Fundamentalist pastor from Georgia visits Scandinavia, is horrified by their nonbelief

Now here’s an interesting idea. Take a fundamentalist (and creationist) preacher from the southern U.S. and put him in various Scandinavian countries. Then sit back and enjoy the fun while the pastor becomes horrified at not only the degree of unbelief, but the fact that these countries seem to function normally. Even the religious people he meets are, in the American’s book, bound for Hell.

Of course, it’s silly to argue that you need God for morality, or that a country can’t function without a strong religious orientation, but Pastor McLain from Georgia learned this the hard way.  And one can imagine the feelings the Scandinavian heathens themselves when they encounter an American who believes in creation, Heaven, Hell, the Garden of Eden, the sinfulness of homosexuality—the whole fetid ball of wax.

The YouTube notes say this:

Excerpt from the [Finnish] documentary series “The Norden”. American pastor Marty McLain visits the secular Nordic countries. What role does religion have in the Nordic society? How do the Nordic people relate to God, faith and spirituality? How does it differ from the US? Host: Joakim Rundt.

And there’s a short piece about it at Addicting Info which adds this:

A few highlights:

  • While interviewing several members of a church in Copenhagen, McLain makes the mistake of assuming that, given their faith, they must be homophobes like he is. After he laments the fact that the oppressive government made Denmark’s churches perform same-sex marriages, the Reverend had to awkwardly tell him that neither he nor anyone else at the church had a problem with gay people. McLain’s pained expression is priceless.
  • He runs into a man on the street who (finally!) says he believes in God. Excited, McLain asks if he is a Christian. The man tells him, no, a Muslim. McLain: “A Muslim!”
  • An excruciating discussion with a humanist over coffee ends with the humanist telling McLain, “In short, I have no need of a god. To put it bluntly.” McLain stares off into space, his mind melting.

As you’ll see it’s a land full of Laplaces: person after person basically tells McLain, “We don’t need that hypothesis.”I’d love to see the whole thing, but all we have is this 5½-minute clip:

h/t: Genghis Khant

185 Comments

  1. francis
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    …..I believe this guy is full of shit…..

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Makes me think of what The Doctor said in the latest Doctor Who episode, “We don’t want Americans bobbing around the place. They’ll only start praying.”

    • Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      I loved that line too !!!!

      • Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        And I mistyped: “bombing” not “bobbing”. I laughed really loudly at that when The Doctor said it.

        • Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          The “Cloudbase” gag was the best. (But poor Osgood!)

          /@

          • Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            Oh I know and she was so cute when she said “bow ties are cool”. If it had been me and the Master said that stuff to me, I would’ve run screaming for The Doctor!

  3. GBJames
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how the good pastor actually absorbed the point of it all.

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Clearly he didn’t. Person after person told him there’s no evidence for God, it’s not modern or scientific to believe in things without evidence, and yet what he took away from it was “anything goes”.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Well, it’s not really clear. I don’t know if that comment is his summary at the end of his visit or if it was something he said along the way.

        Not that I expect he will have learned much. Still… just maybe?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          In the full version he continues by saying that it will be interesting to see how things play out because he believes you need a moral basis for law. He then talks about how he hears Christmas music in stores and saw a nativity scene so you can’t kick God out.

          In other words, he seems to tacitly suggest that there will be some sort of religious revival because he just can’t conceive of a non-religious society.

          • Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            So, it doesn’t sound like he’s going to reject his faith like Bishop O’Neill in “Tentacles of Doom” and go off with a bunch of pot-smoking hippies…

            /@

          • bric
            Posted November 10, 2014 at 2:30 am | Permalink

            Being an old Britisher, I have been known to exclaim ‘By Jove!’ . . . but I don’t actually subscribe to Roman religious precepts

            • Graham
              Posted November 10, 2014 at 5:34 am | Permalink

              And Thursday’s my favourite day of the week, but that doesn’t make me a worshipper of Thor.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:21 am | Permalink

              I’m trying to get “By Jove!” to catch on & replace OMG but I tend to just use OMG a lot. What can I say, I’m a natural blasphemer to the Christians.

              • Posted November 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

                By Grabthar’s hammer!

                /@

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

                Well, I’d rather type OMG! than BJ!

              • Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

                By Aphrodite Pandemos!

                /@

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

                Not sure I want to contemplate the meaning of “AP” in the context of an “OMG BJ”….

                b&

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

                Bummer.

                /@

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

                Let me guess…this kind of bummer?

                b&

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

                You’re cracking me up!

                /@

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

                Just say no to crack

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

                Not even the crack of dawn?

                b&

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

                Booooo⛅️

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

                You mean we’re not supposed to be excited about getting up at the crack of dawn? Wish people could come to some consensus on these things….

                b&

              • merilee
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

                I prefer crack of 9

              • Posted November 13, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

                Seven or nine, either way, works for me….

                b&

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

                Now I’m positive I won’t click on that link!

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

                It’s Classical!

                /@

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

                And he literally means that.

                (And, for what it’s worth, both links are perfectly safe for work.)

                b&

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

                I clicked after Ant said it was Classical. Funny too.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted November 10, 2014 at 3:14 am | Permalink

            They’re probably relics of some pagan fertility cult…

          • boggy
            Posted November 13, 2014 at 12:20 am | Permalink

            Christmas music in stores? Surely the good pastor knows that Christmas is a pagan ceremony that was hijacked by the early Christians and that Jesus (if he existed) was not born at that date.

      • Jeff Rankin
        Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes – “anything goes” and *gasp* “live and let live”! The horror.

        • Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          If you watch the full version, the interviewer asks him what kind of gun he has and if he would shoot a burglar. When he said he would shoot a burglar, the interviewer asks him when he would turn the cheek. He explains that turning the cheek is an individual decision but his job as the man of the family is to protect his family.

          • Posted November 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            The BS answer in my area is that while failing to turn the other cheek may be a sin, Jesus forgives sin.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        I heard that and thought “the guy is in shock”. If he expressed those opinions (“anything goes”), then there’s probably be two more rope burns in Georgia – one round his neck and the other on the branch of a convenient tree. (No long drop for apostates!)

