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* Imaginary likeness of Rebecca *

Hi Bob,

I came across your web page today.  It is pretty amusing stuff.  I enjoy your sense of humor and like the brochure with Jesus picking his nose. :)  I think I  understand your point of view.

A lot of your arguments seem like an emotional reaction to the things you dislike about Christianity.  And even as a Christian, I agree at times the idea of a heaven and hell can be rather disconcerting.  And the finality of it all, yikes!  BUT,
I am sure you realize that IF something is true, it doesn't matter whether we like it or not.  It still is.  I mean heck, I don?t like gravity so I have chosen not to believe in it.  But obviously if I jump off a building? Likewise, I might say God, I don't like how you have set this thing up? but I recognize that if Truth exists, not liking it has zero impact on whether or not it is true, therefore not liking it can't be a reason not to believe it (- rejecting it, a different matter.) Same thing with the "I can't believe in a God who would do that?" argument.  His existence is hardly based on our beliefs.  He is either there or he isn't.  If he is, we all find out.  If it isn't, none of us ever know the difference, right? 

Regarding the 'enjoying heaven while others suffer' thing. it is food for thought to be sure, but, I feel like you are assuming that in heaven (or hell) we will be exactly as we are now, with all of our human emotions, perspective, and understanding as it now is.  But if God really does exist as He appears through nature and human experience, I suspect our perspective will be irrevocably altered. (We are told "We shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.") Our human earthly relationships will simply not matter to us in the way that they do now and mercifully, the suffering of others will be God's doing, burden and concern, not ours. (I realize this sounds callous.) After all, it is his system.  The promise is that there will be no tears.  At this point, it is not revealed how this will be, just that it will. (The whole faith thing, yes.)  And once again, we may not like the way the system is set up but if it is in place, we are still bound to it.

Anyway, I am confident that you have additional reasons for not believing in a god too and I am not really trying to 'convince' you of anything.  I am thinking about you and hoping that your life is going well and that you find the things you are looking for (if you are indeed looking).

Take care,
Rebecca


PicOfNormalBobSmith
No no no, Rebecca. You misunderstood. The reason I presented that scenario (How can there be a heaven while others burn in hell) is not because I am emotionally at odds with the idea. The reason I presented it is because I feel that it is yet more proof that neither heaven nor hell exist. And after reading the explanation you gave to me it only further proves to me how they cannot exist. Why would anybody ever strive for a heaven where we feel no pain for those who suffer, or forget the love we once had for a brother, sister, child or best friend? In fact, why would I want any paradise if I cannot share it with those I hold dear? Yes, it is a cold and callous paradise you're trying to illustrate. It's amusing to see the lengths you're willing to stretch your excuses.

It's a struggle, isn't it? Trying to make the bible make sense so that you don't have to give up your eternal life of pleasure, and guardian angel here on earth. Lots of excuses have to be contrived, and callouses have to be formed  so that you can deal with the reality of a loved one burning forever in hell. Sometimes entire walls have to be built up to avoid unavoidable truths that're right in front of your face. That, and all the crazy excuses. Excuses that I began to realize were pulled outta my ass until I came to grips with the truth: It's all made up folklore.

Rebecca, this isn't me angry at God, mad that people go to hell, or disgruntled at some Christian who upset me. This is me examining the evidence, listening to  logic, and facing reality full on so that I can get the truth, no matter how ugly it may be. And you're right, no matter what you do, the truth does not change. It's true whether you believe in it or not. Sorry, Becs.

Bob


* Imaginary likeness of Rebecca *

Hi Bob,
Thanks for taking the time to write back.  I guess my vision of heaven and hell didn't convey and I wasn't very clear. :)  I admit I am not a practiced apologist.

I have given a lot of thought to the fact and/or possibility that there may be no source of external meaning (God, or Good or whatever name we put to it).  And given that it is true, when I die, I will turn to dust and eventually at some point in time all people will stop existing too and nothing that anyone ever said or did  will ever matter.  I am not frightened by that - since I'll be dead, I will never know anyway, right?

