist theologian’s contempt of God.

Atheist must understand that the moment they state, “Why does God…” or “Why doesn’t God…” or “If God was then God would…” or “God wouldn’t…” or “God should…” or “God shouldn’t…” or “If God existed then God would want to…” or “God would surely…” or “If God was love then…” etc., etc., etc. they are expressing opinions about their own theology and there is no reason to call into question God’s existence due to the atheist theologian’s God being disproved by experiment or logic.

A detailed debunking of this theologian’s assertions is found at God isn’t imaginary….


Continue reading Fundamentalist Theologian Asks: “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?” and “Why Does God Hate Amputees?”...

11/23/09

iTheism

Indeed, there is a coherent psychological origin to intense atheism….
in the Freudian framework, atheism is an illusion caused by the Oedipal
desire to kill the father (God) and replace him with oneself
—Paul Vitz; Professor of Psychology at New York University

What is the problem with the self made man? That he worships his creator (man here meaning non-gender specific personage).

I have often noted that atheism, or many atheists, do not seek to be rid of God but merely replace a supernatural God with a natural one.

Indeed, two of atheism’s consoling delusions are the delusion of absolute autonomy and lack of ultimate accountability.

God states, “You shall have no other gods before me.”

The atheist states, “I shall have no other gods before me” or “I shall have no other gods besides me.”

Let us consider the concept of iTheism, then the history of iTheism and then specific examples of iTheists.



Atheism is thus premised upon the original of original sins: iTheism. This denotes placing oneself on the ultimate pedestal; there may be people who are more knowledgeable than we or more capable in this or that way but ultimately we, the iTheists, are the supreme authority. The iTheist determines what is right/good/moral and wrong/evil/immoral, what is true and false, the iTheist sees god reflected in their mirror.

The original, original sin was committed by lucifer, who was not an atheist, and became satan when he became an iTheist. As it is elucidated in Isaiah ch. 14:
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart:
“I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.”

From this premise, known as the five I wills, satan has not had one single new idea and why bother as this one has worked wonders as he waters the seed of rebellion within the heart of humanity.
In Genesis 3:1-5 it states that satan, referred to in the text as “the serpent,” (also see Revelation 12:9, 20:2) told Eve:
“Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Note the steps 1) question God’s statements, 2) contradict God’s statements and 3) urge rebellion in seeking equality with God.

In atheism of the iTheism sort this works out thusly: 1) question that there is a God to make a statement in the first place and therefore fulfill questioning God’s statements, 2) even though there is no God to make a statement, contradict those statements claimed to have been spoken by God (′cause you, in your unfathomably finite wisdom, know better) and 3) become equal with God, meaning to make yourself God and thus, replace God with you the iTheist and urging others to do likewise—especially the naturally rebellious and overactive libidoed youth.



This pattern repeats throughout history until the very end when,
the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Now, consider a statement made by Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (which was established in the USA, a country premised upon the concept of freedom of religious expression)[1]:
The United States of America, for example, is a proudly rebellious nation. We fought a Revolutionary War kicking out the king, dictator, lord. There is value in not bowing to traditions that imply subservience to a Master--we are not slaves. Yet most religious language suggests the opposite: we must worship that which is above us and adore or obey the Father/Mother/Creator who guides our lives. [emphasis in original]

What was the straw that broke the iTheistic camel’s back: the concept of god as God as the king, dictator, lord and Master because we are not slaves and must kicking God out. Since most religious language suggests the opposite he rejects it because, being an iTheist, he cannot conceive of, or allow anyone/thing, above him which he must/should/would want to worship, adore and obey.
Of course, as I noted in my essay The Totalitarian, Dictatorial, Tyrannical Worldview iTheists actually do not escape anything when they reject God but merely jump from the freeing pan and into the fire.



Larry Taunton interviewed Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist and wrote the following:
“You’re not telling me that as a civilized 21st-century man that you get your morality from the Ten Commandments?” He was incredulous. To him, it was as if I were saying, “The Easter Bunny gave us these laws, and they fall into three categories … .” “What aspects of the Ten Commandments do you find objectionable?” I asked. After an animated exchange and a brief search for a Bible, Dawkins went straight to the opening line of the Decalogue: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The idea of a personal God who demands exclusivity of worship offended him. Given Dawkins’s worldview, this seemed like a logical protest. After all, the other nine commandments hang on that one.

Do you see the point? Anything and everything that is premised upon “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” is instantly and ad hominemly rejected because, as an iTheist, Dawkins cannot allow any gods before or beside he, himself.

