Sunday, 30 November 2008

Flurry on Fox

Fox television has screened a couple of brief items on PCG. Featured are Stephen Flurry and former members David Ben-Ariel and Dennis Fisher (among others.) The tone is pure Fox, which won't please the Flurry sect, but it certainly doesn't go into any depth either. Definitely worth watching - but be prepared to wait for the clips to load.

And surprise! Tithing in PCG is voluntary... well, whataya know! Gerry's little problem with the police does get a mention. Dumbest moment: a Fox reporter asking Stephen Flurry whether they're Branch Davidians.

Part 1 / Part 2

49 comments:

Russell Miller said...

Yeah, David the Ex-Hoover's been bragging about the interview... I've gotten a few comments on my blog from people who found my blog trying to figure out who that nutcase was that was posting prolifically on their forums (it was the English Pravda forums).

Sure says quite a bit that nuts like that can get airtime, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Whooooooo I wonder what Clever Gerry thinks about Hoover's endorsement??

"Dumbest moment: a Fox reporter asking Stephen Flurry whether they're Branch Davidians."

AhhhhHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I call that "cosmic justice"!!! :-D

Anonymous said...

Oh God. Do you know what this will do to Flurry's standing with the members? He couldn't pay for this kind of in-house publicity. If the press is good, it means that the World Is Paying Attention to THIS WORK THAT THE PCG IS DOING THROUGH MR. FLURRY! If the press is bad, it means that The World Is Beginning to PERSECUTE GOD'S TRUE CHURCH!

Paul Ray

Corky said...

Glad to see a face to go with the name Bent Aerial (what a weirdo).

Anyway, spending millions of dollars on a useless ediface at the end time is . . . useless.

Anonymous said...

I watched Pt. 1 & 2 and found them both contradictory. This is common in that organization. Why are they building for God on earth when it is all going to be burned up? Is this compound somehow going to survive God's wrath during the Day of the Lord? Where can they substantiate what they are teaching about this building project in the scriptures? It's all about a physical work and yet God is concerned about us building spiritual character--not buildings. This compound may provide a temporary place of safety for them.

Many other churches have building projects and schools. Why should PCG be any more recognized than them? I'm so glad to be away from there, but feel very sorry for those who still think that PCG is right.

Anonymous said...

The more I see of Stephen, the more I think he will be able to handle things once Gerry corks it. He may even dial it back a notch as far as the gloom and doom is concerned.

Or perhaps I have gone insane.

Mark Lax

Anonymous said...

Just like his mentor HWA, Flurry uses his apocalyptic message to bring tithes in to fund his building programs. Anyone with half a brain can see the irony of his words vs. actions.

Anonymous said...

Dennis Fisher is not a former PCGer, by far.

Byker Bob said...

Is there any street buzz on this? I haven't seen any, and wouldn't even know it had been on TV were it not for AW.

David ben Ariel is a repentent homosexual. I didn't watch the video, so am curious as to how he came across. Obviously if he swished around a bit, it would damage the credibility of the Armstrong movement considerably.

Does this thing really have wings, or is it just another little blip that will encourage the Flurry loyalists?

BB

Anonymous said...

Sorry Gang, wrong Dennis Fisher

Anonymous said...

Purple Hymnal said...

Whooooooo I wonder what Clever Gerry thinks about [David ben Ariel's] endorsement??



Purple bat Kelev,

That's nothing. I am sure that Gerald's efforts are also endorsed (and inspired) by the Devil.

Anonymous said...

Tithing is voluntary.

Yep,that's right: just like the army ask for volunteers....You,you and you".

Jorgheinz

Anonymous said...

All gays don't "swish around a bit" BB.

Anonymous said...

Hah! Anonymous unmasked at last! Bent Ariel, I always knew it was you!

Anonymous said...

Seasonal Salutations


Mythmas comes now in a hurry,
Your tithes you now can blow.
Instead of paying to Revrin Flurry,
Yourself some charity show.

"Give to Christ" the Herbie said,
A birthday gift indeed.
Herb's bank account was in the red,
And like Rodders he had "need".

And plaintive was the member note,
"We once again need cash
To lubricate the pastoral throat
At the annual office bash".

The peons gave their last razzoo
And did it hurt like hell,
Supporting the elitist few
Who lived a lifestyle well.

