Opinion

Why slain missionary John Allen Chau might be a martyr

John Chau, right, in October 2018. Photo via Instagram

(RNS) — Now that many more details have emerged about how John Allen Chau prepared for his fatal foray onto the shore of North Sentinel Island, it has become clear that fair-minded people might agree on everything about his story — except the most important thing.

The “most important thing,” of course, is whether the gospel message he aimed to bring the islanders is actually true, and on that hangs the verdict as to the validity and value of his effort.

Chau first emerged to international attention as a kind of kooky kid missionary whose naïveté cost him his life. The huge smile beaming out from initial photographs seemed to combine both youthful enthusiasm and callow recklessness.

As journalists began to talk with the missionary agency that sent him, however, a different portrait appeared, a portrait of a young man, not a boy, with long dedication and extensive preparation.

He trained in both linguistics and missionary anthropology. He knew no one else spoke the islanders’ language and he was ready to try to learn it, even over years living among the islanders. (Missionaries have faced such linguistic barriers many times before, of course, and have often been the first to reduce languages to writing.) He even attended a boot camp that simulated first contact in order to learn best practices in such encounters.

Chau and his mission knew about the risk of infection by outsiders. He underwent a full range of inoculations and took time in quarantine to render himself as safe as possible. He recognized the islanders’ fierce protectiveness of their isolation, and he knew the history of missionary work being connected odiously with imperialism.

So he made himself as non-threatening as possible. He consciously capitalized on his small size (he stood 5-foot-6); stripped down to black underwear for his approach, bearing no arms; and eschewed the offers of help from mission teammates to deliberately approach the islanders as a lone individual. (Some Christians have criticized him for going alone, but Jesus went alone to the woman at the well, Philip went alone to evangelize the Ethiopian eunuch and Paul spoke alone to his jailers. There is no hard-and-fast New Testament rule dictating missionaries working in couples or teams.)

India’s North Sentinel Island, dot, in the Bay of Bengal. Image courtesy of Google Maps

In sum, John Allen Chau could not have been less like the stereotype of the missionary bringing a message backed by colonial troops. Nor was he some bumbling young fool.

Despite his preparation, more than a few missionary groups and missions experts have disagreed with Chau’s methods. And it remains that he broke the law, he paid other people to break the law who now face prosecution, he contravened the express wishes of the islanders themselves and he ended up bereaving his loved ones.

So how can all that preparation and deliberation ending in such a mess possibly have been worth it?

Imagine an Amish village in Pennsylvania that has kept apart from the rest of American society for 200 years. The village has made its preference for strict separation clear, and the area authorities honor it with a special isolation law that they faithfully enforce. There comes a day, however, when NASA believes the village is in the direct line of a small, but lethal, asteroid impact. Everyone else in the prospective blast zone has been evacuated but the Amish community. Is it ethical to breach their cordon and warn them?

They could not have been more clear that they want to be left alone. But what if a danger impends that was beyond their imagination? And what if that danger threatens their very lives?

John Allen Chau believed those islanders were in imminent danger of losing the prospect of their eternal lives. And despite the reservations and criticisms that some people will maintain as to Chau’s methods, how one thinks about John Allen Chau finally comes down to this: Is an asteroid coming?

If you don’t think so, then it is hard to avoid the unhappy conclusion that, despite all his good intentions and careful preparations, he was a dangerous, criminal fool. Whatever he intended to accomplish, all he actually did was tempt poor fishermen into prosecution, expose islanders to whatever germs he might still have carried and get himself killed.

If you do think an asteroid is coming, however, as Christians believe one is, then it is hard to avoid the conclusion that John Allen Chau is a martyr.

And Christians and their neighbors will just have to agree to disagree on this basic point, as Christians have disagreed with their neighbors about this sort of thing since, well, Christ.

(John G. Stackhouse Jr. is the Samuel J. Mikolaski professor of religious studies at Crandall University in Moncton, Canada, and author of “Why You’re Here: Ethics for the Real World.” The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)

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John G. Stackhouse Jr.

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  • As has been pointed out in every single article on this unfortunate boy, every single point the author brings up in his defense has absolutely no basis in fact, logic, or experience. So what if he inoculated himself? Most of the time, that would protect him, not the Islanders. So what if you was in quarantine for a while? That doesn’t do a thing about the bugs that he is carrying that could be fatal to them, nor does it obviate the fact that he was not in quarantine, eating food, and in contact with the local Indian population on his way to the island. So what if he immersed himself in linguistics studies? He didn’t study THEIR language, but shouted at them in Xhosa, which had all of the intelligence of handing them an iPad. He disobeyed the law, even though one of his Christian instructions is to obey the civil authorities. He was warned off the island by the Islanders themselves, but was just too full of himself to listen to them either.

    This whole article is nothing but a justification for the self entitlement of a sociopathic young man with a narcissistic personality disorder. “Don’t worry, darkies. I’ll save you!” Hopefully, they’ll survive his ill thought out incursion.

  • Christian missionary work is very diverse and has changed through the centuries. Missionary work aimed at the Subcontinent where I come from was and is multifaceted. A good deal of the missionary work came along with the European “East India companies” and later under the European Colonial Empires.

    It quickly gained a bad reputation in a region known for its diversity of faiths. For example Portuguese missionaries accompanied Portuguese soldiers. The Wars between the Portuguese and Sinhalese kings held up in the city of Kandy, was so intense that the holiest relic of Buddhist Sri Lanka, the tooth of the Buddha and his begging bowl, had to be hidden to prevent these zealous missionaries from destroying them. After many attempts the Sinhalese king won the battles over a 20 thousand strong Portuguese army.

