Hate Mail

The Pastor Nate files.

His letters are in yellow, whilst mine are in black & white.

Pastor Nate Part 2 >>
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Can you believe it? I'm STILL number ONE on a Google search for "Jesus!" It's been more than a week now! How does that happen? I can't express how cool it feels to be better than every other Jesus site in the world! It's like being Jesus' slave owner! Only now am I relizing exactly what I've always aspired to be my whole life: Slave owner of Jesus Christ. Dance Jesus, dance!

This recent jump up in the internet food chain has got me searchin' out more of what it means to be #1, and how it happens in the first place! And in my explorations, I stumbled across this interesting bit of blog from the Infidel Guy. Apparently someone from his forums went and emailed me a fake hate letter wanting to see if I'd respond to it. I never did, but it's funny to read how this little trick went over with the others on his message board. Personally, I hate the idea of anyone ever sending me fake hate mail. I go to great lengths to weed out anything I think is fake. The one he sent was one that I tossed for being way too obvious. I mean, misspelling "Satan?"
"Rise up, Sing out?"
I'm not even sure how to respond to someone being serious with that. So it got flushed. Sorry 'bout bein' a party pooper.

For the record, sending me fake letters is a quick way to get on my bad side. I get enough spam I gotta sort through every 4 hours, I don't need fakes. Which reminds me! Today I got this email that stood out to me. Take a read:


Subject: Useless Religious Documents

HI Normal Bob,
     I was reading the Bible yesterday and I realized that just about everything written in it is useless or irrelevant information. I think this is true for all religious documents that I have read so far. For example, yesterday I was reading a passage about Jesus cursing a fig tree. How does reading about that make me a better person? Instead of cursing a fig tree, He could have taught us something about medicine, agriculture, science, how to make a printing press, how to establish a good government, He could have condemned slavery, child molesting.. etc. He is supposed to know all of this stuff.Too bad He was more concerned about cursing that fig tree. Why does someone who is supposed to know everything know so little?
                             
Keep it up,
James Scannell

 

I am a pastor. Youth and families, specifically... Sometimes I am a flaming asshole to my wife.

Bob,
First of all, I like your name. Spell it backward, its Bob. Spell it upside down, its Bob (well, its upside down, but its still Bob). My name is Nate. Not so cool to spell backwards.

Anyway...
I think I am one of those people you hate (feel sorry for?). I gotta be honest, I am a pastor. Youth and families, specifically. That means I spend my days trying to corrupt the minds of teenagers with the horrible idea that they should love everyone unconditionally and self sacrificially. I also tell them all of this crazy ass shit about how Jesus lived, died, and rose again to give us the pattern and the power to love like that. I know you think that is all bullshit, but I thought you ought to know that I am one of "them".

But here's the deal, Bob. I pretty much suck at following Jesus as I understand him. Sometimes I am a flaming asshole to my wife. Sometimes I cut people off in traffic. Sometimes I catch myself taking "pride" in the idea that I am somehow better than someone else (ain't that some crap, huh?). And sometimes I am just a pompous prick.

I try to apologize and repent as much as possible, to both God and the people I hurt... but in the words of Dennis Leary: "I'm an asshole". Not that I beat myself up over it. To not enjoy the life God has given me would be a real sacrilege. It's just to say that I am really aware of who I am and who most Christians
are: we're assholes. Pious, self-absorbed, hypocritical assholes.

And I just want to say that I am sorry. I am sorry for the prick who threw a coke at you at the passion. I am sorry that people think they are serving the God of Love by hating others (literally, a hell of a contradiction). I am sorry for people who use the Bible as a weapon and Jesus as a bludgeon. I am sorry for all the people who have fucked with you in the name of God, Jesus, or Allah. I wish I could take it all back, but I can't. All I can say is that we are a bunch of assholes. And if Jesus were here (is here?) he would either be weeping over the way Christians act, or kicking our asses, or both.

And I will make an offer to you Bob: Next time a religious movie comes out, or you want to wear your "devil" garb to a Christian event, and you are in the Dallas TX area, give me a call. I will go with you. You can take pictures and make fun of the stupid, fat Christian pastor who went with you and post it on your website. I will even bring some of my "brainwashed" kids if you want. And, you can ask us any perplexing questions you want, and make fun of Christianity (I will probably join in with you on some things). And, if anyone tries to bash your head in with a coke in the name of Jesus, I will pick it up for you and go feed it to them through their rectum.

I mean all of that.
And with all of that said, I have a question for you, Bob:
Why?

