Over the years, a man I know named J. Richards has compiled a master list that fundamental religionists use to counter the logic and reason of unbelievers. The project started out with only a handful of these, but has grown to the point that it required categorizing, to which Mr. Richards has done a remarkable job. Some of these are known under other names such as Red Herrings, Straw Men, etc., but I think that Mr. Richard’s list is absolutely wonderful, and it is reprinted here with his permission. So, without further adieu, here’s the master list that fundamentals use to counter the logic and reason of unbelievers:
A. Acting Out. Overreacting to issues by emotional outbursts rather than thought.
This is a rather common tactic for fundamental Christians. Throwing emotional sewage at others rather than using reason apparently makes them feel good about themselves. Therefore there are a LOT of fundamental Christian games in this category.
A01 (10). Sinscreaming. The “You horrible sinners are going to HELL!” argument. Apparently fundamental Christians think this can make up for a lack of a rational response. This is also known as the “Volume and repetition are always a substitute for facts and logic.” game. The fundamental Christian blithely ignores all the facts presented and just continues sinscreaming.
A02 (13). The “imploding fundamental Christian” gambit involves nonstop insult and obscenity laced messages, used to show that he is at the end of his rope and is completely irrational and unable to defend his opinions.
A03 (17). The “HOC maneuver.” It’s going ballistic prematurely, aggressively, and seemingly without reason, against a new poster with the intention of chasing the other person away. Usually the other guy never gets a chance to talk before he’s hounded out of the space.
A04 (37). “The Tourette syndrome.” Maybe if I use a bunch of foul language to describe what Jesus said, and spew a bit more hate and raw bigotry, no one will notice that I don’t have a valid response.
A05 (51). The “he who yells the loudest, is the rightest” ploy. This normally involves putting their entire post in caps, perhaps with artificially enlarged text.
A06 (91). “Snapping”. In this game, the fundamental Christian will send post after mindless post after post to someone who has blown him away in debate saying: “Why don’t you respond?” What he hopes no one notices is that the poster has ALREADY answered numerous times, and that the fundamental Christian has changed the recipient of the posts to be “all” or himself, so the original poster may never see what he says.
A07 (105). “I don’t have to apologize for standing up against depravity.” This fundamental Christian game is being so abusive against another poster that even some of the other fundamental Christians think he has crossed the line. When this is pointed out, the fundamental Christian merely becomes even more incensed that anyone should think that he should diminish the viciousness of his posts.
A08 (136). “You are a liberal and hate America!” In this rather mindless game, the fundamental Christian starts foaming at the mouth about “liberals” as if that suddenly made nonexistent facts come to his aid. It is really merely another attempt to detract attention from his inability to support his opinions.
A09 (142). “Shoot the Messenger”. In this game a fundamental Christian’s favorite reasons for hating people are thoroughly refuted by actual in-context quotes from the Bible. Rather than address the actual scriptures he doesn’t like, the fundamental Christian will do his best to slander the person who proved that he was wrong.
A10 (149). “Bury the facts in excrement” In this fundamental Christian game, after a fundamental Christian has received a rebuttal of his position that is so compelling that even he knows he is wrong, the fundamental Christian will start a flurry of one-line meaningless messages composed entirely of fluff and/or insults. The purpose of THIS game is to bury the rebuttal so deep in the thread that no one will be able to find it in the midst of all the garbage.
A11 (162). “If you can’t do, teach. If you can’t teach either, then just criticize” The fast majority of fundamental Christians are incapable of either doing anything rational or teaching, so mindless criticism is all they have to fall back on.
A12 (204). “Gang bang time!” When confronted by proof that their hate-filled messages are not supported by the Scriptures they claim to follow, fundamental Christians will start a rational discussion to determine the truth — NOT! <g> Instead they work in mass to engage in an unrelenting personal assault, spewing venom and ridicule at the person who has proven them wrong. They hope they can drive him away since clearly they can’t match wits with him.
B. Altruism. Working to meeting the needs of others.
The altruism of fundamental Christians does not quite match the rest of humanity. Their altruism worries only about what will happen to you once you are dead, and any evil done to in the mean time in the name of “saving” them after they are dead does not concern fundamental Christians much.
B01 (67). The “Kicking the shmoo” game. fundamental Christians are usually under the impression that everyone but themselves are “shmoos”. A “shmoo” was a mythical creature from the “Little Abner” cartoons. A shmoo always loves to be kicked around and just LOVES anyone who kicks them. Fundamental Christians have a hard time believing that anyone they assault isn’t a shmoo who should be SO thankful for the abuse! Their victims are supposed to lie down on the ground and thank the fundamental Christians for beating them because anything less would be “intolerance”, “opposing free speech”, and “persecution” of the fundamental Christians. Somehow fundamental Christians seem unable to understand the concept that self defense (against them) is justified.
B02 (110). “The shirt off my back” A fundamental Christian will frequently extol his own virtue by claiming that he would give you the shirt off his back. If it is a nice shirt, ask for it and see what happens.
B03 (140). “It’s your fault I am hounding you!” While “The Devil Made Me Do It” is one of the most violent of fundamental Christian games, this one is one of the most hypocritical. The messages that fundamental Christians constantly spew are violent and vicious enough that they sometimes drive the victim into a deep depression — especially if it is a relative who cannot get away from them and who has likewise been brainwashed with the fundamental Christian’s violent messages. Usually the fundamental Christian has no clue this is what he is actually doing. The resulting depression then gets blamed on the presumed “sin” rather than the actual cause — the fundamental Christian’s own verbal assaults.
B04 (146). “I am here to rescue you from not being a rabid bigot”. In this game, the fundamental Christian pretends that only loudmouthed brain dead bigots get into heaven, and only he has the capability of rescuing you from being a human being.
B05 (200). “Don’t bother helping people. It doesn’t do any good.” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian appears to believe that God is a terrorist, and that if you do good works just because you like to help people instead of out of terror of what God the terrorist might do, then you are wasting your time. God will get you in the end anyway. Perhaps he thinks God likes to lean on the “competition” and doesn’t want anyone but His “mob” handing the “good” stuff.
B06 (205). “If I don’t torture and abuse you, you won’t be ‘saved’!” This is the fundamental Christian version of altruism. Torture has frequently been used as conversion tools in the past, and fundamental Christians still use it in their attempts to create “ex-gays”.
C. Anticipation. Reacting strongly to what MIGHT happen instead of to the current situation,.
This frequently involves bizarre activity because “the end of the world” is near.
C01 (15). The “pre-martyr”. This character is so obsessed with becoming a martyr that he keeps up an ongoing commentary on how horribly he is going to be treated sometime in the future.
C02 (109). “The end is near!” A fundamental Christian uses this as an excuse for activity that would normally be considered obnoxious because this is an EMERGENCY! The world is coming to an end! While he is absolutely certain of this fact, he will not take a bet that someone will give him $1,000 right NOW with the stipulation that everything he owns gets turned over to the other person after the date the fundamental Christian thinks will be the end of the world.
C03 (141). “I’m sleeping with Jesus, so I get special treatment.” Otherwise known as “I have a relationship, not a religion.” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will claim that his special “relationship” with Jesus means that he will get special treatment after he is dead that those who are NOT sleeping with Jesus will not get. It doesn’t matter what he or she does because of that special “relationship”. The way it is described, it sounds like the special treatment that some people receive by sleeping with the boss.
C04 (207). “Just think how wonderful it will be after you are dead if I can just destroy your life right now!” The fundamental Christian will claim that the reason he constantly assaults others is because he “loves” them. Torture, murder, and denial of basic human rights are meant to “help” their victims after they are dead.
D. Avoidance. Running away from problems rather than facing them.
Fundamental Christians have raised this particular tactic to a fine art.
D01 (12). “Banned in Boston!” “I haven’t read it or seen it, but I know it’s bad and should be banned!” In this game the fundamental Christian starts an assault against the very idea that anyone should either see or read something of which he disapproves, with the certainty that it is EVIL — without ever having checked for himself. This runs the gamut of opposing the reading of Harry Potter, watching “The Inquisitions” on the History channel, or viewing the “200-Odd Games fundamental Christians Play” list.