  4. Posted November 9, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Loved this response to the question “Do you believe in God?”
    Answer: “If there is no God, why should I believe in Him?”

    • Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I agree, that line made me lol.

    • Posted November 9, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      The “I’ll just take another sip of my coffee and let that sink in” moment was also impressive (3:39 – 3:46).

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    If you know Swedish, or just want to watch it in Swedish, you can watch the full thing here. Hopefully, there will be a full English one available soon too.

    • James Walker
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Tack så mycket!

      • Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        The commentator has a definite Finnish accent!

    • Hempenstein
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      Tackar! They left the best part out of the avsnitt: “I knew if I went to a McDonald’s I’d find a Christian.”

      • Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        I saw that part (right at the end) in the video at the link Diana provided.

      • Posted November 9, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        Yeah what was his reasoning there, that McDonalds is American so there must be Christians there?

        • Posted November 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          Somehow, unhealthy fast-food and Christian fundies seem to go well together. 😉

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:50 am | Permalink

          He may have been unconscious about it. The last time I was in a MacSludge, I’d been chasing across Korea for about 6 hours, trying to figure out my way from airport to station to ticket office to … well, just what you need after a 14 hour flight. Then discovering that they used some non-GSM phone system, so my list of contacts was useless. I ended up succumbing to the pleasures of a familiar menu, rather than fight to understand the menu in the 5 minutes available.
          I can well see someone like this being sufficiently shell-shocked that any haven of familiarity would be a port in a storm. After his faith betrayal by the local god-squaddies (LOVE the ruffs, BTW. A fashion to bring back!), he must have been expecting Muslim cannibals on every street corner.
          I suppose I should be careful mentioning cannibalism and MacDonalds in the same post. I can do without starting a “Soylent McLibel” case. Not that I’d put it past them for a second if they thought they could get away with it.
          Which reminds me : banks, then butchers to try and get some horse (or venison) for the NewSaturnaliaMas pig out.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

            Yes that makes sense – a desperation for the familiar in a place he realized he was very much the outsider. It’s possible he never travelled outside the US as well.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted November 10, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

              That’s still considerably the majority, AFAIK.

              • Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

                In fairness, the States are considerably larger than all of Europe. Texas alone is bigger than either France or Ukraine, and Texas isn’t even the biggest state. Europe’s got 52 countries; there’re 50 US states.

                How many Europeans have left Europe? How many have visited more than an handful of other countries? I’ll bet the numbers are similar to American travel within the States.

                b&

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

                Hmmm, in simple geographical terms you may have a point. In terms of visiting and interacting with different cultures and using different languages … I wouldn’t use your pogo stick to cross those ice floes.

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

                We’re basically in agreement. My only remaining point would be that, because of that geography, the kind of interaction you’re suggesting is easy and inexpensive for Europeans, but expensive and generally a big deal for Americans.

                There may be a world of difference culturally between France and Germany, but it’s half again as far between El Paso and Houston (both in Texas) — and travel options in Texas are limited to driving and flying with no passenger rail nor bus service. San Francisco is about as far away from Los Angeles as Geneva is from Rome. London to Paris is about the same trip as Boston to New York.

                And Los Angeles to New York? That’s farther than Lisbon to Moscow. How often do you find Russians in Portugal and vice-versa?

                Again, yes, perhaps bigger cultural differences in Europe…but it’s also much easier for y’all to make the trip.

                b&

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

                Well, bearing in mind that I’m married to a Russian who I met as far East of Moscow as Lisbon is West of Moscow … I’d be pretty astonished to find an absence of Russians in Portugal. Come to think of it – the rig crew on that job (when I met the future wife) included (counts) 6 Frenchmen, a couple of Brits (me and Mr Mud), two Argentinian sparkies, a bunch of Finnish tent erectors …
                People are actually pretty mobile. And we haven’t even got onto the gentlemen of an oriental persuasion.

              • Posted November 13, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

                Oh, and to be sure, lots of people in LA are transplants from New York or have visited there — very likely rather more than you get Russians in Portugal.

                But that’s my point, really. We have the same kind of mobility here; it’s just that the mobility spans similar geographic areas, and one of those areas is a single country as opposed to the other that’s many countries.

                Now: how many Europeans come to America and vice-versa? Similar figures, I’d wager. It’s quite a big deal in either direction. But that “big deal” (in whatever compass direction) is the only way for Americans to get to experience the kind of cultural diversity you Europeans take for granted.

                Criticizing Americans for rarely leaving their own country is rather like criticizing Europeans for rarely leaving Europe…or criticizing Indians for rarely leaving India, the Chinese for rarely leaving China, and so on.

                b&

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

                Beat me to it, Ben.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

                @ Ben

                “In fairness, the States are considerably larger than all of Europe. Texas alone is bigger than either France or Ukraine,”

                If you’re talking about land area, maybe. ‘Never mind the quality, feel the width’.

                What I think is relevant though, is that the US is far more homogeneous culturally than Europe. Far more variety and local variation – in customs, architecture, languages – to be found within 100 miles in Europe than (I think) you’d find in 500 miles in the US. I know that’s a wild generalisation and I’ll admit I haven’t been to the US, but from what I can tell via media and the Intertoobs, I think it’s valid.

                So I very much doubt you can equate interstate travel in US to inter-country travel in Europe.
                Although, with the EU and relaxations of borders (I do so love the sight of a closed and deserted customs post) I guess the difference is getting smaller.

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

                That may be culturally relevant (though, not really, as Diane has pointed out), but the financial and geographic relevance remains. For most Americans, leaving the States to visit another country is about as big a deal as it is for somebody in Britain to travel to Africa or India. How many Britons have made those trips? For that matter, how many Italians have been to Cairo (which would be roughly the equivalent of somebody in Los Angeles visiting Mexico City)? How many of those same Italians have visited Moscow (Los Angeles to Quebec)?

                b&

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 11, 2014 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

                “…from what I can tell via media and the Intertoobs…”

                Oh, please don’t rely on those sources alone!

                I’ve lived in Oregon, New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Michigan, with shorter stays in California and Maryland, and I can tell you we’ve still got a bit more diversity than you think. Heck, eastern & western Oregon are like night & day. 🙂

              • microraptor
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

                Oregon is the State of Confusion.

