Earlier today, I spotted this cringeworthy post on a conspiracy-theory subreddit. The original post (OP) declared that “shadowy elitists” were deliberately discrediting flat-earth conspiracy theories and fostering actual scientific explanations for our universe to “push [people] further away from God.” As you might expect, very quickly many reply threads devolved into angry Christians defending their religion against the mockery and pushback that the OP generated. I noticed that a number of people pushing back against the OP asked these Christians to defend their claims with supporting evidence.

Instead of providing evidence, these Christians simply projected their own dishonesty onto the doubting Redditors. Today, I’ll show you how they did it—and more importantly, why they did it.

(Links to stuff I talk about in the introduction: Mike Warnke; Glenn Hobbs; my Evil Ex; John Ramirez and how he got lapped by QAnon; “Go Ask Alice” was made up; Nicholas Sparks; the 47-year-old woman with anxiety who found out decades too late that “Go Ask Alice” wasn’t real.)

(This post originally appeared on Patreon on 10/27/2022. Patrons get a few days of early access. If you’d like early access too, please consider becoming a patron <3)

A meta-conspiracy to end all conspiracies!

Conspiracy theorists do like to come up with Grand Unifying Conspiracy Theories, don’t they? Not too awful long ago, we explored one on this very site. This one, however, manages to go one meta level above the Aquarium, I think.

A user on the r/conspiracy subreddit has come up with something truly special, unique, and absolutely totally new. Amazingly, it also 100% confirms that his flavor of TRUE CHRISTIANITY™ is totes-for-realsies real. Check this out:

It’s pretty clear that a group of shadowy elitists are running the show from behind the scenes. I have been slowly starting to realize that their grip on our world is tighter than we understand. The “people” that run this world are literally possessed by demons, and their main goal is to deceive us from believing and finding salvation in God. I’m not going to debate anyone on this. I’m not prepared, nor do I deem it necessary, because we are all on our own spiritual journey.

Just keep an open mind about flat earth. . . .

Everything we are told about this realm is a lie to keep us from salvation.

Shocking, isn’t it? I’m sure shocked.

If you’re wondering, u/cptndv23, the guy behind that post, is a true-blue QAnon fundagelical type. He’s an anti-vaxx, flat-earther (though he avoids coming right out and calling himself that), COVID and flu denialist, contrails-fearing, don’t trust anyone but also always trust what I claim type of guy. I bet he watches a lot of YouTube faux-documentaries from his tribemates. Nowadays, he only posts on r/conspiracy, though he showed up often on a wrestling subreddit a couple of months ago.

Sorry, wrasslin’ fans, he’s definitely one of y’all.

Unexpected pushback and requests for evidence

It turns out that r/conspiracy isn’t actually very friendly to the kinds of conspiracy theories that ultra-right-wing fundagelical guys like best, nor the New Age reptilian kind promoted by shameless hucksters like David Icke. They vastly prefer very earthly Evil Gubmint Collusion stuff.

So to my surprise, a number of them pushed back against u/cptndv23. u/Mace_Windu- asked:

Using only one of your favorite flat-earth models, tell me the path the sun will take through the sky from the perspective of New York on February 22, 2026.

In response, u/cptndv23 accused him of of having “an extremely closed mind,” then decided that his questioner was “not worth having a discussion with because you have a bad attitude and an extremely limited worldview.” u/Mace_Windu- correctly replied,

So you can’t. Got it.

Oh and I do have an open mind. I just see no reason to open it to obviously delusional nonsense like flat-earth theory.

After some more give-and-take along exactly the same lines, u/Mace-Windu- finally replied,

If I’m so wrong, you should easily be able to point it out to me.

And u/cptndv23 huffed, “I just did.” But when his questioner replied that no, he absolutely hadn’t, OP took a vow of silence.

NO EVIDENCE IS TOTALLY EVIDENCE, y’all! At least, in Bizarro-World.

Evidence shouldn’t be hard to arrange for an omnimax god

What really caught my attention was a like-minded fundagelical guy, u/user05041219, who obviously thought this misquote from The Usual Suspects was radically deep:

The Devil’s biggest trick is making people believe that God doesn’t exist.


A reply from u/Mojorizen2 sighs wistfully, “If only there were a simple way god could solve that issue.” After another (fundagelical) user informed u/Mojorizen2 that he is “already dead,” which is, let me say, a super-duper loving thing to say to anyone, he rightly wonders:

Because I don’t believe something without evidence? God has the option to make all unbelievers believe but he chooses not to.

And still another fundagelical user, u/baby-einstein, demonstrates that his name doesn’t check out by pulling from some of the worst apologetics that fundagelicalism has ever sharted out:

He won’t force you to believe if you don’t want to believe.