D02 (25). “That isn’t what it means” with no explanation is really considered a valid response from fundamental Christians. Apparently they don’t know what they mean either. Also phrased as: “Us fundamental Christians is right about the Bible. You all wrong!”
D03 (40). The “I said something really brilliant on this subject so I am right” ploy. They never seem capable of repeating that brilliance for some reason, in spite of numerous requests that they do so. <g>
D04 (42). “You will never ‘get it” This game disparages someone who has just blown them away in debate by whining to another fundamental Christian that he “will never get it”. Naturally again there is nothing to back up their opinions.
D05 (52). The “fundamental Christian Blinders” game. The biggest problem with fundamental Christians is that they NEVER look at the full context, even when it is laid out for them. They just start exactly where they are told to start by bigoted leaders, stop exactly where they are told to stop, and carefully ignore everything else. Then they are given a hate-filled misinterpretation of the tiny verse-fragment they have torn out of context and will never be shaken from that twisting of scripture no matter what.
D06 (54). The ‘flounce’ is the announcement that they are leaving the discussion, never ever to return. The “flounce” is also applied to individuals with a “I will never speak to you again!” proclamation. Unfortunately they never follow through. It is just a play for attention. The fundamental Christians MIGHT, however, come back under different screen names to try and hold on to the fiction that they actually left.
D07 (58). “The Big Lie”. Most fundamental Christian statements involve use of “The Big Lie”. They just repeat some hate-filled piece of sewage over and over again so often they think people will believe it just because of repetition, ignoring all refutations.
D08 (71). The “Opinion Fallacy” holds that all opinions are the equal of all other opinions regardless of whether they’re valid or not. If something is called ‘opinion’ it cannot be subject to criticism and/or ridicule.
D09 (75). The FALSE ANALOGY, an unsound form of inductive argument in which an argument relies heavily on a weak or irrelevant analogy to prove its point. The fundamental Christian usually gets quite upset when his analogy is carried to its logical conclusion, or else is modified to make it a more accurate representation of the actual facts.
D10 (104). “I can’t remember the trivial details”. In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian will brush off the fact that he has completely misrepresented some key information in order to make his point. When it is proven that the entire basis of his argument is wrong because of this basic error, he will try to brush it off as being “trivial”, when in fact it is the keystone of everything he has tried to build. For example, he may claim that the Bible says that the mark of Cain was Black skin, and then goes on to use this as an excuse for lording it over Blacks. The fact that the Bible does NOT specify the mark of Cain at all, much less say it is Black skin, is brushed off as “trivial”.
D11 (112). “Pseudo-ignore” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will loudly declare that he has been so “offended” by someone who has trounced him in a debate that the “offender” is going on permanent ignore, and the fundamental Christian will never speak to him again. Unfortunately for the “offender”, the fundamental Christian never follows through, and usually is responding to his posts just like always.
D12 (124). “Back quote? What’s a back quote?” In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian will make some off-the-wall statement that makes absolutely no sense without a back quote. He does this not just because he lacks common courtesy, but also because he is hoping to waste the time of the person to whom he is responding. Also he frequently fails to provide a back quote because if he did it would be immediately obvious to everyone that he had no clue what he was talking about.
D13 (137). “Give me a break!” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian asks everyone else to “give him a break” by not pointing out the flaws in his arguments. Apparently hate-filled rants should not be held to the same standard as rational discussion.
D14 (158). “I have a completely closed mind.” This rather redundant statement by a fundamental Christian merely tells people that he will never change his mind on any subject, ESPECIALLY if he has been proven wrong. Since a completely closed mind seems to be standard with fundamental Christians the statement is not really necessary, but some fundamental Christians are helpful and will let you know.
D15 (167). “Maybe I can fool enough of the people enough of the time…” In this fundamental Christian game, based on a new ending to a famous quote, the fundamental Christian’s arguments will be so thoroughly debunked that he will try to kill the discussion by telling everyone he doesn’t want to discuss the subject any more. Immediately afterwards he goes to another thread with different people and brings up the same discredited arguments with someone new.
D16 (171). “If I ignore the question, it goes away!” When asked a relevant question that would destroy his position if he answers it, or sometimes just out of pure stubbornness, a fundamental Christian will refuse to answer. Instead he will provide a long post that never once relates to the question being asked. He will continue this process no matter how often the question is asked or rephrased. Eventually, when he thinks enough time has passed, he will start claiming that he “already answered that” or even that “the question was never asked before” (thus allowing him to avoid answering yet again…).
D17 (190). “Hysterical Blindness” In this strange game, the fundamental Christian will claim that he is unable to read the information that has been provided to him, and will continue as if it was never presented.
E. Compensation. Overemphasizing unrelated activities or situations. .
For fundamental Christians, this usually involves using slight of hand to keep people from looking at the actual issue and analysis.
E01 (5). “Sin of the Day”, also known as “Your sin’s bigger than mine” — When a sinscreamer gets nailed for committing what he has said is a sin, he claims that the “sin of the day” (currently this appears to be homosexuality) is more awful than anything else in all recorded history, and continues his rant while ignoring his own faults. After all, HIS sins are not as important.
E02 (174). “The Misplaced Sin”. In this game the fundamental Christian looks at a situation where a sin has occurred, but points to the wrong thing as the sin. For example, the fundamental Christian may claim that David’s sin with Bathsheba was because David took a working holiday from war and checked out the walls of the castle (thus seeing Bathsheba bathing naked) rather than keeping his eyes aimed skywards at all times. The actual sin was to abuse his authority to try and have Bathsheba’s husband killed so that he could take her as his concubine.
E03 (184). “What I said wasn’t REALLY a lie…” In this game, the fundamental Christian will phrase himself VERY carefully to give a completely misleading idea without ACTUALLY lying. For example, he may claim that he worked in a hospital when trying to make his claim to medical expertise more believable. What he fails to mention is that he worked there as a janitor or receptionist and that he actually has NO relevant skills or education.
E04 (186). “I had a copy and paste malfunction!” In this game, the fundamental Christian will copy and paste PART of the discussion, but leaves off the key part. For example, he may have said something incredibly stupid, denied he said it, and then have someone else quote his words back to him. In this case he quotes the accusation, but his “malfunction” results in his own words being left out of his post, where he will once again deny ever having said it.
E05(187). “Selective Backquote Malfunction!” In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian only partially backquotes the person to whom he is responding, dropping critical relevant information in the process, and then makes claims about the backquote fragment rather than the whole as a way of mischaracterizing the other person’s post. If this was Janet Jackson, the fundamental Christian would be banned for life.
E06 (188). “I am so glad you asked that question…” In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian completely ignores the question asked while using it as a stepping stone to spew his standard mantra. Watch a politician “answer” a question he doesn’t want to answer some time to see how a master handles this. <g>
F. Denial. Refusal to recognize obvious implications, consequences or facts.
A lot of a fundamental Christian’s time is spent holding his eyes tightly closed to avoid “inconvenient” facts.
F01 (11). “Selective Blindness” — otherwise known as: “The Bible must be wrong because it doesn’t agree with what I have been taught” argument. This is part and parcel of the “The words don’t really mean what they say” argument, and can apply to any subject.
F02 (24). “I already said I refuted that!” in response to something they couldn’t respond to before and still can’t. They think no one will notice that if they could refute it before, they could do it now. They are now too embarrassed to repeat what has already been thoroughly debunked, because they don’t want people to see the refutation again.
F03 (27). “You use too many words!” When presented with a detailed analysis — usually after the fundamental Christian has whined that the previous post left out “context” — the fundamental Christian will complain that the response has too much information and so should be ignored. He says: “If you use too many words, you lose your audience.”
F04 (28). “Facts and analysis are malarkey” approach to a discussion. Instead of addressing the points raised, merely keep repeating (with no evidence or rationale) that the opposing argument is “nonsense. Interesting enough, THIS particular version is usually used when discussing scientific matters such as evolution, with the claim that THEIR approach is “scientific”.
F05 (33). The “The Bible means what *I* want it to mean” game. The Bible doesn’t really say what it meant or mean what it said. It MEANT to limit (or expand) the words much more than actual words do. This argument usually shows up as soon as anyone actually looks at the verses the fundamental Christian is using to abuse others.
