Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bob Responds Part II: The Bobbo Strikes Back!

After my last post, Bob wrote me back! Again, here is his original, unedited reply followed by my response. Enjoy!

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If I weren't such a slow non-typist, it would be easier for me to address all your points by e-mail, but I'll take just one. I've never said Catholics (or anyone for that matter) "must" accept Creation over Evolution, or that it is, as you say "necessary to salvation". Of course, that doesn't change the fact that I do honestly believe Darwinian Evolution to be false, as I repeatedly state. When I have read the arguments and counter arguments and debates between Creation scientists and evolutionary scientists, I sincerely believe the Creationists arguments are more sound, so that's the opinion I speak and promote. My original e-mail to you was referencing the fact that I know there are plenty of talk show hosts, celebrities, etc., who are on the other side. People like Bill Maher, Alec Baldwin, Al Gore, etc. These people make dogmatic (and some could say "arrogant") claims that what they believe is "absolutely true" according to what they consider "common sense, science and logic". I disagree with these people and attempt to debate their claims, but I don't feel anger or hatred towards them, as it seems you do for me. That's the main point I was making.
Take care,
Bob

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Bob,

It was my mistake in thinking that you valued my opinion. You asked me why I dislike you, so, naturally, I assumed you would read my letter and take it seriously. I see now that it was a silly assumption. I don't know why I'm bothering to reply.

Let's cut to the chase: It's your arrogance that makes you so unlikeable. You are a puffed-up pseudo-intellectual who fails to understand most of the subjects you opine about.

Let's go back to my original example: Evolution. You claim to have studied the arguments and counter-arguments, and come down firmly on the side of creationism. Really? Where did you complete your course of studies in the biological sciences? You've never been a college student, yet you can successfully refute evolution? You don't even have a basic understanding of how science works, let alone the talent to refute evolution. If you believe that "science" should be redefined to include the paranormal, then you aren't speaking from authority, you're speaking from profound ignorance. Science is an empirical method for discovering and understanding how the physical world works. If you redefine it to include the paranormal, you're engaged in promoting superstition, not science. So you'll forgive me if I doubt your authority on science.

Laughably, you make the claim that that belief in creationism isn't necessary for salvation. Seriously? You, personally, accept the Bible as literally true, including the idiotic notion that the universe is a mere 6000 years old. You reject theistic evolution, dismissing any interpretation of Genesis that allows for God to use evolution, because it can lead a person to "throw out the whole Bible...If interpretation of Scripture can be twisted that far from what it really says, you can twist anything in the Bible to say whatever you want it to." If the Bible cannot be "twisted" to deny the literal truth of Genesis then my question still stands: Is accepting the Bible and its creation myth as literally true necessary for salvation? If not, then why do you care if Christians believe in evolution? If it is, then you must denounce the Catholic church as promoting unchristian teachings. So which is it, Bob?

But I digress. Not only do I find you arrogant, I find you to be opportunistic and selfish. When it comes right down to it, you're nothing more than a marketing rep selling a product. Your product is conservative politics wrapped in a gloss of Christianity. Crawford Broadcasting is a for profit company, instilling brand loyalty and selling ad space through the promotion of Jesus, Inc. Tell me, which transmission shop would Jesus have endorsed? What chapter and verse of the Bible permits plastic surgery? I can't seem to locate any passage in John's Gospel that says "Do thy breasts sag? Verily, I say unto thee, lift them! Fill them with saline, and lift them unto the Lord!"

You spend a significant amount of time attacking the "liberal Christians" who dared vote for President Obama. Yet, you spend precious little time correcting the the con artists who spread the prosperity gospel. Pat Robertson is worth between $150 to $200 million dollars. John Hagee makes around $1.25 million per year. Joyce Meyers lives in a 10,000-square-foot Cape Cod style estate home with a guest house and a garage that can be independently heated and cooled and can hold up to eight cars. Tell me, is it the mission of Christ to make some people enormously wealthy while the poor suffer?

Which leads me back to one of my original points in my first e-mail, namely, that you lack compassion. Your theology emphasizes correct belief over correct action, causing you to be more concerned with pseudo-intellectual games rather than confronting the suffering of people. Honestly, which would you rather be: Right or compassionate? If a 15-year-old girl is seeking an abortion because her step-father raped her, are you more concerned for the 15-year-old or the embryo? Isn't it a cause for celebration if two people love each other enough to commit their lives together, regardless if they're homosexual? Does it matter if Muslim children in Iraq are killed by American bombs?

But you're not going to change your mind. Because, really, you're not curious about why I dislike you. You're so full of self-righteousness and self-satisfaction that you can't possibly conceive that I have a valid point to make. And, of course, you have to get back to selling CDs and face lifts.

After all, you're praying God will make you rich, right?

Irl

13 comments:

Kramer said...

Irl

This is in my opinion has to be one of the best post I have read on this blog. Clear, concise, and oh so unbelievably true. Bob is cut from the same hypocrisy patterned cloth as Ted Haggard, Kent Hovind, Jim, and Tammy Faye Baker, and Jimmy Swaggert to name just a few. He will dance around issue's, lie, and cheat to keep the veil of stupid wrapped tightly around his, and his followers head's, he has to, to deny what he believes would be to deny the god he believe's in, and Bob and his kind are far to terrified of losing that imaginary security blanket.