What Richard Dawkins does not seem to consider is that without premise “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” the commandments which follow would be about as authoritative, alive, potent and enjoining as Dawkins’ very own New Ten Commandments (of which he lists 15). Which is to say that they would be yet another mere list of moral assertions promulgated by a temporary bio-organism who formulated them upon bio-chemical reactions in its brain as it lives on a pale blue dot in the universe’s backwaters.

This is clearly not about ritualistic, dietary and otherwise behavioral laws in general; this is about the iTheist not wanting God to get in the way of their self worship.

Again I turn to Friedrich Nietzsche who understood that the death of God would lead to the deification of man as we shrug off the celestial monarch and replace Him with terrestrial monarchs. In his Parable of the Mad Man he states that after murdering God the question is posed, “Must we ourselves not become gods…?” in that we would concoct, by necessity iTheistic, “festivals of atonement…what sacred games shall we have to invent?”



As for satan, the text continues:
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying:
“Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?”

All the kings of the nations, all of them, sleep in glory, everyone in his own house; but you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, like the garment of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a corpse trodden underfoot.

Cast off your crowns my dear iTheists, repent and cast them at the feet of the true King, Jesus the Messiah, who said,
Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3:20).”


[1] Dan Barker interviewed by the “Unitarian Universalist Infidels,” reprinted from Search of Reason, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Spring 2004 (apparently, an ongoing search)

Continue reading iTheism...

11/22/09

Burning Cross and El Zorro (…aster, that is)

No, not the Spanish swashbuckler, El Zorro, but Zoroaster aka Zarathushtra.

In working on a discreditation of an argument made by the Arizona Atheist (which I will post in the near future) I noted one of his sources of information in the form of a website titled Burning Cross.
Therein, I ran across one of sadly very many likewise quite unscholarly articles claiming that since Judaism and Christianity borrowed from Zoroastrianism they are therefore to be relegated into the realm of mythology. However, the true mythos is the supposed borrowing by Judaism and Christianity when the facts of the matter, those bothersome historical facts that get in the way of a good polemic, imply the reverse is the case.


El Zorro

El Zoroaster
(Incidentally, why is it that you can illustrate any male that lived anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 years ago by simply slapping a beard on some nondescript guy?)

Again, while likewise tall tales abound, I will respond to an article on the website by the title Burning Cross which is entitled Zoroastrianism and Its Origins. The article seeks to demonstrate that Zoroastrianism originated before Judaism and Christianity and is the source from which they both borrowed, as they state it,
From historical research, and the study of Jewish and Christian texts, scholars have firmly concluded that Judaism and Christianity borrowed heavily from the theological thought of the Persians or Zoroastrians.

One of my favorite things is noting statements which make reference to that which “scholars have…” stated. You could generically write, without those bothersome citations, “scholars have ____________” and fill in the blank with anything at all.
This is tantamount to what some atheists like to write about scientists, “scientists say…” or the more impressive “most scientists say ____________.” Wow, I am impressed by the argument from authority before even hearing it. Note also that “most” can mean 99% and that is almost all of the generic “they/them” but “most” can also mean 51% and that is awfully close to half.

In any regard, let us consider the borrowing scenario as Burning Cross states,
It is believed that Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism, was born in the area now know as Afghanistan, though some scholars place his birth as somewhere in the Kashmir Valley. The ancient Greeks, like Aristotle, date the era of Zoroaster as being 6,000 BCE.

Again, “some [generic and un-cited] scholars” say…
I actually do not mean to pick on these generic statements too much but have done so in order to show that the article was heavy in claim and light on evidence.
For example, since they want to conclude that Judaism and Christianity borrowed from Zoroastrianism it is pointed out that Aristotle “date the era of Zoroaster as being 6,000 BCE.”

(FYI: “BCE” refers to before common era and is in reference to before Christ as it is Jesus’ birth which is used as distinguishing between BCE and CE common era; see this post for more)

Let us ask that which pseudo-skeptics appear to never even bothering asking of anything but the Bible and its characters:
Who was the historical Aristotle?
How do we know that Aristotle even lived?
When did Aristotle live?
How do we know?
What is the time of Aristotle’s various words and actions to the time they were recorded?
What is the time of the recording to the time of the first manuscripts we have?
How many manuscripts do we have and how do they compare? (perhaps Bart Ehrman will write “Misquoting Aristotle”).
Etc., etc., etc.