F06 (35). “I am not a fundamental Christian!” In spite of all evidence to the contrary, a fundamental Christian will frequently claim that he is NOT a fundamental Christian. But if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and lays eggs like a duck, it is probably a duck.
F07 (47). The “Humpty Dumpty syndrome”, wherein a word means precisely what the fundamental Christian wants it to mean, not what the dictionary says.
F08 (64). The “Everything is possible if you just believe and pray hard enough” game. If you really believe you can make water run uphill. Why don’t “I” pray for water to run uphill? Because we who are truly enlightened do not need to demonstrate our abilities to unbelievers.
F09 (65). “The Titanic Cannot Sink” ploy. The fundamental Christian uses this one when absolute proof has been provided that he is wrong. Rather than admit error, he just insists it is true because something SAYS it is true. One can talk as much as he can of all the wonderful safety features that make it impossible for the Titanic to sink, but there it is at the bottom of the ocean. This comes up most when the “everyone sins” message is challenged. The Bible is filled with people who, according to the Bible and Jesus, did not sin. Even one example of someone who did not sin is proof that the “everyone sins” message is false. There’s the Titanic, sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
F10 (70). “Evolution is only a theory!” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will attempt to pretend that a scientific theory is just a wild-assed guess, even though he has been presented with the definition many times in the past.
F11 (79). “Agumentum ad furious assertion” involves the fundamental Christian asserting the same thing over and over again without any proof, acting indignant that anyone could POSSIBLY think he is wrong.
F12 (92). “The Armour of God”. When a fundamental Christian is presented with irrefutable facts that prove that he is completely mistaken about one of his opinions, he would loudly proclaim that he is putting on his “armour of God”. Apparently the “armour of God” is purposeful ignorance, and the fundamental Christian is incapable of showing any difference between the “armour of God” and purposeful ignorance.
F13 (123). “You are a false prophet!” The fundamental Christian uses this to describe anyone who knows the Bible better than he does, and so can refute the filth the fundamental Christian constantly spews, pretending it comes from God.
F14 (125). “I ask you again…” In this brilliant game, the fundamental Christian asks the same question over and over again, ignoring the fact that it has been answered many times already, and that the answer in any case is irrelevant to the discussion. This is very similar to “Snapping”.
F15 (143). “You should lie to make me happy.” In this fundamental Christian game, after his opinion has been thoroughly refuted and his favorite Biblical reasons for hating people are proven not to be supported by the Bible, the fundamental Christian will start whining that “he should just admit I am right”, even though it is clear to anyone who has paid attention that it is the fundamental Christian who is wrong.
F16 (147). “I never saw the post addressed to me.” In this game the fundamental Christian pretends to have never seen a key post refuting his position or asking for information. Apparently he thinks no one can look at the post and see that it is no longer showing as unread.
F17 (170). “If I lie, you should let me get away with it.” I am constantly surprised by how many fundamental Christians think that they can make claims that are not true, and that anyone who corrects them is being INCREDIBLY rude.
G. Displacement. Going after the easy target instead of the right one.
The heart of this is abuse of power. The fundamental Christian attacks someone he thinks is defenseless rather than addressing the very real issues, though sometimes it deals with the creation of a straw man argument instead.
G01 (32). “Manna was made out of cornbread!” In this fun exercise, the fundamental Christian makes a claim that is so extremely stupid that it immediately sidetracks the entire discussion. The idea is to get people so interested in pointing out that corn was not even introduced to the region until thousands of years later that they forget about the real discussion and the fundamental Christian’s complete inability to support his opinion. This allows the fundamental Christian to make the same false statement later on and claim that he was never refuted before.
G02 (46). The “Music Man” gambit — from the movie of the same name. It includes “THINK OF THE CHILDREN” and “We’ve got trouble, right here in River City”. It usually starts off with getting hysterical about some non-problem, appealing to people’s fears about their children, and then gets used to sell something no one needs.
G03 (49). The “Let’s pretend we were discussing something else” ploy. When the fundamental Christian finds he has nothing to stand on, he suddenly starts pretending to be discussing a DIFFERENT verse without telling anyone that is what he is doing.
G04 (68). The “Cafeteria Christian” gambit, in which the fundamental Christian in question picks one piece from the Old Testament to apply to everyone else, but will nosh on rabbit fricassee, ham sandwiches, and shrimp cocktail with gleeful abandon on their way for a shave and a haircut in a poly-cotton blend shirt.
G05 (145). “The false back quote” In this dishonest fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will quote some words which he SAYS he is back quoting, but which in reality were never written by the person to whom he is responding. He either changes what was said entirely, makes something up out of nothing, quotes someone else, or leaves out important information.
H. Humor. Emphasizing the amusing or ironic.
fundamental Christian humor tends towards the abusive, which is no terrible surprise.
H01 (3). The “False Modesty” gambit. The fundamental Christian claims he sins because, after all, EVERYONE sins. It’s a beautiful sublimation. “Everybody sins, therefore I’m not all that ugly after all.” He trots out the “everyone sins” message to absolve himself of responsibility, as if HIS sins are completely unimportant because “everyone does it”. Then, after selling his credentials as the winner of the most humble contest, he begins assaulting everyone else for being sinners. Otherwise known as “I’m OK, you are a horrible sinner.”
H02 (7). “The Unnatural Two-Step”. A gay-basher shows up declaring that homosexuality is “unnatural”. He is provided with overwhelming proof that homosexuality occurs in nature frequently, and so is perfectly natural. He then responds with a: “EEEUUUUUWWWW!!!! You say you are like an ANIMAL??!! UGH!! YUCK!!! YOU ARE COMPARING HOMOSEXUALS TO ANIMALS!!!!! Ugh!! So you are ANIMALS, unlike us pure heterosexuals who never do ANYTHING that animals do! PASS THE SMELLING SALTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
H03 (31). The “the buck stops waaaaaaaay over there” ploy, where they claim that they can’t explain their own opinions so you should go talk to someone else about what they mean. You don’t expect them to understand their own statements, do you?
H04 (133). “What do you mean ‘us’, white-eyes?” This comes from a joke about the Lone Ranger being surrounded by Indians, turning to Tonto and saying: “I guess this is the end for us!” In this game a fundamental Christian leader who has been a major inspiration to the fundamental Christian is caught red-handed molesting toddlers, openly calling for murder, scamming people out of their life savings, or perhaps killing his own children. The first response will usually be: “Well, he wasn’t REALLY a Christian”, which means they can continue to follow the hate-filled messages he has been pushing on them, but they get to disassociate themselves from the crimes. Later on, after the fundamental Christian leader has played: “God has forgiven me, why can’t you?”, they will go back to idolizing him.
I. Idealization. Unrealistic glorification (or condemnation) of a person or thing.
This typified the black and white thinking that is so common. Either someone was absolutely perfect or absolutely evil without very much in between.
I01 (1). “Hubris in Action” After a long series of posts about how wonderful he is, the fundamental Christian will try for the “most modest” award by saying something like: “I don’t know where to begin! Seriously… But then I don’t like to boast.” Then he expands on his boasts.
I02 (23). “False Credentials” In this game a fundamental Christian will make a claim to being an important expert with a Doctorate in the subject at hand. Chances are he also displays a diploma from a diploma mill whose only requirement for graduation is that you pay them. In any case, he quickly displays absolute ignorance of the subject and the ploy is revealed.
I03 (26). “Cheer leading lost causes”, also known as “glubies” (thanks Max) – encouraging, congratulatory and essentially cheesy remarks about how well they’re doing exchanged between fundamental Christians who are being thoroughly trounced in debate
I04 (34). “Jesus doesn’t count.” When faced with the words of Jesus Christ opposing his actions, a fundamental Christian will discount Jesus. “I have some other passages that say that Jesus is wrong here”. fundamental Christians usually avoid the words of Jesus Christ at all costs because they are so clearly described as Pharisees, and any attempt to get them to see what JESUS said will be rapidly deflected. They may say: “Jesus isn’t important. PAUL is the one with all the answers who CLARIFIED Jesus.” They can’t support themselves with in-context words of Paul either, but this allows them to actively oppose the clear words of Jesus Christ and still call themselves Christians.
