Religulous – Bill Maher

August 20, 2008 at 11:00 pm 102 comments

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Hearing the Voice of God Success without my emotional crutch (aka God)

102 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Quester  |  August 21, 2008 at 12:48 am

    I can’t say I have any interest in watching this one, unless I could see it for free somewhere.

  • 2. The Apostate  |  August 21, 2008 at 12:51 am

    You know, I think I’m not going to care too much for this movie. I heard about this awhile back and first saw this preview last week. Like another film I have not yet seen, Expelled, I feel that these types of movies are sensationalist straw men. I had my hunch more or less confirmed by my evangelical mother, who is a staunch six-day creationist, who saw a pre-screening of Expelled and felt it was disrespectful and shameful (mostly because the way it was done was not Christ-like rather than for any reason I probably would have come up with).

    Here with Religulous, on the other side, appears to be the same thing. Maybe I am jumping to conclusions and I really should wait until I see it, but I just have the feeling that this is going to show religious people to be a bunch of nutcases – sure, many are, but many are not. Even in that trailer you see him not giving the people a chance to defend themselves and clips of enthusiastic extremists (as well as some downright stupid rednecks). I suppose a film that has Maher debating with Archbishop Rowan or professors Ken Miller, Rich Bauckham, or heck, even Craig would probably not get as many viewers.

  • 3. Yobaba  |  August 21, 2008 at 2:09 am

    Riligulous.

    Bill Maher always did have a way with words.

    Tempting to want to see this, isn’t it? Tempting to ignore it, too.

    “Zealots”, by definition, are “enthusiastic extremists”; to expect them to act civilized is expecting too much – no matter which side of the fence they are shouting from.

    There are just too many aggravations in everyday, real life to compound the stress by watching this flick, even if it is from Bill Maher. If I want to listen to fanatics, all I have to do is write a letter to one of my maternal relatives stating that this country was not founded on christianity.

    BTW, “Religious people” and “nutcases” are mutually inclusive. The degree of religiosity is not important: whoever stakes their life on a myth is not thinking clearly.

  • 4. ordover  |  August 21, 2008 at 2:33 am

    I don’t know how I feel about this…or many of the projects of atheists.

    I understand how categorizing religious people as delusional and ridiculous gets us nothing but bad press and bad feelings…but then again, is there anything that we could do that wouldn’t also be received negatively?

    Dawkins is a good example of this. For every “hostile” thing he has done, he’s done several more mild things. He wrote one book that could be called hostile (although I have to admit, I think it’s largely mischaracterized as such), but he also has several other books that don’t take that sort of tone. He made the “Root of all Evil?” documentary, which he gets flack for, but then he’s also made several others, including his latest “The Genius of Charles Darwin” series which can only be described as gentle.

    It seems that if an atheist takes a firm stance, he is automatically labeled militant. I guess the religious would prefer if we were a bit more wishy-washy…?

    I obviously agree with Dawkins et al. that religion could be criticized. And let’s face it no matter what form that criticism takes, it’s going to upset millions of people.

  • 5. Mike aka MonolithTMA  |  August 21, 2008 at 6:59 am

    I’m curious about the film, but will not be rushing out to see it. I’m not one for attacking religion, unless it is a counter attack. One could make the argument that this film is a counter attack, but as several have pointed out, many religious folks are not extremists.

  • 6. strawdog  |  August 21, 2008 at 7:14 am

    I am so looking forward to this!!! :)

  • 7. Ubi Dubium  |  August 21, 2008 at 10:08 am

    I might go see this. If they had let Michael Moore at this, he’d take it way too seriously, but Bill Maher might be the right one to let people see how funny religious fanatics are. I know the fundies will get their panties in a twist over it, but they are offended by the very existence of non-believers, so I am not worried about them.

    I am hoping that they make the point that religious moderates are too willing to give the nutcases a free pass because they share “faith”. The best way to rein in the extremists is for the moderates to do it themselves.

  • 8. The Apostate  |  August 21, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Yobaba,

    BTW, “Religious people” and “nutcases” are mutually inclusive. The degree of religiosity is not important: whoever stakes their life on a myth is not thinking clearly.

    Just like “atheists” and “assholes” are synonymous?

  • 9. Ubi Dubius  |  August 21, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    No, The Apostate. Not like that at all.

  • 10. Quester  |  August 21, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    How, then, Dubius? Most of us are decons here. Anyone feel they used to be a nutcase, but now are sane? I don’t.

  • 11. Ubi Dubium  |  August 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I think he’s taking exception to the atheists=assholes part of the comment.

  • 12. Quester  |  August 21, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Well, if atheists are the latter only to the extent that theists are the former, and theists are rarely the former at all… what’s the problem?

  • 13. SocietyVs  |  August 21, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    I think it looks like good fun this film – and as someone that is a self professing Christian – I want to see it. Maybe Maher will shed some light into the ignorance of some people in this faith and the need for people that want to be defined as ‘religious’ to actually question their own intelligence on the subject they claim to know well.

    I guess I hope it pushes religious people to think more and question their faith and why they believe what they believe. I see some hope for what Maher is doing.

  • 14. zooch  |  August 21, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    After spending 20 years in the former Soviet Union I find that there are so many “Christians” who do not really believe what they say they believe, and then there is Maher and many atheists who do this for a living and you can see, if you watch them, their body language, and their eyes, who do not believe what they say they do not believe “the world is a stage………..” And, money drives the machine.

    Of course, Maher does not only pick on Christians but also Muslims, Buddhists and any other people of faith, even those tribal people who believe in ancestors

  • 15. tana  |  August 21, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    This film interests me. I don’t appreciate the attitude he takes. I’m perfectly fine with people questioning, challenging, or outright rejecting the Christian faith or any faith. I’m not okay when it’s done in a disrespectful manner. A really great comic is one who can make people laugh, even laugh at themselves without malice. An even better comic is one who can do this and make people think about what they believe and question it later after the laughter has died down.

    Bill Mahre might do that in this film, but from what I can through these two video clips, he’s making fun of people and their beliefs. I hope that’s not the case throughout the whole film. This should be interesting.

  • 16. The Apostate  |  August 21, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Ubi, since I have made it quite clear on many discussions on this site that I have much more in common with atheists than any sort of theist – withholding the label based purely on philosophical grounds – don’t you think I was objecting to the comment with my blatantly facetious remark? I think saying all theists are nutcases is basically the same as saying all atheists are asshole – it is comically fallacious, observably erroneous, and grossly condescending and counter-constructive.

