Pharyngula

Stephen Baldwin is a modern-day Job?

I really hate Poe’s Law. I can’t tell if Restore Stephen Baldwin, a web site dedicated to raising money for the evangelical Christian actor, is sincere or not. It’s just too crazy — it’s comparing Baldwin to Job, and shilling for donations so Baldwin can continue to preach about Jesus, despite the fact that he’s a hack actor whose sole affliction is that no one wants to hire him.

What makes me most suspicious is that the guy pushing it doesn’t seem to have read Job, or he wouldn’t be making the comparison. Job lost everything he owned, had all of his children exterminated, and was afflicted with ghastly disfiguring diseases. Baldwin was more of a joke than a charismatic evangelist; Job was righteous, but not a preacher on a skateboard hanging with the cool kids.

But then…that’s no obstacle to believability. Most Christians ignore 99% of the Bible, anyway.

Comments

  1. #1 Zeno
    April 29, 2010

    God is apparently still punishing Stephen Baldwin for his role in Threesome.

  2. #2 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 29, 2010

    It’s real.

  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 29, 2010

    Oh and you really need to watch the video.

  4. #4 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    April 29, 2010

    It’s a typo: Stephen Baldwin is a modern-day joke.

  5. #5 Matt Penfold
    April 29, 2010

    It looks to be a genuine website, going on the WHOIS info, and the company that has the domain registration.

  6. #6 somewhereingreece
    April 29, 2010

    And Job in the Bible was a plagiarism as well

    Listen to the relevant irreligiosophy podcast for details.

  7. #7 James F
    April 29, 2010

    He’s no Marjoe Gortner.

  8. #8 Shala
    April 29, 2010

    God is apparently still punishing Stephen Baldwin for his role in Threesome.

    The entire cast of Bio-Dome should be punished for that matter.

  9. #9 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 29, 2010

    The entire cast of Bio-Dome should be punished for that matter.

    Even tha weeeee-sal*


    *not sure that was worth the emotional scarring caused by typing that

  10. #10 Andyo
    April 29, 2010

    Maybe it’s “needs a modern-day job”?

  11. #11 emigrant2immigrant
    April 29, 2010

    This is about the STUPIDEST thing I have ever seen! But you can bet that there are plenty of redneck-bible-thumping-bleach-blonde-curlers-and fuzzy-slipper-wearing IDIOTS out there who will donate as much as they can. In between QVC purchases, that is.

  12. #12 Andyo
    April 29, 2010

    I think Alec should get him on 30 Rock to play Will Arnett’s boytoy.

  13. #13 TomFooleryBlog
    April 29, 2010

    If you want to be confused by Poe’s law, take a look at what the UK Independence Party ‘science spokesman’ had to say to questions posed by Ben Goldacre, Simon Singh et al:

    http://www.tomfooleryblog.com/2010/04/ukip-science-fail/

  14. #14 Kieranfoy
    April 29, 2010

    He’s a disgrace to the name ‘Baldwin’! Jayne Cob should introduce him to Vera, ‘e should!

  15. #15 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    April 29, 2010

    About the only Baldwin I give a damn about is Adam. (I know, no relationship.)

    Are all you mudders ready for a rousing sing-a-long of The Ballad Of Jayne?

  16. #16 mxh
    April 29, 2010

    If they don’t give their money to Stephen Baldwin, they’d give it to another idiot who doesn’t deserve it or is trying to take advantage of them. When you’re blind to reason, it’s easy to convince you to part with your money.

  17. #17 Deepsix
    April 29, 2010

    I believe the link to the site was given at the end of last night’s South Park episode that spoofed the show “Intervention”. I had to do a double take when they showed it.

    I wouldn’t think South Park would promote it if it were real.

  18. #18 Kieranfoy
    April 29, 2010

    @Janine:

    ‘e stole from the rich, ‘e gave to the poor!

