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In God's Name - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

Oh, barfaroni.

So, you can't call scientology a cult, but you can spew this hate speech?

"No one anymore has respect for christianity..." well he got that right at least.

Tue, 20 May 2008 22:10:00 UTC | #173454

petermun's Avatar Comment 2 by petermun

A bigger collection of psychotics it would be difficult to find.

As for David Owens, the "headteacher" of Carmel school, he is reason, in one man, why faith schools dhould be banned.

Tue, 20 May 2008 22:19:00 UTC | #173458

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 3 by Lisa Bauer

This is taking place in Britain?! Just goes to show that you can't be complacent about this stuff; you always have to be on your guard against superstitious nonsense!

Tue, 20 May 2008 22:22:00 UTC | #173460

DjSouthPaw's Avatar Comment 4 by DjSouthPaw

put these people in a mental institution

turning in to a pillar of salt "witch really really happened"

for fuck sake

i want theism within this century to be listed as a mental condition, or at least this fundementalism

Tue, 20 May 2008 22:42:00 UTC | #173468

j s bach's Avatar Comment 5 by j s bach

This has shocked me to the core. I feel a mixture of anger, pity and - I'm sorry to say - utter loathing for these people.

Tue, 20 May 2008 22:56:00 UTC | #173469

passutoba's Avatar Comment 6 by passutoba

I'm a teacher and that delusional woman in part one around the 7:00 mark is an utter disgrace to the profession. Not only misguided but quite possibly mentally ill and she is telling young minds the most ridiculous lies. And getting them to chant 'iniquities' when they should be counting or reading.

It's absolutely outrageous that Blair increased funding for these pitiful excuses of schools and it makes me so fucking mad I could scream.

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:02:00 UTC | #173471

DjSouthPaw's Avatar Comment 7 by DjSouthPaw


this documentary was making me angry, until i saw the protest against the mosque

lets undermine their anti-homosexual rantings as hate speech and let them do their anti-Islam protests since it's only a bashing of ideas after all? =)

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:14:00 UTC | #173474

catskill's Avatar Comment 8 by catskill

This is beyond scary.
I don't know if I am going to be able to watch this entire thing without getting sick. I am not even past part one and the kids school is going to make me blow a gasket.

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:15:00 UTC | #173475

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 9 by mordacious1

You notice how the barrister lady has to get people to hold signs, stand up, what to say, do not film that extremist. That is why they are called a flock of sheep.

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:17:00 UTC | #173476

danielrendall's Avatar Comment 11 by danielrendall

One good thing to come out of this programme was that it's the first thing which has prompted me to decide to write to my MP *and actually do it*. I suggested that the teaching of creationism was a bad thing and asked whether he shared this view and what could be done about it.

I also downloaded the Ofsted report for the school, which asserts that the Accelerated Christian Education syllabus provides "good coverage of basic literacy and numeracy, scientific knowledge, and aspects of history, geography and religious education". So, for good measure, I've written to their complaints department citing the program and asking how science coming straight from the book of Genesis can be described as 'scientific knowledge'.

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:23:00 UTC | #173479

AdrianB's Avatar Comment 10 by AdrianB

I watched this last night, very scary.

The possibility that these people are seeking political power needs to be as scary to the moderate theists as it is to us, otherwise we will sleep walk into the same problems that they have in the US.

We already know that the fundamental religious breed faster than the rest of us. Muslims have 4.7 kids against an average of 1.8. There is an Exclusive Brethren community near me, they all drive VW Sharans with the radios removed. I have just heard on the R4 Today programme that the Jewish population has increased for the first time in ages, and it is now predicted to increase dramatically, because whilst secular Jews have an average of 1.6 kids Orthodox Jew are now having 7 (yes SEVEN!) kids.

What scares me most is that they are now learning from the US model, and seeking power in the education system, to make sure all that breeding doesn't go to waste, and the political system, to enforce their bigotry.

Also on the R4 Today programme was a Christian chap talking about the failure to reduce the abortion period from 24 to 20 weeks. He mentioned that the vote was quite narrow, and given that his type are gaining in numbers within the political system, they would succeed next time. Given that I had just watched this documentary last night, this is a very scary thought indeed.

Against this background of below average secular breeding of about 1.6, it is a credit to our education system that we have our freedoms. Lose the education system to these nutjobs and we're doomed, and thanks to Tony Blair this is now a possibility.

