Critical Thinking – A Lesson In How To Discover Why People Suck!

No, this is not some special self-help course introductory offer where you can get 40% off if you call in the next ten minutes. This is just me dissecting a news clip about religion in a cynical way. How I look at the world – more or less.

The Starting Line

Generally such pieces start off with the promise of being something of value. In this case it’s a news report. As a bonus, it has a fear monger title: “Atheists are taking over the world” so you  know from the very start that despite the fact that this is from Fox News it’s going to be bad. Granted, the Fox news people didn’t play it like that per se, but they are certainly in that area of the garden path.

This special piece of reporting starts off as a recap of a report that shows that the third largest group in the world when considering religious affiliations is those with no religious affiliation, third after Christians and Muslims. They forgot to mention that name of the report in this clip, so I’ll guess it was this one by the Pew Forum On Religion and Public Life

The Argument From Authority

Yes, they start off with an argument from authority. If you don’t have authority figures talking then there is no news, apparently. Oh, I guess they have man-on-the-street-interviews too, but that hardly works for this story. So, what and who are their authorities?

To talk about the report they brought in a mega-church Baptist Minister and a Rabbi. No representation for the ‘nones’ in this gig. So clearly we’re only going to get the religious side. That’s right, a nut job evangelical and a Jewish guy. No Muslims allowed to represent. In fact they are talking to representatives to speak for less than one third of the religious landscape.  This is not fair and balanced by any stretch of the imagination but it passes for legitimate news reporting among a staggeringly large number of people.

Jeffress, the Baptist pastor is famous on many websites. He’s a nutjob who has no problem with getting involved in politics. He’s about to spend 130 million US Dollars to expand his church. No cash for the poor, but going to Sunday services is nice. Check out what Right Wing Watch has to say.  Yes, he’s got his own page there. You can ramble over to his church website. They claim that among their beliefs is one of stewardship

We believe that biblical stewardship involves the proper management of all that God has given us … time, money, abilities, etc. … to expand His kingdom (1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Peter 4:10). Therefore, we encourage every member to adopt a lifestyle of stewardship that recognizes God’s ownership of everything and to practice the biblical principle of tithing (giving at least one-tenth of one’s income) to support the work of the church.

If you’re wondering what that tithing thing is, its a ploy to get your money. The full story on tithing is nothing like they will tell you. They’ve twisted it so they can guilt you into giving them money. You might want to stay and read a bit about what makes a mega-church so special. There’s lots there that says they want a theocracy.

Here is a doozy of a statement that would fit well in any terrorist handbook Well, you might have to change a couple of words, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

VI. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word; and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Jesus Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Remind me again why women want to be part of such churches, but don’t want to be sex slaves? I keep forgetting.

In case you’ve forgotten, the original statement of the wall of separation between church and state was a letter from Jefferson to assure the Danbury Baptists that they would not be slaughtered by other religious folk. This then means that Jeffress either knows very little of the religious heritage of the country he lives in or he is willfully misrepresenting it. In more common parlance, that means he’s lying about it. People suck, this is just one example.

On to the second ‘expert’ authority. Rabbi Aryeh Spero is one of those sniveling little hand wringing Jews that decries anything that keeps American dollars out of the coffers of Israel. The body of his published works can fairly be said to be political. So here we have a man with an agenda. A political agenda. Be very certain that his agenda is to keep the cash flowing to Israel so they can get rid of the pesky non-Jews from Israel.

According to the Rabbi, the Judeo-Christian heritage of the USA goes

On to the Video

Right off the bat the Rabbi starts in with non-believers have replaced god with a new religion: liberalism. This guy is politics from start  to finish. No point in wasting time on religion, lets get right to the politics because that is where the real money is. Fuck god, he’s not worth talking about. Money, that’s worth talking about. The nation needs an identity and morality he says, but morality is “always best when it comes from god, otherwise it slides into moral relativism“. At least he was careful to not say that morality only comes from god but he is implying that good morality only comes from god, his god. This gives him a foot hold to say that he is right by divine authority. Yep, he’s about to claim magic makes him right.

