Open thread for episode 21.45: Tracie and Don

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  1. moldred says

    Jehovah’s witnesses are very strongly cultic in both doctrine and behaviour, thus fitting both categories of false doctrine and mind control.
    What they will tell you:
    Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians (although this varies – some JWs will not say this).
    What they won’t tell you:
    They believe that all true Christian churches are of the devil.
    They believe Jesus is not God, but is the Archangel Michael – the first being created by God.
    They deny that God is a Trinity.
    They believe Jesus died on a stake, rather than a cross.
    They deny that Jesus rose bodily from the dead.
    They believe that ony 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses will go to heaven. The rest will live forever in a paradise on Earth, never meeting the person who died for them – Jesus Christ.
    They believe that salvation is impossible outside of the Watchtower.
    They are not allowed to question the Watchtower leadership or teaching.
    They claim you need to read the Watchtower’s magazines and other material in order to understand the Bible correctly. If you don’t read the Watchtower’s books, you will “fall into darkness” – what they call reverting to normal Christianity.
    They have falsely predicted the end of the world five times.
    They have just changed a major Watchtower prediction that the end of the world would come before the generation of Witnesses born before 1914 died.
    “This cartoon is from the Watchtower publication Golden Age of March 30, 1932, page 409, and is typical of similar pictures or Watchtower cartoons of the era.”
    They used to forbid any vaccinations or organ transplants, even to save lives.
    They are not allowed to have blood transfusions, even to save a child’s life. Note that at the meeting of the European Commission of Human Rights (Strasbourg, Monday 2 March – Friday 13 March 1998) under “II.Reports adopted” the Jehovah’s Witnesses agreed to radically alter this position. In practice (as outlined in a letter which can be read at Comments from the Friends), the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not acknowledge that they need to change their control methods.
    “The applicant [Christian Association Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bulgaria] undertook with regard to its stance on blood transfusions to draft a statement for inclusion in its statute providing that members should have free choice in the matter for themselves and their children, without any control or sanction on the part of the association.”
    – European Commission of Human Rights, March 1998.
    “The phrasing that is to be incorporated into the statutes of the Christian Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Bulgaria describes the manner in which Jehovah’s Witnesses have traditionally handled these matters.”
    “Before a person becomes one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Bible standards are clearly explained. Of course, if someone as a baptized member of Jehovah’s Witnesses engages in conduct that falls outside of those Bible standards, efforts are made in a kindly manner to help the erring one recover spiritually. If one refuses such assistance and refuses to uphold Bible standards, including Bible standards regarding the misuse of blood, then this may at times lead to the Scriptural action of disfellowshipping.-1 Corinthians 5:11-13.”
    – Watchtower letter, August 1998.
    They are encouraged to visit homes for at least 10 hours per month distributing Watchtower materials.
    They use their own special translation of the Bible which mistranslates the original texts.
    They are well known to disown, shun, and ignore any friends and family leaving the cult.
    They discourage tertiary education.
    They are not allowed to be in the army or wear crosses.
    They are not allowed to celebrate birthdays.
    They are not allowed to celebrate Christmas – the date we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ.
    All this they will not tell you, and yet they still claim that “Before a person becomes one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Bible standards are clearly explained.”

  2. moldred says

    Mal-2 was once asked by one of his Disciples if he often prayed to Eris. He replied with these words:
    No, we Erisians seldom pray, it is much too dangerous. Charles Fort has listed many factual incidences of ignorant people confronted with, say, a drought, and then praying fervently — and then getting the entire village wiped out in a torrential flood.

  3. moldred says

    God supposedly has a plan. If you pray for something in that plan, you didn’t have to because it would have happened anyway. If you pray for something, not in the plan, it will never happen because it would mess with a vast eternal timeline already set in stone.

  4. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Becky (1:36:36):

    I’m an environmental scientist. […] working with a small community that’s very traditional […] and I’m currently working with them to adapt to climate change.

