Sit-down-and-shut-up "Christian" Ford dealership is run by a non-church attendee who is sorry about the ad

Remember the Ford dealership that ran a radio ad telling non-Christians to "sit down and shut up?"

"JW Horne," who claims he works for the dealership writing the ads posted to his blog, defending his decision, telling "non-believers" and "plain doubters" that we are "in the minority and as loud as you yell and protest, you will always be in the minority."

But today, Rick Kieffe, owner of Kieffe and Sons Ford in Mojave and Rosamond, publicly apologized for the ad, saying that a) he doesn't actually attend church, and b) he didn't approve the ad.

“It’s just something that went by us,” said Kieffe, who does not attend church but considers himself “a Christian spirit.” “We’re obviously sorry that it offends a given segment who identifies themselves as atheist.”
Link to "You Will Always Be in the Minority" post, Link to apology (via Consumerist)

See also: Ford dealership uses bigoted radio ads to sell cars


  1. “We’re obviously sorry that it offends a given segment who identifies themselves as atheist.”

    What about offending people who aren’t lunatics?

  2. I agree, CinemaJay, but give the guy credit for at least ATTEMPTING to apologize.

    I’m so glad to hear that (while he’s still kind of a bozo) he’s not the complete bushwhackin’, snake-handlin’, hot-coal-eatin’ bozo wacko we thought he was.

    Or that JW Horne is.

  3. Ah, the ol’ I-regret-that-you’re-an-angry-heathen apology. That one always mends the fence.

  4. Las night I talked to my friend who writes/sells radio ads. He says he wouldn’t have approved that ad, but his superiors might have. I’ll follow up with a final ruling on that. Not exactly a parallel situation, though. My friend’s station has Dearborn in its market and lots of Muslims.

  5. Well, said Striatedpattern@#3. I am glad he apologized, but he should have left off the end of that sentence. He was almost ok until he identified that segment. Speaking as one who posted here about being offended, I do not identify as anything close to atheist, and I don’t buy his explanation that it got past them, either. They didn’t hear the ad before it ran, or see the ad copy for approval? -Bullshit. They just thought it would get past the rest of us that don’t live in their shithole town. Nice try, Ricky. You get a D for effort.

  6. Still can’t figure out the logic of ‘believes in god = christian”.

    We heathens believe in god(s), and are thus lumped in with the 86% he calls christians.

    I still say ‘bozo’.

  7. Thanks, Cory for updating this. Acknowledging the guy’s attempted semi-apology was the fair thing to do since we spent 24 hours tearing him a new one.
    He’s still a douche though.

  8. Do they teach these sorts of hollow apologies in the Bible? I’ve heard this exact apology from any number of god-soaked, hate-mongering, pseudo-Christian gasbags.

  9. Athiests, my butt.

    What most offended me when I first heard about this ad was that it made it sound like, as a Jew, they didn’t want my business.

    Now that they seem to be implying that, as a Jew, I am essentially “Christian”, I’m much, much more offended.

    Some apologies are worse than the original transgressions, and this is one of them.

  10. Look, it’s a classic strategy: Release an offensive quip that pleasantly amuses 75% of the audience, then do a quiet retraction as damage control for the 25%.

    It works well because the idiots that you just amused aren’t interested in an apology and will ignore it, so even if half of the 25% walk away, you’re still ahead.

    Works every time.

    Here in Cleveland, we had to endure a slightly softer version of this BS through most of the 90’s, courtesy of a used-car huckster named Bob Serpentini. About once a month, he released a new radio commercial that was essentially a blandified Rush Limbaugh sermon, with lots of “I’m an American, jack, and if you don’t like it you can shut up and leave!” machismo. (That’s practically verbatim.) It would’ve been grating if it weren’t so pathetic.

