Tag Archives: True Believers

2012end

Nearly one in seven people worldwide think the world will end this year.

It’s amazing how stubbornly people will cling to a stupid claim long after it’s been debunked. One example is the myth that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world on December 21st of this year. It doesn’t predict any such thing, but no matter how many times its debunked there is still a not insignificant number of people who believe it does.

The number is around 15% of the world’s population, or roughly 1 in 7 people, think this year will be the year according to a recent poll:

“Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters.

“Perhaps it is because of the media attention coming from one interpretation of the Mayan prophecy that states the world ‘ends’ in our calendar year 2012,” Gottfried said, adding that some Mayan scholars have disputed the interpretation.

Not surprisingly, the younger and less educated you are the more likely you are to believe this nonsense:

Gottfried also said that people with lower education or household income levels, as well as those under 35 years old, were more likely to believe in an apocalypse during their lifetime or in 2012, or have anxiety over the prospect.

“Perhaps those who are older have lived long enough to not be as concerned with what happens to their future,” she explained.

I think some people just need something to worry about no matter how stupid it is. I can sympathize with that as I used to be like that when I was younger. If I didn’t have anything to worry about I’d worry that it meant something bad was about to befall me. These days I don’t tend to have worries like that. I have entirely different things to worry about, but I try to keep worries to a minimum and at least semi-realistic. I’m definitely not worried about the world ending this year or within my lifetime. I’d like to be pleasantly surprised if it does happen.

Harold Camping at 6:01PM Saturday, May 21st, 2011.

SEB PSA: You have 3 days until the End of the World. Again.

Harold Camping at 6:01PM Saturday, May 21st, 2011.

Hey, remember back in May when apocalyptic preacher Harold Camping’s prediction that the world would end on the 21st of that month totally failed to happen?  His excuse at the time was that it was a “spiritual” judgement day and the actual apocalypse — the part with the hell-fire and brimstone and the complete destruction of the globe — would happen in five months time. Well, that five months comes to an end Friday.

Camping hasn’t been making much noise since his last prediction failed to materialize because, he claims, that if you were saved prior to the “spiritual” judgement that took place back in May then there was no hope of being saved leading up to the actual end so why bother continuing to preach to anyone who hadn’t already gotten their shit together?

I have no doubts that Camping really believed the world was going to end on May 21st. Proof of that is the fact that he had a stroke not long after the events failed to unfold as he had predicted them to. I don’t even care that he really believed his own nonsense. What does bother me is that he managed to convince a shitload of other people to buy into it. Many of whom spent their life savings and quit their jobs and moved across the country because this old fool had sold them a bill of goods. He did real damage to people’s lives and he himself probably won’t be around that much longer to regret given his age and his health.

But that hasn’t stopped him from doubling down on his prediction that the actual destruction of the planet will take place this Friday in this video clip from the Associated Press:

No Harold, you’re definitely not a genius. But then it doesn’t take genius to make wild predictions. All it takes is faith, which you no doubt have in abundance. It’ll be interesting to hear what your next excuse will be when Saturday comes and the world and everyone on it is still here.

Try not to have another stroke over it. It really shouldn’t be much of a surprise the third time around.

violentmessages

Lawsuit over the World Trade Center cross causes outpouring of Christian love.

Remember way back during the cleanup of the Twin Towers after the 9/11 attacks all the attention that was given to a piece of crossed steel beams that had broken in just such a way and landed in just such another way that they ended up forming a crude cross? You know, the one that prompted all the True Believers™ to talk about how it was a sign from God, etc. etc. and it was pretty clear they were going to want it to be part of the eventual memorial?

Well that day has come and they’re installing the supposed miracle at the site and, as it turns out, it’ll be the only religious symbol allowed. The folks at American Atheists have filed a lawsuit to either get it blocked or open up the display to all religious symbols. Seems fair, right? Include everyone or don’t include anyone. More than just Christians lost their lives that day.

Well, FOX News reported on the story in their usual “Fair and Balanced” way and then took to Facebook to ask folks what they thought about the lawsuit. As you can imagine, the immediate reaction from a lot of Christians was full of the love, empathy, and understanding that you would expect from the followers of Jesus.

