Not sure where else to put this, so...


Since I tend to have knee-jerk reactions, I won't post my thoughts about this right now, except to say I'm mad... and disappointed. I think Jon utterly and completely missed the point... in fact, it's almost as if he misses the point intentionally.

But that's just me...


Culture War Update - The Dividening of America - American Atheists ...


(If you can't see it, I don't know how to help you. I don't know how to download video clips from the Daily Show website. If I did, I'd put this on YouTube. If you know, please... tell me...)

Tags: American, Association, Atheists, Daily, Jon, Show, Stewart, The

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No don't be insulted, you got me all wrong. I was being sarcastic and a few other things as well, specifically I was saying that now that I thought about the cross dealie from the perspective of having been raised Jewish, I can see why these kinds of things don't belong just to Christians, they belong to all of humanity and our shared history. One day, people from the future will look at this cross and they'll hopefully be saying, "people used to think that finding religious symbols in places of disaster gave them a sense of hope" "but it's just a hunk of metal that happened to retain it's organization as a crossing set of beams" "yeah but people were really weirded out by the thought that maybe their god had put it there for them" "oh but that's so egocentric!" "yeah that's how they were back then". And anyway, its only a "significant" part of the building's rubble because Christian irrationality has made it so. If it were not for Christians, that piece of metal would be just that - an unworshipped piece of metal. Now people are going to go to it and bow down before it and teach their children that this was the hand of god or whatever it is they do, and another species will go extinct on the planet (maybe ours). And I wasn't insinuating that it would be a bad thing to still have a special affinity for Christianity the way I perhaps do with Judaism, if only because of all the incredible things they have done which wasn't out of self-directed (and self-deluding) creativity, but which was really creative in the eyes of all humanity. I think all groups of humans have individuals within them with great abilities and finding ways of expressing themselves, and its worth remembering the good things about your experiences with religion and not just the bad. I mean, religion isn't evil, you have to take the good with the bad though, and the bad right now greatly outweighs the good if only because of how crucial these next few decades will be for the future of all life on the planet. we can't afford the gop blocking legislation which would advance our civilization even one iota. We are so far behind as a nation because of those damned righties!

I wouldn't say that it being related to a christian symbol has its rise to museum status considering there are some, and I apologize if I offend, less impressive findings of the site. I just find it kinda cool that those beams were so intact and together. If some people have a religious significance (no matter how ridiculous) to it then I ask-so what? I really do not care if some idiots are going to teach their children that it is from God? The rest of us with half a brain know better and again-in the museum, it is not being touted as such. It is in the gallery of debris, along with other pieces. The object is a reminder of what New Yorkers lived through. Because it has some religious significance to some people is hardly relevant. I'll say it again-I could care less either way as to the fate of this thing. I just thought it being intact and a part of the towers was pretty cool.


Concerning the "behind as a nation because of those damned righties" I'm not touching considering that is a whole other topic.

But molotovderp, you miss the point--I do not believe that the "cross" in question appeared in the form of an actual cross at the original site--rather it was fantasized into a cross by the fundies who see everything in terms of their precious savior/zeus--why turn everything into a religious symbol?  

Renaissance paintings depicting the christ are expressions by the artists who created them-I don't think Da Vinci claimed any real spiritual significance to his Madonna of the Rocks-but whiny knee-jerk religion is just useless garbage bent on being devisive and shoving god-worship down everyone's throats. Those making the case for turning a national day of remembrance into a zany religious free-for-all ala the 9/11 "cross" claim it to be some kind of sign from "god"-how on Earth any kind of God would will such a thing as the series of events that occured on 9/11 is something I would like to hear them fully explain before calling us atheists whatever names they feel that they are in the right to call us.

 I don't call for the destruction of renaissance paintings, but since when was Michelangelo's Creation of Adam forced upon the American public as a symbol of one's sense of American citizenship and good will?!

I would rather not see that "cross" on the site.  It's a religious symbol, and it shouldn't be paid for with tax money.  If we want to recognize religion at ground zero--and many people do--then it would be more appropriate to recognize the religions of all the dead.  But whatever goes up on the site will be there a long time, and we're already surrounded by religious displays on public property, and most will never be removed.  We don't need another.  As for Silverman's lack of tact, any word or action that disagrees with religion is seen as an attack.  There's no way he could have said anything against that "cross" without being called a jerk.


