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David Silverman did kick butt

Ophelia has the video of Bill Donohue, David Silverman, and Schmuley Boteach on Fox News — and she’s right, the two flanking nutcases were embarrassing, while Silverman was the voice of reason. The two theistic cranks kept whining about Satanists! Ruining Christmas! while Silverman just pointed out that yes, you don’t get to decide which religion gets to be the right one in a pluralistic country, and that means you have to give satanists the same accommodations you do Christians. But Satanists! How can you support Satan?

I found out what that was about. Oklahoma has a Ten Commandments monument on their statehouse steps…so a Satanist Temple has asked for parity. Seems fair to me. Cue predictable dismissals:

Rep. Bobby Cleveland, who plans to introduce a one such bill next year, said many Christians feel they are under attack as a result of political correctness. He dismissed the notion of Satanists erecting a monument at the Capitol.

"I think these Satanists are a different group," Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, said. "You put them under the nut category."

Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma, said if state officials allow one type of religious expression, they must allow alternative forms of expression, although he said a better solution might be to allow none at all on state property.

But I think Baptists belong in the “nut category”! Can we have the Christian monument taken down? Although I think Henderson is actually the voice of reason here.

Also, the Hindus want to put a monument to Hanuman there, too. Are they in the “nut category”? How do you decide which religion is nutty?

I would also point out to Donohue and Boteach that there has been a long history of discrimination against both Catholics and Jews in the US — they won’t disagree, I’m sure both are far more aware of that history than I am — so it’s a bit weird for them to be participating in a discussion that attempts to label one religion as fringe and undeserving of recognition, support, or even respect. I guess empathy is not one of those “Judeo-Christian” virtues.

Comments

  1. Pen says

    Rajan Zed stated that he had written to Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission Chair Trait Thompson and others for detailed procedure, required forms, conditions to be met for approval, size and dimensions of the statue, etc., for permission to erect the Lord Hanuman statue, which they planned to make big and weather-proof.

    I love it!

  2. sigurd jorsalfar says

    … – so it’s a bit weird for them to be participating in a discussion that attempts to label one religion as fringe and undeserving of recognition, support, or even respect.

    It’s not really all that surprising. It’s an example of the common phenomenon of pulling the ladder up behind you after you’ve made it over the wall.

  3. doublereed says

    It’s not really all that surprising. It’s an example of the common phenomenon of pulling the ladder up behind you after you’ve made it over the wall.

    I usually use the metaphor of “close the door on your way in, please.”

  4. Randomfactor says

    “Satan is a rather important cog in the myth of xianity, after all.”

    I think Twain pointed out Satan was the victim of a campaign of lies spread by his Opposition.

  5. mastmaker says

    I can’t wait for some Jain person to request permission to display a statue of Bahubali.

    Go ahead, Google it. I will wait……

    Bonus points, if they match (or exceed) the size of the biggest one.

  6. says

    Randomfactor:

    I think Twain pointed out Satan was the victim of a campaign of lies spread by his Opposition.

    Oh yes. Satan gets a bad rap. Steve Wells handily highlights this in Drunk with Blood: God’s Killings in the Bible. Satan is much more human, and much more likeable than El Shaddai.

  7. Nick Gotts says

    In an amusing parallel, the UK supreme court has just ruled that Scientology is a religion, so a Scientologist couple can get married at its London HQ. This has led to outraged expostulations that it’s a “cult”, not a real religion, and concerns that it might now be eligible for business rate* relief, like churches, mosques, synagogues, etc. Of course, there’s an obvious solution to that problem.

    *A local property tax levied on business premises.

  8. says

    I wonder what the chances are that the Satanists in this case don’t actually believe he’s real. As for the Hindu group I have no doubt some local pastor or group will declare them nuts, since they build idols(as if a 10 Commandments monument isn’t an idol), and worship cows, and have more than one God.

  9. says

    timgueguen:

    As for the Hindu group I have no doubt some local pastor or group will declare them nuts, since they build idols(as if a 10 Commandments monument isn’t an idol), and worship cows, and have more than one God.

    See, this is why God-xians should be happy with Satan-xians. All part of the right same religion, not one of those scary furrin’ ones!

  10. consciousness razor says

    See, this is why God-xians should be happy with Satan-xians. All part of the right same religion, not one of those scary furrin’ ones!

    But in their weird fantasy world, they’re sworn enemies of each other, within that religion. They’re sort of like Jedi and Sith. Then out of nowhere a Klingon walks into the room. Sure, none of them would get along most likely, but they wouldn’t forget who the “real” enemy is.

    But back to the Fox News thing, they obviously wanted to associate atheists with Satanists. They could’ve gotten a Satanist to come onto the show, but they didn’t. So it seems like they think we’re the real enemies, because we’re so opposed to everything they stand for in ways that Satanists aren’t, or maybe because we’re a bigger and more influential group.

  11. juice says

    Did I just hear a Jewish Rabi say, “What are we going to do? Start slaughtering goats and drinking their blood?” Yeah, that’s so nutty. Goats? Everyone knows that G-d is appeased by slaughtering lambs. Come on, people.

  12. robro says

    sigurd jorsalfar @#4

    It’s not really all that surprising. It’s an example of the common phenomenon of pulling the ladder up behind you after you’ve made it over the wall.

    I was going to say much the same thing. It seems to be an aspect of what’s been dubbed Kyriarchy…a new word for me that I ran across here.

  13. MJP says

    Fox News has no concept of “don’t talk over people.” Whenever Silverman talked, everyone else tried to talk over him.

