Monday, August 24, 2015

I Call Shenanigans

Words matter. It is deceitful to use a word to mean something it does not mean. Dave Armstrong should revisit the 8th commandment.

Dave Armstrong is a writer for Patheos. His bio is posted on his site. In part it says:

Dave Armstrong is a Catholic author and apologist, who has been actively proclaiming and defending Christianity since 1981, and Catholicism in particular since 1991...
Ted Cruz sees an "assault on faith", others see "militant atheists" and others see a need to "defend" Christianity. This here means war, I guess. I don't understand the need for all of these war words. Why does Christianity need defending? The dictionary gives one definition of defend as "to maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism". I think that Christians need to convince themselves of their faith and that is the reason they become so defensive. By the way all of the above war labels like "militant atheist" come from the religious. Atheists do not define themselves in those terms. At least I haven't come across any that do. Most of us dislike those descriptions.

Later on Armstrong's bio says:
Dave was received into the Catholic Church in February 1991, by the late, well-known catechist and theologian, Fr. John A. Hardon, S. J.
It's kind of a low blow to emphasize a Catholic priest named Father Hardon, but I simply couldn't pass this by. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humour. Also, Dave seems rather proud of his association with Father Hardon. It seems to me that Father Hardon should have moved to Fucking, Austria. Either that or maybe a name change was in order. Sometimes it seems like The Onion is hacking other websites and sneaking in little tidbits. Or maybe sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Enough of all this silliness.

I call shenanigans because of this:
My bottom line point in all this is that atheism requires as much faith as Christianity does...
No. No No. A thousand or more times no.  My dictionary defines an atheist as "a person who believes that God does not exist". Atheism does not require any faith, it requires a lack of faith, no faith at all. Faith does not exist in this equation.

Armstrong's post is all about how atheists didn't seem to realize that a previous post was sarcasm. It is a really strange and tedious rant.

Perhaps this is the strangest part:
Y’all need to lighten up! It’s satirical humor. Have you never read satire? Never watched Saturday Night Live or read the Harvard Lampoon or watched Monty Python or Stephen Colbert or listened to Rush Limbaugh? If so, did you take every word of those things literally (as mine were approached)?
Rush Limbaugh, satirist? I think that explains a lot.

I really hope that my writing is not as tedious as Dave Armstrong’s is. To each his own I suppose, but his style is very difficult to understand. Perhaps that is why he is complaining about all the atheists that misunderstood him.

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