About five years ago, Bonnie Weinstein, from the MRFF (an atheist activist group) wrote a book entitled, “To the Far Right Christian Hater … You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can’t Be Both: Official Hate Mail, Threats, and Criticism From the Archives of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.” Well, she’s back with a new book entitled, “When Christians Break Bad: Letters from the Insane, Inane, and Profane.” Atheist activist, Hemant Mehta, excitedly and uncritically promotes it. Yet the core problem with such books remains, five years after I explained it:
I have a problem with all of this. As one who values critical and scientific thinking, I cannot get past the simple fact that there is no evidence all of this hate mail, or even most of this hate mail, came from people who would call themselves Christians. The only evidence to support this hypothesis is the wording of the letters themselves. In other words, the letters are supposed to sound like they came from raging, ignorant, foul-mouthed Christians. Yet this sliver of evidence only exists if we have the willingness to take these letters at face value; we must accept on faith that the letters are legitimate. Yet there is an equally plausible alternative explanation – most of this hate mail comes from atheists trying to sound like raging, ignorant, foul-mouthed Christians. In other words, street theater to help further their agenda by a) making atheists look like victims and b) reinforcing their negative stereotypes and portrayals of Christians.
Since the wording of the letters can be explained by real raging, ignorant, foul-mouthed Christians or atheists pretending to be raging, ignorant, foul-mouthed Christians, we need independent, supportive evidence.
In other words, the atheist activists never make an effort to control for the ever popular Poe’s Law. Then again, the upside to all that “hate mail” is that you can use it to sell a few books.
My advice for the day – Don’t be like a Gullible Atheist; practice a healthy dose of skepticism.