The Fucktardification of the American Mind

In the thread below, Dan Someone and I had a brief chat about how amazingly stupid our country has become. To recap:

Is there another planet I can move to? This one is turning into an omnitheocracy, and frankly, I would prefer to be around rational people.

Posted by: Dan Someone | December 5, 2005 10:08 PM

Dan- I know. I just don’t understand what happened to make this country turn so goddamned stupid.

Posted by: Brad R. | December 5, 2005 10:21 PM

And really, it’s a good question.

But before we can learn why our country is so stupid, we must first understand just how stupid we’ve truly become. To illustrate, I’m going to give you three examples of the supreme idiocy that’s destroying our public discourse. Note that all of them occured within the past week, all of them pertained to the War on Christmas, and all of them were provided by FOX News.

1.) A FOX News Poll shows that 42% of Americans actually believe there’s a War on Christmas:

No, really. 42% of people in this country seriously believe that there’s a secret plot, likely funded by George Soros, to eradicate Christmas.

2.) FOX News Financial Analyist Tobin Smith says that the War on Christmas could lead to a world economic collapse:

The War on Christmas: Could the left win its crusade against Christmas and does that threaten our stock market and entire economy?

Tobin Smith: The War on Christmas is real and taken to the extreme turning Christmas into a second-class holiday would kill much of the retail specialty stores. The next target would be Easter. This definitely does hurt the economy. Retailers have fallen under the pixie dust spell of consultants and this idea of being politically correct becomes this insidious little disease.

3.) Jim Pinkerton claims that the War on Christmas is the great populist cause of our times:

PINKERTON: I think, as Neal and Jane illustrate, 90 percent of the media elites say “bah humbug” to this entire issue (of the War on Christmas).

HALL: Do you go to (INAUDIBLE)


PINKERTON: They just think it’s crap, and it shows. It.


HALL: I really ? that’s not true.

PINKERTON: I think, as the FOX polls shows and as common sense shows, and that everybody’s experience shows how – just among ordinary Americans, most Americans think that Christmas is either an important religious event, or an important cultural communitarian event. And they want it noted and celebrated, and this is a – this is a great illustration… of how the war, or the struggle – I’ll call it a war, in honor of Johnny Gibson – between the elites and the masses.

Yes, it’s elitists like me, who work part-time for a cool $12 an hour while going to school full time, that are trying to ruin Christmas for the poor underprivledged conservative Christians who control all three branches of the government. Woe be to them.

OK, so I’ve just ably demonstrated how completely mindless and divorced from reality our public discourse has become. Now, I’d like to know why this has happened. I honestly don’t remember it being this bad even three years ago- what the hell is going on?

UPDATE: Be sure to check out Wolcott’s take. I think he’s spot on.


Comments: 163


Bait and switch, boyos.

While much of the Right goes down after Abramoff and Plame, most of the rational are standing slack jawed, mid “whaaaa…..?” trying to either ignore this foolishness or come up with some kind of rejoinder that doesn’t lend it credibility.

And meanwhile, the commanders of this ship of fools continue to plow us directly into the reef.

Plus, it gives the reactionary whackjobs something to get riled up about, something that isn’t turning to shit beneath their feet.

Or maybe it’s as simple as this: As the sheer, mind numbing stupidity of the past 5 years is becoming exposed; in desperation, they are, essentially, going ‘all-in’ on stupidity and irrationality, counting on everyone else to fold in the face of a ridiculous bluff.

Sorry about the poker analogy.


Brian- the thing is, people like Falwell and Dobson used to be fodder for late-night comedy. Now they’re serious players on the national stage. It’s really mindblowing how effective this “war on Christmas” nonsense is.


Remember when conservatives used to complain about the commercialization of Christmas? When did the problem become insufficient commercialization, too few trees and colorful department-store cardboard? Between this statement and the O’Reilly stance of “Jesus as Philosopher Whose Birthday Stimulates Retail,” I can’t even keep track of who’s supposed to be offended by what anymore.


Whig – the problem is you are expecting logic and consistency from these people who are essentially opportunists.

or, to put it another way, the conservatives have always been at war for Christmas.


Did they really not put a % next to 48?


However, Brian is completely right.

“The war on Iraq is going fine. No, really it is! Soldiers dying…? Well, uh… look over there! Those liberal leftist sinister scumbags are waging a war against Christmas!”


Oh, and Steve, they didn’t put a % next to the 48 because it was 48 people. The remaining 47.9% were the ones who were slack-jawed saying “wha…?”


Fear. Fear is the greatest marketing tool of our time. I think that people are slowly beginning to become conscious of that tactic, though, it’s been overused so much lately, it’s impossible not to become more aware of it.
I find myself wondering if the end of days is near, not in the apocolyptic sense, as I understand it, the concept of the end of days is actually a rebirth, a beginning of the era where each man thinks for himself, indiviually. Which would indeed mean the literal end of days for the church.


OT but Holy shit, Check it out!
It seems that nearly the whole 33 page “new plan” for victory in Iraq was written by a pollster! Bush gets screwed by Adobe Acrobat again… I guess that explains why there seems so little actual military influence there.


Brad, I honestly think the problem has a great deal to do with the Republican party’s attempt to mainstream its far right constituency.

There is a far right element in the Republican party which would probably be much more at home in the Constitution party, just like there’s a far left in the Democratic party which would probably be much more at home in the Socialist party. The difference between Republicans and Democrats in this respect is that the Republican party goes out of its way to cater to its fringe, while the Democratic party goes out of its way to distance itself from its fringe.

I suspect this probably goes back to ’92 and the Perot debacle. Perot is no religious nutjob like the Constitution party is full of, but his anti-NAFTA, “giant sucking sound” rhetoric appealed to the strongly xenophobic streak the religious nutjobs are prone to. (Just to clarify, I don’t think Perot was espousing this stuff because he was a xenophobe, but the xenophobes who found it appealing didn’t care.)

And look what Perot did to Bush I’s reelection campaign.

That failure, I hypothesize, scared the bejeebus out of the Republicans. After that, they returned to Reagan’s strategy of courting the far right element of their party with a vigor beyond even what Reagan himself had (Bush I was a step away from Reagan in this respect).

The idea behind it is that the country is fairly well divided, with a large middle ground that doesn’t disagree much on substanitive issues (which is why the substanitive positions of the Dems and Repubs look so similar, but the “culture war” stuff looks so different), but a small, polarized fringe on both sides that are responsible for most of the screaming and poo-flinging in the national discussions.

So, in order to win, the Republicans have had to figure out the balancing point between how far to the (religious) right they need to move to attract just enough of their loony fringe to put them over the top in electoral campaigns without alienating the larger portion of their party that doens’t really believe that Hurricane Katrina was caused by butt sex.

The problem is that by going out of their way to be conciliatory to their fringe, the Republicans have started a process of mainstreaming their fringe. And let’s face it – that extreme conservative Christian rightwing fringe is full of extremely, extremely stupid people. There really isn’t a word strong enough to describe how delusional you have to be to believe the whole world was created in 144 hours. But by mainstreaming the political positions held by these loonies, the rest of the baggage that comes along with them is also beginning to get mainstreamed.

There’s a mainstreaming of extreme positions in every single field you can think of going on simultaneously nowadays. One of the things that made people think Barry Goldwater was too dangerous an extremist to be president was that he favored privatization of Social Security, for example. US Senators are speaking out in favor of what the Minutemen are doing on our borders – and it would be scary enough to see elected officials endorsing vigilantism even if it weren’t vigilantism that has a strong associating with the KKK. Anybody remember when publicly taking a pro-KKK stance was a political liability for an elected official?

This general dumbing-down and meanie-ing-up seems to be happening in every possible field, and it seems to be happening really, really fast. The Americans who think God is a white homophobic ignorant racist just like them have gotten a taste of political power, and they aren’t going to let go of it easily.

I’m scared. No joking now – I’m honestly scared.


The search for serious answers to the question of the total shutdown of critical thinking among too many Americans really has to start by the acknowledgement that the USA is, among Western nations, if not all nations, a truely ideological nation. This is something not too many Americans like to believe, but foreigners quite often have the impression that Americans come off as propagandised and ideological, even more so than any Soviet ever was; ideological on the nature of themselves as Americans, on the founding of their country and its mythological narrative, on their ideological commitment to a free-market economy, etc. etc., all wrapped up in a neat package of love of country, the very questionning of which is denounced as heresy or unpatriotic.

Ideology eliminates doubt and constrains critical thinking, and this is what we’re seeing being exploited by a corporate media furthering an agenda to protect entrenched wealth and power through clearly undemocratic means and the abomination of “the noble lie.”

It is scary. But I’ve seen it coming for a long time now.


And as far as that Wolcott piece goes….

Intelligent Design is like the spearhead of the loony fringe movement, because it gets respect from people all over the place. People from university professors to Supreme Court justices pooh-pooh evolution, and any attempt to explain to these idiots why they’re wrong just gets you dismissed as a tool of the liberal intelligentsia – because as we all know, no hardworking, real American can use the term “haploid” intelligently in a sentence.

Because it’s the spearhead of the movement (and they recognize it themselves – a quick Google search on “Wedge document” will be quite enlightening for anyone who wants to know more about the story), it’s probably the area where, tactically speaking, it’s most important to stop them. And we’re losing. It may not look like it, but we are.

