‘Punditry’ Category Archives

19
Nov

The Burning Christmas Cross

by PinPonPun in Miscellany, Ponderings, Punditry, Things Atheists Hate

Is it just me or does this “Original Christmas Cross” seem, well, just a little inappropriate?

AFA Burning Christmas Cross

Granted, it is a product of the American Family Association, and organization known for sharing in the idyllic love and peace of Christianity; an organization that is known for its peaceful and loving embrace of all people.

In this year’s annual return of the “War on Christmas” I’m sure that the AFA will gladly send out free Christmas Crosses to those that make its annual “Naughty or Nice?” retailer list!

(via Gizmodo)

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18
Nov

Newsweek: Is Obama the Antichrist?

by PinPonPun in Church and State, Ponderings, Punditry

Newsweek, the fairly reputable weekly news magazine, has published a column titled “Is Obama the Antichrist?” as part of their Belief Watch series.

The Washington Monthly takes them to task for this, noting:

When bizarre, fringe publications speculate openly about who may or may not be the Antichrist, it’s easy to dismiss. When Newsweek publishes a 600-word piece on those who wonder about Obama being the Antichrist, one really has to wonder what on earth the editors were thinking.

Perhaps it might be reasonable to assume that this topic could be considered newsworthy, assuming it was a widespread belief that was directly impacting peoples’ lives. But to legitimatize the extreme religious notions held by a group?

The author, Lisa Miller, is Newsweek‘s Religion editor and should know better than to make statement like:

The people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are perhaps jumping to conclusions, but they’re not nuts: “They are expressing a concern and a fear that is widely shared,” Staver says.

This logical fallacy is one of the more common arguments for religion as well; so many people believe there is a god, so therefore there must be a god. This is a baseless logical argument.

(It should also be noted that Miller is quoting Mat Staver, Dean of the Liberty University School of Law (part of the baptist Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell) and the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a law firm and ministry whose goal is to protect Christian religious liberty.)

Even the article’s subtitle is not quite accurate and relies on the belief of the many:

The winning lottery number in Illinois was 666, which, as everyone knows, is the sign of the Beast.

Scholars actually quite disagree on the Number of the Beast and it is commonly believed that the “666″ is actually a reference to Nero.

Still, it’s not uncommon these days for long-established media organizations to branch out from traditional journalism with the addition of blogs and web-based columns; these formats allow the traditional media to adapt and compete with the plethora of independent blogs out there and to adopt a less-formal, more conversational (and less objective) presence than they’d normally be required to maintain in print.

But this is not just a Newsweek blog post; this article appears in their print edition as well. I think The Washington Monthly sums it up nicely:

I can appreciate the fact that there are a handful of very odd people in the world, some of whom believe the Book of Revelation foretold Obama’s election. Strange people can be led to believe strange things. That’s not a reason for Newsweek to publish articles about their inanity.

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