  11. Stop taking religion seriously. Today it is almost exclusively either:
    (a) a testament to the efficacy of lessons learned at one’s parents knee in childhood; and/or
    (b) a monument to social coercion; and/or
    (c) an expression of personal angst/psychodrama; and/or
    (d) any combination of the above.
    I too am a “Christian” spirit, one which disagrees with the third-century incorporation of the Ten Commandments into the Christian Faith. So fucking what? This poor guy apologized because the social zeitgeist is rife with this religious crap, ever a fertile source of social familial and personal strife and conflict (and ever expoited for just this quality) – but this guy, like most of us, has no set views but rather the better parts of religion – and all religions have better their virtues, no doubt even the sword worshippers had their virtues – have had an effect… But render unto Caesar,eh? Who’s business is it?
    Meh. Since the Ford dealership sprayed the shit into the air in the first place it becomes them to spray some freshener now….so OK let’s deal!
    I mean some people used to worship a naked sword stuck into the earth, for cryin’ out loud. Shall I take care not to offend every weirdo?
    However my religion teaches me to think that all stupid and/or foolish people need to be offended by the truth once in a while, or else they’d never learn and grow and individuate and think (and laugh and love and dance etc.).
    Perhaps there is some truth in the saying “All consciousness has its primitive foundation in the sensation of pain” in that at its root all learning is forced upon any organism.
    Physical offense keeps your hand from the fire next time. Perhaps religious offense may serve to incentivize people to practice some intellectual (and yes moral) hygiene.

  12. Bah. Edit out “better”from the foregoing.
    All religions have their virtues. We are permitted however to differ as to the value we set upon those virtues.

  13. i’ve always found alienating a portion of my customers by using my business as a soapbox for unrelated diatribe to be a solid business strategy.

    what business school did you guys go to?

  14. “There is a great silent majority of Americans that are believers. The difference between them and you is this. Believers do not have to justify their existence.” -From the Kieffe and Sons blog post

    Trying to justify the existence of d-bags like this guy almost makes me want to let “the God answer” do all the work for me.

    Wait…Scratch that…I just did it on my own. Praise the ME!

  15. Free Speech. I was taught from grade school on that it was not merely a “Right.” It was tantamount to a DUTY at times. Yet I was also told to be mindful of what affect words could have on a person or to a situation. For good or bad. And every day teaches me how to make new “Misteaks” in using speech wisely.

    This case seems to be a confluence of Very Bad Things. The bedrock issue to me is how can we find a balance between not crushing civil rights on their own altar and preserving all our collective dignity.

    In closing, ask yourself if seeing an Ethnic, Political, or Religious identification used by a merchant impacts your dealings with them- if at all?
    Or perhaps the ABSENCE of demographic is our new Shibboleth.

  16. From the blog post:
    So each of you who find some offense to the radio ad and you want to be up in arms over it, you have the right to think what you wish but you do not have the right to take my copyrighted material and destort it for your personal gain.

    God loves intellectual property apparently! And apparently this guy thinks that although he wrote it for the car dealership he still owns it and not the dealership…

  17. I am glad this guy apologized but it was a bit underhanded.
    “We’re obviously sorry that it offends a given segment who identifies themselves as atheist.”

    So if a person is not a Christian they are Atheist? Hindu,Jew, Muslim, Jain,Shinto, Taoist, Buddhist…you get the picture.

    Besides, atheist is a term that christians use to describe those who don’t believe exactly what they do.
    I certainly am not superstitious but I am not an atheist. Nontheist is a better term.

    It was bad business to put that ad on at the very least.

  18. Wait…I don’t understand…why can’t you just develop your own new religion, like people did before..oh wait…you can…carry on…you guys just need to come up with better religions, it seems…better luck next time…cheerio…

  19. No apology needed; in fact, I always appreciate ads like his. I don’t want my money used to promote his religion, so now I know where not to trade.

    I wish *more* business people would tell me what they’re going to do with the money I give them.

  20. Probably stating the obvious or delving into seriously paranoid territory here…

    My theory is “JW Horne”, the guy claiming to have been involved in creating the advertisement, is lying about being involved, and lying about being “one of them atheists” to make “them atheists” look bad and feel bad, and has nothing to do with the whole situation.

  21. This clears up one puzzle. I’ve spent a lot of time in Rosamond, and some in Mojave, and the guy in the audio didn’t sound like anybody from around there. But he sounded a lot like folks did when I lived in Fort Worth, Texas. So finding out he was from Oklahoma certainly explained the accent.

