More hate mail!

As always, their emails will be in blue while mine are in black and white.

Las Vegas City Life Interview
with
Joe Pachinko

Dress you up in Bob's love: Sacrilegious website stirs profound theological debate


The One True Bob

The science-fiction writer Robert Heinlein said, "The guardians of the true faith cannot logically consider tolerance of heresy to be a virtue." Well, enter the world of Normal Bob Smith and you'll find a place where heresy is the highest virtue.

What began as a web site for a small circle of friends has grown into a theological forum for thousands. New York-based Normal Bob is unafraid to celebrate the constitutional right to free speech, which, sadly is becoming increasingly rare in America public discourse. At his site, you'll encounter "Jesus Dress Up" dolls, a "Throw Darts at Jesus" game and the selling of "Jesus Dress Up" refrigerator magnets. These less-than-sacred items generate a never-ending stream of self-righteous hate mail from "Christians," most of it incisively countered by Bob.

Indeed, Bob's hate-mail section serves as an inspired, intelligent and humorous forum for debate. In a stagnant era, when criticism of religion is deemed unacceptable by media and the larger public, Normal Bob is freedom-flavored air-freshener. To make someone laugh, you get them to think. Normal Bob will make you think; the laughter depends on you.

I was fortunate to have an opportunity to conduct a recent email interview with Normal Bob.

Q: I've thoroughly enjoyed playing with the "Dress Up Jesus" dolls as well as the "Throw Darts at Jesus" game, but when I've seen people who were brought up in strict Christian environments play with these, they get a much bigger kick out of them. It seems to be very cathartic/therapeutic for them to be sacrilegious in a playful way. Do you believe the website has therapeutic value?

NBS: I've heard from many people who find Jesus Dress Up therapeutic. I've even been contacted by kids in abusive homes (or going through that time in their life that sucks) who play Jesus Dress Up instead of abusing themselves.

You want to talk about an interesting phenomena? There's a thing out there called "cutting" that's becoming a trend with depressed teenage girls. They hate themselves, they're not being listened to and have no outlet for their frustrations. They cut their arms and legs to relieve tension. I've been shocked with how many girls email me who have found Jesus Dress Up as cathartic as cutting (instead of cutting).

It's frustrating as hell to be a teenager. Having a pretty faced goody-two-shoe like Christ to dress up like a gingerbread man while he hangs on the cross, well sometimes that can make all the difference.

Q: One of the ongoing themes in your site is the argument that everybody who lived before Jesus, including Adam & Eve, Noah, Moses, etc. would have automatically gone to hell. They were unable to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior because he hadn't been born yet. Dead babies however, according to the bible, go directly to heaven because they have not yet sinned. Wouldn't that mean that aborted babies go directly to heaven?

NBS: Of course aborted babies go to hell, no one loves them.

Q: Do you feel that the abundance of poor grammar, frequent misspellings of words, and badly articulated arguments in your hate mail indicates anything about the average intelligence of sanctimonious Christians?

NBS: I think in most cases people just get so worked up over Jesus Dress Up that they don't think. Their knee-jerk reaction is anger and the emails reflect that. You're dealing with someone who's succumb to their fears. The panic my drawing stirs doesn't surprise me. I used to be in that mindset. You're made to think that a supreme being is emotionally affected by these shenanigans. You fear an angry God will block out the sun and punish us as He sees fit. There's no time to worry about grammar.

Q: Your responses to your "hate" mail are quite eloquent as well as humorous. Do you consider your hate mail to be a kind of "backwards compliment"? Why?

NBS: When I first posted Jesus Dress Up.com on the Internet I knew that the hate mail would be soon to follow. I still remember that first letter of disapproval though. For a split second I felt panic, like my parents were going to find out. Very quickly that nervousness turned into joy. There was so much I wanted to say. So many reasons I had that I'd never verbalized before. I love the hate mail. It forces me explain why I believe what I do. It's a luxury I don't take for granted.

Q: I have noticed that even self-proclaimed "Atheists" get upset if I mention that there's no proof that Jesus ever existed, or if I say that the existence or nonexistence of God is irrelevant. Have you noticed this? Why do you think this is?

NBS: I'm not sure who you're referring to. I'm not familiar with the kind of atheists who get upset over the subject of of Jesus' existence. I suppose that I believe He existed, but whether he did or didn't exist wouldn't effect my beliefs or feelings either way.

Q: Many of the people who dislike your website and your opinions accuse you of worshipping Satan without realizing that Satan is a Christian deity and therefore, if you are not a Christian you are incapable of being a Satanist. Why do you believe they have overlooked this?

NBS: Christianity definitely does not encourage open-mindedness or welcome new ideas. It's a dictatorship, and the people who follow are comfortable with one idea. There is no negotiation. You are either serving God or Satan.