I05 (48). The “Spoiled Brat” ploy. The fundamental Christian raves over how “special” he must be since people are paying attention to him. Apparently his real life is so barren of human contact that this is the best he can get.
I06 (63). “Christians don’t sin the way others do.” Somehow “Christians” become some sort of super-race without the failings of mere mortals. So they claim that “everyone sins” but Christian’s sins aren’t as bad as non-Christians. (Keep in mind the “not a REAL Christian” ploy which is frequently used in conjunction with this one.)
I07 (76). “Spiritual Interpretation”, otherwise known as “I don’t HAVE to know what the Bible says!” This is based on the idea that they are so spiritually evolved that they know more about the Bible and God than anyone else, so it doesn’t matter if their opinions are directly contradicted by the Bible. This is certainly a prime example of the sin of Hubris.
I08 (80). “Dognity” — an attempt by a fundamental Christian to pretend that spouting bigoted dogma instantly infuses hate speech with dignity.
I09 (89). “Dead bigots must know what they are talking about”. In this ploy, the fundamental Christian refers to the opinions of dead bigots to support his own bigotry. Naturally the dead bigots could not provide anything to back up their opinions either, but that does not seem to matter.
I10 (101). “Delusions of Adequacy”. This fundamental Christian is used mainly in Internet forums and chat rooms. It is when they use a screen name that they hope will impress the gullible while spewing some of the most vile and hate-filled talk imaginable. The screen name could be anything from a favorite verse used to abuse others, a description of a truly religious person, a religious title or, in an act of ultimate hubris and blasphemy, “God”.
I11 (108). “Get out of jail free card”. In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian will claim that he is not subject to the normal rules of human behavior because he is religious, praise the Lord!.
I12 (126). “I am the Supreme Lord High Poobah!” What the fundamental Christian forgets to mention is that in HIS sect, the term “Supreme Lord High Poobah” means “Janitor, 2nd class”, and the title wouldn’t be at all impressive to anyone who knew what it actually meant.
I13 (131), “My hubby’s a rich, handsome doctor who looks just like Brad Pitt and spends all his time and money making me happy!” In this game, the fundamental Christian tries to bask in the glory of her imagined perfect husband by claiming to be a gold digger. Somehow she thinks that others will be impressed and think that this makes her wonderful.
I14 (132). “My wife is a fox who looks just like Brad Pitt — I mean like Madonna!” After spending several days trying to pick up women on line in inappropriate settings while continuing his holier-than-thou assaults on others, it is brought to the fundamental Christian’s attention that he must not care all that much about his own wife. He will “disprove” this assumption by claiming that his wife looks like some movie star that he has previously described as a “slut”. Somehow the person under that image doesn’t seem to be important to him.
I15 (134). “KJV is Perfect! All other versions are perversions!” In this game the fundamental Christian will be presented with quotes from the Bible he doesn’t want to believe because they contradict his hate-filled messages. To avoid having to look at the original words, he will go so far as to say the King James Version “corrects” the original Hebrew and Greek. When it is pointed out that the quotes he doesn’t like are FROM the KJV, he suddenly stops talking.
I16 (135). “Everything in the Bible is literally true!” Unfortunately this game does not last very long, because as soon as it is pointed out that the literal words of the Bible disagree with his favorite reason to hate people those words suddenly become “exaggerations for effect”.
I17 (154). “I am the expert and *I* say…” In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian will claim to be an expert in a specific field of study and try to silence dissent by placing his own professional reputation on the line. He may even BE an expert in that field. However, a fundamental Christian does not consider his professional reputation to be as important as promoting a particular fundamental Christian argument. For example, to try and promote the idea that the story of Sodom has something to do with homosexuality, the fundamental Christian may claim that in the original Hebrew (his field of expertise), sex is ALWAYS meant whenever a human being is the direct object of the word “know”. However, a quick check of the Bible finds that it is filled with counterexamples. In fact, if that were true, God would be a promiscuous homosexual because he “knows” so many men. So never accept the word of a fundamental Christian at face value. Always verify.
I18 (160). The “I am a doctor” or the “Doctor Ruth game”. In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will make a claim to some title while implying that it means something completely different. Dr. Ruth, for example, claims to be a doctor while loudly offering psychiatric advice to people. What she does NOT mention is that her doctorate is in physiology and has nothing to do with psychiatry. Likewise someone may claim a religious title to which he is not entitled while he may actually have a much less lofty title. When cornered he will say that the terms are “interchangeable”.
I19 (161). “I just learned how to spell your religion, so I know more about it than you do.” In this amazing game the fundamental Christian lambastes the members of some other religion over some imagined detail of the other religion’s theology, When corrected by an adherent to that religion who has actually formally studied it, he insists that he knows more about it than the actual expert.
J. Incoherence: Usage of the language that makes it impossible for others to understand.
If fundamental Christians WERE understood their nonsense would be pretty self evident, so it is not surprising that they frequently resort to this tactic.
J01 (45). The “Dr. Fox syndrome” was invented by a fraud who gave a speech composed almost exclusively of buzzwords. Use of large and obscure words tends to lead people to increase their estimation of the erudition of the speaker, especially if the meaning of the speech is also obscure. Most fundamental Christians don’t have the charisma or word skills to carry it off.
J02 (66). “Speaking in Tongues”. For some reason there are a number of fundamental Christians who will lapse into complete gibberish when holding a conversation. Somehow gibberish seems more empowering to them, though I am not sure what they expect..
J03 (203). “My words SHOULD mean something!” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will produce a fair sized post, and everything sounds like it SHOULD make sense, but it is impossible to determine what the fundamental Christian really wants to say. There is just a level of incoherence that makes it impossible to understand.
K. Introjection. Unconsciously incorporating the values, attitudes, and qualities of another.
Usually this involves slavishly following whatever a bigoted fundamental Christian leader says, no matter how bizarre.
K01 (36). The “Opinions of bigots take priority over anything — even the Bible” argument. Well, none of the OTHER bigots I know accept that the words mean what they say.
K02 (38). The “The Pharisees were right!” response. You would be surprised how often fundamental Christians quote the PHARISEES as their justification. It would even be accurate to call fundamental Christians “Modern-day Pharisees”, except that the title is just too long for easy use. One favorite: “You were born totally in sin”.
K03 (86). The “neo-Pharisee” ploy involves inaccurately interpreting a Bible passage so narrowly that the fundamental Christian claims it doesn’t apply to him. For example, many fundamental Christians will claim that the word “NOTHING” means “everything except food”, and will try to use the words of the Pharisees to refute the words of Jesus.
K04 (97). “The Cheerleaders Join the Game” In this fundamental Christian game, one fundamental Christian will make an outrageous and false claim to try and “prove” himself right. As he gets blown away, other fundamental Christians will jump in claiming that the first fundamental Christian was absolutely right. Sometimes they get themselves confused and wind up proving the opposite instead.
K05 (113). “The Devil made me do it.” This sounds funny, but in actuality it is perhaps one of the most horrific of the fundamental Christian games. “Fighting the Devil” has been used to excuse just about anything. For example, one fundamental Christian claimed that the reason she drowned her children was because they were “possessed by the Devil”. The BTK killer also used this excuse. So when a fundamental Christian begins proclaiming that someone is “possessed by demons” or “a false prophet” or any of a number of other key words, or says that sometimes demons possess HIM, this is a danger signal, not just a harmless weirdo sounding off.
K06 (121). “I am the BTK Killer”, otherwise known as “I am truly wonderful in real life!” In this game, the fundamental Christian tells everyone that in REAL life he is a truly wonderful, loving person that you would like on first sight. Apparently he only lets his ugly, hate-filled TRUE self out on the internet.
K07 (159). “Well, at least I am not Fred Phelps!” Fred Phelps has been a godsend (note small “g”) for fundamental Christians, because they can be REALLY rabid and abusive on the issue and then play “holier than thou” by claiming they are not as bad as Fred Phelps, much in the same way as the KKK claims they are not as bad as Hitler.
K08 (179). “Maybe I can’t think, but I can plagiarize!” In this pathetic fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will posts massive amounts of text from his favorite hate site, pretending that it is his own words. In another variation, he may even copy the words of someone’s “personal testimony” and spread it as his own. So you may see two or more fundamental Christians making the identical claim about their “personal experiences” in the same words, and even with the same typos.
