"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.