From the Department of Bad Analogies »« Rush Gets a New Advertiser

Comments

  1. davidct says

    I live in Texas and see a fair number of car-fish. I have yet to see this new version but bad ideas travel fast.

  2. Aliasalpha says

    So assuming this fish thing is a reference to the ‘miracle’ of feeding heaps of people with just a few fish (which sounds to me like he just made soup), why isn’t there an accompanying jesus loaf? Is bread not important enough for their high & mighty idolatrous car magnets? Was jesus opposed to both sin and carbohydrates?

  3. donnamccrimmon says

    @Aliasalpha

    The fish thing goes back to when Christians were a persecuted minority (and I mean actually persecuted, not the fake persecution American Christians wish was happening to them) and it wasn’t safe to come out as a Christian. As I understand it when two people met one would draw one of the lines of the fish on the ground or something, and if the other drew the rest of the fish they both knew the other was Christian and they could talk freely.

    Today, though, the fish is just a gang symbol of sorts.

  4. Randomfactor says

    The Christians stole the fish symbol from earlier religions they were supplanting.

    Today, it’s being stolen back from them (along with Christmas, Easter, etc) to serve the American national religion of Buying Stuff.

  5. KG says

    I expect the design is copyrighted. A pity, I could use it as the emblem of the genocidal Christofascist conspiracy in my near-future SF novel.

  6. Ryan Jean says

    I used to have a Darwin fish on my car, but it (both the logo and the rest of the car) got vandalized far too many times (that Christian compassion, humility, and tolerance never ceases to amaze).

    I now sport this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/stickers/ddf4/
    It appears to be just enough under the radar to avoid getting my car messed with.

  7. says

    I always thought in was astrological, Pices, although Jesus told of” looking for the water bearer, Aquarius, who comes after me” I guess they got another thing wrong. Good thing it’s a myth, where you can make things up as you go along as long as it fits, almost.

  8. ShowMetheData says

    That USA Fish web-site also gives a scary future for wounded veterans returning home from Iraq & Afghanistan

    10% of every sale helps wounded veterans returning home from Iraq & Afghanistan.

    And the charity is –

    Puppies Behind Bars

    Sorry, wounded veterans returning home from Iraq & Afghanistan, you go DIRECTLY to jail. Pick up your puppy on the way in.

  9. heddle says

    Ryan Jean,

    I used to have a Darwin fish on my car, but it (both the logo and the rest of the car) got vandalized far too many times (that Christian compassion, humility, and tolerance never ceases to amaze).

    I know the feeling. I had an”Abortion stops a beating heart” sticker on my car and myself along with several other members of the church had our cars vandalized (mine, in my driveway, while we were in the house, which was especially creepy, i.e., he followed me home) with brake fluid, which ruined the paint. He topped off his work with “keep abortion legal” notices spread over my driveway. The compassion, humility and tolerance that is undoubedly more evident in non-blelievers never ceases to amaze.

    The culprit was eventually arrested. Then committed suicide. And interesting epilog is the church reached out and ministered to his widow.

  10. LightningRose says

    Crap like this reminds me of the 60′s protest song by John Prine:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgRVNjsuycQ

    “But your flag decal won’t get you
    Into Heaven any more.
    They’re already overcrowded
    From your dirty little war.
    Now Jesus don’t like killin’
    No matter what the reason’s for,
    And your flag decal won’t get you
    Into Heaven any more.”

  11. says

    The site pushes all the buttons it can regarding Christian nationalism:

    Are the number of stars & stripes in the Star-Spangled Fish significant?

    It unfortunately isn’t possible to tastefully fit 50 stars and 13 stripes into the outline of a reasonably sized Christian fish symbol. Instead, we’ve created a compelling design with fewer stars and stripes that still evokes the full dignity of “Old Glory” protected and sustained by the majesty of the Christian fish. The three stars represent the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And if you carefully count the chrome and red areas, you’ll find 12 distinct lines, representing Jesus’ 12 disciples.

    The “three stars” remind me as much of Blinky, the Simpson’s three-eyed nuclear fish more than anything else (especially the monochrome version spattered across the website). I guess they’re both just about as toxic.

  12. John Phillips, FCD says

    Heddle, why am I not surprised that you ghouls for jesus would try to take advantage of her grief. Every day I think that some xians can’t get any lower in my estimation, and yet every day, they prove me wrong.

  13. heddle says

    John Phillips, FCD says:

    Heddle, why am I not surprised that you ghouls for jesus would try to take advantage of her grief. Every day I think that some xians can’t get any lower in my estimation, and yet every day, they prove me wrong.

    Yes,

    This woman who was alone and needed help feeding her children was very upset that we provided food and shelter and clothing. I remember her clearly yelling at us: “Go away, John Phillips FCD will take care of me. I’m sure of it. He is a benevolent soul who reaches out to all in need I’m just going to wait!” But we forced her to take our help and told her she would go to hell if she didn’t!

    Why am I not suprised at the unthinkable immoral selfishness of people like you, people who are not in need, and yet seemingly believe that other people in desperate need should only receive help from people who you view as ideologically acceptable. Every day I think people can’t be as immoral as you, that people can’t be really be such unethical scumbags, and everyday you prove me wrong.

