I wanted to share with you some of the exchanges, I had with Harvey, to illustrate, what lengths, some delusional, Christians will take, to protect their feeble beliefs. As you will see, Harvey -- not being able to refute the specifics of my germane, arguments -- habitually, relies on absurd, non-sequiturs, hemorrhages equivocations and diverges, at any cost, including disparaging me and my relationship with my son Connor.
*This is where I jumped in.*
S -- It is telling how you have to do mental gymnastics and jump through hoops to salvage your god's reputation -- a desperate act that has the eloquence of trying to bash a big square peg, with a sledgehammer, in a tiny, little hole.
S -- What you do not take into account, about the Midianites and other vile accounts in the bible, such as the killing of the first born, in Egypt and the Amelak Massacre, is the devastating long-lasting suffering, that all the families must endure, because god killed their children. Did god not take this into account, when he decided to curse the first born Egyptians or ordered genocide? I can attest, to the anguish and monumental grief of losing a son. My ten year old son died from a heart attack, related to leukemia and everyday, sometimes every minute of everyday, the tsunami of grief makes my blood run cold and my heart turns to lead. For me it has been a crippling grief, where I lost everything; my job, my friends, and my identity. The egregious pain is parroted in the support group, I belong to, called Compassionate Friends -- some have divorced their spouses, some harm themselves, by cutting into their arms, some drink themselves to death every night, some use illicit drugs to block out the pain, while others, like myself have been institutionalized, in mental hospitals and some have even succumbed to the egregious pain and have killed themselves. To this day -- wanting to kill myself -- has become a part of my very existence. Along with my suffering, my daughter suffers; never to have her big brother in her life, destined to be an only child and emotionally scarred for life. She too suffers everyday, dreading to go to sleep thinking she will die, like her brother did. She feels her throat closing in and thinks she can't breathe. She suffers with night terrors and also sees a psychologists, regularly. This, too, is what god wrought upon his earthly children, when he killed the first born of Egypt and ordered the massacres of his earthly children. So while god was supposedly, "saving children from sacrifice and becoming animal food" and or, leading his chosen out of bondage, he left in it's wake, a devastation, so great, because so many families were affected -- the untold suffering, where joy and hope have been obliterated, is unimaginable. A god that would do this, is nothing less then, a repugnant, vile, torturer of souls -- a megalomaniac, that is both utterly contemptible and thoroughly indefensible.
S -- I've heard all your bullshit apologetic, pat, answers, but nothing addresses the aftermath suffering.
S-- Why did god create the babies and children, in the first place, knowing he was going to kill them, anyways? And god, just, didn't kill babies, he caused them to suffer! Why does an all-loving god cause babies and children to suffer? Why does a god allow babies to suffer? Presumably, god is all-powerful and all-loving, he could, easily, have waved his hand and magically made the babies and children disappear, without suffering, into his awaiting arms, but no -- egregious suffering was his will and he still left the families to wallow in their unimaginable, grief, until they died. I find that utterly vile and contemptible and I find you equally reprehensible, for condoning his atrocious acts, in a vain attempt to salvage your psycho-fuck god's reputation.
Harvey -- I have every bit of feeling for you and your situation. I have an 11 year old son that I also love with my life. I do not minimize the pain or the reality of your situation IN ANY MANNER. Your grief is in accordance with how I believe that I would feel if the same or a similar thing happened to me or my babies (That’s what I call my children)
*Several paragraphs later, Harvey, changes his tune and does, indeed, minimizes my pain. And his "feeling" for me, diminishes as well.*
S -- That is complete and utter bullshit. You simply avoid and dismiss the correlation I made, because you do not have a tidy way of coming to terms with it.
S -- There are several examples (thousands of examples), in the bible, like the ones I offer, where god either kills his earthly children or orders their death, at the hands of barbarians, thus leaving monumental suffering in it's wake -- sin or no sin. Not only were innocent people dispatched, they also, suffered egregiously, in the process. Specifically, the remaining families, the brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, who were not killed in cruel and barbaric ways, are now left to suffer, in their monumental grief. The same grief my family is crippled by today.
