Tuesday, August 30, 2011

David Silverman pisses off people on Fox Business

David Silverman rocks! It makes you wonder if Fox Business brought him on looking for a fight. And they got one. Though, many religious people will likely find that Silverman was "annoying," or "obnoxious," or "mocking," he did speak a lot of truth. When he denies a "spiritual life," he is criticized for expressing his "opinion." Well, frankly, there isn't adequate evidence for such a "spiritual life," so the correct thing to do is not believe in it until there is evidence. And I was glad to hear Silverman use the common analogy of drug use to address the "comfort" of religion.

***EDIT: Did I mention I got to eat dinner with Silverman in Des Moines?***

Sam Harris says (almost) everything I wanted to say eloquently!

(via pharyngula)

Apparently, Sam Harris has been taking some heat from his Libertarian fans from a post he made regarding the rich, and Harris recommended raising their taxes. I have been collecting notes for a post of my own on Libertarians and why their proposals won't work, but it seems Harris has covered many of the points I was planning to make.
Many of my critics imagine that they have no stake in the well-being of others. How could they possibly benefit from other people getting first-rate educations? How could they be harmed if the next generation is hurled into poverty and despair? Why should anyone care about other people’s children? It amazes me that such questions require answers.
This is something that I have encountered that bothers me everytime I see it. I once saw someone ask the question of why they should have to pay for other people's children to go to school when her and her husband were not planning to have kids. There are many examples of why they should, but the one I provided was that it was going to be other people's children taking care of her in a nursing home if and when she gets to that age. It's amazing how short-sighted people can be.
Why do we have laws in the first place? To prevent adults from behaving like dangerous children. All laws are coercive and take the following form: do this, and don’t do that, or else. Or else what? Or else men with guns will arrive at your door and take you away to prison. Yes, it would be wonderful if we did not need to be corralled and threatened in this way. And many uses of State power are both silly and harmful (the “war on drugs” being, perhaps, the ultimate instance). But the moment certain strictures are relaxed, people reliably go berserk. And we seem unable to motivate ourselves to make the kinds of investments we should make to create a future worth living in. Even the best of us tend to ignore some of the more obvious threats to our long term security.
(Bolded emphasis mine.) Libertarians tend to promote this idea that people have become dependent on government, taking away from their motivation to take care of themselves and making them lazy, with the implication being that if you get rid of government, people will magically become motivated, hard workers. It may be true that some people do become less motivated, but reality seems to be exaggerated by the Libertarians. Consider Ron Paul's comments on how we should get rid of FEMA and be like 1900. The reality is that 1900 is nothing to brag about. According to Wikipedia, the Galveston hurricane (to which Ron Paul was referring...and apparently they did not have a hurricane naming system yet) is cited as the "deadliest natural disaster ever to strike the United States," killing an estimated 8,000 people. Ron Paul, you can keep your 1900; I prefer living in the 21st century! ***EDIT:*** In a slight defense of Ron Paul, I doubt there would have been much for warning or hurricane tracking systems back then. So, it's not quite fair to compare the impact of hurricanes of today to those back then, however, I still find that Ron Paul's policies would be a step in the wrong direction and would likely result in more disaster related deaths.

Or take Marco Rubio speaking about medicare and social security, claiming that these programs have "weakened our people." The reality is that it really hasn't. Again, there could certainly be people that have been "weakened," but these programs appear to do more good than harm. On a side note, Rubio claims that people had to no longer worry about saving for security because it "was the government's job." But, people do save for security! They are called payroll taxes. If he wants to bitch complain about government forcing people to save, he can do that, but claiming that people don't otherwise save is misleading. ***EDIT:*** I myself have a 401k in which I build up savings.
Many of us have been extraordinarily lucky—and we did not earn it. Many good people have been extraordinarily unlucky—and they did not deserve it. And yet I get the distinct sense that if I asked some of my readers why they weren’t born with club feet, or orphaned before the age of five, they would not hesitate to take credit for these accomplishments. There is a stunning lack of insight into the unfolding of human events that passes for moral and economic wisdom in some circles...
Many of the Libertarians I engage online seem to have this idea that people become wealthy because they are either smart, hard workers, good decision makers (which could be considered part of being smart), or--even better--a combination of the three. Harris's club foot example is exactly the type of ignorance these people exhibit. For example, those who claim their intelligence helped them out seem to have neither considered that they might be good learners nor any remorse for those with learning disabilities.

