Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Christian Dishonesty

Hello, blog. I've missed you. It's not that we don't get along anymore... it's just that... well, I built this new computer recently and she has more fun games to play than you. Don't take it personally - I just need to distribute my time better. So here's a little lovin' for you.

There is a YouTube user who goes by the name "Shockofgod" that I have become aware of recently. I'd like to preface what I'm about to say with this: most of the Christians I know personally are smart, reasonable, and enjoyable people to listen to and be around. Having said this, I want to briefly vent my frustration with a very stupid, arrogant, dumb, and wrong Christian. The man's name is Rich Allen and he goes around on his motorcycle "street preaching" and posts videos of himself on YouTube. My experience (echoed by many others I am aware of) has pissed me off moreso than I would allow many other people for various reasons.

It's one thing to go around and preach a message - I have no problem with people exercising their freedom of speech in any way they choose - but when someone essentially abuses the system by making it a one-way street, they instantly lose all of my respect. In Shockofgod's case, he posted a video in which he claims he called a popular weekly TV show called The Atheist Experience (a show with which I am quite familiar) which is based in Austin, TX. The problem is, he didn't call them. Nobody seems to be able to figure out exactly who he did call but based on the voices on the other end, some have suggested it was a different lesser-known atheist show in Florida. In any case, he claims to have stumped Experience by asking them the question, "Can you give me proof and evidence that atheism is accurate and correct?" Granted, in one sense he did have them in that he just would not stop talking and the hosts were too nice to push the mute button like they should have. The hosts did make an attempt to answer the question in between his interruptions and didn't do a bad job, but then again I don't think they quite understood his ill-formed question.

Rich censors the comments on his YouTube account so that only he is able to choose which ones make it into the comments section and which ones are deleted forever. While it's true that any video uploader has this power, it is their responsibility to handle it with maturity, and this fact is all the more true for discussions of importance. However, Rich continually shows his abysmal skill at making a point by disapproving every comment he disagrees with so that the discussion section is essentially a fundie echo chamber. This is dishonest because if what you are preaching is true, differences of opinion should not need to be censored. Of course, this is exactly what he does - in an attempt to save face. All the while knowing that he did not in fact call Experience in the first place. He has also disabled ratings on his videos since he knows that it would immediately be flooded with downvotes from the general public. I think it is despicable that on the one hand, a person would enjoy and use their freedom of speech while not giving that same right to everyone else.

Perhaps it wouldn't be quite as annoying if he were not so ignorant in the first place. He claims, as some Christians do, that he is an "ex-atheist" but shows a real lack of knowledge pertaining to even the definition of the word. What he says (both in his videos and in on his page) is so asinine you have to wonder how he even has any followers. He has no respect for those of different faiths (or none at all) and continuously accuses them of being evil, amoral people. He isn't a philosopher, apologist, or scientist, yet constantly proclaims his "sound victory" over those he "debates" with even when it is immediately obvious to those who agree with him that he has not done so. Imagine having a disagreement with a friend wherein he declares himself the victor regardless of the absurdity of his statements and then proceeds to shout you down as you protest. It's safe to say that you probably wouldn't be friends with someone like that for very long.

My blog has been and always will be a "safe haven" of free speech. I allow and encourage those who disagree to comment or vote on my posts. I'm interested in the truth and would thank someone for showing me how I was wrong so that I can be less wrong in the future.

Christians: to you I say, distance yourself from this deluded man. Be honest with your dealings with those who disagree. People understand that if you have to protect yourself from criticism you are probably already wrong. Don't be afraid to engage people in areas where you disagree because you might learn something. And, bottom line, don't be a pompous douchebag.