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Jerk of the Day

Why, oh why do I despise Christianity so much? Look to George Berkin to understand why. And if you can’t understand, you’re probably one of those Christians.

He’s got a long article up arguing that God is being good to Christopher Hitchens by afflicting him with a lingering disease, because it will give him a chance to repent. And then it suggests that everyone pray for a deathbed conversion. Hallelujah.

First, Hitchens is not dead. He has cancer. There’s a difference. Learn it, or next time I see you I’m going to point out that you’re aging and start talking about you in the past tense, with lots of pitying looks.

Second, your god is clearly a dick, and so are you. I don’t see why you’re worshipping him, except that dicks seem to like other dicks an awful lot. Fortunately, your god is entirely imaginary, so I can’t get pissed off at him, but you are supposedly a civilized and rational human being, so I do get to regard you with deserved contempt.

Third, I have enough respect for Hitchens’ integrity and personal courage that even if he were on his deathbed, hopefully many, many years from now, I’d expect him to remain true to his principles…unless he were dying of Alzheimer’s disease, or major head trauma. Stop begging him to be weak and cowardly.

Most annoyingly of all, Berkin is addressing Hitchens and writes, “But now, let’s talk, one grownup to another.” Berkin, you condescending twit, someone is excluded from the conversation by that restriction, and it isn’t the guy who refuses to believe in magic wish fulfillment fantasies involving a dead charlatan who’ll poof you into a celestial candyland if you believe in a woman cursing humankind for eternity by eating bad fruit.

God is not great. But his followers are worse.

Comments

  1. #1 Ing
    July 3, 2010


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    « Biblical verification of an atheist message | Main
    Jerk of the Day

    Category: Religion
    Posted on: July 2, 2010 6:03 PM, by PZ Myers

    Why, oh why do I despise Christianity so much? Look to George Berkin to understand why. And if you can’t understand, you’re probably one of those Christians.

    He’s got a long article up arguing that God is being good to Christopher Hitchens by afflicting him with a lingering disease, because it will give him a chance to repent. And then it suggests that everyone pray for a deathbed conversion. Hallelujah.

    First, Hitchens is not dead. He has cancer. There’s a difference. Learn it, or next time I see you I’m going to point out that you’re aging and start talking about you in the past tense, with lots of pitying looks.

    Second, your god is clearly a dick, and so are you. I don’t see why you’re worshipping him, except that dicks seem to like other dicks an awful lot. Fortunately, your god is entirely imaginary, so I can’t get pissed off at him, but you are supposedly a civilized and rational human being, so I do get to regard you with deserved contempt.

    Third, I have enough respect for Hitchens’ integrity and personal courage that even if he were on his deathbed, hopefully many, many years from now, I’d expect him to remain true to his principles…unless he were dying of Alzheimer’s disease, or major head trauma. Stop begging him to be weak and cowardly.

    Most annoyingly of all, Berkin is addressing Hitchens and writes, “But now, let’s talk, one grownup to another.” Berkin, you condescending twit, someone is excluded from the conversation by that restriction, and it isn’t the guy who refuses to believe in magic wish fulfillment fantasies involving a dead charlatan who’ll poof you into a celestial candyland if you believe in a woman cursing humankind for eternity by eating bad fruit.

    God is not great. But his followers are worse.

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    Comments
    #1

    Posted by: Shala Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:30 PM

    God is not great. But his followers are worse.

    ouch

    nice one
    #2

    Posted by: rufustfirefly66 Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:31 PM

    If Hitchens would die, some Christian will probably try to start a Lady Hope conversion story.
    #3

    Posted by: Josh, Official SpokesGay Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:31 PM

    I hate George Berkin and I hate his ass-face. He’s bastard people.
    #4

    Posted by: Shadow Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:32 PM

    Does Berkin like Fish Sticks? (apologies to South Park)
    #5

    Posted by: Alverant Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:36 PM

    So if God is trying to strike Hitchens down with cancer, what about the loyal christians who also have cancer? Shouldn’t a perfect God be a bit more consistent?
    #6

    Posted by: Akira MacKenzie Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:39 PM

    Most annoyingly of all, Berkin is addressing Hitchens and writes, “But now, let’s talk, one grownup to another.” Berkin, you condescending twit, someone is excluded from the conversation by that restriction, and it isn’t the guy who refuses to believe in magic wish fulfillment fantasies involving a dead charlatan who’ll poof you into a celestial candyland if you believe in a woman cursing humankind for eternity by eating bad fruit.

    When I came out atheist to my fundamentalist relatives, the one of my two uncles who wasn’t accusing my of being a Communist while his sons threaten me with hell and police surveillance (apparently, since I didn’t believe in God anymore, I had to be watched by “the authorities”)e-mailed me with his Mr. Rogers act. He asked me why I angry at god (Ignoring that fact that I can’t “hate” what doesn’t exist, it’s because your a god totalitarian prick who makes Hitler look like a Campfire Girl.), suggested that there thing I don’t know about Christianity that they don’t teach in those “secular schools” (Yes, he does homeschool his upteen, brainwashed, brats.), and that I should read Josh McDowell’s laughable screed “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.”

    I didn’t know what made me angrier, his stupidity or his patronizing tone.
    #7

    Posted by: Shala Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:42 PM

    (Ignoring that fact that I can’t “hate” what doesn’t exist)

    I can. I hate fictional characters all the time, and YVHV has to be one of the most villainous entities to have ever been written.
    #8

    Posted by: Michelle R Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:43 PM

    God isn’t a dick.

    Sorry, I have trouble saying that things that don’t exist are dicks. That asshole is nothing more than a fiction. And that just makes it scarier. All the evil things this “deity” does it imagined by people and called just.

    And the funny part though is that it means Jesus is a fanfic.
    #9

    Posted by: Caine, Fleur du mal OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:43 PM

    I read that nasty example of xianity this morning. Made me want to spit. Mr. Berkin and his ilk take such pride in being contemptuous, ugly beings.
    #10

    Posted by: tytalus Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:44 PM

    Evidently, Mr. Berkin is as yet unaware of the existence of Stryper. I hope someone clues him in. That might be enough pain in return for what he smirkingly fires off in Hitchens’ direction.
    #11

    Posted by: lomifeh Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:45 PM

    Yeah it’s stuff like this that makes me cringe to be from NJ as well. His reasoning is like an abuse victims rationalization for the abuse. “He did it because he loved me and I was being bad.”

