Sunday, March 26, 2006

Seven Days Before Crucified

I usually don't name names, but here we are at the last installment of a series on dogmatism and bigotry among extremist religions in America.

First, let me point out, for the sake of discussion, Atheists are definitely a religion with various denominations, no less; "strong and weak" atheists, Saganists, followers of Nietzsche, Arthur Clarke and many others. Each group has their own commandments. No better than the extremes of Christian fundamentalism, they attack anyone who is not 100% into their dogma. Not only did Jesus spit out "luke warm" water, but the anti-Christ would do the same. But, they both like it hot; both are haters and bigots of those with whom they disagree.

I have learned various techniques through the years as an investigator, to survive while playing the "Pretender". Statistically, the Atheists at "" don't tolerate differences or questioning even as well as do Southern Baptists at "". It took three days for the Atheists to expel someone who claimed to be an "unsure Agnostic." The Baptists, mostly, Southern, took a full week to hang me on their heavy cross.

I will credit the latter, not to tolerance, but to their fear of the perception they would dare expel those who "just want to know how to witness to atheists". The Baptists got incredibly angry that someone would even suggest, for example, that their Bible wouldn't suffice as evidence to an Atheist on why they should become Christians. "It says here in the Bible, you should believe the Bible," kind of crazy, cyclical reasoning, but around and around we went. At some point, I even had to pretend to be ignorant of the writings of Nietzsche, "Also Sprach Zarathustra", where he declares , "God is Dead." They would not post a link to a site that defended these evil words. They covered their little burning ears.

By the way, for the record, Nietzsche never claimed to be an Atheist, and his writings suggest more a belief in God than a disbelief, as you can't say He is dead, if he never existed.

However, the greatest surprise came when I suggested the parts of the Bible where Jesus was quoted, "The RED LETTERS," were superior to say, the words of Paul or the Old testament (Pre-Christ), I was attacked to a greater extent than any. I was called a "sissy", "wimp", "unsaved", "not a Baptist nor a Christian." How dare I suggest Jesus was the number one authority on Christianity?

How could I question the fallibility of the Bible which has been used to defend genocide and repression of people on the basis of sex, creed, color, national origin...?" And of course, anyone that would consider things might have changed since the Bible told people to assassinate eaters of pork, shellfish and homosexuals, would be a "heretic". To this day, you will still get into a "cyber fist fight" with Southern Baptists if you suggest even the smartest woman is more qualified to pastor a church than the dumbest man.

In all fairness, not all of the group was hateful nor did they even necessarily express disagreement, but their failure to step up and defend people while they were being attacked or laughed at was simply "un-Christian." There were digital high-fives and laugh-riots when someone would attack those who would express an open mind. They would even use their "emoticons" to wave goodbye to you after a particularly childish insult. There were all of three who outwardly, mildly defended me when I suggested Jesus' love was more important than God's hate. There was even a moderator, DHK, who I sometimes referred to as DIK, who followed me from commentary thread to thread. He either joined in the attacks or simply watched them. I knew he was there because he kept participating in the debates.

When I complained to the Webmaster, Andrew, and sent quotes from the attackers, he simply ignored them and eventually apparently supported my banning. One attacker "standinfirminchrist" (he'll appreciate credit) and his wife, played sockpuppets for one another. I had to use small words for him, and he still didn't ever directly address any of my or other open-minded people's points. Near the end, he complained that I wouldn't take it like a man from his belligerent wife.

A Brit, one "Matt Black" seemed to be able to say just about anything without much backlash. It seems he had built up steam and having survived on the site for a while was not worried in the least about being banned. He even compared God of the Old testament to Hitler and drew little wrath. I suspect he had handled his attackers with and charm earlier in his apprentice days on the site.

In the bigger picture, I didn't hear anything that surprised me in light of the Pat Robersons and Jerry Falwells. They generally vehemently supported our attack on Muslim countries as God's will. Iraq's losses were ineffectual while our loss of life and oil were justification for anything we had to throw at them.

When I first arrived at the board, there were no less than six open threads complaining about the "homosexuals," from marriage to free speech to pedophilia, well, just about anything wrong with society was their fault and "they must be killed" according to Leviticus. I didn't even get to stay long enough to ask anyone if they thought Jesus and some of the disciples might have been gay. I really screwed up alienating myself before I had the chance to throw that one into the mix.

In the larger picture, it is a shame "Christianity" suffers from the truly extraordinary bigotry of the "Southern Baptists" and their minority Independent Baptist brothers. I made reference to a well-known "American Baptist" pastor, Tony Campolo, who , among other things, states "Jesus is not a Republican." Tony has authored 32 religious books and even he knew nothing according to many on this board.

Love, tolerance, peace, protection of the weak... all these "Christian" values went not only to the wayside, they were clearly attacked, consistently! If anyone is worried that the "religious right" might be backing down in light of the recent setbacks in Iraq or Bush's approval ratings, don't lose any sleep. The hate dating back to the Holy inquisition is alive and well in America, and I still fear someone knocking on my door to drag me off to the cross!

For those who offered true Christian friendship: Thank you for such clearminded analysis and kindness. There are clearly today in American Christian churches and even in the media that have never looked beyond their time or place. They pound their Bibles on the heads of those to whom they say they witness. They forget that modernday Russia and in the days before Gutenburg, the Christian Word (John 1:1) lived and people found Christ and Christian values without a Bible. I just talk with my fingers. I see many at the use one finger and sometimes HIGH FIVE ... like they scored, even when they didn't.

Editor's Note: Before this article was even completed, someone on the site discovered my true identity and had already posted a warning on that an enemy had been in their midst. According to my visitor logs, many have been here looking for their names in lights.

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