M y nephew Clint sent me this Christian hate letter he received.I think it speaks for itself. Clint has opened himself up to such expressions of hatred by simply exercising his rights of free speech on his excellent blog. Sometimes these kinds of letters make me wish there really was a hell–for Christians themselves. That would be poetic justice. Of course, the humanist in me just wishes they could be rehabilitated and learn to eliminate their sense of shame, their superstition, their desire for external redemption, take responsibility for their own choices, and and join the “brotherhood of man.” (By identifying primarily with an imaginary “eternal life,” they have voluntarily separated themselves from those of us who recognize that this life and this world are all that we have.)
Now, the letter:
I see by your page setup how you raise yourself upon a pedestal of narcissistic self indulgence and blasphemy. I’ll bet if you were chocolate, you’d eat yourself. Although my God, Jehovah, has told me by his inspired word to “Return evil for evil to no one”, I can’t resist this time in saying that I happily look forward to Jesus’ promised return so I can wave goodbye to you as you disappear with all wickedness into the vortex of Jehovah’s destruction! And even someone as self-important as you’ve seem to make yourself has got to know that this sick violent world cannot last unto itself much longer. Change your attitude while you still can. That self-imposed “happiness” you work so hard to portray on the net is just a mask for hatred and prejudism and bias. You’re being blinded by Satan, but that’s obviously a choice you “intelligently” have made no doubt based on a life experience rich with the devil’s education and evil perception.
No, Jesus does not and would not smoke “marijuana”. But I can guarantee you something he will smoke..and that is your existence straight into the everlasting lake of fire where your complete and eternal destruction awaits you if you don’t make a change very, very soon. [emphasis in original]
Sincerely and with true Christian Love,
Just another “Christian Troll”
Do not reply. I have blocked your address because I have been guided through God’s word to turn my back on apostasy completely. Besides, you seem to be doing fine having your one-sided say through your vile webpages, so I reserve my right to have my one-sided say in sending you this letter. It’s not too late for you, Clint.
Sometimes, it’s hard to believe someone like this is serious. But I’ve seen too many of them over the years. They clearly are. Worse, this one is a self-described troll! One of the hallmarks of the mentally unbalanced Christian is their hilarious use of bad metaphor. It never fails. I always wait for it, because I know it’s coming. This letter’s example “I’ll bet if you were chocolate, you’d eat yourself” proves to be no exception. The statement means exactly what?
To Christians: You may employ the “no true scotsman” fallacy to deny that the letter-writer is a “true Christian.” But look closely within yourself, and you will see seeds of the same hatred, in the desire to control others’ behavior and beliefs in Jesus’ name. Your compulsion to “save” others is a form of mental illness and foments nothing but in-group/out-group thinking. It is bad fruit from a bad tree, and no matter how much you try to justify other aspects of Christianity as “loving,” you can never escape the rotten core of Christian master/slave morality, and its enforcement through the winning combination of condescension, social opprobrium, authoritarian control, and hate.
Embracing compassion and reason is the key to sanity and true human happiness. As they used to say in driver safety class: “The life you save may be your own.”
I have to wonder if it was the same person who started the “crusade” against my “What Would Jesus Smoke” flickr picture that I posted here:
Now I’m not going to pretend I’m a gentleman, or that I’m taking the moral high ground, or that my tactics are any less deplorable then theirs. I do immature things like google their username, find their youtube account, and rate their baby videos with 1 star.
So I will just use the 3rd grader argument: They started it! WAHH!! WAHHH!!!
And if you think the comments there are bad, just imagine the ones I deleted…
I probably shouldn’t respond to these people, but I get a certain thrill out of wasting their energy. Sort of a cold-war tactic. I just insult them back until they run out of energy.
I think I have to force myself to not care somehow…
Your link is not working, it seems to require a login. I’d like to see that picture. Maybe I can post it.