It does not matter to the pseudo-skeptical Burning Cross who date Zoroaster to 6,000 before Christ because for all we know a mythological character called Aristotle said so and so it must be true. Take it back as far as you wish for all I care. In fact, take it to 60,000 or 600,000 BC if you like. The further back Zoroaster is dated the more the pseudo-skeptics think that they can concoct ideas of Judaism and Christianity borrowing from him when in fact, as we shall see, the further back they date him the worse it is for them.

There actually is quite a bit of disparity amongst those seeking to date Zoroaster and it runs from 600 to 6,000 BC. Note that the Encyclopedia Britannica states,
A biographical account of Zoroaster is tenuous at best or speculative at the other extreme. The date of Zoroaster’s life cannot be ascertained with any degree of certainty. According to Zoroastrian tradition, he flourished “258 years before Alexander.”…indicating that his birthdate was 628 bc.

The Burning Cross does get to the point which point which is, you guessed it:
Who was the historical Zoroaster?
How do we know that Zoroaster even lived?
When did Zoroaster live?
How do we know?
What is the time of Zoroaster’s various words and actions to the time they were recorded?
What is the time of the recording to the time of the first manuscripts we have?
How many manuscripts do we have and how do they compare? (perhaps Bart Ehrman will write “Misquoting Zoroaster”).
Etc., etc., etc.

No, they actually do not delve anywhere close to this depth of skepticism as they would surely argue that these questions are irrelevant. Why? Because even if Zoroaster is a completely mythological personage the point is to demonstrate that Zoroastrian theology predates Judaism and Christianity and thereby concoct a theory of borrowing.

The Burning Cross notes,
The main holy book of the Zoroasrians is the Zend Avesta, but only the portion known as the Gathas [hymns], is thought to have been actually written by Zoroaster.

This is actually a lot more telling than its passing reference within the article implies. Indeed, the only portion of the Zend Avesta which are attributed, even just attributed, to Zoroaster are the Gathas. Why is this important? Because they are what we may term “hymns”—as the Burning Cross rightly did. The point is that these, the supposed earliest and original source of Zoroaster’s theology, do not contain Zoroastrian theology but are hymnal in nature. That which Judaism and Christianity supposedly borrowed is not found therein.

Incidentally and for reinforcement; the Encyclopedia Britannica affirms that “Only the hymns, or Gathas, are attributable to Zoroaster. It also states, “The Avesta is in five parts. Its religious core is a collection of songs or hymns, the Gathas, thought to be in the main the very words of Zoroaster.”

Let us dig a little deeper as Burning Cross explains when, from where and what was borrowed:
For centuries Zoroastrianism spread across Persia under the patronages of two very powerful Persian dynasties, the Achaemenids and the Sassanids.
During this time the cannon of twenty-one Zoroastrian holy texts were compiled called the Nasks.
It is from this cannon of Zoroastrian literature [compiled several millennia before the New Testament or the Old Testament were written] that Judaism and Christianity have received the main tenants of their religion, i.e. the concept of Monotheism, that of a Divine Father and a Divine Son, the idea of a Garden of Eden, the concept of the first created humans Adam and Eve, the Resurrection, the Day of Reckoning, Heaven, Hell, the Duality of Good and Evil [God and the Devil], the belief in a Messiah, the belief in Angels, etc.

Reference is made to the Achaemenids and the Sassanids without any dates.
The Nasks cannon is referenced without any dates but apparently we are to infer contextually that it was compiled at the time of the undated Achaemenids and Sassanids dynasties.
Then we are told that “this cannon,” the Nasks, were compiled a generic “several millennia before the New Testament or the Old Testament.”

Let us consider the last telling portion of the Burning Cross article and then eludicate:
Some scholars are of the opinion that Judaism, and particularly Christianity, have borrowed stories and theology directly from the Vedas and Puranas, but it is more likely that they received these elements of religion through the Persians without any direct contact with India.

“Some scholars” this, other scholars that…

So, the cannon of Zoroastrian scripture was compiled at the Achaemenids and Sassanids dynasties. The Achaemenids date from 550-330 BC and Sassanids from, as the Encyclopedia Britannica states it, “The present Avesta was assembled from remnants and standardized under the Sasanian kings (3rd–7th century ad) [emphasis added].”
Note the detail that the Avestas “assembled from remnants” and feel free to drag these remnants as far back as 550 BC if you wish but they were “standardized between the 3rd-7th century ad which the Encyclopedia Britannica details as “Sasanian period (ad 224–651).”
Now, let us take the Burning Cross preferred date of 6,000 BC and conclude that we have anywhere from 6,224 to 6,651 years—over six millennia—between Zoroaster’s supposed words and a standardized cannon. See what I mean: let them go back as far as they wish as it only gets worse for them. Even if we go by the 600 BC date we get 824 to 1,251 years—and pseudo-skeptics have conniptions at the fact that the New Testament was written by 70 AD.