As far as the religion stuff goes, I have to say this just because I don’t think I’ve ever Godwin’d a thread before….

Hitler used to say shit like that.


Christmas is … an important cultural communitarian event.

… but I thought we hated the Communitarianists? Aren’t they the ones that were hiding under our beds? Maybe I’m getting mixed up.


Shit like what?


Jillian- You’re right about mainstreaming the lunatic fringe. had an excellent piece the other week showing how closely the War on Christmas nonsense resembles a John Bircher conspiracy of nearly the same name.


Tobin Smith: “The War on Christmas is real and taken to the extreme turning Christmas into a second-class holiday would kill much of the retail specialty stores. The next target would be Easter. This definitely does hurt the economy.”

1) There is no ‘War on Christmas’ except on Fox News, where this is a marketing ploy called ‘War on Christmas’. They’re manufacturing and promoting their own ‘news’ at an astounding rate.
2) Let’s pretend for a moment that there is a group of people targetting ostensibly Christian holidays (there aren’t). But let’s pretend. Easter? ‘Target’ Easter? What would these straw people target? Is Easter now considered a pillar of our economy? Do Peeps and plastic grass sales contribute that much to our economy? And Easter always falls on a Sunday, a day that people would normally use for shopping.
3) What hurts the economy, exactly? Removing religious overtones from advertising somehow weakens America’s resolve for massive consumerism? Huh?

It’s just more of the same fear-mongering that Fox loves to fertilize the ignorant masses with (okay, 1-2 million cable viewers, but bad enough).


#2 — Um, isn’t part of the “War On Christmas” the whole “We refuse to shop at stores that don’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ to everyone”? So, wouldn’t THEY be hurting the economy by doing that? Or is that the point — liberals made us ruin the economy?


Also, I like that it’s now a “crusade.” That’s a supreme irony….


Yes, it is bait & switch; The War on Christmas is merely a wedge issue cooked up by the less-then-one-percent of Americans who own ninety-five percent of the country’s wealth in order to trick the slower members of the population into supporting economic policies that benefit only the wealthy. In other words: Travis is told that if Adam and Steve are allowed to tie-the-knot then Travis’ “traditional” marriage to Raylene will become meaningless. Now, Travis and Raylene have certainly had their share of difficulties (what with Raylene’s ecstatic visions, Travis’ inability to drive sober, and the twins being diagnosed with eleven separate learning disabilities), but Travis just can stand the idea that he may’ve filled out all that extra paper work which allowed him to marry his cousin for nothing. So Travis goes out and votes for the first politician who promises to stem the tide of Homo matrimony. And what does Travis get for his efforts? Does he get a Constitutional Amendment banning Butt Pirate nuptials? Of course not. What he does get are the other policies endorsed by the candidate Travis voted for. You know; the economic policies: like the end of Overtime Pay, the looting of Pension Funds, and the elimination of the Estate Tax. Before Travis knows it, he’s putting in extra hours cleaning the toilets at the chemical plant so that Paris Hilton can have a new Jaguar. Dumb fucker. That goes for Paris Hilton too. Oh course, since the Democrats, during the Clinton years, adopted the same economic policies as the Republicans, anyone who voted for John Kerry thinking that he’d put an end to poverty is also a dumb fucker: but a dumb fucker whose heart is in the right place.


Ok, time to measure up on the “war on christmas”, I defy anyone to find a more wingnutty article than the one this guy wrote. Go on, try.


I’m still trying to figure out when “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” came to mean “I refuse to recognize Christmas because Hannukah and Kwanzaa are just as important”. I remember when I was a kid, and Happy Holidays referred to “Christmas, New Year, and Epiphany” and “Season’s Greetings” meant “The Christmas season” (e.g., the 12 days of Christmas.)

And in my Norwegian family, we included St. Nicholas Day and St. Lucy’s day in those “holidays”, too.


Dorothy – Good point, I allways assumed those greetings to refer to christmas too.


Timmah, Hitler used to say shit about how religion was for rubes. Not that he was an atheist – he just had no respect for traditional, organized faith. He saw paying lip service to the denominations in his territory as a good way of gaining the support of both the masses and the church establishment. Which sounds a lot like that Straussian bullshit Himmelfarb spouts.

The only thing I ask is that if it turns out I’m right to be as totally wigged out by the creepy turn American politics has taken of late…..please put “I Fucking Told You So” on my tombstone, okay?


Yagi, Rodney and Jillian have really gotten to the core of this. It’s definitely in Fox News’ interest to build up a conspiracy, because it’s going to strike an emotional chord and get some seriously passionate viewers. Really, how interested will the average news viewer be in the marginal year-over-year holiday sales numbers? But if we slap a diabolical conspiracy story into the mix, and one that can swing just enough personal anecdotal evidence, that’s going to make for a story that’s a hell of a lot more compelling.

The current “War Against Christmas” is a slightly-updated version of the “International Jews” theory, only nowadays they’re substituting the more generic “Liberals” for the slightly more specific “Jews.”

And the current American freakout about illegal Mexican immigrants has it’s parallels with the situation in the late-19th century with concern about Eastern European and Italian immigrants. Before that, we had the mid-19th century American’s concerns about Irish Catholics. I’m sure even if we exclude the entire non-USA world, a complete list would make this comment thread way too long.

Conspiracy theories pique some really fundamental, primitive part of the brain. Similarly, the “us-vs.-them” mentality has some weighty emotional coinage. Put those two together and you’ve got the newsmedia equivalent of chocolate and peanut butter.


Dan: .”..I would prefer to be around rational people.”

Dan, I’m sorry to say this, because you seem like a pretty nice guy otherwise, but this statement makes you sound extremely arrogant, like you are the only one that makes sense and the rest of the people are a bunch of idiots. It seems to me that if you were really interested in raising the bar in terms of intelligence, you would do the intelligent thing: Look for what is good in people— even in people you may disagree, and invite them into a collaborative endeavor in which you build on the positive, build upon what you may share in common with them, even though that point of commonality may be a scintilla, and work together on causes you can both support.

Brad: “Dan- I know. I just don’t understand what happend to make this country so goddamned stupid. ”

Once again, Brad, you also seem like a great guy otherwise, but this statement makes you come across as arrogant, that you are better than those people you disagree with. How do hope to win them over with such an arrogant, condescending, attitude? I don’t mean to play the psychologist card here, but if I didn’t know you better I could swear you were both suffering from superiority complexes.



Libertarian communists??


Bait & Switch. Look over here! (And don’t look at Iraq, the economy, which republican got indicted this week, etc.)

The fundies have waxed and waned in power over the years. Falwell and Robertson were quite prominent in the 80s. Both were courted and consulted by the republicans. Robertson actually ran for president. Then they faded, probably due to the various televangelist scandals, and the fact that when people feel good about their prospects they aren’t interested in scapegoats and theocracy. They’re back now and louder than ever because the right owns radio, Fox, a good chunk of the internet, and things suck. People are unhappy and looking for something to vent their frustration on. (Same reason the anti-immigrant stuff is popping up). I think the fundies will fade again eventually. Just have to contain the damage as much as possible.


Jayzus, now I know the end days are nigh. A SadNo thread dedicated to rational, considered discussion, no poo-throwin’ or nuthin’….oh…oh wait, there’s Dr. BLT. Whew.


Remember, a wingnutty cause isn’t 100% wingnutty until Mallard Filmore seizes the intellectual high ground, which will probably be late January, early February on current form.


Wisdom begins with humility

Humility begins when one comes to this acknowledgment: I may not be my own god after all.

Can’t we all just get A SONG?

Speaking of songs, here’s one about the whole world finding humility, the key to wisdom, all at once. I even brought in another singer, Rod Marlin, to sing the song, so that should make it more palatable to those of you who can’t handle my voice:

Fallin’ Down:
words and music by Dr. BLT (c)2005
performed by Practically Poetz, featuring Rod Marlin on vocals (cut and paste the link below to hear and download the song for free):


Oh, and a Right Brothers’ MP3. Take it away…

The day the libruls did away with Cuh-ristmas,
I saw the Baby Jesus shed a tear….


I opted to throw my poo in the last thread, I’m fresh out.


ortho bob, the choice is not between mocking those we may disagree with and making mawkish music. I try to avoid both, so if you find “Fallin’ Down” to be mawkish, be sure et me know.


Excuse me, “…be sure to let me know…”


“I opted to throw my poo in the last thread, I’m fresh out.”

Fresh out, mdhatter? How could that be? I thought you were full of it. Just kidding.


Y’know, Doc, I was going to respond to your silly post about how “arrogant” I may or may not be, but I’m just too fucking demoralized by reading Guy Adams’s lunacy. But I will say this: I tend to think that most people, taken individually, are decent folks, whether or not I share their cultural heritage or political inclinations. And I’m mostly pretty easy-going, taking a “Nah, it can’t be that bad” attitude when I hear about the looniest of the loonies.

But there is a mob or herd mentality that seems to be on the rise among various large groups of people, a mass stupidity that is being whipped to greater and greater heights by cynical politicians and media stars, a collective mentality so anti-rational that it actually frightens me.

