The Truth Behind a Viral Photo Claiming to Show ‘Christian Persecution’ December 23, 2013

The Truth Behind a Viral Photo Claiming to Show ‘Christian Persecution’

I came across another falsified claim of brutal anti-Christian oppression today.

Predictably, this image and its caption were shared thousands of times, including on Facebook and other social media, by Christians eager to advance their religion’s core “woe is us” narrative.

Let’s see if we can find the origin of the picture, and the story behind it.

It turns out to be an Agence France Presse photo, to which Getty has distribution rights. Here’s the same shot, as presented in Getty’s vast online catalog:

Good: now we have a date and a location. It’s easy to find the matching news report, courtesy of Hürriyet and Reuters.

Iran hangs 21 criminals, drug smugglers,” says the headline, and by paragraph six we find out who the four men in the photo were:

Four other offenders were put to death in public in the southern city of Shiraz after being convicted of banditry, smuggling and other crimes, the Fars News Agency said.

Common criminals, then. Not the slightest indication that they were Christians, let alone that they were killed because they worshiped Jesus.

I should point out that the people behind this hoax presumably subscribe to the Ten Commandments, including the one against bearing false witness.

The photo in question is an almost obscenely well-composed attention getter, so I can see why various groups might want to claim it for their purposes, no matter how wrong and mendacious that is.

The Jewish Chronicle, pushing its own agenda, published the same photo and called the executed men “dissidents.” A pro-LGBT blogger falsely claimed they were gay, and some Internet commenters were happy to perpetuate that fallacy.

As for the meme at the top of this post, given that there’s no dearth of actual oppression of Christians in most majority-Muslim countries, it’s galling — and a disservice to real victims of religious persecution — that these lies are considered necessary at all.

(Photo via AFP/Getty Images)

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

P.S.: I unsuccessfully tried to find instances of atheists or agnostics lying about the photo to advance their cause. If such appropriations exist, and you know where, please let me know; I’ll add them to the record, right here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jeremiah Traeger

    “Let’s exploit the deaths of people by taking their photograph, claiming they were atheist, and telling everyone how persecuted we are because of our beliefs”

    Said no atheist ever.

  • Gunner Miller

    A lot of online bloggers have tunnel vision and will easily believe stories like this. Skepticism is a nice thing to have on any claim…that and snopes.

  • trj

    LYING FOR JESUS
    isn’t just something in the history books. It still happens everyday.

  • wtbusdriver

    I don’t mind, this is the photo that started my son-in-law to write a piece about christian persecution. I’ll be sure to let him know it was BS.

  • Kira

    Liyng for the Lord is still lying.

  • Bec

    There is also a lack of historical evidence for the christian eating lions in the Coliseum too. But hey, you can’t be matyrs without persecution huh?

  • Cake

    Well that’s religion’s whole “thing”.

  • Michael Waldrep

    Yes, there are some countries where Christians are persecuted, but the US is NOT one of them. As a matter of fact, those Christians in the US who want to impose their will on the rest of us should take notice on how wrong it is to persecute in any way people who do not agree with their religious beliefs.

  • Boo Hoo

    Christians in an uproar and perpetuating a falsehood? Say it isn’t so! 😉

  • ZenDruid

    Except that it isn’t called lying, but ‘creative storytelling with a moral message’.

  • Brian Macker

    Thank you Terra. I hate this kind of baloney.

  • Brian Macker

    Unfortunately the term “atheist” is very broad. Might have already happened. Especially with all the propaganda arms of all the various communist countries. There are plenty of atheists with unclean hands.

  • Lmaris

    Or “The Bible”.

  • Davy Goossens

    this does not mean that christians face difficulties in muslims countries as the writer of the article suggests at the end.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians#Current_situation_.281989_to_present.29

  • Keyra

    Lying for Jesus is a misnomer. Jesus does not accept liars

  • Terry Firma

    I can’t make heads or tails of your comment. You’re saying that Christians do not face “difficulties” in Muslim countries?

  • There are plenty of falsely claimed photos out there. However I have to ask this. In muslim countries ‘apostasy’ is a capital crime. They were hanged as criminals, can we be sure they werent hanged because of a discovered conversion, even if they were hanged among other kinds of offenders?

  • Terry Firma

    I wouldn’t be so certain. Are you saying it would surprise you if there are some atheists who pull the exact same crap? If so, your claim of how superior we are (in this regard) as a group flies in the face of what I’ve learned about human nature and tribalism.

  • Sideshow_Billybob

    Hardly a misnomer. You don’t see them having any problem lying for him, whether accepted or not.

  • Chris Wallace

    I’m offended by the poor grammar. “Everyday” is an adjective meaning run-of-the-mill, ho-hum, et cetera…Every day (two separate words) is an entirely different thing. Don’t they teach these sort of things in bible school?

  • JohnnieCanuck

    You mention no evidence for your speculation. How many hundreds of other unevidenced possible reasons could be imagined as the reason for their hanging?

    You appear to have started from the conclusion you want and are now working towards finding a reason to believe it. Something theists and especially creation ‘scientists’ seem to do a lot.

  • invivoMark

    My first thought was that it was the Christians who were persecuting the poor folks in the photo.

    That’s a far more likely case than that Christians are being hanged for being Christians. After all, we have precedent of Christians who were really into hanging people with those shades of skin color.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    Other Christians have disagreed with you. Their take is that if a soul can be saved by telling a lie, then it is worth it. They reason their punishment will not keep them out of Heaven.

    Have you no empathy, that you would not exert yourself to the maximum, to keep another’s soul from eternal, endless, never ending and infinite torture? (Sorry, got carried away trying to convey how long eternity in Hell is.)

    BTW Jesus is not currently alive, if ever.

  • revyloution

    Maybe, but I wouldn’t put it past Chaz Stevens.

  • UWIR

    You got three upvotes for trying to link communism with atheism? What is this blog coming to? Name one communist country that identifies as atheist rather than communist.

