Pharyngula

God is the god of death and destruction

I’m home again from Iowa, but there was a moment where I just about turned around. Coming up into Minnesota, there is a nice big billboard with the following message on it.

i-01f526e310a4a9d04de392cb19a01dc4-god_sign.jpeg

I did a double-take and thought about going back around to get a photo of it, but decided it wasn’t worth it, as there really wasn’t any place to pull over safely. That was a rather vile message, but then, this is Christianity we’re talking about, and this was on I-35, which seems to be a focus for religious insanity.

Comments

  1. #1 PZ Myers
    February 11, 2010

    The sign did not have Mr Gumby on it, but it should have.

  2. #2 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    God is the god of twin towers. The folks who flew the airplanes into the WTC were devote goddists (or Allahists, if you prefer) and doing their thing for the greater glory of The Big Guy In The Sky.

    In this instance the billboard is quite correct.

  3. #3 Randomfactor
    February 11, 2010

    GOD IS THE GOD OF TWIN TOWERS,

    So god’s who–Sauron?

  4. #4 Benjamin Geiger
    February 11, 2010

    Randomfactor:

    ZOMG JRR TOLKIEN BLEW UP TEH TWIN TOWERS!

  5. #5 Desert Son, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Interesting catastrophic selection to convey the moodiness and belligerence of a god. Twin towers, o.k., I get the reference. Hurricanes, sure, potentially very damaging, understood.

    Bridges?

    Well, sure, there have been bridge disasters, but, on the grand stage of catastrophes that affect human life, bridges made the cut? Tornadoes, volcanoes, droughts, insect plagues, famine, earthquakes, all got the bypass to make way for bridges?

    God’s a civil engineer in between smites?

    Kind of like Elmer Fudd as Wotan (was it Wotan?) from What’s Opera Doc?: “North winds bwow, south winds bwow, huwicanes, typhoons, wightning bolts, SMOOOOOOOGGG!”

    Or maybe they’re an obscure Norse group? God is Heimdall?

    Submitted from all the way down here at the tail (southern) end of I-35 . . . .

    Still learning,

    Robert

  6. #6 Newfie
    February 11, 2010

    Simpler version:

    SEE? GIVE US MONEY!

  7. #7 Benjamin Geiger
    February 11, 2010

    I’m sure nobody will say a word, but of course the billboards put up by the local atheist group drew protests…

  8. #8 HidariMak
    February 11, 2010

    I first read that billboard message quote as possibly coming from an atheist group. My interpretation was that the so-called “loving, peaceful” god allows massive destruction, sometimes caused by religious zealots, and the bible is full of such instances of pettiness, hatred, and contradictions.

    Of course, PZ knows that stretch of road much better than I could, but I wonder how many other travelers might see the unintended message.

  9. #9 Phledge
    February 11, 2010

    Robert, if I’m not mistaken, the “bridges” part refers to the 2007 collapse of the I-35 in Minneapolis that killed 13 people.

  10. #10 Tuxedo Cartman
    February 11, 2010

    You know, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and agree with them. I’ve thought for a while now that many people who profess to being Christian would drop that label in a hurry if they actually read the bible.

  11. #11 MadScientist
    February 11, 2010

    Only the religious can proclaim that their god is a loathsome hate-filled murderer and that this is a good thing because he’s a loving god. I always thought perhaps atheists should put up more signs like that – I’d bet that people will believe the message is OK coming from a religious group but “strident and militant” when the exact same message is associated with godless people.

  12. #12 Feynmaniac
    February 11, 2010

    I found this billboard more offensive:

    No.

  13. #13 Zeno
    February 11, 2010

    Signs on Highway 99 in the middle of California:

    “One Nation under GOD.”

    “Get US out of the UN!”

    “Jesus Died For You.”

    “Go Green. Be Veg. Save the Planet.” (A new cult, like an organic version of the Moonies.)

    The “Impeach Earl Warren” signs faded into undecipherable invisibility several years ago.

  14. #14 Peter H
    February 11, 2010

    Maybe it was The Bridge of San Luis Rey? A thoroughly depressing read.

  15. #15 Desert Son, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Phledge,

    Thanks for the clarification; I didn’t understand the reference. That makes more sense in the context of the billboard’s geographical location and the population with whom it might potentially resonate.

    I withdraw my mystification, with apologies for my ignorance about the I-35 bridge collapse, and my resultant insensitivity. I thought I was being clever, and it happens that sometimes when I think I’m being clever, I’m not.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  16. #16 alysonmiers
    February 11, 2010

    Feynmaniac, that billboard is indeed frightening.

    GOD IS THE GOD OF TWIN TOWERS, HURRICANES, AND BRIDGES

    Many are talking, few are listening

    READ THE BIBLE

    You know, if they’d installed a URL at the bottom for a freethinkers’ group, it would make just as much sense. That could be an atheist message as easily as a fire-and-brimstone one.

  17. #17 hje
    February 11, 2010

    I-70 has in Missouri has an interesting mix of billboards: pro-life (don’t kill babies) and XXX-porn (harder, baby).

  18. #18 WowbaggerOM
    February 11, 2010

    Maybe they’re trying to get people in by being deliberately incomprehensible – taking a refuge in obscurity. Perhaps they think people will read the bible to see what they’re talking about and be sucked in by whatever it is that’s in there that they seem to think is worthwhile.

    I didn’t say it was a good idea.

  19. #19 Nineveh
    February 11, 2010

    So, I just watched that video you linked to about I-35. I should have heeded your warning.

    PS – I hate the way Pat Robertson says “America”. He make it sound…dirty.

  20. #20 steve
    February 11, 2010

    We need pictures of some of these Christian billboards to put up on engrishfunny.com stat. They should not get away with such appalling grammar without ridicule.

  21. #21 Legion
    February 11, 2010

    The back roads of North-central Virginia are dotted with small signs by the side of the road, each with some pithy bible verse or smarmy religious quote.

    It’s all kinda creepy and puts us in mind of that old horror flick, Children of the Corn.

  22. #22 Sara
    February 11, 2010

    OK. Lets just assume for the sake of trying to see their side of things, that God is real. This is a God who apparently out of LOVE, likes to inflict horror and devastation on those he LOVES.

    You know what. I don’t like him and I’ll be dam ned if I will worship at his alter. And I am wondering why anyone would. Cause lets face it, he just isn’t nice.

    And, they need to hire some marketing people. If your God is so obnoxious and you need to get people involved to pay for the new rec center you added to your church…Don’t announce how really mean he is on a billboard.

    I’m just saying. What kind of a person wants to participate in that?

    Because they seem to forget that more than a few of the “believers” have died in these tragedies, so don’t be thinking that being part of the club is going to save you.

    Not getting them AT ALL.

  23. #23 https://me.yahoo.com/a/a1dnknFljYC2y6M2QP32tlMfOTALiR0-#697c4
    February 11, 2010

    Wish God would take a little time to heal the pot holes in his highway on my little strech of it on the outskirts of San Antonio.

