This is my continuing dissection of this letter to atheists, titled How to Prepare for Hell:
1. First and foremost, whenever the Bible is being taught, run.
Deal! Actually, this is something I never get. To avoid seeming horribly unjust, Christians will generally invent a clause in the contract where if you never really know about Christian doctrine, you won’t go to hell. But then they’re being complete bastards by walking around, telling everyone about Jesus. Stop that! You’re condemning me to hell!
He illustrates it with another completely baffling metaphor: the parent-child relationship.
The other day, I yelled from the living room to my daughter Katelynn to get to bed. Fifteen minutes later, she was still up. I became upset with her. I thought it was a deliberate act of disobedience. However, when I talked to her about it, she said that she did not hear me. Once I believed her, my anger went away. Why? Because she did not actually know that I told her to go to bed. Now, she was still in a little bit of trouble because she already knew what her bedtime was. But her trouble would have been more severe had she not only known what her bedtime was but heard what I said and still disobeyed.
So instead of scalding her, I merely punched her goodnight. See, I’m not an unreasonable guy! Same goes for God.
Oh, you didn’t? Because that would be an unreasonable punishment in any event, even if you caught her single-handedly perpetrating the mortgage crisis? Congratulations: you’ve found my point.
2. Don’t try to persuade others, especially children, of your unbelief
You’re not really clear on the concept (or on the grammar – am I really not allowed to persuade people that I don’t believe?) of unbelief.
3.And (and this is going to sound crazy), if your eyes are causing you to lust (i.e. pornography?), cut them out.
Whatever you say, Oedipus.
4. Take care of your family
Not bad advice! Only problem is it’s also not Christly advice. Christ, you know, the dude who told you to hate your family, abandon them and join his personality cult? Yea, guess you’re just gonna pretend he didn’t say that. It’s not like he’s your god or anything.
5.[…]you have to do whatever you can to remain humble. Pride will create a full chapter in most people’s section in the book of judgement.
You believe the almighty lord of all creation suffered a brutal death so you could avoid the damnation you so richly deserve because you touch yourself at night, and you’re suddenly qualified to give anyone else lectures on humility? You, who believes that this deity cares about your dietary habits and knows how many hairs are on your head, who loves you and desperately wants to not have to torture you – you think I’m the one with too much pride? We must have different dictionaries.
5.[…]If you are an atheist, you are the way you are due to fate, not your own ingenuity or efforts.
No, Michael, you’re thinking of Calvinism. I find it entertaining you think that “you are the way you are due to fate” is so different from saying “you are the way you are because of God.”
I must pass this invitation from God over to you once again.
So pride is bad, he said, speaking for God.