SNL attacks Christianity

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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ArcticFox » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:24 pm

I mean, there was a single line about the lawyer being Jewish, so I'm not sure why we're getting hung up on that.

Anyway, say what you will about false stereotypes, but this stereotype does have some basis in truth. Perhaps not in the particular cases of the bakeries (it's honestly been too long since that happened for me to remember the details), but having been surrounded by fundamentalist conservative Christians for 20 out of 23 years of my life... yeah.
The Jewish lawyer thing was a small part, but was a pretty direct accusation. I almost expected to hear an ominous thunderclap when they said it.

I'm gonna stick to my guns on the idea of it being a satire of a small portion of Christians not being okay. If I created a video based on racial stereotypes, then defended it by saying "Oh relax, it's only lampooning a small fraction of black people" I'd be torn to shreds with accusations of racism.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ChickenSoup » Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:55 pm

I mean, there was a single line about the lawyer being Jewish, so I'm not sure why we're getting hung up on that.

Anyway, say what you will about false stereotypes, but this stereotype does have some basis in truth. Perhaps not in the particular cases of the bakeries (it's honestly been too long since that happened for me to remember the details), but having been surrounded by fundamentalist conservative Christians for 20 out of 23 years of my life... yeah.
The Jewish lawyer thing was a small part, but was a pretty direct accusation. I almost expected to hear an ominous thunderclap when they said it.

I'm gonna stick to my guns on the idea of it being a satire of a small portion of Christians not being okay. If I created a video based on racial stereotypes, then defended it by saying "Oh relax, it's only lampooning a small fraction of black people" I'd be torn to shreds with accusations of racism.
Satirizing culture and conducting cultural criticism is not only different than making racial jokes, but is frequently done (sometimes more tastefully, as I've seen on various YouTube channels, and sometimes less [according to this site's standards, heh], such as South Park), often successfully.

Culture isn't exactly the same as religion, but it involves religion, and in America religion is deeply, deeply embedded into the culture.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:17 pm

I think I'd feel a little more sympathetic if the movie(s) they were ripping on weren't some of the worst attacks on atheists out there.
I remember a thread in the movies section in which Arch was critical of the first God's Not Dead because he felt the Atheist perspective wasn't fairly represented... and that bewildered me in the same way this comment does... Why would you guys expect a movie, which is basically a feel-good movie for Christians (and a form of propaganda to that end) to represent both sides in the first place? SNL isn't supposed to be for a nice audience the way GnD is. I don't think it's a valid comparison.
Yeah, no. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to call hypocrisy here. Considering the skit is a response to the movies, I think it's perfectly valid to compare the two. I mean, you Turnabout is fair play, right?

You obviously don't have a clue what it's like living in the Bible Belt. It's hard to call something aimed at 70% of the population a "niche audience". While Christians don't have the same influence across the US, they are a clear majority in most of the south. A friend of mine from Mississippi said that GnD was sold out for the first four weeks in his city.

And God's Not Dead goes far beyond misrepresenting what atheists believe. Literally every atheist (and pretty much any non-believer that doesn't end up becoming a Christian by the end of the movie) is presented as a shallow, angry, bigoted, immoral, closed-minded petty a******. My problems about GnD aren't about fair representation. This stuff affects atheists all the time. I know people who have lost their jobs and had their families torn apart just for being openly atheist (and note I said open, not preachy).

So I mean, it's fair enough if you think the skit is unfair. I think some of the slams were certainly below the belt, but again, nothing outrageous for SNL. But don't tell me that and then tell me I can't be upset over a two hour slam against me and many of my friends and loved ones that half the people in my state are lauding as wonderful.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:41 am

You obviously don't have a clue what it's like living in the Bible Belt. It's hard to call something aimed at 70% of the population a "niche audience". While Christians don't have the same influence across the US, they are a clear majority in most of the south.
Fair enough, I don't live in the South. (well, technically MD is a southern state, but not in a way that matters.) I live in a left-leaning state which tends to mean "not particularly Christian" and I work at a University, which is an environment where being an atheist is an advantage and expressing belief in God is seen as... quaint. At best.

