Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Sign of the Blue Genie

The story goes that actor Charles Laughton, around the time he was making Sign of the Cross for Cecil B. DeMille, asked the director-producer how he got his inspiration for his big, religious spectacles. DeMille smiled at Laughton and said: "I just pick up my bible and go off and talk with God."

To which Mr. Laughton is alleged to have replied: "My, how chummy." True story or not, Mr. Laughton never made another film for C.B. DeMille.

Happily, Cecil's Hollywood colleague Walt Disney never had a similar problem ...

Walt Disney always called himself a Christian, but his biographers agree that he was skeptical about organized religion and rarely set foot inside a church. He insisted that any narrow portrayal of Protestant Christianity (or any religion, for that matter) in his animated features was box-office poison, especially in lucrative, overseas markets. More broadly, Walt's fear was that explicit religiosity might needlessly exclude young viewers, while a watered-down version might at the same time offend the devout. Yet the studio's founding genius also understood that, from the ancient Greeks to the Brothers Grimm, successful storytellers have needed supernatural intervention agents to resolve plots. So, Walt decided, Disney's cartoon protagonists would appeal not to Judeo-Christian religion but to magic, which was more palatable around the ticket-buying world. (It's no coincidence that Disney's marquee theme park is called The Magic Kingdom.) ...

This secular toonism became the "Disney Gospel," and most Christian leaders and parents accepted its trade-offs. ...

Me, I think Walt was smart checking religion at the door. If you're going to be an entrepreneur, you want to make product that's okay with Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Deists and Pagans. What's the point of ticking off a large chunk of the world's population and losing market share?

Of course, since Walt departed the scene, many religious leaders haven't been quite as okay with Diz Co.'s corporate decisions as previously.

... In 1996, the Southern Baptist Convention launched a nationwide (and ultimately unsuccessful) Disney boycott. Among its complaints was that the conglomerate, under Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg's leadership, had betrayed Walt Disney's family-friendly legacy, in the company's employment practices (providing health benefits to same-sex domestic partners and endorsing "Gay Days" at its theme parks), books (Hyperion's "Heather Has Two Mommies" and "Growing Up Gay"), ABC-TV shows ("Ellen" and "Nothing Sacred"), live-action films ("Priest" and, through Miramax, "Kids"); and that the full-length, animated features ("Lion King," "The Little Mermaid") contained subliminal sexual messages.

I think maybe the Southern Baptists have issues with non-Christians in the same way they used to have issued with non-whites. But Mr. Eisner and Mr. Katzenberg are gone, and time is an ever-flowing river.

"The Princess and the Frog" ... embodies the full canon of the Disney Gospel: dreaming, wishing, hard work, love and self-sacrifice, aided by strategic magical intervention. Believers in the Judeo-Christian tradition will also recognize the saving grace of selfless love and good works.

To which we can all say: "Praise be."

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

Um, Disney has never officially endorsed Gay Days. It - barely - tolerates them. In point of fact, they're nothing but an unwanted, annoying yearly invasion (or perhaps "plague" is a better word) of the Disney parks that, in reality, does nothing to generate sympathy for the "activists" involved, but does manage to generate a great deal of hostility amongst those the "activists" purport to be wanting to convert. In short, it's a huge backfire. One wonders if the people behind the Days have any savvy at all about the way real families think; if they did, they'd stop deliberately intruding into a place that's supposed to be one of the few wholesome, family-oriented havens on this planet. All they're doing with their "Gay Days" is giving people more incentive to vote FOR legislation like Proposition 8. I can hear the protests already; tough. The truth hurts. New Jersey defeated a gay marriage bill just today. Those Gay Days "activists" had better wake up and smell the coffee, before they manage to alienate everyone who might otherwise have been tolerant of their lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Overlooking the amusing abuse of quotes, grammar, and basic logic, the previous poster has no idea what they are talking about. As a former Disney theme park worker (and married to a former one as well,) I can tell you first hand that while yes, Gay Days is not an officially authorized Disney function, the park gladly welcomes the extra revenue- as they do from any visiting group. Were it not for the red shirts many homosexuals sometimes wear on those days, most visitors notice no change at all from a normal day at the park. The hoopla and protests over Gay Days fizzled years ago, and the few remaining voices embarrass themselves and are more rude and disruptive than any gay visitor. (My wife was physically assaulted by a homophobic mother while working at the Guest Relations counter.)

Steve Hulett said...

A little off topic, but I've never understood why a heterosexual cares whether a gay man or woman can marry in a civil ceremony or not.