  24. #24 Legion
    February 11, 2010

    Wowbagger:

    Perhaps they think people will read the bible to see what they’re talking about and be sucked in by whatever it is that’s in there that they seem to think is worthwhile.

    Funny how some christians see the bible as a real page turner. They can’t imagine that for some people, reading the bible is like reading the Chinese translated assembly instructions for a Rube Goldberg machine.

  25. #25 Cuttlefish, OM
    February 11, 2010

    When God, up in Heaven above,
    Is ignored, so that push comes to shove,
    He breaks bridges, burns towers,
    Shows hurricane powers,
    To remind us He’s all about Love.

  26. #26 David Marjanovi?
    February 11, 2010

    I found this billboard more offensive:

    On the endless thread, Jadehawk said someone should spray “FUCK NO” on it in neon-pink paint.

    She’s right.

    We need pictures of some of these Christian billboards to put up on engrishfunny.com stat. They should not get away with such appalling grammar without ridicule.

    Seconded.

  27. #27 IanM
    February 11, 2010

    That could be an atheist message as easily as a fire-and-brimstone one.

    Could also be a message promoting the Taliban.

  28. #28 silver007
    February 11, 2010

    What the billboard should read is:

    “THE UNIVERSE CREATED YOU, AND IN FACT, YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE”

    -Pz -Dawkins -Ghandi -Bill Hicks

    Maybe even list their URLs.

  29. #29 IanM
    February 11, 2010

    Oops. I should have said promoting al Qaeda.

  30. #30 DLC
    February 11, 2010

    Of course. God is a mass-murdering piker bastard.
    “Love God?”
    you’re in an abusive relationship.
    I was once asked to counsel a woman who had come to work with a black eye and a split lip.
    My advice : “leave him, now”
    her response: “But I love him. . . (whine).”
    “If you do not leave, it will get worse and he will eventually kill you .”
    I was wrong. he only maimed her for life.

    don’t let the abusive Yaweh maim your brain.
    These people — the ones who paid for the billboard — are happy! that these things happened, and that their sky-daddy did it.

  31. #31 Sara
    February 11, 2010

    DLC
    “Love God?”
    you’re in an abusive relationship.

    May I add this quote to my collection? I can only tag it DLC, but its a keeper.

  32. #32 TimKO,,.,,
    February 11, 2010

    At least the billboard supports polytheism.

    If anything, it had to be synagogue sponsored, as it wouldn’t match anything from the words of jeebus.

    There was a billboard last year on I90 at Billings MT that spouted some xtian aphorism, followed by a 2nd billboard that said “signed, god”. I thought: wouldn’t it be awesome to rent the 3rd billboard in the row and post “Actually, men made these billboards. You knew that…right?”.

  33. #33 IanM
    February 11, 2010

    If this is the sort of thing these Christians attribute to Christ and his teachings and to the Christian God, it makes what the Romans did to him more understandable.

  34. #34 Insightful Ape
    February 11, 2010

    Is “bridges” a reference to the 2007 I35 bridge collapse?

    “I for the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil. I the LORD do all these things”.

    Jackass.

  35. #35 eeanm
    February 11, 2010

    At least it dodges all the logical contortion of trying to justify suffering despite a loving God.

  36. #36 Phledge
    February 11, 2010

    Robert @ #15: your points were actually salient, but I can see how they might have offended some. I was not one of the offended; just someone who remembered the event and figured it was geographically relevant.

  37. #37 troels.jakobsen
    February 11, 2010

    God is the god of bridges? I thought he was god of the gaps.

  38. #38 Benjamin Geiger
    February 11, 2010

    TimKO:

    I would have probably gone with: “PS. I don’t exist.”

  39. #39 fester60613
    February 11, 2010

    Actually – this might be a very good thing.
    The more one reads the babble, if one is slightly intellectually honest, the more one MUST come to see its inherent flaws and claims.

  40. #40 'Tis Himself, OM
    February 11, 2010

    The Dominionists want to remind people that their god is a smiting god. “Straighten up, pay your tithes, vote for Palin, or get smote!”

  41. #41 Nick
    February 11, 2010

    ‘Miss me Yet’.
    Doesn’t that seem like an advert for a horror movie? If you plastered over Dubya’s moronic face with Freddie Kruger, it would still work.

  42. #42 Kel, OM
    February 11, 2010

    Why fear Satan when God is a sadistic fuck?

    Fundamentalism – we turn God into satan so you’re fucked either way…

  43. #43 raven
    February 11, 2010

    Robert, if I’m not mistaken, the “bridges” part refers to the 2007 collapse of the I-35 in Minneapolis that killed 13 people.

    Can’t say that god exhibited much style here. There should have been lightening bolts flying, angels hovering, and a dark and stormy night.

    Instead the bridge just collapsed.

    So how about god’s aim? Thirteen died and more were injured. How many of them were xians? In Minnesota, probably the vast majority. God should have waited for a convention of atheists or evolutionary biologists or something.

    The hallmarks of a deity attack. Lousy aim, huge amounts of collatal damage, and most of the victims were innocent….and xian. Well maybe god just doesn’t like xians. Understandable.

    PS That billboard could just as easily be an advertisement for atheism.

  44. #44 AJKamper
    February 11, 2010

    I drove that stretch of I-35 every month or so for seven years when carrying on a LDR between Cornell College, Iowa and Gustavus Adolphus, St. Peter, MN.

    So here’s my accommodationist response to that sign: At least some foul-minded stupidity helps break up a dreary, dreary drive (esp. in winter).

    Kind of like listening to Rush Limbaugh for the pleasure of feeling your hair come out at the roots.

  45. #45 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Pikachu para lang sa iyo.
    February 11, 2010

    The hallmarks of a deity attack. Lousy aim, huge amounts of collatal damage, and most of the victims were innocent….and xian. Well maybe god just doesn’t like xians. Understandable.

    Remember that this is the same God that out of no where decided to wipe out all the life on the earth except for the ones on a puny arch. Oh, and he likes genocide too, provided you kill your child for it of course.

  46. #46 WowbaggerOM
    February 11, 2010

    They might as well try something like ‘Our God is a Giant Angry Dick who will Fuck You Up if you don’t suck up to him – read your bible!’

  47. #47 bjorn.watland
    February 11, 2010
  48. #48 bad Jim
    February 11, 2010

    The “Miss Me Yet?” billboard that Feynmaniac showed us at #12 strikes me as an incitement to marksmanship, as in the old quip, “I still miss my ex, but my aim is getting better.”

