Elizabeth Hasselbeck interviews (and praises) Ken Ham

This was, of course, on Fox News. Elizabeth Hasselbeck, who was the immensely annoying conservative foil on the chat show The View, and was subsequently fired, has now found an appropriate home at “Fox & Friends”, a morning chat/news show.  And although she avers that she’s neither conservative nor liberal, she shows her true colors in this interview with über-creationist Ken Ham, which ran yesterday. They begin by talking about the unconscionable atheist billboards that appeared in Times Square, and Ham goes on to describe atheism as an “anti-God religion.” Isn’t that some kind of oxymoron?

From The Raw Story:

Ham said that his group, Answers in Genesis, had put up its own billboards in Time Square, including one that says, “To all our atheists friends: Thank God you’re wrong.”

“Our message to the atheists is, hey, we’re not attacking you personally but we want you to know the truth, that there is a God who created you and you are sinners as all of us are, but that God sent his son to become a babe in a manger,” he insisted.

Hasselbeck agreed that the American people “seemed to be with you” because a conservative polling organization had found that most people believed that Christmas should be more about Jesus Christ than Santa Claus.

“The atheists are only a small part of the population,” Hamm said. “And really, it’s that minority, less than 2 percent of the population, that seem to be having such say in our culture, in imposing their anti-God religion.”

“What they’re really doing, the atheists, they’re really wanting to impose their anti-God religion on us, on the culture. And so we need to stand up against that.”

Hasselbeck concluded by thanking Ham for “standing up for your faith.”

Ham also notes:

“Because they’re becoming so aggressive, I just feel that it’s really time that Christians really stood up in this culture to take on the atheists and to proclaim their message of hope. . . I mean, what’s the atheists’ message? There is no God? When you die that’s the end of you? So everything’s just meaningless and hopelessness?”

That, of course, is a main argument, and a fallacious one, against atheism.  I know many nonbelievers, and none of them claim that everything is hopeless and meaningless. (Indeed, faitheists and believers would love for us to be that way!) The implicit argument, and one that sustains many American religionists, is that the only meaning comes from God.  I wonder if those folks consider their work, their families, their hobbies, and their friends “meaningless.”

What we atheists stand up for reason. Our “meaning” is what we make for ourselves, rather than derive from superstition, and our hope is for humans to make this world better through reason and science.

By presenting and praising Ham, Hasselbeck is implicitly endorsing creationism. (After all, she could have gotten any number of noncreationist pastors to go after atheist billboards.) But don’t take my word for it: here’s Hasselbeck on The View espousing the old and discredited Argument from Design. She even alludes to the “fine tuning” argument and mentions the eye as an example of design! And at least one of her co-hosts agrees.

Oy vey! Thank Ceiling Cat that Whoopi Goldberg stood up for evolution, although she apparently believes in God.

Sadly, this chat pretty much represents a cross-section of educated Americans.

h/t: Chris

168 Comments

  1. Cara
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Subscribe.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      moi aussi

      • Posted December 17, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Me quoque

        • Diane G.
          Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          Yo también.

  2. Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Amazing (and frankly, quite disgusting) how little faith these theists have in humanity.

    • Kevin
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      The tragedy and sickness of their ignorance is bottomless.

  3. Rod
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Minor quibble….. many of us of a certain age find the use of the word uber (can’t find the ummlaut) to be distasteful. It was closely associated with the Nazis and their policies of racial superiority.
    I personally will not use it under any circumstances.

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Überhaucht nicht!?!

      Warum da?

    • Draken
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Über was redest du?

      • Rod
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Well, OK….uber und unter but the context I dislike is tacking it in front of any adjective to make it look more cool.
        I still can’t shake the image of ubermensch und untermensch.

        So how do I do the damn thing??

        • Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          Trying to sound cool and alluding to racial superiority are two different things. Over which one are you playing PC Police?

          • Rod
            Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            I suppose I am disappointed but not surprised that younger people today have no knowledge of the historical context of the word.
            Seventy yrs on and most WWII vets are dead or dying, and some of the significant cultural markers of that era have ceased to exits or become trivialised.
            Maybe I need to cheer up a bit!

            • Posted December 17, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

              Rod, you seem to be claiming that any word used badly by someone else should never be used again. And that strikes me as ridiculous.

              People die, cultures change. WWII vets were no better or worse than “younger people”. The idea of the “greatest generation” is a myth.

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

                I agree. Plus, banishing “über” and “unter” might tend to put a damper on discussions at Nietzsche symposia.

                On the other hand, I’m totally cool with “sieg heil!” remaining in perpetual desuetude, except for historical and satirical purposes.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

                Ricky Gervais does a great bit on Nietzsche talking to Hitler and Hitler becoming embarrassed at misunderstanding Nietzsche’s übermensch. It’s brilliant!

