Pharyngula

Dawkins clip

For those curious about Dawkins’ documentary, “Root of All Evil?”, you can find a short excerpt of the segment with Ted Haggard online. Haggard is extraordinarily creepy—keep some Pepto-Bismol handy if you watch it.

(via Leiter Reports)

Comments

  1. #1 Sean Foley
    February 24, 2006

    What an unctious little snot. (Haggard, not Dawkins.)

  2. #2 Johnny Vector
    February 24, 2006

    Neat how even in a one-on-one conversation he does that duck-lips thing that singers do in order to project better.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go shower.

  3. #3 Jeremy
    February 24, 2006

    About halfway through, I was still okay with Haggard. I’m always willing to give people I don’t know the benefit of the doubt.

    And then he claimed that the Bible doesn’t contradict itself.

    And then he referred to the 4.6 billion year old age of the earth as “some of the views that are accepted in some portions of the scientific community as fact.”

    My impression of the clip was that Haggard came off as tremendously naive, but he may have been pushed a little by Dawkins, which was obviously the point of the whole exchange.

  4. #4 Brandon Williams
    February 24, 2006

    I think I’m going to be sick.

  5. #5 BronzeDog
    February 24, 2006

    Nausea, heartburn, indegestion, upset stomach… diarrhea. Yay! Pepto-Bismol!

    I have a feeling Haggard needs it for his verbal version of that last one.

  6. #6 Sean Foley
    February 24, 2006

    And then he claimed that the Bible doesn’t contradict itself.

    Even though it was written by a bunch of different people! Ergo, the fact that the various Hardy Boys novels were ghostwritten by different people and yet are internally consistent is proof positive that they are of divine origin.

  7. #7 Steve LaBonne
    February 24, 2006

    Pepto-Bismol?? I’m gonna need something one hell of a lot stronger than Pepto-Bismol to recover from that.

  8. #8 Jason Bock
    February 24, 2006

    Haggard sickens me. There is no other word I can think of to describe him other than “moron”.

    Is there any place on the net to see the whole documentary? Is it available for purchase? I SO want this documentary!

  9. #9 Kristine
    February 24, 2006

    Yeah, I need a drink (and maybe Pepto-Bismol for a chaser)! I don’t know how Dawkins controlled himself–what a man. Someday Haggard’s grandchildren will watch that clip and cry.

  10. #10 Brandon Williams
    February 24, 2006

    “Moron” would indicate that he is merely stupid, and that could be forgiven.

    No, people like Haggard are quite clearly insane. His eyes are the eyes of a lunatic; note how little his expression changes throughout the entire segment, even when he’s upset.

    There are precious few steps between Haggard and his “flock” and Jim Jones and Jonestown; mass suicide is no more or less irrational than what Haggard espouses, and his sheep believe.

  11. #11 D
    February 24, 2006

    Well…earlier in that program Dawkins compares Haggard’s church to the Nuremberg Rallies. I’d be pissed too.

  12. #12 Rheinhard
    February 24, 2006

    Speaking of “The Root of All Evil”, I was pleased to discover unexpectedly last night that the individual episodes as well as a disk image of the DVD can be obtained through the magic of BitTorrent. I’m not in favor of piracy but since we can be pretty sure the Fundams will never allow this program to see the light of day on these shores, this is probably the only way most of us will be able to see it.

  13. #13 Steve LaBonne
    February 24, 2006

    It’s an apt comparison. If he wouldn’t be Hitler given the opportunity, he surely would be Nehemiah Scudder. (Non-readers of Heinlein will have to Google that one.)

  14. #14 Greg
    February 24, 2006

    I think the documentary can still be obtained via bittorrent. Try searching for ‘root of all evil’ on torrentspy.com.

  15. #15 Jeff
    February 24, 2006

    FYI: The documentary was available via bittorrent last time I checked.

    http://thepiratebay.org/details.php?id=3434721

    Legally, I suppose, it’s a little shady, but since it will *never* be broadcast in this country I really didn’t feel bad downloading it. It’s really good!