  • Brian was pointing out that “…said no atheist ever” is probably just on the weight of probability an unsupportable notion, since there have been plenty of unsavory atheists, at least some of whom probably have made exactly that sort of argument using just as flimsy evidence. What are you willing to bet that some atheists in the Soviet propaganda department didn’t do something similar in its attacks on the Russian Orthodox Church?

  • UWIR

    It conveys a deeper truth. And it’s atheists that don’t believe in objective truth. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  • Brian Macker

    Thank you 3lemenope. Exactly my point.

  • Brian Macker

    Marxists communists are atheists. As I said the term atheist is very broad. They were also likely aleprechanists, another broad term. Did you know that aleprechanists have been responsible for more mass murders than all the believers in leprechans combined?

  • Brian Macker

    Look the country names up yourself:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism

  • UWIR

    A how many people passing around this photo were involved in Uganda passing a law making homosexuality a capital offense (either directly or giving “charitable” donations that eventually made their way to groups promoting the law)?

  • Brian Macker

    I’m an atheist, btw. Been one since I was around seven. You see, I didn’t believe yet in god when they sprung the whole “If you don’t believe you go to hell” thing, complete with doubting Thomas, and the tree of knowledge. At which point the injustice of damning some kid for not believing based on insufficient evidence got my goat. I was morally appalled by just about every story, and did not appreciate all the evasion by adults to cogent questions.

    This was just about the time I figured out there was no Santa and the parallels were obvious, except for god being an odious fellow. When I say I didn’t believe I mean that I heard adults and kids talking about god but assumed he was some kind of leader. Once they started associating magic with him, and other baloney like he’s invisible, everywhere, etc. it dawned on me that adults were big time into make believe. So I never actually believed in god as others describe him, only as a reference to some human figure.

    I already had an ant farm at the age of five and had done my own experiments mixing in eggs from different ant colonies I found under rocks. So I knew that ants made ants. So when an adult claimed that god made all the trees, the flowers, the animals, I assumed he was an ignorant fool. Like other adults who didn’t know that spiders had eight legs and ants six, etc.

    [Edit: … and I mean a strong atheist to the conceptions of god they were selling in Sunday school. The classical refutable bully of the bible. Not some esoteric version of god. I even did an experiment where I dared him to hit me with a lighting bolt during a thunderstorm. I’m still here.]

  • paulalovescats

    Well, the gay post is closed for comments. Figures.

  • Cake

    I’ll start to believe you the moment when Jebus sends a pack of bears to destroy those that lie in his name. Or does lying somehow rank lower than a bunch of fowl mouthed brats?

  • $925105

    I suppose Christians realized it was silly to claim that someone saying “Happy Holidays” was persecution, so they had to make something up.

    Oh yeah, that lions thing. That was a lie too.

  • The only conclusion I started with is that in muslim countries, abandoning Islam, i.e., apostasy, is a capital crime. Apostates are put to death classified as criminals. From there I merely asked a question.

  • Christopher Griswold

    The report says banditry, so we have to take that as reasoning unless a contradictory report surfaces.

  • phantomreader42

    Keyra, would you be so kind as to post a picture of your
    certificate, signed personally by almighty god in eternally burning
    letters, that appoints you and you alone as the sole arbiter of what
    constitutes a true christian? Until you do, shut the fuck up with the No True Scotsman bullshit.

  • ZenDruid

    Be careful with the word ‘truth’.
    On thinking about it, my feeling is that the word ‘meme’ and the term ‘populist opinion’ are equivalent.

  • Jeremiah Traeger

    You are absolutely correct in stating that atheists wouldn’t pull the same shenanigans. I don’t want to pull a scotsman fallacy. An atheist can and probably has lied in order to portray his/herself as a victim. However, I rather love the meme.

    Of course, nobody would actually say it in that exact phrasing anyway :p

  • WallofSleep

    Ugh, those cranes…

    Those poor bastards weren’t dropped, they were slowly lifted off of their feet.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Man, what a really petty and nasty thing to say.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Probably people should not make big assumptions just like they did with this photo.

  • Feral Dog

    Only if it wasn’t true.

  • bumblebeex3

    really ..
    atheist don’t believe the truth ??? which truth is this you speak of .Sir since you are making the claim .???????

  • islandbrewer

    Petty? Maybe. It is, however, a sad fact.

    Behold, Christians in all their loving love for their fellow man who they perceive to not be christian:
    (Warning, really violent.)

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=cfd_1367882372

  • bumblebeex3

    OOH really ???..The bible clearly states he doesn’t accept anyone who doesn’t believe in him .BUT if you repent and get saved he accepts you just fine.. Doesn’t matter if you are a liar or baby killer .. He doesn’t care so long as you believe in his sadistic ego ..

  • 92JazzQueen .

    And its also true that Christians all over the world are persecuted as well. That’s why I am offended its because it seems like people are very belittling those who are losing their lives in countries that are persecuting them just to take pot shots at Christians who have done horrible stuff in the name of self righteousness. Christians have done bad stuff in the past and now. But at the same time Christians in other places have and still are treated like trash because of their faith.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/opinion/pakistans-persecuted-christians.html?_r=0

    http://rt.com/news/syrian-christians-patriarch-stay-079/

    http://www.moderntokyotimes.com/2013/12/17/central-african-republic-and-christian-persecution-role-of-france-is-unclear/

  • baal

    Yes, xtians are humans and do what tribalistic humans do. When in the majority, they persecute. When in the minority, they are persecuted. LIke every one else. What’s different, however, is that in the US, the majority claims to be a persecuted minority. It’s just not a fact nor true. To say otherwise is just so much lying for jesus.

    Please note that a goodly amount of persecution on xtians is done by other xtians.

  • pete084

    Precisely; scepticism doesn’t just apply to matters which you’re opposed to, if you’re a true sceptic you’ll look under the kilt of atheist Scotsmen too!

  • pete084

    Can we be sure they weren’t hanged for their awful dress sense? We can speculate as much as we want, it still doesn’t trump facts!

  • pete084

    All those black people the KKK hanged weren’t true Christians……. right!

  • 92JazzQueen .