As for the Achaemenids (550-330 BC); note the statements of Ilya Gershevitch:
While the Avesta furnishes us with a wealth of diverse religious ideas most of which existed during the Achaemenian period, it lacks a historical contextualization. It is completely devoid of references to persons, institutions, or events of Achaemenian times…
The place names mentioned, apart from mythological geography, are all in Eastern Iran; it is as though Persia did not exist. Accordingly, as the canonization of the scripture took place long after the Achaemenian period, the lack of references to identifiable Achaemenian realia makes the Avesta an elusive source for the religion of Achaemenians in general and Persia in particular.[1]

Furthermore, James R. Russell notes,
Zoroaster himself is not mentioned in Achaemenian monuments, nor indeed is his name to be found in the inscriptions of the Sasanians, who were undoubtedly Zoroastrians.[2]


For reiteration let us note that Ernst Herzfeld wrote,
Our main source for details on Zoroaster is the Avesta, a collection of sacred texts which was put in writing between 346-360 AD.[3]

Recall that we must not only consider the time of the writing and the time of the compilation and standardization but the time of the actual manuscripts, even the earliest ones. John Waterhouse relates that the earliest manuscript copies that we have date to the 13th century AD.[4]
Thus, if dating Zoroaster to 6,000 we have circa 7,200-8,200 years to the relevant manuscripts and if we date him to 600 we have circa 1,800-1,900 years—go back as far as you like, it only gets worse.

The Internet Sacred Text Archive’s copy of “Pahlavi Texts, Part IV (SBE37), E.W. West, tr. [1892]” states:
Contents of the Nasks as Stated in the Eighth and Ninth Books of the Dinkard – Observations,
“The manuscripts used, being the only two independent authorities for the text of the Dinkard known to exist, are:…written A.D. 1659…written A.D. 1594 and later…”

Details of the Nasks from Other Sources – Observations,
“The manuscripts mentioned are:…written A.D. 1659…written A.D. 1679…written A.D. 1813…probably written A.D. 1572…written about A. n. 1780…about 150 years old. [this was written in 1892 AD]”

Also, IV. From the Rivayat of Dastur Barzu Qiyamu-D-Din:
23. At present, since the Nasks have not remained perfect in the midst of us, it is not possible to solemnize them, because Alexander the Ruman [the Great] carried off a rough draft…and repeatedly burnt the books of the Avesta…every one of the high-priests, in council together, preserved something of the Avesta in his mind…which they wrote correctly; as to the remainder (tatammah) which they did not write, it was on this account, that they did not preserve it correctly in their minds.

And, From the Din-Vigirgard:
8. …the subdivisions of that Nask were fifty when the accursed Alexander had the Nasks burnt up, but after that, as they sought out this Nask, only thirteen of those subdivisions came to hand, and no more remained of those previously existing.

20. …Of all the twenty-one Nasks the Nask of ‘the law against the demons’ has alone remained entire; while several remain scattered by the wickedness (sumih) of the accursed Alexander

22. Now, alas! if all these Nasks do not remain, so that one is not able to solemnize them, that is for this reason, that the accursed Alexander, the Aruman, took several transcripts—in the Aruman language and characters (hurufo)—of any among those twenty-one Nasks which were about the stars and medicine, and burnt up the other Nasks…

Jenny Rose further notes,
The incorporation of certain motifs into the Zoroastrian tradition in the ninth century CE [AD] could indicate the conscious attempt of the priesthood to exalt their prophet in the eyes of the faithful who may have been tempted to turn to other religions.[5]

Indeed, if there was any borrowing at all it was not by Judaism and Christianity from Zoroastrianism but by Zoroastrianism from Judaism and Christianity.

Also, note various statements made in the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology:
the Persians no doubt received from the Semites the notion of a last judgment and together with related ideas: prophets and world salvation prepared by a messiah. [p. 322]

Though preached by Zoroaster as one aspect of his system, this dualism only became implanted much later under the political pressure of the Sassanians who were eager to renew an ancient and indigenous tradition in opposition to Hellenistic influences. Until then it had been merely an opinion of one sect. [p. 312]

Lastly, consider statements by Jan Bremmer:
For the influence of Christianity in this period we probably also have another example. According to several Zoroastrian writings, the Greeks under Alexander the Great had destroyed not only a precious Achaemenid Avesta codex but also the other religious books, which had been written in 12,000 ox-hides.
In fact, there is not a trace at all of these writings in the Achaemenid period, and the tradition seems to have been created in order to explain the absence of a Persian holy book in contrast to those of the Jews, Christians and Manichaeans. This lack of written religious tradition seems to have been first seriously felt precisely in the same period in which resurrection became an issue.[6]



Thus, Burning Cross presented a good polemic but by not bother to cite scholars and not bothering to discuss the diversity of the dates of Zoroaster’s life and, most importantly, not bothering to date the texts to which they made reference they failed to do anything except discredit themselves.

