WEEK IN REVIEW: The Fundamentalists Are Telling on Themselves
They're broadcasting their own ignorance and it's glorious.
Thank you for checking out this newsletter! Thank you even more if you become a full subscriber! Consider giving someone a gift subscription! Think of your friends! (Or your enemies.)
Just a reminder that I’m currently on a brief hiatus from posting regularly and I’ll be back writing at a website called OnlySky in early January. You can read more about my decision here!
OnlySky is an explicitly secular media outlet that goes far beyond blogs. You’ll find topical posts and longer reflections, sure, but you’ll also get podcasts, videos, news analysis, and more from a variety of progressive voices.
While the site isn’t live just yet, you can be updated ASAP when it goes live.
While we’re on the subject, some of you may have wondered what actually happened with Patheos, where I had been posting articles for more than a decade. Why leave? This article at Religion News Service does a nice job detailing the shift in that company’s mission that made it all-but-impossible for atheists like me to stay on board.
If documenting religious hypocrisy and criticizing faith when it deserves it is no longer acceptable content for them, I couldn’t stick around.
In 2008, a youth pastor named Jason Greathouse, then 24, moved into the Alabama home of a family with a 14-year-old girl. Greathouse eventually raped that girl and impregnated her. At the urging of her parents, the story went, the two of them got married.
Last year, that victim, now 30, filed rape charges against him. But because of a plea deal, Greathouse will face no time in prison and not have to register as a sex offender.
How did that happen? And what is the victim saying today? You can read the entire story here.
Did you know that if you’re driving in a dangerous area, but get a weird vibe that someone in your car isn’t tithing, it’s okay to kick them out and claim they’re robbing God? “Prophet” Cindy Jacobs seems to think that’s a totally normal thing.
It’s one thing for a conservative Christian pastor to denounce the very idea of divorce. Marriage is meant to be forever, the pastor will say, and it involved a promise to God, so unless there’s some extreme circumstance like adultery or abuse, you must remain married.
We’ve heard that before. But rarely have I heard a pastor say that unhappiness in a marriage should just be accepted. That’s what Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of First General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri told his congregation last week before dismissing divorce as part of some “Babylonian scheme to break down the family.”
And then, for added effect, he read aloud his wedding vows for the congregation and said, “I don't see anything there about me being happy!”
I’m sure his wife loved it.On Sunday, Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark told his congregation that divorce should be avoided if you’re unhappy in your marriage. He even read aloud his wedding vows and said, "I don't see anything there about me being happy!" Very romantic, this guy.
If Clark’s name is familiar, by the way, it’s because one of his sermons went viral last year after he told women they should all look more like “epic trophy wife” Melania Trump.
Christian ministries aimed at young women are already bad enough without the “Girl Defined” girls redefining “feminism” to mean everything they hate:
Speaking of bad advice, I’m gonna need someone to interpret this one for me:
A newly proposed law in Oklahoma would allow fundamentalist Christian preachers to teach the KJV Bible in public schools, creating a new venue for indoctrination.
More specifically, SB 1161 would amend existing law to require an elective Bible course to use only the King James Version of the Bible — i.e. one that Catholics typically don’t use but fundamentalist Baptists love — while also expanding the possible teachers for this course to include clergy members who have no background in education. It would also require any school offering this course to have a copy of the KJV Bible in its library.
This is nothing more that a way to inject religion into the classroom and the sort of move church/state separation advocates warned would happen if public schools allowed Bible-as-literature classes to be offered at all.
A man who doesn’t have kids but runs an institution known for harming other people’s kids says it’s extremely selfish of you to have pets instead of kids.Pope Francis has criticized couples who choose to have pets instead of children as selfish, arguing that their decision to forgo parenthood leads to a loss of "humanity" and is a detriment to civilization.cnn.itPope Francis: Opting for pets over children is selfish and ‘takes away our humanity’It’s called papal infallibility, and it’s one of the most misunderstood ideas about the Catholic church, says CNN’s Daniel Burke. To learn more about the papacy, watch the new CNN Original Series <a href=“https://www.cnn.com/shows/pope”>“Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History,”</a> Sundays at 10 p.m…
Of all the reasons to convert to Catholicism, Republican “gun girl” Kaitlin Bennett is going with the least believable one: The Catholic Church has a history of being “truthful” and “"honest.”
