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Source: (consider it) Thread: Atheist church
Net Spinster
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
...The larger question about this thread is "Why do you care?" Don't you already have a past time to keep you busy on Sundays?

It might as well be asked, "Why do you care?" Why does anyone bother posting on here, in any thread?
I for one like conversing with (or more usually reading the conversations of) people from a multitude of life stances. Most here hold a Christian life stance but with a fair number from humanistic or other stances who are considered and treated as of equal worth (unless by their actions on this ship they show they are more worthy or less worthy). Even the Pope or the ABC or a prominent atheist if they showed up would start as apprentices (but even a non-Christian, if worthy and willing, can become a host or administrator).

But the ship is a place of many rooms and so to go back to the original question, why do you find this Atheist Church of such great interest? It doesn't even make a big splash in the atheistic blogsphere (outside of London).

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
"Certainty" in the Church has all too often meant absolute judgmentalism and the imposition of suffering on people who happen not to think exactly the way you do.

Check out the various forms of the Inquisition, or the tendency to punich the women who got pregnant but not the men who contributed, or the conviction that being a Christian of a particular sect means that the whole country should pray in exactly one way and that anything else is perecution. The Puritans escaping from such "persecution" in England, so that they could persecute (or even slaughter) people not like themselves in Massachusetts is but one of the deadly examples.

Seems to me that the story of the woman taken in adultery spoke to a form of "certainty" that happened to avoid thinking about reality.

And I can be quite certain that if I utter a phrase about "doubt being necessary for faith" there will be a totally-certain person along to correct me, despite the inherent meaning of faith.

I think the Church needs people with different levels of certainty. Too little and nothing will get done; too much and you might be off-putting to the people who have little! People with little faith are often inspired by those who have a great deal. But that doesn't mean they want to be harangued by judgmentalism, which seems like a different thing.

I've just looked up that Rev. Dave Tomlinson, house church planter turned CofE vicar. Seems as if all roads lead to the CofE. If Dave gets these people to agree on the power of myth, is there any reason why they couldn't just become Anglicans?

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by Net Spinster:
...But the ship is a place of many rooms and so to go back to the original question, why do you find this Atheist Church of such great interest? It doesn't even make a big splash in the atheistic blogsphere (outside of London).

Maybe I misunderstood what Palimpsest was getting at - reading his post again, I probably did, so sorry about that.

So why do I find this Atheist Church of such great interest? To be honest, when I take an interest in something, I don't first prepare a ready apology in case I have to justify my interest to anyone who asks. Do you?

Anyway, thinking about it, at first it seemed like a threat, or something which would be used to try to make the Church look rediculous.

But then, I started to see that it was more like a personality cult, similar to what you'll find in many evangelical churches with charismatic pastors - Sanderson Jones is quite a character, isn't he?

So this made me dwell on the failings of some churches I had been involved in - if they are too much like the Sunday Assembly, where it's all entertainment with very little holiness then I see that as a failing - so the Sunday Assembly can be likened to failing churches IMO.

Then along comes Rev. Dave Tomlinson, whom I know very little about, although Squibs has given a bit of background. It's almost like a soap opera, but in real life.

You probably wish you'd never asked now...

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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SvitlanaV2
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Mark Betts

It's interesting that you see the Atheist church as on a level with charismatic evangelical churches. Some might see it as more closely aligned with an extreme form of liberal theology. The speaker mentioned above, Rev. Dave Tomlinson, describes himself post-evangelical, a label that hints at a growing acceptance of liberal theological perspectives. It seems unlikely that the Atheist church would invite a 'real' evangelical pastor to speak!

The Atheist church makes use of modern pop music, but presumably the songs are chosen because they're well-known and can easily be sung congregationally without much practice. There's also a lot of choice. Conversely, the vast majority of folk songs, which are the secular and 'traditional' equivalent of hymns, would probably be far less familiar to a group of contemporary 20 and 30-something Londoners. In short, the organisers have chosen to go with familiarity and ease of use rather than an attempt to be 'trendy'. IMO the only realistic alternative to pop songs in the long term would be for the organisers to take well-known hymn tunes and write new, humanist lyrics for them. This is what the Unitarians have done, so I understand.

As for the idea that 'entertaining' churches are failing churches, I don't really understand that. It implies that boring churches should be successful churches, which doesn't sound quite right either! My view is that churches of all types need to beware of relegating the worshipper to the status of spectator.