  16. #16 Sean Foley
    February 24, 2006

    Well…earlier in that program Dawkins compares Haggard’s church to the Nuremberg Rallies. I’d be pissed too.

    Haggard didn’t seem to know what the Nuremberg Rallies were. I doubt that’s what set him off.

  17. #17 Molly, NYC
    February 24, 2006

    Haggard is indeed creepy. But a more practical question is: Can we get his congregation’s mailing list if we make a donation to his personal “crusading fund” (or whatever the euphemism is for bribing a minister)?

    And what could we do with a list of as gullible a collection of pigeons as you’d ever hope to see?

    First, get ourselves baptised (a great credibilty-enhancer with these folks), and then start selling . . . let’s see . . . “Christian Investments.” Yeah, that’s the ticket. Invest their money for them. All of it. “Of course, you can trust us! We’re washed in the blood!”

    Alas, past performance is no guarantee–which we shall tell them. In the small print.

    Some people were just made for the plucking. As Haggard well knows.

  18. #18 kyle
    February 24, 2006

    It really seemed what set him off wasn’t the Nuremberg comment. He seemed to ignorant to understand it. I doubt anyone who knoew what Dawkins was refering to would be able to let that stand.

    But given the magic of editing and the fiesty nature Dawkins often has we can’t really be sure what set the man off. If we are to take Dawkins’ word it was simply the mention of evolution. But that’s probably standard “this interview is going badly time to sieze on any point and get indignant.” Nothing gives you an out faster than feinging offense: it’s a technique that Bill O’Reilly has mastered.

  19. #19 Steve LaBonne
    February 24, 2006

    Molly, it would be more amusing to contemplate that if these drones didn’t vote. From your vantage point in New York it may be a little harder to understand how scary these people are, but out here in flyover country we have to deal with them up close and personal. For example, a couple of our knuckle-waking state legislators here in Ohio recently introduced a bill to ban gays and lesbians from adopting kids or even being foster parents.

  20. #20 D
    February 24, 2006

    Actually, I find it a bit hard to believe Haggard didn’t get the Nuremberg reference – Dawkins says “Dr. Goebbels would be proud.” I thought I saw Haggard struggling to be polite, passing it off by making a comparison between his sermons and rock concerts. I think most people would agree that is a somewhat more apt comparison.

    Yes, the man is frighteningly ignorant and the fact that he talks to Dubya every week is just plain scary. Even so, calling him a Nazi then expecting him to NOT explode at some point is a bit much. What’s astonishing is that Dawkins actually plonks the whole segment down without editing it, thinking he comes off looking well. With a friend like this…

    PS: you can find the whole program on youtube

  21. #21 BC
    February 24, 2006

    I thought Dawkins looked kinda like a jerk, and I think he did fall into the category of appearing arrogant. I think Haggard also looked like a jerk and came off as arrogant. I thought it was funny when Haggard accused Dawkins of arrogance because Haggard was playing the same game. Of course, most people fail to see themselves through other people’s eyes. The “I’m right, you’re wrong, our grandchildren are going to laugh at you” stuff that religious people often pull is arrogance, they just can’t seem to see it. (It reminded me of an interview I had heard with a preacher who was branded a heretic in Oklahoma. He said that, now that he was an outcast from the church, now that he was on the outside, he was stunned to see just how arrogant and pushy religious people could be – now that he was on the receiving end rather than being the person proselytizing it was stunningly clear.)

  22. #22 BronzeDog
    February 24, 2006

    Just thought of something funny: Remember that Simpsons episode where Homer was accused of grabbing that girl’s rear, and got heavily, heavily edited by the news to make it look like he attacked the anchor?

    Think it’d be funny if someone did that to parody some of the edited Creationist nonsense they like to put out.

  23. #23 wamba
    February 24, 2006

    No, people like Haggard are quite clearly insane. His eyes are the eyes of a lunatic; note how little his expression changes throughout the entire segment, even when he’s upset.

    Botox

  24. #24 Steve LaBonne
    February 24, 2006

    Complaining that both Dawkins and Haggard are arrogant is rather like complaining about your hangnail to a friend who has terminal cancer.