  14. KG says

    A neatly laid trap, heddle (“ministered” – a neat ambiguity). I’m sure the widow appreciates you using her plight in that fashion.

  15. heddle says

    KG,

    I’m sure the widow appreciates you using her plight in that fashion.

    Again, I know we (the churches I’ve been in) have helped many people many times with food, shelter, clothing, utility bills, rent, rides to jobs, doctors, etc.

    I am sure they are exceedingly grateful for your concern that the people helping them, being that they are undesirables (Christians) are in fact “using their plight.” It’s very big of you to worry about them–your concern is much more important than feeding them. If only they could be as clever as you and recognize that it is better to go hungry or cold than to be helped by a Christian.

    At our next dinner and clothing mercy ministry for the poor in our community, I invite you to stop by and explain why they shouldn’t take our help.

    Of course, all I know about you is you comment on one blog then bravely run to another to declare victory.

  16. dingojack says

    You know Heddle, I once knew a physicist who got naked, painted himself blue and ran around waggling his willie at passing women, just when I think there’s an end to the insanity of physicists, one does something even crazier*!
    I hear he took his own life, tragically for him. But I zipped around the widow’s home so I could *ahem* minister to her** so not all bad in your book, right?
    Which logical fallacy are you going to resort to next I wonder, ‘No Snow’ or ‘No True Scotsman’?
    Dingo
    —–
    * So why should we even entertain your ideas since, by extension, you must be insane too. And, of course, the actions of one person represents a whole class (and the actions of a sizeable faction of a group represents no one).
    ** I didn’t resort to your threats of hellfire however, it seemed unethical to me.

  17. schmeer says

    So Heddle, do you have some reason to believe that the commenters here don’t help others? You seem to imply that you are superior to non-religious people in that regard.

  18. heddle says

    DJ,

    And, of course, the actions of one person represents a whole class

    I’m sure you are applying that sarcastic criticism equitably to #9. Aren’t you?

    But I zipped around the widow’s home so I could *ahem* minister to her** so not all bad in your book, right?

    I don’t even know what that means. It what way could help we provided be characterized as “not all bad.” It was, in fact, all good. Of course, not as good as the intellectual and theoretical concerns of people sitting on their fat asses doing nothing except bemoaning that the poor woman was helped by *gasp* Christians–I mean that sort of help is indespensible.

  19. heddle says

    Schmeer,

    So Heddle, do you have some reason to believe that the commenters here don’t help others? You seem to imply that you are superior to non-religious people in that regard.

    I’m quite sure that many commenters here help others unselfishly. I am mocking only the immorality and stupidity of those who think that the help from Christians is somehow “bad.” Is this not clear?

    I’m off to the gym. KG, this is where you go over to the uber-rationals at Pharyngula and claim that I was utterly defeated and ran away.

  20. dingojack says

    I see you went the ‘No Snow’ route, shame.
    So you honestly are trying to tell me that one single, insane co-religionist of yours vandalised multiple vehicles in different cities, on differing days, over a long period of time, possibly decades? Seriously?
    Dingo

  21. says

    I have to minorly agree with KG: “ministered” is somewhat ambiguous (although I don’t know that it was intentional or a “trap”), and it’s easy to assume that it refers to proselytizing, which in an emotional situation like that could be seen as manipulative. If you tried to provide moral support and material needs (food, shelter, etc.), then that’s laudable, but don’t be too surprised that people took your unclear words the wrong way.

  22. slc1 says

    Re Heddle @ #13

    I had an”Abortion stops a beating heart”

    Actually, that may not be true, depending on when the abortion takes place. Most of the sources I found from a Google search seem to indicate that a fetal heartbeat can’t be detected earlier then about the 6th week after conception. Thus, contrary to the claims of Prof. Heddle’s allies in the anti-choice community, RU486 never stops a beating heart.

  23. otrame says

    heddle,

    I am sorry someone vandalized your car. I am sorry someone expressed something I agree with in a completely inappropriate and frankly illegal manner. I am sure you have often found yourself in that that position, because I know enough from your comments at Pharyngula over the years to know that you are not a monster and do not approve of inappropriate and illegal actions by Christians whose opinions you otherwise agree with.

    Your self-satisfaction with the fact that your church helped out the widow of a mentally ill man takes away a good deal of the “credit” we might have given you for helping out the widow of a mentally ill man. It is also completely irrelevant to the discussion. I’ve helped out people in similar situations, but that does not make my opinions about abortion more valid.

    Vandalizing a car because it has a sticker expressing a view you don’t like is childish, pathetic and thoroughly illegal. It doesn’t matter if I agree with the sticker or not. If I saw someone vandalizing a car with a “Abortion stops a beating heart” sticker on it, I would call the cops. You see, for me, your right to express such opinions is even more important than your right to not have your car vandalized.

    I know you like to jump into a conversation and state or imply that us immoral atheists are a bunch of hypocrites. We can be, of course. We are human. But this example of your typical behavior is pretty lame. No atheist I have ever heard of thinks that atheists can do no wrong, so your point is utterly moot. And you managed to sound like a self-righteous twerp while you were making your moot point.

