John and the NAMM bible suit man

Written by John Cross

JohnAndDamienAtNAMMThe following is an email exchange between the NAMM Bible Thumper, my mother, and myself, with Damien as a spectator.  It’s really really long, but I promise it’s an interesting read.  Every year at the NAMM convention, there are people holding up signs for jesus and the church, with the nasty “You’re going to burn in hell if you don’t repent” messages on them.  Damien and I decided to have some fun and get our picture taken with one of them, who was holding a sign and wearing another sign with some verses on it, and this guy was actually kind of cool with it, despite my Aborted band shirt, which said “Divine Fornication, the Embodiment of God.”  As we were walking away to get some food, I saw a man in a suit talking to one of the sign holders.  I thought this suit man was giving the sign holder a hard time and wanted to listen to them arguing.  I forget exactly how it happened, but the suit guy ended up talking to me and I to him, and before long I realized he was just as jesus filled as the sign holder, if not more so.  He began trying to ask me questions that he thought would lead me to answer in such a way that I would have to admit there was a god, but I kept answering in such a way that I wanted him to know I was actually educated and have thought critically about the topic.  One point he wanted to make was what “light” meant, and when I read him the dictionary definition of “light,” he said “that’s your definition” and tried to say light is what emanates from your soul.  I don’t remember exactly his point, I was too taken aback by the stupid emanating from his mouth.  When I brought up evolution, he came back with the “I was never a monkey, therefore there’s no evolution” argument, to which I tried to explain that we are all just one step in the evolutionary trail, and since we were standing on a brick pathway, tried to use the path as an example; we as individuals are individual bricks, and the pathway as a whole represents evolution in such a way that the start of the path leads to somewhere new.  Not the most developed argument, but I was thinking on the spot and was trying to use visual aids to my advantage to get through this guy’s thick skull.  This whole time, Damien was standing nearby with my Mom, and he was pretty pissed off.  He didn’t know me too well at the time, and was worried I might actually be influenced or intimidated by the Bible Suit Man, but the more I talked, the more he realized I could hold my own, and the more he enjoyed watching me tear Bible Suit Man apart one argument at a time.  After a full hour of bickering, I decided we needed to eat, so I gave him my email address and we continued our conversation online.  I wanted to give him a fair shot, and be respectful but honest.  My emails are essentially just replies to his emails, but once he starts getting nasty, I lose my cool and start going off on him.  Hope you all enjoy:

Names have been changed because it makes no difference to you, and I don’t want you looking this asshole up and giving him attention. 

John = Me
Heisous = Bible Suit Man
Kat = Mom

FROM Heisous TO Me AND Mom – January 25, 2015 @ 12:32 am

Dear John and Kat,

Interesting thing about life-  People we meet and what we do with them?   We meet people who just want to fight and also peace makers. We meet religious zealots and practical believers in God.  We meet Atheists who are kind and some who just want to be heard seeking their glory every moment.  In the music world, especially now that the business is at a historic fail like the Titanic was, bands still gather and each genre pumps out those who create music and want to be heard.  If music were only the reason people bought music it would be about the music.  It is though.  Every music is a flavor that we need to develop a taste…when we are unfamiliar with a band or style.  What helps today’s bands is popularity and music has become second.  Major labels will be more interested with the OK band from Kentucky who is getting radio play in a small market with a growing fan base over a great band in LA that has great songs but no popularity.  

They just want to sell product.  We have label execs all the time wondering how to make it work again.  There are no more 15 Million sales Linkin Park records or 20 million Evanescence.   I was there, I saw it.  I watched them make the albums.    I am part of the NRG Studios family.  Jay Baumgardner and I met in 1987.  We work on many projects together.  He is my best friend and an Atheist.  He is the nicest guy and just has no room in his world view for the existence of God.  He works with artists who believe in God.   Jay is a good soul. Brilliant producer. The Best mixer.

Now.  I hold a very different position.  My world is that a creator caused the universe to come into play and I with many renown intellects share this position.  27 years of study and 27 years of challenge in arenas like you saw today. 

I have been in slams like today where the Ego King screams proof and my dog is better than your dog in a crowd wanting all to hear that HE WROTE THE ALBUM!  Isn’t that great. He did I’m sure.  So what?  Can fans like this person?  They can if they are not on the other side  of him.  They need to be just like him.   Now John held a different position that evidence has shown clearly the the scientific truth for his position and that working hard and becoming better can make a difference in the world should he choose to make a difference.  Likable. 

Likable is the album of today.  Taylor Swift was the only artists to sell 1 Million units in 2014.  Likable.  Great music?  Maybe?  Not for me.  But for enough that she is the top selling artist in the world.  Booked.  Sold out a year in advance. Atheist?  Theist?  I’m sure we can ask her.

So why did we meet today.  Because as we evolve in our life we resolve.  It is in our best interest to listen to others and let them share what they have learned in a civil and friendly way.  Resolving the facts and fine tuning our views help us know who we are.    I suggest we start with this below article as an example of the opposing Atheism position from Professor  C Wayne Mayhall-

I would like to watch the one hour video John suggested and discuss that too.  Why?  We will learn.  Not to prove or change each other but to understand each other better. Why do we want to do that?   Because we care.  We care about truth and we care about music.  If the band John chooses to bet his time on has merit the top people in that arena will need to engage with them to introduce the audience. Supporting act on tours like UPROAR each summer.  If the band has merit and is attractive to promoters, favors have to happen.  Trades like –  Take this band on the tour and our team will produce 5 songs for your next band etc etc etc.  Deals happen all the time.  Favor.  A rock camp who would adopt a new band is showing favor, kindness and may be the only reason anything happens.  There would be no EMINEM without Dre. No Rihanna without Jay Z.  No PAPA ROACH without NRG Studios and there would not have been Avril Lavigne hits like Complicated if I did not play a part early in the formation of producer guidance.  100s of similar stories as we help and care.

So let’s agree to disagree in a civil respectful manor with the hope that good things come from our meeting today for all of us…even the loud guy who wrote the record as he told everyone 50 times.  I care for him as well and hope that he becomes likable for the future of the band because they would 86 him at NRG with that attitude.  A business manager would instruct this type personality to chill.  

