Pharyngula

You will be stupider after watching this

A hint: Glenn Beck. James Dobson. Together. This will rot your mind.

They are complaining about a court decision that ruled that a ‘moment of silence’ rule in a public school was a veiled attempt to introduce sectarian religious belief into the classroom. Nobody is afraid of prayer; kids can pray all they want, however they want, whenever they’ve got the free time. However, you don’t get to tell my kids that they have to contemplate your god — do me that favor, and I won’t insist that the schools force your kids to stop whatever they’re doing and think about the nonexistence of same.

By the way, Dobson, you confused the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence. Our constitution is a secular document that says nothing about the endowment of rights by a creator.

Comments

  1. #1 TheBiodegradableMan
    January 26, 2009

    To put it bluntly, you have got to be fucking kidding me.

    “I ain’t forcin’ it down your throat.”

    and then,

    “Just leave God alone.”

    And on an unrelated note, why has it taken me so long to hear about Christian “science?”

    http://www.christianscience.com/index.html

  2. #2 David Wiener
    January 26, 2009

    Its funny, because Glen there seems to be imitating the crying atheist…except he’s the real thing (that is a crying, stupid, spoiled child).

  3. #3 JWC
    January 26, 2009

    Just the first line is preposterous: 90% of Americans believe in God. Where’s he getting that number? Did they only poll people in front of a church?

  4. #4 speedwell
    January 26, 2009

    Isn’t that slimeball Dobson dead yet?

  5. #5 JWC
    January 26, 2009

    He mentions the “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and then says “don’t force your religion down my throat”.

    Then the kid. Jeez this guy is huge … uhh what can I say that’s appropriate here? Colossal dickwad.

  6. #6 Glen Davidson
    January 26, 2009

    I feel more stupid just seeing those two faces. And no, I won’t waste my time listening to them.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  7. #7 Anthony Taylor
    January 26, 2009

    Of course 90% of Americans believe in god. Since America is a Christian nation, anyone who doesn’t believe in god is not a Real American.

  8. #8 Nemo
    January 26, 2009

    The “moment of silence” was invented to get around bans on official school prayers, wasn’t it? Nice to see it finally struck down. (Funny to see how it’s spread throughout the culture in the meantime.)

  9. #9 Bill McElree
    January 26, 2009

    Yup. Definitely much more stupider after watching that.

  10. #10 Raynfala
    January 26, 2009

    I’m not watching this video for two reasons:

    (1) given the two people involved, I can already guess as to what’s going to be said in the video (and what’s NOT going to be said).

    (2) even by himself, Glenn Beck is a phenomenally concentrated singularity of Stoopid. I can only imagine what damage would be done to my psyche with Dobson thrown into the mix.

  11. #11 Ben
    January 26, 2009

    Historical inaccuracies aside, it’s awesome how in less than 10 minutes they can package together serial killers, pornography, and atheism as the three most pressing evils in the world… As an atheist who occasionally (and privately) enjoys adult entertainment, I can feel the wheels in my head unhinging…

    Quick! arrest me before I start killing people.

  12. #12 SteveM
    January 26, 2009

    Everyone was worried Joh Stewart and The Daily Show wouldn’t have any material once Bush left office. It seems though, that as long as there is Fox News, Jon will have plenty of material.

  13. #13 Robert Thille
    January 26, 2009

    Bah, eight+ minutes long. I can’t waste that much time listening to idiots, I’ve got things to do, laundry to fold, belly button lint to pick at.

  14. #14 Mike K
    January 26, 2009

    Our rights come from god???
    Did he really say that?
    I’ll just be silent for a moment to think about that…

    PS: What would those rights be?

  15. #15 Naughtius Maximus
    January 26, 2009

    Think there’s a bit of history between those two also.
    http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/glenn-beck-and-james-dobson-cry-out-abo

  16. #16 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    The funny thing is that Beck is among other things a Mormon and Dobson is among other things a Real Christian©. I’d love to see those two talk about each of their respective different sects in the cult.

  17. #17 E.V.
    January 26, 2009

    Ugh, these two idiots – their mothers should have drowned them at birth.
    (Paraphrased from; The Robber Bridegroom)

  18. #18 BigZ
    January 26, 2009

    When I studied martial arts, we started the session with a prayer. It was called a prayer, not moment of silence, though still, we didn’t have to actually pray.

    I think a moment of silence can be used to seperate what you were doing before and what is comming up. I think it helps.

    BTW, when forced to as a kid I prayed for all dogs to meow for just one day. Wouldn’t that be cool?

  19. #19 Rick020200
    January 26, 2009

    The supreme court decision (linked in the original post) is incredibly clear: the moment of silence was fine when it was optional and when it could be used for any purpose. When it was changed in 2007 to be mandatory for all students, and “for silent prayer or for silent reflection on the anticipated activities of the day”–that’s when they crossed the line.
    Further making it obvious that the statute was all about prayer, the following song was sung by several members of the House when the bill came up for a vote:

    Hello school prayer, our old friend,
    it?s time to vote on you again,
    in our school house without warning,
    you seek a moment in the morning
    and the outcome at the end of this debate, in our State,
    should be the sound ssshhh of silence.

    Brilliant.

  20. #20 BigZ
    January 26, 2009

    *Just the first line is preposterous: 90% of Americans believe in God. *

    But, how many really give a shit, beliefe or not? I say many just don’t care.

  21. #21 Me
    January 26, 2009

    To paraphrase Carlin… If god gave us rights how the f–k can anyone take them away?

    And you have to love it when they talk about the founding fathers belief in god given rights. I guess god only gave the rights to the slave owners and the folks that were killing the native Americans for their land.

    Oh the Hypocrisy.

    I think the most disturbing part was learning that Beck hails from Seattle, I thought we grew better minds out here.

  22. #22 Richard Harris
    January 26, 2009

    mike @ # 14, Our rights come from god???…PS: What would those rights be?

    Well, the right to smite those folks who don’t believe in your god, for starters, & stone to death adulterers & homosexuals & so on.

  23. #23 toddahhhh
    January 26, 2009

    Must..find…blood…pressure…pills…

  24. #24 Watchman
    January 26, 2009

    How about praying for the contemptible fool Dobson to bark like a dog, cluck like a chicken, or grunt like a pig for an entire year?

  25. #25 Dr. J
    January 26, 2009

    I is dumber after watching that.

    Fair and balanced…indeed.

  26. #26 LisaJ
    January 26, 2009

    Argh, so angry!!!
    There are so many things that piss me off about that video, and I won’t go through them all. But what really made me want to throw my computer across the room was the ‘and the atheist gets violent’ line he slipped in there, as well as the absolutely ridiculous crying child clip, and his long winded claim that, apparently, ‘god equals freedom’. Wow. It really seems that the more ignorant you are, and the prouder you are of your ignorance, the more convincing you’ll be to the already ignorant. It’s just sickening.

  27. #27 NewEnglandBob
    January 26, 2009

    Its on FAUX news, the lair of the ignorant, the fundies and the extreme Reich-wing nuts.

    They nearly always lie and obfuscate. Its tabloid gutter non-news.

  28. #28 Dennis
    January 26, 2009

    Arugh- the stupid, it burns!

  29. #29 SaraJ
    January 26, 2009

    I’d never heard of Glenn Beck before watching (only 4 minutes of) this video. Does he think he’s the conservative Jon Stewart or something? He kept making the lamest jokes…

  30. #30 Steve_C
    January 26, 2009

    Glenn Beck is a pig. And Dobson is a fascist.

  31. #31 Pablo
    January 26, 2009

    The interesting thing is, they will complain about how a moment of silence is really not an imposition of religion or anything, but just ask, if that is the case, why are they so bothered by the ruling?

    Start the timer and see how long it takes them to say the word “prayer.” I would be surprised if it takes more than 10 seconds.

    Everyone knows this is about prayer. They aren’t fooling anyone.

  32. #32 bunnycatch3r
    January 26, 2009

    “I could really care less”. Does this mean he cares a great deal about the prospect of brooms being venerated?

  33. #33 Alyson Miers
    January 26, 2009

    I think schools are struggling enough already that we don’t need to take any more time out of the school day for a moment in which nothing happens and nothing is supposed to happen. Take attendance and then get on with the lesson. Are the churches taking a moment of silence out of their worship services to reflect on the value of comprehensive secular education? No? Then let the kids reflect on God on their own time.

  34. #34 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    Beck has been around for a long time. He used to be radio only and actually was barely listenable pre- 9/11 america.

    After 9/11 he used it as a spring board to bigger fame and more stations via upping the acidic rhetoric to Bill O’Reilly levels and stupidity. He then was, for reasons I still can not understand, put on CNN to run after that idiot Nancy Grace.

  35. #35 Meng Bomin
    January 26, 2009

    There is a such thing as a thoughtful conservative, but watching the beginning of this made it abundantly clear that Beck is far from falling into that category.

  36. #36 Raytheist
    January 26, 2009

    OMG! I have never seen so much ignorance in such a short amount of time. The biggest problem with the whole “rights from God” nonsense is the issue of what those rights are, and which religion’s interpretation we should go by. It leaves us no better off than if we just assume there is no God and agree on certain rights ourselves.

    It’s the same with morals, too.

  37. #37 mayhempix
    January 26, 2009

    Dobson was playing kissy-poo with Beck because Dobson’s website had declared Mormonism a cult and not Christian. Beck is a Mormon.

    As the religious wingnuts gained more power they started attacking each other more in public fighting over who Jebus really loved. Now it looks like with Obama in and the wingnuts out, they are circling the wagons against the onslaught of “Christian bigotry” and the “evil atheists”.

    And I hate to stereotype, but aren’t those 2 guys raving closet cases like Haggard was or what?

  38. #38 Jeeves
    January 26, 2009

    According to this poll I just found online, 95% of Americans want to punch Glenn Beck in the face. Since Beck is so fond of his majority rule, then he should have no trouble getting punched in the face by good, patriotic Americans. And if he tries to weasel out of it, someone can tell him that that sort of opinion is treason talk. After all, every poll you see is absolutely true and obviously America is the greatest country of all time, so this poll can’t be wrong. So, c’mon, Glenn, get punched in the face. It’s the American thing to do! And since this poll took place in America, it’s what Jesus would want.

  39. #39 mikecbraun
    January 26, 2009

    Glenn Beck is of the same species of asshole as Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reilly: he claims to not be what he is whilst wearing his politics and religion (not saying Dobbs is religious) on his sleeve and bashing others over the head with them, fooling nobody but the most idiotic knuckle-dragger amongst us. All pretend to be “independent” as far as politics (I think there is no such thing). Dobbs is obviously an anti-immigration conservative, Beck is a bullying conservative asshole trying to be Bill O’Reilly on whatever network it is that he’s on…HNN? Not surprisingly, Beck is a huge fan of Ben Stein. And don’t worry…nobody’s watching Glenn Beck except irate liberals and Glenny’s Mommy.

  40. #40 Dutchdoc
    January 26, 2009

    “I don’t care if you don’t believe in God. That’s fine” – Glenn Beck.

    Glen Beck thinks it’s fine to not believe in God?
    I think he’s lying.

  41. #41 mikecbraun
    January 26, 2009

    Oh wait, this asshole is on Fox now? He was sitting in his bunker, and the worms finally came. Congrats, Glenn. Remember to not let your mouth froth too much on TV–it doesn’t look good.

  42. #42 Lowell
    January 26, 2009

    #19, Rick020200,

    I agree with you that it’s a well-reasoned decision, but it’s not from the Supreme Court. It’s from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the first tier of the federal court system.

    If the decision is appealed, it will go to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and, perhaps, the Supreme Court.

    Some key parts of the decision:

    In any event, as amended in 2007 the Statute has the effect, as discussed above, to compel every classroom teacher to ensure that each student consider prayer as one of the two options to observe during the period of silence. The conclusion is inescapable that this is precisely what the General Assembly intended.

    The Statute is a subtle effort to force students at impressionable ages to contemplate religion.

    The Superintendent and the amicus ADF argue that this conclusion is belied by the disclaimers in both Sections 1 and 5 of the Statute. To quote Justice O?Connor?s concurring opinion in Wallace, ?It is of course possible that a legislature will enunciate a sham secular purpose for a statute. I have little doubt that our courts are capable of distinguishing a sham secular purpose from a sincere one.? Wallace, 472 U.S. at 75.

    The court goes on to expressly state that the disclaimers in the Act constituted a “sham secular purpose.” In other words, Judge Gettleman concluded that the legislators were lying.

    That’s pretty awesome.

  43. #43 joeyess
    January 26, 2009

    I refuse to watch that video. Just too much stupid.

  44. #44 (No) Free Lunch
    January 26, 2009

    Mike K-

    Well there was a great bit of propaganda written by our Founding Fathers that said that we are “endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights”. Now, I don’t think TJ really believed in any gods the way Beck or Dobson do, but he wasn’t completely wrong.

  45. #45 Me
    January 26, 2009

    “According to this poll I just found online, 95% of Americans want to punch Glenn Beck in the face”

    Jeeves, you made my eyes water.

  46. #46 Tulse
    January 26, 2009

    But what really made me want to throw my computer across the room was the ‘and the atheist gets violent’ line

    See! See! He’s right!

  47. #47 AJS
    January 26, 2009

    Are all christian funda-mentalists so terrible at science and maths?