              • Jesper Both Pedersen
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

                For the lazy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3hjv-2bBlw

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

                Ha ha, thanks Jesper!

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

                agreed. and thank you for expanding my vocabulary with “desuetude” :)

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

                Brother, I stored that “desuetude” morsel away a decade or so ago, on the chance it might come in handy and, as I was typing my comment, out it popped, unbidden, from my subconscious (just as “unbidden” comes popping out on occasion).

                Some day, if I can work up the courage, I’ll send the homunculus down there spelunking in the subconscious to see what else might be stashed away in its pipes, tunnels, and catacombs.

              • NewEnglandBob
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

                Its turtles, all the way down.

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

                oh talk big obscure words to me, baby :)

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

                I suspect you’re right — and I suspect, in my case, they’re of the ill-tempered, snapping kind.

              • Posted December 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

                “desuetude” is a signature word in M. John Harrison’s fiction. Along with “desultory”.

                /@

            • moarscienceplz
              Posted December 17, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

              Are you also discomfited when a football announcer talks about a ‘blitz’ play?

              • Rod
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

                Not personally but I know some Londoners a few years older than me who might be.

                I guess associations and connotations change with time.Some don’t mean much, others, well….
                My late father-in-law did not mind being called a gay fellow as a teen in the 30s. Probably not today though.

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

                “I guess associations and connotations change with time.Some don’t mean much, others, well….”

                You’re absolutely right, Rod. I’m old enough to have seen several changes in my lifetime, and some of the new usages made me awfully uncomfortable for a while.

                I’m sure there weren’t so many Titanic jokes back in the day…

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

                I wouldn’t be so sure. A couple days after the Challenger blew up, I learned from a classmate that we now knew that Christa McAuliffe had dandruff because NASA had found her head and shoulders washed up on the beach.

                I refuse to believe that ’twas my generation that invented gallows humor.

                b&

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

                What about cheeky allusions to the Toba Catastrophe?

                Too soon?

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

                “…I refuse to believe that ’twas my generation that invented gallows humor. ”

                OH, sure. I’m a great fan of and participant in black humor. But there at least used to be a sort of public, social restraint until an unspecified but somehow agreed upon time elapsed.

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

                At least by the time I was in high school, that period was measured in days. I suspect that, in the Internet age, it’s now measured in hours, if not minutes.

                Not sure that does anybody any good….

                b&

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

                That’s an interesting question you’re posing. There’s probably a broadly applicable formula for determining how much time must pass between an event and its ripeness for humor that would include the event’s tragedy, proximity, and publicity — though the answer for us individually seems more a matter of emotion and intuition than ratiocination.

                I think a related question concerns how much accuracy we demand of artistic representations of historical events. Shakespeare could take a lot more liberties with Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Cleopatra a millennium and a half after the events, than most were willing to allow Oliver Stone to take with JFK, Nixon, and W, mere decades or years or months afterward (though I’m not suggesting the two are otherwise comparable).

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

              “Maybe I need to cheer up a bit!”

              Genau, es ist nicht so schlecht.

            • Posted December 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

              I was going to say I had some “reservations” about this, but I couldn’t because: forced relocation.

              Get real! You implored us to cease using a common and useful prefix, simply because it appeared in one narrow context indirectly associated with eugenics.

              Spencer coined “survival of the fittest” with a specific racist intent, yet nobody whines about that phrase.

              This sort of PC foolishness is rapidly turning our language into ingsoc newspeak.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

                Why not ban “eu” since it was used in eugenics? ;) No more eukaryotics, euphemisms, euthanasia….no more “well/good” in Greek at all.

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

                …no more European Union….

                b&

              • Posted December 18, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

                …and back to wars in Europe. Thank-you very much…

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

                Diana – Maybe you could get believers to swear off (or in the case of Quakers, affirm off) the use of the “a” affix, because agnostics and atheists!

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

                Yeah, no more alpha privatives!

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

                Shouldn’t that be, “no more lpha privatives?”

                b&

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Sei nicht so bescheuert, Rod!

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Was denn, laufen sie immer schwarz über die Straße? Benützen sie niemals die Übergang?

    • Kevin
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      It might be heartening to know my kids (<9) use uber-awesome and uber-epic and they know of no other connotation than that associated with positive vibes. They have no clue what racial superiority is.

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Rod – you might want to draw a distinction between what the Nazi’s co-opted, like “über,” and what they created, like “sieg heil!” The former ought not carry the stigma of the latter.

      We can draw the same distinction between Wagner’s music (which, as Mark Twain observed, is a lot better than it sounds), and the “Horst Wessel Song.”

  4. Brygida Berse
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    here’s Hasselbeck on The View espousing the old and discredited Argument from Design.

    It’s the Argument from Fashionable Handbag Design! I love it!

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      “The Argument from Fashionable Handbag Design.” Oh, that’s a good one!