May you find what you are seeking,
Nate Bostian
Student Pastor, Church of the Apostles
Church site: churchoftheapostles.net
Youth site: natebostian.blogspot.com
My blogs: twocitiesblog.blogspot.com

Of course you only mention the good things you teach. Never once on my site do I say "Damn those awful Christians for preaching love and kindness!" What I do mention though is the horrible teaching of faith over logic. Telling people that they can't parent themselves and instead they need to remain children; children
of God.

I also don't believe people should love anything over other people. God, the bible, religion, Jesus, and all that stuff shouldn't be more important than people. Making it more important than people is something else you teach, but you did not mention that in your sarcasm either. I wish you had.

You also teach that it doesn't matter what you do in this life, God will forgive everything and anything as long as you believe it to be so. That's a horrible lesson to teach. That allows for a great many bad things to be done, and forgiven. Bad Pastor Nate. Bad.

And worst of all, you're teaching something that you have no idea if it's true or not. Science has proved the bible wrong on many counts. The stories themselves don't even make sense logically. Noah's animals distributed themselves around the world to their natural habitats after the flood? Did the polar bears ride turtles backs? All languages began at the Tower of Babel, and before that everyone in every country around the world spoke the same language? The dinosaurs lived during the bible times? A person can go to heaven and enjoy it while his brother burns in hell? What kind of sick idea is that? What kind of heaven is that where I am in paradise while my child burns? Talk about creepy.

But you don't think about these things. Just the love and kindness you promote, like you're the only people who teach love and kindness. I wish I could believe all of the fairy tales and believe that heaven waits for all of us humans, and for some reason all other lifeforms just die and go nowhere. But I am living in reality, Pastor Nate, and life can indeed end without an eternal afterlife, just as it began without an eternal pre-life.

I wish you'd also had mentioned these things in your long list of heroic teachings.
But Pastors never like to address these subjects. You should be the first. It'd be a refreshing change!
Bob

I believe that the Bible is true from cover to cover and points to reality in every word

Holy hostility Bobman!
You get pissed off when Christians are judgmental, yet you launch into a tirade on me, sure of what I believe, without even knowing me. Wow. You should at least buy someone dinner before you try and screw them over. A little foreplay at least. Bad atheist Bob. Bad.

Funny, I didn’t peg you for a fundamentalist, with all your cool art and everything. But, with your uber-self-assured / "I have the only truth" / my-way-or-you-are-an-idiot demeanor, you seem to be nothing but a fundamentalist with your post-enlightenment dogma in one hand, and your floppy Bible of pure empiricism in the other hand, shouting at me like some street preacher that I am going to your version of hell (i.e. I have to hang out with all of those idiots who are not as enlightened as you) if I don’t repent from my heathen ways. Change the clothes, Bob, and you would make a GREAT Southern Baptist!

That is, unless there is another side of you.
If there is someone there that is actually interesting to talk to, then I would love to pick your brain. But if all you are going to do is vomit popularized versions of modernity and rationalism all over me, then I guess I screwed up in emailing you.

If you are interested in an actual discussion, and not in being the atheist version of Sean Hannity, then I have some things I would like to discuss, based on your "syllabus of errors" you sent me. If I read you right, you claim that Christians believe:

1. Faith is more important that logic.
2. People can't parent themselves because God wants them to be helpless dependents.
3. God, Jesus, and the Bible (especially) are more important than real people.
4. There is no justice for what people do in this life, because if they just believe in Jesus they will go to heaven.
5. We should be so pre-occupied with heaven that it does not matter what happens on Earth. Corollary: We are not concerned with social justice or helping the needy.
6. We should have faith even if we have no idea it is true.
7. The Bible (especially Genesis) is a science book, and should be used to trump science.
8. Noah's flood was global, leading to all kinds of ridiculous scenarios.
9. The Tower of Babel was a real tower, and all languages really began there.
10. Dinosaurs hung out with Adam and Eve, and lived until the flood.
11. We will be happy in heaven while people we love are burning in hell.
12. Hell is a place of externally imposed punishment that is permanent, filled with literal fire.
13. We are the only ones who know how to love or do good.
14. Other lifeforms [do you mean aliens, or housepets?] just cease to exist, or go to hell, upon death.

In addition to this, you also claim yourself to believe the following things that Christians do not believe:

1. Science has proved the bible wrong on many counts.
2. The Bible doesn't make sense logically.
3. You live in reality, but I somehow, do not.
4. Life can end without an afterlife.
5. Everything in the Universe can begin without anything at all.

