Ten instances of stupidity in the CADC’s “Top Ten Instances of Christian Bashing” list

This is in response to a beef from the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission posted Monday on ChristianNewswire.com.


10. The headline itself is stupid. If you’re going to whine about being bashed, don’t use a title that suggests that bashing is praiseworthy or desirable. Hmmm…
9. Poor proofreading. “Christian Bashing in American in 2008” (first paragraph) implies that the alleged bash-fest transpired wholly within the interior of one particularly unlucky individual, thereby adding a new dimension to the term “bellyaching.”
8. More poor proofreading. “alter boys” (#9) refers not to a noun that Christians should be familiar with, but to an unfortunate act certain Catholic priests have been known to perpetrate.
7. Outright verbal ineptitude. By using “Meyer’s” in place of “Myers” (#7), the dolt who wrote this managed to mangle the spelling of PZ’s surname, misuse an apostrophe, and demonstrate an absent grasp of simple pluralization in just five keystrokes.
6. Hypocrisy, argumentum ex stercore tauri, etc. In #6, the writer claims that in making the film Religulous, Bill Maher “studiously avoided being fair and did not allow for legitimate Christian answers from any leading Christian intellectuals.” The oxymoron at the end of this passage aside, how often do Christian propagandists allow those with opposing views a voice in their unrelenting shitstreams?
5. Lying. “Chaplains for the State of Virginia are being denied their right to pray in Jesus’ name” (#5) is about as accurate as every other accusation of prayer suppression. These people simply refuse to admit to the basic distinction between prayer itself and sectarian prayer as a standard procedural matter in government affairs.
4. More lying. “SB200, a Colorado state bill recently signed into law, criminalizes the Bible” (#4) is just more of the usual hysterical bullshit. The bill itself is here, and Section 8 (page 7 of the PDF) is the source of the hysteria. It is not a crime to own or read the Bible, only to use it as a tool to discriminate against gays and others on the basis of its passages. It’s reassuring at some level, though, that Christians are acknowledging that their handbook foments discrimination–the bill doesn’t specifically mention the Bible at all.
3. Claims to mind-reading. #3 states that “CADC has determined that by any biblical and historic Christian standard, Barack Obama is not a Christian.” In addition to this being inane on its face, I would guess that 95 percent of self-professed Christians are not Christians by any biblical or historical standard, and that is a conservative estimate.
2. Hey, let’s lie some more. “Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, came under sharp attack by some in the mainstream media because she self-identifies as a Christian” (#2) is obviously a lie. Palin came under criticism for being a Christian nutcase. If merely self-identifying as a Christian is cause for being attacked, why wasn’t Obama (see above) and every other politician claiming to be Christian criticized just as harshly? Nuances are no more a strong point of these clowns than is writing in passable English.
1. Word salad. Here’s #1 in its entirety: “During and after the November campaign stories flooded in of pro-Prop 8 signs being taken, people verbally and physically assaulted, church property and private automobiles vandalized, and person’s jobs and pastor’s lives threatened simply for exercising their right to campaign and vote in support of traditional marriage.” I count six distinct grammatical errors in this single sentence. Look, no one’s perfect, but this degree of linguistic sin deals a severe blow to the claimant’s credibility, and I won’t even touch the content or the headline (“Radical Homosexuals Assault Prop 8 Marriage Supporters in California”).
Perhaps I have focused too heavily here on the misuse of English at the expense of bashing the CADC’s factual claims, but if so, I don’t think this is much of a point in the whiners’ favor.

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  1. #1 by chris on January 7, 2009 - 10:32 am

    2. Hey, let’s lie some more. “Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, came under sharp attack by some in the mainstream media because she self-identifies…

    The commas around Sarah Palin are also extraneous. They should have used the full proper noun, “Alaska Governor Sarah Palin”. If they had said, The Alaska Governor, which is a little awkward, or perhaps Alaska‘s Governor, then they would have needed commas to offset the specific name (Sarah Palin) form the general title (Alaska’s Governor).
    Nitwits.

  2. #2 by Joe on January 7, 2009 - 12:27 pm

    I would come right out and call you ignorant, but that’d be doing exactly what you did. Your very first line simply calls the headline “stupid.” Really? I feel bad for all the diggers and whatnot that happen upon this link.

