The Raving Theist

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God Hates Freds

January 23, 2006 | 29 Comments

If you thought I was mean, just look at the message Fred Phelps sent to “the Sodomite West Virginians, the real Brokeback Mountaineers”:

W[estboro] B[apist] [C]hurch will picket Sago Baptist Church in Tallmansville — Sunday, April 2 — for blasphemously misrepresenting the sovereign, predestined providences of The Almighty in the Sago Mine matter. When God punishes a nation with death-dealing lightning bolts, hurricanes, and IEDs, it slanders the Great King to utter maudlin preacher-lies in vain attempts to gloss over God’s condign wrath so as to avoid repentance.

Fred is of course actually making a lot of sense here (if some common Christian premises are accepted), but I’ve gone over that issue in the last couple of God Squad reviews and won’t revisit it here.

Instead, I’ll note that cranky as some atheists are, I don’t think they’d taunt mourners in a Church with “Your Prayers Didn’t Work — Ha Ha Ha” signs. They might post about doing it, as a joke, but wouldn’t do anything that would create a significant possibly that their words would ultimately reach the victims and hurt their feeliings. If they did, it wouldn’t be long before Bill O’Reilly pilloried them as typical representatives of the secular-atheist conspiracy.

Christianity, however, won’t take much of a hit from Fred’s antics, because he’ll be dismissed as an an isolated, unrepresentative crackpot. In a sense, his conduct will be excused by a combination of his religiosity and his craziness. The religiosity wilil make him seem sincere, and immunize much of the content of what he’s saying from criticism (which, as noted, isn’t theologically unusual). The craziness will relieve him of moral responsibility, because people like him really can’t help saying what they do.

How come I can’t catch a break like that? It seems to me that I’m regarded as so sane that I must know what I am saying is mean, so I get no points for morality. Similarly, it’s assumed that I couldn’t mean what I say, so I’m judged as insincere as well. In sum, there’s an assumption that I’m worse than people than Phelps because I “should know better.”

But isn’t all this precisely what makes me better? Knowing the difference between right and wrong, nice and mean, true and lies, and conforming my words and conduct to make sure I’m properly understood and that no one gets hurt? Sanity and kindness should count for something. I should be regarded as much, much better than someone who’s exploiting a tragedy just to show that his beliefs about theology are intellectually and morally superior to all others.


29 Responses to “God Hates Freds”

  1. Lily
    January 23rd, 2006 @ 7:01 pm

    Huh? Phelps is a nut. You are an atheist. While not equivalent, neither one is particularly desirable. You have better manners than he does and a sense of humor, so I guess I can grant you moral superiority. Of a sort.

  2. Eva, Mod.
    January 23rd, 2006 @ 10:31 pm

    huh. RA: it’s not like you have never been accused of exploiting a tragedy just to show that your beliefs about theology are intellectually and morally superior to all others.
    only, you defend yourself by saying it is only a joke.
    and i laugh with you too, because we agree that god belief is a joke and it makes people do stupid things, like that phelps guy. oh sure, his opinions are theologically sound….maybe that is why “real christians” distance themselves from his views…

    yes, we are undesirables, but only because of our moral superiority.

    lily, betcha think phelps is not a “real christian” like you, right?

  3. Anon
    January 24th, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    Hmmm. I can’t claim that God told me, but I do forsee some godhates-faggers getting mightily smote if they show up in Sago talking this nonsense, yea verily.

  4. allonym
    January 24th, 2006 @ 12:00 am

    ” I should be regarded as much, much better than someone who’s exploiting a tragedy just to show that his beliefs about theology are intellectually and morally superior to all others.”

    Considering your sense of humor, this statement might have been a joke. But just in case it isn’t: what about exploiting a tragedy (the death of Nixzmary) just to show that your beliefs about abortion are intellectually and morally superior to all others?

    Nah, I’m going to assume you were kidding this time;)

  5. jahrta
    January 24th, 2006 @ 10:22 am

    Lily, if being an atheist is an undesireable position, it is only because we are forced to endure living in a society that worships ancient outdated superstitious drivel while it’s representatives scream that “it is impossible for anyone who questions the existence of god, heaven and hell to be a moral individual.”

    We even had to bear George Sr’s comments about atheists not being Americans. I say we are far more patriotic and American by nature (not to mention more intelligent) than all of them, because we value truth, reason and intelligence (no, not the kind that got us into an unjust war to steal oil from a sovereign nation – the other kind) over stone-age bullshit. If I were not a man of morals, I would not hesitate to mug theists while they were leaving sunday masses (they’d be sleepy from listening to how they’re all sinners headed for the pits of hell and ripe for the picking).