In response, u/Mojorizen2 points out (correctly) that an omnimax god could easily provide such evidence. But then u/baby-einstein wants him to provide “an example of evidence that would be non-ambiguous.”

We’ll come back to what happens next in a minute. For now, let’s focus on the dishonesty of u/baby-einstein’s question.

Definitions of evidence as a form of shirking burden of proof

A common tactic for internet trolls involves wearing down their targets by running with an argument until they’re utterly cornered, then demanding explanations of basic terms used by the targets:

“Wait, how are we defining [insert Feminism 101 concept like privilege] here?”

“Can you tell me what you mean by [utterly basic word like love]?”

That demand usually drives targets up the wall, because it derails the entire argument back to the beginning again. Trolls derive pleasure from driving people up the wall, so they’ve perfected this argument form.

In today’s case, u/Mojorizen2 and u/baby-einstein have already had a few exchanges about Christians’ lack of evidence for their claims. But after being completely cornered, the Christian tries to derail back to the beginning by demanding a definition of “non-ambiguous evidence.”

Unfortunately, his victim here falls into that trap, as we’ll see soon. That gives u/baby-einstein the chance he needs to regroup and restart the argument, hopefully to win this time. He doesn’t, at least, but that was obviously his hope.

Notably, the example offered by u/Mojorizen2 gets batted away. I’m not surprised. The apologetics cattle chute that u/baby-einstein deploys here has already come up with a ready bit of hand-waving around exactly this pushback.

Apologetics is about rationalizing belief with both no evidence and contradictory evidence

As I said, unfortunately, u/Mojorizen2 falls right into the disingenuous, dishonest trap that u/baby-einstein has laid for him. He replies: “Making it obvious that he exists. Come down and talk to us without riddles.”

It’s arguably the most common reply to that disingenuous question. So don’t be surprised that apologists have already offered their eager amateur followers an answer to it. Indeed, u/baby-einstein achieves the Jesus boner he needed that day by using u/Mojorizen’s reply as an opening to launch into the next line in the apologetics drivel he’s using:

He wouldnt come down and talk to us so that we believe him, because then you wouldn’t worship him out of love but rather out of wanting the benefits that come with worshipping him…you would be doing it for the wrong reasons

Plus, if he did come down right now and talk to you, i bet you would dismiss it by saying you were hallucinating or something like that..

SEE? SEE? Yahweh/Jesus doesn’t provide evidence for his existence because he’s so incredibly deeply concerned that people worship him for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. Evidence would mess all of that up! Also, FREE WILL! Yahweh/Jesus really, really, reallyreallyrilly cares about free will!

This hand-waving away of having no evidence is damn near canonical, and I’m not kidding

I groaned inwardly when I saw this exchange. I’ve seen it so, so, so many times. The amateur apologists who have embraced it think it’s a slam-dunk. It’s anything but, and don’t worry! I will be showing you exactly and I hope exhaustively why in a minute. For now, I want to show you how absolutely ubiquitous this line of apologetics is in the flavor of fundagelicalism that most gloms onto literalism and conspiracy theories.

From Rational Christianity (LOL), first we get a huffy retort that Yahweh/Jesus does indeed provide tons and tons of evidence. Of course, he’s wrong; nothing he names is actually objective support for his claims. Then, we get this regarding the pseudo-evidence he named (in my writing, emphases are always from the original source unless I say otherwise):

Some have asked, “If the evidence is so plain to see, why doesn’t everyone believe in God?” God’s existence and Christianity are not propositions like “matter is composed of atoms” that can be regarded neutrally; their truth or falsehood affects our lives and our entire world view. Consciously or unconsciously, everyone has a bias against God. No one wants to stand before a perfectly good God and realize how far one has fallen short of the standard. Thus there is a part in all of us, both Christian and non-Christian, that wants to reject God, just as there is a part in all of us that wants to do good. . .

God wants a relationship built on trust, not proof

Yet even if God provided proof that was satisfactory to everyone, faith and trust would still be required to follow God. The atheist’s question would merely change from “Why doesn’t God prove his existence?” to “Why doesn’t God explain why he did this and not that?” . . .

God wants us to trust him, not just believe he exists. If our every demand for proof and explanation were satisfied, we’d only trust and follow God to the extent that he proved himself to us.

You can see this apologetics on display here, here 2, and here 3.

Someone at Houston Baptist University (HBU) even explicitly coaches budding amateur apologists to ask the kind of question that u/baby-einstein asks, and then to respond to whatever’s offered the same way that the Redditor did.