K09 (208). “The 10 Commandments are just the 10 suggestions”. In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will claim that FOR fundamental Christians the 10 commandments don’t really apply, so, for example, it is OK for a fundamental Christian to call for someone’s murder. This argument was used, for example, to claim that Pat Robertson’s call for an assassination wasn’t really a big deal because the 10 commandments were just “not completely sufficient”.
L. Passive-aggressive. Attacking other people in subtle, indirect, and seemingly passive ways.
This is another fundamental Christian favorite. Harming others while claiming to do so out of “love” gives them that warm “holier-than-thou” glow which they find so irresistible.
L01 (6). The Magic Decoder Ring ploy is used to make the fundamental Christian feel good about running away from an argument in which he is being trounced. They say something like: “I wouldn’t expect the unsaved – who doesn’t know the Word of God – to understand a Godly concept.’
L02 (8). The “grace vs. law” argument. To explain why none of the old testament applies to THEM, they will say that everyone is under grace, so they don’t have to worry about it. This does not stop them from hand-picking their misinterpretations of Old Testament passages to apply to OTHERS because that is “guidance” (which applies to others, but not to them).
L03 (16). The self-martyr. This one usually hits his stride in his 2nd post whining about how horribly he is being treated for speaking “the truth”. Some go overboard and start it with their first post even before getting any responses. See “pre-martyr”. Also known as “You’re all picking on me.”
L04 (18). “I am being unfairly censored!” This is just a subset of the self-martyr when personally abusive parts of their posts get edited.
L05 (19). “My rights are being trampled!” This comes out when people point out that their nonstop abuse of others is not well received. Somehow they think that they have the right to assault, but the victim is not allowed to defend himself without trampling his rights.
L06 (20). “I am above the rules and the law!” Make the subject rules, staff, and the unfairness of enforcement. This is again a subset of the self-martyr.
L07 (21). “You Said He Said.” Make the thread about who said what and in which message so it turns into an endless game of “you said, he said” without once addressing the actual issues.
L08 (56). “Holy Marketing”. This is the religious equivalent of telemarketing or popup ads on the internet. The idea is to inundate all media with their message so that nothing else can be seen.
L09 (77). “Pascal’s Wager” tries to tie belief in the Christian God to self-interest rather than evidence. It is based on the premise that God will do horrible things to you if you don’t believe in him without any evidence of his existence. Unfortunately, the Christian God can undoubtedly see through such a selfish attempt. He would probably condemn people to hell who went through the motions of belief just on the off chance God might torture them for eternity if they didn’t. This is a variant of the “curse-you” game in which the fundamental Christian attempts to blame God for the misery you are allegedly sure to suffer in the afterlife based on his beliefs.
L10 (85). “You aren’t worthy”. In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian claims that a poster who clearly knows a LOT more about the subject than he does isn’t “worthy” of a debate because the other person isn’t a “real Christian” or “saved” or “born again” etc. This allows the fundamental Christian to play “holier than thou” while still running from the discussion.
L11 (100). “Dropping turds in the punchbowl”. In this fundamental Christian game, used mainly in Internet forums, the fundamental Christian will show up at a forum of “sinners”, drop off some obnoxious sinscreaming posts, and then disappear, never responding to any answers. After all, HE would never drink from something he had befouled that way.
L12 (102). “Destructive Criticism”. In this bizarre fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will verbally assault the people who are working to solve a problem that HE says needs to be solved. Apparently they are not doing “enough”. Other than saying that an amorphous “they” should force everyone else to do more, he has nothing to contribute and is not doing anything on his own to help.
L13 (117). “Mislabeling”. This is roughly similar to “preemptive labels, except that the label has nothing to do with the fundamental Christian. He will call others as “An atheist like you” or “a pagan like you”, particularly to people who are not atheists or pagans. It is done with the intent of being an insult.
L14 (118). “I will pray for you.” This fundamental Christian game is actually meant as a verbal assault while simultaneously playing “holier than thou”. It is a means of filling the fundamental Christian with the wonderful feeling he gets whenever he exhibits the sin of false pride.
L15 (119). “If you would only TRULY believe for just six months…” Somehow a fundamental Christian thinks that believing just like he does is merely a matter of just turning it on or off like a faucet. The fact that no decent person would want to be just like him, that he provides no good reason for changing to become like him, and that most people would consider it a major waste of six months doesn’t get through to him either.
L16 (120). “I know a secret that you don’t know. Neener neener!” In this fun game, the fundamental Christian comes out with: “If you really took the time to understand…” to try and give the impression that the fundamental Christian has secret knowledge.
L17 (127). “You must have been molested as a child.” When fundamental Christians finally realize that their sick and hate-filled messages are not taking, they try a new tack. They start trying to pretend that the person who has successfully refuted them must be “damaged” because if he wasn’t, obviously he would be a hate-filled bigot too.
L18 (144). “You aren’t really human.” In this rather sick fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will claim that the objects of his bigotry are not really human. This usually comes out as “Blacks are just monkeys” or “Gays don’t love, just lust”.
L19 (155). “All but one”. In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian tries to force the internet discussions to conform to the way fundamental Christians have held abusive power in the past. The fundamental Christian effectively places himself on a pulpit where he refuses to listen to any substantive refutations of his position. Instead he basically gives a “sermon” which he addresses to “all” instead of to the person he is responding to. He ignores all responses and merely places more sermons in random spots in the discussion. This allows him to remain ignorant of facts that would “confuse” him while allowing him to continue spewing hate unabated and, he hopes, unrefuted. If asked, he may say that his message is for everyone EXCEPT the person to whom he is responding.
L20 (177). “It’s not MY problem!” This is the quietest of all fundamental Christian games. While normally they are in nonstop screaming assault mode against what they consider “sinners”, they are amazingly silent when it comes to confronting the clear evil of other fundamental Christians. If the children of a fundamental Christian regularly show up black and blue or with broken bones, the remaining fundamental Christians turn their eyes away. It is none of their business. If a fundamental Christian bombs an abortion clinic, it gets ignored — or people work to raise money for the bomber’s legal expenses and to support his wife and children.
L21 (199). “Analogy as Insult”. In this game, the fundamental Christian will make up a false analogy (see “false analogy” elsewhere in this list) with the specific purpose of insulting the person to whom he is responding. He is usually VERY reluctant to explain his analogy since that would expose how his mind really works.
M. Projection. attributing your faults (and occasionally your virtues) onto another person.
M01 (2). “Oops! Wrong victim!” The fundamental Christian has been screaming at someone for some imagined “sin”. When it turns out that the person has NOT committed that particular “sin”, rather than apologize, he trots out the “everyone sins” message in order to claim that the other person must have done SOME sin, so he deserved the tongue-lashing anyway. It is a way of avoiding personal responsibility for his own mistake.
M02 (4). “You’re no better than I am, you horrible sinner!” The everyone sins message is used as a tactic to tear down someone who appears to be good, and of whom no one has anything bad to say other than the poster. It is a “I am as good as he is because he sins too” comment.
M03 (39). The “Accuse everyone else of what *I* am doing” game. fundamental Christians think that if they accuse others of what THEY are doing, no one will notice their hypocrisy.
M04 (44). The “Blame the Victim” ploy is quite common among fundamental Christians. Most fundamental Christians are pretty ignorant of Jesus Christ, so do not know that he disapproves of that tactic.
M05 (57). The “I am merely a puppet.” game. For this one the fundamental Christian spews some hate-filled message in his or her own words, then claims he is merely “repeating what the bible says”. In this one the fundamental Christian realizes that the message he is pushing is so foul and evil that even he can’t bring himself to admit that he supports it. Instead of taking personal responsibility for it and saying he AGREES with it, he instead says: “I am merely repeating what the Bible says.” By doing so he is slandering God and Christianity. This is also known as “The Bible made me do it” and “I vas only followink orders.”
M06 (62). The “Not a Real Christian” game. In general, anyone who doesn’t meet their very narrow definition is “not a Christian”. If we believed all of them, NO ONE would be a Christian.