  6. Lily
    January 24th, 2006 @ 2:51 pm


    You are off in your own world. Does the sun ever stop shining? Does anything ever cause you to question your own intellectual and moral superiority? I keep trying to imagine how it is possible to be so closed-minded, and so utterly convinced that you could not possibly be mistaken, while surrounded by millions of people who disagree with you, as they have through out all of recorded history. But it is ultimately your business and yours alone. If you ever feel the need to rethink your position, there is lots of help all around you.

  7. Choobus
    January 24th, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    Lily, if being an atheist is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. However, it isn’t wrong and the only “evidence” you have against it is your faith, which by definition is fictional. You’re feeble intellect makes you a sad joke. You are not fit to dab the sweat from Jahrta’s hairy balsack after an exhausting power wank.

  8. jahrta
    January 24th, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

    Let’s not be too harsh on the poor deluded girl, Choobus. After all, theists have to serve SOME sort of purpose – it may as well be to dab my yambag. Perhaps “annoint” would be a more suitable term.

    And I love her argument of “millions of deranged imbeciles can’t be wrong”

    If memory serves, Lily, millions of people once believed in witches enough to burn innocent women at the stake in the name of religion.

    And Lily, if you ever decide you want to start critically thinking and questioning the nature of the world around you, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of help here as well.

  9. Choobus
    January 24th, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

    you may be right Jahrta. I suppose someone has to work in wal-mart and clean toilets and suchlike, so having an intellectually challenged underclass (i.e., Christians) is as good a way as any.

    However, I would be very careful if I were you when it comes to allowing mental midgets like lily access to your sperm factory. With such a low mental capacity thses kinds of imbecile find it hard to understand siple instructions, and could easily mistake “annoint” for “crush”.

    More people are atheists than theists (lots of chinese) so lily’s argument by numbers fails even in it’s most simple aspect. mind you, what can be expected from people who believe in invisible sky chums?

  10. Lily
    January 24th, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

    What feeble nonsense. Just look at how vulgar you are and how defensive. Yeah, boy, that’s critical thinking for you. All you have going for you is an overdose of testosterone and no one to challenge you to think. No arguments, just lots of insults, vulgarities and back-slapping among dummies. I am so impressed.

    Choobus, Part of me wants to return your insults but I simply don’t have the heart for it. In any case you do a better job than I ever could, every time you express yourself. Somehow, I feel towards you the sympathy and affection I feel for the retarded child next door. He tries so hard and is able to accomplish so little. But he is so proud of that little.

  11. hermesten
    January 24th, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

    Lily: “I keep trying to imagine how it is possible to be so closed-minded, and so utterly convinced that you could not possibly be mistaken, while surrounded by millions of people who disagree with you…”

    Quit talking about the Chimp so disrespectfully or I’ll have to report you to der Fatherland security.

    Lily: “Choobus, Part of me wants to return your insults but I simply don’t have the heart for it. ”

    Ha ha ha ha ha. How can you be so fukin’ funny? When have you ever posted anything here that wasn’t condescending and insulting?

    Lily: “You have better manners than he does and a sense of humor, so I guess I can grant you moral superiority. ”

    That’s a real knee slapper. One of the Chimp’s ho’s is talking about “morality.” Oh God, I spewed Pepsi all over my computer screen when I read that one. Come on now, you can’t torture children for your Furher if you’re wasting the Fatherland’s time on some atheist blog.

    Come on Miss Braun, your ‘tutin’ for the Chimp mocks your silly attempt to pretend you’re acquainted with quaint old notions like “morality.”

  12. jahrta
    January 24th, 2006 @ 5:03 pm


    I wonder how long it will take for it to dawn on you that the only reason we are vulgar toward you is that you have proven to us time and again that, quite frankly, you are deserving of nothing more? People such as yourselves are more slippery that a greased-up turd when trying to get any type of straight answer. We’ve tried to get through to you on occasions too numerous to count using the tools of reasoned discourse, but to no avail. You worm your way out of anything resembling an honest debate only to cast off poorly-veiled insults and snide remarks that seem to point to a sense of smug satisfaction at the remarkably myopic world view you’ve managed to cultivate. I should think by now that you’d embrace our snarky and off-color language in our comments to you, dearest Lily, because it allows you to act all indignant and righteous, giving you a proverbial “out” to any serious debate that may expose the serious chinks in your mental armor. It must be really nice to live in a world where one can totally and completely ignore anyone’s points of contention as long as there is at least one expletive to be found therein. And assuming you are genuinely offended by “coarse language,” I do find it funny that there are so many theists like you who are deeply offended by such things, when the gross atrocities committed by your deity and various holy figures are chronicled quite clearly in your own holy text. Methinks you may be focusing on the wrong thing here.

