Monday, September 22, 2008

The Aegis of Faith

There's a serious problem facing the world and it can be difficult to articulate just how ingrained and severe this problem is.

People defend their icons. This holds true for religious figures, social icons (see leave britney alone) and even ideas themselves.

It's the 21st century and people are still clinging to ridiculous superstition, alternative medicine and astrology. Now these are all ridiculous of course, but in and of themselves tend to be fairly harmless. Clinging to stupid beliefs is one thing, clinging to stupid people is quite different.

It should come as no shock to most people that VFX lied about the DMCA takedowns against thunderf00t. It should also come as no surprise that he filed them in the first place, that any video that receives negative criticism is stripped off his channel like a crusty scab or that commenting and rating is almost never allowed.

VFX is not a good person. He knowingly lies and presents false 'evidence' for creation science quite frequently. Tf00t has done a much more thorough job debunking him than I could ever manage so I'll skim over that part. To me it is not so shocking that VFX espouses his freakish certainty over the state of the universe despite any and all contradictory evidence.

What IS shocking to me is how many people actually LIKE the notorious VFX. There's a girl named Lydia (so she says) that inspired me to make my first youtube video. Here's what she has to say about VFX.

How can anyone with a conscience defend this scrawny little troll? Is the message so vital that you're willing to let a pale spineless toad bring it to the world? Are the standards of evangelism so pitifully low that anyone with a youtube account can stand up and become a champion of the christian faith?

Sadly the answer is yes. Passion is necessary to keep the faith alive, I remember that well from my christian phase. However sacrificing the integrity of your message to protect an individual is completely ridiculous. If VFX is so in touch with the christian deity why doesn't he understand how the world works, how copyright laws work, how to function as a decent human being?

This is my biggest problem with religious people in america. I am not going to argue for or against anyone's beliefs or disbelief, I want to remain totally neutral in that regard. My problem with VFX, faith healers and TV Evangelicals is that they are protected by a false premise and this leads to great harm.

How many megachurches have suffered through some scandal? I can think of a few crackpots off the top of my head. Kent Hovind was a fraudster. Ted Haggard was doing meth and gay sex. Just recently Tony Alamo walked into the crosshairs of the FBI for alleged child pornography and sexual abuse.

Now I am not insinutating that every member of the clergy is a closet freak/thief/junkie or even implying that its a widespread phenomenon. Here's the rub: It does happen. Check out the videos of Ted Haggard shrieking against homosexuality or Kent Hovind spouting sanctimonious absurdities.

This behavior coincided with sermons, prayers, visitations and videos. Simply put every one of these guys was a filthy lying hypocrite. Even taken from a moral vacuum hypocrisy still constitutes wrongdoing.

I am not one to blame the victim here but I suspect that part of the successful duping of so many congregants was simply that people equate goodness with pastors and preachers. I don't care one way or another until it creeps into my little sphere of influence. However simple accountability practices would make it much harder for people to pull off these gigantic lies.

Lydia. I understand that you are a christian and want to show support for spreading the message. However if you look closely at VFX I suspect you will find that he far to willing to shirk any principles or integrity just to make his point and have his say. This not the hallmark of wisdom, this is a used car salesman tactic.

I've only met a handful of clergy in my life but I would say that most of them are decent people. However, you can bet your glittery lip gloss that there are others out there who are not so decent. I ask you, person to person, do not be complicit with VFX. Think about the consequences of knee jerk reactions to protect fellow members of your faith. I suspect you want to help because of your own personal beliefs and I have no quarrel with that. But when you raise up a shield to protect someone, regardless of thier own moral standing, then you are doing a disservice to your faith.

Drop your shield. Let the liars and pretenders be exposed for who and what they are. Show no remorse for the hypocrites and con men. They do far more harm to the christian faith than ridicule ever could.

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