Ha ha! Just kidding! It was really filled with a lot of statements like this:

Can’t you just feel the love? As you know, all of the above are exactly what Jesus would do if he were here and I’m sure their God is smiling down upon them from wherever the hell he supposedly resides.

The above was compiled by the folks over at Practical Doubt and they have lots more where that came from. I highly recommend you go read the entire article to get the full effect of the love being expressed by the Christians on Facebook. K. Mason took the time to black out the faces and names of the asshats making such contemptible comments, which is probably more consideration than they deserve. However, if you really want to put names to faces you can go read the entire thread on Facebook yourself.

On a semi-related side note: With the arrival of Google+ there’s been a lot of debate over whether their “real name only” rule is a good idea. The general argument in favor of only allowing real names is that it reduces the amount of trolling and nasty comments that an anonymous pseudonym seems to bring with it. Technically Facebook has the same rule and it seems — if this thread of vicious comments is anything to go by — that requiring real names doesn’t really make that many people stop to think about what they’re posting. Kinda calls into question the real names only policy.

Click to embiggen!

Jesus and Mary Magdalene return to Earth as an Australian couple.

Click to embiggen!

If you’re still looking for Jesus Christ then perhaps you should plan a trip to Australia:

“Just a little over 2000 years ago, we arrived on the Earth for the first time,” Miller says on his website. “Because of my personal desire and passion for God, as I grew, I recognized not only that I was the Messiah that was foretold by ancient prophets, but also that I was in a process designed by God that all humans could follow, if they so desired.”

Miller, 47, and Luck, 32, have drawn in between 30 and 40 disciples since moving to the Wilkesdale region of Queensland in 2007, the Courier Mail reports.

“I don’t want to be Jesus. Who wants to be Jesus?” Miller told his followers. “But I love the divine truth.”

Apparently Jesus and Mary have been living as Alan John Miller and Mary Suzanne Luck to avoid all of the autograph hounds that living under their real names would’ve caused.

To say that reading Jesus/Allen’s website is fascinating would be a major understatement. It contains all manner of revelations such as the claim that Mary Magdalene was/is Jesus’ soul mate and that they were married and expecting a daughter at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. They have returned because it wasn’t long before the Divine Truths™ they had taught their followers back in the day were corrupted by those who would use Jesus’ message to obtain power. It took awhile, but Jesus found a messenger to try and correct these errors:

In the early 20th century, myself and many other Celestial Angels, and spirits on other paths of spiritual progression, managed to convey many of the Truths to a man named James Padgett. We expected that these Truths would grow on earth once Padgett received these Truths, but unfortunately, no-one really fully understood the message that was given. In addition, Mary, myself, and some other spirits by the late 20th century had found a way to return to earth to demonstrate these Truths, along with many more Truths obtained over 2000 years of spiritual progression. So, in the later half of the 20th century, 7 soul pairs, or 14 people, made plans to return to earth and teach the Divine Truth again.

You’d think Jesus wouldn’t have to “find a way” to return to the Earth, what with being God and all. You’d think he could’ve come back at any time he felt like it, but apparently being a God isn’t as easy as you might think.

Yes, I’m poking fun at a clearly deluded couple of Australians and I suppose it’s nice to know that America isn’t the only place with religious nutcases, but there is a bigger point to be made here:

I have as much reason to accept the claims of these two idiots as I do the claims about Jesus made in the Bible. For all I know they really are Jesus and Mary Magdalene returned to Earth to tell us how best to live our lives. They may even have a personal hotline to God for all I know. They’ve managed to attract enough followers to have an impact on the local economy:

Divine reincarnation or not, the holy couple has worked wonders for local real estate. Miller and Luck’s move to Wilkesdale reportedly sparked an “unlikely property boom,” as their followers aggressively purchased much of the surrounding land.

In 2009, followers pooled together $400,000 to purchase roughly one square mile of land, where they currently hold weekly meetings and plan to build an international visitors center.

So apparently there are folks willing to believe them enough to congregate around them. Granted, that’s not saying much when folks like Harold Camping can convince thousands of people the world is going to end, but the point remains. I have just as much reason to believe them as I did Camping or the Bible. They all have equal amounts of evidence backing them up (read: none, beyond some folks willing to vouch for them/it). You can’t prove that they aren’t Jesus/Mary Magdalene.

