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Nov 24 2012

AiG’s outreach to atheists

I actually got this off a friend, but it’s kind of fun. You know how Answers In Genesis likes to target most of their material at weak and wavering Christians (especially if they have too much cash on their hands)? Well, now they’re extending that same hand of duplicity fellowship to atheists as well, in the form of a post entitled “Dear Atheists,” by Bodie Hodge. And believe me, it’s everything you’d expect from a ministry like AiG.

Bodie’s warm, personal outreach to unbelievers begins with a sincere, earnest question of the have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife-yes-or-no variety.

Are you tired of all the evil associated with the philosophy of atheism—Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and so on? After all, most murderers, tyrants, and rapists are not biblical Christians, and most have rejected the God of the Bible. Even if they claim to believe in the God of the Bible, they are not really living like a true Christ follower (who strives to follow God’s Word), are they?

A true Christian, you see, is someone who never sins, so all the evil tyrants, murderers of the past (and present), including faithful Christians who go to church every Sunday, are really atheists. God Himself was probably being an atheist when He commanded King Saul to commit genocide against the Amalekites, and Bodie is probably an atheist as well, since he has done things (e.g. lying and deceiving people) that can’t honestly be described as “striving to follow God’s word,” as he puts it. In fact, he’s about to tell a lie right now.

Do you feel conflicted about the fact that atheism has no basis in morality (i.e., no absolute right and wrong; no good, no bad?) If someone stabs you in the back, treats you like nothing, steals from you, or lies to you, it doesn’t ultimately matter in an atheistic worldview where everything and everyone are just chemical reactions doing what chemicals do. And further, knowing that you are essentially no different from a cockroach in an atheistic worldview (since people are just animals) must be disheartening.

This argument is a bit troublesome for believers, because all valid, objective and impartial moral systems are necessarily derived from materialism. Things are “good” if they directly or indirectly lead to tangible, real-world benefits, or “bad” if they directly or indirectly lead to tangible, real-world harm. Everything else is an arbitrary morality that says, “This is good because I will hurt you if you call it bad, and this is bad because I will hurt you if you call it good.” That’s not morality, that’s tyranny! Atheists are rightly proud not to base their morality on such arbitrary and fickle standards.

Bodie’s next attempt to reach out to atheists, and to encourage them to turn to Jesus, involves a combination of ignorance and pretension.

Are you tired of the fact that atheism (which is based in materialism, a popular worldview today) has no basis for logic and reasoning? Is it tough trying to get up every day thinking that truth, which is immaterial, really doesn’t exist? Are you bothered by the fact that atheism cannot account for uniformity in nature (the basis by which we can do real science)? Why would everything explode from nothing and, by pure chance, form beautiful laws like E=MC2 or F=MA?

The atheist, you see, has no basis for logic and reasoning because logic and reason were created by God. Of course, if logic and reason are God’s creation, then they can’t be part of His nature, because God can’t create His own nature. God’s nature is to lack all logic and reason and natural order, so that He can create them later on. Logic and reason, in other words, were created by an insane God whose mind was total chaos, which is why His creation is orderly and uniform. Wait, what?

Maybe Bodie meant that logic and reason are part of God’s nature, and thus that’s why we find reason and logic in Creation as well. Creation, you see, shares the same divine attributes as God, because Creation is also divi—no wait, that’s pantheism. Bodie probably meant that logic and reason are just built into God somehow. Or better yet, are built into reality itself, since that would explain how God could have a reasonable and logical nature in the first place, without creation being divine by possessing the same attributes. But if reason and logic are built into reality itself, then neither Bodie nor atheists need God to explain where logic and reason come from, so we’re right back where we started.

I’m not entirely sure even Bodie knows what he means by that brilliant argument, but he follows it up with an equally clueless non-sequitur.