    From the crooksandliars site, Dobson is quoted as saying “I eventually got him to bed, but only because I outweighed him 200 to 12″.

    Surely that ought to be “50 to 3″, or even (if we can accept a mere 2% error) 17 to 1? Or don’t they teach anybody to put ratios in their lowest terms anymore?

  48. #48 Sherry
    January 26, 2009

    I would be willing to concede that 80-90% of Americans will agree that they believe in a “higher power”. It’s unlikely that a significant percentage share Beck’s vision of his god.

  49. #49 marcia
    January 26, 2009

    ?It may not come off this way, but you?ve never met a host who wants to be wrong more than me. I pray, literally pray, each day, ?Dear Lord, show me where I?m wrong.??
    ? Glenn Beck

  50. #50 Strangest brew
    January 26, 2009

    Apart from the hard of ‘having ones own opinion’ way down in Dixie land…how many American folk actually buy this nonsense!

    Cos seems to be that the more ridiculous and extreme their claims and the more the exaggeration and the politics of fear kick in from the fundies…the less folk of a modicum of reason actually listen or indeed pay attention to these rants of injured Christian dignity… that is apparently also a threat to the world?
    The election of Obama is a case in point!

    In fact seems that they are swelling the atheist camp by being so childishly ridiculous and inane!
    They are much more likely to encourage a wry giggle then a shocked call to Christian arms….

    If that is true the only thing to fear is that they stop…then atheism and secularism really will be in trouble!
    But that does not excuse the shear gut wrenching nauseating taste of bigotry and Christian martyrdom…in roughly equal measures…this crap generates.

  51. #51 Matt L
    January 26, 2009

    I choose to e-mail them exactly how I felt:

    Mr.Becks January 23, 2008 program where he “defended” prayer was hilarious. It wasn’t the numerous verbal mentioning of prayer, the scrolling ticker with the word prayer, or the red prayer stamp all over the screen. It was hilarious because this man’s bigotry only helps the cause for the separation of church and state.

    His childish antics further prove the intolerance and ignorance of the “faithful”. Please don’t miss-interpret this e-mail though. This is not a complaint letter; this is a congratulations letter. Congratulations on doing the exact opposite of what it appeared he was trying to do. You’ve given non-believers more reasons not to trust believers, to speak out against the joining of church and state, and most of all, more reasons to laugh. I and many of my fellow non-believers (but not every single one, as contrary to belief, all non-believers do not share the same views) urge these types of programs to continue; they help us out more than he can possibly imagine.

  52. #52 Jeff Satterley
    January 26, 2009

    This is almost as bad as watching Beck and Ben Stein blow smoke up each others’ asses for 10+ minutes when Expelled first came out.

    I don’t know what it is, but something about Glenn Beck makes me hate him just a little bit more than the other hacks on the news.

  53. #53 MutantJedi
    January 26, 2009

    Interesting… rights come from god. This seems to be a testable hypothesis to me. Let’s see now… The rights they are talking about would be the rights enjoyed by Americans, yes? So all we need to do is survey the theocracies in history to see if there is a correlation between godliness and the expected rights.

    At first blush, with my limited knowledge of history, it’s not looking too promising for their hypothesis…

  54. #54 charley
    January 26, 2009

    Aren’t these guys are just pushing everyone’s buttons (including ours) for ratings and publicity? They are masters of fanning the flames of the culture war for their own benefit.

  55. #55 Qwerty
    January 26, 2009

    EV@17 – They made a musical out of Eudora Welty’s “The Robber Bridegroom” and it had a song called “Two Heads Are Better Than One”. Dobson and Beck prove that this isn’t always the case.

    I am sure teachers are glad this was struck down as I know I wouldn’t want the task of trying to keep 20 to 30 children quiet for a minute.

  56. #56 SW
    January 26, 2009

    And stupider after reading this: http://www.mouthatroared.blogspot.com/

  57. #57 Goheels
    January 26, 2009

    Ok, so Ted Bundy watched porn, Michael Griffin and Paul Hill read the bible.

    I don’t really see whats wrong with offering kids the opportunity to pray during a moment of silence though, as long as its not compulsory.

  58. #58 Elliott
    January 26, 2009

    I love the ‘our rights come from god’ argument.

    Nothing makes me happier than when Christianists are reduced to admitting only thing keeping them from raping my whole family to death is their sky fairy.

  59. #59 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 26, 2009

    ?It may not come off this way, but you?ve never met a host who wants to be wrong more than me. I pray, literally pray, each day, ?Dear Lord, show me where I?m wrong.??
    ? Glenn Beck

    “Good grief, you idiot! I’ve been showing you and showing you! Do I have to fzzking SPELL IT OUT?”
    – God

  60. #60 Rick020200
    January 26, 2009

    Lowell @ #42: Thanks for the correction.

  61. #61 eire_rich
    January 26, 2009

    Stunning:

    I promise not to think in a church if you promise not to pray in my schools.

  62. #62 wombat
    January 26, 2009

    Wow these 2 are astonishingly poor liars. Beck says in the opening that the judged ruled the way he did on the case was because one of the stated uses of the moment of silence was prayer. What is the first thing that Dobson says? That this is even about prayer! They can’t even get their lies straight. And I don’t believe for a minute that Dobson misspoke when he talked about the Constitution. He is too well versed for that. The statement was made on purpose to continue to feed the Christian Nation? lie. He understand that the American people have a great amount of reverence for the Constitution and that if he can connect it and god in any way they will buy into it.

    Notice also Beck’s inability to keep turn the actions of the government separate from the private expression. It is only in his bizarro universe where the prohibition of the government from endorsing religion turns into a ban on prayer. What a smarmy, ridiculous, petulant child.

  63. #63 Goheels
    January 26, 2009

    ?It may not come off this way, but you?ve never met a host who wants to be wrong more than me. I pray, literally pray, each day, ?Dear Lord, show me where I?m wrong.??
    ? Glenn Beck

    Just another example of evidence that god doesn’t exist.

  64. #64 Mike Dobbins
    January 26, 2009

    “If you take God out of the picture, where do the rights come from? *gives a smug ‘duh’ look to the camera*”

    Me – *blink* *shiver* *dry heave a little*

  65. #65 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    Ok, so Ted Bundy watched porn, Michael Griffin and Paul Hill read the bible.

    I don’t really see whats wrong with offering kids the opportunity to pray during a moment of silence though, as long as its not compulsory.

    There are plenty of free moments during the day (lunch, between class, breaks) for them to pray, including once school is over. Shouldn’t the time at school be used for say….. learning?

    What’s the point in setting aside a moment of silence?

  66. #66 Jake
    January 26, 2009

    Dear PZ, was this a ‘You rage you lose’ kind of game? I just couldn’t make it past minute 1 without wanting to toss my monitor through my window… is this what ‘news’ is actually like in America?

    Damn.

  67. #67 Rick020200
    January 26, 2009

    Charlie @ #54:

    Aren’t these guys are just pushing everyone’s buttons (including ours) for ratings and publicity? They are masters of fanning the flames of the culture war for their own benefit.

    I think the same thing is happening with Ray Comfort. If we all just left him to enjoy his ignorance in the comfort of his own Jebus security blanket, he wouldn’t have nearly as much fun. Likewise, without an audience, these guys are just idiots. With an audience they are famous (or infamous) idiots.

  68. #68 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    is this what ‘news’ is actually like in America?

    No this is what talking heads on opinion shows are like in America.

    News is marginally better.

  69. #69 Brownian
    January 26, 2009

    Boy, everybody in the US is a Christian, yet Christianity is constantly under attack. These people just don’t know how to pull off the suffering martyr meme very well.

  70. #70 Strangest brew
    January 26, 2009

    I know nothing about this proposed statute. …so excuses if I have got it wrong…but seems that the ‘idea’ was to force the kids to be in a state of stasis for a minute….
    With the overtone that is is a good time to have a little prayer…with a nod and a wink kindda thing!

    If that is so then it would appear that the best laid traps of mice and fundamentalists has gone somewhat astray!

    Apart from the obvious siege mentality that would have to be adopted by the teachers to get compliance from the kids…it seems that it would be doomed to be a pointless act!
    Let me guess…it was an initiative drummed up by jeebus fanciers…no!…?

    Oh dear…how sad…never mind!

  71. #71 raven
    January 26, 2009

    Dobson’s Focus on Overthrowing the Government organization has been on the downhill slide.

    They have had layoffs and are losing money and members.

    The heyday of humanoid toads like him is at least over with for now.

    Best I can say is he will suffer the same fate as JD Kennedy and Falwell. Someday he will die and millions will cheer.

  72. #72 Peter Theakston
    January 26, 2009

    Do they really really really let crap like that on TV in the US. I hear that they had the “god bug” bad over there..but this was something else !!! It seems like atheist is a swear word over there….thankfully I live in the more (usually) rational Netherlands…well it was rational until some stupid judge in Amsterdam decided that you’re not allowed to tell the truth about the rug-butters (muslims) in the Netherlands anymore !!!

  73. #73 Tim H
    January 26, 2009

    The most amazing thing about the bill was that Blago, in his only sane act in the last 6 years, vetoed it. The legislature overrode. My state rep was one of the few that voted against it both times. My (Democratic!) state senator voted for it. His office got an earful from me, and he won’t get my vote in 2010 when he’s up for re-election. I’ll leave that spot on the ballot blank, if the repub is no good.

  74. #74 mayhempix
    January 26, 2009

    The BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) serial killer Dennis Rader was a leader in his church and my Dad’s cousin sat next to him in the church choir for over 20 years.

    “I don’t really see whats wrong with offering kids the opportunity to pray during a moment of silence though, as long as its not compulsory. ”

    It’s wrong because schools are then directly implying that “a moment of silence” has special meaning beyond just being quiet. And let’s face it… have you ever heard a person ask for a moment of silence besides for a major tragedy or death that wasn’t for religious purposes? Then add to the the fact that a child is sitting there with little brainwashed Christians around it, their hands folded in prayer, eyes closed, looking up or down. That is a group type of coercion implying who’s in and who’s out.

    I don’t want my child exposed to religious BS in a public school, period.

  75. #75 Goheels
    January 26, 2009

    @ Rev. BigDumbChimp

    In my experience the moment of silence is usually brief used sparingly, I don’t think a 15 second moment of silence in remembrance of a recently deceased teacher/student/whatever severely detracts from learning.

    Setting aside a moment of silence is, I think, just a traditional way of honoring lost loved ones, nothing intrinsically religious about it in my opinion. During my highschool years, several teachers passed away, and at functions where the entire school was gathered together (pep rallies, assemblies, etc.) there was usually a moment of silence for them, and to be honest I don’t see the harm in that.

  76. #76 FlyingButtress
    January 26, 2009

    Yeah, isn’t it great that they insert Ted Bundy right after atheists?

  77. #77 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    In my experience the moment of silence is usually brief used sparingly, I don’t think a 15 second moment of silence in remembrance of a recently deceased teacher/student/whatever severely detracts from learning.

    Why at school? And why can’t they do that during lunch or other breaks on their own? Tell me the educational necessity of setting aside a moment of silence.

    Setting aside a moment of silence is, I think, just a traditional way of honoring lost loved ones, nothing intrinsically religious about it in my opinion. During my highschool years, several teachers passed away, and at functions where the entire school was gathered together (pep rallies, assemblies, etc.) there was usually a moment of silence for them, and to be honest I don’t see the harm in that.

    Ah, but that is different that setting aside a moment every day for the not so hidden purpose of giving students a time to pray. Moments of silence specifically for remembrance of deceased occasionally done at assemblies is not the same thing.

  78. #78 SLW13
    January 26, 2009

    I tried to watch this. I really did. I just didn’t have the mental fortitude to endure it. He started mock-crying and talking about the atheist kid in the next room and I had to run away.

  79. #79 The Helvetica Scenario
    January 26, 2009

    Can we dump the Pledge of Allegiance while we’re at it? Didn’t do any good in keeping me from becoming a liberal.

  80. #80 Goheels
    January 26, 2009

    @ BigDumbChimp

    Ahh, you are right, I misread it at first, not realizing that it was a mandatory daily moment of silence. I thought that the court ruling was banning the moment of silence altogether based on objections to a specific incident. A mandatory daily moment of silence is indeed ridiculous and wasteful.

  81. #81 amancay
    January 26, 2009

    When my son started public school kindergarten I was furious to find out that they started the school day with a moment of silence. About a month into the school year, I asked him what he thought about while standing there, and he said he planned what he was going to do during recess. I was very pleased with his (unintentional) sabotage.

  82. #82 Anonymous
    January 26, 2009

    The forces of ignorance are huge. It’s easy to picture Beck and Dobson with long beards and wearing dishdashas. Maybe they’re both in the same dishdasha. Scary mental image. Delete.

  83. #83 Zagreus
    January 26, 2009

    Sorry to be a douchebag, but if anyone here would like to get away from reality for a second, check out our universe at http://whiskeyfoxtrotstudio.blogspot.com/. Giant Monsters, robots, and good old fashioned nuclear warfare.

  84. #84 EMUAlgaeGirl
    January 26, 2009

    Ya know, I was planning on using my brain today, but now I need to give it some rest and let the holes fill back in. I used the last of my dying brain power to turn off the video lest I be rotted further. If Atheists had saints, PZ you’d be one for actually managing to listen to their dribble all the way through.