From C Wayne Mayhall,

A few published and prolific atheists apparently have commandeered the soapbox at the proverbial free speech alley, vowing not to surrender it until the extraordinary and popular delusion of God is completely dispelled. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, in less than twelve months atheism’s newest champions have sold close to a million books. Some 500,000 hardcover copies of Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion (2006); 296,000 copies of Christopher Hitchens’s God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (2007); 185,000 copies of Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation (2006); 64,100 copies of Daniel C. Dennett’s Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (2006); and 60,000 copies of Victor J. Stenger’s God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist (2007) are in print.

“The character of the ‘village atheist’ reappears from time to time in history, usually after the latest scientific announcement or the latest natural disaster. His title is akin to that of ‘village idiot’ which was popularized by George Bernard Shaw in 1907,” says Christian apologist Joel McDurmon, author of The Return of the Village Atheist.1 “The idea is that every village had its ‘idiot’ who was full of opinions and advice on every topic, would never shut up, and made little sense. No one took the guy seriously” (p.xiii).

When the title “village idiot” becomes that of “village atheist,” it speaks of the person who thinks that science has all the answers and that the idea of God is an illusion. “Like the village idiot, he knows everything, argues till he is blue in the face, never shuts up, and yet never learns,” says McDurmon, “and like the village idiot, no one really takes him seriously, either” (xii).

Despite what McDurmon notes is a tendency of atheists to wax dogmatic, however—consider Dawkins’s claim that “if [his] book works as [intended], religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down”—some argue that there are reasons enough to take them seriously. One of the main reasons is that much passionate debate raises questions for many people, such as, Is faith intellectual nonsense? Are science and religion locked in a battle to the death? and, Is Christianity simply a force for evil?

Then there is the matter of the cult of personality. Stephen Ross, research assistant to the President of Christian Research Institute, believes Christians should take the likes of Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris seriously because “these guys are so confident and their rhetorical force so convincing, there are people who may believe the message even if they don’t understand the arguments. These [Christians] should not be reading these books without qualification,” he told the Journal, “On the other hand, the critical thinker, able to see through the smokescreen of rhetoric and to endure their caustic delivery, would be led to ask the question, ‘Is this is the best you’ve got? Maybe my worldview has a lot going for it after all.’”

Peter Berkowitz, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, realizes that the rise of the “new” atheism confirms the ancient biblical wisdom of the book of Ecclesiastes that “there is nothing new under the sun.” He is quick to note several stunning new developments, however.

“Promulgating atheism has become a lucrative business [and] profitability is not the only feature distinguishing today’s fashionable disbelief from the varieties of atheism that have arisen over the millennia,” he says.2

The most obvious characteristics, Berkowitz states, are best realized by a historical comparison of the new atheism to the classical atheism of Epicurus and Lucretius, the Enlightenment atheism of the eighteenth century, and the anti-modern atheism of Nietzsche and Heidegger. “Whereas classical atheism rejected belief in the gods in the name of pleasure and tranquility, the new atheism rejects God in the name of natural science,” he says. “Unlike Enlightenment atheism, which arose in a still predominantly religious society and which went to some effort to disguise or mute its disbelief, the new atheism proclaims its seemingly never-ending hatred of God and organized religion loudly and proudly from the rooftops.” And, according to Berkowitz, whereas antimodern atheists considered the death of God movement a blow to the human spirit, the new atheism views the abandonment of religious faith in the modern world as a good thing, “lamenting only the perverse and widespread resistance to shedding once and for all the hopelessly backward belief in a divine presence in history.”3

Christian and secular responses to the flood of new atheist material appearing on bestseller lists, television, radio, and Internet blogs and sites are gradually building, too.

Founded in 1978, American Vision is a nonprofit Christian think tank, national training center, book publisher, and speaker’s bureau whose mission, according to its Web site ( is “Equipping and Empowering Christians to Restore America’s Biblical Foundation.” The strategy of American Vision is to do so using the Internet, radio, television, audio/video resources, publications, and training seminars.

The latest such resource is a two-minute commercial that has been broadcast globally via the Internet and television. “Atheists present themselves as enlightened and civil. But this new commercial will reveal the shocking truth to viewers,” reads the Web site promo. “The French Revolution, Communism, Nazism, etc. have taught us that the atheistic worldview will inevitably lead to the persecution of Christians and the killing of anyone who gets in the way. What’s worse is that atheism is paving a wide road for Islam to advance in our nation and around the world.”

The commercial script reads:

This is Sam [Harris]. He writes books. Sam likes to think. He uses words like reason, rational, and real. Sam thinks that God is not real and that evolution is a fact. Sam is a nice guy and cares about you. He thinks you should stop living your life based on the morals of a 2,000 year old fairytale book like the bible and just be reasonable.

This is Richard [Dawkins]. He writes books, too. He’s one of Sam’s friends and doesn’t believe in God either. In fact, he thinks that parents who teach their children about God should be arrested.

This is Robespierre [Maximilien Robespierre, a leader of the French Revolution]. He lived 200 years ago in France. He liked to think and use words like reason and rational just like Sam and Richard. But he also liked to kill people who disagreed with him. [This was]… known as the reign of terror.…Maybe if more people decide to listen to Sam and Richard we could all be more reasonable and rational like Robespierre. Maybe we could even have our own reign of terror for people who continue to be irrational and believe silly storybooks like the bible.

Tongue-in-cheek aside, even avowed atheist, philosopher of science, and author Michael Ruse believes that the militancy of the new atheism is uncalled for and counterproductive and that progress toward answering the ultimate questions occurs only by engaging in dialogue and not just shutting people down with sheer force of rhetoric. On the cover of The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine, by Oxford theologian Alister McGrath and his wife, Joanna Collicutt McGrath, in response to Dawkins, Ruse is quoted as saying, “The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist, and the McGraths show why.”

