Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Sacrilege

You've gotta figure that pranking a born again Christian would be like taking candy from a baby -- a baby with Down Syndrome -- since they've already made it clear they'll believe pretty much anything.

Just watch, and try to comprehend what it would be like to go through life convinced that something like this could actually happen at any time.

(via Christian Nightmares)


cousinavi said...

They shouldn't have told her it was a prank. Anyone stupid enough to believe that crap deserves to be left to figure it out on their own.

brite said...

Well that's just sad...I really don't hold out much hope for 'American Culture' if even the smallest minority could actually believe this crap.
Really, you people need to turn off the tv, the evangelical radio shows and get a fucking grip!

Chez said...

This is really the clearest possible example of how fervent faith equals stupidity. If it were any other motivating ideal, everyone would look at this girl and think she's the dumbest thing on the planet -- but because her abiding belief involves the Rapture, there are millions out there who think she's completely normal.

VOTAR said...

Would be funny if it were believable, but I call shenanigans.

This is the worst faked "real" acting since Cloverfield, and like what, six different fixed cameras in the room? I think the real prank was getting people to believe her reaction is genuine.

That having been said, yes, there are millions of people who expect it to happen exactly like that. Thank you, Cotton Mather.

Chez said...

Yeah, I thought the same thing -- the whole thing is phony. I have to imagine, though, that if I really believed in the Rapture and thought I'd been screwed out of heaven and left on Satan's Earth, I'd have a full-on freak-out -- with screaming and everything.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a theist, but if something like that was pulled on me I might have the same reaction of freaking the fuck out. I doubt I'd call Rapture on it, but no doubt I'd be scared.

Although I'd also call shenanigans on how scripted it seemed. I mean, you'd think most humans (even fervent religious humans) would need a few minutes to process an actual even like that. The jump from "what happened" to a definitive "The rapture" seemed scripted or at least edited for brevity.

Randy said...

at least drop the damn coffee!

Deacon Blue said...

Fuck! I hate to take the side of stupid or easily duped people to prevent over-arching generalizations, but I guess that's my duty.

So, leaving aside the totally fake-ass nature of this, and being so obviously scripted, let's assume she WAS really fooled. that means religion = stupidity? My born again status makes me idiotic? No, what it would mean is that she is gullible (and this wasn't a particularly good stunt...making people seem to disappear by setting of a flashbang and dropping them through trap doors would have been good). She probably would have been gullible in the absence of faith beliefs.

Moreover, let's take this from the other end.

I don't hold much stock with alien abduction stories, but even in the absence of my faith in them, you set up a good enough prank, and I'll soil myself thinking I'm about to get rectally probed and shit by an E.T.

I also don't believe in werewolves, but set up a good scene in the dark with a trained wolf-like dog and make it look like some guy just turned into said animal, and I'll piss myself. Not because I think it's a normal animal but because I might fear a man-eating creature immune to anything but silver (which I don't have on my person) is on the loose.

1. A good prank can fool anyone.

2. A gullible person is a gullible person, regardless of faith. Had this been done right, you could have probably freaked out an atheist or agnostic.

Faith isn't the issue here, and it's an easy target.

The GOP attracts a lot of stupid people these days, too, but that doesn't make every die-hard Republican and idiot or idealogue.

The problem when liberal atheists or liberal agnostics start taking pot shots at the faithful, it's no better than the Sarah Palins, Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of the world doing similar shit. I mean, I'm pretty liberal, too, and it pains me to see my fellow left-leaners start bashing on broad groups of people. It's not cool on either side of the fence, folks.

And before you tell me, "It's all just in fun" it's personal judgments you're making. Before you say, "Chez qualified his snark with the word fervent" define what fervent means, would you? Because I think my faith is fairly fervent and I believe in socialized healthcare, evolution, and a whole lot of other cool shit.

VOTAR said...

Well, Deacon, sorry to say but it is about faith. Specifically. And unfortunately, you defeat your own arguments by constructing them backwards:

"I don't believe in alien abductions, but stage an alien abduction, and I will be scared..."

"I don't believe in werewolves, but stage a werewolf attack, and ..."

What makes the prank work (or, what would make the prank work if it were "for reals") is that the girl believes what she's been told about a supernatural event she's been conditioned her whole life to expect to happen. It's the prestige, the conclusion of the great big magic trick she's been duped into accepting by a very well-orchestrated and ongoing sleight-of-hand performance that has lasted thousands of years.