Wow, Bob, that is 19 unsubstantiated dogmas in one 387 word email! That would be a record for any fundamentalist. And yet:
1. I am a Christian.
2. I believe that Jesus is God in human form, and that he historically lived, died, rose again, and will return.
3. I believe that the Bible is true from cover to cover and points to reality in every word, so long as one interprets it according to the genre and purpose for which it was composed.
4. I believe the core ideas of Christianity are summed up in the Nicene Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Great Commandments. Need a copy, I will send them to you.
AND
5. I would NOT agree with ANY of your 14 points about what Christians believe (not only that, I personally know hundreds of Christians who feel the same). And regarding what you believe that I supposedly don't believe, I would agree mostly with your first point, partially with your second point, and not at all with points 3-5.

If you are trying to peg who I am, Bob, you only got 3.5 out of 19 right. That's only 18.4% correct. If that is the assured results of your science and rationality, then you need to take a few more classes Bob.

If you would actually like to discuss any of these points, I would really enjoy it. If you just want to be a smug, self-satisfied, fundamentalist spouting your dogma without substantiating your claims or even knowing your discussion partners, then keep it to yourself. I have better things to do than talk to pedantic, boring dogmatists.

May you find what you are looking for,
Nate Bostian
Student Pastor, Church of the Apostles
Church site: churchoftheapostles.net
Youth site: natebostian.blogspot.com
My blogs: twocitiesblog.blogspot.com

Wait, you're saying you don't believe any of those 14 points that I made? I will tell you that I'm shocked hearing you say that! And I have to tell you this, I read my response to you a few times over just now and I don't see the hostility you saw! I even said some jokes in it. "Damn those awful Christians for preaching love and kindness!" & "Did the polar bears ride turtles backs?" That's a funny picture, right? And I only used one exclamation point in the whole letter, and that was at the end, emphasizing how refreshing it'd be if you were to preach it as it were. Pastor Nate, I think you're just reading in the yelling, assuming that I hate you or something. But I suppose it's also futile for me to deny that I'm a fundamentalist Atheist. I mean, Christ! Look at my site! You should've expected worse!

But on to your 14 points.
1. You're saying that you put logic and science (which is logic) above faith? If you are telling me that the the church has changed its policy of faith over logic and science, then my bad. I was not aware of this alteration of the doctrine. If you just have a more liberal view on Christianity, fess up. Wouldn't you agree that logically faith is a useless way to decipher and/or find truth?

2. Oh, I believe that people can indeed parent themselves, but this is discouraged, even condemned, in the bible. I mean, thinking for ones self, despite what the bible says, is not the method we're supposed to be practicing, right? As an atheist, I am regularly accused of committing the sin of thinking for myself, instead of letting the bible do my thinking for me. Yes, I just assumed.

3. You think God is less important than people? Jesus is less important than any other person? You're really blowing me away with these statements, Pastor Nate. Don't you follow the bible? I don't see how you can do both; believe in God and put Him below people? You'll have to explain your logic to me on this one.

4. Okay, hold on. Are you saying that it does matter what deeds you do in this life? For instance, a person who robs a bank, then repents and genuinely asks Jesus into his heart for forgiveness may still go to hell? Or the person who does good all their life but dies denying Jesus died for their sins can still go to heaven? I believe this is what you're saying. Is this what you're saying?

5. I don't believe that I said you teach people to be so preoccupied with the afterlife that they shouldn't do good deeds. I'm not sure where you got that. But you do teach that anything can be forgiven, correct? Murder, rape, cannibalism, bestiality can all be forgiven by God, right? Of course people should do good deeds! Everyone knows that!

6. "We should have faith even if we have no idea it is true." Whether you think this is a true statement or not doesn't matter. This is how believers behave. I should know! I hear them all say this flat out, "I believe no matter what!" This is not a judgment of what you think. It's what I've experienced first hand, and what "faith" requires of a believer. To believe in the Bible no matter what proof comes against it, or what logic contradicts it. Christians HAVE to live by this rule, because they have to believe things that can't be proven (Mary being a virgin, Jesus rising from the dead, Jesus' miracles, etc).

7. "The Bible (especially Genesis) is a science book, and should be used to trump science." So tell me how you can believe the bible to be true, cover to cover, and not see the contradictions in Genesis with dinosaurs, logically. Once again, I cannot address this at all until you tell me your thoughts on this. I can only assume. Please fill in these blanks for me.

