A Response to some YouTube Proselytizing

One of the nice things about having a Freethinkers blog is that I have a forum to share the irrational rants that are occasionally sent to me. This gem of an email came about from an exchange on YouTube.

First the video itself. It was linked to me by a friend in the atheist community, and until the very end I was convinced it was a satire of Christian beliefs. How ironic that a video that makes Christians gush about how wonderful their faith is, also stands out as an obvious example of the irrationality and disgusting morals of that very same faith. Atheists take note, we don't have to construct any straw-man arguments for those sitting on the fence, one of our best tools is the propaganda that Christians themselves produce.

If you think that I'm kidding about how much Christians were enthralled by this message, take a look for yourself on the comments page.

A few good conversations were already going when I found the video, but there was a statement dripping in dogma and unsupported assertions that caught my attention.
Great Message! it's all about God's Grace to us in the Gospel. None are good -- No not one!! We are made pure through Christ's atoning sacrifice for us.
In some ways delving into comment threads on YouTube is only for those who like to inflict pain on themselves (this is true of any video, even ones that aren't about religion or politics), but it's a guilty pleasure of mine. And sometimes, it's good practice.

I responded by saying: "And whose fault would that be? If you believe your god is perfect, and created us as he wanted us to be, then he is responsible for our flaws and misdeeds. And no matter how evil the worst human in history has been, an eternity of torture is excessive punishment. You have a very strange notion of right and wrong."

A day later I got an email to my YouTube account, and several copies of this message.
If you want to see the response to your comment please check your PM i dont have time to write out what I said in the PM here via comment there simply isn't enough room to write a 500 comment box. So please check that thanks.
I've been pinged with that message at least three times in the past couple of days, so he must really want me to read what he had to say. So I'll read it, and share my thoughts with you as well. I have removed all names and screen names, but otherwise I have left his email exactly as it was sent to me.
In response to your comment

Hello I was going to respond on the comments section but the character limit 500 characters isn't enough for what I wanted to say so I will send this private message to respond to your comment

First of all you have a few misunderstandings of what the Bible believes, and first of all you assume that because God made man, all of our flaws our then directed back to God
Yes, unless our flaws were made by mistake. But you don't believe your god can make mistakes, so he must be responsible for any flaws he designed into his creations.
however this is a misunderstanding,
No, it's a logical conclusion based on the premises of your religion.
simply put in the Bible if you look in Genesis when God made Adam and Eve, God told them to not eat of the tree of Good and Evil, and then gave them the CHOICE to choose God or sin, man choosing sin was not God's fault or misdirection,
The tree is clearly the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (“but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:17). So the characters in Genesis wouldn't have anymore knowledge of disobedience than an infant does. The myth shows that their god clearly set them up to fail. He could have taught them right from wrong, or not created the the temptation in the first place.
 you see God wants to give us the choice to choose Him not robot drones who are forced to choose Him for that would not be a Father- to son type of love relationship
If it's so important that we aren't "robot drones" then why does he become so angry in the Christian bible when his creations don't act like "robot drones."
where if we choose sin it is because out of Free will and choice that we choose God and not something that we are forced to do, if someone else was holding up a gun to someone else and told them to love them that would not be real love as it was out of force,
But that is exactly what your theology requires:

Your god stands behind us and says, “You can love me or not, it is your choice. If you choose not to love me I will shoot you. But don't worry, I won’t shoot you right now, and I probably won’t shoot you tomorrow. I will give you plenty of time to think it over. But I’m not going to tell you how much time you have to choose. I’m just going to follow you around, and when the time comes (I will know when it is but you won’t) if you haven’t decided to love me I will shoot you.”  Your god's punishment is even worse than just being murdered.  The gunman only takes your life, but the Christian god will have you tortured for eternity.

(EDIT: NonStampCollector has a video on free will that uses a similar analogy. He takes more time to flesh it out that I did. He is also one of my favorite counter-apologetics so I wanted to point out his good work.)
Next of all the next part of the comment you are assuming an eternal hell or place of where an place of hell is injustPslam 77:13 (ESV) Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?
"My god is holy and great, therefore any punishments he creates can't be unjust, no matter how unjust they might look," is your entire rebuttal? So you believe that I deserve to be tortured, not until I've paid the price for my sins, but eternally. You and your parents as well, and everyone else who has ever lived.  That is what is just to do with all of humanity? You can say that a character is just, but that statement must be weighed against the actions attributed to them.

