Religious Toxicity

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while may recall the name Jonny Scaramanga.

Jonny was schooled through ACE – Accelerated Christian Education.

ACE are Young Earth Creationists. Based on reading Jonny’s experiences their methodology is as toxic as they come.

It was through reading Jonny’s blog that I found out that theses kids were indoctrinated that dinosaurs and humans co-existed. There is even a picture in one of their school books depicting  a tame dinosaur pulling a cart ridden by a human!

And of course they state that the bible is inerrent. Every word is true.

For a number of years Jonny has in one form or another campaigned Government to have these schools investigated with the hope of eventually closing them down. I don’t know how successful he was as his blog writings became very sporadic while he was working on his phd.

Anyway, the point is, as you might expect, he is no longer Christian in any shape or form.

The other day I read he is giving up blogging on the topic of ACE because the toxicity levels have had such a negative effect on his mental health and general well being. As he wrote:

Maybe I’ll see you there. Or maybe I’m just going to play guitar forever and forget all of this ever happened. I don’t know. I just know I have a PhD in a topic that my mental health won’t allow me to think about, fifty-ish years left on this planet, and a chance to make them count. I just have to figure out what ‘making them count’ means.

This is the toxicity of religion.

I have begun to feel the same and I was never more than a cultural Christian.

I’ve written before that I thought it was time to step back and leave the nutters to themselves and reading of Jonny’s decision I am inclined to think I should do the same.

It isn’t easy. Flushing one’s system of toxins always has a degree of withdrawal symptoms!

But if I can quit smoking, well …

Furthermore, I reckon the up side will be worth resisting the temptation of interacting with these patently mentally deficient  religious headcases. After all, so many of their posts seem to be all about reviling atheism and de-converts rather than writing posts filled with irrefutable scientific evidence for Christianity and demonstrating the  positive benefits of being a Christian.

Maybe simply ignoring them really is the best thing to do?

Ark

 

PS If you fancy a very interesting read on the TF by Josephus then pop over to Neil Godfrey’s spot. You won’t be disappointed.


60 thoughts on “Religious Toxicity

  1. Don’t visit Ken Ham’s Noah’s Ark in Kentucky. He has a human standing next to a dinosaur too ! A friend of mine took her grandchildren there recently. She thought it was wonderful. Ugh !

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Johnny gave it everything he had and probably more. Hello. A PhD no less. But the wave of religion is overwhelming and more so in the toxic realm. Two recent funerals, John McCain and Aretha Franklin show how entrenched is the blood of Jesus. But it’s not just them. Throw in all sorts of “spirituality.” The after-life isn’t just a toxic Christian thing. It’s a worldwide phenomenon.

    Recently I’ve been reading about children who died of cancer. Reading their journey as posted by their parents (usually their mothers) on Instagram. And then when the children die the journey of death and the unbelievable pain of separation. The loss of a child. Fundamentally, each and every time, God is present. During the illness, after the illness and in almost every case, the child after death becomes an instant angel. The prayers continue though they never brought the miracles desired. Instead, the prayers are the mothers asking their child to help the grieving mothers get up every day and face another day without them. As though the child in the after-life actually is able to do so. Mothers who ask each and every day for their deceased child to send a sign, to comfort them and keep them going. A cardinal in a tree was a sign of the child being present nearby.

    I was reading an account of a now famous author who’s partner died of cancer and to her mind/heart she sees signs in nature. A visit perhaps by a butterfly or some other thing, and she says, ‘hello sweetheart’ as though that is in fact her deceased sweetheart.

    Years ago, I was mourning the deaths of two friends who died as young mothers. My heart was so heavy. I was working in the garden standing by a butterfly bush. Then, two monarchs flew in and rested right on my chest where my heart is located. Did I think that was a spiritual sign of comfort sent by God? Yes. Do I now? No. I think there’s a very good chance that while standing in a big beautiful butterfly-like garden there’s a really good chance of monarch encounters.

