Why, thank you for the faux concern

Christopher Hitchens has been talking about his cancer, what he’s going through, the response he has been getting, etc. One of the questions that interviewers always ask is how he feels about people who say they will pray for him. Hitchens responds that the sentiment is touching, but he clearly is not appreciative when the motivation is to appease some god. If the person doing the praying is genuine and would like to see Hitchens regain full health, that’s wonderful. But if the person only hopes to convert him out of a sense of blind duty to some god, then that’s just petty and silly.

With that in mind, I would like to thank whoever sent out emails to Need Him Ministries and First Baptist Church of Covington. I received 9 emails today which were either subscriptions to religious newsletters from these groups (or their affiliates) or were direct responses from a few individuals. It looks like all the subscriptions came from one of the responding individuals signing me up for them, not from whoever sent the original emails, but I’m not entirely sure. At any rate, the basis for the emails was this post.

I’m still waiting for someone, anyone!, to offer me even some evidence for God.

I’m still waiting.

The person who signed up the email account attached to this site (it isn’t my regular email, in case anyone bothered to wonder) apparently went online and got my address and phone number to send to these people as well. That raises a few issues. First, I don’t live at that address anymore. Second, that address doesn’t actually exist anymore. Third, the phone number is to a land line I don’t think even exists anymore. But I think my favorite issue here is that whoever sent the emails sent them to at least two organizations: Need Him Ministries and First Baptists Church of Covington. The first group appears to be directed towards reaching anyone it can. But the second group is specifically based out of Augusta…Augusta, Georgia. That’s close to my hometown of Augusta – only about 1100 miles off.

It doesn’t really matter if I get spam sent to my email; it isn’t hard to delete or block unwanted junk. But I do feel somewhat bad. I had to send an apology to one person for her time being wasted. Granted, she believes in superstitious nonsense and time away from that is probably time well spent, but that doesn’t mean I want to waste her time.

But what I don’t feel bad about is the 1400+ word response I got from David Shelton. It was, of course, filled with nonsense and logical fallacies, but that isn’t the worst of it. It was all just canned bullshit. How do I know? Well, this.

Although a brain injury and resulting dementia has taken David off the stage, we are encouraged to hear how his ministry still blesses others.

Yeah, somehow I don’t think the email was personalized.

But I know you’re all dying to get a look at some of the bullshit.

I can see that you are struggling with the whole concept of God, yet I know that in your mind you struggle with who is God, yet you have a keen awareness that there is a God who created all the order and intelligence, since the very existence of such knowledge reveals that a higher being must exist.

I have a pretty clear concept of God based upon how believers define him – that is, how they define him until someone bothers to ask any question. Then it’s just evade, evade, evade! Perhaps it is believers who need to get through their struggles with the whole concept of God. And order and intelligence? Those two facts reveal that 1) there are physical laws and 2) the power of evolution.

Now evidence for God exists everywhere, even evidence that this God is the very God spoken of in the Bible. If I had the time I could write multiple text books on this matter. As a matter of fact many people already have, yet most who don’t really want to discover God but continue on with their heads in the sand denying the truths of God which are plain and simple to them.

Ah, this ol’ chestnut. If someone doesn’t believe in God, it’s because of a desire not to discover. And why wouldn’t someone want to discover God?

Yet for one who doesn’t want to know God, because of their fears of not wanting any being to put any kind of demands upon their lives, they will never know God, or truly follow Him. Cowardice and pride is the greatest enemy of most who claim to be atheists or agnostics, because they truly do not like even the idea of God, much less are they willing to look at the evidence without reservation with an open mind….and heart.

Yes, yes, of course. Atheists just don’t want to feel like they have any holy obligations. Of course, this whole argument is premised on the idea that it is plausible that God might exist and for that reason we think, oh boy, we better stick our heads in the sand. Except the whole idea behind being an atheist is that most of us don’t think God is plausible. We aren’t rejecting God because we don’t like what he has to say; that suggests atheists secretly believe in God but just prefer a more hedonistic and selfish path. In fact, we don’t believe in God, we don’t believe in God, we don’t believe in God.