The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. Exodus 4:21

While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-36

"But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die. Ezekiel 18:24

I think it is also important to notice that your god claims to have denied the pharaoh of Egypt his free will. By "hardening his heart" your god ensures the pharaoh cannot choose to do the right thing and let the slaves go. This gives your god an excuse to demonstrate his power by tormenting and slaying his enemies with plagues, when they might have otherwise done as he wished.
Scripture States in Isaiah 59:2 (ESV) but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

You see Sin is the Veil that separates us from God, whenever we sin God must punish sin because God is holy and we are not as Scripture Declares in several places For example in Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Assuming I accept to your concept of sin (which includes the laughable notion that people should be punished for their thoughts or for having doubts), your god is still responsible for designing us with the capability and desire to sin.

Imagine a world where a loving god actually exists. It gives us free will so that we can choose if we want to worship it or not.  But it also makes us incapable of sinning, we become physically ill if we act on the urge to hurt another person either physically or emotionally.  It also makes its existence obvious to everyone (instead of a small minority of the population) on a daily and undeniable basis.  Everyone believes it exists, no one has conflicting ideas about what it might want or if there are other gods, no one has the urge to do bad things to one another. None of this prevents us from deciding for ourselves if we sleep in, or participate worship every Sunday.
And because our heart is deceitfully wicked and that God is Holy and Just, He cannot tolerate sin and thus must punish those who sin,
Ignoring your barely intelligible sentence structure, your statement is still a non sequitur.  Assuming that a) your god cannot tolerate sin, and b) we are sinful and can't help ourselves, your god could still choose to ignore us completely, fix us so our hearts aren't "deceitfully wicked" (I personally have never felt like mine was), or come up with something else entirely.  He is supposed to be an omnipotent being, by definition there is nothing he "must" do.
however there is the good News of the Gospel, for Scripture declares a Wonderful Truth for in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
You See you don't have to have to eternally face the eternal consequences of sin, but instead God has sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world already on the Cross to die a horrible death on a cross, beaten and nailed and whipped, his beard ripped out and body marred so that if we believe in Him we can be forgiven of our sins and be Eternally with God,
Human sacrifice, yet more evidence that your god is an immoral brute.  And yet, if Jesus was divine then the crucifixion was just a minor setback on his way to rule all the heavens and earth.  These are just a couple of problems with the salvation theology. I've covered them here in a conversation with another apologist. There is also the "merely a messiah" argument, that talks about how any sacrifice by the biblical character is comparatively less heroic than sacrifices made by other prophets in the period.

And even if everything you said was true, your god chose a path to forgiveness that only a minority of humanity can benefit from.  In our generation alone, billions of people across the world will live and die without ever being presented with a good reason to give up their religion for yours.  Is it their fault that they never become convinced of your gospels?  Can your god find fault in the child of a Hindu family for following the religion of its family and ancestors?  Apparently so, because when Yahweh unleashes his wrath upon a city or all of humanity, he doesn't even spare the innocent newborns.
You see now there is the Good news of the Gospel, you can be forgiven of your sins there is only one thing to do, repent and believe the Good news of The Gospel and you Will be forgiven,
But that would require me giving up my free will.  I cannot just choose to start believing in a holy book that makes no sense to me.  It is riddled with inconsistencies, absurdities, and lessons and laws that are morally despicable. I cannot simply ignore these things because it would feel good to be saved, that would be a betrayal of who I am.  I do not disbelieve because I have never been exposed to the Christian bible, on the contrary, I only rejected its teachings after years of intensive study.
I hope this answers both your questions and provides a clear understanding of the Gospel and what Jesus did for us,
If you look carefully you will see that the only question I asked was rhetorical, and your email has only demonstrated that you have a very shallow understanding of your own holy book.
please contact me if you have any further comments or questions
I will be sure to link you to this blog post.

That is the kind of mail I get when I venture onto the comment threads of YouTube. At least it gave me a few entertaining prompts for the blog.