  24. laurentweppe says

    Ryan Jean

    Here’s an anecdote that totally justify my animus toward Christians

    heddle

    Here’s another anecdote that completely negates Ryan’s

    John Phillips, FCD

    How dare you useing the same cheap rhetorical trick than Ryan, you… huh… Baddy-bad-bad-bad Christian. Also a Christian acting charitably toward a widow is creepy.

    dingojack

    Oh yeah, that’s creepy, so creepy that it drives me to pretend that I took advantage sexualy of a troubled doctor’s widow for shit and giggles.

    Me

    Munch munch munch munch

  25. heddle says

    slc1,

    Actually, that may not be true, depending on when the abortion takes place. Most of the sources I found from a Google search seem to indicate that a fetal heartbeat can’t be detected earlier then about the 6th week after conception. Thus, contrary to the claims of Prof. Heddle’s allies in the anti-choice community, RU486 never stops a beating heart.

    OMG, it is the only bumper sticker in the universe that is a FAIL because its poltical message is dependent upon it being correct 100% of the time, in all circumstances!

    And for what it is worth I am not part of the anti-choice community. Oddly enough, I wasn’t even a Christian when I had the bumper sticker on my car. Since becoming a Christian, I have no desire to place by beliefs on my bumper. And even if I though it was a good idea, I wouldn’t do it for fear of encountering another deranged pro-choice zealot. It cost me a $500 deductable.

    TCC,

    I have to minorly agree with KG: “ministered” is somewhat ambiguous (although I don’t know that it was intentional or a “trap”), and it’s easy to assume that it refers to proselytizing,

    Well at least now I understand what my “trap” was supposed to be. I used minister hoping it would be taken as “proselytize,” at which I would then pounce!

    Except “minister” is in no way a synonym for “proselytize.” As a verb it either means to perform religious practices to other believers or it means, as I used it, to help those in need. See dictionary.com. Or thesaurus.com which lists the synonyms for the verb “minister,” viz., accommodate, administer, aid, answer, attend, be solicitous of, cater to, cure, do for, doctor, foster, heal, nurse, pander, pander to, remedy, succor, take care of, tend, treat, wait on, watch over.

    And it is not a “usage is king” issue. In practice it is never used that way. Christians don’t say: “I am going down to the corner to minister to the lost.” They say: “I am going down to the corner to witness to the lost.”

    So I didn’t understand the “trap” because I didn’t anticipate that it depended on an incorrect (not to mention most disadvantageous) definition of minister. But it simply does not mean proselytize. Nor am I clever enough to anticipate a misunderstanding of the word.

    otrame,

    Your self-satisfaction with the fact that your church helped out the widow of a mentally ill man takes away a good deal of the “credit” we might have given you for helping out the widow of a mentally ill man. It is also completely irrelevant to the discussion.

    Bleh. Of course I don’t give a rat’s ass about your credit (and that of others, since you said “we”, so somehow you speak for them) especially after you pulled the “self-satisfaction” cheap trick. It is as meaningful as saying “don’t be so sensitive” or “stop whining”. It is pejorative in a way that can not be refuted. No, I’ am not being self-satisfied. Honest! I could just as easily say: “I condemn your smirking, self-satisfied smugness at leveling a cheap charge of self-satisfaction at me.”

  26. KG says

    Well at least now I understand what my “trap” was supposed to be. I used minister hoping it would be taken as “proselytize,” at which I would then pounce!

    Except “minister” is in no way a synonym for “proselytize.” – heddle

    No, of course it isn’t, because “proselytise” is unambiguous, while “ministered” clearly is ambiguous – John Philips evidently understood it as meaning that at least among other things, members of the church took the opportunity to proselytise and so, initially, did I. If you had had honest intentions, you could have simply said the church “helped” her or more specifically, helped her feed her children.

    Of course, not as good as the intellectual and theoretical concerns of people sitting on their fat asses doing nothing except bemoaning that the poor woman was helped by *gasp* Christians–I mean that sort of help is indespensible.

    No-one, of course, has done any such thing – but it is typical of your dishonesty that you pretned they have. What is being criticised is not the practical help members of the church gave the widow, but first (and in this case mistakenly, if you are telling the truth) the emotional manipulation of vulnerable people; and secondly, your own use of the story here.

  27. Taz says

    There is a basic difference between Ryan Jean’s example and heddle’s. While both acts of vandalism are equally wrong in my opinion, and certainly equally wrong under the law, the vandalizing of someone’s property because it offends your Christian sensibilities is inherently hypocritical, since the act itself is wrong under the tenets of Christianity.

    (The pro-choice vandal was probably a hypocrite as well, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.)

  28. slc1 says

    Since becoming a Christian, I have no desire to place by beliefs on my bumper.

    As one who wouldn’t be caught dead sporting a bumper sticker on any topic or supporting any political candidate, IMHO, this is a wise decision.

  29. heddle says

    But it is not. Minister, to unbelievers, only means to help. It is not ambiguous, it is the common meaning of the verb. You can keep pretending that it is ambiguous but it isn’t. But if you care to wear your ignorance on your sleeve in a dishonest (your forte) attempt to claim that I was setting a trap that is your privilege.