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Mark Betts

It's interesting that you see the Atheist church as on a level with charismatic evangelical churches.


No no - I meant churches with charismatic leaders - ie. persons that are naturally likeable and draw people to them.
quote:
Some might see it as more closely aligned with an extreme form of liberal theology.

Yes, but even the most extreme liberals still have a "churchmanship" - the lowest of all being house/barn/pub church.
quote:
The speaker mentioned above, Rev. Dave Tomlinson, describes himself post-evangelical, a label that hints at a growing acceptance of liberal theological perspectives. It seems unlikely that the Atheist church would invite a 'real' evangelical pastor to speak!

Like Nicky Gumbal? No, I suppose not! [Eek!]
quote:
The Atheist church makes use of modern pop music, but presumably the songs are chosen because they're well-known and can easily be sung congregationally without much practice. There's also a lot of choice. Conversely, the vast majority of folk songs, which are the secular and 'traditional' equivalent of hymns, would probably be far less familiar to a group of contemporary 20 and 30-something Londoners. In short, the organisers have chosen to go with familiarity and ease of use rather than an attempt to be 'trendy'. IMO the only realistic alternative to pop songs in the long term would be for the organisers to take well-known hymn tunes and write new, humanist lyrics for them. This is what the Unitarians have done, so I understand.

NO!!! Don't even speak of it!
quote:
As for the idea that 'entertaining' churches are failing churches, I don't really understand that. It implies that boring churches should be successful churches, which doesn't sound quite right either! My view is that churches of all types need to beware of relegating the worshipper to the status of spectator.
I don't see "boring" as the opposite of "entertaining" - unless one only goes to church to be entertained. What about churches which are so devotional no-one is even interested in being entertained?

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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SvitlanaV2
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Mark Betts

quote:

I don't see "boring" as the opposite of "entertaining" - unless one only goes to church to be entertained. What about churches which are so devotional no-one is even interested in being entertained?

But almost any kind of music can be entertaining, and almost any kind can be devotional. The issue is how the music is used, the context, and the spirituality of the folk who are present.

However, I don't take the view that entertainment is essentially anti-devotional. Or rather, I don't see entertainment as entirely inappropriate for a church service. The Bible liberates us to rejoice in the Lord, and when we rejoice, there's a risk that we might entertain ourselves, or others - and hopefully God as well! But there has to be more to church life than that, of course.

I do accept that everyone's church culture is different, and some forms of behaviour aren't suitable in certain churches. We should respect the environment that we're in.

[ 19. March 2013, 01:49: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Mark Betts

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Since they are so desperate to evangelise the nation, I thought I'd help them out:

Start your own Assembly with Sunday Assembly Everywhere

I noted how they reminded me of all those oxbridge comedians who "took over" (and ruined IMO) english comedy in the 70s and 80s, with their "alternative" comedy - an alternative to laughing.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
Since they are so desperate to evangelise the nation, I thought I'd help them out:

Start your own Assembly with Sunday Assembly Everywhere

I noted how they reminded me of all those oxbridge comedians who "took over" (and ruined IMO) english comedy in the 70s and 80s, with their "alternative" comedy - an alternative to laughing.

Don't worry, Mark. WMC and Conservative Clubs alike up and down the land still host the sort of sexist, racist, homophobic "my mate Chalky, why hello dere mon (he's black you see); take my mother in law, oh please, take my mother in law. Women drivers, sheesh! Right, there were these two poofters..." shite that we had back then for your delectation.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Mark Betts

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I know, I know... Only middle-class white academic atheists are allowed to have a sense of humour nowadays.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Laurelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
Since they are so desperate to evangelise the nation, I thought I'd help them out:

Start your own Assembly with Sunday Assembly Everywhere

I noted how they reminded me of all those oxbridge comedians who "took over" (and ruined IMO) english comedy in the 70s and 80s, with their "alternative" comedy - an alternative to laughing.

Eh? Not the Nine O’Clock News, The Comic Strip, Harry Enfield, etc. were hilarious! [Big Grin]

My favourite English comedies in the 1970s were The Good Life and Fawlty Towers.

