FSTDT Lives

I’ve been away for a while, so it was with shock, horror and sadness I realised that FSTDT had died, but it was joy when I realised it had been resurrected.

The posts can now be found at FSTDT.net, although it is still very rough and ready. As you can see, the look and feel has remained, but the new system means there are a lot less quotes getting through. IMHO this is both good and bad, in the past some pretty un-fundie quotes were being approved, but at least you were getting a lot of comedy. Now it seems like there is only going to be a quote or two each day. With the restrictions placed on moderation, there is also a good chance that only quotes from known-regular-fundies will make it though – everyone else is scared of approving non-fundie, non-funny stuff. Hopefully none of this will transpire and my pathetic attempts at prediction will remain pathetic.

A few other things I don’t like about the changes are – the lack of any ability to edit your own posts; the difficulty in getting back to the post index/archives after you have viewed a comment and the lack of apparent monthly threading. It is possible that Distind is going to address these points, so time will tell.

For now, however, it remains a fantastic source of idiocy and witty comments. It also remains pretty much the only source of online comedy images I have:

Skepticism

(hat tip: FSTDT Refugee Forum)

Christian variant of classic scam?

Some “get rich quick” internet scams have the decency to target people who are gullible and greedy, as well as having more money than brain cells. (Oh, maybe I’m thinking of hedge funds, rather than email cons, here.)

Apathy Sketchpad has a few posts showing how to deal with some classic Nigerian scams.

There’s a more distasteful type of con that preys upon the mark’s charitable impulses and/or their religious beliefs, rather than their greed.

I found Sam Gipp’s “A Friend to Churches Ministries” site by following a link from fstdt. I was sniggering at posts like this, while thinking how glad I am there’s a whole ocean between me and the ground such people walk on:

Welcome to the U.S.S.A.
Since the “November Revolution” when the Communist Party took over our government and began its conversion to “GODvernment” the old United States of America is gone, replaced by a new entity: the United Socialist States of America. Here are some of the differences between these two countries.

Then I spotted this tale on the about page:

You all know that, in all the years I’ve written these letters I have never asked anyone to send us money…Don’t worry!…I’m not going to start now. But there is an Urgent Need that I am going to tell you about & ask you to help.

Well, I know you aren’t going to do anything so vulgar as to ask for money, Sam. It’s not as if I don’t trust you implicitly.

Carl & Leta Miller have been missionaries to Scotland for 23 years. They have been faithful through extremely difficult times. Their daughter, Libby, has had severe health problems. Carl has had surgery on the retinas in both eyes, needs to have his knees replaced, also his hips and has fought off cancer in his bladder. He cannot walk without leaning on his wife, Leta. Unfortunately, Leta is not much better. She has a severe back problem and uses two canes to walk. The great, government health care program won’t even look at her for surgery until they deem it, “Life threatening.” It takes 18 months just to get a pain shot. (Just wait until we have that here!)

Missionaries to Scotland? Hmm. It’s not as if Scotland isn’t already bursting with various Christian sects. This already stretches credulity.

But the next bit blows any residual credulity right out of the water.

It takes 18 months to get a pain shot.” Eighteen months! Are you insane? Well, OK, the Scots are stereotypically seen as tough, after all. Who knows what is normal in those strange Northern regions?… (Just, never try to take their Freedom.)

Based on an ultra-conservative perspective, he is insulting what he sarcastically calls our “great, government health care program” as if it provides a service that would compare unfavourably with what you’d expect to find in a Somalian war zone.

But, in fact, judging by the long list of health problems suffered by his doughty missionaries, they’ve already benefited from plenty of nationalised health care, including a series of surgeries that would have bankrupted the average American family. What are these people? Health tourists?

We talked to my doctor. He said he would look at her. Get this! The Millers have put every penny into their mission work and couldn’t even afford the plane ticket for Leta to come here for tests. Kathy & I bought her the ticket and paid for the tests. My doctor says he can help here. He said without the surgery she is headed for a wheelchair. Leta is now back in Scotland. The Millers are coming to Louisville in January. A brother has provided airline tickets, a lady at Shawnee Baptist Church is giving them a place to stay and another church is renting them a car. Here’s their problem; they have no health insurance at all. The hospital costs are going to be around $200,000-$250,000.

But, wait. Hooray! He can get these costs discounted! As long as they get the money REALLY REALLY fast.

But! My wonderful wife has talked to the folks at the hospital. They said they will reduce the cost by 60%! They also said, if the bill is paid within 30 days after surgery they will drop it another 20%.

