I guess I oppose them in everything

Answers in Genesis is advertising a patriarchy conference this summer. In their promotion, they obligingly list all the values they endorse, which I include below.

[Unfortunately, there was one important word that they consistently misspell — it’s a common failure among fundagelicals, where they even misspell it in the names of their organizations, like Focus on the Patriarchy and the Patriarchy Research Council. I’ve taken the liberty of fixing that for them here.]

Gay “Marriage” Actually, there’s no such thing as same-sex “marriage.” Marriage is a Christian institution God created when he made the first man and woman, Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:24). So-called gay (or same-sex) “marriage” is an attack on the patriarchy God instituted in Genesis.

Gender Issues Almost daily we read news stories about transgender controversies, sex-change operations, restroom-gender issues, and the like. This is all an attack on the basis of the patriarchy structure God designed and ordained in Genesis when he created the first man and woman—the first male and female (Genesis 1:27).

Feminism Much of the feminist movement pushes an idea of female superiority. When God created Adam and Eve, he created them in his image with equal value. God gave different roles to husband and wife—they are to submit to each other as they submit to God and the roles he ordained (Ephesians 5; Genesis 3:16, 17).

Abortion One of the primary reasons for marriage is to produce godly offspring (Malachi 2:15; Genesis 1:28). Not only is abortion the murder of a human being made in God’s image, but the act is destructive to the purpose of marriage and the patriarchy as ordained by God.

Evolution The teaching of molecules-to-man evolution and millions of years has sadly resulted in countless young people doubting the Word of God (including its teachings about the patriarchy) and eventually leaving the church. AiG published an eye-opening study of this youth exodus in my co-authored book Already Gone.

It’s remarkable how AiG’s views are consistently 180° reversals of my own. But then that’s hardly surprising when you realize that all of my opinions are, apparently, defined for my by Satan.

The devil knows that if he can get one generation to doubt and disbelieve God’s Word starting in Genesis, he can destroy one of the main purposes of the patriarchy: to pass on a spiritual legacy to the next generation and to the world.

It’s kind of an ugly legacy, you know. Maybe we should smash the patriarchy to prevent it from infecting another generation.

By the way, if you want to be indoctrinated in AiG’s regressive views (and that of the organization they’re partnering with for this conference, PatriarchyLife), it’ll only cost you $250, or $500 for a family of 3 ($40 for each additional child). Don’t complain! It’s cheaper than Disneyland, which is a perfectly cromulent comparison!


  1. rietpluim says

    It’s remarkable how AiG’s views are consistently 180° reversals of my own. But then that’s hardly surprising when you realize that all of my opinions are, apparently, defined for my by Satan.

    I’ve been saying for years that Satan is the Good Guy.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    The science of textual criticism (trying to re-create what was written and believed before the million revisions and outright forgeries of the Old Testament) has been trying to untangle the proto-Jewish faith system (polytheistic). Originally , the position of Satan in relation to Yah (or El) was , Satan was the DA who accused suspect sinners, a sort of God’s enforcer, (like Krampus in relation to Santa Claus in Central Europé).

    Later, the Jewish religion distanced Satan from the (boss) god as the Satan (it is a job title) came across as too nasty.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    …or you might say, Satan was the guy who originally caught out hypocrires and advocated justice, not a bad job description. A celestial detective/cop ?

  4. says

    “when he made the first man and woman, Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:24)”

    But wasn’t that also the first sex-change?
    God makes a male man, then figures that he needs a mate (I mean, we all know what the Old Bastard thinks about all that masturbation that Adam was busy with). So, he does a quick rib-ectomy and then turns that male rib into a female.
    Obviously way better than wanking.

  5. Jeremy Shaffer says

    One of the primary reasons for marriage is to produce godly offspring…

    “One of”?

    It was mostly during the marriage equality discussions, but what I always heard from people like this was that the– not just one of, but the– purpose of marriage was reproduction. That was the end all, be all of marriage, therefore two men or two women couldn’t get married because they couldn’t have children.

    I guess this means we’re making some progress since they’re backing down to “one of”.