I'm down with churches not having to marry same-sex couples, the rest of it I don't get.

If straights really want to protect marriage, they should push for anti-divorce laws, since it would certainly please Jesus.

“Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.” -- Mark 10:11-12 (New Living Translation)

Wouldn't want to have adulterers out there, would we?

Anonymous said...

In point of fact, they're nothing but an unwanted, annoying yearly invasion (or perhaps "plague" is a better word) of the Disney parks that, in reality, does nothing to generate sympathy for the "activists" involved, but does manage to generate a great deal of hostility amongst those the "activists" purport to be wanting to convert.

Wow. "Plague." "Hostility." Somebody's got some issues with teh gheys.

Why don't you share some more with us why you hate this plague so much? Are you afraid you'll catch it? Were they sodomizing each other in the Peter Pan ride? A gigantic butt-orgy in Small World?

Or were you just getting your panties in a wad because you saw two guys holding hands, like every other couple in the park?

Anonymous said...

Those Gay Days "activists" had better wake up and smell the coffee, before they manage to alienate everyone who might otherwise have been tolerant of their lifestyle.

Riiight...like you, troll?

Arlo said...

Walt was right.

...I don't know about all of the other 'issues' raised, but Walt was always perceptive and flawless in crafting the content of films.

Steve Hulett said...

Walt was a good business man and playing it safe. Also smart.

You get into religious advocacy, you start alienating people.

Anonymous said...

Said it before, Ill say it again: Religion as we know it will be gone in a matter of a half dozen or so generations.

Anonymous said...

I once took my kids to Disneyland during what turned out to be Gay Days, and saw a couple of instances of very...overt behavior by a few of the Red Shirts. I lodged a complaint, but I doubt Disney paid any attention to it. All it cares about is money. I take the kids to Knotts Berry Farm now, and they have just as good a time for less money. Win-win. And religion had nothing to do with my decision, by the way; I'm a happy agnostic.

Anonymous said...

_Said it before, Ill say it again: _Religion as we know it will be gone in a matter of a half dozen or so generations.

You said that a half a dozen generations ago. Religion always manages to morph itself into something even more bizarre than the previous incarnation, usually in response to discovering the planet is not flat, the setting off of H-bombs, or the internet. Today, before you blow yourself up, you get to leave an online suicide note on your facebook page.

Anonymous said...

No, agnosticism and atheism is becoming a more and more commonplace "religious affiliation."

I have to believe that humans will evolve to the point that we're a bit more scientific, a little less radical and bizarre, and focus more on the good of the whole instead of the good of a few.

I hope we wont always be so crazy and destructive to one another.

Anonymous said...

"I once took my kids to Disneyland during what turned out to be Gay Days, and saw a couple of instances of very...overt behavior by a few of the Red Shirts. I lodged a complaint, but I doubt Disney paid any attention to it. All it cares about is money."



If you saw such "overt" behavior betwixt a male and female, would you have been so outraged and taken your business elsewhere? If not, why not?

The hypocrisy of some folk is astounding.

Chelsea said...

I'm a Southern Baptist myself, and I completely disagree with the Disney boycott. A lot of Christians seem to find the prevalence of "magic" in Disney films offensive, yet they always seem to conveniently forget the complex portrayal of Christianity in 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame.' Disney did not shy away from religion in that instance at all. It's a shame that some can't see the truly moral value of most of the Disney movies, and I'm kind of sorry that it's become such an issue among conservatives.

Arlo said...

Its a true position of idiocy to propose that erradicating religion would be a step forward for everyone. Its ignorant in this respect: the person that is saying this doesn't realize(or can't accept) the massive contribution faith has made to humanity as a whole.

Are extremists bad, sure they are. Are all fanatics religious? No - not by a long shot. In fact the anti religious zealots have put more dead bodies in ditches that anyone else(Stalin, Tse Tung, Pol Pot).

Get a clue dude. Its fortunate for you that you remain anonymous because your fake intellectualism is embarassing.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you reveal your full name, Arlo, so that we can properly pay homage to your brilliant intellectual acuity?

God said...

No, agnosticism and atheism is becoming a more and more commonplace "religious affiliation."

atheism is not a religion, FYI.

Stalin, PolPot, Tse Tung did not kill all those people in the name of atheism as Arlo incorrectly tries to imply. Genocide and murderous leaders existed long before socialism and marxism existed. The church, however did kill people accused of herecy for about 600 years. I thought 'thou shall not kill' was a christian commandment?

