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Taking On Todd Friel...


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I sent Todd Friel and email at his studio after watching a debate that took place between himself and Dan Barker, the founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. I wanted to let him know what the general consensus was from mot unbelievers so I kept it very, very general in my first email.

 

Well, he responded. For such a strong "defender of the faith" his reply was very, very weak. It was actually kind of pathetic. I will paste the entire exchange below. It consists of my inital email, his reply and my follow-up. I wouldn't mind talking to this guy:

 

Way of the Master:

 

In the Barker vs. Friel debate, Mr. Friel claims that there is a good reason why we no longer believe in Poseidon, Mithra, Osiris, Zeus, Thor, Shiva et cetera ad infinitum, because we no longer need them. That is absolutely true! We no longer need Poseidon to explain the waters of the world because science has given us oceanography. We no longer need Osiris to explain life and reproduction because science has given us physiology and biology. We no longer need Zeus to explain weather patterns because science has given us climatology and meteorology and so on.

 

The one thing that science cannot quantitatively and verifiably "prove" is what happens after death. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that what happens after death is that we return to the same state that we occupied prior to our birth, indeed a state of "consciouslessness." To assume that some unconscious or subconscious part of our physiology will be awakened after death and continue on into another realm of consciousness requires that the theory be scientifically tested before moral assumptions be made. Such tests are obviously beyond our current means and will remain as such in the foreseeable future.

 

Fundamental Christianity lingers on, in addition to other modern fundamental world religions, because they all claim to have the answer to the question of post-mortem consciousness I alluded to in the previous paragraph. Fundamental theology of any kind necessitates the belief in the continuation of life after death in order to rationalize and justify the existence of a higher power. Man's vanity, self-importance and fear of death disallows us from believing that our physical life ends our consciousness (a returned state to that which we occupied prior to birth) but demands that some conscious portion of our being be carried on and exist outside our own reality. The belief in any god satisfies man's lust to be immortal, thus allowing his fear of death to subside under the pretext that he will never truly "die", a delusion.

 

If you should choose to respond to this email, please do so publicly and alert me via email as to the airtime of your response. I look forward to it.

 

Sincerely,

 

Nathan

 

Hi Nathan:

 

I do not remember saying we do not believe in Zeus because we do not need him.

 

I do not believe is Zues because he does not meet the criteria for credibility.

 

No manuscripts. No verifiable miracles.

 

Furthermore, believing in Zeus would not cleanse my nagging conscience.

 

Jesus on the other hand has manuscripts detailing His miracles.

 

Best of all, He has cleansed my conscience.

 

While I have to admit, I never cared for the idea of death...I don't believe in Jesus to help me not die.

 

I believe in Him because of who He is and what He has done.

 

Todd

 

Todd,

 

Thank you for the response.

 

Conscience, huh? Does your conscience hurt when you try to reconcile the blood-thirsty War-God YHWH of the Old Testament and the God of peace, love and understanding of the New Testament?

 

Could you recount on-air the order in which God purportedly created everything and explain to your listeners how He supposedly said "Let there be light." on the first day and then, three days later, got around to making the "greater and lesser lights... one to rule the day, one to rule the night." This raises some very important questions that are scientifically impossible. First, light cannot be created without a source... there was no source for light to emanate from on the first day and not until the fourth day. Second, the moon is not a light, it is a reflective surface (and not a very good one at that).

 

Also, going further down the line, please explain how your omniscient God created the entire universe with all of it's intricacies and then decided to put one little guy right in the middle of everything. Then, almost as an afterthought (almost because Adam had to inform his Lord that he was lonely), God decided to give Adam some company so he created Eve out of one of Adam's spare ribs (no pun intended). Wouldn't God have realized that Adam would've needed "companionship" in order to further the human race right off the bat? It doesn't seem to me like God was all that prepared in the creation story (depending on which contradicting story you believe to be true).

 

The last point brings me to my final question: Why did God (supposedly) even bother to create us? Christians will say that we are here for the honor and glory of God. Well, perhaps but God already had a myriad angels (many, many classes, right?) that were created beings (just like us), whose sole purpose was to praise, honor and glorify him (what he wanted us for, right?) and who had free will (just like us) as is evidenced by Lucifer's fall. Why would God be so greedy as to create an entire race of people to fulfill a goal he had already accomplished with the angels? His omniscience demands that he know everything, including the fact that we would fall and would require a blood sacrifice (why? He supposedly makes the rules so why such a brutal way of supposedly cleansing sin? And if he is omni benevolent, why make it so ambiguous? Why not make it accessible to all?