For further information about the alleged similarities between Jesus and Zoroaster see: Is there a Connection Between Jesus and Zoroaster

[1] Ilya Gershevitch, ed., The Cambridge History of Iran (Cambridge University Press, 1985), p. 666
[2] James R. Russell, Zoroastrianism in Armenia (Harvard University Press, 1987), p. 49
[3] Ernst Herzfeld, Zoroaster and His World (Octagon Books, 1974), p. 774
[4] John Waterhouse, Zoroastrianism (Pierides Press, 2008), p. 56
[5] Jenny Rose, The Image of Zoroaster (Bibliotecha Persica Press, 2000), p. 27
[6] Jan Bremmer, The Rise and Fall of the Afterlife: The 1995 Read-Tuckwell Lectures at the University of Bristol (Routledge, 2001), p. 50


Continue reading Burning Cross and El Zorro (…aster, that is)...

11/20/09

Deceptive Manipulative Propagandist Activist Atheists are at it Again – Unbeknownst to them: their New Ads Compliment Christianity

Studies consistently demonstrate that atheists are, by a very very wide margin, the least charitable amongst us. Yet, Ariane Sherine and the British Humanist Association have conducted hugely successful donation drives. Are they the exception to the self-absorbed atheist greed meme?

Not in the least bit. Yet again, atheists are collecting “amazing sums” during a time of worldwide recession not in order to help anyone in real material need but in order to attempt to demonstrate just how clever they consider themselves to be—while actually loudly, proudly and expensively demonstrating their ignorance and arrogance.

Atheist activist Ariane Sherine was the “brains” behind some of the recent embarrassments which were publicly advertised in the form of bus ads and bill boards. As these ads represented well-within-the-box-atheist-group-think they were, predictably, illogical, presumptuous and pompous.

As “the final phase of the atheist bus campaign…in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast” is coming to a close Ariane Sherine asked her adherents what they could further do with the “amazing sums donated to the campaign fund.”[1]

Surely, some said, “How about feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, funding hospitals, establishing adoption agencies, opposing abortion” or any of a billion humanitarian options. But the overwhelming response was they the money was needed to fund atheist propaganda based on misinformation and common misconceptions due to relying heavily on atheist talking points and lightly on those bothersome facts such as are readily discernable when stopping to actually understand the issues at hand.
She writes,

…we asked how the extra funds should be spent, one of the issues which came up repeatedly in the comments concerned the growth of of faith schools in the UK and the segregation of children according to their parents' beliefs. Many of you felt strongly that children should be given the freedom to decide which belief system they wanted to belong to, if any, and that they should not have a religion decided for them….The atheist campaign team shared this point of view.

The new ads, which feature a 7 and 8 year old child state, “Please don’t label me. Let me grow up and choose for myself” with a background stating, “Mormon child,” “Marxist child,” “Zoroastrian child,” “Buddhist child,” “Catholic child,” “Agnostic child,” etc.


Ariane Sherine claims that this latest atheist propaganda is meant to:
try and change the current public perception that it is acceptable to label children with a religion. As Richard Dawkins states, "Nobody would seriously describe a tiny child as a 'Marxist child' or an 'Anarchist child' or a 'Post-modernist child'. Yet children are routinely labelled with the religion of their parents. We need to encourage people to think carefully before labelling any child too young to know their own opinions, and our adverts will help to do that.

I have covered this issue variously as UK atheist propagandists influenced USA atheist propagandists until in various countries atheists were wasting money on patting themselves in the backs. Just read some of their slogans in my past essays to see that which they consider clever; I am actually embarrassed for them yet, I understand that one of atheism’s consoling delusions is the delusion of being more erudite than thou.

This is merely another sham and a scam as atheist activists are doing what they do best: 1) playing the underdog victim, 2) begging for donations, 3) not being charitable to people in real tangible need, 4) openly displaying their ignorance and arrogance and 5) making their livelihood by condemning others since they think that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

Before getting to a more riotous aspect of the ads themselves let us hit some key points:

1) Such atheist activists seem to overlook the fact that children sometimes are referred to by such labels due to cultural and or social consid­erations and not theological. For instance, Judaism has a Bar/Bat Mitzvah when a child becomes a willing/thinking adult and decides to make a commitment to the faith. Likewise, various forms of Christianity have confirmation. Etc.

