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#1 MichaelHinman

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 12:50 AM

This is from one of my favorite parody sites, Landover Baptist Church.

(FYI ... I know some might be looking at this and saying, "Roddenberry is Jewish?" I don't think he is (I'm trying to remember from one of his biographies, but I do distinctly remember getting a Christmas card from Majel and Rod in the past) ... I believe one of the things that the site parodies is this belief that everyone in the television industry is Jewish.)

Can The World of Star Trek Help Americans Understand Muslims and their Culture of Terror?

True Christian™ Star Trek fan, and Sunday School teacher, Geoffrey Mullins, thinks so. Most fans of the popular television series, Star Trek, are already aware that the show's creator, Gene Roddenberry, gathered ideas for his fictional Klingon species during a trip to the Holy Land in the late 1960's. After only a cursory viewing of an early episode of Star Trek, Landover Baptist Pastors were shocked at how closely Roddenberry's Klingon characters resembled Arabs, in both their features and mannerisms. "I'm not a big fan of Mr. Roddenberry," says Landover Baptist Pastor, Deacon Fred. "But our opinions are very similar when it comes to Muslims. Being a Jew, Mr. Roddenberry knew first hand what it was like to be persecuted by such a filthy, backward race of warmongers. My guess is that he couldn't come right out and say what he felt in public, so he used the television series, Star Trek, to get his views across. Only an unsaved idiot would have a hard time seeing how obvious it is that Star Trek's, Klingons, are actually Arabs in disguise. I understand it's harder to tell with the new series, because they started to get politically correct and had to change the makeup so it wasn't so obvious. Well, you don't need a degree in Theology to see how clear it still is. In fact, I think the new makeup does an even better job of bringing out the demonic nature and character of the Arab people."

Sunday School teacher, Geoffrey Mullins, has incorporated several Klingon-filled Star Trek episodes into an eight-week Bible based media study on Muslim culture and behavior. Landover Baptist is the first church to use Geoffrey's study in their senior high school Department. "Our Christian children are getting most of their information about Arabs and Muslims from the media," says Mullins, "and the media is biased toward Muslims. It often paints them in a positive light. What we like about Star Trek is that they just tell it like it is. The show's writers don't tip-toe around the negative facts about Muslim behavior. They don't even try to hide how silly the Muslim religion is, or how Arab people, for the most part, are nothing more than a pack of bloodthirsty dogs, hell-bent on destruction.  Star Trek even accurately depicts the Arab language as something that sounds more like a baboon trying to hack up a ball of phlegm than it does someone trying to communicate using words."

Students are coming away from the Sunday school program with fact-based knowledge about Arabs that they can use in the real world. They are excited about what they are learning and are very vocal about it. One student remarked, "Arabs drink wine made from blood, and they are always talking about killing people, and how much they hate everyone else, and how glorious it would be to die in battle. Saddam Hussein does the same thing, only he doesn't have a funny shaped forehead." Another student argued, "Arabs won't ever change, not even a million years from now. They will always be uncivilized. They eat platters full of live snakes, for crying out loud!  Yuck!"  Yet another student pointed out,  "Even after an Arab like "Worf" was integrated into civilized culture, he still struggles with his basic animal instincts and he has all sorts of stupid religious baggage he can't let go of.  I don't see how the rest of the crew can trust him; they act like a bunch of liberals.  I'd never turn my back, if I was on that ship."

Studies show that Mullins' Star Trek seminars help keep the short attention span of Christian high school students in check. Students are so interested in the television show, that horseplay during Sunday school has decreased by nearly 87%. Mullins reports that nearly all students attending his classes can successfully answer over 100 complicated questions about Muslim behavior and mating habits after the program is over.
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#2 Cardie

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 01:04 AM

MichaelHinman, on Apr 7 2003, 04:39 PM, said:

FYI ... I know some might be looking at this and saying, "Roddenberry is Jewish?" I don't think he is.
Nope. Like the Landoverians, GR was raised a Baptist, but he renounced organized religion and its beliefs at an early age.