    Sickens me.
    #12

    Posted by: Gyeong Hwa Pak, Das unzufriedene Pikachu Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:48 PM

    So if God is trying to strike Hitchens down with cancer, what about the loyal christians who also have cancer? Shouldn’t a perfect God be a bit more consistent?

    Remember, when anything bad happens to a True Christian, it’s Satan’s fault, but when anything bad happens to anyone else it’s a message from God. Plus god has terrible aim and is inefficient (cancer is an inefficient way to kill your enemy since we now have the ability to treat it).
    #13

    Posted by: Rey Fox Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:49 PM

    “But his followers are worse.”

    Only by virtue of God not existing. Keep in mind some of the horrors attributed to God in that book about him.
    #14

    Posted by: llewelly Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:52 PM

    And then it suggests that everyone pray for a deathbed conversion. Hallelujah.

    Nothing Fails Like Prayer.
    #15

    Posted by: David Marjanović Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:53 PM

    And the funny part though is that it means Jesus is a fanfic.

    :-D :-D :-D
    #16

    Posted by: Irrelevant Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 6:53 PM

    Reminds of that story in “Plain tales from the Hills” about the atheist who develops aphasia. There’s really nothing we can do about religious types who will attribute everything to God that they like and ignore everything else.

    Get well soon, Hitch.
    #17

    Posted by: WowbaggerOM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:00 PM

    Another exercise in tortured logic from an idiot Christian.

    Really, there’s just no way you can engage with this stratospheric level of stupidity. While I can’t say their arguments are any more compelling, I’m still not as irritated by those gobdots who just claim they’ve got no idea why their god does what he does.
    #18

    Posted by: Rickety Cricket Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:02 PM

    If there’s any good to come out of the article, the comment section up to this point is essentially a withering take-down of Berkin.
    #19

    Posted by: John Sven Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:03 PM

    Second, your god is clearly a dick, and so are you. I don’t see why you’re worshipping him, except that dicks seem to like other dicks an awful lot. Fortunately, your god is entirely imaginary, so I can’t get pissed off at him, but you are supposedly a civilized and rational human being, so I do get to regard you with deserved contempt.

    VS.

    Gary Johnston: We’re dicks! We’re reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don’t like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn’t appropriate – and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves… because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don’t know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don’t let us fuck this asshole, we’re going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!

    (Team America the Movie Wins)
    #20

    Posted by: Shala Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:04 PM

    And the funny part though is that it means Jesus is a fanfic.

    Will there be any slash pairings? Jesus/Moses hurt/comfort fics? Or is it all BDSM?

    I think Red Rider and Pale Rider would get along pretty well too, if you know what I mean.
    #21

    Posted by: Kirk Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:09 PM

    I just spent (maybe spent badly) a few moments of my life reading and being aggravated by the Berkin post. He makes professional fuckheads look like rank ameteurs.

    In the second paragraph he introduced this:

    It seems against common sense to say this, but might I suggest that this turn of events shows that God is kind even to those who spend their lives fighting against him.

    He got the part preceding the comma right.
    #22

    Posted by: Leon Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:09 PM

    “Jerk of the day” or “Ghoul of the day”? Take your pick, I suppose. Or does he only become a ghoul if he crows about it *after* Hitchens eventually dies?
    #23

    Posted by: Larry Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:13 PM

    #5

    So if God is trying to strike Hitchens down with cancer, what about the loyal christians who also have cancer? Shouldn’t a perfect God be a bit more consistent?

    god is responsible for launching those arrows. Where they come down is someone else’s department.
    #24

    Posted by: Robert Thille Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:14 PM

    “God is not Great” is one word too long…
    #25

    Posted by: Shala Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:15 PM

    “Jerk of the day” or “Ghoul of the day”?

    That’s an insult to ghouls. Undead are too great to be defiled by silly xian monsters.
    #26

    Posted by: MJP Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:15 PM

    Holy crapspasm, this guy is an actual cancer-proponent.
    #27

    Posted by: James R. Palmer II Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:22 PM

    Salman Rushdie had a diffrent take wishing that Hitchens ‘God is not Great’ title is one word too long.
    I can’t wait till Hitchens comes back and stomps down all of these motherfuckers!
    #28

    Posted by: Kirk Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:28 PM

    your god is clearly a dick

    I liked seeing that, because, as I spend many of my waking hours thinking of a great display name, one of them was Your God’s a Dick.

    But that got rejected with all the rest. And glad I am too, because Michelle R posted:

    Sorry, I have trouble saying that things that don’t exist are dicks.

    So I’m glad I didn’t go with that one.

    But Michelle also wrote:

    That asshole is nothing more than a fiction.

    Things that don’t exist can’t be dicks, but they can be assholes?

    Does the asshole not exist?

    These are deep waters.
    #29

    Posted by: a.f.diplotti Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:29 PM

    People like Berkin act like Smithers to their god’s Mr. Burns. Sometimes I like to call them “godsmithers”.
    #30

    Posted by: boobcast.net Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:30 PM

    Wow. Berkin is a total douche. God let Mr. Hitchens get cancer so that he could repent?? What kind of asshat god does this guy worship?? I’m pissed off beyond belief. But the problem is, this Berkin jackass will probably never see the error of his ways.
    #31

    Posted by: ERV Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:31 PM

    I think its fun how Christians can write hateful articles like this, and The Usual Suspects say nothing. But PZ (or any of us) use a naughty-but-accurate word in a critique, and they scream bloody murder. Hell, Dawkins doesnt even use ‘naughty words’ and they still bitch about how ‘uncivil’ he is.

    Fuck Berkin sideways with a rusty knife. And whatever else you have handy.
    #32

    Posted by: Shala Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:32 PM

    I’m pissed off beyond belief.

    I’ve been pretty pissy all day because of these kinds of jokers. Can’t anyone handle Christopher’s cancer with any sort of maturity? Fucking disgusting xians.
    #33

    Posted by: Sili, The Unknown Virgin Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:33 PM

    Fuck Berkin sideways with a rusty knifeLeica rangefinder. And whatever else you have handy.

    Sheeeesh. What kinda Pharyngulista are you?
    #34

    Posted by: Caine, Fleur du mal OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:33 PM

    ERV:

    I think its fun how Christians can write hateful articles like this

    Oh, but it’s love, they write their hate out of love! ::eyeroll::
    #35

    Posted by: Sili, The Unknown Virgin Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:36 PM

    So if God is trying to strike Hitchens down with cancer, what about the loyal christians who also have cancer? Shouldn’t a perfect God be a bit more consistent?