Someone commented on your web page that it was 'better to live in a tragic reality than a happy delusion' or something similar.  But why would that be true?  That puts a value on things like 'courage' or 'being strong' or 'being honest with one's self.'  What difference does it make if I am courageous or honest with myself if one day I will stop existing along with everyone else?  In a world without external meaning, none of those things ultimately matter, so why is someone who does not believe in external meaning telling me I should be ‘strong’ like it is better or good to be so?   

So, I am taking a chance.  I am choosing to believe that my life has real external meaning.  That the painful things I experience have purpose.  That the most powerful being in the Universe cares about me as an individual and welcomes me as his child. Believe me, I know how crazy this sounds.  And I realize that it seems weak to you and I accept that.  It is sort of like playing Powerball- the chance of winning  may be miniscule, but if you're right and you win, the prize is more than you could ever want.  And it's fun just to play, (i.e. life is more pleasant when you believe you are loved).  I have found peace and even joy in remarkably painful things, and yes, I give God the credit. People numb/comfort themselves in all sorts of way (alcohol, yoga, Zoloft) - religion is mine.  I figure even if I spend my life dedicated to something that turns out to be false, I have lost nothing.  I  had a beautiful existence followed by a beautiful oblivion.

Anyway, thanks for writing back and best of luck in all your future endeavors.

Rebecca

PicOfNormalBobSmith
Rebecca! I can't believe what I am hearing! Life has no meaning if there is no God? There is no reason to be courageous, strong or good if there's no afterlife?? You have to be kidding me! Your fellow humans should be reason enough! People! Other people! Ones you hold dear! Ones you pass on the sidewalk on your way to work! Ones on the other side of the world who are sleeping soundly while you're awake! OTHER PEOPLE is reason enough! This is the crime of believing in God! It puts all of the value on this imaginary being! More value than your own parents, brothers and sisters, or children! You're instead, living life, giving your love away, worshipping something that isn't even there!!

And worst of all, you will then pass these beliefs down to your children, just as your parents did for you, and the chain of make-believe will continue, no one ever grasping reality in all it's beauty, and tragedy.

Rebecca, there is no courage, strength, and good if you're doing it in make-believe. Everything you claim is important becomes wasted on something that does not exist. The love you could be giving to others is devoted to an imaginary Super-being. And the lie is perpetuated yet again. Please reconsider your reasons. It's about truth. The young minds you influence deserve it.

Bob
Anywho, I am apologizing on behalf of my brothers and sisters who were quick to anger and did not show you love"

I saw your site NormalBobSmith when I was searching the internet for sites about scripture, and such... Anyways, to the point, I read some of the hate mail that you had received, and it is wrong for Christians to curse at you and damn you to hell, you are one of God's children, no matter what you do. I often have to remember this because I screw up quite often, but no one's perfect.

Anywho, I am apologizing on behalf of my brothers and sisters who were quick to anger and did not show you love. I honestly wish you the best, and hope that you can find peace in whatever you choose to believe.

Everything happens for a reason,

Amber Rose

Thank you for your mass apology for the 33,972 hate letters I've gotten since late 2001, and if you are seriously sorry for their actions I beg you to consider this: Your whole belief system is a farce, and all you've been taught since you were born is make-believe folklore that just keeps getting passed down from generation to generation without question.

I ask you politely to please do me a favor and stop spreading a belief in God and the concept of "faith" as being good things. I believe that they are harmful things to teach to children, and there are very real, provable answers that those same children should be taught instead.

Everything doesn't happen for a reason. It's your responsibility to do the reasoning.
Please consider my request carefully. It's important.
Bob
myspace.com/normalbobsmith

I just find it kinda ironic how you are so engrossed in refuting a belief system you obviously don't adhere to.

I just find it kinda ironic how you are so engrossed in refuting a belief system you obviously don't adhere to.

I have not believed in Christ my whole life, and becoming a Christian has made my life what I thought it could never be. Why is it your job to tell me that my beliefs have failed me? If I find a being that allows me to live a happy life, why do you wish to destroy that? I am asking this of you, because you seem antagonistic and angry towards anyone who has committed to this faith.

A. Rose

It's ironic that I am refuting something that I do not adhere to? Are you saying it would make more sense for me to refute that which I believe in? I don't understand your logic. Please explain your statement better.

