Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Christian Dating and News

I'd just like to take a moment to thank the joker who signed me up for a Christian dating site. I know you probably thought it would piss me off, but I think it's funny as hell. It was priceless receiving a plethora of e-mails from "good Christian men" who asked such innocent questions as: "What cup size are you?", "U sounds kool.", and (my personal favorite) "I like a woman who keeps the Bible on her nightstand. I find her faith a major turn on." Little tip, though, Trolly McTrollerson - when you pay for my account with your credit card, I get a copy of your name, cc number, and identifying information. Way to go, Einstein! ROFLOL

Somehow, I stumbled across an article about Kirk Cameron in the Modesto news. Did you know he was "AN ATHEIST TEEN IDOL"? Gee...I don't remember reading that in Teen Beat. In fact, I'll give someone $10 if they can send me an article from the 80's in which Cameron claims his "devout atheism".

Cameron recently released a memoir, "Still Growing," in which he describes his
transition from an atheist to a Christian husband and father (he married
"Growing Pains" costar Chelsea Noble). He recently spoke to Beliefnet about how
becoming a Christian changed his work on the show, why God may have removed "His hand of blessing" from our nation, and the best--and worst--ways to share the
gospel.


He wrote a memoir? Ego much? From everything I've read, his "salvation" turned him into a real asshole on the set and the other actors couldn't stand him. I mean, let's be really honest: the Left Behind movies weren't worth writing home about.

And, does he or does he not sound a bit like Fred Phelps? God may have removed his hand of blessing? Just out of curiosity...which hand is the hand of blessing and what's the other hand called? Who has the blessing if this nation lost it? I beg to differ that God has removed the worst ways to evangelize because The Way of the Master is still being shown on a computer near you.


34 comments:

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

Sadly -or perhaps tellingly- the last time I noticed any specific information about specifically which hand is 'blessed', it was in the awful sentence "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew [Daniel Pearl]", appearing verbatim in the film 'A mighty heart'

I wonder if there is actually a nice context in which which 'blessed hands' are used.

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

Correction, the phrase was from a court confession by the individual, and was perhaps not the film as I had thought.

Ward said...

"name, cc number, and identifying information"

Ebay, here I come! :)

Jen said...

But at least Kirk Cameron gave us the Banana video! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLqQttJinjo ) That alone almost makes up for the Left Behind videos :-)

No Possum Zone said...

How come its fine for you to be judge of Mr. Camerons atheism but I cant say you have never been a true follower of Jesus Christ. He was in the Hollywood busines before submitting to his Creator and we know that money makes people turn selfish to add to his famousness. How come it bothers you this much that he is a leader for Christ if you do hate him.

Natasha Yar-Routh said...

NPZ, we don't hate him but find him an annoying little twit who is particularly inept at being a 'leader for christ'. The doubts about his atheism come from how frequently that trope is used by the more unoriginal evangelist types.

Seven Crows said...

He's baaaaack! Poor Thomas - it's like watching a child trying to argue with adults. Most of his comments sound like "Oh yeah! well.... you're a poopy!"

Anyway - we had the distinct pleasure of having Mr. Cameron's sister in our town this summer while she make a Christmas movie for Hallmark Channel. I knew about Kirk and his problems so I looked her up. Candace has gone the same way as her brother - she writes for www.ChristianWomenOnline.net and has written an article named "Submissive Is NOT a Four Letter Word" Yikes!

I will report however that according to local people who served as extras in the movie she was very pleasant to work with. So at least she doesn't seem like such a jerk as her brother.

Carlie said...

I do remember that the one thing he always pushed was that he was a devout adherent of the Pritikin diet, which made him seem kind of woo.

(Please don't judge me that I remember his dietary preferences. I have no explanation for that. I hardly ever read Teen Beat!)

Berlzebub said...

@ P-Momma:
Only $10? Come on, you have someone else's credit card. You can make it more rewarding than that.

Oh, and I never saw the Left Behind movies. If they were as bad as the books, they wouldn't be worth the time I'd loose to see them.

@ NPZ:
She isn't judging, she's doubting. There's a difference. As with ASA Jones, G.Z. Jordan, Josh McDowell, C.S. Lewis, and Lee Stroebel there's a number of Christians who use "I was an atheist" to lend themselves credibility (I recall you even doing so). If you examine what they say though, most often you'll find that they were more akin to agnostic than atheist.

We know that money can make people selfish, but saying it makes them selfish is a gross overgeneralization.

It doesn't bother me that he's a "leader for Christ". Honestly, considering his (and Ray Comfort's) strawman arguments, misrepresentations, and general ignorance I'm glad they're on your side instead of mine. However, I don't even consider him a "leader". At best, he's a spokesperson because he has some notoriety from a show over 20 years ago.

Berlzebub said...

@ NPZ:
Oh, and I forgot to ask why you never responded when I pointed out that my wife is indeed a Christian, or answered my questions about your former atheism?

Cogito said...