    Jesus! How hard can it be to understand this?

    Those people obviously weren’t Real Christians™.
    #36

    Posted by: David Marjanović Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:36 PM

    god is responsible for launching those arrows. Where they come down is someone else’s department.

    Of course, that’s where the similarities end. Wernher von Braun was a Type IV antihero. Old Testament Yahwe? Type V.
    #37

    Posted by: Andrew Hall Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:38 PM

    This God is a dick.

    He “allowed”:

    Hitchens to have cancer,
    the Haiti earthquake,
    the Deep Water Horizon oil geyser,
    the collapse of the Mayan civilization…

    He is one busy guy.

    http://laughinginpurgatory.blogspot.com/
    #38

    Posted by: edouard.boily Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:38 PM

    Pure inquisition mindset.
    #39

    Posted by: Cuttlefish, OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:41 PM

    If George Berkin worked for Hallmark Cards…

    So I heard, today—you’re dying; God has blessed you with a cancer
    In the past, a certain-death-by-torture sentence.
    So I send congratulations! “Why?” you ask; well, here’s my answer:
    Now there’s time and motivation for repentance!

    Since the hand of God has touched you, with His doom-inflicting fingers
    Your esophageal cancer is sublime!
    And I wish for you the type of death that lingers, lingers, lingers,
    With the merciful benevolence of time!

    You have time to turn to Jesus, and to thank your carcinoma
    If you’ll listen to Our Lord Almighty’s voice
    Just repent to God, your savior, just before you lapse to coma,
    Cos Jehovah gave you time to make your choice

    If you choose to shun the chance to make a godly new beginning
    And you tell yourself it’s really just as well
    Then you’re reaping what you’ve sown, and since you spent your life a-sinning
    Then I hope you like eternity in Hell!

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2010/07/if-george-berkin-worked-for-hallmark.html
    #40

    Posted by: gustav Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:42 PM

    My favorite part of all is when he criticizes Hitchens for, um, having a particular childhood moment which began his atheism.

    “For me, there’s something inane about an adult beginning to base their adult worldview on something wacko recalled from childhood.”

    Does he realize that he just condemned virtually the entirety of god’s flock? Except for, I dunno, former junkies turned born-again christian (which involves replacing one dependency with another) I’m pretty sure most of the religious people everywhere became such after hearing fairy tales their parents, unlike the santa story, never got around to explaining weren’t real.
    #41

    Posted by: Shala Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:42 PM

    Cuttlefish is the actual, real God manifest in our Interwebs.
    #42

    Posted by: ashleyfmiller Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:42 PM

    Have you seen the dickhead stuff Andrew Sullivan’s been posting?

    He started with the following:

    May the God he believes poisons everything be with him

    And then followed up with:

    Should we pray for Hitch? I will, in part to piss him off.

    How fucked up is that? A) He totally mischaracterizes Hitch’s position and is a dick. And B) He’s not praying because he thinks it’s going to legitimately do Hitch some good, he’re praying because he sees his illness as a chance to be a complete jerk? Tell me how that’s not fucked up.
    #43

    Posted by: https://me.yahoo.com/a/mRScUX8BpMDq7N9Qz.N4yaVO3hyisFustmGm2d0-#931f1 Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:43 PM

    People like Berkin are the best evidence we have that religion is human-made bullshit. What a tool.
    #44

    Posted by: Tim Harris Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:43 PM

    Senryuu on a Christian distinction

    God doesn’t give cancer
    He merely permits it
    How thoughtful of God

    Berkin tries damned hard
    Not to hitch cancer to God –
    Except indirectly

    God moves in most
    Mysterious ways in
    Hitchens’ oesophagus

    God converts small cells
    In Hitch’s oesophagus
    That the man may follow

    #45

    Posted by: Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad Superhero Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:43 PM

    This made me giggle:

    As with many atheists, Hitchens’ non-belief got its start in childhood, when he heard a religious person say something that, even to a child, came across as dumb. With Hitchens’s mentor, it was something about the color of the sky and human eyeballs.

    For me, there’s something inane about an adult beginning to base their adult worldview on something wacko recalled from childhood.

    #46

    Posted by: WowbaggerOM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:43 PM

    ERV wrote:

    Fuck Berkin sideways with a rusty knife. And whatever else you have handy.

    Cue yet another post – or, at the very least, some serious pissant whining from the resident clown shoes – on Teh Intersuction on how atheists are condoning sexual assault (because, you know, there’s no such thing as hyperbole) and how PZ is encouraging it.

    #47

    Posted by: toffeecime Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:44 PM

    They really are delighting in all of this (and by “delighting in” I mean “popping hard-ons over”). They act like this is their big chance to be nice, and do the right thing, by praying, and offering up heartfelt advice, and so on. Behind that facade is a morbid fascination with and relishing of death.
    They want Hitchens to feel pain, they want him to be nauseous, they want him to be fearful, they want him to become depressed, they want him to maybe have a fall and receive a nasty concussion–they want all of that and more. More misery, more suffering, all so his persona can be smashed to bits, and then molded into a self-hating, fearful, credulous, simpering fool. It’s disgusting, but it’s also laughable, because they really underestimate the intellect and strength of those they pretend to pity.
    This is a time for moderates to show their ugliest traits, their death-loving, reason-hating, bitter cores. At least with extremists, most people realize how hateful and vile they are; the moderates put on a friendly face, and tone it down when convenient, while the bile builds up in their chests.
    #48

    Posted by: rsm_hokkaido#e7c56 Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:46 PM

    [quote]And the funny part though is that it means Jesus is a fanfic.[/quote]

    So where is my Buddah/Jesus slashfic?
    #49

    Posted by: DLC Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:46 PM

    Berkin rhymes with merkin.
    Where’s Cuttlefish when you need a poet ?
    #50

    Posted by: Kel, OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:51 PM

    This made me giggle

    It’s pretty hilarious, especially as he referred to it as an “adult worldview”.

    Funnily enough, Bruce Hood made the case in Supersense that the kind of thinking Hitchens dismissed is the way children think. They call it promiscuous teleology, where a child will attribute design and purpose to anything it can. That Hitchens as a child was able to see through it is actually commendable, and for George Berkin as an adult not to is sad.