    That was true in the past but now its presently the fact that its persecutions by non-Christians on Christians is the most present. It really seems a lot of atheists don’t really care at all. Even one atheist commenter said that Christians in some places deserved it for the actions of Western Christians. As much as some atheists hold their noses up they still can become as apathetic to the suffering of others as well.
    You might dismiss it as Christians as trying to play into persecution complex but on the other hand its solidarity with our fellow Christians who are less fortunate.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    And how about the Armenian minority that was massacred in Turkey which the government still denies to this day. Or how in Japan they persecuted Christians during their isolation period.

  • Athoes

    Didn’t we misquote Sarah Palin on a billboard somewhere? Malicious, I’m not sure but it was something to note. Lesson to be learned…fact check, fact check, fact check before you put something forward.

  • Itarion

    Also a sadly and historically accurate thing to say.

  • Itarion

    If this were a picture of Christians being killed for the crime of being Christians, with the same caption, you would see a different response. That one atheist commenter is wrong: no one deserves to be punished for the actions of another. And no one should be persecuted.

    Yes, Christians are persecuted across the world, and the proper response to this is not the meme you see above. That is actually an attempt to play to a persecution complex, because it is a lie. The truth would be helpful, and probably not passed around as a meme, but a short news article with a heartfelt message raising awareness of a specific incident or string of incidents, like the Rwanda genocide, with a push towards getting people who can do something about it to do something about it.

    This image is a piece of manipulative bullshit that gives a sense of danger or rebelliousness to people who like that, but equally importantly, it’s a lie. It’s not about solidarity, it’s about justification of behavior. “Persecuted” Christians in the US see this, and feel better about feeling persecuted.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Sometimes its to raise awareness than trying to feel persecuted. People assume and generalize rather than actually get to know the motive behind why the picture was put up. Honest mistake on their part?

  • Itarion

    Perhaps, but answer me this: what incident is this raising awareness of?

    As best as I can tell, this raises only awareness of persecution generally [again, falsely], which isn’t anything that can be acted upon.

    Most people didn’t know what it was they were passing on: that is an honest mistake. The originator of this meme intentionally lied, and probably just to get viral, since religion is a hotbutton. But the subtext and underlying message is that Christians generally are persecuted, and thus all Christians who see this, even those who are the local majority, feel persecuted by proxy.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    A lot of times is to make people aware to be thankful they live in a country that allow freedom of religion. No its to feel empathy that out there in many countries there are many brothers and sisters who are dying. You might not get it because you are not Christian or not anymore but there is an emphasis on brotherhood. Or its the way that can be interpreted.

  • Itarion

    You might not get it because you are not Christian or not anymore but there is an emphasis on brotherhood.

    My my, quite the assumption you make here. Not wrong, mind you, I’m not Christian, but beside the point.

    Christians are not the only group who can have a sense of brotherhood. The fact that I am not religious does not mean that I cannot feel the love towards other people that comes from working with them towards a common goal. I do not appreciate this implication you make, first because it’s insulting, and second because it’s flatout wrong.

    A lot of times is to make people aware to be thankful they live in a country that allow freedom of religion.

    Perhaps that is the purpose of this, but it is a fairly dark method. “Be thankful this isn’t you” is hardly inspiring. Secondly, it’s not representative of the sort of interfaith community that a religiously free country should have, it is specific to Christians and no one else. Also, the lack of any distinguishing features, in either the pictures or remarks, to show this is clearly NOT the US belies your assertion. There’s nothing that says “This isn’t you” and more than a little that says “This is you.”

    Finally, answer my question, or admit that you cannot: What incident is this image raising awareness of?

  • phantomreader42

    You know who’s belittling persecuted christians? Christians.

    Christian leaders and their brainwashed followers are constantly whining about how horribly, horribly persecuted they are, because they’re not allowed to set gay people on fire with total impunity, or they’re not allowed to hijack the government to promote their cult, or they’re not allowed to steal tax money to erect huge stone idols, or horror of horrors, because people who don’t worship their version of their imaginary friend in precisely the way they demand are allowed to EXIST! There are actual real people in the actual real world suffering actual real persecution, but the christian martyrbaters don’t give a flying fuck about them, never have, and never will. The only “persecution” they care about is their own loss of the slightest privilege. THEY are the ones belittling victims of REAL persecution. So, why are you here complaining about this to atheists, when it’s painfully obvious that it’s the martyrbaters who are the problem? Why are you whining about people pointing out that christians are lying about how persecuted they are? Can’t you handle the truth?

  • phantomreader42

    “Raising awareness” isn’t very useful when the thing you’re raising awareness of is A BLATANT, SHAMELESS LIE. Unless of course spreading lies is your GOAL…

  • 92JazzQueen .

    The purpose was to raise awareness of persecution in places in Iran and they used what they thought was an example. Mainly because I think some atheists think they know what Christians are about but are flat out wrong. It was wrong to hastily snap that photo without looking at it first. But the point is that it was to awake Western Christians from the fact that persecution for Christians in some countries is real and needs to be addressed. This is not to make them feel persecuted but to make them get up and do something to be there in spirit for all those who are imprisoned or have lost their own lives.

    http://news.bahai.org/story/978

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Actually that is not true and really that tone of yours is really immature. Because no one seems to really care when to hear them and want to listen to voices that reinforce their negative feelings towards Christians. Saying that all Christians care for really shows that some people don’t know jack.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/23/persecution-christians-religion-editorial

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Yeah, and making it aware that certain countries like Iran are suppressing freedoms is a bad goal.

  • Red the Fister

    I’ve looked under my own kilt any number of times… Horrifying.

  • Itarion

    Where in that picture, the widely circulated meme, is there any mention of Iran?

    What happened to “They want to celebrate America’s religious freedom”?

    Here is a bit of why US Christians have an unjustified persecution complex.
    http://www.persecution.org/category/countries/middle-east/iran/
    On this site are various recent stories of persecution around the globe. In the Middle East, there are stories of imprisonment and violent crime against Christians, unjust punishment for what can be considered minor transgressions. Same in China, N. Korea, and Southeast Asia.
    Rated on the same scale, there is this in the US:
    -A monument removed from a government site.
    -Monuments [asking to be] added to a government site.
    -A business owner losing a case over refusing to serve a gay couple.
    -An opinion piece on the War on Christmas.
    -And finally, a request that a single pastor be considered on par with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programs, which could potentially result in a much feared nuclear war.