2) Richard Dawkins is a supporter of the atheist indoctrination summer camp for children “Camp Quest” (see here for atheism/children related essays including dissections of Camp Quest).

3) Dawkins’ purpose is not this sham of pure freedom but he envisages “society stepping in,”[2] and standing between you and your children. This is not about intellectual freedom but about indoctrinating children into atheism under the thinly veneered disguise of “science,” “evolution,” or education and freedom as Dawkins has expressed that his dictating to the parents of the world how to raise their children “might lead children to choose no religion at all.”[3]

4) For quite some time Dawkins has refused to debate various worthy opponents and so he absconds to attempt to influence the college crowd or much younger children.
He told a group of children “We are machines built by DNA whose purpose is to make more copies of the same DNA…It is every living object's sole reason for living.’”[4] And another group of children, “Put your trust in the scientific method, put your faith in scientific method.”[5]
What is wrong with that? For one, to him “science” and “evolution” are synonymous with atheism. He actually pulled the wool over the children’s eyes as he sought to prove why they could have faith/trust in science by a hard-science demonstration while he is involved in a soft-science that is riddled with quaint Victorian Era tall tales as evidence is interpreted via schools of thought and manipulated to fit the theory (multitudinous evidence is found here).

5) Philip Pullman, the author of “The Golden Compass” related books, chimed in to state, “It is absolutely right that we shouldn’t label children until they are old enough to decide for themselves.” Pullman write perfectly innocent fictional books for little children—right?
He has stated, “I don't think I'm writing fantasy. I think I'm writing realism. My books are psychologically real.”[6] But what does he really write about? As he has admitted, “My books are about killing God” and “I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”

Bottom line: these activists atheist are very good at media campaigns, mostly due to the media’s complicity, and are two faced: one face is the concerned intellectual and the other the zealous atheist out to convert little children, interfere with your parenting, and make a living by expressing prejudice.

Now, what about the ads themselves? What of the children…the children? Well, the actual children in the ads are the children of one of the UK’s “most devout Christian families” and their father, Brad Mason, “is something of a celebrity within evangelical circles.”[7]


Daddy has stated:
It is quite funny, because obviously they were searching for images of children that looked happy and free. They happened to choose children who are Christian. It is ironic. The humanists obviously did not know the background of these children…
Obviously there is something in their faces which is different. So they judged that they were happy and free without knowing that they are Christians. That is quite a compliment. I reckon it shows we have brought up our children in a good way and that they are happy.

Leader of the Pioneer network of churches, Gerald Coates noted, “I think it is hilarious that the happy and liberated children on the atheist poster are in fact Christian.”

Always ready to miss the point and counter-argue against that which no one has argued, Andrew Copson, The British Humanist Association’s “education” director stated:
That’s one of the points of our campaign…People who criticise us for saying that children raised in religious families won’t be happy, or that no child should have any contact with religion, should take the time to read the adverts. The message is that the labelling of children by their parents’ religion fails to respect the rights of the child and their autonomy. We are saying that religions and philosophies — and ‘humanist’ is one of the labels we use on our poster — should not be foisted on or assumed of young children.

The use of their images came about due to a randomly accidental coincidence—yeah, right; no God here, keep moving along and pay no attention—since their daddy who is also a photographer had uploaded their images to a website that photographers use in order to sell images to designers.

Well, atheist activists; keep on throwing money away whilst elbowing each other in the ribs as we discern your lack of charity and manipulative propaganda. You discredit yourselves by merely being left to speak out as loudly and often as you please so, please do keep it up, we hear you loud and clear.

[1] Ariane Sherine, “Hey, preacher – leave those kids alone,” The Guardian, November 18, 2009
[2] During his interview with Gary Wolf, “The Church of the Non-Believers”: here or here
[3] Richard Dawkins, Now Here’s a Bright Idea
[4] Nick Pollard talks to Dr. Richard Dawkins (interviewed February 28th, 1995 published in Third Way in the April 1995 edition [vol 18 no. 3])
[5] Stated during his “Royal Institute of Christmas Lectures” 1991 aka “Growing Up in the Universe.”
[6] New York Magazine, Philip Pullman Realizes ‘Killing God’ Not the Ideal Sales Pitch
[7] Ruth Gledhill, “Children who front Richard Dawkins' atheist ads are evangelicals,” Time Online, November 21, 2009


Continue reading Deceptive Manipulative Propagandist Activist Atheists are at it Again – Unbeknownst to them: their New Ads Compliment Christianity...