So why aren’t you believers flocking to him? If it really is Jesus then you’re missing a great opportunity to hear his message first hand. What if he’s right and his message was distorted shortly after his death and what you’ve been reading as the Gospel Truth is corrupted and wrong in many ways? Wouldn’t you want to make sure by asking him directly? What basis do you have to reject his claims?

Harold Camping at 6:01PM Saturday, May 21st, 2011.

Harold Camping has unveiled his excuse: The Apocalypse did occur, just not the way we thought it would.

Harold Camping at 6:01PM Saturday, May 21st, 2011.

We’ve all been waiting with bated breath for Harold Camping to come out of his shell and explain why the rapture didn’t occur last Saturday like he said it would. Will he shift the goal posts as is often the tactic of the overly credulous when their predictions fail to materialize? (It’s the tactic used by the True Bible Nutcases and it has worked for them nearly 300 times now!) Will he admit he’s a clueless old man who talked thousands into ruining their lives? Or will he stubbornly insist that his predication came true, just not in the manner he thought it would?

If you picked option C then you’re a winner!

Through chatting with a friend over what he acknowledged was a very difficult weekend, it dawned on him that instead of the biblical Rapture in which the faithful would be swept up to the heavens, May 21 had instead been a “spiritual” Judgment Day, which places the entire world under Christ’s judgment, he said.

The globe will be completely destroyed in five months, he said, when the apocalypse comes. But because God’s judgment and salvation were completed on Saturday, there’s no point in continuing to warn people about it, so his network will now just play Christian music and programs until the final end on Oct. 21.

“We’ve always said May 21 was the day, but we didn’t understand altogether the spiritual meaning,” he said. “The fact is there is only one kind of people who will ascend into heaven … if God has saved them they’re going to be caught up.”

via Preacher says world will actually end in October – Yahoo! News.

Yes, it’s not that he was wrong about the date of the rapture, he was just wrong about the saved being swept up into Heaven during the rapture. Instead, the saved get to stay here on Earth to annoy the hell out of the rest of us right up to the point where the Earth is destroyed by God in October.

The good news is that in 5 months time we get to make fun of Harold Camping and anyone who’s still stupid enough to believe him all over again.

With God, all stupid things are possible. Click to embiggen.

Tattoo of Matthew 19:26 on forehead does little to keep man moral.

Robert Norton Kennedy is a True Believer™ of the highest order. Sure, you may think you’re hot shit because you study your Bible on a daily basis, but how many of you have the dedication to your delusion to tattoo a verse from the Bible on your forehead?

Check it:

With God, all stupid things are possible. Click to embiggen.

It’s just a shame that this impressive bit of dedication did nothing to help him be a good person:

The South Carolina man, 51, was arrested Saturday morning for assault and battery. He is being held in the Horry County jail on lieu of $5000 bail.

According to the suspect’s forehead, which quotes Matthew 19:26, “With God All Things Are Possible.” Noting that “God Loves You,” Kennedy’s melon also seeks forgiveness in the event he says or does anything stupid.

via In Case You’re Wondering, Suspect’s Forehead Confirms That God Loves You | The Smoking Gun.

Of course, you could argue that he was aware enough of his own stupidity to put a permanent apology right where most folks would be able to see it. So that’s something, I guess.

God may love you, but Kennedy will kick your ass if given the chance.

 

Overly credulous Russian Orthodox believers hospitalized by drinking “Holy” water.

It seems they’ve having some trouble with the Holy water over in the Russian city of Irkutsk. Some 117 people, including 48 children, have been hospitalized with intestinal pain after consuming water they believed to have been made Holy by mere virtue of the date they drank it on:

Salovarov said 204 people required some medical treatment after consuming the water, the source of which was a stagnant lake. He said, however, that it was too early to say what caused the illness.

Many Russians consider any water obtained on Epiphany — which they celebrate on Jan. 19 — to be holy.

via 117 Russians in Hospital After Drinking Holy Water – ABC News.

You can consider it to be whatever the hell you want, but if you drink water from a stagnant lake you should expect to end up visiting the doctor’s before too long. I guess God must have been busy elsewhere and forgot to purify the water ahead of time.

That said, the article also mentions that even the tap water in Russia is undrinkable in many places so I suppose they’re screwed either way.

Feel the True Believer love!

