Everybody remember Adam, my anti-blogger? Great guy. He’s a right-wing Evangelical Christian Fundamentalist who blogs at AdamsWeb.us. We met over a pizza in Boise. He’s my go-to guy for perspectives from the American Taliban, as I am his go-to guy for perspectives from pot-smoking, gay-friendly, barking-moonbat, secular progressive atheists. We couldn’t be more opposite politically, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a very nice guy and a fellow human being. He’s also one of the few Christianists who’ll still spar with me.
Anyhoo, earlier I had posted on “The Blasphemy Challenge”, which suggests that denying the Holy Spirit is a surefire way to get a guaranteed ticket to Hell. He responded that basically the verse in question was taken out of context; it’s not denying the Holy Spirit, but ascribing His actions to demons that gets you the eternal “Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect Eternal Salvation” card.
I replied back to Adam with the note that follows in There’s Moresburg. Chime in if you like…Someone else in the comments replied to me with something very similar, saying that if you didn’t believe in the Holy Ghost, you couldn’t blaspheme Him. You have to ascribe the work of the Holy Ghost to satanic forces to pull that off, which would require believing in the Holy Ghost.
Of course, I find the whole thing very silly. You mean that I took out of context from a multiply-mistranslated ancient Hebrew oral mythology the alleged words of a supposedly virgin-birthed philosopher (who had superhero powers and later became the undead, but is simultaneously human and omniscient, omnipotent, invisible creator of the universe) telling me that only if I ascribe the actions of the good benevolent ghost (which is also simultaneously the man and the invisible creator) to evil nefarious spectres will I be permanently denied entrance to the imaginary place of eternal joy after I die, and instead I will be tormented in agony by the most powerful evil nefarious spectre in a different, warmer imaginary place for eternity after I die?
Drat. This seems really important, so I’d better get it right. Looks like I need to believe in the Holy Spirit, see something happen that was influenced by the Holy Spirit, and then claim that was actually the work of demons.
Wait, I know! George W. Bush always claims Jesus is his favorite philosopher and that God called upon him to become president. That’s gotta be the work of the Holy Spirit!
“The election of George W. Bush was the work of Satan!”
There. That should do it.
Now, on another note… I will be touching on the dangerous anti-American mass brainwashing and hallucination we call “evangelical Christian fundamentalism” as a regular spot on my upcoming radio show. I’m curious about your views on this point of mine:
Why the desperate need to “save” me? If I understand Christian doctrine, God gave us free will. It is the test of a Christian to choose Jesus and accept eternal salvation. Given the alternative, I can see why a Christian would want to be saved, and I can even see why they’d want to see their family and friends saved.
But why me? Do you not believe in free will? If I have chosen to go to hell, why not leave me to my choice? It’s not like you get extra points in Heaven for all the souls you got to accept Jesus (you don’t, do you?… actually, that would explain a whole lot.)
And these attempts to pass Christian Sharia Law in America… no marriage rights for gays, no pornography, institutionalized discrimination and hate speech under the excuse “it’s my religion”, even harsher prohibition of drugs, censorship of “blasphemous” speech, no beer sales on Sunday, mandatory worship of the Decalogue, government enforced procreation, and so on. If there is a law that forces me to act Christlike, does that not also interfere with God’s gift of free will? If my actions do not directly harm you but only harm my soul, what business is it of yours? Does your God have such poor aim that when he strikes down the United States of Sodom & Gomorrah, he also might accidentally strike down the saved among us?
If a man has a right to go to Heaven in the way he sees fit, he should also have the right to go to Hell in the way he sees fit. Why should Christians care if there is a stray boobie on TV? Why should they care if a soldier on a live newscast utters an F-bomb when a grenade goes off nearby? Why should they care about two boys kissing or girls having sex for fun or whether a hard working man smokes a doobie after work? These are earthly things, “render unto Caesar” and all that. If you’re saved, good for you. If you’ve told me about Jesus, great, you’re off the hook. Now leave me, my dirty movies and TV, and my bedroom activities alone! If you’re right, you get to enjoy an eternity of harp music and I get a hot poker up the ass.
Or is it that the Christians just can’t control their own impulses when the non-Christians among them are enjoying earthly pleasures? It’s not that they care about our heathen souls, it’s that the fervent belief in a shared hallucination is barely managing to suppress their own carnal desires and any open, shameless exposure to such will open the floodgates of sin in the Christian (c.f., Rev. Ted Haggard, Rev. Jim Bakker, Rev. Jimmy Swaggart…) We tend to hate in others that which we most despise in ourselves.
I think the answer will be something about “the children”. It always is. The children might see the boobie or hear the curseword or be recruited by “teh gay”. Sounds to me like lazy Christian Mommy & Daddy want government to do their moral policework for them. Don’t want your kids to be corrupted by TV? Don’t buy a TV. Shouldn’t y’all be doing Bible study anyway? Don’t like gay considered normal in the classroom? Teach your own kids; we’ll let you do that. Don’t want your boy to grow up wearing Dolce & Gabbana and singing show tunes? Well, what sort of influences could have infected your boy with “teh gay”… I mean, you prayed for him, took him to church, and kept him away from all secular activities, right?
This was revealed to me as my partner had a discussion with one of the fundies working on a cable access show where I film my show. When she identified as an atheist, his response was “well, if I believed like you, why wouldn’t I just go out and steal your car, shoot people, burn down buildings, and take drugs?” Because, apparently, only the fear of the invisible man in the sky is enough to keep this guy out of jail for grand theft, murder, arson, and drug possession. “You assume lack of belief equals lack of morals,” my partner replied, “which it does not. I don’t do those things because I have empathy for other people and respect for the law, neither of which require belief in imaginary deities. I’m more frightened by the fact that it is only an ancient book and some superstitions that keep you from robbing, burning, and killing me than you’re frightened by my lack of belief.” (These are the times when I really love my partner and am glad we got a civil union. I’m glad I’m male and she’s female so we were legally able to have that union. Gay people deserve the same right.)
Finally, why are you fighting the inevitable? You believe in the Revelation of St. John? Jesus comes back, you and the faithful get Raptured, and the rest of us writhe in misery for a thousand years. That’s God’s plan. If you’re successful in saving us all, you will ruin God’s plan. Who are you to tinker with God’s plan?