Morality Religion

Pastor Michael’s apology

I’m not sure I understand what he’s saying, but it seems that Pastor Michael has finally seen the error of his ways, and is now walking with the Lord once more.

Letter of Apology addressed to the Atheist and Agnostic Society by Pastor Michael

I would like to respond directly and apologize to the UCT Atheist and Agnostic Society complaints about my letters sent sometime this year, 2010 to them and to some other individuals.

My emails accused the AAS to have hacked my e-mails when I received about 30 spam e-mails a day. The emails also accused informally the same society to have perpetrated some acts of vandalism on my car last year 2009. I thought, because of their positions that I considered that have made the blasphemy debate of 2009 fail.

It is not a threat nor intimidation, as a man of God, Servant of the most High; I cannot allow myself to find myself in the position of threatening a fellow human being created in the image of God, as I believe.

I thought I could put pressure on the Atheists society to remove my name on their websites, which ends here without having any help, speaking on the debate they did not participate in.

Therefore I apologize to them for not having a substantial proof of my accusations, as mentioned above. It was not my intention to create a hostile environment or to defame the UCT Atheists society and yet I can guarantee that I am committed to a coexisting principle putting this thing behind and the failed debate story and moving forward without any conflict.

I hope our friends, the AAS will accept my sincere apology.

Pastor Michael Nlandu
UCT Campus For Christ
28 October 2010

Morality Religion

Pastor Michael returns

And he’s gone from being dishonest to being paranoid, delusional and threatening. Well, the “delusional” part is a given, I suppose, given the nonsense we know he believes in. Despite the fact that the mothership has tried to beam him out of the conflict (see Taryn Hodgson’s apology for the Christian mis-representation of the atheists here), he still insists that it’s the UCT Atheist and Agnostic Society who had intentions that “were not right to [him] at all”, and that the AAS is now “threatening him”.

His grievances are two-fold: first, he’s upset that we (myself on this site, and the AAS on their forum) published his correspondence with us. As I’ve explained previously, we were forced to do so because the reasons for myself and Tauriq withdrawing from the debate were being mis-characterised by Michael, as well as by websites run by Taryn Hodgson and Paintball Hammond. Despite the apology received, the mis-representations have not been removed from some[ref]The ACA website was edited in February to more accurately reflect the events[/ref] websites, so this reason for publishing the correspondence stands, and leads me to publish extracts from the most recent correspondence here also.


Mandela’s Robben Island getaway (and other weirdness)

It isn’t often that I find myself agreeing with the folk at African Christian Action. Perhaps this is because I don’t do enough drugs, or because I like things to make sense – I don’t know. But when I recently came across their review of Invictus, I thought that we could finally agree on something, seeing as their headline of “Invictus Idolatry” made it clear they didn’t like the movie. Don’t be confused by the title tag of the African Christian Action review, which might cause your browser to tell you that the article is titled “PROLIFE: Aborsie – Die Feite”. The article is instead an account of why Invictus is evil. And this is indeed true, as I’ve mentioned before.

But while I thought it was a crap movie on the basis of being a mawkish, poorly scripted, glacially-paced and poorly acted account of a largely imagined period of South African history, the African Christian Action (ACA) reviewer didn’t like it because Mandela was a “terrorist” who didn’t really even have such a hard life while imprisoned.

Morality Religion

African Christian Action apologises for debate debacle

I intended to simply post this as a comment to one of my posts dealing with the debate that was meant to take place last year between Peter Hammond, Tauriq Moosa and myself. But seeing as there are a fair number of posts on the topic, and that this is significant, it’s perhaps best to note in a public and fully searchable way that the UCT Atheist and Agnostic Society and I have received an apology from Taryn Hodgson for the way in which we were treated in the lead-up to the cancelled debate, and also for their misrepresentations of how events unfolded (misrepresentations repeated as recently as January this year, in Peter Hammond’s newsletter to the flock). Ms. Hodgson has also pledged to correct the inaccuracies in their report on the debate – let’s hope that news of the corrections is also broadcasted to all those who were told untruths about us heathens at the time.

While it may have been somewhat slow in arriving, the apology is welcome, and appreciated.

As mentioned earlier, there are a number of posts on the topic on Synapses, and you can search for “debate” at the top-right of your screen. For a summary of the essential details, this post would be helpful.
The text of the apology is pasted below:

Dear Mr Rousseau and the UCT Atheist and Agnostic Society

Jordan Pickering (who I understand you are acquainted with), contacted us giving us the background as to your withdrawal from the “blasphemy debate” last year.
I was not aware of the full details that he mentioned.

We apologise for the inaccuracies in our report of the event and for misrepresenting you. We will gladly correct the report.

I will urge Pastor Michael to send you an apology. I do agree with Jordan that Michael’s communication and conduct towards you was often deceptive, rude and unchristian.

However, please bear in mind that he is Congolese and English is probably his third language. He also has probably never had training in good communication skills. He did not communicate any of the points Jordan mentioned to us.

We were only informed of the withdrawal of Jacques Rousseau and Tariq Moosa by Michael from the debate an hour before.

We are open to rescheduling the debate on blasphemy and we are prepared to debate any other relevant issues in a fair and balanced way.

Yours Sincerely,

Taryn Hodgson
National Co-ordinator

Africa Christian Action

Academia and teaching General Religion

The Frontline Fellowship wants your kids

The most recent newsletter from Dr. Paintball Hammond recycles one of his articles from 2004, which claims that universities are “hijacking our youth“. At the end of another long year of teaching, involving having to confront plenty of mindless prejudice, fundamentalism of various sorts, and deep confusion on how to reach justified conclusions, it’s really quite gratifying to read that we’re apparently doing a fine job. According to Hammond, tertiary education manages to turn three-quarters of believers into sane people (well, to some extent at least):


Frontline Fellowship: Lying for Jesus

So, the Frontline Fellowship (of which Peter Hammond is Director) has posted a description of the debate that was meant to happen recently. Here’s how it starts:

Atheist Abandons Argument
Just two hours before the scheduled debate the Atheist Association lecturer, Jacques Rousseau, cancelled his involvement and withdrew from the debate. The organiser was then compelled to change the venue from Jameson Hall to a different venue nearby.

Apparently, the event ended like so:

Over 100 students responded to the challenge to commit themselves to full-time Christian ministry. Many of those expressed their conviction that they were called to be missionaries to university campuses. The atmosphere at Campus Harvest was electric.

These 100 students will no doubt undergo rigorous training in hyperbole, hysteria and deception, judging from the article. All I can do is to – again – point out that if these students are at all interested in an education, and the facts, they can avail themselves of the evidence in the form of the correspondence leading up to the debate here.


Varsity – reporting on the blasphemy debate

Today’s edition of Varsity, the student newspaper at UCT, carries an article (see end of post for a scan of the article) reporting on the debate that was meant to occur last week. Contrary to my fears, it’s a balanced and sensible account of what happened in the lead-up to the non-event. There are, however, a few details from the article worth commenting on.


The blasphemy debate debacle

As readers will know, a debate was meant to take place tonight, at UCT’s Jameson Hall. I have now withdrawn from this event, as has my co-speaker, Tauriq Moosa. I fear that those we were scheduled to debate with may try to exploit this to their political advantage, and therefore feel that it’s important to place on record the sequence of events leading to my withdrawal, as well as the reasoning behind it. First, though, apologies to any of you who looked forward to attending, and especially to those who did not receive timeous notification of the cancellation via my Twitter or Facebook messages.