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Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything

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The Gullible Organ (2 of 12)

September 30th, 2007 · Posted by Who Knows? · 10 Comments

Overwhelmingly, the first impression, the first piece of feedback given by other non-fundamentalist attendants, is shock expressed at how the fundies swallow absolutely anything they are told, no questions asked. Writes a Christian I met there (Update: Chris Venter, great guy ;) ):

Die ergste vir my was om te sien hoe die mense daar alles wat hy te sê gehad het net so vir soetkoek opgevreet het. En hoe hulle gelag het vir al sy innuendo’s oor die oënskynlike verbrokkeling en ineenstorting van die “sekulêre wetenskap”. Dis vir my verstommend dat mense, baie van hulle met universiteitsopleiding, so onkrities na sulke goed kan luister…

Paraphrased, he was shocked to see how gullible the audience was, how they laugh at innuendos about the supposed falling apart of the “secular science”. He is dumbfounded that people, many them with university educations, can listen so uncritically to what they are told.

The audience is an organ, the speaker a virtuoso on such instruments. They hiss when they should hiss, they laugh when they should laugh. Claims and statements made do not have to be motivated, the audience is not there to question. The audience is there for easy answers, and a soothing reassurance that they are correct, and that everyone else will burn in hell.

If you are a moderate Christian and have never witnessed something like it before, you owe it to yourself to see it. If you have never witnessed it, you can be forgiven for not understanding why it is an issue, why so many people say “Shofar is a cult” or “Shofar is evil and must be stopped“.

Most of the non-theist/post-theists/atheists I know that attended, did not stay long. Barry Ross wrote:

I was at the Creationist seminar, but only from the second session…heard you guys left after the first, so we just missed each other. I left half-way through the third session. It was such a beautiful day outside.

Most of the critical audience members that stayed the course, are moderate Christians that are concerned about the damage Shofar is doing to Christianity. This gives them enough motivation to sit through it all, witnessing the extent of the problem. It is what Brian McLaren was referring to when he wrote, in Finding Faith (Amazon, Kalahari):

I don’t think the greatest enemy of monotheism is atheism, agnosticism, polytheism, dualism or pantheism: It is bad monotheism, monotheism carried out in bad faith.

I have seen Shofar members walking around with T-shirts stating something like “We are not ashamed of the Gospel”. That’s great. Just a pity they make everyone else ashamed of it. (That was from a theist’s perspective. The atheists celebrate, as Shofar is evangelising atheism to so many people.)

If you are in the area, and would like to borrow my copy of Finding Faith, let me know.

ps. Is there a nice English idiom equivalent of “alles vir soetkoek opvreet”?


first post in the series

Categories: Religion and Science
Tags: ·

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Al Lovejoy // Sep 30, 2007 at 11:09 am

    Yeah, there is: “Treating it as gospel” – go figure

  • 2 Johan Swarts // Sep 30, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    wow, jou nuwe blog lyk baie cool :-)

  • 3 Bertus! // Oct 1, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    Ek het nie woorde om te se^ hoe spyt ek is dat ek daai sirkus misgeloop het nie.

  • 4 Hugo // Oct 1, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Daar sal weer ‘n sirkus wees. Daar is ten minste elke jaar een.

    O ja, jy kan hom ook nog gaan sien by die volgende plekke:

    # Monday 1 October, 7.00pm, Cape Town Baptist Seminary (Enquiring Minds lecture), 52–64 Tarentaal Road, Bridgetown, Cape Town.
    # Tuesday 2 October, 1.00pm, Tygerburg Medical Campus, Lecture Room 1, 1st Floor, Education Block, Bellville, Cape Town.
    # Tuesday 2 October, 7.30pm, public meeting, Sweet Valley Primary School (hosted by Living Hope Bible Church), Dreyersdal Road, Bergvliet, Cape Town.
    # Wednesday 3 October, 7.30pm, public meeting, Mountain View Baptist Church, corner Main & Putter Roads (bottom of Boyes Drive), Lakeside.

    Ek is selfs lus en gaan weer. ;-) Ek kan my vrae bietjie uitbrei, en my antwoorde vir sy vrae beter fraseer. Maar my tesis roep. First things first.

  • 5 Pienk Zuit // Oct 2, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Ons het vriende wat in Shophar is, en ek hou nog myself terug, maar ek wil nog vir hulle vra of hulle hierdie nonsens glo. Ek het hulle al gevra hoe hulle ‘n kerk gekies het, en of hulle rêrig weet waarvoor die kerk staan. Die antwoord was dat die Heilige Gees hulle na die kerk toe gelei het. My antwoord daaropwas amper “Ek twyfel of die Heilige Gees iets met so ‘n klomp nonsens te doen wil hê”, maar ek het maar stil gebly. Dis verstommend om te sien hoe intelligente nie 5 minute vat om net te dink oor wat hulle glo nie.

  • 6 Is CMI Scientifically Illiterate? (3 of 12) // Oct 6, 2007 at 11:17 am

    […] | MiniBlog | Comments ← The Gullible Organ (2 of 12) How to Convert an Atheist […]

  • 7 Rinus // Dec 12, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Haha… I find this comment strangely relevant

  • 8 Hugo // Dec 12, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Hehe, Rinus, too true! Sorry, I’ve spammed the comment already. For those that missed it, here’s the body of the comment, minus the link:

    Using credit cards wisely is not an easy thing. One should choose a card for his spending preferences and know how to make payments so that his credit score will increase and debt reduce. Among web sources for credit card applications and guide to personal finance there is one I like most [money transfer with debit card]

    So, by making a comment like this, and having it be ham and not spam, am I busy de-training the akismet spam filters? Oops. Oh well. ;)

    Akismet has protected your site from 3,251 spam comments.

    Nice, eh? 3251, that means my tiny site is now at considerably more than ten per day.

  • 9 Hugo // Dec 12, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    <snip>Spam is automatically deleted after 15 days, so don’t sweat it.
    There are currently 98 comments identified as spam.</snip>

    Hmm… that gives between six and seven per day, for the last 15 days.

  • 10 A Response to Johan Swarts Re: Freethinking Maties // Feb 15, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    […] of some of the statements. I think jumping to the conclusion that the laughter is the same as the laughter in creationism seminars*, is a rather hasty and uninformed judgement call. Or maybe Johan is just better at interpreting an […]

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