Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whose Infomercial?


the line/the fragment said...

acts 4 :32

the line/the fragment said...

32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

mjaneb said...

what the f is going on here

Anonymous said...

Who's the interviewer and who's the interviewee? That's really quite the segment.

Part of me wants to point out to Fox that there's nothing wrong with having an agenda, just with hiding it. But a larger point realises they'd probably claim I was just saying it as part of some sort of "liberal" conspiracy.

The Diarist said...

is this from the new season of heroes?

that is nikki/jessica having one of her episodes isn't it?

Ferguson said...

My baby cousins called; they want their debating skills back.

jdaviddark said...

mjaneb, "news product" is going on. you'll get it right here on fox.
jystewart, you name the "agenda" bugbear. it's a way of avoiding the challenge of a good argument.
nicely spotted, the diarist. i will now employ nikki/jessica terminology regularly. doing do might serve the ends of exorcism.
andrew, "debatingskillsonloanfrombabies" will accompany thru the day. perhaps we could pass a law where fox has to publish a transcript online whenever their talking heads go simulataneous like that.

Anonymous said...

Wow. So, now a secular national government should replace the role of "believers?" What happened to separation of church and state? Are you advocating for a theocracy that is governed by your interpretation of the Bible? That logic makes about as much sense as Falwell declaring 9/11 was a result of America's tolerance for gays. Thank God America's was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and not some wacko religious sect's ideology. Don't worry though, this little moment of dissent will be a distant memory after "Our Dear Leader's" message tonight. Fox is the only "news" organization NOT in the tank for Obama. What do you care? Fox isn't "fair and balanced"? Have you seen the other cable news outlets? They aren't either. I don't know what scares me more, the Religious Right or the new Religious Left. Yikes. You should read this http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=6099188&page=1

jdaviddark said...

Peace to you (accompanied with the visual of me with hands together in a Buddha bow).

Cameron Conant said...

I was so irritated I couldn't even finish watching this. I think it's why I really like the News Hour on PBS. In all respect to Karen, Fox News, along with most cable television journalism, is hardly news. More like a food fight in the high school lunchroom. When people start yelling in a setting like this, I usually assume that the yeller in question is insecure and has a minimal grasp of the issues. Love your comment David. I too am now backing out of the room with my hands together, doing the Buddha bow. Cleansing breath.


Cameron Conant said...

Karen---forgive me for breezing through your comment. You essentially said what I did, which is that Fox News, at least at its worst, isn't really news, along with many of the other cable outlets. Kudos. I'm taking a reading comprehension class now.

Still bowing, Buddha like--


jdaviddark said...

Cleansing breath.
I thank, Cameron.
Cleansing breath.

Anonymous said...

What all this about Buddha stance? Mr J D Dark, are you not a christian?

jdaviddark said...

for some time now, i've sought to be someone whose behavior and words might somehow be, by the grace of an observer, dimly worthy of either label.
Cleansing breath.

Anonymous said...

So are you an avowed agnostic then? Buddhists do not believe in any sort of Supreme Being!
How about an Absolute Truth? Are you absolutely sure that you cannot hold it? The very moment that one tries to convey there is no absolute truth, he has stopped the argument! Buddha is dead, Mohamed is dead, Confucius is dead, but the One called Jesus Christ (the Second Person of the Trinity) is alive an well and coming soon! Where will you be? Are you going to be in between somewhere (luke warm which is nearing cold) or are you going to be ablaze for Him and ditch mere human thinking. He is called The Word! At the end of time, we will, at last, taste how good He is!

Angela Hart said...

uh, wow. wit. banter. ecumenical fodder. and even a little fire and brimstone. crazazzzzie!

mostly, i'm just so happy that you and cameron are friends now, and that you are both my friends.

and I'm also sort of wondering what your kids are going to be for halloween. i had a fun little hang with dorthy the other day while i was at Chance's rallying the dogs.

oh, and Fox News - c'mon...you are SO NOT Switzerland. as if.

Annabanana said...

I wonder if God was able to make Buddha, Mohamed, Confucius, and the Dalai Lama in His image. What would I have to think about if He could make all men in His image? I wish Mr. Rogers was still around to weigh in on it-I mighty enjoy his speaks.

ps-do you wonder if the interviewer/interviewee had just broken up with each other? what will be the sum of this in the evolution of the American experiment?

Angela Hart said...

anna solved the mystery! it is sexual tension we are all trying to decode. snark is such a sneaky coverup. color ME impressed with anna's acumen.

Unknown said...

david, i think youre on to something. "worthy of either label." but this sound bite has me thinking there may be a better choice of words for the edification of anonymous persons who may not have heard the long version of that idea before. just a thought.