  13. Choobus
    January 24th, 2006 @ 5:06 pm

    oh lily, if I am the retarded child next door you are the addicted fetus of a crack whore, but not as cute. In that capacity, however, you make a great case for abortion. Actually, everytime you open your crusty lips you make a great case for abortion. I bet you are salivating at the prospect of another dork joining your christ loving cult. wipe up that drool retarded fool.

  14. Lily
    January 24th, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

    Jahrta: Try again. I am not referring to anyone’s vulgarity towards me. I am talking about your (corporately speaking) vulgarity (both in the sense of “dirty” and in its original sense of “low class” “ill-bred”) and just plain rude towards everybody, atheist and theist alike.

    Let’s take, for example, your post above and comments to Jamila: People who adopt this method of reasoning are incredibly weak-willed and weak-minded. They are easily led and deceived (and most importantly, easily placated by the myth of religion). … fucking stupid… You are an overtly emotional fucktard and always will be.

    Then there were your incredibly insensitive comments to ashli, which were simply beyond anything a normal human being with at least the emotional warmth of a rattlesnake could have imagined.

    You people are pitiful. You clasp your inferiority to your breasts and bleat about your superiority over theists and your firm grip on reality.

    Now here is hermesten weighing in. He can’t get used to being disagreed with and not being able to win a particular argument. So he talks dirty and declares victory. He calls what I say condescending and insulting; yet I posit that no fair minded person would find what I have discussed with him to be either. Actually, those adjectives used by any of you represent the height of chutzpah, given such terminology as “godidiot” “christ-psychosis, etc. Nosce te ipsum, hermy. And that is good advice for all of you.

  15. Choobus
    January 24th, 2006 @ 6:15 pm


    why do you bother to post on an atheist website when you are not interested in genuine debate? You have proven yourself to be nothing more than a shit stirrer time and time again so it does make one question your motives. Maybe you are nothing more tyhan a godidiot and don’t realize that everything you write is the object of ridicule of much more impressive minds than yours. Like Mr. T, I pity you, fool.

  16. hermesten
    January 24th, 2006 @ 6:40 pm

    “He can’t get used to being disagreed with and not being able to win a particular argument.”

    I’m a little suspicious of the sudden flattery, but thanks. You’re right of course, it is hard to get used to something that happens so rarely.

    I think you’re just mad at Jahrta and the others because they aren’t as impressed with you as you are with yourself. But I think you should cut them some slack, because, well, how could they be?

    For myself, I stopped taking you seriously, or as worthy of any kind of respect, once I saw your continued support for an admiited felon who claims limitless power, and presides over an administration that thinks it’s “legal” to torture children to get information from their parents, just as long as the president says so. Since you claim to be informed, to still support these sick monsters, you either have to be sick yourself, or you have to be stupid.

    I don’t think you’re stupid, though if you’re still around when the pieces are being picked up, I’m sure we’ll hear you, and others like you, bleating out their “I didn’t know” defense. You’re a perfect example of why so many of us have nothing but contempt for Christianity. Religion is nothing to you but a clever disguise that enables you and your chohorts to cloak your boundless hypocrisy, unmitigated self-interest, and self-serving savagery in a mantle of phony piety and smug self-satisfaction. You’re a grim reminder of the moral sewer this country has become.

  17. Lily
    January 24th, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

    Hermy, I am still waiting for you to answer the question I posed in the last argument you lost. How can you respect people who “held their noses” and voted for a felon, a mass murderer, etc.

    I will take you seriously when I see you pack up and leave for a freer nation.

  18. Choobus
    January 24th, 2006 @ 8:55 pm


    that was a splendid reaming. I think you have summed up Lily’s facile personality perfectly. I was just going to call her a skank biyatch, but yours is much better….

  19. Lily
    January 24th, 2006 @ 9:27 pm

    Ah Chooby, he of the limited vocabulary… how nice to hear from you. But really, this cognitive masturbation is a bit embarassing. Can’t you two indulge in it in private email?

  20. Choobus
    January 25th, 2006 @ 1:51 am

    Lily, you always make me laugh. You’re like a paraplegic in a doctors office: after seeing you my small headace doesn’t seem so bad. I hope you can sit down after getting reamed by Hermesten like that. Ouch!