  6. says

    Marriage is a Christian institution…

    That’s going to come as an awfully big surprise to a lot of people. It won’t matter much to “married” atheists, but someone better warn “married” Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. that they’re living in sin.

  7. says

    This ship sailed but I wonder if it would have been better for everyone if the legal form of marriage was given different title (civil union?) That everyone used. Even though AIG is wrong about the extent cultural marriage is too associated with religion for my taste. Oh well the right rejected that offer. So no quart should be given.

  8. Zeppelin says

    God gave different roles to husband and wife—they are to submit to each other as they submit to God and the roles he ordained (Ephesians 5; Genesis 3:16, 17).

    That is a remarkably mealy-mouthed description of the Old Testament view of gender relations, which clearly and explicitly subordinate women to men in all things. I actually think it’s kind of heartening that even fundamentalists like AiG are embarrassed to admit this in public nowadays.

  9. says

    I really dislike tampering with direct quotations. That includes altering the names of organizations. It’s totally fair game to say what their name should be, but to actually alter it is too much. Just as I disdain those who insist on writing “Democrat Party” instead of “Democratic Party,” I dislike replacing “Focus on the Family” with “Focus on the Patriarchy,” which is discourse on the level of the grammar-school playground. Even worse, in my opinion, is changing the direct quote to “one of the main purposes of the patriarchy,” which they didn’t actually say. Yeah, we know they’re a bunch of hypocrites, but my one lesson on journalism taught me that tampering with their actual words is not fair. At least if you used brackets …

  10. birgerjohansson says

    Wasn’ t Lilith involved into the “first couple” thing?
    And this ended with the first divorce.
    Or, since no church ritual was involved, just the first breakup. So there is a case that walking out on an asshole partner is an established practice, probably not the point this crowd wanted to make.

  11. vucodlak says

    Evolution The teaching of molecules-to-man evolution and millions of years has sadly resulted in countless young people doubting the Word of God (including its teachings about the patriarchy) and eventually leaving the church.

    Not for me! I glibly repeated creationist lies whenever it was expected of me, when I was a Christian. I believed the science, not the crap I learned in my Christian school, but I also believed it was a loyalty test from God. So when tests asked how old the Earth is, I’d give them their 6,000 years and try not to roll my eyes too much. But I didn’t allow myself to doubt God, because doubters burn in Hell.

    Doubters burn. Unbelievers burn. Unrepentant sinners burn. Forever. They suffer tortures worse than any of us can imagine for all eternity, and they deserve it. That’s what I was taught, and deep down I think I always knew it was wrong. But I didn’t allow myself to question, especially after one of my pastors implied I was going to Hell for… asking questions.

    Then, in my last year of high school, 3 people I cared deeply for died. An apostate, a sinner, and lifetime atheist. The last, my mentor, literally gave her life to save my worthless hide. From that point on, every time I heard about people deserving Hell for refusing to bow to God, I thought about her sacrifice. I thought about all of them. And I got angry.

    I had prayed to God many times before, looking for some comfort, some assurance that I wasn’t really irrevocably damned as my pastor had implied. I never allowed myself to get angry about the silence I got in response. After those who I loved died, though, I couldn’t keep from it. I kept a lid on it for a few years, but eventually it exploded in a great, outraged “HOW DARE YOU. What right have you to judge them, damn them, when you speak to none of us? How dare you remain silent, when I come to you in despair? I’m done with you. I’m going to find someone else.”

    It was not science that brought me to doubt the word of God, it was his silence. It wasn’t scientists who sowed the seeds of disbelief in my heart, it was his priests. It wasn’t evolution that made me hate God, it was Hell.

    To Hell with your God, Answers in Genesis. He’s the only one who deserves it.

  12. Owlmirror says

    …or you might say, Satan was the guy who originally caught out hypocrires and advocated justice, not a bad job description.

    I don’t think so. At least in the book of Job, there’s nothing to suggest that Job is a hypocrite when Satan says that Job is only devout because he’s rich. Job maintains his devotion even after Satan does the worst that God allows him, twice.

    Satan is the one who accuses people; who suggests that the ones being accused are worse than they really are. At least with Job, Satan seems to be motivated more by spite than a desire for justice.

