The logical consistency of Tim Lambesis

If only they all could be this consistent.  You can argue with someone who is consistent.

The publication noted that his wife, Meggan, had likewise divulged in divorce papers that Lambesis had become an atheist. Lambesis, in admitting his atheism, outlined that he turned away from Christianity as he majored in religious studies while attending college through a long distance program… 

…“The first time I cheated on my wife, my interpretation of morality was now convenient for me,” Lambesis explained. “I felt less guilty if I decided, “Well, marriage isn’t a real thing, because Christianity isn’t real. God isn’t real. Therefore, marriage is just a stupid piece of paper with the government.”

— Convicted Heavy Metal ‘Christian’ Singer Admits Being Atheist, Duped Fans to Sell Music

Rape of the Schlock

I’ve not watched a single episode of Game of Thrones, nor read the books.  I do not intend to start.

At first I would retort that I don’t watch Game of Thrones because I’m not that interested in “Lord of The Rings with breasts.”  Much like the way Battlestar Galactica used “frack” as a way to show how it could use an f-word without losing its rating, I find the use of gratuitous sex to be poor and lazy writing.  Great writing uses the boundaries to the author’s advantage.  Anyone can re-write the rules for their own benefit.

Turns out, others are willing to risk the wrath of Deep Throners.

Criticizing “Game of Thrones,” it turns out, is about as thankless a task as criticizing Ron Paul. Somebody has to do it, but be prepared to get an earful from legions of angry and fanatical supporters.

What I find particularly annoying about “Game of Thrones” fans is that they have been pampered by universal praise from highbrow critics—which in my book is a sure-fire sign that you’re on the wrong track—so they can’t imagine anyone could possibly dislike the show. If you do dislike it, they become belligerently defensive and feel free to impugn your integrity, claiming that you could not possibly have even watched the show, so you’re basically faking your review.

Sounds a bit like Dallas Cowboy fans, too.

But then after a week of this sort of thing, “Game of Thrones” serves up an episode in which this happens. Let’s just say that if it were an episode of “Friends,” it would be titled, “The One Where the Guy Rapes His Sister Next to the Corpse of Their Murdered Child.”

Really, at this point “Game of Thrones” has descended into self-parody, because that is exactly the kind of scene a satirist might have invented to mock the show’s promiscuous lust for shock value.

Is a justification really necessary for why a person would choose not to watch sibling rape, let alone a show where it may occur?  At the risk of sounding transformational, the best way to “engage culture” here is to simply condemn it.

As for the idea that “Game of Thrones” is uniquely unpredictable, it is becoming dreadfully predictable. Here is the pattern: every time we start to like a character, he will be a) killed, b) made to suffer some agonizing humiliation, or c) promptly commit some horribly immoral act, making him unlikable again. That’s not creative; it’s a schtick.

The common theme of these defenses of “Game of Thrones” is: heroes are boring, they’re unrealistic, they’re a myth. Instead, “Game of Thrones” puts us in touch with brutal, cynical reality.

See what I mean? No one is really challenging my factual description of the show. They’re complaining that I reject a dark, brutal worldview as realistic, interesting, and desirable.

What’s most interesting about this objection to Game of Thrones is that it comes from an atheist.  His worldview raises more than a few issues about why he objects, but that is for another time.

Slightly more principled than veganism

In a very Dawkins-esque manner, singer and perennial bummer Morrissey recently compared the eating of animal products (meat) to pedophilia.


After doing a minuscule amount of internet research on doubtfully trustworthy websites, I’ve been able to determine that Moz is not an atheist, but likely an agnostic — somewhat of a pope to his pompadoured faithful.

I can’t speak for his views on evolution; but supposing, like many of his fans, he believes in unguided evolution and all that, the rebuttal is not hard to provide: 

IF life came from non life, and
IF all atoms evolved from the same origin of life-from-non-life, and
IF therefore all atoms are created (evolved?) as equals, without distinction, but purely the result of an unguided, amoral, evolutionary process ,
THEN it’s awfully hard to see why one would restrict oneself to only celery when venison is available, as there is no moral difference between the atoms in vegetables and meat.

While at it, you’d be hard pressed to say why pedophilia is objectively bad, given the above.