Hoo boy, it’s amazing the kind of uproar that new-fangled Twitter thingy can cause. It seems earlier today the words “No God” became what the Twitterettes call a “Trending Topic” and all hell broke loose. Theists were confused, upset, outraged, and horrified that the phrase “No God” could be the number one trending topic. Meanwhile us atheists were quite amused at the ruckus it was causing and some of the stunning tweets it was generating from the True Believers™.

The common assumption among the theists was that this was all due to us nasty atheists out on a God bashing spree, but the truth is it all got started when someone posted that cloying cliche: “No God, No Peace, Know God, Know Peace.” Apparently Twitter has a funky way of determining what the relevant words in a tweet are and, as the phrase was repeatedly retweeeted by the faithful, it made “No God” a trending topic. Which then led to what is the other amusing aspect of this thread: The numerous clueless TBs who kept posting tweets such as this one:

@TechNoteDaGreat How did no god become a tt

I can answer that. In part it happened because a lot of clueless Twats Twits Tweeters kept asking how it became a Trending Topic. Every time one of these morons used the words “No God” in their tweets asking how it became a trending topic they helped to bolster that trend. Many of the outraged felt they should do something to knock it from the top spot yet they kept using the words “No God” in their tweets thus helping to ensure it stayed number one. You’d think the logic of this would be self-evident, but it left many TBers confused and angry.

Personally I had a great time watching the thread grow and taking potshots at some of the more stupid arguments being tossed into the fray. Pascal’s wager, which I saw stated in hip-hop terms for the first time ever, was a popular one as was the “without God there’s no purpose, no love, no blah blah blah” line of reasoning. Which isn’t to say they didn’t have anything new that I hadn’t heard before. For example. did you know that God is the reason you wake up in the morning? It’s true! According to many TBers who say it ain’t the alarm clock that wakes your sorry ass up, but God. ***Dave asked if that meant he could blame God if he overslept and was late to work. Sounds logical to me. A comment that probably would’ve gotten him lumped in with us Godless heathens had he not sent it straight to me.

Anyway, the point I wanted to get to is this: I’m sometimes accused of being overly harsh or rude to the True Believers™ when they come around. I’m told I am disrespectful and intolerant and that I should be more like the even-handed Christians I’m accused of bashing. I always find that amusing when I come across tweets like the following which I’ve placed after the jump to tidy things up.

These are presented here in all their original glory with no alterations from me save a couple of spaces here and there for legibility.

@TeamJuliony FYI, if there was no God, I wouldnt of met Julian 3 times, or all the other celebs I did & i would of killed myself yrs ago

@TeamJuliony: (in reply to) @lesjenkins Have a nice time burning in hell. And for the record, MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS, SATAN.

@KymberlyReneeJ If there is No God WOW you athiest have gone 2 an all time high of disrespect Y don’t yall go play russian roulette with a fully loaded GUN

@prettii_black RT @BigSDot That no God topic is pissing me off #yesgod #yesgod #yesgod #yesgod, damn atheist! < -TELL EM!

@cantdoitlikemee RT @betty_newmoon May God’ve mercy on those hu r sayin No God <

< I concur. People are fucking stupid these days!!! >

:/

@itsqianajones I am truely disappointed that No God is a Trending Topic. It’s Sad. Dumbass Athiests.

@Blackanesebbyy i’m assuming all the ppl who say there is No God are white supremacist as well. smh.

@melmerbay Wow the trending topic about no god makes me want to cry, hope all the non believers burn in hell, I say that with love.

no god….NO gOD.. you disgust me you non believers! to hell with all of you (via @AJK92) No god? what is this fuckery? o_0(via @klssothl89)

You can find more examples of True Believer love here.

Truth is I’ve been spoiled by the folks who visit SEB. We don’t tend to get too many of these sorts of True Believers™ by the site much these days—which is probably for the best as it’d be like shooting fish in a barrel—so when I encounter them elsewhere I’m always amazed at the simplicity of their arguments. Of course Twitter is hardly conducive to a decent debate given its 140 character limit on messages, but still you’d hope that the level of discourse would have some thought behind it.

