November 20, 2010

Hate Mail and Comments

Buona sera. Here is something that I am stealing outright. But it's OK, I'm doing it for my critics.

Some of my hate mail (I include comments in this) is, frankly, lame. Yes, I have had a few that had a bit of life to them, and some imagination. Some have been dull, predictable and forged in the feeble minds corrupted by methamphetamine and the fungus on the walls of Mommie's basement. Others have been profane and obscene, so I simply delete them.

Matt Slick of CARM to the rescue! He has created a form letter, a Pick-Your-Insult Page:
Instead of cogent arguments refuting my alleged errors, the responses I usually get amount to nothing more than a barrage of abuses, accusations, and attacks on my character. This is all fine and dandy except that the various insults are often poorly written, not very logical, lack imagination, and are riddled with various grammatical and spelling errors. Sometimes I cringe as I read the diatribes penned in poor writing, so much so that the full impact of the insult is lessened, sometimes even lost. So, in an effort to help the offended find a particularly appropriate and well written retort and put-down, I offer these pre-developed insults for your viewing (insulting) pleasure.
Although he has an apologetics ministry and deals with more subjects than I do (which includes false religions and heresies), it is still very useful. So, I am going to steal it. Well, sort of. Click here, follow the instructions on his page, come back here and leave your insult. No, Norman, you do not e-mail him the insults intended for me, you put them in the comments of this Weblog.

November 19, 2010

Messin' with Kepler

Buona sera. Time for a silly little post after the serious stuff.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was a great astronomer, yes? He was also a Christian, and considered science as "thinking God's thoughts after him".

That gets me to wondering about critics. No, not the ones who are paid to give their views on cinema, the arts, books or whatever. I mean the mouthy children who live to criticize others. 

One "critic" in particular claims that his Weblog is "my thoughts". I suggest that perhaps he could take a cue from Kepler, make a rearrangement, can call it, "Thinking Bob's thoughts after him".

Yes, yes I do think I'm funny! Arrivederci.

Loaded Verbal Gun

Buon giorno. I was going to use today for an article on how to give me hate mail, but this tripped my trigger. I have to do a boatload of qualifiers and disclaimers here. This appeared on my Twitter account (a thing I seldom use beyond autoposts), and I cannot reply to it while working. So, I cannot discuss it with the commenter before writing this. If he wants to lay claim to it in the comments section, he is welcome. Otherwise, I am assuming that he wants his privacy. So, today his name is going to be Lincoln Sears. He is an atheist, and I do know his name.

I do not know exactly what Mr. Sears means by his comment, and I am not going to put words in his mouth or assume that I know what he is thinking. (It's only fair, don't you think, Norman? Are you going to say that I faked that comment?) What I am going to do is use it for a springboard.

Wow, enough with the disclaimers and stuff. On to the fun!

I should point out that I have never been able to leave a comment at Answers in Genesis. Sure, I leave one occasionally on their Facebook page, but not their Weblog. It's frustrating, I know. Maybe I'm just missing it, but I've been around Algore's Amazing Internet (thanks to Chris Plante for that term) for a while now.

What got my attention, however, was Mr. Sears' use of the phrase "reasoned response". What comes to mind is a kind of "poisoning the well" fallacy by using loaded language, because the way it is used brings a couple of things to mind. First, that "religious" people are not rational or reasonable. Second, that only atheists are rational or reasonable. Never mind that some of the greatest minds in history have been "believers", I think they would be offended by being automatically excluded from the Thinking Humans Club.

By the way, Mr. Lincoln Sears could have used something outright inflammatory, which I also consider an attempt to poison the well with loaded terms. In my last post on persecution, a jerk called a Christian radio show and said that Christians who died for their beliefs were stupid because they were not rational, and they believe in "fairy tales". Someone who uses a term like "fairy tales" is accomplishing several things: Provoking an emotional response, showing his ignorance of the Bible by dismissing the entire thing, and he is showing that he is unwilling to engage in reasonable discussion.

How about if people asked the American Humanist Association for a rational approach by dropping their provocative antics? Sounds reasonable to me.

Mr Sears, hope I did not rile you, I gave all the disclaimers that I could think of. Feel free to leave a comment, or contact me if you want to remain anonymous.

November 18, 2010

Another "I Told You So!"

"Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality... Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today."
— Michael Ruse, anti-Creationist philosopher


Yet Another Atheist Attack

As always, I'm speaking in generalities, because I know of a few exceptions. People have the right to believe or disbelieve all they want, and I have said that repeatedly. So why does another's disbelief trump my belief? Why try to take that belief away? 

I keep hearing/seeing reading that modern atheists are oh so much smarter than the billions of people in the world who know that there is someone higher up than we are. They are especially smarter than us dumb stoopid xtians; just ask them. Do you know what this is? Can you handle the truth? It's religious bigotry.

So, why all the protests and other trouble-making? There is no valid reason to spam and troll Christian sites, even though these hypocrites claim to believe in "tolerance" and "free speech". It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to realize that they could just go on about their business, being smugly self-assured, jeering in their atheist chat rooms and not doing a blasted thing to actually benefit their fellow humans. Instead, they have to build up their tiny egos by pulling down believers. What, too harsh? Then give me a better (believable!) explanation. In the mean time, read this article about their latest shenanigans. Attack, attack, attack. What a hurtful, hateful bunch. It must be embarrassing to the level-headed atheists. This bunch will pretend that they're superior, but they're not fooling us.

November 17, 2010

Time Wasters: Anger and Hate

Buon giorno. Today's lesson in time wasters focuses on the evil twins of anger and hate. When you think about it, they trade places and even overlap sometimes. I'm not going to say, "Don't do that!" because hate and anger happen and are not dismissed in a simplistic manner. But education and awareness can help alleviate the problems. So, get comfortable and become educated now.

When you're angry, you tend to lose focus. Calm down, for crying out loud! Your enemies are more than happy for you to make a mistake and then take advantage of the situation. (So is Satan; he just loves it when you get crazy and curse out the bellhop or even get into a physical altercation, giving him more control over you.) For that matter, loss of self control is simply bad psychology because you'll keep giving in to it and have an increasingly shorter fuse.

Have you ever hated anyone? I'll admit to it, but it's rare. No, I'm not talking about someone you simply dislike and want to escape her presence as soon as humanly possible, or a writer that continually lies about you. I'm talking about real, consuming hate. And hate is consuming, because the object of your hatred occupies your thoughts; you want to destroy him, don't you?

I've been on the receiving end of hatred, too. People are crazy out there, because I'm just a harmless, lovable little fuzzball that never bothered anyone. Oh, wait. That's Rush Limbaugh. Anyway, I'm a heckuva guy. Just ask me. But anyway, I've had people hate things about me, irrationally, even the little things. Almost nothing I do is "right" by him or her. It's a fascinating psychological study to watch the other person doing their hate thing. Sometimes, when I'm aware of it, I antagonize them, but never mind about that now.

When you have great dislike or outright hatred for someone, you cannot be objective. How can you be productive and efficient if you lose your objectivity? You find that you hate everything about that person: Who they are, what they believe in, their politics and religion, their name, their site, their sight, the sound of their voice and so on, ad nauseum

A while back, I was talking about how Neil had a problem with his wife's adult daughter. She had, and caused, many problems for his wife and him. He was angry many times. But he was able to be objective enough to admit when that girl was "in the right".

Have you ever found yourself doing something differently just because that person is doing it? You used to like the Moody Blues, but since Whatzisname likes them a great deal, so you've lost your own fondness for their tunes. Are you nuts? (Actually, yes you are! You are letting that person have an influence over you, and they do not even know it.) Then you feed the hate, taking much of what they do as an excuse to hate them. 

Eventually, you feel like you know their thoughts and motives; wow, you understand the very soul of the object of your hate. Aren't you special? You say, "She did that because..." No, you really do not know someone's reason, or what is happening in the heart. In addition, you deliberately misunderstand things, misrepresent facts, and even lie to yourself. Oh, boy, does it ever grind your gears when that person gets praise, a promotion, social acceptance or other positive affirmations.

Here's a news flash for you, Yuri: Hating someone else does not hurt them, it only consumes you. Read that again, it's important. Capice? If you do something to physically hurt them, then you can sit quietly in jail, contemplating your hatred while Big Bubba in the next cell is contemplating you.

Check your pulse. When you're feeling that way, you are quite probably not relaxed. Unless you're a psychotic sociopath. See the connection between anger and hate?

"What do I do when I'm hating someone, Cowboy Bob?"