    Unless he was of course trying to score a rhetorical point against Hitchens in which case he should affirm like Hitchens did that it is “bullshit”
    #51

    Posted by: ted.gault Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:54 PM

    I’m guessing some folks have prayed for Hitchens to GET cancer, and not for “redemptive” purposes, either.
    #52

    Posted by: Caine, Fleur du mal OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 7:58 PM

    Bravo, Cuttlefish. You nailed it exactly, as you always do.
    #53

    Posted by: lautrec85 Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:00 PM

    “this turn of events shows that God is kind even to those who spend their lives fighting against him.”

    Cancer is a kind present from god. When he puts it in you, he’s being kind.

    Yeah, definitely that sounds like the kind of thing which that evil, psychopathic god of the bible would do.
    #54

    Posted by: Cath the Canberra Cook Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:04 PM

    ERV is citing the old testament pharyngula, where a rusty knife is the sacrificial implement of choice. Leica Rangefinders are the new improved version, vouchsafed to us by our saviour Kw*k.
    #55

    Posted by: https://me.yahoo.com/a/NxE_lE0Lh_9JksaAqRedu6R7Vg–#bf6f6 Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:05 PM

    From Berkin’s drivel:

    “The aged Don Corleone, the godfather, is playing in the garden with his grandchild. … Suddenly, he keels over, and the frolicking toddler is unaware that the grandfather has just died.”

    I haven’t seen any of the Godfather movies (I know, I know). Thanks for the spoiler alert, asshole. Fucking Christians.
    #56

    Posted by: Caine, Fleur du mal OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:08 PM

    Cath:

    ERV is citing the old testament pharyngula

    Yes, and let us not forget the fuss it caused, which will live in infamy forever and ever.
    #57

    Posted by: rippingrich Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:09 PM

    Isn’t this the same reason guys give when they pop their old ladies in the mouth.

    Makes about a much sense then too.
    #58

    Posted by: mlee97ibm Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:13 PM

    “Stop begging him to be weak and cowardly.”

    PZ,
    Personally I don’t think “Bravery” or “Cowardice” really plays into it. If you truly think it’s imaginary, fear doesn’t play into it. If you had a terrible rash, would you consider sacrificing 2 doves to cure it? Would you be “Brave” if you didn’t?
    #59

    Posted by: AJ Milne OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:14 PM

    Wait… so cancer, according to Berkin, is a gift from his god?

    Soooo… logically, Berkin is the kind of guy who could dunk someone in a potent carcinogen and then argue it was an act of Christian love.

    Must be a great guy to have mixing your drinks.
    #60

    Posted by: AndrewTheEternal Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:18 PM

    And the funny part though is that it means Jesus is a fanfic.

    So where is my Buddah/Jesus slashfic?

    Saints Young Men is close.
    I can also offer 63’d Jesus/Peter/63’d Simon(sort of)
    If self-insert is more your thing, the Book of Mormon might do it for you…

    P.S. Look below the posting box for the way to do HTML commands
    #61

    Posted by: Cuttlefish, OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:19 PM

    –DLC@#49:

    Ten ahead of you. That’s where.
    #62

    Posted by: k-dub Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:21 PM

    Just Pascal’s Wager at its root, albeit thinly disguised here as some kind of supposed empathy. I don’t understand why the author–or other believers– give a damn about anyone else’s afterlife status unless it’s to make up for the inherent selfishness of hoping to save their own souls.

    My opinion: when people say they fear nothing, and so choose to believe there is something, some kind of afterlife, I think what they are really scared of is the fact they have not clue what that something is. The situation may be like the cover of David Byrne’s CD Uh-Oh, or much, much worse and malevolent. Nobody knows, okay? That’s the fact. In light of that, the brave choice, it seems to me, is to do one’s best to not live in fear.

    Does anyone know where or how one might send Mr. Hitchens get-well wishes?
    #63

    Posted by: Ring Tailed Lemurian Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:24 PM

    God is not great. But his followers are worse.

    And they’re competing for Jerk of the Day. RadarOnline.com claims to have a tape of

    a violently sexist, racist tirade Mel Gibson is alleged to have directed at Oksana Grigorieva, the estranged mother of his young child.

    According to Radar, Gibson can be heard calling Grigorieva a “cunt”, a “bitch” and a “whore”, making threats (“I am going to come and burn the fucking house down … but you will blow me first”) and telling her: “You look like a fucking pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers, it will be your fault.”

    (Quotes from the Guardian).
    #64

    Posted by: Caine, Fleur du mal OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:25 PM

    mlee97ibm:

    Personally I don’t think “Bravery” or “Cowardice” really plays into it.

    I think it does. Theists take the cowardly way out, they live their life in a cowardly pattern. By that, I mean they refuse to take responsibility (Everything is in God the Daddy’s Hands) and refuse to face reality. It takes personal courage to face the adversities of life in general without crying to an imaginary deity about it, it takes courage to face death, knowing there’s nothing more. It isn’t some sort “sword and swagger” type of courage, just the every day sort that’s needed to face life as it really is, rather than some sort of made sky daddy who has a reward room and a punishment room.
    #65

    Posted by: https://me.yahoo.com/a/NxE_lE0Lh_9JksaAqRedu6R7Vg–#bf6f6 Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:26 PM

    Maybe the experience of sitting in a chair while the chemo is pumped into his system will have Hitchens contemplating general life and death issues enough that he’ll reverse his unrelenting support (which was still ongoing last I read) for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    Of course I don’t think the cancer is a message from an imaginary sky fairy, and I certainly don’t think he deserves it, but some of the shit I’ve heard Hitchens say about Iraq does kind of make me wish he would at least stub his toe.
    #66

    Posted by: DLC Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:29 PM

    Whoah… I could swear that post by Cuttlefish wasn’t up there when I . . .
    Praise be! it’s a Miracle!
    oh ok.. it’s me not hitting post for a while after writing my comment. . .
    #67

    Posted by: Insightful Ape Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:32 PM

    I feel the divine love…
    It is unmistakable.
    It is thanks to the likes of Berkin and ayatollah khomeini that I am an atheist.
    Thanks, guys! I might be stuck with bronze age dogma for life, otherwise.
    Come to think of it, they have done me a great favor, although it was unintentional
    #68

    Posted by: Ben Goren Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:41 PM

    Oh, c’mon, guys. We all know that, if Hitch gets a chance to read this blather from Berkin, it won’t upset him in the slightest — quite the contrary. It’ll have him laughing out loud (and hopefully not dislodging any medical devices in the process).