    No-one, of course, has done any such thing

    No, of course not, … neither John Phillips, FCD’s

    Heddle, why am I not surprised that you ghouls for jesus would try to take advantage of her grief.

    nor your

    I’m sure the widow appreciates you using her plight in that fashion.

    fits the bill.

    Yours in particular, since you had already invoked your elite pharyngulitic super-intelligence to declare that I had set a trap by using an unambiguous verb ambiguously. (Implying, along the way, that John Phillips, FCD, who apparently fell in the trap, was simply not clever enough to recognize it, the poor child. If only he had consulted you.) So after you immediately saw it was a trap, and that I was sneakily using minister to mean what it means and not what it doesn’t mean (what a bastard I am!) you still denigrated the help we gave to the woman.

    the emotional manipulation of vulnerable people

    Yes feeding hungry people is such an insidious form of emotional manipulation.

  30. heddle says

    Taz,

    the vandalizing of someone’s property because it offends your Christian sensibilities is inherently hypocritical, since the act itself is wrong under the tenets of Christianity.

    On this we are in absolute agreement. I also agree that this implies that what the Christian did was worse, even if you discount the fact that the man who vandalized my car and others in the church had (obviously) some real mental health issues. (And assuming that the Christian vandal didn’t.)

  31. says

    Heddle, I must respectfully disagree with your estimation of the usage of “minister” at large: I have most certainly heard the term used for evangelical purposes (coming from a Southern Baptist background) as well as the activities you mention. I don’t doubt that you might not be aware of this usage (although I do wonder why you didn’t notice the connection to “ministry” or the title “minister”), but it’s not a strange inference, even if it is a bit uncharitable. Notice that I didn’t accuse you of mendacity, only of unintentional ambiguity. I trust that you can at least see this rather than doubling down further simply because some people are unfairly accusing you.

  32. says

    Better than wearing tiny torture and execution devices as jewelry. And imagine if Jesus had been executed more recently. People might wear tiny golden electric chair pendants.

  33. jba55 says

    “Minister, to unbelievers, only means to help.” -heddle

    I myself am a nonbeliever and when I read your comment my first thought was that “minister” meant “preach to”, as clearly several others did as well. Which would mean that, no, it doesn’t only mean to help, at least not to everyone (including the ones you are accusing of twisting your words). I don’t think you were setting “traps”, but I do think that your insistence that the word means only what you say it means is wrong. Personally the only times I can remember hearing people use the word minister, when it wasn’t a title, was when they were referring to proselytizing. And not for nothing, but many of them were christian.

  34. spamamander, hellmart survivor says

    My car has the FSM fish. My daughter purchased the Cthulhu one but keeps forgetting to put it on her car. I suspect the only reason my car hasn’t been vandalized is not enough people know what “FSM” is around here… though I haven’t gotten any flak for my Marriage Equality sticker either.

  35. heddle says

    jba55

    Personally the only times I can remember hearing people use the word minister, when it wasn’t a title, was when they were referring to proselytizing

    That’s quite an amazing admission. You never, in your life, heard minister to the sick, Or minister to the needy or minister to the poor. Never? Really?

    And you are conflating preaching and proselytizing. They are two different things. One is done to believers. The other to unbelievers. Minister (verb) can perhaps mean the first, although “minister to the flock” is usually taken as more comprehensive than merely to preach; it includes an aspect of care. In fact preachers are sometimes criticized because they do not minister, they only teach (preach). But in any case it doesn’t mean the second no matter how much you want it to. Unless of course the dictionaries and thesauruses are wrong. None of which, that I’ve found, say “minister” means “proselytizing.”

    You’ve only heard used as a verb to mean what it doesn’t mean and never used for what it does mean. Again, I find absoluteness of your experience amazing.

    Before I posted the synonyms from thesaurus.com for minister, a list which you may recall did not include proselytize. For completeness, here is what you get if you look up proselytize:

    =========
    verb
    Definition: convert, espouse
    Synonyms: accept, adopt, advocate, alter conviction, approve, be born again, cause to adopt, change belief, convince, defend, embrace, get into, persuade, stand behind, sway, uphold
    =========
    verb
    Definition: change belief, especially regarding religion
    Synonyms: actuate, alter conviction, assimilate to, baptize, be born again, bend, bias, brainwash, bring, bring around, budge, cause to adopt, change into, change of heart, convince, create anew, impel, incline, lead, lead to believe, make over, move, persuade, proselyte, proselytize , redeem, reform, regenerate, save, see the light, sway, turn
    =========
    Conspicuous in its absence is minister.

  36. Nepenthe says

    @heddle

    Well, good thing that people understand language based on what it says in the dictionary. Then next time I hear about a church group “ministering” to non-believers, I’m make sure to chastise them… while avoiding the pamphlets they push at me.

  37. says

    It’s difficult not to be a little bit annoyed here. Dictionaries and thesauruses are not the arbiters of meaning, and all that is being said here is that minister meaning “to evangelize” is not an altogether uncommon usage. You can’t even admit that, despite the fact that a wide number of people with different degrees of bias for and against you have heard the same usage. This is precisely what I meant by doubling down, and I’m afraid that it doesn’t speak too well for you in this moment.