She believes the rapture will happen. And, if you are an obedient christian, so do you.

You believe in aliens. You believe in werewolves. Just play the madlib game and substitute Jesus.

A gullible person is a gullible person. A gullible person under the influence of systematic emotional, spiritual, and behavioral conditioning, is a slave. In this example, as I assume it is with you, that condition is relatively harmless, serving only to limit your own potential as a member of homo sapiens. That's fine, it's how the rest of us frankly prefer to maintain a forward trajectory of human advancement as these sad remnants of primitive superstition are sloughed off. But when the gullibility of the zealous is weaponized, then we get crusaders, and inquisitioners, and witch hunters, and Jonestown, and Al Qaeda, and the Scopes Monkey Trial, and all manner of other embarrassing and dangerous ridiculousness.

Faith is an easy target. Yes, indeed, it is. Maybe this example just might be the one to finally sink in: Imagine if we were told "This is Suzy. Suzy still believes in Santa Claus. We're going to trick her into leaving the room so we can fill it with shiny new toys and reindeer droppings..." No one gives a rat's ass if Suzy is a liberal, or likes socialized medicine, or a whole lot of other cool shit. But if she had a batshit freakout at the notion that Santa Claus had just been in the room, we would have her Baker Acted.

We do care that she -- and millions of others just like her with whom the rest of us have no choice but to get along with -- conduct their lives like sleepwalking retarded children. Which is fine so long as we can keep them out of the way while we do important grown-up stuff.

Deacon Blue said...

Point is, VOTAR, Chez (and mind you, I agree with most of what he posts here by far), was so eager to slam faith, that he said, "This is really the clearest possible example of how fervent faith equals stupidity" and only later, after you pointed it out, admits to how faked it seemed.

He was so pleased to see a Christian made to look stupid, that I don't think Chez really thought about how fake it was, and I think he assumed it might very well have been legit, though I seriously doubt it was.

And spare me the "weaponized faith" shit. The idea that the religious folks are the dangerous ones, while we let people who seek power and money do FAR MORE damage.

And before we slam faithful people for being so gullible, why not the "fervent environmentalists" who would have us go back to the fucking stone age in extreme cases...or the right wing AND left wing idealogues through the decades who have done heinous and stupid things in the name of an ideology, absent faith.

Those people often believe in things that are categorically untrue, even in the face of evidence that disproves their beliefs CLEARLY.

The worst you can say about me is that I can't prove God exists. Well, you can disprove Him either.

I'm more scared of the people who believe in things that have been totally disproved, clearly and without any way to say otherwise.

Someone believing Noah stuffed every animal on his ark and repopulated the world isn't so dangerous.

People who believe Obama and the Dems are doing shady things when they are faced with evidence that the GOP did it even more often, for less noble reasons...and then call for politician to die...THEY scare me, and while many of them may be religious, it isn't religion driving their hate.

I'm calling bullshit on Chez and you both on this. No matter how much I like both of you. I've been called on bullshit before and taken my deserved licks. This ain't one of those times though.

I've now ranting enough, and will step off my soapbox for the remainder of these comments.

Chez said...

Two things, Deac: First of all, whether the video is fake or not doesn't negate the fact that there are people -- this woman being one of them supposedly -- who really do believe that at some point a bunch of folks are simply going to vanish while the rest of us hang out for years of apocalyptic upheaval here on earth, and that a belief that outlandish, based on nothing but faith, would make one susceptible to falling for just about anything. (In fact, one of my favorite points to make to people who say they have fervent faith in God is simply asking, "If I told you right now that your husband or wife is cheating on you, would you automatically believe me or would you demand to see evidence? If you demand evidence for every other claim in the world, why do you shut your brain off and use a different yardstick -- or really, none at all -- when it comes to believing in an all-powerful god?")

Secondly, I know you're smarter than to use the unbelievably tired "you can't disprove God, so it's a draw" argumentative fallacy. In the absence of supporting evidence, the burden isn't on the one trying to disprove a specious claim. It would be like you arguing that there's a giant monster that lives on the dark side of the moon -- and just because we haven't proven that there isn't one, that means your assertion deserves credence. It wouldn't and it doesn't now, not based on that argument.

Deacon Blue said...

