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Nov 18 2011

A Powerful Message…

No poetry here, today. I’m too pissed off. “The family of god” has posted a nice message from an honest Jew, our dear friend Ben Stein. First off, I don’t care whether Ben Stein or anyone else posted it. I don’t really think he did, but it really doesn’t matter. I suspect it’s just an appeal to authority, which is a bit ironic considering what is about to happen. You see, in the message (I really don’t recommend clicking through to read it, but you certainly may), we find all sorts of things that contribute to the problems with America today (to keep with my more recent posts, I assure you that the first paragraphs are indeed a lamentation about The War On Christmas, with Ben Stein, “jewish commentator”, strongly on the side of Christmas); one such problem (which really appears to date the diatribe) is Dr. Spock:

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

We’ve seen a few examples recently of families who spank their children. Of course, they would not make the news except that sometimes these children have died as a result of their spankings and related abuse. In addition, it should be noted that Dr. Spock’s children are both still alive. Reports of a son’s suicide are, as Twain noted, “greatly exaggerated”.

So… Ben Stein, noted liar, is quoted as delivering false statements in support of a position. Are you convinced?

Guess what? It doesn’t bother me, either, when people say “Merry Christmas”. But that’s just me–I feel no need to lie to you about Dr. Spock or anyone else to reinforce my opinion of holiday greetings. I don’t need to lie to you and make claims that we “aren’t allowed to worship God”, even though I personally don’t worship any god, nor feel that you ought to. You are allowed to! Really, you are! Seriously, I am an atheist, and even *I* know you are allowed to worship your god.

I’d suggest that you comment and tell the website author what you think of their distortions, lies, falsehoods, and general examples of bearing false witness. But near as I can tell, they don’t allow comments. So rant here, if you like. Click through to them to get their attention, and let them know what you think here. And I pretty much guarantee you, it won’t make a damned bit of difference.

19 comments

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  1. 1
    Ace of Sevens

    This is exactly the sort of thing Ben Stein usually writes. I wouldn’t be shocked.

  2. 2
    tim gueguen

    I wonder if whoever wrote it isn’t confusing Spock with the late Art Linkletter, well known for his Kids Say the Darndest Things feature and books, whose daughter committed suicide. It would be a rather big leap to mistake the two, but perhaps their assocation with children could cause this.

  3. 3
    Cuttlefish

    Good question. Another possibility (according to Snopes) is a confusion with John B. Watson, the behaviorist, who filled Spock’s role a generation earlier. B. F. Skinner had to fight rumors that his daughter had killed herself (she is still alive) because of this confusion. Watson’s son killed himself at age 40, I believe–oddly enough, after becoming a Freudian psychiatrist.

  4. 4
    feralboy12

    Maybe he’s confusing Dr. Spock’s son with Mikey from the Life cereal commercials, whose death from Pop Rocks candy is an urban legend. Really, this is its own urban legend.

    Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

    I have yet to ask myself that in 31 years of fatherhood. No spanking, no religion, just a damn fine kid.

  5. 5
    John Morales

    Pretty disgusting, pretty sleazy, extremely dishonest.

    If Stein did not write this, then not repudiating it (if he’s aware of it) yields no less culpability.

    Cuttlefish, I see it as an appeal to tradition, not to authority.

  6. 6
    John Morales

    Addendum: On consideration, I was wrong above; a stronger element is an appeal to consequences — which is not in this case fallacious reasoning, merely factually unsustainable.

  7. 7
    a. e. r.

    Any excuse to spank a child is a valid one for them & I hear them almost bragging about it. They’re *proud* of hitting a child.

    Disgust is putting it mildly. It’s rage-provoking.

  8. 8
    Eric126

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/confessions.asp

    Seems some of it is Stein, some isn’t. There is something in Stein’s actual commentary there that struck me.

    He said – “I have no idea where the concept came from that American is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.”

    To which I reply – “I don’t know where that concept came from either, sir. I do, however, know exactly from whence cometh the concept that America is NOT an explicitly secular country (that part IS in the Constitution), and I’m downright sick of it being shoved down my throat and into my governance.

  9. 9
    Makita

    And even *if* Dr. Spock’s son had committed suicide, how’s that relevant? Is the “jewish commentator” suggested that it’s the parents’ fault if someone commits suicide? Maybe he should consider catching up with the 21st century.

  10. 10
    starskeptic

    this dates back to 2005 and was, indeed Ben Stein:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/confessions.asp

  11. 11
    Matt Smith

    Yeah, I saw that one come in my e-mail a month or two back. It seriously took about 2 minutes of googling to uncover the BS. Snopes also has a nice article on it:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/confessions.asp

  12. 12
    A Bear

    Do you know who else had his son commit suicide? No, not Hitler.
    Foreseeing the consequences, Jehova’s son stole a donkey, rode into Jerusalem and pissed off both the religious and the Roman authorities; the first century equivalent of suicide by cop.

  13. 13
    carolw

    Snopes is my friend. I love shooting down sanctimonious crap with (*gasp!*) facts.

  14. 14
    Phillip IV

    In other news, Ben Stein’s son, Tom, has not committed suicide. But I’d be surprised if he doesn’t at least sometimes consider it whenever his dad makes a particularly large ass of himself in public.

  15. 15
    Stevarious

    I always enjoy mentioning that the biblical admonition against bearing false witness has no escape clause for not knowing that its false. That is, its still wrong to lie even if you didn’t know it was a lie.

  16. 16
    Perry Bulwer

    Whatever else that rant is, I think it is also an appeal to authority. He cites Dr Spock’s anti-spanking message then immediately implies that is what is wrong with children these days, following that up with a reference to scripture. The implication is that rejecting the biblical authority to beat your kids leads to messed up kids.

    Corporal punishment of any kind is an abuse of authority, which is evil. see “Corporal Punishment, the Abuse of Authority and the Rights of Children” on my blog, Chain The Dogma.

    http://chainthedogma.blogspot.com/2011/11/corporal-punishment-abuse-of-authority.html

  17. 17
    A3Kr0n

    So we should spank a conscience into children? How does that work?

  18. 18
    John Morales

    A3Kr0n, Pavlovian conditioning?

  19. 19
    jnorris

    Ben Stein proves that Lying is not just a Christian Sacrament, its a universal religious commandment.

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