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Sat Aug 29, 2015, 10:11 AM

When Christians Asked People to Describe God in Three Words, the Plan Backfired

The Missouri State University chapter of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) recently asked students to tell them “what 3 words they’d use to describe God”.

One of those students wanted to know what this was all about, so she attended their meeting last night. After singing worship songs and hearing announcements, a group leader revealed a word cloud with the most popular responses from the survey.

“There was an audible gasp,” says the tipster:



You can see a giant “Fake” right in the middle. It’s surrounded by “racist,” “myth,” “egotistical,” “imaginary,” “delusion,” “controlling,” “sadistic,” and “narcissistic.”

Looks about right, don’t you think?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/08/28/when-christians-asked-people-to-describe-god-in-three-words-the-plan-backfired/

46 replies, 4223 views

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Reply When Christians Asked People to Describe God in Three Words, the Plan Backfired (Original post)
cleanhippie Aug 2015 OP
xfundy Aug 2015 #1
cleanhippie Aug 2015 #3
rug Aug 2015 #2
dieter Aug 2015 #20
rug Aug 2015 #22
dieter Aug 2015 #23
SoLeftIAmRight Aug 2015 #42
cleanhippie Aug 2015 #4
rug Aug 2015 #5
cleanhippie Aug 2015 #6
rug Aug 2015 #7
MyNameGoesHere Aug 2015 #16
rug Aug 2015 #18
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #24
LineLineLineLineLineLineReply !
cleanhippie Aug 2015 #28
rug Aug 2015 #29
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #31
SoLeftIAmRight Aug 2015 #35
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #36
SoLeftIAmRight Aug 2015 #41
Warren Stupidity Aug 2015 #17
hrmjustin Aug 2015 #8
rug Aug 2015 #9
hrmjustin Aug 2015 #10
SoLeftIAmRight Aug 2015 #11
Fairgo Aug 2015 #30
SoLeftIAmRight Aug 2015 #34
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #37
SoLeftIAmRight Aug 2015 #40
Warren Stupidity Aug 2015 #44
rug Aug 2015 #46
snort Aug 2015 #12
progressoid Aug 2015 #13
classof56 Aug 2015 #14
jtuck004 Aug 2015 #15
lindysalsagal Aug 2015 #32
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #38
SoapBox Aug 2015 #19
nichomachus Aug 2015 #21
Deadshot Aug 2015 #25
davidthegnome Aug 2015 #26
AtheistCrusader Aug 2015 #39
Iggo Aug 2015 #43
Warren Stupidity Aug 2015 #45
Leontius Aug 2015 #27
rug Aug 2015 #33

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 10:48 AM

1. Can't believe they didn't rig it to get rid of negatives.

Like the "surveys" at onenewsnow.com. They'll know better next time they take that show on the road.

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Response to xfundy (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:10 AM

3. Right? And now the haters will be along to sling personal attacks for even posting it.

Oh, look, they've already arrived. How expected.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:08 AM

2. You have something in common with them.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:45 PM

20. I sure have something in common with them.

 

I would certainly describe the fantasy god-man in the sky as:

Fake, racist, myth, egotistical, imaginary, delusion, controlling, sadistic, and narcissistic among other terms.

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Response to dieter (Reply #20)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:50 PM

22. Did you notice "egotistical" in that word cloud?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #22)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:54 PM

23. Spelling isn't their strong suit I guess.

 

Actually, you'll have to point out where it is. I can't find in the graphic or the OP.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 12:45 AM

42. these clowns are so silly

 

and easy

be well

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:13 AM

4. ^^^LOOK RIGHT HERE FOLKS, PERSONAL ATTACKS FOR NO GOOD REASON^^^^

Not a word about the OP, just a personal attack for daring to post something showing the truth about how people feel.

Notice who the offender is. Look around and you will see this is a common occurrence. Such naked hatred for anyone that dare criticize religion in any way.

