Monday, October 01, 2007

What kind of crazy, mixed-up world are we living in...?

So there I am, sitting with the missus, watching TV last night, and she -- as is her wont -- is doing a bit of channel-hopping. She finally alights on the Jay Leno show.

The guest who is on at the time she stops zapping is Sherri Shepherd, a "big-boned" black actress that you may be familiar with if you've ever seen Everybody Loves Raymond. You know Ray's brother is a cop? Well, this woman plays his cop partner.

And she is there telling the story of when she was on some TV show and she was forced to defend the fact that she doesn't believe in evolution and...

Wait a minute. Let's just back up there a sec...

She doesn't believe in evolution?! And yet, not a murmur from the crowd. Not a guffaw, a titter, not even a snigger. And no witty comeback from lazy Jay either. (You can watch the whole segment here. She mentions not believing at almost three minutes in.)

Since when, may I ask, was it acceptable for a person to go on TV and essentially say "I don't believe in evolution" without being challenged? Are we all fucking idiots now? My opinion: people like this should be banned from our screens, with their retarded worldview. Fuck's sake. [/rant]

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Blogger Karen said...

God I love Sherri, she's hilarious. I'm so glad she got the job and not Kathy Griffin.

Creationism/Intelligent Design - there's a huge controversy over here (although mainly in the US). There's even a Big Valley Creation Science Museum here in Alberta. While I'm all for teaching alternative theories and beliefs, faith based arguments scare the shit out of me and, in my opinion, can be dangerous. But this is coming from a lapsed catholic so...

Um, why is it important that she's "Big Boned"?

01 October, 2007 12:18  
Blogger Karen said...

Wait...I didn't hear her say she didn't believe in evolution. Am I on the crack?

01 October, 2007 12:22  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Hey Karen. You're up bright and early!

I liked her too, until now. She says, "So we were talking about evolution. And I was telling Barbara that I don't believe in evolution..."

They scare the shit out of me too. I blame a post-9/11 "need" by US Christians to let their faith be heard over the belief systems of Muslims. And I know not all Christians have a problem with evolution, which is what makes this doubly annoying for me. You simply cannot compare science with religion. Aaaaggghh!

Re "big-boned": just being descriptive. I hate when people avoid using adjectives when to say them would make things more instantly understandable.

Example: You see that blooke over there? Which one? The one with tattoos? No. The one with glasses? No. The one with a child? No. The black one? Yes, why didn't you say the black one? Everyone else is white...

01 October, 2007 12:35  
Blogger Milla said...


P.S. Just listen to some of the xstian radio stations in the States, what they come out with. Unbelievable. When I was travelling with Pazzo and Zorro last year at times I wished I had a hammer and silence that bullshit. AND the problem was that when people were phoning in, they would simply agree with what was said by the 'pastor', which made me want to smash the radio even more.

01 October, 2007 13:26  
Blogger Kate said...

Well said! The rise of this bizarre theory is scary, especially the idea that it should be taught in schools alongside real science. How can any sane person even consider that!? Then again, these are the same people who want to ban books such as Harry Potter and To Kill a Mockingbird, so I suppose sanity isn't part of their make-up.

01 October, 2007 13:28  
Blogger Shep said...

Listen to you lot, all hating the baby Jesus -

You'll get no Christmas presents...

01 October, 2007 14:47  
Blogger Red said...

I'd like to ban the Harry Potter books too... that don't make me an evolution-denying nutter, though!

01 October, 2007 14:53  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Milla: I can only imagine... And I hate the radio at the best of times!

Kate: I can't believe this regression. It's really very odd and scary.

Shep: Jesus is all right. But you know I'm not big on babies.

Red: Ha! You're a wag, ain'cha!

01 October, 2007 15:02  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Yeah, well, that's faith innit, and you can't be dissing someone else's faith now can you? Even if it is jibberish. Pah!


01 October, 2007 15:22  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

dang do you crank out so many designs so fast. Does your tat artist come up with them or do you have talent that is secret to me.

