Well, after reading a recent remark he made on this blog, one wonders. Look, I truly love my brother, but I wish sometimes that he wasn't so pig-headed, obdurate and impervious. I wish for once, in other words, he would prove me wrong when I say that debate between us is futile. But with each exchange we have he proves me correct again.
Let's look at some of his remarks as he seeks to show Atheism is a religion (this despite a recent national survey which leaves all those without religious affilliations, e.g. atheists, as NON-religious.)
Pastor Mike writes:
IS ATHEISM A 'RELIGION' ? YOU TELL ME !
Their Creed :
No God, anti God, Pro-homosexuality, anti-Christianity.
Of course, this is arrant nonsense since no atheist has a "central creed", since atheists are discredal- meaning we reject the necessity for human minds to surrender to creeds AND beliefs. I can find the goodly pastor almost as many atheists who are against homosexuality, as who are tolerant of it. (Though true, because more atheists have a tolerant mindset, they will more likely be tolerant to homosexuals but this doesn't mean they are "pro" homosexual. Again Mike's deplorable misuse of language.)
Ditto with being "anti" Christianity. In fact, there are a number of Christian groups with which atheists can and do make some common cause. For example, Anglicans teach a doctrine of 'Universal Salvation' meaning they do not condemn their atheist brothers and sisters to an eternal hellfire abode because they don't accept their core doctrines.
Same thing with those members of the Unity School of Christianity who see atheists as fellow seekers of truth, not "souls" to be burned forever and ever because they don't see things the same way.
So, there are lots of Christian denominations that we can agree with. Given this, we can hardly be "anti-Christian"! Of course, Mike will come back like he normally does and insist they are not "real Christians" and then we go on and on with the semantic battles again.
As for "anti-God" - how can we be when Mike hasn't even shown his particular deity exists? That would be like me saying I am anti -Bigfoot, or anti-Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Or, anti-ghost!
One can only be "anti-something" if the thing has a validated, factual existence or has been shown to meet criteria for an ontology. Neither Mike or his brethren has shown that. Hence, all we see in this segment is typical Mikelian Rhetoric. Meaning 99% hot air, and 1% CO2.
He goes on:
Atheism is a belief.
I know that many atheists will disagree with this, but the atheists gathered around a common belief of no God or lack of God and the need to increase what they perceive as separation of church and state in America.
More codswallop. Again, atheists are discredists, meaning they reject belief as they do objects of such which lack any validation or ontological foundation. As a discredist, I am not going to invest my intellectual or emotional resources into anything that hasn't been qualified or at least for which n-s conditions haven't been given.
Mike arguing that atheism is a "belief" because it renounces belief or active investment of intellecual acknowledgement is like saying I'm an astrologer and believe in astrology though I withhold credibility like I do for gods. Hell, it would be like ME saying Mike "believes in" astrology though he rejects it! If we are going to employ his balmy, perturbed mis-definition for "belief", let's go the whole hog.
Again, proper thinking discloses that the way to insanity is paved with verbal atrocities and linguistic assaults such as Pastor Mike has demonstrated (but which were redolent in the Bush White house during the Bush years, when one or other staffer affirmed that they "created reality")
More Mike gibberish:
Created a problem and offered a solution. The problem was religious oppression in society with atheistic ideals as the solution.
Mike has really gone off the deep end here. One must wonder how in touch with reality he is. The Evangelical cult (side show?) to which he belongs (and who he defends) are amongst the biggest, specious crisis- mongers in existence. Every second of every day they are fomenting a "crisis" about coming "Armageddon" and that people must 'get right with the Lord" before the Anti-christ or a battalion of "demons" show up.
Evangelical zealots like Mike are so neurotic and cynical, they actually applaud Israel and its policies not because they love the Jews and Israel, but because it is in the Valley of Megiddo that the "final battle" will play out. The Jews and their policies then, are essential to make that happen. (After which, of course, all the Jews who don't convert will be consigned to eternal Hell. Since the evangelicals' bible only allows for "144,000" Jews converted, it means all the rest - maybe 30 million worldwide - will be damned.)