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:23:00 UTC | #173478

passutoba's Avatar Comment 12 by passutoba

Stephen Green cuts a tragi-comic a horrible parody, like a religious Alan Partridge. The bird crap scene could have been straight out of a Partidge episode, as embarrassingly awful self-serving publicity goes awry........

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:27:00 UTC | #173480

Szkeptik's Avatar Comment 13 by Szkeptik

Is this something new, or they just didn't pay attention to them before?

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:30:00 UTC | #173481

DavidSJA's Avatar Comment 14 by DavidSJA

I think it's important that people watch this because this isn't extremist fundamentalism: this is mainstream fundamentalism. The beliefs espoused by the people in that show are the beliefs I grew up with and which are promulgated by people I know and love. I was expecting something radical based on the feedback from forumeers this morning: I found nothing in that show shocking apart from the fact people don't know that this is happening.

I am of the opinion that one must treat these people with a degree of "anthropological strangeness", not as a subset of our culture and values, but in the same way we would treat the beliefs and culture of people in a previously undiscovered tribe. It has been suggested (elsehwere) that these people are being cynically manipulated by people seeking their power and spreading hate. I think the truth is more difficult than that: I know [from personal exposure and contact over 25 years] that these people are being led by committed, even obsessed, believers who live inside a value system which is, to repeat my earlier phrase, anthropologically strange. Because they believe the bible is the literal truth, it's not outrageous for them to equate homosexuality, murder and paedophilia, it's not outrageous for them to believe that Allah, the muslim god, is Satan wearing a wig and dodgy mask, it's not outrageous for them to be educating children in ways which we consider intellectually dishonest and dangerous. And therefore, it's not outrageous for them to become obsessed about things we consider to be non-issues.

Further, these people aren't rare freaks. These people are living next door to us. When you see adverts in windows for "house churches" or "community churches" or "new life churches", this is what they mean. These people get together, and someone who is "of standing" extemporises on the word of god. They sing god-awful (see what I did there?) tunes in worship and adoration.

The dancing the woman was teaching the children about? She was serious. She wasn't being cynical, she honestly thought that loving Jesus obsessively was the most important thing that she could do for those children. The education books (PACEs), from a system known as Accelerated Christian Education (ACE, the P in PACE stands for Packet (of)) are the ones I studied during middle and upper school years (I even recognised the science PACE that was flipped through on the screen). They are written by people who sincerely believe that if you "lie" to a child (eg. teach them about evolution) they will go to hell and it will be your fault.

The PACEs, coincidentally, have little cartoons in them which reinforce messages of salvation and intolerance. Pudge, the fat, slightly naughty boy, is often caught doing something wrong by the teacher, and Ace, the holier-than-thou kid, would remind him of the passage of the bible he should have remembered when he was being tempted. Other characters included Chrissie (the long-haired holy girl who was looking forward to setting up home when she grew up).

I know some of you will find this difficult to comprehend, because it is easier to believe that cynical manipulation is happening, but I assure you that I didn't see evidence of cynicism at the levels I was at (and whilst I was nowhere near the top, I did meet some of the top people in the organisation). And I've got bad news: you cannot fight that type of conviction and belief. All you can do, in practice, is to put it into social context, just as David Modell was doing on the film. Put the teaching into social context and highlight the abuse of the children; put the campaigning into social context and highlight the manipulation of the political system to benefit extremist beliefs; put the intolerance into social context and show that in Britain we tolerate a diverse and just society.

Because if you don't do it, they will end up with the type of influence they have in the states, which reaches into the legislature and the executive and the judiciary. Write to your MP and tell him about your concerns; engage in dialogue with him and let him know how your humanist values asses the morality of whatever the issue du jour is. We MUST stand up for liberal values, for minimisation of harm and for justice for all.

I don't see Islam being a threat to this country: I see fundamentalist religion of any type as a threat, and unless we highlight its values now we will soon find we are living under them.

(Sorry about the length of that!)

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:32:00 UTC | #173482

DavidSJA's Avatar Comment 15 by DavidSJA

PS, I should point out that the best copy of this show is on 4 On Demand ( for people living in the UK.

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:37:00 UTC | #173485

SOAS's Avatar Comment 16 by SOAS

Gosh what a fantastic program. Makes me glad I pay a license fee for such stuff. ( yes I know it was Ch4, but they compete with Panaroama on the BBC)

The headmaster, and the woman running the anti abortion campaign, were both asked how old they though the world was.. The footage that followed spoke volumes.!

Teaching kids that we thank god for Jesus , cos now if we say sorry to Jesus god won't send snakes to bite them.....

Pillars of salt..!!!? wtf!