  22. As a Christian, I could have a full time job apologizing for this kinds of idiocy. There was a time when Christianity, even in it’s nominal form, was the dominate worldview in the West. That day is over. Time for the arrogance to start.

    As David #14 said, this is a very intentional tactic that, sadly, still works. ugh.

  23. My favorite quote:
    “I like your Christ. But I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    Obviously, not all Christians are fools and jerks. Just the ones that make themselves look like fools and jerks. But all of the religions out there have their members that aren’t very “nice”, even Athiests.

  24. I thank my lucky atheistic stars whenever I read something like this. Is it good or bad that you can’t even get elected dog catcher if you’re an atheist?

  25. Speaking as a person who does not formally
    practice any religion, I really don’t care if any atheists are offended by the ad. Atheists are constantly insulting people who practice Christianity. Many atheists celebrated when Jerry Falwell died.

    My concern is that the ad may be offensive
    to people who practice religions other than

    I appreciate that the owner of the car dealership
    made an apology, but he is apologizing to the
    wrong people.

  26. I wrote a pen and paper letter to Ford directly asking what their official opinion was on this issue. I knew that the best I’d get from the dealership was a left handed apology, and paper is harder to ignore than e-mail.

    Since stamps went up, I had to spend $4 in gas to go and get a 1 cent stamp to mail that letter though.

  27. My concern is that the ad may be offensive
    to people who practice religions other than

    I’m an atheist.
    I’m also religious.
    Do I fall under the rude atheist category, or the potentially-offended practitioner of another religion category?

    People are constantly insulting people.


  28. Christians and Atheists seem to have cornered the market on declaring their preferences in comments, with Buddhists a distant third and one lone Scientologist.

  29. As a formerly religious Atheist, that ad is an insult both to me, who it directly insults and to my religious Christian friends and loved ones who it insults by associating them with the people who created it and claim to speak for Christians.

  30. That’s my first declaration of preference. I avoid self definition W/R/T religion because I consider the whole subject someone else’s area of interest and I don’t like adopting a label created by others for their own purposes. But there are times when taking a side is more effective than debating the meaning of the word ‘side’.

  31. I guess they decided to run the ad and if it offended anyone, ford that stream when they got to it.


  32. I’ve declared myself to be a Wiccan on several occasions. Theologically I’d call myself a Radical Pantheist.

  33. All you people who aren’t OWists can sit down and shut up.

    -Jake (who is still waiting for his insect name)

  34. The offensiveness of the ad had nothing to do with religion, it had to to with the suggestion that people who think A are welcome to think this and express their opinions while people whi think B or C or Q should shut up because supposedly there are more people who think A.

    And also.. what the hell does religion have to do with cars?

  35. I call bullshit on “It’s just something that went by us.” I was the sole in-house, local business copywriter for a group of six stations, and I guarantee you that not one of the stations thousands of clients ever had an ad run that they hadn’t read or heard–often multiple times. Sometimes I literally had the client standing over my shoulder, dictating main points I had to get across. Even the local discount clothing store read through the mind-numbing grocery list of sale items in each new daily ad like it was the Treaty of Versailles.

    The idea that such an in-your-face, totally left-field ad was used to try and sell cars means someone thought this out. It didn’t just sneak through.

    This jerkwad knew exactly what his ad said, and I’ll bet he and his sales force sat around the radio when it ran having a good laugh–until he realized that the 14% (and perhaps even larger percentage) of the audience he just alienated cared more about not shopping at their dealership than the 86% he thought he was talking to cared about bringing him their business.

    The only reason we’re getting this half-assed apology is that the large group of people he just alienated–atheists, non-Christians, non-lunatics, jaded anti-jingoists, etc.–constitute the percentage of sales he needs to actually clear a profit.

    Apology not accepted.

  36. Bow Gejigeji! The House Centipede! OW! And I post an image for you so you can see the bug that just about made me prematurely vent dinner when I learned of their existence in a futon cabinet

  37. @Xopher, #42: Another Wiccan/Pagan chiming in. I like Radical Pantheist, but I’m more accurately described as Eclectic Pantheist.

    Also, taking religious direction from car salesmen is about on the same order as taking medical advice from your car mechanic. You get what you pay for.

