Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Religion • Atheists-Christians-and Communists-Oh My!

Much ado about—everything! A Grand Slam of Writers is served daily at Christian Post. Prepping the dish, one can hear the bubbling of a steaming crackling pot ready to explode, especially when one of my stories appear on that site. It is difficult to understand why CP would give carte blance access to atheists, Communists, gay rights advocates, and God-haters in general to enter the site specifically to attack Christian writers and their stories. This is an especially puzzling unequally yoked partnership.

This writer particularly attracts attacks, even though this last blast burning the pages of CP may have been my fault.  I realize that I mishandled that situation which provoked the extra heavy artillery. I’m taking full responsibility. So let’s go down the list:

The Second Mistake I made was in answering my critics. A point had been reached of no further patience as I was constantly being maliciously mis-characterized, ridiculed over my Christian beliefs, steady ad hominem attacks along with the trashiest insults that could be hurled. The atheists grab something totally insignificant in a story and run with and make it into something it is not in order to bring attention to themselves and an opportunity to spotlight their warped agenda.

I have learned that by answering these attacks, you have voluntarily placed yourself on the level of the attackers. A reader attributed a quote to me in the story in question. My response was it was not in the story referenced. And it wasn’t, because of an edit after it went up. I never stated that I did not write the story, but that I did not SEE the reference in the story. My motive was not pure since I frankly wanted to get back at the responder since he has misquoted me so often. That was not my finest hour. So I take the blame.

When I draft a story, it is constructed carefully but still may need edits, which especially is true when it is posted and the story is seen in full context on a particular news site. This takes place within minutes after the story goes up, re-read and is often immediately edited with portions cut for space consideration (the story in question was much too long) or it may show that the material simply doesn’t flow as viewed. The edits are made, the story is up and I forget about it.

Apparently the reader, who attacks every story on CP, commented on a line that had been cut. Knowing it was not there I couldn’t resist responding back to say that I didn’t see that line in the referenced story, since it had been cut.  I never denied writing it, I just pointed out it was not in that story when he commented on it.

The atheist accused me of editing the story as soon as I saw his response. Nonsense. It had already been cut. But from there the place went nuts giving an excellent platform for atheist-Communists to spew their hatred for Christianity, which came out clear. It was a lot of loud flatulence over nothing but an edit that a writer is expected to do for space and flow. And all of this fuss is over just that. Ridiculous! I should never have lowered myself into their territory. Lesson learned.

The First Mistake I made was in reading the comments in the first place. I have done that as a courtesy and to possibly find something constructive or informative. In the case of CP, it doesn’t exist. It has, disappointingly, become a forum for bitter, unstable people.

That also includes the Christian readers of CP who joined the atheists in the attacks on me. Responding to my Christmas story, Santa’s Surprising Origins, the CP Christians came forth to accuse me of worshiping a man rather than Christ and even managed to work in some Catholic bashing. And they sentenced me to hell.

My story, which has earned awards and has been the subject of some radio and TV programs was broadcast on KLOVE Radio at Christmas gaining a heavy response.  The story tells of a devoted Catholic Bishop who became the role model for the Christmas celebrations of today. How that could be turned around to “worshiping a man” is beyond reason.

I was acquainted with well-known atheist, Madalyn Murray O’Hair. I think I was the only Christian ever invited to her home. I asked her how she got so much information—dirt—on pastors and evangelists. “From other ministers” she replied, matter of fact. “Jealous pastors bring me the dirt on them and I run with it.”

Yes, pastors who partner with a known atheist to harm other pastors would to me, be the greatest offense to God. An ultimate example of being unequally yoked.  A sad commentary indeed.

So I have learned a powerful lesson I should have learned years ago while living a high profile public life; One does not answer critics or even read their comments. That is now settled. Too soon oldt….too late schmart.

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