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New Conversion Tactic: Lies and Trickery

I found this video at The Good Atheist thanks to a tweet from @deanpence. I had tweeted asking for nominations for a new poll — “Creepiest fundie pastor?” — and @deanpence found the following video to be on the top of his list.

This guy is an Egyptian Muslim cleric named Mahmoud Al-Misri. His monologue starts out innocently enough with reminding Muslims not to be tough on sinners but give them treatment like a doctor cares for the sick. Pretty common religious malarkey. But then the BIG REVEAL! Don’t be tough on them, just outright lie to them and threaten them with torture and death!

If I hear another person ever claim that Islam is a “religion of peace”, I am liable to lose my shit.

Atheists Are Happy People

Sorry for the recent absence. I’ve been thoroughly distracted from this website, Facebook, Twitter, and everything else that presents even a minor escape from reality for the last month. Since things are now “looking up” (please do not even TRY to insinuate a pun here) for me, I thought that the following news piece would be highly relevant.

Found at BeliefNet.com, this article examines how non-believers are just as happy and content as their religious counterparts. Really? Ya think? It’s sad that it takes a psychological study for people to realize this, but I’ll just be happy for now that this truth is even being published.

The study suggests that those who are absolutely sure, one way or the other, about the existence of God are most likely to be satisfied with their lives and emotionally stable. It’s the spiritual seekers who tend to be unstable, according to the report.

This makes sense to me. Non-believers are happy in their realization of the absurdity of the religiosity of their counterparts and happy in their acceptance of the natural world as a product of complex changes over time. Believers, however, are happy because they have a steady supply of Kool-Aid to which they have been thoroughly addicted since their indoctrination. It’s the in-betweeners that tend to experience the turbulence and uncertainty. This too makes sense because you either have someone who has been exposed to religion seeking to justify it rationally, or someone with little to no exposure to religion checking it out to see what it may have to offer, as was my case back in the day.

Whatever your case may be, I think the fact that there was even a study commissioned on this topic reveals just how much Christians and other believers believe they have a stranglehold on happiness. It also illustrates their delusion in that they think that no one could possible find happiness in anything other than contradictory Palestinian mythology.

Solace comes in many forms. I choose to take solace in things that are based on facts, i.e. real things.

SEXPOSED!

Of all the archaic “morals”, when will this one finally cease to exist? If someone chooses to not have sex before marriage, that’s fine. I know a lot of people who have made that choice and I 100% respect that. What I don’t respect is that some people have been brainwashed into thinking that it is somehow a sin or devalues your future relationships.

The Bible promotes slavery. As a society, we have all cast a furrowed brow upon that practice. The Bible promotes the subservience of women. As a society, most of us at least, have frowned upon that view as well. When will the same be true of pre-marital sex?

What tickles me the most is when I meet a practitioner of this idea that has done pretty much everything except have vaginal intercourse. Does that even honor the spirit of the idea? If you take the message of the video that you wouldn’t want something that someone else has already used, then how do oral sex, mutual masturbation, anal sex, and other acts “slip through the cracks.”

Don’t get me wrong, I think abstinence is a good idea, but I think discretion is an even better one. Obviously, there are a lot of threats that face people who engage in sex: sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy being the most common. But are there not other ways to avoid those things without fear of eternal hellfire? After all, in accordance with Christian tradition, one could live a life of absolute debauchery and then surrender their heart to Jesus when they’ve finished sowing their oats. The only thing that keeps more people from truly liberating themselves from the shackles of this ancient prohibition is the fear that, if they were to die before surrendering their life to Christ, you know, the hellfire thing.

An Exchange on Gay Marriage

The following text was posted on Facebook.com. I stumbled upon it through a friend of a friend, and commented appropriately. I know it is a bit lengthy, but I wanted to leave the text intact to give you the whole package. I’ve added emphasis in some of the parts that I touch on in my reply.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we all know it’s coming: the day that you either walk down that aisle or watch that woman walk towards you. The world today has so many opinions about how to ‘officially’ define marriage (we know what the definition is) these days: gay, bi, poly, mono, etc. (it is truly rediculous). I’d like to share some ideas on this subject.

First of all, as I have stated in earlier notes, marriage is ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN– this is the definition according to God and the Holy Scriptures comprised into One Holy Bible, consisting of an Old and New Testament. Anyhow, this union is under constant attacks increasing in power and ability, as well as tactfulness. We need to stand up against these and defend what marriage is and testify that all other so called definitions are wrong.

Now for the main topic of this note (aka the title), I want to talk about the beauty of this concept of marriage. People talk about a ‘One and Only’ concept that says that there is one person that is out there for you. Agreed, the goal is to marry one man/woman and live with him/her for your entire life. I would like to disavow the ‘one and only one person for me and all other people are out of luck’ theory, which says that the person you will marry is there and no matter what you do, you will marry this person (I have to be careful when talking about this because a very thin line separates truth from fiction).