Burden of proof: Who is obligated to provide evidence—and to whom

The entire reason for all this coy maneuvering, of course, is that Christians entirely lack objective evidence for their claims. They can’t offer anything more than pseudohistory, fallacious arguments, and emotional manipulation. That’s all they’ve ever been able to offer. Not one Christian in the entire history of their religion has managed to find one single objective support for a single one of their claims.

Hell, they ain’t even managed, in all their centuries of existence, to find supporting evidence for the idea of life after death. Or for anything supernatural at all, which is why I maintain (as Blanche famously said) that the word “supernatural” just means imaginary.

No religious person ever has either, so they’re not alone there. But since the most authoritarian Christians’ demands absolutely hinge upon both the idea of a real supernatural realm and beings and there being life after death, these ideas are potent and definitive dealbreakers.

Thus, we are well within our rights to demand they pony up evidence before we’ll even begin to entertain their demands. Even if we stood to benefit tangibly from obeying their demands, which we absolutely do not, we’d be within our rights to make that demand.

As the people doing all the imposing and demanding, Christians bear the burden of evidence. They and they alone are required to pony up. The people asking for that evidence don’t have to do a thing. Technically, they don’t even have to evaluate that evidence, but they most particularly don’t have to set forth any guidelines for what that evidence should look like or what form it should take.

Christians made the demand. They must come up with evidence themselves.

But they can’t. So their strategy shifts instead to avoiding and evading their rightful burden of proof.

What Christians do instead of coming up with real evidence

That’s what we saw happening in that Rosa Rubicondior post I mentioned not long ago, “How do you know Satan didn’t write the Bible?” The comments are hilarious—and predictable. The blog’s author, Bill Hounslow, was in essence demanding that Christians provide supportive evidence for their claim that Yahweh/Jesus wrote the Bible. In the utter absence of that evidence, he asked how they could even claim to know that some other agent (like Satan) hadn’t written it.

All his Christian respondents had to do was provide a shred of evidence to support their frequent claim that Yahweh/Jesus wrote/inspired/whatever the Bible. That would have put paid to his question right off the bat. But none could do that, obviously.

So instead, his Christian drive-bys did exactly what we see in this Reddit post’s replies: they did everything under the sun to turn lack-of-evidence into evidence, to put the burden on Hounslow instead, to complain about how unreasonable Hounslow was for even demanding evidence in the first place, and more. Many attempted to push Hounslow into apologetics cattle chutes of one kind or another.

To his credit (and skeptic readers’ delight), Hounslow did not once get drawn into these apologetics traps.

All too often, though, non-Christians today get caught up in them. I understand. It takes time to understand just how craven and dishonest today’s apologists and Christian keyboard warriors really are. If anyone found even half a thimbleful of good-faith acting between them in their thousands, I’d be genuinely surprised. It’s all bad-faith acting, and it’s constant. The alternative is to get cornered and pinned down in having no evidence, or worse: contradictory counter-evidence that destroys their claims.

The sheer dishonesty of this common apologetics trap—and the projection of it

When Christians talk about why they think so many people reject their pseudo-evidence, listen carefully. They’re telling us why they are content to settle for this blahblah instead of living in reality. So in a real way, they’re projecting their own cowardice and dishonesty onto their enemies, then declaring themselves victorious.

Let’s circle back to our Reddit post and replies.

From u/baby-einstein:

He wouldnt come down and talk to us so that we believe him, because then you wouldn’t worship him out of love but rather out of wanting the benefits that come with worshipping him…you would be doing it for the wrong reasons

Plus, if he did come down right now and talk to you, i bet you would dismiss it by saying you were hallucinating or something like that..

I strongly suspect that u/baby-einstein has convinced himself his enemies would do this because it’s what he himself does now. Though he lacks evidence to support his claims, he is happy to affiliate with Christianity. He holds his beliefs because of what they do for him, not because that’s where real evidence leads.

So he assumes everyone else would do that if anyone could ever credibly support Christian claims. He’s (falsely) positive that he’s one of the virtuous Christians who worship Jesus for all the right reasons, and he does it without having credible evidence to support a single one of his claims. If real evidence ever emerged, then those newcomers would totally be branded opportunistic sellouts, while he’d be the OG believer who joined up and got the benefits before that evidence emerged!

Further, it’s beyond clear that he, along with the OP u/cptndv23, would reject their religion if they ever became capable of thinking critically about the counter-evidence that contradicts Christian claims. In acting like such oh-so-rational people, and yet lacking even the motivation to seek out and engage meaningfully with that counter-evidence, they project these flaws onto their enemies.

Every accusation is a confession, with toxic people.