Lumberjack said...

So Bob says if Beleivers doubt the Geneisis account they will then doubt the entire bible -- virgin birth, rising from the dead, Johnah and the "fish" -- the whole lot. That would put Jesus out of a job, Can't have that, can we?

Simple enough, as so often Bob says it, moving on to the next subject.

Before Copernicus demonstrated otherwise, it was thought the earth was the center of the universe. Today 99% of us side with this heliocentric view of the solar system, so those parts of scripture that hold to the discredited geocentric veiw are obviously incorrect. Still the rest of scripture is accepted by Believers, the last time I checked and chruches are everywhere and TV preachers abound.

Bob's reason for defending defending young-earth creation is groudless.

Jon said...

Listen, lrl. I like the arguments you make. I think you expose Bob's errors effectively often. But the sneering, mocking tone of this post is counter productive. Bob is a radio personality. He's very busy preparing for his show and he works long hours. Regardless of that he's taking the time to interact with your email. You may want to pretend Bob is nothing, but he's not. And a discussion with him from a knowledgeable skeptic is a great opportunity. Do you want to chase him away by mocking him?

Where do you think this point about Bob not going to college is going to get you? Does that make his arguments wrong? I might agree that Bob's confidence is not proportionate to his knowledge. I might agree that he is not familiar enough with the evidence for evolution to make some of the judgments he makes. But when you point out that he didn't go to college you make a point that makes absolutely zero difference to him, zero difference to those that like him, and zero difference to people that don't like him. Arguments stand on their own.

It is obvious that you are angry with Bob. I understand that. But I'm afraid that it is distracting you from making good, focused arguments. And perhaps it makes it difficult for you to see things from his perspective. For instance, there is no difficulty in saying creationism is not necessary for salvation. Why? Because what is necessary for salvation is the gospel. The gospel is faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, who is God, redeeming you from your sins. You can think anything about evolution or biblical inerrancy you want to. Bob will prefer that you believe in creationism and inerrancy because he sees other opinions as erroneous and logically leading possibly to other errors, such as errors that might affect salvation. But he also would view Christians that believe in evolution, yet still accepting of the gospel as (in his mind) fortunate in their inconsistency.

Walk in his shoes. Put on his paradigms to understand his positions more clearly. This leads to more effective critiques. Withdraw the sarcasm and derision. It only confirms the caricature he has in his mind of atheists. That we are angry, bitter people that disbelieve for emotional reasons. Some of us may be, but I'm not.

djtyg said...

Irl, you nailed it here:

"Your product is conservative politics wrapped in a gloss of Christianity. Crawford Broadcasting is a for profit company, instilling brand loyalty and selling ad space through the promotion of Jesus, Inc. Tell me, which transmission shop would Jesus have endorsed? What chapter and verse of the Bible permits plastic surgery?"

This part slayed me:

I can't seem to locate any passage in John's Gospel that says "Do thy breasts sag? Verily, I say unto thee, lift them! Fill them with saline, and lift them unto the Lord!"

djtyg said...

Jon, what's the worst that will happen? Bob won't write him back?

Bob isn't going to change his ways. And Irl would be foolish to try and do that.

Chester said...

Irl

First time blogger here. I live in the Detroit area and a few years ago, quite by accident, I stumbled upon the Bob Dutko show. At first I thought it was a parody much like the Cobert Report. I found a few things amusing and changed the channel. Much to my surprise, I later discovered that this was a legitimate program. Day after day I tuned in to hear some of the most outrageous dreck spewing forth from my radio. I just couldn’t believe that someone could hold these views in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Yet here it was and it’s still going practically unchanged. Same arguments, same falsehoods, same misrepresentation of fact (specifically scientific facts). What disturbed me even more were the listeners that would call in and virtually blow Bob’s right over the airwaves. I could tell by the eloquence with which they spoke that most had maybe graduated High School and abruptly stopped learning anything new. This is the “lower education level” demographic that Bob’s show and others like it depend on to keep them on the air. I’m sad to say that some of my in-laws think Bob’s the greatest thing since Jesus (supposedly) rose from the dead. Very rarely, and I mean VERY rarely do I hear a well spoken, obviously educated caller ring into Bob’s show that agrees with his viewpoint. The ones that do are usually firmly against his stance on evolution, politics, religion, church/state, etc and have the intelligence to make and support their own points. This is usually where you will hear Bob dance around a subject or expertly guide the caller into an area where they have less knowledge and therefore gain the upper hand in the discussion. He’s very good at that. I’ve heard many-a-caller try to have a civilized discussion with him to no avail. I believe that it’s about time for Bob to be treated with the same level of disrespect and condescension that he dishes out to anyone who disagrees with him. Okay, maybe not disrespect but I can’t think of a more appropriate word right now. Self righteous arrogance is the cloth Bob is cut from and he carries that banner so very high.