Harvey --The Midianite problem was spiritual, which led to sin and sin, caused death (James 1:14) Sin is a real enemy not just a condition or state of mind. God was not exacting judgement upon...They are not considered RAPED. That is a “strawman” to stir emotion and again shows complete self-righteousness and no consideration for the real argument.
S -- Your loquacious rantings, said a whole lot of nothing and completely avoided my main argument. Now if you can refute, specifically, to god's negligence, of not realizing, that by killing or ordering the deaths of so many, that he would synonymously inflict undeserved suffering -- profound, devastating, grief -- on his earthly children, who survived the many onslaughts -- I'm all ears.
I await your many diverging/avoiding tactics, and convoluted reasoning.
Harvey --There are a lot of questions and things that people suffer and they are ALL WITHOUT EXCEPTION a result of SIN. So God is never and has never been negligent in any of his ways...they are past us and past our rationalizations and understandings.
Harvey -- I am under NO obligation to you so don't get it twisted, that's a part of the ground I walk on and I learn to "shake the dust" well. As I said, Prayer changes things situations and people...and it also ministers to US that are left as a result of tragedy to sort out the pieces. So the very children you name I was one of them...you offer me no useful analogy and maybe you should find out who you're talking to before you suggest that I find out how to cope with things that I am personally acquainted with.
Harvey -- No, everything doesn't always go our way, but God is in control no matter what...Speaking of all those situations in the hospital...that's part of who I minister to and that's me...I'm not an ivory tower Christian...I'm in the trenches...that's why I'm here, to shed some light in this dank darkness...
Harvey -- So in short...you walk with me and you'll be walking with somebody because I don't play, and I live what I preach and believe...I have been delivered from sin and this is REAL not a delusion.
S -- And yet, god keeps creating more earthly children, sentencing them to endure egregious pain and unimaginable suffering. EXPLAIN THIS!
S-- I, also, am still waiting for you to -- without equivocating -- address, specifically, to god's negligence -- in the bible -- not realizing, that by killing or ordering the deaths of so many, that he would synonymously, inflict undeserved suffering -- profound, devastating, grief -- on his earthly children, who survived the many onslaughts -- whether they were a "just" punishments or ludicrous ways to save babies and children from the evils of other religions -- god still left indiscriminate, suffering and monumental grief, in the wake of the destruction. God caused the suffering of untold millions.
Harvey -- [Already addressed...
S -- In your mind, maybe.
Harvey -- ...and your moral court is NOT greater than God. HE has authored life without your assistance
S -- And you speaking for god is not recognized, thusly, you have no authority to even utter that statement. You do not possess any special knowledge of god or his morals. And the knowledge, you think you have, is creative interpretation, coupled with deluded imaginings, based on your idiosyncratic, views, of your spurious, bible. Get it through your thick head, you have zero authority, with me. Anything you say about god carries no weight.
*Later in the discourse*
Harvey -- ...if he takes it IT'S HIS to take no matter how we feel about it...blatant, yes...but it's the way it is...We are all subject and noone has a free pass, God is not some cosmic belhop waiting for our demand...you got it twisted...but that's ok...
S --That's your dumb-ass argument, that doesn't address the god of the bible, who causes his earthly children to suffer, egregiously, in grief, because he killed people or ordered the killing of others.
Harvey -- [Ooh, it more addresses your self-exaltation and your twisted view of humanity being there at your beck and call]
Harvey -- [You and your posterior are not the object of the conversation, but all one has to do is let you ramble aimlessly so that you can show that posterior for what it is...please try to produce something at least beneficial to the reader next time.]
S -- Which is just your way of relinquishing, by diverging, because you can't argue the specifics of a bible-god killing, his earthly children, causing thousands and thousands of the survivors, to mourn in misery, for the loss of their loved ones.