    My ability to think critically, my intelligence level, and my sanity have not changed since I de-converted. Why then should I agree to consider people who still hold my old paradigm to be “nutcases” (defined by the OED as a crazy or foolish person). I know many Christians and other religious people who are very rational, sensible, and wise persons. If anyone believes as the apparently narrow-minded Yobaba does, then they are living in a world apart from the reality that people can rationally believe in a myth of some sort. I could probably find many rational people who actually believe in the so-called American myths of “democracy” and “freedom” – not only could I consider those people delusional for believing such national myths based on the same criteria that one uses to carelessly dismiss all religiousities I could do it much more convincingly than most Christian apologies.

  • 17. Margaret  |  August 22, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Finally a voice of reason! I have always admired Bill Maher’s intelligence so I know this movie will expose religion and the small, mindless cretans who follow it for what they are……afraid to face the world, afraid to make decisons for themselves and hidden behind hatred of anything they don’t understand. I hope the pendulum swings so far back soon that these brainless, god and gun totting, jesus-juice drinking morons will shut up for a while and quit trying to run the world.

  • 18. kjelllee  |  August 22, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    a young boy home on his first vacation from college informs his father that what can’t be observed and investigated cannot exist,
    In other words if you cannot see it, it does not exist. Your common sense will tell you that. His father asked his son if had ever seen his common sense and his son had to admit that he had not. So the father said: “So you are then saying that you not have any common sense?”

    Kjell Lee

  • 19. Obi  |  August 22, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    HURR HURR SO CLEVER HURR HURR

    Anyway, it’s (un)fortunate, but my tolerance for horrendously stupid, but assumedly “clever” (in the mind of the person telling them, of course) stories is currently at rock-bottom, AKA zero. Not only that, but tell a neuroscientist that the electrical brainstorms that occur during the use of “common sense” as well as the neurons that are involved cannot be directly observed and he might want to observe what’s in your brain that causes you to be so silly.

  • 20. ordover  |  August 22, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Is it worth pointing out everything wrong with comment 18, or is that feeding the trolls? I need more self-control!

  • 21. ordover  |  August 22, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Anyway, it’s (un)fortunate, but my tolerance for horrendously stupid, but assumedly “clever” (in the mind of the person telling them, of course) stories is currently at rock-bottom, AKA zero.

    Me too dude. I think I’m one illogical comment away from chucking my computer out the window.

  • 22. The Apostate  |  August 22, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    kjelllee,

    a young boy home on his first vacation from college informs his father that what can’t be observed and investigated cannot exist

    That young boy is an idiot and certainly didn’t learn that garbage at university. Most likely he is a disillusioned Bible college student pissed off at the incompetence of his instructors and the shallow morality of his peers.

    I have another story:
    A young boy comes home from a brainwashing summer camp, and says “Hark! I believe in something because I was told it is true!”
    The boy’s mother replies, “Why do you believe that it is true?”
    “Because I was told it is true by my camp leader,” the son says.
    “Whelp, that’s good enough for me – sign me up!”

  • 23. SnugglyBuffalo  |  August 23, 2008 at 1:24 am

    His father asked his son if had ever seen his common sense. . .

    As if sight was the only method we have for observing anything…

  • 24. kjelllee  |  August 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    To establish a scientific fact these two rules must be followed:

    1. It must be observable.
    2, It must be repeatable.

  • 25. LeoPardus  |  August 23, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    kjelllee:

    Slight point of order. In your #2 the proper term you want to use is not “repeatable” but “verifiable”.

    That clarified, what was your point in posting that?

    A note before you get too far in: There are at least 4 educated, trained, practicing scientists around here. Since you have NO scientific background at all, you’d be well advised to ask questions and learn rather than try to tell us stuff and be shown up as ignorant.

  • 26. kjelllee  |  August 23, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    LeoPardus

    You do not have a clue what kind and how much education I have. So who is the ignorant one?

  • 27. LeoPardus  |  August 23, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    kjelllee:

    I had you figured for an arrogant ass. In other words a typical Christian fundamentalist of the sort who demonstrates that there is no Holy Spirit working in them to make them “Christlike” (e.g. humble, teachable, slow to anger, not quarrelsome, etc).

    I guess I hadn’t figured you to assert what you just did though.

    Try this:
    Burnley School of Professional Art
    15 years as a fashion artist
    Lutheran Brethren Theological Seminary in Fergus Falls

    So I “do not have a clue” eh?

  • 28. kjelllee  |  August 23, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    LeoPardus

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Science is a wonderful gift and man’s opportunity to discern principles and laws in our universe. There are sound scientific procedures to be followed:
    1. Observable
    2. Repeatable
    3. Measurable, then follows verification.

    A discovery of facts by observations and experiments to develop theories that can be tested (verified) and used. It is, however, subject to revision regularly. It always has its limits.

    thank you. Kjell
    .

  • 29. Obi  |  August 23, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    The limits of science are the limits of human knowledge.

  • 30. The Apostate  |  August 24, 2008 at 3:27 am

    kjelllee,

    It is, however, subject to revision regularly. It always has its limits.

    Human knowledge has always, in every circumstance, been subject to regular revisions. Can you name a sort of knowledge which has not needed to be constantly revisited? Isn’t this admission of constant revision the beauty of science? Critiquing science is sort of like tackling the issue of democracy – sure it isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we got. What are we going to do – depend on the unchanging revelation of Ra/Zeus/Helios/Yahweh/Mithras/Jesus?

  • 31. mamablue  |  October 3, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Loved the film! Glad to know that I wasn’t the only kid in the church pew looking around thinking “Am I the only one here not buying this crap?”
    Thanks so much Bill Mahar!
    Open your eyes people, because you know, you may see the stars but you can’t always see the light.

  • 32. john t.  |  October 4, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Just saw the film last night with my wife…………5 out of 10..not so good. Mind you Im always amazed at how people will let themselves get filmed saying some pretty stupid sheit. There is the odd really good laugh though ;)

  • 33. mamablue  |  October 5, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    So right john t.!
    One of my faves was the U.S. Senator saying “You don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the senate”,…then the stunned look on his face,…oops, did I just say that? LOL!
    I was impressed with Bill’s knowlege on the subject of religion, seeing as he’s such a skeptic. Must have done a ton of research for the film, thus being quick to refute many of the ridiculous claims the so called experts were trying to pass as truth.