Anonymous said...

We are all agnostic it seems, which is probably why the discussion of the issues will invariably degrade into binary statements - things like "Fox sucks" or "I only watch PBS". None of this matters to any of us. I won't touch the obligatory scripture reference.

You said it David - this is nothing but product. Product designed to leverage your emotions before you can employ thought - and it is working flawlessly.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Loving the dialogue here!

jdaviddark said...

Do please have a go at another one, anonymous. What I'm especially pleased to see is an open-ended question OR a challenging statement that is in no way a conversation-stopper. The language of murder isn't ALWAYS out, but I do reserve the right to delete posts which, it seems to me, are edifying or sustaining of redemptive back-and-forth. I hope I didn't offend.
Mark, are you Detroit Mark?
And nard, could you give me a little more direction? Is there a thing I've said you're thinking of?

jdaviddark said...

oops...meant to say "aren't edifying..."

Anonymous said...

I know you have the right to delete.
Thank you for censoring.

Anonymous said...

Instead of challenging the argument and ideas of the opposition, those who lack knowledge of the issues often resort to personal attacks. How typical. Perhaps one can justify it by claiming a moral superiority. BTW, I believe Ms. Kelly is happily married. Cameron, I appreciate your correction, but I'm afraid PBS is not immune to media bias. Take everything with a grain of salt. If you have the time, a revealing exercise is to listen to/watch a Congressional committee hearing. Then check out the media's coverage of it. Or you might find greater enlightenment by reading your political news. The Washington Post is fairly good. It's troubling that Christians allow themselves to be so manipulated by politics.

jdaviddark said...

Thanks, as ever, to everyone for giving time to my links.
I didn't think Camero was suggesting that PBS is immune to bias. Would you find PBS a little closer to being a form of actual news reporting than FOX or do you think they're preety much the same bias-wise? Personally, I don't think absolute non-bias is possible or even desirable . An do you have particular manipulable Christians in mind?
i don't think of my deletion of a comment as censoring so much as a form of exercising a little discretion concerning the language i allow to sit on a thread (trying to be mindful toward the people who're kind enough to give me and the commment some time). BUT if you feel wronged and you'd like to pursue the matter further, feel free to E me at daviddotdarkatvanderbiltdotedu
a belated word of happy halloween to everybody.

Anonymous said...

Awesome how David posts a video and allows it to speak for himself, and then gets accused of the following:

"What all this about Buddha stance? Mr J D Dark, are you not a christian?"

"Are you going to be in between somewhere (luke warm which is nearing cold) or are you going to be ablaze for Him and ditch mere human thinking."

awesome. Fox news and Obama to questioning salvation.... in under 30 posts. Nice work.

its also fun for me to see someone who is so challenging and sure of their stance and a warrior for God not have the guts to post a name or email...so many posts/wars/accusations have been made under the name anonymous

Anonymous said...

I think that's a difficult call - what news organization is more biased. I think that FOX and PBS are pursuing different agendas, certainly. But what do we truly know as unbiased news? We are usually drawn to what we agree with, anyway. I wouldn't call O'Reilly unbiased, but neither would I Moyers, Matthews or Stephanopoulos (all three worked for powerful Democrats). That's not to say that they are intentionally inaccurate, but they are using facts to promote an agenda - some better than others. That's politics. By manipulation I mean that the Christian Left is employing the same tactics that the Christian Right uses. They are debating political policies based on Christian doctrine. For instance, arguing for Obama's "redistribution" policies based on the passage in Acts. The CR argues against abortion based on the Bible's command not to murder. Neither is effective, because arguments must be made based on a moral consensus. Otherwise, you're arguing for stronger religious influence on secular gov't, and I think the framers intentionally crafted our form of gov't to avoid such undo influence. Liz sent me a rebuttal by Brian McLaren of Dobson's criticism of Obama. In it he called for more rhetorical accountability from the Right...http://blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2008/06/a-call-for-evangelical-rhetori.html. I think #6 sums it up- "(Obama) suggested that appealing to religious authority will not win the day in a democracy where all do not share their version of religion". But the Christian Left should be held to the same accountability. That's why people are wary of Obama's policies. Not because they're selfish or greedy, but they want to now the how and the why, not soaring rhetoric or righteous indignation. No one is arguing against the need for social justice, but how it will be employed. Is the fed. gov't really the most effective conduit?

