Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

I am totally quoting a Facebook friend

Posted by Ann on November 2, 2011

Here’s a quote by a Facebook friend, who also happens to be an atheist, an MK, and a Master of Divinity. Like the contributors to this site, a majority of his friends and family are fundies. He is writing in response to a fundamentalist “friend” who has a long history of going onto his wall and posting incendiary comments under his status updates. His page is public, so I don’t think he’d mind me putting this up, at all…(shout out). Although he has technically “come out” as a non-believer, this is the first time I’ve seen him write this strongly about his lack of faith. He was attacked by more than one fundamentalist in this same thread:

Everyone has had hardships in their life, but I’ve not been ‘hurt’ in some way that makes me broken and angry toward God. You don’t know me, or my heart. Honestly, it’s completely inappropriate for you to speak like that. You should be ashamed of yourself. And it’s completely arrogant for you to assume that if I don’t believe in God I must be angry. What a cop out. You are just making stuff up, that has no basis in reality.

No, I don’t believe in God or Jesus, because I have no reason to. Where are they? What are they doing in this world? Nowhere. Nothing. If Jesus was ruling on earth, I’d serve him. But he’s not. How convenient, he went up to ‘heaven’ to rule. Ya, JFK is ruling in heaven too, right? Anyone can claim that, and it’s completely irrelevant. Unless God is active in the world, unless Jesus is ruling on earth, he’s irrelevant. And anyone who believes in his ‘rule’ is deluding themselves. Do it if you like, but don’t act surprised when others of us consider it delusional. We don’t ‘hate’ God, or run from Jesus because we’re hurt. We just don’t feel like deceiving ourselves and making things up. If it’s true, let’s see it. If it’s not something that we can know, then we’ll let others have their faith.

I’ll leave the condescending judgement to the religious people like yourself.

While I haven’t been hurt in some way that has broken my ability to think rationally and that has caused me to “run from god”, I have heard the same line from many people and my patience for that tactic is gone. I will not tolerate it. It does however go along with what I’ve consistently witnessed in the Christian community by a minority of people, albeit those in positions of power. I’ve seen it used against others and I’ve had it used against me. I’m speaking of this tendency for Christians to start thinking they have some special insight into the heart or spiritual life of another. And it’s usually masked in “concern” for the wayward brother, but it’s mostly arrogance and manipulation to accomplish some agenda. Very often it’s completely mistaken, like your comment. But these leaders have such spiritual authority in their dominions that few people are able to challenge them for fear of being labeled a rebel and trouble maker so the spiritual abuse continues. This has been rampant in nearly every Christian community I have been a part of, and that is a lot. It’s a way for these leaders to defend themselves by asserting spiritual superiority, and to avoid dealing with issues by projecting weakness in other people, under the guise of the holy spirit’s insight. I makes me so angry to witness that sort of abuse. That’s the background hopefully you can understand why I recoiled at you statements. And hopefully you will think twice before ever doing that to someone again.

I apologize for my inciting words as well. You are right that we have different perspectives. I didn’t post this to start an argument with you. But if enough people poke the dog, don’t be surprised if it bites back. It was a diary of my own thoughts on my wall. I welcome feedback but only if its intelligent and on topic. I do my best to respond to the numerous trails that fork off but I do get frustrated by statements which are patently false, e.g. It violates the laws of thermodynamics.

It really drives me crazy to hear someone say that they are the protectors of true science, contra all the scientists that disagree with them. Especially when that person’s entire world view is based on faith without evidence, and is the opposite of “good science”. It is difficult to hear you attack evolution as bad science, even though it has been rigorously debated and studied and tested for two hundred years by eminent scientists that know their field and the scientific method far better than you or i will ever know, meanwhile your beliefs are the exact opposite of good science. How can you condemn evolution as bad science, which is a very difficult thing to prove, and at the same time embrace a belief that flies in the face of all science. You can’t ride the same horse you are beating. Any claims you make against a closed loop equally apply to creation and God. We talk about physics because these laws govern how our known universe works. But there is much about our universe that we don’t know about. Origins of matter are mysteries we haven’t discovered yet, but that doesn’t mean we won’t learn. Or if they remain mysteries that is okay too, the physics and biology we can observe and test can still be true even if we don’t understand the origin of matter. It may call into question our perception of time, of start and end, and we may learn that to ask where something came from is in fact a silly question if there is no beginning or end but only a time loop where all things simply are. Will we understand, maybe never. But that doesn’t mean that within this reality plane things don’t work the way we observe.

In seminary Bruce Waltke pointed out the plain fact that there had to be cellular death before the fall. Trees have bark, animals ate plants, overpopulation of bacterial that never died would have killed the host animals that rely on them. Bugs and animals would have overpopulated and destroyed all life like a swarm of locust. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. And it only has to if you assume the authors were writing a modern scientific history, which clearly they were not.

