Like “Expelled,” “Left Behind: Eternal Forces” had Net Buzz - So, Why did it TANK?

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Hat Tip: antievolution.org

While Disco’s Robert Crowther is crowing “Ben Stein’s New Film Expelled No. 1 in Blogosphere”, he should ponder the fly in the ointment: not all buzz is Good buzz. In particular, he should consider what “buzz” has done for the video game based on LaHaye’s “Left Behind” series, “Left Behind: Eternal Forces.” While the video game garnered lots of attention on the Net, a lot of it was bad - quite like the attention “Expelled” earned this week in regard to the Expulsion of PZ.

Did “Left Behind: Eternal Forces” get a boost from negative attention? Quite the contrary - it Tanked. It Fizzled. It Bombed. The game’s makers are now forced to simply give it away, free.

Crowther glosses over the very negative press “Expelled” has been garnering of late. As PvM has pointed out, the official “Expelled” web site’s “spoiler” clearly shows the movie’s Premise is one long violation of Godwin’s Law:

Many scenes are centered around the Berlin Wall, and Ben Stein being Jewish actually visits many death camps and death showers. In fact, Nazi Germany is the thread that ties everything in the movie together. Evolution leads to atheism leads to eugenics leads to Holocaust and Nazi Germany.

Add to that the facts that scientists were interviewed for the movie under false pretenses, that people starring in the movie were Expelled from even seeing the film because of their anti-ID views, and that excuses for this expulsion are changing by the minute, a lot of people who might have been persuaded to see and appreciate the film are being turned off, bigtime.

For example, check out this review in the Canadian Christian blog Bene Diction, in a post titled “Mark Mathis: The Premises of Feeding the Beast and Expelled”:

…The grass roots of the internet could wind up dividing and alienating friendly audiences from this movie for no other reason that it’s going to be increasingly difficult for friendly parties and grass roots not to notice the lies, notice the careful wording, notice the politics and economics and come to the bald realization it’s just about selling and the golden rule be damned. The big question I’m left with is will the potential audience care?

This kind of marketing backfired on Left Behind Games Inc. when the gaming and religious communities took exception to being trashed, lied to, reached at, mocked and manipulated. It remains to be seen how this is going to play out. More than one marketer has said it’s a win for Premise Media. The human dramas and passions around this production have distracted from content. I wonder if that’s been an intentional part of the marketing strategy… I end by addressing fellow Christians. We are admonished to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves. Is knowing this level of manipulation has been sanctioned worth the price of admission?

Well said, Bene Diction.

Following Bene Diction’s links provides the scoop on the failed “Left Behind” video game:

The producers of Left Behind: Eternal Forces thought they were going to make a big score last Christmas [2006] – with a new video game based on Tim LaHaye’s best-selling Left Behind series of novels. It didn’t work out that way. Talk to Action’s Jonathan Hutson exposed that the game peddled an ideology of ‘convert or be killed’ to children and promoted, even rehearsed end-times religious warfare. Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups, among others, agreed; denounced the game and variously encouraged the producers of the game to with draw it; stores not to stock it; and consumers not to purchase it. The controversy generated international media coverage. The game did poorly; got terrible reviews, even from gamers who were not concerned about the content. The company’s stock tanked and it appeared that that was the last we would hear from them. …

After the game flopped at Christmas, the makers tried to make it available to U.S. troops in Iraq, but that flopped too:

Plans by a Christian group to send an evangelical video game to U.S. troops in Iraq were abruptly halted yesterday by the Department of Defense after ABC News inquired about the program.

While the makers of “Expelled” are excited by all the ‘net buzz this week, they may be shocked to realize that a lot of net-savvy, smart Christians are seeing through the lies and propaganda tactics.

Could “Expelled” be to faith-based movies what the Edsel was to cars?

172 Comments

According to the framers, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

I think at this rate, Eternal Forces should have outsold Halo. Why hasn’t it?

Snakes on a Plane! Ishtar! Gigli!

Very interesting, Mr. Thomas.

Good grief, could it be that there are Christians out there who actually want CONTENT in media purporting to support their religion? That might be insulted by cheap innuendo and sleazy propaganda that claims to be “Christian”? And that these people might be capable of discerning lies when they see five or six versions of the “expelled from Expelled” story from the SAME SOURCE?

I think there just might. How many and how big an impact they have is up to them.

LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces ($29.95 Retail** Value) for free!*

and

* A nominal shipping or download service fee is assessed by Trymedia. The shipping option is available only to residents within the continental United States.

Creationist tardmeisters always lie, they cannot help themselves. “Free” isn’t “Free” in creatoland.