What baffles me, though, is why people aren't really pissed at their god.  He does nothing while a bunch of fanatics kill nearly 3,000 people and destroy a couple of billion dollars worth of property, and he does nothing?  He watches while thousands more people clean up the site, many of them getting seriously ill from inhaling particles in the air, and he does nothing?  Then he leaves his calling card under the rubble?  What a bastard!

I certainly don't think the random way two pieces of metal ended up at the site of the WTC represents divine intervention. Yet I have to say that there is something sacred about the site that people want to gather around.  (Are atheists allowed to use the term sacred? As in the "sacred v profane' distinction?)


Like you, Craigart14, I think it would be appropriate to recognize the universal, human aspect of this tragedy rather than focusing on a 'christian symbol', unless we all can agree that it represents human suffering.  I think of solemn historic places in this sort of way...Holocaust exhibits, Trail of Tears exhibits, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, etc.  These sites represent the worst of what humans can do to their fellow humans.


If Christian groups want to gather funds to memorialize the site as some sort of 'act of god', it is their right to do so.  It shouldn't be funded by the government.  But these groups will have to prepare themselves for some backlash from citizens that disagree with them.  They may define this as another form of persecution (which only makes them believe more firmly) but disagreement is what defines the American experience: religious pluralism and tolerance does not mean agreement!  The WTC site doesn't belong to any one political interest group to define.

Your link works just fine for me...yeah Jon is going at it with his usual style--remember, he's not exactly a journalist or a fair-minded, detached third party-he is openly Jewish by faith-and therefore religious (and therefore biased)-and more into mass acceptance than provoking any form of legitimate reason.  But yeah, his manner of thinking does rankle me, when I consider that he isn't really into throwing such barbs at the pope or fundie ministers with big followings like Billy Graham-only the ones that everyone basically dislikes-like Westboro Baptist Church for protesting soldiers funerals or the guy in Florida who burned the Koran or atheists who say horrible things like-"Let's not establish a national religion."  

I don't know if you've read the thread, but I'll post it again:


Actually, Jon Stewart has more than once referred to himself as a Secular Jew, and in his semi-recent interview with fundy Christian and US History Revisionist David Barton, JS seems to imply that he's a Secular Humanist (at least, that's what I got out of the interview). I don't think I've ever met a Secular Humanist who believes in God (which, I grant, can't even be considered a sample size), so my guess is that JS would probably identify as an agnostic if you asked, but is technically an atheist.


Here's the entire interview with David Barton:

Part 1

Part 2

Extended (Parts 3-5)




I think Jon Stewart's personal beliefs have very little in common with the material he presents on his show (like Rachel Maddow, he's more about ratings than actual thoughtful commentary).    And if you must distinguish yourself from other         secularists by calling yourself a "secularist Jew" then you are differentiatating            oneself from other secualrists by proclaiming oneself "jewish" in some regard (I myself  am of somewhat-mixed semitic ancestry, but I would be lying if I even     pretended to have any regard for Davidian mythology).                    
Rachel Maddow has thoughtful commentary on her show.  She provides useful information to think about.  I also like Jon Stewart's way of providing information in a humorous way...he is a genius when it comes to his method of delivery.  They both appear even-handed in their own ways...and they don't shy away from being liberal progressives and engaged in what's going on in this world of ours.

Rachel and Jon may be Liberals in most senses of the phrase, but I hardly think either one of them are very thought provoking.  Remember that Jon is on Comedy Central-not MSNBC and his commentaries hardly rock any boats.  Rachel Maddow on the other IS on MSNBC and her "liberal angst" isn't very angsty.  Keith Olberman was more likely to say-and in fact did say-that President Obama might not even get the Democratic nomination this time around-just a couple of weeks before his show was axed. While I doubt that Obama will be passed up for the nomination, (as an incumbent President how often does that ever happen?) at least the angst was there in full force.  


 It's interesting that you think of both of them as liberal progressives-I see them (especially Rachel Maddow) as "lock-step Democrats" who can't seem to fathom why Democrats just keep right on losing-even when they win.  Yes, Jon Stewart recognizes this fact and keeps laughing about it-but neither one of them are either willing or able to tackle the one huge fact that they keep kicking under the rug:

  Barack Obama sucks at being president. 

  And the Democratic party couldn't care less about liberals.

Yet for some obscure reason, both Maddow and Stewart conflate Dems with liberals and Obama with effective and significant world leaders. 