I’m 50 and remember an awful ITV comedy from the early 1970s called Love Thy Neighbour, built on the hilarious premise that a white family had a black family for neighbours. Ho ho ho. [Roll Eyes] It was well intentioned but lame and excruciating even back then. As Bill Bryson parodied it: My Neighbour is a Darkie. [Snigger]

The Sunday Assembly vid is a bit cheesy, but OK. [Biased] I've always been impressed by Holy Trinity Brompton's PR. It's easy to parody HTB -as indeed Armstrong and Miller once did. I'm a (slightly) charismatic evangelical and their sketch about vampires on an Alpha course makes me laugh my head off, [Killing me]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4anu5veNhSg

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
I know, I know... Only middle-class white academic atheists are allowed to have a sense of humour nowadays.

Mark, the alternative comedy you loathe so much actually started because until then only white racist homophobic sexists were allowed to have a sense of humour.

See. We can all play this game.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Mark Betts

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Ny Turn. Actually Karl, your Oxbridge academic alternative comedians/ennes can be very offensive, it is just that they seem to know all the latest trends in political correctness and fashion their "comedy" accordingly. That's why it is OK to mock and insult christians as much as you like - because they are not on the PC radar.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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My turn - even if the mockery of Christians were a squillionth as common as some people like to make out, there is the world of difference between pointing at beliefs that people hold that appear irrational to you and making humour from that irrationality, and pointing and laughing because someone has a different skin colour or sexual orientation.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Mark Betts

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My turn. Seriously Karl, what's wrong with being able to laugh at our differences, be they about skin colour, sexuality or whatever. Much of the time, the old style working-class comedians from up North used to do no more than that.

No-one's saying any of them were saints of course, but it seems to be these politically-correct do-gooders who invent offence where none was ever intended, causing the working-class comics to be anathamatised, while your white Oxbridge academic friends just take over the show whether anyone asks them to or not.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
My turn. Seriously Karl, what's wrong with being able to laugh at our differences, be they about skin colour, sexuality or whatever. Much of the time, the old style working-class comedians from up North used to do no more than that.

No-one's saying any of them were saints of course, but it seems to be these politically-correct do-gooders who invent offence where none was ever intended, causing the working-class comics to be anathamatised, while your white Oxbridge academic friends just take over the show whether anyone asks them to or not.

Yes, of course, no black person ever objected to being called a nig-nog. No gay person ever objected to being called a poofter. It's just white lefties who thought they did. Of course.

But as I said, the comics you prefer are still alive and well in clubs up and down the country, putting down the wogs and the queers and all those other people who find it funny themselves, really they do.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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mdijon
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I remember going to school in the 80s and hearing endless retellings of the hilarious racist one-liners that were on TV the night before.

I complained, and was black. (Still am in fact). If I have some stuck-up white Oxbridge middle-class lefties to thank for the change in coverage I'd be very happy to shake their hands.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Adeodatus
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Mark and Karl, I'm going to call a plague (or a blessing) on both your houses. New Atheist comedy isn't bad because it's anti-religious, or anti-Church, or prejudiced, or whatever. What's bad about New Atheist comedy (Jimmy Carr, Stephen Fry, Fry's ego-trip QI; but not Eddie Izzard - he's quite different) is simply that it's bad comedy.

For observational comedy to be good comedy, it first has to rest on good observation. And I've heard very little of that kind of comedy that wasn't based on poor observation. It's lazy. It's trite. It's clichéd. It's odds-on that it'll end up being about "aren't Christians stupid, ha ha?" or, "hey, I've heard that priests bugger altar boys, ha ha". And that's why it's bad comedy.

Izzard used to be very good - some of the religious comedy from his early stand-up shows was brilliant, and right on target. (I love his CofE - "cake or death" - routine.) Recently, not so much.

[ 22. March 2013, 12:58: Message edited by: Adeodatus ]

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quetzalcoatl
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I think Mark is wrong about no malice intended by racist and homophobic comics. I grew up in an area where Paki jokes were very common (near M/c), and I am pretty sure, that plenty of malice was intended, and hatred as well. Now and again, this burst out in various riots and other unpleasant manifestations, when various right-wing groups try to muscle in. The racist jokes just feed this culture, and are part of it.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Grokesx
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@Adeodatus

New Atheist comedy? Is there such a thing? No one sent me that memo.

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For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. H. L. Mencken

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Grokesx:
@Adeodatus

New Atheist comedy? Is there such a thing? No one sent me that memo.

Comedy that rides on the New Atheist bandwagon. And that's another reason it's bad comedy - bandwagon comedy follows the zeitgeist; good comedy helps form it. Where was all the sharp, clever comedy about religion before Dawkins became a media star?