  25. #25 Rocky
    February 24, 2006

    I’ve GOT to get this CD! Mr. Dawkins, if you are reading this, please put it on the net for sale!
    And, for those interested in the “accuracy” current I’ve found a very readable book titled:
    Misquoting Jesus : The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart Ehrman. It’s written by a “now reformed evangelical” shows in detail that many sections of the bible is full of misquotes and additions. Key things Christians believe don’t even hold up in their own history, written LONG after to make a good story. Good read!

  26. #26 Rocky
    February 24, 2006

    few typo’s above, sorry…..

  27. #27 Cinatyte
    February 24, 2006

    I think Dawkins was certainly baiting Haggard at several points, but if Haggard didn’t think that this was going to happen, he’s a complete fool. That said, I had to turn away from the computer at several points, mainly because Haggard’s lips freaked me out. Finally, congratulations to Sean Foley, for making the best Franklin W. Dixon reference any of us will see all day.

  28. #28 Molly, NYC
    February 24, 2006

    . . . it would be more amusing to contemplate that if these drones didn’t vote.

    You’re right, of course–they are, as I say, profoundly gullible. As the RNC and this preaching douchebag are completely aware. What I’m saying is, why should they be the only ones to skin these yokels? Because we’re decent and they all have the morals of a pimp?

    Something I never understood about these folks was why no one’s ever charitable enough to set them straight. They’re willing to trust the good intentions of anyone who acts pious enough and it never occurs to them what an extremely common thing it is to make a big show of religiosity to further one’s worldly interests–grift games, personal manipulation, even just wanting some attention. But I guess fish don’t “get” water either.

  29. #29 wamba
    February 24, 2006

    And, for those interested in the “accuracy” current I’ve found a very readable book titled:

    I believe that only addresses changes to New Testament writings over time, it does not even delve into the truth, accuracy, or consistency of the original texts. If you want to learn about historical errors, scientific errors, bogus prophesies, internal contradictions, etc in the Bible there are better sources.

    The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, for example, includes a systematic takedown of all the alleged prophesies said to be fulfilled in the Gospels.

    The Important Examination of the Holy Scriptures by Voltaire is another good historical source.

    Selections from both of those can be found in An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism, edited by Gordon Stein.

    Some Mistakes of Moses by Robert Ingersoll

    The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy by C. Dennis McKinsey (1995)

  30. #30 Kristine
    February 24, 2006

    But Molly, some people just want to lie to themselves. Believe me, I have been around and around this with members of my family and it went nowhere. They are willing to be “skinned” because what they think they’re getting in return is more important. They are gullible because they want to be, because they’ve arranged their whole identites around this stuff. Who wants to start over at square one as an autonomous individual? They don’t want to be set straight! They want Jesus!

  31. #31 BC
    February 24, 2006

    In case anyone is interested in the longer versions:
    Part 1-1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPaD6D54L4o
    Part 1-2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUy-Uq3WuhA
    Part 1-3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GgD3lgspQE

  32. #32 Rocky
    February 24, 2006

    Molly, the easy but unsatisfactory answer is that they “believe”. If their religious leaders told them horse-poo was cake with icing, they would unflinchingly gobble it up. Over and over, I’m sure you’ve read and seen how intelligent persons point out that they have corrected “misnomers” that creationists make, but their, and my personal experience is belief, however idiotic or irrational wins out for them because the minister said so. It’s very sad

  33. #33 Rocky
    February 24, 2006

    Wamba, those writings were cited, and am looking for addition info in this area, I agree, I also plan to read those. Thank you for pointing those out!

  34. #34 CS
    February 24, 2006

    I’ve been in several conversations with religious right-wingers, and it took very little to set them off. There’s a constant siege mentality. The outburst was often in the form of a non-sequitur (a la “you called my children animals!”). Part of the non sequitur is in the tension between the angry words and the plastic smile.

    Dawkins spares no sympathy even for more “legitimate” religions. So I don’t think he was baiting Haggard … just being himself.

