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American Atheist

It's about time we got a show of our own
  (+1)
(+1)
  [vote for,
against]

I've seen a lot of TV shows lately... particularly children's cartoons... which are blatantly trying to indoctrinate children into the Christian religion. What I'd like to see is a series of children's shows which emphasize the values of logic, reason, and humanism. I'd also like to see the main characters encounter situations where they are approached by folks of the religious persuasion and respectfully explain that they aren't buying into religion themselves but have no reason to negatively judge those who do. Maybe such a show could be a cartoon depicting an interfaith kids' club with a Muslim, a Christian, a Sikhe, and an Atheist all getting along famously and having adventures together.

This was inspired by a conversation I had with a young Muslim woman a few days ago. She was amazed (floored almost) when I asked if she was Sunni, Shia, or Alawite. Apparently, I was the first American she's ever met (she came to the US from Saudi Arabia 2 years ago) who knew there was more than one kind of Muslim out there. She was even more amazed when she asked if I'm a Christian and I told her that I'm actually an Atheist. She told me I'd shown more cultural and religious sensitivity and respect than any Christian she's met, and it absolutely amazed her that I have no religion to guide me.

If a single 20 minute conversation can do that to improve our image in religious folks' minds, just imagine what the exposure we'd get from a kids' show can do.

21 Quest, Sep 22 2013

Here's a podcast I like http://pennsundayschool.com/
Not related to the idea, but it's an Athiestic good time. [doctorremulac3, Sep 22 2013]

Here's a bunch of atheists who have a problem with "belief", when they should know better. http://www.evolutionvsgod.com/
As mentioned in an annotation. [Vernon, Sep 23 2013]

Horrible Histories' "Rosa Parks Song" http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/clips/p019r2yw
Superior TV entertainment. [DrBob, Sep 23 2013]

Indoctrinating kids through children's television http://www.youtube....watch?v=eeii225G-HM
Hamas' Jew-eating rabbit. [AusCan531, Sep 23 2013]

Atheism to be taught to Irish schoolchildren http://www.theguard...rish-schoolchildren
[JesusHChrist, Sep 26 2013]

[link]






       So, it wouldn't include Atheists eating babies and raping and murdering everyone in sight? /snarkiness
  

       [+]
Klaatu, Sep 22 2013
  

       We only do that on weekends.
  

       The whole question of atheism in America worries me - I get the feeling that being atheist there is almost as bad as admitting that you smoke, or possibly worse. So many people, so much power, so much superstition.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 22 2013
  

       //only do that on weekends// So much the better for those of us who work one day a week.
pocmloc, Sep 22 2013
  

       I reaaally like the idea of an athiest child being shown as being somebody to be respected as much as kids from any other persuasion. I'm also kind of shocked that, now that you mention it, I've never seen this before.
  

       Bun-at-ya Q. Nice idea. [+]
doctorremulac3, Sep 22 2013
  

       //I get the feeling that being atheist there is almost as bad as admitting that you smoke, or possibly worse.//
  

       Actually, it's about on par with admitting you're Jewish in the UK.
ytk, Sep 22 2013
  

       Actually, in the UK, if you have to admit to any religious affiliation, being Jewish is the least bad. I guess it's seen more as a circumstance of birth than as a choice.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 22 2013
  

       It's certainly interesting being an Atheist on this side of the pond... I've never been openly insulted over it, but the look on most folks' faces when I tell them I'm an Atheist ranges from shock to wariness.
21 Quest, Sep 22 2013
  

       // What I'd like to see is a series of children's shows which emphasize the values of logic, reason, and humanism. //
  

       Would this eventually be rolled out into adult shows too, or is that just too big a step … ?
8th of 7, Sep 22 2013
  

       21 - There are also Sufis, if my memory serves me. We studied comparative religions at secondary school.
xenzag, Sep 22 2013
  

       // the look on most folks' faces when I tell them I'm an Atheist ranges from shock to wariness.// Sounds a lot like most Islamic countries, but without the stoning.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 22 2013
  

       Can"t be called "AA" though. Need a different shortening. Maybe AmAt. Don't want to get the two confused. Like the idea though. +
blissmiss, Sep 22 2013
  

       //but the look on most folks' faces when I tell them I'm an Atheist ranges from//
  

       See, thing is, as an Australian - it basically never comes up.. I don't know if it's the fact that we don't consider asking someone their religion, or talking about our own (or lack thereof) doesn't fit in with our definition of polite conversation, or if it's just the fact that we couldn't give a rat's arse what someone's religion is.
  

