Butt out

The so-called and self-appointed American Family Association, Donald Wildmon’s religious freak show, is trying to kill NBC’s Book of Daniel because they think it might offend them. Well, I don’t give a damn if it offends them. Change the channel. Go watch the 700 Club, which offends me, though I’m not trying to keep you from watching it.

What’s truly offensive is the AFA’s bigotryFrom their site:

The writer for the series is a practicing homosexual. The homosexual son will be network prime-time’s only regular male homosexual character in a drama series.

Christians, my ass. What I want to see is a sitcom about bozos like the AFA and the so-called Parents Television Council. The Brent Bozo Show. Anybody have the balls?

  • http://www.mythusmageopines.com/mt Alan Kellogg

    I got the email from them. (I keep tabs on them that way.) They’re asking their subscribers to petition NBC to drop the special.

    Being the cynical old fart that I am (helps when you’ve been reincarnated dozens of times (at last count)), I suspect somebody at NBC leaked the details in order to get the response they did. L. Ron Hubbard’s religion is bogus as all hell, but he did have something when he talked about reactive minds. And you can’t get more reactive than the crowd at AFA.

    As my friend E. Gary Gygax (I’m a name dropper, hurt me) once said, “As long as they spell your name right.”

  • W.J. Jones

    Jeff, you really should have included this description of the show as well:

    “The Webster family is rounded out by a 23-year-old homosexual Republican son, a 16-year-old daughter who is a drug dealer, and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop’s daughter.
    At the office, his lesbian secretary is sleeping with his sister-in-law.”

    Ah, aren’t we all glad that gay conservatism and incest have made their way into mainstream television. Hooray for diversity! For moral courage!

    If this is courageous TV, then why is the “courage” always pointed at the very worst of our human nature, dangling in front of us like a Krispy Kreme donut truck at a Weight Watchers convention, and making a mockery of the family?

    What good comes out of a show like that, other than grown men staying up late to watch it when the wife and kids go to bed?

    Notice the name of the organization — the American FAMILY Association. This show is exactly what the AFA fights against every day — the dumbing down of the traditional American family until white fathers like you are dumb as bricks and useless as flushed toilet paper. It’s funny that you cheer a show that mocks you and your family, and pushes you to swallow the bitter pill for the sake of “diversity” and “tolerance.”

    Just as you, Jeff, have the right to grumble about what the AFA likes and dislikes, they, too, still have a right to lobby a TV network.

    Our country is still an equal opportunity offender until, one day in the future, being “tolerant” is only for those on the religious right and not for those who must tolerate them. That would be you, Jeff.

  • kat

    Oh come now, we all know that this little sitcom is a propaganda vehicle designed to replace the reservations most have toward homosexuality–to normalize an abnormal behaviour. If NBC is successful, they may have a book of Peter or some such thing, which will attempt to normalize pedophilia, incest, whatever. If you get to kids early enough, you can actually convince them all kinds of abnormal sex is normal.
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48076

  • http://lqblog.com Dave

    Wondering why you defend homosexuals but not Christmas.

    Nothing wrong with either one, right?

  • Todd

    I was offered $20 to be a test viewer for this show when I was in Vegas last March – about 15 minutes into it my friend looked over at me and we both walked out because the show sucked so bad. I could have used that $20 too because our next stop was a titty bar.

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.”

    Maybe the AFA will put warning labels on Voltaire’s works at school libraries now that biology is off limits.

  • W.J. Jones

    Kirk,

    It’s good to see that you pinned Jeff with that quote. He should be praising AFA for using their First Amendment rights to write whatever — oh, wait, you were pinning down the AFA, not Jeff?

    That’s kind of funny — your “tolerance” is for those who think of an idea, not for those who criticize its creation. The First Amendment still allows both, right?

  • kurotenshi

    hmm, someone just linked to worldnetdaily… rofl

    Im sure South Park would be a perfect candidate for a little media castigation of the aforementioned bible beaters.

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    W.J Jones, Jeff wrote “Go watch the 700 Club, which offends me, though I’m not trying to keep you from watching it.”

    The difference is that the AFA is trying to control what other people are able to see instead of letting them make up their own minds. If you use economics to shut down a printing press it has the same effect as lighting it on fire, nothing gets printed either way.

    It’s not about what get into your house, you have the V-Chip, cable box parental controls, etc., this is about having control over the lives of other people through use of economics and a democracy which was intended to do the opposite.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    WJ, your attempt at a parallel won’t work for the so-called AFA is trying to muzzle speech. I’m not. They can complain all they want. They can give it bad reviews .. after they’ve perhaps actually watched it. They can not watch. But that’s not what they’re doing. They’re trying to kill the show so I can’t watch. Well, fuck ‘em.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Thanks, Kirk, we were posting at the same moment. Kismet.

  • http://www.filmbuffonline.com Rich Drees

    I think maybe it’s time to turn the AFA tactics back on them. Where they have a small number of folks who are more than ready to write complaint letters (well actually copy complaint letters and then sign their names to them) to kvetch about every little thing they don’t like, I say we deluge them with letters asking them to kindly shut the hell up.

    (I feel bad for them that they are so scared that their deeply-rooted faith could be sullied and destroyed by something as innocuous as a television show.)

    Or, as a second thought, if everybody sent them one of those inexpensive universal remotes, maybe they would get the hint…

  • Jay

    WJ, your attempt at a parallel won’t work for the so-called AFA is trying to muzzle speech.

    Jeff, how exactly are they trying to “muzzle speech?” Don’t get me wrong. I’m a “change the channel” advocate myself for those who find themselves ‘offended’ at certain content.

    Yet, the AFA is doing nothing other than using the tools at their disposal to petition NBC. Some shows have been saved because of an outpouring of fan support. This is the opposite. I don’t see any harm in an organization doing something like this as long as the government is not involved.

    In the end it won’t matter really. The dollar signs will win out. If this show gets good ratings, it will bring in more money and it will stay on regardless of who in the AFA goes beserk. If the show is a ratings flop, it will get cancelled.

  • http://rightnumberone.blogspot.com rightnumberone

    People have a right to provide feedback to companies that put out products that don’t meet their needs or expectations, right Jeff?

    I mean, when you got a bum laptop from Dell, it was 3 weeks of rants and raves designed to negatively affect Dell’s business. Right? I mean, that’s what you were trying to do … bully them into accepting your version of what their relationship should be with their customers. Right? Or else give them bad publicity to force them into submission. Right?

    YOU can watch any kind of TV you want. PAY FOR IT and have it PUMPED into your living room. Last I checked, NBC was a BROADCAST network. Anyone with a television has ZERO POWER to prevent that network’s programming from coming into their homes, but EVERY RIGHT to complain about it.

    There is NOTHING preventing NBC from starting a cable channel that people can SUBSCRIBE to and PAY FOR to receive programming that isn’t in the public interest – as defined by the public which takes the time out to WRITE THE NETWORK and protest NBC affiliates licensing agreements.

    So, far from trying to PREVENT you from seeing this show, these people are expressing their opinions about the show – much as you extorted exceptional Dell technical support afforded NONE of their other customers who don’t have the blog audience that you do.

    NBC can SELL the show to you on your I-POD Video if they want, but as long as they use the PUBLIC airwaves to broadcast, everyone who wants to should have the RIGHT to complain about what they air.

  • http://gfmorris.net/ Geof F. Morris

    Jeff: It’s Donald Wildmon, not Daniel. The only reason I know this is because, as a former member of a church in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, it used to offend the hell out of me that some of my offerings ended up paying that man’s salary.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Jay and no1: They are trying to force NBC affiliates not to air the show. I’d call that muzzling.
    And another parallel that won’t work: I didn’t try to get Dell to stop selling its machines. I only complained about the quality of what they were selling and servicing. As I said, Wildmon and his nutjobs can complain all they want. Shit, I used to be a critic. They can give bad reviews all they want. They can suggest to the world that a show is not worth watching. But when they try to stop me from watching it, they are trampling on my rights and those of the speaker. They are using racketerring tactics to try to force the hand of networks and I have an equal right to shout back and call them the unamerican censoring assholes that they are. And, yes, I do delight in using no-no words around these church ladies in drag.

    Thanks Geof. Freudian slip. Maybe the NBC show is really about Donnie afterall.

  • chico haas

    The little grain of sand that is homosexuality is going to be rubbed and rubbed by Hollywood until a pearl is made. Meanwhile, it’s important to demonize Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Jews, anybody, really, who subscribes to an ethical code beyond the currently popular “whatever I feel, man, is right” philosophy. The liberal use of “Christian Right” is a cynical tactic intended to brand as extremist anyone who opposes hip issues like gay marriage. As if you need to be a Christian or a right-winger to see it for what it is: fun and aberrant behavior. Hardly anyone gives a shit how gays have sex or opposes their right to divide their estates after death. But gay marriage will institutionalize the same-sex relationship, requiring it to be taught in school and legally accepted by society as a behavior as perfectly normal as a man-woman relationship. It ain’t. And that’s why people who can see down the road are fighting the relentless lionizing of gays every inch of the way.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    And others are fighting the bigots every inch of the way.

  • RonP

    no fan of wildmon or bozell. i am an agnostic but i find it quite ironic that NBCABCCBS will make a show that makes fun of christians and their beliefs but yet would never do it about islam. wonder why? do ya think it might be because muslims bite? plenty of hypocrisy to go about on BOTH sides.

  • W.J. Jones

    Ouch.

    I think rightnumberone just grabbed you by the nads, Jeff, and yanked you around a bit. Your Dell ranting was about customer service, and you jumped and snorted like you were prepping for a class-action lawsuit with a dozen lawyers in tow. In other words, it was a big deal to you.

    Does the AFA — or anybody on the right — have the right to believe that the “Book of Daniel” is a big deal to them?

    The issue of this television show is whether we as Americans have a right to voice our displeasure at what we see and hearing happening around us.

    You’re making the issue about whether some right-wing outfit has the right to campaign against something you like. To summarize your view so far: if you’re a right-wing kook, shut the hell up because you have no right to talk.

    Like Jay said, who, really, is trying to “muzzle speech” here? The answer is both Jeff and the AFA, but only one of them is admitting to it.

    They’re doing it because they’re fighting the culture war.

    What is your war, Jeff? Name calling?

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Oh, so what if I start demanding that the 700 Club be yanked off the air because it is offensive, because it is filled with hate speech and bile, becuase it trades on phoney tax-exempt status while pushing a political agenda? It offends me. Take it off! Let’s hear you screech like stuck pigs, then.

    No, you have neither logic nor God on your side.

    I don’t give a fuck if the AFA thinks this show they haven’t seen is a big deal to them. I want to watch it. They don’t have to. There are lots of other channels.

    These are my airwaves, too. They are not theirs. They are not the airwaves of their least common denominator.

  • W.J. Jones

    Jeff,

    I do think you have the right to campaign to remove Pat Robertson from the airwaves and lobby his sponsors to drop his show?

    I’m a committed Christian and a Southern Baptist, and I shrink in embarrassment at Pat Robertson and his millionaire preacher ilk. But he has a right to have a TV show, and you have a right to lobby against him.

    I don’t think it’s an either/or contest here. It’s just that most people shake their heads and him and don’t consider him worth the trouble. But the point being pushed by the AFA and others is that the right-wing has shaken its head and ignored the left-wing propoganda machine for too long, and now they’re fighting back.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    WJ;
    That’s just the point. I would not do that. I think Robertson is disgusting and puts every Christian to shame (and I say that as a Christian). You said, “But he has a right to a TV show, and you have a right to lobby against him.” No, he has the right to speak and I have the right to speak against him. But I am not lobbying to get him off the air. If there are nutjobs and homophobics who want to watch him, fine. I don’t. And if those nutjobs don’t want to watch the shows I like, fine. But they cannot stop me from watching just because they disapprove. That is downright unAmerican. And their attitude is, to me, terribly unChristian.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Oh, and the AFA and PTC are nothing but right-wing propaganda machines!

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    “NBC can SELL the show to you on your I-POD Video if they want, but as long as they use the PUBLIC airwaves to broadcast, everyone who wants to should have the RIGHT to complain about what they air.”

    Thats exactly why the networks are their advertising revenue are dying. The threat of boycotts on shows with advertising are creating such stale content that the non evangelical majority are leaving in droves.

    Their goal was to prevent people from seeing things they don’t like. Their tactics worked before the internet but the religious power bubble is now popping.

  • kurotenshi

    “hip issues like gay marriage”

    So estate rights and love are “hip issues”??? WTF is wrong with you??

  • http://erasend.blogspot.com kingdom2000

    This thread is what you could call “failure to comprehend”. People are so set in their own rightousness that they have completely failed to understand the point of the post. Its like they read every third word but I am betting most didn’t get past the word homosexual.

    I have to agree with Jeff. Don’t like the show, fine. Of course watching at least one ep would make sense to me, but then I don’t follow the Christian way of rushing to judgement.

    I do object to some other group without my consent and knowledge, trying to prevent me from watching what I want to watch. Liberals don’t stop people from watching the 700 Club even though that has become a bigoted war-mongering hate machine. If people want to watch it that is their choice. I respect their choice and I don’t think its unreasonable to ask they respect my choice in viewing.