  35. #35 Molly, NYC
    February 24, 2006

    Kristine and Rocky–I should have added:

    I didn’t understand until I saw this clip. The person who should be showing them that charity–their minister–is one of the people hosing them.

  36. #36 Brian
    February 24, 2006

    Holy crap. I thought for a second there that Dawkins was going to pop him one.

  37. #37 Kristine
    February 24, 2006

    I really do understand what you’re saying, Molly, and I agree with you on that point.

    What I’m saying is that nice ministers finish last. If any member of your family has worked in a church, you quickly find out how political and back-stabbing it all is. People were complaining back in the 70s about how liberal and “humanistic” the Lutheran Church was. I was lucky in having a wonderful pastor, a very educated man, but after he died the very nice, liberal pastor who came after him got totally screwed by the congregation, with one vocal minority forcing him out and few backing him up. People these days are leaving mainstream churches and shopping around for more fundie, hoo-rah-rah, smoke&demons melodrama. I really believe that they are actively looking for this, and not just getting snookered. Haggard is just giving them what they want.

  38. #38 386sx
    February 24, 2006

    I didn’t understand until I saw this clip. The person who should be showing them that charity–their minister–is one of the people hosing them.

    Right. I don’t think the Jesus of the Bible would have kicked Mr. Dawkins off His property like that (if we ignore the parts of the Bible where Jesus kicks the money changers’ butts and some of the other parts of the Bible where Jesus tells people to wipe out whole cities, and other parts where He drowns the whole planet and a bunch of other bad stuff like that.) If Mr. Haggard were on the “up and up” he would pay more attention to the WWJD stuff. Sweet Feathery Jesus!

  39. #39 Dark Matter
    February 24, 2006

    Molly,NYC wrote:

    Some people were just made for the plucking. As Haggard well knows.

    I’m afraid the time for laughing at the fundamenalists has long since passed.

    from Yahoo News:

    S.D. House Approves Abortion Ban Bill

    By CHET BROKAW, Associated Press Writer 58 minutes ago

    PIERRE, S.D. – The Legislature on Friday approved a ban on nearly all abortions in South Dakota, setting up a direct legal assault on Roe v. Wade.

    Republican Gov. Mike Rounds said he was inclined to sign the bill, which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless it was necessary to save the woman’s life. The measure would make no exception in cases of rape or incest.

    Many opponents and supporters of abortion rights believe the
    U.S. Supreme Court is more likely to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion now that Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito are on the bench.

  40. #40 Madam Pomfrey
    February 24, 2006

    “People these days are leaving mainstream churches and shopping around for more fundie, hoo-rah-rah, smoke&demons melodrama.”

    That’s also visible in how the rhetoric has changed (typical fundie tactic: rhetoric trumps all). 10 years ago they used to say “she was a Catholic and became a Christian” (i.e., she left Catholicism and joined a Protestant church) and now you hear “she was a Lutheran and became a Christian” (i.e., she belonged to a mainstream Lutheran church and left it for a fundamentalist megachurch). And some of the mainstream churches try to copycat megachurch programs and politics in an attempt to win back the dwindling congregations. Fundamentalists, who have now euphemistically renamed themselves “evangelicals” or “Bible-believers,” were a mostly ineffectual minority among American Christians 40 years ago, but have now become the standard-setters in mainstream religion, not to mention right-wing politics. A good example is the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, which took a hard right turn as fundamentalism’s political power rose, and includes things like “rescue us from scientism” in prayer books. Sad.

  41. #41 CanuckRob
    February 24, 2006

    I don’t know who edited the show but i did not think Dawkisn came of all that well. There were times it looked he was simply trying to bait these idiots (who of course are dumb enough to rise to it. there is no doubt that the Haggards’ and their ilk looked the worst but I thought that Dawkins was trying to appear a bit disingenous.I would have liked Dawkins to expand on the fact that in America religion is free enterprise. This is likely one reason it is so strong in the US, only the strong survive in the capitalist version of natural selection.

  42. #42 Bored Huge Krill
    February 24, 2006

    I must say I’m in two minds about this.