  • 34. Marie  |  October 5, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    I liked the movie! I was initially disappointed, because I wanted it to be a more scathing de-construction of the religions on their foundational tenets, and I wanted more substance. But then I realized that Maher’s message was that religious myths falsely instruct individuals, which then influences our greater society. So his criticism was not necessarily directed at the religions themselves, but rather the fact that so many people are influenced by them , and in turn influence the world that the rest of us have to live in. I think he served that point pretty well.

    I just think it’s great that a film with this subject matter was allowed to be released in so many theaters. I had to travel only 3 miles to see it and the theater was packed!

  • 35. Marie  |  October 5, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I am curious about the reactions of Christians who saw this film. it obviously does not leave room open for “progressive” or “non-fundamental” Christians, he citicizes all religious people. So I have a feeling a lot of people were probably offended who thought they were tough enough to stick it out.

  • 36. Erudite Redneck  |  October 5, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Re, “does not leave room open”

    So then, he is his own kind of fundamentist?

    (Rolling eyes).

  • 37. orDover  |  October 5, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    I’ve been reading a few reviews from Christians and they all seem to say the same thing, that Maher targets those on the fringe–ridiculous strawmen that don’t accurately represent the average religious person. I haven’t seen the film so I can’t say whether he does or not, but this is a frequent tactic used by Christians all the time. I remember my mom lamenting the face that someone like Ted Haggard was getting so much media attention because he was not representative of the average Christian, but rather a ridiculous negative stereotype who “gave Christianity a bad name.” At the time I agreed with her, since I was a Christian too. It’s only in looking back, and seeing Haggard talk before his “sins” were made public that I realized his views were in exact accordance with my mom’s. So basically any time a Christian, or group of Christians, comes under critical scrutiny and begins to look ridiculous, all Christians are swift to denounce them as “not real Christians” or not an accurate representation of Christians, despite the fact that they are.

  • 38. LeoPardus  |  October 6, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I did just look at the list of who Maher interviewed.

    The Catholic priests look pretty normal and respectable.

    The Jew is a rather vehement anti-zionist.

    Ken Ham and Mark Pryor would probably be considered fairly normal for most Christian fundy’s.

    Jeremiah Cummings and José Luis de Jesús Miranda are both flaming nut jobs on almost any spectrum.

    Aki Nawaz is unknown to me. Googling him, he seems like a fairly strong Muslim fundy.

    Overall I’d say it looks like Maher did select mostly ridiculous, fringe, straw men.

    I gather that he did talk with a fairly broad cross-section of lay people though.

  • 39. john t.  |  October 6, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    “Overall I’d say it looks like Maher did select mostly ridiculous, fringe, straw men”(Leo)

    I personally think his intent was to make a rather pointed and funny film about religious fundys. Not much dialogue from middle of the road people. Hey this is how he makes a living, and by the looks of the theater I was in, business is booming. ;)

  • 40. Cooper  |  October 7, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I haven’t seen the movie yet. I think Bill Maher is very funny on his TV show though. But what I find even funnier in a way, is that Maher has radical views himself regarding animal rights—-is a PETA member, and has gone off on tirades on his own show that make him sound “nutty”. His guests rarely if ever agree with him when he “goes off” in that direction. He also takes the same tack with religion–guests often looking at him like HE is the real nut for having such strong anti-religious views. So, it will be interesting to see the movie. :)

  • 41. Betty r. thenu  |  October 7, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Cooper,

    What are you doing watching Bill Maher?

    Eph. 5:4 “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. ”
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

    Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

    Eph. 5 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.”

    His humor is very offensive!

  • 42. Ubi Dubium  |  October 7, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Betty r. thenu :
    If your god is real, if your religion is correct, if your belief is truly sincere, then how can simply hearing opposing viewpoints possibly harm you? If merely watching a movie that does not take your faith seriously can damage you, then that doesn’t sound like a very robust kind of faith! An all-powerful god would not need you to chase people out of theaters for him.

    Let Cooper watch what he wants, and leave him alone about it.

  • 43. john t.  |  October 7, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Ubi Dubium

    If you really want her to butt out, just tell her to f… o.. and that would be that, at least by her standard ;)

  • 44. Cooper  |  October 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Betty r–

    “Life of Brian” is offensive too, but I think the movie is absolutely
    hilarious. I understand what you are saying about thinking about good things and honourable things, but even “G-rated” movies have “foolish talking” and “crude jesting”. The only way to avoid that would be to lock myself up in a monastery somewhere.

    I love the three verses you posted, but you need to remember such verses as “do all things in moderation” and “I have become all things to all men” (this does not infer one becomes lacivious because other men are lacivious–but it infers that we cannot avoid the world—because we live in it). I don’t have to agree with Bill Maher, and I can always change the channel—–but sometimes I think the guy is hilarious—even if I don’t agree with him.

  • 45. Ubi Dubium  |  October 7, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    john t.

    If you really want her to butt out, just tell her to f… o.. and that would be that, at least by her standard

    Sorry – I’m a mom. I don’t use language like that, even online. (Unless it’s really warranted. Since people almost never hear me curse, on the rare occasions when I do, I really grab their attention! Internet trolls never warrant it.) :)

  • 46. Betty r. thenu  |  October 7, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Cooper,

    That’s what we call “justifying” our sinful actions. I think choosing to watch course and crude shows is very different then being exposed to them accidently. I think you need to reconsider the holiness of God and practice a little old fashion “separation” from this world. You say you can change the channel, but isn’t that usually after the offense has aired? Choosing to watch the “Life of Brian” which uses God’s name in vien and mocks Him is reprehensible. How can you justify such behavior? Is someone forcing you to watch things that violate Gods word? I am surprised how easily you can make God’s word optional after reading your many defenses of the faith.