And in this time of sore distress
Those funds could poorly flow,
Grasping hands I must confess
Solicit again your dough.

So show yourself a time so nice
And do not stint at all.
Let the shysters ponder twice
As their Babylon doth fall.

Have a Merry Semiramis.


Seamus

Anonymous said...

"Have a Merry Semiramis.'


Hear, hear! Putting up the tree after final exams!



Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

"Bent Aerial"

LOL! Good one Corky.

Byker Bob said...

Anonymous 2:43, I never implied that all gays "swish around a bit"
Obviously, Rock Hudson did not, and generations of male movie goers admired him for his distinctly masculine personna. And then, of course, you have Liberace.

What I did do was to ask a question. I do not know David other than to read some of the things which he has posted on the various forums over the years. Therefore, I would not know whether he evokes a Rock Hudson type personality, or a Richard Simmons type personality, or something in-between.

I happen to believe that some gay people are born that way. It is a very complex subject, and black and white answers do not begin to address it. What we do know is that God gives everyone a set of temptations within their nature that they are expected, with His help, to overcome. It is not homophobic to note such distinct elements of peoples' personalities, either.

What I had in mind via my comments was that certain people, when given media attention, can appeal to a mass cross section of the general populace. Others will be limited in this capability by the image which they evoke.

BB

Bamboo_bends said...

Corky said...

Glad to see a face to go with the name Bent Aerial (what a weirdo).



ROTFL!!! That works on so many levels! What more could anyone say?

Anonymous said...

"What we do know is that God gives everyone a set of temptations within their nature that they are expected, with His help, to overcome."

How horrible. This god not only creates flawed creatures, but specifically instills them with natural urges (urges that are not condemned in lower life forms)which are hard to overcome, and punishes them or is displeased with them when they commit those natural urges.

Your God of Death is psychotic. He's the Joker.


Paul Ray

Byker Bob said...

Hard to overcome, Paul?

Actually Christianity teaches that they are impossible to overcome of and by oneself. But God is not psychotic and just waiting to punish. You must be remembering the anthropomorphic "god" that Herbert W. Armstrong created in his own image, and used as a device to scare us into religious slavery.

Wanna do something really rebellious? Get your hands on a Bible that has the Apocrypha. Read the Book of Wisdom. You might also read the Song of Songs.
Gives a better view than the angry punishing god that you might be familiar with.

As I've stated before, I believe in universal salvation. That makes God just awesome! Not a Joker, although I'm sure He has a great sense of humor, or He wouldn't have invented flatulence!Hope we get to party and laugh about all of this on the other side! See ya there! Tell Russ not to forget the chips, and remind Dennis to bring the beer!

BB

Libro 66 said...

Beer and chips? I am so there.

:-)

Libro

Anonymous said...

When I read the comments on this blog, I wonder if any of the respondents ever had the Holy Spirit. None of the fruits of the Spirit are ever evident in these posts.

Leonardo said...

Anonymous 5:59, just kind of curious: and what "fruits of the Spirit" would be evident in your post?

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:59

The fruits of the spirit weren't evident in the WCG, so small wonder there.

Unless you were referring to rotten fruit. There was plenty of that.

Richard said...

PCG apparently called a news conference Monday to respond to Fox 25.

Link to the newspaper story

Anonymous said...

"None of the fruits of the Spirit are ever evident in these posts."

Including yours, anon. But AW has never purported itself to be an irony-free zone. Much the opposite, it would appear. ;-)

Anonymous said...

BB,

I don't think you thought about what I said. Let's go over it.

1)If you sin, you die, unless you admit your rotten sinful nature and accept Jebus. If you disagree, show us some scripture.

2)Some these actions that are defined as sin are nothing more than biological urges- natural urges.

3)Christ defined sin as not just the act of some of these urges, but the very thought of these actions. If you disagree, show us some scripture.

4)Since some of these urges are biological, you may not act on them but you WILL think them. Because it is your biological nature.

5) God supposedly created you with these urges. Your words.

6) Therefore, your sick psycho God created you with a shotgun in your mouth with your toe in the trigger. And at some point you'll twitch. Now you can go on and on about how much he luvs you and is waiting to forgive you (of being what he created you as)but the fact still remains- your sick, psycho god created you hardwired to fail and to fall under the his death sentence.