    For sure, no believers will be remotely swayed by anything here. In fact, it will reinforce their beliefs that “evilutionist scientists” are arrogant and insular; the argument made by Haggard, however incoherent, will be heard as making sense.

    It doesn’t matter that it is Haggard who is claiming to have all the answers, set in stone for eternity, whilst simultaneously berating Dawkins for… claiming to have all the answers.

    Absent prior knowledge as to the veracity or otherwise of what is being said, I expect many people will react simply to the emotion – and the Nuremburg comment (whilst exactly on point, by the way) – really doesn’t help Dawkins’ case, I’m afraid.

    I liked his barb (right at the beginning) that “there seemed to be a lot of money being spent here today” which appeared to go right over Haggard’s head…

  43. #43 Pete
    February 24, 2006

    “since we can be pretty sure the Fundams will never allow this program to see the light of day on these shores”

    ..what if we asked PBS to show it? I will write a letter to my local station (KQED) and ask them. Even if it failed, I think it would be a good idea to put the Public Broadcasting System on record saying why they will not show it. It’s a BBC documentary, presented by a respected public intellectual with an endowed chair at Oxford. If PBS will not show it, they ought to publicly explain why. I would be more satisfied with that, than with complaining on a blog that “the fundamentalists won’t allow it here”.

  44. #44 CBBB
    February 24, 2006

    I have to say that I think Dawkins was being a bit of an jackass with that whole “Nuremburg” comment, I mean he’s right in a way but I still think it makes him look like a jackass for saying it.
    I don’t think Haggard is a Nazi; Clearly Haggard is just your standard religious huckster who’s milking a bunch of unthinking sheep for all they have.

  45. #45 Bored Huge Krill
    February 24, 2006

    I don’t think Haggard is a Nazi; Clearly Haggard is just your standard religious huckster who’s milking a bunch of unthinking sheep for all they have.

    I completely agree that the Nuremburg reference didn’t make Dawkins look good, because of the unavoidable emotional response it generates – but his point was well made.

    The implication wasn’t that Haggard is a Nazi; rather the implication was that he is using psychological tricks on the audience in order to create the desired mass hysteria effect. And he is.

  46. #46 Samnell
    February 24, 2006

    “I don’t think Haggard is a Nazi; Clearly Haggard is just your standard religious huckster who’s milking a bunch of unthinking sheep for all they have.”

    Give him a tad more political power and so long as it takes to set up the camps. He would deliver. Believe me, I’ve heard enough “Hitler persecuted Christians TOO!” speeches to make it clear that whatever involuntary outrage the rightwing Christian community might have once felt at the Holocaust (and I have to say this can only be infintesimal in the first place, killing Jews is one of the most hallowed traditions of Christianity) has long since faded.

  47. #47 Shygetz
    February 24, 2006

    The “Nuremburg Rallies” comment was over the line. If he wanted to accuse Haggard of leading a cult of personality, then there are much more constructive ways of doing it than playing the Nazi card right off the bat. I personally thought Dawkins was an ass. He was right for the most part, but being correct does not excuse being an ass. Of course Haggard was a blithering moron who was apparently very vindictive once the conversation actually reached his brain; however, this could have been a decisive PR victory for rationalism. I think Dawkins’ attitude made it into an intellectual win (talk about punching below your weight!) but a PR draw, if not a loss. Unfortunately, we already have a huge intellectual lead; what we need is better public perception of rationalism.

  48. #48 Squeaky
    February 24, 2006

    “whatever involuntary outrage the rightwing Christian community might have once felt at the Holocaust (and I have to say this can only be infintesimal in the first place, killing Jews is one of the most hallowed traditions of Christianity) has long since faded.”

