Hal Lindsey Comics, Part 2: Secularists

Today we continue with our examination of the cartoons published on the website of Hal Lindsey, Christian Zionist and king of Bible prophecy. The cartoons reflect Lindsey’s view that the End Times are nigh. He believes that all major events in the world today are proof that the events foretold in Revelation are actually occurring.

Last time, we looked at how those cartoons portrayed politics and church/state separation. Today we will look at what they think of the vast horde of secularists running society and oppressing Christians. In part three, we will look at how the cartoons depict Bible prophecy.

Secularism: The Stealth Religion!

Secularism IS religion!

Let’s start with a few definitions. Their definitions, that is. In the box on the left (it ought to be on the right, if they were being honest!), it says:

Religion: Belief in a Divine power (*but not limited to). Any system of belief, worship, conduct, etc., involving a code of ethics, values, and philosophy. Belief in a Creator and eternal life.

*Example: Zen Buddhism is a religion without a deity.

Their definition seems to revolve around three core ideas:
1. Belief in some sort of supernatural deity (but they specifically point out how even this point isn’t necessary).
2. A code of ethics to live by.
3. Eternal life.

This is setting up their claim in the other box, but let’s set that aside for the moment. I wanted to see if they were setting up their argument fairly, so I went in search of a neutral definition of religion. I discovered there are too many of them, but none is complete. ReligiousTolerance.org tried unsuccessfully to find a fair definition. They write:

Defining the word “religion” is fraught with difficulty. Many attempts have been made. Most seem to focus on too narrowly only a few aspects of religion; they tend to exclude those religions that do not fit well.

The rest of that page is quite fascinating. The upshot is that there are no good universal definitions.

That means that whoever is doing the defining gets to pick the terms. So in the case of the cartoon above, they pick the terms they want and, therefore, prejudice their argument to a foregone conclusion.

As they point out in the cartoon, you don’t even need their core idea #1 (a deity). That leaves you only with the ideas of a code of ethics and eternal life. I’m kind of surprised by the eternal life requirement. Is that a common thread in every religion? Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any religions that don’t have it, but I’d be surprised if we couldn’t find a few.

So now let’s look at the box on the other side of their scale, which they have labeled “Secularism” (probably because “tools of Satan and oppressors of all that is Godly” wouldn’t fit):

Secularism: A system without a deity, but has a strict ethical code: no smoking, health issues, conduct, etc. Eternal life thru cloning. Darwinism. Gay rights, abortion, and other liberal issues recognized.

Well this is a total mischaracterization of secularism. There is no “strict ethical code”, because secularists are so diverse they can’t agree on one. The non-religious (which is what I’m assuming is the group of people that these comics collectively call “secularists”) span the political spectrum. For every Rob Reiner anti-smoking activist, you can find four anti-anti-smoking activists:

Anti-smoking is anti-God!

The most absurd part of their definition of “secularist” is:

Eternal life thru cloning.

WTF?!!

Where did that come from? The atheists among the secularists all agree that this is the only life we get. I won’t pretend to speak for the agnostics and the non-practicing, vaguely-sort of religious folk among this broad demographic, but I’ve never heard any of them say anything about wanting eternal life through cloning! Where the hell did these Christian Zionists get this idea—a Woody Allen movie?!

Anyway, the rest of the so-called creed of the secularists—”Gay rights, abortion, and other liberal issues”—are just that: Liberal issues. They aren’t a code of ethics, and they only apply to the subset of secularists who are liberal. I guess Lindsey’s acolytes are so far to the extreme right that everybody appears to be a flaming liberal to them.

The text below the scale says, in part:

The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” Therefore, no one religion should trump another. And since secularism fits all the definitions of a religion, it should be treated as one.

No. Secularism fits all of their definitions of a religion. No. Wait. Not even that. Secularism fits two-thirds of their definition!

I’m not sure when this cartoon was published. Michael Newdow was the California father whose suit to remove God from the Pledge of Allegiance made it all the way to the Supreme Court, but was thrown out on a technicality.

Michael Newdow Pulled the Trigger in Columbine!