Is it “arrogant” to fear a return to Dark Ages magical thinking? Then I am guilty as charged. And as the father of two young children, I am especially fearful that they are going to grow up in a country filled with mobs of people bearing torches and pitchforks and clamoring for the heads of scientists and logical thinkers — if they’re lucky, only metaphorically. I am glad to have been raised in a representative democracy; I don’t want my kids to grow up in a boobocracy.

LA Confidential Pantload

Timmah, you’ve got it – Guy’s the real deal. He/she/it has all the WOC talking points down, discredited or not. Outstanding, Red Team.

Dr. BLT,
Are you the dude who recorded that inspirational Abu Ghraib hit, “If Everyone Would Shove Just One Little Glowstick?” Why can’t we all get along?


no no,

that’s the most correct thing I’ve ever heard you say Doc.


I think the long and short of it is this. The bigger the right’s microphone gets, the stupider our national discourse gets, and because there’s some percentage of people who will belive anything, the stupider our nation becomes.

Therefore, the simple solution: You must prove you have an IQ of at least 85 before you can go on the radio, TV, or the internet. Limbaugh and O’Reilly will be flipping burgers before you know it.


how about an IQ corresponding directly to the FM frequency.

‘you must be at least this smart to ride these airwaves’


I have to agree with Dan and Brad, and not the esteemed Mr. BLT. As Al Frankin once said, “I’m sorry to say this, but I’m constantly awed by the jaw-dropping stupidity of the American people.”

Angels? BushCo? Creationism? UFOs? WMDs? Benevolent corporations? War on Xmas? What else ya got, we’ll buy it all!


Speaking of fucktardically stupid, batshit insane, creme de la wingnuttia… Reverend Moon wants to build a tunnel under the Bering Straits for autos. No, really! Oh, and I love the bit in the article where we find out Moon believes that “caucasian” people are descended from… (wait for it) …polar bears! Again, I shit you not. Moon makes Kaye Grogan and Pastor Swank look mentally stable. And relatively smart.


How do you go about proving how high somebody’s IQ is? I’ve administered scores of IQ tests (no pun intended) to people who come out with high scores that really weren’t all that intelligent. I’ve also administered those same IQ tests to others who came out witth a lower IQ than warranted by the practical manifestation of intelligence in other avenues of their lives. There is a whole dimension of IQ that intelligence tests don’t even begin to tap into. Most people mistake “fund of information” for intelligence. The standard IQ tests do go beyond fund of information, but they are based on a theory of what intelligence is that is rather limited in scope.


how bored are you Doc?


Don’t you have better things to do, mad hater?

Dr. PeeOnMee, the terribly annoying blogger

than misspell usernames. no.


all furter taunts should really be restrained to that other thread, doc.

It’s only fair to hijack one thread at a time.


Actually I dont even know what they mean by “war on Christmas”. I still see christmas trees and christ realated stuff around. maybe the right needs to realize that not everybody gets feels uplifted by seeing a baby in a wheelbarrow everyday for a month.


damn i forgot to proofread that. you know what I mean though.


OK, Dr BLT. How about this: If you spend your entire show lying to people and/or trying to whip them up into a froth over how people who disagree with them are disgusting america-hating tratiors, you are not allowed on the air.

And again you have limbaugh, o’reilly, etc. back to flippin’ burgers and asking me if I want fries with that.


Oh, and I love the bit in the article where we find out Moon believes that “caucasian” people are descended from… (wait for it) …polar bears!

I fucking knew that “Lost” was a Unification Church manifesto!


Here’s the danger of the “War on Christmas” meme, at least from my point of view:

I found myself thinking, on reading that Guy Adams abortion, that what I really need to do is call the dept. store numbers and espouse an opposing view; not because I believe that stores must avoid saying Merry Christmas or using Christmas decorations, but because the righties are so wrong on this that a contrarian view is the only way to go.

But what happens if I and everyone else start applying this kind of pressure, under the theory of “don’t give an inch”? Ka-pow, we have an actual War on Christmas, after which the righties flip the timeline and make it look like we started it, not them.

And, considering the cultural ingrainedness of Christmas in middle America, they have a nicely giftwrapped flashpoint to bring in 75% of Americans rather than the 42% they have now.


GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! OK, after reading this thread I have the mother of all headaches!
I have to say I agree with the sentiment that Project DumbAss America is working to plan and soon the masses will be staggering around with drool running out of their mouths from watching too much television news (and not just Fux News, though they are the worst offenders). Say what you will about me, but it’s a lot of what drove me to move to the UK – I feel like I have regained some of my sanity in just a few short months. Maybe it’s being able to watch television news (the BBC) that actually reports REAL news (though I will admit that most print media is complete shite here with the possible exception of the Guardian). Watching what’s going on in the states leaves me with a real sense of sadness. What the hell happened to the country I used to be so proud of?


…oh, and if any of you have seen the show “Broken News” on the BBC you’ll know what I’m talking about-BEST. PARODY. EVER.


I don’t know as we’re necessarily talking about someone’s intelligence level here, as opposed to some other factor – their credulousness level, their ideological indoctrination level, whatever you want to call it.

I know I referred to evolution-deniers as “stupid” above, but “stupid” in this case is really more just shorthand for something like the labels I used in the above paragraph. I’ve spent a number of years at this point actively involved in the evolution/creation debates, and the evolution deniers aren’t necessarily stupid. Antonin Scalia seems to have some problems with evolution, and that man is anything but stupid – he’s fucking brilliant. He’s also living proof of how no matter how smart you are, it’s no surety against you being not just wrong, but mind-bogglingly wrong. I could add a lot of people to the list of “otherwise smart people who can’t get their brains around the most fundamental concept of modern biology” – Robert Bork, Michael Behe, William Dembski….say what you will about them, none are on the wrong side of the IQ standard deviation.

But Dan’s point about wanting to live among “rational people” comes into play here. By any standard, faith is the opposite of reason. And there’s no denying we live in a nation of the faithful.

Saying “faith is the opposite of reason” is not a slam against faith, mind you – it’s a simple observation of fact. Christians admit it every time they quote that Bible verse about faith being the evidence of things not seen. This position is the very opposite of the scientific outlook, as long as you understand that the difference between “seen” and “observed” is mostly semantic. Science is about observation producing evidence, while faith is about evidence regardless of observation. People of faith are, to varying extents, eschewing reason, which makes them unreasonable, which makes them irrational.

I think it’s obvious (at least I hope it’s obvious) that not all people of faith are equally irrational, or irrational in the same way. Most Americans are religious, and yet most aren’t in flagrant denial of reality like, say, the poison snake-handlers are. There’s a curious bifurcation that most religious people are able to maintain….something that allows them to have faith that Jesus saves, yet still wear their seatbelts at the same time. I’m not religious, so I don’t understand how it’s done. I’m not even criticizing it – it’s none of my business. But this nice little logical bifurcation is something that unfortunately escapes the ability of some religious types.

These are the ideological types I am complaining about. These are the ones who don’t want people to have access to an HPV vaccination, because it’s better to die of cervical cancer than have premarital sex in their world. These are the people who reject the theory of evolution as being godless, but are quite content to go on using antibiotics, which wouldn’t work if evolution was false. They’re ideologues, plain and simple, and they’re dangerous.

Lots and lots of the ideological shock troops are indeed quite stupid, but they certainly aren’t all dummies. And while I realize it may rub the religious among us the wrong way for me to say this, I don’t care. I agree with Dan – I don’t want to share a country with them, either.

And to be honest, most of the religious people I know don’t, either.

Christ, look at that damn Wolcott piece Brad linked to – the leaders of that religious right movement are fucking lying to their damn followers! They’re just as much a bunch of atheists as I am! But they mouth the right platitudes, and the religious masses respect them. How can you call that anything but stupid? If you aren’t familiar with Leo Strauss, you aren’t going to understand what they’re doing.

Okay, I’m rambling now. But this whole topic just gets me so damn worked up….I’ll stop now.


Maybe we?re looking at his whole thing upside down? Perhaps the question we really should be asking isn?t ?Why is everybody else so freakin’ stupid?. Maybe we should be pondering ?Why are WE so goddamn smart?? Kinda puts a positive spin on the whole thing.


By way of LyricFox at, the War Against Christmas has been formally declared.

I’m not going to even try to do html.


Its the creation of outrage for political and personal gain. Any outrage will do!!


Happy Holidays everyone.


Let me start by saying, Good morning left wingers! I love you all, even if you are all travelling right at me on the wrong (ie. left side) of the freeway.

I admire you for your sense of humor, Admiral Santa, but if there is any seriousness behind your blog entry, then your suggestion smacks of censorship.

Jillian, I must humbly admit, that you are rather brilliant. I really can’t disagree with anything you’ve said. I hate when that happens!


That?s ?Mister Left Winger? to you, pal.


That’s doctor to you Mister Left Winger.


Jillian: I appreciate your comments very much, especially your sensitivity to other people’s intelligence level. I wish I could do the same. One of the things that the most extreme fundamentlist churches counts on from the ‘flock’ is blind obdience to attack whatever the church leader decides their is latest chosen target. This week it happens to be the war on Christmas. Last week it was Evolution and Darwin. Last year it was Terri Schiavo. Gay marriage, HPV vaccine, emergency contraception (Hell, any kind of contraception)…the list goes on. The front line goon squad isn’t exactly the intelligentsia of the movement. They are thugs, and as you rightly point out, shock troops. Don’t believe me? See the link (, I’m HTML impaired). They place no value on intelligence, which is why they are so willing to throw science right out the window. They have no time for other people’s values and views. It all serves the “higher purpose” they are being indundated with from the pulpit. I always said that they should feel insulted when they’re referred to as a ‘flock’. Let’s face it, the sheep is not the smartest animal in the barnyard.


hmm…a quick check of the transcrips posted on bill o’reilly’s section of the foxnews web site shows that 5 of the last 10 interviews posted on his “interview archive” are related to the “war on christmas”…for your enjoyment, here are the interview titles from oldest to most recent:

1)Which discount department stores are saying ‘Merry Christmas’?

