Thursday, August 21, 2008

They Call Him Funny

What a tool. I don't know if there's anyone who visits here who might find thougtfulness, intelligence or insight in the opinions and blatherings of a Bill Maher, but I just had to post about this.

Way back when Billy-boy was doing his "Politically Incorrect" on late night ABC, that was before it moved to HBO, I found his show to be pretty entertaining from a conversational point of view. He would often have comedians on as well as politicians, pundits, and others. I cannot recall a single event wherein I laughed at one of his "jokes". I used to think, "his monologue style reminds me of Carson without any laughs". He's just not funny.

So what can it be? How does this buffoon find an audience? It certainly isn't his intelligence, since I've seen no evidence of that either.

But when it comes to religion, he has to be one of the all-time Christophobes to ever soil the airwaves. He has absolutely no clue regarding Christianity or religion in general. Through the misfortune of having heard him spew on religion on a number of occasions, nothing he's ever said encourages me to believe he has ever truly studied or searched for the truth. He impresses me as one who may have read a bit, but always with the stern "convince me" attitude of one who insists on holding firmly to his atheist ways. And he's welcome to believe what he likes. But talk about hate(ben) and misrepresentations(Dan) and smearing.

So how can it be that he continues to hang onto his TV show? I know that some of the left-leaning amongst my humble readership will deny that he speaks for the average liberal. But how does he maintain not just any following at all, but one large enough to justify any broadcaster to keep him on the air? Who could be supporting him? Let's see, Christians? Republicans? Conservatives? Rhodes Scholars? I gotta think it has to be lefties. This unfunny lowlife represents a good portion of those wacky liberals. Who else would find him funny or clever or worth the time of day?

57 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

Don't know much about the fella. The few times I've seen him, I found him not especially funny, either.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Actually, I have found him to be quite entertaining. So what if he doesn't like religion. There is much about religion that turns me off, too. I see no reason in the world why it should be off limits to humorous and other kinds of attacks.

My question for you, Marshall, is this: Why do you care what some comedian thinks? He wields no power. He has no following. He is the host of a cable show. Period. If you don't like him, if you don't find him funny, if you are offended by his jibes at Christians, why you are perfectly free to not watch.

I suppose that concept - that he has as much right to spew his kind of stuff as you do yours - is just beyond your ability to comprehend. That, and the idea that, as a TV host, he is a non-entity.

Les said...

"He has absolutely no clue regarding Christianity or religion in general."

That's a common criticism of people like Maher. Many have made that very accusation against him on his own show. Maher's response usually goes something along these lines:

"The annoying thing about religious people who talk down to me and act like they're trying to save me is that they generally think I just don't GET IT. That's not the case at all - it's that I simply DON'T AGREE with their theology."

Although I also don't particularly find the man very funny (the current promotional ad for the upcoming season where he's dancing around Bush hilariously notwithstanding), I can certainly agree with that sentiment. There are few things more infuriating than trying to argue with people who are convinced of their own so-called indisputable positions based solely on their religious faith.

For me, Maher's appeal is similar to that of political talk radio broadcasters or shock jocks. Namely, people tune in to hear edgy political commentary - not just by Maher, but by his guests - that might make people uncomfortable. I have no problem with that whatsoever. Am I offended by some of the stuff that comes out of the guy's mouth? Sure. But that's what makes it worth watching. Those who don't like it can simply change the channel.

4simpsons said...

He's like many atheists I've run into in the blog world. They cherish their little anti-religious sound bites and would rather hold onto them than be corrected on their factual errors.

Methinks he doth protest too much.

Marshall Art said...

I don't dispute his right to say whatever psuedo-intellectual junk he wants. He is certainly free to do so. But he does have a following or he wouldn't be on even a local access station. He reflects a particular faction in the country, just as most any TV/radio host does.

My point is more in the nastiness of his attacks on Christianity and the fact that, like other atheists, his charges are specious and show a great lack of understanding about the faith and what it's supposed to mean. He's one of these holier that thou types who think because some Christians don't act well, that the whole thing is a scam, a waste of time, a lie and that sophisticated people like himself don't need some "mythical" motivation to do good, when he is acting just as nasty as anyone he accuses.

Like I said, I used to watch his show, and I did so for the debate and discussions. His presence was a drag on the whole deal.

But his hate for the religious and it being spewed on such a forum as television, is akin to a Nazi having a show, or a Klanner having a show and hearing the same bile directed to another group.

Gotta go, more later.

Dan Trabue said...

It sounds, from what I'm hearing here, like he represents many of the atheists and agnostics I've met - they're turned off by arrogant, demeaning Christians moreso than the idea of God.

And the more these arrogant Christians put them down and harshly accuse them of "foolishness," the less they are inclined to give God a chance.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, now you've convinced me to look up what he's actually saying.

