International Cat Speculators Since 2006

On the day of the earthquake, a site was circulated by various outraged atheists. It blamed the earthquakes on tolerance of gay people in New Zealand.

The site is now removed, but it’s still readable on cache. I had a look through the pages, and notice a couple of things that made me wonder. Specifically:

  1. The hateful language, as opposed to a hateful message. Christians tend not to use words like “fag”. This is actually a good tell, because the Wesbro Baptist “Church” does and gets wide publicity for it. An unitiated onlooker might assume this was common in fundamentalist christian circules when describing homosexuality. It’s not. Even in sermons that condemn homosexuality in the strongest possible terms, you will pretty much never hear words like that.
  2. The language is over the top, but to a point. It doesn’t escalate into more irrational ranting as would be expected from someone genuinely outraged and working themselves into a lather.
  3. Scripture isn’t quoted (but see later). Fundamentalists cite scripture constantly in these sorts of things to justify their position.
  4. Trying too hard. The earthquake, ok. The IRD and XT network? Sorry, there’s no indication in the Bible that a cellphone network outage is God’s judgement.

But none of that is certain. 1) especially is very much a judgement call. No, what sealed the deal was this page.

First thing that struck me was that I saw scripture references. Second thing that struck me was that there was a distinct agenda being pushed which was completely at odds with the rest of the site.

Step One, STOP harming those around you – stop the bullying, stop the verbal and other abuse, stop the thieving, stop the dishonesty, stop the tolerance for violence, perversion, and alcoholism….

That is the one that differentiates between humans being judged, while animals are not – so their spirit does not need to go up to God. (The original text uses the word Ruach for both human and animal spirits — ie they are on the same level — Nefesh is a lower order of soul, and Neshamah is the next one up (above Ruach); above Neshamah come Chaiyah and Yechida. The Bible uses Ruach when talking about the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaQodesh) — ie an animal Ruach is described with the same term as the Holy Spirit.

That’s a really strange place to start. If this site were genuine Christian site, steps 1 though 10 would be repentance. Yet here we’ve got a weird sermon on animal cruelty and being a nice fellow.

Step Two – look for spiritual help. There are plenty of options. Eastern religions have good stuff in them, but they can take years of prayer and meditation to produce results. There are plenty of good people in churches, but there are plenty of ratbags too — if you go the church route, check out the track record of the group you join — are they just after your money, have any of their clergy been busted for child molesting? — you will “know them by their fruits . . . !!” And don’t go expecting great spiritual truths from an NZ church — most of them don’t have a clue — that is part of the reason the country is in the mess it is.

Eastern religions? Fake Christian fail. No self respecting, Bible-thumping fundamentalist would ever push anyone in any way towards an eastern religion. Instead, they’d tell you that you had no choice – God demands you worship him, and him only. Scripture would be quoted.

Step Three — you may not be religious, but you can still pray. God cares more about how you treat other people, than how you treat God. So if you get the “treating others” bit right, God is likely to meet you more than half-way, no matter how amateurish your early efforts to pray. If you are going to pray, you can just talk to God from your heart — and you can also use the “preformulated” prayers in the Bible. Start with the Psalms — they are still valid, no matter what flavour or denomination your spiritaul heritage was (or wasn’t).

Pray it seven times each morning — the Bible way — once facing South, once facing North, once to the East, then once above, once below, and once to the West, and then once more, picturing the Divine light shining within you, and in the centre of your home. In your mind, picture the Menorahs being formed from the verses you are reading. Ask God to protect you from the evil in NZ, to protect your children, your health, your marriage — and to protect you and those around you from another earthquake.

Again, fake Christian fail. People who blame earthquakes on God’s judgement don’t consider that man’s relationship with his fellow man is as important as repentance.

There is plenty to learn on a spiritual journey, but you don’t have to do it all in one year, or in five years. Treating others better, and wishing God well, is a big start.

So let me get this straight. God is tearing apart the country’s second largest city so that you’ll wish him well?

Now, some Christians do talk like this. We call them “liberal” Christians. But if there’s one thing that a liberal Christian would not do, it’s create a hate site blaming natural disasters on homosexuals. In fact, liberal Christians often don’t even believe in God at all, let alone a God who angrily smites the earth.
I could go on. There’s more “only someone from outside would say that” moments, and a lot of weirdness. There’s also some lovely examples of hatred of the organised church and some very good advice. It’s all over the place. In short, it’s a page that’s completely out of step with the rest of the site.
So the site overall is (was) not created by any identifiable Christian splinter group that I’ve ever heard of.  It’s clearly not written by someone with a consistent theology of any sort.
In layman terms, it’s satire. It was probably created by an atheist who is sick of various things within the church, to a) generate hatred towards Christians and b) to present to people attracted to the hate a “what to do next” message that may help moderate their hatred. The latter is of course a noble goal, but the former is not.

Comments on: "“Gay’s Caused the Earthquake” site is atheist satire, not Christian" (5)

  1. I’m not convinced it is satire, truth be told; it’s very much in line with the work of Greg Hallet (and the Spymaster) who runs both the “NZ is ruled by lesbians” and “Helen Clark works for the KGB” lines that the site advocated. Hallet does appear to be some kind of Christian (he took a tour of religious sites in Europe a few years back, as far as I can tell). Whilst I’m not sure the site was the work of Hallet himself, it does seem like it could be the work of a fellow traveller.

    Also, as a former Christian, I worry that you’re deliberately defining away the potential Christian nature of the authors of that site based upon your rather rigid definition of what a Christian is. I’ve met plenty of Christians who are a) sympathetic to Eastern religions and b) focus on being nice rather than repent all ye sins (admittedly, most of my Christian acquaintances were Catholic). I’ve also met a fair number of supposedly liberal Christians who use the term “fag” to refer to those dastardly homosexuals they hate so much (I also know a fair number of liberal atheists who don’t like homosexuals; liberals are necessarily liberal in all their views); all of the rhetoric on that site rings true of a certain subset of Christian.

    Whatever the case, if that site was satire, it wasn’t very good satire. Funny and really inappropriate.

    • Hey, thanks for your comments. Haven’t heard of Greg Hallet. I’ll look him up.

      I guess I have less experience with the liberal end – I’ve never heard of anti gay sentiments from that side as it tends to be by definition that liberals are pro-gay.

  2. I agree with this post. This just didn’t “smell” like a genuine website, I’m convinced it’s satire – appalling and unfunny satire.

  3. […] discussed that site and the fact it bears no relationship to any sort of consistent theology here. For those not willing to click the link, here’s the money quote: So let me get this […]

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