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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Top 100

The 100 Greatest Quotes from fundamentalist christian chat rooms. Wog.

So here's an irony - I know I'm just begging for more pointless commentary on this post from the odd ducks who insist on reading and commenting on my blog even though they don't know me, apparently don't like me, and seem to dislike everything I stand for, and to them I just say, "Seriously, get a job. How can you possibly have that much spare time on your hands? Go read something that makes you happy!" And yet, I must admit that reading the above article does not make me happy. It makes me sad. It makes me awestruck. It makes me fear for the future since the ignorant and fundie are breeding far faster than the average.

So, in the interest of doing something that makes me happy:
Look! A puppy!

He's so cute I had to watch this three times today.

15 Comments:

  • You can count me as being one of those odd ducks. I have been reading and enjoying your blog for the past 5 years ever since contacting you about your stay at the Rushmore Hotel in London.

    The only thing I have to say about this entry is that fundamentalist christians are very scary!

    By Blogger Andrew, at 11:23 PM  

  • As you wish… ;-)

    more pointless commentary… odd ducks… Seriously, get a job… ignorant

    Isn't it strange that the responses are less warm and fuzzy than you may have anticipated?

    they don't know me, apparently don't like me, and seem to dislike everything I stand for

    Much as a fundamentalist Christian might say of your previously expressed opinions, perhaps? :-) Nonetheless, your projection is inaccurate.

    The 100 Greatest Quotes from fundamentalist christian chat rooms. Wog.



    And yet, I must admit that reading the above article does not make me happy. It makes me sad. It makes me awestruck. It makes me fear for the future since the ignorant and fundie are breeding far faster than the average.


    Good news! That list does not represent the mainstream of even fundamentalist Christianity any more than the 9-11 conspiracy wingnuts represent mainstream liberals. This is a classic example of the Internet enabling trolls and twelve-year-olds to pose as serious commenters. Don't fall for it.

    If you or any other readers genuinely want to learn about how science and Christianity relate (rather than Berkeley stereotypes for example): Francis Collins, one of the world's leading geneticists, will speak at Stanford University on February 5th about science and faith in God. You may be surprised.

    By Blogger Michael, at 2:13 AM  

  • Wowie Ammy, I thought you were joking when you implied you had a troll over here. Does he know about all the supportive warm fuzzy comments you got on the syndicated feed? A-mazing.

    Ah well, see you in Hell sweetie!

    By Blogger Jeff, at 11:48 AM  

  • Hmm...I don't know you, but I read your blog. I got interested when searching for crepe places in the bay area and ran across your blog when you were hunting down great breakfast places. By the way, have you found any new places lately?

    I noticed you also sometimes contributed interesting (and usually) liberal viewpoints, but at least you argued with facts and logic, which was a refreshing change.

    That's what interested me, a stranger to your blog.

    As for the Top 100 Christian thing, big deal. I can go to well known liberal sites like dailykos.com etc. and get you all sorts of hateful, intolerant and idiotic comments by the truckload. It's the internet baby! You get it all if you look for it.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 4:46 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Natalie, at 1:46 PM  

  • Speaking as someone who does know you, does like you, and doesn't dislike everything you stand for, darlingest Ammy, I might point out that you have the tiniest teensiest tendency to paint with a broad brush where "fundies" are concerned. "Fundamentalist" isn't a particularly useful term for anything other than invective, as you very well know, and I know you're research-capable enough to dig into nuances of mindset, philosophy of science, philosophy of theology, and the like to use more precise terms. I think what's confusing to people (and attracting people like Michael) is that the way you write seems to evidence some bizarre need to believe that America (or Christendom) is infested with the willfully ignorant and alien. Kevin's right about letting yourself think that quotes found on the internet are representative of anything, as you very well know when it comes to anything that isn't labeled "fundie" in your mind.