  85. #85 Uncephalized
    January 26, 2009

    I don’t mind if kids are given a “moment of silence” to collect their thoughts, pray, etc. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless they are led in prayer or encouraged/coerced to pray specifically. I certainly think anyone has the right to pray whenever they want, including in school.

  86. #86 robotaholic
    January 26, 2009

    I wish Dobson would just focus on his OWN damn family!

  87. #87 Goheels
    January 26, 2009

    @ #83, all we need to do to escape reality is watch those 2 apes talk about god.

  88. #88 Lowell
    January 26, 2009

    The more I read it, the more I love the court decision they’re arguing about.

    The judge even put in a kind of “pro-religion” angle, holding that mandating silent prayer violates the First Amendment rights of students whose religions require non-silent prayer.

    By mandating a ?period? of silence in which each student is given the opportunity to pray or ?reflect,? the state has denied the opportunity of students whose prayer is not ?silent? from exercising their right to pray during this period. Although many religions, including the predominant Christian religion, embrace the notion of silent prayer, many religions do not. . . .

    These includes certain Jewish traditions, Muslim prayers that require a variety of postures and gestures including bowing and prostration, Native American religions and Krishna Hinduism.

    Practitioners of these religions would, apparently, be excluded from praying according to their faith during the ?period of silence.?

    Although a particular teacher might permit pupils engaging in such religious practices to break the ?period of silence,? he or she would be doing so at the peril of violating the mandate of the Statute.

    The Statute demonstrates an official preference for those religions that practice silent prayer over those that do not. This tells those that do not that they are ?nonadherents? or ?outsiders? who must find a different time to pray. Lynch, 465 U.S. at 688 (O?Connor, J. concurring).

    Consequently, the Statute violates the second prong of the Lemon test.

    That’s really smart. It’s like legal jujitsu.

  89. #89 mayhempix
    January 26, 2009

    @ Uncephalized

    Read comments 74, 75, 77 and 80.

  90. #90 Parker
    January 26, 2009

    !0% pushing the 90% around?
    Are you fucking kidding me?
    PZ I’m upset with you. Only for showing this video. My day was going well, though I’m a bit hungover. This video has pissed me off. It doesn’t help that I live in Oklafuckinghoma.
    I want to throw something.

  91. #91 Joel
    January 26, 2009

    Glen Beck: “Are the children of atheists so fragile that the idea of prayer could actually warp their minds?”

    Well Glen, look what it did to you.

  92. #92 S. Fisher
    January 26, 2009

    “Some people want to force their non-belief down our throats. I ain’t forcing it down your throat…don’t force your non-belief…”
    So he’s saying that NO forced down your throat moment of silence to(perhaps…wink, wink) pray is forcing non-belief, while having a forced down your throat moment of silence to pray is not forcing religion down your throat. Is that about right?

  93. #93 Nerd of Redhead
    January 26, 2009

    Uncephalized, the legislators who sponsored the bill in the Illinois house specifically mentioned encouraging prayer. Which is why the court quashed it.

    Any student can bow their head in silent prayer during the day, as long as it does not disrupt classes. Groups of students can get together and pray before or after school, or during lunch breaks. So prayer is allowed in schools. What is not allowed is state sponsored prayer, or as a proxy, state sponsored moments of silence.

  94. #94 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    I don’t mind if kids are given a “moment of silence” to collect their thoughts, pray, etc. There’s nothing wrong with that, unless they are led in prayer or encouraged/coerced to pray specifically. I certainly think anyone has the right to pray whenever they want, including in school.

    There are plenty of moments during the day for them to do this. What is the purpose, other than giving a nod to the religious pray in school folks, of setting aside a specific time for it?

    I think anyone should be able to pray where ever they want as long as they do it in a way that does not interfere with everyone else.

    They can pray before school, at lunch, during breaks, after school, on the bus, recess, etc… There is no reason to set aside a moment of silence other than to kowtow to the religious “pray in school” folks at the detriment of everyone else.

  95. #95 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    Typos for the win!

  96. #96 Tom
    January 26, 2009

    I would be willing to go with the moment of silence as long as it is introduced with a specific statement that the US is not and never has been a Christian nation and that none of our first five presidents were Christian. Then we could read Article 11 of the treaty we signed with Tripoli. “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…” Then we could tell the students to spend a moment of silence thinking about these things. It would be worth the moment to educate our children.

  97. #97 FlameDuck
    January 26, 2009

    PS: What would those rights be?

    We’ve found a witch, may we burn her?

    Oh you could care less what people believe in? Obviously. I’m sure you meant to say that you couldn’t care less. Moron!

    Anyway, it’s really simple. There already is, voluntary prayer in school, at all levels, and if it worked, nobody would ever flunk a course. It’d be all straight A’s and nobody would have to study (a lot like Regent University I imagine). You could even have some extra time on your hands to, become an active republican, like Ted Bundy.

  98. #98 raven
    January 26, 2009

    Seems like the Death Cult factions are feeling a little desperate these days.

    1. They lost their political power in Wash. DC when the congress and presidency went dem.

    2. Their political arm totally wrecked the country, a point not lost on anyone especially those suffering dead 401K plans or losing their job or house.

    3. The party they took over, the Theothuglicans isn’t looking too healthy either.

    Polls show the majority of the US population are sick and tired of them. One never wants to declare victory too early, but for right now, Dobson and his fellow toads are being consigned to the scrap heap of history.

  99. #99 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    I would be willing to go with the moment of silence as long as it is introduced with a specific statement that the US is not and never has been a Christian nation and that none of our first five presidents were Christian. Then we could read Article 11 of the treaty we signed with Tripoli. “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion…” Then we could tell the students to spend a moment of silence thinking about these things. It would be worth the moment to educate our children.

    Good luck with that. ;)

    I’d rather they just not have a moment of silence of any kind and add a few moments of actual learning.

  100. #100 Lowell
    January 26, 2009

    Uncephalized, #85

    I certainly think anyone has the right to pray whenever they want, including in school.

    If you take a moment to read the court’s opinion beneath the news story PZ linked to, you’ll see that that’s kind of the point.

    A student’s right to pray in a non-disruptive manner is already protected by the First Amendment and the Supreme Court cases interpreting it. Therefore, there is no secular reason to pass a law (like the Illinois law at issue here) prohibiting schools from interfering with that right. That’s part of why the law was ruled unconstitutional.

  101. #101 Allen N
    January 26, 2009

    I am certain that before each of tests in my physics and chemistry courses, there was plenty of prayer by the true believers.

    My question would be – just what did they expect to happen? Jeebus would show them the way to virtue via redox reactions? The Carnot cycle would become more clear as evidence of ID?

    If 90% were true believers and gawd answered prayers, I should have seen many more 5’s in AP and 7’s in IB. These maroons are very determined to impose their views on all. I guess that is why there are more and more “militant” atheists.

  102. #102 AnnoyedLiberal
    January 26, 2009

    Oh the idiocy! What hole did this dichotomy of “either rights come from God or rights come from the state” get pulled out of? Someone give these guys a crash course in political philosophy, please.

  103. #103 Patricia, OM
    January 26, 2009

    Now, now…witch burning is naughty.

  104. #104 SteveM
    January 26, 2009

    Oh you could care less what people believe in? Obviously. I’m sure you meant to say that you couldn’t care less. Moron!

    “could care less” is an idiomatic expression meaning “couldn’t care less”, moron! You may think it sounds stupid, but that’s the reality of the language and there are plenty of other expressions that now mean the opposite of their literal meaning, usually derived from their use as sarcasm or for emphasis. E.g. “literally” is often used to mean “figuratively” for this reason: “He literally set the crowd on fire with his performance”.

  105. #105 Strangest brew
    January 26, 2009

    103*

    “Now, now…witch burning is naughty.”

    but nice…especially if the name of ‘jeebus’ can be chanted all the way through the screaming…it makes one proud to be Christian…apparently!

  106. #106 Strangest brew
    January 26, 2009

    105*

    “…it makes one proud to be Christian…”

    Let’s face it they have sod all else to crow about!

  107. #107 Pablo
    January 26, 2009

    Ahh, you are right, I misread it at first, not realizing that it was a mandatory daily moment of silence.

    I’m kind of trying to figure out what would be a “non-mandatory” moment of silence?

    Is there a “voluntary” moment of silence, where everyone choses not to say anything? I think those happen quite often during the course of a school day. In fact, I think a lot of the day consists of voluntary moments of silence…

  108. #108 savagemickey
    January 26, 2009

    My Rotary group always starts meetings with the pledge and an invocation. It’s always bothered me. I much prefer the four way test that we end each meeting with:

    Is it the truth?
    Is it fair to all concerned?
    Will it build good will and better friendships?
    Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

    Religion fails on all four points.

    When it’s my turn to lead the invocation I say that in honor of those with differing beliefs or no religious beliefs we are just going to have a brief moment of silence.

    I don’t like putting up with this brief bit of superstition, but the group does good things for the community and the world, and besides this little nod to religion it is a very secular organization.

    It seems that the four way test could be a freethinker’s motto.

  109. #109 michel
    January 26, 2009

    where did ted bundy come from all of a sudden?

    i guess dobson agreed to come to the show if he got a few minutes to force some focus on the family issues down everybody’s throat.

    but boy, he has great arguments: “violent pornography was wrong for ted bundy, so it’s wrong for everybody.” no wonder religion and science are incompatible.

  110. #110 Holbach
    January 26, 2009

    Stupider? More than that; my brain has ossified into almost irredemiable incredulity and recovery. It’s a good thing you don’t overwhelm us with these examples of abject insanity as we might not have the brain power left to recover and resume our battle with the morons.

  111. #111 Sili
    January 26, 2009

    Dr. J,

    Of course it’s fair and balanced?

    Didn’t we just establish that they have both an evangelical and a mormon on? I mean, how much more inclusive than that can you get?

  112. #112 RickD
    January 26, 2009

    “right here in this country, which is ‘one nation under God'” says Beck.

    Only because Theists ignored the Constitution and injected their belief into the Pledge of Allegiance. And this is why it’s important to keep religion out of the government – it creates a ball of lies that builds upon itself.

  113. #113 RickD
    January 26, 2009

    Freudian slip…
    after saying “in this country, our rights come from God”, Beck complains that people want to replace the state with God.

    How true, how true. Humans have already tried replacing the state with God. The history of Europe is littered with governments that failed because they couldn’t keep church and state separated.

    (Note to Glenn and James: human rights come from people, not ‘God’.)

  114. #114 E.V.
    January 26, 2009

    Qwerty:
    Yep, the book and lyrics were from Alfred Uhry of “Driving Miss Daisy” fame.
    I did that show twenty some-odd years ago.
    Goodbye Salomey, you’re going off to glory (as they throw her off a cliff).

  115. #115 Eli Whitney
    January 26, 2009

    Wicked point #33.

    To be honest, I am shocked. I am also thankful that here in the U.K we don’t have this talking heads drivel on Newsesque programmes…in the tabloids sure, but they’re easily avoided.

    At my primary school (normal state school, not faith) we regularly said prayers and they’re doing the same to my sisters now. I really hate that in the U.K faith in state schools isn’t even an issue that’s talked about. The kids are just fed this stuff at the whims of the headmaster and as if it is completely harmless. The parents have zero say over it.

    Sometimes it almost seems like it’s a problem that we don’t argue about religion here. It’s all so wishy washy, no-one thinks it’s worth getting worked up over.

    But, if I lived in the USA I’d probably feel differently eh?

  116. #116 Chanda
    January 26, 2009

    You know I read “their creator” to mean whomever one chooses to believe created them. And that was my parents. Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad! Hope you had fun.

  117. #117 Pablo
    January 26, 2009

    There are two minds on this. On one hand, the Declaration of Independence claims that “they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.” That is the basis for the “rights come from God” bit. Of course, the DoI does NOT say rights come from God, but from “their creator.” That is a very fuzzy term, and could refer to God, but could also refer to, oh, biology, Mother Nature, or evolution, or, heck, even their parents. To claim that “their creator” is necessarily God works from a premise that God is their creator. That is not obviously the case.

    OTOH, what the DoI says really doesn’t matter, because the rights established by and protected by the constitution originate from the citizens. “We the people of the United States…do ordain and establish this constitution.”

  118. #118 Rhysz
    January 26, 2009

    About 1:00 in, there’s an ‘atheist child’ now heres my(Christian) child.

    What a complete and hideous moron! I’m not watching but the love between these two Xians is clear….just marry guys…..oh wait, you can’t.

    Regards,
    Rhysz

  119. #119 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    OTOH, what the DoI says really doesn’t matter, because the rights established by and protected by the constitution originate from the citizens. “We the people of the United States…do ordain and establish this constitution.”

    Right, the DoI while an important document to the country and used as a basis for many things including the consitution, it is not law.

    The Constitution is.

  120. #120 Enshoku
    January 26, 2009

    Holy

    Jesus

    Fucking

    Christ

    On

    A

    Cracker………………………

    I actually was able to watch it all in one sitting. That my friends, is true masochism.

  121. #121 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    January 26, 2009

    Man I am rollllling in the typos today.

    Blockquote fail and typos.