I realize that I have been more sarcastic than I usually approve of. When someone takes the time to seriously engage with me I do my best to be patient and polite, and to speak to them respectfully. However, if someone doesn't bother to use decent grammar or proof read what they write, then I get annoyed. If it's too much trouble to make your email easy to understand, then you aren't respecting my time. So now you know when and why I take the gloves off, though I don't think any regulars to this blog need a warning.

I'll be linking this person the blog post, so that if they want to continue the discussion we can have it here. I'm sure that we can all do so in a more respectful and legible manner.

What do you guys think of the video or anything related to it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

In search of reason,


UPDATE: Mitch recorded two videos in reply to my post. In most cases I would pick apart such a counter argument and continue the conversation, but in this case I don't think his videos need my help.

UPDATE: It seems that Mitch has removed his video responses to this post and deleted all of his comments. Oh well.


  1. The link below gets into paradigm shifting or at least tweeks your point of view. While looking at the first clip, if you haven't seen the 10:10 video, ask yourself if the clip is sincere or a prank by skeptics.

    Keep watching the clips if you have time.

  2. Interesting, but I don't see how it's related. I'm all for being more environmentally friendly, and my wife might even post soon about the steps we're taking to consume fewer resources.

    It does have an interesting parallel to the argument that the Christian god doesn't want to force us to love him. Love him or not, no pressure!

  3. I landed on your post by accident when I noticed the quote: ", and until the very end I was convinced it was a satire of Christian beliefs. How ironic"

    It's another case of you can't be sure what the video is intended for. A lot of people can't believe the video is not a prank without some convincing.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. 'Sup Mitch.

    I'm a friend of Val and Mikes (and an occasional guest-poster on this blog). I watched your videos. I just want to point out one thing:

    When you're trying to argue for the existence or justness - or frankly ANY attribute - of God, you can't use the Bible for evidence. Just because some guy named Paul said it thousands of years ago, doesn't make it true. You have to support your claims with real evidence.

    Also, next time, try to read your source material before hitting the 'record' button. maybe even jot down a couple notes about your response. Or try to draft any response of any kind, because frankly, all you did was google terms we all have already heard of, clicked around in your Bible reader, and read this very blog post back to its author. You made no arguments of any kind.

    Also, before you justify your inability to convince me with my status as an atheist: please note that I am extremely religious. And I still agree with Mike.

  6. @Mr. Xys

    You're correct that the video does elicit the same type of response, thanks for sharing. The

  7. @Mitch

    When I saw two video responses in my inbox I thought I might get a really good back and forth going with you. Maybe even enough for another blog post. Sadly your videos were such garbage that it's not worth my time or the time of my readers.

    As with the "Good-O-Meter" video, I can trust that my readers don't need any help from me seeing the huge problems in your arguments. It is clear that while you may have large portions of your holy book memorized, you do not apply any critical thinking when reading it. Your attempts to refute my arguments are excellent examples of rationalization, evasions, straw-mans, shifting the burden, and simply missing the point.

    You complained a lot about me supposedly demanding that you start your own blog to reply, or something. I had simply let you know that anonymous comments were disabled, and you seem to have been able to navigate that without difficulty. So I'm not sure what you're complaining about. Also, you're too busy to proofread your email to make sure I can understand you, or read my full response, but you're not too busy to pester me about reading said email, or recording twenty minutes of reply?

    "Please also note I didn't go over the entire blog post I didn't have to time to do it I did the most I could though so if you can go over that I would like to hear your thoughts,

    and also sorry if i had bad grammar or something this is youtube so I wasn't aware their was a grammar Nazi watching my back making sure I have all my dots and commas and periods correct lol"

    I would think that as a college student it wouldn't be so hard to write in complete sentences when you want someone to take your email seriously. Or to do the very basic *pre-research* step of reading the complete article that you want to argue against. It's one thing if you don't care if I respond, but your repeated emails to get my attention indicate you want me to pay attention.

    For my readers: I was pretty brief when I turned Mitch's gunman argument around on him, if you want to see that analogy fleshed out a little more NonStampCollector has a similar argument in a vidoe on free will. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv9IvCpiHxA

    To be clear Mitch, I have understood everything that you have said about the Christian bible. I was a Christian for twenty years. I taught Sunday School classes in my church. I spent four years in college studying the Torah and the New Testament, as well as the history and cultures of the people who wrote them. I've studied the cultural crises that prompted revisions and additions to the Jewish and Christian traditions and texts over the centuries, and the neighboring religions that they borrowed large portions of myth from.