Don’t you just love the idea that a hospital could so drastically reduce a bill of a quarter of a million dollars for a quick sale?

Word For The World Baptist Missions has started a “Leta Miller Medical Fund.” We have given and several churches have also helped. They need around $50,000. Around $15,000 has already come in. Will you help? If they can raise the $50,000 by surgery time, January 26, 2009, they can pay the surgery off and save thousands of dollars.

Wow, how economical is that. Praise the Lord!

But, stop right there, Sam Gyp Gipp. Let me save your donors a few more Yankee dollars. Guess what? We also have private medical care in the UK. Your $15k could buy the unlucky Leta as much UK health care as she can handle. Yes, even in heathen Scotland.

The perils of Ignorance

The Perils of Ignorance

The Perils of Ignorance

(hat tip: FSTDT, as always this is the ultimate source of both ignorance and witty responses to it)

The horror….

fstdt is reliably hilarious. It’s like the old movie Being John Malkowitz – except that in the fstdt case, its a portal into the minds of people who are so barking mad that you wonder if there really are no mental health professionals in the USA.

As a side effect of indulging in giggling your way through a few quotes and following the links to the Rapture forums, the will to live can get vaporised.

It can make you despair for the whole human race. I start to wonder about the statistics. How many of these people are there per head of the global population? *shudder* Plus, you start adding in Islamic fundamentalists and Catholic fundamentalists, these numbers are looking pretty scary.

Well, don’t come out from behind the sofa yet. That’s just the religiously-inspired maniacs. There are plenty more non-religious lunatics where they came from.

Yes, I know about intersecting sets. I try to console myself with the thought that maybe all the conservapediacs and fundies and conspiracy nuts are the same people and that there’s only a limited pool* of them. (Wishful thinking. I think it’s called “denial” on Oprah.)

I came across one point at which the sets intersect in the rapture-ready thread entitled “Ever thought why we’re REALLY going to digital?” I saw the topic heading and tried to predict what the REAL reason for digital transmission would turn out to be. (I see you’re ahead of me here.) To usher in the end times, of course. I bet Jesus’s tv and radio sets were analog. It says so in the Bible, so it must be true.

But I was half-wrong. Although digital transmission is indeed Satan’s way to help bring about the end of the world, the main worry is that it lets the government listen in to all your conversations. (Spare a compassionate thought for the minor government employee paid to listen to the home lives of our own dear fundies, day in and day out. Death would be a blessed relief.) Through the speakers, which act as microphones….

Two words: Big Brother.
I’m not sure if this is true or not, but I heard if you plug a microphone into your speaker socket, you’ll hear sound coming out of it?
What do you all think about this? Is it true? It wouldn’t surprise me, but my question is “why”? I or my family never talk about anything interesting anyway. How do they keep track of millions of people? (from jaiu on rr)

Yeah, my friend tried it out and heard a strange static sound coming from the receiving end.
Also, get a loud speaker, plug it into the microphone socket, now speak into it, and it might record.
Why else would they be doing this?(from jaiu on rr)

Electrical devices do the electrical feedback things that they’ve always done – whether digital or not – and, just because a speaker can (sort of) act as a microphone, it must be part of a plan by some magically powerful “them” to eavesdrop on her family. …. Well, of course it must. What other conclusion could you draw?

The rest of the thread contains a mixture of apparently sane people trying to explain a few basic facts (about electrical devices and the difference between digital and analog) and more people for whom this little bit of rationality is so far over their heads that the saner commenters might as well have been speaking in Basque. Some examples of the latter:

I’m pretty sure that their plan is to watch us through our tv and maybe even tell us what to do. With an RFID chip installed in our bodies required to buy and sell they can just turn it off. The ultimate form of slavery and control.
I think going digital is somehow related to end time events.
All this has me worried, I think I am going to talk all my T.V.’s to the trash.
I know nothing about technology, but I definately believe everything that’s happening now is end time related (lifted from various comments)

OK, this stuff is just ignorant, rather than evil, unlike the “Palestinian babies are better off dead” and “Obama is a secret muslim Antichrist” comments that turn up all around the rest of the site, like the leaking dog turds that always appear on a field of snow.

But it’s not just a few simple-minded RR posters who are promoting digital-analog fear. It seems to be a fascinating component of a really paranoid worldview, so perfectly illustrated by The Truth and Light Ministeries site that I assume the site must be a parody.

(And yes, that’s how they spell it. The US-version spellchecker here is redlining it, so it can’t even be correct for US spelling. The odd word subliminally suggests a tv mini-series to me.)