I have more to say on Libertarian ideas and how they are based on a world of fantasy, so keep an eye out for a future post.

One thing Harris said that I do want to address is this statement:
As someone who has written and spoken at length about how we might develop a truly “objective” morality, I am often told by followers of Rand that their beloved guru accomplished this task long ago. The result was Objectivism—a view that makes a religious fetish of selfishness and disposes of altruism and compassion as character flaws. If nothing else, this approach to ethics was a triumph of marketing, as Objectivism is basically autism rebranded.
I think it's a bit unfair to compare Objectivists to autism. My thought is that Harris was trying to make an analogy to the impared social behavior of autistic people, because that would be the result of selfishness. I could be wrong, but I do not believe Harris was trying to insult anyone with autism.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Atheists dismissing Rick Perry/Christianity

About a week ago, Rick Perry had a discussion with a boy evolution and the age of the earth. A couple of atheists have chipped in on posts in The Washington Post.

Richard Dawkins first addressed Rick Perry and the Republican party.
There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.
Of course, he also had things to say about evolution:
Darwin’s idea is arguably the most powerful ever to occur to a human mind. The power of a scientific theory may be measured as a ratio: the number of facts that it explains divided by the number of assumptions it needs to postulate in order to do the explaining. A theory that assumes most of what it is trying to explain is a bad theory. That is why the creationist or ‘intelligent design’ theory is such a rotten theory.
The simplicity of Darwin’s idea, then, is a virtue for three reasons. First, and most important, it is the signature of its immense power as a theory, when compared with the mass of disparate facts that it explains - everything about life including our own existence. Second, it makes it easy for children to understand (in addition to the obvious virtue of being true!), which means that it could be taught in the early years of school. And finally, it makes it extremely beautiful, one of the most beautiful ideas anyone ever had as well as arguably the most powerful. To die in ignorance of its elegance, and power to explain our own existence, is a tragic loss, comparable to dying without ever having experienced great music, great literature, or a beautiful sunset.

Paula Kirby also addressed the issue. She strayed away from Rick Perry and focused more on evolution and it's impact to Christianity.
Evolution is a simple fact. We can choose to remain ignorant of it, we can stick our fingers in our ears and refuse to think about it, we can even rail against it and shout and scream that it is not allowed to be true. But facts are facts, and will not go away just because we don't like them. We don't get to vote for our preferred method of having come into existence as a species, any more than we can choose to have been delivered by stork rather than conceived and born in the usual way.

The primary role of the school is pretty straightforward: it is to educate. It is to give young people the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the world, on the basis of the very best knowledge we have. Education is about overcoming ignorance - so the idea of allowing ignorance to set the school curriculum and to perpetuate itself by continuing to teach generation after generation information that for the last 150 years we have known to be false, is a shameful betrayal: a betrayal of young people, who put their trust in us and who deserve better; and a betrayal of the very concept of education itself.
...Evolution means that the creation accounts in the first two chapters of Genesis are wrong. That's not how humans came into being, nor the cattle, nor the creeping things, nor the beasts of the earth, nor the fowl of the air. Evolution could not have produced a single mother and father of all future humans, so there was no Adam and no Eve. No Adam and Eve: no fall. No fall: no need for redemption. No need for redemption: no need for a redeemer. No need for a redeemer: no need for the crucifixion or the resurrection, and no need to believe in that redeemer in order to gain eternal life. And not the slightest reason to believe in eternal life in the first place.
She also point out that, "...Many Christians happily accept evolution: they see Genesis 1 as merely a metaphor, and declare that if God chose to create us using evolution..." So, while evolution doesn't instantly get rid of Christianity, it creates a weakened form. The following is such an example:
...when Christians realize God created the world to be free to grow and change, they do not fear evolution as “rampant secularism” but celebrate it as evidence of the astonishing power of an infinite God.
I'd really like to hear what she has to say about Jesus. I feel I can speculate a few things, though: I suspect that she finds Jesus to still be the "Son of God," but that he was sent to serve as a moral teacher and an example for us humans. I also suspect she does not believe in a torturous hell (I had an encounter on YouTube yesterday where the theist was claiming hell fire is part of a purification process, and that people don't stay in hell forever), though likely still believes in a heaven. I also suspect that she would have been raised in a family or culture that takes a more literal view of the Bible. This is good news for the next generation as long as atheist stay vocal. If she teaches her children that Jesus was just a good moral teacher sent by God, then pressure from atheists can get them to look at those teachings. They will find that those teachings are nothing special. They may still go about believing in a god, but at least they wouldn't be "the end is nigh!" type of Christians. It would be progress.