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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quetzalcoatl
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Certainly, a lot of comedians are atheists today. Of course, that does not make them either funny or not funny. What does that, is having a sense of humour. One of my friends is an extremely witty man, who is an atheist, and a stand-up, but he is not witty because he is an atheist, of course!

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Raptor Eye
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Wit? That would be good! Comedy which relies on embarrassment, or which spreads urban myths in a way which suggests that anyone who thinks any other way is an idiot, is what I seem to find when looking for comedy ( and turn off ) recently.

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

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Pomona
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Re comedy that deals with religion, let's not forget the best of them all - Father Ted! I am pretty sure Graham Linehan is an atheist but there's no lack of intelligence or wit there. He's also responsible for Black Books and The IT Crowd so he's OK with me.

Mark Betts, whilst the 'New Atheist' comedians can be highly unfunny and annoying, I don't think racist/homophobic/sexist etc jokes should be more appealing to Christians because of that. There is plenty of comedy that is neither anti-Christian or bigoted, it's not either/or. Bill Bailey comes to mind (one of my favourites).

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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mdijon
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And if you're a black Christian you're close to the Black Irish Sheepdog of the "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish" days.

[ 22. March 2013, 14:12: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I suppose Tim Minchin might qualify as one of these "New Atheist" comedians, but he remains very talented, extremely funny and doesn't annoy me in the slightest. I still think it's a travesty that his Christmas song a couple of years back was cut from the Jonathan Ross show.

Storm is a classic. I play it in my mind whilst I'm biting my tongue at any social interaction with someone spouting woo that it would be socially inappropriate* to counter.

*i.e. Mrs Backslider would kill me.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Dinghy Sailor

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I suppose Tim Minchin might qualify as one of these "New Atheist" comedians, but he remains very talented, extremely funny and doesn't annoy me in the slightest. I still think it's a travesty that his Christmas song a couple of years back was cut from the Jonathan Ross show.

Storm is a classic. I play it in my mind whilst I'm biting my tongue at any social interaction with someone spouting woo that it would be socially inappropriate* to counter.

*i.e. Mrs Backslider would kill me.

Tim Minchin's done some funny stuff. However, as a scientist and a Christian I resent having an atheistic arts* grad tell me about how my faith makes me irrational and anti-science. What does he know about it?


*BA English & Theatre, University of Western Australia 1995

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Storm is a classic. I play it in my mind whilst I'm biting my tongue at any social interaction with someone spouting woo that it would be socially inappropriate* to counter.

*i.e. Mrs Backslider would kill me.

Tim Minchin's done some funny stuff. However, as a scientist and a Christian I resent having an atheistic arts* grad tell me about how my faith makes me irrational and anti-science. What does he know about it?
Wow. Now we know who Storm is.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I suppose Tim Minchin might qualify as one of these "New Atheist" comedians, but he remains very talented, extremely funny and doesn't annoy me in the slightest. I still think it's a travesty that his Christmas song a couple of years back was cut from the Jonathan Ross show.

Storm is a classic. I play it in my mind whilst I'm biting my tongue at any social interaction with someone spouting woo that it would be socially inappropriate* to counter.

*i.e. Mrs Backslider would kill me.

Tim Minchin's done some funny stuff. However, as a scientist and a Christian I resent having an atheistic arts* grad tell me about how my faith makes me irrational and anti-science. What does he know about it?


*BA English & Theatre, University of Western Australia 1995

I know what he thinks. It doesn't make me resentful. Sometimes worried that he's right, but never resentful.

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Grokesx
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quote:
Where was all the sharp, clever comedy about religion before Dawkins became a media star?
George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Tom Lehrer, Dave Allen, Monty Python, as someone's already mentioned, Father Ted, as someone else has already mentioned, Eddie Izzard...

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Posts: 373 | From: Derby, UK | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged
Dinghy Sailor

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# 8507

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Dinghy Sailor:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Storm is a classic. I play it in my mind whilst I'm biting my tongue at any social interaction with someone spouting woo that it would be socially inappropriate* to counter.

*i.e. Mrs Backslider would kill me.

Tim Minchin's done some funny stuff. However, as a scientist and a Christian I resent having an atheistic arts* grad tell me about how my faith makes me irrational and anti-science. What does he know about it?
Wow. Now we know who Storm is.
If you think his video was solely about one particular girl called Storm ...

