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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

In The Middle Of It All

(This post, which I am cross-posting to my own blog, is my first contribution to the Raytractors site. So hello, everyone.)

Recall that, in response to the announced atheist strike, Ray Comfort said oh well, he has a hundred more "questions" from atheists to get to. So whom does he turn on today? One of his fellow Christians, of course!

A Christian named "Rose" apparently wrote something to Ray, denouncing him for being judgmental, praised human tolerance, said that there are people of multiple faiths who are in heaven, that hell is not a literal place of torture, and other things often espoused by more liberal Christians.

Ray posted the communique, in its entirety (or so I presume -- I have to, since Ray didn't bother linking to the source), without comment, and in fact without any indication at all that it was the words of somebody else, except for the "--Rose" at the bottom. I was rather confused by it at first, thinking it was a very un-Rayish message, until I realized they were someone else's words.

Now, granted that Ray has things to talk about besides atheists, despite the new name of his blog. And granted that he might want to address other Christian theologies. But why would he post someone else's words, without comment and without a relvatively clear statement that they were not his words? Another reader, one not entirely familiar with Rayism, could see that post and easily think that they were expressing Ray's own sentiments, even if not his exact words. Why did Ray not bother with anything more than a cut and paste?

The answer can be found in the comments section.

"Tinina Marie" wrote:

I like many of the christians that read this blog rarely post comments; this post or comment is a perfect example of why. I pray that God reveals himself to Rose and that the Gospel pricks her heart.

"forgiven37" wrote:

this is the problem that we are facing in the Church today. so many people only know a few scriptures and don't have a understanding of what it actually means to be a Christian.

"Robin Baker" said to Rose:

You should examine yourself and whether or not you are a true believer in Jesus Christ after a post like that.

"berean wife" commented:

Witnessing and sharing with those like Rose who say they are saved is so hard. Of course they always throw in a few "judge not" accusations.

"Emily" said:

Now how do you turn around and witness to this lady? She thinks she's Christian. Now what?

Ray's motives now become clear: in the absence of atheists, he has turned his blog into a true "echo chamber." He's not talking to atheists, or even to other Christians, but to his own fans. He posted something that he, and his fans -- is there a common usage nickname for them, by the way? Rayniacs? Raybrains? Just plain idiots? -- clearly disagree with, and he knew that the Ray-philes would come through for him, turn against Rose and praise Ray.

I doubt it hurt his ego any.

But I'm not writing this merely to comment on Ray Comfort's ego, massive topic though that is. I'm concerned with a more serious issue:

For many decades now, humanity has been marching -- slowly, and with not a few setbacks -- toward a culture of human tolerance and pluralism, of mutual understanding and acceptance. Futurists regard this as a good thing, a necessary thing if humanity is to successfully advance, both technologically and culturally.

Rose's theology -- which, don't get me wrong, I otherwise regard as only marginally more intellectually acceptable than Ray's -- is in keeping with that trend. Perhaps it is even an objectively good thing, a necessary stepping stone on the path to creating a secular, humanistic society.

And perhaps Ray and the Rayettes have seen this already, and that's precisely why they're bent on denouncing it. They regard it as a social force that will overthrow everything they believe, and that is therefore not only undesirable but supremely evil. Literally! "sassy chic" writes:

The easiest deception Satan has is to make you believe you are just fine. Works with the athiest (sic) as well as the so called "christian". You are fine, I am fine, there is no hell, there is no God...

So Rose is not only wrong, she's (unwittingly) a follower of Satan, the Main Bad Guy in the bad video game backstory that is Christian fundamentalism. She believes in God and Jesus and sin and salvation, but because of what she believes regarding the peculiar nature of salvation, she herself is to be damned.

According to these people, you not only have to be a Ray-type Christian to be saved, you have to believe that everyone who is NOT a Ray-type Christian will be damned in order to be saved. So according to Ray and Ray's Rats . . .

Christians believe that only Christians will be saved.

And what is a Christian? It's a person who believes (among other things) that only Christians will be saved. So, unpacking the above statement, we get . . .

Only those who believe that Christians will be saved will be saved.

And unpacking again, we get . . .