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 12:48 am | Permalink

                I’ll let you know when I decide if I resent that comment or not.

                😀

              • microraptor
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

                I went to high school in Portland and college in Klamath Falls.

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

                Ah, so you know whereof you speak. 😉

                I went to Wilson HS; you?

              • microraptor
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

                Oregon Episcopal School.

                Surprisingly, it was far more secular than the rural public school I went to for junior high. Going there probably helped my shift toward atheism.

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

                Never heard of it, but I’m glad it got you started on the right track. 🙂

  6. Grania Spingies
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    There was a similar video done in Dublin some months back. Almost none of the passers-by said they believed in God or went to church regularly. The American evangelist was gutted.

    • Jeff Rankin
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Deep down, really, the American pious love this. It reinforces the notion of a godless Europe and the ordained superiority of America.

      • darrelle
        Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        I have to agree that a significant percentage of Americans will have just such a response. But if Americans continue to be exposed to such realities I think the overall long term effect will be positive. I think it likely that seeing many of the most succesful societies around the world responding to an American like this pastor as if he had the mind of a small child raised by fucked up parents, will help to eventually change things in the US to where publicly demonstrating your piety will become considered, generally, as boorish as it is currently in so many European countries. Here’s to hoping so anyway (raising a Boddingtons for a cool sip).

        • Jeff Rankin
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          I hope and I’ll drink to that (literally, just finished a Sawtooth Ale [Left Hand Brewing])

          • darrelle
            Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

            Left Hand makes some good stuff. Their Milk Stout is very tasty.

            • Jeff Rankin
              Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

              Their milk stout is a favorite of mine (esp. the nitro version) and now that the weather is turning in Colorado I’ll be drinking more of it!

              • darrelle
                Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

                Nitro version? I’ll have to keep an eye out for that. Wouldn’t be surprised if it is limited batch stuff and never makes it far from home. A place near me is pretty good at getting small batch special brews from a variety of brewers, but if you miss the weekend it comes in you’ve missed your chance at a taste.

          • Posted November 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            and I’ll raise my Guilty Filthy Soul (imperial chocolate rye porter) from DuClaw Brewing out of Baltimore.

            • Bob J.
              Posted November 9, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

              And I’ll raise a glass of Anchor Steam Christmas Ale

              • Wunold
                Posted November 9, 2014 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

                I will join you with a Störtebeker Schwarzbier (black beer). o/³ ³\o Prost!

              • boggy
                Posted November 10, 2014 at 12:54 am | Permalink

                In Berkshire UK there is a farm and brewery run by two gays called Two Cocks Brewery.I have not drunk their beer but intend to do so on my next visit.

              • Posted November 10, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

                It’s a heady brew, I hear.

                /@

              • pali
                Posted November 10, 2014 at 2:32 am | Permalink

                I’ll raise some Strawberry Cough from somewhere in northern California. 😉

        • Sastra
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          I think you’re right.

          As I watched the clip it became more and more obvious to me that this was not a “Christian” film — though it could have been. How would it have differed if fundamentalists had sent one of their own into a “godless” country and made a movie of the result?

          For one thing, there would have been many more negative portrayals of the nonbelievers, especially in the promo. It wouldn’t have been enough to have the “Why should I believe in God if he doesn’t exist?” quotes (gasp!) and the liberal ministers endorsing gay marriage (shudder!) They would have made sure to find and shoot plenty of drug addicts, criminals, and tattooed punks dressed in black (not like us!) Look what happens! But instead it’s just … people.

          Wow.

          The horror message of a ‘Christian’ film — this could be what America becomes! — is muted by repetition after repetition of nonbelief and puzzlement. The Scandinavians think the US Christians are weird. The comfortable cultural assumption that they are somehow both envied role models and the mainstream status quo is going to get slowly chipped away.

          I’ve had Christians react with smug little “wows” when they hear I’m an atheist. My impression is that they think I’ll feel both ashamed and intrigued when they express astonishment. What is wrong with me? What am I missing? But the incredulous head-shaking and eye-rolling isn’t coming off the same when they are no longer in the majority and on their own “territory.” Instead of pretending they’re like sane people running into the inmate of an asylum, they’re coming off like children suddenly thrust into an adult world. As you say, over time I think this is going to gnaw.

          • Todd Steinlage
            Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

            double-plus good. And thumbs up. +1

        • Timothy Hughbanks
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          I hope you’re right. In fact, when the he asked the guy after the Muslim why he didn’t believe in God, I was hoping he would say, “I don’t believe in God because I’m an adult. To believe in God is childish.”

          • pali
            Posted November 10, 2014 at 2:34 am | Permalink

            In fairness to that man, it’s hard to come up with a quick clever quip when randomly asked something with a camera and microphone shoved in your face.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:23 am | Permalink

              I often play dumb when I just want people to go away and don’t want to be really rude. Once JWs came to my place and when they tried to engage me by asking if I thought it would always be peaceful, I shrugged my shoulders & said “I dunno”. Then they tried to go into the real spiel and I said I wasn’t interested.

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

                Would probably also work if you just replied in Greek.

              • Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

                I worked with a guy from Nigeria who just started speaking his language to anyone who called for marketing, etc.

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

                Ha!

                One more reason to learn another language.

              • Diane G.
                Posted November 11, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

                My husband once held the phone receiver down to our dog who was lustily panting after a hot summer workout.

              • Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

                A family friend used to put his 5 yr old daughter on the phone. It took them a while to realize they were talking to a child.

              • Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

                Great idea- and probably great fun for the kid. Probably lots of Whys…

              • Posted November 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

                If y’all really want to have fun with the telemarketers and get them to take you off their lists…play along innocently, save for a few very important caveats:

                * Make up a name (or borrow one from one of your cow-orkers). * Give them your real phone number; they already have it, and this makes sure that they (eventually) put it on their “avoid calling this number at all costs” list. * If they read you your address, agree it’s correct; again, they’ve already got it…but, if they read you a worng address, let them keep that one. * (This is the important one!) Make up a credit card number using this tool: http://www.getcreditcardnumbers.com/ If you just make up random numbers, they’ll be able to tell that it’s not a valid card number; however, if you use that tool, they’ll have to actually try to process it first and they won’t have good information on why it’s not working. * Give them your bank’s real name and phone number. If they ask for it (“for verification purposes”), they’re going to call them to try to gain access to your account, and they’re going to know instantly if you give them a number that’s not to a bank’s automated system. * Make up all other information (PIN, mother’s maiden name, SSN, all the rest).