The Bible is fiction. Pure and simple.

god

Anonymous said...

It's like reagan and bush calling themselves "christian." Just to get the votes, but they were about as un and anti- christian as they come. The hypocrisy was shocking.

Not unlike the people in The Family, a worldwide christian organization based in DC who support killing gay people in Uganda. And christians like pat robertson who support terrorism in Nigeria. And christians like billy graham who were so very anti-semitic and racist

Too many christians, not enough lions.

Anonymous said...

Remember, christianity is inherently anti-democratic. That's why our great country was founded as a secular nation, and our Constitution is devoutly secular.

Thank GOD!

Anonymous said...

**If you saw such "overt" behavior betwixt a male and female, would you have been so outraged and taken your business elsewhere? If not, why not?

The hypocrisy of some folk is astounding.**

No, I wouldn't have been as outraged. Nor would I have had to explain such a difficult situation to a child who was at the park to have some innocent fun. I'm surprised you don't "get" that. But then, maybe you're an exhibitionist yourself?

As for all this jazz about religion - I'm an agnostic because atheism is as much on shaky ground as are established religion. They can't prove conclusively there isn't a god, any more than religion can prove there is one. That's why I'm a *happy* agnostic. I don't have to prove anything. :D

Anonymous said...

"*If you saw such "overt" behavior betwixt a male and female, would you have been so outraged and taken your business elsewhere? If not, why not?

The hypocrisy of some folk is astounding.**

No, I wouldn't have been as outraged. Nor would I have had to explain such a difficult situation to a child who was at the park to have some innocent fun. I'm surprised you don't "get" that. But then, maybe you're an exhibitionist yourself?"



Why would one be an exhibitionist when one questions the different standards you're holding for PSA's? Why is it OK for your precious children to see a guy and a girl slobbering all over each other at a theme park(and that's "innocent fun"? Interesting), but it's a boycott of a themepark and apparently a warping of your children's minds if it's a guy/guy or girl/girl couple doing the same slobbering all over each other as the hetero couple? Why are you unable to tell your kids that in some cases but not all, some people like the same sex as themselves?

I just don't get why people are so worked up over what constitutes maybe 10% of the total population. Their existence and showing of their sexual preference is not going to affect how gay YOUR kids are.

And mixing religion into it all just causes way more problems than it solves.

God said...

"They can't prove conclusively there isn't a god, any more than religion can prove there is one."

I assume you don't take the Aztec gods seriously, or the Mayan, Celtic, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and literally thousands of them. And yet you don't have evidence of their non existence? Elohim is no diferent.

ps: I'm really regreting the likes of Arlo...My bad!

Anonymous said...

atheism is not a religion, FYI.

Which is exactly why I put it in quotes, FYI.

Its a true position of idiocy to propose that erradicating religion would be a step forward for everyone. Its ignorant in this respect: the person that is saying this doesn't realize(or can't accept) the massive contribution faith has made to humanity as a whole.

I admit that religion has contributed enormously to humanity, no doubt. But it's my position that evolution is not limited to biology, but society as well. Humans are evolving to the point that we no longer need to point to a "god" to scare each other into behaving ourselves. We realize the value of robust, healthy societies and family structures, hierarchies, and leadership to keep our species alive and thriving. We dont need a "god" anymore.

So ask yourself this: Who's the bigger idiot, one who thinks we need religion to continue to develop as a society, or the one who thinks we have the potential to evolve past it?

Proven wrong, yet again Arlo.

Anonymous said...

"Said it before, Ill say it again: Religion as we know it will be gone in a matter of a half dozen or so generations."

This is correct pertaining to at least one religion. That being the religion of Evolution.

You Evolutionists do realize that after almost 200 years of searching for proof, Evolution is still just a scientific THEORY and not a proven scientific LAW; Right? Yet you act like it is the end all and be all TRUTH.

Which is why I call Evolution a "Religion", it requires a whole lot of FAITH to believe that a THEORY is TRUTH.

GOD said...

Which is why I call Evolution a "Religion", it requires a whole lot of FAITH to believe that a THEORY is TRUTH.

You may call it what you like, but you will remain an idiot and completely ignorant about Evolution.

The evidence supporting it is overwhelming. Just go to a Natural Museum. Educate yourself, or you'll continue to sound like a moron!

God

Anonymous said...

Read this you fucking dummy

http://evolution.mbdojo.com/theory.html

Anonymous said...