On a 'Phil Donahue' (MSNBC) show at the end of his run in Dec. 2002 he actually had a couple of these zealots on his show. And they didn't even blink an eye when he asked if most Jews were damned after Armageddon.
"That's what the Good Book says!" one idiot affirmed. "We can't go against that!"
No indeed. But keep fomenting false crises over it, especially as it drives the conversion yen. After all, these maniacs are then justified in their "witnessing" because they are only trying to save us from eternal perdition.
No, the real crisis mongers are on Pastor Mike's side and they are among the best because they foment crises out of supernaturalist gobbledegook.
Mike tries again to make his specious case:
Gathered in groups with meeting times. Now, atheists don't meet nearly as frequently as Christians do in their churches. But, they do have state meetings, national meetings, and regular gatherings.
Well, true, BUT what the Pastor doesn't say is that they are by and large business meetings, with some entertainment thrown in. Maybe 35% are devoted to bringing fellow atheists up to speed on what is happening on the latest policy fronts. The reason is simple, because so many of us are trapped in hostile enclaves we need to get out and mix with like minds, if only to preserve sanity. This IS not the same as standard religious gatherings and Mike knows it. But as usual, conflation is his game since its the only way he can try and make the playing field more level.
Mike keeps on keeping on:
The lectern from which speeches are made, their ideas are promoted, and their reasons for their belief system are validated.
Well, in tiny enclaves perhaps. But nowhere near to the extent orthodox or evangelical ideas are validated ....like in almost every other issue of TIME or Newsweek, it seems. (Watch now the covers as Easter approaches)./
But again we see the same disgraceful and shameful tactics. Because atheists may (fortunately) garner some minuscule public attention 1% of the time (mostly through books) , they are claimed (by Mike) to own it most of the time, when in fact it is HIS side which controls the speechways and talk radio, and the endless holier-than thou Christian cable shows ....all trying to get more souls to Christ.
Provided, of course, they cough up the right amount of $$$ for a little spiritual help and prayer!
The irrepressible Pastor goes on:
The atheists seek converts to their cause. They frequently speak about getting the idea of atheism out into society, and to move people away from theism.
Actually, like many aspects, the Pastor confuses two different things. Getting our ideas out into the society (because we are so persecuted there) is NOT the same as seeking converts. Indeed, the first is a matter of survival given how extremsit Christians have tried to hijack our political system, especially during the Bush years when they literally ran amuck, with dinners every other night in the White House.
The wake up call for us came when in March of 2006, in a University of Minnesota study by Penny Edgell, Associate Professor of Sociology, and co-authors, Doug Hartmann and Joseph Gerteis. Their study, based on a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, disclosed that atheists now occupy the bottom rung of social respect for minorities in American society. They’re now regarded as contemptuously as communists were in the 50s, and rated in social worth below Muslims, immigrants and homosexuals today.
The study noted that a significant number of respondents associated atheism with an array of moral misbehavior, including criminality and materialist emphasis. In addition, the findings “seemed to rest on a view of atheists as self-interested individuals who are not concerned with the common good.”
In general, the respondents believed they “shared a basic sense of moral right and wrong” with everyone but atheist fellow citizens. Difficult to comprehend when the bulk of those in prison for major felonies are members of one religion or the other! And this study emerged after more than 30 years, during which Americans have been led to believe by their media that the seeds of social tolerance had finally sprouted.
The sheer scope of the revealed ignorance cried out for disclaimer and, most of all, a basic and fundamental brief for the defense of all atheists everywhere. THIS was why atheists have had to seek to get their voices and ideas out, for sheer survival.
As for "converts", no, We view it as unproductive as it robs individuals of their mental liberty and freedom to pursue their own paths.