    Let the free market system do its job. The viewers can decide if this show lives or not, not some AFA group that just makes demands.

  • kat

    Yeah. love–that’s what pedos claim too. That’s all they want to do is love–little kiddies. The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is the only nationwide organized pedophilia group in America, and homosexuals run it. The Age Taboo on page 144 insists: “Boy-lovers… are not child molesters. The child abusers are… religious rightwing bigots who force their staid morality onto the young people in their custody….people like the AFA….those same people who dare try to ruin people’s fun. The gay mantra is if you don’t get them before 8, it’s too late, so this NBC propaganda piece is crucial. And for smut lovers.

  • http://erasend.blogspot.com kingdom2000

    “Left-wing propanganda machines.” I like how that is said as if the right-wing propaganda machine has never existed. Kettle. Pot. Pot meet kettle.

  • http://www.stevemagruder.com Steve Magruder

    Cool. I want to see more of this mocking of Christianity. It’s about time.

    Of course, to tone this down a bit so as to not hurt the wee-little brains of the thin-skinned, the real mocking that’s needed here is of people who are trying to tell us what we can and cannot see, or can or cannot discuss. They are truly crazy, whether they are religious or not. They are anti-freedom.

    Why does the AFA hate our freedoms?

    Further, I still to this day don’t understand the problem people have with homosexuality, and why some use the Bible to mask their bigotry against homosexuals. Heck, homosexual sex doesn’t harm anyone’s children (nor any adult) in any way, but yet the religious reich keeps on yelping that it does. Again, they’re cuckco CRAZY.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Kat: I put up with your crap and let you spew it. But it is crap. Hateful crap.

  • chico haas

    So estate rights and love are “hip issues”??? WTF is wrong with you??

    Nothing. I said gay “marriage” is a hip issue, which it is. I never mentioned love. I support civil unions, which are an excellent solution to estate, insurance and homeownership issues. And a fine way to express love and commitment in an alternative lifestyle. Your inability to comprehend what I wrote is not worth more than a mention.

  • http://rpv.blogspot.com Ripclawe

    This is not courageous, just another “lets make fun of the Christians” kind of show that is promoted as hip and edgy to the chicullible. If they really wanted to be courageous they would have had a Muslim family with the father a progressive cleric trying to juggle both worlds and keeping his family together.

    Now that cutting edge television.

  • JBK

    It’s really fascinating how JJ, who made a point of doing some quite bizzare and, frankly, nasty, bashing of Eric Alterman, because he dared to criticize Boy George’s war on Iraq — and as you all know, since he’s certainly mentioned it many many times, Jeff was bravely riding the PATH train on 9-11, so he, of course, speaks for America much more than Alterman, who was probably cowering on the Upper West Side!!!! that day, and we all know what the UWS means in GOP-land (cough cough), anyway, now Jarvis somehow gets offended about someone speaking their mind… and by the way, the right-wing “Family” people ARE idiots, I just find it fascinating how Jarvis does a 360 when it’s speech he likes that is being threatened. Fortunately, Alterman will never let his readers forget Jarvis’ obnoxious “blood-libel” nonsense.

  • http://blogs.rny.com/sbw sbw

    More things are labeled “rights” in this country than ought to be. But if one thing, and one thing only, should be a right, it would be the right to offend. The right to offend is the right to say, “I think you are wrong, and here’s why.”

    Ironically, you show respect for someone by showing where their ideas can be improved upon. After all, they plan their future on the basis of their ideas — their mental map of reality. If their map is wrong, their planning won’t be sound.

    Okay. Now someone explain the other side — the liberal view — why the irrational concept of offense should be able to be used as a carapace to protect bad ideas from scrutiny.

  • real hyp

    Jeff: You said “Sell Dell” in your headlines.

    You want to snuff Dell out due to your dislike of their product and customer service.

    Perhaps it was good advice since Dell dropped 25%, but the implication was the company deserves to be closed.

    But you really said free speech does not matter when you said “What’s truly offensive is the AFA’s bigotry.”

    You also said “Christians, my ass” like freedom of religion doesn’t matter either.

    There is no little respect for the conservative point of view as if the conservatives don’t matter.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    JBK: Well, it’s too damned tempting to see you lump Eric Alterman and Pat Robertson together — which is worse than anything I ever said about him — but that’s not why I criticized Alterman. Get your facts straight.

    And hyp: That was merely stock advice. The outpouring of Dell problems was, as I have said, merely a leading indicator of the real problems Dell was having with its core business. And that turned out to be true. Dell screwed its customers. Dell was screwed. Cause, effect.

    Oh, freedom of religion matters, as does freedom itself. These so-called Christians are bigots and I have the freedom to call bullshit on them. They have no respect for too many of their fellow man. Want to criticize them for that?

  • JBK

    Huh? Well, unless you’re outright calling Alterman a liar, he actually posted this just today: “And this article (he links to a WashPost article on how the Pentagon is paying bloggers and TV stations to “report” good news only) reminds me of Jeff Jarvis accusing me of having “blood on my hands” because I made reference to a New York Times article raising the issue of whether American forces might be responsible for some of the blogs for which he was so enthusiastically cheerleading. So let me get this straight. The marines have hired their own blogger. The Pentagon is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers and television stations to run pro-American propaganda. We are paying money under the table to influence their elections. But it is literally the equivalent of murder to make reference to a Times article —still unproven and un-disproved— that raises the possibility that U.S. forces might be interested in making up a phony blog. Reels the mind…”

    I never lumped Alterman and Robertson together. Robertson is a hatemongering liar, Alterman isn’t. You’re the one, JJ, who libeled Alterman.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    He still has no facts — aka journalism — to accuse the specific bloggers under discussion then. Even he admits it is unproven — and what the hell does undisproved mean in journalism? And you’re still mixing your issues with comic affect: Robertson cultists and Alterman cultists at the same altar. I’m honored to be the lamb there.

  • Ravo

    The ideaology of political correctness has shut down everything but taking pokes at Christianity.

    Are we even allowed to name sports teams after Indians anymore ie Redskins?

    Much less “allowed” to poke fun at minorities, ethic backgrounds, or other religions, ……so why Christianity?

    The PC police allow NBC to be totally politically incorrect about the Bible, but I doubt the PC police would allow a show like this on:

    any part of the Koran?

    one highlighting that violent crime is disproportionately committed by blacks? Remember the hullabaloo when a politician merely mentioned the fact that if the black birthrate were to drop down, the result would be a drastically reduced crime rate in the country?

    The PC police went nuts! So I guess there won’t be any forthcoming comedy shows on the above subject.

    If PC dictates you can’t be public with very real truths that are offensive for those involved to hear about, how come you can treat Christian “sensitivities” differently?

    Could we do a show where the storyline has the actors portraying the homosexual and hertosexual whoring around that precedes most cases of AIDS? (since most cases are voluntary, i.e., acquired from outside of marriage sexual acts)

    How about a show poking fun at how life was lived on the New Orleans vote plantations?

    Or one on the folly and poor decisions of welfare families?

    If Christianity is fair game, so should all of the above be.

  • Scott

    This is quite a discussion. What the AFA and others like them seem to be insisting is that “public” airwaves means “offense-free” airwaves, and I just don’t read that in the Constitution anywhere. The Constitution guarantees free speech, not TV or Radio that I don’t like. I hesitate to use the “C” word, but…
    rightnumberone says “Anyone with a television has ZERO POWER to prevent that network’s [NBC] programming from coming into their homes, but EVERY RIGHT to complain about it.”
    You need to check your TV. I can prevent NBC, or for that matter Faux News Channel, or any programming from entering my home by several means: 1) change the channel; 2) turn the TV off; 3) I can even program my TV to skip offensive programming, but this is the most complicated. rightnumberone if you can’t turn your TV off, try pulling the plug.

  • Fernie

    Hell, if any group wants to get together and try to stop or damage any show or anything else, so be it. Isn’t that what you moveon fags try to do to Bush all the time? Quit whining or mama will have to bitch slap the lot of you.

  • JBK

    I’m not sure why the word cultist is being thrown around. I’m not a cultist of anyone. Just because I happen to enjoy reading Alterman and quote him somehow means I’m a “cultist?” I think this was the first time in my life I’ve even cited him, but, sure, I happen to think what he writes tends to have truth behind it – likewise, I also happen to think what Robertson says or your blog buddies like Littlegreenfootballs write is full of shit, and not only shit, but hateful shit. That’s my personal taste, sorry if it makes me a cultist in Jarvisland. I note though that you still can’t clearly point to a place where Alterman is somehow lying when he calls you on your “rally round Bush-strike out at those who dare criticize his war” persona that you throw up here frequently. Hell, even Andrew Sullivan has backed off the Bush worshipping. Of course, your friends on the right have a theory as to why Sullivan has turned off Bush. You know, he’s a gay cultist after all.

  • AST

    “Well, I don’t give a damn if it offends them.”

    And I don’t give a damn if their being offended offends you. It’s a free country. Wildmon has as much of a right to attack the show as you have to attack him.

    The whole project sounds like it was designed to offend people of faith. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was part of the pitch to get it made.

    I have no brief for Mr. Wildmon. He’s engaged in priestcraft, using God to make money. So are the producers of “The Book of Daniel.”

    My inclination is to avoid both of them.

  • http://mindinggap.blogspot.com/ 49erDweet

    Let’s see, AFA asks its members to notify NBC of their intended ‘boycott’ of “Daniel” – “muzzling free speech”; the United Farm Workers ask its members to notify Safeway of their intended ‘boycott’ of iceburg lettuce – “democracy in action”. Does not compute. JJ needs to rethink this, but he likely won’t.

  • http://erasend.blogspot.com kingdom2000

    One side effect of this thing…I will probably give the show a try. I wasn’t really interested until some group basically said i couldn’t watch it. Since they seem to be in fear of this program…I would like to know why. I get the feeling its a crappy show but now I will make the effort to find out first hand. Thank you AFA and your supporters. I am sure NBC isn’t minding the free publicity either.

  • RonP

    As i have posted before and a few others as well. i will really be impressed when the networks poke fun at Islam. I will stand up in support then! but we all know they are cowards – Bob Wright don’t want no fatwa on him!!!
    Next.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Good God, iceberg lettuce. Hadn’t heard that one in years. Had to dig down pretty deep for that one. Thanks for the memories. But I wasn’t an iceberg liberal.

  • http://rightnumberone.blogspot.com RightNumberOne

    Once again, Jeff’s is so clouded by his inability to be unbiased on this subject that his arguments are unconvincing.

    Jeff argues that what the AFA is doing is “muzzling speech.” It is not. NBC is certainly free to air its speech, and it will air this show.

    However, the constitution does not guarantee that there will not be FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES that arise from your speech, and does not attempt to protect the speaker from those consequences.

    The AFA is excercising its right to do business where it wants to and chooses to, and encouraging others to do so as well. It’s just the same as when Jeff, in an attempt to get customer service from another company, told everyone to sell that company’s stock to punish them for his poor customer service experience.

    Speech IS free. Speech also has consequences. NBC and its advertisers are learning that.

  • http://rightnumberone.blogspot.com RightNumberOne

    Let me put it another way, to be a little clearer.

    The Constitution prevents the GOVERNMENT from muzzling our speech, but it does not prevent US from muzzling EACH OTHER’s speech. That happens EVERY DAY Jeff, and it should.

  • Jay

    They are trying to force NBC affiliates not to air the show. I’d call that muzzling.

    Sorry, but how do they have the ability to ‘force’ NBC affiliates to do anything? They can pressure the affiliates and they are certainly within their rights to do so. But they have no legislative weight behind them. They’re not in any position of authority. Therefore, they’re in no position to force the affiliates to not air this program.

    I can understand your frustration, but you’re going at this from the wrong angle. You come off sounding like one of those guys who freaks out because a comment of his is deleted from a blog or message board and he starts going on about his “free speech rights” when it doesn’t apply.

    What the AFA is doing is a legitimate form of protest in the free market. I happen to think it’s counter-productive. Christian organizations would do better to allocate their time and resources to helping others rather than wasting time with crap like this. They should read this article about Rick Warren, author of ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ to gain some insight.

    That being said, I still think you’re wrong when you say the AFA is trying to muzzle speech.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Once again, another clouded argument. I didnt’ raise this as a First Amendment issue; that would be the problem if the FCC got involved. I said this is about closed-minded bigots who are trying to stop ME from watching something because THEY don’t approve. And I say back: Fuck you. Don’t watch. It’s not hurting you if I watch what I want to watch. Don’t like it? Go watch fellow bigot Pat Robertson, whom I find truly offensive, but I am not running a campaign to muzzle him. Got it?

  • Gardner

    Yeah, sure. The AFA is going to stop you from watching what you want to watch. Is it even possible for you to be more of a drama queen, Jeff?

  • Inspector Callahan

    Jeff,

    AFA has every right to attempt to muzzle speech, just like you have every right to call them on it. Nothing is illegal here.

    Speech is muzzled every day. When pro-war groups form a rally, anti-war types come and interfere, attempting to muzzle them. And vice versa. College boys can’t make a comment about a girl’s tits without being sent to sensitivity training.