Bill Maher, on Christianity:

“And the worst part is the people bitching loudest about being persecuted for their Christianity aren’t Christians at all. They’re demagogues and conmen and scolds, and the only thing they worship is power.”

“If you believe Jesus ever had a good word for war, or torture, or tax cuts for the rich, or raping the earth, or refusing water for dying migrants, then you might as well believe bunnies lay painted eggs.”

“Now, I know George Bush says Jesus Chris changed his heart, but believe me, Dick Cheney changed it back. The only thing Bush has in common with Jesus is they both went into their father’s business and got crucified for it.”


Amen, Brother Maher!

Now, Marshall, you said:

My point is more in the nastiness of his attacks on Christianity and the fact that, like other atheists, his charges are specious and show a great lack of understanding about the faith and what it's supposed to mean.

What is "nasty" about this? This is simply the first little snippet I came across so maybe there's something worse out there, but at least here, he's not even criticizing Christianity here, but hypocritical Christians. And not only that, but he's at least partially right. Prophetically so.

Many of those who complain about being persecuted ARE demagogues and do come across as conmen and scolds.

And, IF you believe Jesus had something good to say about war or torture or raping the earth, then, he's right - you may as well believe in the easter bunny.

Yes, he is over the top in his criticisms here - like Rush Limbaugh is on the other side. And if he were trying to have a serious conversation rather than entertain, his approach would be a failure.

As long as you realize that this type of language, like Limbaugh's, is designed for entertainment cast as political criticism, then that's fine. If you start thinking this or Limbaugh represent real and reasonable political criticism, then you're wading in murky water.

And I have to say, given the behavior of some Christians, attitudes like Mahers ought to be expected. You will reap what you sow, someone once said.

Anonymous said...

And I have to say, given the behavior of some Christians, attitudes like Mahers ought to be expected. You will reap what you sow, someone once said.> from Dan's comment.

That is something you might want to consider also, Mr. Dan. mom2

Vinny said...

He impresses me as one who may have read a bit, but always with the stern "convince me" attitude of one who insists on holding firmly to his atheist ways.

Way to spot that mote!

Dan Trabue said...

Funny.

On that same quote:

He impresses me as one who may have read a bit, but always with the stern "convince me" attitude of one who insists on holding firmly to his atheist ways.

Bill Maher says:

"I'm not an atheist. There's a really big difference between an atheist and someone who just doesn't believe in religion. Religion to me is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don't need. But I'm not an atheist, no. I believe there's some force. If you want to call it God... I don't believe God is a single parent who writes books".

fyi.

Anonymous said...

Way to spot that mote! by vinny

Back at you also, Mr. vinny. mom2

Democracy Lover said...

Maher certainly has no sympathy for Christianity or any other religion, but he is not a hater of people because they are religious. The problem with groups like the Nazis and the Klan and the Westboro Baptist Church is that they hate people because of some quality those people did not choose and cannot reject.

People choose their religion and they are free to spurn it at will. It's not the same thing as hating people because they are black or Jewish or homosexual.

Now if you want to condemn all haters and feel you must include Bill Maher in their number, then I await your posts condemning Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, et. al.

Marty said...

The few times I watched Bill Maher, he seemed to be pre-occupied and obsessed with sex. Every time I watched him, no matter what the subject matter, he always got around to talking about sex.

Funny, since he isn't at all sexy.

I don't much care for the guy. He bores me. Yawn.

Marshall Art said...

Thank you Marty! That's the most spot-on testimonial about Maher on this whole thread! Boring is a most accurate description of this arrogant buffoon.

Marshall Art said...

DL,

You got it, buddy. Now just tell me what each of those people are on about, and I'll explain it for ya. At first blush, the only one that I might agree is a hater is Savage. He's a nasty man. But the rest? No way.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

That's not a mote he's swinging at the faithful. It's a freakin' Louisville Slugger. Way to pretend he's being honest.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"arrogant, demeaning Christians"

What a load. It's like saying that those that stand for God's truth regarding the sinfulness of homosexual behavior are haters. Hey wait. It's the same type of people!

The fact is, that when discussions on religion arise, a Christian is not supposed to pretend that perhaps they are wrong. They're supposed to stand up for what they believe if they truly believe. And when it comes to behaviors, which is what always is at the bottom of such things, the Christian is accused for merely stating what Scripture says. I, for one, have no more patience for such practices and see the accusations for what they are. They are merely dodges to escape the guilt that comes when being told that God spoke out against a given behavior. Arrogance my ass. It isn't arrogance on the part of Christians as much as it is guilt on the part of the atheist.

Jeez, it hacks me off to engage in a discussion, give an opinion, and then be accused of nastiness for doing so. What a crock! This is the position of a Maher, not that anyone's being arrogant. People like Maher are not inclined to "give God a chance" because of their own arrogance and overinflated sense of their own importance.

