Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

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Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ccgr » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:53 pm


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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:27 am

I don't think th billboard was in good taste. But since it made Bill Donohue angry, I'd say it was worth it.
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:50 am

Insulting, maybe... But the simple fact that it's there isn't what bugs me.

What bugs me is how differently people would be reacting to it if it were questioning Mohammed instead of Jesus. I wonder if these self-appointed missionaries for Atheism would have had the courage to try that.

I suspect not but I'll feel better if proven wrong.
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby selderane » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:20 am

Insulting, maybe... But the simple fact that it's there isn't what bugs me.

What bugs me is how differently people would be reacting to it if it were questioning Mohammed instead of Jesus. I wonder if these self-appointed missionaries for Atheism would have had the courage to try that.

I suspect not but I'll feel better if proven wrong.
To be fair to atheists, Christianity is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. It's the predominant religion of the West.

That said, it is also the lowest of hanging fruit. It's like slapping a paraplegic; odds are they're not going to slap you back.
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:51 pm

They slap back, but only that. Modern Christians have the decency, at least, to use words instead of violence, sometimes legislation, but we won't go there now. However, I don't think you should be comparing christian reactions to militant islam. Do you really want to compare yourself to the lowest bar? Don't hold yourself to such low standards. I'm not going to congratulate anybody for being better than the wife-beating drunkard, and I'm not going to congratulate anybody for being better than militant, fundamentalist islam. I have too much respect for you guys.

I'm not a fan of the billboard; if you're going to go after one's religion, do it with thought out criticisms and not just blatant insult or mindless assertion. I think Nick Fish going on and explaining was a bit more conscientious and reasonably than their billboards made it out.
And by the assertion from David Silverman, the "You know it's a myth" billboards are meant to encourage people in religion who are actually atheist to step out and not feel like they have to stick to it, instead of just insulting other people's belief. I have mixed feelings about that, and I personally find that method wholly ineffective. Silverman also explained this on the O'Reilly Factor, but when on to say that he thinks most people in religion don't really believe it, and are just being conned by the religious leaders, which is ignorantly stupid. But, Bill O'Reilly had to open his idiotic mouth and say something like "you don't know why the tides go in and out," prompting this and giving Silverman the intellectual edge. The whole thing just made me feel dumber.

Anyhow, this whole description of a facepalm in slowmotion has to conclude with Dr. Jeffress and his response to the aforementioned billboard. It was just a load of self-aggrandizing, victimized, entitled humbug. From the very start, he takes the high road by celebrating freedom of speech. And by high road, I mean "I'm going to surprise you" because "look at me, how good I am." He immediately continues by going on about the Atheist American association should stop trying to get rid of religion out of society, allegations which never have been substantiated or even mentioned. It's a deliberate and desperate attempt to make them look like the ones against the first amendment, which frankly never had a foothold. It's not the issue on hand, but he wants to just push the discussion into his own agenda. But, of course, his victimhood and entitlement only gets bigger after Nick Fish claims they have no problem with religious expression, just that the government shouldn't be making any (the perfectly reasonable stance). Jeffress actually goes out and says that America is a christian nation and Christianity should get preferential treatment. Only minutes after "celebrating" the first amendment, not to mention slightly misquoting it. Disgusting.

As a final note on the supreme court case Dr. Jeffress mentioned, Holy Trinity Church vs. United States, he misinterpreted Justice Brewer said.
Here's his quote.
There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning. They affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons. They are organic utterances. They speak the voice of the entire people. While because of a general recognition of this truth the question has seldom been presented to the courts, yet we find that in Updegraph v. Com., 11 Serg. & R. 394, 400, it was decided that, ‘Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania.
And here's his explanation of his meaning from a book he wrote 13 years later.
But in what sense can [the United States] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that 'congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. [...] Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions
Judge for yourself.
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby selderane » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:13 pm

Frankly, I have no problem with religion infusing government insofar as I have the freedom to escape that government without harm being done to my person.

