The Blasphemy Challenge
|by Regis Nicoll|
Would you trade your soul for a DVD? Well, over one hundred young people (and counting) have.
A group calling itself the “Rational Response Squad" is inviting people (mainly teens) to blaspheme the Holy Spirit and thereby commit the “unpardonable sin.” If you are among the first 1001 people to declare “I deny the Holy Spirit” and post your denial on YouTube, you, too, will receive the free DVD, “The God Who Wasn’t There.”
Now on one hand, whatever naughtiness these folks think they’re committing in their cheeky videos, they’re not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. To do that requires an admission of supernaturalism—a definite no-no to free-thinking rationalists like the RRS. You see, according to Scripture, the “unpardonable sin” is to experience the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit and attribute it to another supernatural agent: Satan.
On the other hand, this is a very clever ploy by the RRS. They realize that once someone has jumped off this “cliff” they can’t change their mind as they plunge down the abyss. If you’re convinced that regardless of later revelations you are beyond forgiveness, your only choice is the full court press of godless rationalism.
Disturbingly, the RRS reports that the Blasphemy Challenge is targeting 25 websites geared to teens including Xanga, Friendster, Boy Scout Trail, Tiger Beat, Teen Magazine, YM, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. Their aim: to de-program kids who have been indoctrinated from birth to believe in God, in general, and Christianity in particular.
In the words of RRS, “If we talked about religion the same way we talk about science, history or other fields involving truth claims, dogma would wither in the light.”
They may be on to something. If religion and, say, evolutionary science were held to the same standards of testability and falsifiablity, dogma would wither—especially that incapable of accounting for the diversity and complexity of life, not to mention existence itself, and the great metaphysical questions of meaning and purpose.