Unknown said...

one thing i will say for pbs compared to the 24/7 news channels is that the bias in favor of theatrics and conflict is decidedly absent. there is certainly no shortage of left-leaning guests on moyers, but whoever shows up is usually pretty likely to say their peace without excessive interruptions. civilized discourse, whatever the 'agenda' (that word bothers me a bit), is preferable to fox and cnn's shout-off's.

karen, i think perhaps the purpose the acts passage may serve isn't so much to suggest that redistributive justice is the job of the government (though i think there's old testament precedent for that), but to debunk a prevailing argument that obama's tax plans = socialism = a threat to christianity and the american way of life. there's alot of unreasonable fear-mongering based on the mistaken belief that pure capitalism somehow has a biblical stamp of approval. i think there's room for discussion, but the terms on which so many evangelicals reject obama's ideas are to some degree radically unscriptural.

and david, perhaps sometime you might merely elaborate on your buddha bow comment. what sort of conversation would you see buddha and jesus having about some of the above? where would they agree? where would they differ?

glad there's so much good talk to be had.

Anonymous said...

Nard, could you direct me to those who claim that Obama's policies are a threat to Christianity and the American way of life? Pure capitalism? Who's advocating for that? We don't have a true free market economy and certainly won't for the foreseeable future. As for redistributive justice, the gov't has responsibilities to assist the most vulnerable of citizens. At the very least, its essential to a functioning society. I haven't heard anyone arguing against that. That's why we have programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIPS and Welfare. That's why we public schools. I can't speak for those who oppose Obama, but what concerns me is his ambiguous proposals that involve tremendous increases in spending and gov't expansion, when the accounting to pay for them doesn't add up. Like, what exactly is the Civilian National Security Force about? Gov't stewardship of the above social programs, particularly Medicare and Social Security, has proven to be woefully lacking. The gov't has little incentive to be efficient or responsible with taxpayers money. What argument has Obama made that will change that, besides calling for change? I think the concern is that a larger central gov't is more prone to corruption and waste. Power corrupts. I think history has proven that gov'ts that have adopted large-scale socialist/communist policies often fail not necessarily because of ideology, but because of corruption. A look at the number of elected officials currently serving time in fed. prison can attest to the corruptive enticements of money and power. Why is it unscriptural to prefer to use your personal income to help those in need, than give it to the gov't to use at their discretion?

Anonymous said...

Here I go, rambling.

There is certainly more in the new testament that would indicate that Jesus was a liberal, if any a political label could be placed on Him. The Wealthy, as well as the poor, need Jesus. But I don't recall anything in the New Testament akin to "blessed are the wealthy."

Some take offense at the idea of Government taking their money and giving it to someone else. They say that they should be free to be generous (give to charities) in their own way. But history has shown, time and again, that people, on their own, are not very generous, and do not give to charities to the extent that charity is needed. Even under the current redistribution of wealth via taxes, the poor do not have their needs met. And people are suffering for it, even in this, the wealthiest of all nations.

Our constitution declares, among other things, its purpose is to "promote the general welfare." Funny, but the intention has been changed to "responsibilities to assist the most vulnerable of citizens." And that new wording becomes a convenient loophole. Whenever some has a need, we look to see if someone else is worse off than they are, (and there's always someone worse off) and thus are able to decline to respond to the initial stated need.

There are people in need in our country, and the general population is not responding to help those in need. But there is more than enough wealth in our country to take care of these needs.

The cost of one month in Iraq could house and feed, and rehab every single homeless person in the U.S. for a full year. Just imagine what the cost of 3 months in Iraq would do to improve our public schools?

A few years ago, I worked at a family owned store with about 10 employees. The children of that family attended the most expensive private school in the city. Needless to say, the business was doing well. But one of the employees was having a hard time just paying his basic bills - he was under threat of having his electricity turned off. He asked our employer for a very modest raise - 25 cents more per hour. The owner told him that they could not afford to give him that raise. Just a week later the employer pulled up to the front of the store in a brand new Escalade, which they just purchased. If you don't know, Escalades are very expensive and costly to operate vehicles.

This is the current mentality of the "haves" towards the "have nots." And this is something that really needs to change if our country to going to get out of the hole we find ourselves in.

God calls us to be more generous. There is an obvious need for people to be more generous than they currently are. Why is it so hard for people to share the blessing God has bestowed upon them?

Anonymous said...

Check this out!


A bit over the top, isn't it?

The only One who is called

'The Alpha and Omega'

is none other than

Jesus Christ Himself
(you know the Second Person of the Trinity who is God)

Anonymous said...

You ask, perhaps rhetorically, if the Fed govt is the most effective administer of social justice. You go on later to say that the fed govt. has a responsibility to the most vulnerable citizens, and that its fulfillment is essential to a functioning society. Do you think the govt. should learn how to better administer social insurance, or that the govt. is not suited for this role? I think this presents a problem insofar as our expectations of a politician are concerned.

