For whatever reason, I don't get as much entertaining e-mail from religious nuts as some other atheist bloggers I know of. If I were inclined to flatter myself, I'd say it's because they're silenced by the devastating power of my arguments. More likely, it's just because most of the notorious crazies haven't come across my site.
In either case, crackpot e-mail in my inbox is sufficiently rare that when I do get e-mail from genuine kooks, I can't keep it to myself. I just have to share it with you all. Following is a message I received the other night from a person whose hatred of atheists is evident, whose hold on reality is debatable, and who holds a unique interpretation of the death of Jesus. All spelling and grammar is as in the original. Enjoy!
Date: 16 May 2008 11:22
Subject: Feedback: An Easter Blessing
One thing is sure. The devil has his ring in your nose and is controlling your every thought and action.
He has you convinced that there is no proof of Jesus. As with all of his other lies he is wrong.
I have proven the reality of Jesus for years. I live in perfect health because of Him. I live a life of miracles including divine protection.
I have seen Him as He hung on the cross. Because He had suffered the worst case of every sickness and disease that would ever touch a human body, His body was so grotesque rhat if the people had been able to see it, they could not have handled seeing it.
I have seen Him seated at the roght hand of the Father in heaven.
The devil has you so deluded that you are arrogant and condescending, thinking you are smarter than we who know Jesus.
Unless you rejest the lies of the devil you will spend eternity in hell with your father, rhe devil.
May God have mercy on your pitiful soul.
As a rule, I don't make fun of people who are clearly mentally ill (although I consider anyone who attracts a substantial following to be fair game). On the other hand, the line between excessive religiosity and psychosis is a blurry one. This writer's soteriology is a bit unorthodox, but his religious visions and his claims to be the beneficiary of miracles would not be out of place in many large, conventional churches. Nor, for that matter, would his denunciations of atheists.
Unfortunately, the way that religious belief exalts irrationality means that genuine mental disorders can go unnoticed. Primordial Blog tells the sad story of Blair Donnelly, a man whose untreated psychosis resulted in him murdering his daughter because he believed God had told him to do so. This tragedy might have been averted if Donnelly had received psychiatric treatment, but he was a member of a Pentecostal sect that viewed his constant claims of hearing voices and seeing demons not as symptoms of illness, but great spiritual gifts. I have no reason to believe that my correspondent suffers from any similar disorder, but the possibility cannot be completely dismissed.