Some people have a seriously hard time understanding the concept of scale. Look at the Peppered moth for example. In 200 years, it evolved from a predominately white species, to a predominately dark species. In TWO HUNDRED years.

Now. Imagine how much shit can grow and change in 4 BILLION YEARS.

Anonymous said...

Technically, Steve, that verse you quoted doesn't say you can't get a divorce, it just stays you can't remarry aftward.

& there is a verse elsewhere (can't find it at the moment though...) that says you can remarry after a divorce only IF the other spouse married first or the spouse died.

...not that it matters at this point the way this conversation's going... but to be accurate, there ya go.

Anonymous said...

The reason that you find this conversation going "in the wrong direction," presumably, is that deep down...and I mean way deep down past all the zealousness and pride and infused programming and fear, you know we're right.

And I dont mean that as a put down. Its just that I was right where you are, venomously defending my christian faith for years, and I know how it feels.

Not to sound all preachy (oh the irony) or "better" than anyone else, but I really do honestly believe I used to be in error, and embracing what I now perceive to be the provable truth, just, for lack of a better way of saying it, feels awesome.

Goos luck on your journey.

Anonymous said...

Haha. Goos luck.

You know what I meant.

Chip said...

The one thing I can guarantee about the anti-evolution guy is that he doesn't know the first thing about evolution.

Anytime I run into someone like that, the first thing I do is ask some simple questions regarding what they think evolution claims to be, and how it claims to work. Invariably, what they describe isn't remotely what the actual theory of evolution describes.

So what we are left with is a completely uneducated person railing against something they don't understand, and don't know even the most basic thing about.

Anonymous said...

Evolutionaries can be as one-sided and zealous as devout Christians, Jews, Muslims, what have you. There have been as many frauds trying to prove the validity of the theory of evolution as there have been frauds trying to prove the validity of miracles. My favorite evolutionary fraud is the ol' glue-dead-moths-to-the-trees trick:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1543144/posts

Hilarious!

_The Merry Pagan

been there said...

"Humans are evolving to the point that we no longer need to point to a "god" to scare each other into behaving ourselves. We realize the value of robust, healthy societies and family structures, hierarchies, and leadership to keep our species alive and thriving. We dont need a "god" anymore."

Pre-WWII Germany was a society that fit your description; culturally evolved and civilized, but not particularly religious. Leadership? Boy did they get leadership! A God named Adolf soon filled the vacant position.

Some of the most haunting images of the holocaust for me are not the mountains of bodies found at the camps, they are the photos of Hydrich, engineer of the "Final Solution," happily at home in the country with his pleated white pants and his handsome blond family, playing the violin and puffing on his pipe. How civilized!

As long as his God, Adolf, was happy, what use did this butcher have for a conscience?

Maybe we don't need all the ritual and mythology, but without God, there is nothing to stop compassion from being consumed by logic and "reason."

Steve Hulett said...

Technically, Steve, that verse you quoted doesn't say you can't get a divorce, it just stays you can't remarry aftward

You step gracefully around the point I make.

Christ has no position on same-sex marriage. None. But Christ has a position on divorce. He's hard against it. (And yes, you can find variations of what He says in different books of the New Testament. Some of the gospels have Him making exceptions, others don't. But the thrust is clear. Divorce = adultery = bad.)

Given Jesus's position on marriage and divorce, you would think that serious Christians would be pushing "No Divorce" legislation, would you not? As a simple matter of faith?

It would be an easy matter for believers in California to get a "No Divorce" proposition on the ballot. Think of it, churches handing out petitions to congregations, Rick Warren thundering about it on the teevee, and lots of ads on cable.

But nobody ever tries, nobody even suggests it. Last month a conservative religious leader was quoted saying a no divorce law wasn't practical.

Damn straight it's not practical. If preachers actually harped on Christ's teaching on the matter, churches would empty out.

So of course, they don't.

Still in all, there's that pesky bit of scripture that everybody tiptoes around, because it wouldn't go down well with most of the flock. The highest divorce rates in the country, after all, are in the Bible belt.

Anonymous said...

So Jesus didn't approve of divorce. Does anyone, really? Generally speaking, does divorce have the same positive connotations as does marriage? Surely most people can agree that a divorce is an unfortunate (if sometimes necessary) event. Perhaps what Jesus was saying is that marriage is a serious thing, requiring serious commitment, that it's meant to be a lifelong bond, and to sunder it and effectively discard the person to whom you pledged fidelity is akin to adultery.

