Thursday, May 20, 2004


More on Liberal "Preaching"

I remarked a couple of days ago that it seemed to me that most liberals--or rather leftists, as they aren't actually liberal--will take any opportunity to preach their message, inflecting pretty much anything and everything with their ideology. My subject then was the classroom, specifically, the composition classroom. My subject today is the PBS show Colonial House, which I happened to catch an episode or two of on Tuesday night.

The premise seemed an interesting one, and the beginning of the show, when the "governor" laid down the law, made me think I would be watching a show where people were going to live just as they had three centuries or so ago. It promised to be both educational and entertaining, as viewers would learn about life in a Puritan settlement, and watching inhabitants of the twenty-first century try to conform to seventeenth-century standards would make for an interesting few hours of television.


Within the first fifteen minutes, the lefties they had brought into the community staged a revolt, refusing to attend Sabbath and preaching their ideology to whatever camera was willing to listen. Their particular brand of pluralism and non-community had infected the community within a matter of a week or two, and at this point the experiment is pretty much dead. One woman and her husband spent Sabbath swimming naked in a nearby lake, and preached their brand of enlightenment to the camera, belittling Christianity and demonizing the past with each word. They were joined the following week by others, and the "governor" was finally forced to make concessions that would never have been made in the seventeenth century. Amusingly, Michelle Rossi-Voorhees, the nude swimmer, believes that she would have staged the same sort of revolt in the seventeenth century, seemingly unaware that she would not have been exposed to the sorts of radical ideology she spouts so freely were she to have been born centuries ago, and would likely have been a believer just like the "sheep" she was surrounded by. The evangelical atheist simply hadn't been invented yet, genius. But, of course, I don't expect people like Michelle Rossi-Voorhees to have a sense of history--or at least one unwarped by ideology--because the facts of history are unnecessary to their ideological program. So long as we know their version of history, all is well.

We also get to hear from Carolyn Heinz, who is in reality a professor of anthropology from California, who pretends to be the preacher's wife. After the Sabbath revolt is successful, she stages her own little feminist coup and refuses to wear a head-covering. Later, she joins the cast member who seemingly cannot stop saying the word "fuck" in raiding the colony's liquor supply.

In the end, what we are given is a show that is quite unsympathetic to the past, particularly the Christian elements of that past, which should not be surprising coming from a television station whose program Frontline will be devoted this week to what looks like a fright-fest regarding Bush's Christianity--electioneering, anyone? We certainly know what Bill Moyers' opinion of Republicans is, after his end of the world predictions following the 2002 elections.

Frankly, Colonial House reminds me of my Eighteenth-Century British Literature seminar. We spent the entire term judging the past by the standards of the present, and the self-righteous, leftist atheists in the class (a description which includes the professor) became more insufferable with each class meeting. Colonial House is being used as a vehicle for the propagation of a particular ideology, yet another instance of the left finding themselves unable to deliver infotainment without a heavy-handed political message.

Public Broadcasting System my ass.

I don't know if atheism really correlates with political orientation. Many libertarians I know are atheists, and Ayn Rand was a very famous atheist. Anyway since I'm an atheist, I consider Christianity both factually and morally wrong. I respect your right to believe in it, but I don't respect your belief itself. The people in the TV show certainly weren't respectful of historical accuracy, but I think their conscious resistance actually illustrates the fact that we have thankfully made some progress towards an atheist, secular society. Colonial House, like its predecessors, is supposed to be about the conflict between the contemporary and the historic. It's not meant to be a period drama where everyone is always in character.

Now I don't endorse your Eighteenth-Century British Literature seminar as a good way to teach literature because the class should have focused on literary values. Colonial House is not a literarure class, however, so different standards apply.
Well, first of all, you assume I am Christian because I defend Christianity. I find this a typical assumption most secular atheists make, and I find it a bit amusing. If anything, it reveals a tendency amongst many atheists to see the world in black and white terms, which is, of course, precisely the charge they make against Christianity.

Your definition of progress is not everyone's definition of progress; you would do well to keep that in mind. This is the preachy nonsense I am talking about. Your way is better. We must all convert to your way of thinking, because your way of thinking represents progress. You are no better than the Christians you would seek to condemn. Your so-called tolerance for Christian belief masks a smug self-righteousness that you are more intelligent and more moral than the average Christian. You also fail to acknowledge what has been lost in the move to an atheist, secular society; but, hey, who cares, right? It's progress.

For the record, I'm well aware of what Colonial House is supposed to be. I'm also well-aware of what the standard PBS message is, and I can tell when a show has been manipulated to make sure we all get the message, which you of course agree with, because the message is identical to your own beliefs.

Michelle Rossi-Voorhees should have been placed in a real stockade, if this village is supposed to be historically accurate, and no one would be applauding the gay man's courage in coming out. There is little in the way of conflict between past and present, because the present has been allowed to win from the get-go by making certain to fill the village with enough radicals to make it impossible to govern.