In case you’ve been too busy to attend the pronouncements at the village free speech alley or could not find a friend and were afraid to go alone, an update on the various books, Web sites, blogs, articles, and videos are noted in Table 1 (See page 8), “New Atheist Attacks and Christian/ Secular Responses,” with the disclaimer that neither the Christian Research Institute nor the Christian Research Journal necessarily support the particulars of doctrine or the perspectives of any sources contained therein.

— C. Wayne Mayhall

Scientists alive today* who accept the biblical account of creation

Note: Individuals on this list must possess a doctorate in a science-related field.


FROM Me TO Heisous – January 30, 2015 @ 3:09 PM

Hello Heisous, sorry for the late response, I’ve been busy with work and school and your email somehow found its way into my spam folder, thankfully I found it.  

I understand that we met through an act of ruthless and arrogant self-promotion outside my target demographic.  While I and others may act in ways that are not the most flattering, it’s an extreme representation of my sincere viewpoints. While I stand firmly as an Anti-thiest, I would strive to go out of my way to have a mindful discussion about religion and alternate world views, as we did outside of NAMM and are continuing to do now.  

As a quick definition for clarification, Atheism is an individual’s lack of a belief in any god or higher power.  Anti-theism is a movement against religious world views.  I have been been exposed to religious people my whole life, and several of my best friends hold religious beliefs, and while my relationship with them is not hindered by our opposing views, I feel that we as a society would greatly benefit if we abandoned religion and god(s) and shifted our focus from god to our fellow man.  Were I an Atheist, I would be happy letting you do what you will with your views and have my own separate views.  But I strive for knowledge about the world around me and how things work and what I can do to improve our civilization, and I want others to know and learn and do, but it’s frustrating and feels discrediting to see people that reject the knowledge I’ve spent so much of my life gaining and dismiss it for millennia-old hypotheses that are impossible to directly challenge. 

 As for my friend (the angry guy) he has had many undesirable experiences concerning religion among his family, his schooling and youth, and throughout his life.  He felt that you were attacking his art, but more importantly he was being protective of me, making sure my youth wasn’t being used as a target for indoctrination.  He has studied Christianity and other religions, and is very knowledgeable on the topics.  I apologize for his attitude, but having known him for some time and knowing some of his history, I feel he is justified in his anger.  Just know that under normal circumstances, he is a good man and a pleasure to be around.  

Since you bring up the evolution of our lives, I’ll make the point about evolution here.  We definitely evolve as people, the different experiences and things we learn help to craft our personalities and define how we interpret and interact with the people and the places around us.  This is very different from the scientific Theory of Evolution, which illustrates how organisms are crafted through natural selection.  You mentioned you “don’t remember your primordial form,” but that’s missing the point of the theory entirely.  

As another definition, Theory in the scientific community is “a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation,” and represents the highest form of modern knowledge.  A guess about how something works is defined as a Hypothesis, a word that is severely underused.  Einstein’s Relativity is a theory.  Heliocentrism is a theory.  Gravity is a theory.  Plate tectonics is a theory.  Evolution is also a theory.  

You as an organism have your own set of traits and characteristics.  If you have offspring, they will share some of your traits and some of the mother’s traits, and they will also have characteristics of their own, called mutations (I look a lot like my mother and have a lot of abilities of my father, but I’m half a foot taller than both of them). If your children have offspring, then their traits and mutations will be passed to their offspring, who will have their own set of mutations.  

Going back to the metaphor I was making about the brick path, think of the movie The Wizard of Oz, and how they spend most of the movie on a long, winding yellow brick road.  Each brick has its one spot in the pathway, and it serves a significant purpose on that spot to connect the bricks before and after it. Think of you as one brick, and your child as the next brick.  Bricks cannot move around in the path, you can only add bricks to continue the path, but as you continue the path long enough you will end up at a very different place than where you started.  Evolution works in roughly the same way, in that you as an individual have your one spot in the pathway, and are a very small part of a much larger picture.  

The only opposition I’ve come across against evolution is the concept of “Intelligent Design,” which requires a god, which is derived from religious texts.  People talk about the “controversy,” and want to teach “both sides,” which only means science vs. Christianity, but there are countless other hypothesis from other religions that are never mentioned.  I choose not have faith in any of them and would rather seek understanding from what I can learn using the scientific method.  I cannot conduct elaborate experiments myself, but I can make general observations, and when my observations line up with a credible claim, I take time to look into it and realize it’s merit for myself.  

Of course, to really understand evolution more fluently, more research is required on your part, but I’ll leave it to later discussion.  There are so many sources of information on evolution and they are not difficult to find.  Darwin was merely the man that proposed the idea and the initial observations of evolution, there have been countless scientists, Richard Dawkins being one of them, who have carried on his work and found more evidence to confirm his idea of evolution, and to completely disprove and disregard his work on genetics.  

The video I was talking about is the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham.  I forgot that the full debate was nearly three hours long, but here is an 8 minute video of a news show reporting on two highlights from the debate.

Aside from the news anchor’s biases, pay attention to the points they make and the commentary they add.  Pay attention to the mindset of Ken vs Bill.  I follow Bill in that if there was evidence convincing enough to make a case for god, then I’d give it an honest consideration. Then the anchor makes a good point about how Atheists feel towards religions at the end of the video.  

As for the “village atheist,” that expression may have been true in more ancient times (considering the acceleration of technological advancement, 1907 can be considered ancient), but the fact of today is that Atheism is gaining a wider audience among the younger generations, and even among adults.  There is an increasing number of pastors who are closeted Atheist who continue to preach to make a living, or are coming out altogether and uprooting their identity and lifestyle. There’s a story about Ryan Bell who decided to try out life without god, and has decided not to turn back to preaching.