 

The way you approach things is incredibly intellectually dishonest. But I understand, you've got a good thing going: lots of adoring fans, a good salary, plenty of people to stroke your ego, etc. It would be hard to give that all up. But if you were to take a step back and look at your faith objectively, I think you would turn in a heartbeat.

 

I think you should devote some airtime today to the points I've raised. I'd be glad to join you on the air... unless un-believers aren't welcome, that is.

 

Sincerely,

 

Nathan

 

Any ideas? I want to express myself well and raise issues that he may never have been confronted with before. Don't be so quick to assume that he's heard all of our questions or contradictions. Remember, he has immersed himself in fundamentalism for who knows how long and may not be aware of the enormous body of evidence against his claims.

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Already sounds like you two are talking past each other. What would be the point of him putting you on his show, when you are showing such a confrontational attitude in your second e-mail. ("Conscience, huh? Does your conscience hurt when you try to reconcile the blood-thirsty War-God YHWH of the Old Testament and the God of peace, love and understanding of the New Testament?")

 

I know I would not want someone like you on my program, if I had one, if you were already acting so disrespectful to him in e-mails ("The way you approach things is incredibly intellectually dishonest.").

 

Not the way to get yourself invited to things like live radio.

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Already sounds like you two are talking past each other. What would be the point of him putting you on his show, when you are showing such a confrontational attitude in your second e-mail. ("Conscience, huh? Does your conscience hurt when you try to reconcile the blood-thirsty War-God YHWH of the Old Testament and the God of peace, love and understanding of the New Testament?")

 

I know I would not want someone like you on my program, if I had one, if you were already acting so disrespectful to him in e-mails ("The way you approach things is incredibly intellectually dishonest.").

 

Not the way to get yourself invited to things like live radio.

 

 

 

Why not, Controversy draws listeners. People will tune in just to hear the passionate strong arguments IMO. I don't think FF was at all disrespectful, more to the point. Christians love to bury their heads in the sands of fluffy one liners.

 

Todd is the one that used his consciences as his reason for following Christ and not believing in Zeus. It's his argument, why can't he be called to the floor on it? How can his conscience look the other way when innocent blood has been shed and grave injustices been committed by a being he views as infallible? Yes it's an uncomfortable question but the position taken was Todd's, let him defend it.

 

 

FF I would love to hear ya, if you get invited let us know so we can all listen in! :D

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Todd often gives airtime to those with opposing views. There is a five-minute delay on their live feed to allow for on-the-spot editing. Way of the Master focuses on two things and two things only: Evangelizing and apologetics. Todd Friel is their main mouthpiece, given two hours of airtime daily. Besides, not only fundamentalists tune into his show. I think there are quite a few watchdogs out there that are keeping tabs on this group.

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FF I would love to hear ya, if you get invited let us know so we can all listen in! :D

Thanks. Will do. I want to show his listeners that "loud" doesn't necessarily mean "right" (Todd is incredibly loud and disrespectful). I actually included a freeze-frame from his edited debate with Dan Barker that sort of reinforced my position (I'd rather be right by myself than wrong in a crowd) which I will paste below.

 

On the topic of opposing views on WOTM Radio, Friel is actually speaking with a Hari Krishna live on the air right now. Incidently, it's a Hari Krishna that doesn't seem to be too incredibly well-spoken (he's American).

 

Barker.jpg

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Controversy is one thing...being respectful on someone else's turf is something else. You may not agree with their point of view, but it is their show in the end. Present your points clearly and without the angry edge, and you will get much further. If he has not already maked you as a nutjob and lost interest.

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ROBBOBROB:

 

Well, he hasn't made me out as a nutjob, evidently. Even if he had, I can't say that I would be too devastated. Update on our email chain:

 

HI Nathan:

 

You are more than welcome to call any time you like.

 

It is even free.

 

1-877-LAW-GRACE.

 

Todd

 

PS Try to pick your best argument and let's stick to that one point...ok?

 

Todd

 

Depending on my work schedule (they broadcast between 2 and 4 p.m. CST), I will call within the week. The way the show works, I may get directly through or I may be waiting for an hour. If I tell his producers that I've been in correspondance with Todd, he may be more motivated to send me through. I'm shooting for this Friday (their "Free-For-All" show) but I need to get all my ducks in a row and figure out which argument would be most beneficial. Any ideas on which topic to cover?

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PS Try to pick your best argument and let's stick to that one point...ok?