My point, Chez, is that pointing your (the collective "your"...not just you) finger at how "stupid" it is that I believe in an UNproven God, is immensely less important than people who are wreaking havoc over DISproven "facts."

Thing is, you can't point to a bogus prank as "proof" of the stupidity of believers anymore than you can use an SNL skit as "evidence" that the target being lampooned is a loser. Yet that's just what you did here.

I'm not going to go into why I feel totally justified and not the least bit silly about believing in God, and won't be ashamed about it. I have a whole blog for that. And it's not my place to spread that message here.

It is, however, my place to call bullshit on this one Chez. Look, I thought zombie Jesus Easter of last year or the year before that you posted was funny. But this is a cheap and inappropriate shot, for the reasons I've already outlined.

I like you Chez, but you weren't on your usual game with this one.

I think you should take it as a bad sign if I'M the Christian calling you out on something. I'm generally in there laughing with you.

But hey, it's your show...

Chez said...

Hmm, I actually was thinking the same thing about you, Deac. As much as your arguments can ever hold water, they're usually pretty cogent -- but not this time. Not at all.

And incidentally, all the negative things I've said about religion -- which hasn't simply included benign Zombie Jesus jokes but truly angry invective -- and this gets under your skin? Sorry, but it doesn't add up. And my point stands: If you're willing to staunchly subscribe to something without corroborating evidence, it sets you up to ostensibly believe almost anything. So yes, at the very core of everything I've ever said about religion is the notion that faith is, quite frankly, stupid.

Deacon Blue said...

I don't know...maybe I'm missing something, maybe you're missing something. Maybe we're just not communicating well.

But I still don't see how a fake "prank" can be used as proof of Christian stupidity. Lord knows there are plenty of real examples in the world without having to use something so obviously staged, and then hold it up as "evidence."

That's what's getting in my for whether it's justified that I'm letting it do so, I don't know...

Anyway, I'll just shut up now and give up on trying to sort this one out.

VOTAR said...

Thank you Deacon for making my point for me, by broadening the scope of the embarrassingly gullible to include ideologues on the left and the right, who do heinous and stupid things in the name of an ideology.

Acknowledging just how big the tent full of misguided people really is, does not diminish the level of misguided-ness within it. The web of superstition people think of as religion is just one of many reasons to be disappointed in the human race. Chez chooses to use the word stupid, here we differ a little. I prefer ignorant, or perhaps unenlightened. If you think about those choices, you might be surprised to learn that I allow for the possibility of redemption, since enlightenment is something I see as a goal to strive for always. Stupid is a state of mind that probably can't be repaired. I can actually find the room to accept stupid people who continue to cling to fairy tales that long ago stopped being valid explanations for just how complex, beautiful, gruesome, and terrifying the universe really is. They can't help it, they're stupid.

It's the otherwise smart, literate, capable people who likewise surrender their magnificent gift of intellect and instead rely, as their primary means of navigating through life, on ancient codified folklore, barbaric mythology, and mystical spells, that makes me sad.

Deacon Blue said...

And how many people, VOTAR, have you truly watched in life, who surrender all their brainpower to use religion as their "primary" means of navigating through life?

I've lived a lot of places, around a lot of people, and most of them lead with their bellies, genitalia, wallets and the like. Even the ones who go to church on the regular.

I'm not saying religion can't make you do stupid things. But really, "smart, literate, capable" people who "surrender" their intellect?

Is that supposed to be me, VOTAR, and those like me? I've surrendered? I use my religion as my primary means of navigation? Is this what you assume about me?

I lead with my belly, my wallet, my genitalia and the like...just like any other homo sapien. That I spice and season and buffer it with my spirituality hardly qualifies as "surrender." I'm not walking around saying "Our Fathers" and "Hail Marys" and singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." I don't sweat my every decision in life on the basis of looking at the concordance for the King James Bible.

So much for shutting up, eh? Just not that good at doing that tonight, I guess. Pray for me VOTAR...

kanye said...


Perhaps instead of "ignorant" or "unenlightened", you might try "uncritical".

marija said...

Deacon:And spare me the "weaponized faith" shit. The idea that the religious folks are the dangerous ones, while we let people who seek power and money do FAR MORE damage.