    Here’s someone demonstrating Don’s advice.
    Video: Sam Bee – What’s Happening To Tangier Island? (6:17)

    Dr. Katherine Hayhoe [(Climate Science Center, Texas Tech)] knows how to talk to evangelical christians because she is one herself.
    “Just saying God’ll take care of it or it doesn’t matter is actually a profoundly un-christian perspective. And in the bible, it says God will destroy those who destroy the earth.” […] “The first way to connect is to listen, rather than coming in saying I know; I’m gonna tell you; You listen to me… The place to start is by sharing form the heart what is it that we have in common.” […] “And then you ask them for their stories. Have you noticed anything changing?”

  5. William Lee says

    We love you tracie. Always using a scalpel with your arguments. Although i do find the axe method. That matt and some of the other host’s use, very entertaining. There is a great mixture of both methods, with all the different hosts. In my omniscient opinion. You are best at keeping everybody calm. Keeping there gaurd at the minimum. So i think they actually listen, and are forced to honestly contemplate your point of view. Anyways, thanks for being a buetiful person. Inside and out.Your a good soldier for Gosh.

  6. RationalismRules says

    Moldred’s previous posts have been about the use of psilocybin. I suspect the problem may be too much medication, not too little.

  7. 0nlythis says

    Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses
    The Christian myth according to Paul: Adam’s disobedience resulted in God’s denying him access to the Tree of Life – thus allowing death to come into the world. At some time or other since, an unnamed celestial being offers himself to be slain as sacrifice to account for Adam’s failing. For this selfless deed, God raises him from the dead, adopts him as son and awards him the name “Jesus” (Yahweh saves). As the “firstborn of them that sleep”, Paul’s Jesus serves as the model according to which all men might expect to be similarly resurrected, adopted, and so inherit the Kingdom of God – regaining the earthly Paradise lost to them by their original progenitor. This is Myth.
    According to Revelation, only 144,000 male virgins who have never been defiled by women are allowed to join the angelic chorus praising God forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever . . . the other claimants are imposters. The rest of humanity simply live out their eternal lives in incorruptible bodies enjoying the fruits if the Garden forever and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever . . .
    In this regard, the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses are far closer to the Christianity of the New Testament – including its multiple predictions of “Final Days”.
    The gospel narratives are not myth, but fiction.

  8. Edward from london says

    Moldred is an ex Jehovah’s Witness.

    People are learning the truth about the dangers of blood transfusions.

  9. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Edward/Peter/etc/JohnFromLondonUK #14:

    the dangers of blood transfusions

    Article: Wikipedia – Blood transfusion

    In the United States, blood transfusions were performed nearly 3 million times during hospitalizations in 2011, making it * the most common procedure performed *. […] It was the most common procedure performed for patients 45 years of age and older in 2011, and among the top five most common for patients between the ages of 1 and 44 years.
    As of 2006, there were about 15 million units of blood products transfused per year in the United States. By 2013, the number had declined to about 11 million units, due to the shift towards laparoscopic [keyhole] surgery and other surgical advances and studies that have shown that many transfusions were unnecessary. For example, the standard of care reduced that amount of blood transfused from 750 to 200 ml.

  10. Nathan says

    @Edward/Peter/John/etc/JW fool from London

    Yeah, the danger of getting to grow old and not die from a bad accident.

  11. says

    I am a regular blood donor. I have a friend that had to be sent to the ER after he donated and something went badly wrong. I have another friend who is also a regular donor who does apheresis. Last time he did it, something went wrong, and his arm bruised badly, and he isn’t going to do that anymore. But he’s going back to normal blood donation. I have never had anything worse than an inexperienced phlebotomist and some mild bruising.

    Of course things can go wrong with any invasive medical procedure, but that doesn’t make it unsafe. Blood and tissue donations save lives–all the time. And most folks aren’t going to have major complications–but some will. It’s up to individuals whether or not they’re comfortable with whatever risks they will incur anytime they do anything. I feel perfectly OK with the risks involved, and am not at all tentative about regularly donating. I’m happy to do it. If something goes wrong for me later, I may stop like the one friend with the ER situation, or I may just shrug and keep going, like my friend who did apheresis.

    The fact we know there are risks, and it is invasive is why I wouldn’t support forcing people to donate even if it saved lives–because I’m pro-choice when it comes to respect for bodily autonomy. But I don’t consider the blood donation process to be a high risk procedure, and haven’t seen any valid evidence to justify that thought.

    Plus, I get cookies.