…the official “Expelled” web site’s “spoiler” clearly shows the movie’s Premise is one long violation of Godwin’s Law

Actually, Godwin’s Law is not an injunction (such as thou shalt not make comparisons with the Nazis) but an observation. According to Wikipedia the law says: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

Unlinke those who serve the dead prophet Darwin, those who love Jesus can not petition the government for money when our wares do not sell. We must rely on the free market, where failure is always possible!

… but never acknowledged.

These things don’t fail on controversy. They fail basically because they aren’t very good. No-one wants to sit through a dull movie or buy some bargain bin game for $30 when there are much better things to go see and do.

Also re the picture above, is it just me or is it really hypocritical for christians to scrawl out the ORIGNAL nazi message “GOD with us” to replace it with “Darwin with us”. Which let’s face it doesn’t even really make sense.

Does anyone know if Dr. Laura weighed in on Stein and “Expelled?” I could not find anything on her website or blog (my search skills are far from perfect) but when her radio show was in our area (up to 2001) she said several times that evolution was “a sign of God’s creativity” and that creationism was nonsense. Unless she threw away her PhD in physiology and “found pseudoscience” she must be quite embarrassed at a fellow Jew who shares many of her other political views.

Dr. Laura is probably waiting to see if Expelled is a hit before she spouts her “feelings” on the subject.

For the intelligent design scam, no publicity is all bad. They can’t look much worse than they already do, so any mention of them just gets the attention of more ignorant creationist rubes to con. Florida will not be the last place where school boards or legislators are going to claim to be able to teach the science of intelligent design, and some of them will take the bait and switch scam when it gets shoved down their throats by the ID perps. Sad but true.

Richard:

“Which let’s face it doesn’t even really make sense.”

That’s strictly amateur hour nonsense. As well complain that dogs have fur. Stuff like that is practically creationist spinal reflex behavior at this point.

Richard Eis:

These things don’t fail on controversy. They fail basically because they aren’t very good. No-one wants to sit through a dull movie or buy some bargain bin game for $30 when there are much better things to go see and do.

I movie is completely different thing than a video game. Really bad analogy. A movie is seen usually once. And it has no function.

Well we will all know soon.

I’m not to sure about connecting the film with the game. Two different beasts.

Also re the picture above, is it just me or is it really hypocritical for christians to scrawl out the ORIGNAL nazi message “GOD with us” to replace it with “Darwin with us”. Which let’s face it doesn’t even really make sense.

Richard, it was created as a spoof by midwifetoad.

Eternal Forces was an absolutely atrociously made game, even when you didn’t consider the content of the game. Combine that with the message, and I think it failed not because of the publicity, but in spite of the publicity.

I think Expelled is different. The message is a rather common one (amongst the ID/creationist crowd) and that’s going to be its biggest strength. If Expelled plays to an already existing crowd, and changes the minds of some undecided people… well its done its job.

Frank J said of Dr. Laura:

…she must be quite embarrassed at a fellow Jew who shares many of her other political views.

IIRC she de-converted from Orthodox Judaism a few years back because she didn’t feel that she was adequately accepted by her new Chosen People. She might still self-identify as Jewish, but says she no longer practices the rituals.

Who made this ‘Darwin mitt uns’ graphic and who published it?

Richard Simons:

Also re the picture above, is it just me or is it really hypocritical for christians to scrawl out the ORIGNAL nazi message “GOD with us” to replace it with “Darwin with us”. Which let’s face it doesn’t even really make sense.

Richard, it was created as a spoof by midwifetoad.

..I’m sure most people who see the image don’t get the joke.

As with most of Creationist propaganda, good spoofs are hard to distinguish from the originals. Ben Stein and the Expelled crew could have easily done something like that themselves (and I am not sure they would have noticed the “Gott” irony either).

Pleco Wrote:

Dr. Laura is probably waiting to see if Expelled is a hit before she spouts her “feelings” on the subject.

Dr. Laura has never been one to wait for a consensus to offer an opinion. OTOH, I do notice that, with few exceptions like John Derbyshire and Larry Arnhart, conservative commentators who know that creationism/ID is nonsense prefer to talk about subjects that don’t make their “side” look like silly.

Bing Wrote:

IIRC she de-converted from Orthodox Judaism a few years back because she didn’t feel that she was adequately accepted by her new Chosen People. She might still self-identify as Jewish, but says she no longer practices the rituals.

I do recall that too. But I think she still identifies with the religious right (Jew and Christian), and may not appreciate Stein’s trivializing of the many Jews and Christians who lost their lives.