    As long as the government is not complicit in such muzzling (forcing NBC to take the show off the air, raising license fees in response to complaints, etc.), then the AFA has EVERY right to attempt to stifle this show. Because you wouldn’t do it to the 700 club makes no difference whatsoever.

    TV (Harry)

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    “Cool. I want to see more of this mocking of Christianity. It’s about time.” Have you been sleeping for years? It happens all the time.

    As a Christian, I don’t care what you watch and when you want to watch it. I’ll take care of my own house. It’s not as if it is based on the Bible. However, good for the AFA. They are a strong-knit group who know what they want and work toward their goal. It’s American. I may disagree, but it’s American.

    And JJ, “Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear” (Eph. 4:29).

    Easy with those F-bombs!

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Inspector: Read the comments above. i didn’t say it was illegal. I said it was close-minded bigotry. And it is. If all they did was complain about a show (which they haven’t even seen) and argued that people shouldn’t watch it, that’s one matter. But they are mobilizing their army of button-pushers to send carbon-copy emails to NBC to stop the show, to stop me from seeing it.

    Gardner: Well, Stern’s off the air thanks to the likes of the so-called AFA and PTC and their accomplices at the FCC. And they’re going after satellite and cable and the internet next. Beware.

    Zoner: I’m a Christian too. And I’m fucking mad.

  • Gardner

    Stern’s not off the air. He’s just no longer on free radio. The guy’s getting $500 million from Sirius and you want to paint him as a free speech martyr. You’re mad all right – mad as a freaking hatter.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Gardner: He is off the public airwaves — which are my airwaves, too — because a few prudes disapproved, even though millions listened and enjoyed. And now I have to pay to listen. And yes, that makes me really mad.

  • http://rightnumberone.blogspot.com rightnumberone

    Jeff,

    You seem upset that you can’t win – and thus, you don’t want the game to be played.

    You see, in our society, we allow over the public airwaves not what JUST ANYONE wants to see, but what we all agree is appropriate to see. We agree, or disagree, by writing, or not writing, to the networks and affiliates and advertisers.

    Having lost in your ability to be persuasive with your arguments, you want everyone else to, and I quote, “butt out.”

    Hate to break this to you bub, but YOU ARE NOT A GATEKEEPER.

    You don’t get to decide the RESULT of the debate.

    You get your voice. The AFA gets its voice. The AFA’s members get to decide whether it wants to support advertisers who agree with YOUR OPINION that the show should be aired and sponsored.

    And finally, the advertisers get to decide whether they want to be associated with a show about a pill-popping priest with a homosexual son.

    The AFA, obviously, intends to find out if they do.

    Personally, I’d like to see the show; but if I can’t win the game, you won’t see me WHINING and TAKING MY BALL HOME.

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    it does not prevent US from muzzling EACH OTHER’s speech. That happens EVERY DAY Jeff, and it should.

    Man, I hope you never get elected. That’s one heck of a statement.

  • Mark

    Who the heck is going to watch this stupid show anyway? Only people who have already bought into the liberal lifestyle. Most families I know don’t even watch NBCABCCBS anymore anyway. This show will play to liberals’ hate of church and family. Fine I guess, if that’s what they want.

    These networks are tailoring their shows to their remaining clientele: liberal left softies. Granted, they still account for a sizeable chunk of this nation, so maybe it’ll work for them. I’m sure Jeff’ll be tuning in weekly, nursing his own hatred.

  • http://www.onehandedeconomist.com Timothy

    You know, I’m with Jeff in principle, mostly, because I do think the AFA are jackasses and bigots. However, this is an example of one private group lobbying another private group to take an action. The lobbied party, in this case NBC, is in no way compelled to act.

    Now, if the AFA goes to the FCC and tries to get them to force the show off the air for indecency, that’s censorship. But, as it is, the AFA is a private organization encouraging its members to “take action”. However, Jeff is, again, another private individual using his forum to express is dissatisfaction with the AFA. This is America, they’re both well within their rights. I agree with Jeff that the AFA is stupid to do so, and that their opinions are stupid…which is all that Jeff is saying here.

    For those of y’all who feel the need to break out the ad hominems or imply that all homosexuals are child molesters, or that Jeff’s previous comments regarding Eric Alterman are somehow germaine to this topic, I have only one thing to say: my dad could totally kick your dad’s ass.

  • Gardner

    Stern got his start as a shock jock a few blocks east of where I’m sitting. People have disapproved of Stern for DECADES. And their disapproval has helped to make him a boatload of money. He didn’t get fired. He left of his own free will and because Sirius offered a bigger payday. If that makes you mad, well, too bad.

  • http://www.onehandedeconomist.com Timothy

    Also, this whole mess goes away if we privitize the airwaves. Just saying.

  • Ravo

    “I said it was close-minded bigotry. “

    It’s the show itself indulging in bigotry.

    If that’s no problem, let’s have bigoted shows on other “protected” religions and minorities.

  • http://www.onehandedeconomist.com Timothy

    If that’s no problem, let’s have bigoted shows on other “protected” religions and minorities.

    Sounds like a damn fine idea, actually.

  • David R. Block

    A boycott from the left is “democracy in action,” while a boycott from the right is “repression and censorship.”

    I understand.

    Most of the portrayals of clergy by the networks is negative, based, I suppose, upon the few well known cads: Bakker, Swaggart, Tilton, together with an anti-Christian bias.

    Of course, no show like this would air with a pill-popping mullah and a homosexual son, because the homosexual son might wind up being stoned to death (the Koran retains the death penaly for homosexuality).

  • Ravo

    Sounds like a damn fine idea, actually.

    My thoughts exactly

  • Ravo

    “those who would defeat cultural Marxism [political correctness] must defy it. They must use words it forbids, and refuse to use the words it mandates”

    EXCELLENT short report on the subject here:
    http://www.freecongress.org/PC_Essays/B_Intro_and_chapter_one.pdf

  • The Martyr

    I must say, this a very slow day at work, and I’m really enjoying this argument. Guess what I enjoy the most? The Christian bible-thumper martyr. That is truly one of my favorite characters. You own the house, the Senate, the executive branch, and are closing in on the Judicial branch. You own the majority of governorships and local politicians, too. Christianity is by far the most dominant religion in the US, yet you are the martyrs. Poor little things. You are just constantly having to deal with being in the majority. I bet it’s tough. Hopefully the hateful liberals will quit whining and let you just take it over completely and turn this place into a theocracy. Then you will have won, and everyone will be good. There will be no more crime or art or individualism. There won’t even be anymore filthy homosexuals breathing your air that God has given you. And once you get rid of gays, there will be no more boy-fucking or bestiality, either! Really, good for you.

    Remember the immortal words of Jesus, “Judge your neighbor, because if you don’t, who will?” It went something like that, anyway.

  • chico haas

    Martyr does a great service expressing succinctly, and brilliantly, the current liberal position: all in power are bible-thumping Christians bent on a theocracy. It’s not possible that those with whom he or she disagrees are also college-educated, thinking people who read and understood Marx and Chomsky. It’s not possible we can create and appreciate art and value individualism above mob-think. It’s not possible we can reference moral and ethical decay without holding rosary beads or knowing all the words to Rock of Ages. It’s not possible because if we are not bible-thumping Christians, then the liberal mind cannot marginalize, and dismiss, dissent.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Well, I don’t know thinking people who understand Chomsky, but that aside….

    I’m Christian, too. But I don’t hate gay people and don’t try to control media for everyone else.

    Oh, and there was a sitcom written mocking terrorists and I’d like to see it produced myself. And I’d like to see a sitcom mocking the so-called Parents Television Council. And I could write a sitcom about churches.

  • The Martyr

    Chico, you’re missing the point. Gays are icky. That’s the problem.

    Any thinking man would agree, evolution IS blasphemy. And gays shouldn’t get married because God hates gays (Don’t you READ the bible?). These, along with the subjectification of women are the three pillars of my religion.

    Stick to the point, Chico! Alright, I’ll see you guys later, I’ve got to finish my Larry the Cable Guy DVD.

  • chico haas

    And a sitcom about blogging which, daily, seems to be writing itself.

    You must accept the fact that opposition to gay marriage is not gay hatred. I believe the majority of Americans, myself included, do not oppose a legal commitment between gays, with all its attendant benefits. Instead, we are opposed to it being called marriage, a long-established institution which, by definition, excludes same-sex partners.

    As far as the AFA, they probably see all media exposure of the gay lifestyle as an attempt to “mainstream” aberrant behavior. If the AFA’s mission is to preserve family and marriage, as they see it, it’s only natural they would resort to activism. And you, you can resort to yours, as you have.

  • The Martyr

    So your problem with gay marriage lies in semantics?

    There are no problems with them receiving all of the legal rights that the rest of us are allowed to receive, but you just don’t want them to use your word for the relationship? How exactly does that make sense?

    If ownership of a group of letters is all you care about, you need to find a hobby.

  • Eileen

    The gay community apparently is not content to have an entire network devoted to “our life our way” ala QTN.

    This show, as described, clearly seeks to push the agenda ever further down mainstream America’s throat. Dontcha know EVERYBODY is in a gay relationship, and priests are abnormal drug addicts. I am so fucking mad that the gay agenda is in my face everywhere I look. (That one’s for you, JJ.)

    When I consider the extent to which I see the homosexual lifestyle portrayed on network tv not only in programming but also ads, it’s nice to know someone, anyone is pushing back.

    Book of Daniel sounds like a religious show to me. If I was someone who doesn’t read descriptions of every next new show (which I don’t), or didn’t happen to catch the network’s marketing hype, and IF I was a Christian, I’d probably tune in expecting to see a religious themed something or other…maybe one that doesn’t bash MY views for a change. I guess it’s fun to shock Christians and dupe them into tuning in.

  • The Martyr

    Git-R-Done, Eileen!

  • W.J. Jones

    Martyr,

    Your response to Chico about the middle ground route of gay marriage shows why most of us are unwilling to meet you halfway even though we symathize with longterm gay couples — because a “civil union” compromise isn’t good enough for the Left.

    Even though we’re willing to compromise, we’re opposed to gays using “our word for the relationship?” Uh, yeah, right…

    Trying to keep marriage the same it has been for thousands of years is somehow backwards and bigoted while anything that changes the status quo is somehow progressive and big-hearted.

    I’d like to see you get carjacked (okay, not really) and the culprit go free because your definition of the incident is clearly “theft” while the judge agrees that “temporarily borrowed” better fit the situation.

    Thievery has been around for thousands of years, too. Let’s start changing the definition so hungry people who steal food at grocery stores won’t feel like outcasts. To do otherwise would be bigoted, I guess.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    So change the fucking channel, Eileen.
    I, for one, am sick of seeing Christians portrayed everywhere as intolerant bigots. So I don’t watch the 700 Club. And I look foward to a show that realizes that religion does not cancel one’s sense of humor.
    And as for the gay lifestyle you so abhor, there is a very simple solution: Don’t be a lesbian.
    And as for the show, why don’t you actually watch it before you condemn it, like the so-called AFA. Or ignore it. But don’t join in the mob that wants to stop me from watching it. For I am sick and tired of seeing censors and prigs and prudes everywhere I turn. I am sick and tired of media believing that there is a large movement here when there is not.

  • chico haas

    One of my hobbies is not remedial English, but I’ll make an exception.

    Words matter. They have meaning. They’re not merely a “group of letters”, or how else could I parse out what you’re trying to communicate?

    Marriage is not “my” word. We borrowed it from the French about 800 years ago, but its meaning is nearly as old as our footprints on Earth. It stands for a societal, and sometimes religious, contract between a man and a woman. Not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. It is has been defined and agreed upon, throughout history, to mean exactly what it means.

    A tree is a tree. A hat is a hat. And no amount of hoopla can make a tree a hat. Unless it happens to fall on your head. Which is what we call justice.

  • The Martyr

    WJ-

    You speak as though you are laying down fact. Marriage has been the same for thousands of years? I don’t think so.

    I know this may be shocking, but at one time in this country inter-racial marriage was also illegal, and the woman was legally the property of the man, and I bet you can guess what the argument was to leave things the way they were. That’s right big winner, there was a lot of Bible waving at that time, too. Don’t claim that what you want is traditional marriage, when you have no idea what that is.

    And, damn right. I have no interest in meeting you in the middle. When it comes to civil rights, there is no room for halfway. You may remember that Jim Crow laws were also considered a compromise between the North and the South. Just because one side believes something, doesn’t make it right.

  • W.J. Jones

    Martyr,

    You don’t have to tell my about Jim Crow. I’m a son of the South and know very well the horrible history of my people. But I don’t think we’ll be looking back 50 years from now and breathe a sigh of relief because Ralph and Andy can legally get married in the state of Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

    Thank you for your honesty. That, my friend, is why we’re in the so-called culture war. War, after all, is when two sides cannot agree on a solution and must fight until one side is defeated or one side surrenders.

    The Right will not surrender to evil masked as tolerance — never.

  • The Martyr

    OK – Chico

    Thanks for clearing that up for me. You are fucking brilliant. Ok – so like I said, you think it would be ok for a man and a man, or a woman and a woman to have a contract, but you just wouldn’t like to call it marriage (because it’s 800 years old and from France, apparently). So, let’s call it mariage. Good now?