I'm days behind on this (as always), but something just screamed "Foul!" about this story. This picture to the right is the new Cy-Hawk Trophy, which is the trophy fought for in the annual University of Iowa vs. Iowa State University football game. The CEO of Iowa Corn, the organization sponsoring the trophy, had the following to say (emphasis mine):
“This is literally a work of art representing the people and characteristics that are uniquely Iowan.” said Craig Floss, CEO for Iowa Corn. “Just as the trophy reads, we are honest, hard working, family and community orientated people. Iowa’s corn farmers are proud to bring this work of art to the new Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series football game and we look forward to sharing it with the people of Iowa.”
That whole bit about family just shouts influence from anti-gay individuals. I get the feeling that there was a political agenda behind this. Though it could just be that I have become paranoid after last year's elections where three Iowa Supreme Court justices were voted out over the gay marriage debate. The good news is that people complained about the trophy having nothing to do with football and the trophy will be replaced!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Piers Morgan is rude to a guest, but it's not Christine O'Donnell!

Oy, I'm a few days behind on this post, but it's something ironic that I want to address...

Christine O'Donnell ended an interview by Piers Morgan when he pressed her on gay rights issues that she did not wish to discuss, calling Morgan "rude" before all was said and done. If she wanted to see Morgan be anything close to rude to a guest, she should have seen him interview Penn Jillette the night before.

Now, some may not actually think Morgan was rude, but it was much closer than anything he did to O'Donnell! The one thing Morgan did provide us with was a prime example of argumentum ad ignorantiam, as he is willing to accept an answer, even a potentially incorrect answer, over no answer at all. Perhaps the most ironic part of all of this, though, is that the non-believer "angers" Morgan, but it is O'Donnell, who I have no doubts has a sincere belief in a god, who is the one who ends the interview on a religious related topic (and don't try to tell me the gay marriage issue isn't tied to religion)! The sad part is that is the problem with belief — when religious people disagree on some "spiritual" topic, there is no rational way to resolve the conflict since, well, their god doesn't exist. And even if it did exist, it would seem to either be incompetent or uncaring about getting such messes cleared up. Yet, it is the non-believer who wants to have a rational discussion that "angers" Morgan.

The full interview can be watched between these clips here and here. (The second part gets more into politics, and that is the one area where I will get on Morgan's side. Damn Libertarian atheists! :) )

Because Anthony made me!

A friend at work shared this link about religious influences on epidemics. The idea seems to be that some religions encourage tending to the sick, thus putting more people, particularly those tending to the sick, at risk of infection. There are some transitional problems in the article that make it slightly difficult to follow. For example, one paragraph states that "between 800 B.C.E. and 200 B.C.E...several modern religions emerged." The next paragraph mentions Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, but, of those three, only Judaism emerged in that 800 - 200 B.C.E. time frame. (And Christianity and Islam were later derived from Judaism.)

Besides that, there were parts of the post that bothered me. First, it seemed to not only take a pro-Christianity slant, but neglected relevant information. Take this statement, for example (emphasis mine): "Helping the sick was one way to ensure a trip to Heaven, so risking death from a disease's spread was encouraged." If you read the New Testament, it seems quite obvious the early Christians believed that disease was caused by demon possession. One can also reasonably conclude that they didn't think demon possession was necessarily contagious. The problem with that statement, particularly the emphasized part, is that those early Christians didn't even realize they were putting themselves at risk! The article really seems to push a "look at those noble Christians risking their lives!" slant, but the truth is that their "nobility" was derived out of ignorance! These people would be like Don Quixote's -- absolutely clueless!