This site claims that there are 2 reasons for the switch to digital: Reason 1 is that digital images can easily be faked. (Yes, everything used to be true before digital)

Undisclosed sources, experts on reverse technology have informed that any television set manufacture after 1995 has the capability not only to receive a broadcast signal, but to also send one. That’s correct, any television manufactured after 1995 already has a built in feature to send a broadcast signal from your living room of live images of what’s happening in your home.

Yeah, right. So, we are getting a video recorder that’s capable of broadcasting free with our tvs? We must be getting well and truly ripped off when we pay for camcorders, then, because they cost more than tvs and they don’t even let us watch tv at the same time. (My heart goes out again to any low-grade government functionaries forced to spend a working day looking at footage of people staring at “How Fat is your Celebrity Ice-dancer”, pausing occasionally to get a drink and to argue about shopping.)

I follow the “logic” of this argument. Apparently, fibre optics makes it possible, that’s why “they” want us to go digital. It turns out that the New World Order is to blame. Blimey, that New World Order gets everywhere and it’s apparently omniscient and omnipotent. (Maybe it’s god.)

Either the writer has no sense of irony, or else this Truth and Light Ministeries really is a spoof site – maybe a tribute site to the Illuminatus Trilogy – which is subtly undercutting its content with this final bible quote.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie

I am pretty impressed by the comedic potential of the link they have to Google video “The Prophecy Club. ” There’s one of a “scientist” explaining about Technology and the Mark of the Beast. (He’s a “scientist” so it must all be true.) However, despite the exciting title, the video redefined the phrase “excruciatingly dull” so I haven’t put a link.

This one (Exposing the Illuminati from Within) sounded even better for a chortle, given the presenter’s impressive list of demonic credentials, but the actual video disappointed by being too boring even for me to watch.

Exposing the Illuminati from Within. Part 2. Bill Schnoebelen was a Satanic and Voodoo High Priest, 2nd degree Church of Satan, New Age guru, occultist, channeler, 90th degree Mason, Knight Templar, and a member of the Illuminati. Bill shows how the conspiracy works and how it uses the Lodge and the highest echelons of power and technology to form a new world government.

Given that every single one of these paranoids is using computers and the Internet to spread their views, I would really hate to have to tell them a single basic truth about computers. You know, that little thing about them being digital.

* The best insult I’ve heard for weeks is “He got into the gene pool when the lifeguard wasn’t looking” So many opportunities to apply it, so little time.

A suitable case for smiting

Look, I’m really trying to give it up, OK? It was just going to be just one last click through a link on fstdt. It was just for old times sake, really. I can take it or leave it.

Too late. The fsdt quote should have warned me off but I was drawn like a moth to flame. And I think I may have stumbled on the motherlode.

So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.

Is that a Freudian slip there? “Israeli soldiers”? This piece is supposed to be about the Israelites vs Canaanites. Wasn’t Israel established in 1948?

Maybe he just assumes (on excellent evidence) that his fundy readers are too dumb to work out the parallel he’s implying: the biblical Israelites’ godly smiting of the Canaanites and the Israeli’s godly smiting of the Palestinians.

You might have recognised this as being in the psychopathic raptard strand that sees dead Palestinian babies as lucky, not having to grow up in a “hate religion”.

Your irony meter will have already peaked at the last two words in that paragraph. Switch it off now. Background levels are becoming dangerous. The chap’s site is actually called “Reasonable Faith”

Close examination of this site shows that this chap is so far into the dark side that he leaves the other morons stuck on a conceptual event horizon.

He calls himself Dr Craig. He looks like a doctor on an ancient daytime Aussie hospital soap. In fact, he looks like a smug prat with an orange perma-tan and a superglued-on grin that doesn’t reach his eyes.

His site also seems – how shall I put this? – less than 100% heterosexual, given the guy’s look and the pictures on the about us page. It even has a podcast with the title “Is it OK for a Christian to be a homosexual?” I try to listen for a laugh, although I am almost chewing my left arm off to distract me from the chirpy intro and the background music before the time he gets to his content.

Back to the fsdt-featured page. It has a supposed question

In the forums, there has (sic) been some good questions raised on the issue of God commanding the Jews to commit “genocide” on the people in the promise (sic) land. As you have pointed out in some of your written work that this act does not fit with the Western concept of God being the big sugar daddy in the sky. Now we can certainly find justification for those people coming under God (sic) judgement because of their sins, idolatry, sacrificing their children, etc… But a harder question is the killing of the children and infants. If the children are young enough along with the infants (sic) are innocent of the sins that their society has committed. How do we reconcile this command of God to kill the children with the concept of his holiness?