    I know this is your blog, and you're entitled to display whatever slice of yourself you please, but it might repulse the trolls (and be better for your mental health) if you occasionally dwelled on the parts of Christendom within your experience that are encouraging. I consider myself as rationally "fundie" as it's possible to be, and as far as I know I've never repulsed you. In fact, unless I'm very much mistaken, you're actually rather fond of me. I don't know if I alleviate your despair for the state of American Christianity, but at least to me, I'm a lot more real than some statistical-theoretical fundie bogeyman in the Midwest.

    Oh, and Michael ... speaking as a brother, allow me to suggest the smallest possibility that commenting on the blogs of strangers is unlikely to advance the Kingdom. Just something to think about.

    By Blogger Natalie, at 1:47 PM  

  • I was raised with a belief that mankind and the world, could and would be a better place. this belief has nothing to do with any deity, simply a trust that things will in the long run improve. I believe that the universe is ever changing, and does not require a deity to force the change, I do not understand the need to believe in a deity of any shape, name or quantity, but it does look like a fair portion of the human race feels this need.

    The people that need to believe and feel the need to force others to believe as they do are some of the scariest people there are, the sad thing is that this list shows that there is nothing anyone can do to change them, so the only answer is to resist their will, and keep moving forward.

    To the many people of faith out there, please remember that your belief is a minority view, all religious beliefs are minority views on a global scale, and you can't all be right.

    By Blogger Fezziwig, at 5:34 PM  

  • trust that things will in the long run improve. I believe that the universe is ever changing, and does not require a deity to force the change

    You are of course perfectly entitled to your belief — and which as far as I can see does not exclude a deity either.

    I do not understand the need to believe in a deity of any shape, name or quantity

    Do you, rather, understand the "need to believe" in an ever-improving universe?

    it does look like a fair portion of the human race feels this need.

    At a distance, it might appear so to an outsider. But may I suggest getting to know some of that portion a liitle better? On a personal level I cannot recall any Christian who has experienced such a "need".

    The people that need to believe and feel the need to force others to believe as they do are some of the scariest people there are

    Surely you jest? Who are these people? I have yet to meet a Judeo-Christian who has any desire whatsoever to force anyone to believe anything — how is that even possible?

    It seems obscene that you would put believers on the same plane as dictators, mass murderers, Nazis, WMD proliferators, and terrorists. Do you actually know anyone like this?

    To the many people of faith out there, please remember that your belief is a minority view, all religious beliefs are minority views on a global scale, and you can't all be right.

    By contrast, a majority of the global population believes in the Abrahamic God. Only 2.5% believe there is no god: atheism is the true minority view, and agnosticism is in the same bracket.

    But frankly, numbers mean nothing. We should be able to agree that being in either the minority or the majority really has nothing to do with truth.

    By Blogger Michael, at 12:55 AM  

  • ...
    "You are of course perfectly entitled to your belief — and which as far as I can see does not exclude a deity either."

    My personal belief does include deities however. but I do not attempt to force anyone into my beliefs

    ...

    "Do you, rather, understand the "need to believe" in an ever-improving universe?"

    obviously, for with out that hope, the future would be a pretty bleak place
    ...

    "At a distance, it might appear so to an outsider. But may I suggest getting to know some of that portion a liitle better? On a personal level I cannot recall any Christian who has experienced such a "need"."

    Their needs are fulfilled by their beliefs. much as the need to breath is fulfilled with every breath you take.

    ...

    "Surely you jest? Who are these people? I have yet to meet a Judeo-Christian who has any desire whatsoever to force anyone to believe anything — how is that even possible?"

    "It seems obscene that you would put believers on the same plane as dictators, mass murderers, Nazis, WMD proliferators, and terrorists. Do you actually know anyone like this?"

    These are exactly the people we're talking about here, these are the ones forcing their beliefs on others. every person that wants to force a gay person to change their "sinnful" ways because the book says that man shall not lay with man, is guilty of attempting to force their beliefs on another. (and why do these same people eat ham at easter?)
    ...

    "By contrast, a majority of the global population believes in the Abrahamic God. Only 2.5% believe there is no god: atheism is the true minority view, and agnosticism is in the same bracket."