       I guess I'm saying it's pretty good being an atheist in Australia.
  

       The idea for the kid's show with characters of different religious persuasion is a great one. As long as there's absolutely no, none, whatsoever, plot content that isn't factual - ie no supernatrual crap that would make a mockery of the atheist.
Custardguts, Sep 22 2013
  

       Oh definitely... the real trick would be to not throw the religious kids under the bus, either, thus offending our target audience.
21 Quest, Sep 22 2013
  

       //as an Australian - it basically never comes up//
  

       Interesting. That's kind of similar to the situation here in the UK, at least superficially. I wonder if the underlying motivation is the same. Over here, I think the reason it never comes up is that religion is generally considered a bit weird, and it would be sort of embarrassing if someone admitted to it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 22 2013
  

       Hear, hear. Bun, bun.
  

       Only can we drop the US-centric bit? This needs to be worldwide.
AusCan531, Sep 22 2013
  

       It could be along the lines of shows like Master Chef USA or Master Chef New Zealand. Each country it airs in can have its own version tailored to the cultural environment there.
21 Quest, Sep 22 2013
  

       // I guess I'm saying it's pretty good being an atheist in Australia //
  

       It's sort of inevitable. People arrive, look around them at the place, and immediately realise that there's no God.
8th of 7, Sep 22 2013
  

       One caveat. A show called "American Atheist" effectively defines atheism as the thing which is odd about atheists, just as "American Hotrod" is clearly about people whose oddity is a passion for hotrods.
  

       Atheists, I think, are the ground-state of the human spirit, the norm from which other states are defined as strange, and it seems odd therefore to define them in this way.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 22 2013
  

       // the norm from which other states are defined as strange //
  

       So, a show entitled "American Imbecile" ?
8th of 7, Sep 22 2013
  

       //immediately realise that there's no God//
  

       Only the Poms who realise that they've lived their entire lives up to that point in the UK.
AusCan531, Sep 22 2013
  

       'The Atheist Among Us'? 'Atheists in the Fold'? 'All Your Beliefs Are Belong To Us'?
21 Quest, Sep 22 2013
  

       I was trying to forget.
  

       Seems to me it's not enough to simply be atheist. It seems to be all about staring blankly, if there's no real central object. Someone, likely a sciency type, has to bring in a new wave of atheism that has some central object, that's not disproof of almightyness. In a sense atheism becomes a nihilism, because without something eternal everything is reduceable to nothing. So it would be nice for atheism to have a certain shelf-life, and have people declare themselves rationalists, philosophers, and even nihilists, instead of defining themselves based on what they don't believe in. So in a manner of speaking I'm against the idea, because I've been distancing myself from atheism recently. In reality I'm not really atheist because no substantial proof has been presented to be refuted. I simply don't adhere to what any religious people are talking about. And on the other hand I'm not completely against religion because in the very important domain of human conflict it's ingrained in history that's unfolding. The specific beliefs related to global identities have to be understood to understand what's going on in more reality level situations.
rcarty, Sep 22 2013
  

       DANGER: imminent formation of Self-aggrandising, superior circle-jerk detected. Abort, Abort.
  

       ...
Custardguts, Sep 22 2013
  

       ... [rcarty] I just think a lot of us don't need a central object, and similarly, our central objects are all different. I don't feel any specific need to have any comformity or comraderie with other atheists, or anyone else. Down that road lies arbitrary beleifs, thoughts, actions, eventually dogma, and a repeat of all of the evils of organised religion that has driven many of us away from theism to begin with.
  

       I don't contemplate the bleakness of it all, because I am surrounded by an amazing, diverse, interesting and fascinating universe, a life full of exciting possibilities, and fulfilling relationships with fellow human beings. I don't need some central concept upon which to base my life.
  