The article continues to discuss this influence in present-day Malawi, Africa.
...About 30% of the Christians regularly visit the sick, whereas only 7% of the Muslims do, Hughes reported. The survey also revealed that the prospect of getting help was enticing. In the past 5 years, about 400 of those responding have shifted religions, many of them moving to Pentecostal or the African Independent Churches, places where the promise of receiving care is greater and the stigma of having AIDS is less, Hughes noted.
I do not know a lot about the African Independent Churches, but I can tell you the Pentecostals are big on demon possession. Even here in the USA, many Pentecostal groups ban watching TV or listening to non-church-approved music because demons may use those as media (plural of "medium") to enter a body. I wish I were kidding! (I don't know where in this podcast the discussion is, but I'm quite sure this is the correct one. The whole thing is worth checking out, though.)

Austin Cline, who seems to write most, if not all, of the atheist related articles on about.com, says this about Pentecostalism in Africa: "The adoption of superstitions in Africa is also not harmless. Belief in witches has led to violent witch hunts in which women and children have been brutally slaughtered. Belief in demons causing illnesses will prevent people form seeking real medicine that might actually help them."

With that in mind, I find there is a valid point made in the subject article that religious belief may help the spread of disease, as people will not seek proper treatment, as pointed out in the about.com article. However, where the subject article goes wrong (and where it really annoyed me) is that it states that Christian beliefs encourage "extreme altruism," which is then implied to be the cause of the additional spread of disease. But I do not see how that word, altruism, which is the opposite of selfishness, can be used. I understand how these acts of helping the sick can be perceived as altruistic, but the fact is that these acts are derived out of ignorant beliefs. When Don Quixote goes about attacking windmills, is this altruistic? Likewise, when Christians go about fighting off demons, is this altruistic? Much like I would not call Don Quixote altruistic, neither will I apply that adjective to these religious bafoons fighting off demons that don't exist.

The other issue I have is that my view of altruism involves doing something good without reward, but the Christians are doing this for reward! I've already pointed this out with the quote about ensuring a trip to heaven above. So, even if Christians do realize they are putting themselves at risk, that risk evaluation is going to be different from the perspective of someone who believes in an afterlife than from someone who does not. If you are someone who honestly believes in an afterlife, then death isn't much more than a minor inconvenience. It should go without saying that the perspective becomes different if you don't or are hightly doubtful. If I haven't made it clear, let me state it dirrectly: If persons A and B are doing the same good deed, but person A thinks they will be rewarded and person B does not, person B is the altruist and person A is not. This is independent of whether or not a reward exists. In conclusion, we cannot call these Christians altruistic when they think they are working for a reward, even though that reward does not actually exist.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gardening update

Here are some gardening updates. The first three pictures are from August 4th.

Here's an odd specimen I found in the yard on August 20th:

And here are some more pics from the 20th:

I'm not really sure what is supposed to happen with that broccoli, but the plant seems to be quite large. That's a positive sign, right? (Honestly, a lot of my plants struggled during the month of July, as we had above-normal temperatures much of the month as well as little rain.)

I also received my GARBY cart today. No more worrys about bags or garbage can covers blowing out onto the street! This is good.

Good education wins in 9th Circuit

(via pharyngula)

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a high school history teacher who was critical of creationist arguments in his class. The concern in this case was that the teacher may have been violating the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. Here are some of the teachers remarks:
“Aristotle … argued, you know, there sort of has to be a God. Of course that’s nonsense,” Corbett said according to a transcript of his lecture. “I mean, that’s what you call deductive reasoning, you know. And you hear it all the time with people who say, ‘Well, if all this stuff that makes up the universe is here, something must have created it.’ Faulty logic. Very faulty logic.”

He continued: “The other possibility is, it’s always been there.… Your call as to which one of those notions is scientific and which one is magic.”

“All I’m saying is that, you know, the people who want to make the argument that God did it, there is as much evidence that God did it as there is that there is a giant spaghetti monster living behind the moon who did it,” the transcript says.

