Sunday, 17 December 2006

To Infidel and back over a flat white

I woke up this morning as an Atheist. This was a complete surprise as I fell asleep last night reading a book on church history. Well, OK, it was a reasonably boring chapter, but hardly enough to drive me into the ranks of the Godless Infidels.

But the evidence was incontrovertible. There in my in-tray was another forwarded message from that fount of all wisdom, the Original WCG Yahoo group.

"WEBSITE ATTACKING ME: An athiest [sic] recently attacked British-Israelite magazines by using the typical leftist ploy of 'guilt by association'.

"Imagine if a Christian or Jew quoted or used research such as an encyclopedia by an athiest [sic] or a book on the life of tigers by a Hindi [sic] - does that mean that such a one was pro-Hindi [sic]?

"The lack of thinking by these anti-British-Israel extremists is amazing ..."

Now the guy responsible is "Craig" and his moniker is "Surfer11", and that just happens to be the chap who is mentioned in the December 13 posting. I guess he was upset, but I need to make one or two small points of clarification.

1. The "attack" was on anti-Semitic, racist bigot Sheldon Emry and a particularly bizarre version of British-Israelism, not on Craig.

2. "Athiest" isn't in the dictionary.

3. Hindi is a language, not a religion.

Puzzled, I headed out for a Sunday newspaper and a decent coffee. Having returned, I'm now fully recovered from my brief dalliance with "Athiesm". But I do have a concern for Craig...

After all, he is a leading light in the BI movement, a widely read authority on the subject with a book to his credit and innumerable articles appearing on various websites. In other words, Craig is one of BI's elite thinkers, an intellectual giant in the field. Yet, judging from his comments on Yahoo...

1. He can't spell Atheist, despite using the word freely.

2. He thinks Hindi is a religion.

3. He endorses a website without doing any apparent research (it took me 5 minutes using Google to discover Emry's background.)

4. He labels me as an "Athiest", which is leaping to a conclusion based on --- what? Maybe he thinks it means non-fundamentalist. Maybe I should ask for my BTh course fees back...

It hardly inspires confidence. But then, what would an anti BI extremist "Athiest" know?



Douglas Becker said...

But there is an explanation about Athiest and Athiesm!

Gavin, I sure hope you haven't gone dyslexic on us!

Byker Bob said...

A reader is forced to wonder if these "defenders of the faith" realize the extent of the damage their apparent illiteracy does to their cause!

It takes great intelligence and mental acuity to sell and support a bogus or false religious system, even if one is attempting to attract "dumb sheep to confound the wise of the world". I can just see the top executives from these various Armstrong splinters cringing as they read bungled attempts such as the one you cited, fully realizing that this is all going out to a greater audience via the internet.

Freedom of speech works for me, but I can see a time in the future when more RCG style edicts will be issued regarding doctrinal or church discussions on the internet. It's about the only way the ACOGs can control the damage that the allegedly dumb sheep are doing to the carefully crafted images which the slick ones at HQ are attempting to project.


jorgheinz said...


You went to bed a THEIST, and you awoke an ATHIEST.

Perhaps Craig is testing your orthographical receptors, or he could just be having a bad SPELL.

jorghienz,oops, jorgheinz

Anonymous said...

We always knew you were athier than some people, we never suspected you were the athiest.

Neotherm said...

WCG has supported a few pseudo-scientific ideas. In addition to BI, I recall HWA's occult-like dalliance with the Great Pyramid of Giza.

For those of us who observe, with grim fascination, developments within Armstrongism, BI is a valuable bellweather. As long as BI is supported we know that these people will believe anything without reflection on the substance of the belief. They wish to believe something so badly they are willing to ignore truth.

-- Neo

The Knave said...

To: Byker Bob

Re: "It takes great intelligence and mental acuity to sell and support a bogus or false religious system..."

The implication in this statement is that there is such a thing as a "non-bogus" or "true" religious system. I wonder what that might be, and how much relative intelligence and mental acuity it takes to sell and support?

Byker Bob said...

Well, Knave, if there is a true religious system, I have not yet found it. That's why I am agnostic. But, I do allow for the possibility that such a system could exist, somewhere. Just not in the ACOGs.

The best thing that a religiously inclined person could do is to select as non-toxic a faith as possible. These cults that preach Jesus, but advocate anything but Christ-like behavior through their "let the dead bury the dead" mentality are making the world (and their members' lives!) a far worse place than it needs to be.

Even if one believes the Bible, one must recognize that there are at least three completely different philosophies taught: Old Testament, the teachings of Jesus, and the teachings of Paul. Great effort is made to harmonize the three, but in the final analysis, you can't really do it without a lot of twisting of some fairly plain words.