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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Reply to CBS's Choice to Air Rohrbough's Comments

UPDATED: It turns out that the gunman who killed the Amish schoolgirls in Pennsylvania was a home-schooled Christian:

At a news conference this afternoon, Mr Miller said that rambling suicide notes left for Roberts's wife, Marie, and his three children, suggested that the gunman, a home-schooled Christian, acted out of grief for a daughter who died nine years ago and as a furious reaction to his alleged attack on two relatives as young as 3 when he was just 12 years old.

So tell us more about how it's all "evolution's fault"!
---
They're limiting the length of replies, so so much for their "free speech" segment.

Here is my reply in full:

People who are complaining about the “intolerance of the left” are missing the point. Yes, we have freedom of speech in this country, but no one has the right to claim that his/her opinion is indeed fact. That leads to madness. In addition, the media have a responsibility and a duty to place such “strong ideas” in the context of cognitive authority. That means that the media must be more informed than the public that it is informing, and that it must not portray any supposed “controversy” in a manner that is deliberately misleading and/or agenda-driven (e.g., the “evolution versus creationism” debate as if creationism has equal legitimacy in terms of scientific evidence, when it certainly does not).

Third, I think that it is a shameful display to parade obviously distraught victims who have highly subjective views before the nation as if they are “experts.” I realize that it is popular to denigrate those with true expertise as being “elitist” and to champion the average television viewer as somehow more educated than educated people, but everyone needs to realize that there is no institution more hierarchical and elitist than the few who sit at the top of the mass media pyramid. In the context of this, “free speech” segments become mere circus tricks. It is revolting and exploitative.


No American is called upon, in a Jeffersonian democracy (in which citizens are truly educated, not just knee-jerk reactors), to “tolerate” mass-marketed crackpottery in the name of “free speech.” Antics such as this are contributing to less free speech, not more, by appealing to hyperbole and sensation, in the form of emotional button-pushing “sound bites.” That is not speech. Those are grunts.

And grunts, I might add, hardly refute evolution! But we won't mention the herd mentality of creationists (or their animalistic screaming, sobbing, and gibbering in what is called "tongues" at that concentration Jesus Camp of theirs).

14 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

Everyone is missing the point, here. The problem isn't that Rohrbough is a wingnut, nor is it that he wasn't foiled by an alternate voice.

The problem is that everything that Rohrbough said is objectively false.

"This country is in a moral free-fall."

That alleged "moral free-fall" coincides pretty strongly with the resurgence of the Christian Right. And as the Movement™ absorbs more and more people with its deceit, its shallowness, its scapegoating and its self-serving burden-shifting, things are only going to get worse.

"For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government,"

And the Right accuses us of bigotry. Anyone who believes that there is no morality without God is ipso facto part of the problem, not part of the solution. In fact, I can hardly imagine a worldview less moral than that.

"replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak, without moral consequences and life has no inherent value."

Anyone who believes that morality and value are absolutes that exist completely independently of our own active agency is not mentally equipped to understand either morality or the value of life.

"We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong."

This is, of course, absolutely wrong. The irony here is that the Christian Right is declaring that there are inviolable absolute truths while at the same time insisting that we can't point out the pinheaded asshattery of people like Rohrbough because everyone is entitled to express their opinion without criticism, no matter how vapid and fact-free it is.

"And I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children."

Even granting that the phrase "value of children" has any meaning whatsoever, abortion has precisely zero impact on how we value children after they're born (and if it does, it's not the fault of abortion). What the fundaloons are really concerned about is that abortion rests on the presumption that women are human, too, capable of making their own autonomous decisions without any input from a man. And that is something that the Christian Right absolutely cannot abide.

October 05, 2006 1:36 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, yes, it’s objectively false. I certainly agree with every point that you make. The justification that CBS made, however, was that this was a “free speech” segment (read: we don’t care about facts, we want a victim’s statement, we want emotion! You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! etc.). The [idiotic] point that CBS makes is that the station is “providing a forum” for people. I wanted to point out that they’re not.

I wanted to score more points about evolution, but I was cut off at 1500 characters (“free speech” segment, eh?). Naturally when the corporate-controlled media “gives” Average Joe a “free speech” zone they dole it out like wartime tires.

I invite other people to tag-team there and get in licks against “God in our schools,” but first you have to hold your nose and create an account.

October 05, 2006 4:18 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

I hope that you are not intending to imply that the fault of the murders rests on the heads of Christians and/or those who believe in homeschooling. You don't come right out and say that, but I can't help but to sense that you have implied that. That would clearly be an irresponsible and shameful thing to do. It would be as irresponsible as suggesting that all Muslims are terrorists. But when you put "a home-schooled Christian" in bold, it does seem like you implying something.

"...no one has the right to claim that his/her opinion is indeed fact." What about "truth?" Is that okay? Or should we check with you first? What is the state's role in determining epistemology? What is the citizen's role?

And by the way, when you say, "...no one has the right to claim that his/her opinion is indeed fact," are you not asserting your own opinion as if it were fact ... or truth?

Or is the real problem that someone you disagreed with suggested something as truth?

I certainly didn't see any outrage at any of dan's opinions or Janiebelle's opinions, when they espouse their rhetoric the way they do? Why is it that so many on the left gets all upset only when Christians or conservatives speak their minds? Why don't they get that upset when liberals and fundamentalist secularists speak their minds?

Is this not a form of hypocrisy?