The point is that Christianity does not teach science. It is skewed to the cultural knowledge of the writer’s time. And it’s preposterous to try to take the creation story as science because it simply is not written for that purpose. You are fighting a battle that isn’t important. And in the process you are condemning good science because it challenges your view of the bible, and this makes you suspicious of all science do you become an obstacle for responsible environmental stewardship as well. It’s all connected.

The fundamentalist guy comes back with the comment:

Just defending my God as you defend yours.

My friend CM, after deleting the guy W as a friend, responds:

You didn’t act like a friend W…. You never had anything but criticism for me. So I’m sure it’s no surprise that you’ve made yourself unwanted. There are consequences for your behavior. I’m sure it’s no great loss for either of us. You didn’t value anything I said anyway.

Take that! lol!!

P.S. Something he wrote earlier in this thread, in response to the claim evolution does not explain the complexity of life on earth:

You said “evolution” is bad science. Micro evolution is evolution. There is no difference, except scale and time. It’s the same principles. The universe is about 14 billion years old. We can see that in space radiation. We can calculate down the first fractions of a second when the big bang occured. The earth is about 4.5 billion years old. That’s a long time. Like it or not, a lot of micro-evolution has happened over the course of earth history. You and other Christians have way too simplistic a view of evolution. You fail to comprehend the scale of a millions of years and the minute changes that accumulate over time. The fossil record shows these subtle changes. Living species show how fast species can adapt. It’s crazy to think about. It’s mind blowing to comprehend, but then again, so is that scale of time. We can’t comprehend the size of the universe, or the scale of 14 billion years. And yet, it’s real. Just because we can’t comprehend it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible.

Evolution is a theory. Just like Gravity. We don’t know everything about it. Science doesn’t claim to have complete knowledge, only what it knows how to test today. But we can know enough, to have confidence that gravity is real and predictable in most situations. The same is true of evolution. We don’t know with certainty how everything happened, we can’t literally look back in time. We can only study the fossil remains and living biology. And we will continue learning more. But we have learned enough to say that evolution is the best theory about the origin of the species, based on the best science that is available to us. In the future we may have better science and our theory may improve, but it is the best explanation for the facts that we currently have.

You may accept six day creation by faith (many christians hold that it’s a poetic myth told for theological purposes). That’s fine. But it has no scientific evidence to support it. So don’t attack evolution for not being completely provable. At least evolution has way more proof than creation. If you don’t care about science, fine, believe in six day creation and ignore the science of evolution. But don’t pretend that it is ‘bad science’ because it contradicts what the bible says. Just agree to believe the bible regardless of science, because that is what you are doing.

You may not like the science because it makes you ask hard questions about your faith. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that the science is bad. Don’t try to claim science as your defense, while at the same time believing in a faith that has no scientific evidence. You can’t have it both ways.

Bang bang!

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3 Responses to “I am totally quoting a Facebook friend”

  1. Ann said

    He is generally a very chill kind of guy. Let’s just say he got angry, not because his Facebook friends were fundamentalists, but because they attacked his status update and his sanity on his wall in front of his friends and family. And his post had nothing to do with religion. Here’s the original post:

    “The real reason people deny climate change is because they fear over regulation of CO2, which they claim will hurt the economy. I’d like to see the evidence for the supposed economic damage. Yes, it would mean that corporations would need to pay for their pollution of public air, so it may hurt their profits, but that’s not the same thing as hurting the economy.”

  2. Paulo said

    Wow! It looks like this guy had been holding back a LOT for a very long time! hahah! Nice post, Ann. Everyone has a breaking point. This guy reached it. LOL

    • Ann said

      Thanks! I know, right. He had had it! Although my friend has been pretty consistently stating his opinions whenever he was attacked in the past by the other guy, I think for some people it takes a lot more to reach their breaking point than others. Probably because they are laid back people generally. It seems like there are some people that break almost any time someone disagrees with their opinions. Maybe out of competition or “knowing” they are right? A kind of “If you are not with me, then you are my enemy” kind of thinking probably. LOL! My friend I think is the former and he was being attacked on a fairly regular basis by someone who was pretty competitive. I think when you have relationships with disagreeable people you just have to expect to reach your breaking point on occasion no matter what you do to avoid it. Like you said, everyone has a breaking point. Something that has to be faced if you decide to maintain a relationship with them, friends or otherwise. In this case I think they were historical friends. My friend was a Christian for a long time, and is married to a Christian he met before he de-converted, while he was in seminary I think, so I’d say he is pretty easy going.

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