You have a band. You claim this band has the following qualities:
- Hard-rocking metal.
- Member’s talents aimed at doing “God’s work”.
- Delivers a Christian message through lyric and action.
- Maintains high ethics.
- Maintains a presence on YouTube with good quality videos.
What makes the most sense to you for promoting this band:
- Encourage “likes”, “favorites”, and comments to so that current viewers can attract new viewers, proselytizing to non-Christians through the same channels YouTube provides for all to grow their audience.
- Specifically target folks like me, who clearly state they are not only atheist, but anti-theist as well with “friend” requests, clearly – inarguably – breaking the “spam” rule and opening up your account to suspension or even banning.
If you chose the second method, then you may be just as insane as the band I refer to. Insane? Yes, as in barking mad. I know that it makes sense from the Christian perspective to seek out atheists for proselytization, that’s not what’s mad. WHat is mad is trying to claim to keep the values of the Bible and a high standard of ethics when your methodology clearly breaks the rules and therefore belies any claim to a high ethical standard.
Are Christians stupid? There is no evidence that would allow me to honestly make that blanket claim. But, when a person believes they are in possession of the ultimate Truth, and that others must hear this truth or risk the most horrible of fates, it is inevitable that even intelligent folks will blind themselves to their own unethical behavior.
This is hardly limited to situations as I describe above – unethical behavior that has as its biggest consequence some irony and a little disappointment. There was a Dominican monk from Spain who decided that everyone was being far too accepting of the Devil’s work on Earth.
Tomás de Torquemada, appointed Grand Inquisitor by Queen Isabella, used his power to love his neighbors. Seriously. You see torture and the ugliest of repression and violence when you look upon the Spanish Inquisition, and certainly do not associate such horrible acts with love.
I say it’s the only plausible explanation – that love is the primary motivator for these inquisitors. I don’t deny there were plenty involved (perhaps Torquemada himself) who were more likely driven by personality disorders, but not all of them.
Here’s the thought experiment that should make this idea clear:
- Premise one: God wants everyone to go to heaven.
- Premise two: Every follower and believer in god, by definition, wants their fellow humans to be in the presence of God in the afterlife – to be in Heaven for an eternity of bliss.
- Premise three: There is a force at work (the Devil) tricking people into believing lies, or being sinful to spite God. These tricked people are doomed to an eternity of pure suffering unless they turn back to God.
- Premise four: No restrictions on the use of violence and torture in the framework of the Bible (Arguable, but a commonly held idea by the Inquisition).
- Conclusion: To save the most people from an eternity of suffering, suffering here on the ethereal Earth shall be applied to guarantee, by terror for making the wrong choices, the temptations of the Devil are removed or rendered ineffective and the people turn to God (and the Church, of course) to reap the eternal reward.
This perverts very easily, of course. To protect this highest calling, they devolved it into petty (though brutal) politics. Jews were expelled from Spain to reduce their influence on people’s souls (and their wealth diverted to more friendly coffers) and those who spoke out against the Inquisition became its primary targets.
That is what such irrational decision-making brings. Our ability to deny and to rationalize our actions is boundless, and no one ever does evil – at least not from their own perspective.