      Thanks.

    • Diane G.
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      A much more accessible argument than the one involving watches–watches being far too complicated…

  5. Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Since the subject of Xmas was touched upon in the atheist Times Square poster, I thought I might suggest a suitable present for faithful. It is the book “Big Gods: How religion transformed cooperation and conflict” by Ara Norenzayan, Princeton University Press. It was advocated by New Scientist on 28th September 2013 and is a new insight on the probable evolutionary causes of religion, and much else. For Kindle readers the free initial introduction gives a good flavor of the book’s thesis. Definitely worth investigating.

  6. Sastra
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    So 17% of the people polled said that Christmas should be more about Santa than Jesus and yet the two talking heads keep harping on and on about how only 2% of the population want to “impose” their view of Christmas on the worshiping majority. They’re not even paying attention to their own statistics.

    I really like this pro-Christmas-without-Christ campaign by the American Atheists. It focuses on all the positive aspects of the holiday for everyone and places the Christians into the Scrooge category, snarling at those who fail to celebrate Christmas the ‘right’ way. Tough. Deal with it.

    In case Ham and Hasselbeck haven’t noticed, the AmAth campaign is a direct pushback in response to sign after sign after sign directing everyone to “Keep the Christ in Christmas” or “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” They’ve been doing this attack for years. Do they really have no idea how hostile that message is? How greedy? How intrusive, rude, and hectoring to those of us who celebrate what we feel is the true and inclusive meaning of Christmas and are told to get out of THEIR holiday?

    Yes and no, probably. Just as they want it both ways: Christmas as a national holiday AND as a deeply religious birthday party for Jesus, equally. Can’t do that. The world is not theirs.

    And they can’t really hold back the secularization of Christmas either. Grinches.

    Ho ho ho.

    • Robert Bray
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      What is more, Christmas is a pre-Christian celebration of the return and renewal of the light.

      • TJR
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Absolutely, let’s get back to the *real* meaning of the midwinter solstice festival.

        Keep The Christ Out of Yule.

        (Or midsummer, for those down south).

        • Posted December 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          Well, it’s still a midwinter solstice festival, even though it happens to be midsummer in the antipodes.

          /@

          • Diane G.
            Posted December 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

            Which makes one wonder–is there any history of mid-June solstice festivals in the S. hemisphere?

      • Sastra
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Right. The people who harp on and on about the unavoidable implication of the inclusion of CHRIST in CHRISTmas never seem to do the same with E(a)STR or HALLOWeen or SAINT Valentine’s Day, do they? Or THOR’s day or SATUR(N)day either?

        It’s as if all of a sudden names have actual magic in them, which cannot be violated because the word is the essence of the thing.

        Maybe they’d be happier seeing it spelled “Krissmus.”

        No, they’d hate that.

        Let’s do it! ;)

        • Posted December 17, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          And where is Christ in “Noël” (Noel)?

          • Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            Yeah .. let’s keep the NO in Noël!

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

              Good one!

        • Diane G.
          Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          Merry Krissmus!

          Though I’m also fond of “Merry Christmyth.”

          • Matt G
            Posted December 18, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink

            Nice! And maybe Krismoose (reindeer being too cumbersome).

        • Posted December 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          Or Krysmas, a Fremen festival, from Arakkis.

          /@

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

            Which makes me post this because of all the Dune nerd LOLz.

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      It’s time we put Mithra back into Mithras.

      • stuartcoyle
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Bring it on. My cat’s name is Mithra, I’m sure he deserves a holiday named after him.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      They have such short memories and forget all the constant Christian bombardment they’ve subjected everyone to over the millennia. The reason they don’t get this is because they think it’s just the way it should be – they are the majority so everyone else needs to conform or get lost and they shouldn’t have to hear anyone else.

      I’m just waiting for one more bigoted and underneath it all, racist proclamation on Facebook that says: “If you don’t like saying Merry Christmas go back to where you came from” so I can remind the poster that I don’t have anywhere to “go back to” and that includes not just me who with the “nones” make up more than all the non-Christian religions in my country but also all those non-Christians which together make up a pretty sizeable group.

      It’s atheists who protect everyone as we don’t want anyone to have privilege. These types of Fox News Christians like to say it’s them who are the protectors but they know deep down that this is not what they really want.

      • Matt G
        Posted December 18, 2013 at 5:58 am | Permalink

        They want everyone to have the freedom to be Christian.

  7. Amelia Schuler
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Cringe. It’s disheartening to be reminded that the women on The View present a fair picture of prevailing opinions that reflect how most Americans reconcile their religious beliefs/proclivities with the modern world.

    All these interpretations are lazy, but many are willing to live with them. Daily distractions trump self-reflection. Rumination requires stillness and time, and courage.