Explain why it's OK, for your all-loving god, to cause such misery and crippling grief caused by the after-effects of god killing people or ordering barbarians to kill people.
Harvey -- [First God DID NOT cause misery. Unbelief, rebellion, and disobedience (aka SIN) and man’s choice of SIN did that...so your whole premise is baseless]
S -- Ecc. 7:14 -- "In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him."
S -- Which means: When times are good, you should be cheerful; when times are bad, think what it means. God makes them both to keep us from knowing what will happen next.
S -- The Hebrew word for "Adversity" is "[r '', meaning, bad, evil bad, disagreeable, malignant bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery)
S -- Also if god was not there, who would have smote all the first born of Egypt? I know you have a difficult time with hypotheticals, but try really hard and think of a non-evasive, answer.
S -- Exodus 12:29 -- the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon
And after god smote (hkn -- to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill ) the first born Egyptians -- the surviving families, the brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, grandfathers and grandmothers all lived in misery -- unbearable anguish and grief -- because of god's actions.
Just because you emphasize god "DID NOT" cause misery -- doesn't make it true.
Harvey -- [Just because you emphasize that God DID cause misery DOESN'T make it true either, in addition you have to twist scriptural messages to support your assertions, I don't.]
*Funny, it says, "the Lord smote". Seems to me, the buck stops there. God did cause misery -- no doubt*
Harvey -- [God has a host that he uses to do his bidding. Death is one of those enemies that was given birth by the SIN, rebellion and deliberate turning of man away from God.(Jas. 1:14-15) That’s why death is our enemy and it will be obliterated( 1 Cor. 15:26, Rev. 20:14 )
Harvey -- Death was sent to do the bidding of God. Was God in control?...Yes, that's why none died but the firstborn, which refrenced Jesus. Could God have stopped it?...Yes,but there would have been no freedom without that event, this also refrences Jesus. The whole story points to the redemption of all people by blood and the sacrifice of the firstbegotten or firstborn which God himself would step up and accomplish...Your point has NOTHING to do with the issues of the scripture]
S -- ...conveniently, avoiding the scripture, that says god does cause misery:
S -- Ecc. 7:14 -- In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.
*Harvey never could explain that verse, from Ecclesiastes.*
S -- We are both in agreement egregious suffering inflicts the world -- the world is full of vile, horrible, suffering, and yet, god keeps creating earthly children, to send on to that abysmal planet, of suffering. Why does god keep creating more earthly children, that he sends into this sinful world?"
S -- Your answer -- true to form -- incessantly, diverges, makes inaccurate analogies and makes faulty conclusions.
Harvey -- Why do you not stop eating, because you know there are people starving? Why not stop drinking, because someone is thirsty? Why don’t YOU sell you home and live outdoors because someone is homeless? You’re a bleeding heart liberal, with your own preconceived brand of morality based on you your totally irrational assessment of what you think life should be to you.
S -- Whaaat?
I'm not asking god to stop eating or drinking, I'm asking why does he continue to send his earthly children, into, what he knows is, a land of suffering, levels of egregious pain, more egregious, then the first?
Harvey -- Arguments as such do not make sense and further leave the burden on you to be what you require everyone else to be.
S -- Is this a comment on your arguments? Sure fits the bill.
Harvey -- WHAT HAVE YOU GIVEN UP FOR THE COMFORT OF OTHERS? What have you done to befriend someone else’s living child? Are you a mentor at a school? Or are you just further totally absorbed in your self and your desire for everyone to bow down to you?
S -- This has nothing to do with my philanthropic endeavors, we are talking about god sending his earthly children, to an earth, where there is mass suffering -- remember?
God does not have to give up his comfort, to send his earthly children, to a planet, that he knows is full of sin, evil, and vile suffering -- why does he continue, to send, his earthly children, to a planet, where there is egregious, vile suffering?
Diverge, diverge, diverge.