    These are not egregious violations of human rights that are being condemned by the UN. Three of them are attempts to violate rights of others within the US, one of them is illusory, and the last is a small part of a larger set of rights violations occurring in a foreign country.

    Whether the intent of the meme is to reinforce a persecution complex or not, the fact remains that the US Christian population, or some significant number of them, present a persecuted facade that is not based in reality, and the image serves as a possibly accidental bit of evidence for the same.

  • DavidMHart

    I’m going to have to remember that one next time someone brings up the ‘Stalin gambit’ 🙂

  • James Stevenson

    No no no. Don’t you see what he’s saying? You don’t believe in ‘objective’ truth. Ie so long as you believe your morals are fundamentally unchallengable it doesn’t actually matter what you do.

    Lie, steal, suck the a baby dry through a wound in its neck. ‘Objective’ morality is clearly the only way to go. Rather than this wishy-washy ‘hang on a minute… lets see whats causing harm’ morality.

  • youpeopleareidiots

    You would like to find some start wioth this article. Your own words go against you. being Christian is a capital crime in Iran. While some may have been hung for other crimes some were also hung for their Christianity you dolt.

  • Itarion

    Check it: Apostasy from Islam is a capital offense. Being Christian is just discouraged, in much the same way as being black was discouraged by the KKK.

  • Compuholic

    making it aware that certain countries like Iran are suppressing freedoms is a bad goal

    Yeah that is exactly the problem. The ends always seem to justify the means for the religious. If you have to lie to promote your cause then that is what they will do. And if they have to kill that is what they will do. All in the name of good goals (or what their imaginary friend tell them are noble goals)

  • skinnercitycyclist

    Did you miss the part where this particular photo, which is what the post is about, is NOT of hanged Christians but of drug dealers? And that CHristians have been lying about it? So are you continuing to lie, or are you just mentally challenged?

  • skinnercitycyclist

    You’ve convinced me with this one. If any other group has hanged any of your group, you get a free pass on hanging anyone you want and don’t have to answer for it. Gotcha.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    “You might dismiss it as Christians as trying to play into persecution
    complex but on the other hand its solidarity with our fellow Christians
    who are less fortunate.”

    And that is part of the problem I see with your attitude, and that of many Xians I see commenting on the subject. You do not give a rip about people being persecuted, you only care if they are fellow Christians, and probably of the same narrow type you subscribe to.

    On the other hand, as a humanist, I care when people are persecuted no matter what their belief or lack thereof. I am outraged whenever anyone , anywhere, is persecuted for their beliefs or simply for who they are.

    When Xians begin raising holy hell about the persecution of gay men and women in Russia, Uganda, and other places instead of celebrating it, then I will consider you to have morals and values, but not before. It’s just tribalism the way you do it.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    PWND!

  • skinnercitycyclist

    I do not believe that is true in all Muslim countries, though in Iran it might be.

  • FreezePeach

    Well, if they WERE dissident pro-Israeli gay Christian drug dealers Iran probably would hang them in public.

  • Observer

    Being Christian is not a capital crime in Iran. There are over 100, 000 Christians living in Iran. Apostacy is, however a capital crime there.

  • Thomas Zachary Seward

    Well, there is notable truth in THAT. An internet meme, as described on Wikipedia, is spread quickly through people who agree or empathize with it.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    That’s completely missing the point of what I was trying to get.

  • That that is why Jesus came down from heaven and personally repudiated Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, Jimmy Bakker, Ted Haggard, Mark Driscoll, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson,

    Bob Larson, Paul Crouch, Mike Warnke, Benny Hinn, Peter Popoff, and every name in this database.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Or the fact you really are just putting words and thoughts that I don’t have in my mouth and probably those words you describe to be are more true to you. You know what this same time of thing makes you just as insensitive because you just want to rip people up. You might want to help Christians but its obvious you really don’t want to know all of them except stereotypes people have assigned because they can’t think of them other than that.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    Hey, in fact I have been against what is happening in Russia and Uganda. Plus no all Christians are not celebrating what’s happening. Its right some strands are but to label all of them is obnoxious and telling that you people really just want stereotypes and not actually thoughts of people.

  • 92JazzQueen .

    What makes you think it was the same sight that sent it? That’s what I think people are making are assumptions which is bad because then people jump to wild conclusions based on their own unsupported opinions.

  • Apostasy is a capital offense in Iran. If someone were to be put to death for it, they would not hesitate to advertise the fact as a warning to any others who might be inclined to abandon the one true faith. There is no reason to believe that is the case here.

  • Artor

    People ask to look under my kilt all the time. They can’t believe what they see there! (Their mother’s lipstick, usually)

  • Artor

    QFT! I’m totally stealing that next time I have to argue with some idiot Xian.

  • Matt D

    No it doesn’t, it conveys the lengths you’re willing to go in order to deceive yourself.

    You start with a ridiculous assertion that “lying conveys truth”, followed by slander against Atheists, then top it off with some fearmongering nonsense. Your mental gymnastics aren’t going to win you any gold medals, but I bet you enjoy the show.

  • Itarion

    I didn’t say it was the same site, they’re almost entirely unrelated. There is one thing that links them, though, the persecution complex.

    You were uncertain about the meme being evidence of such, so I found you some evidence of a persecution complex in some Christians in the US.

    Think what you might, the thought that US Christians are being persecuted exists, and it is completely wrong and backwards.

  • Thackerie

    Another liar for Jesus claims, “And its also true that Christians all over the world are persecuted as well.”

    No. It. Is. Not.

  • Thackerie

    Ohhhh! Some unnamed atheist commentator supposedly said something nasty about christians. Well, I guess that proves that christians really are persecuted all over the world … and therefore, Jesus. Glory!

    Or something like that.

  • Thackerie

    “You might want to help Christians but its obvious you really don’t want
    to know all of them except stereotypes people have assigned because they
    can’t think of them other than that.”