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Preach Christ, because this old humanity has used up all hopes and expectations, but in Christ hope lives and remains.
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lilBuddha
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Mark Betts,
Were i to start writing jokes about Orthodoxy, I am sure would would simply laugh a self-depreciating laugh and say, "it is all in fun."
Funny, if someone else is the target, it is "Oh, it is but jest." But if you are the target, it becomes " Hang on now, that crossed the line."

80's mdijion? It still happens, just less. But for that less, I do thank those white, middle-class people who join the protests.

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Grokesx:
quote:
Where was all the sharp, clever comedy about religion before Dawkins became a media star?
George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Tom Lehrer, Dave Allen, Monty Python, as someone's already mentioned, Father Ted, as someone else has already mentioned, Eddie Izzard...
You're quite right. I'd have been closer to the mark if I'd specified atheist comedy, which is what I meant to do. It's debatable, but I think that would knock Dave Allen, Father Ted and Eddie Izzard off the list, and possibly even Monty Python. Not because they weren't coming from an atheist perspective, but because I think they were too kind - affectionate, even, in Allen's case. Lehrer I'll grant you, and I'm not sufficiently familiar with Carlin and Bruce.

But I'll stand by my point that the likes of Carr and Fry are riding the bandwagon, and that their comedy is sloppily observed - when it's about religion, anyway.

(I keep meaning to properly listen to some Tim Minchin, but there's just something about him I really don't like. It's nothing to do with his atheism, but I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's his taste in makeup.)

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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lilBuddha
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How many atheist comedians are there? I know of comedians who are atheists, some of whom do bits about religion, but they are not "atheist comedians." Whereas, I have heard Christian comedians.


ETA: Minchin is a mixed bag for me. Sometimes I am rolling on the floor, other times fast forwarding.

[ 22. March 2013, 15:58: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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quetzalcoatl
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Atheist comedy is like atheist jelly. You just can't buy it these days. I blame austerity.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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Adeodatus
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# 4992

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
How many atheist comedians are there? I know of comedians who are atheists, some of whom do bits about religion, but they are not "atheist comedians." Whereas, I have heard Christian comedians.

Atheist comedy and Christian comedy are bad for the same reason: they put the evangelism before the comedy.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Atheist comedy is like atheist jelly. You just can't buy it these days. I blame austerity.

Whereas you can find theist jelly. I've had some that made me exclaim "Holy sh***"

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Atheist comedy is like atheist jelly. You just can't buy it these days. I blame austerity.

Whereas you can find theist jelly. I've had some that made me exclaim "Holy sh***"
You're using it wrong.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Mark Betts

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# 17074

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Atheist comedy and Christian comedy are bad for the same reason: they put the evangelism before the comedy.

I have to agree there Adeodatus - I'm no big fan of christian comedy, particularly the seemingly obligatory pulpit "joke."

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

Posts: 2080 | From: Leicester | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Atheist comedy is like atheist jelly. You just can't buy it these days. I blame austerity.

Whereas you can find theist jelly. I've had some that made me exclaim "Holy sh***"
I believe the water-based ones are very good for the older man and woman, who have problems around, shall we say, their viscosity index.

Whether such lubricants tend towards atheism or theism, is unclear, but they have been known to produce cries of 'oh God', so here's hoping for a good conclusion.

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I can't talk to you today; I talked to two people yesterday.

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
How many atheist comedians are there? I know of comedians who are atheists, some of whom do bits about religion, but they are not "atheist comedians." Whereas, I have heard Christian comedians.

Atheist comedy and Christian comedy are bad for the same reason: they put the evangelism before the comedy.
I can't imagine such a thing as evangelistic comedy. Who would go to watch it? Christians don't need evangelising, and non-Christians would run a mile.

Christian comedy could be as funny as any other kind if it dealt with the problems and challenges incongruities of Christian life and the frustrations of being in the church, as well as some of the fun things. A few weeks ago I went to see a church pantomine; Cinderella's membership of her local Methodist church was a key element in the plot!! I laughed because I understood the digs at Methodist church culture, as did many of the people around me.

Many years ago I went to see the Reduced Shakespeare Co. doing a dramatic run-through of the books of the Bible, and I enjoyed that a lot. Again, it must've helped that I'd entered that world and read the Bible.

Popular culture has a place for the clergyman in comedy, of course. He's a hapless, awkward figure, from Jane Austen's Mr Collins, to the misfits in Father Ted, to the melancholy Rev. The Vicar of Dibley was jolly, but that's because she was fat, not because she was a vicar!