  49. #49 BlueIndependent
    February 11, 2010

    I suppose that doesn’t surprise me. Around Phoenix there were several billboards that had a picture of a gift with a tag on it, and the message on the tag was: “Merry Christmas Phoenix -God”. I also remember, back earlier this decade when I was living in Minnesota, there was a god-bothering anti-choice billboard on I-94 somewhere east of Eau Claire, WI. I made fairly regular trips back home to IL, and this sign was up in a very rural area for the whole time I frequented that stretch of road, which was basically around two years. I guess the leases on billboard space in those parts are a bit indefinite…

  50. #50 keeperofthepies
    February 11, 2010

    “GOD IS THE GOD OF… BRIDGES”

    What? Bridges? So he’s the god of helping us travel over things… alright. And this matters why?

    Also, why do my creationist friends get pissed off when I tell them that they are wrong and deny them the privilege of giving their beliefs equal status? They just automatically stop talking about it and get upset with me.

  51. #51 Sara
    February 11, 2010

    Did you notice the CBS eye under the billboard? Does God work through CBS? Is CBS part of big cabal that is causing the destruction of building, islands and bridges?
    IS CBS Really “Code” for GOD???
    We need those Bible Coders to help us with this…
    Or at least someone who is really good at building conspiracies based on absolutely no evidence…
    Oh Yeah. Same people.

  52. #52 irenedelse
    February 11, 2010

    There’s at least one good thing in that billboard: it’s a great exemple of truth in advertising.

  53. #53 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 11, 2010

    The people who put up that sign worship a petulant brat.

    PAY ATTENTION TO ME OR I WILL BREAK THINGS!

    Those deluded people think there is virtue in giving fealty to a thin skinned autocrat.

    Also reminds me of a joke that a regular had a while ago. (Sorry, that I do not remember who.) God is a terrorist and we do not deal with terrorists.

  54. #54 lordshipmayhem
    February 11, 2010

    “God of bridges”
    – Lloyd Bridges?
    – Bridge the game?
    – Bridge mix chocolates?

  55. #55 silver007
    February 11, 2010

    Dental bridges?
    Bridge piercing?

  56. #56 Sven DiMilo
    February 12, 2010
  57. #57 pipkin1972
    February 12, 2010

    I agree that the sign could be seen as an atheist message but only atheists would get it.

    Unfortunately these religious nuts are the ones that get orgasmic at the thought of people been eternally tortured in hell,they rub their hands with glee when thousands of people die in natural disasters because to them its a sign the end is coming and they hold in contempt anyone or group who supports human rights to anyone no matter what race/gender/sexuality etc.

    Reading this reminded me of a character,the rev Buddy Winkler in Tom Robbins book ‘skinny legs and all’,
    “But the most insidious and dangerous of the false religions is secular humanism.Its so crafty,so sneaky,with its kindness and its decency,that only satan himself could have come up with it”.

  58. #58 tsig0
    February 12, 2010

    Well god’s plan is to create humans just like god and when they break god’s rules, to forgive them by boinking a virgin who will give birth to god who will then die(sort of) so we can be forgiven for breaking god’s rules.

    And then to prove it all by not dying.

  59. #59 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    Smoggy, please don’t go away. We need you right here and right now.

    BS

  60. #60 https://me.yahoo.com/a/7IW3Q_E3tsKloSlnYxkYxNayMxiHG7hu.xyaWoTqcg--#e7f3e
    February 12, 2010

    When Pat shows to God in the sky,
    That oppressed folk employ Asmodai,
    He waits 300 years,
    Shakes the island to tears,
    And says, ?What a good boy am I?.

    thanks, Cuttlefish

  61. #62 Olivia
    February 12, 2010

    XP God = Sauron?

    On an unrelated note, happy Darwin Day.

  62. #63 wildcardjack
    February 12, 2010

    I’ve lived along I-35E in Dallas most of my life, and that is where I have had the most religious experiences in my life.

    From the near death experiences to praying for the traffic to finally move, there is no other place where I have said more prayers to the one man who won’t take requests.

  63. #64 Carneades
    February 12, 2010

    Like many have noted above, I also thought first that this was an invitation to think about religion, from a freethinkers’ group. With a little change, we can make it a sane message:

    GOD IS THE GOD OF TWIN TOWERS, HURRICANES, AND BRIDGES

    Many are talking, few are listening

    READ THE BIBLE AND BECOME ATHEISTS!

  64. #65 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    Billboard sign on the tiny Baptist church in the Melbourne suburb of Belgrave South :


    So the earth created itself ?

    LOL

  65. #66 bad Jim
    February 12, 2010

    What bugs me is the formal emptiness of the statement: God is the god of {X,Y,Z}. Sure, but he’s the god of {i,j,k} as well. Lord of the Flies? If not, why not?

    With respect to the twin towers and bridges in general, it appears that he’s an enterprising but not superlative architect, and certainly not attentive to maintenance.

    Now if he was the god of hurricanes and earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes, then he would be some sort of badass motherfucker. The god of signal splitters and subminiature connectors, electrolytic capacitors, rooftop antennas and sewer clean-outs, self-adjusting brakes and cruise control? Less so.

  66. #67 davem
    February 12, 2010

    On the endless thread, Jadehawk said someone should spray “FUCK NO” on it in neon-pink paint.

    She’s right.

    Or, how about underneath:
    http://www.taliban.net

  67. #68 davem
    February 12, 2010

    Further research has me thinking that the billboard has it all wrong. Seeing as how God is an Englishman (the bible is written in English, so it must be true), then highway 35 is self-evidently the A35 trunk route from Exeter to Southampton.

    So, here’s the bridge:
    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1070033

    Thee ‘twin towers’ are obviously the supports. The bit about hurricanes is worrisome…

  68. #69 llewelly
    February 12, 2010

    IS CBS Really “Code” for GOD???

    CBS == Christ Be Seeing you!

  69. #70 Caine
    February 12, 2010

    In other words, “Daddy’s God’s going to kill you, and no one’s paying attention!

    As for the “Miss me yet” in Feynmaniac’s #12: a resounding oh, fuck no!

  70. #71 AJ Milne
    February 12, 2010

    The “Miss Me Yet?” billboard that Feynmaniac showed us at #12 strikes me as an incitement to marksmanship…

    … more importantly, it just sooooo calls out for a Photoshop/caption contest…

    Hrm… Me, I like:

    ‘Pepto Bismol. Travel size. ‘Cos you just never know when you might throw up in your mouth while driving…’

    ‘Your local mental healthcare providers would like to remind you that if you’re still having nightmares, we can help…’

    (/See also: ‘Your local mental healthcare providers would like to remind you that if you’re still having nightmares… ummm… actually, so are we…’)

  71. #72 Legion
    February 12, 2010

    bjorn, thanks for the link at #47.

    That pic makes it pretty clear that the billboard was put up by sadistic fundies. We find it interesting how this sub-segment of christians apparently have no use for that “kind and loving god.” He’s a big wuss in their eyes.

    No, they much prefer a sadistic gangsta god, who’ll “fuck yo shit up,” if you don’t bow down to him.

    And so we present for your listening pleasure, God Will Fuck You Up

  72. #73 m.j.
    February 12, 2010

    In response to #30

    I was once asked to counsel a woman who had come to work with a black eye and a split lip.