  38. bananacat says

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Heddle is the perfect example of why I loathe religious “charities”. It’s never done to help people, and always done to gain power over others so they can coerce the people they are pretending to help. It’s always conditional and never caring.

  39. bananacat says

    Oh, I also loathe prescriptivist language arguments. Dictionaries don’t exist to tell people how to use language; they exist to describe the language that people already use. And because language is constantly changing, no dictionary can ever be comprehensive.

  40. bananacat says

    Re Heddle @ #13

    I had an”Abortion stops a beating heart”

    Actually, that may not be true, depending on when the abortion takes place. Most of the sources I found from a Google search seem to indicate that a fetal heartbeat can’t be detected earlier then about the 6th week after conception. Thus, contrary to the claims of Prof. Heddle’s allies in the anti-choice community, RU486 never stops a beating heart.

    You’re wasting your time. Anti-choicers don’t care about facts. Even when there is a heartbeat, it’s at best misleading to call it a heart. It’s more like some heart cells or a proto-heart, or some cells that will eventually be a heart. Embryological development is rarely their strong suit.

  41. laurentweppe says

    Personally the only times I can remember hearing people use the word minister, when it wasn’t a title, was when they were referring to proselytizing

    Ok, it was fun at first, now it’s getting annoying: I’m going to call bullshit on all this Charles Colsonesque pretense of discerning some evil hidden meaning behind this supposedly obtuse, confusing, ambiguous term that’s never used at all.

    You’re going to pretend that you’ve never heard of the DMV administering driver license tests, doctors administering vaccines, the chief justice screwing up when he administered Obama’s oath of office, of the Teabaggers who vowed to obliviate the legacy of every left-wing american administration from Obama to Roosevelt (Teddy) because these administrations were part of the same evil, godless socialist conspiracy to help people instead of letting them beg for scraps as in during the good old days when people where good godfearing folks who did not challenge their betters?

    Do you know the meaning of the prefix “ad”? This is etymology 101, the kind of things you’re supposed to be aware of by late primary school. Minister and its variations is one of the most used word in every latin and bastardized-by-latin languages, and nearly a fourth of the comments are about people pretending that as soon as the magic prefix disappear they cannot undertand one their own language most ubiquitous word except as a synonym for proselytize? and what are the next verbs about to be purged from polite conversation? Adopt? Witness? Advocate?

  42. davem says

    @4: And there was me, thinking that the fish on the back of a car was a sign indicating that the car had been speed-limited, so that it could only drive at 30mph in a 60 limit, and only on a Sunday. :0)

  43. mucklededun says

    I said it before & I’ll say it again:
    1. Never eat at a place called Mom’s.
    2. Never play cards with a man named Doc.
    3. Never get into a parsing contest with heddle.

  44. Michael Heath says

    I find this disagreement about ‘ministering’ ironic.

    First heddle is right regarding his usage of the word, from my perspective his use is its most popular. However, I’ve also perceived the motivation to minister to the unfortunate was predominately proselytization, mostly non-overt but ever-present to some degree. We can validate this by voting patterns, where conservative Christians not only do not vote for the most effective means to reduce the number of those who need help, but are the biggest block of voters who can be reliably counted upon to oppose such help. Their justification, that government is poor at helping the unfortunate, is another example of reality denialism on their part and justification to suspect other motivations are in play.

    One used to be able to point to the laity of the Catholic Church as a laudable exception, and to a smaller degree we still can. However their hierarchy has repeatedly and demonstrably revealed this priority is of no consequence compared to their priority to deny women equal rights, work to prohibit abortion rights (which is effectively a subset of the former), and keep gays in the closet. This is why we’ve seen fundamentalists and evangelicals welcome an ever-increasing number of Catholics as political allies since the 1960s as these groups transform into a religious-political movement with very consistent voting patterns.

    So consistent we could see the emergence of incredible threats to the wellbeing of humanity and they’ll still vote their social issues, at the expense of the unfortunate specifically and humanity in general. E.g., denying global warming and voting for anti-choice candidates in 2008 in spite of the financial crisis, who created it, their advocacy for more of the same, the harm those policies wreaked on most of us, the looming threat of AGW while their candidates denied it even existed, and how their votes went for candidates who barely covertly sought to dish out more harm to the unfortunate – relying on dog whistles to make the point. In the 2012 campaign the presidential candidates’ overt antipathy to those people Christians minister to has become either blatant (Romney, Gingrich, Paul) or using ever more near-transparent racist dog whistles (Gingrich), making heddle’s comments about ministering even more hypocritical from an effective perspective when we consider conservative Christians.

  45. KG says

    the emotional manipulation of vulnerable people

    Yes feeding hungry people is such an insidious form of emotional manipulation. – heddle

    Your dishonesty is patent. Here is the context for the words you quote-mine:

    What is being criticised is not the practical help members of the church gave the widow, but first (and in this case mistakenly, if you are telling the truth) the emotional manipulation of vulnerable people; and secondly, your own use of the story here.

    So, I quite clearly say that – making the admittedly daring assumption that you are in this case telling the truth – such criticism was mistaken in this case because your church members had simply given practical help.