       But that's just me, I don't speak for all atheists.
Custardguts, Sep 22 2013
  

       I don't really want a central concept either, but I was just thinking in terms of a new atheism that wasn't based on rejecting stupid beliefs, like time travel or some sort of mathematical model that proves we live again or something like that. Anyway I agree, I'm just tired of hearing stupid beliefs being refuted.
rcarty, Sep 22 2013
  

       I'm even more tired of hearing stupid beleifs promulgated.
Custardguts, Sep 22 2013
  

       The funniest joke I know about Religion is, if someone proved God actually existed (and nothing else), almost every single Religion would instantly claim that its particular belief system regarding everything, not just God's existence, had been proved.
  

       NOPE. Sorry, but proving God exists doesn't prove that Creation happened --the Big Bang could STILL have been a spontaneous Natural event. Nor does it prove anything about God's likes or dislikes. It doesn't even prove that humans have souls.
  

       I'm going to post a link that has a video that tries to suck the viewer in, using a logical fallacy. See, the video talks a lot about "belief". The problem is, at least with respect to Science and Technology, "belief" is mostly irrelevant. When you flip a switch to turn on a light, you don't need to believe that the light will turn on. IF there is power, and IF the wiring is in good condition, and IF the light bulb is not burned out (and perhaps more IFs), then the light WILL work, period-and- end-of-statement, no belief or faith necessary.
  

       Now I admit that there have been Science Scandals, such that various claims were improperly made and needed to be retracted. However, note that the main reason the retractions happened was because others did NOT automatically believe the claims that were made --they tried to duplicate the experimental results. Since Every Single Claim In Science is subject to such verification/testing, it logically follows that "belief" is generally only useful if you want to be lazy, and not do all those verifications/tests yourself.
  

       There is one other aspect of Science that needs to be mentioned, because Science consists of more than just data-gathering. It also tries to put the data together in ways that make logical sense. That is why the Theory of Evolution came about; it did a better job of explaining the facts than any other notion. Keep that in mind if you watch the video, and see its insidious attempt to make belief more important than all the verifiable facts that Evolutionists can explain, but Creationists cannot.
Vernon, Sep 23 2013
  

       //I'd like to see is a series of children's shows which emphasize the values of logic, reason, and humanism//
Have you met any children? I ask because the three things you are looking to instill are antithetical to the target audience. Fanaticism, tenacity in the face of overwhelming evidence and a malicious streak a mile wide are more sympathetic to the demographic, and advertisers want shows and watchers simpatico.
calum, Sep 23 2013
  

       There is very little connection between religion and belief.
nineteenthly, Sep 23 2013
  

       large groups of people appear to require an organizing meme. While there's been plenty of evidence for the harm done by such memes when they are religious in nature, there's also been plenty of evidence in the last 150 years that non- religious versions of such memes (i.e. fascism, communism) are just as bad, or worse. So, in its heyday, the Soviet Union, which had over 100M atheists, was probably the largest threat to humans on the planet and perhaps to the planet itself. China, which at least nominally holds the largest # of atheists on the planet, North Korea, are the other places that come to mind.
theircompetitor, Sep 23 2013
  

       //So, in its heyday, the Soviet Union, which had over 100M atheists, was probably the largest threat to humans on the planet and perhaps to the planet itself. //
  

       I just don't agree with that. The being a threat to humans and the planet bit. I just don't agree - that's an enormously, solipsistically one sided view of things. Their "system" was critically flawed, morally wrong and ultimately ineffective, sure, but I think history will and is showing that the "western" system isn't so much better. Either way, soviet communism wasn't a threat to continued human survival of the planet - it was just a threat to the western political system (funnily enough, the inverse was also absolutely true, ie that the western system was a threat to the soviet system). Now I'm all for victors getting to write history and all, but shit man, it was only 25 years ago. The facts haven't faded enough for utter bullshit yet.
Custardguts, Sep 23 2013
  

       //over 100M atheists//
  

       That actually doesn't seem like very many.
Ok, sure, it could be that ..ooh.. 286730819 is certainly over 100 million, but it's still a bit misleading.
Or were the other two-thirds of the population agnostic?
(Actually, sources indicate that over 80% of the population had a religion, so there would only have been less than 60 million atheists present.)
  