    Long live the king

    KoT

  122. #122 catgirl
    January 26, 2009

    When I was in high school, we had a moment of silence every day during the announcements. I actually had no idea that it was supposed to be used for prayer. That idea didn’t even occur to me until my last year there when a friend mentioned that she uses that time to pray. As far as I know, other students didn’t use it for that either. I am surprised to find out that the purpose of that minute was supposed to be for prayer.

  123. #123 Clinton Huxley
    January 26, 2009

    Could only manage 48 seconds of that. What a pompous blowhard.

  124. #124 hje
    January 26, 2009

    What they really think:

    Dobson to Beck: You’re going to hell, you polytheistic polygamist.

    Beck to Dobson: No way, I’ve got my special underwear on. There’s no way you’re getting into the telestial kingdom, heretic.

  125. #125 Helfrick
    January 26, 2009

    I would say Mr. Beck is trying real hard to win the Bad Faith Award this year. I couldn’t watch that whole thing. What a complete asshole.

  126. #126 tim Rowledge
    January 26, 2009

    To be honest, I am shocked. I am also thankful that here in the U.K we don’t have this talking heads drivel on Newsesque programmes…in the tabloids sure, but they’re easily avoided.

    Sadly, not entirely correct; you surely can’t have missed the dreadful “pause for thought” segment that gets sneaked into AM on R4? And the equivalent bit on R2? At least there has finally been some debate about the former, actually on the AM program.

  127. #127 Newfie
    January 26, 2009

    Here’s a card for Glen. He should follow the last line.
    http://a829.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/6/l_8bb5ed6f37b97585ef61a3e0a51c0ab4.jpg

  128. #128 Jim A
    January 26, 2009

    Oh come on. A moment of silence is hardly going to turn our schools into sectarian houses of religious indoctrination. Frankly if letting the god squad pray silently for a minute while while I contemplate the glory of Suzy Jenkin’s bra-strap is what it takes to get them to STFU, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

  129. #129 IBY
    January 26, 2009

    Owww… The stupid, it burns. PZ, post any more of this, and I will get permanent brain damage due to neuron apoptosis.

  130. #130 Desert Son
    January 26, 2009

    To: The United States of America
    Re: Balance Overdue

    Effective immediately, please remit to institutions of public education the following during scheduled academic instruction periods:

    LESS moments of silence
    MORE moments of SCIENCE

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Robert

  131. #131 Blue Fielder
    January 26, 2009

    I watched about twenty seconds of it and just about barfed.

    Seriously, getting Glenn “Settling Wiht a Seriously-Injured Woman’s Family Because You Caused Her Injury is Just Like Giving in to Terrorists” Beck and James “Shower With your Son and Show Him Your Cock to Make Him Not-Queer” Dobson together is a recipe for a spike in aspirin sales.

    I think I need to take a shower or something; the presence of even one of those crawling slimebags makes me feel dirty.

  132. #132 Asad
    January 26, 2009

    @ SteveM

    Just because “could care less” and “literally” are often used incorrectly by the less-educated and/or less-intelligent doesn’t make them any less wrong.

  133. #133 Donnie B.
    January 26, 2009

    Is there a “voluntary” moment of silence, where everyone choses not to say anything? I think those happen quite often during the course of a school day. In fact, I think a lot of the day consists of voluntary moments of silence…

    “… Anyone?… Anyone?”

  134. #134 Goheels
    January 26, 2009

    @ #98

    I’m not sure how the congress and presidency going dem robs the death factions of their power, considering that Obama and nearly all dems are professing Christians, and Obama has plans to expand faith based initiatives

  135. #135 Diagoras
    January 26, 2009

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1823766 <- This may make you dumber for having watched it, but at least you can revel in this sort of dumb.

  136. #136 chancelikely
    January 26, 2009

    Asad #132: Actually, it does. Language, like rights, derives from the people.

  137. #137 Heather
    January 26, 2009

    Less silence, more Math & Science.

    No more waisting time, on our dime.

    Our childrens future can’t afford it.

  138. #138 CJO
    January 26, 2009

    Re: ‘could care less’

    How can an idiomatic phrase be wrong? Next you’ll tell me that ostriches don’t really bury their heads in sand!

    Drift of perfectly fine terms like ‘literally,’ ‘unique’ (in the vernacular, its qualified use is becoming acceptable), and ‘jealous’ (encroaching on ‘envious’ in common usage) are always lamented by the grammar mavens of every generation. Sadly (or not), language is ever-changing based on the choices of its speakers. Look up the etymology of ‘silly’ sometime.

  139. #139 Psychodigger
    January 26, 2009

    Aargh, when does the hurting stop!

    I didn´t know these people before I watched the video, but my god, how stupid can you get? Who allows these people on air?

  140. #140 Newfie
    January 26, 2009

    Diagoras #135.
    Thanks, that is full of awesome.

  141. #141 Zifnab
    January 26, 2009

    Less silence, more Math & Science.

    No more waisting time, on our dime.

    Oh please. A moment of silence isn’t the entire class period. They gave the home room period five minutes of extra class time to handle announcements. If they want to squeeze in fifteen seconds of “quiet time” that’s about the least offensive method they’ve got available.

    It’s just a damn shame that the posterboys for this non-offensive method of reconciling the religious and the non have to be the two most offensive individuals imaginable.

    In a world in which you’re inevitably going to have spiritual people in positions of power, a “moment of silence” should be something to move towards, not away from.

  142. #142 Timebender13
    January 26, 2009

    I almost couldnt watch the whole thing….. What an infuriating little man Glen Beck is. I fail to see how we are forcing atheism down their throats. If anything, they are forcing their wacky religion on us!

  143. #143 BAllanJ
    January 26, 2009

    Such bad christians… BAaad Christians. Don’t they know jeebus said they should only pray where no one can see them do it?

  144. #144 Nerd of Redhead
    January 26, 2009

    Zifnab, there should never be any public moments of silence, unless they are specific, ie, for the teachers who died in the last year, and then only once. Otherwise, prayer has no place in public discourse. Jebus even said it was private matter, and people should go into the closets of their souls to pray. Why do Xians not follow the words of Jebus?

  145. #145 raven
    January 26, 2009

    I’m not sure how the congress and presidency going dem robs the death factions of their power, considering that Obama and nearly all dems are professing Christians, and Obama has plans to expand faith based initiatives.

    Well, in this case the difference between bad and worse is huge. Obama might pander to them whereas the Theothuglicans were their puppets. Hopefully.

    The wingnut brigades are acting like they lost big time, a good indication.

    As everyone knows, Dobson and Perkins of FOOTG picked Palin. This ticked off some of his followers no end. It seems that he has spent decades pushing, “Good mommies stay home and bake cookies.” And then picked a mother of 5, one of whom is a newborn Downs case as VP. Even a blind squirrel can find hypocrisy once in a while.

  146. #146 Ryan
    January 26, 2009

    I live in Illinois, and we had 10 seconds of ‘silence’ each school day last year. Our teacher was pretty liberal though, and explicitly told us to talk when the law first came into effect.

  147. #147 Lowell
    January 26, 2009

    Zinfab,

    I’m guessing you didn’t read the court’s opinion under the article in PZ’s link.

    If you take a moment to read it, you’ll see that the Illinois statute that was ruled unconstitutional was called the Illinois Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act and it expressly encouraged “prayer.”

    It was not limited to a “moment of silence,” like the Georgia statute previously upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    So, you’re arguing against a strawman. There was more at stake here than a mere “moment of silence.”

  148. #148 Zifnab
    January 26, 2009

    Zifnab, there should never be any public moments of silence, unless they are specific, ie, for the teachers who died in the last year, and then only once. Otherwise, prayer has no place in public discourse. Jebus even said it was private matter, and people should go into the closets of their souls to pray. Why do Xians not follow the words of Jebus?

    That’s very tongue-in-cheek, but it doesn’t say much except that you equate silence to pray by default. What do you think the moment of silence to remember the dead is for? ZOMG! School prayer!

    Religion isn’t going away tomorrow. And “a moment of silence” gives the religious and non-religious alike neutral ground to walk on. Tossing it out simply backs the Xtians into a corner. It dredges up the exact same culture wars we all have grown up learning to loathe. It polarizes the issue, making Xtians think they are being persecuted and depriving centrists with a chit to bargain both sides down on.

    You pick a fight when you invite a ruling like this. It’s a fight the non-crazy ends of the conflict don’t really want to engage in.

  149. #149 Gilles Larochelle
    January 26, 2009

    Your rights were not given by God, they were harshly obtained by patriots fighting against the king of England.

  150. #150 Doug
    January 26, 2009

    Don’t like Dobson, Beck, O’Reilly, Coulter, Hanity, Malkin, Robertson, etc. etc. etc., then don’t watch Fox News. Don’t like Limbaugh, don’t listen to his show. Don’t like abortion, don’t have one. Don’t like Repuglicans, don’t vote for them. Don’t like atheists, don’t read this blog.

    “Fox News racked up its seventh straight year as the most-watched cable news channel, delivering an average prime-time viewership of 2.1 million.” LA Time, Matea Gold December 31, 2008. This also means that 300,000,000 people in the US did not watch Fox News prime time.

    To paraphrase Mr. G. Carlin, “The television has two knobs, one to change the channel and the other to turn it off.”

    God has told me not to watch Fox News. I cannot go against the will of God. :-)

  151. #151 Nerd of Redhead
    January 26, 2009

    Zifnab, religion isn’t going away, but it can be driven back to the churches and peoples homes where it belongs. There is absolutely no need for prayer in public. And Jesus railed against austentatious public prayer. You did not address that point.

  152. #152 Lowell
    January 26, 2009

    Oops! Re: my #147,

    It wasn’t the Supreme Court that upheld the more neutral Georgia statute requiring a “moment of quiet reflection.”

    That was the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Brown v. Gwinnett County School District, 112 F.3d 1464 (11th Cir. 1997).

    The point stands, though. The Illinois statute wasn’t a neutrally-worded “moment of silence” statute (although it could just as easily have been, if the legislators hadn’t been so greedy about scoring political points). That’s why it was struck down.

  153. #153 Pablo
    January 26, 2009

    Fox News racked up its seventh straight year as the most-watched cable news channel, delivering an average prime-time viewership of 2.1 million.

    This could jut mean that right-wingers are all likely to watch the same channel, whereas everyone else spreads their attention over the other channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR).

    You say that 300 mil don’t watch Fox, and that is correct. But even among news channels, it’s not like Fox has the majority of viewers.

    Consider the following scenerio: there is one channel that caters to women, and 50% of women watch that channel, and no men do. Meanwhile, the rest of the women and all of the men spread their viewing over 5 other channels. If you look at the overall ratings, the Women Channel gets 25% of the viewers, and the other channels are all tied with 15% each. What would that tell you about the Women Channel? Is it “fair and balanced”? Not at all. In fact, the premise of the argument is that it is biased. The key is that it is biased and RARE.

  154. #154 Brownian
    January 26, 2009

    Avis akv?sas ka

    Avis, jasmin varn? na ? ast, dadarka akvams, tam, v?gham garum vaghantam, tam, bh?ram magham, tam, manum ?ku bharantam. Avis akvabhjams ? vavakat: kard aghnutai mai vidanti manum akvams agantam. Akv?sas ? vavakant: krudhi avai, kard aghnutai vividvant-svas: manus patis varn?m avis?ms karnauti svabhjam gharmam vastram avibhjams ka varn? na asti. Tat kukruvants avis agram ? bhugat.

    If you can’t read and understand the above, you probably shouldn’t be complaining about ?? ?????? and their bastard languages.

  155. #155 S
    January 26, 2009

    “By the way, Dobson, you confused the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence. Our constitution is a secular document that says nothing about the endowment of rights by a creator.”

    Depends which constitution he’s talking about. The *Confederate* Constitution DID invoke God in its preamble. Perhaps we should assume that every one of these people who says that their Constitution refers to God is actually a Confederate sympathizer.

  156. #156 Natalie
    January 26, 2009

    Tossing it out simply backs the Xtians into a corner. It dredges up the exact same culture wars we all have grown up learning to loathe. It polarizes the issue, making Xtians think they are being persecuted and depriving centrists with a chit to bargain both sides down on.

    Zifnab, the religious right will always be crying persecution. Always. For fuck’s sake, they complained about the word “choice” in a Krispy Kreme promotion.

    Moderating the Constitution to try to keep them from freaking out will never work. All it does is weaken the protections of the Constitution.

  157. #157 alextangent
    January 26, 2009

    @ #137

    Less silence, more Math & Science.

    No more waisting time, on our dime.

    Our childrens future can’t afford it.

    English lessons too; with spelling and grammar?

  158. #158 zombie_bot
    January 26, 2009

    “Fox News racked up its seventh straight year as the most-watched cable news channel, delivering an average prime-time viewership of 2.1 million.”

    maybe all those viewers are obsessive atheists, who can’t workout they’re adding to the “viewership”.

  159. #159 Dyolf Knip
    January 26, 2009

    How come the “Oh but it’s _only_ 15 seconds of silence, what harm is it doing?” argument never works in reverse?

    It’s _only_ 15 seconds of silence. Why such resistance to removing it?

    If the Pledge’s “under god” and currency’s “In god we trust” is so non-demonemational and purely symbolic, why such fervent demand by the religious to keeping it?

    How come when there’s no reason to force something religious into public life and every reason not to, “tradition” trumps nonetheless?