As it stands, one could feasibly argue it’s MORE defensible to eat an animal, on account of animals at least being able to run away and/or defend themselves.  

Plants, on the other hand, are unable to defend themselves. Firmly rooted they stand, just slightly more principled than veganism.  They are at the mercy of the judge, jury, and gardener.

Please excuse my broad strokes

Richard Dawkins is rightfully receiving some heat for his comments on “mild pedophilia,” if there is such a thing, and the blog sharks are coming from all directions for some freshly chopped chum.

Rachel Held Evans (hereafter “RHE”) responds to Richard Dawkins through CNN here.  Please read it first so I don’t have to use extra energy typing backstory.

It is important for me to start out by saying I believe RHE has good intentions and is right to suggest that respectful dialogue between anti-theists and Christians is needed in a very big way.  The apostle Peter admonishes believers to always be ready to provide a defense for the faith we hold.  She uses the relevant Christian example of Pat Robertson, who can be as “What the hell did he just say?” as Richard Dawkins.

RHE continues that Dawkins’ remarks are easy to use as “an excuse to paint one another with broad brushes.”  She is right that it is tempting to do so, but I can’t help but wonder if Dawkins’ quote is but another aspect of the New Atheists’ favorite tactic: saying something that causes an opponent to take his eye off the argument and focus instead solely on what Dawkins said.

Pedophilia is in fact reprehensible and does damage children long into their adult lives if they do not receive counseling and support throughout; however, focusing just on the “He’s an idiot if he thinks that” aspect is to neglect the fact that Dawkins has just conceded defeat to a major argument for morality.  Hear me out.

If we are the results of an unguided, blind evolutionary process, the inclination towards pedophilia is just a chemical reaction in certain adults that is no different from the man who prefers pepperoni on his pizza when his best friend wants Canadian bacon.  Without a moral order created by a Creator, molesting a child is no worse than rain falling on a summer afternoon or a lioness chasing down a young antelope on the Serengeti so she can feed her cubs.  It is not bad nor good, it simply “is not” anything, or so the atheist argument goes.

Back to the article at hand, RHE begins by citing examples of people who have reached across the theo-philosophical aisle to attempt the respectful dialogue she prizes so highly.  The only thing is, any confessing Christian has strong reason to believe the reason her examples are so well-known are because the Christian side of the aisle is the one who conceded in each respective interaction.

Her first example is to point to an article about the Pope responding to a letter from an atheist.  The Papal-pupil dialogue is respectful in that the reader never gets the idea the participants are seething in malice towards one another.  But I fail to see how the Pope denying the central (read: foundation of all biblical Christian belief) doctrine of Jesus Christ as sole Savior and Propitiation for the sins of the world is in any way engaging with the opponents’ viewpoint.  To me it just sounds like heresy and a tail tucked between its legs.

The additional examples of Christians she provides have all, in some fashion, amended a portion of Christian doctrine in such a way that makes it sound no different than a secular version of each topic.  Of the examples, I am more familiar with two of them, Francis Collins and Barack Obama.  Francis Collins has made one of his life’s works the quest to show how macro-evolution is compatible with the Bible’s description of creation.  President Obama is on camera attempting to use Scripture to back up same sex unions, but fails to see how “Thou shalt not kill” applies to children in the womb just like it does to children in Syria.
My point in writing this post is not to decipher the salvation of the above individuals, nor that of Rachel Held Evans.  I am guilty many times over of the same attempts to water down the truths of God contained in the Bible to avoid being declared on the “wrong side of history.”  But even in my sin, the truth of Christ does not falter in my failure. As Christians redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, the sin nature in us causes us all to attempt to use Scripture for our personal justification.  In repentance, we return to the grace of Jesus, who alone forgives our sins and renews us.  His mercies are new each morning, as Lamentations so eloquently declares:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24, ESV)

To close, RHE offers this plea, with my emphasis in italics:

Still, in the end, it’s not about who has the most charismatic or generous personalities in their roster, nor about who has the most “crazies.” It’s about the truth.
So let’s talk about the truth, and with the people who most consistently and graciously point us toward it.

If I am reading her correctly, she is pointing us to a truth she does not actually believe.  Please excuse my broad strokes.