Christ, what a sick mess. I'll take the pagan gods. They are less complicated.


Paul Ray

Byker Bob said...

Paul Ray, you are entitled to your opinion, and frankly, it really will not make one scintilla of difference how I respond to you. Remember, I once was as you are. I know the drill. Know it well. Back in the day, I always did say that I didn't like the Christian game, or the rules. But, that was then, this is now. Things change.

I used to dish it out with the best of the atheists. Now, I find myself on the receiving end, and know that I deserve the payback. Do what you think you need to.

BB

Anonymous said...

"I'll take the pagan gods. They are less complicated."

"Christ" was a pagan god. Read Tom Harpur!!!!

Anonymous said...

Check out the moonbats from Armstrongism who are posting comments to the Edmond Sun article that is referenced by Richard above. It's about time that many of us posted information about Flurry and his cult there!

Anonymous said...

"Do what you think you need to."

I'm not striking out Bob, I'm just trying to get you to really think about what you said, and the implications of it. God set his creation up to fail and fall under God's death sentence.


Paul Ray

Byker Bob said...

Harpur is hardly the authority you make him out to be. He is somewhat controversial and his works have been challenged and discredited. Apparently, he also refuses to debate.

Read this:
http://www.tektonics.org/harpur01.html

Let me put this to bed before we get started. Tektonics calls itself an apologetics site. That does not negate the facts and issues raised in this article, nor should it marginalize it. Harpur is just as disingenuous as some of the blatantly overzealous authors who display extreme or unwarranted Christian bias! He writes apologetics for the polar opposite of Christianity, and isn't above some of his own sleight of hand!

BB

Anonymous said...

"Tektonics calls itself an apologetics site. That does not negate the facts and issues raised in this article...."

Of course it negates the facts and issues raised. Also see here. (Harpur's response to Gasque's mud-slinging apologetics.)

You will also note, Bob, that Tom Harpur is a Christian universalist; by your own token of "faith", you're not allowed to judge him, because he's part of your tribe. I don't make these rules up, I'm just repeating what you've been spouting, in months past.

So riddle me this, BB: If Harpur's so evil because he denies the historicity of the christological figure, how come he still considers himself a Christian?

He certainly behaves better than 99.9999999999999999999% of Christians I've ever been unfortunate enough to encounter. Yourself included.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Harpur's response to Gasque's critique (reprinted on that apologetics site you listed) is here, it is the last post on the page. (I can't link directly to the post because the individual post pages were not cached on the Internet Archive.) Text is as follows:

"I wrote a review of The Pagan Christ for the August 5th The Republic newspaper. Prior to doing so, I asked Harpur what he thought of Ward Gasque's critique. Harpur was kind enough to forward me the following response:

To date, there have been three categories of criticism of The Pagan Christ:

(i) the general professional academic, who despite the explanation at the beginning of the book that it was not written for scholars (hence the minimum of footnotes) insists that the lack of lengthy references, suitable for a Ph.D. thesis, undermines the book's integrity. This is nonsense;

(ii) the scholars with some credentials in Egyptology, who have not yet come across the same findings, who haven't read the same sources, but who resist any intrusion into their field. I have come to realize that if you put any ten Egyptologists into a room you'll get ten different opinions on the same data; and

(iii) the ultra-conservative and/or fundamentalist Christians, who are always deeply threatened by any ideas that do not support and agree with their traditional beliefs.

Ward Gasque fits into the latter category. He is a conservative Christian proselytizer, hence he is biased from the beginning and cannot produce a neutral review. Clearly the book presents a major challenge to his entire position, no doubt accounting for the highly charged nature of his attempted critique. His major criticisms do not stand up under closer scrutiny, and some of them amount to a form of slander. But, he lets off such a shotgun blast that it would be impossible to begin to answer each of his pronouncements. A few cases, however, will serve as an example.

Gasque states that "virtually none of the alleged evidence for the views put forward in The Pagan Christ is documented by reference to original sources." Anyone reading the book will find numerous references to such original sources as The Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Pyramid Texts, the Book of Thoth. The works of the esteemed Egyptologist E. Wallis Budge are also cited.

