Whorled View

November 8, 2008

Christians owe Obama a Debt of Gratitude?

At least in this one thing … the jury’s still out for what he may do in the future.

Thanks for my awesome cousin for nailing this one on the head … I just had to agree with her:  There were far more powerful forces at work in defending traditional marriage in California than the simple 2% of the population comprised by Mormons.  It seems we should be thanking the 70% of African Americans who voted this time for Prop 8 , 40% more than voted in 2004.

If you believe in the sanctity of marriage … that it’s far more than a social tool, but a sacred institution … and that it’s the only sacred institution that is and should continue to be promoted by the government of our nation, then you owe Obama a debt of gratitude.

Ironically, you can thank Slate (liberal rag) for originally pointing this out.

While violent same-sex proponents target LDS people and LDS buildings for hate speech and vandalism, LDS people only make up 2% of California, while 70% of all African Americans voted for the proposition.  Slate does a bad job of showing just how much a difference Obama made so let me make it more clear:  The black community swung the Prop 8 vote by 7% (10% of the vote was African American * 70% voted yes), 40% of that swing came from additional black voters over 2004 numbers as they were energized by Obama.  That means Obama personally swung the vote by at least 2.8% (7% * 40%), or by 5.6 points (2.8% *2).

In other words, if Obama had not run for president and if he had not stood against same-sex marriage conservative estimates are that Prop 8 would have lost by a 1.6 point margin (4-5.6=1.6) if not more.  Why do I say “if not more”?  Because we don’t know how many of the other 60% of black voters were influenced by Barrack making a stand against same-sex marriage.  The above number assumes that his position had no effect on the African Americans who voted in 2004, but it’s likely that it did.  Say if only 30% were influenced by his anti-same-sex position that would have swung the vote by at least another 2 points (0.3*5.6/0.4).

And yet gay activists disparage and vandalize the property of LDS people and the LDS church who only make up 2% of the entirely California population.  What’s more, there were quite a few LDS people against Prop 8 (our home-teacher, who used to be a bishop and is still a prominent authority in the church is one of them).  In otherwords, all the LDS who voted for it would not have sufficiently swung the election.

I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that the Gay community seems to focus more on liberal arts than in math and science, but it seems these criminals can’t do math when they decide whom they’ll attack to show their disatisfaction with democracy.

October 23, 2008

Religulous, the movie: Shifting the blame onto religion. Part 1

Bill Maher, is an HBO talk-show host (professes to be libertarian, although lately he’s just seemed anti-conservative above all else).  His new movie “Religulous”, aimed at making fun of all religion and all religious people and blaming all of society’s ills on religion, has been in the theaters for a couple weeks now.  It’s already made more money than Ben Stein’s “Expelled” has over the last 6 months.

blaming religion for societies ills obfuscates the real causes … As a result greed and selfishness goes unchecked and continues to flourish

This is becoming quite popular to blame religion for societies ills, and it’s been a favorite topic of Bill Maher, but it is at best a cheap shot, and at worst it obfuscates the real cause of societies ills: mankind’s greed and selfishness.  As a result of obfuscating efforts like this greed and selfishness goes unchecked and continues to flourish as the #1 cause of the atrocities of mankind.

Maher used to have a fairly interesting show called Politically Incorrect, an ironic title since he acted as a shill for republican-hating liberals, bashing anyone who’s views don’t agree with what the mainstream media considers “correct”.  Ironically, more and more it seems politically incorrect to go against his gay-rights, pro-marijuana, anti-religion, PETA-loving agenda.  Ironically, with respect to his hot button issues he’s about as politically correct as they come.

But ultimately he proved himself the pinnacle of politically incorrectness in 2002 when he said suicide terrorists who’d go down with a plane weren’t cowards, but that our soldiers were indeed cowards for shooting missiles from long distances.

It seems he’s gone from “Politically Incorrect” to just plain old “Incorrect” … the guests on his show lapped up his comments like they were accurate.

So he calls our soldiers cowards for valuing life, complements plane-crashing terrorists as being brave, and then claims all other religious people “have a neurological disorder.”  Honestly, I don’t know if that’s politically incorrect or just really stupid.  Financial supporters pulled their ads and he lost his show.

HBO came to his rescue with “Real Time, with Bill Maher”, same basic format, different name, and just all around less funny and more angry and biased.  He’s called a comedian, but when I watch he seems to have simply degenerated into an angry old man as Carlin did in his late years with a humorless and bitter sarcasm about anything championed by the conservative agenda.

[Maher] calls our soldiers cowards for valuing life, complements plane-crashing terrorists as being brave, and then claims all other religious people “have a neurological disorder.”

What’s more his ‘facts’ can’t be trusted.  He seriously distorts the facts to justify statements that just aren’t true.  It seems he’s gone from “Politically Incorrect” to just plain old “Incorrect”.  For proof you need go no further than where he claimed the Mormon church taught Blacks can only go to heaven as slaves.  Most ardent anti-Mormons wouldn’t even say that simply because it’s nowhere to be found in LDS theology.  This is just one small example of many misrepresentations he’s made from calling the Pope a Nazi to calling all Christians insane, but this one sticks out for me because I’m LDS.  Not surprisingly the guests on his show lapped up his comments like they were accurate, which everyone seems to foolishly do and undoubtedly will do in Religulosity.