  • 47. john t.  |  October 7, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Ubi Dubium

    You sound like my Mom. The worst I would hear her say is Jesus, mary and Joseph. Id be like, what kind of cursing is that lol ;)

  • 48. The Apostate  |  October 7, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Betty r.,

    That’s what we call “justifying” our sinful actions…

    uh huh – Just wondering, how many times have you allowed your second cheek to be slapped after the first, or how many times have you given your “second robe” to those who have none? Give me a break. Extreme Biblical literalists allow the Bible to collapse all over themselves – usually focusing on the “sins” of others while ignoring their own… planks. Tell me, do you make sure that you never override your husband? Do you plug your ears when a women gives spiritual advice? Have you stoned anyone recently for not keeping the law? Oh wait, we don’t need to keep the law anymore, right? Then doesn’t that make your comment useless?
    Hmmm….
    Down the rabbit hole we go…

  • 49. betty r. thenu  |  October 7, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Apostate,

    exactly!

  • 50. Cooper  |  October 7, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Cooper,

    That’s what we call “justifying” our sinful actions. I think choosing to watch course and crude shows is very different then being exposed to them accidently. I think you need to reconsider the holiness of God and practice a little old fashion “separation” from this world. You say you can change the channel, but isn’t that usually after the offense has aired? Choosing to watch the “Life of Brian” which uses God’s name in vien and mocks Him is reprehensible. How can you justify such behavior? Is someone forcing you to watch things that violate Gods word? I am surprised how easily you can make God’s word optional after reading your many defenses of the faith.

    Several years ago I was part of a very “legalistic” church. In an effort to “separate” themselves from the world they watched no television, very few movies, did not play cards or dance, limited make-up and jewelry, did not celebrate Christmas or Easter, and had many meetings several days during the week. The result of these actions was that we all became Pharisees. We were far less “worldly” on the outside, but inside we became proud finger-pointers, calling other Christian churches less dedicated, and ourselves “elite” in that we thought that we were pleasing God.

    Remember the Pharisees in the Bible? They whispered to themselves about Jesus, and asked how he could eat with publicans and sinners? In their attempt to he “holy” they had become judgmental and critical, and legal to a point concerning God’s word that they thought it was blasphemous that Jesus would heal on the Sabbath. They were holy on the outside, but “full of dead men’s bones” as “whitened sepulchres” on the inside said Jesus.

    We need to be very careful about this. If we see another Christian drinking wine or beer do we immediately judge them? If we see a Christian watching a movie that for us is “offensive” do we judge

    them to be sinning for watching the movie? I have lived through that and found that those type of people are actually far more sinful (though their sin is one of great pride) than a Christian who uses HIS OWN judgment regarding what he wants to view or listen to.

    You see, you have read several of my posts (at least it appears so from your short statement regarding my “many defenses of the faith”), but now, because I say I watch Bill Maher occasionally, and think the “Life of Brian” is hysterical you are judging me as a “worldly Christian”—or at least it would appear to be the case. But you do not know my heart. God does. I am not trying to “justify my behavior”—I just realize that there are many things in the world and I cannot attempt to shield myself from all of them just because their might be something “offensive” in them. Watching “Saturday Night Live” one will always be exposed to some raunchy humor, but much of it is also very funny. Do I AVOID the whole show because I MIGHT hear something irreverent?

    I will just say this. I am a Christian and seek to serve and please Jesus Christ. But I don’t see him standing invisibly next to me with a notepad, writing down every “questionable” or “irrereverent” action that I take. There are times when I do change the channel on my own because something is just plain disgusting, or way off balance. But much of the time I realize that the world is the world and I live in it–it doesn’t have to be a challenge to my faith. Because Bill Maher questions my faith, or even makes a raunchy joke associated with it doesn’t sway me–I still believe just as strongly. Many of the things his guests say are quite interesting and enlightening—-Bill himself CAN get off-color—but I let it roll off my back like water, and absorb the good stuff I am watching. I don’t think it makes me a “compromised Christian” in any way—– on the contrary, just a more informed one.

    betty r.—-

    There’s also the possibility that you are being dishonest, and “pretending” to be a concerned Christian just to make some moral point. if so, good job! :)

  • 51. Cooper  |  October 7, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    The second paragraph should have started with an address to betty. The first paragraph is her comment—-the second begins my response.

  • 52. betty r. thenu  |  October 7, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Good call Cooper,

    Maybe your smarter then most think. I was trying to make a point. You only adhere to the bible when it suits you. Clearly, filling your mind with things that blaspheme God is biblically wrong, but you do it anyway because its fun. How strong is your commitment to God and His word if you will forsake him for your own pleasure and so easily justify it? Remember Coop, its not “is it offensive to Cooper” its “is it offensive to God”.

  • 53. LeoPardus  |  October 7, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    betty r. thenu …… better than you

    Uh huh. OK. I think I get it.

  • 54. Cooper  |  October 7, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Clearly, filling your mind with things that blaspheme God is biblically wrong, but you do it anyway because its fun. How strong is your commitment to God and His word if you will forsake him for your own pleasure and so easily justify it? Remember Coop, its not “is it offensive to Cooper” its “is it offensive to God”.

    LeoPardus—

    I just think you were “playing” a Pharisee. I don’t “do it because it’s fun”—-I just realize that in the world it is necessary to “filter” information. Most billboards, TV advertisements, Movie trailers, songs, etc. all have something one could say is “offensive” to God. The world’s ways are offensive God. But he realizes that. We cannot completely remove ourselves from the world, or we would have to live in monasteries.

    I don’t “forsake Him for my own pleasure” (I admit I am a sinner though—and that’s exactly what one does when they sin. So, of course, that can happen). I live in the world, and “filter” what I can—what is bad I cast away, and what is good I keep.

    Good job at playing a Pharisaical, judgmental, Christian though– you are judging Christians based on the judgment of LeoPardus, rather than on the judgment of God.

  • 55. Cooper  |  October 7, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    What I mean is you sounded like a purse carrying, bee-hived adorned “moral” woman on a crusade. :) :)

  • 56. betty r. thenu  |  October 7, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Cooper,

    It wasn’t Leopardus.

    But is that seriously a good answer? You know Bill Maher hates God and religion, yet you continue to watch him. You know the Life of Brian is blasphamous yet you continue to suggest its a movie that is ok to watch. Is the excuse that your a sinner really a good excuse? You are no longer a slave to sin, why do you assume that you have to live in sin?
    Seriously, don’t you think there has to be some separation from the world. Do you think Jesus or Paul would say, “Okay, lets take a break from this bible stuff and catch some Bill Maher, after all we are still in the world”? Is suggesting that you have some biblical standards really the same as saying you have to live in monastery? Come on, what up with that?