    • Sastra
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      I never watch The View, so I still have a soft spot for Elizabeth Hasselbeck and her poor little scabby legs on Survivor.

  8. Robert Bray
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    ‘And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.’

    Paul wrote a lot of objectionable things, as he founded Christianity, but this one remains sublime. Too bad that Christians invert Paul’s order and all but obliterate the middle term with their actions of ‘love.’

    • gluonspring
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your courthouse nativity scene, hand over your courthouse Christmas tree as well.” – Matthew 5:40.

  9. Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    “Thank Ceiling Cat that Whoopi Goldberg stood up for evolution”

    Yeah, well, Whoopi also thinks that seducing a twelve year-old doesn’t count as “‘rape’ rape” and a legion of other really stupid things. So forgive me for not rushing to sign her up as poster girl for critical thinking.

    • darrelle
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Nobody asked you to.

  10. Ken Phelps
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Sure they vote for Jesus in the polls, but on Black Friday and beyond, their feet vote for Santa.

  11. Sean
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Ken Ham is such a fraud. I would love to know how much money he has managed to milk out of his flock. (excuse the mixed metaphor!)

    If a guy like Ken Ham was honestly trying to ‘spread the word’ wouldnt he build his church in India or Pakistan instead of Kentucky where the vast majority of people are already Christians?

    • RFW
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      If Ken Ham were a true xtian, he’d take all the money he’s wasted on that stupid ark park and use it to send a large plane full of necessities to the Philippines. Seems to me that true charity doesn’t attach strings and is given freely to all who need it, without regard for faith, color, creed, natonality, or politics.

      Ken Ham has, in fact, done no such thing.

      • DV
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        “To live charitably means not looking out for our own interest, but carrying the burdens of the weakest and poorest among us.” – Pope Francis

        • NewEnglandBob
          Posted December 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          I don’t agree with the pope’s comment. if one is “not looking out for our own interest”, then who will? These are not mutually exclusive.

      • Sean
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Amen!

    • Diane G.
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Not to worry–some people milk ewes.

  12. Sean
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    And Regarding the View: I think it’s disgusting that ABC would give a cigarette & Anti-vaccination spokesperson any air time at all.

    But the real reason we should be offended that Jenny McCarthy is on TV everyday is this movie:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Love_(film)#Reaction

    She Wrote directed and stared in this garbage. If you have total control over a project and the result is this bad, it says everything you need to know!

    What a hack.

  13. Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    “Our message to the atheists is, hey, we’re not attacking you personally but we want you to know the truth, that there is a God who created you and you are sinners as all of us are, but that God sent his son to become a babe in a manger,” he insisted.”
    ___

    Ham can’t possibly think that atheists do not know already that this is the Christian perspective. Christians are in the majority and let’s just say, they are not noted for being quiet about their faith. In addition, many atheists were raised Christian. Instead his words are an example of psychological projection: he is feeling personally attacked that atheists are speaking their mind.

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      “Ham can’t possibly think that …”

      Don’t underestimate the man! ;-)

      • Diane G.
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Just stop one more word short…

  14. George
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    All four of them seem equally stupid to me. At least the blond is good-looking.

    • moarscienceplz
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Really, George? You think such an ugly sexist remark would be welcomed here?

      • Wolfkiller
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        How is commenting on the physical attractiveness of someone ugly or sexist? The lot of you jumped on Mr. Uber for being too PC, then this? ;/

        • Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Context is key.

          Of what possible relevance is Ms. Hasselbeck’s sexual attraction to the conversation? How would your reaction change if your level of attraction was different in any direction?

          If she had been cast as Helen, it would be relevant. “Perfect choice! I’d fall on my sword for her any day!” Or, “Her? As Helen? Her face wouldn’t launch a single kayak, let alone an armada!”

          But that’s not the context here. And here, the context can only be interpreted as an indication that her value to society is solely as an animated sex appliance. I suppose there may well be people deserving of such an insult, but, as much as I disagree with her, that particular level of insult truly seems beyond the pale in this case.

          b&

          • Wolfkiller
            Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

            Beauty and value is subjective, as I’m sure the comment was meant to be taken. I can’t speak for George, but I highly doubt he was trying to speak for all of society. I don’t think making an off hand remark about the attractiveness (or lack of) deserves being jumped on for accusations of sexism and ugliness.

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

              Well, another thing to think of is the rather implied slur on the other three women. Really, I’m sure we all have lookist thoughts all the time, but they don’t always need to be expressed publicly. We women really don’t need the constant reminders of the fact that we’re always being judged by appearance. It’s quite depressing.

              • Wolfkiller
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

                Everyone is judged by appearance. And according to the other Diana, those other three women must be attractive otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed on television! I think you guys might be taking the comment a little too seriously and projecting a bit. I’m all for feminism and equal rights, but not every harmless comment is part of a conspiracy to undermine women’s rights. It’s okay to express your personal opinion on the physical beauty of another person! Ceiling Cat told me through revelation for everyone to lighten up!

