Freethinker Sunday Sermonette: some offensive clips

This is a warning. The clips below are offensive. The second one I've had sitting on my text editor for a couple of weeks and had decided it was too offensive to use in the Sermonette. Whatever some of you may think (assuming you think), this space is not designed to be offensive to religion. I couldn't care less about anyone else's religious views as long as they don't tell me I have to adopt their superstitions. I have enough superstitions of my own, but at least they're harmless (knock on wood!). I use this space for things I think are subversive of religion. Subversion is a subtle thing, even when done unsubtly. It's a kind of demystification or deconstruction. When it's done with ridicule there has to be some value added to the ridicule. Without that, ridicule is just offensiveness. That's why I had decided not to use clip number two, below. But then I got to thinking about it.

Specifically about what was offensive about the clip: it uses bad language about God. That's a kind of offensiveness, all right, and it didn't feel very subversive to me. It was just sort of juvenile and this felt to me like it crossed the line. But then I started to think about other things that get said all the time that are orders of magnitude more offensive than some juvenile bad language but seem to be officially sanctioned, even virtuous. For example, here's a controversial quote attributed to the first President Bush, a quote that he has never denied uttering although there is no actual film footage of him saying it. The setting is a press gathering (this was apparently an interview before or after it) at O'Hare Airport in Chicago on August 27, 1987. Among the press was Robert I. Sherman of the American Atheist, an accredited reporter covering the 1988 campaign:

Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?

Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.

Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?

Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?

Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists. (Positive Atheism)

This is so monumentally offensive that Bush's defenders have questioned whether he actually said it. Snopes is agnostic on the issue (pardon the sly humor), but the discussion there shows that Bush was indeed at O'Hare that day and gave a news conference, so that much is true. And it is also true that with all the controversy, Bush has never denied saying it despite multiple opportunities. Moreover, it's plausible. That kind of offensiveness was par for the course then (and now). To demonstrate the point, here's Exhibit One in the offensive clip department:

Under what circumstances should this kind of crap be considered OK to put on national TV (as it was)? That stuff, virtually all of it, when considered on its merits is deeply, deeply offensive. But we let it pass as just a difference of religious opinion.

That's why I finally decided to put this second clip up. My reason for showing it is to raise this subversive question: how could this clip be considered any more offensive than the crap attributed to a sitting Vice President or the super crap in the above clip? I mean really. Doesn't the word "offensive" have an actual meaning beyond the use of bad language? Without further ado, here is the clip. Good old fashioned Gospel Music. Enjoy:

More like this

thumbs up!

Those clips of the chrisofascists were almost beyond bearable in the morning.

The ditty at the end was nice :-)

The ditty at the end was wonderful. First you hit us with the depressing but then you "save the day" with some right on target humor.

I know some people get what they think they need from religion, although I suspect they would be nice people with or without religion, but I have seen many more people F##D up by religion if not actually F##Ded by priests and pastors. Stay strong Revere!!!!!

I liked the surprise ending. :)

By Tom in Vermont (not verified) on 21 Feb 2010 #permalink

As one already fucked up by God via his Catholic upbringing, I thank you for the giggle of clip #2. RE clip #1, I remind that the poor dummies in the audiences have also been fucked up by God and are, simply, pitiable tools in the hands of the Cowboy faction of US politics. Which in no way exonerates them for their anti-women, anti-gay, anti-intellectual behavior. Thus having confirmed my credentials as a reasonable social critic, I say "Fuck 'em!"

Great videos. Love the song.
"4.9 billion" on "safe sodomy subsidies", that is a lot of condoms :)
Or just a very good start.

By Dr. Denise (not verified) on 21 Feb 2010 #permalink

#2 hilarious and completely non-offensive.
#1: Some shocking and deeply offensive comments there. But I don't recognise this extremist stuff as any kind of religion I'm personally familiar with. Christian fundamentalism seems to be to the US what Islamic fundamentalism is to the Middle East.

And K- what you say about nice people being nice people with or without religion probably applies in reverse to those guys. Without religion there would still be cynical, hypocritical people using some other offensive ideology to bring people to round to their way of thinking.

Dan Quayle was really amateurish in the way that he telegraphed his pauses for applause.

CPP: The music is significant. It is from Shostakovitch's Symphony #7 ("The Leningrad", written to commemorate the Siege of Leningrad in WWII). I know this music well and recognized the motif as the one used by the composer to signify the Nazis.

Hoot! Hoot!

I first heard that most honest of gospel songs a couple of years ago. It broke me up then, too. Yes, God will fuck you up; but only if you allow it to.

The option I have exercised seems to be a useful preventative. That is, if I can't see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, feel it or otherwise measure it with some degree of certainty, I simply don't consider it important. My senses are useful for more than gathering food and perpetuating my genes. Frequently they devise useful measuring sticks.

My instruments have worked well for nearly sixty years. Given the indeterminate nature of, well, nature, such service has proved to be of inestimable value. And I am, with noticeable lack of feeling impolite, quite happy with myself for being so clever.

*then again, it did take so awfully long to finally figure out . . . perhaps if I could have another go . . .*

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 21 Feb 2010 #permalink

Did... DID Mrs. Quayle ACTUALLY SAY THAT?!

It's kind of sad, though, that it's Falwell and Robertson who are in that first clip. Even when I was a Christian, I didn't like those people.

I'm SPITTING with anger at those people. That was so incredibly offensive to me as a human being. Misogyny, homophobia... it's... remarkable.

First video at 2:41: Satan. Others in the video are his little helpers. Extremely offensive to minorities and even to a majority (women).

Second video: Hilarious. "when God turned that bitch to salt" --> priceless.

Great clips Revere!

The Religious Right is simmering away here in the Canadian national minority government and occasionally the centrist mask slips a little.

The current Conservative Administration of Stephen Harper, with it's roots firmly in the extreme right Reform Party, just quietly cancelled a promised AIDS research facility backed 25% by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The announcement this week was timed to be overshadowed by Olympic Mania in the media.

OMFG...! Thanks, I needed that. ILMFAO
#2 that is.

And American's wonder why the sky is falling in.