  160. #160 Lowell
    January 26, 2009

    #155,

    That’s a great point. The preamble to the Constitution of the Confederate States of America (1861) invoked “the favor and guidance of Almighty God.”

    For anyone who hasn’t read it, there are a bunch of really fascinating differences (and similarities, like the prohibition of international slave trading) between the two documents:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_Constitution#Changes_from_U.S._constitution

  161. #161 Pablo
    January 26, 2009

    It’s _only_ 15 seconds of silence. Why such resistance to removing it?

    Exactly. As I said above, ask these clowns why they care so much about a moment of silence, and start the stopwatch. They won’t go 10 seconds before saying something about prayer.

  162. #162 Dyolf Knip
    January 26, 2009

    Lowell @ 160

    Also this one: http://www.filibustercartoons.com/CSA.htm

  163. #163 Lowell
    January 26, 2009

    Thanks, Dyolf Knip. Looks like a thorough analysis.

    When I first read the Confederate Constitution, I was shocked that Article I, section 7, provides for a line-item veto. They were arguing about this stuff back 145 years ago!

  164. #164 Jozef
    January 26, 2009

    I’m living in Europe (Belgium).
    This teatre is really irrealistic to me. I find out that your president has to do everything in the name of God, that each coin or dollar bill has the quote “in God we Trust”… And these guys are complaining that some atheists ask not to push too much their God to them????
    A real democracy must keep religion just for private use!
    These guys say that they don’t care what you believe, but during their whole show they are just prooving that they do!!! They don’t care in what you believe if only it is in the God of the bible!

  165. #165 CrypticLife
    January 26, 2009

    Our rights come from our committment to those rights. The DoI was rhetoric, Jefferson knew quite well it was rhetoric and he was staking out a position, not engaging in philosophical discourse. It’s not the “Essay on Independence and whether peoples should be allowed to govern themselves”, it’s the “Declaration of Independence”. I suspect today he’d be shattered to see its misuse.

    B&D don’t manage to make a single coherent argument. I’d probably be even more angry at them if I believed there should be state-sponsored prayer in schools, just for presenting it in such an awful manner.

  166. #166 DGKnipfer
    January 26, 2009

    Pablo @161,

    Because kids have better things to do in a classroom with their time than stare at their shoes or the ceiling (or anything else for that matter) for 15 seconds in order to placate the writers of a half-assed law. It is 15 seconds that is being taken away from some kid in order to allow other kids (and their parents) to impose their way of life inside the classroom. And finally because it isn’t just 15 seconds. It’s also the time before those 15 seconds as the teachers have to delay getting their class moving for the day in order to orchestrate that 15 seconds. Maybe it’s only a minute or maybe it’s 5. In the end it is time that that our kids are not being educated.

    Prayer has nothing to do with my objections to this colossal waste of time. Just the fact that it is wasting time is enough to piss me off.

  167. #167 Pat
    January 26, 2009

    Can’t bring myself to watch the video. Just the thought made me throw up a little in my mouth…

  168. #168 Me
    January 26, 2009

    Hey let’s trade them for 15 seconds of evolution at each church gathering!

  169. #169 Rick
    January 26, 2009

    More nonsense.
    This is a never-ending battle to keep religious silliness out of the schools. While it may seem “tame”, its the crack-in-the-door to prayer — and “universal” acknowledgement of a creator.

    I only hope the courts keep knocking this stuff down!

  170. #170 cpsmith
    January 26, 2009

    I tried to watch it all, really I did…it was just too stupid…..so very stupid. I hate American news.

  171. #171 BOB
    January 26, 2009

    Some things to think about during the 15 seconds of silence:

    1. Things that do not exist like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and god.

    2. The speed of dark as it relates to the period of time before the Big Bang

    3. What it would be like to screw my teacher

    4. Infinity and its fractional divisions.

    5. I wonder what George Bush is doing right now?

    6. Is it lunch time yet?

    7. What you would do if Yellowstone erupted today.

    8. Visualizing a 3-D map of the distribution of people fornicating in each time zone during a 24 hour period.

    9. Continue to count the number of holes in the ceiling panels.

    10. Hold your breath and turn red.

  172. #172 extatyzoma
    January 26, 2009

    beck must know that his audience is ignorant or stupid or both, the style of presentation is mind numbing and caters to the lowest common denominator.

    or quite simply he is as stupid and ignorant as his audience.

  173. #173 Denis Loubet
    January 26, 2009

    I could only get a few seconds into that clip before turning it off in disgust. It didn’t make me stupider, it made me angry. I just don’t like to hear lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie, after lie. It pisses me off. And it really pisses me off that there are a large number of people stupid enough to believe those lies, cultivated by the liars.

    Man, Al Franken’s book title was square on the money.

    Grrrrrr.

  174. #174 Last Hussar
    January 26, 2009

    ‘1 minutes silence’ is not uncommon in the UK. Lots of people observe it at work on Armistice Day (11/11). Back in 2001 I was at a wargames convention the weekend after WTC, and there was a minutes silence there. Sports matches often hold a minutes silence for a favourite ex player/manager who has passed on. 1997 you couldn’t move for the bloody things over Diana. At primary school we had a minutes silence over a class mate, and again at secondary school. I’ve been in classes where we (the children) were asked to think about those caught in a natural disaster for a quiet minute- so we could appreciate how lucky we in the West were.

    No-one even mentions prayer or God, and we’re the one with the established religeon. In fact we are so bad at church there was a brief threat of becoming a Catholic country (by Church attendence) due to the number of Eastern European migrant workers). Church attendence amoung Britons is declining, and among 3rd + generation descendent of immigrants (Mosques also suffer a greying attendence, as more asian teens/twenties are slipping)

    And this

    At my primary school (normal state school, not faith) we regularly said prayers and they’re doing the same to my sisters now. I really hate that in the U.K faith in state schools isn’t even an issue that’s talked about. The kids are just fed this stuff at the whims of the headmaster and as if it is completely harmless.

    While true is avoidable because this

    The parents have zero say over it.

    Is a complete and utter lie. The Parent or Guardian merely has to make a written request to the school, asking their children do not attend the religeous part of assembly. The thing is, I think you’ll find that this school religeon does more harm to the Faith than good. Because we are so irreligeous this will be many childrens only contact (outside of weddings). If its the sort of family where kids are susceptable then the kids are probably already going to to one of those happy clappy churches. If the family isn’t, this state sponsored religeon has no effect- NO ONE has ever seen the light after listening to 100 kids mumble the Lords Prayer.

    It’s almost like a vaccination- put a teenager into a situation where they are expected to sing a hymn and pray. Get a bit of it to put you off for life (at least thats how it seemed to work among those I went to school with). This mild (and badly delivered) version tends to get many teens started on the type of though that goes “Why are we asking God to help people, when he could have stopped it”/”Why does God allow bad things if he’s all loving” etc. Religeon is “Like so not cool”, that it annoys rather than sooths teens.

  175. #175 'Tis Himself
    January 26, 2009

    where did ted bundy come from all of a sudden?

    About 20 years ago, shortly before Bundy was executed, Dobson had an interview with him. Bundy claimed that he was influenced by “violent pornography.” Dobson has been riding that horse ever since. Bundy was also a Methodist youth leader, but Dobson never mentions this.

  176. #176 Tom
    January 26, 2009

    God has told me not to watch Fox News. I cannot go against the will of God. :-)

    Really? God told me to watch FauxNews but I told him to go fuck himself. Or was that Bill O’Reilly?

  177. #177 Tom
    January 26, 2009

    If the Confederates invoked god in their constitution then why were they the losers? Did they piss off god by including her?

    And why is it that everyone likes to talk about the DoI mentioning a creator but no one likes to mention that the guy who wrote it wasn’t a christian?

  178. #178 James
    January 26, 2009

    I’m sorry. I let the team down. I could only get through 90 seconds of that tripe before I had to stop watching.

  179. #179 Marcus Ranum
    January 26, 2009

    If we have Glenn Beck, why do we still have monkeys? (whine)

    Personally, if I were in school, I’d like a moment of silence to read Playboy. That’s what we’d have done, anyhow. But a moment of Led Zeppelin would have been better.

  180. #180 BOB
    January 26, 2009

    “But a moment of Led Zeppelin would have been better.”

    Stairway to Heaven or Dazed and Confused ?

  181. #181 Thomas
    January 26, 2009

    Two things, first, my school district was one of the first to institute the “moment of quiet reflection” when I was in junior high. There was something of a national story when an instructor at a neighboring high school was terminated for refusing to go along. In high school I was tapped to be the one that did the school announcements each morning and thusly the one who had to say, “and now we will observe a moment of quiet reflection.” I spent a few weeks leading in with things like, “which of our coaches’ last name is derived from the Latin for lame donkey” and “this statement is false,” as a way to prompt actual reflection during that moment. I was relieved of the duty not long thereafter.

    Second, while religious types of all stripes are suspect, Beck is even more so on account of being a Mormon.

  182. #182 Peter
    January 26, 2009

    I can offer your talking heads one of our nastiest serial killers: the Yorkshire Ripper. He killed 13 women.

    His reason? God told him to.

  183. #183 Suzy Jenkin
    January 26, 2009

    Leave me out of this.

  184. #184 Kseniya
    January 26, 2009

    I’d like a moment of silence to read Playboy.

    “Read”?

  185. #185 Blue Fielder
    January 26, 2009

    @ #184: Some of us do read it for the articles, you know.

  186. #186 Rey Fox
    January 26, 2009

    “What’s the point in setting aside a moment of silence?”

    Conformity. Authoritarianism. One more little pointless way that school administrators and demagogues can impose power over children.

    “Frankly if letting the god squad pray silently for a minute while while I contemplate the glory of Suzy Jenkin’s bra-strap is what it takes to get them to STFU, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.”

    But they WON’T shut up. That’s the whole point. If you give an inch, they’ll take a mile.

  187. #187 Strangest brew
    January 26, 2009

    ‘Some of us do read it for the articles, you know.’

    well some of us don’t ;-)

  188. #188 Brownian
    January 26, 2009

    Wait, wait, wait! We’ve been going about this all wrong!

    Instead of fighting it out over a minute of silence, let’s throw the religious right a bone and suggest they and they alone have 1,440 minutes of silent prayer per day.

    They’re happy; we’re extremely happy–the only entity this plan has the potential to harm is God, but who cares? He most likely doesn’t exist, but even if he does, it’s about time he was forced to listen to the whiny, spittle-flinging, apoplectic nutjobs he created because he couldn’t foresee the doctrinal harm caused by his imprecise language that the rest of us have to suffer through on a daily basis.

  189. #189 John Christman
    January 26, 2009

    Hello everyone,

    Right along with this topic, I found a poll about prayer in schools. Here it is

    Given the nature of the site, seems like the religious folk would certainly be winning

  190. #190 kamaka
    January 26, 2009

    I don’t have a TV. Shit like this is why. I lasted 5 of 8 minutes. These two are fucking awful. They lip-fart.

    And I hate to stereotype, but aren’t those 2 guys raving closet cases like Haggard was or what?

    Well, Haggard’s not really a closet case, he’s a vile, hypocritical slut who doesn’t care what he fucks (or otherwise). But I sense repression with these two. Do they or do they not want to open mouth kiss each other?

    Is there a Spokesgay in the house??

  191. #191 alufelgi
    January 26, 2009

    In my opinion the largest threat for California are cataclysms and ecological catastrophes. Not important is how many money we have because one tragedy can us take all.

  192. #192 Kseniya
    January 26, 2009

    Poll? What poll? Where are the results? It looks like a spam feeder.

  193. #193 black wolf
    January 26, 2009

    #189
    Of course prayer should be allowed in school. What students do in their time without bothering others is their own business. If they want to pray (silently) at any time, they can do it. If they want to do it instead of answering exam questions, it’s their choice, just like doing it in their lunch break.
    I’m pretty sure, judging by assistance of the picture on the poll site, that that’s not really what they had in mind with that question. If they want to use the poll results as some sort of evidence in favor of public prayer or even coercion to prayer, it doesn’t work because that’s not what they asked.
    I think they’re just fishing for email addresses.

  194. #194 articulett
    January 26, 2009

    If they enforced 30 seconds of silence at my school, I’d encourage the students to contemplate the “strengths and WEAKNESSES” of prayer. (You know–“teach the controversy”.)

  195. #195 netrace
    January 26, 2009

    PZ was correct. I am now stupider. These guys are oblivious to everything.

    One thing I don’t get is why they try so hard to get this stuff into schools. There is a place for praying and learning scripture, it’s called church. There is also a place for learning reading, writing, and arithmetic and it’s called school.

  196. #196 deep
    January 26, 2009

    Honestly I get too stressed out to watch this sort of stuff. Stupidity so stupid that it not only hurts, but is shaving years off of my life. I’m way too young to have high blood pressure.

  197. #197 The Tim Channel
    January 26, 2009

    Not worth reposting such drivel. Let Fox die on the vine.

    Enjoy.

  198. #198 dogmeatib
    January 26, 2009

    Before I read the ruling, I honestly wondered what the heck they were talking about. The moment of silence is a legitimate compromise. Then I read the ruling, this was simply a stealth attempt to reintroduce the morning prayer by mandating that the moment of silence was a moment of prayer.

    I’m truly tired of the religio-fascists using these underhanded tactics to sneak their religion back into the schools.