11/16/09

The Dawk Pieper Was at it Again

For some reason old news is new news when Richard Dawkins continues to insist that he knows how to raise your child better than you.

Ian Dunt reports the latest in “Dawkins: Faith schools are child abuse,” Politics.CO.UK, 22, Sep 2009.

I could not help but note two objections to the article by commentators,

Why is Richard Dawkins described as an 'infamous' atheist?...

What do you mean by describing Professor Dawkins as "the infamous athiest [sic] and scientist," Mr Dent [sic]? Why, "Infamous" exactly? Betraying some prejudice of your own, perchance?

How is that even a question?

Well, let us get to the rather short article and see if we may discern a reason or two:
Some faith schools constitute an act of child abuse because of the way they rid children of freedom, Professor Richard Dawkins has said.

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth, the famous atheist and scientist told delegates that it was unacceptable to indoctrinate children into any religion or belief system.

"I'm in favour of religious education," he said, responding to a question from the audience.

"I'm in favour of children learning about religion and its role in history.

"What I'm passionately against is indoctrination. That is wicked, that is evil, that is child abuse," he continued.

"You would never describe a child as a Keynesian child, but we all ascribe to this anomaly where religion can be hung round the neck of a child."

Professor Dawkins was promoting his new book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, at an event organised by the British Humanist Association (BHA).

To the interested reader: I commented on The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution here and here.

I have dissected, discredited and corrected various such notions as those expressed by Richard Dawkins in the article various times and in various ways; please see my Atheism Essays Particular to Atheism and Child Rearing



But did I miss something?

The article does not refer to Richard Dawkins as "infamous" but as "famous."

Do not get me wrong, having some form of (self-diagnosed) dyslexia I can understand one person reading "infamous" for "famous." I can even understand two people doing it.

But what I cannot understand—and I quoted the entirety of both comments—is that if one refers to Richard Dawkins as "infamous" then my oh my, it is the makings of outrage, it is prejudice!

Yet, Richard Dawkins referring to religious schools as wicked, evil and child abuse is simply erudite elucidations.

As I have demonstrated time and time again that:
1) Richard Dawkins does not seem to consider that referring to children by their parent’s religion is a cultural phenomena and not a theological one.

2) That therefore, religions have specific ceremonies for the child turn adolescent or adult makes their own decision to actually become part of the religion.

3) That Richard Dawkins asks whether there is “something to be said for society stepping in”[1] to stop you from raising your children according to your faith.

4) Lastly, that his ultimate goal is not merely the liberation of children from those wicked, evil and child abusing schools and parent but that his interference “might lead children to choose no religion at all.”[2]

So go on and be the human shield in front of Richard Dawkins, even when nothing was fired at him except your own misreading, and express all of the outrage that you wish. But in the meanwhile more and more sensible atheists are shunning the New Belligerent Atheists.

[1] Wolf, Gary, “The Church of the Non-Believers,” Wired Magazine (found here and here).
[2] Dawkins, Richard, Now Here’s a Bright Idea


Continue reading The Dawk Pieper Was at it Again...

11/15/09

2012 - Celebrities Compliment Christianity, Again

As Dan Brown and the New Atheists have done; Roland Emmerich compliments Christianity. Roland Emmerich is the director of the new movie 2012.

I must say that the concept of 2012 AD has been fascinating to me for at least as far back as 17 years when I used to do a lot of reading about the Mayans and even made a t-shirt with the numbers 2012 written out in Mayan characters.

Thus, I have known for a long time that as we approached the year 2012 a lot of attention would be drawn to the New Age movement and the occult—all in various forms. I would not even be the least bit surprised if some Christian or another proclaims that Jesus will return in 2012 because this half a verse says this, that obscure reference implies that, add the distance from the Washington Monument to the closest shoe store with the circumference of the Moon and bada bing—oi vey, I can really hear it already.



If you have seen commercials for this movie there is obviously a lot of destruction in view as was the case with Emmerich’s other movies such as “Independence Day,” “Godzilla” and “The Day After Tomorrow.”

When asked “Why do you like killing the world?” he stated, “It makes for a good story.”[1] In his stories he has destroyed the White House twice, “I think my favorite in this one is like the White House destruction.”

The huge statue Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil disintegrates as it falls into pieces which was included in the movie, as Roland Emmerich puts it, “Because I'm against organized religion.”[2]
AMEN to that! Although, I wonder why disorganized religion is any better—probably the appeal of lack of accountability.