  38. Well, I guess the ad was successful in one way… Kieffe and Sons Ford is now the most well-known dealership in the country.

  39. ” You all can stand up and shout, burn flags, gather on a corner and cuss the government, males can marry males, females can marry females you can all buy one of those imports and send the money to Japan if you want”

    Ah I understand.

    The gay/lesbian, flag burning, standing on the corner cussing the government, Toyota driving minority.

  40. Fellow OWies, unite! We can not let this “Christian spirit” apologist splatter his false apologetics on the windshield of our semi-religious Band-of-Buggers!

  41. let’s see what good ol’ bucky has to say about this sort of thing.

    “The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual.”

  42. Bugs? Japanese hearaldic bugs?
    Like the badges on cars, without them they are all the same , just transport…like the names of the religions of men…
    (Polanski’s MacBeth is worth seeing too.)

  43. I’m an atheist.
    I’m also religious.
    Do I fall under the rude atheist category, or the potentially-offended practitioner of another religion category?

    Ok, ‘offensive’ is a hasty choice of words on my
    part. I live in a community with many Buddhists,
    Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims. My concern is
    that a statement which defines our society as
    Christian could make these people feel excluded
    from our society These are people to whom an
    apology should be directed.

    Do I care if atheists feel excluded? Yes and no.
    I’ve heard far too many smug, arrogant atheists
    insulting religion and people who practice it.
    If you are not like that, good for you. Please
    be more visible and make efforts to correct your
    more misguided atheist bretheren.

  44. It’s going to be SO funny when God separates the sheep from the goats and says to them, “depart from me, I never knew you.”

    Kieffe & Co.: OMG WTF?
    God: BBQ

  45. Makes sense. Non-religious people have a higher IQ on average than strongly religious people. Much easier to swindle the dumb ones than the smart ones.

  46. “Much easier to swindle the dumb ones than the smart ones.” In my experience,not necessarily.

  47. Tenn: I’m confused how can you be an atheist and religous at the same time? I’m not trying to be insulting here, since the only thought I’ve given to god beliefs is that religion is silly since by definition god’s will is unknowable, and humans aren’t capable of putting together a religion that’s even close to an aproximation of that will.

    Anyway, I do agree that maybe Mitch has a good point, athiests do insult christians a bit too much. But then again Christians like to judge too much even though their savior (I think) said “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

    Anyway, both beliefs would do well to not force their beliefs on others, no matter what those beliefs are.

  48. The “athiests” I see commenting on this site are as acid-tongued as the Christians they love to hate. What’s the deal? Has fighting hate with hate ever worked?

  49. Arg, BB needs an edit feature to both add to my comment and to get rid of my copy-and-paste error with the “anyways”.

    #71 is a great example of the exact thing atheists don’t to need to say. Insulting the other side doesn’t make you better, nor does it help your cause. Didn’t you learn anything from this radio car ad story? You just did the exact same thing as it in reverse!!

  50. While I don’t know of a single serious professional who would write such an ad, I can certainly believe there are clients galore who would approve of it.

    Using religion as a marketing tool is relatively common in my neck of the woods. Oddly, the main practitioners are people in the trades…plumbers, electricians, general contractors, etc. You will see ads that feature quotes from scripture or other references to faith. Some opt for crosses or that fish line art in the ad. They also put scripture quotes and the fish or cross on their trucks.

    I assume it gets them business since it’s been going on for ages.

  51. Do I care if atheists feel excluded? Yes and no. I’ve heard far too many smug, arrogant atheists insulting religion and people who practice it. If you are not like that, good for you.

    While I’m not condoning tit-for-tat; do atheists have a corner in being smug and arrogant about their choice (or not) of religion?

    I don’t think so. As far as I can tell (from personal experience), the athiest’s reaction to religion, across the full spectrum of reactions, is usually dictated by the individual atheist’s own experience of interecting with the prevalent religion’s members in their own locale. While atheism is literally “without god”, for a lot of people it is also about reacting to how they are treated by the religious-norm, in their community, however that manifests itself.

    Of course there are rude and arrogant athiests, just like there are rude and arrogant Christians, Jews and Muslims (etc. etc.). They are probably just rude and arrogant people, who happen to belong to one club or another, regardless of what flag they wave.