Do you feel like you need a weekend to recoup, even though a weekend is really meaningless in an atheistic worldview—since animals, like bees, don’t take a day of rest or have a weekend? So why should atheists? Why borrow a workweek and weekend that comes from the pages of Scriptures, which are despised by atheists? Weeks and weekends come from God creating in six literal days and resting for a literal day; and then the Lord Jesus resurrected on the first day of the week (Sunday). And why look forward to time off for a holiday (i.e., holy day), when nothing is holy in an atheistic worldview?

Technically, weeks come from the fact that each quarter of the moon lasts roughly 7 days, making for convenient calendar divisions. As for week-ends, that comes from culture, not from the Bible. There’s nowhere in the Bible that says anybody should take Sunday off from work. Materialistically speaking, however, it’s nice to get a couple days off once a week (even if those two days don’t always fall on Saturday and Sunday). And there’s nothing un-atheistic about joining in the practice of cultural customs, since the people who practice them are real, even when the customs are based on primitive and/or pagan superstitions.

(By the way, I wonder why Bodie feels the need to name the days of the week after pagan gods, as in Wodin’s Day and Thor’s Day? And do you think he’ll put up a Christmas tree, and celebrate the Feast of Astarte, more commonly spelled Easter?)

From that rather disoriented attempt at spinning weekdays into witnessing, Brother Bodie switches to stand-up comedy, and actually comes up with a pretty funny joke.

For professing atheists, these questions can be overwhelming to make sense of within their worldview.

Wait, that wasn’t supposed to be a joke? My mistake. Oh well, at least he can tell us all what we say and what we think, because believe me, if he didn’t, we’d never know.

And further, within an atheistic worldview, atheists must view themselves as God. Essentially, atheists are claiming to be God. Instead of saying there may not be a God, they say there is no God. To make such a statement, they must claim to be omniscient, which is an essential attribute of the God of the Bible) among other attributes of God as well. So, by saying there is no God, the atheist refutes his own position by addressing the question as though he or she were God!

I thought atheists were saying, “We’ve looked at what you call God, and noticed its mythic origins, its errors, its superstitions, its internal contradictions, and its complete failure to provide an accurate depiction of reality, and concluded that what you said was not true.” But I suppose Bodie has a point: if you forget about requiring that God look anything at all like the confused mish-mash of superstition and wish fulfillment that goes into Christian theology, and if you define “god” as being “something that atheists know nothing at all about,” then perhaps there might be some speck of slime on some distant planet orbiting a binary star in an unknown galaxy, and maybe you could call that speck “God,” and then atheists would be wrong.

That doesn’t mean they’re wrong about Bodie’s God, though.

 I invite you to reconsider that the false religion of atheism is simply that. I’m here to tell you that atheism is a lie (Romans 1:25). As a Christian, I understand that truth exists because God exists, who is the Truth…

If Bodie is using the Christian God as his truth, it’s no wonder he thinks atheism is a lie. Think about it: sin, suffering, evil, and death (to use the Christian terminology) are all part of reality. That means either sin, suffering, evil and death are part of God, or else Bodie is using a definition of “truth” that is different from “reality”—and his God is the kind of “truth” that is different from the real world! No wonder he’s so astonishingly inept at reaching out to atheists! But he still wants us to repent and be like him. Then again, maybe not.

Unlike an atheist, whose worldview doesn’t allow him to believe in truth or lies, the Bible-believer has a foundation that enables him to speak about truth and lies. This is because believers in God and His Word have an authority, the ultimate authority on the subject, to base statements upon.

I’m going with my first impression. This isn’t a sincere attempt to engage atheists at all. He’s just copying out the same tired old script, in which believers are the wise, insightful, faithful good guys, and atheists are all confused and misguided and immoral and whatever else serves to make them inferior to Christians. I’ve seen this kind of fantasy before, and I’m sure you all know where this is going, so I’ll stop before we get to the part where the atheist is supposed to cry out, in ecstasy, “Oh, Bodie, your God is so BIG!”

You can follow the link if you want to read more, but I’d recommend having a box of Kleenex handy to clean up after him when he’s done.