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 1:01 am | Permalink

                ” It’s okay to express your personal opinion on the physical beauty of another person! ”

                OK, guys, start posting your pictures, and I’ll tell you what I think. :D

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 6:20 am | Permalink

                Yes all you guys shut your pretty little mouths and just post up your pictures so we can have a “hot or not” contest.

              • Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

                In all egalitarian fairness, we women should do the same. :D

            • Posted December 18, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

              If it was a rare sort of thing, sure…maybe. But this type of “commentary” is pervasive and inescapable and non-stop. It’s everywhere, and it’s high past time people stopped flogging the poor dead horse.

              b&

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          Ben is correct about context. Women in the public eye (and even not in the public eye) are valued more for their appearance than their intellect and we don’t really need anymore of it. Yes, this person is attractive and I’m sure she wouldn’t have a position in TV if she weren’t because “unattractive women”, unlike men, don’t get to be on TV no matter how great their ability.

          This site is classier than to perpetuate this unfairness.

          • Posted December 18, 2013 at 6:34 am | Permalink

            I agree with the women here, and of course I’m not going to perpetuate the view that women should be judged on their looks. But that comment got by me, and before I could chastise the writer, the replies were up. (I was out much of the day yesterday).

            But the women here, it seems, are perfectly capable of maintaining an anti-sexist culture!

            • Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

              Hey! It ain’t just the women!

              b&

            • Wolfkiller
              Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

              Just curious… am I being paranoid or are you censoring discussion? There is no “reply” link under both Dianas’ comments asking for the men to post pictures. This is your site and you can do what you want, obviously. I do think it is in bad taste to stop people from conversing when there was no sign of hostility or rudeness to be found, if that is indeed the care. Not to mention depriving the ladies of their eye candy they keep asking for. ;)

              • Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

                It’s a WordPress “feature.” When the comment replies get deep enough, it omits the “reply” button.

                Convention is to tack replies onto the last post in the sub-thread with a reply button. If you use the email interface, WordPress takes care of that automatically.

                b&

              • Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

                Yeah, I wondered that too. So I’m replying to the Dianas here: I’ve changed my avatar to be a photo, unretuched or modified in any way, of me.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

                WordPress only allows so many replies. The reply button disappeared after your reply referring to “the other Diana”.

              • Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

                You are being paranoid: the comments only nest to a certain level (six, I think), and then you have to reply by going above to where there is a reply in that thread.

                Before you start throwing about accusations that there is censorship, you should inquire.

                And what I can do is ban you for your rudeness to the host, which I will do unless you apologize immediately.

                By the way, it is not “censoring” to not allow all comments. If I did this site would be full of religious lunacy and other comments by trolls and the like.

                Now apologize or leave.

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

                “Yeah, I wondered that too. So I’m replying to the Dianas here: I’ve changed my avatar to be a photo, unretuched or modified in any way, of me.”

                Hot, abeast!!

                BTW, there’s only one Diana here.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

                Ha! I was going to ask you how it felt to be known as, “the other Diana” LOL

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

                “Ha! I was going to ask you how it felt to be known as, “the other Diana” LOL”

                Can’t think of anyone I’d rather be conflated with. ;)

              • Jesper Both Pedersen
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

                Now hug. media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9r8yt1hj41rne8e9.gif

              • Jesper Both Pedersen
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

                Ah crap, copy and paste first. :-)

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

                Awww shucks.

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

              “But the women here, it seems, are perfectly capable of maintaining an anti-sexist culture!”

              With a little help from our friends. :)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      This is exactly what is equally offensive about Fox News’s explicit views; it’s implicit treatment of women as bimbos. They don’t hire actual smart journalistic women so the women we get to see are these ones spouting this crap that invite these types of comments.

      • Matt G
        Posted December 18, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        Absolutely. You’ll see plenty of unattractive men on TV, but women are held to a different (i.e., higher) standard when it comes to appearance.

    • Diane G.
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      What Diana & moar said.

  15. Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    When Thom Hartman interviews Ken Hovind, there is a bunch of major facepalm moments:
    Does Creationism Belong in any Classroom?

  16. Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    The Ham and View chatter is precisely what one should expect when ignorant people try to discus anything that requires intelligence in order for the conversation to progress along an intelligent and rational line.

    What freakin’ Morans. It’s absolutely embarrassing. And you’re absolutely correct in saying that the View conversation represents well what so-called “educated” ‘murcans are capable of producing.

    There’s simply no reasoning possible w/ these dolts.

  17. Greg Peterson
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Serving a being who does not need anything, praising a being who cannot gain from the praise–could anything be more meaningless than that?

