Apologists: Selling Jesus to Their Target Demographics

Marty Hamrick
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Apologists: Selling Jesus to Their Target Demographics

Once in a Blue Moon, you read a forum site like this one where someone who was formerly an atheist decides to covert to Christianity. Far be it from me to cast dispersions on a person's life choices, usually I stay away from posts like that, save for a few peripheral comments. I don't care for debates as I have no agenda to try to change people, its of no concern to me what a person believes, it seldom has influenced my opinion of a person, AS a person one way or the other. The person who changes their mind on faith or non faith has no doubt spent some considerable time mulling over points and counterpoints in their mind, while contemplating their personal lives and feelings. This is the Christian apologist's "target demographic" (or what marketing experts more accurately call "psychographic", meaning the segment of populace that is determined by their personal convictions, values and beliefs). Timing is critical for them, for they want to be there during the time the person is still undecided, for one emotional point the other way and the game is lost. This is how it works in political advertising as well. Republican campaigners know its a waste of time to try to win over die hard Obama supporters, so they research and go after undecided "fence sitters". Ditto for Democrats.

Apologists are a different breed from the general clergy or layman. They're usually well versed on the various degrees of atheism, well read on outspoken atheists and they differ from the hard line preachy types who quote scriptures and warn of hellfire. Let's be honest here, Christians want to win converts, that's how they keep the faith alive and many of them are motivated by a belief in everlasting punishment for non believers. Apologists are generally smart enough to know that hard line atheists will more than likely remain such, I've even read stats from ministry sites showing probability percentages of conversions from various age and background demographics. 

This explains why they're so argumentative and insist that they engage in debates based on professional debate standards, its their craft, their line of work, not unlike lawyers. Every intelligent and sane theist knows that a supernatural event such as what is written in the OT is not likely to happen no matter how much they pray and wish they were Elijah confronting the Prophets of Baal, so they know they have to resort to two methods of distraction. Try to armchair psychoanalyze anyone who engages them and steer the conversation to their own turf, i.e. philosophy, metaphysics and psychology. Nothing wrong with those disciplines,hell, I like to peruse them myself once in awhile, but my passions lie elsewhere. To each his own. What their hope is, is that an undecided reader, the "target psychographic" will read the points and counterpoints and make their decisions based on how intelligent they sound when they're quoting from their seminary textbooks. Atheists and former atheists are usually logical and analytical types and aren't usually swayed by preaching, so the apologist's hope is that they will be drawn by a logical sounding counterpoint to religious skepticism.

I have now met three online apologists. The first time I met one, and it was also the first time I had read the term "apologist" (brings up strange mental visions of a bunch of people in a room saying, "I'm sorry...&quotEye-wink, was on a now defunct forum for Satanists. I was researching a documentary and looking for on camera subjects in my area, and this fellow was writing his thesis on Satanism. He was a nice guy and non argumentative, so I read his thesis and today we still chat from time to time. The next was Metacrock, who impresses me as a guy who loves a "good fight" and is itching to debate anyone whom he sees as a threat to the faith. But by and large an OK guy. Then I met this guy on Rational Responders who shows up once in awhile to play armchair psychologist and goes all out like an attack dog to rip into anything that he sees as anti Christian. A rabid YEC fundamentalist, but somewhat entertaining as he draws such heat from the rest of the posters. He uses the hit and run method and seldom goes back to the same thread more than once or twice. His strategy seems to be , "See how smart I am? I can insult people and spout psychophilotheosphy babble at the same time. Be impressed and convert".

I'm onto it and I'm not playing the game. You can't BS a fellow BS'er. I've worked too long in media not to recognize another form of advertisement mind games. I've also found that the older I get, the less I want to fight and debate people. I officially retired from TV news to pursue my first love which is film as I just got sick of the pressure and drama and like I said, I'm not out to de-convert anyone. I like the differences in humanity, it makes things interesting and gives me fodder for future film subjects.
So carry on apologists, I'll see you in the media.

 

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


Marty Hamrick
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No takers? I got some rep

No takers? I got some rep points from some atheists on CARM with this one. 


