Dennis Prince is one of those humble Christians who, like the evangelicals who plan to evangelize at the Reason Rally, is determined to intrude on the Global Atheist Convention. His method: he has produced a rag of a paper called the Regal Standard which he’s asking people to buy and distribute as testimony to the godless heathens who will be gathering in Melbourne.
I feel special because Prince has personally mailed a copy of the paper direct to me before the convention, and I have it right here in front of me. All 8 pages of tripe. There’s not much to it — it’s all the familiar nonsense. But here’s what Prince has to say about it:
“It surprised me when I got all the articles together how compelling was the case for God and his greatness. I was delighted and humbled by that. But I know that atheists will raise hard questions — some are insurmountable.”
Oh. There’s a “compelling” case for God here? Let’s go through it, page by page.
The Antony Flew story. Well-known atheist philosopher’s faculties begin to erode in his old age, and under the influence of an evangelical Christian, changes his mind…therefore, God.
The Colton Burpo story. Four year old boy almost dies in a medical emergency, and afterwards begins telling his fundamentalist Christian father stories about meeting a blue-eyed Jesus in heaven, which self-serving fairy tales Dad gathers into a book and sells to credulous Christians…therefore, God.
Continuation of previous stories, and DNA means “Definitely No Atheism. DNA is really complex…therefore God.
The Matthew Parris story. Conservative UK MP and atheist thinks Africans need Christian influence to bring them out of their primitive barbarism…therefore, God.
The Bible argument. The Bible is the top-selling book of all time…therefore, God.
An unsourced survey. Most people go to church because it helps in their relationship with god…therefore, God.
The Lady Hope story. Unfortunately, the story of Darwin’s deathbed conversion are false. He did not convert before he died, but after he died (yes, it really says that)…therefore, God.
The argument from distorted data. 2.5% of the world’s population were Christians in 1900, now it’s 12.5%…therefore, God.
The persecution argument. The Chinese have not been able to exterminate Christianity, and some Muslims have had dreams that led them to convert to Christianity…therefore, God.
The problem of evil. Sure, Christians have tortured, raped, and murdered in the name of God, but so have the Muslims, and besides, they’ve also built hospitals…therefore, God.
The problems of suffering. Why doesn’t God stop all the suffering in the world, if he’s so powerful? He did, by sending Jesus…therefore, God.
God & Sex. God says sex is OK, as long as it is between one man and woman within the bonds of holy matrimony…therefore, God.
Atheist authority. British politician and atheist Roy Hattersley wrote a book about the Salvation Army and was impressed with their dedication…therefore, God.
The promise of salvation. Kneel and pray to God right now and you will go to heaven…therefore, God.
That’s it. I’ve only given the gist of each story in the paper, but really, I think you can see that it is a lot of fluff, and there’s absolutely nothing compelling about any of it.
It’s a bit of a scam. I’m sure some well-meaning Christians will send Dennis Prince some money and get copies of this crap to hand out at the conference, but all the atheists who get it will find it pathetic and laughable, so it’ll be money wasted.
I’m mainly astounded that the two best arguments for the existence of god that this guy could find, judging by their placement in his newspaper, are the ridiculous Heaven is for Real book and an anecdote about an elderly atheist who get wobbly about his unbelief. If that’s the best they can do for evidence, it’s clear that Christianity is dying.