It shouldn’t actually require a login, since it’s public, not private … But flickr is yahoo-owned, so your yahoo login should work. (Every Netizen must have a google and yahoo login!!:))
I’m surpirised there isn’t more caps and multiple exclaimation marks like you get from most christian trolls.
“I canâ€™t resist this time in saying that I happily look forward to Jesusâ€™ promised return so I can wave goodbye to you as you disappear with all wickedness into the vortex of Jehovahâ€™s destruction!”
Because that was what Jesus was all about, enjoying other peoples’ misery. I remember the beatitude: “Blessed are those who have festering pustules; they crack my shit up.” Seriously, are you sure you are talking to Jehovah and not “Evil Jehovah”? It’s hard to tell the two apart, granted. The only difference is that evil Jehovah has a little pointy goatee.
Do not reply. I have blocked your address…
Ah yes, the old “Now that I’ve presented my opinion on the matter, I’ll cease all communication with you and pretend I won” trick.
Now where is the entertainment value in that?! ;)
It’s a bit of a train wreck watching them spit venom and vitriol, but still watchable. Doesn’t hurt the page hits either. heh
I love that a.) this person says exactly what their god expects of them and then says “but fuck that, I’m gonna do this my way!”, and b.) “Sincerely and with true Christian love” … yep, seems about par for the course for “Christian love”.
@Clint: good blog by the way, scanned a few posts and like what I’ve seen so far!
** Xianity was never a love-fest, but a vipers’ tangle **
Xian intolerance and self-righteousness were traits noted with distaste by Romans, two thousand years ago. (See R. Wilken. The christians as the romans saw them. Yale Pr. 1984)
The new religion appealed to poor, uneducated, displaced people pushed into great cities in the eastern Roman Empire. With Jerusalem destroyed and the province of Palestine subjugated in 70 CE, thousands of anti-Roman Jews escaped into Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Alexandria, and Rome where there were already Jewish enclaves.
Cults of Jesus appealed to marginalized Jews and pagan malcontents who wanted a world cleansed of Roman occupation, who hoped for a religious military leader, who wanted revenge.
One of those was Paul of Tarsus whose letters to xian cells are considered “holy writ” even today. Paul fashioned a mythical being of cosmic proportions who would purify his believers, destroy the empire, and bring about a magical end of the world.
In short, he and his fellow revenge seekers needed a god sharing their nihilistic â€œvalues.â€ Paul had a perverse self-understanding:
26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised thingsâ€”and the things that are notâ€”to nullify the things that are . . . . 1Cor 1:26-28 NIV
Xianity still appeals to those who believe themselves mistreated. To those in whom resentment surges. To those who must blame others, xianity is addictive nihilism. Directed inward, hatred of self. Directed outward, hatred of others and the world.
The ‘New Testament’ should come stamped with a skull-and-crossbones.
Fundies are mentally disturbed; and their beliefs, reinforced by brainwashing in monster churches and via televangelists, are a public health menace.
Do not reply. I have blocked your address because I have been guided through Godâ€™s word to turn my back on apostasy completely…..I reserve my right to have my one-sided say in sending you this letter.
This is sort of like walking into a crowded elevator, farting, and then walking out again just before the doors close.
I canâ€™t resist this time in saying that I happily look forward to Jesusâ€™ promised return so I can wave goodbye to you as you disappear with all wickedness into the vortex of Jehovahâ€™s destruction!
Wow, talk about this person being sooo un-Christlike!!
Besides, you seem to be doing fine having your one-sided say through your vile webpages, so I reserve my right to have my one-sided say in sending you this letter. Itâ€™s not too late for you, Clint.
I thought part of the game of being Christian was not falling to the level of the person you’re disagreeing with.
This dude falls way lower than you, Clint.
Oh, and the whole Satan blame game from this person? So, I am demon-possessed if I sin, not possessed if I turn from sin. Totally against the concept of the supposed Christian belief of free will.
You will know they are Christians by their hate.
At least, that’s how it goes today.
Wow. This guy gives those of us that believe in God a bad name
Why does every christian wacko remind me of my father?