    Today is the anniversary of the last day my good friend’s husband was alive. Meaning tomorrow is the anniversary of his death. After she visited a medium about his death, she told me the medium said when you see squirrels that’s him. As I was puttering in my kitchen at noon I noticed she was sitting in the yard, alone and crying. I took my lawn chair over and asked if I could sit with her. She was crying and I told her that she knows when it comes to me I approve of feeling. We sat under two big maple trees. During our conversation something dropped out of the tree and hit me on the head, then fell to the ground. She didn’t notice and I didn’t interrupt her. A few minutes later same thing happened to her. “What is that?” she said. I said I think it’s part of a walnut. There must be a squirrel up their eating a walnut. Ummm, hello. Medium said squirrel, we’re talking about her dead husband and a squirrel was over our head dropping walnut matter onto our heads. LOL! Now I have a sense of humour, so I was laughing. She started to laugh, looked up at the squirrel and called her husband’s name and said, “Seriously?!” I said, *****, seems kind of a coincidence really. There are squirrels all over the place. And it’s true. Yet, can’t you see how this can hit at the heart strings? But again, that kind of stuff seems toxic to me too.

    I mostly lurk on a spiritual abuse blog/forum and I’m thinking, ‘I’ve got to stop hanging out here.’ I mean they are debating if it’s okay to spank/discipline (Prof, behave) wives.

    How does one stop? Does it affect one’s mental health this kind of blogging? I think it depends on the person. If their was an issue beforehand (while a Christian) there’s probably going to be an issue post-Christian involvement. It’s complicated. So many layers. I could go on ad nauseum. I’m very close to quitting my blog while at the same time thinking maybe instead of trying to figure out what to write I should just devote what little time and energy I have to say, comment on Bruce G’s blog. To support the work he does there.

    I do think for one’s own sanity, ignoring some people is wise because it’s likely they feed off the attention.

    Well that was a lot coming from me. Time for supper.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think people are predisposed to see “signs” — even if they’re not Christians, but most definitely when they are!

      I suppose for some people all this “stuff” makes it easier than facing reality. Kinda’ like Christians in general.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I’m reminded of that old Scottish children’s song of obscure origin:

    There was a farmer had a dinosaur,
    and Bingo was his name-o.
    B-I-N-G-O
    B-I-N-G-O
    B-I-N-G-O
    And Bingo was his name-o.

    Congratulations to Jonny for detoxing!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. IMO, the secret is in not letting it get to you. Plus, you yourself have said a number of times, you’re writing for the lurkers as much as for the Christian blog participants. Quite frankly, I would hate to see you stop. Maybe just take a break?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I agree with Nan, Ark: take breaks. However, if we don’t confront these radical types who want to infuse and impose their own subjective superstitious beliefs onto others, and then turn societies, civilizations, and nations into theocracies… we don’t have a choice BUT to debate/fight their fallacious, antiquated ideologies. Breaks, Sir. Breaks. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Don’t give it up, just dial back swimming with the Robertson’s and Kilpatrick’s. Those are some seriously derranged people.They make my skin crawl. And they censor, which indicates that they know they’re wrong, but are going to keep living in that pantomime until they die.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. He’s a prime example. Pick your battles. It’s fun to occassionally engage the frothing zealots, to let them know what they’re saying is just wrong, but hanging around for long is futile.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Or turn yourself into a reader but a non-responder, and stick with the ‘good guys’ like Hemant Mehta. Seth Andrews. Even Dara O’Briain.

    Sounds like burnout, and you’re right, if you can give up smoking, you can give up anything. And this isn’t good for you, darlin’. it gets under your skin.

    Let the seriously deranged fight their own fights, hell, they will anyway, if only to keep you on the hop. I suspect a lot of what they write is just that, a form of graffiti just for Ark. Let’s get Ark, he hates everything…

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Then they win, Ark.

    You’re knocking yourself out beating your bonce against a very brick wall. Desist, you masochistic fiend … and shift target to something that although not as mastabatorily gratifying might just have a wee bit of effect.

    Take a rational look at your approach.

    Happy with the progress and achievements?

    Now consider the alternatives—one of which is get to the young, first, with the least which is also the most. No need for books, just hit ’em with the basic Laws Of Thought.
    Once they’ve passed through their denial etc stages and actually listen they’ll be ready to Think for themselves.

    You’ll be raising a generation of wee cynics (some of whom will suffer badly for it) but you might just win the war.

    And war it is, have no doubts about that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Mr Argus … Sir?”

      “Yes, Little Virginia?”

      “Sir—why do you and Ark and JZ and all those others keep pounding your heads so painfully against those brick walls?”

      “Because, sweet Child … it feels so nice when we stop!”