    And of course there are sane, tolerant, happy athiests, Christians, Jews etc. etc.

    Please be more visible and make efforts to correct your more misguided atheist bretheren.

    Do any of us have a charge to temper the other members of their supposed ‘group’?

    Only insofar as people should want other people to be nice to each other, not as little discrete groups policing themselves. Do the Anglicans police the Catholics? Are they not both Christian? Why would my atheism be dependent on another person’s atheism, or why would my beliefs be dependent on someone elses personality? There are so many shades and factions of each group, that there is no way to centrally rule. The only institution all of them adhere to (mostly) is “society”, so it is society’s issue, just like rude and arrogant people normally are.

    People are arrogant or smug regardless of their clubs. You can’t say “most athiest are arrogant” any more than you can say “most Christians are raving rapture-philes”, so there is no sense judging someone’s personality by their affiliations (afflictions?) alone, even the extreme ones. I presume [whatever theistic-group you identify with] assumes some version of tolerance, love and avoiding judgement (as many do, at their core).

    As a reasonable person (regardless of your religion), you are only doing yourself a disservice to make athiests the only group you don’t acknowledge as needing an apology.

    (And indeed the Owists)

    OW! OW!

  52. I have a personal rule – I never, ever do business with any company or individual that advertises their religious beliefs. I don’t call the plumber with the jesus fish in his ad, I don’t go to the gas station with a religious slogan on their sign, etc.

    In my experience, people who advertise their religion in an attempt to build trust with the in-group with which they identify are about 50x more likely to try to rip you off.

    This rule goes double for car salespeople, who are already looking to rip you off by definition.

  53. Monroe, ditto that (dunno about the ripping off part). I always just feel weird when there is a denomination attached to a product or service. It’s kinda icky.

    To misquote Teresa from another thread, it just says to me “I am not their target market”, and walk on by.

  54. What would Jesus do? Certainly not use his name to sell cars. Especially not Fords, at that.

  55. Yeh, I’m gonna show my colours and say I’d would probably shop at place with an evolve-fish in the window.. what a sucker :p

  56. #62, band of buggers? on the windshield of life? OW! theat’s an offender- bender! the screwfly strikes!

  57. Here in Indiana we have these “In God We Trust” license plates that were somehow found constitutional because they don’t charge any more for them than regular plates.
    I was raised Catholic but I can’t stand these plates. I try to look on the bright side though. At least now I can tell who the enormous jerks are.

    On the other side I also think people that have those Darwin evolve things on their car are also enormous jerks.

  58. “It’s just something that went by us,” – is a load of crap – My parents live in Lancaster (a town near Mojave) and I remeber hearing this add several years ago while visiting them. If it “got by them” it has been getting by them repeatedly for quite a while now.

  59. I’m not a Theist and I think that labeling myself an Atheist is basically a Fail. It’s adopting for myself a definition created by someone else for their own purposes. I’m not a fan of WWF wrestling, either, and I don’t have to tell everyone I’m a “Non-WWF-Fan”. I just ignore it. Theism is someone else’s deal and it doesn’t involve me so I just ignore it and go on with my life for the most part.

  60. @73 & 74, etc

    Some people really put the ‘ism’ in ‘Atheism’.

    I was an Atheist for a number of years until people started lumping me in with all the venomously verbose atheists out there. I have no desire to offend atheists or christians or anyone. I don’t always succeed, but their religious point of views are as unimportant to me as the color of their skin, economic status, sexual orientation or age. I could care less about any of it. An azzhat is as an azzhat does – regardless of religion, sex, age or type of suit they’re wearing. I am no longer an athiest. I usually answer the question of religion by saying, “All of the Above”.

  61. So… does anyone ever truly apologize anymore? Public apologies have become exercises in not-really-apologizing. By putting the onus on people who “may have been offended” they’re not apologizing for anything, rather, they’ve put the onus on the offended party for being offended.

  62. The “athiests” I see commenting on this site are as acid-tongued as the Christians they love to hate. What’s the deal? Has fighting hate with hate ever worked?