Do you have to be in his or her presence? Do not seek more contact until you get this under control. Then, examine yourself. Realize that you are causing yourself harm, even if it's just a little bit. If you deliberately and unnecessarily put yourself into a position where those feelings rise up, reconsider whether or not you need to be there in the first place.

Christians, we have an unpleasant task. It's only unpleasant, however, because we want to wallow in the hate and the unpleasant emotions. We're supposed to please God, remember? But even so, this is good psychology:
  • Confess it to God, because he equates hatred with murder, and repent of it.
  • Forgive them of the wrong they have done you. Prayerfully ask God for help.
  • Ask him to give you love for that person.
  • Be friendly. No, not fake chatterbox friendly, but say "Hello", make an occasional comment in passing &c.
  • Look for an opportunity to do a bit of good for that person, some small favor. Even if they do not know it, God knows and it is also good for your own spirit.
  • Pray for them.
  • Take your time. You may never become great pals, but you could become friendly acquaintances.
OK, so the bulk of this was about hatred rather than anger. Anger messes with your productivity because it clouds your thinking. Slow down (or stop, when possible) and think. Blind hate is a great friend of anger, and that clouds your judgment even more. You're not doing yourself any good, and you're not bringing harm to the other person.

Still love me?

"Whaddya mean, still?"

November 16, 2010

More Persecution Information

The other day, I asked Christians to pray for the persecuted church and to get informed about what believers around the world are enduring. Some of us in America have persecution, but frankly, it is child's play compared to what happens in China, North Korea, Iran, India and other areas.

I've been listening to Crosstalk podcasts (thanks to a tip from Silly Goose), and on Monday, November 15, they were discussing the persecuted church. This was with someone from Open Doors, another organization that ministers to, and gives information about, persecuted Christians. There are tens of thousands of Christians persecuted primarily for being Christians (although sometimes ethnic persecution is another part of the problem).

Of course, there are always losers that have to mock. After all, there is no widespread persecution for jerks, atheists, leftists, Muslims, communists or others. Give a listen to this — person — who called into the show:
Heartless loser. As far as I'm concerned, this is a form of persecution; arrogant atheist trolls are not limited to the Internet by any means. His only reason for calling that show was simply to cause pain. Great job at showing how enlightened the "rational" mind is, Buttercup.

For those of us who serve a higher calling, we need to continue to become educated about these issues (click the links for starters), but also to keep on praying. Then, we can stay active in our own country and make sure that we do not become the United Soviet States of Atheist America, or the Islamic Republic of America. Kicking a flock of leftists out on November 2, 2010 was a good start in the march back towards freedom, let's not lose focus for 2012. And Conservatives in office? We're watching you to make sure that you don't turn into country club Republicans and let us down!


Isaiah 14.12-14

Revelation 13.18

He came like a savior from the east
With the face of an angel
But the soul of a beast
Out of war he promised peace
And to all, prosperity
We trusted him and that was when
He brought us to our knees

We wanted an end to all our fears
He told us peace would reign a thousand years
And as we swallowed up his lies
Slowly we were paralyzed
He sealed our fate, then far too late
We saw through his disguise

Six sixty six
It was hard to believe we could be so deceived by
Six sixty six
For a mark on our skin we sold our souls to him

Without it no one could buy or sell
He made the world his throne, this prince of Hell
And those who would not worship him
Were never seen or heard again
His word was law, we surrendered all
But we prayed for life to end

Six sixty six
It was hard to believe we could be so deceived by
Six sixty six
For a mark on our skin we sold our souls to him

And there came a beast from the sea,
And the whole world was amazed
and followed after the beast.
And they worshiped Satan the dragon
because he gave his authority to the beast.
And the second beast of the earth came and deceived all who dwelt in the earth,
causing all to be given a mark.
So let him who has understanding
 calculate the number of this beast,
For his number is that of man —
His number is six six six.

He made war against the saints
He cut them down and filled their graves
He blasphemed God in His dwelling place
And mocked His holy name

Six sixty six
It was hard to believe we could be so deceived by
Six sixty six
For a mark on our skin we sold our souls to him

We sold our souls
Oh, beware of his lies, don't be fooled by his tricks

Revelation 13.1-18 

Six Sixty Six by Rob Frazier
from the album "Cut It Away", 1984

Revelation 20.15

November 15, 2010

Time Wasters: Unreliability

Buon giorno. Today's lesson on time wasters is when people and things are unreliable. F'rinstance:
  • Cell phone service should be there when you need it
  • Internet service should be consistent
  • Cable TV service should be available on demand
  • Your auto's battery should start it up
  • The can opener should open cans every time, or Fido and Fluffy will start to get cranky and demanding
  • The airplane should stay together from takeoff through landing
"Big deal, Uncle Bob! We know all that stuff."