  3. #3 by Kevin Beck on January 7, 2009 - 12:59 pm

    Joe, when you started reading this post, did you know that its title is “Ten instances of stupidity in the CADC’s ‘Top Ten Instances of Christian Bashing’ list”?
    Are you aware that there is some text after the “very first line [that] simply calls the headline ‘stupid'” and that this text relates to the claim I make in that line?
    I’ll pray that you, too, recover from what appears to be a mixture of resentment and stupidity.

  4. #4 by Martin on January 7, 2009 - 2:12 pm

    You up for some constructive criticism?
    While you made some good points, your lopsided attention to their spelling and grammar errors is going to make them come out of the woodwork and accuse you of “ad hominem” attacks or something similar, and make it very easy for them to ignore the actual arguments you did make.
    You know how they are.

  5. #5 by Kevin Beck on January 7, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    Martin,
    I agree in principle, but your “you know how they are” is all too correct. These are the kind of Christians who don’t need an excuse like being ragged on for their inability to use English in order to ignore sound points; they’re all about bullshitting and whining, and will bullshit and whine whether approached harshly or diplomatically. Since “bashing ” more readily satisfies my appetite for calling negative attention to negative people than does trying to reason with them or understand why they think as they do, I opt for the former. I could just ignore them altogether, but if I could suffer fools gently I probably wouldn’t be writing in this space.
    What I’m waiting for is for someone to point out a grammatical or spelling miscue on my part here. There’s gotta be at least one…

  6. #6 by Patrick on January 7, 2009 - 4:55 pm

    Looks like they are the product of good old christian homeskoolin.

  7. #7 by abb3w on January 7, 2009 - 5:18 pm

    By my count, “Meyer’s” is seven keystrokes… or are you omitting the first and last because they would be the same for “Myers”?