2)Do we need a campaign to defend Christmas?

3)Is the ‘Factor’s’ Christmas Campaign going overboard?

4)Is the tide turning in favor of Christmas?

5)Comedian Jackie Mason Steps Up To Protect Christmas

so, for the record, noted jew jackie mason thinks people should go ahead and say merry christmas. i’m so glad there’s not an actual war going on. it’s nice that we can worry about such mundane topics on popular news analysis programs.


Jillian, I love you and I want to bear your ideological children. How do you feel about bigamy? Because I am already married, but DAMN!


Fallin’ Down?

Tom Waits dealt with that theme as well as could be done, nice and poetic-like.

I have come 500 miles just to see a halo
Come from st. petersburg, scarlett and me
Well i open my eyes, i was blind as can be
When you give a man luck, he must fall in the sea,


CelticGirl, if you like Broken News go buy the DVD of The Day Today. It’s 100 times funnier than Broken News (which is so derivative of TDT that they even used one of TDT’s news stories as a homage). It’s aimed at programmes like Newsnight rather than 24 hour news.


Frankly, I think the stupidity level of the country is a fairly well-played ploy on the neocons’ part (because real conservatives have been pushed into the closet). They introduce George W. Bush – a man whose inherent lack of intellectual curiosity or ambition is so easy to ridicule that it gets boring – and suddenly the level of discourse freefalls. No longer can we pick apart the president for being stupid – because it’s obvious – and we can’t say he’s evil or a thief- because he’s “too dumb” to be either – so he essentially falls below the criticism radar.

The neocons then start a war on culture – equating education with elitism and then liberals with education – so they could associate themselves with the NASCAR dads and soccer moms who don’t consider themselves dumb but do occassionally get out on the $100 question on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” The system shields Republicans from criticism because, if you attack them, you’re a liberal elitist who is attacking a red-blooded, salt of the Earth Amurican.

And, of course, the system sustains itself because the one thing better than feeling superior to a smart person is being lazy and STILL feeling superior to a smart person. It’s the Frank Grimes/Homer Simpson thing (for a REALLY simplified example.) No matter how smart and qualified Grimes is, Homer Simpson is everyone’s stupid darling so he’ll always come out on top.


celticgirl, you seem to be painting a broad stroke over a conservative community that contains many individuals who vary greatly on their viewpoints, maybe even more than many who appear trapped in leftwing groupthink. I hate to refer to a book that probably means nothing to you, but the Bible says that all of us are like sheep that have gone astray. That includes the sheep that are saying Bah Humbug! to Christmas. I must agree with you, however, that Bill O’Reilly is getting a little carried away with the whole “War on Christmas” notion, but there does seem to be a very vocal and active minority of folks who want to rid the nation of all things Christian. Michael Newdow is one of the biggest culprits.

Tulkinghorn: Thanks for sharing those brilliant lyrics from Tom Waits.


there does seem to be a very vocal and active minority of folks who want to rid the nation of all things Christian. Michael Newdow is one of the biggest culprits.

Doc, I think you overstate the case. Newdow and the ACLU want to get rid of all things Christian (or any other religion) in government. On the other hand, an increasingly loud and active subset of Christians, typified by O’Reilly, conflate the removal of Christianity from its formerly privileged position with oppression of Christians.


Christians? Where? I don’t see any. All I see is a bunch of control freaks who need to get a life of their own.


Big Worm, when is the last time you came across Newdow, or the ACLU for that matter, attacking any other religion than Christianity or the open display of Judeo-Christian symbols and related expressions of faith? I’m not claiming that the right is free of extremists, we certainly have our share of emotionally reactive, blathering idiots. But extremism, whether it comes from the right or the left, is a grave threat to this nation. Pat Robertson and Michael Moore are two sides of the same extremist coin. It’s a coin that is more than worthless, it costs every American citizen dearly, on a daily basis.


JiuNoon, I think you haven’t looked back far enough. The dumbing-down from the Right began back in 1980 with the election of Saint Ronnie, whose folksy, aw-shucks-ma’am, I dunno nothin’ bout nothin’ charm (combined with a well-orchestrated political machine) got him elected. Reagan was the country’s beloved Grandpa, and he didn’t cotton to no book-l’arnin’, he was perfectly willing to assert that trees cause air pollution, etc., etc…. And I think that is where the salt of the earth, red-blooded Murkin meme, immune from intelligence-related “elitist” criticism, began.


Big Worm, when is the last time you came across Newdow, or the ACLU for that matter, attacking any other religion than Christianity or the open display of Judeo-Christian symbols and related expressions of faith?

When was the last time you came across Jews, Hindus, Muslims or Wiccans insisting that the government put their “symbols and expressions of faith” on display? (And for the record, the ACLU does protest against state-sponsored displays of Hanukkah symbols as well as Nativity scenes.)

Also, “In God We Trust” on money or “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance — the two things Newdow has objected to — are not specifically Christian expressions of faith, are they? Newdow objects to them because as an atheist he does not believe the government should be expressing any religious belief whatsoever.

Compare that with O’Reilly, Malkin, Falwell, whoever, trying to claim that the removal of religion from government is somehow an attack on Christianity. (Given that Christianity is the majority religion, then removal of religion from government will have a greater effect, in absolute terms, on Christianity than on other religions; but that does not mean that removing all religion from government is specifically anti-Christian.)


Big Worm, when is the last time you came across Newdow, or the ACLU for that matter, attacking any other religion than Christianity or the open display of Judeo-Christian symbols and related expressions of faith?

Never, because the pledge doesn’t say “One Nation, Under Vishnu,” and our currency doesn’t say “In Allah We Trust.” You claim that Newdow et. al. want to eliminate all vestiges of Christianity everywhere. But that is too broad – they want to eliminate what they perceive as endorsements of Christianity by state and federal governments. They sue to get the creche off the courthouse steps, not to get it off your front lawn. It’s kind of an important distinction.


Dan, I appreciate what you’re saying but, you’re right, I’m just looking at recent history because that’s when the big coup started. I don’t mean to ignore the roots of the movement, but I’m more in awe of the fact that – within 8 years, we went from making fun of Dan Quayle to electing him president and having people praise him on his foresight. I mean, H.W. had his problems – as did every president since Washington (and don’t think you’re getting off the hook, William Henry Harrison!) but any of them could come of as cultured and at least somewhat aware of the world around them.

Reagan was bad, no doubt, but at least the nation still had some sense of cognative dissonance back then. Money came from somewhere and the yuppies back then flaunted their diplomas. Nowadays people somehow are able to keep the “college is for liberal elitists” meme going while they tell you that “the poor are poor because they’re lazy.”

Of course, I am only 26, so maybe I’m seeing the 80s through a bit of a filter…


Oh, and, BLT? As a representative of the Jewish faith, I respectfully request that you remove “Judeo” from “Judeo-Christian” in your arguments. I have no interest in being the grinning John McCain to your George W. Bush photo-ops.


I can only agree with Dorothy. Here in Slovakia (and other parts of Central Europe) “holidays” refers to Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day (also St. Stephen’s Day and there are a lot of Stephens here) New Year’s Eve (“Silvester”), New Year and Epiphany, plus all of the above in the Eastern Orthodox calendar which is 12 days behind. WoC hasn’t got here yet, but some Christian Democrats (who, as you might have suspected, are neither that Christian, nor very Democratic) are raising the issue, mostly in the form “look what happened in the US and Canada and the leftist liberals are trying to ban Christmas here too!”. Bunch of pricks. All of them. Especially that dick of an interior minister.


When is the last time you came across Newdow, or the ACLU for that matter, attacking any other religion than Christianity or the open display of Judeo-Christian symbols and related expressions of faith?

When was the last time you saw a government institution (like, say, a public school) force citizens to participate in a religiously-influenced ritual that was not Christian (like, say, reciting an oath that invokes “god”–which, by your inclusion of Newdow here, you obviously take to mean “the Christian God”)?

If public schools begin a program forcing students to pray 5 times a day towards Mecca, I will be first in line to protest. And the ACLU will be right with me. (Please go to the ACLU archives for a long list of cases where they have filed suit IN SUPPORT OF students’ right to religious expression in schools–most of them Christian students. This is not propaganda: they are available in court records.)

Until then, all I can do is raise my hand and say, “Um, excuse me? My religion discourages the taking of oaths unless you are extremely committed to the promise. Forced recitation of a “pledge” that my six-year-old doesn’t even understand all the words to certainly falls under that restriction.” Oh, yeah, and the Christian God thing is a problem, too, but my religious beliefs object TO THE OATH ITSELF, whether “under God” is in there or not.