Frankly, I wish people would take divorce as seriously as Jesus supposedly did. We would certainly have less of it, and fewer broken hearts and broken homes.

As for this gay marriage thing, I'm not a particularly religious person; if anything, I'm a lapsed Christian. But I don't agree with gay marriage. I think gay relationships are unnatural. And I don't think my opinion amounts to a value judgement. Did nature made a value judgement when it established that the primary, fundamental and all-pervasive sexual bond was to be between male and female? To me, that primary, fundamental natural bond is what marriage sanctifies and celebrates. No variation comes close to it in terms of importance and validity. Now, FWIW, I have no problem with gay civil unions. But the word and act of "marriage" is reserved for that primal, sacred male-female bond. And I will happily support any legislation that will keep that word and bond in its proper context. It's only natural. ;)

Anonymous said...

Evolutionaries can be as one-sided and zealous as devout Christians, Jews, Muslims, what have you. There have been as many frauds trying to prove the validity of the theory of evolution as there have been frauds trying to prove the validity of miracles.

No.

There have a few frauds over the last 100 years. And the scientific method of duplicating results, peer review, etc. does an excellent job of exposing the few that there have been.

Meanwhile, religious hoaxes and bogus claims of miracles happen every day. Religion has no default mechanism to expose hoaxes, and so they persist into perpetuity.

But at the end of the day, what does that have to do with the tea in China? The facts of evolution can be found in any greenhouse, petri dish, geological excavation, or in the natural world. You cannot have modern genetics without the fact of evolution. Go into any natual history museum to enjoy a mountain of evidence for evolution.

Meanwhile the foundational scriptures of the major religions are all hoaxes, for which there is no evidence of support.

Anonymous said...

But the word and act of "marriage" is reserved for that primal, sacred male-female bond.

Why?

Anonymous said...

Pre-WWII Germany was a society that fit your description; culturally evolved and civilized, but not particularly religious.

False. Germany in the 40's was heavily Christian, with large numbers of Lutherans and Catholics voting for Nazis. However you slice it, this was not an atheistic populace at all.

Anonymous said...

"But the word and act of "marriage" is reserved for that primal, sacred male-female bond.

Why?"

Because he's a homophobic schmuck, just like anyone who has a problem with Gay marriage or deem Homosexuals to be unnatural like he does.
It's a shame he's in an industry - or a fan of an artform - that embraces and accepts Gays so easily.
What a Bigot.

Anonymous said...

You Evolutionists do realize that after almost 200 years of searching for proof, Evolution is still just a scientific THEORY and not a proven scientific LAW; Right? Yet you act like it is the end all and be all TRUTH.

Two words for you:

Atomic theory.


There are two possibilities here:

1. The principles of atomic theory are JUST THEORIES, and therefore it is uncertain if we will ever be able to construct and/or detonate an atomic bomb.

or

2. You're really dumb.

Anonymous said...

But the word and act of "marriage" is reserved for that primal, sacred male-female bond. And I will happily support any legislation that will keep that word and bond in its proper context. It's only natural.

If you mean 'natural' to mean 'as it happens in nature,' we'll then, you may want to study up a bit on homosexual actives quite common in certain species.

It's a shame that a blog dedicated to the arts can still foster old, ignorant prejudices against so many great talents in our field.

Sigh... this is gonna be a looooong thread.

Steve Hulett said...

Perhaps what Jesus was saying is that marriage is a serious thing, requiring serious commitment, that it's meant to be a lifelong bond, and to sunder it and effectively discard the person to whom you pledged fidelity is akin to adultery.

No. Here's what Christ said:

“Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her."

Nothing "akin" about it. Divorce, remarriage, you're an adulterer.

Straightforward. Jesus didn't beat around the bush.

Steve Hulett said...

Sigh... this is gonna be a looooong thread.

Yes, it is.

So either steel yourself or move on to the next post.

Anonymous said...

If you're a remarried Christian, and you continue to live in sin with your new "wife," you are unrepentant. Every morning you wake up with that new woman is another day of unrepentant sin. The only woman you may ever be with is your first wife, or you will not enter the Kingdom of God. You are going to fry like a hot dog in hell.

But I guess you decided that if it feels good, you'd go right ahead and do it. Right?

Anonymous said...

The truth of the matter is Christians, in general, pick and choose what parts of the Bible the adhere wholeheartedly to and what they completely ignore. And the line is usually drawn down the path of selfserving douchebaggery.
What MOST Christians ignore, in practice, is the most important message of their Bible (and almost every other Bible/Religion as well): "Treat others as you would like to be treated". As the Rabbi Hillel is supposed to have said: "all the rest is commentary"

Steve Hulett said...