I guess it’s too early, but I am hoping to hear some religious groups, including some who have been fooled into some anti-evolution pseudoscience, object to the approach taken by “Expelled,” including the “expelling” of PZ Myers.

cityfreedom: Who made this ‘Darwin mitt uns’ graphic and who published it?

As has been noted several times (above) “…it was created as a spoof by midwifetoad.”

The graphic clearly shows an official Nazi belt buckle with the official Nazi motto “God With Us” on it, being graffiti-vandalized by the creationist spokesman Ben Stein. This symbolizes the similar vandalism of the movie Expelled, which incompetently attempts to blame Darwin for the rise of Nazism, rather than the Christian church (particularly Martin Luther, who in 1543 (long before Darwin was born…) wrote “On the Jews and Their Lies” - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the[…]d_their_Lies

I have a thought… why are games based upon creationist views tanking, while filth filled games like “God of War” (based ever so loosely on Greek mythology) selling like hotcakes?

I don’t play video games but if I did I would want to make sure my support was given to the deserving side. If we can’t muster up a “nominal shipping fee” to support the ideals of The Left Behind creators can’t we at least turn the same cheek to the hundreds of poorly researched, morally questionable, pieces of digital offal out there in game land?

I don’t play video games but if I did I would want to make sure my support was given to the deserving side.

You do this in the traditional way - by voting with your dollars. If you don’t like a product, don’t buy it. If products you WISH were doing well gather dust, while those you dislike “sell like hotcakes”, then your preferences don’t fall near the center of the bell curve in this respect.

Let’s face it, the big market for video games is adolescent boys, who are biologically wired to be fascinated by things stuffy old biddies dislike. It’s been this way forever. What’s “morally questionable” here isn’t that games you don’t like that are offered for sale, happen to sell well. Instead, it’s that games you WISH would sell are being offered for “free”, then it turns out you have to pay for them in a bait-and-switch scam typical of fundies everywhere. If you’re lying for Jeezus, it’s somehow morally just dandy.

“On the Jews and Their Lies” - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the[…]ws_and_their…Lies

Ironic excerpt (emphasis added):

…and these “poisonous envenomed worms” should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time.

The movie will flop in the box office. It is already a PR humiliation. If it gets reviewed at all, it will be panned. But DVDs will be made, and it will become a staple of fundamentalist churches for many years to come, like Chick Publications and tapes of creationist talks. While the mission to turn public opinion will fail, the mission to re-enforce the faith of the base will succeed.

Hi Natalie,

Since you don’t play video games, let me share this insight. People play them because they are fun.

There are many games that involve aspects of spirituality on the part of characters. Even if these prayers are not directed at your vision of God, the games stand or fall in the marketplace because they are fun.

If you’d like to buy only entertainments that fit inside your comfort zone, God bless. Just don’t be surprised when such content fails to impress people outside the bubble you live in.

I think that despite press releases to the contrary, the net buzz does not belong to Expelled, it belongs to PZ Myers. The tentacled overlord of Pharyngula is getting part of his well deserved fifteen minutes of fame (which in the dog years of the Internet is a LONG time)and Mark Mathis et al. are just along for the ride, like so many dicyemid mesozoans.

Paul Burnett,

This symbolizes the similar vandalism of the movie Expelled, which incompetently attempts to blame Darwin for the rise of Nazism, rather than the Christian church (particularly Martin Luther, who in 1543 (long before Darwin was born…) wrote “On the Jews and Their Lies”

Yes it is incredibly stupid to blame Nazism on Darwin. What is also incredibly stupid, but what follows like clockwork, is for someone to commit the same level of idiocy by blaming Nazism on Christianity. This is especially true in light of recently declassified documents (the last five or six years) that point out that the Nazis had a master plan to persecute the Christian Church. (The document study is led by Rutgers University Law School, not exactly your garden-variety fundy institution.)

Here is a fairly good summary:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/am[…]/1753469.stm

The truth is quite simple. Nazism had a madman as a leader who would co-opt any ideology for his insane purposes. At times, when it suited their purposes, the language of Christianity was employed. At other times, when it suited their purposes, the language of evolution was used. It’s that simple.

If you argue that “Ben Stein is so dumb for blaming Nazism on evolution when it really resulted from Christianity” then you are committing the same error of kind.

“Charlemagne said: Unlinke those who serve the dead prophet Darwin, those who love Jesus can not petition the government for money when our wares do not sell. We must rely on the free market, where failure is always possible!”

I know I should not feed thee, but Charlemagne, certainly you must realize that calling the science of evolution religion, and Darwin a prophet, is not only an indefensible position, and not only a textbook example of projection, but it also tells us a lot about the sinking regard people hold religion in if even religion’s most ardent defenders can only come up with such “I know you are but what am I”-style arguments.

