Friday, March 20, 2015

Jennifer Fulwiler: How Modern Art Led Me to God

The idea of there being objectivity in art might seem counter-intuitive to most people. After all, art is simply about the expression of feeling and emotion, right? If all art is equally beautiful and good, then we must conclude that Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing are just as good and aurally aesthetic as Justin Bieber's Baby. Perish the thought! All Justin Bieber roasting aside, it does seem that we can look at the grandeur of the Sistine Chapel and conclude that it is objectively more beautiful than a room of empty metal boxes. This is precisely what led atheist Jennifer Fulwiler on the path to Christianity. She wanted to affirm the existence of objective standards for goodness and beauty, but failed to explain how they could exist on an atheistic worldview. This is her story.

Modern Art

There was a recent controversy in Tacoma, Washington because the Tacoma Art Museum considered showing the work of an artist named David Wojnarowicz. Specifically, they wanted to show a video montage he put together that was pulled by the Smithsonian because it was too offensive. The Tacoma museum’s curator responded to critics by saying, “For someone to come and have to confront this image, it’s not going to be easy but art’s not easy.”
Curious about what this non-easy art might involve, I did some searches and found a clip of the video on Youtube (it’s called Fire in My Belly by David Wojnarowicz if you’re interested, though I don’t recommend viewing it). It features images of ants crawling on a crucifix juxtaposed with flickering shots of a young man doing something pornographic.
Oddly, it was this kind of thing that helped lead me to God.
Shortly after I got married, my husband suggested that we check out an international modern art festival that had come to town. At one exhibit we walked into a large room where stylishly-dressed people wandered around rows of metal boxes, nodding and making approving comments. Were we in the wrong place? Had the organizers not had a chance to set the art out on the boxes yet? As it turned out, the metal boxes were the art.
As we walked through the other exhibits, I was amazed at what was considered art: a light bulb, a paper with some holes in it, even an entire building with some spray painting on the side. A favorite approach seemed to be to take something that traditionally symbolized purity and hope (e.g. a sacred religious object) and juxtapose it with something considered dirty and bad (e.g. excrement).
“It’s beautiful,” someone commented at one such exhibit. I recoiled at the statement. If someone wanted to say that this art was thought-provoking or interesting, I could have barely seen where they were coming from. But beautiful? No.
My husband teased me by joking, “Hey, one man’s Sistine Chapel is another man’s metal box!”
“Umm, no,” I mumbled.
At the time I was an atheist, and my husband responded with an interesting question. As we walked back through the rows of metal boxes, he said: “Are you sure that you can defend that statement from a purely atheistic perspective?”
Without thinking about it, I blurted out, “If not, then I denounce atheism. Because I know more than I know anything else that those boxes aren’t as beautiful as the Sistine Chapel.”

Continue Reading.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Another French Atheist Becomes a Christian

Alex was a French atheist, who thought that Christians were weak-minded. After deciding to commit suicide and having an out-of-body experience, he is now a Christian.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Another Atheist Calls for Book Burnings

I posted here about an atheist calling for book burnings, and here about atheists saying that people who believe in God should be wiped out or quarantined. Here's another atheist calling for book burnings. If this comment had come from a Christian, atheists would point to it as clear proof that religion breeds radicalism. But since it comes from an atheist, it's no evidence of anything. Welcome to the amazing world of double standards.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Searching for the Atheist Refutation of Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer who raped and murdered 17 men and boys. He is chiefly remembered for cannibalizing some of his victims.

In his last interview on Dateline NBC, Dahmer explained that he had seen no reason to control his depraved urges, because he didn't believe he would have to answer for his actions.


I'm obviously convinced that Dahmer was wrong, but it's because I believe that there is an ultimate standard of right and wrong and that we are all accountable for our actions. When I was an atheist, I agreed with Dahmer that, in an ultimately meaningless world where humanity is a cosmic accident, we might as well do whatever we feel like doing.

Interestingly, Dahmer and I both eventually realized that we are accountable (because there is a standard of right and wrong) and that we will all stand before him. Here's the full quote from Dahmer:
"If a person doesn't think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what's the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? That's how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing. And I've since come to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is truly God, and I believe that I, as well as everyone else, will be accountable to Him."

Monday, January 26, 2015

Are Atheists Becoming More Radical?

A while back, I posted a comment from an atheist who was advocating public burnings of religious books. More recently, I've seen increasing calls from atheists to wipe religions from the planet. Here's an example:


A far more moderate atheist, instead of calling for wiping out Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc., prefers to deport non-atheists to a single continent (hopefully one of the larger ones).


These calls for book-burnings, forced segregation, and massacres are ironic, since the reason for ridding the world of various religions is supposedly that they lead to book-burnings, forced segregation, and massacres.

Oddly enough, however, if a Christian were to propose a book-burning, or the deportation of non-Christians, or violence against non-Christians, this would somehow be proof that Christianity is violent and intolerant. Yet when we see atheists regularly advocating the very same things, we're not supposed to draw any conclusions about atheism.

Hypocrisy, anyone?

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Moral Argument for God's Existence (Reasonable Faith)

Here's an excellent short video by Reasonable Faith (William Lane Craig's ministry) on the moral argument for the existence of God.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Debate: Does God Exist? (David Wood vs. Heina Dadabhoy)

Here's a recent debate I had with Heina Dadabhoy on the existence of God. Heina was raised as a Muslim, but she's an atheist now. Although she's fairly new on the scene, she's already better than most atheist debaters.


I also interviewed Heina on her reasons for leaving Islam and becoming an atheist:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Daily Show Blasts Dan Barker and the Freedom from Religion Foundation

Of course, The Daily Show blasts everyone, but it's refreshing to see this level of consistency.

Dan Barker has made it his life's mission to wage a legal war against Christians. His latest battle involves a diner that offers a discount for people who pray or have a moment of silence before their meal. Barker thinks that the civil rights of atheists are being violated.

This interview with Barker is classic.

***WARNING*** Contains strong language.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

David Baggett: On Psychopathy and Moral Apologetics

Here's an excellent article by David Baggett discussing some of the issues related to my testimony and moral apologetics.
"The Return of the Prodigal Son," by Murillo
MoralApologetics.com—When David Wood was a boy, his dog was hit by a bus and died. Although his mother was terribly upset, he was not. He figured it was just a dog, now it’s dead, end of story. A few years later when a friend of his died, his response was largely the same. He didn’t feel any particular regret or remorse, but at the same time, largely owing to the very different responses of others, he sensed that maybe he should. Not everyone emotionally impaired in such a way turns violent, but he did. In years to follow, he extended his emotionally dead and unempathetic take on those around him by engaging in some horrifying acts, like brutally attacking his father with a hammer until he thought him dead (he wasn’t). Wood was convinced that right and wrong were fictions to be discarded at will and that the apathetic universe couldn’t care less how anyone acts.

The absence of empathy that Wood seemed to exhibit as a young boy is often indicative of psychopathy or sociopathy. Although sometimes these categories are treated interchangeably, some insist that there are crucial clinical differences between them. For example, some (like Chris Weller) suggest that, though both psychopaths and sociopaths tend to lack fear and disgust, sociopaths are more likely to be found holed up in their houses removed from society, while a psychopath is busy in his basement rigging shackles to his furnace. Psychopaths are dangerous, violent, cruel, and often sinister. Showing no remorse, they commit crimes in cold blood, crave control, behave impulsively, possess a predatory instinct, and attack proactively rather than as a reaction to confrontation. (CONTINUE READING.)