    It must be tough to listen to whiners all day and give them your pithy (leave him, now) little bits of advice while rolling your eyes and offering no alternatives.

    I’m betting you think you’re very good at your job.

  73. #74 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmmZf19beAQvGgNQQIW4pkHPyNoV8e4GKQ
    February 12, 2010

    First, some education:
    1. God did not create us to be puppets.
    2. We make our own decisions
    3. We/someone else must invite him to interfere in your/the person being prayed for’s life.

    Therefore, when you talk about the twin towers it WASN’T God, it was the people who flew the plane into the building. Also God didn’t engineer bad to happen for no particular reason, he engineered it so good can come out of bad. So I ask: The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

  74. #75 Caine
    February 12, 2010

    So I ask: The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    A god? Nope. Besides, if you invite one, you gotta invite them all, and that’s just a mess.

  75. #76 John Morales
    February 12, 2010

    id=AItOawmmZf19beAQvGgNQQIW4pkHPyNoV8e4GKQ:

    First, some education:
    1. God did not create us to be puppets.
    2. We make our own decisions
    3. We/someone else must invite him to interfere in your/the person being prayed for’s life.

    First, some fixing-up:
    1. God did not create us to be puppets.
    2. We make our own decisions, forced as they might be
    3. We/someone else must invite him to interfere in your/the person being prayed for’s life if we’re being irrational.

    Therefore, when you talk about the twin towers it WASN’T God, it was the people who flew the plane into the building.

    Well, duh; but why do you write “therefore”?
    Did you think you’d made some sort of argument? ;)

    Also God didn’t engineer bad to happen for no particular reason, he engineered it so good can come out of bad.

    God, being an imaginary being, didn’t “engineer” anything. And, even granting the fiction for argument’s sake, all you’re saying it that God was either too inadequate to manage the sought-after good without recourse to evil (or, alternatively, that it chose to do so for the yuks).

    So I ask: [1] The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? [2] A God perhaps?

    So I answer:

    1. Only if I felt that external help would, you know, help.

    2. How is an imaginary being supposed to help anyone? It’s not real.

    In short: no.

  76. #77 Rorschach
    February 12, 2010

    First, some education:
    1. God did not create us to be puppets.

    Who ?

    3. We/someone else must invite him to interfere in your/the person being prayed for’s life.

    The omnipotent omniescent ruler of the universe and everything has to be invited ?

    Clownshoe.

  77. #78 Kel, OM
    February 12, 2010

    So I ask: The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    External help? Yes. God? No. The thing about being a social ape is that when in need there are others to help you out, to empathise and to experience with you. Creating an invisible friend is a weak substitute really…

  78. #79 Legion
    February 12, 2010

    #74

    Oh dear, where to begin? Perhaps the beginning.

    God did not create us to be puppets.

    Let’s see. God says do what I say or suffer in hell for eternity. Doesn’t seem like there’s much room there for anything but be a puppet.

    We make our own decisions

    So, by your definition, the christians who were killed on 9/11 “decided” to die in a collapsing inferno. And yes, it’s true, the christians who choose to jump out of windows did make that decision all by themselves. Oh yes, and the children who are born with crippling birth defects, well, that was their choice, right?

    We/someone else must invite him to interfere in your/the person being prayed for’s life.

    So, we suppose god must have failed to flie a change of address with the Post Office on 9/11. That would explain why he failed to answer the invitation to interfere in their lives as they were dying.

    Therefore, when you talk about the twin towers it WASN’T God, it was the people who flew the plane into the building.

    You mean the people who your, allegedly infallible, god created? Those people?

    Also God didn’t engineer bad to happen for no particular reason, he engineered it so good can come out of bad.

    We understand. God kills innocent people, or allows innocent people to be killed, because it’s a good thing? Hmm. Let’s try an experiment. Do you have kids? Try killing one then come back and tell us what good came if it.

    So I ask: The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    In a word… no, let’s make this two words: Hell no.

    Your imaginary god is a merciless psychopathic incompetent genocidal killing machine. Believe it.

  79. #80 Knockgoats
    February 12, 2010

    The involuntary implantation of microchips in people might be the biblical ?mark of the beast”

    There’s currently a proposal in the UK that dog owners should be legally obliged to microchip their dogs (a good idea, IMAO). Compulsory ear-tagging has recently been extended from cattle to sheep. The mark of the beast indeed!

  80. #81 Legion
    February 12, 2010

    This:

    Therefore, when you talk about the twin towers it WASN’T God, it was the people who flew the plane into the building.

    plus this:

    Also God didn’t engineer bad to happen for no particular reason, he engineered it so good can come out of bad.

    equals contradiction… idiot.

  81. #82 aseemnevrekar
    February 12, 2010

    #73 Are you being sarcastic? What alternative to ‘Leave him, now!’ would you have suggested? Turns out it was the correct advice. The guy maimed her for life.

  82. #83 Knockgoats
    February 12, 2010

    The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps? – some stupid godbot

    You have no family or friends you can turn to? Sorry to hear that. In their absence, try hugging a teddy bear. At least it’s real.

  83. #84 Spiro Keat
    February 12, 2010

    So I ask: The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    No, I am an adult, I am self reliant and have no need to depend on Daddy to sort out my problems.

    Religions infantalise their victims, making them dependent on their god,via the clergy,for making their decisions and living their lives.

    We have done this to dogs; human beings are not dogs.

  84. #85 frankcornish
    February 12, 2010

    God is the god of bridges? I thought he was god of the gaps.

    It’s an all-in-one deal for God.

    He is Everything remember? He creates horrible evil so that people can feel good when they are not in anguish.

    He came up with the idea of bridges, but they were of no use by themselves so he made gaps. It’s all very logical.

  85. #86 Stibbons
    February 12, 2010

    Maybe it’s the god of Jeff Bridges. The Man Who Stares at GOATS ON FIRE!!!

  86. #87 bbgunn071679
    February 12, 2010

    llewelly @ 69:

    My first thought… CBS = Christian Bull Shit.

  87. #88 Anri
    February 12, 2010

    I’m fairly certain that #74 will have turned tail and dashed off long before they read this, but, here goes:

    So, #74, in RE: 9-11, you are absolving god. All very well and good.

    Do you believe that your god wanted to stop those events, but couldn’t?

    Or do you believe that your god could have stopped those events, but didn’t want to?

    Please think about your answer for a bit before replying.
    Thanks in advance.

  88. #89 Abdul Alhazred
    February 12, 2010

    As they crashed their commandeered aircraft, the perpetrators’ last words over the radio: Allah Akhbar!
    God is great!
    I guess that settles it. Right?

  89. #90 IanM
    February 12, 2010

    This God they describe sounds vain, angry, capricious, and smugly cryptic. Where we have Christ teaching his followers to lead by example, this God of theirs, curiously, sets the worst example. What these people have is not faith but projection. As for myself, I have my own special relationship with God. I don’t bother him… and he doesn’t bother me.

