Why I Love Religion.

The following is  an email I got explaining why my very polite and sensible comments on a few blogs at creationscience4kids.com (a wordpress blog) were not approved.
The letter begins:
Dear agnophilo,

I haven’t been ignoring your comments, just asking God to help me know how best to talk with you.

Here’s the problem: I run a site for families and kids. Your avatar, which you have every right to keep, could be nightmare inducing. So, I decided it wouldn’t be good to approve them just because of that. I’m sorry.
Well, then what to do with your comments? I’ve copied them out and can address them here if you like, or if you have a profile without a potentially nightmare inducing picture, you can post again. It’s up to you.

Oh, one request. I’m a busy mom and don’t have the time to deal with a whole bunch of extra issues all at once. It’s also universally a sign of a troll to flood someone with comments. If you bring up one topic at a time I’d be delighted to discuss things with you.

While you’re considering, you might enjoy a couple posts I’ve done as well:

http://creationscience4kids.com/2013/09/30/kinds-relatives-the-ark-you/
http://creationscience4kids.com/2012/07/03/potterys-tree-of-life/

Oh, yes, if the best you can give me is people taking the Bible out of context so they can continue doing things God repeatedly tells us He hates, you aren’t trying very hard. God often warns us in the Bible this will happen, so why would I throw out the Bible because its prediction on human depravity proves true? (in response to the- southern slave owners used Noah’s curse on Canaan to justify their treatment of African slaves)

Sincerely,

Cheri [last name edited for privacy]

——–

To which I replied:

You view me as being frightening and trollish because I don’t agree with you and am not in your social group.  My avatar (which has gotten me accused of everything from being scary to being a devil worshipper exclusively by religious people, I have never once gotten a similar comment from a secular person in several years of using it on two blogging sites) is in reality a picture of a several hundred thousand year old, non-human fossil which I made my avatar because I am a science nerd and I find the idea that there were once human-like species other than us walking around to be amazing (and humbling).  Are you honestly going to maintain that a picture of a fossil is inappropriate in a blog about evolution and science?  Ironically you maintain that humans didn’t evolve from other species like this one and that there are no intermediate fossils, but can’t tell a human skull from that of one of our not even very close relatives.  As for being a troll, I did not insult you in any way and all of my comments were polite and reasoned.  But people tend to see in others what they expect to see, so you saw a scary, malicious person that children must be protected from.  And by the way I commented about the theology you were promoting having been the justification for the slave trade for so long because a) it’s true, and b) I thought you might find the information relevant and interesting (I would want to know that).  Nowhere did I say “aha, gotcha!  In your face!  Take that christianity!”  But you reply as though that is what I did.  I left a comment on your blog adding some information to it, not everything is an attack or an argument.

If you find people who believe differently from you frightening and threatening maybe you should look inward before finding fault in others.

——

To which she replied:

Hi, Mark,

“But people tend to see in others what they expect to see,”

I would ask you to reread what I actually said about your avatar and the nature of trolls. How you came to the conclusions you did about what I think of you based on the words I used is beyond me.

BTW, I read something interesting this morning: Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

—-

So I leave it to you, the readers.  Am I misinterpreting their intent?  Is the bible quote they gave me about how believers are wonderful and non-believers are evil really a warm embrace of her fellow human being?  Or am I once again being dismissed and condescended to in the name of jesus?

By the way my avatar of a fossil is “nightmare inducing” but here’s a picture from one of her blogs:

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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12 Responses to Why I Love Religion.

  1. It is a fundamental quality of the majority of Christians and some other religions that they are THE ONE, the end all, be all that any human can be. I feel like this gives a lot of religious folk a very self-centered attitude. “Because God speaks to ME and not YOU, I know more than you, and anything you say I will take as a child’s babbling drool and wipe it from your lips, for you are too ignorant and blind to see what you are” I feel like because a lot of non-believers have felt attacked and invalidated by Christianity and it’s followers we are both closed to one another. I think a lot of Christians know deep down that there is little logic to their religion, and it scares them, so any sort of hint that anything is weak in the structure of the religion they have built their lives on, is kind of like a threat to their own sanity. They deny any new information, to protect the little bit of sanity they can keep, which is to say they are weak. I haven’t met a whole lot of religious people willing to listen to anything else, but secular and actually a lot of other religions, are willing to hear others out. I feel this weakens their religion, and their inability to take on new information and synthesize it into their religions says a lot about the flaws in the values it holds.

    • agnophilo says:

      I agree, unfortunately. : (

      • I have gone out of my way in the past to befriend Christians, but they can really only be passive for so long before they flat out condemn someone. Supposedly, Jesus hung out with the hobos and whores, but Christians today are too good for that, in fact, they are threatened by it. I think your ability to listen to someone, with or without conflicting beliefs, says a lot about a person. The lack of this ability in the majority of Christians is why people hate them, they almost never practice what they preach. They pick apart the parts of the Bible they like, and when you mention it they get enraged and stop talking to you because you pointed out a painful truth. I long ago stopped trying to talk to these people, because clearly they have no desire to hear anything different. Overspecialize and you breed in weakness.

        • agnophilo says:

          I’m not sure I’m with you on the last sentence, but I agree about the importance of getting many diverse opinions and views. The new pope really seems to be a good one though, but it would be funny to find out he was an atheist/marginal believer. It’s also interesting how many catholics follow every genuinely open and kind statement with “what he meant to say was…”

          • Oh, I have really enjoyed the new pope. It does seem like he is making a positive difference in his community. Things like that give me hope, and luckily there are more and more surfacing every day. I think I only stay sane because I feel like I see things moving in the right direction, even if sluggish. I do feel that religion does help some people, even if I don’t agree with or enjoy it in any form or fashion. I try to see both sides of things myself, despite my strong feelings and personal experiences with Christians specifically.

  2. - says:

    That’s a constant within religious guys. You are lucky you found a blog that allows comments. Normally they don’t even allow and if allow, they will disapprove whatever goes against.

  3. Brian Dead Rift Webb says:

    I really wish my fellow Christians would act like they have a brain cell before sending messages. Agnophilo, you have been nothing but reasonable and reasonable. I’m almost under the impression that I am in the minority when it comes to being honest in my discussions.

    Maybe I should post to their blog my version of your comments, and see what happens. I mean, I am a Christian minister. Would she use the same excuse with me?

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