BUT WAIT

Yes, you saw that right. The editing is bad enough that you can see the cut between “yes I agree with the Rabbi” and his sales pitch for the church. I wonder what he actually said there? You can safely now ignore all of his comments as Fox is editing them to say whatever they want you to hear. The bad edit is at the 1:28 mark. You get to hear the news person lead the question, then Jeffress agree with her and the Rabbi, then they cut to a sales pitch. People suck. News people at Fox News suck even more. He talks about people being hungry for a relationship with god and how any church or synagogue that teaches this will be successful. Read that as “make money” and note that Islam was left completely out of the loop. Only Judeo-Christian bullshit is acceptable. Just a little bit of a slant there.

At about the 3:00 minute mark, the Rabbi states that he believes a life without god is a diminished life. All of us who have been living without a god have not been getting the full package according to him. We lack god so our lives cannot be as fulfilling as the life of a believer. There is no evidence for this and plenty of evidence against it but those pesky facts won’t stop him from making these unfounded claims. He goes on to claim that religion tells us what is right and what is wrong. Let’s not delve into the news articles about Catholic and Jewish child abuse cases because that would be showing that religion does NOT know what is right and wrong, they just tell us they do and blame child sexual abuse on random rogue persons who are not really believers. Often enough in the same breath they will also tell us that random rogue shooters are killing people because they don’t have god in their lives. All of this without talking about the religiously motivated murders that have occurred throughout history. They invented a new word too; feel-good-ism or feelgoodism if you like. This is an attempt to mock and denigrate those who do not believe as they do. They could have addressed the problem and opposing sides using already accepted terms, but using a soundbite made-up-word allows them to denigrate all and sundry who are not part of their little fuck-wit-magic-man-in-the-sky-clan. See how that works. When you make up your own words you can say they mean what you want them to mean and it doesn’t seem at all like you’re insulting entire swaths of the society, just the people that belong to the made up group you invented on the spot.

At about the 3:40 mark, Jeffress jumps in with a final word and claims that the school shooting in Connecticut is proof that we don’t have enough god in our society. Then he goes on with word games. According to this nut job, using the word evil is proof that god exists. Yes, he says this. To make that crap more palatable, he states that a relationship with god gives fullness, meaning, and morality to life. It’s at the 4:05 mark. Note that he is careful not to claim that if there were more god in society we would not have shootings.

Conclusion

Even though both of these nut-jobs claim to know what is wrong with society neither of them claims to know how to stop the shootings. Neither of them knows how to stop ‘evil’ from happening. Both claim an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent god, but are careful not to claim that he can stop evil. In the end we are left to understand that their god is impotent and unable to stop evil. Religion has NO answers when answers are asked for. All they have is superstition and glad handing superfluous inanity to offer the grieving. They cannot stop evil even though this is one of their primary areas of focus: helping those in need, those suffering from the pains of evil, those in need of guidance etc. and so on and so on ad nausea. In fact, we have here an admittance that they are powerless to do any of the things the church claims to be able to do. All their efforts produce nothing more than inane bullshit and invitations to send them money.
Can we get rid of religion already? It is completely useless. Worse, it uses resources that could be used to actually help those in need. Religion is a cancer on society… every society in which it grows. Religion poisons everything. Merry fucking Christmas people.

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  1. The sooner we do away with ALL religion the sooner we can ALL start acting like adults.

    • I agree completely. Thanks for being a regular commentor here. I’m coming up on some milestones and I appreciate that you and others think enough of what I write to kep reading. If this post wasn’t antisemitic enough, wait for the next one LOL

      • I read and comment on the good stuff. Yours is the good stuff

        • J_Agathokles
        • December 26th, 2012

        I disagree on that, I don’t think I have to say why 🙂

        • No, no you don’t. Thankfully you know I mean monotheism and not all religious belief. My bad.

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