Stop right there, genocide was Ok because the Canaanites sacrificed their own children? This is somehow different from the child-sacrifice the Israelites did…

…when God called forth his people out of slavery in Egypt and back to the land of their forefathers, he directed them to kill all the Canaanite clans who were living in the land (Deut. 7.1-2; 20.16-18). The destruction was to be complete: every man, woman, and child was to be killed. The book of Joshua tells the story of Israel’s carrying out God’s command in city after city throughout Canaan.

…. because god commanded it, dummy.

How can He command soldiers to slaughter children?

Well come on, Dr Craig. Stop dithering, what’s your answer?

Since God doesn’t issue commands to Himself, He has no moral duties to fulfill. He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are. For example, I have no right to take an innocent life. For me to do so would be murder. But God has no such prohibition. He can give and take life as He chooses. ….. God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my life for another second. If He wanted to strike me dead right now, that’s His prerogative.

Right, I’m calling Odin NOW. Oh mighty Odin, do some righteous smiting.

God knew that if these Canaanite children were allowed to live, they would spell the undoing of Israel. The killing of the Canaanite children not only served to prevent assimilation to Canaanite identity but also served as a shattering, tangible illustration of Israel’s being set exclusively apart for God.
Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God’s grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. …. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.

See, Odin, you would really be doing this chap a favour. You’d certainly be doing no wrong by taking his life. Your version of heaven might come as a shock to him, but I bet he’d soon get into the swing of the carousing stuff.

“.. Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? “

Tough job but somebody’s got to do it, right?

This stuff defines psychopathy, surely. To feel nothing for murdered people, just feel sorry for murderers because it might have been a bit distressing for a non-psychopath to kill people.

Ok, make sure your irony meter is really switched off now. Because it might go supernova, let alone critical with the next bit. Because he uses this farrago of gibberish, not just to insult atheists in general and Dawkins, in particular, in passing, but also to claim that it shows why islamic fundamentalists are wrong.

As you might have gathered, it’s not because he has any moral problem with murdering people in the name of god, if so commanded, but because the islamic fundies have just picked the wrong god.

Christians believe that God is all-loving, while Muslims believe that God loves only Muslims. Allah has no love for unbelievers and sinners. Therefore, they can be killed indiscriminately.

Toutatis, but I must be dense. Because I thought that’s exactly what the evil Dr Craig claimed the Israelis (sic) were doing in his bible story. Killing unbelievers and sinners. Indiscriminately.

But, wait, wasn’t that the Israelite god? Where was the Christian God, then? He wasn’t born yet? Or if he’s the same godly personage as the Jewish god, why isn’t he making these raptards convert to Judaism? Or making all Jews become fundy Protestants? Surely, if he’s such a vengeful and jealous bastard god, he should have at least chosen his chosen people by now

Obviously, only Odin has the power to smite these monotheist maniacs. Come on Odin. don’t make me think you’re not real.

Brainless in Gaza

Odd that the people on rapture-ready discussion boards – who hate supposedly- fellow-Christian Catholicism with a passion – identify themselves almost completely with Israel.

I find it’s amazing in how with all the bombs going into Israel (sp?) only 4 people as of yesterday had been killed. It that doesn’t speak to God’s hand over his people and how he protects and will defend us. I don’t know what does. (from bakerhorsepower on a particularly disturbing typical thread on Rapture Ready)

(Original h/t fstdt)

That thread has a whole editorial about how God is 100% with Israel. Just like the writer above who talks about his/her god protecting and defending “us”, God can’t tell the difference between Israelis and fundies, either, apparently. So he’s protecting Israeli lives, in the mistaken belief they are really American Protestant fundamentalists.

(RR posters don’t see greater firepower and many more armaments and soldiers as having anything to do with the disproportion in numbers of dead people between Israelis and palestinians. It’s all down to god’s smiting choices.)

How ironic then that another post sees this very same God as protecting Palestinian babies by killing them.

Despite some tough competition, this is possibly the most distasteful post I have ever read, even by the abysmal standards of Rapture Ready.*

It’s headed by a picture of a young blonde woman with a bunch of flowers – looking winsomely off to the middle distance, maybe imagining the rapture – with a picture of a couple of innocent-faced young blonde kids in the post’s footer. Which makes the content all the more chilling:

A great thought!!
I have been upset about the innocent children in all of the fighting in Gaza….but this thought came to me….these little children that are dying would have been taught Islam and hate…this way they have a chance to go to heaven!! It’s terrible that they are dying and my heart is sad….but when I was talking to God this thought came to me….the ones that are dying are going to be able to go to heaven….instead of growing up and following Islam…so, something good is coming out of this…. (by someone who calls herself “cbressler1976 ^^Heavenbound^^”)

Two exclamation marks on “A great thought”. Maybe the punctuation mark is evolving to fill the sentience vacancy created by people like cbressler1976. These stray exclamation marks are trying to draw our attention to the criminal misuse of the word “thought” in the only way that they know how.

