Donny's Ramblings

Heresy, Inspired by "Carrie the Animal"


Last summer I met a girl named Carrie. She was manning a booth in downtown Chico, the purpose of which was to educate people on animal rights topics as well as Vegetarianism/Veganism and a handful of other worthwhile causes like Farm Sanctuary.

Carrie, if you’re reading this I realize the description I just gave of your booth is far from adequate, and for that I apologize. It’s just that it’s 1am and only minutes ago I finished a 9 mile walk. My fat behind needs to drop some lbs, and I’m in a 2 month competition with my friend John to see who can drop the most weight. I’m a bit tired. No excuse, I know. Excuses are like… well, let’s just say you are invited to tell more about the booth, and Farm Sanctuary, in the comments section if you’d like.

Since that meeting I’ve been a subscriber to Carrie’s myspace blog. A week ago Wednesday she wrote this blog post, Finding Atheism, which discusses how she’s embracing atheism after being raised a Christian. Right before she wrote that post we’d been discussing Ben Stein’s latest film. I told her that I’d continue our discussions with a response to her Atheism post, but that I’d do so here.

So now I’m working on a blog article some readers might not totally appreciate. The part some may potentially consider heretical (click for definition) has to do with some very deep “faith doubts” I’ve experienced. I plan to hold nothing back, meaning I’m not going to soften or hide some of those big, huge questions I’ve had about Christianity. Discussing one’s perceived problems with or questions regarding Christianity, dear Constant Reader, seems to bug a few peeps for some reason.

If you’re the prayin’ type, send a few up for me will ya? Then be sure to come back later this weekend.

In the meantime be sure to read Carrie’s blog post, as it’s a prerequisite for understanding the post I’m writing.

12 thoughts on “Heresy, Inspired by "Carrie the Animal"

  1. Hey Donny

    Just wanted to say that I have a huge amount of respect for you, where you have come from and where you are going. I think personally that God appreciates honesty. I think that God would want you to be honest with how you are feeling and I am convinced He will help you out.

  2. I’m looking forward to this, just to see if I might have some revelation (I guess that you’d call it) that’d be helpful. And I’m reading The God Delusion right now, so it’ll be interesting.

  3. Hey hey

    You’re right– the farmer’s market booth serves as outreach to 1. let people know how animals are raised in factory farms (and the abuse inherent therein), 2. encourage people to consider alternatives that would alleviate animal suffering and 3. let people know about the nearby sanctuary, and the animals who have been rescued.

    The only correction I’d make is that I was not raised a Christian. My mom did occasionally go to church, but I became a Christian on my own, and was by far the most religious person in my family.

    I’m glad my post had such an effect on you! Looking forward to yours.


  4. Carrie – I check out your myspace page – very cool indeed.

    To Donny – I just encourage you to be praying too, and like someone much wise already said – God is big enough to handle our doubts, our concerns, and hang-ups.

    Blessings to you as you journey on this path of faith.

    The Confessions of a Porn Addict

  5. It was nice seeing you yesterday evening. You went and walked 9 miles afterward? That was ambitious of you.

    Anyway, I was reading Carrie’s post and I found it interesting how she in passing acknowledged that she rejected the incarnation and then continued to act like she was a Christian.

    Secondly, I would note that I experienced the same thing in learning that you can’t know if you really accepted Jesus except by your works when I was a mainstream protestant – which is what almost drove me to the same conclusion of abandoning the faith as well. The problem was, I couldn’t when the evidence for the Resurrection was so clear. And in order to buy into Naturalism, one cannot prove the case for it but must presume it in order to justify Naturalism (i.e., Naturalism is bound up in a circular logical routine, and circular logic is actually an illogical statement or logical fallacy by definition).

    Anyway, what I saw in her blog was that she makes two other crucial mistakes (besides the circular logic): 1) she thought that you could be a Christian without submitting to the word and will of God as revealed in Holy Scripture (something the feminist part brought out), and 2) she was unfortuatnely taught (wrongly) that her salvation is NOT made certain in the waters of Holy Baptism and shown by her life in Christ, but instead to look to her decision and the certainty of it instead. One of the realities is that one would have to be a self-righteous pharisee (as a lot of Christendom is) in order to think one is saved except throughy Baptism or a special dispensation not spoken of in Scripture, because one would be looking to their own choices, deeds, or experiences to know that salvation indeed exists. In other words, just as “a bad tree cannot bear good fruit (Matthew 7:18),” so likewise a sinner cannot trust his own choices, deeds, or experiences to know that he/she is saved, for to do so would be to trust the fruit of a bad tree, since only a “good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit (Matthew 7:17).” After all, “the man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14),” and chief among these is the most important of all the Spirit’s gifts: faith in Christ Jesus, because this is the message of true Christians, for Christians proudly say, “we preach Christ Crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23).”