“Sincerely and with true Christian Love,”?
I remember one of my dad’s hours long red-faced tirades about a co-worker that had pissed him off, and he kept yelling, “But I know Jesus, so I’ve already forgiven the fucking bitch, and she’s going to rot in Hell!”
It’s always a treat to have a more polite Christian pretend not to be in league with such hate-filled fundies as “Christian Troll”. One read through the entire Bible, not just the parts that seem loving and righteous, will reveal a God who, indeed, demonstrates such hate and wrath as our Troll wills on Clint. Jehova is a murdering, raping, angry, self-righteous, merciless god. Anyone who says differently hasn’t read the Christian Bible.
So, I’ve got to ask:
When are the “nice” Christians going to aim some serious opprobrium at the “nasty” Christians, instead of refusing to criticise their own? If they won’t spend any effort to clean up their own camp, why should we not group them all together?
Ben Stone wrote:
Yes, he sure does…
Well, I guess that whether you are theist or atheist, there is always going to be somebody trying to break your mojo.
We are all humans, being. These people are just those “God loves you but we’re his favourites” kind of Christians. If they were really following the Christian path, they would be following the double commandment of love that Jesus set out for people – love your neighbour as you love yourself. Fundamentalists are in every religion, they take on a religious identity instead of trying to embrace a spiritual life. I think Blaise Pascal had it right but that is just my opinion.
At the end of birth is death; all meetings end in separation and all accumulation ends in dispersal. We have to be clear and in the present. We cannot change the past and the future has four aspects: the possible, the probable, the preferable and the plausible. Better to live today. We spend too much time dwelling on the “why” of things.
You have a most interesting blog.
There was one good–if accidental–observation from the hate mail: the term “this sick violent world.” Yes, it is a sick and violent world if the measuring stick is compassion, community, empathy, excellence, optimism, vision, leadership, integrity, courage, critical thought, respect for others, human freedom, equal opportunity, etc.
But there is a reason that the world is as it is: “red in tooth and claw” Darwinian evolution. We’re animals. Life is suffering because Darwinian evolution is blind. To speak metaphorically, as if to personalize a blind force, “it doesn’t care” about human happiness. It just is.
I strongly recommend a remarkable book by Charles Fisher, Ph.D., entitled Dismantling Discontent: Buddha’s Way Through Darwin’s World. Fisher traces the biological roots of human suffering, and his thoughts are as profound as they are provocative–in contradistinction to the magical world view. The book has a preface by Lynn Margulis, Carl Sagan’s first wife (and a world-renown biologist), and an introduction by Dorion Sagan, Carl’s son. I’m far enough into it now to understand why: this is a hard-core biology book that pulls no punches. It is a deep exploration of what nature is really like–for instance, of how animals catch diseases or die violent deaths in the wild.
In brief, human suffering exists because it is built into the deep biological structures of human life. The evolutionary advents of self-reflective consciousness, speech, and an agrarian world have created conditions wherein members of our species are able to effectively communicate with great precision their sufferings, and reflect on them in their plentiful leisure time (compared to how much time they had to do so during the hunter-gatherer era).
Although I’m only halfway through the book, I think that the message is that although some of us can meditate as one means of potentially taking the edge off of some forms of suffering some of the time, there is no escape from old age (assuming that we make it that far), sickness, and death.
I don’t know and I don’t care whether or not there is a deity. Personally, I doubt it, but I’m too aware of epistemological problems to declare with a certainty that I don’t believe that there is one or not, or that there is a life after death, or not. I hope for the best but fear the worst. I look on in horror as my parents age. I wonder what it will be like–as an only child–to have to take care of them. I wonder what my own life will be like when it approaches its end. Will I die quietly or loudly? Will I die with courage or in the throes of terror and in great pain? The latter seems far more likely to me.
When I think about cults, I see little that separates them from Fortune 1000 corporations. Capitalism is merely a social reflection of biological evolution. It is by its nature violent. Any gains that have been made in improving the quality of human lives have been achieved through science and humanism. In the end, what, really, do we have apart from each other and our collective wits?