  21. jahrta
    January 25th, 2006 @ 10:06 am


    If we’re all so “ill-bred” as you put it, why oh why do you insist on hanging around? Posting as you do from a self-proclaimed position of intelligence and moral superiority, one would posit that you would feel that you are both far too smart and too morally superior to allow someone as pure and perfect as yourself to be tainted by atheist scum such as us.

    I meant every syllable of every word I wrote to Jamila – all of it. She is a waste of space, not to mention a complete and total idiot who allows emotion to rule her life and dictate her motives. It also supercedes all reason and logic, and I cannot abide by such pathetic ramblings.

    I find it absolutely hilarious that you continue to attack me based on what I wrote to ashli, when she and I continued to converse in a polite and open manner after that, despite your (and Steve G’s) best efforts to try to discredit me by labeling me as this great evil villain. For someone who professes a great knowledge of the world around her, you very well may benefit from a rudimentary course in reading comprehension. I could provide you with many examples of “emotional warmth” in my posts to ashlie, but you’d summarily ignore them, much as you summarily ignore little trifling things like facts, logic, truth and wisdom.

    You can call us pitiful if you wish, and you certainly wish it. We really don’t take it to heart because we realize it comes from an unexamined and ill-informed source – your own mind.

  22. hermesten
    January 25th, 2006 @ 10:08 am

    Actually, I gave something like a 10 point answer to that question, but I’ll summarize.

    No one voted for a known “felon” because the Chimp hadn’t confessed his crimes before the last election.

    The Chimp wasn’t a mass murderer before the first election. In fact, he had said that State building was not a proper function of the US government, or a proper role for the US military. In other words, he was lying out his hairy monkey butt.

    Even after the Chimp began to unmistakably reveal his horrible reality during his first term, it was still possible for many people to believe that the Democratic alternative would have taken the same, or nearly the same, military action, and we would have been worse off domestically. After all, it was people just like you who were freaking out about Clinton’s presidential power grabs. It’s so ironic now that these same fools are bleating their support for a guy who has taken power Clinton never dreamed of, and makes the lying Clinton administration look like a paragon of virtue and honesty by comparison.

    I myself didn’t think Al Gore would be much different, but given the fact that Gore is so far the most prominient politician to oppose the Chimpanzee dictatorship, with a speech that even libertarians and real conservatives think was right on the money, and frankly, to give the man his due, courageous, I can’t help but wonder if I was wrong.

    In any case, I was primarily referring to the first election. I don’t actually know anybody that voted for the Chimp twice who isn’t either an idiot or a fascist.

    As far as the freer nation thing goes: what makes you think I don’t already have something setup in another country? You don’t know anything about me, not even where I live. You’re just assuming I’m in the US because I’m an American. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you take everything literally.

    In any case, what on earth makes you think there are going to be any “freer” nations? Britain, the progenitor of our original liberty, is now our police state 1.0 Beta tester. The real tragedy of the Chimp is that he is putting out the beacon of liberty not just for us, but for the entire world. The Chimp’s Amerika is now the only country in the world to publicly claim the legal right to torture, and to torture children no less. It’s sickening, and it’s people like you who made it possible.

    And you are pitiful, as well as sick, if your measure for liberty is merely relative to something worse; but I shouldn’t be surprised by people whose claims to moral superiority follow the lines of: we’re better because we don’t torture as much as Saddam did and because in 3 years we haven’t killed as many people as he did in 30.

  23. Lily
    January 25th, 2006 @ 12:33 pm

    Hermesten: This is the last time I will address you. I never realized that you are most likely mentally ill. Vulgar, yes. Short-tempered, yes. Convinced of your own moral and intellectual superiority, yes. But mental illness is a different category. There is a point at which wild accusations become the stuff of madness and and I am not qualified to deal with that.

    Jahrta: You are a cold-blooded nonentity. Ashli “forgave” you because of who she is and because she deals with worse just about every day. I stand by my opinion with regard to you.

  24. Choobus
    January 25th, 2006 @ 1:25 pm

    Lily, you know you will address Herm again, because he (and others) consistently expose your preposterous waffling for the twisted self-serving crap that it is. You know this is so, but your super-ego will not allow this to happen so you always go on the attack, by various means, to try to justify your own posting. This is a pointless task because you have been unmasked. Your ill-concieved right wing godidiot tendancies are now common knowledge, as is your propensity for making incongruous arguments regarding trivial points that only you care about. Your recalcitrance towards admitting the obvoius limits of your “intellect” is merely another sign of the extreme arrogance that characterizes you and all the other foolish Bushites. You still seem incapable of understanding that Bush is someone who will be revilled in history when the full impact of what he has done, what you and your ilk have allowed him to do, is understood. At that time you will obviously be backpedalling as fast as you can, but the simple fact remains: the horrow that is to come, and that has already been visited on hundreds of thousands of people lies at your feet. You personally, and all the other demented fascists who care more about their own philosophy of greed and arrogance than anything else. Yourt witless and naive belief in Jeebus is merely the excrement covering a poisoned cake.