Your reprint of Maher on Christianity is an example of his bullshit. If he'd have the decency to name who he has in mind, then he might have something on the people he names. Otherwise, he's engaging in spewing crass generalizations.

And this part:

“If you believe Jesus ever had a good word for war, or torture, or tax cuts for the rich, or raping the earth, or refusing water for dying migrants, then you might as well believe bunnies lay painted eggs.”

Can you say "strawman"? This is typical of the shallow like Maher who pretend there's nothing more to any of those issues. Just like yourself, Dan, he says "torture" and refuses to speak on what that means, when it's applied, what end is being served, nothing. He just throws out the word and ties Christians to it because some believe beating on one scumbag in order to save the lives of any number of citizens is a good thing. It begs the question of what Jesus would do in that situation? Would He allow hundreds or thousands to die rather than apply pain to the guy who can supply the details that would help prevent it? More to the point, would he expect US to?

Did He have a good word for war? Did He preach that we should just let evil despots torture and kill their own people as well as their neighbors? I'm so sick of assholes pretending that war is evil and we should all just let other assholes have free reign over all the earth.

Did Jesus have a good word about forcing others to care for others? Ever? Did He ever? Tax cuts for the rich my ass.

Did Jesus have a good word about enabling invaders breaking our laws by aiding and abetting their crimes with food and water? Idiot.

Maher doesn't know jack-shit about Bush, Cheney or much of anything else and you giving his sorry ass an Amen makes you just as stupid. And your laughing at the thought of Bush respecting the Constitution is more evidence.

What's nasty about this? You've gotta be kidding. He's not taling about hypocritical Christians. He's talking as if they are the lion's share of them. He's talking as if they are in great supply. He's talking as if they call themselves Christians, they'd damned well better be Christ's equal or they're liars.

Many of those who complain about being persecuted ARE demagogues and do come across as conmen and scolds.

Bullshit.

Yes, he is over the top in his criticisms here - like Rush Limbaugh is on the other side.

You obviously don't listen to Limbaugh, either. Nothing Limbaugh has ever said rises, or rather, sinks, to the the depths of bile that drips from the lips of Bill Maher. Limbaugh has a far better grasp of the political world than I ever heard from you, muh man. The comparison is very lame indeed.

And I have to say, given the behavior of some Christians, attitudes like Mahers ought to be expected.

I see. So his self-worship isn't enough to make him transcend that which he mocks. He's that way BECAUSE of Christians. Right. Nice try.

He believes there's "some force". It's called gas and he's full of it. "Some force" my ass. More bullshit.

Sensing some hatred again? You got it, pal. I hate this crap attitude of Maher's and people like him. It's all a bunch of hooey to allow for his own religion of self-worship. It allows for doing what he wants and still clinging to some misguided notion that he's "good". Fred Phelps is a blessing to such as Maher. With Phelps, he has a legitimate jerk on whom he can base his opinions and then he ties that crap to other legitimate theologians and clerics.

It would be far better for you to find him funny, Dan, than to think you can defend his nonsensical stance against religion and the religious.

Jason H. Bowden said...

Bill Maher is hilarious! Maher does hate religion, but hating isn't a crime. I'm looking forward to Religulous, a biased look at the insanities of organized religion. Should be a lot of fun.

Jason H. Bowden said...

I'd go even further -- the entire debate on this tread amuses me! The conservatives won't allow themselves to see that Jesus preached communist, anti-Life nonsense. The progressives can't see that JC wanted us to live on this planet without the mind.

You guys, like Batman and Joker, need each other. Without the SocCons mumbling bs about money changers and the rich not getting into heaven, most of the inspiration for socialism would dry up. While if progressives didn't treat ideas as if they were a mystical con game, as if reason is a myth and nothing is real, the inspiration for conservative prejudices would dry up.

Vinny said...

That's not a mote he's swinging at the faithful. It's a freakin' Louisville Slugger. Way to pretend he's being honest.

Just out of curiosity, did you even get the scriptural allusion there?

BTW, I am heartily sick of you Christians who claim to be “merely stating what Scripture say.” You pick and choose what you want out of your magic book to suit your own purposes and to create the image of God that most appeals to you. Explain to me again how “spare the rod” refers to gentle guidance rather than beating children with a big stick.

I think you are probably right about Jehovah’s attitude toward torture. I can’t imagine that waterboarding would bother a God who applauds smashing the heads of babies against rocks. Psalm 137:9.

Dan Trabue said...

Vinny, is it not okay if we have disagreeing positions on what our book says? We humans will disagree about nearly everything, does it surprise you that we disagree about our religious views, too?

And, Marshall, for what it's worth, I listened to Rush for years and still do for a few minutes at a time.