Here is an entire web-based community for religious leaders who want to leave their beliefs

 While Atheists are still the most distrusted minority in the world, there is now a substantial uprising, and I personally hope it continues so that society can focus on the future possibilities rather than be tied down by ancient superstitions.  As Isaac Asimov states, “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

When Dawkins talks about if the books work as intended to convert people, the only requirement is that those who are religious need to be open minded to other viewpoints, unlike Ken Ham, and willing to recognize and address opposing viewpoints, even if they are not entirely convinced.  I’ve put myself in a state of mind where I was unbiased and willing to accept the bible, but upon reading it, I recognized inconsistencies, uneducated assumptions, tall-tale elements, justification for sexual discrimination, and felt it did not provide a suitable explanation for the origin of the universe, and I hadn’t even gotten through Genesis.  I don’t understand how people could live to be 900 years old as stated in the Bible.  It doesn’t account for any worldly event outside of the middle east, and doesn’t include any hints at the specifics of the universe and how it works, such as the development and existence of atoms, any sort of higher mathematics or physics, or references to the cosmos, nor does it include any helpful information on agricultural engineering, effective political systems, or modern day computer science.  The bible is instead a reflection of the laws and capabilities of society at the time it was supposedly written, which in today’s world is largely irrelevant. 

I feel the reason that new Atheism is so “loud” is because we have answers that we never had before, explanations of the natural world that were at one point explained through a god are now fully analyzed and understood.  We do not have all the answers, but considering that we are continually coming up with more answers and are utilizing our knowledge to make predictions and new tools, it is safe to assume that we will continue to find answers and continue to develop more advanced tools and devices.  The need for a god as a source for answers has been quickly declining for decades.  It is frustrating to know that there are people that not only do not understand modern knowledge, but refuse to recognize it and would rather push their ancient world views onto others as you tried to do with me.  Evolution is old news, and yet people still reject it.  There are people that believe the earth is flat, and people that believe our government is run by lizard men, and no amount of evidence will convince them otherwise, and trying to reason with them turns into an infinite loop of non-answers and straw man arguments.  I understand the importance of religion on a historical scale, but it does not bring anything new to our world, and in our modern civilization it only serves to hold us back from looking for more answers.  Modern atheism is not about a hatred for god, it is a frustration for the resistance against knowledge, and a hatred for those that push god into influential powers like government and media.  

 The main difference I’ve found between science and religion is that religion is static – it is defined once and any incoming information is manipulated to suit it.  If a religious person decides to accept evolution, he can say that god initiated it.  Evolution goes against the creation of all living things as stated in the bible, but since they encompasses the inclusion of god then it becomes a satisfactory explanation for the religious individual.  Religion always tries to prove itself correct. 

Alternatively, science thrives on challenging itself and trying to prove itself wrong. If you make a claim, you need to have the evidence to prove it, and you must submit your observations for critical peer review.  If new evidence is found, it is applied to the original hypothesis and further experimentation must occur.  Science must be challenged in order to advance, because only the ideas that have real merit can survive and be applied to the real world.  The scientific method is a rigorous, effective system, and is responsible for crafting the world we live in.  

 Without god, many people ask what purpose I have in life.  My answer is to live for myself and for my fellow man.  This is a vast world, and a vast universe, and the fact that I am here to be able to see it and learn about it is a beautiful experience that I can share with others like me.  There is so much to learn and do and see, I want to experience as much of it as I can in my lifetime.  There is no pre-destined purpose to life, I must make my own purpose.  I am not meant to do or be anything, I am free to make myself who I want to be, and do what I want and live how I want to live.  My sense of morals come from empathy, putting myself in the place of others and seeing things from other perspectives.  I will not hit you because I imagine you would not like to be hit.  I don’t want to yell at you because I know that when people yell at me I am far less inclined to listen.  I have relationships to maintain with my family and friends, and if I can keep it positive then we can help each other, learn from each other, and be there for each other.  If I am inconsiderate to others, then I will be alone and lack the necessary relationships to live a socially fulfilling life.  Life is not “meaningless” without god, it is just not geared in a specific direction, and we must take steps as individuals to carve our path in the world, and those who are successful are responsible for their own happiness, it doesn’t come from any higher power.  It is empowering and inspiring to know what I am capable of, and motivating to see what else I can accomplish during my time.  My ultimate dream is to leave a legacy for others to follow, and have my best ideas and ideals live on through the lives of future generations.  

The commercial manuscript you’ve included is nothing more than propaganda.  There have been disdainful things done in the name of god, in the name of allah, in the name of many other gods, as well as done by those who are not religious.  Religion or lack thereof does not determine a person’s character, but can be used as a vessel for justification.  People do terrible things all the time because “god told them to.”  In fact, Atheists make up .07% of the prison population.  Countries with strong Atheist populations usually fare better than those with strong religious populations when it comes to humanitarianism and economic efficiency, and more often than not are attributed to a higher standard of living (Sweden vs Saudi Arabia). 

While there are a number of scientists that have faith, any credible scientist must put aside their beliefs when conducting research.  The scientific method does not allow for bias.  The beautiful aspect of real science is that it is true no matter what you believe.  

 I would highly recommend you follow an Atheist Facebook page, such as The Thinking Atheist or Atheist Republic, to see the kind of articles and topics that are posted and to see the opposing viewpoints.  I have looked into religious pages (many of them are shared through Atheist pages) and seen the articles and community that follows them, and seen many of the same recycled arguments, misunderstandings, and uneducated assumptions.  Once in a while there will be a good argument for religion, but it relies on philosophy as opposed to science and facts.  Not to say there is no arrogance on the Atheist side – many people in the community are not there to listen or discuss.  I want you to spend some time on the other side, as I have done with religion in the past, and test your faith.  If your faith is strong enough, I can’t imagine you can be swayed, but you should give it an honest consideration.  

The Thinking Atheist:

Atheist Republic:

And for your reference, here’s the Wikipedia on Rick Rubin, the famous producer that my friend had mentioned:

I hope you take the time to watch the video, look at the pages I’ve linked, and do some further research.  If you’ve made it this far into my email, thank you for your time, and I hope you continue to do well for yourself.  



 FROM Heisous TO Me – January 30, 2015 @ 6:08 PM

Very detailed.  I knew you had a gift.  Your words or lifted from many articles?  Either way good research.

I saw the video long ago.   I also have seen the same debates with other scholars who are not Ken-  It’s like having guitar players show off-  there is always a better one.

The existence of God is clear with many scholars.  both sides agree that they each have credible education and difference of opinion.  

I understand anti religion.   I know Rick Ruben  – He produced many bands at our studio- Linking Park etc.