       The UK contains over 2 atheists - and look what we have wrought!
Loris, Sep 23 2013
  

       [Custardguts] I lived it, and my father spent time in the Gulag. It was real evil, and it was a threat to all of mankind, if not from nuclear fallout, than for a thousand year hammer and sickle. And I guess having grown up there, I'm not sufficiently evolved to hold all things equal.
  

       Religion may be the opiate of the masses, but what replaced it in those societies was in many ways scarier. Scarier because it was a political system treated as a religion.
  

       As to the sources -- officially everyone was indoctrinated into an atheist view -- we were taught that Jesus was an invention, a retelling of the Osiris myth, and likely never existed as a human. Of course many still worshiped in secret, memes being what they are. Some still worship Communism, too. Now they love walking around sporting rapper style crosses, and there's an unholy alliance between the Kremlin and the Orthodox Church, as exemplified in the Pussy Riot incident. So the world turns.
theircompetitor, Sep 23 2013
  

       I'm wondering why we have to wear these labels at all? If I had to say, my label would be something like Rastafarian Buddhist Hindu Zen Christian Pagan...
I guess the idea could help expand choices, so [+]
xandram, Sep 23 2013
  

       it is no different than any other form of speciation, xandram. You can no more change it than stop water from flowing downhill. Actually, we'll probably beat gravity someday and still asign labels.
theircompetitor, Sep 23 2013
  

       // children's shows which emphasize the values of logic, reason, and humanism. //
  

       When I was a kid public television offered a plethora of shows which fit that description: Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, 3-2-1 Contact!, Square One...have things changed?
  

       I've seen that terrible 'Veggie-tales' pap, but it seems like a few good ones are left. 'Dino Junction' (now 'Dinosaur Train') offers good wholesome anti-Christian fun by accurately explaining that dinosaurs existed ages before humans existed, and 'Jane and the Dragon' borders on paganist.
Alterother, Sep 23 2013
  

       You mean like 'This side up' or 'this side down'?
21 Quest, Sep 23 2013
  

       [their] - I appreciate that you sound like that you have a much more personal perspective than I of the situation. And I will admit I thought your comments were coming from the normal, usually US-based, one eyed view of history. That said, I still mean what I said. Evil can be found, true evil, in all of man's deeds, and most especially in his treatment of other men (or women). There's nothing special about us or what we do that separates us from that fact.
  

       That was a helluva side-track to take, eh? I feel somewhat prohetical.
  

       DANGER: Self-aggrandising, superior circle-jerk achieved. Recovery impossible. SELF DESTRUCT!!!1!!
Custardguts, Sep 23 2013
  

       tbf, the problem isn't that American children's TV is misleading or wrong, the problem is that it is just plain shit (e.g. Bubble Guppies). At least with the theocratic bent is is venturing into new territories of shit and broadening out from "shilling product shit".
calum, Sep 23 2013
  

       Is it time for Burka Avenger yet?
Loris, Sep 23 2013
  

       Honestly, is children's programming in other countries that much better? I saw some of the British stuff while I was over there and, to borrow a colloquialism, it was bloody bollocks. Maybe not Christian indoctrination bollocks, but uneducational, mind-numbing, creativity- stifling bollocks hosted by a pouf named Graham Norton. Also there was some bad stuff on in the morning that was more obviously aimed at the age 4-8 set.
  

       Also, wasn't 'Teletubbies' British? Stupifying kids is nearly as bad as brainwashing them!
Alterother, Sep 23 2013
  

       You clearly haven't seen '3-2-1 Penguins!' which is brought to us by the makers of VeggiTales. What I'm going for with 'American Atheist' is good old fashioned propaganda.
21 Quest, Sep 23 2013
  

       //Honestly, is children's pogramming in other countries that much better? //
  

       po·grom [puh-gruhm, -grom, poh-] noun
an organized massacre, especially of Jews.
  

