What is it about evangelical Christians that makes them so incapable of formulating any sort of a decent argument? I know it must be difficult to present factual and coherent claims in support of a system of beliefs that is, itself, nothing but purest nonsense, but still, one would think they could at least put a modicum of intellectual effort into their schtick. Alas, as we’ve seen all too many times before, that is evidently expecting too much of them.
Here’s the latest ridiculous Christian video (that I’ve come across), this one unsourced but promoted by the American Family Association, making the insane argument that the reason for the school violence in recent decades is that “[God is] not allowed in schools” and that modern kids are amoral, rapey-killy little heathens due to godless society’s moral decline:
Once again, there are just so many things wrong with this that one scarcely knows where to begin. The silliness of expecting God to save people from violence (in itself contradictory on a number of levels)? The idiocy of the idea that legislatively banning a supposedly omnipresent and omnipotent God from some earthly locale (and all limited to the US, of course, because we all know the Christian God doesn’t apply elsewhere) would somehow stint his supposedly protective influence? Or the transparent distortion being employed against the concept of separation of church and state?
And then, of course, we enter the crux of the video’s argument, wherein the narrator lists (read: lies about) all sorts of supposed travesties of justice and morality that are, in fact, some of the best and most respectable legal and legislative decisions made in living memory. From the top:
I think it started when Madelyn Murray O’Hair complained she didn’t want any prayer in our schools, and we said, ‘Okay.’
That was fast. Very first point, already a distortion. Talk about a bastardization of the long, grueling and self-evidently rightful duty undertaken by O’Hair in vying to stop federally funded schools from forcing children to pray in classrooms. Because trying to get the government to not indoctrinate kids through mandatory sectarian chants as demanded by the First Amendment is, of course, anti-Christian (and therefore, immoral).
Then, someone said you’d better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says, “thou shalt not kill”, “thou shalt not steal”, and “love your neighbor as yourself”. And we said, ‘Okay.’
Of course we’d see this old canard again. This has to be Christians’ single most pervasive argument, in total disregard of the fact that it’s complete bullshit. Contrary to persecutionists’ endlessly squawked claims, the Bible has never been banned in any US public school, and nor will it be. Faculty members are not allowed to prohibit students from bring their own religious texts to school, be they Christian or otherwise, for personal reading; the point is that they’re also not allowed to sponsor such reading of sectarian texts in their capacity as government workers. Kids can read anything they wish, so long as they don’t disturb other classmates. And yes, teachers retain the authority to kick kids out of their classroom if they choose not to partake in actual coursework. That’s not anti-religious discrimination; it’s anti-putting-up-with-bullheaded-twerps-who-waste-time.
It’s also bizarre to claim that school violence is apparently related to the government no longer sanctioning the reading of sectarian texts in classrooms, if these texts happen to contain some passages promoting peace and justice. Under that logic, any school that bans Harry Potter would therefore be at fault should any of their students start harming other students, given J.K. Rowling’s clear themes of love, friendship and solidarity against forces of evil. It’s just a stupid argument.
Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their personalities would be warped, and we might damage their self-esteem. And we said, “An expert must know what he’s talking about, so we won’t spank them anymore.”
Sorry, but if you can’t get a child to respect and obey you through your words alone, you are one pathetic parent. My parents never laid a hand on me, instead settling for non-physical disciplinary measures, and I daresay I turned out quite all right nonetheless. We don’t even accept corporal punishment towards unruly household pets; why would it therefore be okay, even recommended, to hit our own kids?
Then, someone said, “Teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave,” and the school administrators said, “No faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave, because we don’t want any bad publicity, and we surely don’t wanna be sued.” And we accepted their reasoning.
As we should. Or are the people behind this video actually promoting the idea of school educators using physical disciplining on other people’s kids?
Then, someone said, “Let’s let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won’t even have to tell their parents.” And we said, “That’s a grand idea.”
Because giving women access to basic reproductive care is how the devil gets a hold of our moral fiber. And sparing young women the pointless humiliation (and potentially debilitating consequences) of informing parents of things that don’t necessarily concern them is, erm, infringement against parental rights. Yeah.
Then, some wise school board members said, “Since boys will be boys and they’re gonna do it anyway, let’s give our sons all the condoms they want so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won’t have to tell the parents we got them at school.” And we said, “That’s another great idea.”