  12. Johnny says

    I appreciate Don’s enthusiasm and willingness to be more aggressive with some callers, but it seems he interrupts Tracie very often when they co-host. I hope this changes.

  13. razorsedge says

    Tracie, great advice about trolling the conversation at the Thanksgiving family dinner – love that idea and definitely hope the opportunity presents itself (which is highly likely).

  14. Joe says

    Every time the subject comes up on the show it continues to amaze me the convoluted pretzel logic Christians use to try to explain away Biblical slavery.

    All the have to do is a little Googling to find articles like “Why Non-Slaveholding Southerners Fought” Address to the Charleston Library Society, January 25, 2011 by Gordon Rhea. Here is a link (which I’ve posted here before): Why Non-Slavehoding Southerners Fought

    Check out the very first section “WHAT THE CHURCHES WERE SAYING” to get a clue!!! Here are a couple of brief snippets:

    . . .

    “The Biblical argument started with Noah’s curse on Ham, the father of Canaan, which was used to demonstrate that God had ordained slavery and had expressly applied it to Blacks. Commonly cited were passages in Leviticus that authorized the buying, selling, holding and bequeathing of slaves as property. Methodist Samuel Dunwody from South Carolina documented that Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, and Job owned slaves, arguing that “some of the most eminent of the Old Testament saints were slave holders.” The Methodist Quarterly Review noted further that “the teachings of the new testament in regard to bodily servitude accord with the old.” While slavery was not expressly sanctioned in the New Testament, Southern clergymen argued that the absence of condemnation signified approval. They cited Paul’s return of a runaway slave to his master as Biblical authority for the Fugitive Slave Act, which required the return of runaway slaves.”

    . . .

    “Shortly after Lincoln’s election, Presbyterian minister Benjamin Morgan Palmer, originally from Charleston, gave a sermon entitled, “The South Her Peril and Her Duty.” He announced that the election had brought to the forefront one issue – slavery – that required him to speak out. Slavery, he explained, was a question of morals and religion, and was now the central question in the crisis of the Union. The South, he went on, had a “providential trust to conserve and to perpetuate the institution of slavery as now existing.” The South was defined by slavery, he observed. “It has fashioned our modes of life, and determined all of our habits of thought and feeling, and molded the very type of our civilization.” Abolition, said Palmer, was “undeniably atheistic.” The South “defended the cause of God and religion,” and nothing “is now left but secession.” Some 90,000 copies of a pamphlet incorporating the sermon were distributed.”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    NOTE: I think the University of Texas at Austin Harry Ransom Center has an 1860 original of the Benjamin Morgan Palmer sermon (E 449 P164 TINKER : The South: her peril, and her duty. A discourse, delivered in the First Presbyterian Church, New Orleans, on Thursday, November 29, 1860, by B. M. Palmer).

  15. Dr. Gary says

    If a Christian mentioned to me how great is was the God created Univerisity’s, I would instantly relate to them the history of Hypatia of Alexandria and her defense (albiet in vain) of the greatest University of the Ancient world and how it was destroyed by rioting Christians.

  16. Edward from london says

    I was not allowed on the show this week due to reasons in the above video.

    Jen and Matt are going to much more reasonable and talk to me. Confirmation bias is slowing you all down and banning me will not help you.

  17. Monocle Smile says

    You were not allowed on the show because you are a robot.
    Banning you will help basically everyone. Bad ideas are destroyed by roasting them over an open fire, not screaming them out loud over and over again.

  18. Skye Eldrich says

    Edward, your ideas are inane and broken. Energy does not become “physical.” Physical is not a noun. It is not a THING. Whatever script you are reading from is completely nonsensical. You call every week, saying the exact same things, and getting the exact same results.

    That’s the definition of insanity. So, please. For your sake. Seek out mental health services.

  19. StonedRanger says

    Yes Edward/john/whatever, because its all about you isn’t it? It couldn’t be that they were tired of the fact that your call last week was just like the call the week before, which was highly reminiscent of your call the week before that and on ad nauseum, now could it? Or maybe there were plenty of other callers who hadn’t been on before and had the same right to be heard that you have. And if we may all be wrong, that would include you too, right?