Don't forget: I once identified myself as a conservative. I've seen and read and viewed what you've viewed. So, yes, I'm quite familiar with Limbaugh.

He is a clown and a buffoon and not especially any funny anymore. He was a little funny back in the day, but that was before he and his followers started treating what he had to say as if it were anything other than a joke. A mean-spirited, but sometimes funny joke.

Not so much anymore. Just mean-spirited.

Marty said...

I don't like Rush Limbaugh either.

"Flush Rush". Remember that bumper sticker? I had one on my car along with "No Nukes".

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I'm happy for ya.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Your understanding of conservatism has been shown to be questionable elsewhere. Your position on Rush would be much more credible if his understanding of the political circus didn't pan out accurately as often as it does.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

"Remove first the plank from your own eye."

Good enough for ya?

"You pick and choose what you want out of your magic book to suit your own purposes..."

You must be referring to atheists and progressives and the lazy. Serious students of the faith simply explain proper meaning for the unschooled.

"Explain to me again how “spare the rod” refers to gentle guidance rather than beating children with a big stick."

Just re-read my original explanation.

God did not write the Psalms. Those are words, thoughts and prayers of people.

You show typical atheist misunderstanding of Scripture.

Marshall Art said...

Jason,

I knew this day would come. You've made allusions to your disbelief in the past. But as I said to Vinny, "You show typical atheist misunderstanding of Scripture."

Please explain "communist, anti-Life nonsense". And there's no truth to the "living without the mind" comment as we are to use reasoning in our faith and belief, something not found in the atheist perspective.

Your last paragraph is pretty much incomprehensible, which is unusual for you. You seem to mix the common stereotypes used by atheists against Christians.

I invite you to clarify your position or to provide a link to any blogpost or vid you've created wherein you've already provided such.

Further, I invite you to spend time in real investigation on the subject, because I seem to recall you mentioning you've never really spent such time.

Marshall Art said...

One more thing for Jason,

It is said that good comedy is based on truth. If you believe as Maher does, that Christianity is crap, then I suppose that's truth to you and his "humor" might provoke a chuckle. But since there's no real truth to much of anything he says and believes, for me he provokes no more than the compulsion to change the channel in search of true entertainment and/or intelligent discussion. Should you ever take up my challenge to seriously study the faith, you would no longer see anything funny about Maher.

Dan Trabue said...

Your understanding of conservatism has been shown to be questionable elsewhere.

Only in your mind and the in the opinions of those predisposed to believe the worst about those they disagree with.

In reality, I have likely read and studied longer, more and deeper in the mystical arts of conservatism than you have, based upon how you describe it. I was conservative and studied deeply and earnestly in it for nigh unto 30 years before I "switched teams," so to speak. And I have studied it perhaps even as seriously since changing course as before - for an additional 15 years, now.

How 'bout you? You been drinking from the fount of conservatism long? Read much? Studied any?

(And here, I'm not talking about the jokers like Limbaugh or the near insane like Michael Savage, but more serious conservatives and religious right thinkers.)

Marshall Art said...

My first hint came about during an exercise in a Social Science Survey class in high school, wherein our clever teacher sought to make all of us long hairs defend concervative principles in a debate against those who appeared to be young Republicans in the role of liberals. It was easy as the philosophies had great appeal to me. Strong defense, equitable tax policy, how to care for the unfortunate, etc. All those areas we covered made far more sense from the conservative side that I was shocked to think I might actually be a young Republican myself.

Later, listening to a local radio talk show on a Christian station, I continued to hear callers compare the host to Rush. His response seemed tepid at best. At the same time, I often passed a huge billboard in my town advertizing Rush's show. I decided to see who this fat dude was. As it turned out, upon first tuning in, I caught him at a point where he was saying that to actually know whence he comes, one must listen to his show for a good six weeks. I took up the challenge. In that time, I never heard anything philosophically that struck me as counter to my thinking. In other words, I had been conservative all along without realizing it. I had been, in my youth, siding with the left based on the baseless emotional rhetoric. Once I looked to see what was what, I found the lefty ranting to be lies and distortions.

Since then, I've found that intial reaction to be validated time and time again and people like you cement it further. Take this:

"Only in your mind and the in the opinions of those predisposed to believe the worst about those they disagree with."

We are not predisposed to anything. And we believe the worst about WHAT you believe as opposed to believing the worst about YOU. More accurately, we are saddened by your lack of understanding of the most obvious in life. It is your insistance that you have a point that provokes negative feelings about you, but we don't start from that position at all. It's a lie to believe so.

More proof of your lack of understanding is your belief that Rush is merely a clown. This is YOU acting on YOUR predisposed ideas (which are misguided at best, flat out wrong in reality) about him and what he believes. As for Savage, I don't much care for the man, even when I agree with him. How closely I agree with him I can't say since I avoid his show.