  Now, before anyone pops up to say "But wait one darned minute! He came to the table with alot on his plate-you can't expect him to save the world in a day!" Must I remind them that B.O. ran for the office of POTUS knowing full well where the economy and the nation as a whole stood in terms of financial solvency, education, public programs, healthcare and the whole nine yards.

  Remember that it was he who came from nowhere at the last minute to slam dunk Hilary Clinton's campaign with criticisms about her serious lack of leadership qualities concerning, mainly, her stance on voting for the Iraq war. (Since he has been in office he has had no qualms about sending tens of thousands of troops to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere-and is now "considering", at the present moment, a friendly occupation of Jordan-whatever that means).  Nobody ever said his job was going to be an easy one, but with candidate Obama's admonition to Mrs. Clinton ("You have to be right on day one...") one at least had the impression that he knew what he was doing...sort of.

  So on day one (his inauguration) what does he do? He chooses an openly anti-gay minister of a church that has sent thousands of dollars to Uganda to support a government program there to kill homosexuals, as his opening speaker for the invocation. And when gays (including Ms. Maddow) spoke up about it, what did he say to them-to paraphrase-"Like it or lump it, this is the man I'm choosing for this job".  Ironically that was the same thing he told liberals who fumed when he placed Timothy Geitner whose criminal refusal to excercise oversight over one of the biggest financial institutions on the planet led to the financial meltdown that we are still in, as a member of his cabinet rather than in prison where he belongs.     

 Oh, that he would have used that same tone with Republicans on at least one occasion during his time in office the Democrats might have actually won a fight or two during the last coupleof years.

  I voted for him because-and shame on me for believing this (you would think at 37 I would have known better), I thought he was serious about the social changes that he stumped for during his campaign.  And because I listened to people like Rachel Maddow who seemed to have only positive things to say about this "get-it-done" guy from Chicago.

 Despite Maddow's claim after the general election in '08, that the GOP was shrinking fast and becoming (what were her own words again) "a teeny, tiny, teeny teeny, tiny little minority" (she kept saying that so much throughout most of '09 that I cringed every time I knew she was going to say it)-one that would soon only exist in the south-eastern United States (you know where all the bigots live and nobody is liberal),the Republicans showed astrong fronttothenewcommanderin chief and won him over in spades. 

 Every time a big bill came to the floor for a vote, where was our president-usually on vacation in some foreign country basking in the historicity of his presidency, or telling the liberals(the true liberals-not necessarily the card carrying Democrats) that we were going to have to expect to "give a little" to get a little. 

 But wait!  We were in the majority weren't we? The GOP was just a teeny, tiny, teeny-oh forget it.  Why didn't we strip Leiberman of his position in the senate? We could have used leverage like that to push a REAL universal health care bill through congress-one with a single-payer option. But no! By that time apparently Democrats were all about compromises. Then came the '10 mid-term elections and the end of the Republicans being a minority in the House.

And where is Rachel Maddow on this subject-why blaming Republicans for their nasty obstructionism, of course. What about all that thoughtful commentary of her's as to how the tea party was just going to dry up and blow away? Despite all of her political commentators and fellow trend-watchers from David Engel to Melissa Harris-Lacewell and others, how many of her "cautious judgments" have proven any where close to the mark-fewer than not.  She just doesn't want to face the fact that the very president she pushes so hard for-and only spews very controlled vitriol at, when her own pet issues get trampled, has lost all effectiveness as a world leader and is only good at giving speeches and running off to some other country whenever the need for a vacation, or a commemoration of a statue in Kenya are in order.

   I'm so glad Kenya thinks so much of him-too bad the American public sees him as somewhat less than inspirational, but he only has himself to blame for that-not the Republicans for not giving in to him over health-care or the debt ceiling issue or other issues.  Face it the Republicans are just doing exactly what they have always said they were going to do.  Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow need to face that fact, too.

Wow, you feel very strongly about this.  You are passionate in your opinions, that's for sure! I respectfully disagree with your portrayal of the President, Stewart, Maddow, etc etc.   We will just have to wait and see how this all turns out I guess.  Who are you supporting for 2012?  You are one of the 'disaffected' voters, I can certainly tell that much...your statement is about as 'disaffected' as I've ever read.
I can totally agree to disagree.  Not sure about 2012 yet-I know that Obama getting primaried is almost so unlikely as to be impossible-but impossible doesn't mean much of anything anymore-I'm still gonna wait a bit before I decide. 


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