  14. stevem says

    re sigurd @4:

    It’s an example of the common phenomenon of pulling the ladder up behind you after you’ve made it over the wall.

    So “passive-aggressive”… No. no. no, what “they” are doing is much more aggressive, not passive in any way. I think what they are saying is much more revenge oriented. I.E., “You punched me (my daddy), I’ll punch you back (harder)!”

    Whenever they say that ‘political correctness’ is the only argument for the non-xian monument, all I can think of is the old, “I’m rubber, you’re glue; bounces off me, sticks to you.” To their supposed counter-argument that there are far more people (in the US) who are Xian, than there are non-Xians so democracy rules and the Xian monument is valid, I’d just ask, “Isn’t the purpose of the Constitution to disallow ‘mob-rule’ and protect minorities?” :-( They will just put their fingers in their ears and shout “Can’t hear you!”. :-(

  15. says

    Silverman did not kick butt.

    People who watch this clip and disagree with the religious BS are not Fox watchers. They already know Fox is bullshit.
    People who DO watch Fox News would not think Silverman made any good points, they just see an evil man attacking Jesus. No minds were changed.

    You lose the moment you agree to appear on Fox.

  16. Muz says

    It’s probably for the best for Movement PR he got rid of the goatee before this particular conversation. Although really I wish he still had it for the sheer entertainment.

  17. mnb0 says

    “I guess empathy is not one of those “Judeo-Christian” virtues.”
    It never ceases to amaze how the meaning of their own holy book – in this particular case the story of the Good Samaritan – is lost on those who propagate those virtues.

  18. ck says

    You lose the moment you agree to appear on Fox.

    You’re wrong. The die-hard Fox News believers may not be swayed, but the mere presence of opposition to any of these Fox News bugbears has validity. It reminds the faithful that they’re not completely unopposed, and it allows those who don’t agree with the Fox News agenda (but are compelled to watch for various reasons) a small glimpse into the fact that they’re not alone. It’s obvious that Silverman was being set up to fail in this interview, but I don’t think that matters terribly much. If Fox honestly wanted a proper debate, they could’ve invited Rev. Barry Lynn, for instance.

  19. says

    It reminds the faithful that they’re not completely unopposed

    True. Without thinking there’s opposition, they wouldn’t even bother to report on the War on Christmas.
    Then where would we be?

  20. ck says

    Then where would we be?

    They’d just find some other cross to crucify themselves upon since “you will be persecuted” is a feature of this particular religion. And who’s to say that without this silly “war” that they wouldn’t be fighting for something much more harmful, like perhaps the “right” to force the cursed sons of Ham into eternal servitude? Every breath they spend on the ridiculous “War on Christmas” is a breath they’re not spending on something more horrific.

  21. says

    But Satanists! How can you support Satan?

    Donohue and other clowns like him can’t grasp that they are the ones supporting satanism by making it possible for other delusions to be placed in public. Silverman was just pointing out that fact.

    It’s the same whining we’ve seen before and elsewhere in things like “nativitiy displays”, christians getting into a tizzy because others expected to have the same privileges that they do.

  22. unclefrogy says

    they got what they wanted with that segment they got people yelling at each other not really yelling but it sounds like it on TV, the regular viewer was already set up by the presenter and was starting to yell at the TV way before Silverman started to talk.

    uncle frogy

  23. saganite says

    Huh, I think I disagree with the ACLU person there. I’d actually love to see the place absolutely LITTERED with religious symbols. Christian, Satanist and Hindu? Not enough! Buddhist, Atheist, Sikh, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, Jewish, Wiccan, FSM, Jedi, Jain, nature and native religions and so on and so on, anything I have forgotten. Imagine what that place would look like, it’d be hilarious and grand.

  24. lanir says

    The amusing conceit the theists have with regards to Satanism is pretty much the same issue they have with us. They insist everything either group thinks or believes has to fit into their nutshell world.

    Atheists “obviously” can’t just refrain from believing in the Abrahamic deity. Since they have heard of him and don’t believe already, they must be against the imaginary friend and every confused and contradictory thing he stands for (but in this case, only the good stuff counts because it’s counting against you).

    Satanists “obviously” don’t have their own rituals, practices and beliefs, they must actually be the anti-everything-good boogeymen the Jews and their addled theological progeny believe in as part of their religion. That’s why Fox didn’t invite a Satanist to speak. Just sitting there talking would begin to put the lie to the implausibly extreme image that’s attributed to them.

  25. petemoulton says

    mnb0: be fair now. They’ve never actually read that book, so they have no clue what’s really in it.

  26. Reginald Selkirk says

    Brady Henderson, legal director for ACLU Oklahoma…

    Any relation to the revered prophet Bobby Henderson (PBUH – pasta be unto him)?

  27. J Dubb says

    The ‘Satanists’ are clearly less nutty than the Christians in this situation. The spokesman guy for ‘Temple of Satan’ said they believe Satan is a “literary construct.” A literary construct! As in NOT REAL! But ask either of those Christian spokesguys if the Horned One is real.

    Not to mention that the whole Satanist schtick is to mock the religious zealots and point out their folly, whereas the Christians are earnest believers of nonsense.

  28. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Sure, Miroslav Satan scored a lot of goals, but putting up a monument to him?

    Also, I don’t know how Silverman does those shows without Hulking out. :)

  29. says

    I’m not gonna compare atheists with the klan or neo-nazis…

    But you did manage to call them nuts. Thanks a whole helluva lot.