ThunderJones
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Step 1: Attack atheist's

Step 1: Attack atheist's point of view with a semi-logical but often incorrect argument.

Step 2: Ignore any and all responses that disagree unless there appears to be a logical error or something you can exploit to confuse and draw out the debate.

Step 3: If all else fails, repeat already asked questions without giving input to past answers to said questions, and/or preach/quote from holy text.

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harleysportster
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I know this

 Excellent points thus far. 

I can speak from some personal experiences within my own family. I even wrote about it in one of my blogs on here at the time. 

They absolutely LOVE it when I hit a low point in life or suffer from some great misfortune. ( I won't go into all of the details about various events here). 

Do I get any sympathy from them ? Nope. Any compassion or understanding ? Nope 

All I get is a whole lot of : "GOD IS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING. " or "MAYBE IT IS TIME THAT YOU STOP LIVING IN SUCH EVIL WAYS AND RETURN TO GOD,". 

The line that I hate the worst is : "WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE YOU SEE REASON." 

Oddly enough, all of my girlfriend's friends and biker bros are the ones that materialized out of the woodwork and helped me get through the hard times. 

Now, if any of my family were to call me and say they were in a crisis, I would not hand them a lot of "Where is your god now, bullshit" I would try to give them a hand if I could. ( Not that they would reach to me, I am an official black sheep and shunned). 

I may have been wandering a bit off topic, but I do not think that I have strayed very far. 

I have heard to many theists attest that they were at a "low point" and suddenly they found god and everything got ok. 

I think churches love to go to hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters for that very purpose. Prey upon people at their most vulnerable and sell them the snake oil that supposedly solves all of their problems. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Marty Hamrick
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ThunderJones wrote:Step 1:

ThunderJones wrote:

Step 1: Attack atheist's point of view with a semi-logical but often incorrect argument.

Step 2: Ignore any and all responses that disagree unless there appears to be a logical error or something you can exploit to confuse and draw out the debate.

Step 3: If all else fails, repeat already asked questions without giving input to past answers to said questions, and/or preach/quote from holy text.

 

Excellent! That's the same pattern I see across the board and very similar to what politicians use in their campaigns and debates. #3 was used extensively by the Republican candidates during the last election,particularly in the debates between MCain and Obama. MCain continually made cutesy jabs at Obama about how he voted when he was a senator. Obama just smiled and explained Mcain's errors. The media hacked Mcain to ribbons afterward.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


Marty Hamrick
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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

 Excellent points thus far. 

I can speak from some personal experiences within my own family. I even wrote about it in one of my blogs on here at the time. 

They absolutely LOVE it when I hit a low point in life or suffer from some great misfortune. ( I won't go into all of the details about various events here). 

Do I get any sympathy from them ? Nope. Any compassion or understanding ? Nope 

All I get is a whole lot of : "GOD IS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING. " or "MAYBE IT IS TIME THAT YOU STOP LIVING IN SUCH EVIL WAYS AND RETURN TO GOD,". 

The line that I hate the worst is : "WE ARE TRYING TO MAKE YOU SEE REASON." 

Oddly enough, all of my girlfriend's friends and biker bros are the ones that materialized out of the woodwork and helped me get through the hard times. 

Now, if any of my family were to call me and say they were in a crisis, I would not hand them a lot of "Where is your god now, bullshit" I would try to give them a hand if I could. ( Not that they would reach to me, I am an official black sheep and shunned). 

I may have been wandering a bit off topic, but I do not think that I have strayed very far. 

I have heard to many theists attest that they were at a "low point" and suddenly they found god and everything got ok. 

I think churches love to go to hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters for that very purpose. Prey upon people at their most vulnerable and sell them the snake oil that supposedly solves all of their problems. 

 

Well, that's the crux of Christianity and I've been going through something similar and like you said, family members that are in a position to help, ignore me for the same reasons. They just don't seem to give a damn. It begs to question the character of their god. Would you want someone's motivation to love you to be desperation?