But keep in mind also that the SNL folks aren't in the Bible Belt either.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ChickenSoup » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:09 am

You obviously don't have a clue what it's like living in the Bible Belt. It's hard to call something aimed at 70% of the population a "niche audience". While Christians don't have the same influence across the US, they are a clear majority in most of the south. A friend of mine from Mississippi said that GnD was sold out for the first four weeks in his city.

And God's Not Dead goes far beyond misrepresenting what atheists believe. Literally every atheist (and pretty much any non-believer that doesn't end up becoming a Christian by the end of the movie) is presented as a shallow, angry, bigoted, immoral, closed-minded petty a******. My problems about GnD aren't about fair representation. This stuff affects atheists all the time. I know people who have lost their jobs and had their families torn apart just for being openly atheist (and note I said open, not preachy).

I don't know what it's like to go through that as an atheist, but I do know what it's like to be perhaps the only left-leaning (Well, relative to the American right... I'm pretty centrist) science-accepting Christian in your entire family. It seems that a large number of Christians either pity or outright attack atheists. Those of us who don't go all-in experience some degree of condescension, harsh criticism, shunning... I have to just nod and smile and pretend I'm not slowly dying inside :shock:

I think it's the all-or-nothing attitude that's been pushed for so long. You're either 110% with them or you're an idiot/traitor to the cause, or something. I remember as a teen that I was genuinely stunned when someone accused me of calling the Bible fake because I speculated whether or not Job and possibly Genesis was a parable rather than 100% historical record. It's this toxic "you have to believe every single part is exactly as it is at face value and 100% true to any context AND 100% accurate historical record OR ELSE THE WHOLE THING IS WRONG! If this artfully written portion isn't historical record, x leads to y which leads to z and Jesus is a liar! IT CAN'T BE!"

Or when I would bring up historical context. "Hey guys, I don't know, I think this was a pretty specific instruction for this situation." No man, that wouldn't fit into the preconceived notions of its meaning, would it? Or when I actually took a history class whose professor was a former Presbyterian minister, and he went into detail about how historical context is lost in modern translations and how his knowledge of Greek (IIRC) opened his eyes to non-traditional interpretations. SOME of those (primarily one in 1 Corinthians 14 that deals with women being silent in church) fly in the face of the common (read: face-value) interpretation, but any time I bring these things up I get dismissed for basically being negatively influenced by a liberal college. I guess I'd rather be that than a willfully ignorant bigot.

I can't talk honestly about my faith with 90% of my family and most of the people I knew at my old churches. It starts unnecessarily inflammatory discussions and suddenly I'm "that guy" who doesn't get invited to Bible study any more. :|

So while I don't exactly understand what it's like to have totally dropped out of the church and the faith, so to speak, I still wince when I see the masturbatory atheist hating. It's actually pretty shameful, because I know middle and high schoolers at the youth group I used to work at posting on Facebook about how great GnD is and how they hope God gives them strength for when college professors test their faith like that. Gah.... :evil:

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Fair enough, I don't live in the South. (well, technically MD is a southern state, but not in a way that matters.) I live in a left-leaning state which tends to mean "not particularly Christian" and I work at a University, which is an environment where being an atheist is an advantage and expressing belief in God is seen as... quaint. At best.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:10 pm

I think it's the all-or-nothing attitude that's been pushed for so long. You're either 110% with them or you're an idiot/traitor to the cause, or something.
Not gonna defend that stuff when Christians do it, but I do think it's important to remember that this sort of behavior is simple, plain human nature. Christians do it because humans in general do it.
So while I don't exactly understand what it's like to have totally dropped out of the church and the faith, so to speak, I still wince when I see the masturbatory atheist hating. It's actually pretty shameful, because I know middle and high schoolers at the youth group I used to work at posting on Facebook about how great GnD is and how they hope God gives them strength for when college professors test their faith like that. Gah.... :evil:
It's funny you mention an example like that, because my son is experiencing it right now at the University of Maryland. He's taking an elective course in how science is used (or misused) in fiction. Sounds like a pretty fun class, right? Well it was, until his professor started on a rant about religious superstition and how it gets in the way of real science. My son, being opinionated and outspoken as I am, contacted the professor about how there was no need to teach science by attacking religion. The response he got (which he forwarded to me so I could see it) sounded eerily like the evil professor in GnD. My son has never even seen that movie, but he's lived it. Of course, it didn't end the same as the movie, instead intensifying the anti-religious lectures in class. My son almost dropped the course over it but has decided that since he can afford to flunk the class and still graduate this year, he's going to continue to challenge the professor and continue to affirm his faith in his assignments where appropriate.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ChickenSoup » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:40 pm