Gasque is critical of my statement that "Paul's Jesus lacks any human quality for the very reason that, in Paul's understanding, he was not a human person at all." But, of this claim there can be no doubt - numerous other writers and authorities over the centuries have noticed the same thing. Paul's Jesus is a non-historical, Gnostic or mystical reality, as brought out extremely well most recently by Earl Doherty in The Jesus Puzzle.

His statement that the name Jesus is a Greek derivation of a semitic name "Jeshu'a" borne by many in the first century is grossly misleading. The name Yeshua or Yehoshua is the title of the earliest Hebrew hero, Joshua, many centuries earlier; the Septuagint, (the Greek version of the Old Testament) has the word Jesus about 200 times and it was written c. 300-250 B.C.E.) Yahweh, which is also related to Yehoshua, according to Diodorus Siculus (a primary source) in the first century BCE comes from the Egyptian IAO. I have read Massey and Kuhn on this-which Gasque has not-and he is simply wrong. The origins of Jesus as a name go far back into earliest times and in fact lie behind the much later Jewish terms.

He says there is no evidence for the idea that Horus was virgin born. This is simply false. There are various versions of how Horus was conceived, it is true. But, all of them involve a miraculous birth. In one tradition, Isis was impregnated by "a flash of lightening or by the rays of the moon." In The Golden Bough, Frazer tells how Isis conceived "while she fluttered in the form of a hawk over the corpse of her dead husband." In the ancient Syrian and Egyptian rituals of the nativity, the celebrants retired into inner shrines from which at midnight they issued with a loud cry "the Virgin has brought forth!" The Egyptians even represented the newborn sun by the image of an infant, which on his birthday, the winter solstice, was brought out and exhibited to the worshippers. Isis retained her virginity perpetually and was given the epithets "Immaculate Virgin" and "uncontaminated goddess," as well as "Mother of God." By the way, I nowhere suggest that the N.T. Mary was a goddess like Isis, as Gasque says. But, there were so many images and statuettes of Isis holding the baby saviour, Horus, throughout the ancient Mediterranean world that when Christianity finally triumphed these same figures became those of the Madonna and child without any break in continuity. No archaeologist can now tell whether some of these artifacts represent the one or the other.

Regarding the age of Osirian religion, which Gasque naively assumes began in 2350 BCE, primary sources (which he declares I never refer to) such as the historian Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus make clear that the oral tradition indicates he "walked the earth" as God's Incarnation thousands of years previously. Osiris was both God and man exactly the same as Jesus. So were a host of other ancient deities. What's more, the Incarnation was also believed in for millennia BCE in Vedic religion. Krishna and Buddha both reflect this widespread belief.

Gasque denies that Horus had twelve disciples. This he says is a "questionable claim." However, the twelve disciple gods is a prominent theme in the ancient Egyptian religion (as also in the cult of Mithras). Horus, the sun god, is surrounded by the twelve signs of the zodiac, his "helpers" and "disciples."

Gasque says that "according to Harpur there is no evidence that Jesus of Nazareth ever lived ." It's not according to Harpur-despite all the conservative sophistry there's NO solid evidence for him of an extra-biblical kind contemporaneous with the time of Jesus' alleged advent on earth. The fact that Gasque's unaware of this reality or of the many books (which I cite) being written today on this theme, (eg. The Jesus Puzzle, Doherty, The Jesus Mysteries, Freke and Gandy, The Fabrication of the Christ Myth, Leidner, etc.) argues against his own pompous stance of expertise unlimited. If he possesses such evidence, as he implies, he should produce it forthwith. The entire world waits with baited breath for his
"incontrovertible evidence" of an historical Jesus' existence.

To sum up: Gasque has a problem with my using authors he's never heard of, nor, it should be remembered, has ever bothered to read. That's the whole point of the book! It's high time this material was widely known and studied. It should also be remembered that I am in my own right, not just a classical scholar and veteran journalist in the field of religion, but a long-time student of the Greek New Testament (being a former professor of the same) and did post-graduate work in the early Fathers of the Church at Oxford under some of the best scholars in the world. Religion has been the area of my expertise for over forty years. In other words, I am a scholarly expert in my own right, capable of weighing evidence and making my own judgements. I have met and debated with many of the leading religious figures of our time. The Pagan Christ has a timely message for Christianity, other religions, and the world. All the nit-picking and distorting of its message can't change that."