Dan Trabue said...

So, what? Five years of listening to Rush and Savage? Have you read a book on the topic? Taken any classes? Anything?

Or it was just something that appealed to your teen-aged mind?

To repeat: I've probably forgotten more about conservatism than you've ever read, little brother. Your diagnoses of others' positions betray a fairly shallow understanding of the deeper and richer points of conservatism.

This is, not coincidentally, the problem with most "conservatives" today - they're only bumper sticker deep in their education of what real conservatism means.

And, of course, when I was as little educated on the topic as you appear to be, I was pretty dogmatic and confident that I was right, too - evidence be damned. I wouldn't have listened to someone like me, either.

Live and learn.

Vinny said...

Dan,

Of course it is okay for Christians to disagree, but the fact that they do indicates that they are all interpreting Scripture. Each denomination, and sometimes each person, decides for himself which passages are key to understanding God’s nature and purpose and which ones were only directed to specific people at specific times (e.g., the ones where God approves beating children with a big stick or slaughtering women and children in battle). So when some Christian says, “I’m just standing up for what God’s Word says,” it really means “I’m standing up for those parts of the Bible that support my understanding of God.”

Dan Trabue said...

Vinny said:

Each denomination, and sometimes each person, decides for himself which passages are key to understanding God’s nature and purpose and which ones were only directed to specific people at specific times...

Absolutely. The main difference being that some of us acknowledge that and others insist they are speaking for God.

Vinny said...

Absolutely. The main difference being that some of us acknowledge that and others insist they are speaking for God.

Absolutely back at ya Dan. Like Maher, I often neglect to acknowledge the wide diversity among Christians.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

This is so funny. It started out as a kind of silly complaint about some things the host of a cable TV show said, as if they mean anything other than keeping his ratings high enough so he can continue to receive a paycheck. It turned in to a discussion on what constitutes religion, with a sidelight on whether or not one is truly a conservative or not. Reading the comments here is a bit like reading Alice in Wonderland, with poor Dan as Alice, treating with common sense and being honest, while so many of the other comments appear to be written by the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, or the Queen of Hearts.

As for Jason's comment - he is the Cheshire Cat.

In any event, I still don't understand why you get all "het up" about Maher, Marshall. Sure some of what he says resonates with people. So do the things said by Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, and any number of other conservatives who appear on television and radio. The differences between them, for me, is the latter are hate-filled spewers of lies, sexist and racist bile, offering us enemies we can despise and dehumanize. Maher is far more intelligent, far more funny, and has the added bonus of being honest. Plus, I don't think he ever visited that haven of sex-tourism and underage prostitution, Dominica, with a Viagra bottle in his carry-on.

There is much about organized religion I despise. There is much about many faithful Christians I detest. Why not make fun of them? It is far better to be able to take a joke than to wish the joker to be silent.

Lighten up, folks. It's all show-biz.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

He's not making fun of them. He's lambasting them in the most hateful manner possible. He's accusing them all as if a Fred Phelps was the rule rather than the exception. He does it with a condecension that has few rivals. He is NOT honest about it because he demonstrates no real knowledge about it. He considers all believers to be rubes and superstitious cretins. Worse, without any evidence in support, he positions himself as the sophisticated one. He IS what you accuse Limbaugh, Coulter and Savage of being. He has no understanding of religion and peopel of faith and certainly no tolerance of them.

And funny? What, are you stupid?

And who are you insinuating travels to avail himself whores and child-prostitutes? Perhaps you'd like to call his show and introduce yourself as you present this theory personally.

Marshall Art said...

And Alice, I mean, Dan,

I merely pointed out my start in seeing myself as a conservative. But, in a manner for which you constantly chastise Bubba, Eric and others, you read what isn't there and misrepresent what is. But this is typical with you as evidenced by your many convoluted posts. Thus, you could have said you'd spent three lifetimes in monk-like seclusion studying conservatism and it wouldn't matter. The way you present your understanding of it shows that no amount of time or study is sufficient for you. You don't even understand what is meant by the term "big government". It doesn't matter what you've read, you've learned nothing if you've rejected conservatism.

You've recently linked to 10 principles of conservatism with a comment that demonstrates the above. You, like Geoffrey, think diversity has some great value that is lacking in conservatism. Free flow of ideas is great and appreciated, but that's the only form of diversity with any true worth. You were never a conservative. You were a conservative by Dan's definition and understanding of it. Not the same thing.

BTW, five years of listening? What the hell are you talking about?

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

"Each denomination, and sometimes each person, decides for himself...etc"

Pretty much true, Vinny, though between denominations the differences are mainly in how they run their own business. Doctrinally the differences are usually minor.