(telling children this shite is LYING and that IS a sin)

A science exam.. (Q1) How long did it take God to make the world?

Q2 What did he do on the 2nd day?
I would let my children nowhere near these nutters.

These Christians are so self-righteous and the driving instructor is a WANKER. ( his words).
Very funny that bit. ( bet the chicks are queing up to meet him!)

I could not sit and watch this program, I walked up and down , both laughing and screaming at my 65cm tv screen. ( not to self: must get one of those plasma massive jobbies)..

It was presented brilliantly because by letting the faithheads talk , by just asking them question withought getting in to an argument , it was more revealing of their immoral self-righteous unethical, ignorant, selfimportance..

Calling Allah Satan was an home goal. and used to gr8 effect at the end of the film, when the MP was asked if she knew that that was the view of the lobbyinst.

ON a pleasing note, the amount of folks returning the anti gay leaflets (poison).

and today the lobbying has not worked with relation to the abortion bill.Status Quo remains.( What a gr8 band they are too.:-)))

They want to live in a world where the editor of the bible's moral tone is true thus asking for stoning to death of adulterers and homosexuals, and return of slavery.!

Not in the UK thanks.

Must dig out the episdode of wife swap ( a US vesion ) A gay couple from Washington state, with two lovely teenage daughters, meets bible bashers from the south). Was v educational that.!

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:41:00 UTC | #173488

RussC's Avatar Comment 17 by RussC


I wonder if the Orthodox Jewish community have deliberately raised their breeding rate, maybe even sub-conciously - "come on everyone, we're slipping behind the other religions, time to catch up".

As a Brit, the whole programme is tough to watch. I'm becoming increasingly concerned about the number of faith heads that are becoming MPs and even Prime Ministers. And we don't have a constitution to keep church and state separate.


Tue, 20 May 2008 23:42:00 UTC | #173489

AdrianB's Avatar Comment 18 by AdrianB

Thanks for that very interesting post DavidSJA.

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:47:00 UTC | #173492

passutoba's Avatar Comment 19 by passutoba

Just finished it There's 2 million of these nutters in the UK? As insightful as it is, much of it has a spoof-like quality, thanks almost exclusively to the silly christians themselves. For example, the fundie driving instructor who thinks god sends him new customers (i don't advertise in the yellow its god!), and who sticks a piece of paper with 'jesus' on the ceiling, so from what he insinuated, he isn't tempted to crack one out first thing. And then he goes off prosletysing on Saturday mornings giving kids tickets to heaven. 'What do you think of lying?'says fundie.... 'coooool' says kid.....

and love the final scene when he sets up the barrister to look like an intolerant nutcase in front of her dear MP friend..same barrister who earlier had ducked the fossil question....

Tue, 20 May 2008 23:55:00 UTC | #173498

fiagottpf's Avatar Comment 20 by fiagottpf

I watched this programme when it was on and my initial reaction was "what a shower of morons".

How can someone so lacking in rationality qualify to be a barrister?
Then I remembered our former beloved leader.

After sober reflection, my reaction is "Yeuch!".

Wed, 21 May 2008 00:46:00 UTC | #173518

Buddha's Avatar Comment 21 by Buddha

This was a well made, but disturbing documentary that finally convinced me that these nut-jobs are really on the spectrum of mental illness.

My only criticism was the point where the presenter challenged the idiot who thought the Earth was only 6000 years old by saying scientists know the Earth is much older due to carbon dating. Geological dating of the Earth uses different radioactive isotopes with half-lifes of many millions of years e.g. Uranium, Thorium, Strontium, Rubidium etc. Carbon dating is only useful for a few thousand years.

I may be being picky, but it's a common error that these numpties like to jump on.

Wed, 21 May 2008 00:53:00 UTC | #173521

Incredulous's Avatar Comment 22 by Incredulous

I saw this when it came out in Britain and my reaction was similar to many of those espoused by many already.

Comment #182763 by DavidSJA

While I appreciate most of what DavidSJA said in this interesting comment, I am not sure I can hold to what he is saying here:

And I've got bad news: you cannot fight that type of conviction and belief.

I am slowly turning - though not turned yet - to the opinion that we have no alternative but to fight this fight.

My reason? Sam Harris said it for me in his End of Faith when he astutely notes that while it has always been easy to meet your maker, it is now even easier to ensure you take many others to meet him when you decide to pay a visit.

While I'm not one that believes in false consequences, I have to admit to a purely emotional concern that the kind of attitude I saw on this programme morphs all too easily into something a little even less - if that is possible - attractive.