  25. jahrta
    January 25th, 2006 @ 1:51 pm


    My oh my, aren’t we full of bullshit today? Would you care to dredge up anything Ashli actually said that might corroborate your supposition that she “forgave” me out of the kindness of her heart, or, much like a lot of everything else you bring up, does that smoking gun only exist in your head? The truth of the matter is that she understood my comments were written to illustrate my anger toward the professionals who made her life difficult during what was an already difficult time. Of course, you and Steve were all too quick to hand down your moral judgements instead of actually read anything I posted. Steve used to at least make some form of attempt to remain unbiased, but he has proven to me since then on numerous occasions that there is no such thing as a critically thinking theist. To find one would be along the same lines as discovering a jackelope, unicorn or mermaid.

    It doesn’t surprise me in the least that you would label me a “non-entity” in much the same way that Bush Sr. (you know, the father of your savior) labeled atheists as being unamerican and unpatriotic. It reminded me a lot of how Hitler referred to the jews as “ubermenschen” – or subhuman if you prefer. That little idiom – which he drove into the heads of the german people time and again – freed him up to treat his perceived enemies/scapegoats in a manner unbefitting any human. It allowed him to wrangle up his opposition in freezing cold cattle cars, transport them to holding areas, and slaughter them wholesale in the most economical manner conceivable. I’m sure you’d prefer to live in a world where everyone thinks like you and never questions anything in an intellectually honest or controversial manner. I think you would have been at home sixty years ago in the Rhineland.

  26. jahrta
    January 25th, 2006 @ 2:06 pm

    “Hermesten: This is the last time I will address you. I never realized that you are most likely mentally ill. Vulgar, yes. Short-tempered, yes. Convinced of your own moral and intellectual superiority, yes. But mental illness is a different category. There is a point at which wild accusations become the stuff of madness and and I am not qualified to deal with that. ”

    I can’t fathom why you believe that Hermesten, or indeed any of us, truly cares if you live, die, or grow ‘shrooms out your crack. You have been nothing more than a blight on this blog since you first arrived (under any of the names you’ve chosen for yourself since settling on Lily). I’m not saying that because you’re a theist. Many other theists here can remain civil and at least pretend to see both sides of an argument. You’re nothing more than a moral relativist thug who takes great pleasure in pretending to be smarter/better/more refined than anyone else while dodging issues and answers. Do you work for dubya?

  27. Jahrta
    January 25th, 2006 @ 2:17 pm

    Here you go, Lily:

    “ashli said:
    i can take it, twyg. i’ve had worse things happen in my life than you.

    jahrta, you made me giggle with the witty and smart description re: my medical mishandling. thank you for what i know was meant compassionately.

    lily and steve, thanks for caring about me.

    tennessee died because i rejected God. elise
    lived because i finally believed in Him. rejecting God brought me death. accepting Him brought me life. you do what you want to do.”

    I knew you’d never do the actual digging yourself, so here’s the last post in which ashli responds to something i’ve written. I cut and pasted the entire post so that you couldn’t claim I was quote mining somehow.

  28. hermesten
    January 25th, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

    Oh Lily, I almost feel sorry for you. You’d better hope that us atheists are right, and you’re dead wrong, and that there is no God, or at least, no just God. Just like Choobus said, you are a facilitator of evil, and if there is a just God, He is going to make you pay. You’re not going to be able to escape His justice with some silly BS like, “Oh, Lord, I just didn’t know.”

    And Jahrta is right about my indifference. In the immortal words of Chumbawamba: “I wouldn’t p i s s on you if you were on fire.”

  29. hermesten
    January 25th, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

    “I think you would have been at home sixty years ago in the Rhineland.”

    Watch “Downfall” (Der Untergang). I imagine Lily as one of those secretaries in the Hitler bunker, surrounded in their own capital city by the Russians, and under constant bombardment, still bright-eyed and confident that her Furher was about to unleash his secret weapons on the allies and bring Germany to glorious victory.

    Lily strikes me as the type of fanatic who would swoon at the opportunity to toss her own child into a pyre of burning babies, freshly ripped from their tortured mother’s wombs, for just one glance from her glorious leader.

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