That You Criticize Jesus
Proves His Existence
Steve Blomefield

 

admittedly fictional Behold The Man: historian rides a time machine, discovers that the son of Mary and Joseph is an idiot, sucking his thumb and rocking back and forth, saying, "Jee- zus!Jee-zus" -- so he decides to take over the role of the Jesus character so as not to tamper with history (though I would have gone ahead and tampered with history!).

 

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Steve Blomefield"
Subject: Re: Cliff Walker - comment on the content of your site
Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2001 2:45 PM >

Why don't you search our site for comments on bigotry, or see what we have to say about people who lie through their teeth for the express purpose of defaming atheists?

It is interesting that you would judge our entire site by what comes up with you enter the string "dead sea scrolls" into a search engine. Set the search for Exact Phrase and you will come up with precisely three letters, two from Christians who are at least as spiteful and antagonistic toward us as you are, and the third from a man who does not identify his beliefs (or express rage toward us) but who is curious about a few historical points.

The last letter asks a question about which books cover a certain topic, and I provide him with a run-down of a dozen or so books which cover the topics he asked about. What is it in this letter that warrants the brutal attack you launch against me, wherein you condemn my entire motive simply because I disagree with those who propagate the Jesus myth? Could it be the word atheism on the title page that got you going?

The Steve Whirledge letter was by a man who chose to simply make bald claims about the literal truth of the Evangelical variant of the Christian religion, but refused to bring forth any of the arguments I said I would need in order to assent to his claims. He simply kept making bald statements after I repeatedly informed him that bald statements are not enough for me. What is it about my response to this patently dishonest man that earns the vitriol you send my way? What did I do? What did I say? (Did I use that word atheism again?) He wasn't particularly vitriolic himself (not like you are), but he was a monumental pest in that he refused to respond to the counter-challenges we raised to his pseudo-challenges, but simply repeated his statements over and over.

The fellow who pseudonymously called himself "Chris Tian" (who didn't even have the self-respect to tell us his real name) was at least as intellectually dishonest as Steve Whirledge, if not more so. On top of that, he was a flaming bigot, and appeared to enjoy the sport of taunting atheists (much like Rich Zawadzki did), almost as if he was "coming down to our level," so to speak, and "slumming" with us for a while. What is the proper response to this patently disrespectful behavior, considering that they are not the target audience for this forum, but are guests? They aren't even invited, yet they treat the host in a patently abusive tone! Alas! Even if I had done everything else properly, my use of the word atheist to describe myself is more enough to get certain bigots to want to chop my head off "with one swish of an Islamic sword" and then remove the fingers from the hands of my corpse when they're done.

With the quotation of my work that you excerpted, you show your colors as a man of dishonesty, deliberately falsifying a statement of mine for the purpose of making me appear to have said something different from what I really said. In my response to Chester Twarog, who had asked (again) about some of the Jesus books I've read (surprise! I'm known to be a collector of books about Jesus, so naturally I will get a few questions about such books), I described some of the very strange Jesus books I'd read (they're all pretty strange from my perspective), and admitted that collecting and reading strange Jesus books has been a hobby of mine for decades.

Here is the entire section, a book review, with its context, so you can see that it cannot be interpreted as being the vitriol which you falsely paint me as expressing:

 

Some of my favorites have been: Garner Ted Armstrong: Jesus as married rich man, not poor at all; Hyam Maccoby's Revolution in Judaea: Jesus as Pharisee, seeking to save his country from Roman occupation (very realistic, by the way, we have excerpted it); the book The Jesus Scroll: archaeologists at Masada found, in 1964, the skeleton in of a married Jesus, the last of the Hasmonaean line, who had before arranged the death of his cousin John and then faked his own death to hide from both Roman and Jewish authorities; and the admittedly fictional Behold The Man: historian rides a time machine, discovers that the son of Mary and Joseph is an idiot, sucking his thumb and rocking back and forth, saying, "Jee-zus! Jee-zus" -- so he decides to take over the role of the Jesus character so as not to tamper with history (though I would have gone ahead and tampered with history!). As you know, I have made quite a hobby of collecting Jesus books.

 

You see, by showing the entire paragraph and explaining the context of what I said, you could never come to the conclusion that I am the way you falsely portray me. But, your goal was not to portray me as I am, but to defame me in the most unsympathetic light possible. Do do this, you had to lie about me, by extracting a fragment of my words, divorcing it from its context of a book review, and portray these words as my actual sentiments rather than what they are, a description of the story line of a science-fiction novel that I read fifteen or twenty years ago.