Because a greater idea is to ignore the fact that kids (even those of puritanical stock) are raging horndogs who will get their rocks off no matter what adults around them will do to try and stop them, and to simply stick our heads in the sand and pretend that “contraception” and “sexual protection” are really just liberal/secularist codewords intended to fool gormless parents into corrupting their kids by encouraging them have all the immodest, godless sex their hormonal little hearts desire.
… I think.
Then, some of our top elected officials said, “It doesn’t matter what we do in private, as long as we do our jobs.” And we said, “It doesn’t matter what anybody, including the president, does in private, as long as we have jobs and the economy is good.”
Wow. It’s now an offense to God himself if we dare to request that people mind their own damned business? As I’ve often stated, I don’t care if my elected officials engage in monthly moon-howling, goat-fucking orgies, so long as they do the job we elect them to do and don’t actually do anything wrong in the meantime.
Now, you may be thinking that it would be somewhat difficult to top the ignorance, stupidity and dishonesty featured in the previous points, but wait ’til you get a load of this one:
And someone else took that appreciation a step further and published pictures of nude children, and then stepped further by making them available on the Internet. And we said, “Everyone’s entitled to free speech.”
What … but … I … that’s not …
It must take some genuine effort to twist reality that badly for purely demagogic purposes. Who has ever said that child porn was either classified as, or protected under, “free speech”? Here’s a hint, deranged fundagelical fuckwits: Child porn ≠ sex between mature and consenting adults, even when done as a job. There is simply and truly no comparison to be made, here, in any way, shape or form.
Ah, but then, these people also think that any pornography – or extramarital sex, period – is sin, which I suppose helps them twist their mind enough to actually be able to equate adult porn with its child-based deviance. Which only strengthens the notion that these folks are the last people to whom rational people should ever consort with when it comes to establishing matters of ethics and morality in any sort of a free society.
And the entertainment industry said, “Let’s make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence and illicit sex, and let’s record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide and satanic themes. And we said, “It’s just entertainment and it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously, anyway, so go right ahead.”
First of all, there’s a rather key difference between materials that contain certain subject matter, and actually promoting said subject matter. The Grand Theft Auto series features plenty of depravity, including murder, assault, theft, arson, drug abuse, and any number of other vulgar and graphic content not generally accepted by real-life society. And yet, you’d be hard pressed to find any people, other than dingleberries like Jack Thompson, who think that such games actually encourage players to go out and hack and slash away at passing pedestrians for some quick cash.
The thing is, normal people actually have a moral center and can tell that while doing such things in a videogame doesn’t actually affect anything more than a bunch of ‘1’s and ‘0’s, replicating such acts in real life would cause very real torment to very real people. And that’s bad thing. Which is why most people don’t actually do it, even when they’re quite happy to mow down an entire street of civilians with a tank in a virtual world.
Anyways, the video finally reaches its conclusion at this point:
Now, we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience? Why they don’t know right from wrong? And why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, classmates, or even themselves? Undoubtedly, if we thought about it long and hard enough, we could figure it out. Surely, it has a great deal to do with “we reap what we sow”.
First off, the problem isn’t with “children” at large, but “some” children. As in, a very small proportion of them. Want proof? Approach any random kids you see in the street and offer them $50 if they burn down a house or rape the next passing lady they see. Chances are you won’t be receiving some excited smiles at the prospect of easy money, but rather, a few disturbed or terrified-looking faces, at best. Because you would be a complete imbecile to expect anything different from most kids, no matter how trigger-happy they are in their favorite videogames.
The fact that some fringe outliers commit acts of violence does not reflect upon society at large. This is the same for youths as it is for any other demographic. There will always be thugs of all ages who carry out unspeakable acts against their peers, just as there will always be Whites who rape, Blacks who rob, gays who steal and Lutherans who kick the beloved neighborhood dog. (The assholes.) The point, which religious-Rightists (and Rightists in general) so consistently miss, is that any attempt at correlating bad behavior by some to cultural/societal influences is a doomed endeavor that can only result in incoherent or misleading data from which it would be unwise, if not idiotic, to build any sort of conclusions. In other words, it just doesn’t work.
But, of course, don’t expect Christianists do grok that, so long as they have absurd liberal and secularist boogeymen to decry.
(via Zon, who obviously hates me)