    You mean “stereotypes” like many christians being liars for Jesus? Maybe if they’d stop lying, people would stop calling them liars.

  • EvidenceBasedDecisions

    So Jesus says that murder is fine (Matthew 10:34, Luke 22:36-37), but that lying is wrong ? OK Got it.

    Oooops apparently Jesus was a liar too !!
    Mark 4:10-12, Luke 10:23-24, Matt 13:34-42 !!

  • EvidenceBasedDecisions

    Look at Hitler and Stalin ! They have moustaches !
    Death to all moustachioed terrorists !

    Spotted the fallacy yet ?

  • EvidenceBasedDecisions

    So what about twenty federal US laws that discriminate against atheists but advantage Christians ?

    And dont get me started on the list of state based laws.

    A Christian stabbing an atheist would blame the atheist for blunting the knife – that is what a christian means by “persecution”.

  • Brian Macker

    It’s not a fallacy as a response to someone claims people with mustaches never killed a soul.

  • phantomreader42

    Is reading comprehension against your religion, or did you just conveniently forget that rule against bearing false witness? You don’t seem to have any interest in what I actually said, all you’ve shown any interest in is making shit up and putting words in people’s mouths.

  • phantomreader42

    Okay, I know this will be very difficult for you, but give it a try. Scroll up to the top of the page. Look at the picture that christians are sharing, and claiming it’s proof of the persecution of christians. Does it mention Iran? No, it does not. So how can it be raising awareness about persecution of christians in Iran if it DOESN’T EVEN MENTION IRAN?

    Now, think about the fact that there is not the slightest speck of evidence that any of the people shown being hung in the picture were ever christian, much less that they were hung for BEING christian! How is circulating a picture of four random Iranians, who are not and never were christians, who certainly were not hung for being christians, and never mentioning Iran in the picture, “raising awareness” of persecution of christians in Iran? IT ISN’T!!!

    Now, if you wanted to raise awareness of REAL persecution, you could do that, but maybe, just maybe, just for a change, you should try not lying through your teeth while doing it!!!!!!

  • phantomreader42

    The martyrbaters who crow about how persecuted they are AREN’T thankful that they live in a country that allows freedom of religion. They consider the fact that they’re not allowed to hijack the government and steal tax money to promote their cult to a captive audience on public property to be proof that THEY are persecuted, and demand that they be allowed to persecute anyone not in their cult in revenge. They don’t want freedom, they want a theocracy of their cult and ONLY their cult. And they don’t have any empathy for ANYONE, certainly not victims of REAL persecution.

  • terrilynnmerritts

    They were hung for being drug dealers, smugglers, and thieves, not for being Christians. ALL of them.

  • Drew M.

    I dunno where you’ve been, my lad, but I see you’ve won first prize!

  • Terry Firma

    [slow clap] Well said!

  • Terry Firma

    “Honest mistake”? Then I suggest you now make it your mission to write to every Jesus website that published the photo, with its patently false caption, and get them to retract the photo. A public apology for the lie (and/or for these believers’ outsized credulousness) would also be appreciated.

    I’ll bet you that you’ll get fewer than a dozen retractions, (and even that is wildly optimistic on my part).

    Let us know how you make out.

  • Jan Kafka

    The US has a history of people, private organizations, and government discriminating against people on the basis of age, ethnic background, race, gender, sexual preference, political affiliation, and, yes, religious belief. Just to mention a few instances of what some would label ‘persecution’…In the case of the US, though, it seems that the religious ‘persecution’ has been mostly carried out by Christians (sometimes directed against against other Christians).

  • dullsteamer

    “be thankful they live in a country that allow freedom of religion”

    I’d much rather live in a country that allowed freedom from religion, thanks.

  • dullsteamer

    There weren’t that many Christians in Japan during the Edo period to persecute – and the main reason they were was down to their attempts at political interference. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  • That’s the problem with being oblique with points; you can’t control what people will get out of them. It’s akin to the dangers of teaching by parable or resorting to intuitionistic rules.

    “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
    [Mistreats everyone around them]
    “Why did you go and do all that?!”
    “I don’t love myself.”
    “…damn it!”

    “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
    “Uh, the whole world.”
    “…damn it!

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!”
    [Stone whistles through air, clocks victim in head]
    “What the hell?!”
    “Just got born again a few minutes ago.”
    “Humans are so frustrating!”

    “And the meek shall inherit the Earth!”
    [Everyone starts leaving]
    “Hey, where are you all going?”
    “You’re a seditionist. We’ve seen what the Romans do to the likes of you, and when it happens, I don’t wanna be standing in the splash radius. You just said the meek will get all the things, so what profits us courage in hearing you speak? Catch you later.”
    “ARRRRGH!” [ragequit]

  • Carl

    Christians are liars. I already knew that.

  • Obazervazi

    You’d think with the 1984 reference people would get the sarcasm…

  • Daniel

    Images have such power. I can understand why they are used to advance a point. Looking at such images, there is a sense of horror, which I suspect activates the part of the brain that says “atrocity”, and does not ask questions.

    Speaking for myself, these images pull at my sense of mortality, and the human fascination with death, and the sadism of the perpetrators, and the individual deaths of the victims. For someone with a sense of empathy, it’s hard to view these images without feeling somewhat terrorized. So the second thought, to question the veracity of the connection to antichristian persecution, is not automatic. That’s probably part of the basis for propaganda.

    Which is why it”s so important to ask such questions, debunk when there is something to debunk, and expose the fraud for what it is. Doing so, undermines the credibility of the perpetrator, while building the reputation of the “debunker”. Which in the case of critical thinking, is honorable.

    And I like that the point is made, we also need to keep atheists honest too. There are plenty of examples of people, taking passive aggressive advantage of their persecution to make a point or make a gain. That doesn’t make the persecution less real, but it does make the person less credible and damages the cause. By keeping everyone honest, we show that we are an honorable cause.