      R.R.R.R.R

      Retire from the field—Rest—Recuperate—Regroup—RETURN (and this time be strategic rather than tactical.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I can only dip my toe in once a month or so. Then it goes for days sometimes. They would probably like to see us less, and without our comments they get four or five. Maybe nobodies really interested in what they are saying anyway. I do enjoy calling out the ridiculousness of their positions, but mostly I blog because you and the others are interesting to have a laugh with and a little strength in numbers.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I must admit, I don’t fully read most of the anti religious blogs currently. Those occasional religious folks you and other blogs interact with are simply not worth the time of day for me. I just can’t stand to read their nonsense, constant quoting the Bible, refusing to directly answer a question or have an original thought. It doesn’t anger me or make me sad, as I just think they are pathetic.

    There’s something wrong with these people. They are unstable and I just don’t want to waste my time. Plus I know exactly who I am and what I believe or don’t believe and it’s all based on logic, reading, rational thinking and observation. These people are incapable of serious or rational thought or any thought that is original. Closely related to trump supporters and they are often very connected.

    Ark, keep blogging. There are many philosophical arguements that you could blog about just to get us all thinking. It doesn’t have to be religion or politics. Many areas in ethics, morality, purpose….broaden out…you’ll do fine.😊

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I must admit, I don’t fully read most of the anti religious blogs currently.

      I don’t either. I read Ark’s blog and Friendly Atheist. Oh, and Bruce Gerencser’s blog.

      I also read a few religious blogs. Some of those are because they are worth reading. And others are there only because Ark and Nan sometime post about what’s in them. And, honestly, those are a waste of time. But Fred Clark (“The Slacktivist”) and John Pavlovitz are worth reading.

      Yes, I would like to see Ark broaden out.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. MARY:

      ” … must admit, I don’t fully read most of the anti religious blogs currently”

      Feel free with mine, then.
      I’m not at all anti religion (provided of course that it is the one, true, religion as approved by God Himself).

      Oops …

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Cherrypick your spots. I do that with politics, which is another way of saying “scroll on by quickly” and go on to something far more interesting, like sumo wrestlers (joking! joking!) or the Traveling Wilburys…anything but the sturm und drang of Christian wingnuts and/or politics (naming no names…) Your heart and your spirit will thank you for it later.

    Really.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’ve been following Jonny Scaramanga’s blog, except that recently there hasn’t been much to follow.

    Jonny was very intensely engaged in the ACE issue.

    I can get intensely engaged in things. But mostly, my intense engagement has been with things that I enjoy. And that’s probably good.

    The problem for Jonny, was that he was intensely engaged with something that made him angry. And that’s what’s bad for one’s health. It was a wise decision for him to move on.

    And I think that’s why Ark is concerned. I don’t think he was ever as intense as Jonny. And he has been able to be more playful. But when Ark criticizes Christians, they sometimes go on the attack against him. And being attacked can raise the anger level and can be bad for one’s health.

    My advice to Ark: blog on topics where you can have fun and avoid anger.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. and when they go on the attack against him, if this was in high school it would be called bullying. Wouldn’t it.

      And the only way to deal with bullies is walk away from them. Block them where you can, avoid them where they congregate.

      Put the pack in the drawer but keep the matches elsewhere so by the time you’ve found them, the mood has passed.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. NEIL:

      being attacked on the web by the religious is like an open-minded pit bull being savaged by chihuahuas.

      For myself I simply find it amazing that adult (?) people can believe such stuff; and sobering that those with their fingers on nuclear triggers profess to.

      (I still hold the Peter Sellers movie “Dr Strangelove” in high regard … a bit dated now, but if you haven’t seen it—get thee hence forthwith~!)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. being attacked on the web by the religious is like an open-minded pit bull being savaged by chihuahuas.

        Yes, but it is still annoying.

        I agree with you on “Dr. Strangelove”.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Taking them seriously hasn’t been a concern of mine for a long time.

      Looking for an analogy for Ark (and others) to bear in mind—why should the skipper of a modern USN super-carrier be afraid of a guy in an inflated rubber tyre carrying a home-made slingshot and a few eggs?

      So why, do we think, do Ark’s comments upset them? ‘Could it be because such are insulting? Or more to the point: he rocks the boat a bit for them?