 

But Todd will not adhere to one issue. He will throw all sorts of wild assertions at you and probably accuse you of being a little Hitler or communist simply because you are not a Christian and fly in the face of his faith. He will be pushy, and totally disconnected from the point you will make - and hopefully you will be effective. He'll dodge because he has no other recourse and then he'll claim the argument is over by his self-appointed fiat.

 

Anyways have fun. When I call into shows like this locally, I play the uber fundy and tell them how wrong they are and stick to stoning and honor killing of divorcees cause its in the bible.

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Oh, I'm well aware of his tactics. As I mentioned earlier, he likes to play the "might equals right" card... the louder and more opinionated he is, the more he feels he is in the right.

 

I will stay on topic when I speak with him and ask him to do the same (if I can keep him from interrupting me for long enough). I don't know if you have ever listened to WOTM Radio but one of his most powerful tools in this evangelism/apologetics crusade is the ability to control what is said. I know that.

 

When backed into a corner, he will claim that the caller's phone connection is bad and hang up on him only to continue to make his point completely unobstructed. After all, when there's no one to rebut his points and steer him he has free reign. If I get through, I will be sure to disallow him the use any of his patent caveats.

 

Any ideas on how to kick it off?

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... the louder and more opinionated he is, the more he feels he is in the right.

From the few times I've heard him in "debates" this was the case. It's the Fox news approach.

 

When backed into a corner, he will claim that the caller's phone connection is back and hang up on him only to continue to make his point completely unobstructed. After all, when there's no one to rebut his points and steer him he has free reign.

What a chicken-neck slimeball turkey. Ha. Loser.

 

Any ideas on how to kick it off?

Tell him how cute he is and just how gosh-dang smart he is...

 

Really I don't know. He's a guy you really can't argue with. Not that we don't have arguments that debunk his bs, just that he practices a theater and he really doesn't give a damn about debate, or truth for that matter.

 

Personally, if I was on air with him, I'd tell him diplomatically that he's a loud mouth prick.

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Nathan, I don't know how this sits with you but here's what I would do. I'd trash all my well-thought-out analyses (because he won't listen to a complete thought) and pick ONE point from his email. Then I'd present it as a question and request an answer. Here's what I would say:

 

In your email you say "Jesus...has manuscripts detailing His miracles." Question:

 

All of us know that a manuscript is a document written by the hand of the person being referred to. All of us know that Jesus wrote not a single word. Therefore, all of us know that Jesus has no manuscripts detailing his miracles. That being the case, I am sure there is a misunderstanding. Can you clarify what manuscripts you refer to in your email?

 

In case he gives you only half a breath in which to say all that, I'd just ask, "What manuscripts did Jesus leave us about his miracles? You said in your email...."

 

When and if you get his attention on the topic you can bring in the other points.

 

Expect him to talk about ten thousand things other than your question. Or to talk in circles to "prove" that your question is a stupid non-question. Or some other fundy trick. You will have made your point that he needs to pay close attention to the things he says. He may never notice but someone who is listening might.

 

Another tactic might be to question his assumption of eternal life something like this:

 

Why is it important to you to go on living after you die?

 

I guess what I am getting at is his obvious non-thinking mindset. His logic is non-existent, so we have to find some other way. Questioning his very assumptions might do something. Normally, when I use that approach, I get very violent responses because it shakes their very world view. They can't tolerate that so they attack me. I'm pretty much exhausted from all the attacks so I might not use this approach but it might be right down your alley.

 

That's pretty much all I can think of right now. Keep us posted on how it goes.

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Not sure that this is a fight that is worth it. This isn't ground you can win on. A neutral forum would be a lot better for all concerned.

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Nathan, in the end, have fun, because if you are boring to listen to, any radio guy will not hesitate to hang up on you for someone more entertaining.

 

In the end, boring radio sucks. Be anything but boring.

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Not sure that this is a fight that is worth it. This isn't ground you can win on. A neutral forum would be a lot better for all concerned.

Oh, I'm not even going to try to convince Todd Friel of anything; I know that is a lost cause. How big of a listening audience do you think he has, though? All I would like to do is kick-start the free-thinking in a few of his listeners... raise some questions they haven't been confronted with before.

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Nathan, in the end, have fun, because if you are boring to listen to, any radio guy will not hesitate to hang up on you for someone more entertaining.

 

In the end, boring radio sucks. Be anything but boring.