       In Britain I believe it generally to be considered not the done thing in polite society.
Loris, Sep 23 2013
  

       Of course not. One sends the peasants from one's estates out with flaming torches and agricultural implements to do the actual massacring. It is accepted practice to observe the distant glow of burning hovels from a convenient first-floor balcony.
8th of 7, Sep 23 2013
  

       Point made; typo fixed. Now answer my question, you evasive limey gits.
Alterother, Sep 23 2013
  

       I have seen 3-2-1 Penguins. Pap, but probably harmless pap. I'm all for imparting good morals and ethics, but without the prostyletizing (sp?) you get from those fucking preachy vegetables.
Alterother, Sep 23 2013
  

       //is children's programming in other countries that much better//
It is at a better level on the Bristol stool scale, but still ranks on the Bristol stool scale. There is some good programming for younger children: Octonauts has taught me a great deal about underwater beasts and a rabbit with a submarine; In The Night Garden is trippy as fuck and narrated by Derek Jacobi; Mr Bloom might have very jazzy hands but, again, knowledge is imparted in a relatively fun way. Plenty of preachy (though not in terms of religion) & didactic excreta, though, not denying that.
calum, Sep 23 2013
  

       My children like Peppa Pig. I don't think there's much indoctrination involved, although it did give them the idea of jumping in muddy puddles.
  

       Generally religion is disregarded in childrens shows here. If there are actual children in a cookery program ('I can cook') or a gameshow ('Swashbuckle') or something then some of them might be wearing headscarves or other religious apparel and noone cares.
  

       If there's indoctrination it's mainly undirected ineffective environmentalism, for example 'Nina and the Neurons'.
Loris, Sep 23 2013
  

       I've not seen a single episode of 123 Penguins that doesn't have the childrens' faceless grandmother using the words 'remember, the good book says...' or 'as the good book says...' and then goes on to quote Bible verses.
21 Quest, Sep 23 2013
  

       Oh yeah, I forgot about that part. It's been a while since I was depressed enough to be watching kid shows in the middle of the day, and I haven't reached that stage of parenthood yet (nor do I plan to, but the first thing I learned to do as a new parent is compromise my lofty standards according to my child's needs).
  

       [Loris], // some of them might be wearing headscarves or other religious apparel // gave me a nice little culture shock. In my geo-cultural paradigm the term 'religious apparel' automatically has judeo-christian connotations.
Alterother, Sep 23 2013
  

       Just you wait... kids' shows will soon be your ONLY shows. My stepson is going to be 2 in November and my fiancée is 'occupied' with the first weapon of mass destruction I've scrounged up the necessary radioactive ingredients for... Quest, Jr. We're expecting delivery in April. So I really *need* this show to happen ASAP!
21 Quest, Sep 23 2013
  

       Make the show. Get a smartphone and some construction paper, cut out characters with scissors and glue googly- eyes on them in a Picasso-ish fashion, write a script and get your friend that does all the voices so the two of you can get your Python on recording it, do the animation on your kitchen table. I made a five-minute short to promote my writing (T.G.F.J. directed and edited) and it took me about six hours. It's on yootoob.
Alterother, Sep 23 2013
  

       Hm... not a bad idea. Might even be able to do it as a puppet show. Two words, 'MORE PUPPETS!'
  

       I just heard it said that religion can be thought of along the same lines as genitalia: it's ok to have one, it's ok to be proud of the one you have... just don't whip it out in public, don't push it on children, don't write laws with it, and don't think with it.
21 Quest, Sep 23 2013
  

       // don't write laws with it, and don't think with it. //
  

       That's going to seriously mess up the U.S. presidential election system ...
8th of 7, Sep 23 2013
  

       // What I'd like to see is a series of children's shows which emphasize the values of logic, reason, and humanism.//   
  

       I'm done with children's television, thankfully, but remember liking 'Bob the Builder' as that show embraced the above along with some sense of objective. 'Teletubbies' still make me shudder. To be fair they are aimed at different ages and my little guy liked the latter show for a while.
AusCan531, Sep 23 2013
  

       <peeks in>

<sneaks out>
Voice, Sep 23 2013
  

       I'm not denying there are several shows out there displaying logic and reason... but there aren't many that demonstrate humanism without a religious element to it, and none that I'm aware of which make any positive mention of Atheists. Depictions of the ancient Assyrian city Nineveh in Christian- themed productions portray the Assyrians as Atheistic ('godless') and has God saying they should be pitied because of their ignorance. The VeggieTales version of the story teaches children that Atheists should be pitied, then struck down if they refuse to convert. I'm sorry, but is that really appropriate to teach them? I don't think so. What I want to see is Pro-Atheism being taught to children, or at least acceptance and tolerance of, and respect for, Atheism. I want a direct counter to VeggieTales, in other words. Perhaps a 'clone' of VeggieTales, even, which teaches children the same morals and ethics, but using logic, reason, and humanism and perhaps oh so gently, subtly, portraying religion in a sinister and/or pitiful light.
21 Quest, Sep 23 2013
  