The sad truth is that people with power and money use the religious folk for their dirty plans. George Bush made an art form of using the religious proles' support for his money-grabbing wars. it doesn't matter whether he truly believes in god or not, he and his buddies made obscene amounts of money backed by the belief of their evangelical friends...
And as for your problem with people believing in things that have been proven to be wrong - if you don't see the causal connection in being conditioned to believe in factually unsupported fairy tales from the Bronze age and the inability to acknowledge that B. Obama is the citizen of USA, then I can't help you.

djesno said...

virgins. i want your virgins. i will blow shit up, just give me virgins......IT'S THE CHRISTIAN VERSION just WITHOUT THE VERGINAL RAPE! you humans are fucking hilarious! if you'll fall for anything, you'll fall for everything, or, maybe not, but,'re gonna fall. these people vote (and vote for Palin, listen to Hannity and look foreward to the "rapture" all while behaving as the antithesis of Christ in their daily endeavors). we'll be destroyed by these idiots. Motherfuck every True Believer of the Abrahamic tradition, you're all as full of crap as the least among you. When will you start worshiping the ghost of Rodney Dangerfield with the reverence I do? No respect, I tell ya, no respect.

djesno said...

BTW, Deac...all kidding aside, as a recovering addict I've found god (lower case) and all god is is the little man inside of me. the Good Orderly Direction i've neglected in the past. The conscience that is only absent in people who are taught to ignore it. God is ME....and you, and us. I wouldn't be sober today without god, and i thank god every day, but to fall for dogmatic nonesense is as much a patholigical lunacy as espousing it. If you believe in the "rapture" good for you, deac. You go on ahead and do the "lord's work." The grown-ups will go ahead and keep doing the world's work. Sheep are great animals, dude, and beneficial though they are, don't we all, in our greatest incarnation, strive to rise above the flock? It's easy to keep sheepin', bro. rock on!

djesno said...

Thought for the day: If your underwear is yellow in the back and brown on the front, does that make you dyslexic?

French Anonymous said...

Remember the post about the dogs kept by atheist on the Rapture ? I had to wikipedia "Rapture" to understand what you were talking about... sounds like a belief of the Middle Ages. Like that of the Earth being 6000 years old.

One thing I wonder : how can someone, holding such beliefs, feel in any way superior to Third-World countries witchcraft followers ?

Now witchcraft followers freak me to death, and so do Christian extremists. I don't dabble in people likely to kill you for their religious beliefs - whether it's in order to use your body parts in a magical recipe, or because they believe an atheist is a spawn of the devil.

djesno said...

Thought for the day: This one time, in Band Camp....I played a rusty trombone next to a guy named Dirty Sanchez. His moustache was the shit. DUKE SUCKS.

Deacon Blue said...

Just for the record, even my Jesus-loving ass doesn't necessarily believe in the Rapture thing as presented here. I'm not defending a specific interpretation of a portion of the New Testament. That's never been the point of any of this.

I'm not dogmatic as a general rule, and most die-hard fundies cringe at the "liberal" nature of my interpretations and beliefs, on God in the big-G and god in the little-G fashion.

I'm not going to start getting into new arguments here...just going to set the record straight as much as I can that while I believe in Jesus having a divine-sanctioned role, I don't have a mindset that all truth, all seeking or all spiritual discovery is through Christianity.

Because if any of you are going to consider me stupid or delusional still, I'd at least prefer that you had a bit more context for it and not assume I'm some fucking mindless Bible-thumper. I'm on a spiritual journey. Not at a destination.

Deacon Blue said...

@ marija

Conservatives and ill-tempered so-called Christians don't have a lock on using people's beliefs to twist them in a knot and use them.

And plenty of atheists use less than intellectual (or even factual) arguments to knock down Christian beliefs.

Like the atheists who have tried to show me how many other religions have used very similar resurrection themes as we see with Jesus...yet the examples they used weren't thousands or even hundreds of years old but instead were sects that took up such beliefs around the same time as Jesus or in the decades thereafter.

Or how about the atheist who told me that Jesus is just the sun god theme freshened up. The idea of the sun rising and setting being the metaphor for resurrection...and his big closing "proof." Look how similar "sun" and "son" are. Wow. Using his intellect to tell me about a homonym. Except that, while I'm not linguist, I found it doubtful that "sun" and "son" were homonyms in any commonly used language of Jesus' time. Certainly, that atheist couldn't come up an example of that.

Sure, there are stupid and gullible Christians. But stupidity, apathy and gullibility are pretty common overall. That's what has allowed us to allow ourselves to be used and abused for centuries by people with their own interests and profits at heart, and nothing else.