    Goa in in India was not so lucky. Plenty of Temples and Mosques were leveled down to make room for Churches and Cathedrals and Goa remained a Portuguese territory till the mid 20th century. All through South Asia Christianity unfolded in a hundred different ways, Some were truly inspiring and benevolent as in St. Xavier and Mother Theresa to the countless other works of nuns, priests, and monks tirelessly working for the well being of all . While others came to that region due to power exerted by European Empires. Generally speaking missionaries from the West are not as appreciated. Fear lingers. Mr. Chau should have abided by India’s laws on the privacy of this Tribe.

  • VALIDATION: It means a lot, this acknowledgment by John G. Stackhouse Jr. and, in a way, by RNS. So thank you, thank you, to you both!

    AFFIRMATION: “John Allen Chau is a martyr.” YES, INDEED HE WAS, to God & Jesus’ glories. So I say, Be well dead asleep, brother Chau, until the resurrection!

    CORRECTION: If “John Allen Chau … broke the law” for trespassing, then on the evidences provided by Adam Goodheart and Mallica Joshi, so did all these trespassers before him: (1) “the governor of the [Andamans] islands”, (2) “T N Pandit [and] the Anthropological Survey of India”, (3) “Jacques Cousteau”, (4) “Claude Lévi-Strauss”, and (5) countless “local fishermen”! SO WHAT ABOUT THEM? Why not condemn these lawbreakers, too?!

    Source: (1) Adam Goodheart, “The Last Island of the Savages”, American Scholar, September 5, 2000. (2) Mallica Joshi, “It took some coconuts, and 25 years”, The Indian Express, November 25, 2018.

  • North Sentineleses are fine, no worries. T N Pandit & the Anthropological Survey of India, and Jacques Cousteau, and countless local fishermen, and gold smugglers, and gunrunners, and pirates, and drug dealers, and illegal loggers, and poachers, and John Allan Chau – they’ve all been to North Sentinel. And still these North Sentineleses have remained peachy & okeydokey to this day. You worry for nothing, is my wager.

  • Let’s stop kidding ourselves. If the anti-Christians here want to say that the kid had no business spreading Christianity; then leave it at that. He obviously felt differently.
    But to believe that this island of people isn’t being visited by other locals is preposterous.

  • Common sense buddy. Two people just had sex on the top of one of the pyramids. There are no boundaries anymore.

  • While Jesus may have said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” I don’t think he meant: and do it by arrogantly imposing yourself on people who have no understanding of you or your language, especially if it means exposing them to microorganisms that could kill them.” That’s not the Jesus I know from the Gospels. But if such arrogance is now considered a prerequisite for Christian martyrdom these days, count me out.

  • I’m not an anti-Christian, despite the bogus claims of the Sybil of RNS, and I don’t think he had no business spreading Christianity. If you have evidence that other people are visiting the islands, then you should post it. If you have evidence that the Sentinelese don’t care about that, then you should post that. But by all accounts, including the Indian government, he was told not to go there, he was sent there by others despite being told not to go there, and he could have endangered the entire population of the island.
    As I pointed out before, 80% of the Hawaiian people died as a result of their lack of immunity to common diseases. If that happened to the Sentinelese, according to Chau’s theology, they would have been condemned to hell.
    That is what makes him a sociopath with narcissistic personality disorder.

  • T N Pandit & the Anthropological Survey of India, and Jacques Cousteau, and countless local fishermen, and gold smugglers, and gunrunners, and pirates, and drug dealers, and illegal loggers, and poachers – they didn’t abide by those paternalistic laws as some have called them. So why should Chau?

  • “preposterous” indeed.

    not to mention absurd, ridiculous, foolish, stupid, ludicrous, farcical, laughable, comical, risible, nonsensical, senseless, insane, outrageous, monstrous, crazy (and dare we say it? – a t h e i s t i c).

  • You definitely are anti-Christian and have said as much with your numerous rants. But that is besides the point.
    You are naive to believe there hasn’t been other contact. I’m not saying there should be, but in this day and age; I don’t believe anything escapes mans reach.
    Regarding the Hawaiians- based upon that train of thought; there would be no commerce among different groups of people; no exchange of ideas or technology. Exposure to disease is an unfortunate consequence of progress. But then again, you like progress; don’t you?

  • North Sentineleses’ PREHISTORICITY “could kill them”, too. That was why God & Jesus sent John Allan Chau to UN-“kill them” before it’s too late.

  • so you have no evidence, just a supposition.
    No, I am NOT anti Christian. Being critical of the excesses and crimes and demands for special treatment of some Christians does not equate to being anti- Christian. As I have remarked a number of times, we were married by a Christian minister
    I am anti-authoritarian, anti mixing church and state, anti dominionist, anti special rights for religious people, anti child molester, anti covering up child molesters, anti financial grifting by ministers and churches, anti Christians assuming authority over the lives of people who don’t share their beliefs.

  • You’re not anti-Christian IF the Christian in question agrees with you.

    Other than that, you hate the LDS, Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention, any other religions which share their views on matters sexual, and any members of them that subscribe to those views.

  • “This whole article is nothing but a justification for the self entitlement of a sociopathic young man with a narcissistic personality disorder.”

    In other words, an orthodox Christian but in your parlance.