29 comments

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  1. 1
    ZephyrMeTimbers

    One would assume that if logic was a tool of God for the faithful, such poor attempts at reasoning would not occur. On the other hand, it does provide a good sample for a ‘name that fallacy’ eat gummy bears game.

  2. 2
    grumpyoldfart

    Among other things, Brodie asks:

    Why would everything explode from nothing and, by pure chance, form beautiful laws like E=MC2 or F=MA?

    That’s just a Christian avoiding the burden of proof. It is up to the Christian to first describe God in a way that makes sense and then prove that it exists. Questions about E=MC2 are merely attempts at changing the subject.

  3. 3
    thebookofdave

    I skimmed the linked post, but didn’t read it. Kudos to the deacon for slogging through the entire tract. You put too much time into refuting an extended strawman argument pitched to believers IMO.

    It’s too bad AiG doesn’t host public comments of readers. Prayer is no substitute for dialog. The Donate button offers no way to suggest improvements. And I don’t have a church through which to offer feedback. So I guess I’ll pray for them instead. It won’t provide their mission with material benefits or useful information, but at least it will defend them against the threat of compromise.

    I’m okay with that.

  4. 4
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    you are essentially no different from a cockroach in an atheistic worldview

    Says the man who thinks I deserve to be burned for all eternity if I don’t suck up to the right cosmic tyrant. How inspiring!

  5. 5
    Argle Bargle

    Brodie has never actually talked to an atheist. He may have preached at one or two, but he’s never had a discussion with any of us. He’s talking to the imaginary atheist who lives between his ears.

    1. 5.1
      Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

      That’s what I was wondering too. It sounds to me like he’s never actually spoken to a real atheist.

    2. 5.2
      davidct

      I suspect that he knows more about real atheists than he admits. That is why he has to make up his straw men. Being dishonest in the service of the lord seems to be par for the course.

  6. 6
    godlesspanther

    Dear Bodie Hodge,

    You are an ignorant, bigoted, lying fuck-bucket. It appears that you would rather chop your dick off and shove a red-hot poker up your ass than make one honest rational statement.

    You obviously have no intention of “reaching-out” to anyone in any way, shape, or form.

    You are a waste of a name.

    Sincerely,

    Godlesspanther

    1. 6.1
      Artor

      Please, don’t be shy. Tell us what you REALLY think of Bodie?

      1. godlesspanther

        The English language does not contain words that are sufficient to achieve that endeavor.

      2. holytape

        Godlesspanther,

        Try Klingon.

  7. 7
    brucemartin

    The claim that the “weekend” came from the bible is only possible if, by “weekend”, they mean the habit of murdering anyone who worked or cooked a meal or warmed their home on a Sabbath day. There is no record of such “divine” murders being done in the new testament, or since then (until present-day Israel).

    The actual concept of the weekend came from American labor activists, especially the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America in 1929 (later part of the AFL-CIO). It was actually established in law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938. So maybe Brodie means that FDR is god. Well, he wouldn’t be the first one to think so.

  8. 8
    brucemartin

    On a side note, about Brodie’s comment that:
    “As a Christian, I understand that truth exists because God exists, who is the Truth…”

    Does this mean that Brodie also accepts the logic of the following?

    As a Muslim, I understand that truth exists because Allah exists, who is the Truth…

    As a Baalist, I understand that truth exists because Baal exists, who is the Truth…

    As a Viking, I understand that truth exists because Odin (Wotan) exists, who is the Truth…(at least on Wednesdays).

    1. 8.1
      baal

      Indeed.

  9. 9
    No One

    “you are essentially no different from a cockroach in an atheistic worldview”

    What is Keith Richards?

  10. 10
    Raging Bee

    Are you tired of all the evil associated with the philosophy of atheism—Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and so on?

    Yeah, just as tired as I am of all the evil associated with the “philosophies” of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and so on.

    Do you feel conflicted about the fact that atheism has no basis in morality (i.e., no absolute right and wrong; no good, no bad?)

    I might feel conflicted about that, if I had any reason to believe it was true.