  20. Nathan says

    @ Edward

    We all agree that beliefs don’t count for anything (your words), and you are just spouting beliefs and they count for nothing, so everything you say counts for nothing. Based off what you have said on the show, everything you say is useless, so take your own advice and stop talking.

  21. RationalismRules says

    Matt from North Carolina is the poster child for cognitive dissonance. His argument is that god has implied that slavery is wrong, but he completely ignores that it is explicitly sanctioned in the biblical slavery laws, despite this being pointed out to him repeatedly. He didn’t offer any response to the slavery laws, he just attempted to divert every time they were mentioned.

    I enjoy when Tracie treats trolls seriously, as she did with Hugh from Chicago and the ‘butt-sex’ troll from a previous show that she mentions in this episode. It inevitably leaves them floundering around in their own inanity – much more effective than simply hanging up on them, and much much better than getting angry, which just gives them what they want.

  22. Edward from london says

    27. Belief in the truth counts for nothing. Satan knows the truth and Jehovah God will kill him.

  23. StonedRanger says

    Seems like the only answer god has to any problem is to kill things. Why is that? If belief in truth counts for nothing, why do you keep trying to force your truth on us, when most everyone that posts here has told you they aren’t interested in your tripe? Your thinly veiled threats of impending death are getting kind of old because we all know we are going to die.

  24. Vivec says

    With all due respect, Russel isn’t an expert in the relevant fields, and a vague pseudo-citation of what a layman has to say about the matter counts for almost nothing.

  25. Cimmerius says

    29. If anything this whole thing makes their god look worse. If there was ever a group of people who would be ready to ban slavery it would be former slaves.

  26. Yos8 says

    Why, why is Don allowed on this show, when he can’t keep his excitement in check and follow a single thread of conversation?? It would be so wonderful to be able to hear Tracie get a full back and forth with a caller without having Don talk all over her, and interrupt the adults with his disgusting, self-satisfied chortling.

  27. Ethan Myerson says

    Regarding that caller who asserted that a ban on slavery would be unnecessary, because the evils of slavery would be self-evident: A) It was clearly NOT self-evident, as centuries of continued slavery would attest. B) Why would the evil of slavery be self-evident, but murder would require explicit condemnation? It seems that if ever there were a crime that shouldn’t require explicit mention, it would be murder. C) If your god believes that slavery is self-evidently evil, why would he give his followers an explicit list of the ways they could continue doing it?
    TL;DR: Your rationalization for your god’s failures on this topic are exceedingly weak. If you want to continue to apologize for your god’s failure to outlaw slavery, you’ve got a long and immoral hike ahead of you. You might be better served to simply say that the authors of the bible hadn’t quite figured out morality. I recognize that that might paint you into a corner if you also assert that the author was (or was inspired by) an omnibenevolent god, but that’s a separate problem for you to solve.

  28. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Ethan Myerson #36:
    Or putting it another way, asserting that morality – (or frankly any area of understanding* / self-reflection) – peaked in the Iron Age is a fool’s errand.

  29. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    * I’d had an asterisk for understanding of technologies forgotten through obsolescence but edited that out.

  30. RationalismRules says

    @Ethan Myerson
    Since my earlier post I’ve also realized that even his main argument, that the first commandment implies slavery is immoral, fails. He bases it on Exodus 20:2

    I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

    Matt-from-NC argues that this implies that slavery is immoral.
    It absolutely doesn’t. The most you could infer from it is an acknowledgement that slavery is not good for those who are enslaved, but it says absolutely nothing about the morality of owning slaves.

    Saying “I freed you from prison” does not carry the implication that prisons should not exist.

    Although Matt-from-NC’s thinking is thoroughly dissonant and equivocal, part of me wants to give him credit for at least attempting to reconcile a problem presented by his bible, whereas most Xtians simply choose to ignore the contradiction. I’m not sure which is worse, attempting to argue away the contradiction, or simply ignoring that it even exists.

  31. ExMormonDoc says

    I wanted to post a comment in regards to the caller that was suffering from depression and experiencing suicidal thoughts.

    I appreciate that you expressed sympathy and compassion toward this lady who is clearly suffering from severe major depressive disorder.