Corbett told his students that “real” scientists try to disprove the theory of evolution. “Contrast that with creationists,” he told his students. “They never try to disprove creationism. They’re all running around trying to prove it. That’s deduction. It’s not science. Scientifically, it’s nonsense.”
That sounds reasonable to me, as this is a critique of the problems with creationist arguments and not a flat out rejection of creationism. In other words, if this teacher would have just said that creationism is nonsense without providing the reasons why it is nonsense, then it would be an issue.

Judge Raymond Fisher, who wrote for the court, said the following:
“But teachers must also be given leeway to challenge students to foster critical thinking skills and develop their analytical abilities,” he said. “This balance is hard to achieve, and we must be careful not to curb intellectual freedom by imposing dogmatic restrictions.”
Being critical of creationist logic should help foster those critical thinking skills, and that is why I support this teacher's actions.

Unfortunately, the coverage on TYT, a favorite liberal biased show of mine, was disappointing.

If you can't criticize bad ideas in the educational system, then we will keep falling further behind the rest of the modern world in education.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Best New Thing

(via Pharyngula)

Apparently this video was shown at this year's World Humanist Congress. Maybe it's because I'm a nerd, but I'm really digging the tune!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Obama followup and After the S&P Downgrade

One thing I want to add to my last post is that Obama is still failing on his story telling. I recall from the tapes on his recent speeches him saying something about trying to fix things instead of demonizing his opponents. The problems are that he has NOT been fixing things and that sometimes you have to call a spade a spade! Call out the Tea Party Republicans for being the cause of the S&P downgrade. Though no fingers were directly pointed, "S&P senior director Joydeep Mukherji said the stability and effectiveness of American political institutions were undermined by the fact that people in the political arena were even talking about a potential default, Mukherji said. That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable, he added."

The problem is that some conservatives are trying to point the finger at Obama's administration, claiming those in the administration were the ones saying how not raising the debt ceiling would lead to disaster (default), while the Tea Party was saying default would not happen if the debt ceiling were not raised. See? The Tea Party wasn't talking about default because they were saying the treasury would just have to make cuts elsewhere in order to keep paying off the debt. So, this S&P rep couldn't be talking about them.

Now, most reasonable people recognize this for the absurdity it is. While the Tea Party may be correct, to even suggest putting the treasury in a pick-and-choose situation really isn't much better than suggesting default. To use an analogy, the Tea Party was suggesting we test the edge of the metaphorical cliff, whereas the Obama administration was wanting to steer far and clear from such a posibility. So how is it that the S&P rep was talking about the Obama administration and not the Tea Party?

Back to the original point, Obama needs to drop this idea that he needs to avoid demonizing his political opponents. First, there is nothing wrong with TELLING THE TRUTH about who the villian is in the story (as pointed out in the Westen piece). Second, even if he tries to portray himself as the "adult," his opponents are going to keep acting like children. I think most parents (which I am not) realize that acting like an adult around children does nothing to stop them from acting like children. Yet, this seems to be the approach Obama has been taking and will continue to take.

"What Happened to Obama?"

This is on the opinion piece in the New York Times by Drew Westen. I actually read this one week ago today, but am only now getting it into a blog post.

I don't have a lot to say on it, other than I found it to be a very good piece, and I recommend everyone read it. Cenk Uygur covers much of the important parts, so instead of taking a bunch of time writing myself, I'll direct you to his video instead, which you can see at the bottom of the post.

The one thing I will actually write on are the two parts that I have personally found most disappointing with the president.
  1. "Like most Americans, at this point, I have no idea what Barack Obama — and by extension the party he leads — believes on virtually any issue. The president tells us he prefers a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction, one that weds “revenue enhancements”...with “entitlement cuts”... But the law he just signed includes only the cuts. This pattern of presenting inconsistent positions with no apparent recognition of their incoherence is another hallmark of this president’s storytelling."

  2. "The president is fond of referring to “the arc of history,” paraphrasing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous statement that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics — in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time — he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation."

