blasphemy challenge

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do Christians really believe that insulting a ghost will damn them to Hell?

Yes. Some liberal Christians may throw out the parts of the Bible that they don't like, but Christians who believe in the Bible as the word of God do believe that blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the single unforgivable sin.

Why do you care?

It isn't just adult Christians who are indoctrinated with the frightening ideology of Christian belief. In fact, most Christians are indoctrinated as children. These children are told that they must believe the following: That 2000 years ago a man died, stayed dead three days, rose from the dead and then flew into the air above the clouds-- and right now this man is with them as their invisible companion and savior from Hell, if only they will submit to him. If this bizarre theory were not religious in nature, teaching it to children would probably be considered child abuse.

How will The Blasphemy Challenge help?

Religious dogma has one chief means of support: Our unwillingness to criticize it in public. If we talked about religion the same way we talk about science, history or other fields involving truth claims, dogma would wither in the light. The Blasphemy Challenge, by addressing a truth claim of Christianity, is intended to provoke this sort of conversation.

Is it true that you are targeting young people with this campaign?

Yes. As young people are the most vulnerable to religious indoctrination, we feel it is important to reach them with the concept of challenging the doctrine they are told to unquestioningly believe.

Isn't this just "fundamentalist atheism"?

That is a remarkably stupid question. The Rational Response Squad encourages people to inquire, argue, reason and doubt -- not to believe something because they are told to. Free inquiry is the opposite of fundamentalism. The Blasphemy Challenge may be activist in nature, but it is hardly fundamentalist.

I read a Christian on the web saying that in order to blaspheme the Holy Spirit you had to be a Pharisee who lived at the time of Jesus. Is this true?

In the response to the Blasphemy Challenge, many evangelical Christians are turning cartwheels to try to re-define blasphemy out of existence. The very idea of an unforgivable sin is so harmful to their recruiting efforts that to play it down they will even compromise their view of the "infallible" Bible. It is true that in the gospel of Mark the Jesus character introduces his clear lesson about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in response to criticism from Pharisees. However, to say that Jesus's lesson about blasphemy applies only to Pharisees, or only to those making the specific accusation the Pharisees were making, is a bit like saying that the directive "let him who is without sin cast the first stone" applies only to Jews who stone adulterers. In the gospel narratives, virtually all of the Jesus character's lessons arise in a specific story context, and Christian leaders rarely limit those lessons to that narrow context -- unless they find those lessons inconvenient.

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