Only God can stop school shootings

Speaking of Michael Newdow, the failed attempt to remove “under God” from the Pledge is somehow responsible for every school shooting in the last decade or so. This cartoon doesn’t make any sense at all, because God is still in the Pledge! Using this logic, we can only assume that God is the reason for all of these school shootings! After all, the phrase “under God” was added to the Pledge in 1954. How many school shootings were there before 1954? None! How many since? Too many! God did it!

As you can see, logic is not a requirement to read or enjoy these cartoons.

Boston Globe is Exactly Equal to Palestinian Suicide Bomber!

The Wall Street Journal is liberal!

This cartoon accurately depicts how the mainstream media, by blindly parroting the Bush Administration’s lies about weapons of mass destruction and Saddam’s ties to 9/11, allowed the United States to go to war in Iraq, where it met disaster.

Then How Much Paint Does the Bible Need?

Darwin was guessing!

This cartoon is so far off the mark it isn’t even worth discussing. But it shows how these people perceive science. The whole thing is just a scheme by godless liberal atheists.

That really sums up most (all?) Christian Zionists, and most (all?) fundies in general. They have their preconceived set of beliefs that make them feel good. Anything that contradicts those beliefs isn’t worth trying to understand. They can just invent their own impression of it, and then dismiss that. It’s so much easier than thinking.

8 Responses to “Hal Lindsey Comics, Part 2: Secularists”

  1. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I’m still trying to figure out the eternal life through cloning thing. Are they saying that cloning’s end-goal is to do some sort of consciousness-transfer. A “mind upload,” if you will, to the empty “blank” cloned body? Sort of like Arnold in The Sixth Day? Or are they worried about clones being used for spare parts to fix failing bodies, like in The Island? Or are they being more philosophical and just saying that a continuation of your exact DNA is equal to immortality, sort of how you “live on through your children?” I don’t know why I’m trying to follow fundie illogic. I’m just curious how their minds work.

    BTW, do clones have souls according to fundies? I mean I know creating life “unnaturally” is an abomination to them (good thing they don’t know how fertility clinics work) and the creators will be going to hell, but if a clone grows up, thinks, heck — becomes a fundie, will they be let into the heaven party with all the fundies?

  2. Jason Failes Says:

    What about people who are religious and secular like, not that it’s important, just about all of America’s founding fathers? Basically a secularist is anyone who believes that religion is all those things we will never agree upon, while legitimate issues for governance are those things that we can, at least potentially, agree upon. A secularist is anyone who thinks policy should be based on factual information, regardless of their own personal belief system. This cartoonist is offending millions of secular Christians, and doesn’t even seem to understand that such people exist.

    Also, as a singulatarian, I’ve studied many of the potential technologies by which we may radically extend our lifespans, and the old download yourself into a new cloned body thing? Not going to happen. It’s going to be more like cloned stem cells injected into, for example, an old heart, slowly outcompeting the existing cells, and gradually replacing the old heart with a new heart over perhaps several years. That kind of thing, upkeep of our original body. Anything more extreme would, naturally, be further in the future.

  3. Tom Says:

    These cartoons are:
    Self-contradictory,
    Illogical,
    Offensive,
    narrow-minded and,
    BADLY DRAWN…

    …and that is unforgivable.

  4. cipher Says:

    Boston Globe is Exactly Equal to Palestinian Suicide Bomber!

    As a Bostonian, I take exception to this. Now, the Herald, on the other hand..

  5. Michael Says:

    Excellent article. I hope you notified them when you posted it. Sometimes you’ll get recognition, a fight, or a “We’ll pray for you,” but at least they know that others stand opposed.

  6. Chris Bell Says:

    Newdow is back and suing again, as the media will discover in a short period of time. He is already at the court below the Supreme Court, and their decision is due soon.

  7. Nemo Says:

    Wow, I can’t believe that Hal Lindsey is still active. Don’t these people ever get embarassed when their “prophecies” don’t come true?

  8. Ron Britton Says:

    Nemo:

    That’s the funny thing about people who follow these faux-prophets. They never hold the guy accountable for his 100% miss rate. In Lindsey’s case, he just says that as new world events occur, it sheds new light on the prophecies and they can be interpreted more accurately. You’d think after ten or so revisions that people would wise up.