    By the way, some Christians make the argument that only permanent things have meaning, but Jesus made it clear (when questioned about who a man would be married to in heaven if a series of wives died and he remarried) that marriage is for this life only. So I guess marriage is meangingless. This would come as a shock to a lot of the fundamentalists who work so hard to defend “traditional marriage,” I would imagine.

    Meaning is not something that exists apart from our ability to create it. It’s like exercise. Gyms don’t have exercise. They enable it. MAKE MEANING because it’s nowhere to be “found.”

    • Matt G
      Posted December 18, 2013 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      Wow, does this mean heaven is all about free love? Sign me up!

      • Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Convert to Islam, then – in heaven you’ll get some 72 Houris…

        houri
        ˈhʊəri/
        noun
        noun: houri; plural noun: houris

        1.
        a beautiful young woman, especially one of the virgin companions of the faithful in the Muslim Paradise.

  18. ROO BOOKAROO
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Here is the transcript of the interview of Ken Ham in Bill Maher’s RELIGULOUS.
    This is scene 13, which comes right after the delightful 12, interview of the naively candid senator Mark Pryor, with his famous conclusion “You don’t have to pass an IQ test to be in the Senate, though.”

    13. CREATION MUSEUM, Petersburg, KY. – KEN HAM, Answers in Genesis

    (Ken Ham) We can answer the questions of the skeptics that attack the Bible’s history. We admit that we start from the Bible here to teach them how to think. In a nutshell, we’re saying, the Bible’s true from Genesis to Revelation… People say to me, ”As a Christian, can’t you believe in evolution?” If you believe in evolution, the woman had to come from an ape woman. People see dinosaurs and people together, which is very different to the idea of the evolutionists who say dinosaurs died out 70 million ago or so, and so they didn’t live with humans. They see…two animatronic baby T-Rexes and two animatronic children. (Showing saddles on dinosaurs). To be able to reason with people, learn to circumnavigate or go around the person’s intellect.
    – There’s plenty of people who would say, ”Well, it’s just my faith.” But that’s not good enough for you. You say, ”No. We can basically reconcile the science with what’s in Genesis.”
    (Ken Ham) We’re… telling people that the Bible’s history is true, its history beginning in Genesis.
    – Scientists line up overwhelmingly on one side of this issue. It would have to be an enormous conspiracy going on between scientists of all different disciplines, in all different countries to have such a consensus. That doesn’t move you?
    (Ken Ham) From a Biblical perspective, I understand why the majority would not agree with the truth. Man is a sinner. Man is rebelling against his creator.
    – All these scientists are sinners?
    (Ken Ham) Well…

    [Later]
    (Maher, back to Ken Ham) I still don’t understand why it’s important [that] a man co-existed with dinosaurs. [
    the pictures of the Creation Museum in the movie show dinosaurs with saddles on, ready for a ride by humans of the time.] Why is that important for your salvation or your morality?
    (Ken Ham) If you’re saying this part over here, it says God made land animals and man on the same day is not true, then ultimately, why should I believe this bit over here?
    (Ken Ham) God is an infinite God who is working in ways we don’t always understand.
    – You don’t think that’s a cop-out?

  19. RFW
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Elizabeth Hasselbeck is a blonde bimbo. Ergo, what comes out of her mouth are lies.

    She’d be doing the world more good putting on a pair of hot pants and hooking on a street corner.

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Erm…I’m sure you were going for the laughs, but that one just went <splat /> in a big way.

      One of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known is, physically, the proverbial hot blonde — though she’s almost 60 by now so there’ll be those who would use the past tense.

      And, whatever Hasselbeck’s intelligence or lack thereof, Ham seriously outdoes her in the stupid here. Yet I don’t think you’d suggest he’d be better off turning tricks.

      The implication that attractive young blonde women are only good for sex-for-hire if they don’t meet some other high standard is more than a bit degrading.

      b&

      • ROO BOOKAROO
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        I usually prefer to stay out of those conversations when they have no scientific or scholarly value, but only express the emotional prejudices of the writers.
        But in this case, I have to weigh in and agree 100% with Ben Goren.
        “The implication that attractive young blonde women are only good for sex-for-hire if they don’t meet some other high standard is more than a bit degrading.”
        In fact, it’s more than degrading, it is the expression of simple, mechanical machismo.

        It is not just Fox News that likes to put on stage naive, simplistic-sounding blonde women. This was a tradition established by early movies of Hollywood. The Marx Bros made it a mainstay of their act. MSNBC and its TODAY show do it often, in a light spirit of jollity.

        It is highly doubtful that, from an evolutionary viewpoint, blonde hair color has anything to do with innate intelligence, in women as well as men, by the way. It has more to do with a cultural attitude of modern times conditioned by the miracles of photography and cinema.
        Jane Fonda was as smart a blonde cookie as they come. Hillary Clinton is a potential presidential candidate. Wendy Davis was able to sustain a 13-hour long filibuster to oppose legislation drastically reducing Texas women’s ability to obtain abortion care in the state. Ann Coulter, on the other side of the aisle, can be as much fun as a professional comedian.