  • 57. Cooper  |  October 7, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Cooper,

    It wasn’t Leopardus.

    But is that seriously a good answer? You know Bill Maher hates God and religion, yet you continue to watch him. You know the Life of Brian is blasphamous yet you continue to suggest its a movie that is ok to watch. Is the excuse that your a sinner really a good excuse? You are no longer a slave to sin, why do you assume that you have to live in sin?
    Seriously, don’t you think there has to be some separation from the world. Do you think Jesus or Paul would say, “Okay, lets take a break from this bible stuff and catch some Bill Maher, after all we are still in the world”? Is suggesting that you have some biblical standards really the same as saying you have to live in monastery? Come on, what up with that?

    Actually, it appears you are making a drive-by in the opposite direction. People are often called “trolls”

    here for coming in and attacking de-cons, or questioning their moral character etc. You seem to be trying to ‘set me up’ somehow here, and doing the same but from the opposite direction. If not, cool, but you are kind of coming out of nowhere here.

    All I can tell you is this. I live in the world. If I want to avoid all that is “offensive” to God then I would need to avoid television, or at least change the channel any time there is a hint of offensiveness. Paul may not have watched Bill Maher, but what if he was a fan of sports? There are many things that are “worldly”—the question is do you love the world? Do you love the world more than you love God? I don’t go around watching “Life of Brian” on a daily basis—and I really do not recommend it to Christians—I find parts of it offensive, but there are also some very hilarious parts to the movie also. I am just saying that I saw it, “filtered” it, and have come away with some very funny memories from the movie. I also love “The Meaning of Life” also—I just enjoy that type of humor.

    If I begin closing every door just because something ‘offensive to God’ might be there I would literlly wind up in a monastery. Why do you think there are monasteries? Because they were trying to be Christians according to the standards you are giving. So, they shut themselves off from the world. But

    they are making a huge mistake. One isn’t “holy” just because they avoid things outwardly—-one is “holy” by their motivation inwardly. The Pharisees “appeared” to be quite holy to people, as they “avoided” the world, and adhered to THEIR strict interpretation of the Law. But Jesus said that they were inwardly evil and filled with pride.

    In 1 Corinthians it talks about Christian liberty and says that what may not be offensive to you may be offensive to your brother, so don’t stumble him. One may drink wine and be fine with it, yet another brother may see any drinking as a “sin”. So, when around that brother, just don’t drink so he won’t be stumbled by it. I won’t watch Bill Maher if someone with me really feels it is offensive to them—no problem—-I don’t “love” his show—I just tune in from time to time for a good laugh. But if it’s just me, I am able to filter out what is offensive, and retain what I think is intelligent and meaningful.

    If you don’t accept this explanation, that’s alright. Think whatever you want, and judge however you want to. In the end I really only have one judge anyway.

    Hmmm… Let’s see—not LeoPardus huh? Could it be BigHouse? :) :)

  • 58. orDover  |  October 7, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    But what I find even funnier in a way, is that Maher has radical views himself regarding animal rights—-is a PETA member, and has gone off on tirades on his own show that make him sound “nutty”. His guests rarely if ever agree with him when he “goes off” in that direction. He also takes the same tack with religion–guests often looking at him like HE is the real nut for having such strong anti-religious views. So, it will be interesting to see the movie.

    I tend to not get very excited about Bill Maher because, although he chastises religious people for a lack of rational, critical thinking, he himself fails to think critically about many things. Aside from “nutty” devotion to PETA, he believes that milk is poisonous and is against vaccination and pharmaceuticals. He’s given to conspiracy theory thinking and is thoroughly convinced that our bodies have the power to heal themselves and pharmaceutical companies use drugs to keep us in economic subjugation to them. All in all, not a very good spokesman for critical thinking.

  • 59. BigHouse  |  October 7, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Wasn’t me either, Coop. Though I will cop to chuckling as the scene unfolded :-)

    And surely you understand the difference between not sheltering yourself from the world (hiding in a monastery) and patronizing worldy and “offensive” material (watching a movie voluntarily and repeatedly). You’re really not equating the 2 are you?

  • 60. Quester  |  October 7, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Good catch, LP, and good pun, betty. I missed the joke completely, until it was pointed out!

  • 61. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 11:34 am

    And surely you understand the difference between not sheltering yourself from the world (hiding in a monastery) and patronizing worldy and “offensive” material (watching a movie voluntarily and repeatedly). You’re really not equating the 2 are you?

    BigHouse—-

    It really doesn’t matter. As I mentioned, I have one judge who knows my heart. If He wants to judge me one day for watching Bill Maher occasionally, or watching “Life of Brian” and laughing when I saw it, so be it. All I was saying (in response to the “drive by”) is that I have lived as a Christian both ways—-in a very legalistic environment, as a Pharisee, sheltered from the world–and in the world itself, exposed to all it has to offer.

    In my opinion I was far more “sinful” in the sheltered mode. Outwardly, I did not “sin” (do drinking, watching TV, card, dancing, few movies, etc. etc.), but the result was a highly prideful view of other Christians and their “worldly” ways.

    Realizing that I am in the world, and will be “bombarded” with it’s view on life, I realize that inward motivation is far more important than outward show of morality. I do not feel I am “patronizing” the world when I watch television. As I said, I can watch a show and filter out what I feel is meaningless, or change the channel if it gets too raunchy. Much of Bill Maher’s show can be quite interesting—-he can hit a point where he starts up in some raunchy humor—-I can choose to ignore it, or change the channel until he is done. But I am not going to shut my TV off for good just because there are “offensive” things on it. The whole world is offensive in many ways—-I need to love God, and live in the world—not love the world.

  • 62. BigHouse  |  October 8, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    So, Cooper, where do you draw the line? Reading Playboy, but only for the articles?

  • 63. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    BigHouse—
    :) :) That’s funny. Yeah sure—-and I only get “half-drunk”, and go to massage places just for the massage. :)

    I get your point, but there is a difference between a porn magazine and a television show.

    I’ll tell you what—-it’s a case of using one’s own judgment. Why do you suppose some people think card-playing and dancing are wicked? Because they are judging according to their own standards. Anyone knows if you pick up a Playboy or a Penthouse what you would REALLY be buying it for. I do not tune into Bill Maher for the raunchiness—-I tune in (infrequently–but I do watch) for the panel of guests (which is often quite good), and because of interest in the Presidenial race. I do not feel “guilty” watching Bill Maher—-whereas if I bought a Playboy, using the excuse that I was buying it for the artilcles alone, I would know I was lying, and would feel convicted about it.