       Hey hey [21Q] I'm on your side as I'm a devout atheist. I'd just rather cut out crap like VeggieTales or any other form of adults proselytizing religion to kids. Leave the kids alone, other than general educational and community spirit type spruiking, and let them make up their own minds when they're old enough to rationalize the stuff being broadcast at them.
  

       I absolutely loath kid's shows which incorporate religion into them in an effort to indoctrinate the kids before their powers of intellectual scrutiny are formed. Shows like the ones you mention aren't too many steps removed from the ones put on by Hamas about Jew-eating Rabbits. [link]
AusCan531, Sep 23 2013
  

       I just don't understand why atheists are so distrusted by so many people...
21 Quest, Sep 23 2013
  

       Because we walk around not believing that we're being scrutinized by some all-seeing eye who will later reward or punish us for our behaviour. For many people that seems to be the only rationale for treating other people decently.
AusCan531, Sep 23 2013
  

       //but there aren't many that demonstrate humanism without a religious element to it, and none that I'm aware of which make any positive mention of Atheists.//
  

       I like the spirit of this idea, but the more I think about it, the more uneasy I am about it. I don't think I'm defined by being an atheist - any more than I'm defined by not believing in the Loch Ness Monster or father Christmas. I don't think my approach to life is shaped by my disbelief in gods, even though that disbelief is strongly held.
  

       That said, I agree it's very, very important that people need to be aware that you can live a good and worthwhile life without superstitions - it's just that I don't like the idea of superstitionlessness being a defining property, if you see what I mean.
  

       At least here in the UK, and perhaps in the US too, there are many programs which present human accomplishments without any mention of religion (for example, just about any science documentary; and in fact almost all factual programs). Those programs don't go out of their way to say "I'm David Attenborough, and I believe in evolution" or "The scientists here at CERN are all atheists" - it's just taken for granted that that's the case.
  

       I guess a lot depends on the cultural context - maybe in the US, people just assume that everyone believes in gods unless the contrary is explicitly pointed out.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 24 2013
  

       //Those programs don't go out of their way to say "I'm David Attenborough, and I believe in evolution" or "The scientists here at CERN are all atheists" - it's just taken for granted that that's the case.//
  

       They (the scientists at CERN) are probably not all atheists. Quite a proportion of physicists are religious. Something about quantum laws, the vast range of scales or the nature of the big bang seems to make them believe.
Even some biologists are religious, and knowing about evolution tends to do the reverse.
  

       It would actually be interesting to get data on proportions.
Loris, Sep 24 2013
  

       It would. I don't think there's any aversion to people declaring their atheism on TV here (I guess it might go down badly on Songs of Praise), but it would be nice if atheists could make their atheism clear without banging the point home.
  

       Interesting comment on religion in biology: I teach courses in Malaysia sometimes, and also work with people at a genomics centre there. On one visit, one of their guys, who was a fairly advanced genomics person, asked me incredulously if I really believed humans evolved from _apes_??
  

       I was stunned by the question, if only because genomics really only makes sense in the context of evolution. Otherwise it's just cargo cult science.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 24 2013
  

       That's a general trend in management, I think, rather than a peculiarity of religion.
  

       What bugs me (IMMINENT RANT WARNING) is that we (scientists) are meant to be very friendly towards religion, to the extent of saying that of course religiosity is no impediment to doing science. Well, it is. In some cases it doesn't matter much (for example, it doesn't matter if you believe a god made the big bang, as long as you believe that things just followed on from that). In other cases it does (as in biology; you make wrong calls if you allow for divine intervention). But on the whole, it is detrimental and, in general, its a handicap which is overcome by only a few.
  

       I often wonder how the churches would react if we had priests, imams or rabbis who were openly atheist but, nevertheless, argued that they could handle the job and that it was none of anyone else's business.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 24 2013
  

       I thought that was normal for CofE bishops and vicars?
pocmloc, Sep 24 2013
  

       [MB], I've always assumed many who preach are actually non believers, how could it be otherwise.
  

