But lately, even after taking on several co-writers, and despite all the imagination their skepticism lends them, Loftus and Co can't seem to think of any real arguments. They have taken, instead, to posting pictures of criminals who work in churches, scoffing at the sins of Sampson, which needless to say have been picked over before, calling philosopher Alvin Plantinga (of all people) "stupid," and reminding Christians of our want of imagination!
|Breaking news: famous Israeli |
hero found to have shaky
With half a million pastors in the US, how could any of them be criminals? (And why does the Western world regard polygamy as villainous in the first place? Isn't that just what comes natural?)
But let's talk serious crime -- murder. Given Detroit, which has maybe 200,000 adult males, and murders 400 people a year, if they kill at the same rate, Christian pastors in America alone should be murdering 1,000 people a year! That's three a day!
So if DC really wanted to show how useless Christianity is, or just provide a helpful public service announcement, why not name the three people murdered by Christian pastors in the US yesterday? Or maybe it's five people a day, to demonstrate that Christianity is not only useless, but positively harmful?
If pastors don't murder as often as demographics suggest, might this show that ministry might have some redeeming quality? Is DC thinking in a "scientifalistic" (TM) manner at all, or just randomly throwing out anecdotes?
|Those long-haired California-style|
And Samson, too - a body builder with an interest in politics, who likes girls too much? Come on, when does that ever happen?
Once again, despite their vaunted want of imagination, primitive Christians depicted life in its full complexity, scooping the imaginative geniuses at DC by 2000 years.
Christians lack imagination? Take that, Chaucer! Dante! Milton! Spenser! Dostoevsky! Tolkien! C. S. Lewis!
But the details of the "stunted imagination" charge are rather amusing. Loftus and Christian philosopher Victor Reppert were arguing about the Annunciation, when Jesus ascended into heaven. Loftus scoffed at the story -- what, is heaven in the upper atmosphere? Reppert probably echoed C. S. Lewis in responding (Loftus didn't link the original), where else would Jesus go? Loftus scoffed back:
Vic, this is easy. Jesus could have predicted he will disappear into the spiritual realm from whence he came. He could have said he will disappear at high noon the next day from off Mt. Olives. Then the next day when the crowd arrived, he would say goodbye and then *poof* he's gone.
See now, Victor, what a really imaginative Secular Humanist, whose mind has not been fried by faith, would propose.
|"The Annunciation," by John Loftus.|
It is evident that Loftus and Co are stuck in a rut. Apparently to be an effective skeptic, you need to be a little more skeptical towards your own random anecdotal arguments. It looks like Christians may need to start supplying Deconstructing Christianity with arguments against our faith, as well as for it.
That will also help us Christians develop our poverty-stricken imaginations.
So contact John Loftus if you have any ideas. I'll get the ball rolling, by repeating the suggestion I made in my last post.
Give me the names of people who have been inspired by Jesus to mess up the world. They don't have to be Christians, but they do need to have been inspired specifically by the teachings and example of Jesus. And what they were inspired to do by Jesus' teachings, has to have harmed humanity in some serious way.
Admittedly, the gospels anticipate the possibility that Christians will sometimes prove to be villains. But at least that will improve the "pastor in South Carolina got laid" argument in two ways: (1) by limiting ourselves to people who have had a major impact on the world, and therefore to a smaller and more important cross-section of humanity, we avoid the statistical noise of billions of people acting from complex and varying desires; (2) by limiting ourselves to actions taken in obedience to rather than in defiance of the life and teachings of Jesus, we may get an argument that reflects some actual evil in the first Christian texts, rather than just a distant echo of the realism of the Bible about human nature.