Try this. Seriously pray and say to God. “God, I don’t know if you exist or if Jesus was who he claimed to be, your Son who died for us, but if you are real and if this is true, will you please help me to see you and to come to know you. Reveal yourself to me while I read, study and seek you and help me to overcome my doubts.”

This is my favorite. The magic-believer asks the rational person to pray…and be serious! The hope here is that the rational person will fall for the trick and actually start believing; it would be the only way to satisfy the request. Of course, if the person really is rational, then none of this is going to happen.

I omitted quite a bit of the email since it is quite long, but there are several times when it is claimed that there is good evidence for belief in God. At no point is a single shred presented. No, no, of course not. Instead, it is hoped that veiled threats of being away from good and near evil will persuade me. Unfortunately for desperate believers, I see anyone who tries to get people to believe something based upon the threat of eternal punishment to be perpetuating evil themselves.

5 Responses

  1. See if you can talk them into sending you a free houseplant.

  2. You would think that these people would at least have an IQ large enough to see that if you pray for 1000 things to happen and 4 of them come true that, maybe, just maybe, praying had nothing to do with it. I guess faith must severely lower or suspend IQ.

    Send those people this link to the Atheist Camel’s business:
    http://eternal-earthbound-pets.com/

  3. Any chance of getting you to throw the whole e-mail in a separate post or just uploading and linking to it in a .txt or something? I’d really like to read the rest of that crap.

  4. Here it is.

    Dear Michael,

    Hi, my name is David Shelton and I wanted to thank you for visiting our needhim.org web site.

    Thank you for replying to our website Michael. I can see that you are struggling with the whole concept of God, yet I know that in your mind you struggle with who is God, yet you have a keen awareness that there is a God who created all the order and intelligence, since the very existence of such knowledge reveals that a higher being must exist. All the Cosmos is full of intricate order and design from the grandeur of the expanse of the Universe to the minutia of tiny cells and it’s multitude of tiny motors and intelligent written language or code found in the DNA of every living thing. The very existence of laws of physics and how everything follows these laws speaks of a Creator. Even the Big Bang model of the Universe has discovered with absolute certainty that the Universe is finite and had a beginning thus demonstrating that there must be a Creator; some form of intelligence or casual agent outside of time and matter who ordained all that we now see and experience.

    Now evidence for God exists everywhere, even evidence that this God is the very God spoken of in the Bible. If I had the time I could write multiple text books on this matter. As a matter of fact many people already have, yet most who don’t really want to discover God but continue on with their heads in the sand denying the truths of God which are plain and simple to them. I could suggest many good books for you to read, even non-Christian ones that demonstrate how when all the evidence is taken into perspective without pre-conceived notions how irrational it really it to not believe in God. Even so, it is also very provable that belief in any God outside the God who has revealed himself throughout the history of his people as seen in the Holy Bible is also the most rational position to take in knowing this God. Yet for one who doesn’t want to know God, because of their fears of not wanting any being to put any kind of demands upon their lives, they will never know God, or truly follow Him. Cowardice and pride is the greatest enemy of most who claim to be atheists or agnostics, because they truly do not like even the idea of God, much less are they willing to look at the evidence without reservation with an open mind….and heart. And this is the key, if you really want to know if God exists and that he is the One represented in the person who lived among us for a time as Jesus the Christ, you must be willing to open not just your mind, but your heart. Willingness to believe not in just something someone says, but in a rational truth based upon historical and verifiable evidence is what God calls each of us to do. God says in his word as spoken through one of his prophets, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord” (Jer 29:11-14) As you can see from this promise from God, that anyone who truly seeks him will find him. But this is the problem, many make weak and ill-attempts at saying they seek him, but spend very little and shallow attempts at knowing him. God will reveal himself to you Michael, and make you keenly aware in your soul and mind that he not only exists, but is very close and personal to all who want to know him. God will not come down in a fiery cloud from Heaven and speak to you in an audible voice, because he wants you to come to him willingly without coercion. He seeks those who will come to him in spirit and in truth. Yes God is the God of truth, and this was the very mission of Jesus to proclaim what truth is and from whom it comes….God is the truth, and as Jesus told us all, He is the truth as being One with the Father God. Yet God’s Spirit speaks to us humans on a one-on-one basis and calls us to know him. This very Spirit is what nags you on the inside and has even brought into your mind this argument that is now going on inside you. One thing you are not aware of, but goes on inside all, is that God has allowed his spiritual enemy Satan to continue for a time to oppose God and tempt and control the lives and minds of people who don’t want to follow God. So not only do you have to overcome your own desires to be the god of your own life, but also the mental roadblocks that Satan has orchestrated to stand in your vision of God. God is spirit and not bound by the 4 dimensional Cosmos by which you and I are limited, yet he exists everywhere and there is no place you can be or go where God is not there.