        And even Fox has some high-level blonde female talent. Their viewers consider Megyn Kelly their superstar!
        Irrespective of everything else (i.e. her ultra right-wing political orientation, beliefs, preferences, etc.), speaking only of physical presence, mastery of language, control of issues, and oratory delivery, Megyn Kelly projects by far the best TV female presenter’s performance.
        Voice is marvelous (look at the way she can open her mouth, like an opera singer, not a high-pitched, hard-to-take-seriously soprano, but a convincing mellifluous lower-pitched contralto), looks are superior, control of language superbly professional, quickness of brain is as good as any top journalist’s or lawyer’s.
        Her physical performance is simply superb. Beautiful jaw-work. Pure opera.

        So, we have to accept that blondes share in the same high level of ability and performance as brunettes. And this applies to men, as well.
        Unless credible scientific evidence can be provided (not an easy project), all partial views on the subject only reflect personal emotional and cultural prejudices.

      • Diane G.
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        “The implication that attractive young blonde women are only good for sex-for-hire if they don’t meet some other high standard is more than a bit degrading.”

        Hell, yeah. They’re also good for beer commercials.

        /sarcasm

        • Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

          Judging from the last time I saw a beer commercial…I’m not so sure that there’s all that much difference between the two professions….

          b&

          • Diane G.
            Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            Amen.

            • Diane G.
              Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

              (Hmmm–doesn’t that mean, “without men?”)

              • NewEnglandBob
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

                LOL. +1

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

                Ha ha! Where were you when I needed a smart ass remark to make in Ancient Greek class when we learned the alpha privative! Damn, that would’ve been a good one!

              • Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

                That’s why I prefer the Pastafarian version — otherwise, not just left out, I’m left out of noodles!

                b&

              • Posted December 18, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

                +1

      • Diane G.
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        “— though she’s almost 60 by now so there’ll be those who would use the past tense.”

        It’s amazing how many people think, “Wow, I’ll bet you used to be beautiful” is a much desired compliment.

        • Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          That’s the problem — they’re not thinking.

          They’re also generally not looking, either — or, at least, looking but not seeing.

          Granted, there are certainly plenty of examples of people who were beautiful when young but who did nasty things to their bodies over the years and are decidedly unattractive in their old age, but there’re also plenty of examples of people who age and even get wrinkly but remain beautiful. Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench come to mind.

          b&

          • Diane G.
            Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            …Peter O’Toole…
            :D

            • Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

              I’ll take your word for it.

              Would you believe, I can’t figure out if guys are attractive? Never have been able. They all just look like guys to me. I remember women and girls swooning over Tom Selleck back in the day (and maybe still today), but I never did see what set him apart.

              Of course, I can tell if somebody is athletic or obese or symmetrical or disfigured or whatever, but I’ve never figured out how that translates into what women find attractive. Two guys similarly proportioned, one gets women hot and bothered, the other barely rates a second look.

              b&

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

                Don’t think there’s any one standard. Different women, different button-pushers.

                Selleck did nothing for me; and that was before I learned of his politics.

              • Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

                It takes a woman to know… ;)

          • Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:38 am | Permalink

            Maggie Smith and Judi Dench are wonderful actors and fine looking women. But, dude, when it comes to “dames,” it’s Helen Mirren who is … hawt.

            • Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

              Don’t know how my screen name got changed in the comment above; wouldn’t make much of a pseudonym anyway.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:55 am | Permalink

            Maggie Smith and Judi Dench are wonderful actors and fine-looking women. But, dude, if it’s “dames” you’re talking, it’s Helen Mirren who is … hawt.

          • Posted December 18, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            And with regard to men, Sean Connery and Peter O’Toole, for example. George Clooney isn’t doing too bad as years go by, either. :D

    • moarscienceplz
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      RFW, it would please me (and I suspect pretty much everyone else) if you would go away and never come back.

  20. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I actually thought this particular interview with David Silverman about the New York bill board was a good one because the interviewers just build up straw man after straw man & attack the straw man instead of actually listening to what Dave has to say. The best part is when Dave says, “pot meet kettle”.

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      I’m three minutes in and already my forehead hurts. Thanks Diana!

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Had to get me a bit of Colbert working his magic on a creationist: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/413074/april-23-2012/don-mcleroy

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Drat! Canadians are forbidden to watch that because we have a network here that carries Colbert. Of course, it rarely has the same archival stuff.

        • Jesper Both Pedersen
          Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Dang it. Well, he pretty much reveals the creationist bullcrap by playing along in his patented fashion.

          It’s pretty funny in an absurd kinda way…

  21. Posted December 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Wait. What? My life is meaningless and hopeless?