I'm glad you're paying attention. Now, how about people?
  • You should be reliable on the job. If the boss considers you unreliable, don't expect that promotion, raise or even continued employment
  • Your boss should pay you for your work
  • Your friend should be reliable and willing to share your burdens
  • You should keep your appointments and be on time
  • A pathological liar hammered you again, and he should be honest
  • Your doctor should diagnose your condition accurately and give you the correct treatment
"Uh, Uncle Bob? We know that, too!"

Bright fellow, ain'tcha?

The simple fact is, we can expect, use all the shoulds and ought to demands that we want, but it does not ensure performance. Things break down, accidents happen, people forget or get into moods. A helpful hint for dealing with reality is to take things as they are, and not get strung out when you believe that should not happen. Well, it did happen, Cupcake, and you have to deal with the real world. (Insisting that things happen the way that you want them to happen is neurotic.)

However, we can do our best to be reliable ourselves:
  • Show up for work consistently and on time. Have it become startling if you are late or unexpectedly absent because of your consistency and reliability.
  • Keep your promises. If you don't mean it, don't say it. (By the way, "I'll try" is usually a cop-out to give you a back door.) Sure, you do not want to disappoint someone or hurt their feelings, but you are more likely to be respected if you simply say, "I won't be able to do that." Bonus points if you offer an alternative: "I can't stay late tonight for overtime, but I can be here early tomorrow".
  • Don't keep your friends waiting, or take them for granted. I know someone who had made arrangements the evening before to do something for them the following day. The guy was preoccupied with something else that day, and several people were inconvenienced by having to reschedule.
  • If you dispense information, give accurate quotes and complete information instead of writing something inaccurate because you hate someone or are simply careless. When people find out the truth, you become unreliable. Nobody likes liars except other liars, and what good are they?
  • Get yourself organized so you can keep track of appointments and things. This will pay off with less stress in your life as well.
  • Keep at it, build up and protect your reputation. About half a minute ago, literally, an e-mail notification popped in requesting that I "like" someone on Facebook so that their presence there gets stronger. The sender guaranteed the work of the company he was promoting. The problem there is that I do not know his character, so I do not know if his guarantee is worthwhile; if I go along with it, then I'm risking my own reputation in this small way. Capice?
  • Be loyal to your friends, except when it requires you to violate your principles. This is a bit of a "thing" of mine, because I do not take friendship lightly. So, I'll put it to you that friendship is more than just friendly acquaintance, it is also a commitment.
We have all of this action from people and objects that may or may not be reliable. We want and usually expect them to be, but they can prove unreliable and we withdraw our trust from them, as well as possibly damaging their reputations by word of mouth. (I should tell you about my bad experiences with Hewlett-Packard customer support, and why I do not buy their products any longer, but never mind about that now.) It would be nice if we learned from the mistakes of others so we resolved not to do the same things that we don't like. 
The fact is, we all have failings as well as expectations. I know full well that I have to keep striving and reaching upward so that I can practice what I preach, and I freely admit that I fail. 

I will tell you with out reservation and with full confidence who can be trusted to be faithful and reliable: God (Deut. 7.9). That's right, I said it! God, as revealed through Jesus Christ (John 1.8) and described in the Bible (Acts 1.3 NASB). I have examined the evidences for the validity of the Bible, and I would testify to its reliability, even to the cost of my life. But you do not know me, there is no reason to simply take my word for it. In fact, I hope you would not! Check it for yourself, instead. People have tried to destroy God's Word for centuries, or even made insipid declarations that "Christianity will be gone in such and so years", but the Bible is still here, still strong, still proven — and will be around long after the critics have met the God that they denied face to face (Isaiah 40.8).

Again I say, check for yourself (God approves, too, Acts 17.11), there are dozens of apologetics links here. If there was nothing to say and solid evidence was not available, these organizations would not exist. I am proclaiming to you the reliability of God's Word because it shows the way to salvation. We're all lost without it.

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