    Let me give you one more example and then enough about this. In some Christian circles reading “Harry Potter” or letting your kids read it is “sinful”. “Why are you exposing your children to the evils of obvious witchcraft?” one might ask. But to me, Harry Potter is a very imaginative group of books. Imagination never hurt any child. Just because there are wizards and witches in the story doesn’t make it “dangerous” for children to read. So in MY Judgment, Harry Potter is cool—to another Christian it might be anathema. I think this is all a matter of judgment for the person. One KNOWS buying a porn mag is not something one should do—–but one CAN make the judgment that they will have to “filter” some information, but it is OK for them to watch Bill Maher. Does that make any sense? If not, I give up.

  • 64. BigHouse  |  October 8, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    It makes plenty of sense, it just isn’t biblical, that’s all.

  • 65. john t.  |  October 8, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    That’s funny. Yeah sure—-and I only get “half-drunk”, and go to massage places just for the massage(Cooper)

    Careful now, my wife and I own a Wellness and Massage Centre.

  • 66. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Careful now, my wife and I own a Wellness and Massage Centre.

    john t—

    Sorry. :) I wasn’t talking about legitimate businesses, but fronts for illegal activity—just making a point.

  • 67. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    It makes plenty of sense, it just isn’t biblical, that’s all.

    BigHouse—

    Sure it is.

    Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand. (Phil. 4:5)

    Definition: (Cambridge Dictionary)

    moderation Show phonetics
    noun [U]
    You can eat whatever you like as long as it’s in moderation.
    All parties will have to show great moderation during these very difficult negotiations.

    Paul is actually saying not to be fanatical or crazy. One can either become so whacked out that they believe they can raise the dead at any moment and have extraordinary gifts of healing—-or they can become so legalistic they call almost everything “sinful”. Having a glass of wine can become a “sin” to that type of person. You are actually espousing that with your interpretation of the Bible BigHouse. You are saying one should never watch “Bill Maher” because it is “offensive to God”. PART of what he says may be offensive at times—but that is just the world. Most of the rest can be informative and useful.

    Do I become so fanatical that I refuse to watch shows due to the possibility that something “offensive to God” might be included in the program? Or do I live in moderation—weighing things with good judgment. If something is definitely completely offensive to God I should avoid it—-pornography, slasher movies, etc. But if a Political program has a “chance” of being offensive at some point do I avoid the whole program? In my judgment no. OK—enough of this. :)

  • 68. BigHouse  |  October 8, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    In my judgment no. OK—enough of this.

    Having trouble seeing out of the hole you’re digging?

  • 69. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    I’m not digging any holes. Can you see far from that pedestal you’ve put yourself on?

  • 70. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    BigHouse—

    The whole conversation is purely based on your judgment of what a Christian should be, based on some “moral code” you are using to justify your posts that is based loosely upon the Bible. I’m surprised you are being this subjective Bighouse—you are usually far more logical in your arguments. :)

  • 71. BigHouse  |  October 8, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Actually, you should turn the mirror onto yourself to see who’s subjectively determining what verses to follow, what they mean, and which oithers to ignore. That’s been the center of all arguments with you. Your way or the highway.

  • 72. SnugglyBuffalo  |  October 8, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    The fact is that we cannot know what the original intent of any of the biblical authors was when they wrote what they did, and thus all interpretations of it are subjective.

    A perfect example is communion wafers; are they literally Christ’s body, or do they just represent his body? You can get into the semantics of the verses involved all you want, but you can’t deny the possibility that when Jesus said “this is my body” he was speaking in metaphor. But the way it was said, you could interpret it either way, and without being able to physically go back and ask Jesus what he meant, we can’t know with certainty.

  • 73. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Actually, you should turn the mirror onto yourself to see who’s subjectively determining what verses to follow, what they mean, and which oithers to ignore. That’s been the center of all arguments with you. Your way or the highway.

    BigHouse—

    You are hilarious. You begin questioning my morality because I said I watch Bill Maher occasionally, and like “Life of Brian”. We go back and forth, and I make the best attempt to explain why a Christian’s own judgment MUST be involved in many of the things we do—now you turn the whole thing around again (like you always do) when it is YOU who is trying to determine what is moral or not in another person’s life. Check your own posts.

    Should my pray be as the following:

    Dear Lord,

    I thought maybe I would watch Bill Maher tonight. I’ll ask BigHouse first and if he thinks it’s morally acceptable, then maybe I’ll give it a go. There is no reason I shouldn’t watch it–I don’t feel bad for doing so, don’t feel I really need to ask you about it, but since BigHouse thinks you would be offended by it, I’d best run it by him first. Amen. :)

  • 74. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    BigHouse–

    I’m joking around of course. But take just one short post you made:

    It makes plenty of sense, it just isn’t biblical, that’s all.

    Who made YOU the authority of what is biblical or not biblical regarding MYown moral choices? Did YOU decide that my watching Bill Maher is immoral and offends God? You have ignored even the verses I showed from the Bible regarding moderation, and using one’s judgment and common sense regarding some matters. What offends one man may not offend me, and vice versa. I just don’t understand you sometimes.

  • 75. BigHouse  |  October 8, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    See, this is where you always go off the rails. Someone posted a BIBLE VERSE about not partaking in crude humor and it’s ME who’s subjected you to a morality? You claim to follow the bible, but it’s really the Cooper doctrine you follow apparebtly.

    I don’t care what you do and don’t judge your actions as moral or not. YOUR BIBLE does. But you just wave it away when it doesn’t suit your tastes but when it does it is so clear and simple a message that it’s a wonder not everyone gets it the same as you do.

    It’s amazing to me you haven’t even begun to scratxh the surface of seeing this after all of your conversations here.

  • 76. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    I’ll repeat one example and then shut up.

    I mentioned Harry Potter. Some Christian groups say it is “sinful” to read the books, or allow your children to read them. They will make this claim as “biblical”. They state this because Harry Potter has witchcraft and wizards in it (though watching “Snow White and the seven dwarves” may be totally acceptable with them, despite the witch with the apple, etc.).