Also, I hope you are a Poe (a satirist of creationism difficult to identify as satire because real creationist statements are so similar), as I cannot imagine anyone at this point, in a post-Dover world that is, squarely equating ID with Jesus, in complete contradiction to ID’s attempted legal arguments: that what they are going to get around to doing someday will be science, and expressly not religion. Again, it seems that ID’s greatest fans are also its worst enemies.

jeh:

Yeah those examples came from the web site of a bunch of pacifist Mennonites and you know we can’t trust those bleeding heart liberal types to tell the truth, right?

Yes, because that’s exactly what my point was. Gosh, you are so brilliant to have figured that out. Can I be your biggest fan?

My first exposure to the Left Behind series was seeing one of the graphic novels where some Palestinian or Arab types get incinerated by the fire from the Two Witnesses. But once again, I’m sure they had it coming.

Considering they were trying to kill the Witnesses, yeah, I’d say they had it coming.

And you can argue that strictly speaking, it was not Christians who did the killing, but supernatural hit men.

“Hit men?” You know, just let me know if you’re going to continue to just make crap up out of thin air, m’kay? That way I’ll know that I can just ignore you from now on.

Nevertheless violence is part and parcel of the triumphalism that LaHaye & Jensen lovingly embrace in their series.

As I said, just let me know.

And do you get rewarded for self-sacrifice or martyrdom in the Eternal Forces game? That should be the easy way to win the game.

Actually, yes, self-sacrifice by and martyrdom of peaceful, unarmed Christians are a part of the game. One level ends with all the Christian characters being played at that point being ambushed and killed (not portrayed on-screen) by Global Community forces.

Dave? The thread’s gone askew on ‘treadle.

Jason:

Stanton:

How are the people alive today, including you and I, personally responsible for the murder of Christ?

We have all sinned.

So, because all people are spiritually flawed, all are responsible for the death of Our Savior? Even Adam and Eve? So, please explain why a religion that says all people are horrible murderers who killed their Savior is a religion of love?

You know, this isn’t going to make a lick of sense to or mean anything to you, but one of the most moving, memorable things we did in our church for Good Friday was to pound old-style nails into a hand-fashioned cross our pastor made. People were in tears doing it. I’ll never forget my elderly mother who, despite being not entirely frail, just having the strength drained from her she was so overcome with emotion. I had to help finish hammering her nail into the cross.

How does this justify the claim that all people who have ever lived are responsible for the death of Christ?

Did we all go back in a time machine?

Don’t be obtuse. It’s unbecoming.

“Being obtuse” means refusing to provide logic for one’s answers. You have not bothered to provide any logic or reasons for your answers.

That, and you miss my point entirely in that some Christians use the excuse that the Jews were personally involved and personally responsible for the murder of Christ, hence the insulting epitaph of “Christ Killer,” as an excuse to commit violence against Jewish people and or curtail their liberties.

Some Christians do that, yes, and they are wrong to do so, but they are not the majority of Christians. Far from it, in fact.

So, then, only a minority of Christians participated in the pogroms or listened (and still listen) to Martin Luther’s advice in “Of the Jews And Their Lies”? And if it’s clearly wrong to blame the Jews for being personally responsible for the death of Christ, then why do you insist that everyone who ever lived, including the Jews, are personally responsible for the murder of Christ?

raven:

For information and idle amusement.

Translation: you do care, contrary to your earlier statement of not caring.

You are most likely a fundie with negligible education who lives in the boondocks somewhere and can’t even imagine that other parts of the USA are sadly (for you) fundie deficient. You are starting to get evasive and trying to deflect the postings and change the subjects. This is a sign of a fundie in a box.

Hey, look. Straw man arguments.

I’m a Christian (label me with your “fundie” slur if it makes you feel better about yourself) who has a college-level education and while I do live in “the boondocks somewhere,” I am fully aware of the state of the rest of the country.

You are a Rapturer!

I am? I clearly stated I didn’t know if it would happen. That obviously doesn’t matter to you. I am what you want me to be, which is, unsurprisingly, in the most negative light possible. Well, no. Not quite. You haven’t accused me of being a Nazi, Klansman, abortionist shooter or gay lyncher yet. There’s still time, though.

Read Genesis 8. God promised himself after destroying the earth the first time that he would never do it again.

Boy, get the passage more wrong, why don’t you?

“Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”

It says nothing about not destroying the earth, but about not destroying all living creatures.

The Rapture isn’t scripturally well supported and most Xian sects don’t buy it.

So? That’s their prerogative. There’s nothing that says that all Christians must believe in the Rapture.