    Beyond that, I would note that in her last paragraph there were lots of statements that were inherenly contradictory. For example, saying that she has joined the ranks of the free-thinkers, as if Christians don’t think freely. Also, she says there is no evidence of an intelligent designer, as if she knows of anyone that explain in what steps and by what means the apparent “irreducible complexity” exists. Also, she used the term “socially progressive,” which is all a matter of subjective opinion. In my opinion, she is socially regressive, but that is just it: to make such a claim is to state something truly subjective as a matter of fact. It is to show that she does not have the ability to separate facts from opinion, and as has been noted above, does not even understand basic rules of logic and critical thought, and that says that CSU Chico is a school that has not taught her how to be a free-thinking, intelligent individual, since if she was she would not speak/write in this way. In fact, she shows she is actually quite indoctrinated and has not joined the ranks of the free-thinkers, but moved from one non-free-thinking group to another, and has progressed none.

    One more final thought: she made a very interesting comment in her last paragraph: “we don’t even need a God for morality.” Now, let’s think about this real quick. If there is no one who in his infinite intellect and love decides what is righ and wrong, who does? Why is her statement that God is sexist even relevent, because who is she (or anyone else) to call such statements sexist, and even if we label it as such, to call it wrong or evil? Why couldn’t we state that men controlling women is a good thing as arbitrarily as we say it is a bad thing? Who is she – not god and not the ultimate voice – to make such a statement? Where then does morality come from? Who decides what is or isn’t moral, and who is to say what is progressive or regressive? Isn’t it the most powerful, the most controlling, those who dominate the rest? Doesn’t in such a case thre reality that power wins out in the end fall into play, and if if there is a god, and if we have some way of knowing he is who he claims (like a miraculous resurrection from the dead), then aren’t we undoing our own claims that morality doesn’t matter and (by natural logical progression) that the most powerful are indeed those who determine morality?

    Anyway, I hope all this is somewhat helpful, whether you agree or disagree.

    Blessings in the Ascended Lord,


  6. Hi. I didn’t go to Chico State. I went to University of the Pacific, where I studied philosophy.

    Defending naturalism with naturalism is like saying ‘defending logic with logic.’

    Defending a belief in God with the Bible is patently circular, and co-opting the language of logic to try to turn the tables is a sad move.

    I don’t recommend using any of these arguments to persuade me, as well-intentioned as they might be.

  7. By the way, if it matters (I don’t see that it does), I was baptized as a child, and I didn’t believe in the ‘incarnation’ at all as an adult, even as a Christian (I will go on labeling my former self as such because I considered myself one, and I don’t think taking away the label helps anyone except Drew’s ego). I did, I think, believe Jesus was God when I was very very young.. thirteen to seventeen, perhaps. Some basic reading did away with any such thoughts, though.

  8. Hey Donny- go to google image search and look up laminin, the cell adhesion molecule that holds our body together-
    kinda’ mind-blowing!

  9. Some quick thoughts.

    First, when I said that in order to believe naturalism you had to presume it, I was simply noting a reality which is equally true of defending Christianity with the Bible. However, there is a slight difference. While the Naturalist is presuming there is no god and then goes about looking at the world in this way and then from that concludes there is no god (patently circular logic), the Christian can confirm or disconfirm the Bible based on History. And also, to compare a system of thought with logic, the fundamental definition of thought, is an egotistical statement in itself. I could say that saying that defending Christianity with the Bible is like saying you are defending Christianity with basic logic, but then where would that get us?

    Logic is itself the inherent rules of thought that are built on the definition of a contradiction (from either Aristotle of Plato): “a cannot be b and not b at the same time in the exact same relationship/way [the Greek is a bit difficult to translate here],” I’m sure carrie knows this, or her philosophy degree isn’t worth much.

    Naturalism is a world-view (as Christianity is). The only problem is, not all world-views follow logic, and in fact, in order to be maintained, but be built on pseudo-logic that is inherently circular. A circular position is one that presumes the conclusion before it begins. For example, to say

    A) that since I do not see miracles in the world, therefore miracles do not happen, therefore
    B) your claim that a miracle has occurred is not true, since miracles do not happen, and therefore
    C) this is just more proof that miracles do not happen and never have.

    (I will also note that I have in the past demonstrated that EVERY form of Christianity except for Lutheranism has for sure at least one fundamental position built upon circular logic. That is part of the reason I am a Lutheran, after all. But that is for another time.)

    Moving on, the chief problem of Naturalism is that it is in itself a patently negative statement that says essentially,

    “there is no god or higher intelligence.” In order to prove such a thesis, one would have to show that every claim in the past and in the future of any god interfering in the world was a facade, from prehistoric man to man 100x billion years from now. It is actually an impossible thesis to even work with, because any single event in history being true (like any miracle of any kind) would prove the existance of a god or god-like person.

    As to my “ego,” I don’t know what she is stating. Anyone can claim to be anything they want, and anyone can label someone else anything they want, but it doesn’t thereby make the label applicable. A word is correctly used if and only if the definition matches the term being used. In the case of the term Christian, there are two concepts that have to be believed normally to be classified as such: the teaching of the Incarnation (Jesus Christ is the only-begotten, eternal Son of the Father in the flesh) and the Holy Trinity (Three persons in the essence of God and God in the essence of those Three persons from all eternity). The label is thereby misused when it is applied to a person who has rejected one of these two fundamental teachings. In fact, if Carrie here had been part of a larger group, that group would have by definition been what a cult is to my understanding:
    “any group who identifies themselves with a particular major religion yet rejects one of its fundamental tenants.”