... Christians, in general, pick and choose what parts of the Bible the adhere wholeheartedly to and what they completely ignore. ...

Over the years I've become aware of this. Like for example:

A political scandal riveting Northern Ireland has a certain cinematic feel: an affair by 58-year-old woman named Mrs. Robinson with a 19-year-old male lover.

... The BBC interviewed the former boyfriend, Kirk McCambley, now 21, who had a relationship with Iris Robinson in 2008 that lasted several months. She had been friends with the boy's father, who died earlier that year.

... Even before the scandal, Iris Robinson had caused her husband political problems when she condemned homosexuals as revolting and called on them to seek help from psychiatrists and Christianity.

"Just as a murderer can be redeemed by the blood of Christ, so can a homosexual," she said. ...


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/09/iris-robinson-mrs-robinso_n_416902.html

See, this is why I think it's better to, in most cases, adopt a charitable and empathetic attitude toward others. You start slinging around judgements about what's "revolting," you invited ridicule and cynicism when you begin doing things that others might find a little revolting themselves.

Happily, Mrs. Robinson didn't fellate her nineteen year old friend on Disneyland's Main Street, so nobody had to worry about their kids.

Been there said...

"False. Germany in the 40's was heavily Christian, with large numbers of Lutherans and Catholics voting for Nazis."

I see the debating society is here. You are deliberately avoiding the point. Yes, the Germans were predominantly, generically Christians, as opposed to Buddhists or Muslims, but it doesn't mean they were religious.

Just because they voted for the Nazi party, it doesn't mean they deliberately and knowingly voting for the Holocaust.

Finally, the clergy, particularly the Catholics, were heavily persecuted by the Nazis.

Anonymous said...

In his books and writing, Hitler explicitly proclaimed himself a believing Christian.

Who are we to question the faith of others?

g said...

You are going to fry like a hot dog in hell.

Let's do some math.

Forever in hell = infinite

Life on earth = finite

Amount of finite sins needed to deserve infinite punishment is impossible to achieve.

Therefore, likelihood of hell = 0.

No hell = no religion.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Germans were predominantly, generically Christians, as opposed to Buddhists or Muslims, but it doesn't mean they were religious.

Just because they voted for the Nazi party, it doesn't mean they deliberately and knowingly voting for the Holocaust.


This is just utter nonsense, falsity, and historical revisionism, with the intent of absolving Christian Germans for responsibility of voting for, and supporting the Nazis, simply because they were Christians.

Please give an objective, credible source for the notion that, despite being heavily Christian, the Germans weren't particularly religious. The fact is, they were, and their faith did nothing...nothing!...to prevent their descent into utter evil.

The idea that the general German populace was clueless as to what was happening to the Jews is also false, and hints at some larger Holocaust denial, or at least some sympathy. The fact is the German populace knew exactly how the leadership felt about Jews, participated in purges and roundups (which were very visible), participated in personal and property damages, and heard plenty about what was happening in the camps. There may have been some willful denial, but they did indeed know enough. Again, their faith did nothing to prevent their general hatred of the Jews, or to stop the atrocities. In fact, it may have helped propel it.

Finally, while some clergy were harrassed by the Nazis, and some did help the resistance, others were quite fervent in their pro-Nazi sympathies. And the highest clergy, Pope Pius XII himself, largely turned a blind eye. His faith did nothing to give him clear guidance to explicitly oppose the worst evil ever seen in Europe up to that point.

Net sum: if Christianity couldn't help avert blatant evil when directly tested, then what moral usefulness does it have over no faith at all? None.

Anonymous said...

""They can't prove conclusively there isn't a god, any more than religion can prove there is one.""

That's why any god is nothing more than a theory.

Anonymous said...

I'll still take my chances with God.

Eternity is a really long time.

Arlo said...

"Humans are evolving to the point that we no longer need to point to a "god" to scare each other into behaving ourselves. "

Its quite obvious that you don't know the first thing about God.

You have developed a shallow and consummately uninformed view of what God does to 'other people you disagree with'. Its like you are telling us you know everything about the contents of the ocean by what washes up on the beach.

You clearly haven't ever studied Budhism or Zen. You obviously reside in a bubble of likeminded people. Its really quite sad.

