Right then let's catch up with Bob Hutton, as I've missed three of his posts.
Bob's Bowel Movement The First: "A Warning To All Evangelists (And All Christians, Too!)"
I take this one quite personally, as it's framed as an attack on one of my readers, and constitutes a complaint about things said in the comments on my own blog—and yet Bob doesn't even have the decency to link to the comments in question so that his readers can make their own judgements. Is he, perhaps, afraid that people might think his complaints unfounded? Or is he, perhaps, a discourteous shit-head with no sense of politeness or of moral decency?
I've said this before, Bob, and though you've flatly denied it, you've never actually explained in what way I'm wrong. Failure to give the full facts is lying by omission, and a liar by omission bears false witness just as much as does a liar by commission. Try obeying your own bloody scriptures before complaining that others don't do so.
Anyways, Bob says:
I was shocked, recently, to discover that a militant atheist, who has been doing the rounds of the internet pouring out invective against the Bible, was once an evangelist with a reputable Christian organisation.
I don't know why Bob finds this shocking. For starters, many of the most outspoken atheists I know are ex-theists of one stripe of another. In fact, as someone who's never been religious, I'm in something of a minority amongst vocal atheists. (Also, just an observation: I've never seen "reputable" used as a synonym for "bunch of self-righteous, over-pious joyless wankers," either.)
Bob rambles on:
When I first read his bitter comments (writing under a pseudonym) against everything to do with the Christian faith I noted that he gave some clues as to his background "as a Christian, and member of the Brethren". Upon further reflection I suspected that he used to be a particular evangelist (I won't give his name) who left a Christian organisation "under a cloud" about 17 years ago. When I challenged him about his real identity he reacted in a very abusive manner and refused to deny that he was, indeed, the person I had in mind.
Let's get something straight. Bob was, to my first-hand knowledge, "challenging" (read: "harassing") this person for several days, both here and elsewhere, regarding their offline identity, before finally being told to piss off. Then, when I weighed in and said I won't have such behaviour on my blog, Bob got all huffy and said he didn't want to comment here anyway—this despite the fact that he has, in the past, used several sock-puppet identities to try to comment here, when he was banned from doing so.
Bob, another lesson on the internet: If someone posts under a pseudonym, then they have, quite bloody obviously, decided for some reason that they don't want their real name being bandied around the interwebs. There are many reasons why people remain pseudonymous and/or anonymous on the internet, ranging from fear of physical attack to concerns about internet security. (My own semi-pseudonymity stems mostly from the latter.) Provided a person sticks to a single identity, they will build up a reputation online under that identity, and can be judged by it. And if they later wish to associate their "real" name with that identity, then they are free to do so, but you are not free to demand that they do so. And making such demands, Bob, is bloody rude.
Of course, the system can be abused. Someone could, for instance, make up a second identity, in order to avoid being associated with the one they're known by. They could do it because they know they have a reputation which is not too good, or—just for instance—in order to attempt to bypass a ban placed on their usual identity. Such abusers are known as sock-puppets. And yeah, Bob, I'm looking at you and that whole "honesty" thing again. You're not very good at it are you?
You don't get to be rude to other people and then claim to be the victim, Bob. That's not how life works outside your "It's okay if I do it in Jesus's name" bubble.
Bob then makes a few of what he likes to think of as "points."
1: Jesus said people would fall away from the church. In fact it's a sign of the end-times. Hallelujah!
And this is why Bob is such a great example of fundamentalist thinking—if it can be said to be such. "Heads we win, tails you lose." Their god-hypothesis simply cannot be tested, since anything which appears to falsify it is claimed as being a prophesied work of the devil or some such rot, and therefore is claimed to be supporting evidence for it. If highly selective interpretations of Bible passages are the only form of evidence allowed, then the whole thing's tied up in a neat little unbreakable Biblical bow. And—of course!—lo and behold, highly selective interpretations of Bible passages are, it turns out, the only form of evidence allowed. How spiffingly convenient!
2: They (meaning Bob and his fellow evangelists of delusion) need to be careful not to let it (apostasy) happen to them. Because heaven forefend that any of them should be honest enough to go where contrary, extra-Biblical evidence might point them. It's basically an instruction to lie to oneself. No wonder Bob has such little problem lying to others, if he's scared to even be honest with himself.
3: "Not everyone who professes faith in Christ is genuinely saved."
Well no Bob, they aren't. Possibly you should think about that statement a little more. Because if there is a judgemental god with any real morals worth speaking of, you, Bob, to be frank, will be in deep deep shit. The only judgemental god who would save your sorry arse would be one who is more vainly interested in being praised and lauded than in whether people have done good deeds. And—given the remote possibility that a god exists in the first place—I find absolutely ludicrous, the idea that a being who can create a universe with a snap of its fingers would be vain and petty enough to want praise from ephemeral creatures like ourselves. If you save a spider which is stuck in the bath, do you punish it for not thanking you?
And then, finally, 4: Evangelise even more! For did not the parable of the lost sheep imply that you should just go out and get more sheep to fill the gap left in your flock? Umm. Errm.
Bob's Bowel Movement The Second: "If God Is Drawing Them, Then They WILL Come!"
Back in the 1990s I used to attend a church where there was an "after-church fellowship" after the evening service. Sometimes, this would take the form of a "testimony time" whereby people could speak of a verse from the Bible that had been particularly helpful to them. One Sunday, a lady (we'll call her Jane) spoke of how John 6 v 44 helped her while speaking to another lady about the Lord Jesus.
The link, by the way, is not Bob's. I added that free of charge, as Bob, being an unmannerly oaf, is still getting to grips with this "link to your sources" business. Anyway, this post addresses a real fundamental (hah!) problem I have with the version of God worshipped by Bob and his fellow numpties. Basically, according to Bob, only those people who God draws to himself will be able to even realise that they need to be saved by God.
Do you not have a fucking problem with this Bob? Your god is punishing people because he, himself, decided not to, or couldn't be bothered to, make it plain to them that they need saving. This is not the act of a merciful or just god. It's not even the act of a god who is trying to be merciful or just. It is the act of a being to whom we are play-things, and to whom our suffering means nought. It is the act of a capricious bully. And it is most certainly the act of a being which is morally inferior to me.
And then we have a return to one of Bob's familiar, and rather sickening, themes…
Bob's Bowel Movement The Third: "Now, The Moment Of Truth"
I'm not going to belabour this. Basically, Bob is using the recent death of comedian Rik Mayall to make a "point" about how the riches of this life mean nothing in the face of eternal damnation.
I'm not going to argue the point of whether such damnation exists, or even make too much of a huge thing about my feelings about how sick such posts are. For those who are new to this blog, however, I'll just recap my main point.
Give the family of the recently-departed time to mourn. It's easy to think that they'll never come across your little contribution, but that's not how it works. A huge amount of the internet relies on what's currently "trending" in order to sort search results, so the more individual "little" contributions there are, the more likely those in mourning are to run across people bad-mouthing the person they're mourning.
It's not about having respect for the dead. The dead are no longer in a position to care. Be decent enough to have some respect for the living.
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