For my weekly weird religious news posting last week I made a decision to filter out the people who pop up on a regular basis each and every week and only highlight people who do not usually make it into my top three list. This week I will flip that coin over and see what some of our favourite eccentrics, the folks who pop up on a regular basis, have been saying.
What is clear is that no matter how I do this, it is always a hard choice because there is so much to select from each and every week.
So here is this week’s personal selection of religiously inspired weirdness.
Item 1 – Pat Robertson: God Killed a 15-Year-Old To Stop Him from drinking
Each week Pat Robertson fronts his 700 club TV show, and so each week up he pops with something weird. If you don’t know who this guy is then let me briefly fill you in – Mr Robertson is a rather wealthy media mogul and presidential candidate (in 1988) who is also deeply religious, hence he has his own TV show on which he promotes his specific variation of belief. He is rich enough to more or less say whatever he likes without being challenged. Past highlights include his stream of “God has told me” predictions that all failed. That of course is just the tip of the iceberg (if curious then check this out).
One of the segments on his show is where he answers letters from viewers. This week, in response to a letter in which a viewer asked why God had allowed her 15 year old son to die, this happened …
So what would’ve happened maybe 10 years from now? Would he have started drinking? Would he have gone away from the Lord? What would’ve happened? So God, who sees the end from the beginning, knows what would happen to that child, and because He loves the child and loves him, He wants to bring him to Heaven forever, and He wants to spare him some of the bad things that would happen down the road.
What is fascinating here is that the YouTube clip is not somebody taking a section of his show out of context to mock him, but instead is him (or at least the official 700 club channel) promoting it. He must have told somebody “I really nailed that answer, so let’s promote it“.
Unfortunately, it is really not how you comfort people who have faced something so traumatic. Let me translate the religious babble there for you. The essence of his response is this – “Your son was going to be an evil little shit, so God decided to slaughter him“.
What else can I say about what he said except perhaps … “Jesus” (And I’m not using that word in the devotional sense).
I do feel for the mother, we all do, and so I hope she finds some real peace.
Item 2 – Ken Ham Claims Atheists “Want Christianity Outlawed”
The Friendly Atheist highlights the following tweet from well known young earth creationist Ken Ham. This of course is the chap who has spent over $100 million building a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark in KY to promote the idea that planet earth and the entire universe is just 6,000 years old. Here he tweets out a though on those that tend not to believe his claims …
Atheists are not only religious zealots, most are extremely intolerant of & hateful toward Christians. They want Christianity outlawed
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) October 30, 2017
… er no, that’s a myth. Most of those that do not hold a specific belief are very strong advocates for humans to have the complete freedom to believe or not believe whatever that wish. Mr Ham appears to think that criticism and mockery of what he believes equates to a desire to outlaw belief. There is a huge gap between that and Mr Ham’s tweeted claim. Essentially he is venting his frustration that some dare to not just accept what he claims as truth (gasp … oh the horror), and so he labels wholly valid criticism and disbelief as “intolerance” and “hateful”.
OK, so let’s do a quick scan of his twitter feed and see what else we have in the last few days.
Secularists hate it when Christians overcome censorship & get information to the public–Don't miss this movie https://t.co/LzQSQgiAxg
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) November 3, 2017
… I’m not sure “hate” is the right word. Better terms might be “laughter” and also “utterly-befuddled” when faced with claims that clearly conflict with reality. Additionally, there is no actual “censorship” to overcome, so claiming this is simply pandering to a persecution mythos.
Atheists believe life arose by natural processes, & believe there's no God–they have lots of blind faith beliefs–atheism is their religion
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) November 1, 2017
… actually … no belief required. Instead we simply accept what the best available independently verified scientific evidence tells us. There really is a different between that and accepting myths as fact on the basis of no evidence at all.
Amusing–atheist bloggers who take a 140 character tweet of mine & write a whole article about it–I give them purpose & meaning in life
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) November 1, 2017
The true amusement is the bizarreness of the claims he tweets out. It is quite frankly very entertaining.
Item 3 – Bryan Fischer: The Google Docs Glitch Was an Attempt to “Shut My Voice Down”
Bryan Fischer of the religiously inspired American Family Association (a group opposed to gay rights and health care for everybody), has been exposing the degree of his paranoid thinking this week.
The background context is that Google Docs had a bit of a bump, and ended up issuing warnings about a breach in the terms of service to everybody and not just those that warranted such warnings. Google soon sorted that out and quite rightly apologised.
Most normal people understand that technical issues like this do happen and so shrug it off. Not everybody see things that way and so we have Mr Fischer popping up on his weekly radio show to claim that it was all a deliberate plot designed to target just him and nobody else and his show …
“It looks suspicious to us, like Google is trying to shut me down,” Fischer said. “And I suspect that Google is trying to shut me down because, as far as I know, I am the only public voice that has stood in support of Roy Moore and his view on Muslims in Congress.”
Fischer said that he and the members of his radio show staff have been unable to use Google Docs to prepare for their show because they repeatedly get a message saying that they have violated Google’s terms of service. He said that he suspects it is because he “has crossed Google’s tripwire for hate speech or Islamophobia or whatever.”
“Telling the truth about Islam is offensive content to the people at Google,” he said. “Google, heavy into censorship and now, apparently, for some reason—whether it’s their machine, their algorithm, whatever—they have singled me out in an effort, I think in some way or another, to shut my voice down.”
Mr Fischer illustrates that the revelation that the universe does not revolve around him is an apparently elusive concept that he can’t grasp.