  • Do you have any evidence that John Chau would have contaminated or caused harm to the island dwellers? No you don’t.
    Do you know or have any evidence that anything in John Chau’s medical history would have caused harm to the island dwellers?
    No you don’t.
    You have no evidence nor fact pattern (other than your preconceived prejudices) that John Chau’s arrival on the island would (without exception) cause harm to the island dwellers.
    Your straw man argument is weak at best.

  • Here’s a serious answer.
    No.
    I am anti using your religion or your book as a club against others. I am no more anti bible than I am anti Vedas or Anti elder edda, just as I am no more anti Christian than I am anti Jew, anti buddhist, anti hindu.
    I am anti one thing: using your book or your faith as a club.

  • “Do you have any evidence that John Chau would have contaminated or caused harm to the island dwellers? No you don’t. ” I have the statements of the indian government, and their clear prohibition for those reasons.

    “Do you know or have any evidence that anything in John Chau’s medical history would have caused harm to the island dwellers?” No, and neither do you. What I do have is the statements of the indian government, and their clear prohibition for those reasons.

    “You have no evidence nor fact pattern (other than your preconceived prejudices) that John Chau’s arrival on the island would (without exception) cause harm to the island dwellers.” And you have none that it wouldn’t have. What we BOTH have is…wait for it…”the statements of the indian government, and their clear prohibition for those reasons.”
    What we also have is this. If an Islamic, hindu, or buddhist missionary had gone there with the same warnings and suffered the same fate, I WOULD BE WRITING EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

  • Yea, a martyr, right! Fundy Christians are so presumptuous. “If you think an Asteroid is coming…” or if Jesus is real? — Then it makes sense to do what Chau did?…Bullsh*t !!

    If that is the case, every religion could do the same thing and the islanders would surely be wiped out. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, Satanists all would have the same claim to “Save” the Sentinelese. Each religion comparing their God(s) wrath to an asteroid, just like the Christians.

    Hitchens was right…Religion poisons everything. Now if only more fundy missionaries would end up like John Chau — that would be true salvation !!

  • Then maybe the locals who already visited this island have already warned the tribe about evangelical Christian dipsh!ts like Chau.

    That is why our erstwhile missionary is buried on a beach being fed on by sand-crabs.

  • Well, we’ll just have to send the second one there in tactical gear. We need to save the godless pagans from themselves.

  • Don’t you mean True Christian™? – on account of “[his] favorite spot to get a beer [being] anywhere that sells either ice cold Henry Weinhard’s or Abita Root Beer”?

    Anyway, I find that picture of you “baptiz[ing] other people by force” rather endearing, actually, even though I can’t quite picture it. I’m thinking it must’ve been nothing like in this video:

    https://youtu.be/DUFRmPcM1GY

  • A bible should be the only tactical gear needed.

    And I suggest sending Ken Ham, Franklin Graham, Falwell, Jr. WL Craig and a few Catholic Bishops and Cardinals too.

  • Oh, I get it; now it’s all about the law.
    First you’re comparing this to the plague of the Hawaiians; not it’s because the Indian government said…
    Just be honest and admit that it’s about Christianity.

  • “If only more fundy missionaries … end[ing] up like John Chau … would be true salvation” – then ditto Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Silverman, Lawrence Krauss and Al Franken, you’re hoping in the meantime? Be careful what you wish for, Ashiest! I say, Set your Ashiest House of Cards in order first! Do realize there’s only 5% of your species in the entire U.S. of A! Significance: … duh … just 5%. Which desperately pales in comparison with John Allan Chau’s significance!

  • So you are suffering from a case of bad analogy.

    The American Scholar Article describes why there is a prohibition on going there. A law which is not particularly old.

    The India Express article deals with the scientist gaining the trust and consent of the natives in his visits. Anthropology is held to a higher standard of conduct than a missionary from a group notorious for gleefully breaking laws and ignoring consent of those being “missioned”.

  • Why not send Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Silverman, Lawrence Krauss and Al Franken?! The Top 4 Ashiests today! The 4 living proofs that Ashiesm is your success story!

  • At least you don’t mince words, heh. You know you oppose it, and you own up to what you’re doing. Honesty.

  • Sorry, but I’ve read enough of your posts to get past the excuses you’re making here.

    You have specifically read, and do know, the major claims of the Bible. All the way from Genesis (that God even exists in the first place), to John 3:16 (getting saved by putting one’s trust and faith in Jesus Christ), to Revelation (that Jesus Christ is coming back), you are aware of these key Bible positions. And you in fact DO choose to oppose and reject those statements (very consistently I might add!), and of your own free-will choice.

    Is that not the truth in your case?

  • He is not a martyr. He didn’t die for his faith because of any Sentinel hatred for Christianity or its message. The Sentinel would have killed anyone, including a Muslim or a Sikh or a Satan worshiper. They are just wild. A team of anthropologists went there but they prepared well in advance, dropped gifts for days in form of coconuts, and then finally managed to just have a brief encounter exchanging coconuts in a controlled way. That also didn’t last long and they had to leave. God will reach them in other ways. Book of revelation says in the end an angel will appear in sky and preach the gospel to all to hear one last time. May be this needs to wait until that time.

  • Chau broke multiple laws, trespassed on someone else’s land who didn’t want him there, disregarded many warnings about the dangers of doing so, and died for it. The man doesn’t deserve to be made a martyr, he deserves a Darwin Award.