  90. #91 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    February 12, 2010

    WRT Bjorn @ 47’s picture, I think that “The Bible” could be changed to “The Qu’ran” or “The God Delusion” for equivalent truth value.

    All IMO obviously.

  91. #92 SirBedevere
    February 12, 2010

    @ #30:
    “Love God?”
    you’re in an abusive relationship.

    As others have observed, this is a beautiful quote and I chuckled aloud when I read it. But it occurred to me that there may be more than a little similarity between being unable to perceive the nature of an abusive relationship and being unable to see the falsehood in religion.

  92. #93 hje
    February 12, 2010

    If we all chipped in we could put up a billboard with the xkcd comic:

    Digits of pi–help i’m trapped in a universe factory–digits of pi.

  93. #94 Truckle
    February 12, 2010

    The “Miss Me Yet?” billboard that Feynmaniac showed us at #12 strikes me as an incitement to marksmanship…

    … more importantly, it just sooooo calls out for a Photoshop/caption contest…

    I was thinking of having one shoe flying past his ear, and say underneath “yeh but this other shoe won’t ya bastard!”

  94. #95 JackC
    February 12, 2010

    God is the god of bridges? I thought he was god of the gaps.

    God is in the gaps

    Bridges cross gaps

    Trolls live under bridges

    God is a troll

    QED.

    JC

  95. #96 AJKamper
    February 12, 2010

    Funny, it never even crossed my mind that the last time I was in true grief… in ANY of the times I was in true grief… I never remotely thought about reaching out to a God. Even before I was an atheist, I never felt any comfort in the thought of an afterlife nor any need to share my grieving with another creature.

    Now, this isn’t a matter of free will. It’s not like I _chose_ to reject God in those moments. It’s just part of my nature, and probably will remain so unless God should choose to speak to me directly.

    This means, according to some variants of Christianity, that my essential nature has condemned me to eternal torment and I have no real choice in the matter.

    Sheesh, no wonder I don’t worship It.

  96. #97 nigelTheBold
    February 12, 2010

    The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    That’s about like asking Jesus for a blow job, isn’t it? Or Caspar the Friendly Ghost to hand you a bag of Fritos. You’ll just end up doing it yourself. (Though I have to admit to being impressed that you are able to blow yourself. Autoirrumation is a skill I do not possess.)

    When I want something done that I can’t achieve myself, I generally turn to the one source that has always proven reliable: other people. My friends. My loved ones. People who can offer me personal consolation. People who can remind me that life is, in general, well worth living.

    And I’ve found that if other people are unable to help salve grief, my dogs are a sure-fire bet. If Roscoe and Elvis can’t cheer me up, nothing can.

    God can’t even take you out for a beer and say, “Cheer up, you miserable fuck.” (Only David Ford can do that.)

  97. #98 Gladsmuir
    February 12, 2010

    I agree with the sign – read the bible! It is the best way for you to decide for yourself.

    As for aseemnevrekar (#82) – I’m behind you 100%. I hope m.j. can justify such crass comments because to me that attitude is quite sickening.

  98. #99 Truckle
    February 12, 2010

    #34 Insightful Ape wrote

    “I for the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil. I the LORD do all these things”.

    #74 drooled

    “Therefore, when you talk about the twin towers it WASN’T God, it was the people who flew the plane into the building. Also God didn’t engineer bad to happen for no particular reason, he engineered it so good can come out of bad.”

    Please explain how you come to that conclusion from reading the bible?

  99. #100 nigelTheBold
    February 12, 2010

    …my essential nature has condemned me to eternal torment…

    You are condemned to riding in an elevator with Tom Cruise, Dick Cheney, and Jerry Falwell, while Celine Dion is piped in over the loudspeaker? Forever?

    Dude. You have my condolences.

  100. #101 Sara
    February 12, 2010

    Dear #74 Gibberish Name….
    I sure do admire you for taking on a group of heathenistic, Creation denying, Sarcastic, slightly demented and apparently god hostile Atheists. You will definitely be able to mark that one in the little book of holy things you have done. This will undoubtedly bring you closer to the current “holy efforts” record.

    Unless of course you judge the effort on their success rate, in which case – not so much.

    We are glad you came you know. When you signed in for comments – the Atheists who were just starting to yawn on this Thread got REALLY interested. “LOOK, an idiot to talk to!” we said.

    But then you went away…That was sad. We invite you back. It’s fun to, you know, point out where you look stupid.

    Come back soon now, ya hear.

  101. #102 Recovered Catholic
    February 12, 2010

    http://www.archive.org/details/SF121

    I knew it! This has got to be God’s smiting breath on this bridge!

  102. #103 ergaster
    February 12, 2010

    Obviously they are referring to the goddess Kali!
    Sep 11 happened because not enough people sacrificed goats!

    (In other news, a buddhist fundamentalist in Myanmar a few days ago told me that the 2008 tornado there was because of bad karma by the people in the delta area, many of whom were fishermen. Anyone who tells you that Buddhism is “a philosophy, not a religion” is talking through their arse. What is “a philosophy” anyway??)

  103. #104 Ray Moscow
    February 12, 2010

    Ergaster @103: Yeah, I went to a local Buddhist “meditation class” once. We spent about half the time chanting praises to Buddha and to the Tibetan monk who established this particular sect (well, not me, just everyone else).

    I could have gotten much the same at any church — just addressed to Jesus/Yahweh instead of Buddha.

  104. #105 Tulse
    February 12, 2010

    God didn’t engineer bad to happen for no particular reason, he engineered it so good can come out of bad.

    And the remaining people of Haiti are so grateful…

  105. #106 frog, Inc.
    February 12, 2010

    google: We/someone else must invite him to interfere in your/the person being prayed for’s life.

    God is like a vampire then? Will a garlic necklace protect me from his love?

  106. #107 badgersdaughter
    February 12, 2010

    Several times of true grief ago, when I had nobody to help me (I was in a strange town where I didn’t know anyone, and my extended family had issues of their own at the time), I did call on God. I prayed my heart out. I pleaded, cried, harangued, and bargained. I even tried calling churches out of the phone book so I could talk to a minister, but none of them had time for a non-member. One even told me that if I had had a right relationship with God, this would not have been happening to me.

    Who helped me? A perfectly secular emergency-room psychologist with a reassuring manner, a few words of good solid advice, and a couple of sample bottles of Zoloft. God not mentioned, or involved.

    The last time I felt true, sincere grief? Well, yes, I felt pretty abandoned. But the friends I had who tried to help were believers in the Secret and in angel guides. To say they were worse than useless is to understate the case a little. They told me that if I had had a right relationship with the Universe, I would have attracted helpful rather than harmful influences into my life.

    Who helped me? The Internet, basically, with pages and pages of secular resources on dealing with grief.