    So I understand what you were telling me. I also understand why each argument you have made is horribly flawed. If you ever get past the point of memorization and rationalization of your texts, and want to discuss them critically and honestly, you know where to find me.

  8. Hello! It's Anita. My responses are pretty random, so here you go:

    I think this is an excellent post and response to typical fundamental Christian rhetoric.

    Even though I have gone through a religious cycle from calling myself Christian (Lutheran then Presbyterian), to Agnostic, to Atheist, and back to Christian (non-denominational, part heathen), I do agree with most of what you say about Christianity and the people that practice it.

    The "Good-o-Meter" has very strong tones of satire, which frightens me. It presents Christianity flippantly with a very loose moral code. It suggests plainly that the only thing you need is Jesus on your side and all will be forgiven, even if you commit acts too terrible to be shown.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. @Anita

    Glad it's not just non-Christians that find the video creepy. I'd be interested in talking about your religious journey more sometime if you want.

  11. @Mitch

    I never asked you to make responses. I simply commented on a YouTube video. You came to me, and pestered me to answer right away. I obliged as soon as I could, under the condition that I make the conversation public. Judging by the comments, you have so far failed to impress any atheist, Jewish, or even Christian reader on this blog with your replies.

    You've cherry picked passages and simply presented their assertions as fact, while I have examined their context and their implications. One is called intellectual laziness, the other is a critical approach to the text. By not even taking the time to read and consider my arguments (like you admitted) before your by the seat of your pants videos, you just confirm for us how lazy you are about a topic that one would think should be important to you.

    If you want to present specific apologetics arguments, go ahead. Be sure you understand them well enough to defend them (the 'No Drama Comment Policy' explains why we don't like copy and paste arguments). The site you sent to me was uninteresting. Nothing I haven't seen before, nothing impressive. Perhaps I'm missing something insightful by not combing through the entire archives, but that's not my job.

    In all of the Christian apologetics I have read, not one has avoided the following problems:

    1) The argument hinges on an assertion that is not or cannot be supported by evidence.

    2) The argument uses fallacious logic.

    3) The argument uses emotional manipulation instead of logic or evidence.

    If you think you have a solid argument in support of Christianity that avoids all three of these problems, feel free to explain it to me. If it resorts to one of those tactics however, it is poor justification for believing.

  12. @ Mike: I would gladly share with you my religious journey. I won't get into it right now, due to research taking up my time.

    @ Mitch: I attempted to watch your videos, I couldn't get past the first few seconds without feeling dizzy and overwhelmed. Suffice it to say, I can't see how anyone would find your arguments rational if the video and justification is last minute and unedited. It demonstrates a waste of time for anyone looking for a rational debate.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Mike, I was really really hoping that this video was satire. So poked around the internet a little and was disappointed when I found it here:


    And for sale, nonetheless.

  15. One more thing, I found another blog that has posted the same video. It is further proof that Christians (Mormons) also find this video to be in bad taste and a mockery of Christianity. Be warned, it plays contemporary Christian music once you open it.


  16. Wrong link--right link: http://welovemormons.blogspot.com/2010/10/good-o-meter.html

  17. But then again, there isn't much to take from it since there is the video with little commentary from the author. Who knows, they might be agreeing with it.

    Also, I apologize for the multiple postings.

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  20. "Great Message! it's all about God's Grace to us in the Gospel. None are good -- No not one!! We are made pure through Christ's atoning sacrifice for us." - Mitch

    It's great to see people backpedal after you show them their position is immoral and indefensible.

    Your beliefs still say that an axe-murder on death row who 'repents' gets to go to heaven, but a righteous man like Gandhi will burn eternally for being raised in the wrong religion.

    A suggestion: In your videos you demonstrated that you didn't understand the arguments I was making (as you were completely misrepresenting them). If you're going to continue to try to preach here then maybe you should read them a little bit closer.

    Also, I know how to study and critique a primary source within it's proper context. That is what I am trained to do. I don't need your pseudo-intellectual tricks like "20/20" rules.

  21. @Anita

    No problem, thanks for the other source too. Sadly a lot of religious beliefs are so ridiculous that they do not need to be satirized to look bad to non-believers.


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