Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lessons of the post Rapture pet rescue site. Who’d have thunk it?


What started out as a concept with some money making opportunity has turned out to be a remarkable educational experience.

Over the past ten weeks, since the site began, Brad and I have received two-thousand plus emails from atheists applauding Eternal Earth-Bound Pets as “genius, “brilliant,” and the funniest poke at fundies they have ever witnessed. Naturally, almost all of them want in on the action. We have demurred thus far and not taken on additional rescuers or expanded our area of coverage. One could have predicted this kind of response, but hardly in the numbers we have experienced.

Then there are the angry Christians who see this service offering one of three ways:


  • Fundie evangelicals who perceive this as an intentional ridicule of their sacred belief for which I am assured I will “burn in hell forever,” and who would no more entrust their pet to a godless atheist than they would a Korean restaurant owner. Some try their proselytizing act assuming the threat of hell would jog my intellect free from my brain.

  • Second, from non-Rapture believing Christians who are embarrassed by their Rapture believing brethren, and who assure me I will “burn in hell forever” for promulgating this misinterpretation of scripture. Sometimes their email is sprinkled with obscenities that one would think would prohibit their kissing Jesus or their Moms with their filthy mouths.

  • Third, from Christians who insist their pets will be beaming up to Jesus with them, and that my ignorance of this proves I am a “fool.” Naturally, this is inventive feel good doctrine which does not exist anywhere in scripture. But invariably they warn me I will be “burning in hell forever.”


As you can see they all share one common theme – the promise of an eternal camel BBQ in the netherworld.

But the letters that surprised me the most were from liberal moderate Christians who not only see humor in the details of the terms and conditions and contract language, but who actually congratulate us for our creativity and entrepreneurial endeavor -- going so far as to wish us luck on our business. And these aren’t just rare occurrences.

Last week I received an email from a lovely lady from Michigan, a believer whose husband happens to be a pastor. She made a suggestion about some of our contract language, and explained that she and her husband found the site very entertaining. Both hoped we were realizing some sales for our efforts. We exchanged emails, over a couple of days. I answered some questions about “belief” (or in the case of atheists the lack there of), my position of the creation of the universe, and the trials and tribulations of raising a two year old (she has one now, I had two over a quarter century ago.) She bought my book for her pastor husband today. I expect this to be the beginning of a long term pen pal relationship.

Early this week an email challenged our site’s statement that all our pet rescuers have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit in accordance with Mark 3:29. He asked me to explain exactly how I interpreted Mark 3:29 and how exactly we had blasphemed to ensure it being the “unforgivable sin” described in scripture. So, having not a lot to do other than watch bad TV, I gave him the scriptural interpretation of what made it the unforgivable sin of the Pharisees, followed by my modern day interpretation of how to blaspheme in order to make it applicable for non-Pharisee blasphemers.

He replied quickly, thanking me for my response, and congratulating me on my knowledge and interpretation of scripture. Turned out he is a retired Episcopal priest, bordering on something like agnostic. He wanted to make sure we weren’t just pulling the blasphemy guarantee out of our asses. He wished us luck on our business.

There have been many more like these -- friendly, charming, funny and supportive believers. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. I never would have expected such a divergence of perspective of what our offer meant to Christians; such diametrically opposed emotions emanating from people sharing the same religion; such a difference in temperament and tolerance.

I turned a year older on September 8. I am really old now, but not too old to be educated and pleasantly surprised.

20 comments:

zarton said...

Hey Hump,
I bet I have a new one for you. I was recently told by a fundie that the reason his church was against gay marriage wasn't because they necessarily were against same sex partners but because his pastor said that if you take away the traditional definition of the word marriage it would be a slippery slope leading to people getting married to their pets.
I wanted to ask him how hard it was to find someone dumber than he was and convince him to become his pastor. However, I was at work and did not want to visit with the H.R. department so I bit my tongue and rolled my eyes and walked away.
Perhaps he should have taken a stand against eating meat as well, as it could be a slippery slope towards cannibalism... oh wait, they like that don't they. Take this bread and eat it, for it is my flesh.

zarton

Dromedary Hump said...

Zar saidd: "Perhaps he should have taken a stand against eating meat as well, as it could be a slippery slope towards cannibalism.."

Heheheh....good retort. I'd use it given the same opportunity.

The statement about marrying pets is just patently stupid. While the worst homophobic christians like to use that as an over-the-top justoification for their position is its a strawman argument.
There is a big difference between humans marrying, irrespective of their gender, and marrying out of ones species!

zarton said...

Thanks Hump,
I would like to shake your hand, but that might lead to arm wrestling.
zar

NewEnglandBob said...

I had looked upon this as a lark or just as a dig at fundamentalists, but it is very interesting to see the responses that you have talked about here and your fascinating and interesting radio interview.

Human nature comes in many strange forms and could be studied for lifetimes.

Rachelle said...

Great post (as usual) and a Happy Belated Birthday, Hump! LOL!

People who are dumber than their pets shouldn't have any...this includes hamsters and goldfish. LOL!

Dromedary Hump said...