    Really, it doesn’t take much experience to know that promises of help from deities don’t pan out. Believers shame you by telling you that since God wants us to be happy, it’s your fault God won’t help you. And then they turn around and say we shouldn’t even expect to be happy in the first place.

    Piss on them all.

  107. #108 Knockgoats
    February 12, 2010

    And I’ve found that if other people are unable to help salve grief, my dogs are a sure-fire bet. – nigelTheBold

    Good point – better than my suggestion of a teddy bear – though a bit more demanding. If you get a puppy of a reliably good-natured breed (better still if you know its parents and they are good-natured), and treat it reasonably well, you’re pretty much guaranteed that, unlike God or a teddy bear, it will love you back.

  108. #109 PinkoCommieLiberal
    February 12, 2010

    My first posting, so apologies in advance for any errors.

    Is it illegal in the US to deface these wacko signs? Preferably with apt and witty comments – we could have best of the month nominations.

    Thanks Mr Myers for an excellent blog that even a non-scientist like myself can appreciate.

  109. #110 dNorrisM
    February 12, 2010

    So, god is powerless unless we invite him in? That’s good to know.
    Does god cast a reflection in a mirror?
    Maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess if the Romans had used a stake through the heart, rather than a spear.

  110. #111 AJ Milne
    February 12, 2010

    God is like a vampire then?

    Well, only insofar as he can’t come in if you don’t invite him…

    But he’s also more than a little nuts… And if you don’t invite him in, he’ll erect a cross on your lawn, hire a buncha goons in togas to nail him to it, and hang there screaming ‘Now see what you made me did!’…

    Sure, you laugh. But man, I do get tired of explaining it to the neighbours: ‘Yeah, I dated him a long while ago… He’s got some problems, and most of all, he seems to have a really, really hard time letting go…’

    And they stare at you, y’know? Like they wonder what the hell you were thinking getting involved with a fruit loop like that in the first place…

    (/And all ya can do is mumble, kinda embarrassed, ‘Well, my parents introduced us…’)

  111. #112 dNorrisM
    February 12, 2010

    Err. Earlier comment beaten by Frog,Inc.

  112. #113 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    February 12, 2010

    So I ask: The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    I get so tired of some defenders of the faith use this as a trump card. They think that just because this is what they do that everybody also does it it.

    Wrong!

    When family members went in for major surgeries, not once did I pray or ask a sky daddy for anything. When I thought my mother was close to death, I was upset but I did not pray. When people I loved died, I grieved but I did not pray. When I thought I had a fatal illness (false positive) I was in shock but I did not pray nor strike a deal with a big sky daddy.

    Just because you feel compelled to pray does not mean it is universal nor is it your greatest trump card.

    Get over yourself.

  113. #114 tsg
    February 12, 2010

    So I ask: The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    I’m an atheist. I always have been. When my hours-old daughter lay dying in a hospital bed, I believed in god for just long enough to call him a fucking bastard. When the nurse asked me if I wanted her to get the chaplain to baptise her “just in case”, I looked at her and said, “that won’t be necessary.” What I was thinking was, “no, I’d rather you did your fucking job and treated my daughter.” In the hours I spent waiting to see if she would live, I did reach out for help, from my wife (in another hospital: my daughter would see three different ICUs in her first 24 hours), from my parents, from my friends, from anyone who would listen. Not once did I ask your imaginary friend for help.

    She survived, but only because of medicine. She spent the first two weeks of her life on a heart-lung machine. If she was born twenty years earlier, she dies.

    So no, you arrogant fuck, I don’t need your imaginary bastard of a god to help me through hard times that he could prevent if he was a god.

    Now, take your “no atheists in foxholes” bullshit and fuck off.

  114. #115 Chris Wellons
    February 12, 2010

    That looks a lot like the Time Cube guy’s style of writing.

  115. #116 frog, Inc.
    February 12, 2010

    Janine: They think that just because this is what they do that everybody also does it it.

    If you’re running a business in a gang infested neighborhood and your windows are getting broken, what do you do? You go to local gang, and you pay them to protect you “from the bad guys”, right?

    It’s just simple logic. If God signals he’s going to kill your mother, who do you go to? You go to God. He’s the local mob boss. And you yell to the high heavens that he’s the good guy — it’s part of the deal, you know? It’s not “extortion” — that sounds ugly. It’s “protection”.

    What’s really rude is when a neighbor points out that you’re part of the problem — instead of organizing to fight back, you’re buckling under. Those people really suck. They make everybody look bad.

  116. #117 Tulse
    February 12, 2010

    Is it illegal in the US to deface these wacko signs?

    Absolutely.

    That doesn’t mean it’s not fun…

  117. #118 Moggie
    February 12, 2010

    #108:

    Good point – better than my suggestion of a teddy bear – though a bit more demanding. If you get a puppy of a reliably good-natured breed (better still if you know its parents and they are good-natured), and treat it reasonably well, you’re pretty much guaranteed that, unlike God or a teddy bear, it will love you back.

    Until you eat it, anyway.

  118. #119 Peter H
    February 12, 2010

    @ PCL, #109:

    Yes, it’s considered vandalism. Some even feel it interferes with “free speech.” (snicker)

    Some “vandalism” shows great insight & cleverness.

  119. #120 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmBKqeg3fFG6pBw8UFAgR_tkJq_OOYFVK0
    February 12, 2010

    It is pretty twisted to think that death from hurricanes, terrorists, bridge collapses, and whatever else that causes death and destruction is somehow divinely justified.

    Around here in SE VA, there are a lot of handmade signs just off the roads saying: “NO MATTER WHAT, TRUST GOD”, and they always make me think that this wicked god tests people until they can’t take any more, and then he goes just a little bit farther and finishes the job.

    I think I should pair them with some similarly-themed “GOD KILLS EVERYBODY” signs.

  120. #121 tsg
    February 12, 2010

    Re my #114:

    And don’t you fucking dare say “it was a miracle”. 99 times out of a hundred when I tell this story I get that “it was a miracle” bullshit, and I have to nod my head stupidly and hold my tongue1. Well, here I don’t. God didn’t save my daughter. The dozens of doctors and nurses that treated her, the transport team that kept her alive until she got to the hospital with the live-saving technology, the police that escorted the ambulance, the people who invented the life-saving technology, and the teams that new how to use it saved my daughter. God, if anything, tried to kill her.

    [1] Because, you know, they’re just trying to be supportive and happy for me and I’m the right bastard for telling them they’re full of shit.

  121. #122 tsg
    February 12, 2010

    Sigh…

    and the teams that knew how

  122. #123 adobedragon
    February 12, 2010

    God is the god of … bridges.

    Well, when it comes to mythological beings and bridges, the first thing I think of is troll.

    So god is a troll?

  123. #124 SteveM
    February 12, 2010
    So I ask: The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    I get so tired of some defenders of the faith use this as a trump card. They think that just because this is what they do that everybody also does it it.

    Wrong!