OK everyone, sit down. Ready? I think Tom has a point. Most of his comment is incoherent to me, but he raises on valid issue. Many of us were once religious, and it's annoying when people argue, "Oh, you weren't really a Christian," and so on. So I think to some extent we need to take people at their word when they say they used to be atheists.

That said, I do suspect that "atheist" in this context often means "unreflective cultural Christian" rather than thoughtful, philosophical atheism. But I can muster enough trust to say that to people who have become hard-core fundamentalists, mainstream Christianity has more in common with atheism than it does with their newfound faith.

However, I also have to add that Cameron has not proven himself a model of honesty in his evangelism, so in his particular case perhaps there is more reason to doubt.

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

NPZ:

Hello again - I am still hoping you will continue our discussion on your blog.

To answer your question on Kirk Cameron- it is a good and fair question to ask, I think.
My distaste for Kirk's claim of atheism comes from his close links to Ray Comfort who has repeatedly demonstrated a failure to even understand what atheism is.
Comfort goes so far as to even write a book about it, called "God doesn't believe in atheists", where he makes the absurd argument that there is no such thing as an atheist because (paraphrasing) 'no-one has complete knowledge of the whole universe'.
I will explain in more detail why this is a bad argument, if you want?

If Kirk Cameron shares Comfort's views on this subject (as it appears to me) then Cameron doesn't remotely understand the term 'atheist' and is therefore unqualified to apply it to his former self.

You are correct, though - an atheist is just someone who doesn't believe in a God or Gods- the term doesn't actually specify any reasons for this position. People can atheism for good, rational reasons, but I concede people can sometimes choose it for poor ones as well (although I have found this extraordinarily rare).

Paul said...

[silentsanta, NZ]

NPZ:
Actually, I should be more clear - I do concede that:

If Kirk Cameron at any point in his life did not believe in a God or Gods then he was at that time an atheist.

However, given Cameron's demonstrable lack of rationality on other issues, I submit that Cameron was unlikely to have adopted atheism via any basis of reason and evidence.

Contrary to popular belief, most atheists' loyalties are not actually to atheism, but rationalism (not the other way around). Eg: I am only an atheist because I find it to be the rational position due to lack of evidence of any supernatural God.

Prominent atheist thinker Sam Harris infamously argued that atheists should drop the term atheist and simply use rationalist and speak of evidence, instead of getting caught up defending a specific viewpoint (atheism) rather than the more important process (rationality) behind the viewpoint.

From that POV, the whole question of whether Kirk Cameron ever really was an atheist is exposed as utterly pointless- it's not about having some particular worldview, but about how that worldview is chosen. Was Cameron's atheism worldview chosen via rationality and evidence, or faith and credulity?
When he became a Christian, was that change informed by rationality and evidence, or faith and credulity?

reddhedd said...

What's the matter, NPZ...decided to forget about answering queries on your own blog? Way to dodge the uncomfortable and unanswerable. Did you let your wife read all those responses?

Kirk Cameron may have once been an atheist. So what? Do you seriously think that someone changing their views means I have to blindly follow suit?

If you are going to appeal to authority as an argument for conversion, you really need to do better than a has been third rate actor. (not that it would matter; I weigh the evidence I have, and simply don't give that much weight to another person's opinion.)

Also, some people are selfish...a person doesn't need loads of cash or a stay in Hollywood to become selfish, and in fact I believe that extra cash doesn't MAKE a person selfish or giving; it just makes their native traits more evident. Oprah certainly doesn't have any trouble with generosity.

I mean, come on...one doesn't have to be an ex-christian to be mean-spirited, spiteful or negative, as you've shown us all so well. Being saved certainly hasn't made a better person out of you.....

LCR said...

Tom,

Here's the difference:

You were making judgements on the morality of Pmomma's past and current actions, based purely upon your own religious beliefs, beliefs she does not share. You were pronouncing her an immoral person and parent purely because you do not agree with her approach to life, all the while ignoring the evidence to the contrary, namely her four beautiful, intelligent, healthy, happy children. That is inappropriate and subjective and therefore "judgemental".

Pmomma is looking at the *facts* of Cameron's statements and actions and she is doing no more then stating a doubt that he actually was an atheist, and has gone further to ask if anyone knows of any evidence that supports his claim. Sounds like a logical, evidence-based approach to the subject to me.

More importantly (and in direct contrast with the comments you directed to her), Pmomma is not using her doubts to make a *judgement* on Cameron as a good, moral person or a bad, immoral person as you did. She is not saying that because she doubts his claim to atheism, he must be a bad parent. She is not saying that because he makes so little sense in his discussions with Comfort that he will therefore be judged by god as unworthy and sent straight to hell.

She made no judgement, no statement of good or bad, holy or evil, only observation of inaccuracies and her own opinion, clearly stated. Do you see the difference?

cognitive dissident said...

Remember that "good Christian men" are still men, and have the same drives as atheist men...they're just more conflicted and hypocritical about them, that's all.