One thing I know is 60% of the people in the record biz and my best friends are atheist as well- 

I do not agree with them and do agree with intelligent design.   I do not agree with religion that you and friends hate…but a personal being who exists –  I have being because something had being before me.  

Check this out-

 I look forward to your reply.  I do believe unlike you we were meant to meet- yet you don’t believe anything was meant.  That is the random unguided anti theist position.  



FROM Mom TO Me AND Heisous – January 30, 2015 @ 11:38 PM

Heisous and John,

I’m enthralled by your emails. Here are two intelligent men having an interesting conversation about opposing viewpoints. I’m certainly not as educated on religions and science as the two of you. I don’t claim to be an Atheist or Anti-theist or whatever. I do know that I don’t conform to any certain religion and I don’t believe there is a God or gods or higher power having any control over humankind. I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell outside of our Earthly experience.  I do feel that the presence of religion and religious beliefs do more harm than good in the world. Not to say that many remarkable things haven’t been accomplished in the name of God, I just feel those things didn’t need a “God” per se to have been successful. My beliefs are not based on articles written by well-respected scientists, religious leaders, producers or the like. My beliefs are my own from my own life experiences and are what makes sense to me.

As I said, Heisous, at our initial meeting, I was raised in a Christian Science household until the age of about Seventeen or so. You rolled your eyes as if Christian Science isn’t an acceptable background to be considered a religious upbringing. Maybe you don’t understand what it’s about. Basically, it’s just one of many forms of Christianity. Let me recite, by memory, Mary Baker Eddy’s Scientific Statement of Being:

“There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite mind and it’s infinite manifestation, for God is all-in-all. Spirit is immortal truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God and man is his image and likeness. Therefore, man is not material, he is spiritual.”

Christian Scientists believe in God and that man was created by God in his own image and likeness, so much so that we are all already perfect, therefore we have no need for doctors or human biological education. I went to an all Christian Science high school for 9th and 10th grade. I went to church every Sunday and most Wednesday nights. At Wednesday night church we sang hymns and told stories of healings we’ve had. I was excluded from all studies pertaining to the body in public schools. I was not permitted to take or use medications of any kind and I didn’t go to the doctor. Instead, we went to a Practitioner who would recommend verses from the Bible and Science and Health to help us see ourselves as God sees us. Jesus, the son of God, healed the sick by seeing them as healthy and that was our goal as well. Please keep in mind that this is MY interpretation of the teachings and I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject.

 You assumed that my current beliefs, or lack thereof, are because of the bad religious experiences I had while growing up. That is not the case. It was not a bad experience for me. I liked going to church. I liked the people there.  I liked teasing my mom that I didn’t have to clean my room or do my homework because, after all, it wasn’t real, haha. To this day Christian Scientists are some of the nicest, smartest, most well-to-do people I know. Of course, the first time I tried aspirin for pain and it worked and worked well, I thought it was crazy to have suffered excruciating menstrual cramps so many times when all you have to do is take a little pill and you feel fine! I’m grateful to have had the upbringing I did because it made me tough and it made me open minded.

So, I understood the basic concept of what I was taught but why did it have to be so hard? Why did I have to live with pain when I tried so hard to do what I was supposed to do and believe what I was supposed to believe? I wanted to! The older I got the more questions I had. The more I realized I would never get a satisfactory answer and the more disappointed I was in myself for not being able to accomplish the impossible. Not that it was ruining my life or anything but when you feel you’ve given something your all and it’s still not enough, you’ve got to question what you’re doing. At some point I decided that Christian Science wasn’t for me… but I still believed in God. I tried to redefine God to make it more understandable. “God is Love”. But love is love so why not just call it what it is? “To me, God is all things that are good.” But again, each of those things exists without saying the word God. Slowly I began to realize that none of it made sense to me and when I finally admitted to myself that I just don’t believe it… any of it, I was a bit sad and uncomfortable at first but at the same time it was so freeing and such a huge relief.

 I’m happy with the choice I made in allowing myself the freedom from religious constraints. I’m happy that I raised my children to be free thinkers and take responsibility for their own actions and pride in their accomplishments. I’m especially grateful that they are loving, and kind. I’m also grateful for meeting you, Heisous, and writing this email because as I’m writing I’m thinking about how fortunate I am to have the life I do. Thank you, thank you! And congratulations on your many outstanding achievements! I wish you the best. 



FROM Heisous To Mom – January 31, 2015 @ 1:09 AM


know all about Mary Baker Eddy-  She was a turn of the century Emerson University New Thought guru and student of PP Quimby.  most of her doctrine is false. Like Mormonism and Jehovah Witnesses.  And you should know that her movement is not a form of Christianity- it is a cult.  There are many reasons that can be googled.  Understanding God through a cult can lead the truth seeker astray.  

I see that both of you just cannot believe within reason what many scholars and regular people do in this country.  I think there is a God and that you guys just chose the opposite view.  You chose not to believe.  You both have not enough knowledge to know if you are right, but chose that position.  I have not enough knowledge to know either.  Like you said you have come to your own decision that makes you feel best. 

What I do know:   I know that are many charity hospitals like St Jude and St John’s as we see all over America and the world.  These are organizations that help and care.  I have never seen Frank the Atheist hospital or any Atheist non profit org.  Is there a “no such a thing as salvation army” or a “Red Pentagram”

If you read the Satanic Bible from Anton Levay you would see that any metal band with pentagram and demonic signs believe in a God.  If there is no God then there is no Devil…why put the symbolic signs on your band’s shirts and fliers?  Why?  You believe in it or you wouldn’t do it.  The person of John in his sense of writing is very factual…therefore he must believe in Satan and demonic forces or he would not promote the symbols.  Therefore John is a Theist because he identifies the rival of who John does not believe in. Right?

Your friend who grew up religious and hates it…hates God?  Seems like he does.  How can someone hate something that does not exist?

Now,  we have two views.  If there is no God and behaving as there is…is a better life than not…then is it better to be a believer?  Wasn’t life better as a kid when we believed in Santa?   We found out that there is no Santa and life changed.  