Are we surprised? I'm not.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:18 AM

5. How unfair. You've never used such words to describe God.

 

Or DUers who believe in God.

Your predictability is stale.

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:20 AM

6. ^^^NOTICE HOW THE SERIAL PERSONAL ATTACKER DOUBLES DOWN^^^

Unable to contain himself, the pathological need to attack anyone who posts something he doesn't like is too powerful to overcome.


So sad, really, to be filled with so much hatred.


And knowing that a last-word compulsion also exists for this personal attacker, I'll oblige him and let all of DU see him for what he really is.


On edit: See, I told you! That last-word compulsion is a deep need, I guess.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:22 AM

7. So, have you used those words to describe God and believers?

 

A simple yes or no will do.

Or you can continue your alert trolling.

I'll wait.

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Response to rug (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:15 PM

16. Yes and pretty

much proud of it. What's you point?

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Response to MyNameGoesHere (Reply #16)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:19 PM

18. See Post 3, which set him off.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 01:07 PM

24. Aw, you mad you can't alert for another ~13 hours?

Swing and a miss, bro.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #24)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 02:08 PM

28. !

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #24)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 02:42 PM

29. What are you talkimng about?

 

I know you've been jittery but your meta is metastasizing.

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Response to rug (Reply #29)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 07:13 PM

31. I have no idea what I'm talkimng about, clearly.

Clearly.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #31)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 12:05 AM

35. for once we agree

 

clearly

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Response to SoLeftIAmRight (Reply #35)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 12:12 AM

36. Who 'we'?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #36)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 12:20 AM

41. i agreed with you

 

you and me make we

shortest poem



Me

Whee!

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:17 PM

17. The farce is weak with that one.

 

It seems it is bigoted to report that many people, when asked, describe God as fake.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:30 AM

8. About what I expected from people of faith. We have our doubts as well.

 

Really n8t surprising at all.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:32 AM

9. I think we're supposed to post in all caps.

 

You know, because it's alarming.

And significant.

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Response to rug (Reply #9)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:33 AM

10. We can channel Mark.

 

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:44 AM

11. not surprising

 

1/2 the people are below average and most of the rest are not far from that mark

ask average people silly questions and you get average answers that do nothing but show average thinking

this says more about thinking than reality

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Response to SoLeftIAmRight (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 06:40 PM

30. Sampling frame

This word cloud was generated from a convenience sample of college students by a group with a built-in threat to validity given their bias towards faith over reason, and belief in a specific diety with predetermined attributes. In regards to your nod to the mean, you are correct in that it more-or-less reflects the world view of the sample, which happens to be college students. But college students are, as a group, above the population mean in terms of knowledge, intelligence, and thinking skills...especially in contrast to the surrounding milieu. You would actually expect this outcome given the sampling frame. There is an inverse correlation between reason and the fear of god. At least that is my theory. Easy to test. If your implied hypothesis is correct, if I understand it (the correlation between positive god attributes and intelligence/knowledge/critical thinking skills is positive), then we would expect to see the cloud shift in the opposite direction from my prediction, given comparisons to general population, or in an ex post facto analysis of within-group differences.

Interesting. I bet the literature is already out there.

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Response to Fairgo (Reply #30)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 12:02 AM

34. nice post - but...

 

missed my implied hypothesis

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Response to SoLeftIAmRight (Reply #34)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 12:15 AM

37. 'Flimsy Deflections' for 100, Pat?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #37)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 12:18 AM

40. wasted time...