M07 (84). “Semantic Deception” One of the many dishonest games fundamental Christians play, this one is in reference to the habit of making the Bible say what they want it to say. When a fundamental Christian is confronted with an obvious contradiction or biblical problem, he will often claim that the accuser is taking a verse out of context. Interestingly, fundamental Christians are known for taking verses out of context, and are incapable of showing what context has been missed.
M08 (95). “Christianity = ignorance, violence, hate and bigotry”. Whenever anyone opposes the fundamental Christian’s messages of violence, hatred and bigotry, they will claim that the person is “attacking Christians”. Since this would only be true if ALL Christians promoted ignorance, violence, hatred and bigotry, the fundamental Christian is in effect claiming that Christianity IS ignorance, violence, hatred and bigotry.
M09 (96). “Murder, rape, and stealing is fun!” fundamental Christians will frequently try and claim that without their particular brand of religion everyone would murder, rape, steal etc. because it is so much FUN! The fact that these people think that violent crimes are fun tells a lot more about them than it does about anyone else.
M10 (98). “Fundamentalism = ignorance, violence, hate and bigotry”. Whenever someone is successfully opposing the hate-filled messages of fundamental Christians, and they have failed in their attempts to pretend that opposing their bigotry is opposing all Christians, they then fall back on claiming that the person opposing their dishonest tactics are opposing all fundamentalists, even though fundamental Christians are no more fundamentalists than stick insects are sticks.
M11 (111). “I mischaracterize you!” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will claim that you have said something completely different from what you ACTUALLY said in order to make it appear that you agree with the fundamental Christian. Where the fundamental Christian is staff and has the ability, the fundamental Christian may actually go in and edit your message to make it appear that you slavishly agree with him or her.
M12 (114). “Preempting labels”. The fundamental Christian will start a discussion by labeling the other person with his own tactics. He may claim the other person is anti-Semitic before claiming “Jews killed Jesus”. Or he may accuse others of being nazis before suggesting death camps for gays.
M13 (129). “Preemptive insults.” The fundamental Christian will begin throwing out insults that obviously apply to HIM in an effort to detract attention from his own shortcomings. For example, he may accuse others of sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity when others have been too polite to point out that his picture is used as the illustration for those words in the dictionary. He really believes that if he uses them first, he has “dibs” and no one else is allowed to point out how well the description fits him.
M14 (138). “You are the Antichrist!” Also known as “You follow false spirits!” In this game, the fundamental Christian accuses anyone who can prove that his hate-filled message is NOT supported by the Bible as the antichrist. The more foolish the fundamental Christian appears, the more likely he is to make this accusation. After all, how could he look so foolish if his “enemy” wasn’t the Antichrist? That’s the ONLY possible solution!
M15 (150). “Well, there are games liberals play!” Once it has been made clear that the fundamental Christian is incapable of any rational discussion, but only capable of repeating fundamental Christian games, he will get tired of getting his ploys pointed out for all to see. Unfortunately for him, when he snaps and starts saying there are games that “liberals” play, the “liberal” interprets that to mean that the fundamental Christian is finally willing to actually discuss the issues. So the “liberal” will put forth a substantive post, and the fundamental Christian will immediately run away again.
M16 (151). The “deathbed recantation” game. Otherwise known as “co-opting the dead”. In this one, the fundamental Christian will claim that some famous person recanted his “evil” ways (Darwin on evolution, Einstein on Relativity, Newton on gravity, Columbus on the round earth, Freud on psychology, Leonardo on biology). Of course this presumed deathbed recantation was heard only by someone with a vested interest in getting it, but now that he is safely dead the fundamental Christians can change the words to match whatever they want.
M17 (156). “Love? What’s love? All I know about is lust!” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will pretend that every reference to love is actually about lust. Apparently fundamental Christians are so filled with hate that they cannot even comprehend the concept of love.
M18 (164). “If you don’t believe everything that I say without question then you must be a liar, because only liars don’t believe me.” OK, so you don’t believe even a fundamental Christian would ever make such an idiotic statement. I can hardly believe it and I have seen them do it.
M19 (168). “What you MEANT to say was…” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian shows that he knows more about what you are thinking than you do. He will rewrite your words to something that fits what he wants, and he will then proceed to assault you for what he says you MEANT to say instead of what you actually said.
M20 (172). “I am the Holy Ghost!” In this blasphemous game, the fundamental Christian claims that opposing ANYTHING he says is opposing God and/or the Holy Ghost. For example, if a fundamental Christian is caught in an X-rated chat room, he may claim he was there to “save the sinners”. If anyone questions that explanation, he will claim they are “opposing the words of the Holy Ghost.”
M21 (175). “Well, YOU don’t know everything either!” When a fundamental Christian has been proven to have been completely incorrect about some obvious verifiable fact, he will start an assault on the person who proved him wrong rather than admit to making a mistake. Somehow he does not get the idea that it is the CLAIM to nonexistent knowledge that is the problem, not the ignorance itself
M22 (181). “Well, everybody does it but just doesn’t talk about it.” When a fundamental Christian uses this to describe what HE does, it can cover some really bizarre activities. I once saw a fundamental Christian who was bashing gays admitting that he ONCE had a gay sexual encounter when he was young because: “It’s something everyone does but just doesn’t talk about — like having sex with your daughter.”
M23 (183). “God is a terrorist”. In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian will insist that you do something that HE wants because if you don’t the fundamental Christian, or God if the fundamental Christian wants to mischaracterize God as a terrorist, will do horrible things to you or those you care about if you don’t give in. If you ever feel like you are doing something because if you don’t God will do something incredibly evil, then you are treating God like a terrorist. I am not sure God would like the comparison.
M24 (192). “If it was a liberal spewing all the hate-filled garbage that I have been spewing, you would be kissing his behind!” This is another variation on the “self-martyr”. In this rather bizarre fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian claims that the sewage he produces would be treated like fine wine if it came from someone else.
N. Rationalization. Explaining away actions and feelings in a way that is not reasonable.
N01 (43). The magic spell: “CONTEXT!” This is game is usually played AFTER the fundamental Christian has just received a refutation of his position in FULL context. Naturally he provides none of his own. The fundamental Christian seems to think that the word “context” is a magic spell that makes valid arguments disappear without having to waste time on facts or reason.
N02 (50). There is also the ever popular “Bible Roulette” game. When a fundamental Christian has nowhere to go, he will pull a verse at complete random out of the Bible and say: “There! This proves my point!” They rarely quote the actual words of the verses, hoping no one will check up on them.
N03 (73). BEGGING THE QUESTION, an argument in which the conclusion is implied or already assumed in the premise. Also said to be a circular argument. For example, a fundamental Christian will find a passage that condemns sin in general, claim that this covers his particular “sin of the day”, and offer that as his PROOF that his “sin of the day” is actually a sin.
N04 (157). “I use only part of the quote or the whole quote depending on what I am trying to mischaracterize.” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will post just half of a sentence quote. He normally does this because he wants to bash someone else with the sentence fragment he is using, but doesn’t want anyone to notice that the remainder of the sentence says that what HE is doing is wrong He may even tell you that he uses either the full quote or the partial quote depending upon what he is trying to prove. .
N05 (194). “That isn’t the exact word I was looking for…” In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian will make some claim, perhaps on a subject he knows virtually nothing about. When a credible source refuting his position is provided that describes what he is talking about, or where a translation uses a synonym for what he is talking about, the fundamental Christian will make a big deal about the exact word he was using not being included.
N06 (195). “Don’t be evasive!” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will have made a claim that is clearly false. When absolute proof is provided that he is wrong, he will try to wiggle out of it by claiming that the other person is being “evasive” and then throw up a straw man argument that has nothing at all to do with the matter under discussion.
N07 (196). “Well, he is entitled to his opinion!” In this extremely hypocritical fundamental Christian game, a fundamental Christian who has been doing his best to shut down ANY dissenting speech to his own views will find that one of his heroes has just done something like openly advocate and call for the murder of people he doesn’t like. While this leader might be a televangelist who claims to represent all of Christianity, and to control the Republican party, the fundamental Christian will suddenly say that he is “just a private citizen” and “he is entitled to express his private opinions”. Or he might say “Everyone makes mistakes”. Naturally they never allow so much wiggle room in anyone belonging to a group they oppose.