As for Christmas…all I will say is this: lambing season is April. It doesn’t snow in Bethlehem. The “wise men” from the east were not kings (if anything, they were Persian astrologers), and they didn’t show up at the stable. And December 25 has never been the Biblical date for the birth of Jesus.

Either the Bible is 100% correct, or there is a war on the modern Christmas celebration. It is impossible for both of these conditions to be true at the same time.


False equivalence between Pat Robertson and Michael Moore is bullshit.


So I guess it would be just fine with Sandwich if every single coin had ‘THERE IS NO GOD’ stamped on it, and the Pledge of Allegiance included the words ‘under Krishna’.

If Newdow is the most extreme guy you can think of, you are essentially admitting that it’s all a beat-up.


And what ever happened to the anti-christmas Christians? There used to be a fair number of them.

Of course, this is not about the hioliday but is just a way to chant “we are Number 1” in some perceived intersectarian competition.


I wish President Newdow would stop repressing the Christians with his atheist goon squads. Mark my words: one day Americans will be free to celebrate Earth’s orbit with prayers and retail purchases!


Dr. Sandwich: if you go back and reread what I wrote, you will see that I refer to the most extreme fundamentalist churches…hardly a broad brush of all conservative thought. But even though they might be a relatively small percentage of the population, they seem to be able to bitch louder and longer than everyboy else about their perceived persecutions – whatever the meme of the week is. My parents are conservatives (old style definition), and believe me they are shaking their heads in disbelief over the state of the US and the influence of the extreme Christian Right.


…Oh, and Sandwich. I’m a pagan. I’m not trying to rid the country of Christianity. I wish they’d stop trying to rid the country of people who share my beliefs. And I still say that calling someone a sheep is NOT a compliment, no matter what the bible says. After all, it was written by men, translated and mistranslated so many times that much of what is in it can hardly be called truth or fact.


85 cobagz!!!

Just trying to improve the discourse.


Hi everyone. Sorry it took me so long to get back to all of you. I was enjoying a home cooked meal. Now, for my dessert—the food for thought that you’ve all offered me (the food with the poison in it). Do you think Michael Newdow and the ACLU are actually going to come out and declare that they are out to get rid of Christianity? I cannot prove that this is their goal, but I infer it from their words and actions. Though I cannot claim to know their motives beyond a shadow of a doubt, I thought their motives were relatively transparent even to moderate liberals. celtic: “All we, like sheep, have gone astray.” That’s not the same as calling people sheep. Yes, the Bible was written by men, but, as a Christian, I believe it was inspired by God.

JiuNoon, I don’t hold it against you, or look down on you for it, but you’ve obviously never studied the history of Christianity, otherwise, you’d know that you cannot take the Judeo out of Christianity and be intellectually honest at the same time.

bulbul: Pleased to meet you. You’re from Slovakia? I have a brother who lives there.

And no, Pat Robertson and Michael Moore are not equivalent on every single dimension, but they do share in common the same predilection for emotional reactivity and ideological extremism.


These faux wars are getting boring. Can’t the wingnuts take up a normal hobby…like gardening or origami?


JiuNoon, I don’t hold it against you, or look down on you for it, but you’ve obviously never studied the history of Christianity, otherwise, you’d know that you cannot take the Judeo out of Christianity and be intellectually honest at the same time.

I’m pretty sure that’s what Jesus ended up doing, BLT…by establishing a new covenant.

I agree with JiuNoon. This Judeo-Christian jazz is just the fundamentalists absolving themselves of their own heinous anti-semitism by claiming a relationship that’s really not that meaningful anymore. Besides, how come our fellow Abrahamics, the Muslims are being left out?


Sorry, I’m all done feeding the troll for today. Good luck to the rest of you.


Dorothy: again, I agree with you 100%. It’s kinda funny how the “conservative Christians” conveniently ignore the Bible when it suits their political goals. I guess Matthew 5:34 (“But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne”) just has to take the back seat to patriotism. The Pledge of Allegiance, as well as certain instances of leader worship sometimes make me think some of the Christians in the US are idolaters of the worst sort. Besides, how the **** do you pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth? And am I the only one who remembers what the word “allegiance” actually means and what its historical origins are?

celticgirl: whether the Bible was written by men is by no means clear. There are many passages that may or probably have been written or composed by women. As for the translations and mistranslations, you have a point there. As long as some “christians” rely on the King James Version as the “authentic word of God”, the insistence on literal interpretation is at least ridiculous, at most dangerous. But there is such thing as original Bible in the original languages and there is such thing as serious Biblical scholarship.


Jumping in late here, but the good doctor floored me with this:

“Do you think Michael Newdow and the ACLU are actually going to come out and declare that they are out to get rid of Christianity? I cannot prove that this is their goal, but I infer it from their words and actions.”

Christ on a cracker, do you believe the words you typed above? I’ve always been civil with you (’cause bacon improves any food) but that quote is exhibit A in the Fucktardification process. I had followed this with an explanation of the difference between not wanting the state to constantly endorse a particular religion, and wanting to “get rid of Christianity” (whatever the f@@k that means) but I deleted it. If you can’t see the difference, take your soma and proceed to fucktard gate #5.


bubul: of course, you’re right. I meant that the writing was all done by human agents, claiming divine direction. But starting with Aramaic, going to Coptic and then Greek (or was it the other way around?) then to Latin and eventually other languages? Dude, mistakes HAD to have been made! Most serious Bible scholars seem to support that position, at any rate.


Hey Doctor, the pleasure is all mine :o) I live in Bratislava. Where exactly does your brother live here and what does he do?
As for the Judeo- part in Christianity, I must agree with JiuNoon and Mal de Mer. Being very well acquainted with the history of Christianity as well as Judaism, I also believe Judeo-Christian is a meaningless composite, especially when discussing modern-day Christianity. We (Christians) do keep the Ten Commandments, but that is about it. The rest of the Law is something the Apostles decided did not apply to Christians (Acts 15, if memory serves well). There is very little that is Jewish in Christianity and there is much more in it thay may be called Greek, Latin or perhaps Roman. Judeo-Christian is therefore something I am willing to accept in, say, a scholarly paper on Christianity between 30 AD and 72 AD, but in present-day America (and Europe), it is a misnomer to say the least. In conjunction with the dispentionalist theology it may even be viewed as another meaningless political phrase (such as “left-wing liberal” :o).


mmm…lemonheads: your language is too salty for this sandwich and the lemons you offer are so sour, even a die-hard optimist like me can’t make lemonade out of them. Add a little something sweet to your sour serving, and you may even win over a right-winger or two.

bulbul: The New Testament is not a rejection of Old Testament law, but the fulfillment of it. Hence, the term Judeo-Christian.


Hell, Jesus would have hated christmas. I guess O’Reilly will have to wage war against the Lord to save Christmas.The whole Chinese slave labor made Christmas thing is enough to give me gas. Fttt! Oops, sorry. P.S.: Way to go Dorthy and celticgirl!


I could be making sweet lemonade, dear doctor, if you didn’t dodge and obfuscate, as is your wont. Do you or do you not honestly believe that Newdow and the ACLU are trying to “get rid of” Christianity? Simple question, doc.

And that whole “fulfillment” thing regarding the dueling Testaments: while doctrine agrees with you, that does not reconcile the violent contradictions between the two. They go straight from a ‘smitin to love, love, love. I prefer to believe the New makes the old obsolete. It’s the only way they make any sense to me (I’m agnostic anyway).


Sorry celticgirl, my mistake. In my infinite stupidity I assumed you were objecting from a feminist point of view. Again, my apologies. And I agree with you, the human element is certainly there. That’s where the hermeneutics and scholarship come in.

The translation timeline goes like this:

Old Testament: Hebrew/Aramaic – Greek (Septuagint) – Aramaic (so-called Targum) – Syriac – Coptic – Latin (Vulgate) – Arabic (both Judeo-Arabic and Christian Arabic) and all modern languages.
The OT part of Vulgate was translated using the Hebrew/Aramaic originals, rather then the Septuagint.

New Testament: Greek – Syriac – Coptic – Latin and modern translations.

In modern Biblical scholarship, the scholars always use the originals. Apart from those, we also use old Syriac and Coptic texts and, for OT, ancient Semitic languages (Phoenician and Ugaritic) have also become an indispensable tool, especially regarding the fact that over one-tenth (or something like that) of the words in OT only occur once in the entire text and thus their meaning is sometimes very difficult to establish. Add to that the fact that Hebrew and NT (koin?) Greek are not the easiest and best documented languages in the world, then there are differences in opinion when it comes to sources and hermeneutic methods… Betting your soul on one particular translation may not be the best approach, is all I’m saying :o)


Dr. BLT, The Song Blogger:
The New Testament is the fullfilment of the Old Testament. Hence the term Christian :o) Hegel’s “aufgehoben” as well as the metaphorical ladder you must throw away as soon as you’ve climbed it describe the relationship quite well.


“Do you or don’t you honestly believe that Newdow and the UCLA are trying to “get rid of” Christianity?”

Yes, mmm…lemonheads, I believe Newdow and elements within the UCLA are trying to do exactly that. I could be wrong because I’m not God and I can’t read peoples’ motives beyond a shadow of a doubt.

As for throwing out the baby, The OT, with the bath water, “smitin,” the mistake you’re making is that both the OT and the NT must be studied in their proper respective historical and cultural contexts.


100, bitchez.