    They are two sides of the same coin, the name of the coin is “blind faith”. The way that religion works in society today is the reverse of how it has worked traditionally. In today’s secular society the functional rule is “God is dead, therefore everything is prohibited”. In religious circles, particularly among fundamentalists, it is more like “God is real, therefore everything is allowed”. This would include the cult of Scientism i.e. modern Atheism.

    I certainly don’t believe in God or the gods, but I understand how important belief is to mankind. We could not live nor function without it. Yes belief is an illusion, a fantasy, but we need that more than ever today. Otherwise all we have is the abyss.

  63. Meridian 69: I agree with Halloween Jack. Meridian FTW!

    Enochrewt 73: While the Abrahamic dominance of religion has tended to make people assume that all religions have gods, this is not the case. That false assumption has led to the common usage of ‘atheist’ as meaning ‘non-religious person’ (believe it or not, I’ve had to explain to some people that ‘pagan’ doesn’t mean that). But technically, religions without gods are atheistic (as opposed to theistic) religions. Buddhism is one such religion.

    RossInDetroit 88: Yes, I heard a guy on the radio express similar sentiments. “I don’t have a special word that means I don’t believe in ghosts,” he said. “Why should I label my non-belief in God?”

    Shane 91: It does appear to be a dying art. I liked this one, even though it does use the “if I’ve offended” phrasing, because a) he apologizes for something outright first, and b) in the context, it really was unclear whether anyone had taken offense.

  64. I am constantly amused by people who claim to have certain, intimate knowledge of something completely unknowable. It gets scary when it goes from knowing to telling people they better believe.

    BTW, such a non-apology…

  65. Xopher: Thank you for the explaination. I’m going to use this for “The thing I learned today” if it comes up.

  66. “If you are doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing. His word isn’t worth shit. -Not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal” -William S. Burroughs

    Three people in this thread so far have identified themselves as “religious atheists” WTF is that? It would seem as much of an oxymoron as “military intelligence”…

  67. MITCH (response to your comment, #32),

    So, alot of Athiests are bad? All Athiests celebrated when Jerry Faldwell died? No. Just like even though some Muslims are bad, not all of them are. And just like some Christians forced others into their opinions doesn’t mean all of them are. Just because one guy named “Mitch” placed all Athiests into one category based on a few remarks doesn’t mean that all guys named “Mitch” do.

  68. Once upon a time, there was a social rule about not discussing politics or religion. It was a good rule. Whether you’re atheist or other, it’s a good idea to put a sock in it unless it’s clear that your intended audience wants to hear it.

  69. The logic of that ad was just so ridiculous and faulty– “the majority of Americans believe in god, so those of you who don’t should shut up, and if you don’t like it too bad because we’ve got ‘free speech.'” Ignoring the disconnect between “free speech” and “shut up”, just because a majority of Americans believe something, doesn’t mean those who don’t should shut up–for example the majority of Americans think we should be out of Iraq, so those of you who disagree, SHUT UP.

    The majority of Americans think abortion should remain legal, so pro-lifers should SHUT UP.

    The majority of Americans say they’re going to vote for either Democrat over McCain, so McCain should SHUT UP.

    See the problem with that logic?

  70. But technically, religions without gods are atheistic (as opposed to theistic) religions. Buddhism is one such religion.

    That’s not really true for too reasons. One, many Buddhists worship Buddha and various boddhisattvas as gods. Two, more mystic Buddhists would say that God is just a common term for primordial, undifferentiated consciousness, the return to which is the goal of Buddhism.

  71. There are, however, species of Buddhism with no Gods. Buddhism isn’t alone in this. I didn’t know that some Buddhists worshipped Buddha as a god. Strikes me as a bad idea, and I think the Buddha, were he alive, would laugh at them.

    At any rate, there are religions that are not theistic. That’s the real point.

  72. Most religions’ founders would sob if they could see their followers. Religion as a mass phenomenon tends to devolve to cult worship of one or many ‘gods’. Many Buddhists pray to Buddha, as opposed to using his life as a template for self-awakening.

  73. Thinking about it, humans commonly manifest a desire to worship a superior being, a person. It could just be an evolutionary remnant that compels us to look for the alpha member of the group.

  74. @24: @21. He writes ad copy and can’t spell distort correctly?