And I never said that your beliefs failed you. What I said is that the beliefs you have aren't good. It is not good to promote faith over logic and evidence. It is not good to put a greater value on Jesus and God than you would a human being. Being drunk also provides a happy life, but that doesn't make it a healthy lifestyle. There are positive ways to be happy, and negative ways to be happy. Religion is a negative.

And it's my job to tell you these things because... well, I sorta created this job for myself, and I'm full time. And my boss won't pay me if I slack. And I like my job, so I'm trying to keep it.

What belief were to raised in?

Bob
myspace.com/normalbobsmith

How is religion negative when it instills morals and helps differentiate right from wrong?

What I mean is that I think it is interesting that you devote so much of yourself to this endeavor. It appears that you are engrossed in this, and that's what I find ironic because you hate religion so.

I was raised in a family with no faith, my biological father abandoned me and my mother began to search for more, we found that in God.

How is religion negative when it instills morals and helps differentiate right from wrong?

What created such a drive in you to refute the existence of God?

Amber Rose

Well first of all, if you or someone else can't differentiate right from wrong without God, or the Bible, or religion, then there's something very wrong with the individual. Stealing is wrong. Killing is wrong. Molesting children is wrong. You, me and most other rational people know this without being told so by religion. A child knows he's being deceptive when he lies without ever even having heard of the bible. Wait a second. Isn't Christianity the one where God told Abraham to take his child to an altar and sacrifice him? I mean, I know that God stopped him seconds before he plunged the knife into his son's chest, but how can you say that this helps people differentiate right from wrong? It'd seem to me that this only blurs the line considerably!

I think that the worst things about a belief in God is faith. Faith has zero value. It neither makes things true, or validates things that are true. It takes no courage to have faith. All that faith does is encourage ignorance. Faith is a practice that can only exist if one stays ignorant, because once somebody actually learns and studies a topic they have faith in it is no longer needs faith. It's either true or false. Faith is the mere practice of believing something hoping it's true despite what all evidence and logic says. Like leaping off a cliff without a parachute. Faith is an empty promise.

Trusting in faith to make things true leads to very bad things. Faith is what an Islamic Fundamentalist has just before he boards a bus and blows himself up. His faith is that his actions will win him 70 virgins in a martyr's heaven. Your faith also instructs that if God tells you to stab your child in the chest, you must do it. And if science tells you something other than what your faith teaches, science loses.

I am driven by several things, but the main one is the correcting of a lie.

And by the way, I still don't understand how it's ironic that I'm engrossed in correcting something I believe to be untrue. To me that seems perfectly sensible. People should spend a lot of time discovering truth. They SHOULD be engrossed in it. I think that this statement of yours is a perfect example of the strange "logic" that faith endorses.

Bob
myspace.com/normalbobsmith

Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son to the Lord, however God used this as a test.

First off, it is apparent that you are aware of the contents of the Bible but looking at it in a way unintended for it to be meant. For instance, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son to the Lord, however God used this as a test. He tested Abraham to see if he feared and respected God. Before Abraham did this, God said, 'Do not lay a hand on the boy, No I know that you fear God because you have not withheld from me your only son.' This was entirely a test of Abraham's respect for God, not an opportunity for bloodshed.

Second, faith is what keeps people functioning. Whether it be a faith in their family, their friends, their religion, their government or themselves, everyone has faith in something. The difference between these and faith in the Lord is that all other things can fail you. Your family can fail you, like in the case of my father. Your can obviously fail you because they are human. Religion and faith in the Lord are polar opposites, and it is in this distinction that many are caught and confused. Religion is man-made and expects rituals and tradition and practices. When Jesus came, he abolished these sacrifices and such. Many religions nowadays expect so much of their congregations as far as money and works and other sacrifices. Government can fail you because it is run by men out to promote themselves. I believe it was James Madison who said, 'If men were angels, no government would be necessary.' We have a government regulating other parts of the government, okay okay back to what I was saying, sorry about that, I love PoliSci. Okay, the only thing that cannot fail you is the Lord. This is because he has a plan for every single person in existence. But I guess this requires faith to believe it huh? I suppose we are at an impasse.