    And, right about now, Chris needs all the belly laughs he can get.

    You gotta admit, as comedy routines go, that was awesome. Yeah, sure, Berkin doesn’t realize it’s funny. But so what? It’s still hilarious stuff.

    So, keep it coming, Berkin! Glad to see you do your part to liven the day of a sick man.

    Cheers,

    b&


    EAC Memographer
    BAAWA Knight of Blasphemy
    “All but God can prove this sentence true.”
    #69

    Posted by: ctenotrish Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:46 PM

    Ahhhhh. That was a *satisfying* post. Well said, PZ.
    #70

    Posted by: secularshawshank Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:48 PM

    There’s even people on the comments section of Berkin’s article claiming that Einstein “embraced Christianity” before he died. Not to worry, freethinking commenters set them straight. And how.
    #71

    Posted by: parnell44 Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:48 PM

    I posted this on Berkin’s blog post:
    You, George Berkin, are aptly named as “Jerk of the Day” by Pharyngula. You have no business addressing yourself to Mr. Hitchens. especially in the manner and tone of your post. Mr. Hitchens is down but not out. Further, he is not addle-brained as you and the rest of your believers are. When you have proof there is a god, come back (the burden is on you, as you are aware). Until then, shut your gob, especially regarding your betters!
    #72

    Posted by: Gregory Greenwood Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:51 PM

    This is digusting. Only a fundie or a sociopath (I am fully aware that these two categories are far from mutually exclusive) would, upon hearing of another human being developing a life threatening condition such as cancer, not respond with condolences and express a hope that the afflicted individual will soon make a full recovery, but instead would ghoulishly anticipate a deathbed conversion to irrational woo.

    This Berkin cretin is evidently too lacking in compassion and common human decency to stop and think about what Christopher Hitchins and his family must be going through. He would rather jeer “Yeah, bet you are rethinking that atheism now! Pascal been on ya mind lately, maybe?”

    Berkin is typical of fundies. He is too caught up in his mastabatory obsession with his psychotic fantasy god to spare a thought for anyone else.

    Religion of love? The hypocrisy is staggering. Berkin’s need to believe that he is special, that he will somehow avoid death and continue living in some celestial Disneyland after he finally slithers off this mortal coil, is clearly more important to him than the suffering of others.
    #73

    Posted by: raven Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 8:57 PM

    I sincerely hope that if and when George Jerkin comes down with a fatal disease or get’s very old, he makes it known publicly.

    So we can condescend publicly about his condition and his imaginary monstrous friend.

    Hey George, where is your god now?

    I thought faith healing like it says in the bible works?

    Too bad you won’t be in heaven or even hell. You will just be dead. And so on.

    Probably no such luck. If anything like a just and wise god exists, George Jerkin will be hit by lightning on a clear blue day.

    Of course if a just and wise god existed we would know it by now. It would have vacuumed up all those weird fundies and sent them to their own heaven where they could hunt witches, hang apostates, stone each other to death for minor infractions, be ruled by Bush, Cheney, and Nixon and get one TV channel with Fox News 24/7. No such luck.
    #74

    Posted by: leodad0899 Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:00 PM

    @#48
    This slashfic DOES exist!!!
    It’s called Saint Young Men
    It’s a manga, japanese of course, and here’s a link:

    http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/01/31/japan-saint-young-men-jesus-and-buddha-on-earth/
    #75

    Posted by: Hirnlego Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:08 PM

    “I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him.” – Einstein
    #76

    Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:10 PM

    A local society of agnostics bought a disused church.
    Sign in Adelaide, South Australia
    Sign in Context, South Australia

    Yes, this is real, and can be seen next to the Cheltenham Racecourse.
    #77

    Posted by: Gregory Greenwood Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:11 PM

    leodad0899 @ 74;

    This slashfic DOES exist!!!

    I have a feeling that the old internet rule “if it exists, there is porn for it” may once again hold true in this case…
    #78

    Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:17 PM

    Bugger. Too wide!
    Here they are again:

    Sign in Adelaide, South Australia
    Sign in Context, South Australia
    #79

    Posted by: Miranda Celeste Hale Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:21 PM

    @31- Abbie, your comment is pure, unadulterated WIN!
    #80

    Posted by: Legion Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:24 PM

    Jerk of the Day

    Shouldn’t that be dick du jour?
    #81

    Posted by: Caine, Fleur du mal OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:25 PM

    Michael Kingsford Gray, please, don’t fucking embed images, just use links! Christ, the thread is now hanging, waiting on ‘antitheist.info’. Sorry to yell, but that sort of crap really slows down the thread for some us.
    #82

    Posted by: a_ray_in_dilbert_space Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:29 PM

    You know, you can just smell the fear right through Berkin’s prose. He is so desperately afraid…of everything. He’s afraid of cancer, so he constructs a god who inflicts it…but won’t inflict it on him. He’s afraid he’s wrong, so he can’t stand the idea that anybody might not share his sky pixie fantasy–particularly when that person is brighter, funnier and certainly nicer than him. What a pathetic dog turd of a human being.
    #83

    Posted by: Holbach Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:34 PM

    Their god is nothing, but its followers are something else.
    #84

    Posted by: miraculyx Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:36 PM

    In his article, Berkin makes a very typical Christian assumption, that all of us atheists are simply hedging our bets until something bad happens and will surely repent on our deathbeds. I guarantee you that I won’t, because it makes absolutely no sense to repent to a fictional character. That’s right, all gods are fictional characters, and once you actually think and accept this, there’s simply no reason to go back.

    Maybe I’ll pray to Harry Potter on my deathbed, it’s all the same to me.
    #85

    Posted by: Marella Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:46 PM

    I feel I should point out that ‘berk’ is a somewhat old fashioned Australian slang term for ‘moron’, clearly god thought carefully before he named him!

    usage; “What a berk!”
    #86

    Posted by: https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlMUOlFSrmVJyp9RuUEGzj32ou-hBraMAo Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:53 PM

    Marell #85

    You may not be aware that berk is a contration of the cockney rhyming slang term “Berkley Hunt”.

    Although it’s become a milder term of abuse in and of itself over recent years.
    #87

    Posted by: https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlMUOlFSrmVJyp9RuUEGzj32ou-hBraMAo Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:55 PM

    PS anyone know how to sign in with a nym rather than the googlemess?
    #88

    Posted by: McCthulhu Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 9:59 PM

    So, should I start walking now to go and punch this Berkin asshole in the face, or should I wait ’til after the 4th of July weekend when the traffic has died down?
    #89

    Posted by: toomanytribbles Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 10:21 PM

    i saw this.. and the second thing i thought (the first being, ‘what a pathetic incarnation of pascal’s wager’) is that i should send this to pz myers for comment.