Here are facts:   There is no other name in all time that has inspired artists- transformed lives- rehabilitated drug addicts and healed marriages more than Jesus.  Fact.  That means evidence through testimonies establishes truth.  Jesus heals and recovers those at the bottom of life’s worst place.  Rises them up and wipes clean their guilt and empowers them to be good for society.  I see a lot of this.  I have personally seen the heroin addict become christian and take on a totally different life transformed.  They call this a miracle. 

Another miracle is faith. Human’s have it. No other animal recognizes this.  Faith is a miracle.  To believe God goes before you and opens doors is a human trait.  No evolution there.  Primitives do this.  It takes faith for John’s band to believe they will get a record deal…and if they do it will be a miracle.  Why?  It is not a science.  You cannot scientifically make a record and get a deal. Otherwise it would be repeatable and happen every day. 

So why then do some things happen for some and not for others?  Luck?  If there is no God there cannot by the same standard be luck.  Can someone just be lucky?  No.   Taylor Swift believes in Jesus and was the only artist in 2014 to sell 1 million units.  Why?  Luck?  Great music?  Better than the album your friend wrote? Or she is just smarter than any band you know?  She must be. Her shows are sold out a year in advance.  So if she is smarter and can play worse music than John’s band…how is she not smarter in her faith?

That’s where the evidence is. We are parrots.  I repeat what I learn and you repeat what you learn.  I tell you and you tell me.  Throw away the doctrine and arguments and discuss experiences and revelation?  God making himself known to an individual is very eye opening.  If it happens to someone you know personally you will have an explanation that will deny them their experience.  You really are just judging based on your own doctrine.  When Jesus healed the blind man…they asked him how he can see-  I was blind but now I see was his only answer. He had no doctrine. 

My experiences are of that realm.  Why would I be so defensive on the faith side?  I have first hand experience and have been a vessel for many others.  The truth is Faith is the evidence.  If you have faith it is a gift.  You cannot have it by choice.  That does explain many atheists and theists.  The atheist has zero faith and zero experience and the believer the opposite.  

If it is real and it is true…what would you rather have?   The reality is that even if Jesus appeared to an atheist and proved his existence the atheist would still balk.  He cannot believe there is a God that has dominion.  The faith is void.  When the flashlight battery is dead it is no longer a light, it’s a hammer.

Mozart – Beethoven-  many masters inspiration. Michelangelo and other great artists would not even have the discussion we are having as for them it is evident we are born from a spirit who endwells and inspires. 

Here is a inspiration-

The writer was given the inspiration from God to deliver the work.  

We also see with many bands like Slayer inspiration from a spirit which even if they claim there is no God they react to one.  They really don’t deny there is a God, just hate God.   So if you believe in God and hate God…what’s your problem?  God by nature wants to love and bless.

It’s the absence of the bible in the school system since 1962 keeping morality distant.  Why is it that they don’t allow bibles in schools, but when you go to jail it’s the first book they give you?   Maybe they should give it kids before they go to jail.

Again thanks for your responses and statements of position.  World views are many and religions do not define God…evidence in ones own life through transformation of character and desire does.   God does dwell with the faithful. God does draw near and empower the believer.  As you can answer from your position with confidence so can the believer.  All I want to know is-  is it better to be a believer and commune with God as we understand him and with others who care about humanity…or be an atheist and deny the whole thing and that nothing is divine? 

I choose the believer.  I look forward to building hospitals and helping the planet’s creatures as if we were under orders.   I rather live the Glorious life than the Glamorous life.  

If you ever change your mind and desire to experience the power of your creator who gave you being…I’m sure He will draw near if you request it.  And if you do He will blow you away.  Then you will still deny him because your evidence of science and decision to not believe will rule you.  

Not for me.  I have to choose what I believe is a better life.  Even if I’m wrong and you are right…I weigh both lifestyles and find more joy and happiness in the God camp.



FROM Me TO Heisous – January 31, 2015 @ 2:50 PM

Heisous, first in response to what you said to me.

My response was and is all my words, other than what I included in quotes.  I did minimal research, mainly to refresh my memory and fact check myself.  My words come from my years spent questioning and researching religion and paying attention in school.    

As I stated before, I was not given “gifts” or abilities.  I have the skills that I have worked hard to gain.  I’ve spent my life dedicating myself to playing music and advancing my education.  I’ve had to make countless sacrifices to achieve both.  Instead of partying at friends houses, I would often spend my time in my room studying for school or for myself, or practicing drums.  I keep myself extremely busy, and pride myself in what I’ve accomplished, still knowing how far I have left to go and how much I will never be able to do.  No one is born knowing how to do something, and I do not appreciate you discrediting the time and effort I’ve spent just because all you can see is the result.  

There are many debates to watch, I chose the Nye/Ham debate because of the expression of the fundamental difference between scientific and religious mindsets.  Religious people are locked in their ancient world view.  Scientists must address and alter their views based on new evidence. 

I made a mistake on the name of the producer I mentioned earlier, who wasn’t Rick Rubin, but Ross Robinson:

If the existence of god is so clear to so many people, why is it not clear to me, when I spend so much of my time thinking about it?  Religion and god cross my mind several times a day, and there is always an alternative explanation for seemingly extraordinary events.  I do not believe in god just like I do not believe in ghosts, despite the vast amounts of “evidence” for their existence.  

I watched the video with the man explaining being vs. becoming.  I am not convinced in the slightest.  He states that god exists only in being, and does not have to become anything more; he has no development.  This, according to the bible itself, is wrong.  In Genesis 9:11, after the flood and Noah’s ark, god says “I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”  His character shows development in that what he at one point thought was a good idea later seems like an undesirable solution.  He became more mature in his decision making, which goes against RC Sproul’s arguments of not developing.  If mankind had gotten evil once, how would god know it would not happen again?  He did not expect it the first time, and if a flood was his first solution, what will be his next?  Also, towards the end of Sproul’s video, he does not conclude in addressing the original purpose of the video to “prove god doesn’t exist,” and instead uses his diagram as a vessel to preach, failing to make his argument.  He would not pass the communications class I took.  Not to mention his redefining of the term “exist” to suit his purposes, using old languages applied to our modern one.  While words may be derived from other languages and hold similar meaning, they do not hold the exact same meaning, which his argument relies on.  