I feel that anyone who is capable of imagining the nonexistence of God is only a step away from becoming an atheist. Being unable to fathom godlessness is a personality trait of sorts, like having an addictive personality or being color blind. There's just no possibility of comprehending the idea of "no God". Thus we are all Satanists.*

Normal Bob Smith interview with Joe Pachinko of Las Vegas City Life
Jan. 3, 2003.

 

“Yo God, this one's cool with me, he let me into his life and I took away all his sin when I died. So let him in yo.”

You'll probably put this in the catagory "hate mail". Which is ironic.... because I'm going to care enough to talk with you. You say that everyone who is not Christian will go to hell. Well, you are right. Its a fact. You say with bitterness, that God will not save us, and will even send us to hell, if we don't listen to him and except him. So you see God as some bully forcing you to do something. And, I'm guessing, your not the kind of person that responds well to authority. So let me help out your prospective; one that I'm sure Satan greatly admires. It isn't that God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit will send you to hell. You will send yourself to hell. God simply can not save you if you die in your sin. That is why he sent his Son to die for us. Jesus is the bridge between man and God. Jesus is the one who says "Yo God, this one's cool with me, he let me into his life and I took away all his sin when I died. So let him in yo." If you don't accept Jesus, He! can't save you. And maybe you've had a bad life, and your one of those people that say, "Oh well if there is a God, he wouldnt do this and this and this. And if there is a God he's a @$$ for letting it happen." Well, you'd be right if he was the only one in the picture. But your wrong because he's not.

Satan's greatest achivment was convincing the world he didn't exsist. He works in your life too, and I'm sure he likes chilling with you. Did you know not one thing in the Bible can be disproven? And if Jesus really didn't perform these miricles, how come not one person spoke out and said it was a trick?

How come the Bible knows things that people back then couldn't possibly know. Man I could go on forever. But I'll spare you in this "hate mail". I want you to know that I love you, and that Jesus loves you and wants you. Corny as that may sound. So just think about this. You are going to die. Fact. So you have 2 choices. One, you are right, I am wrong, there is nothing when we die. Or two. There is a Holy God. Which answer is the best one to die having? I will pray for you.... please don't shrug it off. God can do so much with your life. More importantly, after your life. Because nothing, NOTHING in life matters once you die.

Josh Carnell
a3eyedsmilyface@hotmail.com


“you may well have the most Christian web-site on the internet!”

It's ironic; with how much love for God you have on this site, you may well have the most Christian web-site on the internet! I want to thank you; I've written you 2 emails already and my faith and love for Christ has soared. I hope one day you'll see "we" (as in christians) are not the idiots you think we are. Love the sinner, hate the sin. I encourage you to write me..... ask me anything, please. You say you can prove God wrong, and I say I can prove him right. If him leaving a book of truth behind for you to read dosen't suit you, then Satan is doing summer-salts right now.

Love in Christ,
Josh Carnell
a3eyedsmilyface@hotmail.com


As much as I'd love to be considered THE most Christian web site on the Internet (and the publicity that'd follow) I know quite a few people who'd avidly disagree with you. Truth is, I do love God. I love Him, Jesus, Satan and all of their stories. They're the greatest characters ever invented and I can't get enough of them! And I don't like to be blatantly labeled so your diagnosis of me is a breath of fresh air. Hell, I've always dreamed of getting mentioned by a tele-evangelist! Do you think that fits into your theory somehow as well?

Now you'd think that because no one in the Bible ever spoke out against Jesus and exposed His trickery that this would be impressive evidence as to the Bible's validity, but unfortunately the Bible was not written by people who were actually there at the time and the Bible is not an open debate. It's a one-sided argument with an agenda.

And you know that I could easily tell you that the Bible has been disproved when it was revealed that dinosaurs existed before humans ever did and the universe has been proven to be billions of years old and not 10,000 like the Bible's time line shows. But you'll just come back telling me that those are all illusions manifested by Satan.

So now that you've shown me what an idiot you're not maybe you could answer me this; You've already explained how I am a part of God's plan to deliver His message on my "most Christian web site" so why are you trying to convince me to change my ways? Your faith has soared since you've visited, and you've clearly exposed the love I've got for God. Please don't tell me that your letters have just been a futile attempt at reverse psychology... or even worse blatant lies to trick me into doubting my own ways!

I think that perhaps it is you that Satan is doing somersaults for because you've just thrown a wrench into God's ultimate plan for me. You've got some explaining to do now Mr. Know-it-all.