    ‘God is not great. But his followers are worse.’

    you did not disappoint.
    #90

    Posted by: raven Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 10:25 PM

    In his article, Berkin makes a very typical Christian assumption, that all of us atheists are simply hedging our bets until something bad happens

    Naw. Berkin is just cheering wildly because Hitchens is sick and might die. Being a typical hypocritical. lying, hating xian, he expresses it in ordinary religious kook babble. Xians use doublethink and doublespeak on a daily basis.

    Oh well. I cheered wildly when J. David Kennedy and Falwell died. Before I dealth with fundies, it always seemed tacky and low class to speak ill of the dead.

    Then I saw the vaguely humanoid toads a bit closer. Why not? Dying was the best thing they ever did in their entire lives and the world was a noticeably better place. Besides, lots of people never had anything good to say about them when they were alive either. Nothing changed but an inevitable natural process.

    Dobson, Robertson, and Hagee are all rather old. Soon enough they will meet the giant squid at the end of time.
    #91

    Posted by: bastion of sass Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 10:36 PM

    God let Mr. Hitchens get cancer so that he could repent?? What kind of asshat god does this guy worship??

    The kind of god who regularly tortures and kills children to get parents to lead better lives; who wipes out entire communities to punish the gays; and who kills people to teach other people how much he loves them (or something like that.)
    #92

    Posted by: rwgate Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 10:46 PM

    In 1978 my mother, who was dying of ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease), was told by her minister that God was only testing her. If she could get both my brother and I to receive Jesus into our hearts, God would cure her. If not, fail.

    All we had to do was believe the nonsense that we’d spent our entire lives denying and she would be saved. Mom passed away in April of ’78, probably believing it was our fault.

    These assholes don’t even begin to realize the pain and destruction they bring into people’s lives. A curse on all their houses.
    #93

    Posted by: Travis Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:00 PM

    Akira MacKenzie #6,
    I am always amazed by the stupidity of many fundies but at the same time strangely not surprised. Your story shows a group of ignorant and stupid relatives, they have no idea what the real world is like (the authorities will be watching you, what a joke, to actually believe that shows such a disconnect with the real world). I am sure some of the people with positions of power in their hierarchy know what real life is like even if they want something else but the average fundie seems so woefully stupid sometimes, a total lack of thought about their beliefs.

    I would love to hear the chorus of believers who have so often told me that jackasses like Berkin are wrong but so rarely are they willing to step up and actually publically criticize one of their own. Maybe in private, I get told about their reservations, their problems when it is brought up, but not in public.
    #94

    Posted by: MosesZD Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:08 PM

    I just don’t understand how anyone who has ever read the bible can remain in one of the Abrahamic Faiths. It’s so clear the fictional being known as God is a sadistic, amoral, raving lunatic.

    God’s ideas on crime and punishment are more than deranged. I’d expect more sense from those shopping-cart pushing crazies with tinfoil hats than in the Old Testament when taken in its entirety.

    For example, have sex with your wife during menstruation — death by stoning. Wear mixed fibers in your clothing (cotton/linen blends) — death by stoning. Your child refuses to eat his peas — death by stoning. And it goes on and on and on….

    It’s just sick.

    And yet they’ll tell you God is good… My ass. Nothing “good” could order such cruel punishments for such trivialities.
    #95

    Posted by: bastion of sass Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:09 PM

    When I found out I had breast cancer, I did not suddenly reject reason and start believing in an invisible sky guy who had a mysterious plan for me that included cancer.

    The only faith I had was in the expertise of my doctors.

    I was really, really provoked when friends and relatives kept assuring me that they were “praying for me.”

    I let my husband and kids know that if I were in the hospital and a chaplin (or anyone else who wanted to comfort me with prayer or good news about god) ever attempted to enter my room while they were there, they needed to push that person back into the hallway (and yell blasphemous remarks as they did so), because if they didn’t, I’d be forced to crawl out of my bed, and beat the god-shill with my bedpan.

    I also made clear that I want no prayer, hymns and any other god-mentioning at my funeral, but I also noted that the funeral was for them, not for me, because I would be–you know–dead, so wouldn’t know and wouldn’t care what happened at the funeral. Still I hope that they would tell funny stories about me and drink a lot of margaritas. And I believe that that’s more likely to happen than mass and recitation of the rosary, given that I have raised two godless children and am married to the most apathetic protestant ever.

    It looks like I’m going to be fine, and my doctors tell me I am unlikely to die of breast cancer (which only leaves everything else I can possibly die from.)

    And while all my friends are patting themselves on the back that their “prayers were answered” and god cured me, I only praise my doctors and the other health care providers who used their skills and knowledge to obtain a good result for me.
    #96

    Posted by: atomjack Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:12 PM

    Berkin…jerkin’…man what an asshole. On one level it’s comedy gold, but it’s really dark gold. Good to see he’s getting a smacking upside the gob from the godless.
    #97

    Posted by: Donald Oats Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:24 PM

    Berkin’s puerile nonsense is the most tortured illogical piece of drivel I have had the misfortune to sight.
    Forgiving the denigration of a man embarking upon rounds of chemo and surgery, just how does the remaining “logic” work? Berkin is tacitly claiming that he knows whether (the Xian) god (for which the absence of any credible evidence, in places where there should be plenty, strongly supports the argument that gods…are…not…real!) decided to do this, or to do that, in relation to Christopher Hitchen’s current illness. Did God text him the plan? Or mind-meld with him? Scrawl a message in the (sorry, in one of the many such texts called the) bible, 2000-3000 years ago, ready for him to distil the hidden meaning? Or is he a sad example of Xian ethical principles, morals that apparently involve an expectation (and presumably desire to see “God’s will” manifest as) the very real torture and suffering of humans – or not – for some logically, rationally, physically unknowable purpose? Streuth!!

    Perhaps Berkin’s name is an example of nominative determinism, for his fine example of being an A-grade berk in penning his article speaks volumes for it.
    #98

    Posted by: Caine, Fleur du mal OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:29 PM

    bastion of sass:

    It looks like I’m going to be fine, and my doctors tell me I am unlikely to die of breast cancer

    I’m seriously happy about that. I know you don’t post a whole lot here, but when you do, I’ve enjoyed every one of your posts. The world would be a poorer place if you were to die, so I’m glad you won’t be doing that just now.