Peace to you, friends.

October 09, 2006 12:20 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

"I hope that you are not intending to imply that the fault of the murders rests on the heads of Christians and/or those who believe in homeschooling. You don't come right out and say that, but I can't help but to sense that you have implied that."

Ok, maybe Dan implied it, but I'm saying it. The dude was fucked up in the head and Fundy Christians are responsible.

Any questions?

October 09, 2006 1:11 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Janiebelle,
Well, that's about what I would expect from you.
You are wrong ... again. It is an old story.

October 09, 2006 3:13 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I hope that you are not intending to imply that the fault of the murders rests on the heads of Christians and/or those who believe in homeschooling. You don't come right out and say that, but I can't help but to sense that you have implied that. That would clearly be an irresponsible and shameful thing to do. It would be as irresponsible as suggesting that all Muslims are terrorists.

Well, I am stating that it was definitely not the fault of "Darwinians" or evolutionary theory. Rohrbough came right out and said that. It was an irrepsonsible and shameful thing to do. It was as irresponsible as suggesting that all Muslims are terrorists.

October 09, 2006 3:18 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedEngineer said...

Kristine,

Now is the chance to prove that you are not a hypocrite. You assert, "no one has the right to claim that his/her opinion is indeed fact." So, do you stand by what you say, or are you just an angry partisan? If you stand by what you say, then how about a little rebuke for your pal, Janiebelle? Or else, the logical conclusion is that you are an inconsistent partisan.
Or does Janiebelle get a free pass for being "cute?"

At least be honest, people. You don't like conservatives, and you don't like Christians. You don't want anyone to speak unless they agree with you. The least you can do is be honest about it.

Liberals seem to not really believe in free speech. They believe in free speech - as long as you agree with them. That's why Janiebelle can spout her obnoxious, mean-spirited, irresponsible rhetoric without getting rebuked by any except people like myself, but the father of a Columbine victim gets attacked viciously for standing up for some ideas that are actually good.

And you wonder why the Democrats aren't in control in Washington.... As long as you refuse to call the likes of Janiebelle to account, then the American people who stand for decency will vote against you every time.

If Democrats want power, they have to confront the vicious, lunatic fringe within their party. Indeed, you need to disassociate yourself with such people completely. What they are doing is not right. By not condemning it, you legitimize it. By not confronting evil, you embrace evil.

But hey... as long as the evil is disguised in a cute body, then its all good.

October 09, 2006 3:31 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Do I "stand by what I say"? You're darn tootin' that I do.

So that makes me "an angry partisan?" I "don't like conservatives, and you don't like Christians" except perhaps the ones in my family. You know what, sugar? I don't have to prove one damn thing to you, lack of hypocrisy or whatever, at my own blog. I have never called you names and yet you get on your high horse after heaping verbal abuse--rather than rational argument--upon me.

Seriously, honey, why do you keep on coming here? You know what? You can get lost. Prove to me that you are capable of free choice and change the channel, because I am not putting up with your bullshit any longer.

But hey... as long as the evil is disguised in a cute body, then its all good.

That's just sick, man. Yeah. I see exactly why you can't get enough. Know what? You're gone. S'long.

October 09, 2006 4:45 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Liberals seem to not really believe in free speech. They believe in free speech - as long as you agree with them.

This is one o' them pot/kettle things, ain't it? I ain't the one advocating a theocracy here, bub.

Or does Janiebelle get a free pass for being "cute?"...

But hey... as long as the evil is disguised in a cute body, then its all good.


Yeah, I get a lot of mileage out of being cute. Evil, though? Nah, just naughty.

VERY naughty.

Dream a little dream of me.

October 10, 2006 5:55 AM  
Blogger PiGuy said...

Wow. Here it is. I guess that I saw the beginning of this thread but never got back. I didn't see that coming but I should have.

It seems that all of the fundies that I've encountered in the ether start out sounding all lamb-y, trying to appear all compassionate and introspective and acting as though they're open to an honest discourse on such matters, but then, when they are forced to confront truths that don't fit with their set of world-view assumptions, they blow a gasket and start behaving in a manner very unbecoming of a Christian. "Peace to you, friends" - MY ASS.

Obscuring and distorting the facts and presenting them to the flock (as discussed her at another time: brainwashing the kids) in order to keep a stranglehold on people who will blindly, mindlessly follow snake-oil salesmen and then engage in ad hominem attacks against those who see the world otherwise, now that's evil.

Cute, yes, but not the least bit evil, I must say.

October 10, 2006 11:09 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I should have seen it coming, too.

Why is it fair to blame the "Darwinists" for school shootings, then get all defensive when, in fact, no "Darwinist" was involved? "Don't blame fundies!" Why not? Look how much more violent we are than atheist Europe.

Why am I called upon to express "outrage" at Dan's and JanieBelle's opinions? That is particularly weird. I wouldn't expect Rush Limbaugh to jump in and save me from CE at his blog. (But I'm not visiting there again.) And he needs to get over that "cute" comment--goodness me! How morbid.

October 10, 2006 12:47 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

News Flash: Somebody apologized. Okay, fair enough.

BYE!!! I have French class (natch) in an hour.

October 10, 2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Who? CE? He's apologized before. It only means something if the behavior changes - which it doesn't.

October 10, 2006 5:58 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I know, I know. He's still banned--I told him so. I just can't stand him any longer, so it's all past.

October 10, 2006 8:03 PM  

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