    Stood up to da man, an’ gave ‘im what for,

    Our luv fer ‘im now, ain’t ‘ard to
    splain,

    ‘e the ‘ero ;o Canton, da man dey call…

    NOT FRAKKIN’ STEPHEN BALDWIN!

  19. #19 tsg
    April 29, 2010

    Which one was he?

    *checks IMDB* Ah, yes, “Usual Suspects”. What’s he done since?

    Slap Shot 2? There was a Slap Shot 2? And he was in it? WTF? Maybe he found god to try to atone for this sin. Sorry, dude, Jesus may forgive you, but no one else will.

  20. #20 CunningLingus
    April 29, 2010

    Aha, that explains why he was in the UK Celebrity Big Brother a few months back, the money. From what I saw of his attempted preaching in said program, the guy is as bad a preacher as he is an actor.

    I find it ironic that Stephen Baldwin almost rhymes with… Talentless Annoying Prick.

    (Ok, maybe a stretch, but he is a talentless annoying prick)

  21. #21 Deepsix
    April 29, 2010

    Oh, and don’t forget “Poe’s Rule”:

    Always assume a potential Poe is indeed a Poe until proven otherwise.

  22. #22 Feynmaniac, Chimerical Toad
    April 29, 2010

    BEST HEADLINE EVER: Stephen Baldwin: ‘I regret my Hannah Montana tattoo’

    (No, that is NOT a joke. He really got a Hannah Montana tattoo.)

  23. #23 AJ Milne OM
    April 29, 2010

    ‘My fellow Americans, at 5 a.m. today, a day which will live in infamy we will hereafter celebrate with parades, the Canadians have bombed the Baldwins…’

  24. #24 minimalist
    April 29, 2010

    Stephen Bladwin is Job just like Christians in America are a persecuted minority.

    Pity them, oh!

  25. #25 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 29, 2010

    BEST HEADLINE EVER: Stephen Baldwin: ‘I regret my Hannah Montana tattoo’

    (No, that is NOT a joke. He really got a Hannah Montana tattoo.)

    wow

  26. #26 Ryan F Stello
    April 29, 2010

    tsg asked,

    What’s he done since?…Slap Shot 2?

    Don’t forget Sub Down!

  27. #27 TwoCarpets
    April 29, 2010

    When he was on Big Brother, he came out with the classic line:

    “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys”? The vapid z-listers nodded sagely through incomprehension or astonishment at this brilliant insight, and no-one challenged it. I had to be forcibaly restrained from throwing objects at my TV.

    The guy, to use a colloquial Scottishism, is a Grade A fud.

  28. #28 tsg
    April 29, 2010

    Don’t forget Sub Down!

    Never heard of it. In fact, I’ve never heard of most of the crap he’s been in. I only even noticed Slap Shot 2 because I’m such a fan of the original.

  29. #29 AJ Milne OM
    April 29, 2010

    Wow…

    Things I don’t really want to know, part the 403rd:

    (/Where he had them put it.)

  30. #30 coughlanbrianm
    April 29, 2010

    @Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse

    He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor
    Stood up to the Man and he gave him what for
    Our love for him now ain’t hard to explain
    The Hero of Canton, the man they call Jaaaaaynnnne!

  31. #31 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnd6yHzCFWKXdWZZ3WlFAHImwT1rl08tb8
    April 29, 2010

    Job lost everything he owned, had all of his children exterminated, and was afflicted with ghastly disfiguring diseases.

    And just think, all of that was just so God could settle a bar bet with Satan…

  32. #32 KOPD
    April 29, 2010

    I know, no relationship.

    Really? Damn. I had always assumed there was. It was the only thing that kept the rest of them tolerable for me.

  33. #33 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnd6yHzCFWKXdWZZ3WlFAHImwT1rl08tb8
    April 29, 2010

    About the only Baldwin I give a damn about is Adam. (I know, no relationship.)