You are a fundie. Channeling straight fundie Xian lies and nonsense.

As I said, if it makes you feel better about yourself…

And denying it.

The only thing I deny are your attempt to burn straw man arguments.

Science isn’t a religion and is neutral on religion.

Yes, it is. Scientists, on the other hand, sometimes are not neutral and act with religious-like fervor.

And 40% of all biologists describe themselves as religious. Science contradicts all of dozens of creation myths, not just the fundie mythology. Reality is what it is, deal with it.

Many Christians see no contradiction between science and their beliefs.

The creos don’t want to teach ID. They want to destroy the US, set up a theocracy, and head on back to the Dark Ages. ID is just a start and a Wedge. Read the DI Wedge document on wikipedia. That is what they say in black and white. “By their words, ye shall know them.” Like most fundies, you wave the bible around and never, ever read or understand it.

Delusional fantasies, straw man arguments, outright falsehoods. That’s all I see in that paragraph. Many, many Christians have no idea what the Discovery Institute is, nor do they want to destroy the U.S. (whatever, dude), install a theocracy or go back to the Dark Ages. Do you seriously - SERIOUSLY - believe that load of horseshit? (Oh, no! I said “shit.” Ack! I said it again! I said “shit” again! And again! Omigosh, I can’t stop saying “shit!” SEE???) You really should try visiting some churches sometime and asking people there if they want all that. I’m guessing you probably couldn’t handle the truth, though.

Sorry Jason, I don’t believe much of what you posted anymore

Like you had any inclination to believe it in the first place. You saw I was a Christian and you immediate assumed “liar.”

and you are more trolling than being interesting and amusing. Last word is yours, I’m busy.

“Trolling?” I’ve responded with honest answers and civility (for the most part - I have a pretty serious sarcastic streak which I’ve kept in check). What have I gotten in return? Accusations, straw man arguments, delusions and lies.

PS BTW, your curiosity about the real world is clearly nonexistent

Yeah, you’re right. Since I don’t mindlessly accept your version of things, I obviously don’t have any curiousity about the real world…

and you don’t even have the slightest idea what science is much less what it says.

…or know what science is. Yep. I’m an uneducated (with a college education), ignorant (who reads diversely), backwards goober. All because I disagree with you. Because you have all the right answers and you are never, ever wrong.

You could read wikipedia

Wikipedia is crap. Educators across the country are very justified in not accepting it as a legitimate source for their students’ work.

or simple library books and know a lot more.

My library cards gets used regularly, thank you, and no, not for religious books.

But you will stay Voluntarily Ignorant forever.

And you will continue to burn straw man arguments forever.

Too bad, most scientists got into it because it was fascinating, fun, and a way to make a difference. No one has ever burst into flames from knowing the earth is 4.5 billion years old and how that was determined.

And no one has destroyed America for not believing that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. Nor have they brought about a theocracy (as much as you’d like to believe Christians think of President Bush as “Pastor Bush,” I’m sure) or dragged the country back to the Dark Ages. That won’t stop you from believing it, however.

raven:

For all 5 people still on this thread. I’m now 0/3 on my questions, what sect, %Fake Xians, and Rapture date.

Gosh. Do you think maybe that there’s something wrong with your QUESTIONS? Nah. Couldn’t be. Your questions are perfect and you are infallible. There’s obviously something wrong with the people you are asking.

What is interesting and I’m seeing this on other threads, the fundies are starting to deny that they are fundies.

So people that you have judged to be “fundies” on flimsy and, frankly, made-up evidence are denying they are “fundies?” Who’d have thunk it!

A lot. There is a backlash against the violence, lies, and other damage they have inflicted on the USA. They are starting to notice it.

Hrm… When was the last time some “fundie” shot up a campus somewhere?

Yes, because that’s exactly what my point was.

So right, that stuff Jesus said about the peacemakers being blessed–ah, it was all a big joke. Same with the cheek turning business.

I don’t have all the books on hand currently, but from the ones I’ve checked from that list, I’ve found the citations to be laughably out of context.

Well I went to the bookstore to check these out too, and I think they reflect the context pretty well. It’s all about revenge. “Killed or be killed,” as one of the characters says. And I guess this does reflect what Jesus said, something like “Take up that sword, dude, or you will die by it!”

Oh yes, they hold the most hate for the Big Kahuna (the Antichrist), but that doesn’t mean they give a pass to the little fish (li’l antichrists).

Considering they were trying to kill the Witnesses, yeah, I’d say they had it coming.

It’s so unfortunate they had to be Arabs. How incredibly unexpected that Arabs would be the villains in this psychodrama.