You’d think that this post must make the hairs on even Rapture Ready posters’ necks stand on end. Far from it. It brings in lots of lurve from her fellow raptards.

That is an excellnt point. It is always good to have an eternal perspective. (says wvborn56)

Really. I am not making these up. (I decide to take that comment as really being massively sarcastic, in the face of the evidence. Because I have to retain some will to live.)

Very good thought, on the other hand their parents think they are with “allah” and enjoying 72 virgins. But we know they rest with Jesus. Too bad their kids can’t tell them they are worshiping a fake god. The kids know more than the “teachers” of islam. (adds rapturecalldan)

Even I can’t fool myself that “very good thought” is sarcasm, given the rest of that comment.

To recap: these people see the deaths of real babies and children as good, because the kids won’t grow up to be Muslims.

No, even more stunning than that, if that were possible. They see the deaths of any non-fundy babies as good.

Yeah, I know what you mean. I remember, at first, feeling soooo sorry for all the little children who had died in the tsunami (sp) in 04, I think???? Then, it just hit me like a ton a of bricks–those little children, had they grown up, may never have come to know the Lord, and now they can be w/ Him. (from Mommytoa3rdgradeboy)

So this woman – who defines herself entirely in relation to her own child, if her sig means anything – feels nothing except delight in the deaths of other “3rdgradeboys” who don’t share her religion and nationality.

This tsunami tale is an opportunity for cute little cbressler1976 to also show her soft and caring feminine side:

It’s good to know that they are in a better place..

On a temporary basis, I am going to pretend that this dangerous insanity constitutes a coherent worldview and address some of their “points”

How many chosen people can god have? If the Bible can’t lie, then it must be the Jews. Hence, there is at least some logic in the bible-bashers thinking god wants Israel to win (although, given history of Jewish persecution, if that’s what comes from being god’s favourite, I’m bloody glad I’m a heathen)

But I am more than confident that there’s nothing in the Bible about raptards being the chosen people. So, why wouldn’t god think he’d also be doing the raptards’ kids a favour by smiting them?

They are saying that God is smiting Asian children and Palestinian children (some of whom are of course from Christian families) FOR THEIR OWN GOOD. So, why is their god being so mean to Jewish children by forcing them to live without letting them become fundies?
And, surely that means that god should be all for abortions, then? He must be doing foetuses a big favour.

Why is their god cruelly forcing the fundies’ children to live, given that heaven is so great and that they would be spared the danger of sin, if he just took them now?

Let me repeat, in true shock and awe. These are people who can rage endlessly and mightily over the foetus’ right to life and they consider the deaths of real human children to be a good thing.
*************************************
(*I’ve messed about with the links so as not to give RR any link hits. You can access the threads by reverse-messing with the urls. I don’t normally bother but this stuff is so emetic that I can’t bring myself to even leave a link in.)

Big Bang Confuses Creationists

Now I know this isn’t Earth-shattering news, and hopefully anyone literate enough to make it to this blog will already understand the basic principles of the big bang, but I was reading through FSTDT (as always) and this comment drew my attention:

whats funny is science is catching up with the BIBLE! GOD spoke all things into existence Genesis is spot on, just? check out “big bang acoustics” you can actually find an audio tape of the “early” universe. I don’t agree with the “20 billion years ago nothing exploded part” but the fact that sound has a vital role in the creation of the universe is as it is written! Amen! (source)

Interesting as this is one the few “fundie” comments that seems to accept the existence of the “Big Bang” – sadly combined with some stunning lacks of knowledge and logic, but you cant have everything.

It got me wondering why so many religious types do their best to deny the “Big Bang” as a figment of imagination.

Even the name “big bang” was coined as a derisory put down for a theory that Fred Hoyle felt had too much “God” in it. It has the potential to support all manner of primitive creation myths – although it does undermine the chronology of certain sacred tomes.

In a nutshell then, given how this could really fit in with a “creator,” why do so many creationists hate the idea of a “creation event?” Are they really so lacking in basic logic?

(obviously the answer seems to be yes, but I still have some residual hope for humanity…)