 

most of it

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #37)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 09:25 AM

44. Hey he's got an "implied hypothesis".

 

It is a step forward. Soon he might actually state a position.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #44)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 10:08 AM

46. That's much better than an explicit bias.

 

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:50 AM

12. Recc'd!

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 11:56 AM

13. Oops.

That was probably a little demoralizing.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:09 PM

14. Patheos is one of my favorite websites (partial to Fred Clark's blog), so I checked out your link.

Scrolled through the comments and I'm inclined to agree with the one opining that perhaps Cru was using this list as a springboard for evangelizing. For me, a long-time Baptist well entrenched in evangelical circles, until I wasn't, this tactic makes sense, though there is a lot of 'splaining to do about God, given the accuracy of so many of those negative adjectives. I'm now pretty much ambivalent about God, mostly convinced he/she doesn't exist. My spouse, however, who at this very moment is at an atheist group's gathering, would choose the Big Blue Fake in the center of the word cloud. I'll be checking the Friendly Atheist posts on Patheos more often on my future visits. I'm what you might call a Seeker.

Cheers.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:13 PM

15. Omnipresent fake forgiving racist...sounds like an American God. One seen in a mirror. n/t

 

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #15)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 08:06 PM

32. Ouch!

The truth hurts!!

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 12:15 AM

38. Well, after all, God was made in man's image.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:27 PM

19. Looks about correct to me.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 12:48 PM

21. Can't believe they left out "murderer"

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 01:07 PM

25. This gives me hope for the future.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 01:24 PM

26. Hmm.

A whole lot of those words could be used to describe any number of people, religious or secular. Me, I'm on the fence regarding the whole god issue, agnostic, or gnostic, or whatever the right word is when you basically believe that "I don't know, you don't know, there's no real way of knowing for sure, so I'm not sure either way."

I have known some really wonderful Christians (usually not the evangelical type) who would give you the shirts off their backs if you had a need. Sure, some of them would do this because they believed good deeds would get them into heaven... but others, for much the same reasons I would. The golden rule. Some times I think we forget that "Christianity" is not a bad thing. The Christ of the bible I think, was very much like we here strive to be. Generous, compassionate, forgiving, loving - peaceful. One of my favorite bible stories when I was younger was the one about him knocking over the money-lenders table.

I think this looks like a (poor) flashy attempt to insult certain people and their intelligence. Yeah, there are plenty of stupid so called Christians, plenty that have the wrong ideas about just about everything. Yet I have known many of great integrity, compassion, intelligence and even wisdom. I was lucky to witness many good examples of "good Christianity" growing up. Priests who weren't just priests, but decent men too. Strong women who, while not believing the bull shit dogma or swallowing the whole doctrine, had faith in humanity as great as their faith in a higher power.

I won't say yes or no, and it doesn't matter to me as much as what I do in this life. What I leave behind me, the kindness and compassion I either give or receive in this world, regardless of whether there is another afterwards. I will say though, that if we of the Agnostic or atheist persuasion wish to be respected or treated with tolerance and/or compassion by the religious, then it would be good if we gave them the same consideration.

All kinds of terrible things have been done in the name of God... but good things too. Charity, chiefly among them - and when you have benefited from that charity, or when your family has, it makes it much more difficult to turn your nose at ALL Christians. This broad brush generalization approach is, frankly, inaccurate and kind of stupid.

Three words? I don't know.

Neither do any of the rest of us.. but for those that are convinced they do, I will offer them respect and compassion as long as they offer me the same. Your list of words above... I would say, pertains more to humanity overall than any specific group.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #26)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 12:17 AM

39. The words were generated about the God of the abrahamic bible.

Not about Christians. Or even the 2.0 of just Christ by himself.

The God of the Old Testament fits every single allegation on that screen so far as I can tell

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #39)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 01:40 AM

43. Especially the middle one.

Ain't no Santa, kiddies.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #26)

Sun Aug 30, 2015, 09:29 AM

45. Sheesh. It wasn't an attempt to insult anyone.

 

The attempt was to build a word cloud of people's description of God. You find the results insulting, which is a perfect example of religious privilege.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 01:36 PM

27. Amazing how three words surround the response

 

of the poor in spirit, needy, blind and deaf.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #27)

Sat Aug 29, 2015, 09:50 PM

33. There's no pleasing the surly.

 

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