Calladus said...

I'll be the first to admit that Kirk Cameron was an Atheist. Just not a very good one.

And now he is just WORKING that Atheist shtick, isn't he? Using it to boost his credibility!

But I'll bet if you asked Kirk to explain secular morals, or what philosophy that non-believers base their ethical values on, he'll get it wrong. I'll bet if you ask him why people are Atheists, he'll get that wrong too.

Lastly, I want a book list - I want to know what atheistic books or publications that Cameron read while he was an atheist. What books or mentors inspired his secular philosophy.

Cameron was an Atheist. He was also a fool. One of those things has changed.

Calladus said...

Pmomma, if you have all the info, you could go in and reset the dating account to your whim.

You could make it interesting.

- Favorite bible passage, "Song of Solomon".

- Best childhood role model, Elisha (2 Kings 2:23-25)

- Looking for an honest Christian. The last man I dated lied to me, and contracted a sudden case of leprosy.

charla said...

I get spam for "christian singles" all the time. Can you say "SO not their target audience"??? Let's see...not a christian, leaning towards lesbianism, and not looking to get married......

Yeah, definitely shouldn't be getting these.

Katie said...

To chime in with charla on this issue, I as well get the christian dating site spam all of the time which makes me laugh.

Speaking of Fred "I'm the kool-aid man" Phelps, he made a recent quest appearance here in Memphis to protest Issac Hayes Funeral. What a fun site it was and thankfully I work just far enough way to avoid the onslaught of traffic back ups they cause when they pop up.

Rev. BigDumbChimp said...

NPZ you consider Kirk Cameron a leader for Christ and you wonder why we laugh at you Christians?

Vamp said...

Thanks, I just put on a clean white shirt and now I have coffee spewed all over it.

I'm speechless that someone would go through the trouble of actually PAYING for an account to "get to you", Jeebus H Crunch on a stick, that's funny and scary all at the same time.

Too bad you're such a nice person, you could really do some damage with this information.

Bart said...

Theres only one thing to do, call them up tell them you didnt sign up for this service, and that an admirerer of yours must have signed you up. Ask them to document this call on the account.

Then alter your userprofile with any and all information you can dig up on the card holder.

CrypticLife said...

Well, we are all born atheists, so Kirk can legitimately say he was an atheist.

Of course, he was an atheist who was somehow convinced by the banana and "crocoduck" arguments.

Perpetual Beginner said...

Huh. Different interpretations, I guess. I didn't read Pmomma's comment as doubting that Kirk Cameron was once atheist, but as doubting the "ATHEIST TEEN IDOL" schtick, which would imply some sort of fame in his atheism. KC was at least moderately well known, but I at least, never heard word one about belief or lack of it on his part until he became a Christian. Which would make him a teen idol who became a Christian, not an atheist teen idol.

Milo Johnson said...

Yeah PB, I saw the "fame" inference that way myself. And cryptic, shouldn't that be "crocoshit?"

Goodthink said...

LOL "crocoshit"

Humanist Mama said...

That is too funny about the Christian dating service. I hope you'll post more funny e-mails as you get them...we can all laugh together :)

I had a little poster pin-up of Kirk Cameron (hangs my head in shame) when I was about 12. But, I don't recall ever hearing that he was an atheist until after he started working with Ray Comfort. Do these people really think their "message" will be more convincing by claiming that they used to be an atheist? So annoying!

Jim said...

NPZ, thanks for making clear that true followers of Jesus Christ eschew the apostrophe and all its unholy ways. Submit to the rules of grammar first...then worry about the big sky fairy.

Aimee said...

I agree PB, I used to have a lot of pictures of him and many others on my wall at the time, hey he was cute till he got nutty.

Anyway, not once do I remember him claiming to be an atheist. It just wasn't something someone proclaimed in these teeny bopper mags.

I think they like to play the "I was an atheist" card because it looks so much more appealing to christians. *Cue dramatic music* These are people that have turned their lives around, came back from the brink of hell to accept their lord and savior, blah, blah, blah.

Holli said...

I get the christian dating junk, too, but the one that cracked me up was the christian daycare piece of junk mail I got the other day. I'm an atheist homeschooler...

reddhedd said...

Hey holli

I'm an atheist homeschooler, too, down in the bible belt. ( central Georgia)

redd

Asad said...

I think you have to accept people's self-identification of their religious beliefs. If Kirk Cameron says he was an atheist, why would you say he was an agnostic? If Barack Obama says he's a Christian, how can people say he's a covert Muslim?

Until we have a reliable way of tapping into people's beliefs or doing a litmus test of their religion, we have to accept self-identification. Who knows a person's beliefs better than the person him or herself?

Berlzebub said...

@ Asad:
Let's see. How about we look at their arguments against what they say they used to be? Calling the Banana an "atheist's nightmare", using the Bible to argue their position, and painting all atheists in the same light as them.

Sorry, if Cameron was an atheist, I used to be a fundamentalist Christian.