Thanks for the hint; I was thinking about that. Where he might be willing to listen to me, if he thinks that he's at the very least not providing sensational radio, he will pull the plug. I'm going to try to be as animated as possible. It shouldn't be hard considering the shit he gets away of on the show.

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Now, for all of those who are interested, I will be calling in today shortly before 2 p.m. CST in hopes of being his first caller. You can listen to the live streaming broadcast at that time by going here and click on the "Listen Now" link at the top. Don't worry everyone, I will try to send a shout-out. :woohoo:

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Well, I didn't get to state nearly as many points or hash out nearly as much as I would've liked to with him. I mentioned earlier in the thread that one of his tactics is to claim that the caller is on a bad connection and hang up on him... well, I actually did have a very, very poor connection (in my car on a cell phone near a dead spot) but managed to ask two questions that I wanted to get out there in order to pique the curiosity of his listeners.

 

I did catch him trying to stray on the second question and whipped him back in line. I should've reigned him in more on the first question. That will eat at me. But... all in all, I made my voice heard and possibly posed some questions that his listening audience may not've heard before and if any of them are at all intellectually honest, they will think for themselves instead of taking Todd "Freakishly Glib" Friel's word for it.

 

In listening to it, you may be wondering why I was so upbeat and chipper (not generally my demeanor... I'm actually sort of a misanthrope). I presented myself in that way so he wouldn't be able to pick over my bones after the call was over. I didn't want him to tell his audience, "Did you hear how angry and disgruntled that guy sounded? I think he needs a good dose of God to cure that ailment." You get the drift. I tried to keep things very positive and non-confrontational. I wasn't there to pick a fight but to try to use his "celebrity" to reach his listeners. I was going to try to make a shout-out to Ex-C but I didn't trust my cell phone connection and didn't want the call to be dropped before I said my peace (or 'piece', whichever way you prefer... both correct).

 

Anywho, after I wrangled him back in a little on the second question you can hear him kind of fumble and then shrug the question off. Oh well. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence can see that the questions I posed were deeper than the four or five minutes that I was alotted. Though, I must say that they included my call in its entirety even though my parting comments could be looked at as being passivly derisive; no questionable editing here.

 

For those who are interested, here is a link to the archived broadcast from the afternoon of June 29th. I'm the first caller... approximately 10 minutes into the show.

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Thanks for the up-date. I think your description "Freakingly Glib" describes him to a T. Very seriously shallow guy. I had a hard time hearing you. But one thing came through loud and clear--you were not confrontational but very polite and accommodating. Knowing from your posts how deeply you think and analyze things, I KNOW that for you the conversation was barely touching the side of the iceberg's tip. For him to turn around and claim you belive in God and Jesus, well, that is an insult to your intelligence. No respect for you whatsoever. Theonly personwhoknows what you believe and know is YOU. The Bible itself says so.

 

What he did not do was answer your question about the missed generations. Anyone who looks at history knows that christianity did not continue in all the places those people inthe Pentecost story came from. In fact, there is no biblical evidence that all those people ever converted anyone back home. But I guess that's one of those things we're not supposed to notice.

 

The way he threw around the term "got saved" is totally ridiculous. I used to be a christian, too. I went to church for forty years. Nobody ever "got saved." But people most certainly had a relationship with god every bit as much as do the folks we "get saved." And they were every bit as much devoted to their faith. "Getting saved" sounds so mechanical. All you do--according to what people say on here--is say certain words. Anyone who thinks things throuis not going to buyit.

 

Okay, enough of my rant. Obviosly I have not been exposed much to this kindof religion. IT SUCKS!

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  • 2 months later...

Hi all... new here. Love the honesty and the patience you have for fundy BS... it really is a lot more patient here than at other forums. At least you guys respect anyone who tries to bring a considered position to the table. Thanks, however, for calling bullshit when you hear it. That's valuable, too.

 

Re: inviting Friel, et al, to a neutral forum for debate. Never happenin'. These Xtian enterprises make all their $$$ by catering to their shy-turtle, head-in-the-sand codependent fans. To invite them to debate in a place and with a crowd that might not be stacked in their favor...? A nice dream. They make the appearance of wanting dialog and debate, but ultimately it's about pleasing their sheeple with the right pious-sounding shit, whether it works theologically/logically or not. Fact is, I have put on the cheesy TV preacher routine and ad-libbed some shit off the top of my head that had some sheeple practically taking an offering for me... all because I ised their hot-button Xtianese lingo. What a crock.

 

(I, BTW, am a paid staff person at a fundy church. How I got there and what I am still doing there is a loooooong story... stay tuned.)

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