Nowadays I just tune in for entertainment purposes only. Since I hear the same intellectual vomit from him day after day I’ve sort of grown numb to his recycled bible babble. Every once in a while there’s a new gem added to the already overloaded crown of King Bob that will make my jaw drop. I just shake my head and drive on with a sad feeling that there are so many people that will swallow his crap with a smile on their face and come back for seconds.

Keep up the good work. I now have new favorite blog to read!

Lumberjack said...

Chester, we are glad to have you aboard. Please take a front-row seat.

You are so right on with this:

“I could tell by the eloquence with which they spoke that most had maybe graduated High School and abruptly stopped learning anything new. This is the “lower education level” demographic that Bob’s show and others like it depend on to keep them on the air.” End of quote.

Historian Richard Hofstadter, a “liberal” to be sure, won a Pulitzer for his 1963 book, “Anti-intellectualism in American Life,” available at most libraries. Fully willing to be seen as an elitist in this instance, I must say Hofstadter saw clearly on the horizon the likes of Bob, many of his listeners, many of his guests, and the rebirth of such jaw-dropping idiocy as young-earth creationism. If you listen to Bob at any length, you will detect a sneering contempt for those secular folks with advanced degrees.

Bob, of course, never warmed a seat in a college classroom, but he knows, oh, so much! Just wait until he talks about "ameobas," or says, "Him and I were shooting pool."

Shortly after his arrival at WMUZ I noticed he had not the slightest understanding of inductive as opposed to deductive logic and sent him an email suggesting he read up on that matter. His swift and sharp-edged reply was to disparage my view that such a distinction was of any import whatever. He knew all he needed to know, he haughtily explained. Bacon, Descartes, Locke and such dead guys don’t matter at all, according to Bob.

In the last year or so, the widely-published physicist, Lawrence Krauss spoke of those who are “ignorant of science and proud of it.” That’s Bob left, right, up and down.

There’s more….

Hofstadter in 1964 wrote an essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” now available on line. Here, the author anticipated, John Haggee, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Chaney and again, our own Bob.

The Mule said...

Apart from the anti-science stance he automatically takes, Bob Dutko is so right-wing political that it's nauseating. Does he think that Jesus was a conservative? Jesus was a radical, a liberal, fanatical... sounds like a Supertramp tune, but you get my drift. Jesus was executed by the very conservative Roman Empire and their Jewish collaborators in Palestine because he wanted to change the established order. Bob doesn't realize that he is siding with the Pharisees and Pontius Pilate in a modern sense.

djtyg said...

Mule, if Jesus were on Earth today in 21st Century America, he would be called a Socialist by the right-wing for telling the rich to sell all they have and give to the poor (wealth redistribution), and would crucify him for it.

realemon said...

do thy breasts sag.........thats gold. Nice work

The Mule said...

That's a great rationalization, a boob-job for God! Lift them up, unto the Lord! Amen! Hallelujah!

djtyg, I get the sense that Jesus would have been among the war protesters too. The stuff that comes out of some people is astounding. I've had people who come off as devout, "born-again" types that basically tell me that all those civilian deaths from our war/occupation of Iraq amount to a case of "you gotta break a few eggs when making an omelette". Disgusting, reprehensible rationalizations.

Irl Hudnutt said...

Jon,

I know you're sharing your thoughts out of concern, and I'm appreciative of that fact.

But I'm never going to stop with the sneering, mocking tone. The reason is simple: Bob's views deserved to be sneeringly mocked.

There is a purpose to my pointing out that Bob has never gone to college, namely, that he's an uneducated rube. Sure, Bob talks a good game. Because, if he didn't, he wouldn't have the job. But we live in a world of specialization, where, to be considered an expert, a person has to go to school for a long time. Bob has no more than a high-school education, so under what authority can he claim to be an expert on science, economics, geology, history, and philosophy?

Yes, arguments stand on their own. But in the modern world, intellectual training is necessary to discern arguments and to know when to trust the skill of the experts. Bob inflates himself to sound educated, but really, he's full of shit and lacks the talent to discern a good, solid argument. Additionally, refuses to trust experts if they deign to dismiss Biblical literalism! Bob's reasoning is incredibly pedantic, juvenile and inane. I am disgusted by it and I will not stop calling him on it.

Further, I don't need to walk in his shoes to understand him. He's making a tidy profit by spreading fear and ignorance, and I'm sick of it. Bob isn't someone with whom you can have a nice, reasonable argument and convince him of anything. He's not on some open-minded quest to find the truth, he's a proselytizer spreading the intellectual disease of ignorance. Bob knows the answer to every question before it's asked, so his goal is to inflate his own ego and make a buck in the process, not to discern the “Truth.”

I agree that there is the proper place and time for good civil discourse. I am more than willing to break bread with people who disagree with me. But don't fool yourself: Dutko's show is an echo chamber where Bob plays pseudo-intellectual games in order to sell plastic surgery and brake pads.

My tone is merely a reflection of the contempt Bob elicits.

Irl Hudnutt said...

Kramer & Chester;

Thank for the kind words and your contributions.