    This, by the way, seems to be a trait of real-world prosecutors and cops, many of whom become so convinced of the guilt of those they are prosecuting that they suppress/ignore exonerating evidence. Case studies are in Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, and elsewhere. The book of Job suggests that this may be an ancient phenomenon.

  13. Marissa van Eck says


    …oh gods, that sounds a lot like what drove me. It was the idea of endless Hell that first got me even questioning this stuff, and I lost the best years of my life over it, from childhood all the way up until maybe 3 or 4 years ago, and I’m 32 now!

    The nightmares were the worst. Imagine, if you will, a girl at age 8, really getting Catholic hellfire and brimstone pounded into her. I vividly remember one nightmare around that age which was of an endless, black, burning plane of metal studded at regular intervals with what looked like demonic, spiked, red-hot trash compactors, full of screaming, wailing, burning people shrieking in agony as they were roasted and crushed and impaled and mangled alive, for God to have mercy, for their mothers to save them, for the pain to stop.

    I remember another machine that looked something like a sausage grinder done up in the same red-demon-flesh-and-teeth-at-350-Fahrenheit aesthetic, slowly chewing someone up feet-first as he screamed, and the pile of singed rare flesh and bone splinters and boiling blood and bubbling fat that came out the hopper was STILL SCREAMING for God to forgive him. Somehow I knew the pile of gore was feeling even worse agony now that it had been shredded than it was while it was still a human being ground up alive.

    No one could die. Everyone in the compactors would suffer forever. That pile of ground meat would blister and howl and scream–without a mouth–forever.

    Eight years old. Eight.

    But…one nitpick here: just having a strong emotional reaction is not enough to reject an idea. That reaction I had what was motivated me to do the actual research, rather than reject things out of hand. It’s why I learned some Koine, why I did so much study of Church history and comparative religion and the Bible text itself. I was a Universalist eventually after figuring out that aion(ios) does *not* mean “eternal,” and that only the Latin church center at Carthage taught eternal torment while the Greek-speaking ante-Nicene churches were mostly Universalist and some Annihilationist.

    By then the damage had long been done. I still have PTSD for this and a variety of other reasons, and can’t ever truly live a normal life. But at least this can’t hurt me any longer. So stay mad, stay emotional, but do the research.

  14. emergence says

    So much of fundie theology is based around their god being a control freak who treats human beings like dolls. We’re apparently supposed to live in narrowly defined, patriarchal family structures simply because we’re Yahweh’s playthings to do with what he wants. Really though, I think PZ illustrated the point quite well that most of this crap was just made up so stuffy old men could control women and young people.

  15. emergence says

    Also notice how these AIG shitweasels see anyone who lives their life in a way that AIG doesn’t approve of as an attack on Christianity. One of the most toxic things about Christian fundamentalism is the notion that they’re entitled to control the ways that other people behave.

  16. antigone10 says


    I don’t agree with them using the word “family” when what they mean is “patriarchy”. I have a family, and it looks nothing like their nonsense. I object to them calling themselves “pro-life” when they are pro- forced birth, and none of their actions respect actual people’s lives . And I do not think it’s okay for them to hijack the meaning of words with positive connotations for their branding, and don’t think we’re under obligation to respect that.

  17. vucodlak says

    @ Marissa van Eck, #15

    Eight years old. Eight.

    Eugh, it sounds like you had it even worse than I did. I’m sorry, for what little that’s worth. Intellectually, I can understand why they teach children such things, but I still can’t wrap my head around it.

    I was 12 or 13 when it hit me (I’m 33 now). I didn’t go to Sunday school very often, and our church didn’t do a whole lot of fire-and-brimstone preaching, so I hadn’t actually thought much about Hell until confirmation class.

    I took the classes seriously, but I was inquisitive, naïve, and an outsider, and that got me labeled a trouble-maker. One day I asked a (serious) question that prompted the head pastor to inform the whole class (while shooting me dirty looks) that there were some sins that God wouldn’t forgive; foremost among them was being mocked.