Look at Tom Hank's' character in Castaway. A character you, me, and everyone find sympathetic, intelligent, and with hero qualities. Do you fault him for having Wilson in his life? Do you think his time on the island would be better wothout Wilson? Is he an idiot - or more to the point, did you want to reach into the screen and take Wilson away from him because Wislon wasn't 'real'?

Do you think he doesn't know that Wilson isn't real?

You perception of the world is critical and petty. You are revolting against aspects that augment lives because they don't augment yours. Because you never learned the simple, wise, lesson that often the best way tohave power over something is to give in to it.

The fact that you frame this issue as those who are wrong and those who are right means you have a mind that you insits on keeping tiny. I'll say it again: its sad.

Anonymous said...

Screw god. I know this is an animation site, but enough with these imaginary beings. I'm glad I live in a country that protects us from these god yahoos. I'm THRILLED to live in a secular state that believes PEOPLE should THINK for themselves, and not rely on imaginary beings as a crutch. God/LRon Hubbard/Bhudda/Cows/Allah/Spaghetti/Jesus....what a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

I'll pray for you buddy. And wish you well.

Anonymous said...

I'll still take my chances with God.

Eternity is a really long time.


Ah, the good old "god is my insurance policy" argument. Splendid. Keep on supporting a dogma that kills others and tries to stagnate the progress of science because you want to ensure your entrance to heaven.

But what if you picked the wrong god? What if god actually lives on mount olympus and youve been praying to jebus? What if the hindus are right? Scientologists? Mormons vs Catholics? The list is virtually endless. See where Im going here?

Its quite obvious that you don't know the first thing about God. You clearly haven't ever studied Budhism or Zen

Wrong again. And if YOU'D ever studied Buddhism (which I have, and I even know how ot spell it) you'd know that its a spiritual philosophy, not a religion that worships a creator god. In fact, of all the "religions," Buddhism is the most practical that puts emphasis on ethics, wisdom, meditation and experience.

I have spent years studying religion (went to catholic school) and 2 members of my family are clergy. I would say Im extremely "informed" about what god is. In fact, the "bubble" I live in is probably more diverse than most the people you've ever met. Dont presume to know what I do and dont know. You're clearly out of arguments and have resorted to discrediting the opposition.

Who has the tiny mind?

I also see no one has responded to the hell math problem I proposed earlier. I'd love to hear a response to that.

PS) I would take Wilson away in a heartbeat if it meant the money that goes into the church went to stem-cell research instead.

Anonymous said...

The fear of death is a powerful thing.

Trying to convince the religious that there is no god, is telling them not to fear death.

Until they overcome that, all of the arguing is for nothing.

For me, the only thing I KNOW to be true is that there is a force of life in this universe. Where it comes from, I dont know, and I can probably never know, at least in my lifetime. So, the only sane and logical response to all of this is to recognize that we dont know what happens when we die, but it's likely that whatever life force sustains us in life has a plan for us in death, which is even more likely out of our control.

So dont worry about death. Focus on things we CAN do here on earth. Try to make earth a better place before you leave it. Anything else, is likely to be in vain.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that for almost all religious people, at the most core, basic level, belief in god = fear of death.

I don't see how you can KNOW that a "life force" has a plan for us after death. The far more likely scenario is that when we die, we lose all consciousness and self-awareness, because such things are generated by our brain. When the brain goes, so does our consciousness. And we simply cease to exist.

I obviously won't claim to KNOW this with absolute certainty, it merely seems the most likely. For some, the idea of ceasing to exist is the absolute worst possibility. I think they would rather spend eternity in a hell, than cease to exist, simply because they cannot imagine the seeming "uselessness" and futility of ceasing to exist.

Personally, I see it as neither a positive or a negative--just a neutral. We return to the same state we were in before we were conceived. Non-existance. We didn't exist during WWI, or the Civil War, or the founding of our nation, or the Middle Ages, or the time of the pyramids, or the Bronze age, or the time of the dinosaurs, or the cooling of the earth, or the development of the universe. For billions of years, we didn't exist.

And when we die, we will simply return to non-existance, for many billions more years.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. By "plan" I didnt necessarily imply a self-aware, life-after-death plan. The plan could very well be converting our energy back into dirt, and our consciousness either ending, or reincarnating, or who knows. Im agnostic, so Im definitely open to anything.

And the only reason I know theres a force of life, is because theres life. Abstract, I know.