Only those who believe that only those who believe that Christians will be saved will be saved will be saved.

And continuing to unpack as necessary, we get . . .

Only those who believe that only those who believe that only those who believe that only those who believe that only those who believe that only those who believe that only those who believe that only those who believe that only those who believe . . .


. . . will be saved will be saved will be saved will be saved will be saved will be saved will be saved will be saved will be saved will be saved.

That sentence is the essence of fundamentalist Christianity. The first part ends in an infinite regress, and the last part begins with one, but if you look at the connecting part, the middle of it all, you will see that there's nothing there.

That is the essence of Christianity. It is, at its very center, nothing at all. It is a void surrounded by a very dense shell. It is a Tootsie Pop without the Tootsie. It is -- please forgive me, I know it's a cheap shot and an obvious one, but I simply cannot resist -- Ray Comfort's skull.

At this point, no doubt, Rayheads will echo the words of Lauren to Ray:

Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Which, of course, is what Ray does to atheists every day, yet few of the Rayskulls would consider us blessed. I guess it's a selective thing. Like the Bible itself.

But the saddest part of the whole thing is that these Christians are blind to the evil of the hatemongering that they are perpetuating, that they see nothing wrong with it. In response to Rose's comment that for every person drawn to Christianity by Ray's brand of evangelism, nine people are pushed away, "jason" said:

Exactly, and Jesus explicitly told us this would be the case: 'Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.' (Matthew 7:13-14)

In other words, it's okay to spread hate and intolerance, because anyone who is offended is headed toward "the wide gate" anyway. And in the middle of this bigot-fest, what I think is the most telling comment of all, from Lauren again:

Does anyone think it's hilarious that the athiests (sic) are gone? It's so beautiful and peaceful here today.

There you have it: hatred is beautiful, and intolerance is peaceful. That, in the end, is what fundamentalist Christianity is: a thin shell of happy rhetoric and flowery hope for salvation, surrounding a thick mantle of hatred, bigotry and inhumanity, wrapped around a central core of nothing at all. That's what they want us to swallow. That's what they want us to be physically tortured for should we refuse.

I disagree with Rose's metaphysical beliefs no less than Ray's, but at least, in the grand march of human progress, she is marching in the right direction. Perhaps she will catch up to us someday. As for Ray and the Rayskulls, well, one way of looking at it is that they're going in the wrong direction, and trying to drag us with. But a more optimistic view is this: Humanity is finally leaving them behind. Let's hope we do so quickly, lest they bring the whole damn thing to a halt.


  1. very nice post, an indicator of things to come, i have no doubt. These people actually seem somewhat euphoric, as you alluded to. Those people coming from the razzle-dazzle megachurches liken it to being high on drugs...I really think they feel this way, and the psychological ploys used have been honed to a fine point. The question is: what is so special about "belief"? This would make the God of Christianity the most vain "thing" around (for lack of a better word). Not only vain, but capricious and unjust. Also, I always want to ask them "saved from what"?? Saved from the temper and wrath of your God? Interestingly, the rayniacs have stopped calling their god "loving"...the objection is so obvious that they figured out a way to get around this...they call him "just" instead. Like my lack of belief due to no evidence should result in my eternal torture! Just because I don't believe something, or in "someone"...this is justice? This is mercy? No, this is control. I hate preachers, I hate clergy. I don't care how nice they are, or whether they believe what they preach or not, they are spreading immoral teachings and warping the minds of a few billion people. If you will believe this, why not astrology, why not UFO photos, why not crystal power...why not the paultry evidence leading to the conclusion of "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq? You are correct, Silent Dave, what does Christianity really offer? What is the logic behind the cross? Why should we feel compelled to love due to fear? I can't make sense of it.

  2. Really great post, Dave.
    And welcome to our little clubhouse, it's great to have you.

  3. Did anyone catch Sye's response in that post????

    "Sounds kinda judgemental to me there Rose.



    July 22, 2008 5:17 PM"

    What a bunch of hypocrits!!! They are doing nothing but judging Rose and then accuse her of "casting the first stone"??

  4. I'll say one thing for this blog; with so many people who can start posts, it shows! This must be the fastest-growing blog I've seen.