I do not just take a belief in very many things, I take perspectives into consideration and figure out how to make sense of them based on what I’ve discovered to be true.  I seek understanding.  Again, I do not think anything is meant to be, only that things come to be by cause and effect.  It is both freeing and burdening, in that I have the choice to make the decision I want to make, so long as I go through the action of making it.  I am the master of my own life and am not tied down by some fate or destiny.  


In response to some of the things you said to my Mom,

I find it rather upsetting that you can dismiss my mother’s entire childhood experiences and hardships with seemingly no regard as to how it might affect her.  I am not supporting her upbringing but you must understand that detaching yourself from an ideology that you’ve held close to you from infancy is the biggest challenge many people face in their entire lives.  For you to so quickly dismiss it as false and accusing her of following cults and false prophets is seriously irritating, especially after how open and respectful she was towards you.  Who are you to decide who is a false prophet?  How can you be so sure that you are right, when, after everything you’ve told me, you line up with no identifiable religion and yet still preach about god?  Jesus has rules for his followers, and there are several you clearly dismiss (a man must give up all of his wealth and be like the poor, but you made it clear you have lots of money), so why should I not think you yourself are a false prophet?  What makes you feel like you have conclusive answers when you’ve given me none of them, no evidence, no refute against my arguments, and no valid reason to justify your position.  I’m willing to hear what evidence you’ve found for god, but since that is only limited to your experiences, then I have no basis by which to test your claims.  It is impossible for me or anyone else to peer review your findings, thus making them irrelevant.  I have had many personal experiences that I found to be fantastic, and know that I would attribute to god were I religious.  However, I am not, and feel no need to thank a supernatural being for fortunate occurrences.  I would rather enjoy the moment and allow it to brighten my mood while I go about the rest of my day. 

The burden of proof lies with the one making the claim.  I was told god exists.  I looked for evidence and found none.  This has happened countless times, and I formed my opinion on the matter long ago that since there is no evidence I have no reason to believe.  Now you are telling me god exists and you also have nothing to show for your claim, so how can you expect me to take your view seriously if I have nothing but your word.  

There are in fact many secular charities, including Positively Godless, Foundation Beyond Belief, and The Ricard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.  There are good-willed atheists outside of charities as well.  If you researched Ryan Bell, the preacher who left the church, you’ll know that his career was as a pastor.  When he left the church to pursue life as an Atheist, the response he got from the religious community and even his own family was very harsh and critical, while Atheists were very encouraging and welcoming.  Since his income was cut off, he had no money, so people around the world donated to his cause, a total of $19,000, to help him start a new life away from god and based in reality.  

As far as Satanism, it is a form of humanism, and only takes on the name of Satanism to make a mockery of Christianity.  While there are some small extreme sects that complete Satanic rituals with sincere intent, the very vast majority of what you see in heavy metal is simply to upset fundamentalists.  I am very familiar with the Satanic Bible, as my old roommate owned a copy and told me all about it, and I even read a bit of it.  The book makes it clear in the beginning that there is no such thing as a real Satan (and of course no god), but while the christians are off worshiping a god through rituals and psalms, Satanists might as well have their own set of rituals.  There is even a set of commandments, but they all revolve around humanist values, as opposed to the christian ten commandments which are extremely vain (the first THREE commandments ensure that followers must worship god above all else, and yet out of all ten it does not even address rape).  Furthermore, there is a commandment that says to honor your father and mother, but later jesus says that in order to be his true disciple  you must hate all your family and even yourself (Luke 14:26).  Such a blatant contradiction should be a serious red flag to any follower of god and jesus.

Here is a link to a Satanic pamphlet handed out at schools where people were also handing out bibles.  Notice how it does not reference any higher powers, it does not mention sin or salvation, and only focuses on interpersonal relationships, and teaching well-mannered behavior.  Satanism is merely used as a decoration and a novelty.

Living life in the delusion that there is a god may be more comfortable, but that does not make it right.  Santa is not real, neither is the easter bunny, the tooth fairy, the monster in the closet, etc., and we’ve both come to this conclusion through deductive reasoning, despite the stories and histories behind them all.  I’ve also come to the conclusion that there is no god, and yes my life has changed, and I am so relieved I don’t have to live with the burden of religion, worried about whether my actions are appropriate for the afterlife.  I will never turn back to religion.  

People turn to jesus because they want a role model. They’re told many great things about him, and want to strive to be how he’s portrayed.  When a person has reached an absolute low in their lives, such a role model becomes something they want to strive to be.  In their time of grief they are told they are still loved and significant.  Jesus gets to people best when they are at their weakest and most desperate.  I do not call this a miracle, I call it brainwashing and misdirection.  Why not give them role models of other individuals in that person’s life, like a parent or a child, or a friend.  The person at their lowest should rise up to be good for those that they love for the sake of those that they love.  Bringing in a supernatural entity degrades their ability to recognize real relationships.  

Taylor Swift is a pop artist, which by definition means she tries to appeal to the widest audience.  She is one of the better ones that can actually sing and play an instrument, and many people find her attractive which only serves to build her audience.  That does not make her smarter than anyone, just more fortunate and, yes, lucky to be the one to reach such popularity.  Luck is just an expression for good fortune, it has nothing to do with god.  She may be what the music market demands at the moment, but she will not be at the top forever, pop artists never are.  

I am not a parrot.  I do not simply repeat what I am told.  I listen and interpret, and seek information until I understand.  I cannot comfortably talk about or teach something I do not fully understand.  If I do, I always encourage others to seek other sources for more information.  People should seek other sources anyway, and base their conclusion on where all the sources line up and confirm one another.  People should seek information from multiple sides of an argument, or from multiple authors on a singular topic.  

We can observe a man who is blind and see how his actions change upon gaining sight.  We have more than his word, we have our observation skills to determine if he can now see, and we would test his sight and base our conclusions on the results.  In other words, we would use the scientific method to try and validate his claims.  