                When they complain that the card is “redlisted” or whatever, protest that you just bought gas with it yesterday on your way home from work, and worry a bit that maybe somebody at the gas station stole it? And cheerfully generate another credit card number when they ask for another card to try since that one didn’t work.

                Do this, and you’ll keep them on the phone for the maximum possible amount of time, which is the worst possible thing you can do to them. They’ll absolutely hate you for it. And, once they figure out that you’re only going to waste their time to the max, they’ll stop calling you….

                Cheers,

                b&

              • Posted November 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

                Diana: The only time I’ve ever had an encounter with JWs was when I was a graduate student in Bethlehem (PA, not the holy land). It was a Saturday morning, after a biology department party and they rang my doorbell at some ungodly hour. I answered, bleary-eyed and in my skivies and they said “We’d like to talk to you about the fallacy of evolution”. I replied something like “I’m a biologist, and I’m sure it would be a waste of all our time”. And closed the door.

              • Posted November 11, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

                I had an English professor who used to insist they take photo copies of key passages of Nietzsche.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Literally? Slow and prolonged version, or the hara kiri method?
      I didn’t think the Irish still had it in them. I shall be careful to not jog any Guinness-lifting elbows in future.

  7. Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Although they are a minority, there are Christian fundamentalists in Sweden too. I know, I’ve met some. My daughter is part of them although she has some very liberal opinions that go against what they teach. She thinks in terms of being born again and “saved”, and has a very strong “us and them” stance against all those who are not, in her opinion, “saved” (which includes me). She has conditioned her daughter in that belief system, and I hope my grand-daughter will eventually see the light, so to speak. My daughter was and probably still is strongly against abortion, but she didn’t hesitate to get her daughter to have one when she became pregnant at the age of 16. Cognitive dissonance.

    • Timothy Hughbanks
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Interesting about the abortion. I have always thought that wealthy and upper-middle-class Republicans in the US would take their little Betty-Jo somewhere to get an abortion even if they get their fervent wish and manage to have it outlawed in their state or even across the entire country. Among the wealthy, there is a widespread underlying assumption that if you have money, it is OK to get around the laws you want to impose on others. As for the redneck Republicans, I would guess that they would split, some going for the hypocrisy (cognitive dissonance is too kind a term) and some would saddle their daughter with a child or raise the kid for her.

      • steve oberski
        Posted November 9, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Although there have been no formal studies of this that I can find there is a fair amount of anecdotal evidence that anti-choice women who regularly picket abortion clinics do obtain abortions themselves, for example THE ONLY MORAL ABORTION IS MY ABORTION.

      • Posted November 9, 2014 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        When I was young, before the legalization of abortion in the US, I knew three upper middle class women whose Republican parents sent them to Europe for abortions. So if the conservatives manage to get it outlawed again, it won’t affect the rich at all.

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          You can’t be much, if at all, older than me. I had an abortion in New York in 1972, one year before Roe v. Wade.

          Before Roe v. Wade, abortion wasn’t illegal everywhere…perhaps the going-to-Europe aspect was to make it easier to pass off as mere traveling.

          • Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

            Diane – I think I may be a bit older than you think. The cases I described were in the early to mid-60s and in Pennsylvania, a bit less liberal than NYC. And yes, the given reason was that they were in Europe for “educational reasons”.

            • Diane G.
              Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

              At least PA is within driving distance of NY! (Ruminating on all those today who think it’s easy for someone from a hard-ass state to travel to one of the more lenient ones.)

              OTOH, going someplace so close to home increases the likelihood of being found out, I suppose. 😉

        • Diane G.
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Additionally, Republicans then were nothing like Republicans now.

      • Diane G.
        Posted November 9, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        I have always thought that wealthy and upper-middle-class Republicans in the US would take their little Betty-Jo somewhere to get an abortion even if they get their fervent wish and manage to have it outlawed in their state or even across the entire country.

        Not to mention their mistresses.

      • pali
        Posted November 10, 2014 at 2:40 am | Permalink

        I can’t remember which it was, but I recall watching a documentary on abortion clinics a couple years back – or more accurately, on Planned Parenthood and similar clinics that among many other things also performed abortions – anyhow, it was an almost universal experience among the workers at these clinics that at some point or another a number of people who were among the most strident protesters outside would eventually come in seeking an abortion. Even more absurdly, they would do so while still negatively and vocally judging those providing them with the very service they came in seeking.

        There are ways of thinking some members of homo sapiens sapiens exhibit that I do not think I will ever even begin to understand. That is one of them.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 10, 2014 at 3:26 am | Permalink

          They despise their own weakness and seek to escape from that by transferring their contempt to the clinic workers. A form of scapegoating. They’ll never admit they’re wrong.

          Makes me want to pin them to a wall, with spotlights and cameras on them, and scream in their faces “It’s YOU who did this. No-one else, YOU!”

    • Coldthinker
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Interestingly, the issue of abortion is much more polarized in the US than here in Finland, where this documentary was made. The right to have an abortion is not in any jeopardy in thos part of the world. That makes it easier to talk about it without being branded a political enemy. For instance, I ran into trouble in a conversation with some liberal Americans, when I said: “Still, while being a basic human right, abortion is a sad and undesirable thing, and should be avoided if possible” (mostly referring to practical thing like contraception and tax payers money) and this made me a right wing chauvinist in their eyes. The civil discussion ended there.

      Incidentally, on the same free Areena/Arenan site there’s a hospital drama SYKE which I was involved with. It’s a fictional series, but we went through a lot of trouble to get the science right in each case and each scene. I’d even say, among other things, having read WEIT probably had something to do with it. Some of the stories are commenting on themes involving religion, since there are also religious fundamentalists in Finland and they do have some influence. Episode one has a story about the right to die, episode three about attitudes towards an attempted suicide, episode five about denial of blood transfusion, and later on also the staff’s religious attitudes about abortion will be discussed.