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Mark Betts

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# 17074

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Well there could be a new quasi-religious sit-com now, couldn't there SvitlanaV2?

"The pseudo-vicar of Islington - but only if you happen to be a white middle-class academic atheist"

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Mark Betts

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# 17074

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I haven't found a review of "Easter for Atheists" yet, but here's a fill-in for the meantime:

'Easter for Atheists' with Sanderson Jones - Wired For Success TV [Episode 53]

btw. I see Sanderson Jones is lining his pockets by appearing in the "Gumtree" adverts - such a virtuous fellow!

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Mark Betts

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Ahhh, here we go:

The Single Girl Discovers Church

...and remember, don't shoot the messenger - I haven't even read it yet.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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Laurelin
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# 17211

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I just read it. A blander, more anodyne piece you couldn't imagine. [Big Grin] . It drips with middle-class niceness ... like some churches, I suppose. [Biased]

What it does show is how so many seem to crave genuine community, not surprising for people who live in London ...

P.S. What's so heinous about getting revenue through Gumtree adverts? Lots of Christian bloggers get income from advertising ...

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"I fear that to me Siamese cats belong to the fauna of Mordor." J.R.R. Tolkien

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
I haven't found a review of "Easter for Atheists" yet, but here's a fill-in for the meantime:

'Easter for Atheists' with Sanderson Jones - Wired For Success TV [Episode 53]

Many thanks! [Smile] That was an interesting start to the day. I was intending to go to the Humanist Group meeting this afternoon (a talk by our Humanist Celebrant), but I've been invited to lunch with son and family , so that takes precedence!
Have you, or are you going to, listen to it all the way through? Very sensible, the whole thing!

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Mark Betts

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Many thanks! [Smile] That was an interesting start to the day. I was intending to go to the Humanist Group meeting this afternoon (a talk by our Humanist Celebrant), but I've been invited to lunch with son and family , so that takes precedence!
Have you, or are you going to, listen to it all the way through? Very sensible, the whole thing!

Where's your conviction, SusanDoris? [Eek!]

Anyway, I half listened to the podcast, well probably not even that, as I was playing it through my headphones while doing other stuff.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

Posts: 2080 | From: Leicester | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Mark Betts

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# 17074

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quote:
Originally posted by Laurelin:
I just read it. A blander, more anodyne piece you couldn't imagine. [Big Grin] . It drips with middle-class niceness ...

Hahahaha! [Killing me] Bring it on Laurelin.

It certainly smacked of a white middle-class academic "set", who don't actually do very much, apart from their once-per-month entertainment show, where they pat each other on the back and celebrate how nice and moralistic atheists are.

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

Posts: 2080 | From: Leicester | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
Mark Betts

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# 17074

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Apologies for the treble-post, but I thought I'd just comment about the mention of Dave Tomlinson in the article. It sounded like the anti-climax of the century to me, but I'm glad Leanne Davis enjoyed him - more bland, anodyne (I googled it!) instantly forgettable bilge. [Snore]

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"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

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kankucho
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# 14318

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Betts:
It certainly smacked of a white middle-class academic "set", who don't actually do very much, apart from their once-per-month entertainment show, where they pat each other on the back and celebrate how nice and moralistic atheists are.

I wonder what impression a visitor to an average church service would get about the amount and quality of 'action' its participants get up to in between their self-congratulatory 'shows' -- and whether the opinion they formed would have any more objective validity than the one you've so pointedly formed on this atheists' assembly.

Btw: Did anyone else catch that appraisal of Dave Allen on the telly last week? Was he an Oxford, or a Cambridge man?

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"We are a way for the cosmos to know itself" – Dr. Carl Sagan
Kankucho Bird Blues

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Horseman Bree
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Bumping this thread up to post the link to an American version of an atheist church.

It also relates to the thread on "Young Atheists", particularly in that the speaker/preacher lost all his sense of "religion" despite (or because of?) having been a Pentecostal preacher for 25 years.

I tend to think that the "harder" atheists become that way by reaction to a religious background that didn't make sense to them personally, while the probably-larger group of agnostics/"softer" atheists just drifted into their belief through all that stuff simply not mattering.

But I do think the preacher in the linked article has a point: there is little community sense in NOT belonging to something. So, how do you find some sense of community without some form of ecclesia?

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It's Not That Simple

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