  • I’m going to step away from all the arguments about whether he “properly prepared” or not…and even the one about his breaking the law. I want to discuss this author’s metaphorical meteor. The idea that these people will “perish” and go to hell because they never even heard the Gospel message is anathema to the Christian concept of Grace and a loving God. If you believe that every person who has ever lived and died without somehow hearing the Christian message and accepting Christ is in hell, then you yourself, as does the author have a very dim view of the God most of us worship.

    With that said, no, this young man was NOT a martyr. He was not killed because of his religious beliefs. He was killed because he encroached on people who did not want him there. They didn’t know anything of his religion. I’m truly sorry that he was taught and led down a path of zealotry that lead him to this, but he was not a martyr. He simply acted foolishly.

  • Better. But it suffers from bad analogy. Anthropologists require consent of those studies.

    The ban on visiting the island is relatively recent compared to the decades figuring out what to do with the place and its people. It wasn’t illegal or enforced vigorously at the time with the others.

  • No. I don’t oppose them. I also don’t oppose the Brpthers Grimm, the Vedas, the Elder Edda, or Harry Potter. I don’t give them or the Bible either the same weight, truth value, or credence that you do.

    The difference between you and me is that you give the Bible Credence, but to not a one of any of the other holy books of the world. I Don’t give credence to one more book than you do.

    If you actually understood why you don’t give any of those other holy books credence, you would understand why I don’t give yours credence, either.

  • “unfortunate boy” You need to grow up as he was not a “boy” in any sense of the word. Plenty old enough to volunteer for the military and die for his country. That said he was as ignorant as ignorant can be. Typical narrow minded calvinist who thought he had the “God given right” to impose his extremist views on the rest of the world. In this case his narrow mindedness resulted in his early death. Martyr? Absolutely NOT! Ignorant fool removed from the gene pool. Yep. Chalk one up for Darwinism.

  • Local fisherman, gold smugglers, gunrunners, pirates, drug dealers, illegal loggers and poachers don’t have the concepts of Satan, false religion, freedom of consciences, teleological notion of history. They don’t have power over generations to change the traditions of the Sentinelese.

    T N Pandit and the Anthropological Survey of India are a different matter. Anthropology, like other branches of the social sciences, smuggles Protestant theology in secular clothes. It is also backed by the government, so it does have power over generations to change the traditions of the Sentinelese. It would be good to track the projects of anthropologists over time.

  • Jacques Cousteau did not go to the Sentinel island and meet with these tribes. There is no record of any of your claims that these people met with these tribes.
    but if they did they broke the law.

  • Just read your comment and you are right. I was not aware that these people met with the tribe but they must have done it following the law and under strict guidance as to not pollute the Tribes culture.

  • Indeed, this is precisely where religion is dangerous. There is zero evidence of an eternal soul, heaven, hell, or the master keeper, yet people are motivated to not only put themselves in harm’s way, but to expose others to harm. Religion is a pernicious infection.

  • He was a fool and deserved their death penalty – Their laws !!!

    He was criminally irresponsible and should have been arrested in the beginning; now go and arrest the conspirators to his crime…

    and there are no gods….

  • Man – was that ever stupid!!!
    You defend the slaughter of a people for ‘progress’!

    and there are no gods…!

  • The Bible is a compendium of fire side tales and fables,
    recounted orally for generations by goat herders and primitive tribes from the stone age,
    until writing was invented,
    and then again many different sources, transliterations, and versions were copied and written down.
    There were no grand central universities to organise the many various versions of these origin/creation stories, stories common to most primitive cultures.
    They were for entertainment (as in all migratory camp tribes),
    and to answer the questions of the many fears and mysteries of our universe, like ‘thunder’ and earthquakes, since there was no science yet.

    This is the old Testament.

    The ‘new’ Testes is also hearsay since these letters, ‘gospels’ and stories were written by the loyal faithful, the camp followers,
    not by objective historians at that particular time,
    or by any contemporary writers,
    and these tales were written many years after the supposed events of this mythical Jesus.

    Thus, there is no verifiable evidence of a Jesus in real documented history.

    Then, many of these stories, but not all, were compiled for one self-absorbed converted Roman Emperor in his Nicean Council, for his expressed purpose of conquest and control of the people of Europe for his Holy Roman Empire.
    He recognised that this was the perfect religion/mythology for the future domination of the populaces.
    Half of the stories were ignored by the Nicean Bishops and none have been proven to be based on fact.

    This ‘Bable’ book is backed up by absolutely no facts and no evidence.
    It is not proof for any gods….(or of any jesus…)

  • 1956 “is [NOT] relatively recent”.

    For 62 years at North Sentinel Island, there has been in place this “legal protection: It is illegal — under the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956 — to make contact with the Sentinelese or even venture up to 5 kms from its shore”.

    Source: The Times of India, November 22, 2018, “Ten Indian families world knows nothing about”.

    URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/66744174.cms

  • You’re not worth it to believe. God & Jesus care less that that you’re not at all worthy to believe. Ditto me. Get lost, stay lost.

  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956, is unconstitutional, ambiguous, paternalistic and deadly. Their extinction has been legalized since 1956. The Republic of India don’t know what they’re doing.

  • Dear Ashiest:

    How do you & fellow Ashiests go about “arrest[ing] … no gods”?

    Would Neil deGrasse Tyson know? How about David Silverman? Ditto Lawrence Krauss & Al Franken – WWAD – What Would Ashiests Do?

    Signed,

    Fire & Brimstone Unlimited

  • Whereas Atheism, my 1st Grade students tell me, is a malefic septicemia! Agnosticism is worse, their nannies confide in me. Never mind None-sense.