Again, ironic when it is actually Pastor Mike and his lot who accost shoppers at Malls, follow and stalk them in parking lots with their literature, all to ensure they are "witnessed to". Perhaps no other form of social terrorism is so tolerated in this country.
Nonetheless he continues
Celebration over converts
Rejoice when converts to their belief system are announced. There is applause and excitement when there are announcements about people who had "come out of the closet" an announced their atheism.
More irredeemable bunk. Obviously, since we have no "belief system" there can be no rejoicing over purported "conversions". No, what Mike has evidently confused is our very real applause and excitement whenever fellow beings break free from their religious, superstitious bonds that hold them in thrall. That keep them up at night worrying about "hell", or how they can best be saved.
Yes, we also applaud when people "come out of the closet" because their actions then show they have escaped the fear bogey. They have joined the rest of us who have declared ourselves as unbelievers. They have become part of a free thinker community, as opposed to being hostages to religious mind slavery and its agenda to create fear to consolidate social control.
Once again, Mike with fanfare:
Zealous for their cause
They want their cause and belief system expanded to the extent of changing America to reflect their thinking.
Oh, brother! And this is coming from a guy who (as he makes clear on his website) will not rest until America becomes a Christian Theocracy, with the Ten Commandments established as the sole rule of law.
Talk about psychological projection! Mike would make a great subject for case study for some unemployed therp.
He rambles on:
Only they have the truth. The atheists repeatedly speak of how atheism is the truth and that theists and deists are ignorant of facts and reason.
We say no such thing, and again, this is slightly amazing coming from a pastor who regularly preaches on his own site that ONLY his claque of extremists holds the "truth". Indeed, his 'False Doctrines' page readily assigns all Mormons, Muslims, Catholics etc. to "Hell" because they do not hold his particular version of truth. Nor his bible (the "KJV" which is the "0nly correct version")
Yep, you got some chutzpah dragging in that one, Mike!
What atheists actually say, re: their own position, is that the jettisoning of a belief-gravitating dependence means one will more likely seek actively a truth if one is out there. This is opposed to confining it to one book, the King James Bible, like Mike's breed does.
Again, talk about chutzpah he writes:
Us against them mentality
There is a profound description of the division between atheism and theism with the atheists being the ones who are defending themselves against the intrusive theists.
Well, uh yeah....Mike. When these theists (I prefer to call them what they are, extremist evangelicals) pursue you in Malls and parking lots to "witness" because they feel their god tells them to do so. If that isn't being intrusive I don't know what is. But note how Mike deliberately uses euphemisms like "theists" to try to avoid letting outsiders know the facts.
Which are: HE and his cult are the ones propounding and spreading the us v. them mentality as they condemn billions to eternal perdition for following "false doctrines"
Here he is again, no wiser:
Concerned about public image
This is normal. They are very concerned with how they are perceived and want to change their negative reputation.
Well, uh...duh! Given that University of Minn. study you might say so.
Maybe because we don't want to see our homes burned down some night!!!
Lack of critical thinking
This is common everywhere. Though they think they are rational, by far most of their arguments and comments aren't .
Oh brother....and sheesh! Mike you have some titanium balls there! This from a guy who doesn't even know that the one of the earliest and best original mss. traced is the Codex Vaticanus, not the KJV!
As I had to point out to Mike: at least understand the deficient basis of the KJV bfore you unthinkingly embrace it. Understand that it is traced from 12th century mss. by Erasmus who mangled the original Latin Vulgate to his own forms.
Btw, do you think a "rational" person believes in Hell? Demons? Recall you once referred to me as an "agent of Satan"? Is that rational?
Misrepresentation of opposing views
Again, another common trait among atheists . They have a common ideology, and see others as being less enlightened.
Well, uh....let's see now: they call others (brother) an "agent of Satan" or allies of the Antichrist. What are we supposed to think, that you all are enlightened? Your own wors, and screeds, tracts are what convict you, we needn't do a thing.
More to come!