Why does he get the gimmes and mulligans for the gaffes and misrepresentations he makes?  Where does he get his platform of legitimacy?  Doesn’t anyone remember when he said “But I’ve often said that if I had — I have two dogs — if I had two retarded children, I’d be a hero. And yet the dogs, which are pretty much the same thing. What? They’re sweet. They’re loving. They’re kind, but they don’t mentally advance at all…. Dogs are like retarded children.”  When a guest said her nephew was retarded and she didn’t think of him as a dog he said, “Maybe you should.”

“Dogs are like retarded children.” When a guest said her nephew was retarded and she didn’t think of him as a dog Maher said, “Maybe you should.”

Yet reputable guests continue arrive on his show thereby giving him some form of continued legitimacy.  At least it helps me identify which politicians and pundits are filled with blind ambition and seem more interested in getting public face-time than in doing what is right and responsible.

You’d think his guests and potential guests would clue in.  Craig Ferguson had Bill Maher on his show when Bill Maher said Michael Jackson wasn’t as bad as the media was making him out to be because he wasn’t beating his victims senseless, but that the kids were simply being “gently masturbated by a pop star”.  You’d think Craig would get a clue, but as you see in the above link … Craig was there on Bill’s show a couple years later when Bill was misrepresenting LDS beliefs while Michael Steel nodded his head like it was all true.

Bill Maher said Michael Jackson wasn’t as bad … that the kids were simply being “gently masturbated by a pop star”.

Get a clue, people!  There’s a pattern here of not just political incorrectness, but just plain old incorrectness on Maher’s part.  Pick up on it.

I really don’t like airing someone’s dirty laundry without a fair representation of the good that they do, but that is precisely what Maher has done with regard to religion in general, as well as with regard to religious figures.  In my next post I’ll address his actual attack on religion.

February 8, 2008

Watch the Anti-Mormon-flavored PBS program “The Mormons”, or not

If you missed it 10 months ago don’t despair … recently reshown (as was “September Dawn”) to coincide with Romney’s epic struggle against the msm-nominated McCain , you can watch it Monday night on PBS.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the most one-sided and history-selective treatment of the Mormon church that has ever been wrongly portrayed as a balanced treatment of the church. I actually don’t have a problem with all the anti-Mormon media that honestly admits that it intends to be highly critical and not give a balanced view because at least those treatments are at least honestly disrespectful. I’ll take honest disrespect over dishonest respect any time of the day.

But this one pretends to be something that it isn’t: Balanced. Some history: A couple years ago producers of the PBS series “American Experience” approached the Mormon church with a proposal to produce a “balanced” view of the Church in a 2 part documentary. Church leaders obliged and were interviewed as promised. Boy were they surprised when it aired.

Apparently “balanced” meant that they would give the same amount of time to a couple church leaders and BYU professors, as with excommunicated members, as with apostate ex-mormons, as with a couple of non-mormon intellectual critics, as with a couple evangelical anti-mormons, as with a non-representative members who made bad decisions or had ideas that weren’t backed up by official doctrine, and then they gave like 5 minutes to one good-representative lds family (out of 4 hours). So if you combine the time spent on negative and critical messages compared to positive messages the ratio was something like 5:1.

That would be fair I suppose if the church does 5 times more damage than it does good, but if you look at the statistics of Mormon communities you’ll find quite the opposite dynamic: the presence of the Mormon church (at least statistically when you look at family values, crime, suicide rates, graduation rates, education, etc) has a tremendously positive effect on communities. Christ said “By their fruits shall ye know them” (what I like to call the divine litmus test), but for whatever reason this maxim is never applied to modern-day Mormons or modern-day Mormonism.

I blogged on the program when it first aired back in May of 2007. You can read my summary of it if you don’t want to waste your time to find out how one-sided and selective it was (see here for part 1 and here for part 2).

Don’t get me wrong – it was done very professionally by Hollywood standards, narrated by a well known actor (David Ogden Stiers, the uppity surgeon from Mash) with nice camera work, with the deceptive appearance of good research, commentary by self appointed experts sitting in comfy chairs in wooden walled offices, paranoia enabling sensationalism, and most of all: artistic liberties (ie. innuendo, fact wrangling, and most of all: extremely selective history coverage).

So if you watch it then please remember the divine litmus test (“By their fruits shall ye know them”) when you consider what most of your Mormon neighbors are about. What do THEY do? How to THEY act? Then consider the amazing social statistics of communities with lots of Mormons compared to anywhere else. If you’re an atheist and thus don’t like the idea of “By their fruits shall ye know them”, consider this adage: “Actions speak louder than words”. It means the same thing. Our beliefs guide our actions and words so you can really get to know us by what we do on a daily basis.

Otherwise you can watch a million programs called “The Mormons” and never still have a clue what a “Mormon” is. Don’t be scared … we won’t bite, and we probably won’t even convert you. In fact we’d love to give you the other side of this documentary so you will truly have a “balanced” perspective.

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