It's always easier to lie to yourself with your fingers in your ears

A Christian friend of mine of Facebook linked to a number of articles from a website called The American Vision, which is a remarkably facepalm-inducing collection of credulity and ignorance. The articles my friend posted were about evolution, filled with the same old fallacies and creationist stupidity that has been slapped down over and over again by people who know better.

One of the articles, typically, conflated cosmology with evolution. There was a dissenting comment, with a response by an administrator saying the post violated "rule 1-1", and the dissenter had been banned. So, I looked up "rule 1-1". Brace yourself:

1-1 First and foremost, there will be no debating over the existence of God. The operating presupposition in these forums is and always will be "In the beginning God." Jesus is God and Son of God and Holy Spirit and the three are one and the same. There will be no debating over anything related to this. God is the only God and Christianity is the only true religion. There is only one way for Salvation and that is through faith in Jesus Christ and His saving grace. The entire Bible is God's Word and is truth. All are welcome to join and learn and ask questions about this wonderful truth, but anything deviating from the furthering of a Christian Worldview will not be tolerated.
This should be disturbingly familiar to anyone who watches theological videos on Youtube. Ever notice that videos by atheists have ratings and comments enabled, while videos by theists more often than not have ratings disabled and comments are often either disabled or require approval? There's a disturbing pattern here of stifling dissent.

When I was an evangelical Christian, I was told not to listen to secular (or "worldly") music, not to read non-Christian books, not to watch secular television or R-rated movies, etc. etc. The idea was that these things were embedded with ideologies that would corrupt my mind and lead me from the flock. Funny thing is, they were right. But not for the reasons they thought they were.

See, atheists often self-identify as "free thinkers" for a reason. We welcome dissenting views. The truth will always stand up to scrutiny, and no one who cares about it has anything to fear from opposing views. When I was a Christian, I actively sought out opposing views because I wanted to be stronger in my faith. I figured that if my faith were really the rock I believed it to be, it would ultimately hold up under the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny.

Of course, that did not happen. Christianity falls apart under skeptical inquiry, and the fearful, reactionary minds of believers expressed in such incredulous idiocy as the above statement shows that people of faith do, at some level, perceive the absurdity of what they practice. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, one I found by an anonymous poster on an internet forum:

Theology is immune to progress because it is the only intellectual endeavor that requires us to begin with an immutable conclusion.

Comments

  1. I always enjoy reading your posts.

    Warnings that anything non-Christian will corrupt your mind is like the Wizard of Oz saying, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Why would they give such warnings repeatedly unless they realize - at least implicitly - that faith is a flimsy foundation?

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