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Jun 18 2013

William Lane Craig’s Wrong Number

The door to God is open, and the path is straight and true;
A child’s faith is more than faith enough.
But should you choose to leave God’s side (as many people do)
There are obstacles that make your leaving tough.

When the God that you believe in, ever since you were a kid,
Is consistent in His absence when you call
When you can’t believe He’s always there, the way that once you did,
Why, that’s not enough for disbelief at all!

Religion has its guardians, whose job is to protect it
Though a child or a fool may be devout
There is serious theology, which won’t let you reject it,
Which you have to know, before they’ll let you out!

Now the godless have a hotline for the doubtful or confused
Those with questions about life without a God
But the faithful think it’s dangerous, and hope it won’t be used,
Though the arguments they make are rather odd:

Why, the godless are ignoring all the new theistic thought—
Metaphysical philosophy and such—
They’re not offering religion all the deference they ought;
So the hotline can’t be helping people much

If they’re calling in a quandary, for a sympathetic ear,
When their relatives or neighbors give them grief
The advice they might be getting is inadequate, they fear,
If it lacks the modern logic of belief

Or some local church encroaches on the actions of the schools
And they’re looking for the proper place to turn—
Why distract them with minutia over first amendment rules?
There’s theology aplenty we must learn!

When a person leaves religion, who can better ease the friction
Than an expert from the flock you want to quit?
Cos, you know, the perfect person who can help you with addiction
Is the dealer who’s been selling you the shit.

Via the Christian Post, an article titled Christian Philosopher William Lane Craig Calls Atheist Hotline a ‘Wrong Number’

An upcoming atheist hotline, meant for people struggling with their faith but have nowhere to turn, is a “wrong number whose service should be disconnected,” said a Christian philosopher, pointing out that its backers lack philosophical rigor and find themselves at an intellectual impasse.
Recovering from Religion, a secular company seeking to provide people leaving their religious views with various resources, apparently has nothing to say about arguments for or against God’s existence, said William Lane Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, Calif.

Because there is no requirement more than innocent faith to become a believer, it seems some people get the crazy notion that all it takes to become a non-believer is to stop believing. What an incredibly naive point of view–to leave religion, you are required to address sophisticated theological philosophy.

Recovering from Religion hopes to raise $30,000 by June 30 for “The Hotline Project.” The group has announced on its website that it is launching “a brand new campaign to … provide a valuable service for people struggling with their faith, with nowhere to turn.”
However, Craig, founder of ReasonableFaith.org, a web-based ministry whose purpose is to provide, in the public arena, an intelligent and articulate perspective about the existence of God, said, “Either this group is completely ignorant of arguments for and against God’s existence or they’re ignorant of the best theistic scholarship.”

Y’know… on the way to the store today, I passed several signs for the “Vacation Bible School Experience“. I remember bible school from decades ago; I don’t recall any theistic scholarship being discussed. When Craig starts lobbying churches to include the best (not their best) arguments against the existence of a god or gods, then I might start thinking his complaints are more than sour grapes.

When I was in college, my religious studies courses (it was a historically church-affiliated school) were a big part of my leaving religion. My Christian faith would have seen Craig’s “sophisticated theological arguments for the existence of God” as essentially non-Christian (or anti-Christian): I needed no proof; I had faith. Proof was for those without faith. Non-Christians, that is. My daughter’s religious studies classes at the same school 30 years later closed the semester with more atheists than it opened with, though on average all it did was cement pre-existing views. Craig is wise to save “sophisticated theology” for those who have already chosen to leave; it would be embarrassing to find that it does more harm than good (from his view, of course).

Of course, the article would never just show Craig’s point of view. There has to be balance:

Bryan Fischer, director of Issues Analysis at American Family Association, earlier told CP that human beings “have been running from God since the days of Jonah.” “But to run away from God is to run away from life, forgiveness, hope, strength, and the promise of eternal life and to run toward death, emptiness, darkness and hopelessness. What do these secularists want people to run to?” said Fischer, responding to the announcement of the atheist hotline.
“Many people will, like Jonah, regret turning their backs on God and will come running back. The AFA and many other organizations stand ready to welcome them home and help them reconnect with God.”

After all, who better to comment on what a hotline should offer to atheists, than people who have no fucking clue about atheists.

For what it’s worth, here’s the hotline fundraiser (in case Craig hasn’t convinced you). Me, I’d love to have Craig’s inanity lead to a flood of funds. Take a look–if you like the idea, spread the word.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    MaryL

    I didn’t run away from anything; there was nothing there.

  2. 2
    Randomfactor

    Managed to donate $25, although I think RFR’s donate link is broken. Definitely inspired by William Lane Craig.

  3. 3
    grumpyoldfart

    I often wonder about those Christians who give up their faith. Do they ever think about the people they converted to Christianity? Do they ever go back to those people and tell them they were wrong? I’ve asked several ex-Christians these questions and so far no answers.

  4. 4
    Deen

    “What do these secularists want people to run to?” said Fischer.

    Here’s an idea: call the Hotline and ask them.

  5. 5
    David Marjanović

    I often wonder about those Christians who give up their faith. Do they ever think about the people they converted to Christianity?

    …How many missionaries do you know? Where do you live, that not practically everyone is already a Christian or has just recently left?

    I don’t know anybody who has converted anybody, and I don’t know anybody who has converted to Christianity.

  6. 6
    Rawnaeris

    Back when I was an xtian it wasn’t about converting non-believers, noone knew any (where I’m from few were crazy enough to admit it). It was about converting other xtians to the right kind/brand of xtianity.

    I only knew one open atheist when I was an xtian. My debates with him laid the foundation for me to leave my faith behind. I don’t recall actively trying to convert him. I do remember trying to understand him.

  7. 7
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    @ grumpyoldfart, #3

    Do they ever think about the people they converted to Christianity? Do they ever go back to those people and tell them they were wrong?

    I was a missionary kid, and a missionary myself way back when. It was something my family was (and still is) very passionate about. I spent several years of my youth in Asia, Europe and Mexico preaching. I do feel miserable sometimes about shoving religion down the throats of non-believers, usually backed up with food, medicine or other bribes to make it more palatable. Its offset somewhat by the fact that we built schools, medical facilities, wells and other amenities while we were there. But given the chance, I would certainly tell them I was wrong and apologize for it, sadly that chance will likely never come.

  8. 8
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    On a more related note: I’d be all for the theologists setting up a similar hotline, thinking it might keep people from leaving. Cause when I started to doubt, the pointless, illogical and circular arguments from my pastor and theology teachers just accelerated my exit from religion.

    Hell, they can share the same number. Press 1 to talk to someone who will listen to you. Press 2 to listen to someone spew the same vacuous crap that got you doubting in the first place.

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