  • Eileen

    So change the fucking channel? I already to that, or hit mute, more often than I can count. It would be nice to see some decent programming for a change. Most of the time my tv simply remains off.

    It isn’t censorship to lobby for one’s views. It isn’t priggish or prudish to not wish to be inundated with gay programming.

    Eventually the networks will get a clue, but by then they’ll be out of business.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    I’m horrified by a number of the comments here — the haters and homophobes, the people portraying homosexuality as aberrant behavior. There’s plenty of homosexuality in nature — the bonobos for example. What makes homosexuality aberrant? The Bible says so? Like Shakespeare, the bible does have some terrific lessons in it. I believe it also suggests stuff like stoning the neighbors if they wear two different fabrics at once. It’s so sad that so many people base their lives on the irrational belief in god, entirely sans proof, then listen to drivel by others who believe likewise, without ever engaging their rationality. The years go forward, the primitivity on this planet doesn’t seem to be dissipating. Why do so many people use their religion — especially Christianity and Islam — as a stepping stone to intolerance and hate? As Jeff says, lesbian is a problem for you? Don’t be a lesbian. In the mean time, I suggest reading The End Of Faith by Sam Harris, and maybe Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell. And a quick read: Freedom From The Known by Krishnamurti. I’m an atheist and I couldn’t muster even a thimblefull of the hate spilled in the comments above by some of the “faithful” above. A suggestion to all of you haters — think the thoughts you typically do about people who don’t think as you do and go look in the mirror and check out your lip curled in hate, and all the rest. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

  • The Martyr

    Evil masked as tolerance? Holy Shit! I know a loving long-term relationship between two consenting adults can be filthy and disgusting, but evil?

  • W.J. Jones

    Martyr,

    Hmmmm…I don’t recall “love” being a requirement for marriage nor the marriage being a “long-term relationship.”

    Are you now describing to us what you believe marriage should be?

    Who are you, fella? A narrow-minded bigot?

    Why can’t marriage be a short-term relationship devoid of love? You bigot!

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Martyr:
    Preach it, brother!

    Eileen:
    Complaining about shows is one thing. Stopping me from watching is another. And we have different tastes, Lord knows. What you think is a bad show I may think is a good show and vice versa. God made us that way, thank God. So you watch what you want and I’ll watch what I want and leave me alone to do that. It’s just common courtesy. If you don’t like hamburgers, will you come into Burger King and rip it out of my hand? Or will you order the chicken? Let me watch my burger, damnit.

    Amy:
    Preach it, sister!

  • W.J. Jones

    Jeff,

    It’s funny that you tell Amy to “preach it,” but being the Christian that you are, she must think that you, too, are a nutjob.

    Or is there a some-Christians-are-okay-if-they-don’t-cross-me quota for atheists?

  • The Martyr

    WJ- Are you ok? Did you fall off the wagon during this little conversation?

    Well, I would hope that you would wish a loving long-term existence for all marriages, but that’s a little besides the point. (Although the failure rate for marriage is higher than it’s ever been and getting higher – keep fighting, though, you’ll win, I promise).

    Here’s what you said:

    “Trying to keep marriage the same it has been for thousands of years is somehow backwards and bigoted while anything that changes the status quo is somehow progressive and big-hearted. ”

    I was merely pointing out that marriage today isn’t anywhere close to tradional, or as you say, “the same as it has been for thousands of years”. It changes based on social norms, and continuously evolves. Marriage in the past could be forced, polygamous, between only one racial group, and one-sided, among other not particularly flattering things.

    I’m really just asking you to lay off the bullshit while you’re arguing. If you can’t argue without lying, then you probably don’t have much of an argument.

  • The Martyr

    And one other point WJ. I grew up in a Christian home, most of my family are Christians, but I was driven from the church because of people like yourself. It seems to me that you are the opposite of a Champion for Christ. (A divider, not a uniter, some might say).

  • Eileen

    Nobody’s stopped you from watching the Book of Daniel by lobbying for their views, Jeff. But if you believe its ok to lobby for desired outcomes of any kind (and you clearly do, as long as it fits within your tastes or value system), you shouldn’t have much of a problem with others lobbying advertisers to promote their own.

    Freedom’s great, ain’t it?

  • W.J. Jones

    Marty,

    Come on, my friend. Why would a lie about what you said when all you have to do is scroll up and read your words.

    I have no idea why you’re referencing previous posts when I was talking about your post that read: “I know a loving long-term relationship between two consenting adults can be filthy and disgusting, but evil?”

    I’ll use simple words so you can get this: my point was that you gave your definition of marriage in that post, a “loving, long-term relationship between two consenting adults.”

    In that single post you just staked your ground on what a marriage should be: 1. Love should be essential 2. It should be long term 3. It should be only between adults.

    And again, in your post asking me to stop the bullshit, you say, “I would hope that you would wish a loving long-term existence for all marriages.”

    If it’s wrong to say WHO should get married, then why isn’t it wrong to suggest the length of time a marriage should occur? If I want to be married for a week or six weeks, who are you to “wish” what marriage should be?

    You made a standard, traditional statement about what makes a good marriage without thinking twice about it — and then you cuss me for pointing it out and try to change the subject.

  • Ravo

    Why is not sanctioning Christian marriage for homosexuals called hate?

    I could care less what two consenting adults do behind closed doors.

    Like Eileen, I do get a little sick of having to be continually reminded of the sexual practices of some folks. Who cares? Why gay pride, gay parades, gay this and gay that. Heterosexuals don’t parade down the street solely to remind folks of their particular way of making love.

    And though the Christian religion considers homosexuality sinful, it doesn’t hate homosexuals. Christianity simply considers homosexual acts sinful, and thus refuses to condone those acts thru the institution of marriage performed within those religions.

    Secular unions claiming civil benefits is another thing entirely. Go to it.

  • The Martyr

    WJ-

    Why, you are quite the wordsmith. I’m glad that you’ve gleaned my opinions of what the definition of legal marriage should be by one sarcastic (very sarcastic) comment I made here.

    Yes, I do hope the best for my friends, family, and hell, anyone that gets married. In my opinion, most people enter into that contract because they hope for a long-lasting, loving relationship, not because they’re looking for a fuck buddy. I could be wrong, though, and be sure to tell me if I am. I’ve never been married, and don’t really plan on it, so how would I know, right?

    Now, I can wish people the best, but I don’t remember anyone saying that because I hope people get what they want out of marriage, that we should now make only marriages of that type legal. I really can’t even believe I have to explain this very simple difference to you. But, if you want to get treated like a third-grader, I’m happy to oblige.

    Legally, I think ANY two consenting adults should be able to marry, for whatever period they like, and for whatever reasons they have, regardless of race, sex, religion, or group they happen to belong to. Period.

    See the difference?

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Eileen:
    Read first, then post. They are trying to get GE to kill the show. They are writing to the head of the company to do that. They are not just complaining about the show (which they haven’t seen) but are trying to prevent me from seeing it.

  • Eileen

    I did read first, then post. Please don’t be so condescending. Let’s assume for a moment, they succeed. Do you think the show would then find a home on, let’s say, QTN? Or wouldn’t that be good enough?

    Oh, and please also don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say – or even imply – that I “abhor the gay lifestyle”. What I object to is being inundated with gay programming. I’m not even a Christian and don’t believe gays are sinners. I won’t bore you with a long list of gay friends who have found me to me utterly tolerant…so much so they’ve often come to me with their relationship ‘issues’.

    I don’t have a problem with Anyone lobbying for OR against a show. You do. We disagree. And that’s, as you say, what makes the world go ’round.

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    Have you noticed that the issues that the “Christian Right” are getting worked up about seem to get more and more trivial over time?

    From life altering issues like having a baby (birth control, abortion, sex education, etc), or drug and alcohol control (Prohibition, the Rockefeller drug laws, etc) they have slipped down to a series of mostly symbolic issues. The most recent: prayer at sports events, ten commandment displays, warning labels on media (or TV/movie/game ratings), and greetings at holiday time.

    It seems to me this is a sign of a movement losing not only its focus, but its followers. As the issue of gay marriage slips off the front page into the commonplace their warnings of the end of morality are becoming increasingly ignored. As I’ve said elsewhere, the demographics are against this movement, the young are less religious and more tolerant than their elders, its just a matter of time, and they know it.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    “Jeff,

    It’s funny that you tell Amy to “preach it,” but being the Christian that you are, she must think that you, too, are a nutjob. ”

    I think that people who believe in god have an area of their lives that they sequester from rational thought. I think it would be better if they were more rational, and the world would be a much less miserable place if people were taught secular ethics, rather than taught to be good so they won’t be squashed by some Big Thumb. That said, I really don’t care what people believe in — god, santa, or flying purple dinosaurs — as long as schoolchildren aren’t asked to say, “I pledge allegiance, under purple dinosaur,” and the church/synagogue/mosque isn’t otherwise brought into state.

    My other problem is the use of religion as an excuse for tribalistic behavior; ie, “we’re the chosen people” (which implies “we’re the chosen people and you suck”)…but the worst of it is the excuse for hating those who are different. And nobody really thinks about it, but if some of those haters who commented above, and those of their ilk, could put people to death or in jail for homosexuality, I’m guessing they would. Come on all you haters…be honest…what do you want…if you could have anything, in respect to your feelings on homosexuality?

    And by the way, my best friend is gay. He’s an epidemiologist — a public health researcher. He put himself through graduate school, getting out at age 42, so he could work (seven days a week most of the time) for better access to health care for poor people…for example, better vision care for the disabled children of inner city families. If some of you hateful types up there ever get down and out, you should only hope there are more like him. And, by the way, his experience being gay — being different and an outcast thanks to people like you — is part of what drew him to devote his life to helping the “underserved populations.” Metaphorically, as a gay person, to some degree, all his life, he’s been the filthy homeless guy everybody gives a wide birth as they pass him on the street. Think about how that feels. And I can’t resist…then think about this: What Would Jesus Do?

  • W.J. Jones

    Amy,

    I don’t “sequester from rational thought” the logic that time, space and matter had to have a point of beginning. To believe emphatically, despite the evidence around you, that there is no creator is to me the largest leap of faith one can take.

    Having friends who are agnostics, I can understand their qualms with faith and religion, and even creation. But the road you’ve chosen requires more faith than a stadium during a Billy Graham crusade.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    Because you don’t know where something came from doesn’t mean it makes sense to assign it, utterly without proof, to the place you were told it came from.

    I’m not an agnostic. That would be like saying I’m agnostic about the existence of flying carpets on the LA freeways today. Sure, there could be a flying carpet exiting now at Robertson. But, until I see proof of it — and proof isn’t lots of people believing in it — that’s just peer pressure — I’m going to be a-flyingcarpet-istic as well as atheistic.

    Again, apply rationality, don’t just graze it and pretend what you’re contending makes sense. There’s zero proof of god. Those with the extraordinary claims are the ones who must prove them.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    A note for those who think being an atheist means being without principles, here are mine in brief:

    Be kind, live ethically, live rationally, and “leave the campground better than you found it.”

  • http://www.mythusmageopines.com/mt Alan Kellogg

    Jeff,

    Isn’t it amazing how some people can read your words, and fail to read your message?

  • T. Tucker

    Jeff ,you claim to be a Christian, but your angry f-bomb laced entries and replies seem to reflect a serious lack of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that are evident in the life of one who is truly devoted to Christ.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    “Jeff ,you claim to be a Christian, but your angry f-bomb laced entries and replies seem to reflect a serious lack of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that are evident in the life of one who is truly devoted to Christ.”

    Unbelievable.

    Mr. Tucker, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were an atheist posting this crap to make believers look bad.

    You know, I come to this blog from time to time — I don’t know Jeff Jarvis, but because of a silly interchange I had with a friend of his — if even he knew of it — I suspected he didn’t like me.

    That said, I find his posts to be wise, good-hearted, and fair. And as for the “f-bomb” complaint, I recently read data that shows inserting “swear words” into speech (and I would imagine, writing) increases the attention to your message paid by others.

    Hey, Mr. Tucker, heard of the first amendment? Cato puts out a nice little edition of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution — a neat little booklet you can carry around in your pocket for only $4.95. Perhaps you should read up on Cohen v. California, 1971, the “fuck the draft” case. The Supreme Court said, essentially, that sometimes the wrong words are precisely the right words to communicate one’s message.

    I care about the content of somebody’s character — and again, I don’t know Jeff but I read what he posts, and I’m impressed. And I say that as somebody with a strong sense of ethics who thinks it’s ridiculous that Jarvis believes in god, but respects his balanced and thoughtful, yet passionate, approach to the subjects he covers.

    T. Tucker above — assessing what kind of person Jarvis is by the fact that he uses (and this is so juvenile — “the ‘F-bomb'”) — well, that’s exactly the kind of smug smallmindedness you often see in religion. To me, although, again, I only have the most surface view — as I’d assume most commenting here do — what I consider the good parts of Christianity are reflected in the postings by Jarvis I’ve read here. Again, whose approach do you think Jesus would go for, Jarvis’ (f-bombed or not) or your volunteer judge act. Hey, by the way, isn’t there some “judge not yet ye be judged” bit in the bible? Heh – guess you’re getting yours from me, Mr. Tucker.