    I hadn’t intended to mock God, but did that matter? The pastor thought I had, and had basically pronounced me damned in front of the whole class. After that, all it took was the admonishment that people in Hell suffered worse tortures than anyone could possibly imagine, without surcease, to

    I had a very vivid imagination. The pastor’s words kept me awake for days. One sleepless night, I caught Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth on cable. That didn’t help. Back then I had no stomach for that sort of movie, but I found myself unable to look away, thinking about how the real thing would be so much worse.

    Sheer terror kept me a Christian for the next decade or so. I was too afraid to question, too afraid of making it ‘worse,’ whatever that might mean. I guess I was holding out hope that God might forgive me after all, but then I lost people close to me, people who outright rejected Christianity for a variety of reasons.

    I’m not proud of this, but I’d honestly never really thought about other people going to Hell before that. And, though I knew I was only digging my grave deeper by doing it, I couldn’t stop myself from questioning God.

    I could buy that I belonged in Hell, but not my best friend, the person who taught me that love isn’t a stick to beat people down with. Not my friend R, who already been there, and just couldn’t take the pain anymore. And not my mentor, who died protecting me. Yeah, they were sinners, but they didn’t deserve to be tortured for it, and certainly not for all eternity. That’s when it finally clicked- no one deserves Hell.

    But…one nitpick here: just having a strong emotional reaction is not enough to reject an idea.

    No, emotion alone isn’t enough, but I feel the need to push back against the narrative that people who walk away from Christianity primarily due to emotional considerations can’t be ‘real’ atheists, or that we’ll “get over it” and come back into the fold some day. No, I won’t.

    “You’re just mad at God,” the theists say, implying (and sometimes outright saying) that, because emotion is involved, my position is invalid. They aren’t entirely wrong- I am indeed furious with God, whether he exists or not. If he does exist, and he is what I was taught, then he’s a monster. And if he doesn’t exist, then all this misery has been over a lie, and it’s equally valid to be angry about the lie. Both positions are valid, and the fact that emotion drives them doesn’t make them less so.

    But, as you said, emotion isn’t enough, and I did not immediately become an atheist. When I said “I’m going to find someone else,” that necessarily involved a bit of comparative religion. I did a great deal of reading, mostly about various theistic pagan faiths. I took some courses about mythology at uni. I came to the conclusion that the evidence was (contrary to what I’d been taught in church) pretty much the same for the existence of all gods. That’s when I became an atheist.

    That held for about eight or nine years. I didn’t stop studying; I’ve looked into various Buddhist traditions, for example. It’s not for me. Now, I guess the most honest label for me is “agnostic theist;” I think I maybe know a god. But, even if I found proof that the god I was raised with was real, I wouldn’t go back to Christianity, or any of the Abrahamic faiths.

    I cannot forgive the silence. I will admit that that’s an emotional stance, but I stand beside it.

  18. jack16 says

    @13, @15 van Eck, @18
    Early memories . . . Towering ego, socially unpleasant child (embarrassing). Many or most of my nightmares ended when I had a lucid confrontation and threatened to awaken. “Leave me alone or I’ll wake and destroy you all!” Probable age four or five.

    Concerning religion my early sense of unfairness was a large factor in my present atheism.

    Concerning dreams . . . learned responses of any sort overwhelm the dream choreographer. Aikido fells the mightiest gorilla (I was a brown belt).

    Incidentally, I’ve vivid memory of the terror of polio. Each day my parents would desperately read the Portsmouth Times (Ohio) which listed the latest cases, seeking some means of avoidance.


  19. anon1152 says

    @11 anthonybarcellos

    At the end your comment you say “at least if you used brackets…”

    The thing that made PZ Myers’s use of the word “Patriarchy” instead of “Family” more acceptable [or less unacceptable?] to me was the stuff in square brackets at the very beginning of the post. Was that there before you left your comment? If so, does that make messing with the official names and direct quotes more acceptable? Acceptable enough?

    I’m not trying to argue anything right now. I’m just curious about what you (and everyone else) thinks about the issue: When altering the official name or direct quote of something, how much and how clearly and how immediately should the alteration be made explicit?