N08 (197). “But what if…” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian or one of his favorite leaders will have been caught red-handed doing something illegal, immoral, and probably fattening as well. Or else his message has been shown to be pure unadulterated bigotry. In this case the fundamental Christian defends his position by making up a complete fantasy about what other people MIGHT have done (but in actuality did not) and then claim that what he or his leader did “isn’t so bad” in comparison.
O. Reaction formation. Converting an uncomfortable feeling into its opposite.
The most common, of course, is a fundamental Christian’s habit of converting his own homosexual tendencies into homophobia, but I have not created a “game” for that yet.
O01 (69). “Sin for Jesus”, otherwise known as the “Jesus will dry up and blow away if we don’t go around sinning, so sin for Jesus!” ploy. Why Jesus would suddenly disappear if someone wasn’t sinning is never really explained but they really believe that if even one person did not sin, Christianity would dry up and blow away.
O02 (81). “Freedom of Speech Doublespeak” — in this game, the fundamental Christian starts a mad tirade about how anyone who opposes his viewpoint is against “freedom of speech” and should be forced to shut up. This is normally because the opposing views are so compelling that he thinks silencing the opposition is the only option he has left. Somehow a fundamental Christian cannot get it through his head that free speech means OTHERS can have their say too.
O03 (115). “I don’t believe, I KNOW.” In this game, the fundamental Christian will state some outrageous opinion. When challenged, he will make that statement, thinking that somehow this makes him appear very wise.
O04 (116). “Everything is religion”. In this game the fundamental Christian will claim that EVERYTHING is religion, including atheism and science. With that in place, he thinks it is no longer necessary to back up any of his statements.
O05 (130). “Methinks the lady doest protest too much.” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will take a completely irrational defensive posture against some innocuous statement. For example, if someone points out that homophobic bigots are more likely than those who are NOT homophobic to actually be physically attracted to members of the same sex, the fundamental Christian may go into assault mode saying: “How dare you accuse me of being a fag!” Ignoring for the moment that the fundamental Christian has self-identified himself as a homophobic bigot, and the fact that HE was never even mentioned, the unrelenting insistence that the “accusation” be “taken back” merely shows that this has hit VERY close to home.
O06 (139). “Deceptive Partial Quoting.” In this fundamental Christian game, a fundamental Christian will quote reputable sources and well respected figures to make their point. If you follow up and check out the actual quotes in context, you will find that the fundamental Christian has left out some key information. Frequently the information left out are words to the effect of: “This does NOT mean that…” or “We have not found any evidence to support the idea that…”.
O07 (166). “Trust me…” Yeah, you’ve seen the T-shirt. Believe me, when a fundamental Christian says “trust me”, start counting the silverware.
O08 (180). “Follow the leader — I mean me!” In this game the fundamental Christian will notice that he is getting virtually unanimous opposition to his opinions, and that NO one is falling for his line. In this case he will pick one of the people who has refuted his position and start telling everyone else that they are his “followers”, as if they don’t have the brains to think on their own. He will then try to insist that they be HIS mindless “followers” instead.
O09 (189). “Of course I know, but since you asked me I am too offended to respond!” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian pretends expertise in an area where he is completely ignorant. When someone asks him a question that should be SIMPLE for someone with that expertise to answer, he will get all huffy and refuse to make a guess.
O10 (191). “You took my words out of context!” In this case, when a fundamental Christian’s words backfire on him REALLY bad, he will claim his words were taken “out of context”. For example, in August of 2005 Pat Robertson said: “If he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.” His follow-up was that his words were “taken out of context”, though the context made it even MORE obvious that he was calling for the assassination of another country’s leader.
P. Regression. Assuming an infantile or more immature state.
P01 (128). “I am legion!” In this fundamental Christian game, when the fundamental Christian realized he has been completely discredited, he will make up a number of sock-puppet screen names which will show up and say how wonderful the original is. He will even have pretend conversations with himself on how pathetic everyone else is. Apparently even he realizes that no one but himself could possibly take him seriously.
P02 (169). “WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!! Mommy, he hit me BAAAAACK! — The big bully!” In this hilarious fundamental Christian game, a fundamental Christian who has been busy abusing others gets some of it fed back to him — usually by completely discrediting the fundamental Christian’s reasons for verbally assaulting people. The fundamental Christian will then whine about how the other poster is a “big bully”.
P03 (178). “I’m so cute and innocent I couldn’t have POSSIBLY said what I just did!” In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christian will make some obnoxious and idiotic statement, and when asked to explain will pretend to be a two-year-old girl with her finger in her mouth who doesn’t know what you are talking about, saying such things as: “You’re too funny!” instead of taking responsibility for her own words.
P04 (193). “I tawk baby tawk!” In this fundamental Christian game, fundamental Christians will start using baby talk to describe something they don’t like because it is too accurate for their own comfort. Perhaps they think that if they revert to a two-year-old mentality, an adult will stop by and help them out.
P05 (198). “Whatever”. In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian reverts to young teenage girls status and uses this one-word response as a way of showing that he or she is the equivalent of the blond in a “dumb blond” joke.
Q. Repression. Denial of one’s own feelings on some sensitive subject.
Q01 (93). “Perseveration” This is the fundamental Christian version of perseverance. It’s when they keep doing the same thing, over and over, even if it’s not working, and appears completely idiotic to everyone else.
Q02 (99). “Memory Loss”. The fundamental Christian will be provided with absolute proof that he is mistaken about some fact, and moments later he will be once again making the same discredited claim as if he never heard the refutation before. He will also deny that the refutation has ever even been given. He may even develop hysterical amnesia about having made any posts at all.
Q03 (103). “I never said anything about…” This is one of the more pathetic fundamental Christian games. When someone does a copy and paste to back quote the words of a fundamental Christian which he does not want to acknowledge he made, the fundamental Christian will say something like: “You’re spreading false statements! I never said anything about…” All that is necessary is to back up the thread to find exactly where he said what he is now denying he ever said. Apparently he assumes all other posters must be as ignorant as he is with respect to knowing how to step back up a thread in a discussion.
Q04 (182). “Don’t air your dirty linen in public”. In this fundamental Christian game, there is some “secret” that the fundamental Christian doesn’t want to become known. In 3-D life, this might be child abuse, for example. Or it might be the use of physical torture to “convert” or “save” someone. They will try their best to indoctrinate their victims into the idea that it is wrong to let anyone else know what is going on.
R. Somatization. Developing physical symptoms that mimic illness.
R01 (206). “You make me want to puke!” Somehow fundamental Christians seem to think that others are responsible for their mental problems.
S. Sublimation. Avoiding the real issue by engaging in another activity instead..
S01 (41). “I think in bumper stickers”: The fundamental Christian will mindlessly repeat short, memorized phrases rather than engaging in a rational discussion. He will fiercely oppose any attempt to get him to actually engage his brain. See “You use too many words!”.
S02 (74). The RED HERRING, introduction of an irrelevant issue into a discussion as a smoke screen. It is a tactic designed to divert attention from the issue at hand. There are numerous variations on this tactic, but the underlying idea is that if they KNOW they have lost the debate and feel that the only hope is to distract people from noticing the obvious.
S03 (173). “And your wife is ugly too!” In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will have found that his abusive comments, personal insults, and lack of justification for his opinions don’t work. He will then start insulting the other person’s wife or other relatives who are not there to defend themselves. As is the case with most fundamental Christian posts, the purpose is to violate and wound the other person as a means of making the fundamental Christian feel better about himself.
T. Suppression. Dealing with emotional issues by delaying tactics.
T01 (29). The “I REALLY want to discuss this topic but…” response. Somehow the fundamental Christian, who spends perhaps 12 hours a day online, spends the entire post talking about himself and how he does not have enough time to answer the question. He tries to imply that all the other posters are retired millionaires with nothing else to do but make him look bad.
T02 (78). The “fundamental Christian Circle Jerk”. In this one, the fundamental Christian starts off claiming that some passage supports his opposition to his favorite “sin of the day” and starts bashing people with it. When it is proven that the passage does NOT support him, he starts whining that some OTHER passage “proves” that the original passage supports his opinion. When THAT one is proven wrong, he runs to another, and then another, and keeps going until he returns to the original, apparently completely unaware that he has failed in every instance to support his position. Then the fundamental Christian circle-jerk starts up again and keeps going.