What I’d do if I ever encountered real evidence supporting Christian claims

I’m nowhere near as dishonest as Christians are. If I ever encountered real evidence to support the existence of the god depicted in the Bible, I would embrace it immediately.

Hell yes, I’d change my mind. Keyboard warriors’ heads would spin to see how completely I’d change my mind.

At that point, though, I would no longer care about them.

If I had real evidence to support Christian claims, I would not spend a single minute longer snarking his followers online. They’d be the least of my concerns. They’d be merely his lickspittle toadies—a minor outgrowth of evil compared to the greatest evil of all time.

I sure wouldn’t lie and say Christians had no evidence. Again, I am not as dishonest as keyboard-warrior Christians are. They say they totally have evidence, but they live in a way that reveals that they don’t even half-believe their own claims.

No. Unlike the lives of Christians today, my life would utterly reflect my newfound belief in Yahweh’s reality.

So firstly, I’d be publicizing and broadcasting that evidence in every single place I could—to reach as many people as possible. I’d be telling every human I could find that Christianity’s god was real, and that the Bible truly reflected his demands of humanity, his personality, and his past actions.

At the same time, I’d swing into action to seek out the rebellion directly fighting that god. If one didn’t exist, I’d create it.

In fact, I’d consider this two-pronged strategy to be my defining purpose in life, as well as a mandatory moral imperative for any decent human being.

Why I’d consider that strategy a moral imperative

The existence of Yahweh/Jesus stands completely apart from this god’s worthiness of worship. If Christians weren’t heavily indoctrinated to believe this god is truly good, merciful, loving, and gracious (to his obedient followers at least), then nothing in the Bible would ever lead us to think that. That so many of the Bible’s characters express sentiments along these lines speaks to their genuine fear of him, not to him actually living up to such lofty praise and worship.

In a real way, Christians remind me of the characters in that famous 1961 Twilight Zone episode, “It’s a Good Life,” the one about the boy with godlike powers. They’re all terrified of pissing off the boy, so they placate him in exactly the same way we see throughout the Bible. In the clip below, watch how they respond to him after he punishes Dan for defying him:

No, I would not bend the knee to such a monster as Yahweh/Jesus, no matter what benefits it got me. His mythology depicts him as a callous monster who genocides a planet, makes women chattel, commands the sexual enslavement of girls and the obliteration of his followers’ rivals, and demands his followers practice slavery and child sacrifice.

He is not a good god, no matter how Christians insist to the skies that he is. Even Jesus fails to rehabilitate the sheer bloodthirsty cruelty of the Mad Blood God of the Desert (MBGD).

Thankfully, this god isn’t actually real. And that is the best-case scenario for non-believers and believers alike, though I doubt today’s keyboard warriors would much like that idea. But if I realized he was real, I wouldn’t spend even a minute more blogging about the antics of his followers. I’d be doing everything I could to strike at him directly.

So many, many endnotes

1) A writer for Christian Post names even more pseudo-evidence than that one long quote guy did. Every bit of it could apply to any other god from any other religion, and to any other firm believer in every other religion.

This other guy does the same and also quotes “the truth is out there” from The X-Files, then pushes that awful book by Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict.)

Got Questions, a big evangelical site, simply complains that demands for evidence are “unreasonable,” then cites a bunch of pseudo-evidence.

We just might need to dive into this topic in some future post! It’s a gold mine!

2) The kid in the Twilight Zone clip looks unnervingly like my dad as a boy.

3) It’s worth noting that placatory praise is a tactic that fundagelical wives learn to use on their husbands. The idea is simple: treating misogynistic, childish, control-hungry, narcissistic tin-pot dictators like they’re actually wonderful men and great leaders is supposed to make them become that way. (Ask me how I know it doesn’t work at all.)

The way Christians praise and worship their god reminds me a lot of that advice. It’s like they’re trying to remind him that he’s supposed to be loving and good so he doesn’t explode in rage and murder them all for not praying enough.

In both the cases of husbands and fake gods, it’s hard to imagine anyone meriting such praise who would ever actually want to hear it 24/7.

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Captain Cassidy

Captain Cassidy is a Gen-X ex-Christian and writer. She writes about how people engage with science, religion, art, and each other. She lives in Idaho with her husband, Mr. Captain, and their squawky orange tabby cat, Princess Bother Pretty Toes. And at any given time, she is running out of bookcase space.

1 Comment

When Christian 'evidence' isn't evidence at all - Roll to Disbelieve · 11/05/2022 at 4:13 AM

[…] week, we talked about the Christians who do their best to avoid their rightful burden of proof. In a way, though, that strategy might be […]

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