Yeah, it's not really the professor's place to go on personal rants. I can identify with the professor's frustration to a limited extent (and by that, I mean I've had discussions derailed by not having any common ground with the person in question, not that I agree he should intensify his rants), but there's a couple degrees of professionalism lost when a professor basically says "OH YEAH? Well how about this?"

But at the same time, I've had professors in PT school made underhanded comments about, say, chiropractors. Now, I'm not going to derail this discussion and get into the minutia of that discussion, but the point is that the thing with professors is that their position gives them some amount of power over students, and while some treat that position ethically, some don't. Like anywhere you wind up in life, you're going to run into people who disagree strongly with what you have to say. I get that a lot of scientific discussion gets muddled in areas where people very strongly oppose evolution or something, and I can get why the professor would be frustrated that there's a large portion of the population that isn't on board with mainstream science for religious reasons, but yeah, it wasn't professional to do what he did. Except, I got a li'l confused here:
My son almost dropped the course over it but has decided that since he can afford to flunk the class and still graduate this year, he's going to continue to challenge the professor and continue to affirm his faith in his assignments where appropriate.
How exactly is this making your son flunk the class? Was he given an assignment that told him to explain why religion is bad or something? I've had some professors where I've disagreed with a professor pretty heavily but it didn't prevent me from succeeding in the class.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:29 pm

How exactly is this making your son flunk the class? Was he given an assignment that told him to explain why religion is bad or something? I've had some professors where I've disagreed with a professor pretty heavily but it didn't prevent me from succeeding in the class.
I don't think he'd actually be in danger of flunking the class. I think he just meant that he intends to refuse to follow assignment directions if they would require him to pretend God doesn't exist or maybe critique a scene in a movie and fail to automatically attack religious elements.

So when I saw GnD the first time I didn't interpret the atheist professor as being somehow an icon for all atheists everywhere. I interpreted the character as being more of a metaphor for the increasing hostility toward religion in academia.
Last edited by ArcticFox on Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ChickenSoup » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:31 pm

Gotcha.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ArchAngel » Tue May 03, 2016 10:59 pm

This is not pointed at Christianity in general, but the kind that likes to paint itself as a cringing minority. So they painted that very farcical world.
You think the average SNL viewer is going to get that distinction?

In any case, I'm not convinced at all that their intent was to lampoon a small group. These are the very same talking points you see every time a gay marriage debate appears. This is what the SNL crowd honestly thinks most Christians do and think.
Considering that statistically, the average SNL viewer probably is Christian, I'm not buying this. Middle and Left America is largely christian.
So when I saw GnD the first time I didn't interpret the atheist professor as being somehow an icon for all atheists everywhere. I interpreted the character as being more of a metaphor for the increasing hostility toward religion in academia.
So, the movie that musters barely enough subtlety to call their movie "God's Not Dead" is really just using metaphors, but a sketch comedy is about denigrating all Christians.

Honestly, it sounds like it's really more about protecting your side than it does about being fair.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ArcticFox » Wed May 04, 2016 12:08 am

Considering that statistically, the average SNL viewer probably is Christian, I'm not buying this. Middle and Left America is largely christian.
Think SNL is for Middle America, do ya?