    For me, Harry Potter is a great read, and especially a great read for kids. It helps develop imagination. They’re not going to go out and become evil wizards from reading the books.

    Now—these other Christians would make the statement you made Bighouse—after I explain why I think it is fine to read Harry Potter, they would say: “It makes plenty of sense, it just isn’t biblical, that’s all”(they might even quote you word for word).

    Now—who’s right? They are stating that by reading Harry Potter one is yielding to satanic power and forces, and putting oneself in the way of evil. They say the Bible backs this. I am stating that they are being fanatical—which Paul warns against when he says to “use moderation”. You are doing the same thing BigHouse. YOU are saying that my watching Bill Maher is ungodly. —and YOU are using the Bible to enforce this by saying that my explanation is “unbiblical”.

    Don’t you think that is a bit hypocritical?

  • 77. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    See, this is where you always go off the rails. Someone posted a BIBLE VERSE about not partaking in crude humor and it’s ME who’s subjected you to a morality? You claim to follow the bible, but it’s really the Cooper doctrine you follow apparebtly.

    BigHouse—

    Don’t you see though that you were the only one continuing on and on about it? The original poster faded into the sunset with their very clever portrayal of an offended believer. But you took over the baton, and then REALLY started the questioning. Go back and have a look. I only responded because YOU kept accusing me of not following what the Bible says. You have a habit of jumping on all of my posts, and looking for some way to speak down to me. It always ends like this—-with condescending remarks, etc. after I have attempted to give a very real and clear explanation.

    Geez—and all I said is that I watch Bill Maher from time to time. :)

  • 78. BigHouse  |  October 8, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Your welcome to not reply if it bothers you so much to continue the discussion. I don’t mind.

    But please remember which side of the discussion uses the bible to justify his thoughts and actions..

  • 79. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Bighouse—

    I attempted to end the whole conversation. But look at #68:

    Me:
    In my judgment no. OK—enough of this.

    You:
    Having trouble seeing out of the hole you’re digging?

    You for some reason wanted to keep the “egging on” going. Not sure why actually. :) But now it’s all my fault again—-OK, cool, no problem. I have come to accept how things work around here. :)

  • 80. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Your welcome to not reply if it bothers you so much to continue the discussion. I don’t mind.

    But please remember which side of the discussion uses the bible to justify his thoughts and actions..
    :) Wanna keep going huh? BigHouse—I didn’t have to “justify” anything at all. I still think it is perfectly alright to watch Bill Maher, and that I saw “Life of Brian”—I do not feel the least bit guilty about it. It is YOU who thinks I need to justify myself—you are the one who for some reason feels it SHOULD be wrong. To YOU my watching Bill Maher is “not biblical”.

    What I am absolutely tired of though is someone like you continuing to reply, and make statements meant to draw out another response, and then turning the whole thing around and then putting the whole thing on me when it turns a bit sour. That is really unfair—because you were just as involved in the whole discussion as I was, and were actually the one who kept the whole thing going. I’m through now and promise I will not reply to any more posts regarding this issue.

  • 81. Cooper  |  October 8, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    my wife and I own a Wellness and Massage Centre

    john t—

    I meant to ask you if you are a chiropractor? Just curious—an old friend of mine had a wellness type center, which also had a lower level gym. it was a pretty nice place.

  • 82. john t.  |  October 8, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Cooper

    I am a Registered Massage Therapist and my wife is a Natural Health Practioner.

  • 83. Erudite Redneck  |  October 8, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Re, “those type of people are actually far more sinful”

    Good Lord, so to speak, I kept readin’ but kinda tuned out right there. That there is whatcha call a nonsensical phrase for just about anybody who has, or ever did have, an inkling of what grace is. Sheesh.

  • 84. Anonymous  |  October 9, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Re, “those type of people are actually far more sinful”

    Good Lord, so to speak, I kept readin’ but kinda tuned out right there. That there is whatcha call a nonsensical phrase for just about anybody who has, or ever did have, an inkling of what grace is. Sheesh.

    Erudite–

    Probably should have kept reading a little futher. What I meant is that a “pharisaical attitude” is far more sinful in the eyes of God. Just read all of the pronouncements Jesus proclaimed towards the Pharisees such as “Woe to you Pharisees, hypocrits! You brood of vipers! Who will save you from the fires of hell??” (paraphrase).

    Being “outwardly” holy but inwardly far from God is a much greater offense to the Lord than a person with many apparent faults seen outwardly, but who is inwardly sincere.

  • 85. Cooper  |  October 9, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Anonymous above is me. i reset my system and forgot to fill in the name area again.

  • 86. Jason  |  October 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Boy, did this thread ever get hijacked.

    But don’t let me get in the way of that.

    I gave up trying to root out every activity as those that please or don’t please God. His instructions would be for our own benefit anyway, right? So let me answer the question above about what the difference between reading a playboy and watching a secular television show.

    The reason I would steer clear of playboy but be less frantic to swear off all tv is because of the much greater adverse effects playboy will have on me. In the short term I’ll probably be prone to lust but even more concerning it will probably lead me to be less desirable of my wife or in some other way damage our very healthy relationship.

    Here is another example. My wife and I are pretty much in agreement that our two young daughters need not be exposed to Hannah Montana or High School Musical. These shows are almost exclusively centered around dating and relationships. And yet on occasion the three of them will drive with some secular music in the background, if you listened carefully enough is most surely about love and romance. The former is targeted for them and has characters that are meant to relate to, idolize, and emulate for the profit of those selling all manners of tea shirts and back packs with the images of the actors. The ladder is a song, most of which is harmless and certainly above the understanding of my two children.

    I don’t disrespect any opposing position though I have no desire to live that way again. If you feel that in the ladder case it will be better to swear off all radio then be my guest.

  • 87. Jason  |  October 9, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Whoops, I put in an editorial comment but I used a tag that edited it out. I wanted to clarify that I was not specifically referring to Life of Brian (which I have not seen so can not comment on) or Bill Maher who I have no interest in. Just consider the normal television show that at some point will have something offensive referenced.

  • 88. Cooper  |  October 9, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Jason—

    So, you are saying that in regards to these things the judgment is really left to the believer. This is really what I was attempting to say all along. oh well.

  • 89. orDover  |  October 9, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    The reason I would steer clear of playboy but be less frantic to swear off all tv is because of the much greater adverse effects playboy will have on me. In the short term I’ll probably be prone to lust but even more concerning it will probably lead me to be less desirable of my wife or in some other way damage our very healthy relationship.