    I did Production at a radio station for a few years and discovered that the people who write ad copy are either Sales or their clients, and with almost no exception, they all have AWFUL spelling and grammar. It sometimes looks like they don’t even read it over once to correct really obvious typos. Also, they write copy that is way too long and expect you to be able to fit a minute and 20 seconds of read into one minute. And then if you want to correct their grammar, you have to get them to approve the changes you’ve made. And yes, it’s made me a little bitter.

  75. #100: “Once upon a time, there was a social rule about not discussing politics or religion.”

    And sex. Imagine that. Three of the five most important things in life banned from social discussion.

  76. Well if there is a better thread in which to discuss religion I am not aware of it. There are religions that are not theistic? Do tell, I can’t for the life of me think of one. I did a quick search and this is the best I could find atheistic religiosity. But he lists Buddhism as an example of an atheistic religion. One possibility might be pure ritual, but really, a ritual without belief is just OCD.

  77. Atheistic Religiosity. IIRC, during one debate on school prayer, supporters said that those who opposed school prayer are Secular Humanists, Secular Humanism is a religion and therefore not talking about God in school is teaching the religion of Secular Humanism. They demanded equal time for their religions to talk about God to provide balance against Secular Humanism.
    I don’t know who came up with that argument, but its evil twistedness is quite impressive,

  78. I have quite a few non-believing Jewish friends that still practice their religious ceremonies. Religion without God(s) seems to be more of a lifestyle choice than worship, à la Action vs Belief.

  79. Re: Secular Humanism — It was our friend Tim LaHaye in his 1980 book “The Battle for the Mind”. Francis Schaefer played a part also.

  80. @111: Thanks, NOEN. I should have known the correct citation wouldn’t be far away!

  81. Noen 108, are you really unable to see that ‘without belief in god(s)’ is not equivalent to ‘without belief’? If I believe in the Great Wheel of Karma (a natural force, not created or governed by any god), that Siddartha Gautama was the Enlightened One (but someone who lived a long time ago and is now dead, not a god of any kind), and that the goal of my many lives is to balance all karma, and achieve a state of blissful oblivion called Nirvana, wherein I cease being reborn, doesn’t that sound like a religion to you?

    Yet there is no god, no supreme being, no pantheon of immortal beings in the religion briefly outlined above (please note this is not the ONLY kind of Buddhism around, as Antinous has pointed out). There are souls, but what about that concept requires a deity? There is rebirth, but so what? These are things that happen in nature, and while it’s certainly common to postulate a god being responsible for them (along with lightning and sunshine), there’s nothing about them that makes the concept of deity a prerequisite.

    (I am not a Buddhist, and I may have parts of the above wrong; but Buddhism is diverse enough that I’m sure someone is a Buddhist in that sense.)

    More broadly, the idea that a religion is a set of beliefs is a Christian one. I have been told by Jews that Judaism is a system of laws, and that a Jew who follows all the laws is a good Jew, and that if s/he doesn’t actually BELIEVE, then “God will understand.” (Again, not all Jews feel this way!) Of the Five Pillars of Islam, only one is a belief (the Oneness of God); the others are duties of practice (daily prayer, almsgiving, fasting, pilgrimage).

    My own religion, Wicca, is primarily a system of practices, chief among them the practice of magic, which is “the art of changing consciousness at will.” Belief is mutable in Wicca; it changes when the sacred Circle is cast, and changes back after the ritual is over. I am theistic in Circle, because I’ve gone there to worship the gods. After circle I (slowly) revert to thinking of the gods as metaphors.

    I’m hoping that the days are gone when any but the most foolish person simply defines ‘religion’ so narrowly that only their own religion qualifies. (And no, I am absolutely not saying that Noen, or anyone here, is doing that.) There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  82. Three of the five most important things in life banned from social discussion.

    The idea is not that you can’t discuss them, just that you shouldn’t carry on about them to people who don’t want to hear it. Remember the 90s when otherwise boring people got into leather/S&M and wanted to tell the world about it all the time?

  83. Totally a sub, no Dom would be caught dead performing manual labor. That’s the whole point of having slaves.

    Point taken Xopher. There are religious systems without a God. Though I suppose that some might object that Karma or the Law are a kind of functional equivalent.