Just thought I’d mention it.


bulbul, pardon my ignorance, but please explain further. I seem to be quite a bit dumberer than you.


Do you think Michael Newdow and the ACLU are actually going to come out and declare that they are out to get rid of Christianity? I cannot prove that this is their goal, but I infer it from their words and actions.

I like how you think, Doc. Similarly, while I cannot prove that Christians are out to eliminate homosexuals, I infer it from their words and actions. Ditto George Bush and Islam.


You don’t put new whine into old fartskins. O’Reilly & BLT sittin’ in a tree w*h*i*n*i*n*g. Waa!


Do you think Michael Newdow and the ACLU are actually going to come out and declare that they are out to get rid of Christianity?

Be more specific as to how you believe they are planning to “get rid of” Christianity. Is it a “final solution” type thing? Are they going to round Christians up in camps? And wouldn’t that be rather unrealistic, considering the same people who say there’s a war on Christmas also say that 80-90 percent of the country is Christian?

(Why am I even asking him anything?)


The ACLU started by trying to erase all public symbols of our rich, if religious, cultural heritage, the cross on the symbol for the city of Los Angeles. Michael Newdow would start by getting rid of all allusions to the God of the Hebrews and to the God of Christianity, like the allusion inherent in “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and the allusion inherent in the phrase “In God We Trust” on the American dollar bill. I don’t believe they are planning anything as drastic as you’re suggesting because society, won’t tolerate anything but incremental steps towards societal implosion.


PS: Anne, to answer your second question, you are asking me, because you are smart. You are mysteriously drawn towards truth, no matter who is delivering it.


Well, I am drawn to truth, but you’re presuming too much to imply you’re delivering it. Read that part where you said PUBLIC SYMBOLS again, and try to think of how maybe that’s just not the same as the rather vague “getting rid of Christianity,” and how intellectually bankrupt it is to imply otherwise.


Hey Doc, you know that case where the ACLU sued LA County to remove the cross from its seal? Well, when LA removed the cross, what do you think happened next?

Right. The Thomas More Law Center sued the County for removing it, claiming it showed a “government-sponsored message of hostility toward Christians.”

And the suing goes on and on. Was the ACLU right? Reasonable people can and do disagree about the meaning and application of the Establishment Clause. The County apparently thought the ACLU had a reasonable chance of success. (Probably because of all those “wacky activist judges” in California, right Doc? Isn’t it nice not to have to think about the merits of a case?)

Was TMLC right? Was the removal of the cross a demonstration of government hostility toward Christians? Please. Timidity, even cowardice, maybe. But hostility?

And you still haven’t answered this question: Who says the “God” in “under God” and “in God we trust” is the Christian God? Who says it’s Jesus Christ? And if it isn’t — if it is a generic, inclusive, non-denominational God, then how can Newdow’s action sbe viewed as hostility toward Christianity?


BLT, even if your facts were in order about the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, the idea that Christianity grew out of Judaism doesn’t mean you can lump us in with you. That’d be like saying a Protestant can call for an end to the papal tradition and expect all Catholics to agree with him.

This whole concept that removing G-d from the dollar bill will start the slope to anarchy and hedonism shows where your loyalties lie. Basically, you are saying that – if they don’t have Christ in their lives – Americans will be unable to stand as a nation. So, basically, you only love America as long as it is a Christian nation. Seems like rather weak patriotism to say that our country is incapable of being strong without bowing to one religion.


Doc: naaah, I am not smarter, I am just very well read. The Hegel reference was the best thing I could come up with without getting into a long philosophical discussion. Sorry. But basically, Christianity is not just a continuation of Judaism, it is much more than that on a completely different level. The Jews had Moses, we (= mankind) had God himself. The new Covenant isn’t new because it’s younger than the old one, it is new in regard to one of the parties (mankind as opposed to just one nation). The whole “Judeo-Christian” thingie is about as silly as “African American” or “Chinese American”. Do you think it will matter four-five centuries from now where somebody’s great^5 parents came from? Maybe to some historian or genealogist. And to a lot of racists. But everyone else will see this for what it is: a rather useless historical information.

JiuNoon: it goes even further. I know a lot of so-called right-wingers who promote Christianity not because of Christ or God or faith or whatever, but because they see it as something that is needed to keep the society together. What would C.S. Lewis say? Oh wait, he already said that. Something along the lines “if you don’t believe it because you think it’s true, you might as well believe it in order to get to the drugstore faster.”
I have begun to suspect that some “christians” feel that religion should be used as a political tool. Recently I yelled at a Catholic friend of mine (fyi, I am a Catholic myself), with whom I talked about his fear of the “homosexual agenda” and his fear of immigrants (in the light of what happened in France). Having finished calling him many things I asked him what I ask Dr. BLT and other christians here: what part of “Love thy neighbour” do you not understand? And if you do understand it, then what do you put before this commandment and why?


“UCLA,” doc? Was that a Freudian slip, or just an “oopsie?”


Thanks for putting in your 2 cents worth. If you are correct in your impression of me as “intellectually bankrupt,” then I will need all the spare change I can get.

Dan Someone, who do suppose came up with the idea to put “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and “In God We Trust” on the dollar bill. It sure as heck wasn’t the Hari Chrisnas.

JiuNoon, Dan just made a pretty good case for the notion that “God” on the dollar bill may be a generic God. Or did he?

bulbul: enough already, you had me at “naah I’m not smarter.” Actually, I was curious as to what term you would use to depict the historical link between Christianity and Judaism? Also, you seem to be implying that “Love thy neighbor” means you have to agree with everything thy neighbor says and does.


It was some Catholic-associated group in the 1950s who lobbied to get the “under God”-bit put in the Pledge. Before that, it just wasn’t there. I remember seeing a movie from the 1940s wherein the Pledge is recited, without, of course, the “under God.” I thought, at the time, “Hey! How did they get that wrong?” But, of course, it was accurate for how the Oledge was at that time. It’s presence in the pledge, and the “In God We Trust” on money are plainly unconstitutional, and illustrate the rank dishonesty of Supreme Court Justices like Scallia and Thomas, who purport to be ruling taking only “original intent” into consideration, but are instead quite the “judicial activists” when the mood strikes them.


Dr. BLT: :o)

The “under God” bit in the Pledge of Allegiance is well documented, so I won’t go into that.
As for the “In God We Trust” on the dollar bills – for the record, the $1 bill also features an unfinished pyramid and the All-Seeing Eye (that just begs for a LOTR reference). The motto itself probably comes from the last stanza of “The Star-Spangled Banner”, although it wasn’t place on US coins until the Civil War and it wasn’t proclaimed a national motto until the 1950s. In the case of the coin, it was a reverend who petitioned the Secretary of the Treasury to include a reference to God on the coins, so I believe it is safe to assume that he meant the God of the Torah and the Gospels.
But is “In God We Trust” a proof the USofA are a Christian nation or at least based on Christian principles? No. Would removing it from the banknotes or courthouses make the US less Christian? My guess is no, but I really don’t know. What I do know is what a real war on christianity looks like. Starts with locking up and/or shooting priests and bishops and burning Bibles. Until this happens and as long as you have a president who does not hesitate to mention God or even talk to him, well, color me amused.


*applauds* Well said, bulbul!


if you like Broken News go buy the DVD of The Day Today

Also Brass Eye, by the same team – does for “60 Minutes”-type news “investigations” what The Day Today does for news bulletins. Both make it impossible to take “real” news seriously ever again.


If you need the nation-state in which you reside to pimp your faith, you must not have much.


And let’s not forget that “under God” was added to the Pledge as an anti-Communist measure, not as a way of expressing some specific Christian sentiment. The Commies were, of course, godless, so naturally, affirming our country’s favored status with God would send them whimpering in defeat.

It only took 40 years and a massive military build-up that bankrupted the USSR to allow us to claim partial victory.


a massive military build-up that bankrupted the USSR

See, they really should have had some of that God mojo on their money.


So, we all agree that it wasn’t the Hari Chrisnas that put In God We Trust on the dollar bill? Well, now we are getting somewhere.

mmm….lemonheads, I’ve always wanted to be a faith pimp. do you know of any good faith ho’s I could hook up with? Do you know if Tammy Faye is available?


I would really like to discuss this topic but “Desperate Housewives” is on.


Sigh. While the good Doctor has many endearing traits, his propensity to dodge his opponents’ points (such as thedistinction between seeking to eliminate government displays of religion and seeking to eliminate religion in its entirety) is not one of them.


Big worm, you’re not without endearing traits of your own, one being the successful bait you put out their for would-be victims like myself. If there’s any label I cannot abide, it’s the label of “dodging doc.” So I’ll answer your question directly. It can be answered in one word:
SMOKE SCREEN. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and that old familiar anti-Christian desire. And where there are smoke screens, those fires keep burning higher and higher.


So let me get this straight, Doc: You say that that anybody who seeks to enforce the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause* by eliminating public religious displays is really seeking to eliminate Christianity? And your “evidence” of this is some nebulous analogy to “smoke” which must imply a “fire”?

How do you reconcile your silly conclusion with the fact that the ACLU and its supporters include many Christians? And the fact that the ACLU has also sought to remove menorahs and other non-Christian religious symbols from government property? And the fact that the ACLU has also fought to defend Christian churches and Christians from government action that would infringe the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment?