    Hmmm…I’m not sure how well this comment jives with the fact that some of the strongest supporters of the state of Israel are fundamentalist Christians…

    My understanding of the documentary from what people have said in the past is that Dawkins focuses on the radical elements of the religions he explores. No, I haven’t seen it, but if this is the case, the documentary is biased to portray and strengthen his point of view. Not very balanced reporting…

    As for Haggard–I agree…ewww. But I also agree with many here that Dawkins didn’t come off looking any better than Haggard. Perhaps he would have if he had kept an even tone. Haggard was truly struggling to keep his composure with that permagrin firmly in place, but the facade was clearly cracking. As for the Nuremberg comment and the comment that there was a lot of money being spent in his church–Haggard reacted in the same way to each of those comments. He was trying to be polite. Although I don’t have much respect for him, I don’t think he is so stupid as to have completely missed that comment.

  49. #49 Dr. Marco
    February 24, 2006

    Is there a way I can get Dawkins’ documentary “The Root of all Evil” in DVD? Region 1, if that is not difficult

  50. #50 SEF
    February 24, 2006

    It’s a BBC documentary

    No, The Root Of All Evil was not a BBC thing. The BBC aren’t that good or brave any more. Instead they are the gullible ones falling for the pretended offense-taking of the offensive religious people.

    That particular one was a C4 thing (both C4 and 5 having overtaken BBC in documentary quality in the past decade on occasion). Though there was a (somewhat poor) recent BBC Horizon programme with both Richard Dawkins and David Attenborough.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/war.shtml

  51. #51 Dustin
    February 24, 2006

    I live in Colorado Springs (and actually teach at the regional branch of CU located there). Haggard is… special. Also, he’ll be gracing the university with his presence in order to hock his stupid book… IN THE CAMPUS BOOKSTORE.

    I’m going to pester him.

  52. #52 Dustin
    February 24, 2006

    P.S: If you ignore the lunatics and the congestion, Colorado Springs can be a nice place to visit.

  53. #53 Dustin
    February 24, 2006

    P.P.S: Upon downloading and viewing all of part II, it seems that everything that wasn’t filmed on the other side of the pond was shot in Colorado Springs. The good news is, Dawkins has discovered the marvel that is the Boulder Street Coffee shop. (I used to deliver bagels there). The bad news is that this whole documentary has left me a little embarassed for my hometown.

    Also, does someone have a link to part I that has some seeds?

  54. #54 cm
    February 24, 2006

    While watching Haggard I kept feeling as though I had seen his face somewhere before…those weird teeth and lips…and then I got it.

  55. #55 Dustin
    February 24, 2006

    Marvelous. The Campus Crusade for Christ has plastered the campus with flyers featuring Haggard’s mug (which is stupid, since anyone wanting to talk to him can do so after a five min. drive from UCCS). I think one of his pictures might be replaced with Wallace’s (by accident, of course).

  56. #56 Squeaky
    February 24, 2006

    cm–I have to admit, I was expecting Mick Jagger…or perhaps the Aflack duck…but that’s pretty good, too!

  57. #57 Jeremy
    February 24, 2006

    BitTorrent is giving me problems. It might have something to do with being on a university network. Could someone who got the whole thing throw it on YouSendIt and e-mail me at fishyfred at gmail dot com?

  58. #58 Jeremy
    February 24, 2006

    P.S. You may have to zip it to get it on YouSendIt… or if you have some way of getting it to me, that would be greeeaaat.

  59. #59 CBBB
    February 24, 2006

    I’m also having a lot of trouble downloading this with bittorrent. I’ve been trying to get it on and off for the past few weeks with no luck.

  60. #60 Samnell
    February 24, 2006

    “Hmmm…I’m not sure how well this comment jives with the fact that some of the strongest supporters of the state of Israel are fundamentalist Christians…”

    Wanting a bunch of people in a place so you can get your apocalypse sooner isn’t what I would call the best-intentioned kind of support. Of course I’m sure they see some of theirselves in the Revisionist Zionist movement typified by Sharon and his sort. Since fundies generally view the End Times as being extremely violent, one could even argue that it’s pretty sick. Most fundies are profoundly sickening in that kind of way.

  61. #61 Dustin
    February 25, 2006

    Samnell is one of only two people I’ve ever seen who has the yarbles to point that out.

    I’m the other one.

  62. #62 Samnell
    February 25, 2006

    “Samnell is one of only two people I’ve ever seen who has the yarbles to point that out.”