But what some people refuse to acknowledge is that some individual's perceptions are just plainly wrong. It is then when Scripture fails because the wrong don't care about Scripture then. Interpretations of individual verses don't separate even Christians of different denoms. Wrong interpretations do regardless of denomination. Who's to say what's wrong? Crappy arugment and one that was invented to repel criticism of self-gratifying interpretations. Now is when the charges and accusations about Christians begin because defending against that which is in blatant contradiction to Biblical teaching is offensive to those more concerned with their own selves rather than God's Will. It's understandable to an extent because no one wants to be wrong, no one wants to be seen as wrong, no one wants to give up that which pleases them, even for
God.

But there's no arrogance, no intolerance on the part of the Christian defending proper interpretations. That's just the ploy to deflect criticism, as one does with one's parents when still a child.

And by the way, it's totally cool to "speak for God" when He revealed so much to us in Scripture. How does one teach without "speaking for God"? What a lame accusation. Yeah, we know people have their own ideas. It's immature to suggest they are all equal.

4simpsons said...

"But there's no arrogance, no intolerance on the part of the Christian defending proper interpretations. That's just the ploy to deflect criticism, as one does with one's parents when still a child.

And by the way, it's totally cool to "speak for God" when He revealed so much to us in Scripture. How does one teach without "speaking for God"? What a lame accusation. Yeah, we know people have their own ideas. It's immature to suggest they are all equal."

Well said, Marshall. There is a lot of false humility with those who insist we just can't know what the scriptures really mean, even when they draw all sorts of conclusions from them and expect others to agree. I see those smokescreens / red herrings all the time.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Last year, Rush Limbaugh was stopped going through customs in Florida after returning from a vacation to the Dominican Republic. He was stopped because he had a bottle of Viagra in his carry-on, but no prescription. In other words, just like oxycontin, Rushbo was borrowing someone's prescription drugs for wood.

The Dominican Republic's biggest draw for tourists aren't its wonderful Caribbean beaches, or its relatively low costs for amenities. Along with Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Calcutta, it is a haven for sex tourism, featuring (many times) underage girls (and boys, too, if that's your fancy). Now, some could speculate on whether or not Rush was indulging in such nefarious activities. He certainly was traveling alone, and as he had a bottle of penis pills with him, one supposes he wasn't using them so he could wind surf on his back.

That's all I'm saying.

You need to pay attention to the news more, Marshall.

Ron said...

Wow! Sean Hannity isn't a hater!!!???? How about "Enemy of the State" that dealt with views held by millions of other US citizens? Sean hates other Americans by his own words...large numbers of them. He finds them to be enemies of our country. Just one example. Mr. Glittering Generalities is a hater of the first kind and if you can't see it you are not really looking very hard.

Ron said...

By the way Marshall, one can go to beliefnet and see what faith their views most reflect. Mine turn out to be(over and over again-I take it every now and then to see what's changed:-) )..1. Reformed Jew 2. Liberal Quaker and 3. Unitarian

If Doctrinally the differences between us are minor great. You seem like a good guy(even if you are a rightist) and I much prefer getting along. I only debate because doormats have footprints and they are so unattractive.

I use to call myself a Christian but I have met so many that don't believe anything close to what I understand as what Jesus would do or what I even consider moral that I have been driven away by them. It's really made me reevaluate what I do believe and what a higher power wants me to do and be on this earth.

Dan Trabue said...

five years of listening? What the hell are you talking about?

I asked a few simple questions earlier: How long have you studied conservative thought? Have you read any books on the topic? Is your conservative "education" limited to just listening to talk radio?

You did not answer, other than your vague high school story. And so, given what you gave me, I took a guess - five years, maybe?

I don't know. You tell me.

What I'm objecting to is your thinking you better understand conservatism despite that I've had some 40 years of studying it - including 30 years where I was fairly immersed in it from a True Believer's point of view.

Why should I assume that you are correct when you suggest I don't understand conservatism? Because you and Bubba say so? Based on what?

I would need a bit more evidence than just the say so of a couple of anonymous fellas on these internets that they know best. And so I was asking for your credentials. You've studied conservatism for how long? Who have you read?

Seems a fair question and a fairly easily answered question.

Dan Trabue said...

And by the way, it's totally cool to "speak for God" when He revealed so much to us in Scripture. How does one teach without "speaking for God"?

It is?

Then God says to the self-confident, arrogant, abrasive types of the world:

Here this message, you hypocrites! You snakes! You brood of vipers!

You who lay burden upon burden on the shoulders of the least of these, without lifting a finger to assist them;

You who freely condemn each and every thing your religious traditions have taught you without considering whether or not I, the Lord your God, would condemn it;

You who would withhold the joy and blessedness of marriage from some, while you stumble about as an adulterous generation yourselves;

You who place faith in Great Corporations and capitalism but castigate the poor, the mentally ill and the foreigner as lazy, deceitful and dangerous;

You who spread lies and slander, yea, even celebrate name-calling and bearing of false witness as good;

Woe to you! I, the Lord your God would that you love one another, that you speak truth, in love, that you recall that the Greatest commandment is to LOVE; Woe to you! For you have poked about in the eye of your neighbor because of an alleged speck all the while ignoring the 2x4 sticking out of your own eye. Remove your own 2x4 first and then, perhaps, you will be in a better and more humble place to begin to truly help your neighbor with the speck in their eye.