Byker Bob said...

Aggie,

We all knew that there were numerous "miraculous" virgin births and special sons in mythology for thousands of years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. This is not a hot news flash. You or Harpur want to pick Horus from all of these and claim that Jesus was in fact Horus, fine. I'm happy for you.

There were also many apocalyptic teachers and wannabee Messiahs extant just previous to and during Jesus physical life on earth. Again, you want to pick one and say that was the real Jesus, great! Try Appolonius of Tyana. He's one of the primary choices, and usually gets at least honorable mention by the non-believer set.

The fact is that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John give excellent and authoritative testimony of the life of Jesus Christ. You don't want to believe them, then that's your choice.

There are also theories about the Romans stealing Christ's body, or Jesus surviving crucifixion and raising the children he allegedly had by Mary Magdalene.

It all melts, though, when Jesus comes into the life of a confirmed and avowed agnostic, and begins to make incredible changes. I have no clue as to why I was singled out. Believe me, I enjoyed confronting all the Christians just as much as you do.

What you may not understand is that I spent 30 years not believing in Jesus or God. Actually ridiculing them. Actively examining all manner of alleged evidence very similar to what your "research" has turned up. Guess what? None of that matters now. I have no choice. I realize that I'm an enigma. Someone you rational and objective thinkers consider to be ridiculous and pathetic. Someone who friends want to turn their backs on, and ignore. I also realize that it makes people uncomfortable to entertain the thought that God might come back for His prodigal atheists and agnostics. I can't help it. It's really not my problem, anyway.

If there is any consolation in this for you, you might be happy to note that I make hardcore COGgers just as uncomfortable. God hasn't led me back to their precious 18 Restored Truths, and He hasn't led me into Tkachism, either. I also have no interest in being any kind of guru. Being a disciple of and follower of Jesus Christ is sufficient.

BB

Anonymous said...

"We all knew that there were numerous "miraculous" virgin births and special sons in mythology for thousands of years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. This is not a hot news flash. You or Harpur want to pick Horus from all of these and claim that Jesus was in fact Horus, fine."

That wasn't the point at all, Bob, and it isn't just Harpur, and we're not just picking Horus; Freke and Gandy made the point, in the documentary, that the literalist fundamentalists say, "OK, you've got all these stories that our similar to ours, but yours are just stories --- ours are literally true."

Thing is, none of them are. They're all stories, which could be useful, if only they weren't enforced by such an authoritarian, legalistic structure as fundamentalist religionizing.

"Again, you want to pick one and say that was the real Jesus, great!"

No, I don't, I just don't say "the real Jesus" was real. The christological story is the same as all those other stories. It is a myth.

"
The fact is that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John give excellent and authoritative testimony of the life of Jesus Christ."


And contradictory, and confusing, and erroneous, and mixed-up and...........

"You don't want to believe them, then that's your choice."

I don't "disbelieve" them, Bob, I just view them the say way I view, say, Star Trek. They are two thousand-year-old allegories.

"There are also theories about the Romans stealing Christ's body, or Jesus surviving crucifixion and raising the children he allegedly had by Mary Magdalene."

Those are not "theories", those are allegories that got cut from the canon at Nicea.

"Believe me, I enjoyed confronting all the Christians just as much as you do."

I don't "enjoy" it, and you enjoy confronting the atheists just as much as you enjoyed confronting the Christians, before. Which is a sign you really haven't changed at all, you've just changed the side of the fence you're sitting on.

"What you may not understand is that I spent 30 years not believing in Jesus or God. Actually ridiculing them."

No, you've actively ridiculed the believers, and now you're actively ridiculing the non-believers. Not an approach I feel is effective or useful.

"Guess what? None of that matters now. I have no choice."

That's a shame, Bob, I'm sorry.

"Someone you rational and objective thinkers consider to be ridiculous and pathetic."

Not at all, Bob, and I'm sorry if I gave that impression. I think you are misguided in throwing your zeal around, whether it is your zeal for Christianity, or was your zeal for atheism.

"I also realize that it makes people uncomfortable to entertain the thought that God might come back for His prodigal atheists and agnostics. I can't help it. It's really not my problem, anyway."