* Shouldn’t it really be called the Anti-Establishment Clause?



Thanks. I don’t think you’re right about the Smoke Screen, however. The ACLU is a legal organization, and Newdow is a lawyer (we went to the same law school but not at the same time). Many of these people simply have a very broad interpretation of the the Establishment clause and it outrages them to see government endorse religion, even when that endorsement is pretty minimal. It’s the same “my tax dollars are paying for this?” impulse that conservatives often express in different contexts. While I do not doubt that many of them are personally annoyed by the very existence of religious belief, I think they are resigned to the fact that the vast majority of Americans are believers, and have no designs on a purge.


125, yo.

Just sayin’.


“How do you reconcile your silly conclusion with the fact that the ACLU and its supporters include many Christians.”

First of all, Dan, I’m a silly, silly man, so you should not be surprised when you discover me arriving at “silly” conclusions. The one you mentioned may not be one of so silly after all, however. Who am I to judge who is a “real” Christian and who is not? What I do know is that there are “Christians” who define themselves according to core, conservative Christian values and tradition, and then there are “Christians” who are at odds with traditional, conservative Christian values, some of whom are actually hostile to those traditional conservative Christian values. I have a hunch which category of “Christian” you may be referring to when it comes to ACLU members. I haven’t seen any right-winger friends of mine standing in line applying for the job lately. Most would rather starve, or flip burgers at McDonalds.

What other types of “non-Christian” symbols have the ACLU sought to remove? Yes, Dan, they may have attempted to remove a token Menorah or two (not exactly a non-Christian symbol when you consider the rich role that Jewish tradition has played in shaping Christian tradition), and maybe its my own bias talking, but but they just seem to be more powerfully fueled with passion when they go after those traditional Christian symbols.

“Shouldn’t it really be called the Anti-Establishment Clause?”
How about the anti-Santa Claus Clause? Call it what you want, Dan. I prefer to call a spade a spade.


Hmm. Christians have Christian values. That explains it.


nothin’ like a big steamin’ pile o poo. Mmm mmm! Nothin’ like rich, steamin’ meadow muffins to make me glad. Doc, you and your compadres better get busy indoctrinating the rest of us into your fascist neo-con b.s. mindset. A spy in every doctor’s office and one in every bedroom. Can’t wait. Oh look! There’s one now! πŸ™


core, conservative Christian values and tradition
And what are these, pray?

they just seem to be more powerfully fueled with passion when they go after those traditional Christian symbols.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that there are more evangelical Christian judges and mayors then there are Orthodox Jewish or Sunni Muslim judges and mayors.

Who am I to judge who is a “real” Christian and who is not?
Indeed, who can judge who is a real Christian and who is not? A Catholic might be tempted to dismiss most of American Christians as heretics and thus not Christians at all, since they foolishly believe that faith alone shall save them and that God will rapture them to heaven.


Heh. First you say “Who am I to judge who is a “real” Christian and who is not?” And then you proceed, in the very next sentence, to do just that. “What I do know is that there are “Christians” who define themselves according to core, conservative Christian values and tradition, and then there are “Christians” who are at odds with traditional, conservative Christian values, some of whom are actually hostile to those traditional conservative Christian values. I have a hunch which category of “Christian” you may be referring to when it comes to ACLU members.”

Hmm… So I guess Roger Williams wasn’t the good kind of Christian? “Tenthly, an enforced uniformity of religion throughout a nation or civil state, confounds the civil and religious, denies the principles of Christianity and civility, and that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”

And I guess Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State is trying to eliminate Christianity from the U.S.

I could find more examples, but I don’t have time right now. I have to go out and kick over a Nativity scene.


You see, I go out of my way not to be judgmental, and the first you know, I’m judged for it. The numbers of entries on this thread are impressive, but I think we’ve pretty much beaten this topic to the ground. Why don’t we all just agree that I’ve won the debate, and move on? It’s been a pleasure! Please don’t feel bad about losing this one. There will be plenty of other opportunities to make RightWingRoadKill out of me. Merry Christmas!


The numbers of entries on this thread are impressive… Why don’t we all just agree that I’ve won the debate, and move on?

πŸ˜€ Damn, he’s good.


bulbul, do you support Artmedia Petrzalka?


I…have to….do it…

Doc, please go back and take a basic rhetoric class somewhere, anywhere. Debates are not won by number of words or length of conversation.

Of all the things the fucktardation of the American mind hath wrought, the bastardization of rhetoric is, to me, the most unforgiveable. Personally, one of my patron deities is creditied with inventing rhetoric, the other with inventing logic and philosophy. The devolution of discourse is a sacrilidge to me and mine.

And, for the record, I have long believed that the decline of Western Civilization began when the “three r’s” (i.e., the trivium, the basis of education) were changed to “reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic”: they were originally “reading, writing, and rhetoric.”

And damn, does it ever show!


bixente: hehe :o) I am not that much into sports, but these guys ROOOOOOOCK!

Dorothy: and did you notice how “rhetoric” has become a swearword? Like, you know, “intelectual” or “liberal”…


What I do know is that there are “Christians” who define themselves according to core, conservative Christian values and tradition, and then there are “Christians” who are at odds with traditional, conservative Christian values, some of whom are actually hostile to those traditional conservative Christian values.

Wow. That’s actually… amazingly offensive. So, only conservatives can be “true” christians? It’s a good thing I’m an atheist, or I’d find that insulting. Bah, humbug to ya, Doc.


Yeah, given his latest message here and in the thread below (directed at me), I’d have to say Doc Sammich has reached the limit of his ability to sustain any sort of a reasoned argument and hence has raised shields and set phasers on “spit venom and run away.”


I never knew that one day insults would actually be music to my ears, but you folks are so kind compared to the vituperative villains that used to attack me here in the old days. I’m actually beginning to like some of you. That prospect is a bit frightening. I’m beginning to feel like a character in that old Cheers sitcom, though, for the life of me, I can’t figure out which one.

Dorothy, Dorothy, Dorothy, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, I am nothing, I have become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. ”

Besides, rhetoric is a luxury for me. I don’t have time to sound intelligent. While I’ve taken a break from teaching, I have patients to see all day. When I come home, I have a wife and a 5-month old baby to attend to. Then, when I’m not interviewing burned out rock stars, and writing articles for religious magazines and music magazines, and religious music magazines, I’m working on what I’m hoping will be my next career as an anti-rock-star. Then, of course, there’s Christmas.

Marq, Did you notice I put both types of “Christians” in quotes. That was meant to emphasize my awareness that I am in no position to judge who is a real Christian. Christ adopts us as His children, not on the basis of our respective ideologies, (though it is important to have the right one), but by a simple receiving of His free gift of salvation. Believe it or not, when I get to heaven, much to my chagrin, I expect to see both left wingers and right wingers. The right wingers may stay in the luxury suites, but we’ll all be living together harmoniously as one.

Dan, Dan, Dan: “spit venom and run away.”?
Isn’t that kind of like “cutting and running from Iraq?”
Dan, it takes a lot of courage, resolute determination and skill to win a debate with me. Don’t feel bad, and don’t be a sore loser ! Tomorrow is another day. If I relapse again in my “Sadly, no!” sobriety, I will be back, and you may find that one chink in my armor that you missed today. Goodnight everyone! I’m going back under the bridge.


The right wingers may stay in the luxury suites

Surely thou jesteth?


Dan, Dan, Dan: “spit venom and run away.”?
Isn’t that kind of like “cutting and running from Iraq?”

No. Not at all. Apples and microchips.

Besides, rhetoric is a luxury for me. I don’t have time to sound intelligent.
Rhetoric isn’t about sounding intelligent. Rhetoric is about structuring your argument, using the correct logic etc. I am sorry to say you are certainly in need of a few lessons in those subjects.

I have patients to see all day
Patients? Isn’t “clients” the correct term?


No, Virginia, there is no sanity clause.


Dr BLT, can I ask you a personal question? Why are you here? Why do you comment to Sadly, No?


Tinkling cymbal? That sounds like you doc. It doesn’t make sense either.


I think y’all just missed the point the great unkosher one just conceded:

These “core, conservative Christian values” he’s going on about are inherently and by their very nature inimical to “American values”.

Glad to see we finally agree on something.


Let me start by saying good morning!
Yes, I’ve fallen off the wagon again today, but I’m determined to catch up to the Sadly, No! sobriety caravan by noon, never to return to this deleterious addiction of mine.

bulbul: to jesteth is besteth, and, believe me, if you saw the folks I see for therapy, you’d be calling them patients, not clients!

bad jim: Are you the real bad Santa?

elindil: Let me start by saying I appreciate the apparent sincerity of your quest for answers. It is written: “Seek and ye shall find, knock, and the door shall be opened until thee. ” Now, to answer your questions:
1. “Why are you here?”
Sadly, I’ve become addicted to being tortured by left-wingers. There’s something oddly appealing about becoming RightwingRoadKill for Jesus.

2. “Why do you comment at Sadly, No!?”
a. Because I can.
b. Because I’m on a mission from God.

finally, mr. x:
“That sounds like you doc. It doesn’t make sense either.”
Yeah, like juxtaposing those two sentences together makes sense! And by the way, try telling that to the Apostle Paul. You’re lucky he found light and love on that Damascus road, and that his name is no longer Saul!