In his brilliant song, “Young Americans,” David Bowie sings the insightful lyric, “We live for just these twenty years, still we have to die for the fifty more.” My twenty years ended eighteen years ago. While I wouldn’t call the past eighteen years “dying,” exactly, biologically, it’s true. Even psychologically in some sense, it feels true.
Life is short. It seems so ridiculous to delay anything: the pursuit of one’s dreams, the pursuit of love, the pursuit of joy, the application of one’s strengths to try to create and hopefully realize joy.
Wittgenstein wrote something to the effect that whatever reason there is that we’re here, it doesn’t appear to be to enjoy ourselves. That’s surely the understatement of the past several centuries.
Perhaps life has a meaning, or perhaps not. I tend to think that by “meaning,” most people denote experiences that produce pleasurable feelings. That’s why I theorize that music is meaningful to many people. It alters brain chemistry in often salubrious ways. Some relationships accomplish the same end.
It would be wrong to equate correlation with causation–qualia with brain states. The case for causation certainly does seem quite powerful, however.
My name isn’t Andrew Marks, but it’s as good a name as any. I am a philosopher, though, and I am gay. At 38, I stare from atop a hill, with life half over, and an uncertain second half (if I’m “lucky”) ahead. I’ve had young friends die–always the most talented and beloved. I witness so much suffering every single day among people living on the streets of Milwaukee. Every day in the business world, I see–beneath the patina of personas adopted by individuals to win customers and money–absolute brutality and ruthlessness.
But every once in a rare while I see acts of kindness. The irony is that “bad” people can be kind, and “good” people can be cruel. It would be a drastic oversimplification (and commit the fundamental attribution error in psychology) to suggest that there even is such a thing as a good or bad person. There are actions that individuals commit, and whether they’re good or bad ultimately depends on what one values. Camus would have pointed out that no matter how hard one tries, one’s every actions inevitably cause harm to others, in however diffuse a way.
One belief that I firmly uphold is the belief in hell, because I think that we’re in it–here and now. Enjoy as much of life as you can while you can, for tomorrow–whether in 24 h or 24 y, or soon enough thereafter–we will die.
People are free to believe what they want to believe or to believe in nothing, it is their choice We all have the freedom of our thoughts. No one has the right to force their beliefs or opinions on another or to denigrate another persons beliefs or opinions. Constructive criticism is an oxymoron. People use critical thinking as an excuse to be intolerant, cruel and sarcastic. We live in a world where people collect experiences and not satisfactions. Discernment is what is lacking. “Oh to be an ant among the sugar and the sand, then I would only taste what was sweet.”
I find your opinion that if you are a Christian you automatically have hate in your heart to be bigoted. You are automatically grouping people and stereotyping them. That is against reason and compassion which you wish to advocate. I know Christians who behave as you describe, unfortunately a couple are related to me.
One of the biggest problems with Christianity (and all faiths) is the tendency to interpret or reinterpret the bible for their own personal convenience. This has been a problem since the beginning and the end result are closed minded people writing letters like the one you mention. The core of Christianity is never supposed to be master/slave relationship. It was supposed to be a teaching of compassion. Jesus taught compassion above all. The Pharisees taught tradition and authority. And the Authority killed him.
I am in IT. I am a great believer in logic and reason. 0 and 1. Reason and logic are not pure and untaintable. Even reason can be twisted to do horrible things as much as any religion. During slavery and segregation, people remember the role Christianity played in keeping those horrible institutions. No one remembers that hundreds of scientific papers were published supporting the inferiority of other races. Lookup Arthur de Gobineau. Such papers are still being published. James Watson (DNA pioneer) only just recently retired, claimed to show how testing had proven Africans were less intelligent. An everyday example, ever spend hours talking yourself into doing something that in hindsight you shouldn’t have done anyway?
I am a Christian. Just asking that you don’t lump us all into one stereotype.