  199. #199 Joel
    January 26, 2009

    And I hate to stereotype, but aren’t those 2 guys raving closet cases like Haggard was or what?

    From the sound of this statement, looks to me like you really, really, enjoy stereotyping.

  200. #200 AJ Milne
    January 26, 2009

    Glenn Beck. James Dobson. Together…

    I’m pretty sure that has to be some kind of zoning violation. Shouldn’t they have to get a permit, at least? Have the air quality people check it out, determine if anticipated levels of BS are likely to pose a health hazard?

    I mean, people downwind are sure to be complaining, anyway:

    CALLER: There’s this smell…

    MUNCIPAL ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER: Can you be more specific? Describe it, maybe?

    CALLER: Acrid, metallic, rancid. Heavy. Overbearing. Bombast, I think. With a bit of false entitlement. And something greasy… Maybe manufactured outrage?

    MEO: Oh… Umm…

    CALLER: Could be a bit of persecution complex in there, too…

    MEO: Yeah. Hey, you live near Fox, right?

    CALLER: Yeah. Why?

    MEO: Well, let’s just say there’s already a file.

  201. #201 Teh Merkin
    January 26, 2009

    I couldn’t help it, I watched about 3 minutes of that…

    PZed, next time, instead of posting something like, just mail me a syringe filled with shit and splinters. I’ll gladly inject it into a vein rather than watch those two dry-hump each other.

    Gawd, where’s the whiskey? …

  202. #202 Wottock Hunt
    January 26, 2009

    For your amusement, a scan from Garth Ennis’ Chronicles of Wormwood (replace hxxp with http):

    hxxp://www.imagebam.com/image/e966af24758476

  203. #203 Grapefruit League
    January 26, 2009

    The uber-Xtians are clearly delusional if they think that their kids are actually “praying” during that mandatory moment of silence. It’s sort of reminiscent of their irrational enthusiasm for chastity pledges. On the other hand, as a public high school teacher, I would welcome a mandatory 5 minutes of silence before every class! I don’t care what nonsense runs through their pubescent brains, as long as they keep their mouths shut. And, it would give me a few minutes to clear my head, before lunging in to the impossible task of teaching science in the anti-intellectual climate of today. As a displaced academic, all I can say is that teaching is like parenting, everyone has an opinion about how it should be done, but no one has a clue what it’s really like until they do it themselves. :-)

  204. #204 oldtree
    January 26, 2009

    I am so supressed dat my faboripe tb station are been called stoopid again. sommon tole me youse waz callen dem names an blastin dem fer stoopid stuf agin. Gord don lick yer shit no how so u is dammed, butt ma do, she made me rite this too ya thankying fer peckin on dat commie bastage beck. damm beer maak me fart inniway.
    so, ma likes yer fine, and gets weerd when I shows her that Darwin fellers picter. think she gets hot like.

  205. #205 stephanie
    January 26, 2009

    so…if rights come from god, and god isn’t completely impotent, those rights cannot be taken away. But didn’t slaves have their rights taken away? I know! slavery never happened! or maybe god didn’t exist until the constitution was written and the founding fathers created god!

  206. #206 Longtime Lurker
    January 26, 2009

    B&D don’t manage to make a single coherent argument.

    Was this abbreviation intentional? That’s the best characterization of Beck and Dobson EVAR!

    As far as our rights go, I think it was best summarized thusly:

    “No rights were ever given to us by the grace of god.
    No rights were ever given by a United Nations clause.
    No rights were ever given by some nice guy at the top.
    Our rights, they were bought by all the blood and all the tears of all our grandmothers and grandfathers before.”

    Sorry about the poor audio, it was the only version I could find.

  207. #207 'Tis Himself
    January 26, 2009

    If the Confederates invoked god in their constitution then why were they the losers? Did they piss off god by including her?

    Don’t forget that the German army had “Gott mit Uns” stamped on their belt buckles during both the First and Second World Wars.

  208. #208 Robert Bell
    January 26, 2009

    If suggesting prayer as a possible activity to fill the moment of silence is OK, then I suppose it follows that it should be permissible for a teacher to suggest that the moment of silence might be filled by a contemplation of the fact that the naturalistic, non-supernatural nature of the universe, or the *futility* of prayer.

    It’s easy to see that those suggestions are loaded, because they assume that the universe is non-supernatural, or that prayer is futile, and that there is merit to the idea of realizing that prayer has no value beyond offering some psychological solace — things that many atheists happen to believe. However, these suggestions aren’t any less loaded than the suggestion that we might pray, since it implies that prayer is an activity with merit, and that some sort of god exists that is listening to the prayer.

    Given that’s the case, if Beck isn’t just putting on a false front of tolerance and moderation when he says he no problem with atheism, he ought to have no problem with the idea of, say, changing the PA announcement preceding the moment of silence to include one of my atheistic suggestions. He might not see the value of such an announcement (just as atheists see no value in suggesting prayer), but for his argument and rhetoric to be consistent, he must agree that the atheistic suggestion is equally innocuous.

    It would be nice if these folks just tried, once in a while, to imagine what it would be like if the shoe were on the other foot, before whining about how much the opposition is whining.

  209. #209 Weaves
    January 26, 2009

    I think the stupid broke my brain.

    “It’s unconstitutional for you to stop me forcing my beliefs on you” is all I get from him.

  210. #210 Jimminy Christmas
    January 26, 2009

    I’m in favor of having a mandatory 5-minute viewing of random excerpts from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos television series each day before class in all public schools in the US.

    Oh, and I’m also in favor of them only teaching math, and reading, and science and stuff for the rest of the fraking day.

  211. #211 Holbach
    January 26, 2009

    Why is it that these religious idiots make it a point to make sure that they pray in public in whatever venue? Can’t they pray to their imaginary god behind a tree, while peeing, or in any number of places that they will not be observed? Their god will not listen to them in these areas or engagements, but only in designated places for the other morons to be emboldened? Why is it that no rationalist will ever confront them with this obvious inconsistency? What a bunch of demented bullshit.

  212. #212 Goheels
    January 26, 2009

    @ #145, doesn’t the fact that hes pandering to them give them power by definition?

  213. #213 Collin
    January 26, 2009

    Totally off topic, but worth a small chuckle: according to my Google reader, more people subscribe to pharyngula (4,139) than to the Whitehouse blog (3124). By internet standards, PZ is a bigger deal than the Whitehouse. That is change you can believe in (and no, those jokes are not getting old yet).

  214. #214 Alan Kellogg
    January 26, 2009

    Better Jeff Beck on the guitar than Glenn Beck on religion.

  215. #215 Mena
    January 26, 2009

    I still find it interesting that they are so concerned about this but yet don’t think that people should get up and get ready 15 seconds earlier on school days so that they can pray/have a moment of silence with their own kids. Why does this have to be the school’s responsibility? This just sounds like either ridiculously lazy parenting or the “but it’s for the kids!” excuse to push stuff on everyone else. I’m kinda going with the latter but think that the former figures into it a bit.
    BTW, does Beck look like an annoying sportscaster to anyone else?

  216. #216 Goheels
    January 26, 2009

    “Better Jeff Beck on the guitar than Glenn Beck on anything.”

    fixed that for you

  217. #217 Kaddath
    January 26, 2009

    Holy crap… had Glenn “The Moron” Beck been on the same room as James “The Douchebag” Dobson he’d stick his tongue down the other guy’s throat… what a bunch of whinos.

  218. #218 Rey Fox
    January 26, 2009

    “I’m in favor of having a mandatory 5-minute viewing of random excerpts from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos television series each day before class in all public schools in the US.”

    Nah, let’s have it in churches.

  219. #219 Wild Urmensch
    January 26, 2009

    Even after the warning I still clicked on that video. When will I learn?
    You’d think 2 girls 1 cup would have taught me something.

  220. #220 antaresrichard
    January 26, 2009

    I’d like to think it was those two idiots and not a computer glitch that caused my browser to crash in the middle of their inanity. I wouldn’t be surprised.

  221. #221 Windstorm
    January 26, 2009

    Although I am not an Atheist(I am of a religion which is constantly opposed by Xtians)all that I am going to say is that instead of getting upset over what those two monkeys were talking about, everyone should be glad. Why?
    Because whenever the fundies start protesting about any issue that they claim opposes their religious dogma, it really signifies fear and more than arrogance and bigotry.

    These people are afraid of change, they are afraid that one day the Christian America will become the Atheist America. Well, I hate to burst their little delusional bubble, but the ladder is inevitable.

    Peace.

  222. #222 Victor
    January 26, 2009

    after watching this I just wanna barf…

  223. #223 antaresrichard
    January 26, 2009

    Watching it again just made me yearn that long “moment of silence” coming to us all. I’m okay now.

  224. #224 Roger M
    January 26, 2009

    Ah, the pain to watch just the few first moments. I wanted to watch it all, but just couldn’t. Now, how effed up could the media get?
    Here’s a wish and hope for better thinking children…

  225. #225 Monado
    January 26, 2009

    Uncephalized, the legislature changed “a mandatory moment of reflection” to a “mandatory period of reflection or silent prayer.” Now the teacher has to instruct students about the two and only two allowable uses of the time. That’s not OK and the judge so ruled. I clicked through and read the judgement. Nice, sane, and reasonable. And attuned to subtleties and nuances. Just what you want in a judge.

  226. #226 Monado
    January 26, 2009

    #92, S. Fisher, you got it right. Straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Maybe he should have been a lawyer.

  227. #228 The Atheist Missionary
    January 26, 2009

    The good news about this clip is that it illustrates the concern that shills like Beck and Dobson have about the growing wave of humanist secularism in the US. The bad news is that more people like them (and those that share their beliefs) don’t visit sites like this one more often. If you are simply someone who holds a vague belief that there is something beyond our understanding that you want to define as “God”, that is fine. Similarly, if you find comfort believing that there is life after death, there is little harm in that. Where I see the problem is when otherwise sensible people tell me that they believe there is a supernatural God who is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. When I am presented with such base irrationality, I usually ask the person why they have arrived at this belief aside from the fact that it was instilled by their parents. There are varying responses to this question, such as: “The Bible tells me so” or the fact that the person has had a personal experience that they interpret as proving the existence of God. At this point, I usually ask them if they REALLY believe in the virgin birth, Jesus walking on water and, in the case of Roman Catholics, transubstantiation and the infallibility of the Pope. The responses to this question are almost universally shaky and confirm my belief that atheism (or at least atheist leanings) are far more prevalent among the educated public than pollsters would have us believe. You don’t need a doctorate in philosophy to be a skeptic. You also don’t need a doctorate in biology to understand the profound implications that evolution has for fundamentalist Christianity. Despite the scary surge of fundamentalism in the US, I get the definite sense that secularism is building into an unstoppable wave of common sense throughout the rest of the world in much the same way as the english language is becoming the universal language of business. The reason for this trend is not hard to discern: religious beliefs foster egocentricity and, of course, Christianity is the ultimate egocentric state because Christians believe that they were created in God’s image. The old atheist joke that: “all religions can’t be right but they can all be wrong” simply reinforces the fact that religions inherently divide the citizens of the world. Only rational, skeptical thought can unite us all. That is a prayer to which I can say: amen.

  228. #229 Iason Ouabache
    January 26, 2009

    *facepalm*

    I couldn’t even watch the video long enough to get to Dobson’s part. I hate Glen Beck so very very much.

  229. #230 tsig
    January 26, 2009

    Can Muslims prostrate themselves to Mecca during prayer(silence) time?

  230. #231 ChrisKG
    January 26, 2009

    Dobson isn’t a “qualified” theologian since he has never had formal training in the “art of stupid”, therefore, all of his bible-backed bullshit is even more made up than the source he quotes. He has a degree in psychology and he still thinks homosexuals can be cured of “the gay.” I have to qualify my quote by adding that even a truly qualified theologian spouting such stupidity would be no less ignorant. I can?t bring myself to comment on the other buffoon except to say he makes he makes Geraldo Rivera look good.

  231. #232 Joe Cracker
    January 26, 2009

    Oh NO, my head will explode !!! Holy Jebus Cracker !!!

    The best reply to these idiots is Carlin’s “It’s all bullshit … and it’s bad for ya!!!”:

    from 4:20:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaa9iw85tW8

  232. #233 Holbach
    January 26, 2009

    “Ninety percent of us eat shit, and we are being pushed around by the ten percent that don’t eat shit”.

    I endured it a second time, and it pisses me off that I was not in front of him to respond to his demented insanity in my most caustic voice possible that is reserved for those strickened by the imbecilic slime of religion. Oh, to meet this shit bag in the street and goad him with the gutter puking that his insane mind deserves. He sits there vomiting up that demented crap without a voice raised in smashing him into the insane shit that he is. Off to bed to rest my bruised brain and recover my freaking composure.

  233. #234 jomega
    January 26, 2009

    The “kid in the green room” bit gave me a bit of a chuckle. When I was a young’n, few things could set another kid to bawlin’ like saying, “There’s no such thing as Jesus!” Predictably, attempted fisticuffs was a frequent debating tool among Young Christian Soldiers. Good times.

  234. #235 Dahan
    January 26, 2009

    One minute forty seconds. That’s as much as I could take.

  235. #236 bobxxxx
    January 26, 2009

    This will rot your mind.

