The Atheist Apologetics Research Ministry
by Matt Slick
Update: aarm disbanned several years ago.1
Founder: John Ratcliff
Headquarters: St. Louis, MO.
Membership: (aarm is now disbanned) As of August 2005, less than 200 participants registered on the discussion forums. Relatively few, low volume discussion boards inhabited largely by atheists, liberal Christians who are heterodox, and a very few orthodox Christians.
Origins: According to the aarm website: "AARM stands for the 'Atheist Apologetics Research Ministry.' It is a play on words referring to the popular religious website 'CARM' the 'Christian Apologetics Research Ministry." Mr. Ratcliff states that the reason for starting his discussion boards was a reaction against the actions of CARM in expelling atheists. He states regarding Matt Slick, "The guy who runs the forum lost his cool and in an exquisite display of muscle flexing kicked all atheists out of the forum; sending them out into the wilderness without a home. Eventually it got so bad he kicked out Christians who were a bit too tolerant in their beliefs."
This is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. See below.
Practices: Antagonism towards Christianity and various Christians, misrepresentation of facts, distortion of events, personal attacks, email attacks, etc.
Teachings: Atheistic presuppositions, defense of evolution, abortion, and general ridicule of Christianity and various individuals; namely, Matt Slick (www.carm.org) and Diane who also works with CARM.
Publications: The AARM discussion board.
Comments: There are two reasons aarm has received a listing on CARM. First, their actions further demonstrate the bankruptcy of atheistic morality and logic and helps CARM demonstrate this truth. Second, there are false accusations and inaccurate information that have been posted on the aarm boards that have not been addressed by the aarm administration at the time of the release of this article. The goal here is, in part, to protect my reputation against falsely published attacks upon my character and the character of Diane, and provide legal requirement in response for possible litigation. The administration (Mr. John Ratcliff) has provided moderators on his discussion board and has apparently not requested that they guard against false and even libelous statements.
Regarding the quote from aarm above: A more accurate statement about the atheists leaving CARM is as follows. I had a debate with a particular atheist on atheism and morality. Many of the atheists were repeatedly breaking the CARM rules, which everyone agrees to abide by when they sign up (atheists on the CARM discussion board sought to bend the rules as much as possible and have admitted to trying to cause trouble). During our debate I asked the moderators to not enforce the board rules on the atheist discussion board. The result was a profound increase in rule violations by the atheists. In my written debate I documented those numerous rule violations, posted a list of them, and asked my opponent to comment on the moral correctness of his fellow atheists' rule-breaking actions. Of course, they did not like this and reacted very negatively. I then told the moderators to begin to enforce the rules on the atheists (the same rules that apply to everyone on all the discussion boards). Within those rules is the right to ban someone from the boards for rule violations. Many atheists were banned because they broke the rules...and they were specifically warned that bannings would occur for further rule-breaking. In spite of the clear and public warning given about enforcing the rules, they continued to break them and then cried foul when the penalties were applied to them. Of course, they said the rules were unfairly applied, that the atheists were singled out, etc., which is what they have to say instead of facing their own irresponsibility. The truth is that no one else seems to have any problems abiding by the rules of CARM.
Also, the truth is, I (Matt Slick) didn't lose my cool. To say I did is a fabrication that appears to be aimed at blaming me for the atheist exodus instead of the atheists admitting they were the ones who broke the rules and were appropriately banned as a result. This is a repeated pattern by many of them to try and cause problems, get busted for violating the rules, and then complaining when they get banned.
The above quote from the aarm site also states that I began to remove Christians from the boards who were too tolerant in their beliefs. That is another error. CARM's policy is not to remove those with opposing views, but to remove those who violate the rules. There are many who claim to be Christians who have very liberal views and even contradictory views to Christianity, but are still allowed to post their views freely on the CARM boards -- because they are able to stay within the board rule boundaries. Again, the aarm accusation is another misrepresentation of the facts.
Finally, we let all the atheists back in under a general amnesty program and many of them began to repeat the previous actions, resulting in some further bannings. Hence, one of them started the aarm discussion board. It seems they need to congregate at a place where misrepresentation and distortion can freely go unchallenged. It further appears that many of the aarm atheists are obsessed with the CARM website and with myself (Matt Slick) and Diane. It is sometimes amusing and at other times sad to see them constantly attack, misrepresent, use foul language, and misconstrue things in the worst possible way.
Following are some of the documented statements from the atheist discussion board as of 8-8-05. (Note: Of course, we recognized that individuals can post erroneous, even libelous statements on a discussion board and the administration might not be aware of it. The unfortunate fact is that the administration is very aware of the statements and has done nothing to deal with them.)