It is expected that there will be some kind of conflict between believers in imaginary gods in this green and pleasant land. Who ever would have that it could happen here?

Not a pleasant thought when you can imagine someone popping into a large supermarket and coming out with a large loaf and meat and enough stuff to create merry havoc anywhere you please.

This may seem hysterical, but I am sure the hatreds, wars, conflicts and prejudices that have constantly cast shadows on our human time in the sun, can easily wreak the kind of havoc we have seen over the past few centuries.

We all know science, rationality, logic, medicine philosophy, technology, mathematics, etc, have helped enoble human existence.

And yes it is probable that religion has offered nothing but primitive explanations, superstition and a kind of childish devotion to dogma.

I am not sure, though, that to believe we can do nothing about it is the right approach; to couch it in a social framework is not enough.

To heed the warning and plan our way out of the possible nightmare has to be considered.

Wed, 21 May 2008 01:27:00 UTC | #173536

ianmac66's Avatar Comment 23 by ianmac66

This isn't education with a bible class thrown in, this is bible class with education thrown in.

Wed, 21 May 2008 01:32:00 UTC | #173537

PJG's Avatar Comment 24 by PJG

I caught the last 20 minutes of this when it was on TV on Monday night. I was kicking myself for missing most of it and delighted to get the chance to watch it this morning.

Now, having only watched the first ten minutes, I feel physically sick to the point that I can't bear to watch it all in one go.

What can we do about this? Almost as importantly, how can we stop our (tax) money being used to support these faith schools? If that headteacher was as deluded about anything else, or allowing the children to be taught anything else that was so far from our accepted understanding (scientific/historical or anything else) he would be removed from the post. It is as bad as teaching children that William Shakespeare was a Womble and he lived in a cave in 1920.

I could cry for those poor children.

My only hope is that these people stay on the edge... something that would appear to be so in light of the embryology and abortion bill decisions taken over the last couple of days.

At least this programme may have opened a few people's eyes to the threat posed by these deluded, sick people. Thank God (pun intended!) for the freedom of the press and thank you Dispatches.

Wed, 21 May 2008 01:56:00 UTC | #173551

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 25 by Tyler Durden

"Hell is other people." John Paul Sartre

Wed, 21 May 2008 02:00:00 UTC | #173553

Greyman's Avatar Comment 26 by Greyman

23. Comment #182818 by ianmac66 on May 21, 2008 at 2:32 am

This isn't education with a bible class thrown in, this is bible class with education thrown in.

Slight correction: it is a bible class with education thrown out.

Wed, 21 May 2008 02:09:00 UTC | #173554

DavidSJA's Avatar Comment 27 by DavidSJA

Incredulous said:

While I appreciate most of what DavidSJA said in this interesting comment, I am not sure I can hold to what he is saying here:

And I've got bad news: you cannot fight that type of conviction and belief..

I am slowly turning - though not turned yet - to the opinion that we have no alternative but to fight this fight.

Thanks for your comment, Incredulous.

In fact, I agree that we should fight the fundamentalism. However, I don't believe that you can use logic or truth or science to achieve that goal. I think someone said the difference between religious belief and scientific "belief" is that if you presented sufficient quality evidence to a scientist they would change their mind; if you did the same to the religious believer they would just assume you are a servant of the devil sent to test them.

This is what I meant by you cannot fight the conviction and belief: you will not change the believer's mind. However, you can fight the outcomes of those beliefs and you fight expose the beliefs for what they are in the wider social context, and we absolutely should be doing that. I hope I am not being too optimistic when I say that I think that when society sees the beliefs for what they are that they will treat them with the contempt they deserve.

Wed, 21 May 2008 02:11:00 UTC | #173557

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 28 by Tyler Durden

From Part2:

"Andrea Williams is a barrister"
Yet when poor Andrea is asked a question like "How old the Earth is" she asks for the camera to be turned off. Or when asked to explain her views on Islam as a "false religion" to a Member of Parliament, she turns her mic off.

Hands up anyone who would hire Andrea Williams as a barrister.

No, me neither.

Wed, 21 May 2008 02:14:00 UTC | #173559

riki's Avatar Comment 29 by riki

I couldn't bare to watch.

Wed, 21 May 2008 02:54:00 UTC | #173570

Henri Bergson's Avatar Comment 30 by Henri Bergson


What do we do about these extremist schools in Britain? A school campaign is seriously needed before it's too late.

Wed, 21 May 2008 02:59:00 UTC | #173571