    "But frankly, numbers mean nothing. We should be able to agree that being in either the minority or the majority really has nothing to do with truth."

    why is your truth more valid than the truth of 2 to 3 billion Hindus, and other non-Abrahamic believers, or for that matter, why is your sect a higher truth that that of the majority of Christians?

    You have the right to believe what you believe, others have the same right, that is what the first amendment of the US Constitution is all about, and why do these so call patriots not respect one of the most basic tenets of the American way of life.

    By Blogger Fezziwig, at 11:25 AM  

  • And to Ammy, sorry, we really ought to take this discussion elsewhere.

    By Blogger Fezziwig, at 11:28 AM  

  • My personal belief does include deities however. but I do not attempt to force anyone into my beliefs

    But neither do Christians, so we're back to square one. (You have yet to substantiate this presupposition.)

    "Do you, rather, understand the "need to believe" in an ever-improving universe?"

    obviously, for with out that hope, the future would be a pretty bleak place


    Do you have a need to believe that the future is not bleak? (Note that a desire is not a need.)

    "At a distance, it might appear so to an outsider. But may I suggest getting to know some of that portion a liitle better? On a personal level I cannot recall any Christian who has experienced such a "need"."

    Their needs are fulfilled by their beliefs. much as the need to breath is fulfilled with every breath you take.


    But that is a logical error: your fundamental assumption that they have such a need in the first place remains unsubstantiated. (See my previous comment.)

    "Surely you jest? Who are these people? I have yet to meet a Judeo-Christian who has any desire whatsoever to force anyone to believe anything — how is that even possible?"

    "It seems obscene that you would put believers on the same plane as dictators, mass murderers, Nazis, WMD proliferators, and terrorists. Do you actually know anyone like this?"

    These are exactly the people we're talking about here, these are the ones forcing their beliefs on others.


    But now you are changing the subject. Forcing your beliefs upon others is fundamentally different to forcing others to believe, which is what your original comment referred to.

    But who specifically? How many such people have you met?

    Even if we assume for the sake of argument that your thesis is correct, you are then claiming that opposing gay sex is equivalent to genocide. That seems irrational, to put it mildly.

    every person that wants to force a gay person to change their "sinnful" ways because the book says that man shall not lay with man, is guilty of attempting to force their beliefs on another.

    This is a strawman argument without substantiation. Please cite one single example that you have experienced where a Christian has actually tried to force anyone to do anything.

    (and why do these same people eat ham at easter?)

    If you really want to know, I can give you a full answer, but one short answer is that they are Gentiles, not Jews.

    "But frankly, numbers mean nothing. We should be able to agree that being in either the minority or the majority really has nothing to do with truth."

    why is your truth more valid than the truth of 2 to 3 billion Hindus, and other non-Abrahamic believers,


    As I have just pointed out, numbers are irrelevant. But if you want to argue numbers, not only are Abrahamic believers a world majority, but your numbers are off by a factor of 3. There are only about 900 million Hindus.

    why is your sect a higher truth that that of the majority of Christians?

    What sect?

    why do these so call patriots not respect one of the most basic tenets of the American way of life.

    Who specifically are you talking about? Please cite an actual case rather than hypothetical bogeymen.

    And to Ammy, sorry, we really ought to take this discussion elsewhere.

    Should Ammy so request, it can be arranged.

    By Blogger Michael, at 2:33 AM  

  • I do not attempt to force anyone into my beliefs

    But neither do Christians, so we're back to square one. (You have yet to substantiate this presupposition.)

    Every time a gay person is told they cannot marry the person of their choice, they are being forced to conform to to your beliefs, why should anybody be required to do that?

    Do you have a need to believe that the future is not bleak? (Note that a desire is not a need.)

    I believe that I do, but not I do not attempt to make others conform to my beliefs, if you want to believe that that the only way to salvation and life ever after is through your devotion to the one true god, the go ahead and believe it, but please don't require that others follow your beliefs.