8. Noah's flood wasn't global? How did the animals get to the ark, and afterwards, leave the ark to their native habitats around the world without ridiculous scenarios? Isn't a rainbow God's promise that He'll never flood the whole earth again?!?! Please elaborate on these points! Please! I am quite anxious to hear your logical explanation.

9. The Tower of Babel wasn't a real tower? Languages didn't begin there? I hope you realize that you have brothers in Christ that teach these things to be so. How can you believe everything in the bible to be fact, and deny this? Pastor Nate, are you having your cake and eating it too?

10. Okay, just tell me what you believe regarding the dinosaurs, Adam and Eve, and the flood already. Enough with this guessing game you've got me in already. You really should have addressed these points, and what you believe more clearly in your last letter. Because now you're gonna say I'm assuming all of these horrible lies about you again, and so far you've given me no choice.

11. How will you not weep every day of your perfect eternal life knowing that your brother is burning eternally? There is no paradise sweet enough or beautiful enough that could make me forget those who are suffering eternally. But if what you're saying is that those in heaven also feel grief for those in hell, well, the amount of grief I'd be feeling for those in hell would ruin anything you'd call paradise. It's a horrible thought, no matter how much they might deserve their fate for not believing. Again, you need to clarify your take on this, because I don't see how you can logically work this one out in any way, shape or form.

12. Please tell me what you believe hell to be. Is it suffering? Is it just a separation from God that really isn't that miserable, just lonely? Do we have visitation rights with loved ones in hell? Please clarify your thoughts. I can't assume, remember?

13. Well, clearly you and I both know that Christians aren't the only ones who know how to do good. I never said that.

14. Obviously I believe that all life forms simply cease to be upon death. I'm an atheist. I would like to hear your thoughts on aliens and house pets and where they go.

I'm thinking that instead of me going through and addressing everything you believe again, without any hints as to what you actually believe, I will waste more time. Please, fill in the many blanks you have opened up. I am anxious to hear how you believe everything in the bible, but also think logically about these things.

I was really just trying to cut to the chase with that first letter. You see, I've had long drawn out conversations with Christians, and've had to go over all these topics before, only to come back to the fact that they do indeed believe everything in the bible based on faith alone, and disregard science's findings completely if it goes against the bible. I was hoping to get right to it with you, but apparently you have an angle I haven't come across yet.
So let's hear it.
Bob

I am interested in discussion and not a pissing match to see who knows more conversation- stopping- arguments- that- will- verbally- beat- the- shit- out- of- my- opponent

Bob,
Now THAT was a reply that interests me!  Thank you very much.  Sorry the last email was so harsh, but I find that sometimes I have to be blunt to get the point across that I am interested in discussion and not a pissing match to see who knows more conversation- stopping- arguments- that- will- verbally- beat- the- shit- out- of- my- opponent. If I offended you, I am sorry... but I knew you had to be interesting to talk to or else you wouldn't be able to do all of the art you do.

Now, this, being Sunday, is a crazy day for me.  I started my day teaching un-enlightened dogma in Sunday School, then praying, worshipping, and singing to someone who is evidently just a giant projection of my need for a cosmic Father figure, followed by taking a dozen kids to go harvest some food to feed some immigrants for the sake of that same imaginary Father figure (got manure all over me too!), and now I have to go back up for youth group for another round of Bible-based brain washing.
That was a joke :-)

But after that I plan on digging into your email. To be honest, the way these discussions usually go, the email volleys can get overly huge really quick.  So, I plan on dealing with you point by point... But probably not all at the same time.

Is there any of those points you find more interesting than others that you would like me to start on?

Look forward to dialogue!
May you find what you are seeking,
Nate

Listen Nate, just answer the questions. That's what's most interesting. And don't go writing a 50,000 word thesis for each question. Keep it simple and to the point. You should have no problem keepin' each one of your explanations down to a couple paragraphs. I'm also getting the impression from this email that your one before was all BS? You were just playing around? I hope not. There's been enough jerkin' around here, and makin' me write all of that just to test me is a little annoying to say the least.

And may I make one suggestion? If you have no answer to one of the topics, and all you got is: "This is where my faith in God comes into play," just write that and move onto the next question. So far all I see is someone who's got no answers, and a butt-load of attitude.

I'd say the one that interests me the most is 11 & 12. I would sure like an explanation for heaven, and how it's at all possible to be in paradise while loved ones are in hell. I hope you have a reply that interests me, I think I deserve one by now.

Bob

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