    I would encourage you that when callers state that they are having suicidal thoughts or ideas, that they be advised to seek medical help ASAP. You briefly suggested it, but I think this point needs to be emphasized. Blogging, community, etc are all great ways to help a person find fulfillment, but someone suffering with severe depression may not be able to even do that.

    If someone says that they are thinking about suicide, that should be considered a medical emergency. Tell them to go to the emergency room so they can get the care that they need.

    Otherwise, I love the show and keep up the good work!

  32. sayamything says

    Matt is an interesting case, though not exactly unique. He’s cherry picking, latching onto that one thing from the Ten Commandments. It’s not even unique to the show, as slavery has been one of Matt’s (Dilllahunty, not Matt from NC) go-to arguments and the number of people who try and rationalise it is…astonishing.

    The best part is that it doesn’t actually say slavery is wrong, it simply says that the Israelites were delivered out of slavery. “You aren’t slaves anymore, therefore obviously slavery is bad even though Mosaic law will continue to allow and even encourage it.”

    Edward, I am saddened you didn’t make it to the show, but I understand not everyone is as amused by trolls taking the piss as I am.

  33. Monocle Smile says

    Wow, this is the same Matthew from North Carolina from before? It’s scary how this guy hasn’t learned a thing. If people can defend slavery like this, it’s not surprising that Roy Moore is winning his election.

  34. says

    In replying to a grown adult who thanks Jesus for creating things like Universities that were clearly made by the hand of Man, I like to follow my natural inclination…

    I laugh.

    Indeed, make it clear I am holding myself back from POINTING and laughing. Lots of religion is ridiculous, and by definition, the ridiculous is deserving of ridicule. Of course it’s not polite to ridicule people directly, but when people do it to themselves, you are completely withing your rights to respond appropriately.

    The fact that it’s an effective punishment for being a living embodiment of Poe’s Law is a happy accident.

  35. Richard Bartlett says

    Tracie came close to making progress with Matt on a number of occasions but Don kept interrupting and derailing the conversation. It was really frustrating to watch, I felt Tracie really wanted to tell him to shut the hell up!
    I’ve seen similar to this on other episodes. Don is by far the weakest of the hosts.

  36. Edward from london says

    46. I am not a troll.
    Also… i am not here for your entertainment.
    Your knowing the truth is not the most important issue.

  37. Walter says

    @49 Richard — agree that Don should put a sock in it when co-hosting with Tracie — she is much to polite to do so on the show, but I suspect they had a conversation afterward.

  38. Marx says

    Great show done by Tracie!

    Also,men built Christian Universities too!
    In response,to the caller with the extreme Christian friend.

  39. says

    Just to note that I really wasn’t that put off by Don’s communication during the show. In “real life” I talk quite a lot, so I often work to try and make sure I’m giving others an opportunity. I can sometimes forget there is another person next to me, and might just field every call myself, if someone wasn’t there to guide/remind me of the cohost. While I appreciate the support from folks wanting to be sure I don’t feel disrespected, and from those saying they think I have useful/relevant things to add, I just wanted folks to know I wasn’t, personally, feeling put out. But everyone certainly has a perspective on how much we should all be contributing to these three-way conversations. It is a challenge sometimes, that a fact. 🙂

  40. Darrell Hambley says

    I’m wondering what the show’s main purpose is. Sometimes seems just to try to explain facts to delusional people but, they rarely change their misguided opinions. I watch for the sole purpose to be mildly enfertained, sometimes thinking, “boy, wish i came up with THAT snappy comeback to that weirdo at the park instead of telling him to go away”. Does anyone gain something more meaningful from this show?

  41. Richard Bartlett says

    Re: 54. heicart

    I have commented on Don’s interruptions in this thread. It wasn’t about Don being potentially disrespectful to you, it was about ruining the conversation! Don just chimes in at the wrong times and doesn’t seem to understand the angle you are pursuing. You were really getting close to the crux of the debate on a number of occasions when Don came in with something random followed by inane chuckles – then momentum lost, conversation derailed, back to square one.
    He doesn’t just do it to you either, Tracie. Really frustrates me.

  42. FreddieG says

    @55 – Tracie and other hosts have explained before that they are really talking to the listeners, not the callers, in hopes that a listener struggling with these issues can relate to a topic and be helped.

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