Woe to you who trust in a giant military for your defense, yea, even use this military to invade other nations, killing the innocent in the process. I am the Lord thy God, Trust in me.

One can not overcome evil by embracing evil. Choose the right and reject the wrong.

Remember, the greatest thing to do to encourage security, to alleviate suffering is to offer a cup of cold water in my name, to help the least of these, the poor, the foreigner, the mentally ill. Do this, and honor my name.

Thus saith the Lord.


Cool, huh?

Marshall Art said...

Ron,

Thanks for joining in.

No. I don't consider Hannity a hater because he labels someone an enemy of the state due to their policy endorsements that are seen as harmful to the nation. The term might be a little strong, as well as how other conservatives portray libs, but the point is to draw attention to what their doing and what they intend to do and how those actions impact America.

At the same time, the same comes back in spades as our president is accused of being a war criminal and other such nonsense because of a lack of understanding or due their own desires to put forth their own policies that counter his.

But there is more evidence of the harmfulness of lib policies to my way of thinking and from what I can clearly see.

Thanks for the site suggestion. I think I'll take a look and perhaps link to it for a posting possibility. Sounds like a fun exercise.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I gave about as good as I got. No specifics came from you, either.

But again, it really doesn't matter. You plainly and consistently show a distinct lack of understanding of conservative principles in much the same way you butcher Biblical teachings. It isn't who you read or how long you've studied. It's whether or not at the end of the day you've gotten a clue. You haven't.

I'll get to you last goofy comment a little later.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Regarding your goofy revelation to the arrogant, you have aided me greatly by again showing your lack of understanding of conservatism. Good work.

However, your nonsense is second only to the supposed revelation you and other libs have received regarding homosexual behavior. When the average conservative Christian "speaks for God", he uses actual Scripture in context. When YOU speak for God, you use nothing but out of context, misapplies exerpts twisted to mean what it doesn't. But let's look at your goofiness a little:

You who lay burden upon burden on the shoulders of the least of these, without lifting a finger to assist them;

What burdens? The burdens of being responsible and taking care of those problems within one's abitlity? And what's this crap about not lifting a finger to help? Because we don't agree with stealing the money of others and calling it being kind, but rather donate directly to organizations that actually do some good? Who the hell are you to say whether or not anyone is lifting a finger just because they don't agree with taking money from other people to do it? But you, you hypocrite, advocate living simply when you could be out increasing your wealth so that YOU can do what you demand of others.

You who freely condemn each and every thing your religious traditions have taught you without considering whether or not I, the Lord your God, would condemn it;

Liar. We condemn nothing but point out that which the Lord DOES condemn. But you'd rather pretend that God has changed his mind or His Will on a given topic is unknown when it has been clearly revealed in Scripture.

You who would withhold the joy and blessedness of marriage from some, while you stumble about as an adulterous generation yourselves;

See above. We stand behind God's clearly revealed Word on the subject and don't pretend there's no difference between what He planned for us in that area and what self-gratifying self-deceivers would demand of us. Secondly, we don't go pointing out human failure as an excuse to enable even more human failure.

You who place faith in Great Corporations and capitalism but castigate the poor, the mentally ill and the foreigner as lazy, deceitful and dangerous;

Liar. We know that capitalism is the best economic system that benefits everyone. We understand that the "Great Corporations" are providing jobs and products and services that benefit all. We don't castigate the poor, mentally ill and foreign as lazy, deceitful and dangerous, we castigate the lazy, deceitful and dangerous. It just benenfits you to slander us as those who do.

You who spread lies and slander, yea, even celebrate name-calling and bearing of false witness as good;

See above, you liar and slanderer, and get a mirror so you can better recognize yourself.

Woe to you! I, the Lord your God would that you love one another, that you speak truth, in love, that you recall that the Greatest commandment is to LOVE; Woe to you! For you have poked about in the eye of your neighbor because of an alleged speck all the while ignoring the 2x4 sticking out of your own eye. Remove your own 2x4 first and then, perhaps, you will be in a better and more humble place to begin to truly help your neighbor with the speck in their eye.

Nice misdirection. None of this applies to political discussion or policy implementation. It's not helpful to society to ignore the shortcomings of others that are harmful to them and us. Another sterling misapplication of Scripture by the master of misunderstanding.

Woe to you who trust in a giant military for your defense, yea, even use this military to invade other nations, killing the innocent in the process. I am the Lord thy God, Trust in me.