I'm not uncomfortable with the concept, I just have a different concept of "god" than you do. And you are making it your "problem", by preaching everywhere CoG-related, so don't sell me that line of BS, Bob.

"I also have no interest in being any kind of guru. Being a disciple of and follower of Jesus Christ is sufficient."

And so we come full circle. If you're not interested in being any kind of "spiritual leader", then why you preach on and on and on and on and on and on and on?

Additionally, you're a "disciple" to a mythological figure. Which is not wrong, inherently, it's how you have chosen to approach the mythology, and how you beat others over the head with it, that is reactionary and unsympathetic and lacking in human empathy.

Byker Bob said...

Well, Aggie, I'm just glad that God is my judge, and not you. It is obvious to me that you have established a very effective structure by which you evaluate incoming ideas and determine truth. I hope you share my own realization that this causes highly personalized conclusions, not universal truth. Someone once observed that if a debater gets to set the rules or criteria, he/she will always win......at least in his/her own mind. But, alas, that's all we humans have, isn't it?

I'm not beating anybody over the head with this stuff, but am most certainly defending my faith from the attacks which it seemingly suffers from the majority of humanity, both believer and non-believer categories. Posting on the forums subjects our beliefs to critique, and often strengthens us. For me, it's not a missionary effort. I have no church because I do not believe in single sourcing my spiritual guidance.

The fact that your countryman, Mr. Harpur has one belief regarding the historicity of Jesus, yet remains a Christian as you say, speaks volumes. I don't know how a human could possibly rationalize such an internal conflict, but I'll take your word for it that this is an accurate reflection of his situation.

And, I have no problem at all with conflicts amongst Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. That's the nature of eye-witness accounts. They always tend to conflict. If they all agreed and harmonized perfectly, then the critique would shift. Disbelievers would be saying that it was all too neat, too perfect, and was an obvious fabrication. As it is, despite all of the conflicts, the beautiful transcendent core message succeeds in wafting through. It's what humans tend to do with that message, the control they attempt to usurp, and the power they use it to derive that uglifies the whole thing and subjects it to some very rational and well deserved criticism.

To me, the fact that so many people have so many theories about Jesus, and have done so much research questioning whether He was what He said He was actually confirms the importance of Him. Being the most significant person and historical event in the history of mankind, and bringing a message that goes against man's very nature, of course many people are going to try to find chinks in His armor and disprove or discredit His story. I can't think of any other historical figures that such a broad spectrum of free thinkers have done that with. This has been a nearly timeless international compulsion starting 2,000 years ago with the post-crucifixion damage control efforts launched by the Jews!

Paul Ray feels that our God set up mankind to fail. He didn't. God set up a gauntlet to test our mettle, and provided a kind and loving way out. Planet Earth is a marvelous and wondrous place, where people can potentially lead a good life with their families, and share their blessings with others. It is a place where a wonderful country called the United States of America is the base for outreach programs to provide food, clothing, and medical assistance for nations where lack of resources, knowledge, and infrastructure have made disease and poverty a way of life. Have you ever heard of atheist charities? Are there organized atheist outreach missionaries currently working with people in Africa, trying to educate them, sending shoes over there to protect children from parasites, and taking ATV trucks full of food into hard to reach areas? Or, do atheists generally point to the plight of such African peoples as prima facia evidence against a loving Creator, and take a laissez faire attitude towards them?

It's difficult to deny some of the wonderful activities we see happening all around us, Aggie. I used to be blinded to much of this because of the WCG "let the dead bury the dead" credo. WCG made me a very cynical person, a person who had witnessed one of the most extremely wrong and toxic religions ever known to man. I fully understand why a person arrives at disbelief as the solution to all of the toxicity. It's a perfectly logical solution to the human mind. It can even be a satisfying solution.....for a while.

BB

Corky said...

That's an interesting question about atheists and charities.

Personally, I always gave to "United Way" at work - until it proved to be a Christian rip-off when the head of the org. ran off with all the money.

But yeah, atheists have feelings like anyone else and give to charities the same as anyone else.

Plus the fact that atheists pay taxes and churches and other "non-profit" do not. Therefore, atheist taxes go for whatever charities and other organizations the government supports, including churches.

But no, you want see any big atheist organizations buying trucks to "Feed the Children" for two reasons.

