A Dangerous Intersection post of mine (a duplicate of this one here) attracted, surprisingly for me, a quick splash of comments from users. One born-again young-earth creationist respondent, a Mr Brewer, after pasting the usual slabs of fundie garbage & evangelist catchphrases, decided it would be ok to label me “depraved” (precisely, that I had a depraved or useless mind) because I’m not down with Jesus (I was already familiar with Brewer’s work as we’d had a brief stoush in a post of Erich Vieth’s about sex education. A pet project for fundamentalist ignorance and arse-backwardness, their stance on sex-ed amounts to “don’t tell ’em how to do it safely, just tell ’em not to do it at all.” Right. Worked a treat for Bristol Palin). And, yes, being called “depraved” annoyed me somewhat, as my responses no doubt indicate. So I bit back a couple of times. Who is this guy to judge & insult me because I disagree with him? At least I was only trying to, respectfully but firmly, smack his arguments (such as they were) down without resorting to insulting the guy.
But, really, being insulted (someone who thinks the entire planet is younger than verbal communication, the discovery of agriculture and the domestication of animals, no less, thinks my mind is useless?) wasn’t the problem. I can cop an insult, and “depraved” is pretty mild. Even so, I called him on it and pointed out that it’s not how grownups talk to each other. I didn’t expect an apology – at best, a cessation of such ad hominems in further posts would have been perfectly acceptable. Anyway, instead of an “ok, fine” or even just ignoring it and moving on (which would have been fine), he did it again. But this time he offered a justification – that it’s God who thinks my mind is useless. My problem shouldn’t be with Brewer whipping insults around the place in place of actual arguments, it should be with God. “Hey, don’t blame me, talk to God about it! It’s not me who thinks you’re depraved, it’s God. I’m just passing on his message. You can choose not to be depraved by accepting Christ! Gee, I’m sorry if you took offence at being insulted but hey, again, take it up with the Lord. I just want to help you poor pitiful atheists find Jesus because I care about you!” (I paraphrase here, but that’s the thrust).
Interesting, Mr Brewer. Even though it’s you who thought it and typed it and clicked “post” (repeatedly), it’s not your fault. The depravity – the “useless minds” – of all atheists might not necessarily be what you yourself truly believe but because you think God thinks it, you have a duty to pass it on for our own sake because you care … which is about the most gutless, laughable, pathetic and classically fundamentalist piece of rank bullshit I’ve ever heard. It’s on a par with “the devil made me do it!” as a complete abdication of personal responsibility. It’s a classic passing of the buck to someone who is completely unaccountable (and, to throw in my extra tuppence, whose existence is so gargantuanically improbable that it’s more or less safe to say he’s non-existent, or at least completely uninterested). You might think it’s okay, as many fundies do, to just throw shit like that out there and absolve yourself of any responsibility by hiding behind your god’s apron. “It’s God’s word, talk to him about it.” Or, in more accurate parlance, “Don’t blame me, blame my secret friend. He did it!”. Hey, it worked when you were six, why not keep it up?
I guess your average fundie clown would see this kind of thing as an epic win: you get to call the nasty old atheist whatever you want, be it “depraved”, “immoral”, “stained with sin” or whatever else you want to paste in the comments box from your weekly, talking-point filled email from Answers In Genesis or Ray “Watch Me Wank This Banana” Comfort or Ken “Not That Much Smarter Than A Leg Of” Ham. Then, if anyone gets shitty you can just say “Don’t blame me my friend, that’s just what God says.” Ha!
OK, I’m trying not to harp here. This isn’t a BAWW because some troll called me a name. Like I said, I’ve had worse. This is just a simple, honest Fuck You because the guy weaseled out of it by laying blame at the feet of his God who, conveniently, isn’t the kind who just answers you when you say “Oi, what’s this shit about me being depraved?” Shit, if you’re going to insult someone, have the balls to stand by it and accept whatever response you get and not refer me to your manager. Seriously, if you’re going to stand there, insult a person and say “oh no, it’s not me, it’s God” then you can go fuck yourself. Such blatant hypocrisy is a lot more insulting than an actual insult.
It’s really very amusing, and pitiful, in hindsight. Being accused of having a useless mind by a guy who is so mindless he won’t even take responsibilty for his own words & who believes the Earth is 6000 years old despite centuries of evidence (evidence – remember that?) to the contrary is probably the best & clearest example of fundamentalist hypocrisy I’ve ever seen. Sticks & stones, Mr Brewer. Hell, not even your words faze me that much. Actions, though, are something different. When you accuse me of having a useless, depraved mind, deny your own mind as the source of your words and then attribute responsibility for those words to the mind of your god (who’s conveniently unavailable for comment), you reveal yourself either as the worst kind of cowardly liar, eager to absolve yourself of responsibility for your own actions and pass it on to someone who’s completely unaccountable, as a rank hypocrite or merely as an intellectual zombie – an empty vessel for the thoughts and opinions of others, be they your god, pastor, community or whoever it was who originally put that idea in your head.
To me, a truly useless mind is one that can be used by others for their own purposes as easily as yours seems to be, Mr Brewer. The pity I now feel for your empty mind is far more than any annoyance I previously felt at being insulted. I can think of no worse fate than being a mere vehicle for someone else’s bigotry and ignorance. If I had a religious bone in my body, I’d pray for you.
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