Thursday, September 01, 2011

Pastor Mike responds

I wrote here about Pastor Mike, who a year ago wanted to make a list of atheists so he could harass and try to bankrupt them. More recently, PZ wrote about it here and Hemant Mehta wrote about it here.  This focussed a lot of attention on Pastor Mike’s site and he responded by making his blog private so that only his friends could see it.  Not a very brave or consistent act for someone who wants to put all atheists on a harassment list.

I emailed Pastor Mike and to my surprise, he responded.  Here’s my email:

Hi Pastor Mike,

First, let me say that since I understand you have suffered from or are suffering recent illness, I hope you are well on the road to recovery.

Second, I expect you have a lot of messages about your atheist registration scheme and rightly so.  It's an idea that certainly needs rethinking.  Since you've likely been deluged with information, I won't add to it here.  I just wanted to say that I've written about your crackpot scheme here:

If you or any of your members would like to respond, you'd be very welcome indeed.  I'd rather know more about your actual motivations than to speculate about them.
Hoping you have a speedy recovery,


Pastor Mike responded by posting on my blog as follows:

For what its worth , I have abandoned the entire idea and have no desire to do any "atheist list." It was written mostly in parody ( jokingly ). Instead , I am simply going to continue praying for the salvation of all the lost.
The continued hate mail I get is already validating my point.
God bless you and yours -
Pastor Mike

I posted on the aforementioned blogs that I’d received this message and wondered whether it was the One True Pastor Mike.  He responded:

Yes , it was the ‘real me.’ I invite you all to check out my latest post on my I-net church at:

I feel I have extended the olive branch , which is all I can do.

God bless and keep you all –

Pastor Mike

And I can now confirm that it really does seem to be the real Mike.  Brilliant.  Let’s look at what he has to say (from his new blog) and ask a few questions of Pastor Mike:

For what its worth , I have abandoned the entire idea and have no desire to do any "atheist list." It was written mostly in parody ( jokingly ). Instead , I am simply going to continue praying for the salvation of all the lost.

Why did he abandon the idea?  When did he abandon it?

If it was a parody, what was it a parody of? A parody is something cast in the style of something or someone else for humorous purposes.  What is the something or someone else in this case?  Where is the humour?  And if he means “joke” rather than “parody”, where is the punchline?  Where did threatening atheists become funny, because I’m struggling to see the joke?

The continued hate mail and character assassinations I continue to get have already validated the point I wanted to make.

It’s indeed a shame if Mike has received hate mail. I’ve had hate mail and it isn’t much fun.  We have to be careful though: there tends to be a marked difference between what I’d call hate mail and what religious fundamentalists like Pastor Mike might call hate mail.  For example, I would consider threats as probably belonging to that category but disagreements with my stance as probably not.  So it would be interesting to know what sort of mail Mike has received, whether it’s really hate-filled by any reasonable judgement, and whether it stacks up to his own clearly stated hatred of atheists.  He’s welcome to clear that up here: he knows the URL now and I post anything that’s not spam.

But more import is Pastor Mike’s idea that this alleged hate mail has somehow validated his point.  Which point was that, Mike?  I thought it was all a joke.  Either you meant it all as a joke and therefore didn’t have a point, which can therefore not be validated by hate mail, or it wasn’t a joke in which case you’re a liar.

I am instead , simply placing it in The LORD's Hands , and am continuing to pray for the salvation of all the lost. Feel free to drop by here from time to time and read upcoming sermons , VOD's , and simply proclaiming the truth of God's Word.

Placing what in those hands, exactly?  Pastor Mike, you were the aggressor and the bully here.  We were all just sitting around minding our own business and not believing in any gods when you suddenly decided you wanted to know where we lived.  What is it you’ve placed in the Lord’s hands?  Our punishment? Well have the decency to say so.

Thank you all for your "tolerance."

Please, Mike.  You began by attacking us.  What tolerance do you expect?  We don’t believe what you believe, but we shouldn’t be pissed off if you want to make a list so you can discriminate against us and bankrupt us? 

You will note that atheists aren’t trying to do the same thing to believers.

We aren’t the ones lacking in tolerance.

This will be my LAST statement in reference to the "atheist list" (that was never going to happen to begin with).

And yet there was an actual list, according to a few people who read your old site before you locked it down.  From what these people have said it included snail and email addresses of atheists and you promised to supply IP addresses on request. 

Would you care to deny that, Mike?  Or perhaps you’d like to answer some of the many questions I and others have posed to you.  Answer here, if you like.

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