    Finally, if the often completely unique intellectual content here isn’t enough to get you past the (gasp!) “f-bombs,” well, I’m sure there’s some site of smug, small minds that will welcome you into their fold so you can all sit around congratulating each other on your exceptional righteousness. The good ones? See above, my homo best friend, who’s helping poor children get health care — in between taking it up the butt from time to time. More like him, please, and less like you. Fuck yeah.

  • chico haas

    That was the “Be kind” part?

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    That was the “be effective” part.

  • Eileen

    Amy,

    You, the proud, LLL athiest! Bravo? I was an agnostic for 20 some years so I kind of understand. Kind of. But you just spew hatred in the most awful fashion. You think you are so *right* and so *holier than thou*. A little news will be coming your way soon, but only if you have the capacity to have an open heart. [I’m sure you do.] And on the subject of kindness? You’re not in any position to lecture the rest of us about it. Sorry, my friend. Your anger trumps.

    kat, you, on the other hand do NOT spew hatred contrary to our host’s charge. You just provide facts…facts some people apparently don’t wish to acknowledge and aren’t prepared to accept.

    Nice to see you..and Ravo, too.

  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    I get it: “Hatred” is what you don’t agree with. Feel free to point out any specific remarks that reflect more than a “Gee, I don’t agree with it,” or, probably more to the point, a “Gee, that thought scares me!” orientation.

    You understand little about me if you think being somebody bought into Pascals Wager is some kind of entrée into my head.

    I do love the veiled Jesus prediction of the great things that will come to me if I believe. What about a four-year-old who believes and is raped and murdered? How does she fare in that equation.

    Regarding kindness, being kind takes judiciousness. Being kind (and polite) means not personally cutting you to the quick, merely attacking your beliefs. What’s required here, however, is rationality to counter the intolerance and hate.

    You know, I’m a total free speech advocate. Somebody posted something on my site, saying I looked like a trannie. Aw, who cares? I laughed, actually, and left that and all other attacks on me up. (The only thing I do take down are statements libeling somebody else, and those come few and far between — only maybe twice have I removed posts for that reason.) But, what makes my blood boil, because of the damage it does, it the intolerance and hate reflected above in the name of religion; most specifically, Christianity.

    Like my gay friend, I got an early start at experiencing this, when starting from age six, kids called me “dirty Jew” and said “you killed Jesus.” (I reportedly said, “I’m six, I don’t even kill bugs.”) The hate escalated from there until my father had to meet with the junior high principal to stop a gang of girls from more anti-Jewish epithets who were also throwing chairs at me as I tried to walk to class. I’m now post-Jewish, and I’ve seen firsthand the divisiveness of religion that I see again here. It’s ugly business, and all of the little cloaked statements you make about Jesus aren’t backed up in the slightest with proof. Again, take the four-year-old girl example. When one lives through some trauma, it’s “god saved her.” When she’s raped and murdered, strange nobody says “god did it, that little brat must have deserved to suffer.”

    Belief in god is a primitive and ultimately damaging thing. Imagine all those people we’re fighting in the Middle East, if god disappeared from their heads this moment: do you really think anybody would be blowing each other up? They’d be inventing things and participating in the global economy.

    I’m hoping this will be my last post on this item, as I have a column to write, and it’s pointless to argue any further with people who take an irrational approach to existence. I can no more persuade you to give up your evidence-free, hatred-promoting view of the Big Imaginary Friend than I can persuade the schizophrenic wandering down Venice Beach that he isn’t walking down the boardwalk with a giant mollusk named Fred.

  • http://rightnumberone.blogspot.com rightnumberone

    Amy,

    Couldn’t agree with you more. “I’m a Christian too., so fuck off!” is not something I’ve ever read either in the Book of Daniel, or any other book.

    Jeff: Encouraging GE to NOT ADVERTISE on this show is not an attempt at getting it KILLED. Only the producer of the show has that power.

    You don’t seem to understand how television works (or I don’t) so correct me if I’m wrong.

    NBC is a DISTRIBUTOR of content. The producers of the show are the CREATORS of the content. As such, the producers of the show can SELL their content to whomever they wish (in this case, apparently, NBC offered the highest price for this content).

    NBC can afford to pay this high price ONLY BECAUSE of the fact that General Electric is taking its stockholders’ money and forking it over to its own subsidiary company, NBC. I could object to that just on general economic principal as a waste of shareholder resources.

    So, encouraging GE to NOT waste those resources on a program many will find offensive or distasteful is NOT THE SAME THING as killing the show. The show can be sold to SOME OTHER PARTY, which is not NBC and which is not supported by GE advertising, such as Home Box Office, or Showtime, which are supported by viewer subscription.

    I’m quite certain that if this show aired on HBO, the AFA would have zero problem with it. If it was on HBO, only people who WANTED to see it would see it.

    The producers of this show COULD have sold it to HBO. But instead, they chose to sell the show to NBC, because NBC was willing to PAY MORE than HBO, thanks to GE’s deep pockets.

    NBC is JUST A DISTRIBUTOR. It can no more “kill” this show than you or I can. But, NBC distributes this show using “pipes” that do NOT BELONG to NBC.

    These pipes belong NOT JUST to YOU, but ALSO to me and the members of the AFA. These “pipes” are the public airwave spectrum.

    The public spectrum is a limited, finite resource that NBC has been licensed to use for FREE on the condition that they won’t air objectionable content (as defined by those who OWN the airwaves … the public.) NBC is violating that agreement, according to the owners of the airwaves (the complaining public.)

    NBC knew going in that there would be some times when the public would find its content objectionable, and that they would have to not distribute such content. But, since they are getting the “pipes” for NOTHING, it’s a good deal for them.

    But that in no way forces the producers of the program from continuing to produce it, and to sell it to the NEXT HIGHEST BIDDER.

    If the AFA is successful in encouraging GE to NOT SPONSOR this show, then NBC is still certainly free to air it. Will they? Hard to say. I haven’t found NBC to be anything but a PROFIT GENERATING center, and they probably don’t care one whit about your “right” to see this program. They just want to make MONEY OFF YOU (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    The producers will be free, then, to sell it to HBO, if, and only if, there is a demonstrable MARKET for it.

    Sorry this is so long, but we need to pick out the issues here; and your main complaint seems to be that if the AFA is successful in convincing GE, then THE SHOW can’t be shown – which is of course, not true, and a strawman argument.

    The only way the show wouldn’t be shown, is if nobody can make money showing it, and the producers choose to stop producing it.

  • http://www.onehandedeconomist.com Timothy

    I hope y’all know that this complete insanity is enough to make a libertarian cry.

  • The Martyr

    Tucker-

    I love how because of your relationship with God, you somehow think you have some right to judge Jeff because he uses curse words. If God is so timeless, then I’m sure words would mean little to him, as there meanings change over time. Not to mention the fact that he probably has better things to do than worry about Jeff’s language.

    And, who the hell are you to think you have some sort of monopoly on Jesus? What church did you go to that taught you that a relationship with Jesus isn’t something personal?

    Did God actually pick you out of the crowd and allow you to be the one to judge him? Are you the one that will be standing at the pearly gates giving the thumbs up or thumbs down? What a fuckin’ pretentious asshole you are.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    RNO1: GE OWNS NBC. Read the facts before posting. The so-called AFA is trying to get the head of GE and thus NBC not to air the show. This is not about GE advertising on the show but about GE letting me see the show.

    Yes, and I’m enjoying fuck just to piss you off.

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    Wow did this thread go nuts. Coupla points: admonition is not the same as judgement. I think that was what the one fellow was trying to do for Jeff–some slight admonition. And for Amy, Christianity has satisfied some of the most brilliant minds in the history of the world. And actually, since you cannot prove a negative, the burden of proof is on the atheist to prove wrong the many theistic evidences and proofs offered by Christianity. But it sounds as if you have your mind made up.

  • The Martyr

    And another simple admonition…
    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    Just because Christianity satisfied some brilliant thinkers does not make it true. So does Islam, so did Roman mythology, and so does communism, for that matter.

    The burden of proof is on the atheist? No, the burden of proof is on everyone when you’re talking about religion, unless, of course, you somehow have gotten more scientific proof than anyone else in the world, and based on this, have proven the existence of your God. I know this may be shocking, but I doubt that you have.

  • Ravo

    Amy, according to the ancient scriptures, which religions have corrupted, sin is pride and righteousnous. You write from both those positions.

    You are correct tho, in your observation:

    When one lives through some trauma, it’s “god saved her.” When she’s raped and murdered, strange nobody says “god did it, that little brat must have deserved to suffer.”

    The answer to that is one most religions avoid. The ancient, unadulterated scriptures do not though.

    They clearly tell us God did create evil and it’s thru the incredible evil all humans are capable of [all of us, given the circumstances], that humble us enough to strip us of our silly righteousnous.

    A good study of the ancient scriptures, sans all the stuff religions have added over the years in the transcriptions [ie: the word hell cannot be found in the ancient scriptures] is at:
    http://bible-truths.com

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    I didn’t say that made it true. I was referring to her comment about sequestering rational thought.

    I wrote that it is the atheist who has to disprove the many theistic evidences (many scientific and archaeological) and proofs that are offered by Christianity. Didya even read my post?

    As far as throwing stones, I threw none here but I freely admit that I am a sinner in need of a savior. Martyr–you said you left the church or your beliefs due to the people there. Would you give up on math because the students were jerks? Makes no sense. There are a lot of terrible Christians. That doesn’t make God not God.

    The Zoner

  • Bob Williams

    The so-called and self-appointed American Family Association represents the “85%” of the American population that identify, as Christians.

  • The Martyr

    Well, that’s an apt comparison, math vs. religion. A better comparison would be, would I leave the Math Club if I disliked the majority of the people there, and the answer is yes.

    But I’ll bite, here’s a better explanation of where I’m at with this thing. So much has been done today, and over history in the name of God. Really horrible shit. Gay-bashing is just the tip the iceburg. The bible was used as the basis for the Klan, and unjust wars, and stifling of free speech, and the burning of books, and genocide. I just don’t think that would be something God would want to attach his name to. By that, I mean, God’s intentions would be too important for the whims and corruption of man.

    Also, believing in one religion, for the most part is admitting that all the others are wrong. And each one has some grain of evidence for support, whether it’s faith based or archeological. But the bottom line is, somebody has to be right and somebody has to be wrong. So, if I were to grow up in India, raised by Hindu parents, whom I trusted, admired, and believed, but Christianity turned out to be the true reflection of God, I’m screwed, no matter how good of a life I’ve lead. That just doesn’t seem like a fair and just God to me, and I frankly don’t think that’s right.

    I’m not sure whether there is a god or not, but I do know this. The more science explains, the less room there is for god. Religion thrives most, and people are led most easily when they are ignorant.

  • chico haas

    Yeah, about 80% of the country marks a box that can be categorized as a Christian religion. About half of those say they attend church. And who knows what percent of those even knows there’s an AFA. Probably more by today, I suspect.

    Either you support activism or you don’t. Moveon, AFA, Jesse Jackson, whatever. If you’re willing to speak up, you better be ready to get shouted down. That’s the American way.

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  • http://www.advicegoddess.com Amy Alkon

    “it is the atheist who has to disprove the many theistic evidences (many scientific and archaeological) and proofs that are offered by Christianity.”

    What, you found a rock that has “Kilroy” crossed off and “God was here” chiseled into it? And god came to you in a dream and said, “Yo, that was me!” Sorry, that’s not proof, but it might suggest you should eat less interesting food before tucking in for the night.

    Nor, for example, is any suggestion that Jesus actually existed proof of any divinity. As I posted on my blog the other day, you’re a 16-year-old girl and you get knocked up, what do you tell your father…”It was that hippie shepherd, Joseph”…or “God did it”?

    Proof there’s a god? There is none. None. None. None.

    And now, back to rereading Albert Ellis’ GUIDE TO RATIONAL LIVING — the antithesis of the irrationality splayed in some of the posts here. Oh, and on an amusing Ellis note, he says “fuck” all the time, and he’s 91 and one of the fathers of cognitive therapy. Once the APA felt compelled to not print their conference procedings because Ellis said fuck so much. (One of my favorite Ellis-isms – “No, unfuck you, fucking’s a good thing!) Of course, I’d be willing to bet his fucking talk was the most brilliant and sensible one given.

  • chico haas

    “Of course, I’d be willing to bet his fucking talk was the most brilliant and sensible one given.”

    Nice to know you bet. Is it okay with you if others want to?

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    It’s obvious Amy that you would rather sling around sarcasm in an attempt to belittle or make fun of Christians than actually look at the proofs Christianity presents and have an intelligent discourse about it. Or you’d rather place hands over your ears and type “none. none. none.” You actually make my argument for me, so thanks.

    But you are right about one thing–I definitely need to stop eating late at night. Those dreams are creepy.

    “Oh boy–sleep! That’s where I’m a Viking!”–Ralph Wiggum

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Yes, let’s bet. The horse I back is science, since among its other virtues (such as proving its theories), those who believe in it admit they do not have all of the answers, unlike religion which does, based on no evidence, nothing; just the dreams of a few ancient story-tellers who spent too much time in the desert sun.