    Why might Playboy cause you to lust more than Desperate Housewives or Californication or any other show with ladies with nice bodies in revealing clothing? Do you really think that lust is that closely related to bare breasts?

  • 90. john t.  |  October 9, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Do you really think that lust is that closely related to bare breasts?
    (orDover)

    Maybe for cooper it depends on how nice those bare breasts are lol.

  • 91. john t.  |  October 9, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Oops I meant Jason……..freudian slip lmao…..;)

  • 92. Jason  |  October 10, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I haven’t ever watched Desperate Housewives or Californication either (and from the title of the second I think that isn’t going to change). But if the women were too scantily dressed then I would probably decide it wasn’t worth whatever humor those shows might have to offer. My point is that I don’t find it fruitful anymore to set up some rules on exactly what amount of clothing, language, humor, etc would be acceptable to God. I don’t get a lot of feedback on that matter, that is for sure. Assuming God wasn’t making rules just to kill all the joy out of life, but that they might be in place for my benefit I think a little introspection and common sense about the effects of such entertainment on myself is more pertinent.

    For those of you who are fully de-con, if you point is that I am being arbitrary then I accept that. If the omnipresent, omnipotent God of the universe vocally spoke to me and gave me an exact strict line of appropriate thought or entertainment, I would stick to it, but barring that I have to make due with what I got. But know this, even if I was convinced there was no God, that won’t change my feelings on Playboy. I might no longer have merit to declare playboy inherently evil but that doesn’t mean it still won’t have negative effects on my family.

    For you Christians who feel the quoted Ephesians and Philippians verses do define a strict line of entertainment and you know precisely what that is . . . . well . . . good luck with that.

  • 93. Cooper  |  October 10, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Do you really think that lust is that closely related to bare breasts?
    (orDover)

    Maybe for cooper it depends on how nice those bare breasts are lol.

    john t—-

    Actually it was Jason referring to breasts not me. :) orDover in #89 is referring to Jason’s post in #86. I don’t have anything against nice breasts though. :)

  • 94. Cooper  |  October 10, 2008 at 11:21 am

    johnt t–

    Oh, you caught yourself in 91—missed that. :)

  • 95. BigHouse  |  October 10, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Jason, this is exactly the point. The Bible in some places makes very specific charges of dos and don’ts and then in other makes blanket statements about moderation etc. So, therefore, it is up to HUMANS to INTERPRET which verses to follow and in what situations to apply them. WHo’s to say which way is right or wrong? How do you know what God had in mind and whether you are on the right side of HIS line? Because, isn’t that what would be of most importance?

  • 96. Jason  |  October 10, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Okay, for the record, I never referred to “breasts” in #86. I refereed to Playboy as a specific reference to BigHouse in #62, where he jokingly questioned whether Cooper would draw the line at Playboy. I was trying to offer a reason that God’s will or not (or no God or not!) there is reason to avoid Playboy over Bill Maher. Now, I’m sure any specific instance of a Playboy picture would include…

    BigHouse,

    I don’t think those passages of moderation are blanket statements of all behaviors, like murder or rape, but ultimately I am agreeing with you. I don’t know if I am on the right side of His line. I was defending Cooper though I might not choose the same form of entertainment he uses, and he may indeed be harming himself, how would I know. It seems to be a silly thing to have to be guessing whether I am at any given moment pleasing a omnipresent God who is almost completly silent on offering commentary on my life. And yet, it is clear when I murder someone, that person is dead and I am in prison, two very poor outcomes that it is fair to say helps me steer clear of the behavior. Regardless if this is backed up by God’s commandments, and I certainly think it is, I can avoid murder and poor entertainment choices off of the effect it might have on me. Sometimes I am wrong. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t seen something I did. But are accept as punishment whatever negative consequences it brings, I don’t add to it by locking myself in the closet and hitting myself with whips, physically or mentally because I have displeased God.

  • 97. Cooper  |  October 10, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Geez—

    I’m really getting old. When I hear “breasts” I think of KFC before Playboy. :)

  • 98. Cooper  |  October 10, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    Jason—-

    Good points. There are some very CLEAR commands given concerning things that are definitely wrong—but there are other “gray areas” where the Bible is quiet, and it is left to our own judgment to make distinctions. I had mentioned before that some people use the Bible to say that dancing, playing cards, or wearing jewelry is “evil”.

    Playing cards could be “evil” if one gambled away their children’s college money in the process, but cards in themselves are not “evil”—we need to make those kind of distinctions—and I feel it is left up to us in those matters.

  • 99. john t.  |  October 10, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    I’m really getting old. When I hear “breasts” I think of KFC before Playboy(Cooper)

    Never that old lol. ;)

  • 100. jennings  |  August 26, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I myself will never watch this movie, especially after his comments on Conan. The fact that Americans are stupid, and that we need to be drug to an idea, who cares what we want and don’t want, that our “great president” should just do as he pleases with health care. Bill Marhar, i could care less about his thoughts on politics and much less his thoughts on religion, at least i know where i will be going when i am dead and gone, to bad he won’t. i’ll say a prayer for you tonight bill

  • 101. Roy  |  August 26, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    I myself will never watch this movie, especially after his comments on Conan. The fact that Americans are stupid, and that we need to be drug to an idea, who cares what we want and don’t want, that our “great president” should just do as he pleases with health care. Bill Marhar, i could care less about his thoughts on politics and much less his thoughts on religion, at least i know where i will be going when i am dead and gone, to bad he won’t. i’ll say a prayer for you tonight bill

    I watched this movie a couple of weeks ago and thought it was hilarious. Given what I’m able to deduce about you from your comment, I think you are wise to avoid it. I disagree with much of his politics, but I think he is a very good comedian. I would suggest that before you pray for Bill, you examine your motivation in so doing.

  • 102. Joe  |  August 27, 2009 at 11:50 am

    I’m a Christian but I thought the movie was very funny when I saw it several months ago. It is a bit like a Michael Moore movie in a sense, as he states things he “wants” you to accept as “fact” that are really blown completely out of proportion, or are completely misrepresented as truth, when it is really only partial truth. But for the most part the movie is very funny, and Bill Maher is actually quite kind to a lot of the people he speaks with, though you know he thinks they are nut-cases. :>)

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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