    No thank you. Listening to Rick Warren’s babbling at Obama’s Inauguration was bad enough. I don’t need to listen to any more stupid assholes who want to throw our constitution.

  236. #237 Dale Husband
    January 26, 2009

    What else would you expect from FOX News? I could watch less than two minutes of that video before I felt like puking.

  237. #238 ngong
    January 26, 2009

    Of course, if schools were to introduce yoga or simple non-sectarian meditation into the classroom, Dobson and Beck would be screaming bloody murder.

  238. #239 markymark
    January 26, 2009

    All my friends know that the only Beck worth listening to is Jeff.

  239. #240 Don Smith, FCD
    January 27, 2009

    As to who put these idiots on TV, that would be our buddy Rupert Murdoch who has also turned the WSJ into the Right Wing Clarion.

    I think it’s more likely that Dobson fervently *hopes* that he has found a cure for teh gay. He probably spends most of his time thinking “I’m not gay. I’m not gay. I’m not gay. That guy’s hot. Yikes! I’m not gay! I’m not gay!!” etc.

  240. #241 raven
    January 27, 2009

    The good news about this clip is that it illustrates the concern that shills like Beck and Dobson have about the growing wave of humanist secularism in the US.

    Not very bright are they then? Humanoid toads like Dobson, Falwell, Robertson, etc.. and their political flunkies in the Theothuglican party caused that wave of humanist secularism.

    I wouldn’t have ever thought twice about the fundies except they had a lot of power for the last 8 years. The result is a wrecked country with millions out of work, losing their homes, and a dead economy. Two of my friends died in Iraq.

    They represent the Dark Side of humanity, just evil.
    Most of the US population feels this way, Gallup and Barna polls.

    Dobson has created more atheists and anti-cultists than Dawkins or anyone else by a long ways.

  241. #242 retiredbiker
    January 27, 2009

    Don’t pray in my kid’s school, and we won’t think in your church.

  242. #243 Somnolent Aphid
    January 27, 2009

    I didn’t watch because, lord knows, I’m already stupid enough.

  243. #244 Rick Schauer
    January 27, 2009

    That lowered my IQ by at least 20 points…wtf, can’t either of these gentlemen pick up a book other than the bible?
    Answer, yes.
    -Can they read?
    Answer, yes.
    -Do they believe what they read?
    Answer, observedly they believe anything, especially 1900 year old stories of dubious authorship that are full of hyperbole, contradiction, unobserved predictions, etc, etc.
    -Are they physiologically able to observe nature?
    Answer, yes.
    Have they observed nature?
    Answer, apparently not too well.
    -Are they noticable unteachable in any sense?
    Answer, no.
    -Have either been exposed to a sound science education and scientific methods?
    Answer, observedly not.
    -Are these gentlemen two more indicators of education failure in this country and beyond?
    Answer, yes!
    -What can one do about this appalling lack of education?
    Answer, ask questions and find theoretical, observable and testable answers.

  244. #245 robotaholic
    January 27, 2009

    I don’t think these people are so much lying, they’re just WRONG on everything. You could at least respect people who KNOW something but lie about it, …but people who don’t know shit…- well…at least get ‘em off tv-

  245. #246 Safi
    January 27, 2009

    I should have heeded the warnings, I think I may have become dumber now. Crud on a stick!

    These videos are so hard to handle, you don’t even know where to start. Should you start with, you know, facts? Or maybe his tone and choice of words (as in could this be even more propaganda?) and presumptions (“and then the atheist gets violent”?) or maybe enjoy yourself and stoop to their level and insult them gratuitously with no foundation. That would be hard though, there actually is a foundation.

    And this coming from people that are too scared to face truth, there is no reason to be afraid of the word “prayer”, you should be afraid of people that somehow justify praying. If you have time to pray, you have time to actually be productive and useful to real people that are here with you.

    I’m not American but I’m pretty sure there aren’t any mentions of god(s) in the Constitution. But that’s just me, a person that reads and thinks.

    On a side note, I came to your debate in Edmonton! I enjoyed it, too bad you didn’t have more time. It’s sad that they actually gave credence to that Kirk guy (I forget his last name, I didn’t like his posture or the fact that he thought his children were on par with him in debating) and it’s sad he didn’t really answer anything. Oh and the circular reasoning thing, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that missed the irony in that one.

    But I liked it. Glad I came.

  246. #247 robotaholic
    January 27, 2009

    Posted by: articulett:

    If they enforced 30 seconds of silence at my school, I’d encourage the students to contemplate the “strengths and WEAKNESSES” of prayer. (You know–“teach the controversy”.)

    haha, I can just imagine that…uh, one of the weaknesses of prayer is that NOBODY HAS EVER PROVEN THAT IT WORKS…NOT EVEN ONE TIME-

    I really thing religion doesn’t wanna go there

  247. #248 uncle frogy
    January 27, 2009

    I do hate this prayer in school crap!
    The fundies and other “pro school prayer” bunch like to say that the court outlawed school prayer as if it is illegal to pray in school and they seem to get away with it.
    Bull Shit on top of bull shit!
    What they want is to decide which prayer is the right one, when and how to pray it and to ride any controversy they can generate to political power pure and simple.

    I seem to remember there Jesus saying that they should pray in their closet and not in the street something about you get your reward in “heaven” for one and in the street for the other.
    It ain’t about god it is about power make no mistake!

  248. #249 Bill
    January 27, 2009

    I don’t have a problem with atheists believing what they want to believe.

    But why are they such assholes? Don’t think so? Just read all the comments in this blog.

    “I’m not American but I’m pretty sure there aren’t any mentions of god(s) in the Constitution. But that’s just me, a person that reads and thinks.”

    Well you just didn’t read the Declaration of Independence did you? The person who reads and thinks apparently isn’t you. Don’t tell me it’s not a legal document. It’s the whole reason this country was founded and our Constitution was based on it. But of course you wouldn’t know that would you?

  249. #250 Bill
    January 27, 2009

    “Of course, this is nonsense and atheists do not require the carrot of heaven or threat of eternal damnation to lead morally upstanding lives.”

    Apparently they do. More people have been murdered by atheists in the past century than all kings of all the other centuries put together. The Guiness Book of World Records lists Mao Tse Tung and Joseph Stalin as the two biggest mass murderers in the history of the world. They make Hitler look like a sissy. Hitler killed a measly 6 million. Stalin killed more than 10 times that many and Mao killed some 300 million. Today in China they are still murderering people. Who can even know how many. Here in the United States atheists promote openly the murder of innocent children still in the womb as well as infanticide. Its being legal doesn’t make it moral. If it does then Mao, Stalin, and Hitler are all off the hook. They’re going to atheist heaven. So, in contradiction to your asinine statement, atheists need a lot more than a carrot to keep their sorry asses in check.

    One dummass atheist, in his YouTube channel said, “An atheist would rather see a hospital built than a church.” That’s just hilarious. The arrogant atheist sits around wanting to see a hospital built and patting himself on the back about his moral superiority while a Church is building hospitals by the hundreds of thousands.

    If you’re down and out and needing a meal in this town or any large city are you going to go to an atheist soup kitchen to get a meal? Why the thought of it is ridiculous isn’t it. No, you go to a Christian soup kitchen and you’ll get a meal and a place to stay for the night. Atheists don’t do charity. They just talk about it and push for socialism to do it by taxing your hard earned dollars so that his conscience is salved and he isn’t put out either in his pocket or by his sweat.

    Now here it comes. The atheist is going to give us a long list of communist front organizations and call them charity, but look at the list and you won’t see one place to get a meal.

    Whoopdeedoo!

  250. #251 Capital Dan
    January 27, 2009

    Bill | January 27, 2009 2:13 AM

    I don’t have a problem with atheists believing what they want to believe.

    But why are they such assholes?

    Yes, Bill. We have no reason to be uppity.

    It’s amazing how dim you are. I mean, the fact that you can not wrap your mind around what should be a very obvious source of frustration and anger is fucking astounding. Do you really NOT get it?

    Sheesh… Even this obvious head-meets-wall conversation I’m having here is making me all sorts of stabby over the fact that you are so blissfully ignorant and myopic as to be socially crippled.

    I don’t envy you Bill.

    By the way, how is the Declaration of Independence a LEGAL document?

    This should be fun.

  251. #252 Rey Fox
    January 27, 2009

    Bill: “I don’t have a problem with atheists believing what they want to believe.”

    Apparently you do. Or at least you have a problem with the beliefs of the evil atheists that live in your head.

    “If it does then Mao, Stalin, and Hitler are all off the hook. They’re going to atheist heaven.”

    You’re a very confused individual.

    “…as well as infanticide.”

    Citation, please.

  252. #253 Capital Dan
    January 27, 2009

    Hey Bill. Still waiting on that legal document definition there, big guy.

    Got anything yet?

  253. #254 Nepenthe
    January 27, 2009

    Bill apparently thinks that the atheist who prefers government interventions to individual charities doesn’t pay taxes and aren’t “put out either in his pocket or by his sweat.” Where can I register for this get out of taxes free thing?

  254. #255 Michael X
    January 27, 2009

    Church is building hospitals by the hundreds of thousands.

    Church hospitals get more public funding that secular hospitals Bill. My secular tax dollars build more hospitals than any religious organizations money.

  255. #256 Michael X
    January 27, 2009

    Also, the only reasons polls show christians giving slightly more to charity than non-believers is because they count tithes. Money that only goes to pay clergy, rent, energy bills etc. and has nothing to do with charity. Add that to the fact that a great many churches offer no social aid at all other than their laughable “spiritual” guidance.

    When we take this into account it can safely be said that secular institutions invest more money in the social good than any church.

    Also, we atheists arn’t so shallow and divisive that we’ll only support public works if they’re run by our petty in-group, in order to push a religious agenda that has nothing to do with the actual public work we’re engaging in. That’s why we don’t need an “atheist” charity. We’re actually concerned with the problem at hand and not inflating our ego.

    But hey, you don’t seem like the kinda guy to let little things like facts get in the way of your feeling superior, so just ignore all this.

  256. #257 Twin-Skies
    January 27, 2009

    Bill, I recall more than one NT bibilical passage where Jesus raised criticism against so-called followers who needlessly exalted the good deeds and religious obligations they did. Recall specifically his perspectives on Pharisees being melodramatic over their exercise of fasting.

    Look in the mirror – your bragging of Christians building “hundreds” of hospital seems to fit the very criticism your personal saviour raised.

    No, I’m not Christian – but I do know enough about the bible to see you for nothing but an empty blowhard who’s so insecure he has to parade around exxaggerated information promoting his belief, while slamming down any other perspective he does not agree with.

  257. #258 Capital Dan
    January 27, 2009

    Bill | January 27, 2009 2:18 AM

    The arrogant atheist sits around wanting to see a hospital built and patting himself on the back about his moral superiority while a Church is building hospitals by the hundreds of thousands.

    It’s like tapping a fish tank, isn’t it?

    Now, “hundreds of thousands?” Really, Bill?

    Something tells me you’re making that number up, and that’s a… what’s it called, Bill?

    That’s right, Bill. It’s called a LIE!

    Do you know who tells lies, Bill?

    LIARS!

    You don’t want to be a liar, do you, Bill? Do you want Baby Jesus to see you lying?

  258. #259 Eli Whitney
    January 27, 2009

    Last Hussar at #174,

    The problem is that religiousity in primary schools is not restricted to a few moments of prayer in assembly time. Quite the opposite. Religious education lessons are taught from a largely Christian perspective in Key Stage 1, with other faiths being included in a comparative fashion from Key Stage 2. Combine this with Harvest Festivals and Christingles, the Nativity and all the other supposedly harmless parts of our ‘culture’ and it puts a god and Christianity quite squarely in the frame in terms of the ideas which children are being exposed to.

    You could argue that these aspects of Christianity have been in our society for a long time and therefore should stay and be respected as traditions alone. But, I do not believe that the children are taught to look at it like this, and instead merely follow the crowd. It is this which I disagree with.

    There were a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in my primary school and no exceptions were made regarding their education. Because, religous teaching was disguised as all these harmless little traditions, not put out there – loud and proud, as it seems to be sometimes in the US.

  259. #260 Jadehawk
    January 27, 2009

    well, I’m a bit late to the game since I had a busy day, but I had to comment on one bit.

    when Beck said “Are the children of atheists so fragile that the idea of prayer could actually warp their minds?”, all I could think was “and that from the people who think the mere mention of the word ‘condom’ is going to turn their chaste little angels into sluts…?”

    *facepalm*

    oh, and to Bill the Undereducated:

    Treaty of Tripoli (approved by the Senate and signed by President John Adams in 1797)
    Artice 11: As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

  260. #261 FlameDuck
    January 27, 2009

    (Note to Glenn and James: human rights come from people, not ‘God’.)

    Obviously. Rights given by God would be devine rights. Like the rights of child abuse and Holocaust.

    If suggesting prayer as a possible activity to fill the moment of silence is OK, then I suppose it follows that it should be permissible for a teacher to suggest that the moment of silence might be filled by

    thinking about sex?

  261. #262 Kel
    January 27, 2009

    Hitler killed a measly 6 million.

    I’ll look past the condescending tone when talking about the genocide of the entire people, and just go ahead and ask: do you honestly think that the Jews were the only people who died at the hands of Nazi action?

    In any event – Moral relativity – ur doing it wrong!