    Others are more than free to bet on a flawed invisible superbeing that has done lots for humanity – like, for instance, the black plague. People back then felt that the plague was a punishment for humanity’s sinfullness. When Mycea experienced earthquakes and volcanoes long before Christ and perished, there is evidence that a cult spang up to appease the angry god of the sea (for all the good it did them after their island was destroyed and their population decimated). Not only do I love that we still believe in religion (and have the arrogance to assume that we believe in the RIGHT religion), I love that we persist in believing in it in spite of all that we have learned in the last two millenia.

    Place your bets by all means. There’s a sucker born every minute!

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    Ok Noel. Let your science rip. I agree–we all just evolved out of ocean muck. Cosmologically and teleologically it all points to a creator.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Someone blew things up on purpose? What are you talking about exactly? There was and is no plan. And the other thing that is conveniently ignored is that we are a tiny insignifcant part of a very big universe. Things really do not revolve around us nor are they focused on us. We are a microscopic element and, in my view, not a very important one. I say this because if planet earth and all of its inhabitants were to suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke, the solar system earth belongs to would instantaneously absorb the vacuum, the
    galaxy would keep spinning among all of the other galaxies, and the universe would continue expanding, in much the same way your body effortlessly repairs a damaged cell without you noticing.

    Based on what we know and can prove, believing we are somehow special or significant is not a mature way of looking at our situation in the vast coldness of space.

  • W.J. Jones

    Noel,

    Zoner’s point, I think, is that skeptics can never explain that “vast coldness of space” you speak about, namely how it came to be vast, cold, and continually expanding.

    Expanding from where? From what point?

    You say you follow science, but really you follow a blind faith that follows the motto, “We’re here and we don’t know how we got here, and frankly don’t really care.” In fact, as science breaks new ground, it continually points to — and not away from — a creator wiser than you and me.

    A Big Bang? Fine, but where did the “bang” come from?

    Evolution? Fine, but where did the first tiny molecules of life come from?

    Vast galaxies millions of years away from us? Fine, but if something is expanding, where did it begin? And where did it come from?

    While you may disagree with it, Christianity gives evidence of where we came from: someone much more brilliant than me created both you and me, and we’re more than animals because, unlike them, we are born with a soul handed down by our maker.

    I must have missed your explanation somewhere. Care to share it?

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Hello again, W.J. Long time no blog ;-)

    “Where did the bang come from?”

    We don’t know yet, but at least science is working towards solving this and many other mysteries, not with wide-eyed, baseless faith, but through proofs. Christianity, on the other hand, offers hearsay evidence of a supposedly divine birth and no proof for the existence of a God.

    “Where did the first tiny molecules of life come from?”

    We discussed this in a previous debate. Amino acids.

    “If something is expanding, where did it begin?”

    From its center, in this case, the center of the universe which we know everything is expanding from because we can measure the movement. It is worth pointing out that we are very far from the center of the universe.

    “And where did it come from?”

    Nobody knows. You can say it is God, but you have no evidence. Science is working on solving it, and it is doing it by relying on proofs rather than wishful thinking.

    “Christianity gives evidence of where we came from”

    It tells a story about where we came from, but it offers no evidence to support that story.

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    Why do people get so concerned with the creation of the universe when there are plenty of things wrong in the here and now that can be improved?

    There seems to be a common tendency for people to latch onto a belief system and use that to explain “everything”. This can be religious or a social organization. In the 20th Century Socialism and Communism gathered adherents who were just as oblivious to reality as many religious followers. While debating the existence of a supernatural being there are still billions of people in distress who could use a little of this passion.

    Don’t just sit there arguing angels on the head of a pin, do something!

  • The Martyr

    Zoner said:

    “It’s obvious Amy that you would rather sling around sarcasm in an attempt to belittle or make fun of Christians than actually look at the proofs Christianity presents and have an intelligent discourse about it. Or you’d rather place hands over your ears and type “none. none. none.” You actually make my argument for me, so thanks.”

    So, why would she need to place her hands over her ears? I’m all ears. You keep all referring to this proof, so spill it. I’m dying to know the definitive answer.

    The problem is you have none.

    The inherent problem with your argument is that it’s basically just pointing out holes in science, which only works until that hole is covered up. Just because we don’t scientifically know how exactly the world started, doesn’t mean you can just make up the answer and call it fact.

    And who is the fantasist here, as you portray her to be. You believe that an all-powerful and all-knowing God that can magically impregnate woman, fit every species of animals into a big boat, and die and then three days later, rise again spoke words and created our entire universe in 6 days, before his 1 day break? Yes, that is way more sensible and logical than the big-bang theory or evolution, both of which have foundations in fact. Your stories have foundations in other stories, translated from other stories.

    Fortunately, being in the majority doesn’t make your nonsense correct.

  • Ravo

    “One day there was this wooden paperweight in a drawer. Somehow by wind or earthquake (natural causes) the drawer would open and close by itself and each time a new object would fall in.

    A fishhook fell in and after many years a helpful relationship developed whereby the paperweight helped the fishhook do a better job. They had no inbuilt desire to become a mousetrap.

    Many years later they met a spring and together the 3 of them found they could abandon their erstwhile functions and do better work as a tie clip. A long time later the metal bar showed up and, hey presto, the mousetrap was born.

    You can, with much faith, [much more than I have] believe that about the origin of cells – a million times more complex than a mousetrap – or you could believe that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth:” …the Bible’s first words.”

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    You know what? You’re right. I’ve seen the light and I’m starting a new religion.

    I believe, fervently and wholeheartedly, in the Big Toe. Not many people know this, but the Big Toe is the source of all energy and support in the body. And the Big Toe of the space-time continuum is now my God. I believe this because of a vision I had in the shower just the other day. Like a flash, I saw my big toe and understood the significance of its being in all its glory. We are all the Big Toe of each other and of the universe itself.

    Hail the right Big Toe! Praise be to the B.T. It is year zero, the dawn of a great new era. This time next year, it will be year one A.T. (After Toe).

    Please send all donations to P.O. Box 5, Sacramento, CA 20011 or I’ll squash you under my toe. Never mind the undertow. Ye sinners beware or you will experience the UnderTOE.

    On behalf of the Big Toe in the sky, I have spoken.

    Toe Bless You All, My Children.

  • The Martyr

    Congratulations, Ravo. I’ve now heard the most ridiculous comparison of my entire life.

    All Hail Big Toe! I both love and fear you.

  • http://www.mythusmageopines.com/mt Alan Kellogg

    You know, with friends like WJ and Ravo I’d rather have enemies.

  • Ravo

    The mousetrap is the big bang theory…not mine.

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  • The Martyr

    Yes, I understand, Ravo. I said that comparison is ridiculous. It sounds like someone trying, and failing, to dumb down science. Maybe too much. I need it dumbed down, but not to the kindergarten level.

  • Ravo

    Darwinism…an even bigger leap of faith.

    Where science says, “No miracles allowed,” Darwinism asks us to believe in miracles.

    excerpted from: http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=11152

    “Darwinism is in trouble today for the reason creationism was in trouble 80 years ago. It makes claims that are beyond the capacity of science to prove.

    Darwinism claims, for example, that matter evolved from non-matter — i.e., something from nothing — that life evolved from non-life; that, through natural selection, rudimentary forms evolved into more complex forms; and that men are descended from animals or apes.

    Now, all of this is unproven theory. And as the Darwinists have never been able to create matter out of non-matter or life out of non-life, or extract from the fossil record the “missing links” between species, what they are asking is that we accept it all on faith. And the response they are getting in the classroom and public forum is: “Prove it,” and, “Where is your evidence?”

    And while Darwinism suggests our physical universe and its operations happened by chance and accident, intelligent design seems to comport more with what men can observe and reason to.

    If, for example, we are all atop the Grand Canyon being told by a tour guide that nature, in the form of a surging river over eons of time, carved out the canyon, we might all nod in agreement. But if we ask how “Kilroy was here!” got painted on the opposite wall of the canyon, and the tour guide says the river did it, we would all howl.

    A retreating glacier may have created the mountain, but the glacier didn’t build the cabin on top of it. Reason tells us the cabin came about through intelligent design.

    Darwinism is headed for the compost pile of discarded ideas because it cannot back up its claims. It must be taken on faith. It contains dogmas men may believe, but cannot stand the burden of proof, the acid of attack or the demands of science. “

  • The Martyr

    Ravo-

    Thanks for posting an excerpt from a noted scientist by the name of Pat Buchanan.

    You should also note that intelligent design exists only in the places that science has yet to explain. Backers of intelligent design are giving up on the fact that things like natural selection have occured, and have dropped the ridiculous claim that the world is only 2,000 years old.

    Yes, there are holes in the theory of evolution, and there is noone denying that. But, merely assigning a god in those holes is not science. Holes in one theory is not evidence of another.

    And really, fucking Pat Buchanan, are you serious?
    Jeez.

  • Patrick

    Some of you seem to want to dismiss blantant censorship as “free speech.” Do they have the right to protest the show, if it offends? Yes. Do they have the right to try to keep you from watching it? No.

    By the way, Amy. If someone ever accuses you of killing Jesus again, just confess to the crime but protest there should be a statute of limitations for something you did 2000 years ago.

    Strange, how that prejudice works. Yes, those who killed Jesus were Jews. On the other hand, those who were his followers and perpetuated his life’s work were also Jews. And furthermore Christians seem to believe that Jesus’ death was to provide a ready pardon from all sins for all those who ask for it. So, wouldn’t killing Jesus have been a GOOD thing? It’s not like he stayed dead, anyway.

  • Bill Henry

    Never mind those “homo” shows. The ones that need to be taken off the air are those vile programs such as the ones on the Discovery Channel that say the earth and universe are more than 6,000 years old. Why, they had a series of shows on recently that talked about the earth being millions, even BILLIONS of years old! This is pure communist propaganda to deny the word of Holy scripture which is most definite about the age of the earth; just trace back all those generations to Adam and Eve.
    Surely all those dinosaurs were on Noah’s 450 foot arc along with sheep and goats. I still don’t know how the damn kangaroos made it all the way from Australia to get on the arc, then got Noah to bring ‘em back home before he ditched the arc on Mt Ararat, but that’s just going to have to be one of those “god works in mysterious ways” deals, I’m afraid. In this joyous Christmas season, I must leave you with the words of our Saviour in Luke 12:47 where he expresses his love for the downtrodden: And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

  • The Martyr

    I agree with Bill.

  • Bill Henry

    Oh, I forgot….A belated MERRY CHRISTMYTH to all……and next year stop singing that song where the you know who sing “don we now our gay apparel”. This overt promotion of the homosexual lifestyle can only serve to incur the wrath of god and make next year’s hurricane season even worse. We even had tropical storm Zeta form today! Jesus Christ, enough already! Tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes are all reminders from god not to buy that Sirius satellite radio and listen to Stern. Take heed before it’s too late!

  • chico haas

    The good news: all of you can be saved, either cryogenically or through baptism.

    The bad news: nobody really knows for what.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Where science says, “No miracles allowed,” Darwinism asks us to believe in miracles.

    Ravo, I have a nice little Darwinian story for you: the story of the hawk moth of Madagascar. Darwin was given a Star of Bethlehem orchid to examine. This flower has a 12″ neck. Darwin hypothesized that there must be a moth out there with a 12″ tongue that had evolved alongside this flower. He was ridiculed.

    Fifty years later, it was discovered. You can see a picture of it here.

  • Ravo

    Could be an intelligent entity did the equivalent of “pollinating” the beginning of this complex world.

  • Bill Henry

    C’mon Noel, That moth picture must have been faked by the Atheists, homoSEXuals, and those tied to the Clintons. I think Ann Coulter will be releasing a book soon re the Clinton tie-in to this liberal fabrication.

  • The Martyr

    “Where science says, “No miracles allowed,” Darwinism asks us to believe in miracles.”

    An addendum to Noel’s comment on Ravo dumbassery…

    Science doesn’t say there are no miracles allowed, or there is no such things as miracles, but restricts itself to the study of the natural world. It does this because things that are in the supernatural are not testable, and therefore not scientific.

    So, yes there are no miracles in science, but for good reason. What if instead of testing outcomes of different medications, our scientists instead led the charge to pray for cures and proclaim miracles when the sick are healed. Is that the alternative your looking for?

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    “Could be” doesn’t mean did. You need evidence to suggest that. In the absence of any, you invite ridicule, as Darwin did, until what he suggested was proven, fifty years after he’d suggested it.

    We’ve been waiting 2,000 years for even a little evidence to show up to lend credence to Christianity’s claims. How is it that God (or this “intelligent entity” you refer to) moves so slowly in this important matter when he (or it) was supposedly capable of creating the entire universe in less than a week?

    Why are you substituting the word ‘God’ for “an intelligent entity”? What is this “intelligent entity”? Should we be worshipping an unknown alien superbeing?

  • Ravo

    Noel, I am just a human being with an average IQ. I know shit in the grand scheme of things. No matter how high the IQ or education of even the best of us, I’d say we are all in the same boat…the variations minor when measured on the scale up against all possible knowledge.

