Be Very Careful
On Calling God A Liar
[unsigned]

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These letters are posted as-is to show precisely how we received them. The screen name on the free "vanity" e-mail service has been replaced with the statement "[screen name removed]" and that service's tagged advertisements have been removed -- per PAM's posted policy.

 

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: [screen name removed]
Subject: Re: Be very careful
Date: November 30, 2001 9:38 PM

I notice that you have so much confidence in the truthfulness of the Christian religion that you feel you needn't even sign your name to your letter to me. This one act alone speaks volumes about your patent disrespect for truthfulness; however, I will address the other lies in your accusation against me, and will post this for atheists and Christians alike to see, so that we all may have yet another example of the type of "morality" that the Christian Ten Commandments inspire in Christians.
 

May a millstone be hanged about my neck, that I were drowned in the depth of the sea, as the ever-merciful Jesus character commanded in Matthew 18:6, for causing one of his blindly obedient "sheep" to stumble like this. Mea culpa! Neither the Mighty Jesus nor his hordes of trusty followers will stop me from disclosing the truth about the Christian religion to my fellow atheists. Unlike most Christians who have written to this web site (Christians who deliberately choose to be told only those things which make the Christian religion appear trustworthy), we, instead, seek to learn the truth. Thus, I will do my best to give my audience what they want: the truth about the Christian religion's Ten Commandments.

This would mean nothing to me were it not for the meddling Christians (not to mention greedy) who wish for us to support displays of the Protestant version of the first tables of stone of the Ten Commandments in our public schools and court houses and town halls. If Christians had been content to keep to themselves and practice their own religion, the "Which Ten Commandments?" flyer would have never been written. But because the Christians have entered the public forum by insisting that the government sponsor and endorse the public display of the Protestant version of the first tables of stone of the Ten Commandments, I will do what it takes to alert my fellow atheists as to the deceitfulness both of the Christians who wish to post these immoral codes at our expense, but also the deceitfulness of the Bible from whence they came. I will also do what it takes to showcase just how patently immoral the Ten Commandments are, lest the Christians succeed in exposing our children to this filth. You have the right to teach your own children that God punishes the children for the sins of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation, but please keep this immorality away from our children: we wish to teach our children to think and act in truth and justice -- not according to the Ten Commandments.

For an example of the kind of "morality" the Christian Ten Commandments teaches Christians to practice, please read on:
 

I am not "trying to justify a second set of commandments," as you pretend (and why Christians are so prone to pretense is beyond me): I have shown that the Bible describes two entirely different sets of Commandments, the second set, the one with the Tenth Commandment reading, "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk," being the only set that the Bible bothers to call "the ten commandments." The first set, the one that ends with what is commonly abbreviated as "Thou shalt not covet," is never called "the ten commandments" -- probably because that list arguably contains approximately 17 different commandments.

I realize that the Christian Ten Commandments forbid you from bearing false witness only unto your neighbor (your fellow religionists), but I do not recognize such a distinction between people in the practice of morality. Thus, I will hold you accountable for having borne false witness against me.
 

I most assuredly agree with this statement: it is, indeed, impossible for an Imaginary Friend to lie when such an Imaginary Friend does not exist. It is most definitely impossible for a nonexistent fictional character to do anything.

However, it is possible for Christians to lie, and that they have done who insist that the Bible teaches both sets of stone contain the same Ten Commandments. Even the Bible God Himself is said (in the text) to have told the Moses character that he would write on the second set of tablets the same laws that were on the first. However, when you read the text which recites those laws, the laws are most assuredly different.

I imagine that it must be quite a shock to discover that the Church has lied to you about what the Bible says; however, this is no reason to take it out on me. I am not "trying" to do anything except show my fellow atheists the truth about the Christian religion. If you happen to "stumble" in that process, so be it: this web site is clearly marked as having an intended audience of atheists, and beyond that I cannot control who does or does not visit this web site or what they do or don't do with the information contained herein. I can only vouch for the accuracy of the information that I have personally written, which includes the "Which Ten Commandments" flyer to which you refer. I have fielded dozens of complaints about this piece, but not one of these Christian whiners has been able to show that the information is inaccurate.
 