In short, it has become hard to know what Obama stands for because he doesn't seem to stand for anything! Just like on this debt ceiling issue--he said he wanted revenue increases, but then accepted a "deal" (in which Republican John Boehner "got 98% of what [he] wanted") without those increases. So does he really want revenue increases or not? Now he's been out around Iowa on this recess telling union workers that they need to sacrifice one minute (as if they haven't already sacrificed), and then saying (after Warren Buffet asked for his taxes to be increased) that the rich need to share in the sacrifice. Yet, we have failed to see the rich sacrifice. It's been the middle class and poor (groups that contain union workers) that have seen all the sacrifice. Mr. Obama, if you're going to say that the rich need to sacrifice, prove it by fighting to increase their taxes!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Megyn Kelly is now a socialist?!?

Megyn Kelly, who is a conservative pundit on Fox News, has recently returned from maternity leave. While she was gone, some radio show host criticized her for being away on maternity leave. She tore him a new one on her show. I first heard about this on TYT (video at bottom), but a commenter pointed out that Jon Stewart had also addressed the issue. John Stewart did a good job pointing out the hypocrisy of her support for a socialist program like FMLA, for those who may have been unaware.

I agree with Stewart. It will pass. But those are some bizarre statements from Kelly!
  1. The United States is the only advanced country that doesn't require paid [maternity] leave.
  2. If anything, the United States is in the Dark Ages when it comes to maternity leave.
Holy shit!!! This is stuff you hear out of people who wish this country was more socialist. I know because I'm one of those people!!! But to hear it from a Fox News personality?!? This is going to sound sexist, but maybe it's hormonal?

Anyway, here is the TYT video in which Cenk Uygur primarily makes fun of the radio show host for bowing down to the mighty Megyn Kelly.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Very good video from DarkMatter2525

DarkMatter2525 has released a video discussing why some theists have a dislike for atheists, which has been displayed in recent news, which I made mention of in my prior post. Watch it; it is very good!

There is research to back up DarkMatter2525's claims, too. Nicholas Epley has conducted a study to show that people's personal beliefs tend to match that of what they think is their god's beliefs, even after their own beliefs have been changed through manipulation. In other words, after the subjects had their beliefs changed, their opinion of what their god would believe also changed. (In other words, "Gloria is Theresa.") As the previous link only goes to an abstract, click here for a more thorough breakdown.

What the fuck, Stewart?

It is rare, but every now and then, Jon Stewart disappoints me. The surprise was when he said, "By the way, atheists, why do you give a shit?" It's one thing to hear that from the religious, because they usually say it to discourage atheists from speaking out against their mythology, but hearing it from people who are not only non-religious but likely atheists as well is quite frustrating. Imagine a extreme scenario, just to make a clear point--what if there was a group of people living in, say, 1930's Germany who found comfort in a cross that remained from a building that burned down, killing a bunch of Jews inside. The comfort, of course, was from the feeling that their god was giving them a sign assuring them that they need to purify their culture. Need I explain how they would go about doing that? Might that be something worth caring about for someone like Stewart?

Now, as I said, the example is extreme, and doesn't fully relate to this 9/11 cross situation. Stewart went on to tell atheists what to think about the cross. However, the issue is not what we think about the cross, it is what Christians think about the cross. Just like in the example above, it's not necessarily an issue what Jews think of a cross, it is what the Christian Germans think about it! Frankly, there could be some Christians out there who see it as a sign from their god that they need to promote vengeance against all Muslims. Do you doubt that? Do I need to remind people about the raucous over the "Ground Zero Mosque" last year???

And if this still fails to clear up the problem, take this quote from former President, George H. W. Bush: "...I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God." Though the cross may bring comfort to people, as Stewart says, the problem is that it also sends a silent message that this is a Christian nation, and I don't mean that in the sense that Christians are a majority; I mean that in the sense that Christians have special rights in this country, and if you are not a Christian, you, as Bush said it, "should not be considered...citizens."

The problem becomes obvious in comments that were found on Fox New's Facebook page. It sounds like most of the offending comments have been removed, but some were captured by the writer of One Man's Blog, but All Facebook has condenced the comments down into one layout.

Here is the video that apparently sparked all of this anger. While Dave Silverman may have said some offensive--but true--comments, did Blair Scott really say anything that should have gotten such a reaction?