Which is why the 1st Amendment bound federal government from getting involved with religion, and the federal government only. If a bunch of people want to go found their own city and make whatever holy book they follow their town charter, there's nothing that should stop them. Not if we're honest about calling ourselves a classically liberal republic. And there's certainly nothing in out founding documents, or our shared history, that would stop them.
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:21 pm

I would not interpret the Constitution so strictly. The rights should first be held by the people. No state should abridge free speech, and no state should make a law respecting an establishment of religion, including the favor or prohibition of it.

The bill of rights, one of the greatest legal documents in all of human history, should not be so trivialized to be viewed as only the guidelines for the federal government. It's a triumph of human rights and protected the rights of the people foremost.
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby Blue Collar Servant » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:34 pm

simple, we bust evolution to athiesm for being a myth, thus its true cause the evolution does not Really exist. as science: its only science If you can prove and reproduce somthing.. their theories of the bigbang cant be real cuz they cant reproduce. they say the particles has been there, but where did they comefrom, we all know god came from nothing so they have the biggest wack theory of all time, but that being said i kinda find it sad they are trying to dump jesus into being another one of those "Religous Mypths".
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:35 pm

ಠ_ಠ
What's this?
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:39 pm

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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:55 pm

I don't think anybody's free speech is under threat here, but I do think that people are losing the ability to use that right in a way that's responsible and harmonious. Do atheists have a right to put up a billboard to promote their view? Sure. Do they have a right to target someone else's view? Sure.

Is it wise to do that?

Just because we have a right to do something doesn't mean we don't have any responsibilities attached to it. I have a right to say that I believe the LDS Church is true. I have a right to say I believe it to be exclusively true. I also have the responsibility to consider the impact those words might have on others, especially in an environment where it would be likely to cause unnecessary insult and insensitivity.

This atheist group directly attacked the beliefs of another group of people, at a time very near the most important holiday observed by that group. Is it their right? Yes, but it's still a jerk thing to do.
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby CountKrazy » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:23 pm

simple, we bust evolution to athiesm for being a myth, thus its true cause the evolution does not Really exist. as science: its only science If you can prove and reproduce somthing.. their theories of the bigbang cant be real cuz they cant reproduce. they say the particles has been there, but where did they comefrom, we all know god came from nothing so they have the biggest wack theory of all time, but that being said i kinda find it sad they are trying to dump jesus into being another one of those "Religous Mypths".
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby Truthseeker » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:23 pm

Insulting, maybe... But the simple fact that it's there isn't what bugs me.

What bugs me is how differently people would be reacting to it if it were questioning Mohammed instead of Jesus. I wonder if these self-appointed missionaries for Atheism would have had the courage to try that.

I suspect not but I'll feel better if proven wrong.
On the video clip in the news story the American Atheists guy said that they had placed a "you know it's a myth" billboard, written in arabic, in a predominantly Muslim community. So it seems they have had the courage to try that.
Anyhow, this whole description of a facepalm in slowmotion has to conclude with Dr. Jeffress and his response to the aforementioned billboard. It was just a load of self-aggrandizing, victimized, entitled humbug. From the very start, he takes the high road by celebrating freedom of speech. And by high road, I mean "I'm going to surprise you" because "look at me, how good I am." He immediately continues by going on about the Atheist American association should stop trying to get rid of religion out of society, allegations which never have been substantiated or even mentioned. It's a deliberate and desperate attempt to make them look like the ones against the first amendment, which frankly never had a foothold. It's not the issue on hand, but he wants to just push the discussion into his own agenda. But, of course, his victimhood and entitlement only gets bigger after Nick Fish claims they have no problem with religious expression, just that the government shouldn't be making any (the perfectly reasonable stance). Jeffress actually goes out and says that America is a christian nation and Christianity should get preferential treatment. Only minutes after "celebrating" the first amendment, not to mention slightly misquoting it. Disgusting.
He also misquotes the Establishment Clause itself. The amendment reads "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion." Jeffress quotes it as saying "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion." (Emphasis mine). He's clearly trying to push the interpretation of the Establishment Clause that posits the clause's only meaning is that the government cannot create an official church like the U.K.'s Church of England. This is an interpretation that many on the religious right seem to like because it would allow broad leeway for the government to become involved in religion. However, the "establishment of religion" is a term used in the eighteenth century to refer to types of entanglement between church and state other than establishing an official church. In James Madison's Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, he used "establishment" to refer to the practice of funding religious instruction with state tax money. Remember, there are two senses of the word "establishment." One is to refer to things related to government (the government is "the establishment"; if you're anti-government, you are anti-establishment). Then there's the sense of instituting something (this restaurant was established in 1896). When we're talking about the "establishment of religion," we are most certainly talking about the first of those two senses of the word because that is how it was used in other writings at the time. Again, by misquoting the amendment as saying "establishment of a religion," Jeffress is either showing ignorance or a lack of reading comprehension, or he's deliberately misleading people.