      Having your lovely new lightweight suit exposed in public as being just a little too lightweight can be embarrassing. Folks don’t like to be embarrassed, and when they have nowhere to hide even a mouse will turn on its cornerers.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Question – Have you ever got close to winning an argument with these fanatics? Do you enjoy arguing with people who will swear black is white? Do you enjoy being ridiculed by all loving, god fearing ‘christians? If no to any of the above give it up, pour a cup of coffee, sit back and watch the ‘pool have a great season, go photo the Sunbirds and chickens.
    These twats you spar with the Mels, cs etc will probably dance around for awhile singing we’ve won, maybe even pop along to goad you like bc, eventually without the attention they will disappear up their own ar*eholes. or just sit around talking to themselves.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Well, before you hang up your keyboard I thank you for your blog as I started reading your knowledgeable and clever comments and it gave me the motivation to do something about questioning the religious blight on our society.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I shall continue to write, but with regard religion it’s probably time to take out the trash!
      Maybe I will post a few things that come to mind but ”sparring” with these fools?
      At some point one has to wonder who is the bigger fool?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. My favourite definition of ‘fool’, Ark, has to include the words “Keeps doing the same thing over and over whilst expecting a different result”.

        Before you wince it applies equally to me.
        So if we are both fools, which of us is the bigger fool? (Possibly moi … ‘cos I’m a lot more wordier than you.)

        Change gear, alter course; take the ‘5R’ approach and—

        GO GET ‘EM, TIGER!

        —but this time don’t take ’em personally.
        I mentioned the time I was walking my dog when the lead went taut, and when I look around he was standing like an amused statue with a wee Staffordshire bull terrier pup hanging from his face. Give the pup credit for ambition but not much for strategy or tactics.
        If my dog had taken it personally the pup would have met his maker in moments … true strength?

        Your mistake is thinking that mental pygmies (doctorates notwithstanding, some of them) are intelligent. Cunning, maybe, but wise?

        Liked by 3 people

  15. it all comes down to can you stay and stay away from the rough stuff, or can you stay ONLY if you venture over now and then, just to raise your blood pressure.

    When I first came online there was a marvelous and vigorous message board (this was 1996, my god) called Excite. It was my first experience with online communication, and I just jumped in, totally. There was a group of women using multiple aliases, most of them over 40, and they had formed a clique. They would become your bestest friend and then if you offended them (and oh how easily ‘offended’ they became) they would begin to harass, to follow, to belittle you.
    It became the Hatfields and the McCoys, and in only five months the entire place was in a shambles, from the amazing turf war that went on. We managed to wipe out most of what was good about Excite, and while I still have friends from that time, most of the people have gone away. They were bullies. They were the most toxic people I’ve ever met, and they did it ‘for fun’. They loved to see other people upset.

    This is what I have always felt was going on with CS and Branyan and the others. None of this is real, and most of what they do is directed at the atheist lurkers. Now and then they will Drop a Name to see if the fish will bite.

    The trick is to block them from where you post, and take their addresses off your list.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. … most of what they do is directed at the atheist lurkers

      I couldn’t agree more. These days it seems apologists are less and less inclined to ”defend the faith” and explain for the faithful, but having realized they have lost so much ground, (borne out by the numbers who are walking away) they seem content to try to rubbish the other side.

      However, by their feeble attempts at swatting scientific evidence and non-believers with their shirt tails they inevitably show their arse!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The ‘faithful’ don’t need no explanations, this nonsense is basically and literally preaching for the choir and for their own egos. The faithful, I suspect, will have little truck with this kind of baiting.

        I wonder, if you went back with a fake name, just to see what’s about, how quickly their discussions dwindle, once they realize no one’s watching.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. That would have to be decided in the privacy of your own mind. NO one should know it, except you. Maybe in a month or two. When the bubbling swamps have stopped bubbling. And no posting over there at all.

            Like

          1. Yes, but if someone has his IP, they could easily moderate or block him if he gets snarky.

            Like

          2. Yes, but the odds that two bloggers would be from Johannesburg and commenting on a post by Mel Wild, for example, are somewhat slim, don’t you think?

            Like

          3. No. He banned me outright. He occasionally reminds everyone that he will only moderate pointless or vulgar. Remember, Hell is real … blow jobs are yukky!

            Liked by 2 people

      2. Why even try to use science? Just basic logic—no Christian has yet tried to explain to me the dichotomy of God’s omniscience and our human Free Will.

        I can’t resolve that one myself … and no religioso tries to help me out of my darkness. It’s a bit of a toughie?

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I believe I said LURK not ENGAGE. Just hang out in the background with a different ID, just to see what they’re up to. Lips sealed, fingers well away from the keyboard.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The thing is, it rather defeats the object of ignoring them, don’t you think?
      And if he checks where his visitors are from …. well. I’ll show up .
      Besides, we all know they lurk, it’s how Branyan knows we are all praying for him.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Come back as God or Jesus, I mean it would be fun being on the other side, and because so many of them are seriously stupid you will get followers, or even enough to start up another Christian cult, oh Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

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