Well, if he will destroy a statue of Jesus because he is against organized religion we are surely in for quite a ride: watch out EVERY organized religion, the movie 2012 is sure to crush your sacred symbols!
By the way; note the obvious in that regardless of the fictional story’s premise he give voice to his personal prejudice.

The Vatican’s Sistine Chapel takes a hit:
I always try to come up with what makes sense for the story, you know?...And it's not only about the destruction. It has to kind of stand for something. One of my favorite pieces of art is Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: ... God ... reaches out to Adam, and the crack goes through it. It's just an interesting kind of notion.”

And you thought that this was a natural disaster sort of movie. Nay! This is a theological movie or rather, anti-theological.
Incidentally, I wrote a commentary on “The Creation of Adam.”
Let’s see; that is two for (or against) Christianity and zero for anyone else…what is next?

The Vatican is up again as this time St. Peter's Basilica not only goes bye-bye but the massive dome crushes a crowd of churchgoers:
Why ... don't [we] have the church fall on people's head?...The whole Vatican kind of tips and kind of rolls over the people. It said something, because in the story, some people ... believe in praying and prayer, and they pray in front of the church, and it's probably the wrong thing, what they would do in that situation.

Ok, so we are at three anti-Christian and oh yeah, one anti-American. Surely in the name of diversity other religions and governments will get theirs…let us see.

Well, apparently at least one Buddhist monk get it:


Ah, yes, here we go: the Kaaba in Mecca to which Muslims (who are physically capable) are enjoined to travel at least once in their lifetime during the Hajj; what happens to the Kaaba?:
Well, I wanted to do that [destroy it], I have to admit…But my co-writer Harald [Kloser] said, “I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie.” And he was right…We have to all, in the western world, think about this. You can actually let Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have ... a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is. So it's just something which I kind of didn't [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out.




Oh, I see now; this is the Rushdie vs. Brown effect:
For writing a novel about Islam, “The Satanic Verses,” Salman Rushdie gained a death sentence and many people were murdered, hurt and terrorized. For writing a novel about Christianity, “The Da Vinci Code” et al., Dan Brown gained instant celebrity, millions of dollars, thousands of adoring fans and further contracts to write anti-Christian tales.

But what does “in the western world” mean?
It means in nations premised upon and functioning according to Judeo-Christian principles.
But what does “You can actually let Christian symbols fall apart” mean?
It means that you can purposefully set out to make them fall apart which means that you are purposefully destroying them.
Christians may say, “So what? It’s a movie” or “Shame on him” or “I will pray for him” or “I will not go see the movie” or “I will hold up signs in protest” while he still becomes a filthy rich celebrity.

And here I speak as a Judeo-Christian iconoclast. Whilst working at a Roman Catholic church I was once asked to place a vase of flowers before a statue of Mary. I stated, “I can’t do that” to which the response was to just set it down there. I discerned that perhaps they thought I was stating that I lacked some sort of physical capability and so stated, “My Jewish ancestors chose to die before honoring images, I can’t do it” (just in case, I have written about how to deal with the concept of not making/honoring images).

When Jesus stated that the location (in that case a juxtaposition of Jerusalem and Samaria) was not relevant since God is worshipped in spirit I realized that there are no such things as true “sacred sites” (see his conversation in John ch. 4).



Thus, just as Dan Brown compliments Christianity by besmirching it exclusively, Roland Emmerich follows along gaining celebrity and wealth in the rubble of Christian symbols.

Of course, the New Atheists have likewise turned away from the radical Islam to which they each point as the 9/11 fuel that fed the fires of their unbelief. Rather, via a “brilliant” insight by Sam Harris, they chose to sit in the safety and comfort of countries premised upon Judeo-Christian principles and besmirch moderate Christians. Why take on the Ayatollah, Al Qaeda, and extremist Muslims worldwide and do so on their own turf when you can when you can become a wealthy celebrity in Christian countries whilst taking on the true malice and evil of Jerry Falwell, the Pope, the Bishop of Canterbury, etc.? (details here).

Here is what I have to say to Brown, Emmerich, New Atheists, et al.; you are welcome, I love you and may God richly bless you.

[1] Jonathan Crow, “The One Place on Earth Not Destroyed in '2012',” November 3, 2009
[2] Patrick Lee, “What even Roland Emmerich won't destroy: an Islamic landmark,” Sci Fi Wire, November 2, 2009

Continue reading 2012 - Celebrities Compliment Christianity, Again...