    But now you are changing the subject. Forcing your beliefs upon others is fundamentally different to forcing others to believe, which is what your original comment referred to.

    But who specifically? How many such people have you met?


    actually it is fundamentally the same, it has the same net result, you have other people conforming to your belief system.
    and yes I do know people and know of people who have attempted to force there beliefs on me, and to for me and friends of mine to act in way contrary to our desires simply because of that's what there beliefs tell them.

    Even if we assume for the sake of argument that your thesis is correct, you are then claiming that opposing gay sex is equivalent to genocide. That seems irrational, to put it mildly.

    They can stem from the same basic causes, the genocide of nazi Germany was not only aimed at Jews, but also gays, gypsies and other groups that were "OK" to hate because the bible was interpreted in a way that said it was "OK". Hating Gays is as wrong as hating Jews.

    (and why do these same people eat ham at easter?)

    If you really want to know, I can give you a full answer, but one short answer is that they are Gentiles, not Jews.


    Then by that logic, Gentiles ought to love and embrace Gays.

    But if you want to argue numbers, not only are Abrahamic believers a world majority, but your numbers are off by a factor of 3. There are only about 900 million Hindus.

    2-3 billion non-Abrahamic, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoist, Wiccan, all forms of Pagan, a good chunk of the people of sub-saharan Africa, the aboriginal people of Australia and the Americas, and many more that I can not enumerate.

    What sect?
    Good question, what ever sect you belong to is a minority view of Christianity, and even smaller portion of the Abrahamic religions.

    Who specifically are you talking about? Please cite an actual case rather than hypothetical bogeymen.

    We can start with Bush, and Cheney, the people that they are the fronts for, people like Robertson, and Fallwell, all the way down to those loons that are picketing Keith Ledger's funeral, because he once played a gay in a movie.

    I'd like to point out also, that the Bible does not say that the God of Abraham is the only god, indeed it confirms that there are others in the commandment "thou shalt have no god before me" the god of Abraham and Moses just want to make sure that he is first.

    By Blogger Fezziwig, at 2:33 PM  

  • Fezziwig, I don't want to interrupt the debate that you and Michael are having, but I'd like to make sure a couple points get made here:

    First, there's a difference between a person thinking other people should share their beliefs and thinking other people should be forced to share their beliefs. Most people who think they have the correct view of an issue (including Christians) think other people should share their beliefs on that issue. Presumably you think Michael and I should share your views on the morality of gay marriage, because you think you have the correct view of that issue. But you aren't trying to force us to share your beliefs (if you were able to legislate your version of tolerance, would that qualify as forcing dissenters to conform to your beliefs?).

    Similarly, I think I have the correct view of who Jesus was and what implications that has, and as a result I think you should share my beliefs. But I'm not trying to force you to share those beliefs any more than you're trying to force me to share yours.

    What Michael and I are claiming is that most Christians fall into this category. Of course we think people should share our beliefs. We think our beliefs are correct, so why wouldn't we think people should share them? But the fact we think people should believe a certain way doesn't mean we think they should be forced to. And we don't think anybody should be forced to. If that conflicts with the behavior of the majority of the Christians you've met, then I'm sorry you've had such a poor sample of us.

    Second, we can disagree about whether most Christians think people should be forced to believe as they do. We can disagree about whether most Christians think American laws should be based on their morality (personally I don't), or for that matter on any morality. We can disagree about whether most Christians hate gays, or whether most Christians do or don't love and embrace gays. But speaking for myself (and I think for Michael as well), you've just met at least one (and probably two) "fundamentalist" Christian who doesn't think people should be forced to conform to Christianity but nevertheless thinks they ought to be Christian, and who does love and embrace gays (you probably won't believe that last statement, but I'd ask you to suspend your incredulity until and unless you've managed to talk to my friends. Judging by your handle we run in the same circles, so that shouldn't be so hard to do). Please add that fact to your data set for Christianity.