VOTAR said...

"Uncritical" works, but describes a passive state. Superstitious people willfully ignore evidence that contradicts their belief structure, and religion capitalizes on this. Where progressive thinking welcomes criticism, embraces the evolution of ideas, and allows for a knowledge base that adapts to new conditions and observations, religion inexplicably stagnates. Religion requires fear and obedience, and these are not the ingredients of a mind that has much chance of evolving.

You'd like to think that in the 21st century, the notion that superstition still trumps reason in the minds of so many would be a fading phenomenon. But, sadly, here we are.

Jeremy said...

Deac pretty much covered it. What irks me isn't so much the criticism of my faith (I can handle that, the experiences I've had are personal and I don't expect them to impact or try to push them on anyone else) but that you hold up an obvious fake as proof of the idiocy of that faith.

If you held up Pat Robertson being a tool, I'd be hard pressed to find a problem with it and would have to agree he's a tool and a douche and makes the faith look bad. But this is as believable as those heavily edited ACORN videos from O'Keefe.

Deacon Blue said...

"progressive thinking welcomes criticism, embraces the evolution of ideas, and allows for a knowledge base that adapts to new conditions and observations"

And yet I do all those things, within the context of having spiritual beliefs and faith in God and Jesus.

I'm just intrigued that with an estimated 1 billion+ irreligious or atheistic people out of 7 billion, I just don't see that the world is markedly better. I'm not saying it's worse, but I certainly don't see any progress on tamping down violence, intolerance, racial ignorance, ethnic cleansing, sexual discrimination, or the like.

I'm a bit hesitant to believe that a world without religion is going to be a marked improvement.

marija said...

I don't know if you'll catch this, but screw it, I'm from Europe :)

Votar did a magnificent job in explaining why the believers should be the ones providing proof for their beliefs and not vice versa. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and others did a great job explaining why religion should be criticized and abandoned. I will just say - as much as the catholic countries should take a long hard look in the mirror and hang their heads in shame over the rape of countless boys and girls they helped perpetuate, so should the USA see what is happening under their (your) noses. I have seen Jesus Camp and was petrified. Fuck catholic sunday school - Jesus camp is brainwashing, producing future religious terrorists. And the most terrifying aspect (if you disregard that type of indoctrination which should be classed as child abuse) is the fact that this isn't some isolated sect. This strand of christianity is becoming increasingly mainstream. And it is precisely this sort of total surrender of reason and intellect that leads to maniacs like Palin and Bachman.
Deac, I don't have to educate you about the religions from which christianity borrowed heavily. Do your homework (hint:it's the entire middle east area, over and over again, all before old JC came up) but please try to imagine the universe w/o an omniscient creator and contemplate your life within that universe. Much more difficult, but ultimately, much more rewarding.

Deacon Blue said...

Oh, and a correction to my response to marija...I meant that the examples lifted up to me that we supposedly resurrection/Jesus predecessors hadn't existed centuries BEFORE Jesus...clearly, they'd be millennia old by now.

Deacon Blue said...


"please try to imagine the universe w/o an omniscient creator and contemplate your life within that universe. Much more difficult, but ultimately, much more rewarding"


I have.

In fact, I spent most of my life pretty irreligious

Frankly, I find it far less rewarding an exercise. Sorry to disappoint.

And I've never defended indoctrination, abuse, and the like. I want people to come to faith with open hearts AND minds.

Robotic, feed-me-my-belief people don't turn me on.

kanye said...

I'm still not ready to concede that the problem is willful ignorance. That term makes it too easy to discount a lifetime of indoctrination and conditioning.

Maybe that's more in line with my thinking: conditioned ignorance, to the point of ingraination. These people's beliefs have been hammered into them since they were children. Their family, friends, authority figures--all constantly affirming that their way is "the way". Their entire lives are built around a constructed reality that they've lived in for so long, that those ideas and beliefs have become an unextractable part of their psyches.

To accept evidence that something that's so fundamental to their identities is's not simply admitting to a mistake but rather admitting that they themselves are mistakes.

It's just not in our nature to willfully visit that kind of psychic damage upon ourselves. Of course, the great irony there is that the only way that we really change as individuals, at a fundamental level, is by being damaged.

Mathilda said...

When I accidentally saw the airplane scene from 'Left Behind' I almost threw up, I laughed so hard. It's the limp's too much.