    Also, to note, in order for Carrie to be able to be persuaded, she would have to acknowledge that

  10. I do applaud her efforts to help farm animals. I just checked out the factory farming website, and I am crying.

  11. Hi Donny and friends (including Carrie)!

    Sorry about that and thanks for the heads up concerning my last post. Argh. I’m still not sure what happened.

    Anyway, I wanted to make a correction to what I wrote. I said there are two major tenants of the Christian faith, which is true in the fact that they are held unanimously throughout time by the Orthodox Catholic Christian Church, with few exceptions, and are built on quite strong Christian grounds. There is, however, at least a semi-unanimously agreed upon point that is a major tenant that must also be acknowledged, and that is that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived and died in our place on a cross in real time as a historical event, and finally, that he BODILY resurrected on the third day (which includes the Friday execution), which also must be regarded as a historical event. The area that there is a difference of opinion is the consequence of this series of HISTORICAL events to belivers and non-believers, and what (if anything) believers must do (or not do) to receive the benefits of this sacrifice (whatever those benefits may be). Thus the long-standing argument since the end of the Early Church era over what has been termed “the article of faith concerning Justification.” There is in this matter some wiggle room, with exception to saying his death did not cover our sins in some way as an atoning sacrifice.

    I also wanted to finish what I was writing concerning Carrie being persuaded. In order for her to be persuaded, she would have to acknowledge that Naturalism is a system built on the logical fallacy of circular logic:

    A) My experience of the world is that God does not exist and that everything happens through natural mechanisms.
    B) Because this is true, any claim that there is a God and his interaction in history is to be seen as a myth,
    C) Therefore we can see that it is clear that no God exists and everything happens through natural mechanisms;

    and in order to do this she would have to begin trying to demonstrate Naturalism without (A) being in place (which is, should I note, an impossibility).

    It is just as much the case that a Christian fundamentalist who begins with the presumption that the Bible is the Word of God (a bad presumption to build one’s faith on unless it is first proven to be as much) can never be persuaded to another ideaology until they conclude that the Bible is not the Word of God. Likewise, it is impossible to persuade a Muslim that Jihad and Allah are facades of the truth until their presumption concerning the Koran and the Hadith being the revelation of God is proven erroneous in their minds.

    What concerns me about Carrie, however, is that the key event that seemed to dissuade her from believing the Bible is the Word of God was nothing short of the fact that she didn’t like the appearent sexism in the text. All she has said in this is that she finally decided her opinions of what God through was more important than God’s opinion of what she thought (or put more simply, she exalted herself to be the god of her own life as Adam and Eve did and as we all are tempted to do). The truth of the matter is, if she wants to always be able to judge God and not to be forced into the position (which is by nature the proper position if he is the Creator and she is the creature) of being judged by Him and genuinely repenting of her opinions, ideas, and thoughts knowing that His justice and ways are right, then she probably is not persuadable.

    In truth, if God is the God of a person’s life, then the opinons of that person are only something that are either in agreeance with the Divine Will or counter to it and worthy of damnation because of the rebellion. It is likewise true with anything or anyone that is elevated to that position of being their god, whether they be idealogies or persons, including Naturalism. Naturalism is as much a god of hers as anything else, and so she bows her mind and will to its tenants just as an authentic Christian to Christ and God’s Word. We see this in history how one who bows to another ideaology can do so much destruction, as Hitler bowed to the Darwinian ideaology concerning races in Darwin’s “The Descent of Man,” in his efforts to move Evolution forward and so bring about the birth of the fittest race of all and so create the super-race.

    Oh, one more final thought. My point concerning Baptism has everything to do with upon whom a Christian first relies to know they are saved. A person who relies on their own decision for Jesus, or some spiritual experience, or on their growth in good deeds to know they are saved is forced to first rely upon himself or herself. In other words, they must justify their decision for Jesus as being authentic and real, their spiritual experience as not something they created from within themselves, or that their deeds were actually sufficiently pure and right to be considered a truly good deed in the first place. And so, if one doubts oneself, one cannot then know that he/she is saved, but must logically despair or build up within oneself an arrogance to have confidence in such things. And, since one is moving from sinner to saint, the individual must presume that these things are at least in part tainted by the sinner, knowing that the sinner always likes to think himself a saint (e.g., the pharisees in Jesus’ day). In contrast, Baptism is something that happens from outside and has a promise attached to it, and it is an act of God working through his people and outside of one’s own self upon which it is not unwholly unreasonable to trust, because of the promise.

    Okay, that’s all my babbling for now. I think I covered everything I intended to, though maybe not. Anyway, if I missed something, I’m sure someone will catch it soon – by accident or not.

    In the Name of the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,


  12. I trust Donny doesn’t buy any of this, since he read my original post, so I’m not going to bother with any of it.

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