  8. #8 by Robert Kamper on January 8, 2009 - 12:52 am

    My own take on the so-called examples of Christian bashing as listed at http://www.christianadc.org/news-and-articles/125-top-ten-instances-of-christian-bashing-in-america-2008:
    “INSTANCE #10: Jack Black Musical Video” – This is an instance of making fun of the Mormon sect, not Christians in general, if I understand the point of the “Prop 8 the Musical”. I recall seeing clips of the video and thought it clever and funny. Gary Cass calls it names. He should have given his readers a direct link so they could judge for themselves.
    “INSTANCE #9: Bill Maher Gratuitously Attacks Pope” – Sorry, this isn’t a case of Christian bashing, it’s pointing out the hypocrisy of the church in protecting child molesters within the priesthood. Why is the CADC defending child molestation?
    “INSTANCE #8: ESPN Anchor Dana Jacobson’s “F— Jesus” Remark” – I don’t see how this is a case of Christian bashing, since the story reports that Jacobson was suspended for using an expletive to express the idea that “Touchdown Jesus” cheapens religion and puts football on a par with Jesus and “Notre Dame” Mary. Sounds like it’s a case of punishment for offending community standards. Of course, we’ll probably never hear anyone say F— Touchdown Sagan, F— MIT, F— Richard Dawkins at an ESPN corporate gig.
    “INSTANCE #7: Minnesota University Professor Desecrates Communion” – This is a case of Atheist bashing, not Christian bashing. All the professor did was obtain a wafer. It was the Christians who assigned the highly emotionally charged meaning to the act or receiving the tiny morsel. Besides, I suspect that by the time the professor got his hands on the Eucharist, the effects of the mystery of transubstantiation had worn off and it had reverted to being a plain old wafer at that point, with none of the properties of the body of Christ. I’m sure that if it had been subjected to scientific tests, there would have been no difference found between the consecrated wafer and a non-consecrated wafer, suggesting that the miracle of transubstantiation has a short half-life, perhaps only the few seconds it takes between consecration and consumption, and that any attempts to desecrate it would be futile, since it would no longer be endowed with the Holy Spirit. In fact, I am confident that the Christ would quickly get the hell out of any wafer that anyone tried to desecrate, and am disappointed in Dr. Cass’ lack of faith.
    “INSTANCE #6: Religulous the Movie” – The argument presented is a movie review, with which I disagree. I thought Religulous was entertaining AND bent over backwards to allow people of faith to express themselves in their own words. Bashing usually consists of attacking people for beliefs or goals which they are accused of having, without allowing them to speak for themselves. See Instance #1 for an example of this sort of bashing – Dr. Cass calls Jack Black and his musical all sorts of names but never allows his readers to actually see the material and judge for themselves whether it is what he says it is.
    “INSTANCE #5: Chaplains Fired for Praying in Jesus’ Name” – So what? I think the point was made above that the law or policy allowed non-denominational prayers or blessings without reference to a specific religion or sect. If the dude violated the rules knowingly, then not being allowed to play the game seems a reasonable consequence. I have heard the blessing given before meals: “Let us be thankful for these gifts and all others” that anyone, theist, non-theist, or atheist, should be able to live with. Why spoil it with “In Jesus’ name” or “In the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s Name”?
    “INSTANCE #4: Colorado Law Criminalizes the Bible” – Again, I think this was discussed above. Is Dr. Cass being disingenuous or is he unable to understand the meaning of the law? And what does he mean by “a larger effort to criminalize the expression of certain opinions and beliefs”? What opinions and beliefs does he have that he thinks are going to be criminalized?
    “INSTANCE #3: Barack Obama Defames Christianity” – This is why I believe that churches should NOT automatically receive tax exempt status, and need to qualify for and be audited like any other charitable, tax exempt organization. This guy’s web site claims “The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) Education Corporation…” and yet there is the article “Seven Reasons Barack Obama is not a Christian”, which has less relevance than “Why The First Amendment Protecting Religious Freedom Prohibits 501(c) (3) organizations from engaging in political activities”, which doesn’t appear on his website. This isn’t a religious or Christian list, it is a political list using religion and ignorance as its tools.
    “INSTANCE #2: Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin Is Attacked” – see instance #3.
    “INSTANCE #1: Radical Homosexuals Assault Prop 8 Marriage Supporters in California” – I live in Texas. It wasn’t so long ago that some rednecks got drunk and tied another human being to the back of their pickup truck with chains and dragged him around until he died. When radical homosexuals start doing that to people who are actively seeking to restrict the legal rights of other citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I’ll condemn them for Christian bashing. But people who are trying to overturn a Supreme Court decision by restricting others’ rights are the people doing the bashing, in my opinion.
    Dr. Gary Cass sounds like someone with an anti-homosexual agenda (based on this list) using religion to justify his bashing of others and to present himself (and his group) as the victims of bashing. And since he threw in the item about the priests molesting minors, one wonders whether he might also be dealing with the same type of self-hate in-the-closet sexual identity and behavior issues that some public figures in the field of politics and religion have had come to light. I wouldn’t know. It’s none of my business. And it seems that most of what he’s complaining about in his list are none of his business, either: what religion other people practice, what entertainment other people watch, whether other people who call themselves “Christian” profess to believe in exactly the same “Christianity” he believes in, politics, …
    But don’t get me started…

