Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Glenn Beck Gets Owned

"Honestly Glenn, I can think of plenty of things to fill the void of hate and fear left by religion in this country."

By the way, have a fantastic International Blasphemy Day! This entry is dedicated to all those who strive to ensure and protect free speech and free criticism of ideas everywhere.


Matt said...

I could only take about 30 seconds of the gangsta hat, shades, arrogant voice, and mocking tone. Yep. IBD brings out the best in people.

Matt said...

I apologize for that first post. Although I could have said much worse, I don't think I did the greatest job of controlling my natural human emotions. And those emotions probably came through in my brief response.

Which is kind of pathetic, because I realize that the entire point of this blasphemy day thing is to bait religious people into lashing out. So yeah, I obviously need to work on that.

I'll be honest though: I was quite hurt at the enthusiasm with which you and several of my other friends embraced this event. I'd heard of this International Blasphemy Day several months ago, and just kind of shrugged it off as some sort of fringe thing. I mean, an entire day dedicated to the sole purpose of mocking and ridiculing the beliefs of people who disagree with you?? That's pretty juvenile and laughable.

I guess I was just surprised that you of all people would embrace something like this. In the past, you've generally shown a mature respect for the beliefs of others, even if you personally disagree with them. So I still can't really get over the fact that you were publically joining in with something like this. I never really considered you to be someone who got a rush out of publically insulting and scoffing at peoples' core beliefs. I've known you to rationally - even forcefully - express your disagreements...but this is very different.

Again, I apologize if my first posted seemed in any way sarcastic or retaliatory. I just needed to get this off my chest.

You friend,

Matt R

Alex said...


I don't think you overreacted. Maybe you did, but I really don't think you did. I don't think you said anything that was inflammatory or wildly off the mark.

Yeah, objimkenobi was using an arrogant voice and mocking is customary for a YouTube "ownage" video. It's the genre. I can understand why that would be highly annoying, especially if you disagree with the message.

Person A says seemingly strange or dubious thing...Person B makes a video lampooning it. In this case, I thought Glenn Beck deserved every ounce of scorn and derision that objimkenobi could muster, so that is why I posted the video.

But that's not the major thing I should be saying here.

No, the point of the Blasphemy Day wasn't to attempt to get religious people to lash out. Four years ago yesterday, the Danish cartoons (I hope you remember which ones) that sparked a worldwide "controversy" were released. The point of the day is to protect free speech, even if it's speech that offends some.

Now, I realize that I could have merely written a post defending free speech with zero content that could possibly have been offensive to anyone. In retrospective, perhaps this is what I should have done.

I understand that you are hurt because I and several others posted material which offends religious beliefs...but the point remains, I'm not trying to poke fun at you, I'm trying to poke fun at beliefs and ideas...which is the major point of the Blasphemy Day, that it's okay to criticize or ridicule an idea, and people should be able to do it freely. That's what I'm trying to convey by participating.

Yes, I try to be mature as possible when treating other people. I stand by this.

But a belief is not a person, and I believe that sometimes beliefs should be ridiculed. Normally, I would probably not go to such lengths to purposely ridicule a belief, but I strongly believe that individuals should be able to do this. And yes, I think some beliefs can be ridiculed justifiably.

I'm not trying to insult or scoff at anyone. I realize that it can be jarring to see someone else making fun of a core personal belief.

I didn't and I don't intend to make fun of you or any other religious person (well, maybe Beck counts) - but I do feel that on the free market of ideas, ridicule of religious belief should be tolerated, and I do honestly feel that sometimes it is open to ridicule.

If there almost exclusively more Francis Collins's and Martin Luther King Jr.'s, I would more than likely never have to ridicule any religious ideas. But in a world where religion is used to lie and distort and misguide, in a world where people threaten to kill or silence those who criticize religion in many places - in a world where prejudice against those who do not share in religion is widespread in many places - I feel that some ridicule of religion is justified.

I also strongly realize the necessity of getting things off one's chest. I hope that our relationship never deteriorates to the point where either one of us feels unable to get something off one's chest without being afraid of the consequences - I never want that to happen.

Matt said...

See, I really don't see this as a celebration of free speech. I see it as an opportunity for atheists to make fun of religious people. Which is fine...that's nothing new by any means. I just get upset when my friends join in.

But as far as the free speech thing goes, here's my take on it:

This kind of speech is certainly protected...there's absolutely no doubt about that. But just because something is *legal* doesn't mean it's *right*. Here's a perfect analogy. Do you remember those anti-Obama protesters who brought their guns to rallies near where the president was speaking? The police didn't do anything about it, because this was technically a legal thing to do. They were "celebrating their second amendment rights" - just as the blasphemy day people "celebrated their first amendment rights". But I believe that both of these groups - while technically within the law - were wrong in their actions. These are both great examples of people using their liberties as weapons to intimidate and/or ridicule those who disagree with them.

ananias said...

I actually believe it's important to do our best to ridicule, reduce, disprove, discredit, or otherwise attack every single thing we know. That's how we find out what's real--what's irrefutable--what is worthy of knowing. Truth positively thrives on our most passionate attacks. We only succeed in buffing its surface. We don't so much discover truth as we dig it out from beneath the layers of ignorance that hide it.

The only thing that can harm truth is respect, faith, and sanctity. Those things cling to it, cover and smother it. They are a form of filth that coats truth but the grip is tenuous--relies on the glue of deceit, delusion, and cowardice. The slightest puff of reason can slough off the whole effigy. If there is a god, and he has anything to do with truth, than he no doubt inspired religion solely to give the folks who are unworthy of the search for truth something fitting to do.