    By Blogger Natalie, at 3:17 PM  

  • I was raised with a belief [that] has nothing to do with any deity, … I do not understand the need to believe in a deity of any shape, name or quantity

    My personal belief does include deities however.


    I fail to see why you make a point of stating that your belief has no need of deities, then state that you believe in deities. Can you explain this apparent contradiction? What is your faith?

    >> people that need to believe and feel the need to force others to believe

    > But that is a logical error: your fundamental assumption that they have such a need in the first place remains unsubstantiated.


    Do you still maintain that such people have this alleged need, and if so can you substantiate it?

    people that … feel the need to force others to believe

    I do not attempt to force anyone into my beliefs

    the ones forcing their beliefs on others.

    person that wants to force a gay person to change their "sinnful" ways


    Notice how you continually changed the subject? Each of those is distinct. Forcing someone to believe something or forcing someone into a belief is fundamentally different to forcing a belief on him, which is again different to forcing him to change his ways.

    I still await your citation of a single example of a Christian trying to force someone to believe something or into a belief, as you originally claimed. And can you explain how this is even possible?

    I also await your citation of a single example of a Christian trying to force someone to change his ways.

    Every time a gay person is told they cannot marry the person of their choice, they are being forced to conform to to your beliefs

    That is not an example of forcing a gay person to believe, into a belief, or to change his ways. It is not even an example of a fundamentalist forcing a belief on anybody. Marriage as it has always existed in this country is not a privilege extended unconditionally to all members of society, no existing rights are being removed, and not a single person is being forced into any action of any kind.

    > But who specifically? How many such people have you met?

    actually it is fundamentally the same, it has the same net result, you have other people conforming to your belief system.


    That makes no sense: your claim is self-evidently false. The net result of genocide is a large number of dead people. The net result of opposing gay marriage is no change at all. That is not even remotely the same net result. It is simply incomparable.

    and yes I do know people and know of people who have attempted to force there beliefs on me, and to for me and friends of mine to act in way contrary to our desires simply because of that's what there beliefs tell them.

    Again: who specifically, and how many such people have you met? How did they try to force you to change your beliefs? How did they try to force their beliefs on you? How did they try to force you to act contrary to your desires?

    You have yet to cite a specific example that you have experienced where a Christian has actually tried to force anyone to do anything.

    > Even if we assume for the sake of argument that your thesis is correct, you are then claiming that opposing gay sex is equivalent to genocide. That seems irrational, to put it mildly.

    They can stem from the same basic causes, the genocide of nazi Germany was not only aimed at Jews, but also gays, gypsies and other groups that were "OK" to hate because the bible was interpreted in a way that said it was "OK". Hating Gays is as wrong as hating Jews.


    But the cause is not the effect. Envy sometimes causes people to buy a pair of sneakers, and sometimes it causes people to murder others so that they can steal their shoes. Does commerce then somehow equate to murder? Of course not — that is utterly illogical. Likewise, it is simply illogical to equate opponents of gay sex to genocidal dictators.

    I believe that I do, but not I do not attempt to make others conform to my beliefs, if you want to believe that that the only way to salvation and life ever after is through your devotion to the one true god, the go ahead and believe it, but please don't require that others follow your beliefs.

    It appears, however, that you want to impose your beliefs on Christians: on how they should express themselves. How is that not hypocrisy?

    Then by that logic, Gentiles ought to love and embrace Gays.

    As they do. Perhaps you confuse the sinner with the sin?

    Note however, that by your logic, Gentiles should not be worshipping God at all — think about it.

    why is your truth more valid than the truth of … 2-3 billion non-Abrahamic, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoist, Wiccan, all forms of Pagan, a good chunk of the people of sub-saharan Africa, the aboriginal people of Australia and the Americas, and many more that I can not enumerate.

    You need to pick your argument. Numbers are either relevant or irrelevant. Which position would you like to take?

    If numbers matter, then the world majority belief is Abrahamic and most likely to be true. If numbers do not matter, then the number of non-Abrahamic believers is simply meaningless.