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#3 MichaelHinman

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 01:06 AM

Cardie, on Apr 7 2003, 04:53 PM, said:

MichaelHinman, on Apr 7 2003, 04:39 PM, said:


FYI ... I know some might be looking at this and saying, "Roddenberry is Jewish?" I don't think he is.
Nope. Like the Landoverians, GR was raised a Baptist, but he renounced organized religion and its beliefs at an early age.

Cardie
Thanks, Cardie!!

You definitely know your trivia!!

I knew he had denounced religion at some point, but I wasn't sure if he was denouncing Christian roots, or Jewish roots, although I was almost sure it was Christian roots.
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#4 Christopher

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 02:01 AM

MichaelHinman, on Apr 7 2003, 04:55 PM, said:

I knew he had denounced religion at some point, but I wasn't sure if he was denouncing Christian roots, or Jewish roots, although I was almost sure it was Christian roots.
Not denounced, as in condemned -- renounced, as in severed his ties with.  They aren't synonymous.

I'm afraid I couldn't enjoy this parody because the attitudes it was mocking are not only far too ugly, but far too pervasive.  It just hit too close to home.

FWIW, the original TOS Klingons were meant to be modelled on the Mongols -- so they did represent a stereotype, but one of Asians rather than Arabs.  Modern Trek's depictions of Klingon culture are heavily informed by samurai and Vikings; though personally I find that the Klingon code of warriors' honor bears a striking resemblance to the dharma of the Kshatriya varna of Vedic India.
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#5 MichaelHinman

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 02:09 AM

Christopher, on Apr 7 2003, 05:50 PM, said:

MichaelHinman, on Apr 7 2003, 04:55 PM, said:

I knew he had denounced religion at some point, but I wasn't sure if he was denouncing Christian roots, or Jewish roots, although I was almost sure it was Christian roots.
Not denounced, as in condemned -- renounced, as in severed his ties with.  They aren't synonymous.

I'm afraid I couldn't enjoy this parody because the attitudes it was mocking are not only far too ugly, but far too pervasive.  It just hit too close to home.

FWIW, the original TOS Klingons were meant to be modelled on the Mongols -- so they did represent a stereotype, but one of Asians rather than Arabs.  Modern Trek's depictions of Klingon culture are heavily informed by samurai and Vikings; though personally I find that the Klingon code of warriors' honor bears a striking resemblance to the dharma of the Kshatriya varna of Vedic India.
Parodies and satires are not effective if they don't hit close to somewhere.
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#6 Drew

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 02:24 AM

And here's another hateful stereotype of Christians posted by Mike.

What, exactly, are you trying to prove?
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#7 the 'Hawk

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 02:38 AM

Look, I'm probably missing something here.

But what is it exactly here that I'm supposed to find funny?
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#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 03:03 AM

I have a suggestion.  People have different views about what they think is funny.

How about when posting a thread like this one (or like the one Zack posted about Fox) put a little warning in the title?

That would 1) not impinge on anyone's ability to post this stuff while at the same time 2) alerting people who find such stuff unfunny to simply avoid it.

Then if they don't you can always say caveat emptor

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#9 Drew

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 03:07 AM

But is it enough to just use "Well, you shouldn't have read it" as a defense against posting offensive material? I hope not. Otherwise that gives everyone the tacit go-ahead to post all kinds of garbage and just add a warning as an escape hatch.
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#10 Bad Wolf

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 03:12 AM

Drew, on Apr 8 2003, 12:56 AM, said:

But is it enough to just use "Well, you shouldn't have read it" as a defense against posting offensive material? I hope not. Otherwise that gives everyone the tacit go-ahead to post all kinds of garbage and just add a warning as an escape hatch.
Well I think the problem is defining "offensive".  I mean I personally, while not finding this one particularly funny, am NOT offended.  And I thought Zack's was freaking hysterical but that's me and I know that others feel differently.