    There is another point, that use of these victims as propaganda, undermines the real questions about their deaths. Did they really commit the crimes, they were accused of? Did those crimes deserve the death penalty? Or were they just on the wrong side of the politics, or of an ethnic divide, or some other us/them societal chasm? Their government can claim whatever it wants. But there is no way to know. And for the people watching these public executions, there is the real message – screw up, or be on the wrong side, and you’re next. Which is not crime and punishment, it’s local terrorism.

  • Chris Evans

    Yeah, and since they weren’t dropped, their necks didn’t instantly snap, so they were probably struggling for air for quite awhile while suffocating, thus extending the pain.. If you’re dropped, there’s a 90% chance your neck will snap, and result in instant death. So… it probably would have been merciful to drop them, but I guess they wanted to see them in as much pain as possible, sadly. Probably as a warning to other drug runners. 🙁

  • Davy Goossens

    i should have included “don’t”.

  • Major Nav

    I am an atheist and not a troll.
    20 years ago, I personally witnessed the the beheading of four Phillipino TCNs in Taif, Saudi Arabia. The Saudis saw me and my friends in the market and brought us right to the front of the crowd to see how they administered “god’s law”. (I took pictures, but the developer “lost” them.) Afterwards, I asked what the crime was. The answer shocked me. Proselytizing. “Sharing the word of the christ”.
    It happens. Defending the faith is one of the 7 pillars of Islam. You can be a xtian or any other kind of believer, but you can’t convert muslims from the “one true faith” or be an atheist. Punishable by death. So is muslim apostasy.

  • UWIR

    Most Marxist communists are atheists. And my point was that Marxist communist atheists wouldn’t say “Let’s exploit the deaths of people by taking their photograph, claiming they were atheist, and telling everyone how persecuted we are because of our beliefs”, they would say “Let’s exploit the deaths of people by taking their photograph, claiming they were Marxist communist, and telling everyone how persecuted we are because of our beliefs”. Marxist communist atheists would not view a Marxist communist atheist being executed as oppression of atheists, any more than they would view it as oppression of aleprechanists, or ahinduists, or ascecular humanists. They would view it as oppression of Marxist communists.

  • UWIR

    That’s just a variant of the Gish Gallop. It has the added bonus that you didn’t write the article, so if I argue that revolutionary France was not a communist country, and therefore does not satisfy my challenge, you can simply reply “Oh, I wasn’t talking about that example.” I repeat: Name one communist country that identifies as atheist rather than communist. Not a communist country that is anti-clerical, but a communist country that where the government officially declares the country to have an atheist identity, and this identity is placed above its communist identity.

  • brianmacker

    Well I disagree. Considering all the vile propaganda and murdering that Marxist atheist have commited I do not put it beyond the pale for them to have done exactly what you claim no atheist has ever done. How can you know to make such a blanket claim? Plus it seems silly to advance such a claim when we know there are atheists that have done far worse.

  • brianmacker

    Here is three: The People’s Republic of China, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

    You claimed: “That’s just a variant of the Gish Gallop.”
    Which is defined as “The Gish Gallop, named after creationist Duane Gish, is the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time.”

    First off, we are not debating in real time, so you’ve got plenty of opportunity to respond. Since I haven’t provided half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments it doesn’t matter how much time you have. Pointing at a wiki article on state atheism allows you to look up “all the various communist countries” that I was referring to as atheist. I pointed to the list so I wouldn’t have to spend hours debating with the last person on the planet who is unaware that such atheist countries exist.

  • UWIR

    I didn’t ask you for three, I asked you for one. And it was written in the present tense, which rules out the USSR. Now, in what way do China and Korea identify as atheist, above being communist?

    I said that this is a variant of the Gish Gallop. The essential characteristic is that your presented a list of examples, when one would do. If you had presented just one example, I could have refuted your claim that that one is valid. But by presenting a list, I’m supposed to respond… how? Am I supposed to go through EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY listed on that page, and show how it doesn’t qualify? As I pointed out, and you failed to respond to, that page lists France, and France is not a communist country. So either you were claiming that every country listed on the page is an example, in which case your claim is blatantly false, or your point was “Somewhere on this page is a country that I think is an example, but instead of just naming that country, I’m going to give you a huge list and let you try to figure out which one I’m talking about.” I believe that the latter tactic is of the same spirit as the Gish Gallop.

    “I pointed to the list so I wouldn’t have to spend hours debating with the last person on the planet who is unaware that such atheist countries exist.”

    First of all, I never claimed that atheist countries don’t exist, so you’re being incredibly dishonest. Second, how is presenting a list avoiding argument?

    “Well I disagree. Considering all the vile propaganda and murdering that Marxist atheist have commited I do not put it beyond the pale for them to have done exactly what you claim no atheist has ever done.”

    I never claimed that no atheist has done this, I merely objected to your gratuitous linking of atheism and communism. Furthermore, I am not, as you imply, saying that the reason that communists wouldn’t do that is because it is too evil. I have presented a completely different argument, which you has completely ignored.

    “How can you know to make such a blanket claim?”

    What blanket claim, exactly, are you talking about?

    “Plus it seems silly to advance such a claim when we know there are atheists that have done far worse.”

    Again, my argument is not based on degree of evil. I’m quite sure that the Nazis didn’t institute a policy of forcing Aryan women to marry Jewish men. Arguing that they did far worse, so they probably did this, too, would be an absolutely moronic argument.

  • Guest

    France isn’t a communist country genius.

  • brianmacker

    France isn’t a communist country. I thought you were smart enough to figure that out.

    The original comment I responded to was “Said no atheist ever” so whether you made your comment present tense or not is moot. Your sentence about naming a communist country that identifies as “atheist rather than communist” is also moot, because they do both. It is the meaning of the original comment I was responding to and the meaning of my comment that matters. Not your irrelevant comments.

    You are possibly the only person who gets upset at having multiple counter-examples instead of just one. Had I named USSR, and had you objected arbitrarily, then I could have just moving through other examples. So I’m not sure how you think it helps to have only one.

    “I never claimed that no atheist has done this, I merely objected to your gratuitous linking of atheism and communism.”

    Well that was NOT at all clear. It looked like you were also claiming my statement in response to the other comment could not possibly be true.