    Why thank you. I did not know I possessed yarbles, but I shall take good care of them. Perhaps they and I shall go out for a movie tomorrow night.

    I’ve discovered through long experience that fundies are gilded sorts of people. They have all sorts of nice, happy shiny things that as soon as one scratches the surface turn out to be horrific and disgusting on about every level. Witness the happy little communities of faith that are really backbiting sewers of visceral hatred, and this is how they treat people that are totally doctrinally acceptable to them. Dare deviate and the wrath of the righteous (they call this “love”) will be upon you.

  63. #63 NelC
    February 25, 2006

    You know, I’ll give points to Dawkins for suffering through Haggard’s rally for however long it took and then only appearing slightly ruffled during his interview with the reverend afterwards. From this end of the boob tube it looked scary to be surrounded by that host of believers being played like an orchestra by Haggard. It feels to me as though Dawkins came up with the Nuremburg reference spontaneously because that’s what it felt like.

    As to Haggard, with his ludicrous “If you knew the scientists I knew” line and the frankly patronising “You don’t know everything” approach, the man clearly had no idea who he was talking to. I think he thought that Dawkins was just some guy, and when the interview was over somebody in his entourage clued him in, which is what prompted the “animals” outburst.

  64. #64 Samnell
    February 25, 2006

    “It feels to me as though Dawkins came up with the Nuremburg reference spontaneously because that’s what it felt like.”

    Having sat surrounded by a similar, if much smaller situation, that’s how I read it too. Figure he probably sat there three or four hours and got to hear them chanting about how they were born to obey and so forth.

  65. #65 El Juno
    February 25, 2006

    Am I the only person that thinks that the main thing that clip was missing was Dawkins responding to Haggard’s ‘You haven’t talked to the people I have’ by screaming ‘I’m Richard Fucking Dawkins!’?

  66. #66 Rheinhard
    February 25, 2006

    Pete – if you start some kind of petition drive to get PBS to show this I’ll be glad to sign it.

    As to the BitTorrent, after about 2 days (and a spontaneous computer shutoff while I was away at work meaning I lost several hours of torrent sharing time… apparently my UPS is going wonky on me) I have succesfully retrieved the episodes in AVI format and the complete DVD iso image.

    The DVD torrent link I posted earlier is nice in that it also comes with the scans of the disk box art and CD label, so if you want to make your own DVD you can even print the label on it. However, after burning a test DVD it seems it won’t play on my DVD player attached to my TV, though it works fine in my computer DVD-ROM drive. I now strongly suspect that this a region 2 DVD, and may also be in the PAL video format. I am going to investigate how I can check this and whether the region bit can be reset via software. If I can’t convert the DVD directly, with the 2 AVI files I already have software which will allow me to process those and create my own DVD. I’ll keep y’all posted.

  67. #67 Dustin
    February 25, 2006

    You know, I’ll give points to Dawkins for suffering through Haggard’s rally for however long it took and then only appearing slightly ruffled during his interview with the reverend afterwards. From this end of the boob tube it looked scary to be surrounded by that host of believers being played like an orchestra by Haggard. It feels to me as though Dawkins came up with the Nuremburg reference spontaneously because that’s what it felt like.

    That’s just what it feels like, I don’t think Dawkins was trying to be an ass or anything. My grandfather is a pastor at Woodmen Valley Chapel (another of the Colorado Springs mega-warehouse-churches). They were doing something for him to honor his several decades in the ministry. I thought that, after 10 years of not setting foot in that church, it would be alright to make an exception for family purposes. I mentioned to my girlfriend that I’d be going, and I said that she wouldn’t have to if it made her uncomfortable. She likes my grandfather, and decided she’d tag along too.

    The main pastor (not my grandfather, thankfully) gave the most nauseating and disgusting sermon I’ve ever heard in my life (it was, of course, also an AV extravaganza). In it, people who have worked in any way to ban altogether or even restrict the proliferation of nuclear weapons were accused of having no morals and resorting to “the logic of darkness”.. The things that came out of this jackasses mouth were so vile that it made my girlfriend physically sick (I was pissed to the point that my right eyebrow was doing this involuntary twitching thing).