  • T N Pandit & the Anthropological Survey of India, and Jacques Cousteau, and countless local fishermen, and gold smugglers, and gunrunners, and pirates, and drug dealers, and illegal loggers, and poachers – they all “broke multiple laws, trespassed on someone else’s land who didn’t want [them] there, disregarded many warnings about the dangers of doing so, [but] died [NOT] for it.”

    SIDEBAR: Wanna know The Judgment Day’s Version of the Darwin Award?

  • You skipped a vital detail in T.N. Pandit’s account of events:

    “[When, in 1967, as ‘a 20-member team, including armed local security officials’] we tried to venture into their territory … the Sentinelese hid in the forest. I believe they are aware of the power of a firearm and did not want a confrontation.”

    The rest is history:

    “The policemen and naval officers took as souvenirs some of the household goods the Sentinelese had left behind: bows, arrows, a basket, the painted skull of a wild boar.”

  • Dear Ashiest:

    I’m a born-again Christian student of the Ashiest movement, and, worth repeating & reposting, here’s what two of my True-Atheist mentors have to say about your pathetic “and-there-are-still-no-gods” brand of Ashiesm:

    “In a move as useful as it was overdue (a few people have tried this, but to my knowledge none nearly as successfully), [Stephen LeDrew in The Evolution of Atheism] demolishes one of the most widely held myths that atheists have about themselves, namely, the belief that atheism is simply a matter of not believing in any gods. Atheism is in fact ‘a complex term with an even more complex history’ and ‘cannot be reduced to one single all-encompassing definition.’ [CJ Werleman in The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists] remarks that ‘on its own,’ atheism ‘is a non-positive assertion.’ Unbelief, however, is rarely ‘on its own.’ As LeDrew points out, with the rise of evolutionary theory, atheism ‘moved from simple negation of religious beliefs to an affirmation of liberalism, scientific rationality, and the legitimacy of the institutions and methodology of modern science—and thus from religious criticism to a complete ideological system.’ Atheism, then, is ‘a form of belief—rather than a lack of belief—shaped by its socio-historical context’ and ‘inextricably bound up with’ a plethora of principles that emerged from the Enlightenment.”

    Source: David Hoelscher, “New Atheism, Worse Than You Think”, CounterPunch, January 29, 2016.

    Signed,

    Fire & Brimstone Unlimited

  • One summer of linguistics training is hardly “adequate preparation.”

    A half hearted quarantine, that he broke, is not “adequate preparation.”

    A missionary school that thinks having Americans in ugly clothes act threatening and pretend not to understand you is just pathetic stereotyping, and is no preparation whatsoever.

    He shouted “Jesus loves you” in English. That is all anyone needs to know.

  • Have you read it? It is 10% pretty sound bites. The rest is ridiculous (eg talking donkeys) or repugnant (eg blood sacrifice, “happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks”).

  • Mother Teresa was not benevolent. She believed god delights in the suffering of the poor, so did as little as possible to relieve suffering. People would beg not to be returned to her hospices.

  • Martyrbation – scratching your religious itch with someone else’s hand.

    It’s wrong. Its gross. Don’t do it.

  • Oh don’t cower & go just yet. We’ve barely started. But now that we’ve established that (1) you’re pukingly unworthy to believe and that (2) you’re no True Atheist like David Hoelscher or Stephen LeDrew, whose words you’ve now condemned for “blathering on like some brainless fool” – I’m ready now to prove God & Jesus. If you now can’t refute these proofs, you’ll therefore validate the gospel truths they claim & substantiate. You have 48 hours to debunk with counter-proofs the following 3 proofs that are based on reliable testimonies of eyewitnesses, which, as such, therefore, remain admissable in all the courts of law today. And they are:

    (1) Acts 1:2-3 – “To the apostles whom He had chosen … Jesus presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing PROOFS [τεκμηρίοις = tekmeeriois = fixed and sure sign-post supplying indisputable, unmistakable, irrefutable information], appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.”

    (2) Acts 17:30-31 – “God … has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished PROOF [πίστιν = pistin = guarantee, certainty, assurance] to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

    (3) Romans 3:24-26 – “Our being justified as a gift by God’s grace is through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth in advance to achieve a particular purpose [προέθετο = proetheto] as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was for the DEMONSTRATION [ενδειξιν = endeixin = the showing forth, the pointing out, indication, proof, significance] of His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed. It was for the DEMONSTRATION [ibid], I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

  • “Beginning in 1981 … Pandit and his fellow team members … given use of the governor’s own official yacht, the MV Tarmugli … would … anchor off the reef at North Sentinel … [then] set off toward shore in the Tarmugli’s motorized lifeboats. … Once, a high-ranking naval officer … started waving his arms over his head, shouting at the tribesmen in Punjabi: ‘Hello! Hello! I am your friend!'”

    So no, “That is [NOT] all anyone needs to know.”

  • There is no asteroid. Christians have been talking about it for 2000 years, and all they’ve got is nothing. It is an imaginary asteroid. It does not exist.

    If in your scenario a disaster was imminent, multiple scientists from different disciplines would examine the data, and determine a course of action. Publicly. Openly.

    Chau had no data. He had no evidence. Just a sincere belief he learned from 2000 years of people with sincere beliefs.

    That is not a basis for bringing harm to other people.

    If your religion is causing you discomfort, then you need to resolve the discomfort on your own.