Most TV programming is meant to appeal to the markets wher ethe most people are. That means cities. Big cities. You're suggesting that SNL gives a wet fart what the people in scattered towns around the Midwest think when they're directing their programming and generating advertising revenue from large city markets. I'll leave it to you to figure out where the largest markets are in the U.S.
So, the movie that musters barely enough subtlety to call their movie "God's Not Dead" is really just using metaphors, but a sketch comedy is about denigrating all Christians.

Honestly, it sounds like it's really more about protecting your side than it does about being fair.
I bow to your overwhelming objectivity in an analysis of a movie that isn't meant for atheists in the first place.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ChickenSoup » Wed May 04, 2016 2:55 am


I bow to your overwhelming objectivity in an analysis of a movie that isn't meant for atheists in the first place.
It's been all of one week and I'm in the middle of finals, so I'll beg your pardon if I already asked this before, but if you can write off the atheist response to Christian propaganda as fine because it's not "meant for atheists," how can you take offense to this SNL bit that wasn't really for you?

I don't... I don't understand how you could criticize his objectivity in this matter
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ArcticFox » Wed May 04, 2016 12:33 pm

It's been all of one week and I'm in the middle of finals, so I'll beg your pardon if I already asked this before, but if you can write off the atheist response to Christian propaganda as fine because it's not "meant for atheists," how can you take offense to this SNL bit that wasn't really for you?

I don't... I don't understand how you could criticize his objectivity in this matter
Because while SNL is going to be written with the high population urban market in mind, no SNL producer would say their show is meant for any particular group. So if the show is at least nominally meant for everyone, then it matters how they portray these things because they can (and do) give a false impression that could sway opinion.

A movie like GnD is, at its core, a propaganda film for Christians who feel like they're on the defensive in today's shifting culture. It's targeted for a very specific audience who already think along the lines of the movie. I don't know why anyone would waste time criticizing it for not representing the atheist perspective more. To me that's literally as silly as expecting a science documentary about Evolution to show the Creationist angle. Why would you expect that? That doesn't make any sense.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ChickenSoup » Wed May 04, 2016 4:27 pm

Because while SNL is going to be written with the high population urban market in mind, no SNL producer would say their show is meant for any particular group. So if the show is at least nominally meant for everyone, then it matters how they portray these things because they can (and do) give a false impression that could sway opinion.
Once again, they're satirizing a select segment of society. I don't think they're obligated to dumb it down for people. If people use SNL skits as a basis for the formation of their political and religious opinions, that's not SNL's fault, is it?

I also disagree on the sentiment that it's bad form to satirize select groups in media meant for general distribution (even if it's really on a nominal basis). That's the point of satire, isn't it? To make witty/funny cultural or personal criticisms? I know your counter-argument was "yeah, but this wasn't even criticizing what people are actually like," but my two comments on that are 1) I know people who ARE like that, even if they're a minority, and 2) once again, that's a criticism we should have of SNL's writing, not the principle of generally distributed media satirizing a group.
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Re: SNL attacks Christianity

Postby ArcticFox » Wed May 04, 2016 4:38 pm

Once again, they're satirizing a select segment of society. I don't think they're obligated to dumb it down for people. If people use SNL skits as a basis for the formation of their political and religious opinions, that's not SNL's fault, is it?
I don't know. Is it? SNL is the reason a surprising number of people think Sarah Palin said "I can see Russia from my house!" which, as I mentioned earlier, was also quoted by Wolf Blitzer of CNN. SNL can't possibly be unaware of the level of influence they have.
I also disagree on the sentiment that it's bad form to satirize select groups in media meant for general distribution (even if it's really on a nominal basis). That's the point of satire, isn't it? To make witty/funny cultural or personal criticisms? I know your counter-argument was "yeah, but this wasn't even criticizing what people are actually like," but my two comments on that are 1) I know people who ARE like that, even if they're a minority, and 2) once again, that's a criticism we should have of SNL's writing, not the principle of generally distributed media satirizing a group.
Do you suppose people who are ready to use this skit as an example of how Christians are will make much effort to differentiate between people like the ones you know and the others? I've never once seen someone rail about Christians and make an effort to acknowledge that we aren't all a single homogeneous group.

And yes, this is about SNL's writing but it's hardly going against the grain.
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