I've read the debates at the constitutional convention regarding the establishment clause. An amendment prohibiting the government from instituting a national church was proposed and rejected. An amendment prohibiting the government from ever "touching" religion was proposed and rejected. The final wording that actually got passed is a compromise that probably didn't satisfy any of the framers completely. Like pretty much all of the rights in the constitution, it is hopelessly vague because anything more specific would not have gotten sufficient votes from the divided delegates. That's one of the reasons why our system of law develops interpretations of the law on a case by case basis, and why it has to be that way.

And LOL@ Jeffress saying (paraphrased) "If the government can't favor Christianity by putting up a nativity scene then it can never print a date because that shows favoritism to Christianity, too!" This guy should take his comedy act on the road.

And ArchAngel is absolutely right about how Jeffress deceptively mischaracterized Justice Brewer's opinion. It is completely shameless.

It makes me feel angry, because I know Christians who might not necessarily be constitutional scholars are going to hear these things and believe they are more credible because they are coming out of the mouth of someone who is on their side. This issue deserves an intelligent debate, but that doesn't happen when the "experts" are lying. If you buy this Jeffress's book, then you are paying someone to lie to you. I don't know who this guy is or what his credentials are, but Christians really ought to demand better from their spokespeople. Every Christian reading these words should be offended that someone thinks so little of your intelligence that they would put this guy in front of a camera and claim he speaks for you. You are being exploited and talked down to. Your trust is being taken advantage of. Jeffress and people like him are getting rich by treating you like you are stupid. I implore you to stop rewarding such dishonest, cynical people by giving them attention and buying their products.
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby selderane » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:03 am

I would not interpret the Constitution so strictly. The rights should first be held by the people. No state should abridge free speech, and no state should make a law respecting an establishment of religion, including the favor or prohibition of it.

The bill of rights, one of the greatest legal documents in all of human history, should not be so trivialized to be viewed as only the guidelines for the federal government. It's a triumph of human rights and protected the rights of the people foremost.
So you agree with me. You agree that if a group of people want to go off and found their own city, with whatever holy book they hold dear (On the Origin of Species, Atlas Shrugged, the Bible...) as the town charter, they ought to have that right.

Why are we arguing then?

And the Bill of Rights were a restraint placed against the federal government, and the federal government only. The states were afforded much broader powers.

While you may feel that no state should do X, Y, or Z, there is nothing within the Bill of Rights that says they do not have that power. You're reading authority into that document it was never authored to have.

And I find it puzzling that you place such value on a document that was written as a buffer against the very thing you advocate in your first sentence: The Constitution being interpreted broadly.

Simply put: Anti-Federalists feared that the Constitution wouldn't bind federal power enough, and sought to enumerate explicitly areas it could not go. Federalists, on the other hand, felt such an enumeration was unnecessary because what the Constitution didn't explicitly give the federal government was reserved for the states. Furthermore, they feared that such an enumeration might be read to mean whatever wasn't covered could be encroached upon by federal power.

The Bill of Rights is the product of a compromise between these two factions. An explicit limit on the powers of the federal government beyond those already implicitly contained within the Constitution.

Read the Constitution as widely as you wish, but understand that the Bill of Rights exists specifically to defend against that very act.
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Re: Keep the Merry, Dump the Myth billboard

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:21 am


On the video clip in the news story the American Atheists guy said that they had placed a "you know it's a myth" billboard, written in arabic, in a predominantly Muslim community. So it seems they have had the courage to try that.
That's a bit vague. I'd be interested in knowing the details.

Either way, what I'm talking about is the result if they put up a billboard like that in this country. I think public (and Government) reaction would be rather different. The State Department doesn't like it when Americans openly criticize Islam.
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