*Other points examined.*
S -- Is it your assertion, that your all-loving god -- the one who created life has a right to cause you to suffer in egregious pain?
Harvey --[ABSOLUTELY and there is no army THAT CAN STOP him if he so wills]
S -- Unbelievable. Then every vile, unimaginable, reprehensible, act that god could perpetrate, is perfectly all right and condoned by you?
And how far are you willing to take it? Since god created my 7 year old daughter, is it HIS right to anally rape her and smear shit on her face, for the rest of her life?
Harvey -- [That is a psychotic question from a psychotic mind and since there is no precedent set ANWHERE in which God anally rapes or authorizes anal raping. The argument is lacking and is only an emotional strawman you’ve constructed to medicate yourself…TRY AGAIN.
S -- How dare you insinuate, that I used this example to soothe my emotions or feed my libido. It is a perfect example -- lewd and vile -- to make my point. I know it is a vile example. Just because I bring it up, does not make me a psychotic. There are thousands of examples that are even more vile. This is hyperbole, to be sure, and another hypothetical you can't answer. I knew you would diverge and use the, "It's not in god's nature argument".
Evidently, there are limits to what your god could inflict.Harvey -- [No it’s a perfect example of the depravity of your heart to use your son’s tragedy as an instrument to disrespect humanity and people such as myself who didn’t reach out to you as a religious leader but AS A MAN AND A FATHER...THAT’S LEWD AND VILE!
Your contemptuous behavior and self-exaltation of you and your pain above all men and women, Christian and non-Christian is loathsome.]
S -- I know it is a vile example, it's suppose to be. Just because I bring it up, does not make me, vile or a psychotic.
Harvey -- [I beg to differ with you sir...This shows the epitome of insolence, a desire to grandstand, and a callous approach toward the pain of others who may have experienced events you describe...but that doesn’t matter to you, only your weird, preconceived self-exaltation, behavior above all humans and perverted desire to try to prove that you have an intellectual superiority which the exact OPPOSITE has been demonstrated here.]
*Trying to keep it focused, if that's even possible with Harvey's equivocations, we continue.*
S -- Do you have limitations on what is acceptable for a supreme being to do to his earthly children? Don't give me the bullshit, pat, answers, like, god would never do that or god is not capable of doing that, it would go against his nature.
Harvey -- [MN says if it happed before it can happen again right? God has NEVER encouraged or allowed the psychotic events that your SIN nature conjures up, therefore it is not likely to be a future event...strawman!]
S -- You already set limitations, on what your god can do, to his earthly children -- you just can't admit it.
S -- Let me guess, you think you are helping, in some, idiotic, delusional, way.
Harvey -- [No, I don’t claim to be helping you at all...I just wanna see how overrated you actually are, obviously you need to vent, and you could be telling a lie using a tragic event to grandstand...I wanna be front line and center so that world can better see the depth and emptiness of a godless heart as it exposes itself.]
S -- More of your deluded psychological idiocy. Spare me the psychological analysis.
F-you Harvey, you deluded psycho. Now your delusions of grandeur stifle you with suspicion.
*After Harvey's, blatant, erroneous, speculation, that I was just making up my tragedy, I provided a link to my son's Obituary. What disturbing, lengths, some delusional Christians will go to, in an attempt to diverge -- disgraceful and contemptible!
*Harvey, now, has to resort to a straw-man, associating my unbearable, grief to me being crazy (alluding to my stay in a mental hospital, because I suffered from major, clinical depression. Harry must conjure up stereotypical images of dilapidated insane asylums), generalizing, I'm too crazy to argue my points -- another diverging practice.*
Harvey -- [You do that yourself, you’ve already said you’re crazy, (and demonstrated it somewhat) I’m just looking and asking you to talk about it]
S -- I, most assuredly, do not need your kind of help, nor do you have the proclivity or expertise to deal with the complex issues of my grief. I have sought the help, I needed. This is the ultimate straw-man for you Harvey, but I can assure you my mental faculties are intact and I would appreciate that you do not use my grief as a leverage tool -- it is an unfair practice and again it does not forward your many, illogical, arguments.