01 October, 2007 16:33  
Blogger Cynnie said...

not believing in evolution is very very popular right now ..

I think it makes the christians feel superior or rebellious or ...

something other than idiots.

01 October, 2007 18:36  
Blogger furiousBall said...

stupid is this year's black

01 October, 2007 18:49  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

wow... so i feel very hated here today.

a) i believe in evolution. to an extent. but it is STILL just a theory so who gives a flying fuck if she doesn't believe in it. i know NON-CHRISTIANS who don't believe in evolution. so stop blaming everything you disagree with on fucking Christians. (sorry... if you can't tell, i'm physically shaking angry right now. i still love you and red and everyone... but you have NO FUCKING IDEA how tired i am of being called stupid --whether directly or not --on your blog)

b) i love Jesus and i think the rest of you are morons for thinking i'm stupid just because i have faith.

c) i love harry potter, too.

p.s. was that enough uses of the word FUCK for you to actually pay attention to me, everyone.

01 October, 2007 19:41  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

p.p.s. can i just add that i have never ONCE called agnostics, atheists, mormons, muslims, hindus, buddhists or anyother religious person, for that matter, stupid, or moronic, or retarded, or cunts, or anything else insulting.

not once. and yet, i come here every day, because i really do love your writing and i really do love to read your opinions, because i think it's intriguing to read your thoughts on so many things... and i read you SO OFTEN call the people who believe in what i believe in stupid, arrogant, moronic, AND cunts.

i'm really shaken right now, so i know i'll probably regret saying all this later... but every time i read one of these posts, it makes it harder to want to come back. i know i will continue to, because i'm not kidding when i say you guys mean the world to me... but it does get harder.

01 October, 2007 19:46  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

wow i've missed a lot while working today. i have to agree with martha. bashing someone because of their beliefs is harsh and uncalled for. to be honest a lot of the responses were filled with arrogance, ignorance and hate. it's funny to me how most of those wanting to ban the "stupid" beliefs of christians from the airwaves are usually the same ones who accuse christians of being close minded and preach tolerance above all else. it doesnt work to just be tolerant of things you agree with....that's easy. i don't expect you to believe the way i do, and i'm ok with that. you have to work that out for yourself. and i don't think you should paint all christians with such a wide brush. sure, like with any group there are going to be some nutjobs, but i'd say the majority are reasonable and educated.

PS I think there are some Muslims and Jews who don't believe in evolution either....i'm just sayin'

can we go back to talking about movies now??

01 October, 2007 22:49  
Blogger The Anti Crapitalist said...

What more do you expect under the watchful eye of GWB and his right wing fundamentalist loonies?

Its not possible to dumb down US TV anymore without being forced to watch plankton sucking grime off of each other for entertainment.

01 October, 2007 23:36  
Anonymous Franki said...

martha ~ you know i adore you, but i don't think *'s post mentioned christians specifically did it? why did you take it as a christian offense, esp since you point out that you know non-christians who don't beleive in it either.

(*) - i stopped watching leno years ago.

02 October, 2007 02:47  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

franki... you're so right. he doesn't mention Christians in the post, so i definitely owe * an apology for implying he did. but i have to say my (overly angry --sorry 'bout that) comment was made more as a response to the comment section. * and almost everyone else did mention Christians in their comments. simply reading the post didn't make me angry at all... i thought it was sort of an overreaction to a woman stating her beliefs on national television... but i would have just left a comment teasing * for said overreaction and nothing more.

however the common theme in the responses seemed to be that Christians being allowed to broadcast their supposed 'moronic' views on national television is bringing about the demise of the world. and somehow, God (god, Buddha, Muhammad, Elvis, mother earth... pick a name so i don't offend anyone) only knows, how 9/11 is now being named as the reason Christians want to be heard. love you *, but that's probably the first truly moronic thing i've seen you write. 9/11 did nothing new to US Christians. we've always felt our beliefs deserve to be heard just as every other religious belief deserves to be heard (and i don't want to hear about all the "nutjobs" that think ONLY Christian beliefs should be heard, because that's a minority... most of us truly value freedom of religion... ALL RELIGION, and we've talked about this before). but 9/11 did force a lot of terrified people to re-evaluate what they believe in and in many cases search for something greater in which to believe.

and a sidenote: i guarantee, if a scientist had been on leno talking about how he sincerely believed there were some errant aspects to the theory of evolution, no one would have said a damn thing... here, on leno or anywhere else.