Bob,

I must say, it's been a real eye opener. Yesterday i inteviewed with Drew Marshall, a theist and the largest spiritual broadcaster in Canada. He was a pisser!!
He made fun of Kirk Cameron, and his side kick Ray Comfort, laughing his asoff when I referred to the latter as "Banana Boy."

He has no respect for their kind of idiocy in the name of religion. He handled our interview with politness and great humor. Very Refreshing. Might be able to get his podcast from his website.

Rachelle,
Thanks, and Thanks!
per your comment: I'm convinced that Kirk Cameron is actually owned by his gerbil.
;)

Hump

Tracey said...

It's nice to know that some believers do have a brain and a sense of humor. Unfortunately, their televangelist brethern and their sheep give the nice believers a bad name. As for Kirk Cameron, no self-respecting gerbil wants anything to do with him.

Tracey said...

Oh, I almost forgot...anyone remember the silly woman in the Florida state legislature who thought "animal husbandry" meant getting married to animals?

Dave D. said...

zarton said...
"...if you take away the traditional definition of the word marriage it would be a slippery slope leading to people getting married to their pets...."

Hmmm, actually I agree with this. Meaning if I want to marry my pet, it's still none of the governments business. I can commit to anyone or anything I please. Now, if you're talking about spousal rights, I don't know if any of them would make sense for a pet. e.g. They still wouldn't be allowed in a hospital, but maybe some of them would make sense...

zarton said...

Dave,
Having been in that particular conversation personally, I can assure you he was talking more about people having sexual intercourse with animals than committing to, or leaving property to an animal.
It is my opinion that people should only have sex with consenting adult people. (or in my case, a lovely blow up doll) Pets may or may not be consenting, (I wouldn't know) however they are not people.
I personally do not want the government (or god) involved in any of my personal relationships. That is why I could not foresee myself getting married. (besides, you gotta get a date first... right?) I will concede that there are advantages to getting married, so I would not dismiss it out of hand.
It would also be a little awkward giving my guitar(or blow up lady friend) power of attorney or making it the executor of my will... etc.
I think the point of my post was to dog the slippery slope argument. Can anyone think of a good one? I suppose there could be one, I just can't think of one. Pot is a slippery slope to injecting yourself with heroin? Dancing is a slippery slope to sex? Idle hands are a slippery slope towards pleasuring ones self... OK nevermind.
Thanks,
zar

Rachelle said...

Tracey said: "Oh, I almost forgot...anyone remember the silly woman in the Florida state legislature who thought "animal husbandry" meant getting married to animals?"
.
.
LOLOL! I DO recall that...and I laughed heartily...until I realized she was SERIOUS!!! How embarrassing. I wonder how some people get elected to public office in the first place.

Kirk Cameron is a douche...a "growing pain" in my arse. I wish he would keep his religious nonsense to himself, but he insists on proselytizing. He's now taken to passing out copies of "On Origin of Species" with a 50 page biblical preface to college students on campuses. I'm hoping that if these students made it this far in their education, they'll be smart enough to see right through that BS...Kirk and "Banana Boy" (LOL!) are a joke. I've seen that idiotic video clip where Banana Boy tries to explain how bananas were "created" for human hands (we can grip and peel them with ease). I'd like to tell him to shove that banana up Kirk's arse...but that would be a waste of food. LOL! All someone has to do to blow up that brilliant theory is to give him a pineapple...or a coconut...or a mango. Mangoes are a bitch to grip and peel with a knife...let alone with bare hands. LOL!

I haven't watched any more video clips of Banana Boy and Kirk...so let me know if their brilliant minds came up with any "theories" regarding the pineapple. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Just thought I'd comment that the Rapture is suppose to happen today. However, there seems to be some backpeddling now on http://www.rapture2009.org/.

As an aside, perhaps a plug for Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA should be posted to their forums? I mean, afterall, these guys seem convinced that the Rapture is going to happen, if not today, then sometime this year...

- Fastthumbs

zarton said...

Oh crap, what am I supposed to do when the xtians are gone and I have no one to make fun of? oh wait Nancy Pelosi will still be around.
zar

Rachelle said...

Here's a video rebuttal on YouTube to Kirk Cameron's plan to distribute altered copies of "On the Origin of Species." LOL! She even mentions Banana Boy. LOL!:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmHN3JtyUXg&feature=player_embedded

HoleyHands said...

Here is my answer to banana-boy! It has been played over 100 times but no one has ever said if they like it or not, so I don't know if it is any good?
Banana Man 2.0

Dromedary Hump said...

HH!!!
PRICELESS!!!! LOL!

Rachelle said...

LOL! Ditto.

He's having WAY too much fun with that banana. LOL!

Dromedary Hump said...

Hey everyone: If you want to hear a fun interview I did with Canada's largest spiritual radio program last week click on this link:

http://www.drewmarshall.ca/listen2009.html#latest

then click on "2009 programs"; then scroll down to bottom of the Sept 19th listing to Eternal earth-Bound Pets. Click on the speaker icon and instant interview. 14 minutes long, its GOOD!

For a Christian this guy Drew Marshall is something else.

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