1. There are no big atheist organizations. Atheists are usually very independent instead of sheep and it would be like herding cats to organize them.

2. There are already plenty of charities for atheists to contribute to in existence. So, atheists feel no need to organize one of their own.

Personally, I support the VFW and the Lion's clubs because blindness is my personal charity.

How about yours, Bob?

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Harpur has one belief regarding the historicity of Jesus, yet remains a Christian as you say, speaks volumes. I don't know how a human could possibly rationalize such an internal conflict, but I'll take your word for it that this is an accurate reflection of his situation."

That's just the thing, Bob: With fundamentalist Christianity, there is an extreme conflict, because you have to accept blindly the glaring contradictions, inconsistencies, and evil religious systems, that have been spawned from viewing the historical christological figure as real.

As Harpur points out in the documentary about the book, the conflicts, the confusion, the constant nagging wondering, what fundamentalists would label "temptation" or "the devil", all go away, once you stop worrying whether or not "a man lived and died long ago in Jerusalem" (to paraphrase Gerard Winstanley).

Extreme rationalization is required, on the other hand, for fundamentalist Christianity. You have to grasp at every straw you can find, to try and prove your dying-rising-mangod was really truly real. Cognitive dissonance on its highest setting.

I can't speak for Harpur, but I will say this: Once you let go of trying to figure out what (if anything) happened two thousand years ago, and concentrate on what the allegories and mythologies can say to you, about yourself and the world around you, there is absolutely no more conflict whatsoever.

If so-called Christians spent less time trying to "prove" their blind and clearly useless faith, and more time actually living it and contemplating what the stories can teach them, we wouldn't be having these constant arguments back and forth, Bob.

"It's difficult to deny some of the wonderful activities we see happening all around us, Aggie."

It's impossible deny some of the wonderful activities we see happening all around us. I see wonderful things happening around me all the time.

"I fully understand why a person arrives at disbelief as the solution to all of the toxicity. It's a perfectly logical solution to the human mind. It can even be a satisfying solution.....for a while."

For you, it was a temporarily satisfying solution. And that last sentence smacks of superiority and condescension, that you, and you alone, have found the One True Truth, and if only we would "open our eyes", we could see your One True Truth, too. (Gee, why does that sound familiar?)

So let me ask you this final question, before we drop the topic entirely.

Given your words I opened this reply with, do you or do you not believe that Tom Harpur is a Christian?

Please, no long diatribes about "the love of Jebus". All I want is a yes or no answer. Do you or do you not believe that Tom Harpur is a Christian?

Yes, or no, Bob?

Anonymous said...

"Have you ever heard of atheist charities?"

Yes.

"Are there organized atheist outreach missionaries currently working with people in Africa, trying to educate them, sending shoes over there to protect children from parasites, and taking ATV trucks full of food into hard to reach areas?"

http://www.positiveatheism.org/tocindia.htm

http://www.atheistcharity.org/

http://earthward.net/

http://www.humanitas.nl/

http://www.hivos.nl/

http://www.humanist.net/

Byker Bob said...

Parting shots, I would guess, since this article and commentary will probably drop to page 2 tomorrow.

Corky asked about my favorite charities. I have been a member of the 100 Club in years past. They are a grass roots support network for injured or deceased police officers and their families.

NRA is another favorite. I've also contributed to ReigndownUSA, an organization working for the spiritual revival of our country, and to the Joni Eareckson Tada international disability center.

Occasionally, there have been opportunities to help homeless people with out of pocket funds. I did some of this stuff while I was an agnostic, too, in all fairness.

As goes Aggie's question regarding my acceptance of Tom Harpur as a Christian, I have to say that I generally do accept other Christians as such. Sometimes to determine this, you might need to have a face to face conversation with a person, though, because there are both strict and loose definitions of the word Christian. Such a conversation with Mr. Harpur would shed some light as to how one might claim to be a follower of someone whom he feels that he has either proven never existed, or was actually another person or even a myth. We may discover that the term "Horussian" better describes Mr. Harpur.

I'm puzzled by the question, in that it comes from someone who is not too quick to accept others (WCG members, specifically) as Christians, herself, even though they, too, define themselves as such.