What incredible idiocy. One lib says the military is too big. Another says we aren't spending enough on protective devices for our troops. Still another says we haven't sent enough to fight. And yet still others say we're overextended now. Oh yeah, and it's fine to allow innocents to die by the hands of their own despotic leaders, but when they die because of the actions of the scumbags we fight, the Dans of the world blame us.

One can not overcome evil by embracing evil. Choose the right and reject the wrong.

You demonstrate regularly your inability to recognize evil or who perpetuates it. But at least you know to "choose the right". I already have. When will you?

Remember, the greatest thing to do to encourage security, to alleviate suffering is to offer a cup of cold water in my name, to help the least of these, the poor, the foreigner, the mentally ill. Do this, and honor my name.

We do, by encouraging democracy abroad and the rejection of lesser forms of governance, by encouraging the adoption of capitalism as the best available means to elevate the living conditions of entire nations, by using our own money to help the needy rather than strong arming others through legislation.

You, however, are a fraud and a charlatan.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

I heard that news. My point was that I'm not prepared to assume that Rush, or anyone else, is going there for the worst possible reasons. He's a private citizen, you know, and he's not obligated to explain where he goes and why. But hey, making jokes is cool with me.

Mark said...

Bill Maher makes statements about Christianity that are made up entirely out of whole cloth, and any amatuer Bible scolar could easily make him look like a fool. I once heard him say none of the authors of the Bible ever knew Jesus personally.

Really? That would come as a surprise to Peter, John, Matthew, and especially James! Or was James some other Jesus' brother?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall lied, repeated lies, twisted the truth and bore false witness before finally uttering this last lie:

You, however, are a fraud and a charlatan.

You are slandering people right here, right now. You are ignoring the Word of God NOT to gossip, not to slander.

It is slander when you present false charges - charges you cannot support and you can't support your charges against me. Therefore, you ARE slandering and Lord have mercy, you seem to revel in it.

If you have some actual proof of my being a charlatan and a fraud, then the Biblical thing to do would be to present your evidence to me so that I might repent. You have my email (or it's easily available) and yet you have not done so.

Strike one.

But even if you didn't want to follow the Word of God and confront me with your concerns one on one, you could at least present your evidence (actual evidence, not, "I think you're a fraud therefore you're a fraud" sort of nonsense) to support your baseless charges. You failed to do this, as well.

Strike two.

I presented YOU with the evidence of your slander and with the Biblical evidence that one ought not do this (and indeed, does so in peril of their own soul!), and you have not repented but rather, you chose to redouble the attacks and lies.

Strike three.

Fortunately for you, God is a merciful God and you get more than three strikes. But one ought not use the grace of God as an excuse to revel in sin.

Don't waste the opportunity, brother. Don't let your hatred for those you oppose blind you to the truth of God.

Vinny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vinny said...

Mark,

Your amateur Bible scholar would only make a fool of himself.

On the other hand, a professional Bible scholar would know that the author of the Epistle of James never identifies himself as the brother of Jesus. The authenticity of this letter was questioned by Eusebius in the fourth century and by Martin Luther in the sixteenth.

A professional Bible scholar would also know that all the gospels are written as third person accounts. The authors do not identify themselves or claim to be eyewitnesses. By the same token, the author of the epistles attributed to John identifies himself only as “the Elder.”

The only New Testament author who identifies himself as someone who knew Jesus personally is the author of I and II Peter, but there are plenty of respected scholars who doubt that an illiterate Galilean fisherman would have been able to write Greek well enough to write these letters.

Dan Trabue said...

a professional Bible scholar would know that the author of the Epistle of James never identifies himself as the brother of Jesus.

To be fair, even an amateur Bible scholar who's actually READ the book could tell this...

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I believe I've already shown where you went wrong with your comments. That you pretend otherwise supports them nicely. Thanks for that. At this point, the ball is in YOUR court as to showing how I'm wrong. Using irrelevant and poor applied Scripture isn't proof. Nor is it an honest rebuttal as I've not transgressed as you mistakenly believe. I'm not in the least bit intimidated by your false assertions of my comments and the use of Scripture to back it up. Telling the truth isn't slander.

Ben said...

Bill Maher?

Marshall, can you provide a link? I'm not sure what you're talking about.

Ben said...

"amatuer Bible scolar"

Dan / Vinny..nice try.. Its "scolar" not "scholar". Mark is right on in his break down. I'm sure you both feel a little bit embarrassed right now.

Marshall Art said...

Ben,

Instead of futile attempts at being clever, try reading the post. There's a link there for ya. Let me know if it's too complicated for ya.

Ben said...

Marshall, I'm agreeing with you.

"ya"
Is that part of the scolarship that you bring to the table? Its just which table that nobody is sure of.