But at least she admits liking the Church’s my-way-or-the-highway approach to faith because it means she has to do less thinking for herself.
I mentioned last week that a 221-year-old church recently held its final service. How upset should we be when old churches shut down? I offered a response in this video:
A “deadly placebo” does not exist. The phrase itself is an oxymoron. And speaking of morons…Self-proclaimed "prophet" Robin Bullock claims that COVID-19 vaccines are a "deadly placebo," which is not a thing and makes no sense.
That wasn’t Bullock’s only bit of insanity this week. He also took credit — I think? — for freeing the ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal last year:
Did you know atheists are always depressed and that Christians NEVER EVER get depressed? This is news to me.
I will have you all know that my usual lack of joy is just a personality quirk and has nothing at all to do with my religious beliefs.
Potter's House of Denver, a 32-acre Colorado megachurch, is worth roughly $12.2 million. And because of the pandemic and the subsequent “declining donations,” is shutting down. Which really makes you wonder how much of church giving is really more about the environment and peer pressure rather than a sense of obligation to the faith…
In case you’re wondering what Heaven is like, “prophetess” Kat Kerr goes there all the time and has the details! Did you know John Wayne is still filming movies up there?!
And who knew how easy it was to have a garden?
As usual, the host of the show, Steve Shultz, doesn’t ask a single critical question. He just accepts the lies.
American Atheists released a massive report this week detailing ALL the church/state separation legislation throughout the country. It's an incredible database of information… and that’s the only possible way I can use the word “incredible” in association with it. Because the whole thing is just a reminder of how Christian Nationalism has infected state legislatures and Congress.
That said, the report does offer suggestions on what we can do to keep government secular, just as it should be.
Preacher Hank Kunneman doesn’t want to hear any criticism from you about his failed prediction that Trump would win the 2020 election. He’s now saying that such criticism only counts if it involves you putting your hand on a Bible and saying that God told you the prophets were wrong… as if that’s supposed to scare us off from telling people Hank Kunneman is a liar.
New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist preacher Jonathan Shelley went on a rant that involved trashing comedian Sarah Silverman, whom he called a "Christ-rejecting Jew," for a joke she made well over a decade ago.Yesterday, New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist preacher Jonathan Shelley went on a blatantly anti-Semitic rant that involved trashing "the Christ-rejecting Jew" @SarahKSilverman.
Silverman herself responded to the video, reminding people that the Jesus of the Bible is so much better than the people who claim to follow the Jesus of the Bible:It was from a special I did in character. I love the teachings of Jesus. Jesus would shake his head right of his neck at this IMOIMOIMOIMOYesterday, New Independent Fundamentalist Baptist preacher Jonathan Shelley went on a blatantly anti-Semitic rant that involved trashing "the Christ-rejecting Jew" @SarahKSilverman. https://t.co/3iVW0hOOdpHemant Mehta @hemantmehta
Remember that neat sculpture outside the United Nations headquarters that some Christians claimed was a sign of the Beast? It’s gone now.
Just a stupid decision following fake outrage fueled by complete ignorance.
As usual, proud to be at the very bottom of this awful chart.
In 2015, NASA spent $1.1 million funding an event in which theologians discussed how religions would respond if we ever discovered alien life. We can have a real debate over whether that’s a good use of cash, but that’s not the debate pitched by Law of Liberty Baptist Church preacher Adam Fannin… who misinterpreted the entire event to suggest NASA is anti-Christian.
Did you know there were NO WARS happening during all of Donald Trump’s time in office? And that Joe Biden launched a war on Iraq? This is all news to me and anyone else interested in reality… but Pastor Kent Christmas seems to think it’s all true.