    You know, even if people in their most desperate moments of fear and grief cry out to a god to help them, exactly what does that prove? Only that people are sometimes weak or overwhelmed and would like an all powerful father to “make it go away”. It only says something about human psychology, not that god really does exist or even that religion is a “good thing”.

  124. #125 destlund
    February 12, 2010

    Molly Ivins said, “The key to happiness in Austin is to never, ever get on I-35.” It would appear she was right about Minnesota as well. Unfortunately I work on I-35, so I’m unhappy a great deal of the time.

    There you go; pointless drive-by comment achieved. Have a nice day.

  125. #126 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    February 12, 2010

    God is the god of … bridges.

    Well, when it comes to mythological beings and bridges, the first thing I think of is troll.

    So god is a troll?

    adobedragon, he certainly knows how to attract them even if he isn’t.

  126. #127 Momo
    February 12, 2010

    Man that’s the kind of stuff that just creeps me out. I hate religious advertising it’s almost always vague beyond recognition or concise to the point of being scary.

  127. #128 jebus-is-my-dog
    February 12, 2010

    @tsg #114

    Now, take your “no atheists in foxholes” bullshit and fuck off.

    rAmen to that

    and thank Science for modern medicine

  128. #129 Andreas Johansson
    February 12, 2010

    SteveM wrote:

    You know, even if people in their most desperate moments of fear and grief cry out to a god to help them, exactly what does that prove? Only that people are sometimes weak or overwhelmed and would like an all powerful father to “make it go away”. It only says something about human psychology, not that god really does exist or even that religion is a “good thing”.

    I believe the “logic” is that the soldiers out there dying for our freedom are more nobler than us back home, and therefore righter.

    At least that’s the closest thing to an argument I’ve managed to wring out of a theist on this point.

  129. #130 raven
    February 12, 2010

    xian fundie troll:

    The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    Well sure. It was when moron Bush won a second term as Destructor-in-chief.

    Zeus, Odin, and Vishnu were great helps. A nice Pinot Gris and my cats helped more.

    Yahweh just muttered something about “stupid fundies” and “need another hurricane in Florida” and wandered off. Given the number of tornados and hurricanes smiting fundieland USA, it is obvious that god hates fundie xians. Understandable.

  130. #131 MAJeff, OM
    February 12, 2010

    So I ask: The last time you were in true grief, did you feel as if you needed an external help? A God perhaps?

    Friends and family work pretty well for me when I needed to deal with grief. A professional counselor on occasion as well. But, you know, I tend to go for living, actually existing entities.

  131. #132 Kausik Datta
    February 12, 2010

    Catching up late, but the following links I saw on AP this morning seem strangely appropriate to this post:
    1. Border Agents Find Pot in Framed Jesus Picture. a.k.a. WWJS (What would Jesus smoke?) Or, Jesus: “I was framed!”
    2. Baraboo man accused of using stun gun on ‘sinner’, in which the man repeatedly shocked a male dance instructor with a stun gun, claiming the instructor was a “sinner” who “defiles married women”.

  132. #133 Sastra
    February 12, 2010

    It’s interesting that a lot of Christians and other spiritualists who would condemn this billboard as showing God to be cruel and vindictive, still totally buy into — and promote — the mindset that eagerly interprets everything as happening “for a reason.” Thinking things just happen without an underlying purpose, is either naive, or arrogant.

    It’s like being the main character in a narrative plot, or a baby toddling through a play area: it’s all about you. Your job is to figure out how the event is supposed to make a you better person. You’re supposed to learn something, or say thank-you, or show that you’ve got pluck, or make a certain choice.

    The more liberal insist God doesn’t send hurricanes: instead, He sends rainbows. And this is supposed to be better, because it’s nicer.

    #74 wrote:

    Also God didn’t engineer bad to happen for no particular reason, he engineered it so good can come out of bad.

    The outcome of this frame of thought, is a nasty combination of narcissism and blame. And, as others have pointed out, it’s the same situation as in abusive relationship. He only hits you, because He loves you.

    You were getting uppity again, thinking it’s all about you. No. It’s all about making sure you’re not going to get uppity.

  133. #134 AJ Milne
    February 12, 2010

    Zeus, Odin, and Vishnu were great helps. A nice Pinot Gris and my cats helped more.

    All good calls…

    (/I like to hang with Dionysus, Pan, ‘n Aphrodite, too, if I’m feeling up to it. Those guys know how to party.)

  134. #135 jimryan
    February 12, 2010

    The CBS logo prominently under the billboard is… interesting.

    Some might interpret this to mean that CBS is endorsing the idea of God as destroyer of twin towers and I-35 bridges. Some in the CBS legal and public relations department might be very interested to know that their logo is tied to such a message.

    Just sayin’…

    Mr. Sanford Kryle
    CBS Legal Department
    phone: 212-975-4601
    email: sikryle@CBS.com

    Kim Akhtar
    CBS Public Relations
    phone: 212-975-4296

  135. #136 Ring Tailed Lemurian
    February 12, 2010

    The “God of Bridges” is obviously an Englishman, as R. F. Delderfield said, and one with a wicked sense of humour.

    That’s why “He” broke Ashley Cole’s ankle on Wednedsday, giving Wayne Bridge the chance to replace him in the England football team at the World Cup.
    Now Bridge can be in the same team as John Terry again.

  136. #137 Sastra
    February 12, 2010

    Andreass Johansson #129 wrote:

    At least that’s the closest thing to an argument I’ve been able to wring out of a theist on this point.

    The underlying assumption, I think, is that you can tell what you really believe, when you look at what you do when you’re not exercizing restraint. We put on a show for ourselves, kid ourselves, and only let go when under stress. Children are also reliable this way: they haven’t yet learned to hide their natural impulses.

    If someone claims to love his wife, but pushes past her and knocks her down when someone yells “fire!” — we know something we didn’t know before, about the depth of that emotion. A crisis brought it out.

    Therefore, someone who cries out to God when he’s terrified for his life, and half out of his mind, is actually revealing his true beliefs. See? He KNOWS that God exists, and always did. This knowledge was covered up by a thin, sophisticated veneer of rationalization, and it fell away when the chips were down. To explain that he was reverting to his childhood, is actually a point in favor of God, not against it.

    From their point of view, a child who asks “who made the moon?” is not being immature and egocentric. No, he’s exhibiting the natural wisdom of the very young, who instinctively know that everything was made by a person, for a purpose. It’s only when you start to think you know things, and study science, that you teach yourself to deny what is plain to the young, the feebleminded, the hysterical, and the weak.

    From what I can tell, that’s what’s behind these kinds of atheist-in-foxhole arguments.

  137. #138 robinsrule
    February 12, 2010

    First, some education:
    1. God did not create us to be puppets.

    You’re supposed to be burdened by a yoke (Matthew 11:29.)

  138. #139 Annie
    February 12, 2010

    I agree with whoever thought this was an atheistic message. If not intentionally, then that could well be the result of looking at the evil in the world and reading the Bible in its entirety. If this is a religious message, I think it’s more likely than not to backfire on them.