    Better analogy. Let’s say someone believed teddy bears are the devil’s instruments. They believed the presence of a teddy bear in a home can bring about eternal torment. They are part of a group with hundreds of thousands of people who believe this. They all really, sincerely believe this. One member of the group has been obsessing about your family for 5 years. They love your family, although you’ve never met. Are you okay with this person donning protective armor, breaking into your house and searching your child’s room to remove all teddy bears?

    They were sincere.
    They sincerely believed you and your children were in imminent mortal danger.
    They took the precaution of wearing a bullet proof vest.
    You can’t prove teddy bears are not the devil’s instruments.

    But it’s not okay for this person to break into your house, is it?

    Adults have the responsibility of differentiating what exists in reality from spiritual beliefs. No matter how sincere your spiritual beliefs are, you cannot take actions that interfere with another person’s autonomy in the real world without their consent. Period.

  • And I presume you are the Chief Justice of the Indian Supreme Court, since you have ruled the laws unconstitutional? If it is “unconstitutional,” why does it remain on the books?

    “There extinction has been legalized since 1956.” And yet, here we are in 2018, and they are still there. Your opinions do not constitute facts, and sadly you seem to believe that, because you claim you are a Christian, they are facts. You never answered the question…is it part of your strange Christian beliefs that two wrongs make it right?

  • Most Christians do not believe the Sentilese people will “go to hell” simply because they didn’t hear the Christian message. Yes, I said “most of us,” because any review of the beliefs of the largest denominations will show that is not part of their belief system. You are apparently the one in a cult.

  • I never heard that of Mother Theresa and the Catholic Church including the Pope was under pressure to make her a saint. If this was her behavior the Pope would have used that reason to nullify the beatification of Mother Theresa. Be careful of rumors from zealots. There are lot of people who hated her for what she did.
    The city Mother Theresa worked in is a center for Kali worship. Calcutta or Kolkotta, comes from terms that refer to Kali. as in “the field of Kali” (The ocean of Kali is blood). which could mean a field of slaughter and sacrifice. Kali Temples have blood alters. Black mother Kali is a powerful feminine force that requires blood sacrifices and is dark. It is in the city of Kali ghat (temples to Kali) that Mother Theresa set up her order. this branch of Hinduism is not so well known to the West.

  • The Pope(s) knew. Most of the donations she received to care for the poor ended up in the Vatican Bank, hence the sainthood.

    Meanwhile, cancer patients in extreme pain got nothing but aspirin and needles where reused until dull. This prompted quick monetary donations from the next group to tour the hospice.

    Nobody hates people who make the world better, religious or not. Hate is reserved for hypocrites and sadists.

    Google it. Read info from both sides.

  • That is not a basis for bringing harm to other people.
    What harm?
    Are you okay with this person donning protective armor, breaking into
    your house and searching your child’s room to remove all teddy bears?

    “Chau and his mission knew about the risk of infection by outsiders. He underwent a full range of inoculations and took time in quarantine to render himself as safe as possible. He recognized the islanders’ fierce protectiveness of their isolation, and he knew the history of missionary work being connected odiously with imperialism. So he made himself as non-threatening as possible.”

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    Brien HpO • 19 hours ago
    …and still no gods…

    (Blathering on like some brainless fool…)

  • The Bible is a compendium of fire side tales and fables,
    recounted orally for generations by goat herders and primitive tribes from the stone age,
    until writing was invented,
    and then again many different sources, transliterations, and versions were copied and written down.
    There were no grand central universities to organise the many various versions of these origin/creation stories, stories common to most primitive cultures.
    They were for entertainment (as in all migratory camp tribes),
    and to answer the questions of the many fears and mysteries of our universe, like ‘thunder’ and earthquakes, since there was no science yet.

    This is the old Testament.

    The ‘new’ Testes is also hearsay since these letters, ‘gospels’ and stories were written by the loyal faithful, the camp followers,
    not by objective historians at that particular time,
    or by any contemporary writers,
    and these tales were written many years after the supposed events of this mythical Jesus.

    Thus, there is no verifiable evidence of a Jesus in real documented history.

    Then, many of these stories, but not all, were compiled for one self-absorbed converted Roman Emperor in his Nicean Council, for his expressed purpose of conquest and control of the people of Europe for his Holy Roman Empire.
    He recognised that this was the perfect religion/mythology for the future domination of the populaces.
    Half of the stories were ignored by the Nicean Bishops and none have been proven to be based on fact.

    This ‘Bable’ book is backed up by absolutely no facts and no evidence.
    It is not proof for any gods….(or of any jesus…)

  • One jerk just tried to quote from his book of fables and hearsay gossip as though it were some evidence of his god; when all it is is a book which proves a book, and certainly does not prove any gods – just stories from the stone age about their gods.

  • Wanna hear something super-funny, Prion?

    “According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, 2% of the world’s population self-identify as atheists and the average annual global change for atheism from 2000 to 2010 was −0.17%. … A 2005 poll by AP/Ipsos … [found] people in the United States were … 2% atheist … The … percentage without a religion [in] Italy [was] 5% … A 2010 Pew Research global study found that … of the global atheist and nonreligious population … resid[ing] in … North America [was] 5% … A 2012 Pew report showed that … out of the whole US population, only 2.4% self identified as ‘atheist’ … The 2015 Pew Religious Landscape survey reported that … atheists made up 3.1% and agnostics made up 4% of the US population.”

    AW SNAP WITH A BWAHAHA

    (How’s your self-esteem now, Prion?)