You ask that if it’s real, wouldn’t it be better to believe and reap the rewards than be wrong and suffer the consequences?  This is pascal’s wager, which was proposed and debunked in the 17th century.  Many common arguments include the fact that there are thousands of religions and millions of gods, so how do you know you’ve picked the right one?  

My argument in addition to that is once you accept that there is a god and you begin to live your life with that mindset, you stop looking for answers.  You stop exploring, and attribute any strange event to the actions of god.  This severely limits motivation for development.  Isaac Newton suffered from this same condition – after revolutionizing mathematics and physics, he hit a wall and was stuck in his research, but instead of seeking help he simply stopped, because he felt that god’s universe was too complex for him to understand.  Of course, future mathematicians would come along to continue where he left off, so if they are capable of advancing mathematics, surely Newton had the capability to understand it, but he lacked the motivation because he felt the answer was god.  God is never the answer, its just a placeholder for many people who don’t have answers.  

It’s ironic that you mention Slayer, because despite their lyrics, the singer is Catholic and the drummer is Christian. You’ve shown me yet again that you are making claims based on false pretenses.  Do you know the band personally?  Do you know their actual beliefs?  We do.  You clearly don’t.  

God by nature is anything but love.  That is what new-age apologetics claim to make god more appealing to new people.  If you actually read the bible from a critical standpoint, god is ruthless, jealous, and psychotic.  He killed literally everyone except for a single family during the supposed flood.  He committed the largest act of genocide in all literature, in a story presented to young children.  I hope that if a kid is given a bible, they are smart enough to ask questions, but we all know how much the church likes to silence those who asks questions.  I’m sure you heard about the pastor who recently punched a kid in the chest for asking too many questions, that’s just one example out of many.  

The bible is a disgusting source for morality.  If we actually lived our lives based on biblical rules, we would be no different from Islam.  Our modern society cherry-picks what verses it wants to follow.  I hope the bible never finds its way back into schools, and I truly hate those that push for it.  

Why would you want to build hospitals to save people?  If they are graced with god, wouldn’t it be better to let them die off and get to heaven sooner?  Why would you want to save animals?  I was told they don’t have a soul, so why waste your time with them?  They are not made in gods image.  

I have studied mathematics through and past algebra and even calculus, I’ve studied physics from mechanics and heat to electromagnetism, I studied biology, I the cosmos, I have studied critical reading and writing, interpersonal communication, data structures and algorithms, programming languages and digital boolean logic, as well as music production and engineering.  I do not need to copy and paste words from articles to make my point, I know how to develop and present my own thoughts, and given how much I know about how this world works, I understand how much there still is to learn, but know that I have enough credentials to make valid points and respond appropriately to information that is given to me.  Did you also study what I have? Surely you must have if you think you know more than I do about how the universe works.

There was a point in my life when I was younger that I was open to god and requested his presence.  Absolutely nothing changed.  I gained nothing and felt no different.  You are living in a delusion, and you have shown me how arrogant and ignorant you really are.  They say ignorance is bliss and you are a standing example of that.  I get the feeling you have not given a serious look at evolution or other points I made, your response came too quickly for you to have given it honest consideration, it is not something you learn all about overnight.  You already have your mind made up, and nothing I say can change it because you don’t want to change.  You don’t want to learn or grow.  I want to continue to learn and study and figure out how this world around me actually works, not dismiss my ignorance in the name of god.  You insulted my mother, you insult my intelligence, and are wasting my time.  You are not here to learn, you are here to indoctrinate.  Until you are ready to have an actual exchange of ideas, and respond with valid and appropriate questions, I have no more interest in our conversation. 



FROM Heisous TO me – January 31, 2015 @ 3:26 PM 

You rifle your hatred at God and believers. Your skills are what any determine person can do. No matter how much skill you have you will never sing like Mariah its a gift.  You have been fooled by the same education that hates the truth. It is your delusion. There are more unlike you than you.  That is why you establish your pompous education with dialogue of greatness and Attack with intention to destroy. Shall we then shut down every church every charity and every hospital with God attached? Yes!  Close it down.  Then go to school and learn math.  Find out that the speed of light is not constant and make a metal band because skill is why people like you.  Right?  Skill makes you great?  Hitler had skill. 

Love makes you great. People who hear your hatred will run from you.  I’m sorry Christian Science is a cult. I say it and 200 million people hold the same view. You don’t.  Do they are wrong. You don’t agree and all are wrong. It’s this ego that tries to climb the ladder in life and fails. 

You are wasting your time talking to me for sure.  Because your experience are serious hard work and my are all favor.  Favor and fortune like Taylor who has a network of love.  Nothing to love in your camp. Your band. Your ego of education is zero compared those who oppose you in academia. 

Yes my experiences I have with God I asked for and got. You didn’t.  God does not give it to all. It’s a gift. He also kills many.  He also saves many. Like your government you live in America. 

Age will change you and for this reason you are you.  They day will come and you will be a vessel that will prove His reality in your testimony. You are being set up by Him now. He has you in his target. 

 Good luck resisting Him because it is impossible. You really do want Him to be real and want to know the truth.  You do.  And you will.  

Thanks for your diligence and good luck with your studies and music. May you have great fortune.  


 John here again.  If you’ve made it this far, you’re a champion.  Hope you enjoyed our little debacle, and maybe even taken something away from it.  I tend to find myself getting deep into debates if I have a point to make, but this guy was a special case because I thought I might actually be able to have an exchange of ideas.  As you just saw, I was proven wrong, since he learned basically nothing from me, just as I got nothing new from him.  I’ve had honest and enlightening discussions from believers in the past, and it usually ends up strengthening a friendship because you get to know someone on a more foundational level, despite disagreements.  As long as you’re civil, you should be able to exchange ideas and have rational conversations.  This discussion unfortunately got a bit uncivil, but Bible Suit Man talked shit to my Mom, so fuck him.  

If you want to follow my antics now, you can add me on Facebook (John Cross, duh), where I’m usually pretty active when work gets boring.  Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you all have a kick ass day.