Watching the lies
Well, I think it's pretty much a given that Christian activist groups lie profusely about all of their perceived enemies, and that they are effective in spreading their propaganda -- much to the extent that we now have at least 50% of the country on their side.
I know we can easily point out the errors in theist logic and point out their deliberate lies, and that's what this site is all about, but what about the conservative connection -- you know, the non-religious lies that many of these same people spread, such as those that political commentators spread which are related to similar lies from the religious right. These people **are** all connected. It's pretty clear when you see radical right wing politicians hob-nobbing with televangelical propagandists at their schools, churches, and at other events. The littany of conservative lies, both religious and secular in nature, is all part of the same extended family of cronies whose job is to populate the media with their propaganda.
We even saw how ABC attempted to propagandize the debate with Ray Comfort by saying it was a tie, when it clearly wasn't by any stretch of the imagination.
I think that it's probably a good idea to not simply focus on the religious issues in the Rational Response role. I think the rational responders should rationally challenge political nonsense, since the biggest supporters of the far right is the religious right. Televangelists and religious celebrities are the public face of purely religious right-wing fanaticism, while Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, and other political celebrities are the secular face of right wing fanaticism. They let it slip out (Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich both have shown their religous nut-job sides in public) occaisionally, but the connection is there, and we cannot simply separate the theistic part of the conservative equation from the secular side. They are practically one in the same -- one is the soft, chewey center, and one is the crunchy shell.
There needs to be an organization out there devoted to exposing the lies of the far right, and challenging them. There also needs to be an effort to become as effective in propagating the facts and the scholarly information, in a way that rivals, and hopefully is better than the propaganda being used by the right. Why is it that stupid crap-ideas are easier to spread than common sense and basic easily-researched fact? I wish I knew.
I think we need to see an organization with the following goals:
(1) Challenging propaganda in the media, and offering facts to counter it.
(2) Encourage students in grammar, high school, and college, to practice good fact-finding
(3) Encourage good journalism practice in the media
(4) Get politicians to pass laws that promote good journalism, factual reporting, and punish propaganda.
(5) Directly challenge individuals who lie for a living, and expose them publicly
(6) Alert the public about new lies that are being broadcast
We'd need to be agenda-free while doing the above. Doing the above should not be a left-or-right, theist-or-atheist descision. Facts are facts. Truth is truth. If an atheist and a theist agree to go where the facts lead, they need not be at odds. The same is true, politically. If a democrat and republican agree to go where the facts lead, they need not be at odds. If a republican lies about something, a fellow republican dedicated to go with the facts and truth will acknowledge that he lied, because it's where the facts lead, not because he simply wants to show unity.
I hope I'm making sense. What do you think?