We haven’t had a Joplin Globe Madness post in a while, since nothing’s really grabbed me and besides, this other guy does it better.
However, today we had a post from Dave Spiering, which grabbed me from the first paragraph:
Recently (Globe, April 8), a guest column, “Theology has ominous message,” argued that biblical prophecy has no place in our modern world.
He then demonstrates exactly how irrelevant to the modern world it is, by diving headfirst into untruths and blatant paranoid idiocy. This is all after a No True Scotsman disclaimer, natch. Don’t listen to those crazy Christians that run around in the woods playing Red Dawn, or cover up child abuse! Listen to the sane ones that practice obsessive-compulsive history revision and and believe environmental regulations are bad things!
Back when the Big Silly Jesus Circus was going down, I was going to submit my first proper guest column to the Globe. Alas, it takes me forever to whittle down a rough draft until it’s presentable, so it never got done. I am presenting the horribly written rough draft here, since I think it’s relevant to this letter:
“Truth About Dinosaurs” Fosters Inquiry, Atheism
I was delighted to hear that after a nine-year absence, the Creation Truth Foundation would finally return to southwest Missouri. I first attended their Truth About Dinosaurs seminar, which presented a Biblical view of life on Earth, way back when I was an 8th grader. Underneath the shadow of colossal replica skeletons, presenter Dr. Thomas Sharp passionately informed the audience about Biblical behemoths and flood stories from cultures around the world. It was mindblowing and awe-inspiring, especially for a dinosaur enthusiast such as myself. That seminar settled the issue for me: not only was creationism pure malarky, but any mythology that required the reassurance of such folks had to be malarky as well.
The sheer charlatanism on display was blinding. This dinosaur-loving teenager watched dumbfounded as this man proposed that duck-billed dinosaurs spat acid out of their head crests, that T-Rex used a mouth full of enameled steak knives to eat coconuts, that all of the world’s “kinds” of land animals (99.9% of which are now extinct) fit on a good-sized gopher wood boat, and that the world was created about 5,000 years after the domestication of dogs. Feathered dinosaurs and carbon dating dumb, magical fruits and talking snakes smart.
What would possess any person to carry out this blitzkrieg of baloney? Dr. Sharp tells us: “Either Adam sinned and death came into the world, or else death was in the world before Adam got here. If that is right, then the Bible is a fairy tale and the Gospel is a joke.” Well, if you say so, boss. From that day forward, I became a full-fledged atheist activist.
Dr. Sharp isn’t the only one that realizes this. The Abrahamic God is the God of the gaps, and more gaps are closed every day. Believers know it, and have to do all that it takes to preserve those gaps for God to frolic in and graze undisturbed. It’s either that, or redefine God until He’s unrecognizable from the original character. Non-believers and fundamentalists have the same criticism for the latter; it’s obvious that they’re making it up. Give fundamentalists credit for that; it’s pretty much the only thing they have that’s close to consistency. Otherwise they have to eschew consistency and other values of honest people in order to keep the charade going.
It may work in the short run, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. Creation Truth Ministries drove me away. All these years later, I’m an active participant in one of several local freethinker groups, and we get more and more members every meeting. In fact, nonbelief is rising around the country. People stumble across the information that Sunday school and PTA busybodies tried to shield them from, they read our science scores compared to the rest of the world, they saw what happened when fundamentalists and their cronies ran the country for eight years, they simply think about what they’ve been told. Most of all, they see the lack of evidence believers have and what they do to try and cover that up.
Dr. Sharp has his finger on it, but he hasn’t gotten the hint that his worst fear is pretty much confirmed. The fact that you have to defend the Bible with misinformation should be telling you something. Some people in the audience, however, do get the hint. The malicious lies, rhetorical gymnastics and embarrassing ignorance peddled by fundamentalists confirm Christianity’s irrelevance to those who value truth. That is why I’m excited that he’s coming back. We atheists always appreciate new members.