    Which means you are even more wrong then I gave you credit for. Marxism is atheistic philosophy. I didn’t link the two, and if anyone did it gratuitously it was Marx and Lenin, along with a bunch of communist dictators running the communist countries I was referring to, and which everybody else is aware of.

    Marx is the guy who said “Religion is the opiate of the people” and that “Communism begins at the outset with atheism”.

    I don’t know what your problem is. That is a fact. Communism is an atheistic philosophy. Also humans are apes.

  • brianmacker

    “Again, my argument is not based on degree of evil. I’m quite sure that the Nazis didn’t institute a policy of forcing Aryan women to marry Jewish men. Arguing that they did far worse, so they probably did this, too, would be an absolutely moronic argument.”

    That’s only because the whole point of Nazism is to keep the races separate. It’s a moronic analogy. A good analogy would be that it is likely that Nazi’s raped Jewish women because they were willing to far worse to them.

  • UWIR

    “France isn’t a communist country.”

    EXACTLY MY POINT!!! You presented France as an example of a communist country. France is not a communist country. I don’t understand what’s going on in you mind.

    “The original comment I responded to was “Said no atheist ever” so whether you made your comment present tense or not is moot.”

    I said: “Name one communist country that identifies as atheist rather than communist.”

    You post was in response to THAT POST. It is completely legitimate to expect me to expect a response to one of my posts to respond to my post. This “there was another post before that” is BULLSHIT. If you don’t plan on responding to my post, DON’T RESPOND TO MY POST. The clearly implied assertion of your post was that it was a list of communist countries that identify as atheist rather than communist. If I can’t infer basic common sense meanings from your post, that there’s no point in trying to have a conversation with you. You are being incredibly rude. I’m trying to be patient with you, but more and more it’s looking like you’re just being an asshole.

    “So I’m not sure how you think it helps to have only one.”

    I’m really getting tired of having you express lack of understanding of things I have already explained. Having several alleged examples instead of one means that I have to post a bunch of refutations, rather than just one. I already explained that.

    “Well that was NOT at all clear.”

    It was clear to anyone with basic reading comprehension. How is it unclear that “You got three upvotes for trying to link communism with atheism?” is objecting to linking communism with atheism?

    “Which means you are even more wrong then I gave you credit for.”

    What exactly am I wrong about?

    “I didn’t link the two,”

    Bullshit.

    “Communism is an atheistic philosophy.”

    And you just said you’re not linking communism with atheism!

    “I don’t know what your problem is.”

    Here’s an idea: READ MY FUCKING POSTS!

    Most Marxist communists are atheists. And my point was that Marxist communist atheists wouldn’t say “Let’s exploit the deaths of people by taking their photograph, claiming they were atheist, and telling everyone how persecuted we are because of our beliefs”, they would say “Let’s exploit the deaths of people by taking their photograph, claiming they were Marxist communist, and telling everyone how persecuted we are because of our beliefs”. Marxist communist atheists would not view a Marxist communist atheist being executed as oppression of atheists, any more than they would view it as oppression of aleprechanists, or ahinduists, or ascecular humanists. They would view it as oppression of Marxist communists.

    “That’s only because the whole point of Nazism is to keep the races separate.”

    EXACTLY! That’s my FUCKING POINT! The point of Nazism was to promote Aryan superiority, not to do evil things just for the sake of doing evil things, so “X is more evil than Y, the Nazis did Y, therefore it is reasonable to think the Nazis did X” is a STUPID ARGUMENT, just like “X is more evil than Y, atheists/communists did Y, therefore it is reasonable to think atheists/communists did Y” is a STUPID ARGUMENT.

    “It’s a moronic analogy.”

    How is it moronic?

    “A good analogy would be that it is likely that Nazi’s raped Jewish women because they were willing to far worse to them.”

    No, because the MAIN REASON why someone wouldn’t rape a Jewish woman is that it’s evil, so showing that Nazis were willing to do evil things is A VALID ARGUMENT. I am NOT ARGUING “Communists wouldn’t do this, because it’s evil”, I am presented a DIFFERENT FUCKING ARGUMENT that you are ignoring. I have explained this AGAIN AND AGAIN, and you still insist on being dishonest about what my argument is. When I argue X wouldn’t happen because of Y”, and you completely ignore my argument, and instead respond with an argument that implies that I am making an argument that I AM NOT MAKING, that’s a REALLY FUCKING RUDE thing to do. You’re being an asshole.

    The whole POINT of the analogy is to show that there is an example where YOUR LOGIC DOESN’T WORK. Coming up with some other analogy where your logic does work, and declaring “this is a better analogy” is totally missing the point. If your logic only works in SOME CASES, then your logic IS CRAP.

    And if you don’t want me typing in all caps, stop being such a fucking moron.

  • chanceofrainne

    Some people stop reading when their buttons get pressed, and it’s not just Christians.

  • Ash Wonderdog

    Yet cannot characterize the prof. M. all praise and respect

  • Ash Wonderdog

    Incorrect, I thought that too,concerning suicide bombs
    But I checked some older red letter King James and Catholic versions New Test. :
    It says love thy brothers as I have loved you.
    paraphrasing

  • Uh, no, not at all. KJV has it rendered:

    “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

    The New Jerusalem (i.e. “Catholic”) translation has it rendered:

    “The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself.”

    Don’t know what translation you were reading, but it wasn’t either of those.

  • Ash Wonderdog

    St. John old world KJ red letter version,13:34-35 basicly says in this bible” New commandment I give you; Love one another ;as I I love you.

  • The passage I was using was Mark 12:31, not John 13:34-35.

  • Ash Wonderdog

    St. John’s accord, I collect bibles Not sure wbich is best

  • Ash Wonderdog

    God forbid the bibles contridict each other

  • LOL I figured our confusion would be due to something like that. 🙂

  • Ash Wonderdog

    I am a theologist MBA Miami U. I study all religions/faiths mythology. This isn’t to impress anyone I just got Goddamn degree. I am not religious at all and I focus on “ancient Druid Pagan Celtic practices”

  • brianmacker

    Me: “France isn’t a communist country.”