  46. dingojack says

    Heddle – Minister when used as a verb means (according to dictionary.com):

    verb (used with object)
    6. to administer or apply: to minister the last rites.
    7. Archaic . to furnish; supply.
    verb (used without object)
    8. to perform the functions of a religious minister.
    9. to give service, care, or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities.: to minister to the needs of the hungry.
    10. to contribute, as to comfort or happiness.

    You seem to have forgotten the first objectless meaning.
    And what do Ministers of religion do? Oh yes, promotion of their religion. Funny that.

    ;) Dingo

  47. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #51

    So consistent we could see the emergence of incredible threats to the wellbeing of humanity and they’ll still vote their social issues, at the expense of the unfortunate specifically and humanity in general. E.g., denying global warming and voting for anti-choice candidates in 2008 in spite of the financial crisis, who created it, their advocacy for more of the same, the harm those policies wreaked on most of us, the looming threat of AGW while their candidates denied it even existed, and how their votes went for candidates who barely covertly sought to dish out more harm to the unfortunate – relying on dog whistles to make the point.

    Heath may be interested in the latest anti-AGW idiocy in Virginia. Koo Koo Ken Cuccinelli, our whackjob attorney general, had his case thrown out of court. However, one of his old asshole buddies in the state legislature, nutcase delegate Robert Marshall, who is running for the Rethuglican nomination for the Senate against former governor George Macacawitz Allen on the grounds that the latter is insufficiently conservative, has filed yet another suit demanding that UVA turn over Michael Mann’s emails when he was a faculty member. Meathead Marshall also ran against former Governor Gilmore for the Rethuglican nomination for the Senate in 2008 on the same grounds. Marshall in the Senate would be a major challenge to Oklahoma Senator Inhofe as the dumbest Senator.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/pwm-climate-change-case-takes-center-stage/2012/03/19/gIQA1vLGQS_blog.html

  48. slc1 says

    Re bananacat @ #47

    Isn’t it interesting that Prof. Heddle, who is pathologically insistent that commentors be 100% accurate in their statements about religion, suddenly becomes more tolerant when people he agrees with are rather less then 100% accurate on a matter of embryonic development.

  49. says

    I will accept that heddle’s church doesn’t prosletyze as part of their aid to the disadvantaged; I will not accept that all other churches do so. My experience in that regard has been weighted in the direction of “This delicious food was provided by JESUS, let’s pray over it.”. My experience is not everyone’s nor is heddles.

  50. jba55 says

    “You never, in your life, heard minister to the sick, Or minister to the needy or minister to the poor. Never? Really?” -heddle

    Oh I probably have, I just don’t remember it. Which is why I said “the only times I can remember hearing people use the word minister” not “I’ve never”. The point I was making was that I, personally, have heard the word used as proselytize (my bad for using “preach” in the wrong place, I hope you won’t ignore the actual point I’m trying to make because of an accidentally misused word) more often than anything else. Regardless of what the dictionary/thesaurus has to say.

    @laurentweppe: Not that it’s any of your business, really, but I actually have very little formal education. I’ve tried to educate myself, but etymology isn’t something I’ve ever had the time to get to. So yes, I was under the impression that “administer” was a different word than “minister”, especially since they were, again in my experience, used in such different ways. I don’t know where you went to primary school (I’m guessing that’s the same as elementary school, but then I’m just an ignorant drop out), but at mine I wasn’t taught much etymology. I do appreciate you taking the time to so patiently and civilly teach me about it though.

  51. John Phillips, FCD says

    actually Heddle, I’ve spent most of my life doing voluntary work, but not because I was trying to curry favour with some mythical monster, but because it was the right thing to do and I enjoy helping people. See, the difference between us is I help people because they need help, not because I’m showing off to my god nor am I trying to force my beliefs on them in exchange for that helping hand. Ironically, much of it has been in xian run organisation because they can more easily get funding from governments, local and national. In a few cases, some of your fellow loving xians who were also volunteers, though its use for them, does debase the term somewhat, on learning I was an atheist, tried to get me fired by giving the pastors in charge an ultimatum, them or me. Fortunately, the pastors new me well and offered them the door on the basis that godless me and my skillsets was far more valuable to their organisations than some morons who obviously didn’t understand their own teachings. So Heddle, kindly go screw yourself and your god and go forth and continue to take advantage of those in need.

  52. John Phillips, FCD says

    and yep, around here, UK, to minister can mean to minister help, as a doctor or nurse might do (similar to administer), but in a reigious context, it tends to means to proseletyse.

  53. heddle says

    John Phillips, FCD

    See, the difference between us is I help people because they need help, not because I’m showing off to my god nor am I trying to force my beliefs on them in exchange for that helping hand.

    Taking your words at face value, which requires a leap of faith, that is exactly why I and many Christians help them, because they are in need.

    So go ahead, continue to be an immoral monster who would rather people be denied help than have it provided by Christians because of your garden-variety bigotry.