  9. #9 by Robert Kamper on January 8, 2009 - 12:52 am

    My own take on the so-called examples of Christian bashing as listed at http://www.christianadc.org/news-and-articles/125-top-ten-instances-of-christian-bashing-in-america-2008:
    “INSTANCE #10: Jack Black Musical Video” – This is an instance of making fun of the Mormon sect, not Christians in general, if I understand the point of the “Prop 8 the Musical”. I recall seeing clips of the video and thought it clever and funny. Gary Cass calls it names. He should have given his readers a direct link so they could judge for themselves.
    “INSTANCE #9: Bill Maher Gratuitously Attacks Pope” – Sorry, this isn’t a case of Christian bashing, it’s pointing out the hypocrisy of the church in protecting child molesters within the priesthood. Why is the CADC defending child molestation?
    “INSTANCE #8: ESPN Anchor Dana Jacobson’s “F— Jesus” Remark” – I don’t see how this is a case of Christian bashing, since the story reports that Jacobson was suspended for using an expletive to express the idea that “Touchdown Jesus” cheapens religion and puts football on a par with Jesus and “Notre Dame” Mary. Sounds like it’s a case of punishment for offending community standards. Of course, we’ll probably never hear anyone say F— Touchdown Sagan, F— MIT, F— Richard Dawkins at an ESPN corporate gig.
    “INSTANCE #7: Minnesota University Professor Desecrates Communion” – This is a case of Atheist bashing, not Christian bashing. All the professor did was obtain a wafer. It was the Christians who assigned the highly emotionally charged meaning to the act or receiving the tiny morsel. Besides, I suspect that by the time the professor got his hands on the Eucharist, the effects of the mystery of transubstantiation had worn off and it had reverted to being a plain old wafer at that point, with none of the properties of the body of Christ. I’m sure that if it had been subjected to scientific tests, there would have been no difference found between the consecrated wafer and a non-consecrated wafer, suggesting that the miracle of transubstantiation has a short half-life, perhaps only the few seconds it takes between consecration and consumption, and that any attempts to desecrate it would be futile, since it would no longer be endowed with the Holy Spirit. In fact, I am confident that the Christ would quickly get the hell out of any wafer that anyone tried to desecrate, and am disappointed in Dr. Cass’ lack of faith.
    “INSTANCE #6: Religulous the Movie” – The argument presented is a movie review, with which I disagree. I thought Religulous was entertaining AND bent over backwards to allow people of faith to express themselves in their own words. Bashing usually consists of attacking people for beliefs or goals which they are accused of having, without allowing them to speak for themselves. See Instance #1 for an example of this sort of bashing – Dr. Cass calls Jack Black and his musical all sorts of names but never allows his readers to actually see the material and judge for themselves whether it is what he says it is.
    “INSTANCE #5: Chaplains Fired for Praying in Jesus’ Name” – So what? I think the point was made above that the law or policy allowed non-denominational prayers or blessings without reference to a specific religion or sect. If the dude violated the rules knowingly, then not being allowed to play the game seems a reasonable consequence. I have heard the blessing given before meals: “Let us be thankful for these gifts and all others” that anyone, theist, non-theist, or atheist, should be able to live with. Why spoil it with “In Jesus’ name” or “In the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s Name”?
    “INSTANCE #4: Colorado Law Criminalizes the Bible” – Again, I think this was discussed above. Is Dr. Cass being disingenuous or is he unable to understand the meaning of the law? And what does he mean by “a larger effort to criminalize the expression of certain opinions and beliefs”? What opinions and beliefs does he have that he thinks are going to be criminalized?
    “INSTANCE #3: Barack Obama Defames Christianity” – This is why I believe that churches should NOT automatically receive tax exempt status, and need to qualify for and be audited like any other charitable, tax exempt organization. This guy’s web site claims “The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) Education Corporation…” and yet there is the article “Seven Reasons Barack Obama is not a Christian”, which has less relevance than “Why The First Amendment Protecting Religious Freedom Prohibits 501(c) (3) organizations from engaging in political activities”, which doesn’t appear on his website. This isn’t a religious or Christian list, it is a political list using religion and ignorance as its tools.
    “INSTANCE #2: Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin Is Attacked” – see instance #3.
    “INSTANCE #1: Radical Homosexuals Assault Prop 8 Marriage Supporters in California” – I live in Texas. It wasn’t so long ago that some rednecks got drunk and tied another human being to the back of their pickup truck with chains and dragged him around until he died. When radical homosexuals start doing that to people who are actively seeking to restrict the legal rights of other citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I’ll condemn them for Christian bashing. But people who are trying to overturn a Supreme Court decision by restricting others’ rights are the people doing the bashing, in my opinion.
    Dr. Gary Cass sounds like someone with an anti-homosexual agenda (based on this list) using religion to justify his bashing of others and to present himself (and his group) as the victims of bashing. And since he threw in the item about the priests molesting minors, one wonders whether he might also be dealing with the same type of self-hate in-the-closet sexual identity and behavior issues that some public figures in the field of politics and religion have had come to light. I wouldn’t know. It’s none of my business. And it seems that most of what he’s complaining about in his list are none of his business, either: what religion other people practice, what entertainment other people watch, whether other people who call themselves “Christian” profess to believe in exactly the same “Christianity” he believes in, politics, …
    But don’t get me started…

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