Harvey -- [I believe that by your own words you have proven to be the DELUDED PSYCHO and continue to demonstrate such with your inability to articulate any reasonable argument that doesn’t use profanity or require individuals to worship you.]S -- If this is any indication how you minister to the sick, grieving and suffering, again both you and your god are, apathetic, incompetent, malfeasants.
Harvey -- [This is how I minister to individuals who exploit pain and use tragedy to support their presuppositional biases. You have no free pass on suffering. If your sons life meant as much to you as you say it does you wouldn’t disrespect his memory in the self-centered manner that you do. Pain is one thing. You have NO LOCK on pain and suffering and your experience IS NOT above humanity and more specifically MINE. I won’t bow down to worship you as you require that Christian do, you’re not God and you certainly have NOTHING of value to offer but a story that is COMMON to me and others. As I said OVERRATED! I’ll further add EMPTY and WANTING.]
Harvey -- [All I’ve asked for you to do is expose yourself, which you’ve done quite well and more specifically in a rather embarrassing manner for yourself]Harvey -- Since you don’t quite know how to "go there" without becoming vulgar, and showing showing your vile and empty emotionalism, I’ll just be specific as this will be the culmination of my interaction to you, because you have demonstrated, against my hopes, that YOU are more valuable to you than anyone including your son.
Harvey -- I don’t know you and you certainly don’t know me, but to come off as you have has demonstrated the real problem. That problem BEGINS and ENDS with YOU!
Harvey -- As I said from the beginning, your son is FINE he’s quite OK. But you like pharaoh, have exalted your intellect to a place where you feel that you are unapproachable and above all humanity. Yet you’re just like us...a person with vile thoughts and expressions that cannot deliver yourself. YOU NEED GOD, for you will be the only problem that you will continue to face in life.
*Anybody else feel like he's, vehemently, preaching a sermon?*
Harvey -- Stop exploiting the tragedy of your child as if that gives you a license to disrespect and act contemptuously or some special knowledge above all humanity.
*It is painfully obvious that Harvey can not address why the bible-god, unjustly causes the innocent, surviving, families, to be inflicted with long lasting grievous, suffering, as an after-effect of god's killing sprees, throughout the bible. Nor can Harvey explain why god still creates and sends his earthly children, to this planet -- sentencing them -- to suffer in countless, egregious ways.*
*Harvey crosses all kinds of barriers and shamefully, accuses me of disrespecting and devaluing my son.*
*My Last, Follow Up Response*
S -- Your accusations and conclusions based, on my vulgar, examples are unwarranted and wholly illogical. To conclude I am psychotic because, I offered up a dramatic and vile representation, of what really happens, in this cruel and violent life, is a heinous tactic, that associates the story teller with the crime they are talking about. You might as well condemn any person (survivors of the Holocaust, rape victims, who were brutally, tortured for years, victims of sexual mutilation etc.) who give vivid, testimony of the vile and vulgar atrocities, perpetrated against them. The only reason you, lower yourself, and resort to maligning me, falsely accusing me to be in league with the atrocious acts I mention, branding me psychotic, is to blatantly, misdirect the viewer from the real arguments and paint me as immoral -- which is absolutely not true. It's a devious, underhanded trick, revealing, your inability to argue my specific points -- demonstrating fully -- you got nothing.
S -- We are lucky as agnostics, atheists and the non-religious, that we have a testament of your unethical and illogical equivocations, encapsulated, in writing -- forever exposing your colossal, ineptitude and inability to, honestly, answer questions, that even most Christians would find wholly, absurd and interminably, fallacious.
