Ok so lemme get this straight, all we have to do is remain uneducated and our prayers will be answered? That’s especially convenient given that applying your education will lead you to the conclusion that miracles aren’t real.
It’s no wonder that people like Steven Hotze have such awful things to say. If you’re getting your morality from a book that promotes slavery and says to stone your unruly children to death, what else do you expect but caveman logic?
What I’d really like to see are the moderate and liberal Christians stand up to idiots like this. Be vocal about how people like Hotze and Pat Robertson and Bill Donahue don’t represent you. When you sit idly by, it does nothing but lend further validation to these peoples’ points.
Hear ye, hear ye, family, friends, brothers, and sisters from around the world! A new age is upon us! If everyone pulls their own weight, we can rid the world of AIDS once and for all. There’s a very special way that I can help too, but I’ll get to that at the end.
It turns out that scientists and researchers were wrongly going about the AIDS crisis the whole time! I can just see it now, all those brainiacs kicking themselves as they realize that all the time and money put into research was for naught. Imagine how much further we could’ve progressed as a global society if we had just reallocated all those resources into something more useful! Did climate change denial, church-state integration, and anti-choice politics already have full budgets or what?
The lucky folks at Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona were the first to hear about this groundbreaking scientific discovery this past Sunday, November 30, 2014. Their pastor, Steven L. Anderson, discovered that the cure for AIDS is in the bible, right under our noses! “Execute the homos,” how elegant, how simple!
Now, I must sincerely apologize for the homo community. From the beginning we’ve made it harder on everyone by what Pastor Anderson describes as being “filled with the disease because of the judgment of God.” Sorry we started humanity off on the wrong foot. I guess some gods are just impossible to please.
If you’ve seen the news or read any scientific journals since Sunday, I’m sure you’re familiar with the verse that contains this newly discovered cure for AIDS, Leviticus 20:13. According to Pastor Anderson, by merely putting the homos to death, we could have an AIDS-free world by Christmas! What a sight to see on Christmas morning as a gay son opens his Christmas presents. A shiny new iPhone 6 Plus from grandpa, another pair of wool socks from great aunt Sally, and a bullet to the brain from someone who’s following orders from their Sky Daddy. I dunno about you, but I can think of no better gift to give this holiday season than a bigoted murder supporting the cure for AIDS.
To the righteous Christians among you, I’d be more than willing to play my part in eradicating AIDS by Christmas. Come on over to my house and kill a homo. In Jesus’ name.
During the early morning hours of November 28, 2014 in downtown Austin, TX, Larry Steven McQuilliams unnecessarily died for having a false belief.
We can all agree that any group of people may contain one or more bad apples. We can also agree that no group should necessarily be judged based on the actions of the one bad apple. This goes for any group, be it political, religious, etc. That said, based on what was found in his van on the night of the attacks, McQuilliams was connected with the Phineas (also spelled Phinehas) Priesthood, a white supremacist extremist group akin to the Ku Klux Klan.
The Phineas Priesthood names itself after the biblical story of Phinehas in Numbers 25. I encourage you to read the full story yourselves, but I will attempt to paraphrase. In the story, Phinehas drives a spear through an Israelite man and a Midianite woman. The grounds upon which this double-murder is based aren’t entirely clear to me, but there seem to be two possibilities. One possibility is that God is displeased with mixed-race relations between Israelites and non-Israelites, and those involved in such relations are worthy of death. The second possibility is that because God is jealous and the Moabite/Midianite idolaters had seduced the Israelites, such idolaters (Moabites, Midianites, and Israelites included) are also worthy of death. Whatever the reason, God was pleased with Phinehas’ double-murder and he stopped the originally genocidal plague on Israel after only 24,000 deaths. God goes on to bestow a covenant of everlasting priesthood to Phinehas and all his descendants for his zealous display, atoning for the sins of Israel.
After the shootout police found a book in McQuilliams’s van, “Vigilantes of Christendom.” In the book was a handwritten note which identified him as a “priest in the fight against ‘anti-God people.’” What we have here is someone who believed that it was a good idea to honor Phineas by acting in savagery and barbarism. Had reason and rationality been employed, there would be no such basis for these actions. Somebody (thankfully, only one person) is dead because he believed that if you’re not in his group, you’re in the wrong group, and you deserve to die. I want to reiterate my earlier point that you can’t judge a group based on the deranged beliefs of one member. However, what is undeniable is that this was a deadly belief that found defense in the same book which is shared by the group at large.
Is this evidence that all Christians should renounce their beliefs? Absolutely not. Is this evidence that any belief is deserving of scrutiny? Absolutely yes, for examining what you believe serves two purposes: to keep true beliefs and to discard false ones.
What can we learn from this tragedy that easily could’ve ended much worse than it did? We can start by realizing that in keeping beliefs that most closely match reality, we are objectively better off than in keeping beliefs that do not match reality. That said, might somebody fare just as well with a false belief compared to somebody with a true belief? Yes. Don’t confuse a situation such as this as validation for retaining false beliefs, however.
Consider the following situation: imagine that you are at the edge of a jungle and you hear a rustling in the bushes. Is it a hungry tiger, or just the wind? To begin, let’s say there’s not a tiger. If you believe there is not a tiger, you’ll stay put and you live. If you believe there is a tiger, you’ll run in the opposite direction and, likewise, you live. As mentioned before, this shows that you may fare just as well making an action based on false beliefs as with true beliefs.
Now let’s say there is a hungry tiger in the bushes. If you believe there is a tiger, you’ll run in the opposite direction and you live. If you believe there is not a tiger, you’ll stay put and you die. What we can conclude is that minimizing false beliefs is objectively better than retaining them.
This hypothetical situation doesn’t take knowledge into account, but we need not even go that far. We form our actions based on our beliefs, not based on our knowledge, as knowledge is only a small subset of belief. Do I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the sun will rise tomorrow? No. But based on its history, the sun has risen every day, so I believe that it will rise again tomorrow. Therefore, I will set my alarm and wake up in time to go to work, supposedly just like everyone else. As we continue to base our actions on our beliefs, we must realize that actions based on false beliefs are objectively worse than actions based on true beliefs.
Is there a tiger in the bushes? Maybe not, but I’m not going to stay around long enough to find out.