      • pali
        Posted November 10, 2014 at 2:48 am | Permalink

        You will find American leftists who exercise knee-jerk reactions just as badly as American right-wingers, no doubt. Ben Affleck regarding Sam Harris on Real Time with Bill Maher was a good example. I consider myself in most ways very much on the left, but I’ve gotten into many arguments with liberal friends because they will not listen to what comes after sentence one.

        • Coldthinker
          Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

          I’d say that in Finland, I’ve noticed there is almost more anti-scientific thinking on the leftist-greenish side — where I find myself, actually — especially against GMO, vaccines and any kind of energy production, usually based on the naturalistic fallacy. Apart from the worst idiots, things like evolution or climate change denialism are not a part of the right wing platform. But happily, these knee-jerk reactions are not so ubiquitous as they seem to be in the US, on neither side. Perhaps our culture and society is much less adversarial and more about getting along with your neighbor.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

            I’ve noticed there is almost more anti-scientific thinking on the leftist-greenish side […] especially against GMO, vaccines and any kind of energy production, usually based on the naturalistic fallacy.

            But isn’t Finland simultaneously also the only place where they’ve managed to persuade a community to host a high/ intermediate/ low level radioactive waste storage facility? I forget (or never knew) the details, but there was some clucking about it a year or so ago at the same time that the town government in a place in England voted to take such a repository, but were over-ruled by the county government (Calder Hall/ Winscale/ Sellafield/ Seascales, depending on between which accidents you’re talking about the site).

          • Diane G.
            Posted November 11, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            ” But happily, these knee-jerk reactions are not so ubiquitous as they seem to be in the US, on neither side. Perhaps our culture and society is much less adversarial and more about getting along with your neighbor.”

            Sounds ideal, but no doubt easier for a much smaller and more homogeneous country.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      “she didn’t hesitate to get her daughter to have one when she became pregnant at the age of 16”
      Just shows your daughter’s saner in practice than she is in theory. Maybe if she reflects for a bit some sanity might seep into her theory too.

  8. Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s like a child raised as a child, for the first time in his life, among adults. He is unable to comprehend anything that he is seeing or hearing. A little funny, and more than a little sad.

    I often wonder if there are some among these Southern Christians who will ever grow out of the the child-like acceptance of their religious doctrine, and I seriously doubt if the vast majority are reachable, no matter how overwhelming the argument. It will go in one ear and out the other.

    Unfortunately, the same goes for a large collection of other ideas, evolution among them. I note the part of the clip where the Mr. McLain brings up the “Evolution can’t be proven because we weren’t there, and there is no ‘missing link'”. The other fellow doesn’t disabuse him of that, perhaps sensing that it would be to no avail.

    • Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Exactly my impression, too. Poor guy’s like the kid who can’t figure out why everybody keeps looking at him funny after he waxes poetic about Santa.

      b&

    • Sastra
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Wasn’t there a cut after the evolution statement? The humanist might have responded — it almost looks like he’s about to when the camera shifts.

    • DrDroid
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      These people live in an echo chamber. I recently attended the funeral of a neighbor in a large Baptist church. The eulogies delivered by family and friends were fitting and often moving remembrances, but the Baptist pastor just had to follow that with a 30 minute hellfire-and-damnation sermon full of the most idiotic Christian doctrine. I haven’t heard that kind of crap since childhood; it made for a bracing refresher course in just how inane all that stuff is. The 500 or so Baptists in the congregation listened raptly while I looked around wondering how anybody could believe that stuff. When you’re surrounded by those kind of people all your life and you never hear anything but “Amen!” it seems that no one could possibly deny the Gospel Truth. I bet it was a shock for Pastor McLain.

      • scooterwes
        Posted November 9, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Most funerals conducted by evangelical pastors are simply a great opportunity to pluck some ripe fruit for Jesus among the unbelievers that sit in the audience. As an ex-missionary in Europe and now-unbeliever, I will fight like hell to prevent any preacher doing that at my mother’s funeral when the time comes, even though she is a “born-again” evangelical.

        • DrDroid
          Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          My neighbor once asked me where I went to church. I told him I didn’t go to church. The next day he asked me if I believed in God. When I said no he was clearly a bit shocked. I asked him if he had ever thought about what religion he would likely subscribe to if he had been born in the Middle East. After a pause he said he had once been advised never to start asking those kinds of questions. There you have in a nutshell the protective cocoon that surrounds the virus of faith: Never Ask Questions.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        When you’re surrounded by those kind of people all your life and you never hear anything but “Amen!” it seems that no one could possibly deny the Gospel Truth. I bet it was a shock for Pastor McLain.

        You know, that reminds me of the shock on an American’s face when I had to break the news of September 11th to him (he was on his first job outside America, and on night shift so he didn’t know anything until he came into the office we shared to start his shift). He was utterly appalled and totally gob-smacked that someone could do that “to us” ; meanwhile the Brits who made up the bulk of the crew were surprised at the scale of the attack, but unsurprised about there being an attack. Totally unwelcome wake up call.

    • frednotfaith2
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      By that argument, no one alive today was “there” to see Jesus born or crucified or come back to life so they must not have happened. Of course, that also applies to pretty anything that happened over, at most, 125 years ago, unless we count millennial old trees and centuries old tortoises as “witnesses”. Maybe the idiot also believes that if nobody witnessed a murder, aside from the victim and murderer, it didn’t happen and the murderer should not be charged no matter what circumstantial evidence exists, or that even witnesses can and often do make substantial errors in describing details and even in identifying the parties involved.

  9. Steve Barrett
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    “Now here’s an interesting idea. Take a fundamentalist (and creationist) preacher from the southern U.S. and put him in various Scandinavian countries. Then sit back and enjoy the fun while the pastor becomes horrified at not only the degree of unbelief…”.

    Sounds like the plot of a new Ricky Gervais project.

    • scooterwes
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      I would pay good money to see that show!! C’mon Ricky, do it!!

  10. alexandra
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Like, you know, Wow!
    How sad…how funny.

    “….the whole fetid ball of wax….”

    Now there is a fine description of Religion’s components.

    Wow!