You know, just let me know if you’re going to continue to just make crap up out of thin air, m’kay?

Bo’K. But I’d first have to start.

re: Nevertheless violence is part and parcel of the triumphalism that LaHaye & Jensen lovingly embrace in their series.

And while you are it, explain to us how much you relish a book series that takes pleasure in the death of billions. And how you’ll be in heaven cheering it on, “Go Team Jesus!”

Science isn’t a religion and is neutral on religion.

Yes, it is.

Do you care to explain why there are no holy texts, holy relics, prophets, designated priesthood, rituals, or focuses of prayer in Science, even though it is a religion according to you?

jeh:

And I guess this does reflect what Jesus said, something like “Take up that sword, dude, or you will die by it!”

Was this irony? Jesus never said anything remotely like that; in fact, he said pretty much the opposite.

Stanton:

Science isn’t a religion and is neutral on religion.

Yes, it is.

Do you care to explain why there are no holy texts, holy relics, prophets, designated priesthood, rituals, or focuses of prayer in Science, even though it is a religion according to you?

I think this can be a dangerous question, in the way you phrased it. Anthropologically, sciences does fulfill the role of a religion in modern Western society, and I could find analogies for each of those examples above, within science, while still recognizing that not all of them (like a designated priesthood) are necessary for a definition of religion (consider Islam, for example). This is in no way to imply that science itself is religious, of course, or that it falls under the constitutional definition of religion. But the way you have described the question above fits very well the anthropological definition of religion- which allows any predominant worldview to be defined as religion. I think we need to clearly differentiate that science is not religion by looking at what science (and religion) look at and try to describe, in order to more clearly differentiate the two.

Was this irony? Jesus never said anything remotely like that; in fact, he said pretty much the opposite.

You betcha. Not that some Christians from Constantine onward would beg to differ with Jesus.

fnxtr:

Dave? The thread’s gone askew on ‘treadle.

Indeedly doodly, as Ned would say.

Get in your final licks, everyone, as I’ll be pulling the plug soon. An interesting discussion, to be sure, but looks like it’s run its course.

Dave

Jason:

…Hrm… When was the last time some “fundie” shot up a campus somewhere?

How about a church or two? As recently as December 9th, 2007?

Jeanne Assam took aim and fired. The woman that stopped the Colorado shootings is a hero according to New Life’s Senior Pastor Brady Boyd. …The 42-year old Church security guard poke Monday about killing Matthew Murray on Sunday as he went on a killing spree at the Colorado Springs church. The gunman had already killed four and wounded five others in two separate shootings when she took him out.

A Critical Evaluation of Matthew Murray’s Shooting Spree. … So here is Matthew Murray. By all accounts he grew up in a Christian home…an almost suffocating Christian home. He was denied a mainstream life and forced into an ultra-Pentecostal homeschooling program – a program so strict that it is rejected by nearly all homeschooling experts. In short, his parents denied him a normal, happy childhood.

Yet Murray tries to embrace this radical Christian lifestyle and tries to join up with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). He’s rejected by the group for not being radical enough (and listening to normal mainstream music). The group notices his anti-social behavior (the result of neglect in his homelife and the suffocating strict fundamentalist values his parents placed on him). Did he have behavior problems? I don’t know. I never met him. However, during my brief period of time in the clutches of this exact radical Christian fundamentalist organization that he was involved with and that he ultimately targeted, I met many like him. Young men and woman, wanting to be good Christians, but who were rejected for not being radical enough. Rejected for not wanting to speak in tongues. Rejected for not giving enough money to their mega churches like Faith Bible Chapel or New Life Christian Church. Rejected for not trying to recruit others. Rejected for not being “devout enough.”

I’m just sayin’.

Jason:

…Hrm… When was the last time some “fundie” shot up a campus somewhere?

Jason, you really are stupid. Cho Seung killed 33 people at Virginia Tech. A fundie whose parents sought to have him exorcised.

fnxtr:

Dave? The thread’s gone askew on ‘treadle.

I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition!

Stanton:

So, because all people are spiritually flawed, all are responsible for the death of Our Savior?

This is what the Bible teaches. Christ died because of and for all sins.

Even Adam and Eve?

Yes. Everyone past, present and future.

So, please explain why a religion that says all people are horrible murderers who killed their Savior is a religion of love?

Because God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to take our place and die for our sins. We deserve to suffer as horrible, torturous and humiliating a death as he faced. We deserve to be separated from God forever. But God showed His love for us by giving us a way to be forgiven once and for all: the perfect, sinless sacrifice of His Son.

How does this justify the claim that all people who have ever lived are responsible for the death of Christ?