I think we agree but are saying it differently

Anonymous said...

actually there are people trying to get an anti-divorce ballot in CA.
http://www.sandiego6.com/news/local/story/California-illegal-divorced-gay-marriage-voters/OW1j3ZWAIkqsM6ViLzI68g.cspx?rss=800

http://rescuemarriage.org/

...& remember... it wasn't those who openly sinned Jesus had the biggest problem with. It was with those in the church who knew better & claimed to be better. God help us all.

Anonymous said...

Dont you mean Zeus help us all?

Arlo said...

"And if YOU'D ever studied Buddhism you'd know that its a spiritual philosophy, not a religion"

Buddhism is a religion bub.
Its a philosophy, but its also a religion. And one of its primary tenets is the act of "selflessness". A theme that it shares with EVERY other religion whether theist or not(like Buddhism.

I'll say it again,; you're a petulant and spiteful person. I state what I have observed in your posts. Its a judgment I make on your views. I'm entitled to it. You on the other hand, have done nothing in this thread but cast aspersions on the beliefs of hundreds of millions of other people.

You have a small mind, and you keep proving it.

A religion is a view of the world. Its a belief system that affects your decisions in this world.
If you are an atheist, then that is your religion. That is the prism with which you view the goings on in life and that is the deciding factor in the selection of the course you take.


Nothing is more sanctimonious and fake than an atheist spouting off about how they don't subscribe to a religion. It is tantamount to them saying that they don't suffer from the human condition that we all suffer from. Its like saying that they are a higher form of human than the rest of the people with different belief systems. IN short - its intolerant.

And its totally phony.

You are here telling everyone that you don't wonder what its all about. You don't search for meaning. You've got it all figured out. I think you are full of crap. When you lay your head down at night you are filled with the same level of uncertainty that all other humans are filled with. You answer those unanswerable questions as best you can with what you try to believe is the truth. You build conjecture.

Let me pul you back down to earth: You're just like everyone else. And your religion is atheism.

Anonymous said...

Arlo, you're only reading what you want to read.

All of the assumptions you've made in this last babbling post of yours does NOT reflect the sentiments I, or others, have written in this comment thread.

I encourage you to re-read, take some time to think, and respond to the points made in this thread, instead of simply attacking individuals to try and prove a point.

Thats all, thanks.

PS) The person you're commenting to, isnt even an atheist. They're agnostic. Theres a pretty huge difference.

Anonymous said...

Arlo, your insecurities are showing. In addition to not understanding how atheists feel about the world, you also are displaying that you have no valid arguments, by making personal attacks instead of dealing with the issues. Your usual m.o.

If you are feeling a superiority complex from atheists, it is strictly in your imagination. I absolutely do not feel I am somehow separate from the human condition, nor do I imagine that I know something that is unknowable. By contrast, the absolute certainty of the 'true believer' religionist in their particular scripture speaks to an arrogance in "knowing" that which is unknowable.

If you say that you believe there is an invisible purple elephant-god sitting atop the hat on the Disney Animation building, and I say there isn't, is my position a "religion"?

Atheism is a religion in the same way that not stamp collecting is a hobby.

Anonymous said...

Religion is a discipline. It is not a blind belief.

Get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Religion is a discipline. It is not a blind belief.

Blind belief in a notion without evidence is exactly what religion is.

Stop lying to yourself.

Anonymous said...

People who say "get a clue," more often than not, have no clue themselves.

God said...

The story of why the Nazis came into power is a rather complicated one. It involves many factors, not the least of which was The Treaty of Versailles. To say that Darwinism leads to the Nazi's is a lie or simply ignorant. Theres a vast amount of literature on the subject. I recommend Richard Evans's "The Rise Of THe Third Reich"

Excellent read.

god

God said...

that's "The Coming of the Third Reich"

g

God said...

It's also important to point out that ideologycaly, Hitler and the rest of his ilk found their inspiration, not by reading "The Origin of Species" but from "The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century" by Houston Stewardt Chamberlain.

God

Anonymous said...

they were all into Darwin and survival of the fittest, the exact opposite of Love thy neighbor.

Anonymous said...

they were all into Darwin and survival of the fittest, the exact opposite of Love thy neighbor.

It would be helpful if you actually studied objective history, rather than a series of political talking points you got from some Christian conservative commentator.

In fact, Hitler often invoked the Bible and Christian scripture in his speeches. 'Mein Kampf' is replete with Christian references. But you won't find any references to so-called "darwinism".

But the larger point is that even if it had been, it wouldn't change the reality of 'survival of the fittest' in the natural world. It is an observable, objective fact.

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