02 October, 2007 03:19  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

G/puss: Quite.

Shea: Ideas abound. Some I want to act on more quickly than others; some need more thought than others.

Cynnie: Yeah, maybe that's it. What do I know?

F/ball: Cool!

02 October, 2007 09:32  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Martha: First, I don't want you to feel hated. That was not the point at all. I've messaged you, as you know. I hope you don't mind me excerpting some of that message so that, if they are interested, others can follow this debate:

When one writes something -- anything -- that someone else might read, we can expect differences of opinion. Your reaction to my post was -- on a greater scale, admittedly -- not wholly dissimilar to how I felt when I heard Sherri speak her words on TV and go unchallenged. I was literally speechless and open-mouthed in horror at what she said.

I felt compelled to voice my opinion on something that I feel strongly about. You were not my target. Nor initially were Christians per se. But I do believe there has been a huge rise in what I call "militant Christianism" since 9/11. This is my own personal observation based on what I read, hear, and see on the news.

To be honest, I didn't realize anyone (non-religious) these days believed evolution was just a theory. As far as anyone (non-religious) I know is concerned, evolution is considered scientific fact. Granted, some people feel that way about their holy books and feel angry/sad/confused when people don't share that belief. You and I are not necessarily so different, but perhaps I'm less tolerant than I should be. BUT I do seriously have a problem with the dispersal of "belief system" (as opposed to science) as fact.

02 October, 2007 09:34  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Andy: Everyone has their beliefs, it's true, and in general I don't tend to bash people for theirs. But I find it untenable when a person in the public eye voices something like this and that comment goes unchallenged. I was ALMOST as appalled at the lack of challenge from Leno as I was at Sherri's words.

Your point about tolerance is fair to an extent. But I was brought up Christian and have since decided it is not for me. I don't believe. I find it unbelievable. At best. Manipulative at worst. That's my opinion. And just as ex-smokers are the worst anti-smoking lobbyists, perhaps ex-Christians are the worst when it comes to "Christian-bashing" (figuratively, not literally).

You are relatively new here and I don't know whether you have been through many of my old posts, but this is a recurring theme with me, as Martha is all too aware! It's not intended as a direct attack on Christians; moreover it reflects my view on religion as a whole. I find it unfathomable.

That said, I recognize that people can believe what they want. I just don't feel able to stomach it being presented as indisputable on primetime, non-specialist TV shows and/or channels.

I'll get back to movies soon...!

02 October, 2007 09:44  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Anti-Crap: Bush has much to answer for. Still, not long to go now, and once he's out of the way, maybe I'll get to visit the US again.

Franki: Thanks for the support! And for the tip re Leno. Wise choice.

Martha: Just slightly going back to the 9/11 thing: I think it has led to a rise in people moving towards a faith where they hadn't before (which you also agree with in your comment). Not just Christianity either. But as such it seems only "logical" that Christians (and other religions) would want to heighten their visibility and "state their cases" more clearly to enable shoppers to make the right choice.

I think I would have some concerns if a scientist expressed doubts over key aspects of evolution, but I would expect him or her to voice their opinions in an intelligent way, outlining where the problems lie. Sherri's was a blanket "I don't believe in evolution" statement, which I find very odd in this day and age.

02 October, 2007 09:53  
Anonymous Franki said...

I personally don't mind people getting on tv, particularly a mind dribbler variety show such as Leno and spouting their beliefs. I don't think anyone goes to this actress, who ever she may be, for their scientific OR religious views. At least I hope not.