I hear you and I totally respect your feelings.  I also think that there are some lines that are clear.  

Then again as I sit here thinking about it, both this one and Zack's contain or link to content that could clearly be considered racist or discriminatory against religion by a reasonable person and imo that kind of thing may well be proscribed by the guidelines.

I dunno Drew, I do think that at a minimum these things ought to have warnings on them.  At least then you can avoid it before you open and see something like that.

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#11 G1223

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 03:37 AM

Drew, on Apr 7 2003, 11:13 PM, said:

And here's another hateful stereotype of Christians posted by Mike.

What, exactly, are you trying to prove?
Well Drew he could be proving that bashing Christians is in his mind a good thing. I do not agree and wonder what sort of bigot he is.
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#12 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 03:41 AM

Well, I've read the same thing you have, and I saw it as parody of Arab stereotyping and Roddenberry deification. Bashing Christians of good conscience doesn't really enter into it at all.

The very definition of YMMV, eh?

Ro

#13 Drew

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 04:19 AM

Ro-Astarte, on Apr 7 2003, 07:30 PM, said:

Well, I've read the same thing you have, and I saw it as parody of Arab stereotyping and Roddenberry deification. Bashing Christians of good conscience doesn't really enter into it at all.
Except that the article is suggesting that all Christians stereotype Arabs in this manner. That's where the Christian-bashing comes in. I'm not ashamed to say that I find the article--as well as that whole Landover Baptist site--entirely offensive.
"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested."

#14 QueenTiye

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 05:28 AM

Chiming in to agree.

First off - the site trivializes the concerns of those Christians (and others) who DO have some moral objections to various issues.  That's fine - but personally I'd rather see some intelligent discussion of the issues rather than dissmissive making fun.  Secondly - it isn't making fun of some particular looney bin - it's making fun of Christians in general.

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#15 Jude

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 06:04 AM

Thank you Drew and QT.

Glad I'm not the only one.

#16 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 06:27 AM

Do you really think Christians are seen as one monolithic set of beliefs by those of us who do not share that faith?

That we can't recognize that there are people of faith and conscience nothing like these caricatures as well as people who are much closer to them than many of us wish.

I recently had a conversation with a co-worker who equated wicca with Satanism.   I pointed out that the two were not equivalents, but never once did I think that her view was shared by every single professed Christian.

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#17 QueenTiye

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 06:50 AM

Hi Ro. The point is that you know A person who thinks that way.  This article is not lampooning A person (i.e., a known personage who is being caricatured) but rather a person (i.e., a stand in for Christians - at best - a stand in for fundamentalist Christians - but I'm not certain that that is clear) of the Christian faith.

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#18 tennyson

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 07:08 AM

Yet another post I find in no way funny, hmmm.
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#19 G1223

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 08:18 AM

If I changed the above text to refer to homesexuals as being the target of the abuse of this  article or say the Wiccian beliefs or any other faith. You miight see why there is a feeling that this is bashing. But since it's a faith you personally do not support it's OK.

Actually Ro based on what you said and the way you are acting yes. I do believe that YOU have a narrow minded pov about Christians?

Edited by G1223, 08 April 2003 - 08:47 AM.

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If you voted for Obama then all the mistakes he makes are your fault and I will point this out to you every time he does mess up.

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#20 Ro-Astarte

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Posted 08 April 2003 - 05:17 PM

G1223, on Apr 8 2003, 12:07 AM, said:

If I changed the above text to refer to homesexuals as being the target of the abuse of this  article or say the Wiccian beliefs or any other faith. You miight see why there is a feeling that this is bashing. But since it's a faith you personally do not support it's OK.

Actually Ro based on what you said and the way you are acting yes. I do believe that YOU have a narrow minded pov about Christians?
Gordon, if that's what you think that's unfortunate, because it is not what I said.

I do not practice Christianity. I am a Buddhist. It does not follow that I do not support sincere Christian practice-even when I disagree with its tenets.

Ro



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