    But feeble minded as I am, it would take a bigger leap of faith for me to believe that this awesomely – yes, scientifically blueprinted and designed world – came about randomly than to believe in an intelligent designer of some sort…(what some of us would refer to as a Creator or God)

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    It’s a big universe, Ravo, with a lot of random rocks crashing into each other. And suggesting you are “feeble minded’ does not excuse you from thinking for yourself or thinking through your ideas. Whatever your education, you have a brain and a reasoning mind. You can believe there are fairies at the end of your garden if you want to. It doesn’t mean they are there. And you can expect people who do not see them to ask you why you think they are there. Unfortunately, you have no answers. Hiding behind a ‘feel sorry for me, I didn’t go to Yale’ doesn’t cut much mustard with a guy from inner city Dublin.

  • http://marginalizingmorons.blogspot.com/ CaptiousNut

    Isn’t hating “bigots” just another form of bigotry?

    Can someone more versed in moral relativism explain this to me?

    Many enlightened folk go to great lengths to “understand” terrorists, so why not bigots?

    http://michellemalkin.com/archives/003967.htm

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    There are plenty of scientific proofs and evidences for Christianity. I’m not going to convince anyone in a comment on a blog, but here are a few things to mull over.

    1st, the founding fathers of science were devout Christians: Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Boyle, and Pascal. Others: D. E. Knuth, computer scientist, Stanford University; John Polkinghorne, quantum physicist, Cambridge University; Owen Gingerich, astronomer, Harvard; and H. F. Schaefer, quantum chemist, University of Georgia. The late Georg Cantor, founder of set theory, was a devout Christian.

    The proportion of Ph.D. scientists who attend church is almost exactly the same as that of the general population. Even Antony Flew has lost his atheistc beliefs http://www.biola.edu/antonyflew/

    Chandra Wickramasinghe, professor of applied mathematics at the University of Cardiff, Wales, reminded his readers that the statistical probability of forming even a single enzyme, the building block of the gene, which is in turn the building block of the cell, is 1 in 1,040,000 to the 28th power. The translation of that figure is that it would require more attempts for the formation of one enzyme than there are atoms in all the stars of all the galaxies in the entire known universe. Though a Buddhist, Dr. Wickramasinghe concedes this supernatural notion.

    So “impossible” is this event that Francis Crick, the Nobel-Prize-winning scientist who helped crack the code of human DNA, said it is “almost a miracle.”

    Another illustration for arriving at a single molecule of high dissymmetry through chance action and normal thermic agitation. He assumes 500 trillion shakings per second plus a liquid material volume equal to the size of the earth. For one molecule it would require “10243 billions of years.” Even if this molecule did somehow arise by chance, it is still only one single molecule. Hundreds of millions are needed, requiring compound probability calculations for each successive molecule. His logical conclusion is that “it is totally impossible to account scientifically for all phenomena pertaining to life.

    That’s a lot of science right there.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    There are plenty of scientific proofs and evidences for Christianity.

    Like what? Telling us what several Christian scientists believed is neither scientific proof nor evidence. What you’ve given us is their personal opinions.

    As to “the founding fathers of science were devout Christians”, the ancient Greeks made advances in science long before Christ was born and Christianity came into being.

    Here’s a sampling (taken from a previous thread referred to above):

    1. The Bible 2,000 yrs ago – the earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22)

    2,500 years ago. Ancient Greeks. Pythagorus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras and Parmenides: the earth is a sphere. Pythagorus went so far in his mathematical craft that he touched on calculus.

    The church 500 years ago – “the earth is flat, Galileo. Anyone says different and we’ll set fire to them, capiche?”

    Science now: the earth is a sphere, not though hearsay, but through proven scientific fact.

    2. The Bible 2,000 yrs ago – Creation made of invisible elements (Heb:11:3)

    2,500 years ago. Ancient Greeks, including Aristotle, Empedocles and Lucretius who all lived and wrote books before Christ appeared (who incidentally never actually wrote a book himself) believed in evolution, that life started in the sea and that changes happened to animals when they moved to dry land. The Ancient Greeks realized that fossil shells were formed in ancient seas.

    Democritus, another Ancient Greek, espoused that all matter consisted of “atoms”, smaller than could be discerned by the eye.

    Science now: we’ve seen these elements and seen inside them.

    3. The Bible 2,000 yrs ago – Light moves(Job 38:19,20)

    2,300 years ago. Euclid, the ancient Greek, wrote (please note this word. People didn’t say he said this. We have his manuscript), Euclid wrote Optica in about 300 BC in which he studied the properties of light which he postulated travelled in straight lines.

    Science now: light moves. And they say it now not because they believe it to be true, but because it has been proven to be true.

    4. The Bible 2,000 yrs ago – ocean floor has deep valleys and mountains((2 Samuel 22:16;Jonah 2:6)

    2,500 years ago. The Ancient Greeks understood the rise and fall of the ocean floor. They lived on islands and knew that the ocean floor was not flat.

    Science now: not only does science understand that the ocean floor has valleys and mountains, but they have mapped them. Plus they know that earthquakes are not due to the great god, Cracken, but to plate tectonics. Even the Greeks still had their gods which is understandable considering there were things they could not explain about the physical world. We have come to a level where we also cannot say we have all the answers either, but we are not so afraid of what we don’t know that we have to invent benevolent or demonic superbeings to fill the gap in our knowledge.

    5. The Bible 2,000 yrs ago – air has weight (Job 28:25)

    2,300 years ago. Ctesibus, you guessed it, the Ancient Greek, realized through experimentation that air was a substance. Through his work, he is known for his improvement of the water clock, a mechanism similar to that used in 20th century flushed toilets which relies on the understanding not only of air and water pressure, but also on the relationship between these two substances. He also invented a water organ, purely frivolous, but he couldn’t have done it without his work on the properties of air and water.

    Science now: we know that air has weight. We know how much it weighs and how much pressure it exerts depending on our elevation (or how close we are to the vacuum of space). We don’t know this because God told us or because someone who claimed they spoke for God told us. We know this through experimentation and the use of our reasoning mind.

  • chico haas

    Think you’re confusing the time of Christ, 2,000 years ago, and the age of the Old Testament, which significantly predates His time. All of your quotes are from the Old Testament and could have been written earlier than the dates you cite.

    Good point about the air, though. Would that be hot air?

  • Ravo

    And you can expect people who do not see them to ask you why you think they are there. Unfortunately, you have no answers.

    You are correct Noel. Faith by the very word is something one believes in without proof. One has no obligation to defend one’s reasons for believing in God to you or anyone else.

    But come to think of it:

    …..as Zoner pointed out, the law of probability supports faith to a greater degree than it does the big bang theory you apparently choose to believe in. (which scientists can give no real proof of either).

  • Eileen

    Amy,

    You assumed wrong. My “you will find good news soon – and etc.” didn’t have anything to do with ‘come to Jesus’. You just assumed that and ignored my earlier post that I wasn’t a Christian.

    I am a spiritualist, Amy. That means I believe in the Divine…but it encompasses many spiritual paths. I don’t go to anyone’s church because my church surrounds and abounds…

    I said to you what I did to endeavor to express that “the Guys”/the Divine will NOT impose upon you. If you don’t have an open heart and mind you won’t be bothered. If you don’t ASK you won’t RECEIVE any “proof” or confirmation of the existence of God. But if you even stop for a moment to consider the possibility that there is something GREATER than you in this existence…and if you stop and listen – and ASK…then you will start to receive your answers.

    Wishing that for you, Amy.

    ‘The more you Believe in miracles and the more you Expect them, the more they happen.’

    Just consider that possibility, eh Amy? You’re smart. Think about it.

  • The Martyr

    Hippie Alert!! Slow down on the weed Eileen.

  • Eileen

    Yeah, Martyr, listening to you.

    Maybe you’ll ask a question or two…

    BTW I still love weed.

  • Eileen

    A broader question:

    What are you athiests and agnostics afraid of? ASK if you don’t know/haven’t experienced the DIVINE. Test it. I dare you to!!!l

    Just ASK your questions with an open heart.

    Unless you’re a chickenshit. Are you afraid to find there is something greater than you here on this Earth?

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Chico, how about 500 or so years ago when the church decreed in the face of all available evidence that had been collected over the previous two millenia that the earth was flat and would burn you at the stake (or at the very least excommunicate you) for suggesting that as you took your fishing boat out onto the seas, you noticed a sort of curvy, roundy bit at the horizon and that logic told you that as landmarks disappeared over the horizon, that in fact what was happening was that you were going around something, something very big, like for example, a giant sphere?

    I am not confused. The quotes from the Old Testament I gave were held up as evidence by another intelligent designer in a previous debate, attempting to prove that the church was somehow scientific in its thinking. My point was that the ancient Greeks had far more advanced science than any figures in the Old or New Testament. They looked at science without any intrusion into their thinking by gods. All of the Greek sources I cite wrote books that broke down their theories on nature and math and science and sought to prove what they were claiming, showing their reasoning for their conclusions. There wasn’t any: “I heard an interesting thing down the village square this morning …” Objectively viewing the earth around them with alert and curious minds meant that their information was far more accurate and well thought out than anything the Testament, Old or New, had to offer or has since been able to offer. Nobody quotes Isiah as one of the great scientific thinkers of his time. Pythagorus, Euclid, Ctesibus are all famous to this day for the quality of their scientific work which has proven timeless.

    The Old Testament would not even qualify as science fiction, whereas the old writings of the Greeks do qualify as science. From the earth being created in 7 days, to turning people into pillars of salt, to people living for 175 years, to plagues etc. being punishments from God, the Old Testament is without doubt based on tribal myths. You find myths like them all over the world, from the Aborigines in Australia to Native Americans to African tribes. Human beings have always had curious minds and have always sought to answer every question about life. As we accumulate more knowledge, we are able to answer more of the questions we have more honestly and accurately than ever before.

    Would you have us turn the clock back, make offerings and sacrifices to an altar and imagine that every bad thing that happens – every earthquake, every volcano, every war – is a punishment from God or Gods? Should we throw out all the seismographs, all the weather satellites, all of the medical technology we have developed and instead try to appease some angry sadistic being in the sky with prayers, bowls of fruit and the occasional human being? Should we accept when we get cancer that God means for us to die? Should we stop producing vaccines to fight off illness? Should we stop building airplanes since if God intended us to fly he would have given us wings?

    Ravo:

    One has no obligation to defend one’s reasons for believing in God to you or anyone else.

    Yes you do. Every assertion you make in life must be defendable, whether it’s that the blue corvette rear-ended you on the turnpike or a God made the universe on purpose and by design and that our tiny insignificant speck of cosmic dust is the center of it all. If you have reasons for believing something, you must be able to defend them if you expect people to take you seriously.

    Eileen, I know that there are plenty of things on earth that are greater than me. And I know that everything in the universe is greater than me. It doesn’t stop me being curious about how it all really works, rather than how I would like to believe it all works because of what I was told to believe when I was a small child. I tell my children about Santa Claus, but I also tell them the truth when they are old enough to start asking me questions.

  • Bill Henry

    Ho-hum….another year has gone by and AJ (alleged Jesus) hasn’t showed up again. After nearly 2,000 years of “wait til next year”, what does it take to convince the gullible that “the greatest story ever told” is the greatest hoax of all time?

  • chico haas

    Noel:

    Quite agree. The Bible is no source for scientific answers. Science is no source for spiritual ones. It’s the folly of this debate. Neither is designed to do the other’s work.

    However, you (or whomever) can’t make a date comparison, Bible vs Greeks, and cite a fairly accurate date for Greeks and a bogus, more recent date for a biblical writer as your main proof. It’s bad form. But, as you explain, it’s somebody else’s hot air.

    As far as arrogance and wrongheadedness, it’s no more confined to churchmen seeking to maintain power 500 years ago than it is the domain of scientists like Newton who spent more time thinking about alchemy than he did about mathematics.

    Our great concepts like Science and Religion perform only as well as the people who wield them. Unfortunately, it’s us. One of the most tiresome arguments against religion “more people have been killed in the name of God blah, blah,,,” They never go on to reveal what all these people were killed with? Steel, cannons, Greek fire, guns, gas, bombs and, coming soon, fission – gifts from men of Science. We’re flawed, brothers. It could be a perfect world, except we’re in it.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Chico, when you say “spiritual” answers, what do you mean? What is your basis for believing there is a spirit?

    Being able to make an exact date comparison between when the bible said what it did and when the ancient Greeks said what they did is not as important as the quality of what each actually said.

    Your comparison between Newton and “churchmen seeking to maintain power” is questionable. Newton did not advocate burning people alive or excommunicating them for disagreeing with him.

    My objection to intelligent design is that it is a concerted attempt to hijack science by using ancient books filled with fairytales and tribal hearsay and attempting to somehow stretch these fantastic stories around what scientists have worked hard to learn and understand and prove about the world for over 3,000 years. It’s plagiarism, if not attempted theft. If they were to do some work of their own to support their claims for the existence of God, come up with testable hypotheses, maybe even a little evidence, I’d be willing to take a closer look. But being asked to accept folklore as fact, based on no evidence, is not something a thinking person can swallow. Trying to tell us that what is being claimed requires no evidence is not an acceptable position to take in this debate. Science is required to prove itself. So should spirituality if we are to be expected to accept it as truth.

