Today we have a guest post by Tekton reader and voice actor "DLAbaoaqu".
After the announcement of the 2015 Razzies, I was noticing that the Nicholas Cage version of Left Behind (espousing an eschatology that I haven’t subscribed to in years, and I will it not discuss it beyond this point) and Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas had been nominated for a good chunk of awards. While I have no qualms about the choice of either making the list (they both stink), the latter makes me think: “Why do people only pay attention to Christianity when those allegedly subscribing to it do stupid stuff?”
In the case of Cameron movie, the greater of the two evils, I feel the man is unwittingly furthering token portrayals of our people. As one can predict, when someone who identifies as Christians — the pieux — does something outrageously stupid (like Comfort’s banana speech and the like) it serves to give the fundy atheists — the athée — ammunition to portray us as inferiors.
You know what I’m talking about: “Sky Daddy” this, “Bronze Age” that.
So I went browsing through the IMDB message boards for Cameron’s insipid opus for terrible events to describe. Naturally, I found them.
Rather than destroying the arguments of the athée, as Cameron claimed, the film merely gave said group something to laugh about (“If you don’t get the biggest tree or the richest butter, you aren’t honoring Christ,” seriously!?). It is little more than adding fuel to the fire, giving the fundy atheists more to “enjoy” and reasons for painting religious types as stupefied masses while they are the chosen ones.
Rather than abandoning their position and letting the pieux make their voices heard in an intellectual argument, the athée will continue to exploit beliefs long held dear as superstition and fairy tales.
On that same subject, in academic discussions, the stances of the pieux are seldom welcomed. To the world at large, Christianity is seen primarily as a spiritual or moral position, never an intellectual one.
In discussions of the Bible and its history, the minds of the intelligentsia are inclined toward hearing the skeptical side and their side only. Jackson J. Spielvogel, in his textbook Western Civilization, Vol. I: To 1715, says:
Many scholars today doubt that the early books of the Hebrew Bible reflect the true history of the early Israelites. They argue that the early books of the Bible, written centuries after the events described, preserve only what the Israelites came to believe about themselves and that recent archaeological evidence often contradicts the details of the biblical account.
This is no mistake. Academia, in general, tends to be biased toward ideas such as these. When discussing the conquest of Canaan, particularly Jericho, you are not likely to hear the athée discuss anything beyond Kathleen Kenyon.
Spielvogel goes on to say that the Israelites were probably indigenous people living in the region. This is a stance the FAs would most likely agree with. As far as they are concerned, there is no evidence whatsoever for the forty-year exodus through the wilderness or that the Jews were ever in Egypt. Of course, they willingly ignore the Scythians of Russia — a nomadic people who were around for much longer and left next to nothing. They also neglect the Egyptians’ habit of trying to hide the things they were embarrassed about, like Hatshepsut and Akhenaten.
The idea of how to interpret the first chapters of Genesis, though, is not settled. Even as far back as the Church Fathers, there was debate on the subject.
This kind of stuff even spills over into New Testament studies, with men like Ehrman attempting to discredit the authenticity of the text we have at present. You have the Jesus Seminar and their pipe dream, Q. The only good thing I can say about this state of affairs is that at least the Christ Myth/Pagan Copycat Thesis is still considered an idea only accepted in Bedlam. You would never even know that the date of Herod the Great’s death is being debated.
Why does it seem like the pieux is not allowed to speak their part on such matters, or at least ignored? You can argue that they can get their voices heard, but men like Plantinga, Strobel, Collins, Miller, Wood, Craig, Witherington, Habermas, Wright, etc. are not as out in the open as the popularizing skeptic. Instead of those figures, the most commonly heard names among the pieux are Osteen, Hinn, and Meyer, among others; people advancing the stupefaction of the common Christian by way of bizarre teachings and fluff instead of realism and hard information.
On the subject of the New Atheist movement, I only have one thing to say: Dawkins discovered the meme. Since the advent of the internet, the athée have lapped up what their “high priests” have regurgitated for them. The athée loves to toss terms like “rational”, “reason”, and “logic” around like a Frisbee. In reality, they are just words written on the wall. You don’t really have to practice it!
Because of the underrepresentation of the pieux in intellectual circles, they are often stereotyped as angry, stupid, Bible-thumpers with ramrods up their spines. You know it’s true. When was the last time Christianity was depicted as a positive thing on TV, in the movies, and online? It is because of this lack of assertiveness.
The pieux have the capacity to prove themselves to be a formidable position in philosophy and academia. They just need to be assertive. The athée will not stand idly by and just let them make their cases. The faithful needs to stand up for themselves.
The global pieux needs to abandon ineffectual things such as televangelism — a haven for heresy and scammers — and focus more on apologetics. They will not make their case with a testimony or devotional. The first members of the Christian church did not rely on those two methods; we must not either.
On the internet, the athée upload videos attacking the pieux and what they stand for. The only goal of the athée is to dominate the pieux. They want to do this in the form of humiliation and slander. The pieux, in the past, took “turn the other cheek” to mean do nothing about this; in reality, the usage familial language relegates that teaching to bickering with other pieux. Sadly, this gave the athée the ability to walk all over them with little to no repercussions.
In this case, I have one thing to say: “Eye for an eye”; if the FAs can pillory Christians for beliefs they have held for ages, the faithful has every right to retaliate with as much mockery as they can muster. On his movie, The Producers, Mel Brooks said that the most effective way to destroy the legacy of Hitler was through satire. The same can be applied to radical internet atheism.
If the pieux can show some backbone and stand up for themselves, they can earn their voice and make their stances known on a broader level.
When the athée retweet stuff from Tyson or Maher in order to look cool and logical, they neglect to realize that such “saints” as those two have gone onto propose that unhackable computers are possible and that germ theory is a crock, respectively. Make people like them live up to their own standards.
Only when the pieux can fight back for what they believe in can the billboards fall and the online memes shatter. Otherwise, it will be business as usual: neglect, stereotypes, and continued exploitation.
What will be their choice?