  11. Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to see the whole thing, and the one in Ireland Granis mentioned above.

    I find it really mind-boggling that people like him think you need to be a Christian to be moral, while he’s going around saying gay people are bad and his religion is better than anyone else’s. He’s the immoral one imo.

    • darrelle
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      It is easy to see from the outside. Impossible to see when properly conditioned. It also demonstrates the common conflation of “morals” and “good,” and the fact that moral values are very largely subjective. I think the real issue is not that, for example, the pastor is less moral than you. The real issue is that his moral values and his conception of morality as a whole, are different than yours.

      He believes his moral system is more good, more proper, than yours because of his religious beliefs, inculcated by his religious culture. You believe your’s is better because you use a very different metric. If I had to guess probably something along the lines of what will minimize suffering and or maximize well being of individuals and society as a whole.

      From his point of view your metic is depraved, because it puts people ahead of god. Which is interesting when compared with the common attitude that humans are so special that god created all this just for us, gave only us souls, sheds a tear for every single soul he sends to the furnace, and just loves the shit out of every single one of us. But logical and rational consistancy are not necessary for religion.

      I may be biased in this matter, but given a choice I’m going with your morals.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        I think the real issue is not that, for example, the pastor is less moral than you.

        If he gets his opinions on gay marriage from Leviticus, then I think a case can be made that he is less moral. Not because his views are odious, but because they’re not his. He’s abdicated his duty to think deeply about moral issues in favor of mindless obedience to authority.

        • darrelle
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          I agree with that. What I was trying to get across was simply the subjectivity of morality, namely in the base premises people found their morality on. For example, I’m sure the pastor thinks he has thought deeply about it, has not abdicated his duty, and that mindless obedience to one particular authority, his god, is absolutely proper and correct. Given the xian derived premises, or premise really, god, the pastor is behaving morally. Exactly as Sastra stated below. I definitely wouldn’t argue that his moral system is preferable or justified in any context but the pastor’s, or his ilk’s, own point of view.

          • Gregory Kusnick
            Posted November 9, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think it’s just a case of reasoning from different premises. The fundamentalist view is that reason itself is the voice of the devil, and that morality consists in rejecting moral reasoning.

            That, it seems to me, suggests an objective metric by which “less moral” becomes meaningful, namely less engaged in serious moral reasoning. The fact that he thinks he’s thinking deeply doesn’t make it true.

            • darrelle
              Posted November 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

              I think I mostly agree with that, and in fact I think I may have been less than clear, particularly in my 1st response to you.

              I did not intend to convey that I think the pastor is not less moral than Heather, or that a comparison of relative morality between the two doesn’t make sense for some reason. I was attempting to state that I don’t think that his being less moral is the most important issue, but rather that the premises that he bases his morality on are the more important issue.

              In other words, I think both things are true, but that one is a better target than the other. And let me hasten to add that I would not be motivated at all to complain about anyone disagreeing with my choice of target. I’m sure progress could be made on both.

              Actually, I think the most important factor is almost certainly the moral behavior of the people around you when you are growing up. Parents, other family, authority figures. It is difficult for reasoning to overcome that.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

              The fact that he thinks he’s thinking deeply doesn’t make it true.

              Suggests to me that he’s out of his depth and has just discovered that he’s forgotten how to swim.
              Oh, look at the swimming fundamentalist waving at us from the river. Wave back! “Hello! Nice swim?”

      • Sastra
        Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        I’ve heard it said that there are 2 ways of moral wrongness. One way is to be wrong by your own standards — but you choose not to care because you can get away with it. Thieves, rapists, and murderers usually recognize that they would not want to be victims of their own crimes.

        But the other way — more insidious and thus more dangerous — is to do wrong while thinking you’re doing right. You’re making things fairer, better, good. It wasn’t murder, it was justice; it’s not bigotry, it’s virtue; it’s not genocide, it’s purity. This is why religion is so dangerous: it frames moral issues against a unique, unworldly, faith-based set of “facts.” That’s not a “foundation” because it can go anywhere.

        If we believed all the background assumptions of the fundamentalist pastor we’d also be against gay marriage. The idea that we shouldn’t argue over “faith” is pernicious nonsense.

        • darrelle
          Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Yes, to all of that. Nicely said.

  12. Rod
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Wonder if it occurred to the pastor to check some statistics, such as life expectancy, infant mortality, homicides, access to health care, daycare availability, etc. in the Nordic countries, and compare those with Georgia, or even the whole USA?

    • Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      of course not. willful ignorance is required for this kind’s faith.

      • darrelle
        Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure he could easily rationalize that kind of stuff. He is a pastor after all. That is his specialty.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

          He is a pastor after all. That is his specialty.

          Actually, he purports to be a pastor, but I’ve seen no evidence for that (in the short clip). And the ability to rationalize things is typical of pastors, though I don’t know if they take formal examinations in (say) squaring the circle. But as I understand things, in America, anyone can call themselves a pastor as long as they don’t claim affiliation to a particular church which defends it’s trademarked name. LRon Hubbard being a case in point. There’s not even an obligation to have a degree in theology, even if from a degree mill printing press or “non-accredited institution”.
          When I claim to be a geologist, I can (and do) back it up by providing my Fellowship number from the Geological society. When I claim to be a minister in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (blessed be his sauce), I can refer back to a Letter of Good Standing from Bobby Henderson, the First Touched. But to the best of my knowledge there is nothing, not even tissue-paper thin, to hinder me from claiming the title of Pastor.

          • Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

            When I claim to be a minister in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (blessed be his sauce), I can refer back to a Letter of Good Standing from Bobby Henderson, the First Touched.

            Minister? Bah — child’s game.

            I’m a genuine and authorized pope!

            b&

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted November 12, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink

              And I’m a Cardinal
              http://drinkiwiki.com/Cardinal_puff

              (Local variation: It was called Cardinal Huff, and the actions, rather than being set by scripture as in drinkiwiki, were set by the inquisitor (who had to be a qualified cardinal) demonstrating them. They would be generally similar to drinkiwiki’s example, had to be some logical sequence, and the inquisitor had to be able to repeat them afterwards (if anyone present could remember what they were) or face the penalty of being defrocked, unsanctified and excommunicated until he passed the test again.