       As to impact of belief on science -- I think it's quite easy to be an agnostic or to believe in an abstract creator and be a scientist. To believe in the actual mumbo jumbo of any given cargo cult and be a scientist -- that seems hard.
theircompetitor, Sep 24 2013
  

       Time to calm down now.
  

       The times when religiosity (or non-such) gets troublesome is when it gets linked with politics.
  

       So you get cultist preacher/politicians who get to tell government in exacting detail exactly how large their constituency is, and as such be able to very precisely put a price on how much that community's vote is worth, in lobbying terms. Deals are done, the preachers get something unusual taught in schools, that just happens to consolidate their power base for the next generation.
  

       Likewise various other cult-leaders around the world will directly benefit from drawing dividing lines and entrenching differences that secure their own positions of power - it's classic power politics.
  

       Now that the media is a key part of any political campaign, it's natural to find attempts at putting out a message that furthers some of these aims - but lets face it the financiers of "VeggieCults" aren't spiritually driven, but more likely political.
  

       That's a problem for as long as we hold on to the inherited notion of media as authoritative - something that results from back when it was new, and highly regulated, and like in the UK, subject to bags of legislation identified to ensure impartiality.
  

       Either that legislation gets strengthened, resulting in the ultimate watering down of everything into a meaningless weaselly drivel - or it gets disbanded/ignored altogether, opening the door to random and anarchic content occasionally sponsored by corporately financed hardcore sales-verts. Personally, I think it's more likely to go the latter, we all just need to grow up along with it.
  

       In the meantime, there ought to be a clear distinction between religion and politics - if only because its so tempting for politicians to learn towards religion, and conversely for religion to get involved in politics. Each alone is probably (on balance) a force for good, but they make eerie bedfellows.
Zeuxis, Sep 24 2013
  

       Well put, and welcome. How sad that such a eutopia cannot exist.
Alterother, Sep 24 2013
  

       The reason politics and religion cannot be separated is, frankly, the fault of the religious. Christianity and Islam, the two most- discussed religiions in the US, are driven by a belief that they are supposed to spread their word, recruit new members, and promote what their religious texts claim is God's word. They do this, naturally, by voting for politicians who will do it for them. If religious folks would ditch the proselytism agenda, it wouldn't be an issue.
21 Quest, Sep 24 2013
  

       Testify, my brother! Hallelujah!
Alterother, Sep 24 2013
  

       Don't fear, the minds of our children will be saved by spongebob.
  

       Congratulations 21
zeno, Sep 24 2013
  

       ^ ditto ^
  

       You could call it The Magi-ic School Bus.
Don't forget to include that one weird kid that just knows there's a God, but sacrilegiously figures that no group is needed to have a one-on-one with TheBigGuy though.
Oh... and the wiccan kid too. Don't leave that one out either.
  

       aw, but everyone leaves them out of everything.
rcarty, Sep 24 2013
  

       well... except the lynchings. The torches and pitchforks are always so festive.   

       "...And now it's time for Silly Songs with Larry... the part of the show where Larry comes out and sings a silly song..."
  

       I can't escape VeggieTales. They're all around me. The only joy I get is by repeating their names as I devour their friends for dinner...
  

       Frankly I can't stand Penn Jillette. As much a sanctimonious prick as any in the religious world. And to be honest I see many of the same sorts of errors of adherence to 'ideological purity' as being some measure of comparitive holiness and devotion to the cause being committed by the non-religious political right wing at the moment who have placed the US Constitution, and particularly the 2nd ammendment, or the gospel of libertarianism on the worship altar.
  

       And as a marginal Christian with a foot in both worlds, I am very aware of the variety of Muslim sects.
  

       I am not that much of a spelling pedant, but please, it's atheism. a-t-h-e-i-s-m. Not athiesm. As in formed from the root theos, like theology, theism, etc. It's one of those ism's.
RayfordSteele, Sep 25 2013
  

       //is children's programming in other countries that much better?//
  

       Masters of the Universe is quite funny when dubbed into Turkish.
pertinax, Sep 25 2013
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

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