Amber Rose

Yes, but Abraham did in fact take his son up to the altar, raise a dagger above his chest, and seconds before plunging it into his son's heart was stopped by God! Amber, can you imagine if you were that child? If that was your father taking you up to that altar as a sacrifice to God!??! What the hell kind of beliefs are these to defend???? What's happened in your brain that condones this kind of behavior?? It sends a chill down my spine.

No, no, no, no. This is where you (and many believers) mess up. There is faith, and there is trust. Faith is without any evidence, proof, logic, or common sense. Trust on the other hand is based on some sort of evidence and logic. When a friend makes you a promise, you trust that friend will keep it because in the past the friend has kept promises to you. You trust your parents to be there, but when they fail you that trust can sometimes be broken, and restoring your trust in them again takes some sort of action on their part. Trust is based on something. Faith is not.

Faith is grounded only in the mere act of believing. It is hoping that hope is enough to make something true. You can have faith that an egg will support your weight if you stand on top of it, but you would have little trust in that egg. That's the difference. To trust God you'd have to be able to prove that He is trustworthy. And as we all know, God cannot be proven. Thus, faith is what one must rely on.

Please, please, please, reconsider all of the harmful things you believe in. It hurts me to see young people with their minds all cluttered with thoughts of human sacrifices and blind faith, while discarding family and friends because they fail. You've been taught some very ugly things. I wish you'd pause a moment to consider the things I am showing you. It's important.

Bob
myspace.com/normalbobsmith

I really have learned a great deal speaking with you, and I respect your right to your own beliefs... I hope you find what you are looking for.

I think that we are both so staunchly set in our own sets of beliefs, that we create little effect on one another. I really have learned a great deal speaking with you, and I respect your right to your own beliefs. I wish you the best in life, and I hope you find what you are looking for.

Amber Rose

I suppose this means I don't get any answers to my questions, while you on the other hand got me to answer all of yours. All this, and you somehow probably still think it's shocking that I am refuting what you believe.

I wish you'd simply respond to one question. Why do Christians refuse to answer questions? It's astounding to me. As an adult, I adore answering questions and explaining what it is I believe and why I believe it.  And at times when I do not know the answers, it makes me crave answers even more! That's when I'm most inspired to research a question even further for answers.

Please answer me that. Why do Christians refuse to answer questions? I've answered all of your questions. Please simply answer one of mine. Because refusing all questions does not make your beliefs stronger. It just makes it look like you're hiding something. Something ugly.

Bob
myspace.com/normalbobsmith
I really have learned a great deal speaking with you, and I respect your right to your own beliefs... I hope you find what you are looking for.

You have not answered one of my questions. I asked you 'What created such a drive in you to refute the existence of God?' and I received a 'I am driven by several things, but the main one is the correcting of a lie.' You skirt issues by using satirical humor. I also asked you why it was your job to tell me my beliefs are wrong, and you replied with, 'And it's my job to tell you these things because... well, I sorta created this job for myself, and I'm full time. And my boss won't pay me if I slack. And I like my job, so I'm trying to keep it.'

I have been nothing but civil and respectful to you, and I deserve to be treated with more than underhanded insults.

I have answered your questions, but you are too blinded by your hatred for the Lord and anyone following it to see it.

Thank you for your time, I wish you the best in life.
Amber Rose

Amber Rose,
The answers I gave you were actually my answers to those questions. My drive is exactly that: Correcting a lie. It's why I am so passionate about what I do. I'm guessing you wanted me to say something like "I am driven by my hate for Jesus and Christians!" But that just isn't true. No kidding. It's my hate for the lie that fuels my drive. I have much evidence that tells me your beliefs are false, and at the rate they're spreading throughout this country and the world, I think it's a duty of mine to speak out about it.

And in regards to you asking me why I think it's my job to tell you you're wrong, well, I felt your question was in jest as well, so I answered honestly, with a pinch of wit. I wasn't trying to be offensive or rude when I said it's the job I made for myself.

The honest reason I took it upon myself to tell you you're wrong is because you emailed me first, and you called me a "Child of God." I am not a child, and there is no God. Keeping adults as children is one of the other harmful things Christianity and faith promote. You needed to be told.

Please answer my questions now? At least answer them just for yourself. They're quite important.

Bob
myspace.com/normalbobsmith

 

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