    I remember, some years ago, when first going in for MRIs and other tests (I have a bad spine), going through the whole ‘registration, we need this for our records’ biz at MedCenter. I sat there while the woman was typing info for my records, and she asked my religious affiliation. I said “I’m an atheist”. She tapped, scrolled, then looked at me, all embarrassed. “We don’t have anything for atheist. Who do you want to come see you if you’re in a bad situation?” I laughed, and said “well, make a new category for atheist. I don’t want anyone to see me outside family and friends, thank you.” Still, I have to wonder, if something did happen, if I wouldn’t end up with someone religious trying to get in the door.
    #99

    Posted by: Vixen Strangely Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:34 PM

    I think George Berkin has done a marvelous thing for Hitchens already–he has positively labored to be an example of how religion poisons everything. What could have been an expression of empathy for another person’s welfare of the kind anyone might naturally feel, being oneself mortal, his religious viewpoint skewed to something not merely past common sense, but what should be past common decency.

    It ultimately isn’t compassion that motivates this garbage, but a shit-eating desire to see someone converted to his point of view, not by persuasion and logic, but by fear: the old “timor mortis”. He thinks, if we want to call it that, that Pascal’s wager is sweetened when one feels the Reaper at one’s back. It’s not an expression of “Will he see the light?” but rather–“If things get dark enough, who wouldn’t drop to their knees?”

    There’s no respect, courage, compassion, or what he calls common sense in such a sentiment.
    #100

    Posted by: Sastra Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:36 PM

    What would these Christians think if a Muslim or Wiccan told them that their cancer was a wonderful and loving opportunity for them to stop pretending around with their false religion, and embrace the religion they knew in their hearts, was true? Probably not much.

    The whole “God sends pain and suffering to bring you to your quivering knees” does indeed echo the justification given by batterers, to their victims. You were getting uppity, so your master is reminding you of your dependent place. Say thank you. And then they do. “He hit me, and it felt like a kiss.”

    I read a repulsive little story once of a frolicking lamb which had to have its leg deliberately broken by its wise shepherd; there were cliffs nearby and it was heedlessly beginning to stray near danger. The poor little lamb couldn’t understand why the loving master would break its leg, but, by being forced to walk slowly, it was saved. The reader was reassured that this is how God works: we may not understand why God sends such seemingly unnecessary pain, suffering, and agony to his loyal little sheep — but it really has an important purpose. It keeps us close to Him.

    Everything happens for a reason. Egads.

    This is one reason (among several) why I hesitate to go to any business that advertises itself as “Christian.” What if they find out, I am not? No atheist wants to have their brakes fixed by someone who thinks the best thing that could ever happen to them would be to unexpectedly and suddenly find themselves in a state of abject mortal terror.

    Don’t even get into the whole moral quagmire of doctors with this viewpoint, and patients who don’t believe.
    #101

    Posted by: Caine, Fleur du mal OM Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:43 PM

    Vixen Strangely:

    There’s no respect, courage, compassion, or what he calls common sense in such a sentiment.

    QFT. And that was a beautiful post.
    #102

    Posted by: machintelligence Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:49 PM

    Holbach @ 83

    Their god is nothing, but its followers are something else.

    It reminds me of a bumper sticker: “I have no problem with God, it’s his fan clubs that scare me!”
    #103

    Posted by: raven Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:57 PM

    Don’t even get into the whole moral quagmire of doctors with this viewpoint, and patients who don’t believe.

    You have a point.

    A xian nurse once worked in a public health clinic that gave HIV tests back when HIV was a death sentence.

    She would tell many HIV- patients that they were HIV+. When they came back for retesting and treatment, she would say “April fools” now aren’t you sorry to be gay or injecting drugs and god has a plan for you or something. The rational only makes sense to someone brain damaged by religion.

    Trouble was, some people didn’t come back. They wandered around for years thinking AIDS and death were around the corner, avoiding getting romantically involved with other people, and/or got on the less than pleasant drugs available at the time.

    Eventually, some of those were retested. They were negative. Not sure of the outcome but there were most likely some big payouts.

    One of the commonest of xian lies is that they are moral and ethical. When I see a business claiming to be xian, they aren’t on my list unless they are the only one for 50 miles.
    #104

    Posted by: queersingularity Author Profile Page | July 2, 2010 11:58 PM

    Yeah, that’s awfully rude. As a transhumanist, I’m particularly offended. Afflictions such as cancer are not positive things.
    #105

    Posted by: Travis Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:02 AM

    Wow, raven, just, wow…

    I am almost speechless. My first thought was how many of those people went out and killed themseleves, either quickly or slowly, how many ruined lives there were. Did she not think of that? What a monster.
    #106

    Posted by: Sanity Jane Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:03 AM

    From Berkin’s user profile:

    Posts 314
    Recommended 0
    Followers 0

    Sites like nj.com make it so easy for otherwise inconsequential losers to try their hand at punditry, and we unintentionally stroke their egos by giving their opinions far more attention than they deserve. It doesn’t matter how devastating the takedowns at nj.com or here at Pharyngula – Berkin will view it all as validation and revel in his persecution (Just Like Jesus™). *sigh*
    #107

    Posted by: R. Johnston Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:12 AM

    Meh. Inebriated warmongering racist right-wing lunatics aren’t exactly good skeptics or worthy of sympathy, even if they proclaim themselves atheists. I’ll save my outrage for when a better person than Hitchens is the subjects of stupidity, and my outrage will be tapped soon enough.
    #108

    Posted by: Michelle R Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:14 AM

    *Reading Saint Young Men*
    So… Jesus looks like Johnny Depp.

    Aahh, JAPAN! How I love your weirdness.
    #109

    Posted by: Kel, OM Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:20 AM

    A xian nurse once worked in a public health clinic that gave HIV tests back when HIV was a death sentence.

    She would tell many HIV- patients that they were HIV+. When they came back for retesting and treatment, she would say “April fools” now aren’t you sorry to be gay or injecting drugs and god has a plan for you or something.

    WTF?

    Yep, when stories like this come out all I can think of is how comforting religion is to people. Can’t you just think of the comfort the nurse you worked with felt with her beliefs? You’re a horrible person for criticising her religion! ;)
    #110

    Posted by: Shala Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:30 AM

    She would tell many HIV- patients that they were HIV+.