    You do realize that Adam “Major Mitchell” Baldwin is a member in good standing at Andrew Blightfart’s Andrei Zhdanov School of Conservative Correctness?

    Not that that prevented him from doing an awesome job as Jayne Cobb, but still…

  34. #34 jason.freund4
    April 29, 2010

    When he was on Big Brother

    Yea, you lost me after that line.

    Speaking of The Usual Suspects, you have to watch the extras where they talk about making the movie. Kevin Spacey ties into Baldwin and Baldwin is such an idiot in the interviews. Good stuff.

  35. #35 Mrs Tilton
    April 29, 2010

    Job lost everything he owned, had all of his children exterminated, and was afflicted with ghastly disfiguring diseases

    And, unlike Baldwin, Job was wise enough to react to all those things by calling God an asshole.

    Somewhere @6,

    less plagiarism than encrusted over the centuries with add-ons and interpolations.

    Regardless of its religious meaning (and what that might be isn’t as clear as many think — the impression most Christians have of Job is 180 degrees wrong, but then of course they probably haven’t read it), it is one of the world’s great works of literature. For those interested in that sort of thing, I’d recommened Stephen Mitchell’s translation, which tries very hard to recover the original text and also reflects the translator/editor’s own decidedly non-Abrahamic perspective.

  36. #36 somewhereingreece
    April 29, 2010

    “The Usual Suspects” was a life-turning experience for me and that fool has gone and ruined it for me.

    @Mrs Tilton: Listen to the podcast when you have the chance, they made a very good case.

  37. #37 Ing
    April 29, 2010

    Ah yes, the Christian right. Helping those who have ample means to help themselves.

  38. #38 hyrcan.myopenid.com
    April 29, 2010

    Maybe they need to watch The Story of Job (youtube vid)?

  39. #39 aduzik.myopenid.com
    April 29, 2010

    Tell you what, I’ll just continue to watch the much more talented (albeit still quite insufferable) Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock, Thursday nights at 9:00/8:00C on NBC. That will be my contribution to enriching a Baldwin brother.

  40. #40 Foggg
    April 29, 2010

    From the christianish FAQ:

    Q – Why does Stephen need personal wealth?
    A – Stephen?s influence is in Hollywood. Hollywood worships money and without it you are seen as a loser and cannot be an effective influence to this group.

    “DeLoserfy me!” said Jesus, as he demanded the rubes fork over their denarii.

  41. #41 James F
    April 29, 2010

    AJ Milne, OM #23

    “Hey Alec, you know what sucks about being a Baldwin?”
    “No, what?”
    “Nothing!”

  42. #42 Roestigraben
    April 29, 2010

    I’m not sure an actor I’ve never heard of deserves my money. Aren’t there any out-of-work evangelical Wall Street CEOs or traders I can donate to?

  43. #43 Ing
    April 29, 2010

    “Q – Why does Stephen need personal wealth?
    A – Stephen?s influence is in Hollywood. Hollywood worships money and without it you are seen as a loser and cannot be an effective influence to this group.”

    Yeah TRY To find the Jesus justification for that stance. Something about two masters I believe?

  44. #44 tsg
    April 29, 2010

    “The Usual Suspects” was a life-turning experience for me and that fool has gone and ruined it for me.

    Baldwin’s character is largely disposable. Just pretend he’s someone else.

  45. #45 daveau
    April 29, 2010

    DeepSix@17-

    I wouldn’t think South Park would promote it if it were real.

    Maybe they think he needs an intervention.

    Yeah, I thought it was a joke, too, just from the context.

  46. #46 wobblyred
    April 29, 2010

    @ #31:

    “…And just think, all of that was just so God could settle a bar bet with Satan…”

    Tom Waites once said, “There is no Satan, only God when he’s drunk”.

    ;-)

  47. #47 foeclan
    April 29, 2010

    That URL was at the end of last night’s South Park, supposedly as a rehab site for towels (no, seriously, towels). Dunno what the connection is, but I thought it was pretty weird at the time.