It doesn’t and I never said it does. It was a symbolic act based upon biblical teachings.

“Being obtuse” means refusing to provide logic for one’s answers. You have not bothered to provide any logic or reasons for your answers.

No, being obtuse refers to the ridiculousness of your time machine question.

So, then, only a minority of Christians participated in the pogroms or listened (and still listen) to Martin Luther’s advice in “Of the Jews And Their Lies”?

Martin Luther is not representative of the whole of Christianity. I honestly don’t know why you brought him up except for possibly trying to formulate a “gotcha” question.

And if it’s clearly wrong to blame the Jews for being personally responsible for the death of Christ, then why do you insist that everyone who ever lived, including the Jews, are personally responsible for the murder of Christ?

Because people who blame the Jews and ONLY the Jews for Christ’s death do so because they want a justification for hating the Jews. They are wrong to do so. It is completely unbiblical, completely un-Christian, and completely hypocritical as they don’t look to themselves and their own sins.

It is not wrong to say that everyone is responsible for Christ’s death because according to Christian beliefs, it’s true. And believing that does not engender or justify hating anyone else. We’re all responsible. We’re all in the same boat.

jeh:

So right, that stuff Jesus said about the peacemakers being blessed–ah, it was all a big joke. Same with the cheek turning business.

Liars are not peacemakers.

Well I went to the bookstore to check these out too, and I think they reflect the context pretty well.

No, they really don’t as I have already pointed out with some examples.

It’s all about revenge.

No, it’s actually not.

“Killed or be killed,” as one of the characters says.

A reference would be nice to verify that in context.

And I guess this does reflect what Jesus said, something like “Take up that sword, dude, or you will die by it!”

Cute.

Oh yes, they hold the most hate for the Big Kahuna (the Antichrist), but that doesn’t mean they give a pass to the little fish (li’l antichrists).

Yeah, I guess that’s why they all just sit around not even trying to rescue anyone from the Antichrist’s side. Oh, no, wait. They actually do try (and often succeed).

>It’s so unfortunate they had to be Arabs. How incredibly unexpected that Arabs would be the villains in this psychodrama.

Who said the two men were “Arabs?” Who said “Arabs” are the story’s villians? The books certainly don’t. Perhaps you aren’t actually as familiar with the books as you claim to be. Remember what I said about making up crap? I’d really like to know if this is going to be part and parcel to your posts so I can just ignore you from now on.

Bo’K. But I’d first have to start.

I think I’ve sufficiently proven that you already have.

And while you are it, explain to us how much you relish a book series that takes pleasure in the death of billions.

First off, I don’t relish the books. I neither like nor dislike the books. Second, I don’t see any pleasure in the deaths of billions anywhere in the books. No death is portrayed as pleasurable, but as horrible and tragic.

And how you’ll be in heaven cheering it on, “Go Team Jesus!”

Uh, how do you go from talking about a fictional story to me being in Heaven cheering “Go Team Jesus?” That was an extremely bizarre sudden switch in gears. No logic or reason to it at all.

Stanton:

Science isn’t a religion and is neutral on religion.

Yes, it is.

Do you care to explain why there are no holy texts, holy relics, prophets, designated priesthood, rituals, or focuses of prayer in Science, even though it is a religion according to you?

No, no, no. Reread what I posted and include the second part of that response:

“Yes, it is. Scientists, on the other hand, sometimes are not neutral and act with religious-like fervor.”

I wasn’t saying science was a religion. I was clearly agreeing with the statement that science is neutral on religion and stating that some scientists aren’t neutral and act as if they were practicing a religion.

Dave Thomas:

How about a church or two? As recently as December 9th, 2007?

Uh, yeah. I have a hard time classifying someone who wrote “All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you… as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world” as a Christian.

raven: Jason, you really are stupid. Cho Seung killed 33 people at Virginia Tech. A fundie

As I’m sure many an atheist can tell you, being raised by Christian parents does not mean that a child is automatically a Christian. And psychologists can tell you that rantings that mention Christ and Christianity don’t mean the author of such rantings is a Christian. (Or do you honestly believe Charles Manson is a Christian, or rather, Christ himself?)

whose parents sought to have him exorcised.

I can’t find any verification of that claim anywhere. Not even in articles that seriously consider the question of if Cho was possessed. Where did you get it from?

Dave Thomas: Get in your final licks, everyone, as I’ll be pulling the plug soon. An interesting discussion, to be sure, but looks like it’s run its course.

Dave

Licks in. I’m done.