I say that the beauty of marriage is that it is a CHOICE: a CHOICE as to whom you will marry, a CHOICE to stay with them and devote yourself to them, a CHOICE to love them, etc. I will now expound on this.

The beauty of marriage is that you get to CHOOSE to marry one person and devote yourself to them for all of life. The beauty comes from “(Insert your man or woman’s name here), out of everyone on this planet God has made, I CHOOSE to marry you and to live this ONE life with YOU and YOU ALONE! I DEVOTE myself ONLY TO YOU, in sickness, health, sadness, joy, rich, poor, on the mountain tops, in the valleys, NO MATTER WHAT!!! I do not have the ‘cheat sheet’ for life; I do not know where He will lead us. I will do my best to believe in, cherish, appreciate, always make time for, and always love with the love God gives me to give to you.”

God WILL provide IF WE ASK HIM TO AND LET HIM people! So, I challenge everyone to ask of Him who gives and see where He leads you (Trust me: He can open doors which you NEVER thought possible (all you have to do is TRUST Him). I will admit, I do not know where He wants me to be or whom He wishes me to be with at this time, but that does not mean that I stop building relationships, because one of these He will allow to flourish despite ALL obstacles into a lifelong happiness.

Go forth and be blessed!

My Response:

“I say that the beauty of marriage is that it is a CHOICE: a CHOICE as to whom you will marry, a CHOICE to stay with them and devote yourself to them, a CHOICE to love them, etc.”

How can you exalt choice when you seek to deny loving couples the option to marry because it defies a 2000+ year old definition? Let us not forget that the same book of the Bible that frowns on “man laying with man as with a woman” also condemns the wearing of blended fabrics and the eating of shellfish.

The human genome has shown us where our hair color, eye color, etc is developed, and as more research is done on the X/Y chromosome, I believe that you will see that gender identity and sexual orientation are not a conscious act of abomination, but a pattern no more changeable than hair or eye color.

By urging the fight against same-sex unions, you do nothing but create a culture of fear and anger against homosexuals and create division in a world that is already full of hostility.

His Private Reply:

First off, I would like to thank you for posting on my note (I do apprecate all resonses and discussions). Can I make something clear to you please? As we know, the Bible condemns homosexual actions; it does not, however, condemn the homosexual himself or herself. We are supposed to love one another as He loves us (He does not hate you or anyone – He hates the sins). So, I do not hate people for the sins they commit (trust me man, I got a list of my own daily). I just wanted to make it clear that even though I do not advocate homosexual marriage (it is not marriage after all – I was making the point that marriage is a choice within God’s laws and the way He designed it), I do not condemn anyone, ok? Some find that hard to believe (and sometimes my human nature gets the better of me), but I try my best to not judge someone for their sins because, if I do, I am judged by the same measure which I was using to judge (aka if I judge you for your sins, then God is going to judge me for mine – I sin daily, so I would not be able to withstand judgment without the blood of Christ, which covers and erases ALL transgressions). I do apologize if I came across like I hate homosexuals (this was not the intention); I was making it clear where I personally stand on the issue and making it known what I believe. Thanks again for responding to my note and have a great weekend.

My rebuttal:

Thank you for responding. I realize the note was old and did not know if you would even see my comment.

I think where we differ is that the definition of marriage given by the Bible and the legal institution of marriage in the United States are not the same thing. While many marriages are sanctioned by and overseen by churches, other marriages take place in front of a judge or justice of the peace not for the fancy thrills, but so that the legal benefits of marriage will be recognized.

Death benefits, tax benefits, custody issues, and other legal quandaries currently present greater frustration to homosexual couples than heterosexual couples because their union is not legally recognized. Love should conquer tradition in this situation and let willing couples join in a legally binding union.

If you sin daily and Christ’s blood covers all of your transgressions, then will it not cover the daily transgressions of homosexuals? The fact that someone defines themselves as “saved” does not infer that they will cease sinning, as most would agree. How then do the transgressions of homosexuals (i.e. their acts) differ from the daily trangressions of you or I?

In 2006, there were over 2.2 million marriages. Also, since the 1980’s there have been approximately 1.2 million couples file for divorce per year. With these staggering statistics, and this large of a percentage of God-supported marriages ending in divorce, should love and the bond between humans not count for a little more than just the sex of the two people involved?

No further response from the fundie…

You see, life was all good when he had only his ancient text to refer to. Clinging to the quotes of people whose bones have long since disintegrated is a weak defense. When presented with statistics, which are easily verifiable, reproduceable, and FACTITIOUS, and logical arguments like “love > ancient scripts”, today’s sound-bite Christian has little to say.