Far from what you say, I think my candor would tend to show people that acting as dishonestly as you have is not a very effective way to stump for the mythical Jesus or to defame your opponents. And issuing veiled threats of Islamic physical violence shows only the desperation of your position.
 

What you omit is that people who insist that shalugi is a powerfully brutal deity and who insist that I ought to join them in believing this delusion did not systematically persecute my predecessors for over 1,500 years and kill them off and confiscate their estates for the "crime" of admitting that shalugi does not exist. The shalugi-ists did not erect encroaching laws that force you to give homage to the shalugi-god whenever you spend money, go to court, or a hundred different things that have to do with government and public life. The followers of the shalugi-god are not persistent and enticing in their recruiting techniques, willing to go to any length to win a single convert or to defame a single opponent. The followers of the shalugi-god do not berate you, belittle you, lie to you, lie about you, or see to it that you are ensured both social and economic disadvantage for openly refusing to believe the shalugi-god lie.

The followers of the Jesus-god did and do all of this and much more.

So the followers of the Jesus-god earn my vitriol, and their myth, which they insist is literally true, which they insist I ought to endorse, earns my round criticism. The followers of the Jesus-god take themselves so seriously that they also earn my biting sarcasm. But if you don't like the sarcasm of Voltaire, Paine, Ingersoll, Moorcock, Carlin, myself, and others, you do well to keep your religion a private matter, as the Jesus character suggested that you do (Matthew 6:1-13).

I am not against "Jesus" because the Jesus of mythology is but a fabrication of extremely clever opportunists. But I am against the Jesus-pests who constantly approach me -- both on this Forum and off -- to try to coerce me into believing what is, both on the surface and at the core, a very shallow and profoundly despicable myth.

If the shalugi-ists were in the majority and had done to us what the Christians have done, and if the shalugi-ists treated me the way you and your fellows have treated me, I would be logging on to the Internet in an attempt to help those who admit that no shalugi exists to cope in the face of vicious bigotry at the hands of the shalugi-ists.

And I'm sure that many shalugi-ists would ignore my statement to the effect that this page is not for shalugi-ists but for nontheists, and would write to me anyway and pester me with their shalugi-claims, and I would respond and post those dialogues because to do so serves a purpose for my nontheistic target audience. Then (I'm sure), other shalugi-ists would log on, read these off-topic dialogues, and try to assert that I am all about anti-shalugi, when the truth is that I don't even care about shalugi or Jesus or anything else, but rather am concerned for the welfare of my fellow-nontheist. And I would be defending my position against the slander of the shalugi-ists the same way I am defending myself against your slander.

But, you see, I don't have to endure any of this harassment. All I have to do to stop it is to shut up. All I need to do is pretend that what the Christian majority says and does is acceptable.

If you were an atheist and wished to become a Christian, there is an organization somewhere within a mile of where you live that would be more than glad to help you make the adjustment from reason-based thinking to faith-based thinking. However, if you were raised to believe that a Jesus lived who was the Son of Mary and thereby allowed to form a fiery pit wherein people must burn forever who disagree with Him, and if you were trained to lie, slander -- whatever it takes -- to defend the reputation of the organization that taught you to believe this horrible myth, and if you wanted help adjusting from that thinking to reason-based thinking, you have nowhere to go except here and a few other websites on the Internet. You have very few examples of how those high-pressure sales pitches you endured ought to have panned out. And when you do stumble upon a collection of those, someone else is sure to have objected to them and even slandered them to the point of insisting that their presence on the web actually proves the existence of Jesus!

As George Carlin once said, "What logic!" Have a nice life. As far as we know, it's the only one we get to live and our moments here are all too brief.
 

I am neither -- and herein is your lie: I am not jousting at a windmill but showing that the dominant paradigm is the source of untold destruction. I never talk about Jesus but always about the Jesus myth. I am not even against the myth itself (even though it's falsehood), but strike out against the myth's perpetrators because they propagate the myth in such coercive ways, leaving a path of utter destruction.

I am not defending myself against doing or believing something that I don't want to do or believe in (why would I lie like that?); I am defending myself against the slander of my ideological opponents who would portray me as mad for wanting to address what is admittedly an extremely clever ruse, one that has enticed people throughout the ages to lie about, to maim, and to kill their fellow for not going along with their madness.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Five years of service to
     people with no reason to believe

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