  54. Michael Heath says

    It’s hard to take conservatives Christians seriously when it comes to charity and abortion when they actively or passively support political candidates and policies which increases the number of people who need help and the number of unplanned pregnancies. Especially since they are and have long been the predominate voting block obstructing better results in both of these areas. So the relevant question is what combination of stupid, delusional, blindly submissive, or motivated by factors other than: helping other humans, reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies, and supporting life, drives their behavior.

    The next relevant question is for those conservative Christians who demonstrate motivation by other factors. How cognizant are they of this internal motivation and how do they deal with whatever dissonance they possess? By my teen years my conclusion was they avoid thinking critically and are fiercely determined in their efforts to maintain ignorance. Since most of their beliefs have long been empirically falsified or at least have been rendered incoherent by reason and evidence, tribalism and the redundant reaffirmation of faith highly dependent on ritual and rhetoric seem to be the primary defense mechanisms. By the time I reached my teen years I was already sick of the redundant sermons, which remain predominant even today, only the illustrations have been updated, the boogeymen re-prioritized, and the order of fears and hatred marketed. E.g., far less ire directed towards their recent political allies the Catholics while an incredible volume of hatred is now directed at Muslims. We continue to see an incredible amount of defamation of the non-religious liberals, they’ve merely changed the name from ‘secular humanists’ to ‘secularists’ and ‘atheists’. The prior two being especially ironic given both of these philosophical movements have their roots sunk partly [largely?] into Christianity as a reaction to the harm Christians caused due to their dominance of government power.

  55. Michael Heath says

    heddle writes:

    So go ahead, continue to be an immoral monster who would rather people be denied help than have it provided by Christians because of your garden-variety bigotry.

    Given that conservative Christians are the predominant voting block who oppose policies which would reduce the need for charity, what are they? I agree they’re demonstrably immoral, but even I wouldn’t go to the length of calling them monsters. And your dehumanization of John Phillips by misrepresenting his argument is not behavior objectively moral people want to emulate.

  56. heddle says

    Actually Heath, in many ways you the most immoral person on here. I have seen you comment more than once arguing that we evangelicals are the most heinous child abusers. In the recent post on forced castration at the hands of the Dutch RCC you wrote:

    I would argue that the harm caused by evangelicals and fundamentalists to children is far worse than that by the Catholic hierarchy. I’m not conceding rhetorical hyperbole in my previous assertion, I think it’s far worse.

    Yes there’s some horrible behavior by priests, but that harm was and is caused to a relative few while I think nearly all fundie and evangelical parents abuse their children by energetically seeking to deprive their kids of reaching their fullest potential.

    You have made similar statements on other threads.

    If I perceived you were heinously abusing your children, I would do anything in my power to help them, even if it meant getting arrested. Yet you contend that am I am in the group of the most heinous child-abusers and you do nothing except make holier-than-thou blog comments. That is pathetic, cowardly, and utterly immoral.

    As for John Philip FCDs, his first post, reposting to my comment that we ministered to a widow, was:

    Heddle, why am I not surprised that you ghouls for jesus would try to take advantage of her grief. Every day I think that some xians can’t get any lower in my estimation, and yet every day, they prove me wrong.

    I stand by my claim which, to reiterate, is that anyone repulsed/disturbed/angry about help to the needy that comes from Christians is a monster.

  57. John Phillips, FCD says

    Repulsed? Very definitely, because I have seen too much of it in my nearly 60 years. But you missed the bit where I stated that much of my voluntary work was done in organisations run by various religious denominations, mainly non-conformist ones. But, because they took some state funding, it had to be offered to one and all, and with no strings, such as, at the pettier end, having to sit through a service before getting the needed help. In fact, one of the ones I later worked with, prior to it taking the state’s shilling it was notorious for how it treated those it professed to want to help and its bigotry was legendary and I’m only talking late 70s early 80s.

    Of course, those more interested in proseletysing than offering practical help were always free to turn down the state’s shilling, and some did. Though for many, the state’s shilling and influence it could bring, was enough to change the behaviour of most for the better. Of course, there have always been what even I call good xian charitable organisations, interested purely in practical help and always willing to wait for someone to ask before proseletysing. I worked alongside a quite a few over the years, and enjoyed it and many of them still remain firm friends now I can no longer help out. However, they were not the type to try and take advantage of someone in need.

  58. Michael Heath says

    heddle writes:

    Actually Heath, in many ways you the most immoral person on here. I have seen you comment more than once arguing that we evangelicals are the most heinous child abusers. []where he quotes me asserting that the systemic abuse of children by evangelicals and fundamentlists who deny their children an optimal education and put pressure on their children to avoid education and careers which reveal the absurdity of their beliefs]

    I’ve never claimed this form of abuse is, ‘the most heinous’ – not even close. So please do not bear false witness against me. heh. [It's OK to laugh at the heddle, it's hard to take a rant like yours personally.] I instead have claimed this behavior:
    1) exists which few acknowledge as abuse – so I’m focused on changing our collective mindset
    2) is in the aggregate, more harmful than RCC priest physical abuse of children because it claims far more victims. I speculate that any proper analysis would make a convincing qualitative, if not empirical case, this is true.