Statements about Matt Slick
- Jan 1, 2005, Scavenger stated, "Man, Slick is so fit for a Taliban-like rule; that he doesn't see his MO as deeply similar to that form of government is amazing. What a loser. Doesn't even support free speech, and tries to pass off censorship as a Christian ideal."
- Oct 27, 2004, Declin said, "If she can't see how she [Diane] is simply feeding his [Matt Slick] borderline personality disorder , there is little that can be done for either of them.
- Oct. 8, 2004, Dennis101 stated, " Matt's mental disorder is destroying those close to him."
- Jan 30, 2005, IceMonkey said, " Matt has willfully posed (sic) several untrue and distorted essays on his site ." (I have never willfully posted any untrue and distorted essays on my site)
- April 13, 2005, Borracho said, "I gave an extensive summary of why I think slick is a liar, decietful, and trying to destroy atheists . He claims no one will get banned for an honest reply, but I'll find out soon enough." (I've never intentionally lied to an atheist, nor tried to be deceitful, nor am I trying to destroy atheists. I am working against the atheistic position.)
- Aug. 13, 2005, Yoki said, "Matt Slick, you are really as untrustworthy and dishonest as your worst opponent." (Character attack)
Statement about Diane
- June 12, 2005, WimpforJesus stated, " Diane, you are a liar . That is not slander, it is not opinion. It is verifiable fact."
- June 16, 2005, HardyHeaven stated, " You are such a liar, Diane . How in the world do you live with yourself? Christ Himself will judge your fridged (sic) heart, and your lying tongue."
- June 26, 2005, Hardyheaven stated, ". . . it has been revealed that Diane and her church donate much of the income that CARM receives ." (This is not true at all)
Intent to disrupt
- Oct. 21, 2004, Jratcliff stated, " Well my role on CARM is primarily as a troll to tweak fundies . So long as they remain an open target I'm liable to take a pot shot from time to time till I get myself banned again."
- June 27, 2005, Scavenger stated, "On CARM, the people are so twisted over control issues and using ad hoc manners and rules to arbitrarily dictate to and manipulate each other whilst acting holier-than-thou that I'm not suprised (sic) such manipulative tactics were not only condoned, but accepted as being somehow the "norm." You've picked up a bad self-righteous habit."
The above quotes are a very small representation of the overall feel of the aarm discussion board. Of course, we recognize that people can occasionally say dumb things. But it appears to be the norm over there.
To clarify, the aarm discussion boards have many categories. The one that we are concerned about here at CARM is the "Whine Board and CARM Refugee Center" which seems to be the place where the false information and character assassinations are publicly displayed.
I am reminded of what Jesus said in Matt. 11:18-19,
"For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon! 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners! Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
The point of quoting Jesus is that his critics were always negative and interpreted events in the worst possible light. So too is my opinion of many of the atheists on the aarm discussion board.
wikipedia and carm: An atheist obsession
In their apparent and continued dislike for myself, the atheists have gone to wikipedia.org and written about me. Though they have tried to appear objective, it is apparent that they are not since they seem determined to try and bring further criticism of myself and the CARM Ministry into the public view. We have no problem with criticism. We have problems with false information in that criticism. In fact, some of the atheists have compared my ministry to a cult and even stated that Stalin would be proud of what I do. Such statements are, sadly, rarely challenged by their contemporaries. It shows their utter lack of objectivity. But, such derogatory comments are often added to by other atheist who, apparently, don't like me either. We hope that the atheists at aarm do not represent atheism as a whole.
There will be, of course, critics of Christianity everywhere, but to say that the most common objection of the critics centers around my misuse of moderation to squash opposing viewpoints and then to say that I'm intentionally misrepresenting opposing views is very inaccurate. I enjoy discourse with those of opposing viewpoints and I never intentionally misrepresent any view. The atheists who have focused their attention on CARM have become more and more public in their misrepresentations, going to the wikipedia website where it appears that they have an ally there who does not allow fair objective response, according to wikipedia rules. Instead, the CARM article is constantly redone in violation of those rules.
Finally, many of the aarm atheists think they influence this website by their posts. That is wishful thinking. CARM did not affect the board rules because of any atheist or any atheists' comments. We have, however, increased the board rules in the past in an attempt to keep the boards civil and decent due to atheists' bad behavior. The problem is that far too many atheists have shown themselves to be untrustworthy and have only provided further evidence of atheism's moral bankruptcy. Thanks aarm folks for helping CARM demonstrate the emptiness of atheism.
- 1. I put this page up on 8/2/2014
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