Friday, May 30, 2008

Doh-Conversion



Guest blogger Kieran at the de-conversion blog summarizes a plethora of de-conversion stories. Seems all but one story he read cast the blame for the de-conversion to Christian authority figures failing to give a good answer to a simple question. The one exception was when the future atheist was actually won over by a clever atheist's answers.

Here's the rub. These de-converts, seems all young people, didn't get reasonable answers to their simple questions. My question is if they were still asking simple questions, what had they converted to in the first place? Uncertainty? Certainly not Christianity. Imagine this:

Boy asks: Uncle Fundie, why is the sky blue?

UF responds: 'Cause the Lord God made it that way, kid. [OK, dumb answer]

Boy thinks to himself: That's a dumb answer. I think I'm going to become an atheist.


I have asked Kieran to point me to one example of a de-conversion story that starts with a conversion. I'll follow up if in fact he can find one. Do keep in mind that "I taught Sunday School for 20 years" and certainly "I went to seminary" do not constitute a conversion. :-)

18 comments:

Stan said...

I had the same sort of thought. Doesn't "deconversion" require "conversion"? In fact, what is "deconversion"? If I do a "conversion" on a car to make it, I don't know, more powerful, I wouldn't "deconvert" it to change it back. I could "revert" it, but not "deconvert."

To me, a lot of these "deconversion" stories sound much like "Lord, Lord, look what we did for You" ... and then changed their mind about offering that argument.

Jim Jordan said...

Doesn't "deconversion" require "conversion"?

While they give plenty of evidence of their disagreements the conversion evidence is paltry if there at all.

I posted a few comments on this de-conversion site a year ago. It seemed rather pleasant enough then, but the response has been mostly insults this time.

Flycandler said...

Again, it's like our Jim claiming conversion from Christianity to Christianity.

I'm not an atheist, but I think what they try to emphasize the "de" in "deconversion" to highlight the fact that they are going from a state of faith to a state of non-faith. Most probably also come (as did our mutual friend Dagoods) from a born-again Bible-thumping background, in which adherents go through a "conversion" process, so going from that to atheism is a "deconversion" process.

Jim Jordan said...

Fly, here's your comment from Dagoods' site:
To quote the late, great Douglas Adams (my favorite atheist; sorry, Dagoods), "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, we may just have to come to terms with the possibility that we have a waterfowl of the family Anatidae before us."

Let's see. you oppose every thing I say from almost every angle. You are pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and anti-Christian.

Yup, you might as well admit it, you're an atheist, Fly!

Quaaaaack! :-)

Flycandler said...

Except I believe in God and God's redemptive work through Jesus Christ. THAT is what defines a Christian.

Show me ANYWHERE in the New Testament or in our Confessions of Faith where it says one cannot be a Christian if one has a political opinion on the issues of abortion and civil rights from Jim Jordan, or if one advocates respectful treatment of other people of faith.

In fact, this was quite telling:

Let's see. you oppose every thing I say from almost every angle.

This may come as a shock to you, Jim, but you are not Jesus Christ, nor are you the arbiter of all things Christian. Thank God for that.

Jim Jordan said...

abortion and civil rights

Translated: killing babies and marrying people of the same sex.

Of course I'm not Christ. I'm just trying to trust and obey what he has said.

Flycandler said...

I hate to bring up this old chestnut again, but Jesus never said anything about abortion or about civil marriage rights for two people of the same gender. Abortion arguably existed back then, though the concept of sexual orientation didn't (never mind the concept of civil protections against discrimination based on it).

YOU are putting words into Christ's mouth that he never spoke. To use one of your favorite smears, that's heresy.

Whether one is or is not a Christian has nothing to do with agreement on political issues.

Jim Jordan said...

I hate to bring up this old chestnut again, but Jesus never said anything about abortion or about civil marriage rights for two people of the same gender

Tell Jesus that when you see him. I'm sick of hearing your nefarious intellectual acrobatics. You give me a headache.

I have more respect for a so-called deconvert than you any day. They are at least telling the truth that they can't reconcile the scriptures to what they see in reality.

Abortion and same sex marriage are political and religious issues. Your politics is your religion which is why your "political" conclusions always win.

Flycandler said...

Jim, I'm frankly tired of your hypocrisy on the marriage issue. You, yes, you, have benefited personally from people bending Biblical rules on marriage for you. No less an authority than Jesus himself said that remarrying after divorce is adultery. For a literalist like you, going against a command instituted by Jesus Christ would tend to make someone not a Christian. Yet, like a large swath of the Protestant movement, I have come to the conclusion that this is not an essential of Christian faith and is not a bar to someone identifying themselves as a Christian.

I would hope that you would extend the same Christian love to others, but I guess in your own calculus, you don't benefit from it, so screw the rest of us.

You've flip-flopped again on deconverts. No surprise there. But what I want to know from you, who have taken it upon yourself to be the arbiter of all things Christian and not, is this:

If I believe in God, how am I an atheist?

Jim Jordan said...

That God exists is the only point at which I've seen you disagree with an atheist.

There's a difference between bending a rule and breaking it.

Flycandler said...

Yes. Divorcing your wife and marrying another is adultery. Adultery is defined pretty clearly as sin. You are breaking that rule.

As I've said, one of the few things I cannot abide is a hypocrite. You preach against moral relativism, yet when it comes to your personal life, you're all about live-and-let-live.

That God exists is the only point at which I've seen you disagree with an atheist.

The difference between a person who believes in God and a person who does not believe in God is that the former believes in God. Yes, Jim, that's what we call a circular argument.

Jim Jordan said...

hmm, pro-abortion, same sex marriage, anti-evangelicalism, are all atheistic positions, not to mention your vicious attacks you made against me on an atheist blog for saying the bible is still relevant today. Funny how the atheists sided with me and the bible against you in that debat.
:-)

Flycandler said...

Jim, who are these atheists who sided with you "in that debat [sic]"? When did I make "vicious attacks" against you "for saying the bible [sic] is still relevant today"? I remember criticizing your assumption that the minister's job is to decode the hidden meanings of the Bible as guides for household tasks, and that the Bible is a book about us, not God.

And yes, many Christians support a woman's right to choose whether or not she should have an abortion as opposed to the government, many Christians support marriage equality, and MOST Christians are not evangelicals. Yes, some atheists have similar views, but some atheists like chocolate ice cream. Does that make all people who like chocolate ice cream atheists?

These are not defining issues for Christianity, no matter how much you want to rewrite the Bible to suit your own political purposes. I know that drives you crazy.

Flycandler said...

Well?

Jim Jordan said...

FYI Fly,
The Bible is a book about us AND God.

You said that Genesis 19 had nothing to say about the present age, and I gave numerous examples that it indeed had volumes to speak to us. You rambled on about how I was misreading the Bible and that there was something heretical about applying scripture to how we live. Micah and Dagoods thought I had a point. You did not. You may not remember that - in fact I hope you don't remember any of the nonsense you write. :-)

Flycandler said...

No, I didn't say that. You said that it was the pastor's job to decode the secret messages embedded in the Bible that week.

And yes, you "win" arguments by running away. Why did it take you almost a week to answer a direct question? Come to think of it, it wasn't an answer at all.

Jim Jordan said...

You said that it was the pastor's job to decode the secret messages embedded in the Bible that week.

That is a strawman. You can't even hide your sarcasm, can you?

This is an old thread, Fly. In case you haven't noticed, it's been off the main page for some time. I don't have time to root through the last month's posts to find what insults you've thrown at me. I have better things to do. I am a family man, you know. :-)

Flycandler said...

Several families, as you admit.