  262. #263 bluuberry
    January 27, 2009

    I used to think that a moment of silence was just that; a moment to reflect and remember, yadda yadda. In school we’d have a moment of silence, say, on 9/11 or veteran’s day or whatever, and I’d take the moment to think of those who have been lost. Sounds cheesy when I write it down. Anyway, once I got older and more cynical, I realized that the “moment of silence” was meant for you to pray. I didn’t like it, I don’t know what people would pray for in those moments, but it just feels cheap and tacky, whispering to some god. What’s that going to help? At least I didn’t pretend I was helping anything.

  263. #264 Walton
    January 27, 2009

    Moments of silence are worthwhile on Remembrance Day (what Americans call Veterans Day) and on other memorial days. (Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, incidentally.) It doesn’t have to be a time for prayer; whether you believe in God or not, it’s a sign of respect for the memory of those who have died in horrific circumstances (whether in WWI, in the Holocaust, etc.)

  264. #265 John Morales
    January 27, 2009

    Walton,

    Moments of silence are worthwhile on Remembrance Day (what Americans call Veterans Day) and on other memorial days. [...] it’s a sign of respect for the memory of those who have died in horrific circumstances

    That’s just personal opinion.
    Certainly, puplicising the memorial is culturally proper, but mandating ostensible and overt public respect seems… um, anti-libertarian.

    Do you really think genuine respect can be engendered by a fiat that can at most only enforce the appearance of it?

  265. #266 Randy
    January 27, 2009

    I agree with posters #214 and #216. Up with rock and roll, down with superstition. “Superstition ain’t the way-ay-ay!”

  266. #267 Walton
    January 27, 2009

    Certainly, puplicising the memorial is culturally proper, but mandating ostensible and overt public respect seems… um, anti-libertarian.

    Oh, don’t get me wrong – I certainly don’t think it should be required by law, or that people should be prosecuted and thrown in jail for failing to observe a 2-minute silence on Holocaust Memorial Day! And I agree with you that governmentally-mandated shows of “respect” would not be true respect. However, I was just – as you say – expressing a personal opinion that there’s nothing wrong with it, nor is it inherently religious.

  267. #268 IAmMarauder
    January 27, 2009

    I sat through it all, and it just reminded me of a couple of little kids having a whinge in the playground. Hell, it didn’t even reach the intellectual level of the “I know you are but what am I” discussion…

    @244: You forgot one question after “Can they read?” That question is “Can they comprehend what they have read?” I think they get a big “No” on that one. I read the bible when I was a lot younger, and I think that this quote is pretty much on the money:
    Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived. – Isaac Asimov

    Regarding religion in school: Growing up here in Oz we had scripture classes which were one period a week. Each religion had its own class and people to lead it. All it took was a call or letter from a parent to excuse you from it, in which case you got to go and read in the library (which is where I picked up my love for Asterix and Obelix comics).

  268. #269 D. Finch
    January 27, 2009

    Re: Asimov quote @ 268. Ha, there’s truth in that:

    I read some sort of illustrated Bible when I was a kid, while on vacation with a Catholic cousin of mine. After spending a few weeks going through it, I finally said to my cousin: Wow. God is an asshole.

    I got spanked, and my dad got in trouble with my mom for swearing so much in the car. Needless to say, I was never going to touch that book again.

  269. #270 speedwell
    January 27, 2009

    Atheists give to charity. Period. We don’t necessarily have to start new, competing charities when so many options already exist.

    Plenty of atheists give to Christian-backed charities because they’re interested in the work being done, not in the personal beliefs of the individuals who head the charities. Also, it’s good for people to work together on a common charitable goal without regard to the fact that they come from different traditions or cultures. When attempting to help poor and needy people who are mostly Christians, I’ve found it’s often not useful to offer the help in the name of atheism because the recipients themselves, mostly pathetically undereducated and overindoctrinated, think it’s tainted (really).

    I now think we atheists should simply boycott charities founded or run by Christians and Christian organizations. Seriously. The money we spend could be used more efficiently by charities without agendas other than sucking up to the Imaginary Friend. And it would leave a great sucking hole in the side of many Christian charities who now are thrilled for the chance to cleanse our dirty atheist cash in the blood of the Lord. Every time we give to a charitable cause, we should make sure the recipients understand that we are atheists. If they reject the help thus offered, well, there’s markets in everything, and we’ll switch to their competitors.

  270. #271 speedwell
    January 27, 2009

    sigh… Obviously I meant to say “…without agendas that include..” rather than “…without agendas other than…” in the post above.

  271. #272 James Haight
    January 27, 2009

    Right, right. Handing out free food for the homeless, that’s the height of charity. Wanting social change to prevent the whole thing where people have to basically beg for food? Filthy Communist Pinkoism. A+ for coherency.

  272. #273 Rrr
    January 27, 2009

    The drive-by troll calling himself Bill is not only stupid and ignorant but also very offensive, belittling one of history’s worst genocides by comparing it to other such crimes — and on Holocaust Remembrance Day, for crying out loud!

    I would chance a guess he is not too good at reading for comprehension either. Maybe he mistook the Declaration of Independence for the Bill of Rights and jumped to the conclusion that it means Bill is always right. Well, it ain’t so.

    When his parents brainwashed him they must have forgotten his brain out to dry. They could be well advised to retroactively abort him, but since he is no doubt long gone by now I shall refrain from going that far. I don’t want to sink to that level of lowness.

    If I were religious I might pray for Bill to develop a little sense and empathy, but I know it is entirely up to him to better himself; unlikely considering the enormity of that task and the meagre resources at his disposal.

  273. #274 erasmus31
    January 27, 2009

    Thanks! Being stupider is what I was aiming for this morning. Mission accomplished. Couldn’t sit through more than a minute of this drivel.
    How do you get a cushy job like that? I could spew stupid for that kind of dough, too. Maybe… Nah, maybe not.

  274. #275 Fernando
    January 27, 2009

    A simple sugestion:

    Let all believers live with the things God provided to them; an all free-thinkers live with all things that human ingenuity (Science) provided to us.

    In about 100 years:
    Believers = turmn to be nomadic, iliterate people, with fire and iron weapons has their top technology.
    Free-thinkers = begining of Mars terraformation, more 20 years of live espectancy, cold fussion and genetic engineering cured almost all hereditary diseases.

    Try this please!

  275. #276 4mattb
    January 27, 2009

    Beck is such a moron. I couldn’t even watch the video past the opening 30 seconds where he says he could care less if we want to worship a broom. He’s a deadbeat loser.

  276. #277 erasmus31
    January 27, 2009

    #270 – Speedwell, I’ve been trying to find a secular charity that particularly helps children, for years. It’s an impossible task. I particularly despise missionaries’ – I’ll give you this bowl of rice or this piece of bread if you believe in my god – blackmailing agenda.
    Would be nice to organize a charity that helps children but doesn’t try to sell god. It would probably never be allowed into most countries and wouldn’t get the same kinds of exemptions as religious charities, and maybe not even donations and funding.

  277. #278 Lowell
    January 27, 2009

    There’s been some discussion of the legal status of the Declaration of Independence. Here’s the most definitive statement on the subject I could find from the U.S. Supreme Court:

    The first official action of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: ?We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.? While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence.

    Gulf, C. & S.F. Ry. Co. v. Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 160 (1897).

    So, although the DoI has no legal force of its own, the courts will interpret the Constitution “in the spirit of” the DoI (whatever that means).

  278. #279 Rrr
    January 27, 2009

    Try this site

    Translated (in haste:) from the Swedish site: Rädda Barnen is a politically and religiously independent popular movement active both in Sweden and in eight regions around the world. With UN’s Children Convention as a basis we work for improving the conditions for children and for children’s rights being respected.

    Our vision is a world where the Children Convention is realised and the rights of all children are met. It is a world that

  279. -respects and values every child
    -listens to — and learns from — children
    -gives every child trust in the future and possibilities.
  280. I trust it is more or less the same in every country where Save the Children exists.

  • #280 erasmus31
    January 27, 2009

    #279 Rrr – Thank you. Checking it out right now.

  • #281 GILGAMESH
    January 27, 2009

    Beck’s infantile exhibitionism makes even Ann Coulter’s trash talk seem palatable.

  • #282 Natalie
    January 27, 2009

    erasmus31, what about UNICEF? There are also probably anti-poverty charities that are secular. They may not be directly focused on children, but they will certainly help them.

  • #283 Natalie
    January 27, 2009

    Also, the International Committee of the Red Cross is secular. They use religious symbols and have some religious roots, but they are not a religious organization.

  • #284 TJ
    January 27, 2009

    Can anyone hear the noise?

    It sounds like my IQ dropping every second i watch this. I should sue them for lowering my IQ, lol.

  • #285 Midnight Rambler
    January 27, 2009

    Okay, I am really late here and didn’t read all the comments, so maybe someone has mentioned it, but didn’t anyone go to a school with this and understand the REAL reason for it, from a kid’s point of view, and why it’s particularly stupid from an educational perspective. In our school (Massachusetts, 1980’s) we had to be silent for a full minute. If anyone made noise, the minute started over again. With skillful clock-watching and belches, farts, squeals, etc., we were often able to delay the start of school for 10 minutes or more.

  • #286 faux mulder
    January 27, 2009

    lets all take a moment to reflect upon this man, and how we can avoid being like him.

    btw, what did pornography have to do with anything? besides, they’re dead wrong, japan has lots of s/m smut, considerably more than n. american, shouldn’t there be shouldn’t the place be festering with jhaun wyan gaysi’s by now?

  • #287 'Tis Himself
    January 27, 2009

    Bill,

    The Declaration of Independence was a political and a propaganda document. The Constitution is a legal document. Don’t be like Dobson and get them confused.

  • #288 pwl
    January 27, 2009

    Rights don’t come from your imaginary friend, god. Rights come from the fact that sentient (human) beings assert those rights by the simple fact of our existence. Rights don’t come from a piece of paper, such as a constitution; the rights listed in a constitution simply specify the rights that the authors of the document enumerated and declared to be the minimum standard of treatment by the State towards the people, and the people to each other. We have way more rights than those recognized by the legal systems in various countries – for we are living sentient beings who declare that we have these rights.

    Rights come from a declaration. Rights declared also require “social agreement” which can be hard fought for, sometimes with much blood.

    Rights are something that one must be viligent about since some assert “sovereignty” over others and violate your rights in doing so.

  • #289 Cola
    January 27, 2009

    I never thought of the moment of silence as being particularly religious. I always thought of it as a moment of reverence, to think of someone or something and mark its passing.

    I feel pretty neutral about the court decision, though. Maybe it’s because I’m an atheist, but I think there are more important things Glenn Beck can get upset about, like all women not wanting to sleep with him because he’s a colossal douchebag.

  • #290 DebinOz
    January 27, 2009

    Wow, just wow!

    What a pair of arse-lickers! My loonytunes ex-in-laws are big Dobson fans, have all his books, go to all his seminars. My ex and I used to get stoned, go into his dad’s library and randomly flick through the Dobson books and hoot with laughter at the crap written within.

    BTW – Ted Bundy was a true blue Republican

  • #291 John Morales
    January 27, 2009

    erasmus31 @277, here in South Australia, I can think of one such offhand.

  • #292 Wowbagger
    January 27, 2009

    John Morales, are you in South Australia? If so, how can we not had a conversation about this before?

  • #293 erasmus31
    January 27, 2009

    #282 & #283 Natalie and #291 John Morales
    Thank you. Of course! Can’t believe I had a brain freeze. Told you I got stupider just watching a minute of this stuff.

  • #294 Sean
    January 28, 2009

    I made it one minute and then had to turn it off. Glenn Beck is like Michael Scott if he were a pundit.

  • #295 John Morales
    January 28, 2009

    Wowbagger, yeah, I live in the Barossa. I don’t think I’ve brought it up before, though.

    (Boy, it’s a stinker today!)

  • #296 Wowbagger
    January 28, 2009

    John Morales,

    Well there you go. Here I was thinking I was the only SA Pharyngulite.

    Yeah, I’m not enjoying it. I work in the city and live in the inner east – though I imagine it’s probably worse up where you are.

  • #297 Edmund
    January 28, 2009

    Man, I love a good parody of the religious right. First Colbert, now Beck. He’s a genius! Pure comic gold. Watch out Colbert… Beck’s coming for your ratings…

    Oh, wait, he’s serious? People this dumb actually exist?

  • #298 youtube
    January 28, 2009

    thanks

  • #299 Carol
    January 28, 2009

    Is Fox News a religious channel?

  • #300 GILGAMESH
    January 28, 2009

    Dobson still doesn’t understand Ted Bundy only spoke when it served himself. I wonder if Dobson thinks Ted ‘got right with Jesus’ and is now basking in God’s love in Heaven?

  • #301 Scott
    January 28, 2009

    He tries to sound witty with sarcasm and then ruins it with “I could care less” only minutes in…

  • #302 mac
    January 28, 2009

    Rights do not come from god. If they did, why would he give some rights and not others?

    “If the state gives us rights they can take them away” ?
    Yeah, kind of like the Patriot act. Or was that an inspiration from god? All I know is, rights are being stripped in our society now. I suppose god has done it, it’s OK.

  • #303 Rae
    January 28, 2009

    I may not be stupider, but I have definately shortened my lifespan listening to 3 minutes of that.

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