    Since when?

    And why didn’t I get the memo?

    Hell — if anybody got that memo, it should have been me — I am the EAC memographer, after all.

    Memo to Ham: the meaning you’ve chosen for your own life is more than a bit childish. You can do better than that. There’s hope for you, yet!

    Cheers,

    b&

  22. DV
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I’ll see your Message of Hope (TM) and raise it with my Message of Truth (TM).

    The problem with selling hope divorced from reality is that the competition can always concoct a better product.

    • Sastra
      Posted December 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      +1

  23. jeffery
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    A RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED SUGGESTED CORRECTION: “…this chat pretty much represents a cross-section of Americans who THINK they’re educated.”

  24. Andrikzen
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    When did a- start meaning anti?

    And how can one be anti- something that doesn’t exist?

  25. Pliny the in Between
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    It would be interesting to collect a log of the number of overt Christian symbols and messaging that the average person is subjected to in a typical day. I suspect that it’s a far cry from the occasional atheist billboard that so offends the faithful.

  26. Posted December 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Some Ham guy: “… the truth, that there is a God who created you and you are sinners as all of us are, but that God sent his son to become a babe in a manger,”

    moi and anyone who thinks about it for 30 seconds: “And the evidence for that is what”?

  27. Dave
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I can’t bear the thought that my death is the end of me; therefore, gawd exists. Or, did I miss something?

    • Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      I think, “Here, eat this cracker” needs to be in there somewhere….

      b&

      • Dave
        Posted December 17, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        “Here, eat this cracker”

        Er, OK.

        “Here, drink this wine” Better. Much better.

        • Posted December 18, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          Cracker and wine? Uh uh. Cracker and plonk. Yes.

  28. Dave
    Posted December 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Well, that’s 4:16 I’ll never get back.

  29. chriskg
    Posted December 18, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The Christian Post is making Ken Ham a martyr. http://www.christianpost.com/news/creation-museums-ken-ham-says-atheists-went-ballistic-after-fox-interview-110977/

    • chriskg
      Posted December 18, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      From the article: “In essence atheists worship themselves – they are their own gods,” the AiG blog states. “These fallible, finite people make absolute statements about their belief in naturalism and that naturalism was the cause of the universe and life. They determine their own morality – their own supposed purpose and meaning.” Irony much?

      • Diane G.
        Posted December 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        LOL–so true! Just drop the first “a” (in the quote’s first sentence) and swap out “naturalism” for myth or some such.

  30. Leigh Jackson
    Posted December 18, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    For many people the thought that life only has a secular meaning is too much to bear. The good they experience in their life is heavily outweighed by the bad. If someone needs a comforting belief to keep them going I do not begrudge them it. That is what faith is for. If people proclaim their faith to be compatible with science when it is flagrantly incompatible then there is a problem.
    Ham’s faith is flagrantly at odds with science. Hasselbeck similarly. Goldberg is welcome to believe that God underwrites evolution as long as she recognises her belief entails the existence of something unnecessary to explain the existence of humans, and for which there is not a shred of scientific evidence.

    • Posted December 18, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      The problem is that, for those same hopeless masses, their only true hope for an actual remedy to their problems is to embrace reality firmly. You can’t pray your way out of dysentery, but you can dig latrines and boil water and take other objective steps to relieve that bit of suffering. Same with almost anything else you’d care to name: pretending it’s not as bad as it is will just make it worse, but engaging the problems head-on might actually get you somewhere.

      You can make up cases of exceptions, such as the proverbial prisoner chained to the wall, but there are damned few whose situation is really so hopeless that an escape from reality really is the best option.

      b&

      • Leigh Jackson
        Posted December 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        You can pray for God to give you strength to go on when you are close to giving up. Or you may or may not find strength to go on if you don’t think praying is any use.

        “I can’t go on; I must go on; I can’t go on; I’ll go on.” Sam Beckett.

        The point being that one keeps going on for as long as one can keep going on.

        Whatever it takes.

  31. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 18, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Hasselbeck is not someone I have a strong interest in defending, but he must be noted she was not fired from “The View”, although rumors were abounding. She left voluntarily.

  32. carol
    Posted December 21, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The thing that saddens me most about the Fox News interview with Ham is that he is an Australian like myself, sad mainly because the scourge that is Creationism has not really taken hold here as it has in America, but more so because because this guy apparently has a degree in Applied Science from the University of Queensland, with a major in evolutionary biology and yet is a young earth creationist! An unsettling indictment on education in my country- that we are producing scientists that can still hold such views, though possibly explaining the fact that he has resettled in a country more receptive to his way of thinking.

  33. John Dickinson
    Posted December 22, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    The last sentence requires a double-take. It starts to read as if “chat pretty” is a noun. I looked it up to see if if was an established derogatory term for such presenters. Perhaps it should be.


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