Actually, that’s not what the article says at all. It says that Christians often behave in condescending and hateful ways to non-believers. Some worse than others. What you have in your heart no one can say.
‘Reason’ doesn’t DO anything. People do things. Logic is untaintable. As I’ve said before, 2+2 will always = 4, even long after the universe has become a burnt out cinder.
Reason requires thought and consciousness, so can never be separated from subjectivity. But properly applied, reason is as unassailable as logic.
Don’t pull out the eugenics/racism card. It’s a red herring that’s got nothing to do with reason and everything to do with prejudice. People repressed and took advantage of others for personal gain. Ultimately, racism has at its root the same in-group/out-group thinking that Christians and other religions engage in.
Christians are not better or worse than other believers. What’s at issue here is belief without evidence, something you can never get completely away from as long as you have “faith.”
At risk of making a menial comment, I would like to agree with Cheryl, comment #18 – yes it is a most interesting site. Thank you for your efforts BlackSun, this site has become a part of my daily reading.
Cheryl (and Annette C.)
The pursuit of knowledge will always result in offending someone, or destroying some outmoded (but loved) tradition. Regardless, it is my position that it is better to seek truth than comfort.
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I guess you missed the part about respect for others. Logic and reason are infinitely taintable because they are products of the human mind and subject to the individuals projections and shadows – as well as prone to the problems of chronic over analysis, diphtong dementia, verbal diarrhea and uncontrolled vowel movements. They are subjective and anecdotal (for example is not proof, and proof is merely a matter of persuasion), not objective and empirical – just opinions and an opinion is a belief. Logic and reason can be illusory or cerebral.
Anyway, sorry you got Christian hate mail. I get a lot of religious hate mail. You get used to it. I had a nice visit but I have a lot of work to do so I wish you well.
I think there is benefience to apparent negativity in the form of offence or insult, if it is a catalyst for growth. Even if it is not apparently conducive to growth, or apparently productive in any way, it can still teach, even if is teaching the “offender”, for example who might (or might not) decide, “I wish to communicate differently next time”, or the recipient, “What is there to learn here? Am I ‘guilty’ of same ‘offence’ in other parts of my life?”
I will embrace discomfort if discomfort is what will impart growth at the time. But this is not everyones choice or necessity.
I agree with Black Sun that logic is untaintable. However, I think we might be defining logic differently than you. When I think of logic, I think of formal logic. If you are familiar with mathematic proofs, that is more along the lines of what I refer to when I talk about logic, as modern math is based on formal logic. There is however a more slang use of the word logic that refers to human thought processes used to reach a conclusion, which would be entirely different. The problem arises because it is often difficult to go from things that are vague and imprecise like natural language into a formal logic setting.
While I agree with you that Christians are people and as people can do both good and bad things, I disagree that Christianity encourages compassion. Christianity is not about compassion, it is about selfishness. Christians only act kindly towards others in hope of recieving large rewards (going to heaven). That is not true compassion at all, it is a truly selfish system of doing whatever it takes to ensure the continuation of one’s own existence or pleasure.
You also talk about science’s role in things like rascism, but you fail to mention how things like religion and culture effect how evidence is viewed, percieved, and analyzed. Examine the writers of those papers and you will find in their midst plenty of Christians. Also, if one lives in a country that has profitted economically or in a culture where one’s family profits economically from things like slavery, then people do not want to disagree or have to accept that they are participating in something immoral, so they make excuses. Critical thinking is exactly what is nessecary for people to seperate out actual evidence from cultural and/or religious influences.
[…] I always thought “Ye who has not sinned should cast the first stone”, but hey, Christians don’t seem to know much about being Christ-like, just like Muslims don’t seem to know much about being Mohammad-like. (And if they did, they would all have 6-year-old wives like Mohammad.) My uncle Sean has already published, analyzed, and commented on this letter, and there are already a few comments over there on his blog. He is more calm and collected, and can say how I feel better than I can. […]