    Source: the usual, i.e. Wikipedia.

  • BREAKING NEWS

    (1) “NASA asteroid WARNING: 360-FOOT-wide monster asteroid on ‘Earth approach’ TOMORROW: Nasa asteroid warning: Giant space rock over Earth”, Express (UK), December 8, 2018.

    (2) “NASA asteroid WARNING: 590FOOT rock bigger than pyramids on ‘Earth Close Approach’ TONIGHT: NASA asteroid warning: Space rock next to pyramids”, Express (UK), November 28, 2018.

    (3) “NASA asteroid WARNING: 700-foot-wide space rock on 62 RISK trajectories with Earth by 2023: A GIANT asteroid twice as tall as Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty is on 62 potential Earth-bound trajectories between 2023 and 2117, space agency NASA warned”, Express (UK), November 28, 2018.

  • Bwak Bwak Bwak Bwakok!
    Bwak Bwak Bwak Bwakok!

    Which in North Sentinele translates as – wait for it …

    Bwak Bwak Bwak Bwakok!
    Bwak Bwak Bwak Bwakok!

  • PRION, you now have only 32 hours left to debunk with counter-proofs the following 3 proofs that are based on reliable testimonies of eyewitnesses, which, as such, therefore, remain admissable in all the courts of law today. And they are:

    (1) Acts 1:2-3 – “To the apostles whom He had chosen … Jesus presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing PROOFS [τεκμηρίοις = tekmeeriois = fixed and sure sign-post supplying indisputable, unmistakable, irrefutable information], appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.”

    (2) Acts 17:30-31 – “God … has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished PROOF [πίστιν = pistin = guarantee, certainty, assurance] to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

    (3) Romans 3:24-26 – “Our being justified as a gift by God’s grace is through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth in advance to achieve a particular purpose [προέθετο = proetheto] as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was for the DEMONSTRATION [ενδειξιν = endeixin = the showing forth, the pointing out, indication, proof, significance] of His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed. It was for the DEMONSTRATION [ibid], I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

  • Still quoting crap from your fairy tale book ??!!! (that only proves that your book of fables exists…)

    Now what happened to evidence to prove your gods…?

    No evidence = No Proof = A Lie!!

  • Doesn’t make sense.

    The truth claims of Christianity are exclusive. Further, Christians take some trouble to convert others; these converts are requested to desist from their old way of worship, ie, they cannot worship Jesus and also persist in the old way of worship.
    None of these would be intelligible if the old way of worship (or the wrong way of worship) did not lead to hell.

    Then there is teleology, a sense of history. This history is the history of all mankind, not just a specific demographic group. Mankind moves from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of Jesus, and tracking this movement is the purpose of history. Again this would not make sense if Satan were not there. And what would Satan be, if there were no hell?

  • ‘Yo, Prion! Wanna know how to “to debunk with counter-proofs the … 3 proofs that are based on reliable testimonies of eyewitnesses, which, as such, therefore, remain admissable in all the courts of law today”? That’s right, you call upon – wait for it … counter-“reliable testimonies of eyewitnesses, which, as such, therefore, remain admissable in all the courts of law today”.

    TICK TOCK – you’ve wasted your God-given 19 hours and are now left with only 29 hours to produce for this Court your counter-witnesses to destroy mine.

    Ashiesm is gonna lose. AGAIN. No wonder your species are near-extinction to a mere 5% of the entire U.S, population. The Darwin Award awaits you. TICK TOCK.

  • Prion, Prion, Prion.

    All you gotta do is counter-prove (1) Acts 1:2-3, (2) Acts 17:30-31, and (3) Romans 3:24-26.

    But you can’t, and so you lose big time.

  • ‘Yo Ashiest just admit it: You give up. You’re beaten by:

    (1) Acts 1:2-3
    (2) Acts 17:30-31
    (3) Romans 3:24-26

  • BOTTOMLINE: No Ashiest (like Silly You, a Mere Puking Prion) or True Atheist (you ain’t one) can EVER counter-prove what’s proven by Ac

  • Why this one jerk keeps quoting from a 2000 year old book, [proven to be fables and hearsay gossip], as evidence for his god is amazing. (amazingly stupid…)
    He quotes this crap as one would quote from a Superman book to prove a superman.

    This Bable is nothing more than a historical novel, especially the way it was put together by Constantine’s’ lackeys…..

  • Prion, Prion, Prion – Acts 1:2-3, Acts 17:30-31 and Romans 3:24-26 have finally shut that morgue-looking mouth of yours! Gnashing your teeth in silence there, by the pathetic looks of it. Kinda like a self-fulfilling prophecy, yes? Good4U, ENJOY the rest of it!

    Signed,
    Fire & Brimstone Unlimited

  • That is no counter-proof to my eyewitnessed evidence-based thesis that “to the apostles whom He had chosen, Jesus presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing PROOFS [τεκμηρίοις = tekmeeriois = fixed and sure sign-post supplying indisputable, unmistakable, irrefutable information], appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Therefore, God has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished PROOF [πίστιν = pistin = guarantee, certainty, assurance] to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

    I win, you lose this tit-for-tat, Ashiest! Get lost, stay lost, I don’t care. Neither do the so-called Non-Existing God & Jesus.