    Now how exactly am I immoral for trying to bring his particularly insidious form of abuse out into the light for what it is, not merely bad parenting but a novel type of abuse? Well, heddle goes on to explain:If I perceived you were heinously abusing your children, I would do anything in my power to help them, even if it meant getting arrested. Yet you contend that am I am in the group of the most heinous child-abusers and you do nothing except make holier-than-thou blog comments. That is pathetic, cowardly, and utterly immoral.

    I can only imagine your conclusion is not due to a lack of critical thinking skills, but instead comes from an emotional reaction that obstructs you from using those skills here. The only way to not give you the benefit of the doubt is that you’ve repeated this absurd argument before. A little dispassion heddle would do you some good here.

    First of all, how do you know what the full set of actions I take are beyond this blog? Why does your prescribed action count as moral while alternative methods I take are assumed to be cause for condemning the mere messenger (in this venue) as incredibly immoral? Do you have any empirical evidence your prescription is the only effective method versus the efforts I make, which at this point you don’t even know what those actions are. The fact your balancing your side of the equation while failing to even attempt to discover mine falsifies your argument without any response needed from me. That’s because you can’t weigh your prescriptive argument against mine since you don’t even know the full set of behaviors I take.

    And for the record, I reject your position that only what you imagine is effective in this case is the only moral action. I would argue we need a lot of different approaches, with more speech on the topic being helpful in terms of getting more people to consider my assertion and seek to make a change in their own behavior and that within their personal sphere of influence. Especially because I concede using the terms ‘abuse’ within this context is provocative – though I think accurate and proper. This type of abuse is also culturally embedded; and since we rightly seek a freer society, I do not find criminalizing parental behavior of this sort to even be a proper prescriptive, let alone the only moral choice we have. I also reject your assertion my efforts are objectively immoral, but instead that your argument is logically, and obviously, fallacious, i.e., a false restriction of alternatives, perhaps more.

  59. says

    Heddle:

    Crowing about how you ministered to that man’s widow hardly helped your case any, but to argue that minister doesn’t mean proselytize in the common vernacular is just disingenuous. Does anyone outside of a religious context use that word when they talk about helping others? It’s, at best, rare in my experience. I expect to most people that word means help that comes with the price tag of having to tolerate religious nonsense of one sort or another.

  60. Michael Heath says

    I should have edited better, I never intended to write:

    [It's OK to laugh at the heddle, it's hard to take a rant like yours personally.]

    That should instead read, “[It's OK to laugh at this heddle, it's hard to take a rant like yours personally.]” I’m not laughing at heddle but instead laughing at my attempt at a joke as a response to his post.

  61. dingojack says

    Heddle – You will, of course, provide direct quotes where I said that christians aiding others is a problem and that they should desist, direct quotes mind.
    Dingo
    —–
    PS: serial killers are predominantly men, does this mean that every single man is a serial killer? Would this mean that the statement: ‘serial killers are predominantly men’, mean that you, as a man, are being accused of being a serial killer?
    Still, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one that thinks with his heart before his head.

  62. heddle says

    DJ,

    Heddle – You will, of course, provide direct quotes where I said that christians aiding others is a problem and that they should desist, direct quotes mind.
    Dingo

    Dingo – You will, of course, provide direct quotes where I said that you said christians aiding others is a problem and that they should desist, direct quotes mind [you].

    What I accused you of is bad logic. You, um, argued

    (definition of minister (verb)
    6. to administer or apply: to minister the last rites.
    7. Archaic . to furnish; supply.
    verb (used without object)
    8. to perform the functions of a religious minister.
    9. to give service, care, or aid; attend, as to wants or necessities.: to minister to the needs of the hungry.
    10. to contribute, as to comfort or happiness.

    You seem to have forgotten the first objectless meaning.

    And what do Ministers of religion do? Oh yes, promotion of their religion. Funny that.

    That is, since ministers minister by “perform[ing] the functions of a religious minister” and ministers proselytize, then therefore “minister” and a synonym of “proselytize” and would be in the thesaurus if not for conservative Christian control of all matters lexicographic.

    Of course, ministers also do a gazillion other things, all of which must needs be synonyms of “minister” by your logic. And “teach,” as in what teachers do, is a synonym for “attend faculty meetings.”

    Personally I think your case would be stronger (but still weak) if you were to, like others, argue that what the dictionary presents as the meaning of misnister is simply not relevant, and that insisting that it is is just another example of Christianity’s evil plot to abuse our children. And even, because making the point even if it is wrong trumps looking stupid, to claim that you have never heard “minister to the needs of the poor” in any context other than to proselytize the poor.

  63. dingojack says

    Heddle – so that’s a no then. Good to know.
    OBTW – the primary job of a minister of religion would be promoting their brand (being that ‘acting as a minister of religion’ is the most popular meaning of the verb without using an object in the sentence, even if you prefer a less common meaning that suits your ‘Humpty-Dumpty’ way with words). But apparently you’ve never seen a minister try to recruit, so it simply couldn’t happen (despite all evidence the contrary). Convenient.

    So are you admitting to being a serial killer, or not?
    :) Dingo
    ——–
    PS; Since you can’t point out a direct quote where I said that ‘christians giving aid was a problem and they should cease and desist no matter the consequences’, perhaps you can give a direct quote where John Phillips did?

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