Ultimately Twitter ended up yanking “No God” from the trending topics list because the thread was killing their servers, the Twitter Fail Whale showed up several times, and the service was quickly accused by many of censorship. I doubt that was the reason it was pulled as opposed to simply trying to stay sane in the face of crushing server utilization. It quickly popped back up and they then turned around and merged it with “Know God” which is how it appears in the TT now much to the delight of the Theists who wanted it gone.  One went as far as to claim God, and not Twitter, was responsible for removing “No God” from the Trending Topics list.

Which is another thing that amazes me about Twitter. It’s a great way to remind yourself of the crushing stupidity and gullibility that exists in this country. In my day-to-day life I don’t come across too many True Believers™ and the few I do are usually in a setting where it would be inappropriate to discuss such topics (e.g. at work). Given that my peers are generally of similar point of view it can be easy at times to forget that a lot of people are just plain old idiots. Watching the news will give you a taste, but stepping into a Trending Topic on Twitter will hit you full force with it and really bring the point home. It’s probably good for my sanity that I don’t dip my toes into that end of the gene pool too often.

Because that amount of stupid can leave you with severe burns.

Mom pleads guilty, until child resurrects.

Md. mom pleads guilty in cult starvation death- AP

A former religious cult member pleaded guilty Monday to starving her 1-year-old son to death after making an unusual deal with prosecutors: If the child is resurrected, her plea will be withdrawn. Ria Ramkissoon, 22, also agreed to testify against four other members of the now-defunct religious group known as 1 Mind Ministries. All four are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Javon Thompson.

According to a statement of facts, the cult members stopped feeding the boy when he refused to say “Amen” after a meal. After Javon died, Ramkissoon sat next to his decomposing body and prayed for his resurrection.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water! What the fuck is wrong with you people?

If Heaven is so great why are so many Christians reluctant to go there?

Spend any amount of time talking with a True Believer™ about their religious outlook and eventually they’ll get around to raving about how awesome Heaven will be. Each one will have a slightly different viewpoint on what exactly Heaven will be like, but they all agree it’s the best thing you could ever hope to experience and they simply can’t wait to get there. You’d think, given all the excitement they express over it, that this would mean they’d be less likely to seek out aggressive medical care at the end of their lives. Surely with such a great thing waiting for them on the other side they’d be more than happy to die sooner rather than later, but as it turns out that’s often not the case at all.

The Boston Globe reports on a study done at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, and five other sites in which Boston researchers found that the more religious the terminal patients were the more likely they’d be to demand everything be done to keep them alive as long as possible:

The patients who leaned the most heavily on their faith were nearly three times more likely to choose and receive more aggressive care near death, such as ventilators or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They were less likely to have advanced care planning in place, such as do-not-resuscitate orders, living wills, and healthcare proxies.

“These results suggest that relying upon religion to cope with terminal cancer may contribute to receiving aggressive medical care near death,” the authors write in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association. “Because aggressive end-of-life cancer care has been associated with poor quality of death . . . intensive end-of-life care might represent a negative outcome for religious copers.”

Cancer is a particularly painful way to die. It’s been the cause of death for a good number of my relatives so I’ve seen what it’s like. There’s a good chance it’ll be how I end up passing away if I don’t get hit by a bus. In short, it’s hard to imagine how anyone who is dieing from cancer, and who expects something as wonderful as Heaven is supposed to be to be waiting for them once they kick the bucket, could possibly want to draw out the experience.

The best I can come up with is that they’re worried they haven’t earned access to Heaven yet. Either through some action or inaction that they always meant to get around to or perhaps there’s some sin they’re not completely sure God will forgive them for or maybe it’s simple insecurity. It does seem odd, though, that the people most certain that Heaven does exist and that they’ve made the proper choice of which religion to believe in would be so reluctant to put that faith to the ultimate test. I claim no certainty that there isn’t God(s) or an afterlife, I don’t believe either proposition to be true, but I wouldn’t claim to be absolutely certain about it as some TB’s would about their beliefs that there are. I believe death brings only non-existence, which some people consider a fate worse than Hell. Yet I can assure you that if I were to develop terminal cancer I wouldn’t be wasting a lot of time and money trying to live as long as possible.

The Boston study confirms something I’ve long suspected about many True Believers™. That a good number of them have a very strong fear of death in spite of what they believe it’ll bring to them and in contradiction to what they claim. It’s certainly an interesting enigma.