              The secret, as with all drinking games, was to concentrate like mad and get it right first time before incurring too many penalty drinks.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted November 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

              Pope? Schmope!
              I was prowling the bars and dives of Edinburgh yesterday in a (vain) attempt to buy a pint for a science fiction author and ANTIPOPE.

              • Posted November 13, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

                Makes me think of an important question. Do antipopes eat antipasti? If so, it’s probably a good thing you didn’t get close enough to him to buy a beer, what with you being a self-proclaimed officiant of His Noodliness — the resulting explosion might even have been big enough to be reported on here in Arizona….

                b&

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

                I shall pass the question onto Mr Stross. Given titles like “”he Atrocity Archives” and “Rule 34”, I’m not sure if you’d want to know the answer.

              • Posted November 14, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

                Since when did wanting to know about these sorts of things ever have any bearing on actually learning about them?

                b&

    • Posted November 10, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      People like that would find ways to “lalalala can’t hear you” on the stats, too, unfortunately.

  13. Jeff Rankin
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow indeed.

    I wonder how, and why, pastor Marty was chosen for this assignment? Not that I think he’s unrepresentative.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Short straw in a poll organised by someone with a vicious sense of humour?

  14. Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    this fellow reminds me of the idiot American country sheriff that appears in various James Bond movies.

    • Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      😃

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      It was only two wasn’t it? Or have I missed him in a more recent one – I’m not exactly religious about watching them.

      • Posted November 10, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        I think it’s just the two, Live and Let Die and Man with the Golden Gun.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted November 10, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          That ain’t no way to treat a power boat! And, “Don’t look Ethel!”

  15. Axolotl
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    For some reason this reminds me of a Sacha Baron Cohen’a Bruno sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LazrAzBP_0I

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      Oh I love it.

      Pastor: “Well I think that if you did indeed have a sexual relationship with another man of the same sex as yourself, then that’s a homosexual act”. No shit Sherlock!

      Sacha’s taking the piss the whole time and the pastor can’t quite extricate himself from it.

  16. Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  17. johnpieret
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh, don’t be so hard on him. Imagine if you landed on Arthur C. Clarke’s “Rama” (except nothing was trying to kill you). I bet we’d all have a ‘deer in the headlights’ look about us. He’s stunned to see a different world because his world is so small. Pity, rather than disdain, might be the proper response.

    • Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Oh for crying out loud; anybody can find out about the religiosity of Scandinavia with a few minutes of Googling. But thanks for tellng us what the “proper” response is. (Mine is vast amusement.)

    • Posted November 9, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Part of me can appreciate this. However, I reserve pity for someone if they haven’t intentionally decided to be an idiot. This person, an adult with access to huge amounts of information, depended on not knowing anything to preserve his idiocy.

    • Timothy Hughbanks
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      If Rama had been cruising around the solar system for 150 years and mankind had been talking about it for all that time and you still insisted there was no life outside of Earth, you’d be this preacher.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        I’d have to go back and re-read it – I think I read it once in the 1980s, perhaps twice, or it and a sequel? – but ACC is an astute enough observer of people that he’d probably include such an idiot. Sorry, a church of idiots.

  18. Carlos del Solar
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Now imagine the contrary. Growing up in a place where praying is something only the priests and churchy old ladies do, where almost everyone knows Genesis is only a metaphor, where Evolution is just another subject of science like Gravity or Electromagnetism…and then, coming to live in the USA and have to witness at every moment people of all ages talking about their prayers and God talking back to them, and even doctors and other “educated guys” believing in Adam & Eve and Noah’s Ark !!! WTF!!?

    My permanent and real nightmare in a nutshell.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I find it hard to credit that, when someone talks about what God wants, they really believe it. If it’s a churchman of some sort here (NZ), I assume they’re using God as metaphor for ‘what we think is morally / socially desirable’.

      I’m almost shocked if it becomes evident that they really think there’s a God somewhere. And the same of course applies to USAnians – I want to say “what? You really believe that stuff? Like it’s really truly real?? Wow!”
      I find it hard to comprehend.

  19. microraptor
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    http://satwcomic.com/god-hates-sweden

  20. Roger
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    That’s hilarious. He was completely powerless to scare the heck out of people into doing what he wants and giving him money. Fish outta water. That’s assuming he wasn’t faking surprise to put on a show. Coulda been lyin’ his tail off the whole way.

    • Roger
      Posted November 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      How hard is it too google ahead of time lol. No reason he should have been surprised by anything at all.

      • Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        But those are only travellers’ tales; it can’t possibly be like that really!

        /@

  21. Posted November 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Muy interesante’. The sequence with Gustav Nipe starting at about 4:09 was the best. He talked about his religion – Kopimism. Wikipedia has an excellent overview here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missionary_Church_of_Kopimism

    I love it! Sign me up?

  22. Nwalsh
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Hypocrital dork comes readily to mind.

  23. Randy Schenck
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I suppose this kind of video might be funny for many in other countries throughout Europe but for most of us here in is mostly embarrassing.

    What goes on in Georgia should stay in Georgia.

  24. Hypatias Daughter
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Many Fundie American churches are well aware of how godless Europeans are. Some have been sending missionaries to Europe for at least decade. Yes, they have added Europe to their list of heathen nations, like China, India and Africa, in need of conversion.
    (Of course, Fundies don’t think that Catholics and mainstream Protestants are really xtians, so part of the mission is to covert members of these faiths to their own version of xtianity, and partly to convert the atheist unbelievers.)

    • Posted November 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      I live in Geneva, Switzerland, and I have on occasion seen such missionaries preach loudly in the streets to a totally indifferent people and mocking little crowds! Geneva, the city in which Calvin (who was French) first preached and imposed his extremely rigorous and cruel system.

      • Chris
        Posted November 10, 2014 at 4:59 am | Permalink

        The whole thing is joyously ironic – that preacher is probably completely unaware that Europe had a century of horrific Christian vs Christian religious/political wars at the time of Calvin.

        And they wonder why fundamentalism doesn’t fly. We’ve seen what it does on a grand scale.