S -- Let's review; I opened up and bared my soul, giving real-life examples, of my intense grief and how others are affected by the death of their children. I used these examples to lend a sense of verisimilitude, to the aftermath of god's actions, resulting in the misery and unimaginable grief, the survivors had to endure. The examples I used, solely, serve to illustrate the devastating effects of grief; specifically, the grief that cripples parents, who's children have died. The small sample, I shared, doesn't even -- remotely -- come close, to clarifying how monumentally, overwhelming and tragic it is, to lose your child. Mark Twain -- who lost two of his daughters -- wrote that, you could use every word, of every language, and still, not convey the unbearable loss, of your children. The pain and misery is ineffable.
S -- The only reason, I used the examples, I did, is to express, to people, who couldn't possibly, comprehend or imagine the heart wrenching, crippling, pain parents trudge through, when their child dies. Everything I do and everything I say -- everything -- comes from the perspective of my son's death. So when I took to studying the bible, all I could see is, god's supposed "just" actions of punishing his earthly children, by killing them, had a truly reprehensible side effect, that is not conveyed in scripture -- the surviving families must, now, live with unimaginable grief and pain, because of what god wrought. The magnitude of overwhelming, grief and anguish is staggering.
S -- This is an observation, that I became painfully, aware of, while reading the bible, with the perspective of having to watch my son suffer and die, coupled with the dreadful, long-lasting, suffering, of intolerable grief, I live with, to this day.
S -- Shamelessly, you accuse me of exploiting the pain and tragedy of my son's death, when I am consumed with nothing but the incredible loss of my child -- which if you learned anything from the article I presented http://www.athealth.com/
S -- I have to wonder, how, any book on suffering (the Holocaust, atomic bombing of Japan, slavery, war etc.) could convey the horrific suffering, without personal testimonies, that which you condemn me for?
S -- Then with all the eloquence of a cantankerous, pompous ass, saturated with grave insensitivity, that only a callous, cold-hearted, depraved and delusional, asshole, could vomit up, you unabashedly, maligned and slandered me, by accusing me of disrespecting my son's memory, and devaluing him. You are -- with out a doubt -- a despicable, cruel, little, man, a reprehensible, cretin, who -- in me -- evokes an utter, disgust and repulsion and what's truly, pitiful, is you are completely, oblivious, to your uncaring, insensitive words, having no idea how disgraceful and hurtful you are. You are beyond reproach and have made it perfectly, clear, you could never come to me with the compassion of Christ -- it is entirely beyond you; a never-ending chasm.
S -- Do not use my son against me; you have no right to do so. I don't care about the jabs leveled at me, specifically, I can tolerate those, but using my son, in the loathsome, way you did, is crossing a humongous line, in a malicious, hurtful way -- way, way out of bounds. Refrain, from that behavior or the discourse will be terminated.
*After my last response, the thread was terminated.*
*There is plenty more. If you have the time, I highly encourage you to read the entire debate, in context. There you can witness Harvey bombarding me, with more insane, equivocations, on god's love and prayer.*
Before the debate really got going Pastor Harvey Burnett sent me this heart-felt message, at my blog, http://secularscott.wordpress.
Thank you for sharing that powerful and very emotional life situation with me on DC. I want to make myself available to you personally to talk about this situation at length. I LOVE my children will all my life and I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would feel similar to you. I can’t imagine the pain, it is truly beyond me. BUT the God that I serve is real and is not a cosmic hater.
I don’t mind your statements of anger, all I ask is that you allow me in, not as an adversary to try to blast your mind or manipulate your thoughts but to be a companion along with you. There is no guarantee that the show won’t be on the other foot one day and I would hope that I could find a friend atheist or not, in all of the turmoil. That’s what I offer.
I believe God, but I also know how to minister to and love people. I don’t know what to say I will only offer that there is a fountain full of compassion that fills my life and reason for living. I only wish to extend that fountain to you also. Thank you.
And by the way, prayer does change things. I am a living witness of the fact.
Pastor Harvey Burnett
*His kind message, compared to the way he talked, to me, in the debate, suggests he is in desperate need of bi-polar medication -- he's the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of Christianity.*