Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lying For Jesus: Blame It On Atheists

Shadow To Light is at it again.  Mikey is spewing more of his hate-filled propaganda against atheists in an effort to distance Christians from anything bad that happens, and pin the blame on those nasty atheists.  This time, it is the recent mass killing by Devin Kelley at a church in Texas.  Mikey wants desperately to attribute this tragic event to an atheist, so that he can point to it as evidence for his monotonous message: "How terrible those atheists are!"  But not surprisingly, Mikey is truth-challenged, as I will show.  In his latest two posts, he goes to some effort to make a case that the killer was an atheist, and then double down with the claim that the killing was an anti-theistic act against Christians.  And in his zeal to paint this event as an example of atheist rage against Christianity, he only succeeds in making a case against the ethical standards of Christian zealots like himself.

Let's start with his claim that Kelley was an atheist.  Mikey is convinced that it's an open-and-shut case:
As of today, the evidence clearly indicates that Devin Kelley, the Texas church mass murderer, was an atheist. - Mikey
So what is his evidence?  There seems to be three things that Mikey notes.  And they're all about the content of his Facebook page.

First is a quote on his Facebook page attributed to Mark Twain.  Mikey's reasoning here is rather bizarre.  The quote says “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”  But Mikey thinks Kelley got that quote from Richard Dawkins, because he thinks Dawkins made it up, and so Kelley couldn't have found it from any other source.  (I did say it was bizarre reasoning.)  Actually, it is a paraphrase of something Mark Twain said, but it wasn't made up by Dawkins.  The same site that Mikey links as "proof" of his accusation that Dawkins invented the quote also notes that it had first appeared on the internet years before it showed up in Dawkins' book.  But more to the point, that quote can be found all over the internet, and there's no reason to think that Kelley got it from Dawkins' book.

Second is some statements apparently made by a few people who knew Kelley but didn't like him.  They were talking about his Facebook presence also, and a couple of them claimed that he said atheist things.  (Actually, only one of these statements came from a reputable news source.  The rest came from The Daily Mail, for what it's worth.)  What did Kelley actually say?  There are no quotes of his own words, so we don't really know what they were referring to.  Maybe they were talking about the Mark Twain statement.  Maybe they were talking about other things he said that they just didn't like, so they called it atheist (kind of like what Mikey does all the time).  It is interesting to note that the Twain quote was obtained directly from Kelley's Facebook page, but Mikey couldn't produce any other quote from his Facebook page of something that Kelley actually said to indicate he was an atheist. 

Third, Mikey notes that Kelley had "liked" a few atheist sites.  But there numerous other likes as well, for sites that were not atheist.  So does this add up to clear evidence that Kelley was an atheist?  I think he could have been, but the evidence is by no means conclusive.  Mikey couldn't come up with a single thing Kelley actually said that indicates he was an atheist.  Furthermore, it was known, and had been reported in the news that Kelley attended church services and social events with his own wife and children.  Why didn't Mikey mention that?

So having established on dubious grounds that Kelley was an atheist, in his next post, Mikey goes into the psychological and motivational grounds for Kelley's attack.  He spends the first half of the post describing a particular category of atheists called "Anti-Theists", who supposedly are hostile to religion and religious people, and aggressively assert their views.  He then compares that to a description of Kelley, calling him angry, narcissistic, arrogant, etc. - but not describing him as an atheist.  Now, I think Mikey understands that he has made a weak case for Kelley being an atheist, so at this point, he pivots to Kelley's supposed anti-theism, based entirely on this bogus comparison.
So the question is not whether Kelley was an atheist, but whether he was an anti-theist.  Was he anti-religious and/or anti-Christian? - Mikey
And I don't really think I need to go into this in any detail, because it is pure speculation.  He doesn't talk about Kelley's family problems, or mental illness issues, or any factual thing about Kelley's life.  He simply tries to make this link between Kelley's anti-social behavior and the common claims that atheist-haters like Mikey typically make about "New Atheists" in general.  Again, let me emphasize that Mikey never mentions a single thing that Kelley actually said that would indicate he was hostile to Christians.  In fact, there doesn't seem to be any religious motivation in his attack.  And Mikey wouldn't have obtained that idea from any reputable news source.  This entire screed lacks any evidence at all to back up his claims.

I should note here that this sort of thing nothing new for Mikey.  Take, for example, this old post of his, where he accuses atheists of "harassing" a family about their tacky outdoor Christmas display.  In reality, all those neighbors did was send a letter to the family.  Oh, and by the way, there is no indication that they were atheists.  If Mikey has to resort to tactics like making up stories or to pinning blame on atheists when the evidence doesn't support it, just to show the world how bad atheists are, then it would seem that there aren't enough real stories of these things to justify his claims.  So it is reasonable to think that he is seriously lacking in those very qualities of Christian morality that he arrogates his own tribe of religious believers.  Nope - he's just a liar for Jesus.  What a piece of work.

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