I am, however, terrified by the religious right's takeover of our US govt. Televangelist's have the politicians' ears. Our Supreme Court is filled with judges who are now posed to take away my personal rights. In my state, people go to the polls specifically to vote against the marriage of homosexuals. Why this is a political issue is completely beyond me. As near as I can tell, Christians disapprove of gay marriage because the bible says it's wrong. Therefore, the gay issue is a moral issue. Therefore, if you're christian, you should probably try to avoid going gay if you want to avoid the fiery bowels of hell. But those of us what aren't christian still have to contend with religious views being pressed upon us by laws that should have nothing to do with govt. It's really about the money. I really don't care about marriage for hetero or homosexuals, but it seems like a govt. should be legislating for equality for all of those who would like to participate. Sorry, tangent.

02 October, 2007 11:45  
Blogger balance said...

That’s the funniest thing I’ve read lately! I just wonder where you get all that energy from to get mad about such acts of plain stupidity. I mean…there are so many of them! Maybe people enjoy being silly, maybe it’s a new fashion…who knows?; stupidity is beyond explanation anyway :)
Now you know why watching TV can be harmful :))

02 October, 2007 12:12  
Blogger balance said...

Holly shit! I mentioned just minutes ago about your “evolutional” entry to some of my co-workers and one of the girls said she didn’t believe in the evolution either! You’ve only seen it on TV; I have it 9 hours a day! Top that!
I know, it's not funny anymore:(

02 October, 2007 12:54  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

first off, i have to say, i agree with franki. if were to delve into politics at all (which i don't because i hate them... in this day and age, in this country), i would probably be fairly libertarian. i think the governments job is to govern and keep us safe. from each other (not from ourselves... that's important). and as much as i believe in what i believe, i don't feel that others should have to live the way i believe i should. (well, in some cases, perhaps... i think the whole not killing, raping, and that sort of thing are good to follow as a whole... but you know)

anyway... just wanted to say that. and also, as * said, we've already had our little personal e-mail conversation... but to everyone else. i'm sorry i flew off the handle. i'm not sorry for most of what i said, because i'm very firm in my beliefs. but i should never have said any of it in that severe, accusatory tone.

let's the lighten the mood up in this joint, eh?

02 October, 2007 17:32  
Blogger My Reflecting Pool said...

the above link is a whole history on the Scopes trial (1925) Regarding teaching evolution is school. This has been an issue in the US for as long as scientist have proven evolution ACTUALLY exists. Christians are the reason there have been issues teaching evolution (Sorry Martha) in this country. Its a leftover way of thinking that has yet to pry its grip off our educational system. Its archaic. Evolution is science, science is taught in school. Religion, which is where you find creationalism, is taught at church. The Constitution is clear about the division of church and state. I'm still not sure how people confuse the issues really.

Personally I like HL Menckens accounting which you can find on the above link. Read it and enjoy. Its very entertaining.

02 October, 2007 19:25  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

well, i hope you are happy. i was trying to enjoy some raymond reruns at work tonight (back to back episodes), but all i could think about was raymond's brother's partner's views on evolution.

PS Evolution as the origin of life is still just a theory and will always remain a theory UNLESS i can get this time machine i am building to work. Adaption and mutation I think we can all agree on....

03 October, 2007 05:25  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Franki: You are wise and right, of course. And while I broadly agree that people can say what they want (I believe in free speech and non-censorship, of course), I also think there is an expectation for views to be challenged, especially when said view is stated like fact and completely glossed over. But we are talking Leno here...

Balance: It seems non-believers are everywhere!

Martha: Yeah, but the non-raping, non-killing etc stuff is just good moral code, not necessarily the sole domain of any given religion.