    I figure there's more to theism and atheism fighting than just Ray's site:

    Check out this post on the "atheism is dead" blog.

    The theists there get a fair number of criticism from atheists as well.

    It's almost enough to delude me into thinking that there's hope...

  5. Dave-

    I agree with your analysis on several levels.

    1. It is indeed interesting to see how the Raytards (my preferred term) turn vehemently anyone who doesn't exactly parrot their talking points, even though they happily include the legions of differently believing theists when it is to their advantage to do so (ie the percentage of people believing in god). I speculate that since these folks have long since repudiated their ability to actually think for themselves, they are easy prey for any voice of authority that happens to come along- and since Jesus ain't talking to them, they cling to Ray since they think he is in contact with the hereafter. And of course they defend him - no matter what they say about love and peace and contentment, down deep they are terrified of hell. In fact, since they believe that a jealous, wrathful god who demands their slobbering obedience is watching their every move and listening to every thought, they feel compelled to praise him and his perceived surrogates like Ray with every breath lest, in a weak moment, they allow an eternally condemning doubt to slip through. The poor bastards must just live in terror every moment. I recall that recently someone (probably from this group) posted at Ray's about the Stockholm Sydrome - I think that is an excellent analogy.

    And how deluded must you be to think that the single, sole intent of all this - as Douglas Adams put it, Life, the Universe, and Everything- is to allow a handful of sycophantic people to spend eternity in constant obsequious adoration of an omniscient being?

    2. I also agree that they must, on some level, see that the writing is on the wall in reagrd to the future of their little belief system. There really isn't any room for god left, thus the constant need for them to deny the reality of the world around them. I thnk many of them know this, yet they are terrified that god will sense their doubts and send them to eternal torment.

    Fortunately, stupidity is generally not a trait that is selected for, thus we can at least look forward to a future where this will diminish.

  6. Speaking of Sye; he hasn't been here since Rando exposed the Gazoo connection. I'm devastated.

    As for the true Christian versus false Christian crap; at least they don't have the power to temporally punish someone like Rose or Rob Penn. At least not yet.

  7. "Speaking of Sye; he hasn't been here since Rando exposed the Gazoo connection. I'm devastated."

    Oh, he's been here.

    He's still getting his ass handed to him by me here.

  8. Bad Rose! Bad, bad Rose! You're playing make-believe wrong - your imaginary friend isn't supposed to be nice!

    P.S. to Maragon - NICE job on Sye. It seems like he's retreated to lick his wounds, but if he comes back, keep hammering away at his lunacy.

  9. Very well written and accurate post, dave.
    You accurately analyzed their psyche (yes there appears to be only one).
    Whoever follows and agrees to that scheme of intellophobia is a rat. Therefore I check my ballot next to 'Ray's Rats'. Anyone even slightly critical of Ray's regressive method is exempt from that term. If you read this, are offended by it but have never bothered to refute any of Ray's claims and dealings, you are a Rat no matter how much you think that hurts.

  10. Hello,

    "But the saddest part of the whole thing is that these Christians are blind to the evil of the hatemongering that they are perpetuating, that they see nothing wrong with it."

    This particular type of statement has been bothering me for a while now. So....let me try and straigthen that situation out. It seems that many atheists are turned off by Christianity in particular because of said statemennts by Christians.

    Christian's are NOT perfect. We make mistakes, sometimes, Huge mistakes.

    Yet, the beauty in all of those mistakes, in all of that evil, we are offered a way out, we are offered a chance to be forgiven. His name is Jesus Christ. He is the beauty in all of the darkness. He is the only hope for all that is good and right.


    "Interestingly, the rayniacs have stopped calling their god "loving"...the objection is so obvious that they figured out a way to get around this...they call him "just" instead.

    God is loving. He loved us so much that He allowed His son to die for us. God is also just. I have heard countless times atheist describe God as un-just, yet when He punishes cild molesters and murderers He is still called un-just? I don't get you guys? You want there to be a just God, yet when He punishes the murderers, the sinners you still call Him unjust?

    "what does Christianity really offer"

    Jesus Christ! He offers hope for tomorrow.

    Accept Him while you still can...

    In Christian Love,


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