    >> why is your sect a higher truth that that of the majority of Christians?

    > What sect?

    Good question, what ever sect you belong to is a minority view of Christianity, and even smaller portion of the Abrahamic religions.


    I think the word you are looking for may be “denomination”. No denomination I have ever belonged to has claimed to have a higher truth than other Christians. Christians share equally in higher truth.

    Again, may I suggest getting to know some Christians a little better on a personal basis?

    why do these so call patriots not respect one of the most basic tenets of the American way of life

    To which basic tenet do you refer?

    > Who specifically are you talking about? Please cite an actual case rather than hypothetical bogeymen.

    We can start with Bush, and Cheney, the people that they are the fronts for, people like Robertson, and Fallwell,


    What makes you think Bush and Cheney are fundamentalist Christians? (They are Methodists.) Mary Cheney, in particular, would view that claim as rather suspect!

    What makes you think Bush and Cheney are “fronts” for Robertson and Falwell? Can you substantiate these claims?

    And can you explain why Bush and Cheney are as scary as mass murderers, Nazis and WMD proliferators?

    all the way down to those loons that are picketing Keith Ledger's funeral, because he once played a gay in a movie.

    Cum hoc ergo propter hoc? That is a logical fallacy. What has this got to do with fundamentalist Christianity as a whole? There is no shortage of certifiable extremists of the progressive political persuasion, but why should we blame atheism for that?

    And why are these loons as scary as mass murderers, Nazis and WMD proliferators?

    I'd like to point out also, that the Bible does not say that the God of Abraham is the only god,

    It does not? May I suggest reading Genesis 2:24; Exodus 8:10; Deuteronomy 4:35, 4:39, 6:4, 32:39; 2 Samuel 7:22, 22:32; 1 Kings 8:60; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 17:20; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 18:31; Isaiah 37:20, 43:10, 44:6, 44:8, 45:5, 45:14, 45:18, 45:21, 46:9; Zechariah 14:9; Matthew 6:24, 19:5, 23:8, 23:10; Mark 12:29; John 5:44, 10:30, 17:3, 17:22; Romans 3:30, 16:27; 1 Corinthians 8:4, 8:6; Galatians 3:20; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Timothy 1:17, 6:16, 2:5; James 2:19; or Jude 4, 25?

    indeed it confirms that there are others in the commandment "thou shalt have no god before me" the god of Abraham and Moses just want to make sure that he is first.

    Money can be a god, an idol. Does that mean that money is comparable to God? No. Perhaps you are confusing a real God with false gods (idols)? There are other principalities and powers, to be sure, but they are creations of and subordinate to God.

    What is the point of these asides? They seem to be tangential, unproductive, and distracting from the issues at hand. I can continue to answer whatever aside you choose to raise, but how do they actually contribute to the central discussion?

    Natalie wrote:
    But the fact we think people should believe a certain way doesn't mean we think they should be forced to. And we don't think anybody should be forced to. If that conflicts with the behavior of the majority of the Christians you've met, then I'm sorry you've had such a poor sample of us.

    Given that 3 out of 4 Americans are Christians, I rather suspect that this is a case of selective identification. It just doesn’t make sense to blame the sins of a few isolated extremists on Christianity as a whole, fundamentalist or not: there are extremists in every walk of life.

    By Blogger Michael, at 4:09 AM  

  • The mainstream fundamentalist view is I think nicely summed up by ordained Southern Baptist minister and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee: "I think the Judeo-Christian background of this country is one that respects people not only of faith, but it respects people who don't have faith. The key issue of real faith is that it never can be forced on someone. And never would I want to use the government institutions to impose mine or anybody else's faith or to restrict [it]. I think the First Amendment … is explicitly clear. Government should be restricted — not faith — government. And government's restriction is on two fronts: one, it's not to prefer one faith over another; and the second, it's not to prohibit the practice of somebody's religion, period."

    By Blogger Michael, at 7:00 AM  

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