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Obvious Jason you feel that anyone who disagrees with you is a liar, and you set about impugning their character. Take care with that approach. Seems to be the hallmark of those with a persecution complex. That’s what these post are about–you see critics of Expelled and Left Behind as some cabal out to persecute Christians. You never imagine that some of the people you attack are Christians and may just hold different views from you. I doubt we will ever agree on this, so this is my last post. I guess these posts will just have to reflect the idea of “Teach the Controversy.”

I’ll make a guess here that you were in diapers when I started reading apocalyptic literature, religious and non-religious, ancient and modern. It definitely serves a purpose in trying to provide a sense of hope for people in the face of adversities, but I also think it can morph into a more malignant form that merely reflects the political views of ambitious individuals intent on demonizing their enemies. And the use of fictional human or supernatural proxies serve as a way of expressing their desire to inflict revenge on their enemies.

You may be familiar with Slacktivist’s blog, and he has taken the time to document this in a much more comprehensive manner than I ever can here. I put the writing of Hal Lindsay, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, etc. into this category–and more recently LaHaye. And LaHaye makes no excuses for his political views which align well with the actions of the characters in his books. Which is all fine and well, until it causes people to act badly. And I repeat I have personal experience of individuals whose attitudes and behavior have become much more belligerent as a result of these influences.

Who said the two men were “Arabs?”

Well that was the direct implication of the graphic novel that I read. Which I was more than a little shocked by. But in retrospect I should not be so shocked given that some Christians would have no trouble if all the Palestinians were completely eliminated from Israel–by one way or another. Bush’s futile attempts to promote a separate Palestinian state must really chafe these people’s butts, but so far I haven’t heard them express the idea that W is the Antichrist …

Second, I don’t see any pleasure in the deaths of billions anywhere in the books.

Well maybe you don’t, but I can assure you that the popularity of this series is in part due to a subset of Christians that enjoy the notion of fantasizing about how divine justice might be meted out in the modern world. Quite obviously these people get pleasure from these books, and I doubt it is due to the quality of the fiction. With the franchise that LaHaye and Jensen have established (books, books for kids, books about books, audio books, calendars, greeting cards, music. DVDs, movies, video games, etc.–but no action figures?), these guys have become rich beyond the dreams of avarice. If only Jesus had serialized Matthew 24 …

Uh, how do you go from talking about a fictional story to me being in Heaven cheering “Go Team Jesus?

Hardly, I’ve heard this from many pre-trib dispensationalists. Maybe you’re not one of them, but I would guess there are quite a few among the fans of the Left Behind series. I’m guessing that some of these fans fantasize about being part of the Tribulation Force–but alas, they will have been raptured and they will just have to cheer from the heavenly grandstands.

Well it’s been nice sparring with you, and you have made some valid points, but I’ve got to get back to the work of actually doing science.

Number 1:

Jason:

Dave Thomas:

How about a church or two? As recently as December 9th, 2007?

Uh, yeah. I have a hard time classifying someone who wrote “All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you… as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world” as a Christian.

That’s a good answer, except that you totally ignored the part where I pointed out that Murray was indeed raised as a devout Christian:

So here is Matthew Murray. By all accounts he grew up in a Christian home…an almost suffocating Christian home. He was denied a mainstream life and forced into an ultra-Pentecostal homeschooling program – a program so strict that it is rejected by nearly all homeschooling experts. In short, his parents denied him a normal, happy childhood.

And Number 2:

Jason:

raven: Jason, you really are stupid. Cho Seung killed 33 people at Virginia Tech. A fundie … whose parents sought to have him exorcised.

I can’t find any verification of that claim anywhere. Not even in articles that seriously consider the question of if Cho was possessed. Where did you get it from?

Your Internet sleuthing skills are meager, Jason. It didn’t take long at all to find verification of the claim that Cho’s parents sought to have him exorcised, in the Washington Post itself:

Isolation Defined Cho’s Senior Year Beseeched by Mother, N.Va. Church Offered to Purge ‘Demonic Power’

By Amy Gardner and David Cho Washington Post Staff Writers Sunday, May 6, 2007; A01

Hyang In Cho was so desperate to find help for her silent, angry son that she sought out some members of One Mind Church in Woodbridge to heal him of what the church’s head pastor called “demonic power.”

But before the church could act late last summer, Seung Hui Cho had to return to Virginia Tech to start his senior year, said the Rev. Dong Cheol Lee, minister of the Presbyterian congregation.

In closing, “Game Over, Dude.”

And just as a reminder, the point of the opening post was that “Expelled” will bomb at the office, and be an archetypal “dud,” even if if got some attention on teh Internets. Check out PZ’s graph, here.

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This page contains a single entry by Dave Thomas published on March 26, 2008 2:28 AM.

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