T03 (82). “Moving the goal posts” — in this interesting game the fundamental Christian makes some bald statement, like “Nothing has ever been left out of any Bible”. After numerous counterexamples he keeps excluding things from what he originally said until the word “nothing” finally morphs into something like: “nothing that was needed for the purpose of many purpose which can be reasonably be construed as Christian was left out”.
T04 (88). “I’ll get back to you on that, but I have an answer….” The fundamental Christian never does, of course, because he does NOT have an answer. This is just one of many ways of avoiding admitting that he was wrong while pretending to be knowledgeable.
U. Undoing. Negating a previous act or communication.
U01 (9). “Well, I didn’t say it to YOU!” In this ploy a fundamental Christian will post a really abusive and/or racist post about some group of people (Blacks are all drug dealers living off welfare, Wiccans are Devil worshippers, gays are all child molesters) in an area where he KNOWS a member of that group will see it. Then he will go on how they hadn’t said it to HIM, so how DARE he be upset!
U02 (14). You’re deliberately misreading my words” when their words are being reposted back to them, and they don’t like the logical conclusion being drawn — by which time they tend to segue into “The Self-Martyr”.
U03 (30). “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” “What I provided in response to your earlier post wasn’t meant to have anything to do with what we are discussing so stop asking me why I gave it.” This one is really funny to watch as the fundamental Christian continues to run from his own example, and from all requests to provide one that IS relevant.
U04 (53). “The Culture Clash”. The fundamental Christians have two versions of this. In one they will claim that a passage “has to be interpreted based on the culture” and then mischaracterize the culture of the times. In another they will completely ignore the culture because that would be inconvenient for their argument.
U05 (61). The “Spouse Abuse” ploy. While spewing the most foul venom imaginable at someone, a fundamental Christian will end up with: “I do love you”. fundamental Christians sometimes call this “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
U06 (87). “Unikronicity”: the act of declaring oneself “different from all those others” and then using the same tactics against a population they supposedly are sympathetic to. This usually starts out as: “I am not a homophobe, but…”
U07 (90). “Old News”. also known as: “You aren’t allowed to use my own words against me!” In this fundamental Christian ploy, the fundamental Christian will have made a number of statements which HE claims are absolutely true. When it is pointed out later that this completely contradicts what he is saying now, he will get very huffy about using something he himself said BEFORE to refute what he is saying NOW.
U08 (106). “If God forgives me, why can’t you?” This game is actually part and parcel of the “Spouse Abuse” game. This one rarely shows up on line, where denial rules, but at home where the fundamental Christian has to live with his wife, this excuse is king. The fundamental Christian may have molested some of his children, or broken their bones, or beat his wife, or cheated with anything wearing a skirt. After getting caught, he will claim that God has forgiven him (perhaps for the 100th time for the same type offense). In the fundamental Christian’s eyes, this absolves him of all blame and he can start again fresh. Anything less would be an insult to God.
U09 (122). “I hate all my best friends.” After a long hate-filled rant about a group of people (gays, Blacks, Jews, Wiccans) the fundamental Christian will start saying: “I don’t hate them because my best friends are —” fill in the blank with the group being vilified.
U10 (148). “Variable Source Credibility” — in this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will have a source for “proof” of his various opinions. This source is unassailable right on every issue right up until the minute that someone quotes the same source to prove the fundamental Christian wrong on some issue. At that point, his source suddenly becomes complete garbage until it becomes convenient to use it again.
U11 (165). “What’s the big fuss all about?” Also known as: “Never mind!” Who can forget Gilda Radner going on a rampage about the opposition to violins on television, only to find out that it was actually VIOLENCE on television. Some fundamental Christian rants follow the same pattern.
U12 (185). “I am not at all bigoted, but…” In this fundamental Christian game the fundamental Christians will say how much they really approve of equal rights for the group they hate, but will always wind up with some sewage like: “But N*****s should just admit they are the descendants of Cain, cursed by God, and should stop bothering us DECENT folk!”
V. Violence: Avoiding things he finds unpleasant by using threats of violence against others
This is the last grouping. This is really the heart of the fundamental Christian mindset — encouraging violence against their victims.
V01 (22). “Holy Anger” — the fundamental Christian will claim that hatred, anger and violence is perfectly fine as long as it is “holy” anger, hatred and violence directed at his “enemies”. The fundamental Christian is incapable of seeing that this is identical to the approach of extremist Islamic terrorists because they are not “Christian”.
V02 (55). the “watchman” game. The fundamental Christians claim that if they don’t go around proselytizing in the most abusive way possible, God will personally see that they go to hell, no matter how good their lives have been otherwise. This justifies nonstop hounding of “sinners”. Naturally the fundamental Christians are unalterably opposed to anyone preaching to them, or even correcting any errors.
V03 (59). The “I curse you!” ploy. The fundamental Christian begins gloating over how much pain someone will be in as if he personally is causing it through his own magical actions. This is closely related to the “hand me a pitchfork” game, which is actually a subset of “I curse you”.
V04 (60). The “Hand me a pitchfork” ploy. In this version, the fundamental Christian gloats about how much fun he is going to have looking down on the sinners in hell, perhaps pouring some of the boiling oil or poking them with pitchforks himself. He never stops to think who it is who hands out the pitchforks, or if perhaps that entity has other ideas in mind for him.
V05 (72). The “God’ll Get You Anyway” game. You may not be doing such and such, but because you won’t agree with the fundamental Christian that it’s a sin, the fundamental Christian points out that God will send you to hell anyway, mostly for disagreeing with the fundamental Christian.
V06 (94). “Projective Defensiveness”. In this fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian engages in an unrelenting assault on another poster with a series of false and malicious accusations. When the person being assaulted counters the accusations with facts, the fundamental Christian crows: “You’re becoming defensive now!”
V07 (107). “Spare the rod, spoil the child” The fundamental Christian interprets this to mean that violence should always be the FIRST thing tried, and he should always be looking for opportunities to use force on others. With his children this results in bruises, occasionally broken bones, and even death. On line this results in unnecessary verbal assaults when calm reason would work much better.
V08 (152). “When I think about you my mind turns to violence!” In this game, the fundamental Christian begins his “loving” assault of some group he despises, but can’t seem to keep the violent images out of his posts. So he compares the people he hates to murderers, child molesters, armed robbers etc., occasionally lovingly recommending that the people he hates should be put to death for not being like him. Sometimes these get a bit more personal with comments like: “Someone should break YOUR bones” when someone opposes violence against children, for example.
V09 (153). “She was asking for it!” This is usually used to justify rape, or to justify not providing help to a victim of rape. For example, some people say that a victim of rape should not be allowed to have an abortion because “she asked for it” or even “she wanted it”. The same reasoning is used to condemn people who are victims of venereal diseases, again saying they “asked for it” and therefore deserve to suffer or die without help. This is a particularly sick subset of the “blame the victim” game.
V10 (176). “I can beat YOUR child too!” In this more physical game fundamental Christians play, they claim that God has given them the authority and mandate to physically beat YOUR children for misbehaving. Their “pro-family” stance does not stop them from interjecting themselves into YOUR family rather than allowing you to have responsibility for your own children. If confronted over this behavior they will provide some religious tract that they believes justifies this violation of your family. This is an external manifestation of the fundamental Christian’s need to dominate others through force, especially those who are helpless, such as children.
V11 (201). “I believe that people like you should be killed. Please provide me with personal information so I can track you down.” In this sinister fundamental Christian game, the fundamental Christian will provide a really violent post saying that he approves of killing people like the poster, and then ask for personal information. Clearly the request for personal information is meant to intimidate his opposition into silence,
V12 (202). “Be careful what you say or Homeland Security will get you!” In this attempt to intimidate people into slavishly agreeing with every hate-filled message the fundamental Christian wants to send, he implies that Homeland Security would be REALLY interested in tracking down anyone who disagrees with him.
Thank you, again, to JRichards, who’s given the OK to distribute this as long as it is for non-profit purposes, and, of course, proper credit.