    So, Michael I want you to know that I am here to help you find some of the answers that may be standing in your way, so ask me what things still block you from seeing God and I will try to help, but again you must really be willing to know him. Try this. Seriously pray and say to God. “God, I don’t know if you exist or if Jesus was who he claimed to be, your Son who died for us, but if you are real and if this is true, will you please help me to see you and to come to know you. Reveal yourself to me while I read, study and seek you and help me to overcome my doubts.” Even if God does not exist this could not hurt you, but be humble and open your heart and I know God will allow you to see what I have seen and come to know Jesus personally.

    Now for times sake, I cannot re-invent the wheel for you, so much of what you need to know in a journey to find God for yourself has already been written, So if you are serious about your question, don’t be lazy, but begin to take the real time necessary to settle this case for you once and for all. I have a couple web articles I want you to read, then invest a few bucks in a couple good books written that will help you overcome the fallacies of agnostic thinking based on good logic and the truth of God’s Bible. First before writing back begin by reading this ex-atheists journey to faith found here. http://www.everystudent.com/wires/atheist.html
    Then pick up a copy of the book “A Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel who also was an agnostic like yourself who sought out to prove his wife’s beliefs in the God of the Bible was wrong, and came to conclude after all his investigating based on overwhelming evidence that it was he that was wrong all along. And if you can handle much more deep rational thought, pick up a copy of “Faith and Reason, searching for a rational faith” by Ronald Nash ( http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=Faith+and+Reason+Nash&hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=12986414954406721041&ei=37HeTOuXDMqs8Aa-j834Dw&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEEQ8wIwAA# )
    and “Why I am a Christian” by Geisler and Hoffman. ( http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=why+I+am+a+christian+by+geisler&hl=en&prmd=ivs&resnum=3&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=16298656455534361051&ei=oLHeTK_ZNYL98AbHvKC5Dw&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CEsQ8wIwAQ# )

    Some of the most brilliant men that ever lived have had faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, so don’t just sit and question, read what they have discovered. You are not left without a witness or without good evidence, God simply requires you to search and seek. If you don’t invest some time in this, it will be your loss, not God’s. And for your sake, I implore you do this. Open your heart and spend some time really looking without the attitude of most agnostics, that don’t really want to find God. As God has said, He exalts the humble and resists the proud. a little humility will go a long way to help you see the magnitude of evidence.

    Sincerely,
    David Shelton

  5. Ah, exactly the type of lies and crap I thought it would be. Incredibly convenient how he “doesn’t have the time” to provide any of the evidence or titles of books containing evidence he claims to have.

    But am I missing something, or is he actually saying we should believe in any God except the Christian one?

    Even so, it is also very provable that belief in any God outside the God who has revealed himself throughout the history of his people as seen in the Holy Bible is also the most rational position to take in knowing this God.

    Also, I really, really hate this argument:

    God will not come down in a fiery cloud from Heaven and speak to you in an audible voice, because he wants you to come to him willingly without coercion

    Saying in an audible voice “Hey Michael, by the way, I actually exist.” is not coercion, it’s information — and making decisions without information is not a damn virtue, you condescending prick.

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