Saturday, February 14, 2009


A girl from my home church has been following my facebook status and commenting with fundamental woowoo-ness along the way. On Thursday, February 12th, I had a status that said:

"Matthew wishes Darwin a happy 200th birthday!"

One person responded by saying they had toasted a cupcake in his honor. Another friend reminded me that it was also lincoln's birthday. And then this girl, really a young woman, commented:

"Are you being for real?"

Over the internet disdain travels at light-speed. She is a very conservative member of my home church (of which I am no longer a part, and from which she used to not be as fervent a member). Not to mention, she's not the brightest candle on the cake - so it was a little shocking to see her being so brazen: following my facebook status around, after not having talked to each other in probably 8 years, leaving antagonistic/challenging comments on my personal page for all to see.

I quickly responded with the following pithy message:

"of course! he's kind of an important figure for enlightened thinkers and his birthday is worth celebrating for fun"

She responded not with her own words, but with a bible verse ... from the old testament:

"Deuteronomy 6:5 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.""

At this point I decided to send a more pointed response since she continued this in a public place and on my profile page:

I'm not clear which god you're referring to. Zeus? Thor? Ra? Apollo? Quetzalcoatl? Anubis? Mars? Zoroaster? Several of these were also born from a 'virgin.' Osiris, Adonis, Tammuz, Zalmoxis, Odin, and Dionysus were all killed and 'resurrected'. Surely you don't mean jehovah or yaweh? The verse you quote comes from the old testament of the canonical bible. All throughout the old testament jehovah reportedly kills innocent women and children because he's angry that people don't love him enough - it's nice that you approve of that sort of behavior.

The Renaissance occurred over 500 years ago and the enlightenment about 300. I know it's hard, but try to catch up to the times.

It's weird - this girl is older than me, and when we were in the same church youth group together she never seemed to take religion as seriously as I did. I paid quite a bit of attention in church and wanted to learn as much as possible, since everyone around continued to tell me how important god and religion were. Even when I was just starting high school and she was graduating I could run intellectual circles around here just citing bible verses. Of course I graduate and move on to get educated, and she hangs around to get married, get knocked up, and then becomes extra religious/conservative. Why does that happen when people hang around their home towns like that? I guess it's true - an education WILL make you more likely to be liberal and an atheist. Mix a good science education into that and it just can't fail.

Her unoriginal response came back to me tonight. Oh, wait - she's not even mature enough to handle it herself - her husband needed to tackle this problem. Here's what he posted under her name:

Hey Matt. This is Brian. It burdens my heart to read these words that you are writing. Call it “ENLIGHTENMENT” or any other catch phrase you want to name it. It is apparent that your relationship with the Lord is not as strong as it should be. The Holy Bible is the undisputed true Word of God. Everything that has happened in the Bible is all for us. You, me and everyone. God sacrificed his Son for us and I hope that one day you will be able to find it in you heart to make it back into his Grace. God and Jesus love you so much and have made the ultimate sacrifice for you. No one else in this life will ever do what they did for you or will love you as much as they do. It saddens me to see Satan using people like Darwin to steer people away from Christianity. However, I must face the fact that this is Satan’s Earth until Jesus comes back. The most I can offer is prayer. I will continue to pray for you and your family each and everyday. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 NIV

Oh, the joy. Having fundamental christians follow me around is actually a dream of mine. Makes me feel like a mini PZ Myers. As you can imagine my response was strong and swift:

Please stop proselytizing on my facebook wall. I haven't been following your status and commenting on the magical nonsense that you believe in, so don't start invoking the name of satan on my page. you can do whatever hocus pocus prayers/voodoo that makes you feel better in your own bedroom; but please keep it in nash county, thank you.

the bible is most definitely NOT the true word of any god, but the words of fallible men. It is apparent that your relationship with rational thinking is not as strong as it should be. No one has loved and supported me more than my parents, who believe in the empowerment of education, critical thinking, and compassion.

And please, at least stop quoting from the old testament. Something from the apocrypha would be more settling than the old testament...

Proverbs27:15-16 An irritating woman is like a constant dripping on a rainy day. restraining her is like restraining the wind, or grasping oil in the right hand.

Why is it that the fundagelicals always want to pray for you??? And they hurl it like an insult or a weapon, not a compassionate act. There are so many other issues wrong with their responses that it hurts my head just to think about them.

Satan. I mean, really. Satan? Grow up for fuck sake. Stop playing childish games. It's bad enough to have god - but Satan too?

I love how they think the 'enlightenment' is some catch phrase. Open a textbook and educate yourself.

It's very telling that they think the bible is the undisputed word of god. It's actually been quite disputed, and by theologians for quite some time. The bible used to be composed of different books - there are many that didn't make the final cut that you can still buy and read to this day, including the gospel of thomas (the doubting one).

The thing that burns me the most is this assumption that a god has done more for me than anyone ever could or will. Bullshit. My parents are the ones who fill that spot. They have loved me more than anyone ever could love me, and they are the ones whose actions reflect that love.

At least we can hold out that they think this is Satan's earth until some mythical figure comes back to save them. Hope they have fun waiting. In the meantime, they can hole themselves up and stay away from doctors or hospitals or scientists when they get sick, since they seem to think that the scientific method is used by Satan. We'll see whether or not they're able to give up modern medicine.

Dogmatists can never seem to reconcile that cognitive dissonance.


Nikolas said...


Nice post and I sympathize with the situation you found yourself in. I started answering in this comment, but it got too long. Visit my blog and the most recent entry contains my response to this.

However, as a quick observation, quoting scripture at the religious does as much good as the religious quoting math. Both claim that the person quoting is taking it out of context or isn’t understanding it. Give up on battling them, Matt. Delete their comments and if it gets too annoying, remove them as a friend. It doesn’t do any good so concentrate your efforts on something that does.

Always a fan,


P.S. Congrats, you get an Ayn Rand quote:

"The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive- a definition that invalidates man’s consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. Man’s mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God. Man’s standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man’s power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith. The purpose of man’s life is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question."
--from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Sully said...

Dang Matt,

It seems like this irritating woman and her husband genuinely care about you, and noticed a change in your behavior since denouncing your past and moving ahead to the unknown.

Surprised that you threw a celebration for Darwin, when you used to be such an avent participator in the church, she must have been confused as to why you posted the comment. As a guy who doesn't believe in the the Bible or any of its teachings, you probably don't show much compassion to others unless they're your parents or people who share your belief in ... well ... nothing.

"You can quote the Godfather all day; but I'm the real gangster," says a pretty famous comedian. Sounds kind of random, but you can quote the Bible all day - even participate fervently in the church - but completely miss the point on the meaning of Christianity.

It seems like you're a well-educated, however misguided young man; and by "well-educated," I mean you can regurgitate information that people have already discovered. In your exploration of knowledge, I'd like to know what you actually hold as truth. Instead of ranting on the well-intentioned comments of others, why not thank them for their opinion and move on. It seems like you're so much better than them anyway.

I mean jeez, you study balls for a living. You surely have a lot to talk about.