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


EXC
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Marty Hamrick wrote:Once in

Marty Hamrick wrote:

Once in a Blue Moon, you read a forum site like this one where someone who was formerly an atheist decides to covert to Christianity. Far be it from me to cast dispersions on a person's life choices, usually I stay away from posts like that, save for a few peripheral comments.  

In cases like this,  the motivation is preasure from significant other and/or family. Their argument or justifcation is masking the real motivation of social popularity.

I used to know a guy that was a hard core fundy and wrote books on Christian apoligetics. But it was quite obvious especially in hindsight to see that his motivation was pleasing his girlfriend/wife that was hardcore fundie.

I'm not sure what good it does to 'reason' with someone like that unless you're a hot chick.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Most people selling

Most people selling something, anything, and especially people trying to maintain your income to them (church tithes!) don't care about you as a person. Some do, some think they do.

A lot though, only care that you are one of them, they don't want to know how you became they way you are if you aren't one of them.

My brother-in-law's mother is just like this. She thinks my sister is going to hell because she is Agnostic and works as a stripper. She doesn't know anything about her, and hasn't tried to find out anything. My sister is ten times the human being without even trying.

A lot of people care only about labels. Stripper must mean drug-addicted prostitute. Atheist must mean immoral criminal. It's so ignorant it baffles the mind.

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And also

ThunderJones wrote:

A lot of people care only about labels. Stripper must mean drug-addicted prostitute. 

I've known a few drug addicted prostitutes and many of them were very nice, kind people.


Marty Hamrick
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ThunderJones wrote:Most

ThunderJones wrote:

Most people selling something, anything, and especially people trying to maintain your income to them (church tithes!) don't care about you as a person. Some do, some think they do.

or just act like they do. I've noticed, though that in debate forums, the pseudo caring is dropped very quickly in the heat of debate and the true colours emerge.

Quote:

A lot though, only care that you are one of them, they don't want to know how you became they way you are if you aren't one of them.

Oh they care very much about your personal life details, especially if you aren't one of them. I'm speaking of Christians. They want to know so they can use every detail that they believe is "sinful or immoral" against you for their so called debate victories.

Quote:

My brother-in-law's mother is just like this. She thinks my sister is going to hell because she is Agnostic and works as a stripper. She doesn't know anything about her, and hasn't tried to find out anything. My sister is ten times the human being without even trying.

A lot of people care only about labels. Stripper must mean drug-addicted prostitute. Atheist must mean immoral criminal. It's so ignorant it baffles the mind.

Prefab ideas about people based on the demands of dogma and sure to please their sense of self superiority. Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


ThunderJones
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x wrote:ThunderJones wrote:A

x wrote:

ThunderJones wrote:

A lot of people care only about labels. Stripper must mean drug-addicted prostitute. 

I've known a few drug addicted prostitutes and many of them were very nice, kind people.

Unlike the people I am complaining about, my statement was not meant to pass judgement, only to describe the unfair and ignorant caricaturing.

Stripper =/= prostitute, despite what a lot of people seem to believe. That's all I meant.

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No worries

ThunderJones wrote:

Unlike the people I am complaining about, my statement was not meant to pass judgement, only to describe the unfair and ignorant caricaturing.

Stripper =/= prostitute, despite what a lot of people seem to believe. That's all I meant.

You are correct. I was just taking the opportunity to get on a soap-box.


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.

Marty Hamrick wrote:
No takers? I got some rep points from some atheists on CARM with this one. 

What is CARM and what are you asking for? Do you want people stomping on CARM? Give me the URL.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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Marty Hamrick
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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Marty

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Marty Hamrick wrote:
No takers? I got some rep points from some atheists on CARM with this one. 

What is CARM and what are you asking for? Do you want people stomping on CARM? Give me the URL.

 

You never heard of CARM? Its a Christian Apologetics site, just google it if you're interested. Atheists are only allowed to post in the secualr threads. I was just seeing how this topic is assessed here. You don't need to stomp on anyone,lol, but you might be interested to see the irony over there. I was just commenting on apologists and their tactics for doing what they do. I post on both sites to see the different group'd reactions.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."