  84. But only the same sort of people who ask gay or Lesbian couples “Which one of you is the guy?” I’m not being flip; that argument is the same type of error, for the same reason: every object of type X must have features X(1), X(2)…X(n). If you’ve only ever been exposed to theistic religion it’s going to be hard to grasp the concept, hard enough that making something fit is irresistible.

  85. “Three of the five most important things in life banned from social discussion.”

    I’m quoting myself. How vain. And nobody’s asked me what the other two are!

    Just for that I’m not going to tell you.

  86. I’m confused how can you be an atheist and religous at the same time? I’m not trying to be insulting here, since the only thought I’ve given to god beliefs is that religion is silly since by definition god’s will is unknowable, and humans aren’t capable of putting together a religion that’s even close to an aproximation of that will.

    I understand you’re not insulting, and I appreciate the question. Though it’s been answered, I’m going to give you my own answer as well.

    Right, as others have pointed out, I’m a Buddhist. To be most technical, I suppose I’m not -atheistic-, but nontheistic. I worship the Buddha, but not in the god-sense; I look up to him in the teacher-sense, which in some ways can be defined as ‘worship’. I do not follow all his teachings indiscriminately; I abandon certain components of the Fifth Precept because I believe the Buddha was wrong when he said that people do not drink for the taste but to be inebriated. I drink for the taste.

    Some Buddhists worship the Buddhas (there are more than one, Siddharta Gautama the primary and the one who led us, of course, but anyone is capable of being a Buddha through learning and the reaching of Nirvana). I believe they are wrong. I believe that the entire concept of Buddhism lends itself to the idea that we are all equal and that we should be good to man and beast because it is right. Golden Rule.

    But, some Buddhists do not ‘worship’ as theistic religions perceive. Yes, some look to gods, but others see those who have reached Nirvana as capable of effecting some karmic change, I think. I do not. I believe all karmic change must be effected by the individual. I will not be punished by a god if I am wicked, but my own wickedness will poison myself and the others around me. I’m still uncertain as to my position of spirit-incarnation- I believe in direct reincarnation, but there are certain Buddhist beliefs that speak of versions of heaven and hell, and ‘angry’ or ‘wanting’ ghosts that are basically echoes of what the spirit once was, caused by several lifetimes of being poisonously hateful or greedy.

    This is how I am a religious atheist/nontheist.

    Please be more visible and make efforts to correct your more misguided atheist brethren.

    No. They are not my responsibility. I will speak my beliefs, but they are no more my responsibility than radical terrorist Muslims are the responsibility of stable-minded loving Muslims. I may speak my positions loudly and try to convert, but I refuse to be held responsible for the misguided atheist brethren. Necessarily, being atheist, we have no common religion.

    Why don’t you be more visible and make efforts to correct the erroneous stereotypes of whatever race you are, whatever gender you are, etc?

  87. Regardless of what your religious views are (or aren’t), this is a non-issue.

    A car lot is a private business -and the owner, a private citizen operating his business on private property has the right to say whatever he wants – just as you do. Technically he can (as I’m sure the sign says somewhere on the premises) “Reserve the right to refuse to do business with anybody, for any reason”.

    If you don’t agree with his politics, don’t buy things from his business. Simple as that.

    FoMoCo, I’m sure, give’s less-than a crap about what this guys values are insofar as they don’t affect Fords’ image or sales. It’s money, plain and simple.

  88. Codswallop. A car lot is a business that sells a brand (Ford). That brand is the property of a publicly traded corporation. An egregious offense against public sensibilities will lead to sanctions by Ford. If it doesn’t, Ford itself will be sanctioned by the public. No business is private unless it has no suppliers and no customers.

  89. And a franchise dealership is less private than most. The dealership is owned by the franchisee, but the Ford brand is not.

    And this guy’s values are not at issue; his public statements are. He has a right to make them—but then we have a right to be rude and inappropriate in this society. We don’t have a right not to be offended—but we do have a right to take offense.

    And when large numbers of the public take offense, Ford has a right to step in to protect their brand, by any means necessary up to and including pulling the guy’s right to be a Ford dealer.

Comments are closed.