  48. #48 Hairhead
    April 29, 2010

    Not only is Stephen Baldwin a jerk, he’s not even a good Christian. When asked by an interviewer to recite the Ten Commandments, he couldn’t get out ONE. He’s just a bully who gets off on using religion to push people around. He’s completely contemptible.

  49. #49 SteveM
    April 29, 2010

    I first thought the title of this thread was “Stephen Baldwin needs a day job”

  50. #50 somewhereingreece
    April 29, 2010

    @tsg: I have a hard time of thinking up someone equally disposable who wouldn’t ruin the film as well.

    Ironman 2 opens tonight in my country, I may go and heal my soul there.

  51. #51 daveau
    April 29, 2010

    The only Baldwin I care anything about is a piano.

  52. #52 Joel
    April 29, 2010

    Job lost everything he owned, had all of his children exterminated, and was afflicted with ghastly disfiguring diseases.
    And just think, all of that was just so God could settle a bar bet with Satan…

    Oh, it’s worse than that. God lost the bet. Way back in Chapter 3.

    The rest of the book consists of several of Job’s friends trying to console him with nuanced philisophical treatises on the ineffible goodness of God, to which Job responds (I’m paraphrasing), “fuck off, that psychopathic bastard took everything from me.”

    And then in the closing chapters, God has to defend his actions to Job, largely along the lines of “I created all the mountains and so you are SO stuck with having to worship me, bwahaha!” which doesn’t quite work, so God basically has to bribe Job back into the fold by giving him even more sheep and cows and a brand new wife.

    (Notably, God lacks the power to bring Job’s dead wife and all his dead children back to him. He’s apparently only semi-omnipotent.)

    All in all, the story doesn’t really paint Yahweh in a positive light at all, which is one of the reasons I like the story so much.

  53. #53 bumlet5
    April 29, 2010

    So then who is the modern-day Lot?

  54. #54 Rey Fox
    April 29, 2010

    “(No, that is NOT a joke. He really got a Hannah Montana tattoo.)”

    Well, apparently it was just her initials. Not quite a disfiguring boil. Still, it is funny how, despite meeting her in person, he refers to her as Hannah Montana instead of her real name. One gets the feeling that Baldwin’s reality is not quite the same as ours.

  55. #55 CJO
    April 29, 2010

    And Job in the Bible was a plagiarism as well

    That’s a sort of silly charge, given that the entire Bible is of anonymous authorship, unless it’s against the expectation that every story in the Bible should have been sui generis, a completely original composition intended by its author to be enshrined as “Biblical.” Or against the idea that it’s a true story, but nobody thinks that, surely (I keed).

    It’s important to remember that at the time of the final composition/redaction of Job, there was no “Bible.” What we probably have in Job is a nucleus formed from an ancient folktale popular throughout the Near East –one of a thousand variations on the Suffering Just One– that a Jewish author picked up during the Babylonian exile and fit into the idiom and chronology of the Pentateuch, and much later, in the early Hellenistic period maybe, that version was in turn incorporated into the story as we have it now, with its let’s just say somewhat other than traditionally pious interpretation.

    If that sort of process of borrowing and recombining of older stories and adding new twists is “plagiarism” then practically the whole of ancient literature is plagiarized.

  56. #56 Raindog
    April 29, 2010

    This is just plain disappointing….The only film of Baldwin’s I’ve seen is The Usual Suspects, and I liked him in it….And now it turns out he’s let the side down by being another brainwashed drone of an archaic desert religion….Damn it all!