Anonymous said...

Mark - I believe that the federal gov't should more efficiently administer social insurance, but citizens should also take personal responsibility in advocating for social justice - and not just by paying higher taxes. What's troubling is a perception that the fed. gov't will solve our problems if we give it more power and money. It will take care of us. We won't have to worry about our mortgage payments or filling up the gas tank as one Obama supporter believed. I don't think it serves anyone well when we choose to relinquish our power and responsibility to our gov't, especially if we have competing interests.

For instance, what is the most effective way to provide quality healthcare to every American? The American healthcare system is deeply flawed. Hospitals treat the uninsured and make up costs by charging Medicare and private insurance with unnecessary procedures. We have too few healthcare professionals, particularly general practice docs, but too many hospitals. We need to close some hospitals. An article out today says that Obama's plan will be a financial boon to hospitals. So, is this good idea to keep hospitals open that really need to close? 45 cents of every dollar spent on healthcare is paid by the fed govt. They need to step up and demand more transparency from docs and hospitals. But how will they do that? Is that in O's plan? Insurance companies hold tremendous sway in Congress through powerful lobbyists and generous contributions to campaigns. How will that industry benefit from greater gov't control? Will the interests of citizens be compromised for their interests? People are uninsured and underinsured. Millions are eligible for publicly sponsored programs, but not signed up. Whose fault is that? The insurance companies offer crappy coverage trying to maintain the bottom line. They are accountable to their stockholders to make money. How will O's plan demand better coverage? How will a new healthcare program be funded? Currently Medicare is being funded by the payroll tax. Obama's reforms will cost $50-65 billion (according to his website), but Moody's estimates that the annual cost of O's plan could be on the order of $100 billion to $200 billion, inclusive of participant contributions, on top of current annual government spending of about $800 billion. Medicare is going broke as it is. So, does that mean an increase in payroll tax? I don't know the most effective healthcare program proposal. I personally like the Massachusetts plan under Gov. Romney, but it has mandatory purchase of insurance. As I've stated before, I believe the government has a role in caring for its citizens, particularly those most in need, but I don't believe this gives our elected officials a blank check.

Anonymous said...

Karen, I agree with you that we should be advocates for social justice - we must be agents! I also think that a properly functioning, representative govt. could fill a small role in this as well. I think the current state of our "system" misleads logical thinking however, and this tends to stifle any meaningful progress.

The health care example is a good one. We look for solutions to the problems evident in our current state of affairs which, good or bad, only address flaws in a flawed system. I think that our health care system, whether we could all pay or not, would still have us all on pills trying to prevent afflictions of which we have no practical understanding whatsoever. If "they" announced free health care this afternoon, our thinkers would all be discussing how to deal with the lines that are sure to ensue in the waiting rooms. Nevertheless we still don't know what gravity is. What if we targeted the things we do know (i.e. high fructose corn syrup is poison), concentrated on preventative medicine (i.e. calories in > calories out = excess), and mandate personal responsibility (have someone other than a quintessential baby boomer rewrite pharmaceutical business models)? We are the best at the things we know. The govt. could enable the availability of such a program, and the professionals could administer it. This seems like people helping people to me...

It is my opinion that most govt. intervention in social policy ends up as a sort of outsourcing of our personal values - what we value. When things like taking care of the fatherless and widow (which ironically [I think] was part of what compelled FDR in the new deal) become the responsibility of the govt., we become disconnected with the issue and consequently require less urgency in any resolution. The need for us to care is diminished because the affect is dealt by someone(thing) else – “they”. It really seems no different to me than a govt. sponsored street sweep, or road commission. When was the last time you saw a citizen mixing a bag of concrete to fix a crack in the interstate - a crack that perhaps broke a tire for which one would otherwise have sued? Sued who?

We need to think about this I think. Feeling bad watching a bum choke on a corndog taken from a dumpster is NOT social justice. Buying a bum a beverage to wash it down with is NOT social justice - is not even the beginning of social justice. We talk about plans for this and funds for that, but none of this or that require our effort, and certainly are not intended to be any of our responsibility. We don’t, as individuals, take others to task on their consideration of the least of these, so why do we expect a disconnected govt. to level justice? Yet given the right presentation we all will take some solace in the idea that organizations do exist for people like the bum. Is this analogous to a president or govt. that will care for a country full of problems?

There is no "they" to take care of the things we value. There is no “they” at all actually, which is my point: we must not allow ourselves the thought that a Barack Obama govt. can make things better for any of us. No more than a McCain govt. or any other perception of “they” for that matter. We need to honestly consider if we actually value social justice, or planning for social justice. Maybe then we would realize that govt. doesn’t have much to do with it.