03 October, 2007 10:07  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

RefPo: I've seen Inherit The Wind (hey Andy, now we're talking movies!), and I'm surprised that this is still a contentious issue in the US. Well, I guess I'm not really surprised, partly because I believe it is also on the rise in schools here, the whole "intelligent design" thing or "creation(al)ism". The church/state divide is hugely important here in the UK and is supposed to be in the US, right, though it's hard to take that seriously when a president brings God into every speech he gives and when you have "In God We Trust" on your banknotes etc. Here, when Tony Blair admitted to "having conversations" with God, he was utterly lampooned by the press.

Andy: I thought the fact that Raymond was in it would be enough to ruin the show! Good luck with the time machine, but once you have it up and running, how do I know I can trust you not to tamper with the results?

03 October, 2007 10:16  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

* maybe you didn't understand the title of the show...EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND. that includes you. and i would totally tamper with the results to prove me and raymond's brother's partner right. then the whole blogosphere would have to bow before us.

03 October, 2007 12:34  
Blogger Milla said...

In all this discussion no one has told Shep that Baby Jesus and Father Christmas don't exist.

So lemme be the one.

03 October, 2007 13:38  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

Not prying in or even getting involved in this rant...BUT...Is seperation of church in state really in constitution? I am sure it is NOT. What you are referring to was just a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Virginia Baptist expressing that no congregational church will ever rule the government like that in England.
So "My Reflecting Pool" the consitution is NOT clear on this issue because this statement does not exist in the consitution.
I am not supporting or fighting any of these issues being discussed. I just want to make sure that if stabs are being made, the blades are clean.

03 October, 2007 15:22  
Blogger Sheamus the... said... you design the tats and draw them or do you have an artist?

03 October, 2007 15:27  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Andy: Nooooo! I used to almost think he was okay, but he soon became very annoying, and I found myself rooting far more for his put-upon wife and brother. Hell, even the kids, and I hate kids! I knew you couldn't be trusted with a time machine!

Milla: Shhhhhh!

Shea: I don't know much about the US Constitution, so I confess to not knowing. Here it is law; and I think in most "developed" countries too, no? Surely it's law in the States, too, even if it is not in the Constitution per se. (I've messaged you about the tattoos.)

03 October, 2007 16:07  
Blogger Meredith said...

Shea, you opened a door here.Sorry *, but I must say, Clean blade or no, the law is clear. The first amendment in our constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" That was ratified into our constitution 12/13/1791 near 10 years before the Jefferson letter citing seperation of church and state. The law is placed there to give no preferential treatment to any one religion and allow for religeous tolerance in this country. That first amendment affords us quite a bit and if you are not careful to know what you are allowed to do and facilitate the passing of local laws that abide by relions morals rules, you do yourself and everyone else a disservice. As I work in the law I will happily forward any legal information you may need, as Wikipedia is not a source to be fully trusted.

03 October, 2007 16:55  
Blogger Meredith said...

Sorry, I'd like to add for all catholics out there on October 22, 1996 Pope John Paul II tells the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that evolution is "more than a hypothesis" and does not contradict Catholic teaching. The Pope insists, however, that "souls are immediately created by God" and that theories of evolution that hold the human mind to be a product of evolution are incompatible with "the dignity of the person."

So, you are free to learn all about evolution with the popes blessing as it was still all part of the big plan.

03 October, 2007 17:07  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Meredith: After I wrote my comment above I went to Wikipedia (fully knowing it has its flaws) and found that same text from the First Amendment. And the Pope's good with it too. Well, JPII was; perhaps PapaRatzi feels differently.

03 October, 2007 17:25  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

I said nothing of any other law except for the constitution and the fact that a comment was made about the consitution saying "seperation of church and sate". That is all. I was not using it to weight an arguement. Just that "seperation of church and sate" as a phrase, sentence, or statement" is not in the constitution. It was letters written by Jefferson.

03 October, 2007 17:40  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

i think the grand point here is, when it comes to how it all began [as z said, i think we can all agree evolution is fact when it comes to adaptation and mutation] is and will always be "up for grabs" as they say.

in other words, ALL of us are living on faith. asterisk... you and almost all of your readers are living by faith that there is no higher power, that nothing "created" the world, that "I" am my biggest concern. others of us are living by faith that all of this was created by someone, that it was done intelligently, and that whoever He/She is demands (and rightfully so) to be our biggest concern.