Yes, but we know that your Imaginary Friend did not make this statement: it is impossible for your Imaginary Friend to make statements because your Imaginary Friend is just a figment. The Christian "God" does not exist except in the minds of Christians, and thus cannot lie: it is the Christians who have done the lying, by placing words into the mouth of "God" which He did not utter.
 

And if you will read the text very carefully, attempting to find out what it actually says rather than attempting to force it to say what your pastor has told you it ought to say, you will notice that the character proceeds to recite the list of Ten Commandments.

After having recited these Ten Commandments, the character then has the audacity to call this list "the ten commandments"!

Unfortunately, your attempt to deceive our readers will fail, because our target audience consists of people who are not committed to defending the Christian religion even if it means lying in the process. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by reading the passage and taking it at face value. We will benefit nothing if we try to force this passage to say something other than what a fair reading of the passage tells us it says.
 

If you think this is true, then I highly recommend that you begin practicing this precept. I go much further than this: I will not let it stop at my neighbor, but stubbornly refuse to bear false witness against anybody!

Thus, you might want to start out by never again telling someone that, according to the Bible, the first and second sets of stone contain the same lists of Ten Commandments. (In other words, stop reading that Bible passage which announces that they are the same, because the Bible itself, after reciting the second set, most assuredly does list a different set.) After that, I would recommend getting into the habit of first finding out what your ideological opponent says and believes before proceeding to denounce said opponent -- lest you end up having borne false witness against your ideological opponent. I make this suggestion because, if you submit these lies to your opponent's Internet Forum, he is very likely to post your lies for all to see.

Of course, I suppose it must be okay for you to lie with impunity on your ideological opponent's Internet Forum considering that you have not bothered to tell us what your name is. Can we therefore surmise that your own reputation is more important to you than that of your God, your Christ, or your Church? You certainly appear to hold your own reputation more worthy of guarding (by omitting your own signature from your lies) than you hold the reputation of your God and your religion (since you make no attempt to hide from us the name of your God and your religion).

I tend to go along with Professor K. Budde in his thesis that this is the original list of Ten Commandments, that it was the list in Exodus 20 (repeated, but not verbatim, in Deuteronomy 5) that was later revised (as biblical translators like to say). I don't think the writer of the tale in Exodus 34 would have made such an error, and suggest that these were the original Ten Commandments when the story first came out. However, when the editors later changed the Ten Commandments so that they would reflect a moral code rather than a ritual code, they completely forgot about this passage and never got around to changing the list in Exodus 34!

Such things happen when you let the government get its hands on your religion. Had they been content to support the Church themselves, rather than letting the government (the King) tell them what to do, think, or say in exchange for a little government money, this would never have happened. Of course, even the Bible endorses state-church separation, as it warned the people not to elect a King to rule over them.
 

So you then lie both to me and about me? I don't get it. What is this "love" about which these Christians speak? It in no way resembles the human emotion of love that we all know about.
 

Why should I believe this (which I can neither verify nor dispute), when what you have told me about the Bible (which I can easily check in to) turns out to be falsehood? Had you been truthful about verifiable matters, I might have an easier time with the untestable claims.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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Added: December 1, 2001

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "G. Phil Salwan"
Subject: Re: Be very careful
Date: December 01, 2001 9:02 PM
 

http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml8665.htm
 

This is a serious accusation, implying deliberate deception on my part.

Since you would accuse me of deliberate deception, and would make this accusation before the readers of my magazine and web site, I must insist that you go further than simply stating that I have taken words out of context. You must show us several examples of my having engaged in this very devious form of deliberate deception.

If you do not show us at least half a dozen examples of my having taken words out of context, then we will know that it is you, and I, who seeks to deceive. Furthermore, if you do not show at least half a dozen examples of my having taken words out of context, then you will have done much more than simply try to deceive our readers, you will have slandered me -- tried to deceive people at the expense of my good name -- tried to tarnish my reputation before those who have trusted me with their support and their endorsements.

I already predict in advance that you will not be able to do this, because I am very careful about what I write and post on this Forum.
 

Is this why you lie about me?

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
    people with no reason to believe

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