Anyway, thanks for reading, but in the future, try to keep the atheist superiority complex to a minimum.
By the way--I know that atheism and political orientation do not correlate. However, the libertarian atheists have the decency to keep their beliefs to themselves. The leftists are as bad as Jehovah's Witnesses.
So is no one ever supposed to think of anything as progress? Are you saying that for the sake of false humility I should be a relativist and just think of my perspective as yet another perspective? Because in this case I don't. I think there are some absolute standards of progress and I think humanity has made steps in that direction. I know that other perspectives exist and I'm willing to listen them, but until I'm convinced that I'm wrong I'm going to believe that I'm right. What would you do?

As for things having been lost, that's mostly a myth. Among other things, atheists have the lowest divorce rate in the U.S. and they are grossly underrepresented among convicted criminals.

By the way, leftist atheists do not go around proselytizing by and large. Because of the representative bias, you only notice those who do. You don't know the majority that do not because they are silent about it. And libertarian atheists are just as likely as leftist atheists to be evangelical about it.
you are full of it.
Who does "you" refer to?
"In the end, what we are given is a show that is quite unsympathetic to the past, particularly the Christian elements of that past, ... "

I agree with your comments fully. I saw enough of this show (including the preview of the episode where a gay man decides to 'come out'). What I saw was enough to show this an absurd post-modern re-invention of the past.

It's not an attempt to show how they faced the real problems of colonists on the colonists terms and and in their ways, but an attempt to debase and defame our past through leftist ideological argumentation. Having leftists trying to indoctrinate the present society is insufferable enough. Cant they at least let the past be what it really was??!?

"Amusingly, Michelle Rossi-Voorhees, the nude swimmer, believes that she would have staged the same sort of revolt in the seventeenth century, seemingly unaware that she would not have been exposed to the sorts of radical ideology she spouts so freely were she to have been born centuries ago, ..." She is also unaware that neither women nor men would be exposed to her foolish ideologies because they were too busy fighting for their own personal survival, their family survival and the survival of the community. They believed in God, Heaven, Hell, and a strict code of conduct because death was near them always and judgment day was not far from their mind. And still 1/2 of children died by 5 of dread diseases, and life expectancy was no more than 50. That foolish woman would have died in childbirth, and that would make a better and more realistic 'colonial house' episode than skinny dipping ... at least if I was director, I'd find a way to get her poison off the set ASAP.

The Leftists introduce such foolish ideologies today and play with them because we have the luxury of such stupidities in our modern world. The luxury of 'no consequences' thinking; the luxury of being cruel to the productive and 'compassionate' to enemies of society. Bone-headed peter-pan narcissism today wont get you killed as readily as it did in the 17th century.

Ignoring hard realities in this makes it just a 21st century vacation in period costumes. They created another make-believe world to impose their ideologies, ruining whatever merit that 'reality show' might have had.
Okay, I agree with you that the nude swimmer was obnoxious. I believe that if she had lived during the actual 17th century and spouted things about the earth and sky being her religion, she probably would've been burned at the stake.

However, I think Carolyn Heinz refused to cover her head to protest allowing people to skip the sabbath. She was trying to make the point that if you drop one rule of the colony, you'll end up dropping them all. She was fairly rule-abiding most of the time. There were plenty of lefties on the show who wanted to abide by the rules. It was unfortunate that a vocal few were often the focus.

As a whole, I don't see the show as anti-Christian since the Governor's family--Southern Baptist--and the Lay Preacher's family--Protestants of some sort--were shown in a sympathetic light. So were the other people who attended Sabbath for whatever reason. I believe most people who saw the show would agree that Voorhies was in the wrong, but that's just one lefty's opinion.

One reason I watch these shows is to see how modern views clash with historic ones and how people deal with it. It's a good illustration of what has changed and what has stayed the same in western society over the centuries.

"The evangelical atheist simply hadn't been invented yet, genius."

Atheism is as old as mankind, genius.
Never said it wasn't, Mr./Mrs. Anonymous.

Her particular brand, however, is a rather new invention, taking as it does the methodology of Christianity without the actual Christianity itself.

Why are you here, anyway? Just to be antagonistic?
Get off it. You could be spending your time and energy in ways that are so much more productive than making yourself feel safer by writing off all "leftists" as idiots. Go do something that shows what a worthwhile person you are instead of talking about how others are not.
I agree Vorhees was really obnoxious. Whether or not she was trying "to get into these people's heads" or not, however she put it, the volunteers were asked to live as did the colonists in the 1600s. Instead she chose to cherry pick what she would follow and disregard the rest.

In my opinion this really degraded the show and disrespected the people--our ancestors, for crying out loud--who went through so much so that we could have what we have today. That would include the ones who did end up in the stockade for refusing to go to church (if there were any). If they could sit tied up to those things, she could have the decency to contemplate various ideas--such as perhaps a person who dreamed one day his decendant could have the freedom to not believe--instead of imposing her own narrow, elitist and radical ideas on viewers.
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