    As for “it could be a perfect world, except we’re in it,” I could be flippant and say that we are supposedly created in God’s image, and therefore this God you speak of is most definitely and seriously flawed. But I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll agree with you. I think perfection is a fine thing to aspire to, but not something to expect, particularly not from human nature. If there is life on other planets watching us they must think we are very dangerous, unpredictable creatures indeed. We have a stockpile of nuclear bombs with which we can blow ourselves and our planet up twelve times over. It would be like us watching a group of baboons juggling vials of nitro-glycerin and doing somersaults whenever one lands on a rock and makes it explode.

    I hope we all evolve to a new level of sanity before any of us gets the chance to press the red button. ;-)

  • chico haas

    By paragraph:

    When I say it spiritual, I mean an indefinable quality in us beyond what can be explained. We are more than a jumble of chemical reactions and electrical charges. Hope, desire, faith, belief are as much a part of us as our small motor skills. How we direct it is our free will.

    It’s important if you place dates. 2000 years ago vs 2500 years ago. You made the comparison (or whomever) as proof one thing happened before another. I only corrected it by saying the writings in the Old Testament precede 2000 years ago. I make no claims about the quality of information – in fact, as I said, I wouldn’t look to the Bible for scientific insight.

    Not questionable. Both Newton and the Church displayed arrogance and wrongheadedness. Newton’s questionable sanity or Faustian hubris may have been the source of his. The Church trying to maintain control theirs. If you want to introduce the fact that Newton burned no one, go ahead. (Maybe he did!) Regardless, not my point.

    I don’t care one way or another about Intelligent Design. I do think, since you bring it up and it’s such a hot topic, that evolution has not been proved beyond a doubt. In the interest of what makes science a rigorous discipline, that should be noted in its presentation in school. As far as trying to prove the existence of God scientifically: madness. You may as well ask a hamster to explain the Motion of the Planets. It’s not equipped to do it. And unfair to request it.

    Be flippant. As long as it has wit.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Evolution has been proven beyond a doubt. How it occurs is still open to debate but that it occurs has been proven.

    It is you who are arrogant by asking us to believe in something without any evidence to support your claims.

  • Ravo

    Well, Noel, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

    There is no hard evidence of a Creator but that of the Creation itself.

    So far, puny man cannot explain the beginning, and will be just as helpless at the end. It’s in the middle that the spiritual battle of good vs evil takes place.

    Throughout the ages those that can see it, have been humbled to learn that, alone, our weak and selfish human pride and arrogance leave us inadequate to serving only goodness…ie: the Purpose then, of Spirituality.

  • Ravo

    …I do not confuse Spirituality with Churchs…organized religions will truly have a lot to answer for.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    There is no difference between spirituality and religion. You either accept the idea of God, or you do not. And if while ‘being spiritual’ you do not accept that God exists, then what is the point of your ‘being spiritual’?

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    So far, puny man cannot explain the beginning

    Thank you. Science admits that. Religion and spirituality do not. You cannot offer ‘God’ as an explanation when you admit you do not know the answer.

  • Ravo

    And if while ‘being spiritual’ you do not accept that God exists, then what is the point of your ‘being spiritual’?

    Spirituality to me is believing in a Creator. [God]

    As Eileen put it, one has to ask. …. the old saying, when the pupil is ready, [in this case to receive the grace of God], the teacher appears.

    I wind up in many places, – recently the journey has taken me to first to one level (a church) than on to other avenues (to clear up some contradictions I didn’t understand there), such as the site examining the ancient Words of Christ. http://bible-truths.com.

    I believe our personal journeys toward our Creator are just that….personal…as is the progress made between our maker and ourselves as we stop focusing on “it’s all about us”.

    Got to go..Happy New Year to all!

    P.S.

    Thank you. Science admits that. Religion and spirituality do not.

    Exactly, and that is why it’s called “FAITH”.

    You cannot offer ‘God’ as an explanation when you admit you do not know the answer.

    I offer you nothing, nor can I. Faith in God is not mine to give.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    God was thrust on me when I was a child and when I started to question the existence of such an entity, no one could justify his existence. You are free to form an opinion on anything. Believe you have an angel at your shoulder, believe there are fairies at the end of your garden, believe there is a loch ness monster under your bed, but if you wnat to convice people that they are really there, you’ll have to be willing to prove it.

    Thanks for being so honest.

    Happy New Year! :-)

  • Eileen

    Happy New Year, ALL. Hope you’re inundated with blessings in ’06! :)

  • John

    The problem with this show is that Jesus is being cast like the genie from Aladdin’s lamp, at the scriptwriter’s whim and will be appearing and saying things that reflect what culture has to say about Christ and not what the Church believes.

    To put Jesus in as a pop-up TV character diminishes His Lordship over all creation and makes Him out to be the pastor’s buddy, who magically appears when needed. Anybody of real faith knows that this is not the case and one of the real struggles of faith is that Christ has the Sovereign right to say “no” to our pleas and prayers, and that He does not pop up out of the blue when we want Him to.

    Perhaps if NBC had sought better pastoral experts in putting this show together, they would not be making such a colossal mistake.

  • Ravo

    but if you wnat to convice people that they are really there, you’ll have to be willing to prove it.

    First I can’t. Second, I wouldn’t bother trying. A sincere belief in God is not something that can be forced and coerced by earthly forces.

    You were exposed early on to a religious background, as was I. After nearly 30 years of Church attendance since birth, the sum of my spiritual knowledge then was less than I’ve learned in the last two years. Subsequently, I spent many years as a doubting Thomas, not attending any Church, and giving little thought to it all.

    One day I found myself inside of a Church with a very special Pastor. No earthly person had sent me, – it was not even a Church of the religion I was raised in. The Pastor believed in Christ, and his focus was on that…period. Not religion, per se.

    I attended for a while. I hadn’t understood the meaning of all the rote learning in my childhood. What I came to understand there left me wanting to know more.

    Even now, I question my faith nearly every day. The more I do, the stronger it seems to get.

    I know of nowhere the hard evidence you ask for can be found at this time.

    That you are demanding it – well, at the very least, – it makes those of us who believe think about and examine our faith. At best, it’s part of your own journey.

    And, ….that’s the way it works.

    The best to you {and Eileen, and everyone} in the New Year, Noel

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    It is your choice. Jesus lived and died 2000 years ago. There is no evidence he was divine. 2000 year old answers to questions we asked before we even knew what caused disease is definitely not enough for me, not when there is such a big universe and so much more to discover about it.

    Thanks for your kind wishes and the same to you. May this year be a healthy, prosperous and fun year for everyone.

  • Ravo

    Jesus lived and died 2000 years ago. There is no evidence he was divine. 2000 year old answers to questions we asked before we even knew what caused disease is definitely not enough for me,

    Understood.

    Amazes me though, how any man, born into obscurity, could have his story kept alive for 2,000 years basically in complete consistency from every corner of the earth when it originated as only papyrus [sp?] and quill, and be the best selling book most widely read book for each and every single one of those 2,000 years without divine intervention! lol

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    There are books older than the story of Jesus. Greek books of science (Optica by Euclid mentioned above) and mythology (the Odyssey by Homer), or books from China (the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, written 600 years before Christ was born), or books from India (the Hindu Vedic texts compiled between 1000 B.C. and 500 B.C., making them the oldest known group of religious writings in the world).

    The church gained a lot of power throughout the Dark Ages and consolidated those gains in the Middle Ages. At one point the church in places owned more land than kings. Wealthy, powerful and with promises of everlasting life at a time when no one knew what caused disease, a time when there was no anaesthetic for amputations, no anitbiotics or vaccines, when one in four children died, not to mention what the Black Plague did to humanity, I can see how the church gained a foothold with its tales of salvation. Since the discoveries and rediscoveries that were made beginning in the Rennaisance and proceeding with ever more success since, I can also see how it is losing that foothold.

  • Ravo

    There are books older than the story of Jesus.

    Yup,
    ….none of them on a best seller list 2,000 unbroken years long.

  • Ravo

    I can also see how it is losing that foothold.

    I read that Christianity is growing at 8% a year if you count the Biblical orthodoxy that is winning converts. It is the churches that have lost their biblical moorings that languish.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Not to take anything away from the bestseller lists, but the majority of people during most of those two thousand years couldn’t read, even in the Renaissance.

    Definitely the bible is full of interesting stories people have kept alive. In the Old Testament, you have incest, sodomy, intrigue, murder, politics, sun stroke victims talking to burning bushes and great prophets who heard voices telling them to kill their children. The New Testament isn’t quite as spicy, but there’s still plenty of miracles to keep the bored reader interested. And the hero of the story is supposed to be the son of God, which, you know, puts him right up there with Hercules. It’s the greatest soap opera ever told.

    If you go in for Islam, Jesus is just one of many prophets, Mohammed being the last and most important, at least to Muslims. If you’re a Jew, you do not believe that a Messiah has come yet. If you’re a Buddist or a Hindu or a Taoist, you don’t care much for the bible, old or new. And it’s worth pointing out that more than two billion people fall into this category.

    Jackie Collins sells millions of books, every one a bestseller. Doesn’t make it literature. It also doesn’t make it non-fiction :-)

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    I don’t think Christianity is gaining in popularity. People are leaving the church in droves, especially young people. The church is losing its appeal, despite the claims of vocal radicals who feel creationism should be taught as a viable alternative to evolution in science classroooms. People are not going to church as much anymore, no matter what branch of Christianity they were born into.

  • Ravo

    Doesn’t make it literature. It also doesn’t make it non-fiction

    You’re very right, of course.

    Just amazed that’s all, that any book, much less a book THAT hard to comprehend…(hey it ain’t an easy read, – most women would find Jackie Collins a bit more fun but she won’t be a top seller for a hundred years much less 2,000)…could be number #1 for 2,000 years without some sort of an ethereal boost. lol

  • Ravo

    People are not going to church as much anymore

    I rarely do either Noel, but my faith is stronger than ever. I’m not filling my spiritual well solely from Church, and I’m not alone. It’s darn hard to even find a Church that “gets it”.

    From the little I’ve read on the end times….I get there will be much Divine anger towards many Churches.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    If there is a God, I doubt very much he’s fixating his attention on boosting his results in the New York Times bestseller lists.

    No, I think the bible has itself to blame for its own success, containing as it does a ripping good yarn.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Divine anger? Or just people blowing each other up?

  • Ravo

    containing as it does a ripping good yarn.

    …it isn’t literal and few who read it can understand it.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    …it isn’t literal and few who read it can understand it.

    Gee, Ravo, I guess that makes you better than us. Wait! No! Let me guess … you don’t fully understand it either. God has decided not to speak straight and tell us plainly what’s on his mind, but use convoluted parables just to keep us guessing so bad people can’t pretend to be good and only truly good people can figure out what the heaven he’s trying to say,

    You are a mere pygmy on your spiritual journey in comparison to some spiritual giants who have reached nirvana and have their name ticked off on the entrance list scroll pinned in the guard tower adjacent to the pearly gates, just up the block from the Purgatory Bar and Grill.

    Get reading, Ravo, decipher the code, or it’s Hell’s Kitchen for you!

  • Ravo

    You are a mere pygmy on your spiritual journey

    Yes

  • Bill Henry

    Say, Noel, you forgot to mention in your list of bible atrocities, that the eternal tortures of hell were brought to us by none other than Jesus himself! In the old testament, Jehovah just killed you off for any minor transgressions such as picking up sticks on the sabbath or improperly looking into the arc of the covenant as 50,000 people found out! (1 Sam. 6:19 “The Lord smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the Ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people 50,070: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.” ) In those days, people only “lamented”; today they really get pissed off ! ….but I digress……
    However, in the NT, JC goes beyond the grave to torture the poor bastard who denies the so called holy spirt or maybe some other infraction that pisses him off, for ALL ETERNITY! But remember, Noel…..HE LOVES YOU!

  • Larry

    Unfortunatly I won’t be watching NBCs “The Book of Daniel” because I will be out partying Friday night, getting drunk and maybe popping a pain-killer with my fellow gay friends. I wonder if the AFA is aware of the real world or if they only protest tv shows about it??? (P.S. I will be TIVOing it to watch Sunday morning!)

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  • Teresa

    John, did you somehow get to see the show or read the script ahead of time? Is it a fact that it is supposed to be the “real Jesus” showing up in the show, or maybe just the pastor’s imagination a la “Six Feet Under”?

  • Lee

    The thing I think most are missing is that this country is founded on a democratic (NOT meaning Democratic Party) form of government. The majority rules. It is also founded on basic FAMILY values.
    That is all this boils down to.

    You fool yourself if you think that most AMERICAN FAMILIES value this sort of programming comming into their homes.

    Most parents in America do still love their children enough to stop harmful things(whatever form they come in) from hurting their children. Most parents would not allow or bring anything harmful into their homes that would harm their children

    That being said, many of these said families have removed cable from their homes to stop the cable programming that they feel is unfit and an attack on their values, children and families. So then when the 3 main networks start pumping this same sort of programming into their homes, they feel pushed into a corner and say enough is enough.

    Why should these families be forced to at last remove the TV altogther from thier homes.

    So going back to what I said about his being a democratic form of government, this families voted with their finances by not buying from companies advertising on this shows, by their emails and phone calls.

    A pure example of demceacy at work.

  • Lee

    oops
    democracy