Thursday, February 03, 2005

Hate Mail Bait

Mr Brown recently told a few of us bloggers that he likes receiving hatemail.

Hate mail? I've never received hatemail.

It was then when I suddenly felt incomplete as a blogger. Mr Brown gets hatemail, Xiaxue gets hatemail, but me?

So one of the reasons why I had to come back is to solicit some hatemail.

I learnt from Xiaxue that one of the ways to draw hate mail is to say bad things about celebs like Fiona Xie. (To be honest, I don't even know how Fiona Xie looks like.)

Anyway, I happen to know a couple of local TV celebs personally. But because they are friends (although not close), I can't get myself to say anything bad about them. In fact, I don't even want to mention their names here.

As for the other celebs, I don't know anything exclusive about them, nor do I care to - they're not worth my time anyway.

Looks like I'll have to look elsewhere for hatemail.

The next obvious place, is obviously religion.

Particularly the monotheistic religions.

We don't encounter too many Jews here in Singapore, so my experience with them is quite limited. And I doubt any of my readers are Jews, so I probably won't get any hatemail.

The next oldest major monotheistic religion is Christianity. I've got ample experience with Christians. But Xiaxue has been giving them so much flak lately, so maybe I'll give them a break this time.

That leaves me with Islam.

But I guess not. I'm trying to attract hatemail, not fatwas. And I don't exactly want to see my picture appearing in Arabic websites.

So I guess I have little choice.

Here goes...

* * *

I was walking towards the school gate to go home one evening a few weeks back when 3 guys came in the school gate. I immediately sensed something queer about them by the way they spied me from the corner of their eyes. I would have thought that they were gays looking for another orgy member if they were better groomed. They looked more like the typical poly nerd - old polo T-shirt tucked deep into the jeans and probably underwear. I instinctively wanted to avoid them, but couldn't as we were already on the same path.

The one leading the pack spoke up nervously when he came close enough.

"Can I talk to you for a while?"

He wouldn't make a good gay, even if he wanted to.

"No thanks I don't have time," was my knee-jerk response.

The guy looked visibly relieved. I was half-expecting him to give me one of those super-slick smartass but-I'm-sure-you'll-have-time-to-die responses.

So we parted ways. And I immediately regretted my decision.

You see, the guy was obviously some kind of trainee, judging from the smug looks of the 2 guys with him. It would have been so much fun to have them realise that they were not dealing with the usual prey, and have the 2 'supervisors' to jump in to bail the trainee out, only to realise that they would need bailing out themselves. Maybe next time.

Note to self: the next time a religiot comes along, don't run for cover!

* * *

It would help alot if it was a gorgeous babe coming up to me and telling me about her religion. For some reason it has never happened to me. I hear the Children of God sect is banned in Singapore.

* * *

The next opportunity came along when I was about to go home again (why must they always pounce on me when I'm going home?).

In fact, they must have been from the same group, as one of them who was spying at me at the atrium was one of the 2 supervisors I mentioned earlier. I soon felt someone trailing me, and I instinctively quickened my pace, forgetting about my previous note to self. A guy was soon beside me, and started introducing me to Christianity...

This guy was confident, and was probably quite a veteran in evangelism. I politely humoured him for a while as he ran through the basics, before I started to get impatient and a tad contemptuous.

"You know, I already know everything you've talked about, and more. And I won't be surprised if I know more than you."

He responded with his eyebrows.

I went on to spew out some big theological terms too see if he would be impressed. And he was.

"Are you sure you're not a Christian?"

I had to laugh. You see, I told him earlier that I wasn't a Christian.

"Have you heard of a Christian claiming not to be one? It's like an honest guy claiming to be a liar."

"Then how come you know so much?"

"I read."

He had to pause to let those 2 words sink in. I don't blame him - it's something hard to swallow.

Anyway, he went on to talk about other things. Standard technique - if you hit a wall, try another direction.

We soon started talking about the Bible. He declared that it was God's word.

"But how do you know it's God's word?" I challenged him.

By then, I had already profiled him, and decided that he was simply no match, and it was starting to get a little tiring. I felt like a lion who has gotten bored of playing games with its prey, and suddenly decided that it was time to eat.

He was quite prepared for the challenge. Or so he thought. "First, I'm sure you know that the Bible has survived with us through thousands of years, because God preserved it. It has also survived unchanged throughout the ages. The Bible is also the world's bestselling book..."

I had to stop him - he was overwhelming me with blatant fallacies, and I prefer to deal with a fallacy at a time.

"Wait.. hang on, hang on... aren't the Vedas older than the Bible?"

"The what?"

I tried not to roll my eyeballs.

"The Hindu scriptures. They're much older than the Bible. So maybe the Hindu gods preserved their scriptures?"

He soon had to admit that his first claim was fallacious.

"So does that prove that the Bible is not God's word?"

"No, of course not..." he must have been trying to think really hard.

"You're cheating. You claim something, and you give me the evidence, but I show you that your evidence is false, yet you still insist that your original claim is still valid."

I had to rephrase that a few times before it made sense to him.

Then I threw the challenge that I had been waiting so long for.

"You say that the Bible is God's word because it's been unchanged over all these many years, am I right?"

He cautiously agreed.

"Now what if I can prove to you that the Bible has actually been changed? Would that mean that the Bible is not God's word?"

"Prove it to me."

"You haven't answered my question. Would that mean that the Bible is not God's word? You see, what you're trying to do is this - when I show you that the Bible has changed, you'll again come up with another reason why the Bible is God's word. So tell me, if I can prove to your satisfaction that there has been changes to the Bible, would it show that the Bible is not God's word?"

He thought for a moment, and swallowed hard.

"Yes. Prove it to me."

I felt a mixture of excitement and pity. I had no intention of shaking his faith, but maybe it would be good learning experience for him.

"Let's have a look at your Bible."

He handed it to me. It was falling apart. Good on him, he's been reading his Bible.

"So you use the NIV," I observed. (The NIV is currently the best-selling Bible translation.)

"Let's look at first John," I turned to the section I was looking for.

"Look at chapter 5, and verses 7 and 8."

7 For there are three that testify:
8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

"Notice there's a footnote? Let's see what it says."

Late manuscripts of the Vulgate -
testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.
8 And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century)

"It says, 'not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century' - meaning that the manuscripts before the 16th century are different from the later ones. And where there's a difference, there's a change. So the Bible has changed after all. So what can we conclude? I'll let you decide." I didn't want to push him too far. You know, people can get unstable when their cherished beliefs are seriously challenged.

He finally spoke up after a pregnant pause, "I'll have to check on this."

"Of course, of course. I don't expect you to change what you believe here and now - it makes sense for you to find out more right? Nice talking to you!"

He stopped me before I could go.

"Maybe we should meet up for some Bible study?"

And I thought I was audacious.

"No thanks. I prefer doing it myself thank you. It's late now, and I'm starving. Have a nice day!"

* * *

I really have nothing against Christians or Christianity. In fact, Christianity happens to be my favourite religion, even though I'm an infidel. Nor do I expect the average Christian to know as much as I do, so I don't blame the guy. It's just too bad that he awakened the predatory instincts of the wrong guy. Maybe it'll encourage him to learn a little more about his own beliefs.

If you're a Christian, go ahead and defend the Bible as God's word, but if I were you, I wouldn't even mention the 'proofs' that he gave as they hold absolutely no water.

And if you're a Christian and you're bothered by what I presented here (that there has been changes in the Bible), go talk to your Pastor or someone who knows her Bible history - you'll find that the fact that there have been changes is really not a big deal.

Enough for now.

Please, pleeeease, send me hate mail!!!

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