  57. #57 pixelfish
    April 29, 2010

    Both Job and God, according to the Book of Job, are real schmucks. I mean, God is a needy, whiny, insecure douchecanoe who gets into a bet with Satan about whether or not Job will forsake God when horrible shit happens to him. Scratch that….it’s not random horrible shit, it’s stuff that God and Satan worked out together to test Job’s faith. Basically God gives Satan the go-ahead on torturing Job, in order to assuage his ego. Job is an utter masochist, willing to stand by a capricious egotistical God, and I’d have some sympathy for him, except he seems to regard his family as property, thinking that it’s all okay if they go down to prove to said capricious EgoGod that Job WEALLY TWULY loves EgoGod. And as Joel points out above, God can’t ACTUALLY bring back Job’s wife and kids (which makes you wonder how he managed Jesus) so he just gives him a whole new set. Women and children: property to be disposed of. I bet Job’s new wife and kids feel REAL secure, knowing that Dad could pawn them off to a deity at any time to show how awesome he is. (Although wikipedia says I am recalling Job wrong, when I checked it for a quick reference….apparently his wife lives and bears him ten more kids. So really God isn’t giving Job more kids magically, his long-suffering wife, who gets very little credit, is doing all the work there.)

    I don’t understand why God needs to work through Hollywood at all…I mean, why give money to restore Stephen Baldwin (so he can do what precisely?) when you could probably help entire villages for the amount of money it would take to give one undeserving and rather mediocre actor a status quo life in La-La-Land. The aggregate good from helping all those kids would do more than concentrating all that wealth in the person of S. Baldwin, god-botherer.

  58. #58 IslandBrewer
    April 29, 2010

    Wow. And to think, sending your money to Billy Baldwin to be wasted on hookers and booze might actually be a better use of your money.

    Not that I’d actually advocate anything like that.

  59. #59 Joel
    April 29, 2010

    …”rather mediocre actor “…

    You give Baldwin too much credit. Besides, he’s working on like 5 movies right now so it’s not like people won’t hire him. He’s getting lots of work, and I’ll bet every penny I own that he makes a ton more than I do.

    His career was in the toilet* for almost a decade before he “came out” as a Christian. The industry is not, I repeat not, keeping him down because of his religion. The industry is keeping him down because he doesn’t have the talent or marquee power to pull in the box office sales.

    * by “toilet,” I mean that he’s making more than enough to live a pretty darned cushy life. You or I would be thrilled. He’s just sad that tapping into the fundie market hasn’t rewarded him with a ten-figure superstar lifestyle.

  60. #60 blf
    April 29, 2010

    Ed Brayton covered this in his must-read SciBorg blog Dispatches from the Culture Wars several days ago. He and several of the commentators there suspect it’s real.

  61. #61 Mrs Tilton
    April 29, 2010

    pixelfish @57,

    Both Job and God, according to the Book of Job, are real schmucks…. Job is an utter masochist, willing to stand by a capricious egotistical God

    The Book of Job portrays God as a flaming bunghole, it’s true; basically, like an 18th century English aristocrat who beats the shit out of a poor innocent peasant because it’s fun and he can do it with impunity. But you give Job too little credit. People (Christians, usually) speak of the “patience of Job” as though his stoical acceptance of all suffering is the point of the story. He’s patient for a long time, true. But then he totally loses his shit.

    If you’re interested, check out this thing I wrote about TBoJ on my long-since abandoned blog. I still believed in God in those days; I no longer do, but my opinion of TBoJ has not changed. It, and Ecclesiastes, are to my mind by far the best books in the bible in terms of having anything worthwhile to say.

    That post, BTW, contains my proudest internet possession: a comment from noted netkook Gerard “Aware of All Internet Traditions” van der Leun. It will not surprise you to learn that he did not approve.

  62. #62 pixelfish
    April 29, 2010

    People (Christians, usually) speak of the “patience of Job” as though his stoical acceptance of all suffering is the point of the story. He’s patient for a long time, true. But then he totally loses his shit.

    The main thing is: he sticks by this God despite this God being party to torturing his family and abusing him. In this case I am not sure that being “patient” is a virtue, particularly when you can substitute it with “spinelessness”. This is the sort of mindset that folks use in a religious context for why wives should stick by husbands that beat them, or why various horrible trials are a sign you should just stick with church.