    I’ve noticed in the documentary that Dawkins likens Colorado Springs to the Vatican of evangelical christianity. It’s good to see that I’m not the only one who’s noticed that.

  68. #68 Jeremy
    February 25, 2006

    NelC: “Slightly ruffled?” Dawkins looked like he was going to be sick. The expression of disgust on his face was priceless.

  69. #69 Robert S.
    February 25, 2006

    As a former fundamentalist myself, I agree that Dawkins should be more careful throwing around the Nazi metaphors if he really wants to change minds, though I understand the urge to reach for dire mataphors when one is outraged. I think that if we really want to change minds, we have to approach people respectfully; mocking them only turns them away. Which doesn’t mean joking about or even mocking and satirizing superstitious belief is inappropriate. I find a great relief in such humor, as I can identify with it, and know that I’m not going crazy here in the South, just because so few people agree with my beliefs. It just doesn’t help to engage in that vein of discussion if you’re trying to convince “believers” of your position.

    I especially love it, though, when someone Dawkins is interviewing says something outlandish and you see Dawkin’s face start twitching! You can see he wants to bust in on them midsentence.
    ….

    I watched the 2nd episode, and I do think Dawkins does a *masterful* job of describing religion as a virus. Of course, this metaphor too is going to be a highly inflammatory one – especially since the word “virus” carries such a pejorative connotation. However, his case is strong, reenforced as it is by the illustrations of how children are raised with these beliefs and never given the opportunity to choose them for themselves. No, the beliefs are foisted upon them at the most impressionable of ages, when their minds take in and believe everything they’re given.

    One of the things that helped me leave my relgious beliefs behind was the gradual understanding that if I’d been born in another country, I might’ve been a Buddhist, a Confucianist, a Muslim, etc. Therefore, it’s possible the only reason I believed what I did was because I was raised that way. Astonishingly, it seems that perhaps the majority of our fellow humans do not come to this elementary conclusion.

    I’m not smarter than many of these folks, so what is the problem? We’re not teaching critical thinking skills in our schools? Or is it simply that different folks’ brains work in different ways, and I tend to be more skeptical in general than others? I suspect some combination of both.

  70. #70 Chris
    February 25, 2006

    I, for one, would like to speak against the unspoken assumption that you can’t compare people to Nazis even when the comparison is accurate. Nazis weren’t some kind of magic boogeymen or demons – they were humans, fundamentally not that different from any other humans, who did some terrible things.

    Many people don’t want to believe this because of its emotional repulsiveness – similar to the way some people don’t want to believe they are related to chimpanzees or gorillas (personally, I’d take a gorilla over a Nazi as a relative any day, if I could choose; but I can’t, and there’s no getting around the fact that I’m much more closely related to Hitler than to a gorilla) – but it can scarcely be denied that Nazis were human and their actions were human actions. Adolf Hitler (and Joseph Stalin, Jim Jones, etc.) is just as much a part of our species as Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin or Frederick Douglass.

    There’s no reason – either in principle or in practice – why a similar thing couldn’t happen again, and a tradition of never comparing anyone to Nazis will mean we are blind to it when it *does* threaten to happen again. If religions today really are using propaganda tactics similar to those used by the Nazis, we need to know about it, not hide from the truth. Making discussion of, or comparison to, Nazis taboo is not just useless, but actually dangerous.

  71. #71 I'm doomed.
    February 26, 2006

    AAAGH! How can people be this stupid!

    Anyway, can anyone tell me where I can get a higher-quality irony meter? Mine shattered after Haggard started ranting about how DAWKINS was supposedly “arrogant,” quite seemingly UNAWARE that he was describing HIMSELF!

  72. #72 Gary DeVaney
    August 29, 2007

    Many have asked – so – if the content of “The God Murders” found at thegodmurders.com can be of assistance in examining the Bible and Its God, feel free to use it as you wish.

    Gary DeVaney

    garydevaney@embarqmail.com

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