Bob

“The majority of what you present is sarcasm and derision disguised as neo-modern intellectualism”

Your site has proven to me, beyond any doubt, that anybody with a computer and an ability to up a web site can adopt a pseudo-intellectual stance, hang it out there for all to see and get people to respond.

I take it that the loud and garish layout of your site was intentional....a la pulp fiction?

Super chics.....I hope that is meant as a joke.

There's not a great deal to hold ones interest after the dress up Jesus page. I think the red shoes and pink dress go well with the large shades.

I actually got your web address from the dress up jesus page that was posted at a porn forum in the humour section.

That ought to tell you something about my surfing habits.

What's with the American Atheists thing? Why is it that everybody with a belief or non-belief has to band together in large groups. Is it because you think that by mixing all your room temperatures IQs together you could actually become intelligent?

The Satan thing is old....real quick! It's been done. Decent make up though....(it is make up...right?)

All in all your site was good for about 10 minutes.

The majority of what you present is sarcasm and derision disguised as neo-modern intellectualism. There's not much imagination in it.

It will probably be regarded as artistic and you may even make a lot of money, fame, infamy; whatever it is you're after.

I hope you get what you're looking for. You deserve it.

mugwump (not my real name)
jd@adslhome.dk


Yes it is true. I am a bore and my talent is minimal.

Please show me the site that entertains you most so that I know what to copy.

Bob

“those pictures of Jesus are not appearing on the beaches overnight.”

I hate to be the one to tell you, but those pictures of Jesus are not appearing on the beaches overnight. I took THOSE pictures in Ocean City Maryland, in the summer of 2000. (I have the negatives and the CD-rom to prove it!) They are done in Ocean City every summer by a man named Ronald Hufman (www.ronaldhufman.com) No magic except in the beauty of this man's artistic work.

Fran Bloss
Fybloss@aol.com
RNUnit Manager - K UnitNVMHI3302
Gallows RoadFalls Church, VA 22042


There is nothing at http://www.ronaldhufman.com

Are you sure it's not the workings of God?


“Please share the photos; they are a miracle of the creation of one man.”

I'm sorry; I spelled the name wrong
www.ronaldhofman.com

I did not say it was not the working of God. I do believe that God works in all of us. I believe that God used me to take those pictures that have have worldwide recognition. God is working in the beautiful soul of a man who's artwork reflects the love that is given to each of us that love Him. Please share the photos; they are a miracle of the creation of one man. Also check out 'truthorfiction.com' they have an article on this. I took the photos, but God gave me the talent.

Fran Bloss
Fybloss@aol.com


Yeah.. nothing there either. I'm starting to think that you've been lying to me.
Do you have any proof that you took those photos?
I'm sorry but I don't like to be scammed.


“I have the serial numbers from Kodak who developed the film”

Yeah; I have the negatives. When I have all my pictures developed, I have them put on CD-rom. That's how I sent them out to a friend in the first place. I have the serial numbers from Kodak who developed the film - better yet, I have one remaining picture that I did not send out with the rest.

Actually, I have several more, because I went back after dark and took a series with lights on the. Again, check out truthorfiction.com, but more important Bob, believe what you feel comfortable believing. I really don't care, it's more important to me that you believe in God, and if nothing else my pics have blessed you too.

Try doing a web search on 'Jesus and sand,' or Jesus sand sculptures. you'll find links to ronald hofman sites
http://www.maineac.com/inspirational/jesus_in_the_sand.htm

Have a great day.
Fran Bloss
Fybloss@aol.com


Your story's got a lot of holes. That new link you sent turned up nothing... http://www.maineac.com/inspirational/jesus_in_the_sand.htm I couldn't even get http://www.maineac.com to come up!

Then I went to Yahoo and did a search on "Jesus and sand" and got a porn site. Thanks. If that's the kind of thing you find amusing then you have a little more Bible reading to do.

I don't believe a word that you're saying and perhaps you should just stay away from me. These games you're playing only drive people away from Jesus and His teachings. Sometimes I just don't understand you people.

Good-bye.
Bob


“it's pretty amazing you find what you want.
That is a blessing”

Hmmm; it's pretty amazing you find what you want.
That is a blessing

bye
Fran Bloss
Fybloss@aol.com


"it's pretty amazing you find what you want" is a blessing?

Are you one of those convicts who emails civilians from prison?


“The name is randy not ronald”

www.randyhofman.com

The name is randy not ronald - sorry for the inconvenience.

He is a minister in Maryland.Fran Bloss, RNUnit Manager - K UnitNVMHI3302 Gallows RoadFalls Church, VA 22042

Fran Bloss
Fybloss@aol.com


Oh, okay.
Hey, those are kinda neat!

“you are sick”

you are sick

David Eidsness
david.eidsness@sympatico.ca


Yup. Got the flu.
How'd you know?

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