(and milla -i don't know you, but Jesus, baby and otherwise, DID exhist, and if we're going to mock someone for not believing in evolution, just beware --whether you believe in his divinity or not is beside the point-- but he WAS a very real, historical figure. i imagine you were just being facetious, but i just had to say)

03 October, 2007 18:02  
Blogger lightupvirginmary said...

don't you know religious people can say what the fuck they want and we have to 'respect their rights'.
We on the other hand, have to sit and spin.
Hey ho.

03 October, 2007 18:07  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Shea: That's a fair comment about the exact wording, but seemingly most authorities interpret that passage of the First to imply a separation of church and state. Just those exact words weren't used.

Martha: Evolution was always about the origin of species, rather than the origin of life on earth as a whole, granted. A degree of faith is needed regarding quite what happened at "the beginning of time", for want of a better phrase. But will we ever know. In my opinion, a higher power seems illogical, and that is why I can't believe. I can't take that "leap of faith" that you are able to. Re Jesus: I won't even get into that, but it seems he did exist.

LUVM: Hello! Yeah, well in this country we are going to respect the rights of others right up until we suddenly find ourselves living in a Muslim state, but that's a rant for another day...

03 October, 2007 18:17  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Wow...I'm surearrivinglate to the party.

Martha and *...

you are bothexpressing very valid viewpoints...and sometimes we all forget that all humans donot share the same experiences with either science...or faith or many things.

I havenever had a problem consolidating science and faith...I think they are related...

but what is kind of that people offaith all argue and test whatdefines faith andpractice.Alsowhat defines there one god...orone way to practice faith?


Andscientists,bioligists all come at evolution from many perspectives too. There isn't"one" evolutionary argument.

My boyfriend was raisedcatholic...and went to a catholic boys school...and he studied evolution anjd was taught it as a science andreal.

great discussion...on a shitty computer...can't type more...

03 October, 2007 18:20  
Blogger Cynnie said...

I converted to catholicism late in life ( late 30's )
and i was told that evolution is the real deal ..

but there's a church here in prico ..and I think it's everywhere..
they teach that man and dinosaurs were hanging out together ..

I (since I'm queen of all that's sane ) sez..thats nuts!

04 October, 2007 00:14  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

aaaahhhhh i think it's over. let's all just walk away quietly....

04 October, 2007 06:12  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Candy: Yeah, it's a helluva ride! Thanks for stopping by. You always bring a balance to these things, and you are, as always, completely right.

Cyn: It's like that film One Million Years BC, then, right? That's, like, science, yeah?

Andy: I'm walking here.

04 October, 2007 09:55  
Anonymous I love Troy said...

Why does everyone feel the need to blather on and on about thier beliefs. Keep them to yourself. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one, and most of them stink. When we all die, we'll find out if God created us, or if that's all there is. Until then, just enjoy life.

PS - AVID ANDY - Why are you watching EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND at work?

04 October, 2007 14:57  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Troy: Ah, you know, my blog, my rules. Thanks for your insight on opinions vs assholes, though. I hadn't heard that before. Oh, yeah, sorry, I had, like a billion times. I'll keep on enjoying life.

04 October, 2007 15:05  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Actually, the Constitution of the United States mentions a specific "Separation of church and state", albeit without using those exact words, in two places.

First, and most well known of course, is the ammendment quoted above "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

However, and less frequently mentioned, in the body of the Constitution itself, the phrase in Article Six seems to make it very clear that Religion has no place in this Government:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. "

Which is why Alberto Gonzales had to go - he was having his aides vet resume's to eliminate folks from job consideration who did not share the Bush Regime's narrow-minded Fundie Xtian beliefs.

04 October, 2007 20:37  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Sewmouse: Thanks for the info. And for the Gonzales thing. That Bush, eh?

09 October, 2007 15:25  

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