  • I checked each of your sources. “The Lancet” seems the most authoritative but I was a bit surprised you had an article from the Washington Post quoting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). If you have ever read their Manifesto you would not quote them.
    The article in the Wiki pointed out that the Vatican checked on this issue and obviously was not relevant to her sainthood. I could see why. Those medical issues can be rectified with money and as the order develops. These are early problems under difficult circumstances.

  • If this was god’s will and served a higher purpose, why are Christians upset about this? They should be happy about his death. For those of us who don’t believe in your superstition we are just shaking our heads at another life lost due to religion.

  • Why is his religion and his way of life more valuable than the culture and customs and privacy of those islanders? Those islanders who are separated from the rest of the world BY CHOICE, who have no immunity or vaccinations to the diseases he carries from the outside world? Why is his way of life more valuable than theirs? He had countless warnings from people trying to protect the islanders and the islanders themselves, AND he survived his first encounter but learned nothing. He ignored it and went back to the island because he was a fool with no sense of humility, respect, or boundaries. Shame for calling him martyr.

  • “[No] life lost due to [Atheism, Agnosticism & None-sense]” – is a scientific proof of their worthlessness. They ain’t to die for – ever!

    Go “shaking [y]our heads at [THAT]”.

  • Obviously, they cannot show evidence to prove their particular gods … (the honest ones would admit that they have no proof – only ‘faith’)

    Cognitive dissonance would kill many of these weak-minded persons.

  • Well, I never said that Christians are worthless, did I. As someone who has read The Bible cover to cover I can testify that someone who truly embodies the belief system of Jesus would not speak of other humans with such disregard. Thanks for expressing your true character.

  • TRUE OR FALSE: “Jesus would not speak of other humans with such disregard”.

    FALSE: “As someone who has read The Bible cover to cover”, you sure don’t know your bible. For guess who calls “you, blind guides … whitewashed tombs … dead men’s bones … serpents … vipers … concealed tombs … of your father the devil … dogs … Satan”?!

  • Will the jerk constantly ranting and raving about his god
    bring evidence to prove his god?!!
    Until then he will be treated as the known liar that he is….

    No Evidence = No Proof = A Lie ! ; ,’, No gods!!!

  • Enjoy your mythology. Someday you will find out that I’m right and that you’ve wasted your entire life in this false pursuit. SMH (That means “Shaking My Head”)

  • Something you’ll never admit to, my True-Atheist mentors have this to say about your Pathetic Pop Ashiesm:

    “In a move as useful as it was overdue (a few people have tried this, but to my knowledge none nearly as successfully), [Stephen LeDrew in The Evolution of Atheism] demolishes one of the most widely held myths that atheists have about themselves, namely, the belief that atheism is simply a matter of not believing in any gods. Atheism is in fact ‘a complex term with an even more complex history’ and ‘cannot be reduced to one single all-encompassing definition.’ [CJ Werleman in The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists] remarks that ‘on its own,’ atheism ‘is a non-positive assertion.’ Unbelief, however, is rarely ‘on its own.’ As LeDrew points out, with the rise of evolutionary theory, atheism ‘moved from simple negation of religious beliefs to an affirmation of liberalism, scientific rationality, and the legitimacy of the institutions and methodology of modern science—and thus from religious criticism to a complete ideological system.’ Atheism, then, is ‘a form of belief—rather than a lack of belief—shaped by its socio-historical context’ and ‘inextricably bound up with’ a plethora of principles that emerged from the Enlightenment.”

    Source: David Hoelscher, “New Atheism, Worse Than You Think”, CounterPunch, January 29, 2016

  • Reliable eyewitnesses’ accounts constitute my proof. To prove them wrong, you only have to produce contradicting reports from your own team of eyewitnesses. Where are they? You’ve been asked for this but you’ve reneged. The court, therefore, has ruled your false claim out in favor of these eyewitnesses’ accounts:

    “To the apostles whom He had chosen, Jesus presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing PROOFS [τεκμηρίοις = tekmeeriois = fixed and sure sign-post supplying indisputable, unmistakable, irrefutable information], appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. Therefore, God has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished PROOF [πίστιν = pistin = guarantee, certainty, assurance] to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

  • Liar!
    Hearsay… gossip…. ,’, lies!
    and still – even if the stories of this person were true – still NOT proof of any gods !
    [grow up fool and try an education]

    So – without any evidence – you are a liar!!
    Your lies and bulldung will now be ignored (as it ought to be by fools)

  • “Brien [to] Brien [talking to himself] 3 hours ago … You are a liar!! Your lies and bulldung will now be ignored (as it ought to be by fools)”.

  • In said “cult”, bow ties like “the one” you’re pictured with, are considered pagan, “apparently”. Unless they’re “hell”-proof. Is yours?

  • My experience is that when people deflect from the original topic, and especially when they simply make disparaging comments about others in the discussion, it is because they can’t defend their positions. So I presume that is the case here, as I see you’ve done that pretty consistently up and down this comment thread. I’m sad for you.

  • Excuse me, All-Bow-Tied-Up, Masters-Raised John?! “The original topic” is, straight from the title of this article, the reason “Why slain missionary John Allen Chau might be a martyr”! It is you, All-Bow-Tied-Up, Masters Raised John, of all “people [who] deflect from the original topic [by] simply mak[ing] disparaging comments about others in the discussion” – for instance, “You are apparently the one in a cult.” Now kindly get that bow tie out of my “cult[ic]” face. PRONTO.

  • Wow! Fantastic article! Well done and well considered. The analogy of the asteroid approaching is true, and the resistance to the reality of Jesus return is also true and apparent in the comments.

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