    That’s if you take this story at face value. (Side note: I’ve often held that if it turned out there was a God, I wouldn’t worship him because worship is unhealthy and often presages abuses of power. The God in this story is far from benign, loving, or empathetic–the only reason you worship him is because he’s capable of smiting. You might as well be worshipping the local mafia or warlord.)

    Where I think this story really comes from, since there is no God or Devil to actually have the bet: Wealthy guy who has probably been very smug and self-righteous and harping on his neighbours about religion suddenly undergoes a reversal of fortune. Since he’s been making an ass of himself, the neighbours all go, “Hey, you, you always said your wealth came because you were so awesome with God, what the hell did you do?” Formerly wealthy dude, who is no slouch in the quick excuses department, comes up with some story about God, Satan, and a bar bet. A second reversal of fortune is chalked up to his being SO AWESOMELY FAITHFUL. Basically, Job is the guy who is so invested in his story, he has to make all evidences point to his pet theories, regardless of cost. (This is a common trait among either the cluelessly devout or religious conmen. Look at Joseph Smith, from our post a few weeks ago, who rode his story as far as he could. The Mormons use this as evidence that Joe was right, but it merely shows that he was the sort of personality who would be invested in his own lies.)

  63. #63 Ing
    April 29, 2010

    Maybe in the spirit of Republicanism (no free handouts) we can set up a charity that’ll give shit to Baldwin…provided he work for it.

    Such as we give him the donation if he lets each of us kick him in the sack for Bio-Dome.

  64. #64 ereador
    April 29, 2010

    Was he the Baldwin in that film with Jennifer Rubin and Kim Cattrall, the one in which they seduce him by being lesbians with each other, and then do some other stuff? That was an excellent film.

    But unfortunately the patron saint of the persecuted-for-being-xtian actors told the god of all the xtians to persecute the Baldwin so he could be persecuted, and junk. Then he can has moneys again.

    It’s like, thank you for dying, Jesus, so I get to sin.

  65. #65 a3maniac
    April 29, 2010

    On a funny note, I ran into Stephen Baldwin while getting lunch here in LA. He approached me to say he was so happy young people like me were in a committed relationship (he saw my wedding ring) already, and that it was truly the word of god. I happened to be wearing a TAM t-shirt, which he then asked about. When I confirmed I was an atheist and a skeptic, he just turned around and walked away.

    LOL

    Guess being married young is NOT cool if all you do is raise atheist, skeptical babies. :)

  66. #66 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    April 29, 2010

    I wonder if it will slowly morph into a cult.

  67. #67 Ing
    April 29, 2010

    “On a funny note, I ran into Stephen Baldwin while getting lunch here in LA. He approached me to say he was so happy young people like me were in a committed relationship (he saw my wedding ring) already, and that it was truly the word of god. I happened to be wearing a TAM t-shirt, which he then asked about. When I confirmed I was an atheist and a skeptic, he just turned around and walked away.

    LOL

    Guess being married young is NOT cool if all you do is raise atheist, skeptical babies. :)”

    Dude, you SO should have just gone into how happy you and your spouse were using the appropriate pronouns and mentioning how luck you both were to be able to have the wedding before prop-8.

  68. #68 KingUber
    April 29, 2010

    I hated Biodome

  69. #69 torresvoll
    May 7, 2010

    I read this at wiki:

    Baldwin has a tattoo on his left shoulder of the initials “HM” for Hannah Montana. He got the tattoo after making a pact with Miley Cyrus that he would be allowed to cameo on the show if he had the initials tattooed on him. He revealed the tattoo to Cyrus at a book signing in Nashville, on November 10, 2008.[18] To date he has never appeared on the show. He has since gone on record as saying that he regrets getting the tattoo

  70. #70 otrame
    May 7, 2010

    ProfMTH has an excellant series on the book of Job. I strongly recommend it to anyone. The first one is here.

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