Here’s a milestone no one’s talking about but more people should be celebrating: Author Sikivu Hutchinson is now teaching a course on African American Humanism at Pitzer College. (Pitzer has long offered a major in Secular Studies, which is incredible on its own.)This month, I begin the first African Am Humanism class in the U.S. to be taught by a Black woman @pitzercollege Secular Studies, with a Black feminist lens. This article on Millennial "Nones" once again erases the increase in irreligion among BIPOC youthcnb.cxMillennials lead shift away from organized religion as pandemic tests Americans’ faithIt’s not uncommon for people to seek God during times of hardship. However, the opposite appears to have happened during the coronavirus pandemic.
Apparently, so many people are speaking in tongues in the United States that the devil can’t murder them all. Who knew?! (Scamvangelist Kenneth Copeland knew.)Televangelist Kenneth Copeland says people have been killed in the United States for speaking in tongues... but that doesn't happen anymore because "the Devil can't kill us all."
While we’re talking about Copeland, he went on a tangent involving his private plane during a recent broadcast of his show, prompting his daughter to admit that might not go over well with the audience… but then she quickly corrected herself because, I assume, she knows the family business.
I need to remind you all that Christian Nationalist Josh Mandel is currently the GOP frontrunner in Ohio’s race for U.S. Senate:
It’s one thing to claim God will heal you. It’s another to say faith-healing will put actual hospitals out of business. But when Christian conspiracy theorist Dave Hayes did that this week, he used a rather unfortunate example, proving (as always) that he has no ability to do his own research.
If you met a child who’s dog died, how would you respond? Whatever you do, don’t take this pastor’s advice:
New IFB preachers know their audience:
Um… happy anniversary?Never forget... #January6 #CapitalRiot #January6th #January6thInsurrection"Jesus Christ, we invoke your name!" During the Capitol siege on January 6th, the QAnon Shaman and other Christian terrorists prayed inside the House chambers. h/t @hemantmehta @NewYorker cc: @doctorow https://t.co/1dgZkmUQ4kChristian Nightmares @ChristnNitemareJust a reminder that the Christians who stormed the capitol are still Christian even if you think their Christianity is wrong and evil.
Let’s hope the Christian Nationalism tied to the insurrection doesn’t get lost in the history of this time. Katherine Stewart has an excellent summary of the link in the New York Times.
Our journey through the Bible is currently at Leviticus 10. We get a story this chapter! No crazy details. No random rules. Just people doing things. And dying.
Finally, the Swedish woman who runs a tiny little MAGA club for atheists can’t believe atheist writers spend so much time writing about religion.Atheist bloggers in general are obsessed with targeting religion. I have often wondered do they have a life? Do they have children? Or anything of sentimental value? Because I never see it in their content.
It never occurred to her that people who have carved out a particular beat tend to focus on it. Or that some of us keep the rest of our lives private.
That’s it for this week! Stay safe. Get vaccinated. Get boosted. Please become a full subscriber or share this with someone who may enjoy it. It would mean a lot to me :)
Officials in Maricopa County this week released a detailed rebuttal of the claims the Cyber Ninjas made casting doubt on the validity of ballots. After assessing the Cyber Ninjas' findings, county officials concluded that 76 of their 77 claims were false or misleading.
Meantime, a judge in Arizona's Maricopa County Thursday held the company in contempt and ordered it to pay $50,000 per day in sanctions for failing to provide records related to the so-called audit to the Arizona Republic, according to a report in the Republic.
So glad the judge is doing this.
Nice to get the rest of the story about Auntie Patheos- sounds like they wanted to turn the Atheist channel into Stepford, enforced toothy smile policy and all.
Then again, between the channel getting renamed and the rise of the Nannybot, I guess the writing was on the wall. Glad you guys walked out instead of letting your blogs get co-opted to stroke the goddies egos. Hopefully the rest of the network follows suit; it'd be pretty funny if the whole mess just collapsed because a bunch of puritans couldn't handle a little criticism.