        • Posted November 12, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          Not to mention all the state religions, for example in Norway.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 10, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Many Fundie American churches are well aware of how godless Europeans are. Some have been sending missionaries to Europe for at least decade.

      When I lived on the edges of the port’s Red Light District, and drank in various bars in the RLD, the prostitutes were well aware of the, emmm, coming of such missionaries and would carry appropriate lubricant.
      What else do you think was the reason for going on a trip abroad to go to save the ungodly?

      • boggy
        Posted November 10, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        When I was a student in Edinburgh in the 1960’s there was a famous brothel which according to the ‘madam’ had its busiest time when the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was in town.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted November 10, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          “famous” being the one that you knew of. There would have been others, equally busy.
          (Was watching a recorded “Eggheads” half an hour ago with the quiz master asking Judith (“Posh Egg”) if she’d ever been spit roast, or laid lengthwise. The topic being cooking, some people didn’t get what was being said. There’s obviously trouble behind the facade there.)

  25. Posted November 9, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I would not have filed this under “Christians behaving badly;” it should be categorized “Christians behaving stupidly.”

  26. Genghis
    Posted November 9, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    I hope that the guy who posted the excerpt of this program posts the whole thing. There is also a previous program on prisons with a former superintendent of Attica NY visiting a Norwegian prison. (Spoiler: More jaw-dropping amazement.)
    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_4YqiptlUqNnh3STGVXeDQ

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 10, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      The link leads to “John Stark” home page. The prison governer video is second on his list at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfEsz812Q1I
      Telling points : prisoners per 100,000 population : Fi 58 ; Se 67 ; No 72 ; Dk 73 (UK is about 100, but I’d have to go check that) ; USA 716. Itself that’s a splendid testament on the efficacy of the deterrence model of punishment.
      Oh dear, not enough female prisoners in Finland to fill the prison, so they had to allow males in too. Devastating.
      The Finnish superintendent believes in change, and that is his job. The US system is for punishment.
      US governor had problems running a co-educational facility, so shut it down.
      “Wow” is the comment to finding an en suite toilet. The idea of putting a prisoner’s property back in it’s position after a search is blank incomprehension.
      (No comment that the Scandinavians speak fluent English.)
      “I’m not here to be the bad guy. [later] We focus on getting the inmates back into society.” versus “You got to hit them where it hurts.[later] Who cares how they feel?” ; Guess which prison official said which.
      (Oh, and the comparison with “old fashioned” child rearing. Almost cruel.
      It does remind me of my description of Creationist-baiting : more fun than pulling the wings off flies, and more morally defensible, because the victims know why they’re being torn apart.
      It’ll be interesting to see how the (retired) US prison governor reacts to his predictions of injuries to inmates and staff. Give it a couple of years.

      • Posted November 10, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        James Conway should compare recidivism rates in Scandinavia with those in the USA. He might then get an answer to his questions.

        “…the recidivism rate in Norway is only 20% while in the US 67% of prisoners are rearrested and 52% go to jail again.”

        http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2013/03/12/comparing-the-us-and-norwegian-prison-systems/

        • Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          Recidivism is irrelevant to these people. Making the “perps” pay for their evil deeds is the name of the game, with payment in the form of a lifetime of suffering and misery. More than a lifetime, in fact, once Hell is considered….

          b&

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted November 12, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Doesn’t surprise me. I’ve never met a Noggin who thought that doing the same job twice was an efficient way of behaving.

  27. Graham
    Posted November 10, 2014 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    “Do you believe in God?” I’m amazed that not one person asked him which ‘god’ he was talking about. Not that it matters in the end- they’re all as unbelievable as each other. However it would have been good to see the look on his face when asked to consider that there’s a choice of gods.

    • Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Ramen! “Which god?” is the only coherent answer to the question. And don’t let up! If the response is, “The God of the Bible,” the reply should again be, “Which god of which Bible?” And never mind just YHWH and Jesus; there’s Satan and the Heavenly Host and all the Patriarchs and and and and….

      …and the Protestant gods versus the Catholic gods versus the Jewish gods versus….

      b&

  28. Posted November 10, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I shudder. Even more so because this god guy looks exactly like Chief Justice Roberts.

    • Posted November 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      You’re right. I thought he looked familiar.

  29. Posted November 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Interestingly, the least religious scandi country Sweden has totally bought into uncontrolled immigration policy from muslim majority countries (and recently recognized the state of Palestine) and perhaps the most religious (debatable) Finland hardly takes any. Both countries also have had a vocal rise of so called far right anti-immigration political parties. Hate speech debate has gotten more ground here more than in Sweden, where dissidents of the liberal census have been categorically blocked from government negotiations.

    Not sure how to interpret this, but certain christian value systems may offer some resistance against politically correct attitudes towards islam. But there are differences too. Finland has less women friendly work laws than Sweden, does not have as strict prostitution laws, or does not (yet) have full marriage rights for homosexual couples or gay adoption either. People are also older, on average, and the overwhelming majority is ethnic Finns, while Sweden already is ethnically far more diverse place. Only Iceland remains as homogenic ethnically as Finland.

    Scandi countries, bar Norway, also have a state church system (Lutheran and Orthodox), a compulsory church tax and religion is compulsory subject in public schools for all 80% of the population that belong to the Lutheran church by birth (the rest either get the same amount of Orthodox etc. classes or for non-religious, some common education on worldviews and values and philosophy etc.

    Also, some scandi countries still have blasphemy laws intact, although they are very rarely implemented, yet they are there alongside the laws that protect the freedom of religious expression.

    I’m a Finn myself and I think the combination of state church system and gradual secularization by being closely integrated to public scrutiny is a big reason why most people here don’t care for the quite rare christian propaganda out here. Religion is very much a personal thing and only the elderly regurarly go to church and few actually see a point in declaring themselves as atheists.

    Almost noone younger than 45 really gives a shit, to be frank. (but generally laughs inside when someone even moderately religious starts to give a showing). More hardcore religious factions are small and their evil actions are openly seen as immoral. Religion in politics is frowned upon mostly. There is no real pro-religion fanclub outside one tiny christian political party and a few older christian factions that behave more like a cult. Critisism of religion is mundane. (except for muslims, who happen to be really high on victim hierarchy and are seen as a special case)


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