The Christian Right Beatitudes »« The Search for the Limiting Principle

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  1. Aliasalpha says

    It never ceases to amaze me how much that man can sing with apparently no need to draw breath

  2. jeremydiamond says

    Neither link shows that there was a Boy Scout troop walking by on the Mall right as he launched into the song. But there was. It was hilarious.

  3. pamsmigh says

    He’s getting quite a lot of flack for this song from atheists at the rally w/kids and those who didn’t like the non-atheists at the mall stereotyping the rally as a bunch of foul-mouthed god haters. Not saying I agree w/them, just that it’s a point of contention right now on the reason rally web site. http://reasonrally.org/2012/03/26/thank-you-2/

    I get both sides – Tim’s song is very clear about those who get the vapors over language but ignore child rape. OTOH, perhaps the song should have come w/a warning that those w/dainty ears might want to pop over to the porta-potty for a while.

  4. Francisco Bacopa says

    Tim Minchin: It’s like someone took Elton John, Tom Lehrer, and George Carlin. Then they said “Will it blend?”

  5. Michael Heath says

    pamsmigh writes:

    [Tim Minchin's] getting quite a lot of flack for this song from atheists at the rally w/kids and those who didn’t like the non-atheists at the mall stereotyping the rally as a bunch of foul-mouthed god haters. Not saying I agree w/them, just that it’s a point of contention right now on the reason rally web site. http://reasonrally.org/2012/03/26/thank-you-2/

    I get both sides – Tim’s song is very clear about those who get the vapors over language but ignore child rape. OTOH, perhaps the song should have come w/a warning that those w/dainty ears might want to pop over to the porta-potty for a while.

    This is one of the ironies of freethinkers gathering and attempting to more broadly influence the public square. It’s primitive religious thinking which makes the song provocative for all of us; that our paradigm remains puritanical simply because we too developed in a religion-dominated culture.

    One can compellingly argue it’s not prudent to define ourselves so differently from the culture if we hope to gain influence; so let’s keep profanity out of it. On the other hand, is it wise to limit our progress by conceding the character flaws that define the religious to the point it enables and in some cases, promotes the abuse of children?

    This debate kind of reminds me of the debate that first emerged on the Internet regarding gay marriage. Liberals cogently made the case why we must fight to achieve equal rights for gays, including marriage. Whereas some gays argued thanks, but why should we take on a cultural behavior which is a vestige of a patriarchy rather than adopt to arrangements more in line with a more optimal form of utopia?

    In both cases the desire to avoid profanity in front of children and the promotion of gays marrying, not just having the right to marry, is an exemplary Burkean (conservative) response. Now that’s ironic.

  6. says

    He’s getting quite a lot of flack for this song from atheists at the rally w/kids and those who didn’t like the non-atheists at the mall stereotyping the rally as a bunch of foul-mouthed god haters. Not saying I agree w/them, just that it’s a point of contention right now on the reason rally web site.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of the song, but I would side with the parents on this one, and I don’t think it’s even really about the perceptions of others, it’s simply that most parents would prefer that their kids not be exposed to such expletive-laden material–and not use it themselves–until they are much older.

    Unless you listen very closely, the Pope Song comes across as little more than a wall of strong expletives (I had to read a lyric sheet after the first time I had heard it to get the point of the song), and any irony the song conveys is going to be entirely lost on younger kids.

    It’s not that Minchen lacks alternative pro-rational (and anti-religious) material and as the Thinking Atheist said in his latest podcast, at an open air rally where children of all ages are going to be in attendance, the Pope Song was probably not the most appropriate song for the occasion.

  7. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    If anyone thinks any North American child over the age of five isn’t familiar with the word “fuck” then they’re incredibly naive.

  8. says

    Maybe not as young as five…

    However, if anyone thinks that just because parents are non-believers they should be expected to not to object when their young children are unexpectedly regaled by a wall of “mother-fuckers” in a public–and otherwise mostly positive and unoffensive–setting is equally naive.

    I know some people believe that taking offense at mere words is senseless and outmoded but that is still very much the minority view, especially when it comes to raising your own children.

    Maybe they should title next year’s Reason Rally “Fuck the Motherfuckers” and be done with all pretense at paying lip service to the religiously-influenced standards of language? Shouldn’t matter to the parents wanting to involve their kids, right?

  9. scienceavenger says

    The notion that some words are evil and unfit for children’s ears while others, which mean the exact same thing, aren’t, is a magical/religious concept with no place in a modern society. Its the meaning that matters, not the fracking pronounciation.

  10. gilesva says

    I agree with scienceavenger. I have always told my kids, words are just words. Anyword has a proper time and place, and may have in improper time and place. Don’t say “fuck” at school. But if you hit your thumb with a hammer, have at it.
    I should have added, “Anytime you are talking about the Pope, is also acceptable.:”

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