“Would that they would cut themselves off.” That’s Paul, isn’t it? Real compassionate stuff from a self-aggrandizing intolerant windbag.


don’t knock him, mr. x. After all, he was once, like you, a persecutor of Christians.


Dorothy, Dorothy, Dorothy, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, I am nothing, I have become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.”

Uh…right. This has nothing to do with logic and rhetoric. “Tongues” in this case refers to “languages”. This quote was targeted at the “look, ma, I can speak in tounges!” crowd of Christians who believed that parlor tricks were more important than good works for getting into heaven. Let me see if I can think of a modern example of this type of Christian….

Besides, rhetoric is a luxury for me. I don’t have time to sound intelligent.

Rhetoric isn’t about sounding intelligent. It’s about building a sound argument. It’s about recognizing bullshit supporting details, distracting red herrings, hateful ad hominem attacks, fascist appeals to false authority, and ridiculous analogies that compare saying “happy holidays” to throwing someone in a concentration camp.

That is not a luxury. It is a necessity for any self-aware, conscientious adult who wants to maintain any semblance of sanity in a world of message spin, marketing weasel-speak, and even outright propaganda. It’s vital for anyone who knows or cares about the difference between reality and Faux-reality.

These days, they usually call it “critical thinking skills,” and it’s very telling to me that several local fundamental churches tried to get it banned from the Texas public schools. You see, these churches felt that learning to think was against their religion. See, it never occured to these “Christians” that someone in the future might try to sell their kids a line of bull (here, have some drugs! If you love me, you’ll sleep with me!), and they have made sure their kids are defenseless against it.

That explains why they feel the need to stamp out any and all messages they don’t agree with. It’s like purposely ripping out your child’s immune system and then demanding that the government destroy anyone or anything that might carry germs, never realizing that it is a completely impossible task.

To me, that is the perfect definition of “clueless fucktard dumb”.


Dorothy, mom, good to hear from you. You mean rhetoric won’t make me sound intelligent? You mean rhetoric is more important than love?

Yes, I know you would like to cast me in the fiery furnace of ignorance by tossing me into that same Ring of Fire that you’ve conveniently tossed all the other fundamentalist Christians. But did you know that if you signed up for one of my psychology courses that you would not stand a hope in hell of passing unless you exhibited clear, unequivocal evidence of critical thinking skills? Why do you think I’ve so eagerly questioned folks here who cling to liberal groupthink? The only other type of thinking I value more is creative thinking.

But please, Dorothy, don’t think for a moment, that I don’t like you. There are only two reasons why I do not. 1. Last night I attended a remarkable performance by the Blackwood Gospel Quartet where I was reminded of how much Christ loves me, and how much He wants me to love my blog neighbor as my freakin’ self. And 2. You have the same first name as my mom. Sometimes your voice even takes on that same punative tone that reminds me of the tone my mother used to use when I was a child just before she proceeded to spank me.


There goes that Freudian slipping and sliding of mine again. The above paragraph should read:
“There are only two reasons why I do (like you that is!)


BLT, Paul became a self-aggrandizing windbag after his conversion. I see why you like him though…


Dr BLT, thanks for the response. I’m not sure that asking a troll why he trolls is sufficiently profound a question to warrant the phrase “sincerity of your quest for answers”, but I’ll take what I can get πŸ™‚

So, you are going the Matt 5:10 route aye? Does it still count if you actively stir up your own persecution (complex), rather than going out and defending those innocents who are truly persecuted? Well, who am I to judge. If God’s called you to be a troll on Sadly No, then I guess that’s just the way it is.


mr. x, I hadn’t noticed anything in Paul’s writings that would lead me to characterize him as a “self-aggrandizing windbag.” Perhaps you could enlighten me by providing a few examples?

And no, elendil, since it already “Hurts So Good,” I doubt if there will be any rewards in heaven for persecution of myself that I may have helped to generate, or for persecution that I may have enjoyed a little too much. And BTW, thanks for giving me your blessings in my quest to fulfill God’s mission for me here at “Sadly, no!”

This isn’t an easy mission field, my friend. Like Jonah, I initially furiously fled from God’s calling for me here. The soil is mighty tough, rocky, and thorny, but a tiny voice inside my head said, “You aren’t going to win anyone over by preaching to the choir over at Power Line.” Yes, I’ve faced many a foe, and I’ve faced a brutal, ineffable mountain of persecution. But Jesus said all I need is a mustard seed of faith to move mountains. Some day I’m counting on a bumper crop of “Sadly, no!” souls seeking salvation. It starts by saying “Yes” to faith, and just saying “No!” to sarcasm, and its evil stepsister, the cyanide of cynicism.


Dr BLT– So your mission here is to spread the word of God?


I now have faith in sarcasm.


You mean rhetoric is more important than love?

Beautiful! A non-sequitur AND a red herring in the same breath. I countered your claim that rhetoric was a luxury. You respond that I must think rhetoric is more important than love. Now I am supposed to go off on a tangent defending my feelings towards love or start back-pedaling from my original point that rhetoric is a necessity in modern life. Tricksy.

Yes, I know you would like to cast me in the fiery furnace of ignorance

I would have thought that a psychologist would be more circumspect about knowing the desires of someone he’s never met.

And I did not toss you anywhere. You are the one who claimed to know nuthin ’bout no thinkun skilz and didn’t have the luxury to think straight, what with the baby and all. (Congratulations on that baby, BTW. Hope it starts sleeping through the night soon!)

by tossing me into that same Ring of Fire that you’ve conveniently tossed all the other fundamentalist Christians.

“All”? Where did you get “all”? I gave a specific example of a specific instance or “several local churches.” That means “some number of churches in North Texas that is greater than 3, but I cannot remember the precise number and do not have the means to research that at this time.”

And again, I didn’t toss anyone anywhere. These ministers and their flock chose to toss themselves into that fiery furnace of ignorance when they chose to harrass teachers in two school districts. They demanded that every teacher justify every question on every test, and if any question was deemed by these people to “foster critical thinking,” they demanded that the teacher rewrite the test or exempt their children from taking it. Some of them demanded to sit in on class discussions so they could object to questions in the classroom, on the fly. I should point out that “critical thinking skills” are part of the state-mandated junior high and high school graduation tests.

These parents embraced ignorance all on their own, and they chose to force their chillden to remain in ignorance also. In some cases, they forced their children to remain diploma-less and destined for a life of low-paying, unskilled labor jobs.

This was my specific example that you generalized into “all”: Are you saying that all fundamentalist Christians do this?

But did you know that if you signed up for one of my psychology courses that you would not stand a hope in hell of passing unless you exhibited clear, unequivocal evidence of critical thinking skills?

And yet, when I do exactly that here, you respond with patronizing, irrelevant comments about how much you do or do not like me and how much I do or do not remind you of your mother. You seem to think that rhetorical skills and logical thinking are “luxuries.”

Since the first day you’ve been trolling this board, I have not seen you maintain even a coherent argument, much less one free from logical fallacies and unsourced supporting details. Do you realize that, with the argumentative skills you’ve shown in your conversations here, you wouldn’t stand a hope in hell of passing my English Composition 101 class?

I find myself faced with two possible conclusions:

1)You are honestly ignorant of the basic rules of logic and rhetoric, although you may not actually be aware of this. Now personally, I do not consider ignorance to be a “bad” thing: it just means someone was not taught properly, and 7 or 8 times out of 10, it wasn’t the student’s fault. I’m ignorant about a lot of things, and like Socrates, “I know that I know nothing.” (Lack of curiosity, lack of desire to learn: now that is not good. Combine that with ignorance, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.)

2) You are schooled and skilled in rhetoric and argument, but you choose to break every rule in the book so you can score quick emotional points, accuse your adversaries of “groupthink,” stupidity, and prejudice, and derail every train of thought so that every conversation winds up being all about you. That would make you an egotistical asshole who needs something better to do with his time.

I won’t pretend to know you well enough to claim that either conclusion is the correct one. For the sake of your students and your patients, though, I really hope it’s the first one.


Dorothy, didn’t I tell you I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed? Why, with all of your intelligence, you waste your time on a half-witted troll like me is beyond me. BTW, no, I’m not yet sleeping through the night, the baby keeps both my wife and I up at all hours of the night. But what she gives more than makes up for the precious sleep she deprives us of. Having said that, I’m not going to blame my poor skills in rhetoric on the baby.

Some of us were born with brains, and some of us were not. Intelligence, and rhetoric, in particular, is not my gift. I try to make up for it with love, but sometimes I also fall short in that category too. I’m sorry you experienced my comments as patronizing. That certainly wasn’t my intention, and I’ll be more careful to avoid coming across like that in the future.


With nobody blogging on for over 12 consecutive hours, I now pronounce this thread, officially dead.


Ha! Threads around here rise from the dead all the time! Zombie thread!!


It’s a miracle! Marq, you can always be depended upon to raise the dead.


*whispers* Does the doc think he can declare victory just ’cause nobody posts after he does? I don’t THINK so!And BTW, how many names are you posting under now, anyways?


Ooh, and I love the bit where the unkosher one calls Dorothy out to a challenge on her critical thinking skills.

I would love to see an LSAT-off between the two of them. Not only would I give ten to one odds on Dorothy, but I’ll cover a forty point spread between the two of them, as well. Any takers?


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