    She should be locked up for the rest of her life.
    #111

    Posted by: raven Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:30 AM

    I am almost speechless. My first thought was how many of those people went out and killed themseleves, either quickly or slowly, how many ruined lives there were.

    The girl (yeah, a girl who injected drugs a few times) I heard it from was quite young and actually in declining health from the stress and the not so great HIV drugs that were available at the time. She thought about suicide often.

    This was a long time ago, 1990’s. AZT had come out but protease inhibitors hadn’t yet. This incident became public but I haven’t been able to find it with a search engine. It has to be there somewhere but most likely is buried way deep in the archives.
    #112

    Posted by: Insightful Ape Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:31 AM

    “Inebriated warmongering racist right-wing lunatics aren’t exactly good skeptics or worthy of sympathy”
    Neither are you.
    When I met Hitches I told him I was from an islamic country. I detected absolutely no racism in him whatsoever.
    I do not have to agree with Hitches on everything. But unlike you I understand what it is like to have a minimum sense of decency.
    #113

    Posted by: bastion of sass Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:34 AM

    The world would be a poorer place if you were to die, so I’m glad you won’t be doing that just now.

    At least we both hope not. Heh.

    I thought as I left the doctors after getting the good news that I was unlikely to die of breast cancer, “Now, wouldn’t it be an ironic twist of fate if I got hit by a truck and killed in the parking lot as I walked to my car?”

    Several months ago, there was an episode of the TV series Bones in which a young man gets a cell phone call letting him know that he is cancer-free after years of treatment–only to die seconds later in an earthquake (in Washington DC, no less.) And, I thought, “Well, there you go.”

    Carpe Diem.
    #114

    Posted by: bastion of sass Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:38 AM

    Oh, and Caine, Fleur du mal OM:

    Thanks for this:

    The world would be a poorer place if you were to die, so I’m glad you won’t be doing that just now.

    I appreciate it.
    #115

    Posted by: jcmartz.myopenid.com Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:42 AM

    So that’s how Christians show compassion.
    #116

    Posted by: F Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 12:51 AM

    Wow. Fuck that noise. That’s all it is, as the signal-to-noise ratio is astonishingly bad.

    The only suggestion I can think of to help this mudflap improve the quality of his thought is this: Next time you feel like Berkin off, do it in private. That was sheer indecent exposure.
    #117

    Posted by: Caine, Fleur du mal OM Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 1:00 AM

    R.Johnston:

    Meh. Inebriated warmongering racist right-wing lunatics aren’t exactly good skeptics or worthy of sympathy, even if they proclaim themselves atheists. I’ll save my outrage for when a better person than Hitchens is the subjects of stupidity, and my outrage will be tapped soon enough.

    Quite the display of compassion there. Colour me silly, but I’d have compassion for, oh say, Ray Comfort if he was diagnosed with cancer and looking at a very difficult time ahead, not just for himself, but those who loved him.

    It’s amazing, actually, that you managed to rouse yourself enough to complain that others did and do have compassion for Christopher Hitchens. After all, as he isn’t “worthy” of sympathy, why bother to rouse yourself to complain? What a sad, pathetic person you are. I wish you luck when something bad strikes you, R. Johnston. You’ll need it. Without it, I can’t imagine anyone bothering to have sympathy for you. Not that you’d need or want it, of course, being the tough idiot and all.
    #118

    Posted by: Bone Oboe Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 1:05 AM

    Please, don’t fucking embed images, just use links! Christ, the thread is now hanging…

    I embed images from time to time, and I’ll stop. I didn’t think about it bogging things down.

    Berkin=shit-bag, etc.

    #119

    Posted by: ‘Tis Himself, OM Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 1:07 AM

    So Birkin’s god gave Hitchens cancer to make him repent and come to Jebus. That’s terrorism. Birkin’s god is a terrorist and Birkin is a terrorist enabler.
    #120

    Posted by: skeptifem Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 1:10 AM

    It was bound to happen sometime. I am sure hitchens can take it as well as he dishes it out.
    #121

    Posted by: bullofthewoods Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 1:12 AM

    Christianity is religion of love like islam is the religion of peace.Fear, shame, and guilt is the product of all they espouse.
    #122

    Posted by: Taz Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 1:14 AM

    Berkin is absolutely right. Cancer is a blessing from God.

    May God bless him.
    #123

    Posted by: jack.rawlinson Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 2:33 AM

    I just recently finished arguing with some Christian cretin who was fervently denying my suggestion that Christianity is, at least in part, a child of fear (the other parents being stupidity and ignorance – hey, it’s a parental trinity!) Of course, people like Berkin here just prove me right. They admit that fear (or pain, or other sorts of distress) is an excellent way to “encourage” belief in their absurd celestial comforter, and they are simply too fucking dense to understand that such “conversions” are meaningless anyway because “I am scared therefore God exists” is not an argument.

    Hitch has copped a bad one here – oesophagal cancer does not have a good survival rate at all – but as we know, cancer treatments are getting better all the time and Hitch is a tough, bloody-minded old sod. I won’t be writing him off for a while yet, and if he does go under I would bet a large sum of money that there’ll be no phoney “conversion” from him.
    #124

    Posted by: Equisetum Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 2:34 AM

    George Berkin must love Torqemada, who gave so many people the chance to repent.
    #125

    Posted by: Jezebel Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 2:48 AM

    God is not great. But his followers are worse.

    Followers are almost always worse than that which they follow…
    #126

    Posted by: PS9 Author Profile Page | July 3, 2010 2:50 AM

    You didn’t hear atheists rubbing their hands in glee when scum like Tony Snow or Jerry Falwell keeled over. The rabidly religious, however, have no compunction about attacking the ill, the defenseless or the dead. Remember Bill Buckley’s character assassination of Katherine Hepburn after she died (attacking her for being an atheist)? No one opposed to Buckley and his longwinded career laughed at him after death.”

    Not true. I can safely say that despite myself if Pat Roberton was shot in the head 6 times by an assailant I would laugh. I’d feel BAD about it, (the laughing more than the event itself) but I’d laugh. Hell if Fred Phelps got run over by an errant pride float I’d piss myself. I have sympathy for people suffering but people like Falwell don’t make it over the hill for me to be compassionate to them. For the real monsters, the bad thing is that they never saw the inside of a cell, otherwise too good for em

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