    UWIR:”EXACTLY MY POINT!!! You presented France as an example of a communist country. France is not a communist country. I don’t understand what’s going on in you mind.”

    I did not “presented France as an example of a communist country”. If I said “Apples are fruit” then pointed you at a bowl of fruit that doesn’t mean I’m saying that Oranges are Apples.

    Your post, “Name one communist country that identifies as atheist rather than communist” was in response to my comment.

    Which I took in context as a challenge to my prior post which had the implicit claim that [Marxist] communist countries are atheist, because it was in response to that comment. I’ve named not only one but several communist countries that identify as atheist. All of them have committed atrocities.

    I still don’t see what your problem is. I’m not “trying to associate communists with atheist” because communists are in fact atheists.

    It’s just like if someone said, “Mammals don’t eat meat” and I wrote in response “Dogs eat meat and they are mammals”. Then you responded to me with “Name one dog that identifies as a mammal rather than a dog”. I then sent you to a list of mammals that includes various dogs. You then got upset that I didn’t specify just one dog. You then accused me of telling you that a cat counts as a dog.

    The above paragraph is how I see this conversation.

    The founding Marxist communists (the ones I was obviously referring too) are atheist, and the political parties, governments, and institutions they set up were officially atheist.

    Those are the facts. I’m an atheist. I don’t have a problem with these facts. I’m not sure why you do.

    If you have a problem with anyone “associating” “atheism” with communism then you better dig up Marx, Engels, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc. and bother them. They are the ones that did the “association”. Actually it is a classification, not an association, and they did so rather correctly I might add.

  • UWIR

    If I say “Name a fruit”, and you present me with a link to a website that lists a bunch of food, one of which is potatoes, I would be completely justified in saying “potatoes are not fruit”. While you would not be explicitly saying that potatoes are fruit, you would be implying it.

    I really don’t get what’s going on with your mind. Why did you post a comment saying “France isn’t a communist country.” when that was EXACTLY MY POINT?

    “I’ve named not only one but several communist countries that identify as atheist.”

    No, you haven’t. Posting a link to a page that lists a bunch of countries, some of which are X, is not the same as naming a country that is X. My anti-Gish Gallop rule is that when I ask for an example of X, and someone gives me a bunch of alleged examples, is that I am allowed to take the weakest case, and argue against it. You presented France in your list. France is not communist. Therefore, you are wrong, according to my rule. You don’t like my rule? Too fucking bad. I’m not going to play your “I’ve presented a list, and you have to refute EVERY SINGLE EXAMPLE on that list” game. That’s not a legitimate tactic.

    “The above paragraph is how I see this conversation.”

    Then you have a severe inability to follow conversations, because there is no possible correspondence that would make that reflect the conversation. JT Rager said:

    “Let’s exploit the deaths of people by taking their photograph, claiming they were atheist, and telling everyone how persecuted we are because of our beliefs”

    Said no atheist ever.

    You presented communists as a counter example. So, can you present clear evidence (and no, “here’s a link to a website, and I’m claiming that somewhere on this website is evidence, but I’m not going to tell you where” IS NOT EVIDENCE) that any communist has:

    1. Taken a photograph of dead people

    2. Claimed they were atheist

    3. Used this to argue that atheists (not communists, but ATHEISTS) are persecuted

    ?

    “Then you responded to me with “Name one dog that identifies as a mammal rather than a dog”. I then sent you to a list of mammals that includes various dogs.”

    And how in the world would that be a legitimate response to the question of what dog identifies as a mammal rather than a dog? The question is not “Name a dog that is a mammal”, it’s “Name a dog the IDENTIFIES AS a mammal, RATHER THAN a dog”. Do you not understand basic English? Whether WIKIPEDIA classifies dogs as mammals is completely irrelevant to whether DOGS see their PRIMARY IDENTITY as being mammals, rather than dogs. Communists see their primary identity as being communist, not atheist. And you have yet to present any evidence counter to that.

  • brianmacker

    Your analogy is a false analogy. You really asked me to “name a red fruit”. I presented you a link to red fruits and vegetables, but also told you to look for the fruit. The link named each fruit as a fruit, but you weren’t able to do that simple search. My link in fact contained several red fruit.

    The reason I provided that link was because I was astonished that anyone except maybe someone in lower grade school would not know that there were many communist atheist countries. Even worse, didn’t know that pretty much every communist country was officially atheist.

    That you go out of your way to look for a non-communist country on the list just shows you are intellectually dishonest.

  • UWIR

    Your insistence on obfuscating the issue with “analogies” is tiresome. If you actually had a point, you would be able to present it just as well with the issues actually at hand.

    “The reason I provided that link was because I was astonished that anyone except maybe someone in lower grade school would not know that there were many communist atheist countries.”

    I am quite aware of the fact that there are communist atheist countries. This is the SECOND TIME you’ve insisted on attacking that strawman. You’re a fucking liar.

    “That you go out of your way to look for a non-communist country on the list just shows you are intellectually dishonest.”

    Out of my way? It was the FIRST FUCKING COUNTRY LISTED, you lying piece of shit.

    Here’s a simple question: what am I supposed to do? Present a separate analysis for EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY you list? I’ve asked that again and again, and you refuse to answer. I’ve explained over and over again why I adopted the tactic, If you actually thought there was something wrong with my reasoning, you could explain why. Instead you hypocritically accuse ME of dishonesty, because you’re a lying piece of shit.

  • MerchantMariner

    “…pretty much every communist country was officially atheist.”

    North Korea isn’t. Kim Jong-un is venerated as a living god – so is his (deceased) father. Nothing very atheist about that.

  • brianmacker

    “Your insistence on obfuscating the issue with “analogies” is tiresome.”
    It’s your analogy moron.

  • brianmacker

    No, North Korea is officially an atheist state.

  • UWIR

    You wrote

    I did not “presented France as an example of a communist country”. If I said “Apples are fruit” then pointed you at a bowl of fruit that doesn’t mean I’m saying that Oranges are Apples.

    So it’s your analogy.

  • MerchantMariner

    According to who?