    Tee hee.

  139. #140 Rey Fox
    February 12, 2010

    Something about the whole “God is the God” thing strikes me as funniest. When I saw the title of PZ’s post, I thought, “Well that’s rather sloppy language, I figure PZ would be keen enough to properly identify the God as Yahweh.” But no, it was an actual believer. “My God is like, SO THE God that it’s actually his name! What other god can say that?”

    Wait, actually, I think the funniest thing is the implication in the wording of the billboard that there are other gods. God may preside over bridges, hurricanes, and groupings of two towers that resemble each other, but presumably there are other gods whose domains include things like causeways, viaducts, elevated roadways…

    “I found this billboard more offensive:”

    GAH, look at the LEER on his face!

  140. #141 Qwerty
    February 12, 2010

    Odd that a sign in Minnesota would mention hurricanes as we never experience the full effects of one.

    Anyhow, I read the linked post and listened to the “news” story abuot I-35 being some kind of religious highway.

    The pastor featured in the story talks about going on “purity seiges” which is the new way of proselytizing the faithless. They did this at a gay bar in Dalles where they supposedly converted a homosexual from his sinful “lifestyle”. (One wonders if he still believes?)

    Anyhow, this pastor said, “We have to set people free from drug addiction, alcoholism, and stale religion.”

    At least I’ve fulfilled one of his wishes. I did get rid of the “stale religion” when I gave up my Catholicism.

  141. #142 Blind Squirrel FCD
    February 12, 2010

    “I found this billboard more offensive:”

    I honestly thought that was Johnny Carson. But then I am pretty much face blind.

    BS

  142. #143 Kevin
    February 12, 2010

    @tsg:

    In reaction to your comment – someone would inevitably say ‘It was a miracle!’ To that, I ask why my friends’ babies (twin boys) both deserved to die. One was a few days old, the other was a few weeks old, and both of them died.

    This was back when I was a Christian, so I prayed, and my family prayed, but still they died. ‘God’ decided not to answer our prayers and strike down those two adorable babies for no reason.

    When science / medicine can’t solve a problem like that, it’s a tragedy. When ‘god’ can’t do it, it’s ‘part of his plan.’

    ‘God’ can suck it.

  143. #144 Kevin
    February 12, 2010

    Also – re: CBS Logo:

    I’m pretty sure that’s just who owns the billboard space, and they lease the space out to whoever wants. They aren’t endorsing the message, just saying ‘Hey, this is our billboard space.’

  144. #145 pdferguson
    February 12, 2010

    GOD IS THE GOD OF TWIN TOWERS, HURRICANES, AND BRIDGES

    So, God is the cause of catastrophes, both human and natural. Well, okay, I guess; he’s your imaginary friend, you can dress him up however you like. Might as well add tsunamis, cancer, and Rip Torn to the list while you’re at it.

  145. #146 BoxNDox
    February 12, 2010

    “Your imaginary god is a merciless psychopathic incompetent genocidal killing machine. Believe it.”

    I also note that he seems to be especially incompetent with money, because he’s always having to ask his believers to give him some.

  146. #147 Andreas Johansson
    February 12, 2010

    Sastra works:

    Therefore, someone who cries out to God when he’s terrified for his life, and half out of his mind, is actually revealing his true beliefs. See? He KNOWS that God exists, and always did. This knowledge was covered up by a thin, sophisticated veneer of rationalization, and it fell away when the chips were down. To explain that he was reverting to his childhood, is actually a point in favor of God, not against it.

    Which makes no sense at all – if I “really” believe in God, that says something about me, not about God. The theist presumably does not want to say that God’s existence is contingent on my mental state, flattering as that may be for my ego.

  147. #148 Sastra
    February 12, 2010

    Andreas Johansson #147 wrote:

    Which makes no sense at all – if I “really” believe in God, that says something about me, not about God. The theist presumably does not want to say that God’s existence is contingent on my mental state, flattering as that may be for my ego.

    It makes sense if your prime case for God is the “fact” that God put knowledge of His existence in everyone’s heart — and thus there is no real need to argue whether or not God exists. It’s self-evident. You can trust your feeling that you sense God, because you do.

    A lot of theists do this, Christian and non-Christian, presuppositionalists and evidentialists, sophisticated and garden-variety populist. It’s a very comforting and reassuring apologetic. It’s also very lazy. That combination may account for its popularity.

  148. #149 Paul
    February 12, 2010

    Which makes no sense at all – if I “really” believe in God, that says something about me, not about God. The theist presumably does not want to say that God’s existence is contingent on my mental state, flattering as that may be for my ego.

    You’re missing the part where the theist takes as an axiom that God exists. That fact isn’t up for question, so there is no need to discuss it. As Sastra points out, it is also assumed that deep down everyone believes in God, it’s how we’re made. Their beliefs are confirmed by their children, who all believe in angels and the supernatural.

    All that is contingent on your mental state is if you are desperate enough to drop pretense and admit to yourself that Jesus is Lord.

    For what it’s worth, Sastra’s explanation is compatible with my perception from my Christian days. The way these scenarios are framed was always that hardship caused the person to drop their pride/rebellion and surrender to their deep down belief in God, then everything got better. It’s assumed that the belief was always there, they simply wouldn’t acknowledge it. This is one reason why Christian evangelists talking about how they “used to be an atheist” absolutely ring hollow. Their conception of atheist tends to be “a person who is angry at God and doesn’t want to go to church anymore”, even while keeping the belief that deep down God exists and is watching you.

  149. #150 Andreas Johansson
    February 13, 2010

    It makes sense if your prime case for God is the “fact” that God put knowledge of His existence in everyone’s heart — and thus there is no real need to argue whether or not God exists. It’s self-evident. You can trust your feeling that you sense God, because you do.

    But “no atheists in foxholes” doesn’t demonstrate God put that knowledge there, only that it is there. If you’re trying to argue that “if God, then God”, you have to state the “if God” part. Your argument would be circular, but it would be an argument.

  150. #151 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlilp9Eepzb7HACfNkzQ8JEHNtOahPR5N0
    February 13, 2010

    I thought that all natural disasters were man’s doing? That’s what many Christians have said when confronted with them. This seems to indicate God has a hand in them. Lovely, what a smashing chap. Sounds like just the kind of deity for me. Where do I sign (my reason and dignity away).

    Nik

  151. #152 Harry Varty
    February 13, 2010

    #74 – 24 hours and I am still waiting for your second coming. I am getting to know how you must feel. It must be even harder after 2,00o years.

  152. #153 Nick
    February 14, 2010

    If God really wants to talk to us, can’t he just, well, talk? Wouldn’t it be easier to, say, simulateously take over all the TV channels in the world for a 5-minute fire-side chat, rather than organising for a bunch of Muslim knuckle-heads to hijack planes, fly them into buildings, and kill loads of people. Just saying.

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