  11. 11
    meursalt

    This piece has inspired me to start naming apologetics stunts a la skating moves.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Brodie Hodge with the Triple Reverse Double Dawkins.

  12. 12
    Alex SL

    Nitpick: No, sin is not actually part of reality, because the concept only makes sense if we assume a god exists whose rules we can sin against. Claiming that sin exists is begging the question.

    1. 12.1
      Deacon Duncan

      Yeah, I know, I was just getting into the spirit of the thing (no pun intended).

  13. 13
    comfychair

    Wait, I thought Atheists all worshiped Satan, because we hate God so much because He tells us to eat our vegetables and like spoiled children we just don’t wanna? At least that’s the story I was told by William Murray when I had to sit through one of his screeds in my late teens. Another guy who, like this ‘Bodie Hodge’ character, seems to have learned everything he knew about it from only one example, his mother, who by all indications was by coincidence just a horrible human being.

  14. 14
    JoeBuddha

    Wow. I didn’t know the ancient Greek logicians were Christian! Learn something new every day, I guess.

  15. 15
    left0ver1under

    Stalin attended a seminary as a boy, studying to be a priest. No doubt it’s where he learnt how to be so brutal and abusive, and why so many christians are.

    In the absence of a provable god, religion is an ideology. Communism is an ideology. Fascism is an ideology. The only difference is who the corrupt and violent leaders claim to be acting on behalf of, be it “god”, “the workers” or “the people”.

    In the end, they’re all self-serving hypocrites. Bertrand Russell was right: communism and christianity oppose each other so strongly because they are so similar.

  16. 16
    Midnight Rambler

    It seems pretty clear, especially from the last section quoted, that this too is aimed solely at wavering Christians. The overall tone is “You don’t want to be one of those people now, do you? So stick with Jesus and everything will be fine!”

  17. 17
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Do you feel like you need a weekend to recoup, even though a weekend is really meaningless in an atheistic worldview—since animals, like bees, don’t take a day of rest or have a weekend?

    Well, you see Bodie, it’s like this. My employer only pays me to turn up five days a week, not seven. See, I don’t do my job for fun. In fact, I actually prefer doing what other social animals do when they’re not seeking food or shelter:hanging out, messing around,engaging in social intercourse, and just generally lounging. Since I’m only being paid to stop doing that five times a week, I really see no reason to go more often.

  18. 18
    Angry Straw Hat

    I remember Bodie Hodge from a few years back. He’s the guy who used the bible to argue that a good Christian living in the Third Reich would cooperate with the Gestapo and happily turn over any Jews he might be sheltering if the men in the leather coats come a-knockin’ – because to lie and hide them would be a sin.

    This guy is one of the very last people in the world who should lecture anyone about morals and morality.

    1. 18.1
      reynoldhall

      Yeah, that’s the guy all right. And he talks about the horrible consequences of atheism?

      People like him are bullshit-artists. Confronting them does no real good, but when they say shit like Don Batten did, (ie:

      There is no difference between the embrace of a loving husband and the violence of a vicious rapist, the actions of a doctor trying to save a life and the mass murderer who kills at whim, the actions of our greatest leaders and the inaction of a lazy sluggard.

      Both are totally the same in atheism.

      1. reynoldhall

        Forgot to finish my post! I was going to say that when they say bullshit like what Batten did, followed by that quote, then one has to shoot back.

  19. 19
    DumbDrunkAndRacist

    Poe?

    Please let it be a Poe.

    Oh, who am I kidding he is sincere in his belief of everything he has said. He “knows” the Truth because his God told him so, so he doesn’t need to do anything like fact checking or know an actual Atheist.

  20. 20
    A Hermit

    I loved this bit of wisdom:

    Christians do have a basis to wear clothes (to cover shame due to sin; see Genesis 2:25; 3:7)

    I wore clothes today because it’s -20 C this morning and I don’t want to die of exposure. Didn’t need Jehovah to tell me to do it…

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