These supposed conflicts and problems that are said to be inherent in Christianity are a non-starter for me. There are very good, time honored explanations which have been around for decades, if not centuries. The only time I really spend justifying or rationalizing such things is in responding to a small handful of very vocal atheists who seem to enjoy challenging the Christians. What's that all about, anyway? Could a need for personal validation have anything to do with it? Are we Christians simply a sounding board on which to test such ideas? I don't encounter such challenges in my normal everyday life, or in the business world.

I am grateful to atheists for one profound reason. They do help me to strengthen my faith. The study they sometimes prompt really keeps me rooted. And, I often remember my atheist friends in my prayers, too.

BB

Gavin said...

The NRA is a charity?????

Corky said...

Gavin said...
The NRA is a charity????

Certainly! Nyuk, Nyuk, Nuyuk. Christians have to protect themselves someway after slashing an atheist's tires or trashing their car or painting dirty words and swastika's on their house - don't ya think?

I've had it to happen, so it really isn't all that funny.

David Ben-Ariel said...

Is David Ben-Ariel A Terrorist?

Apparently, the PCG would mislead you to believe that!

Why would the PCG portray David Ben-Ariel as a terrorist? Especially after complaining about character assassination of Gerald Flurry and the Philadelphia Church of God, of which he is the pastor general? Isn't that hypocrisy that stinks to High Heaven? Are they so hateful against all former members?

Anonymous said...

"Are we Christians simply a sounding board on which to test such ideas?"

Page 2 or not, you've hit the nail on the head. As for referring to Harpur as "a Horussian", you have still missed the point entirely. Unless of course you are saying that you believe Horus was literal and real as well. Harpur's point is that the christological figure is as much a myth as Horus, or Appolonius, or Joshua, or any of the rest.

"Are they so hateful against all former members?"

Of course they are Hoover. They're Armstrongists.

"I've had it to happen, so it really isn't all that funny."

That sucks, Corky, I'm sorry.

Byker Bob said...

While I still believe in the work that the NRA is doing to preserve the Second Amendment to our Constitution, and while I admired immensely Charlton Heston, a sincere Christian who served as president of NRA during the last year that I was active as an NRA member, I also realize that some people consider law abiding owners and appreciators of firearms as being radicals or potential criminals. That I included NRA on my list is indicative of the fact that I was attempting to be totally honest in answering Aggie's question, regardless as to how it might make me appear.

NRA is a non-profit organization. While it does not administer to to the needs of African children, it is an organization working to defend our Constitution.

By the way, on reflecting on my charities later last evening, I realized that I had omitted "Bowling for Charity", and "Teddy Bear Bunco", two annual events which raise thousands of dollars to support the education of homeless children. The organizers of these events are customers/friends, and this is a very worthy cause which I support wholeheartedly.

I've also learned that apparently there is such a thing as an atheist charity. I had not known this before.

BB

Anonymous said...

"That I included NRA on my list is indicative of the fact that I was attempting to be totally honest in answering Aggie's question, regardless as to how it might make me appear."?

Eh? That was Corky's question, I think you mean. You were the one who brought up the "no atheist would ever run a charity" straw man in the first place.

"I've also learned that apparently there is such a thing as an atheist charity. I had not known this before."

You learn something new every day, if you keep your ears, eyes, and most importantly your mind, open.

Anonymous said...

One last artifact, for anyone stumbling across this buried post in future:

Tom Harpur's Response to "Response to the Pagan Christ":

The Response to The Pagan Christ

From time to time some of you have written out of concern over the less-than-Christian attacks on my book by an American self-appointed guardian of extreme orthodoxy, James Patrick Holding. He runs an online "apologetics ministry" - www.tektonics.org - in the course of which he bitterly assails any and all scholars who dare to go against his literalist, fundamentalist line. He solicits and gains funds from those of his same mind-set in the USA and Canada. Readers should be aware that Holding does not use his real name. His real name is Robert Turkel and anyone who takes the trouble to Google Turkel will quickly realize why I have never attempted to respond to his particular brand of criticism. For a polite, well- reasoned but devastating critique of Turkel's online book about the faith see the website of New Testament professor Robert Price of Florida. He is the author of the stunning book, Deconstructing Jesus.

For more detailed response to The Pagan Christ, please see the appendix D in the trade paperback version of the book.