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Stephen Baldwin is Born Again
October 10, 2005 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Hardcore Faith. Actor Stephen Baldwin on his skateboarding ministry and why it's OK to call the Lord 'dude.'
posted by matteo (125 comments total)

 
Previous thread: Brian Welch's conversion
posted by matteo at 8:40 AM on October 10, 2005


Actor Stephen Baldwin is an idiot.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:46 AM on October 10, 2005


>(IDIOT)

(Does that look anything like what it's supposed to look like?)
posted by Mikey-San at 8:51 AM on October 10, 2005


Q: What sucks about being a Baldwin?

A: Everything.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:53 AM on October 10, 2005


Someone more awake than I am is going to have to make the inevitable Big Lebowski reference.
posted by S.C. at 8:54 AM on October 10, 2005


Your "Livin’ It" program "combines outrageous skateboarding and BMX stunts with the powerful message of God’s radical love." What response have you been getting?

Was this a face to face interview? Because if so, I would be very curious to know how the interviewer could ask that question without bursting out lauging.
posted by psmealey at 8:54 AM on October 10, 2005


To quote Hank Hill, "You're not making rock and roll better; you're making Christianity worse."
posted by brownpau at 8:55 AM on October 10, 2005


Stephen Baldwin = Icky
posted by DieHipsterDie at 8:55 AM on October 10, 2005


He still had one of the better lineup responses in The Usual Suspects:

Cop: Number 1, step forward.
Hockney: Hand me the keys, you fucking cocksucker.
Cop: Number 2, step forward.
McManus: Give me the fucking keys, you fucking cocksucking motherfucker, aaarrrghh.
Cop: Knock it off. Get back. Number 3, step forward.
Fenster: [laughing] Hand me the keys, you cocksucker.
Cop: In English, please?
Fenster: Excuse me?
Cop: In English.
Fenster: Hand me the fucking keys, you cocksucker, what the fuck?

posted by NationalKato at 8:56 AM on October 10, 2005


What would you say is the raddest verse?

One that I write in a lot of the Bibles of young men who ask me to sign their Bibles is Matthew 11:12, which talks about how the kingdom has been advancing since John by force.

Dude! A skateboarding theo-fascist! Awesome!
posted by mondo dentro at 8:58 AM on October 10, 2005


>(IDIOT)

(Does that look anything like what it's supposed to look like?)


Presuming it's supposed to be a jesus fish with "IDIOT" in it, yes it does. Though it took me a minute. :)
posted by antifuse at 9:01 AM on October 10, 2005


Autographing bibles? WTF!
posted by furtive at 9:02 AM on October 10, 2005


"actor"
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:03 AM on October 10, 2005


It's official -- the Baldwins have one-upped the Wayans as the acting family that "jumped the shark" first.
posted by clevershark at 9:04 AM on October 10, 2005


sucker
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:04 AM on October 10, 2005


Born again after the 9/11 attacks?

Bandwagon jumper...
posted by BobFrapples at 9:05 AM on October 10, 2005


man, you people are harsh...who cares what he believes in? is this any different than any other Christian mission work to the youth of our country? they're always looking to update the image of the Church and convert more youth into the Christian ministries.

but i guess all of you are pretty flawless human beings, huh?
posted by NationalKato at 9:08 AM on October 10, 2005


You've said the faith-based culture can be 'more hardcore' than the mainstream. What’s cool about being hardcore?

Um, nothing?
posted by JeffK at 9:08 AM on October 10, 2005


they're always looking to . . . convert more youth into the Christian ministries.

That's why I care, NatiolanKato. I don't really give half-a-rats-ass what you believe as long as you keep it to yourself.
posted by JeffK at 9:12 AM on October 10, 2005


MetaFilter: I don't really give half-a-rats-ass what you believe as long as you keep it to yourself.
posted by NationalKato at 9:13 AM on October 10, 2005


but i guess all of you are pretty flawless human beings, huh?

Nice false equivalence, er, dude. But when I spank the monkey while looking at a Victoria's secret catalogue it doesn't advance the cause of a theocratic dictatorship.

More generally: ever notice how the people who were the most fucked up to begin with make the most zealous true believers? The entire thing is pathological.
posted by mondo dentro at 9:15 AM on October 10, 2005


man, you people are harsh...who cares what he believes in? is this any different than any other Christian mission work to the youth of our country?

We care because all religious evangelism is evil, and because he's an untalented Baldwin and therefore deserving of mockery.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:16 AM on October 10, 2005


Don't laugh. Times have changed, and fierce competition amongst fundamentalist mutations ensures that only the fittest will survive.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:19 AM on October 10, 2005


Times have changed, and fierce competition amongst fundamentalist mutations ensures that only the fittest will survive.

And that's precisely why the porn ministry was invented.

It's not a joke as far as I can tell.
posted by mondo dentro at 9:22 AM on October 10, 2005


A local radio station (WNNX - 99X) has been on this train for months now. I think it actually started with an appearance by Stephen Baldwin on the Morning Show. Knowing his new ministry, they came up with a Black Flag-esque punk parody called "Skatin' 4 Christ."

You can hear it here (scroll down to #21, August 23, 2005).

Then a listener made a video. Brilliant.
posted by grabbingsand at 9:23 AM on October 10, 2005


Mel’s situation is more unique, just the stars lined up in that reality. The Lord prepared him.

Please admire how celebrity ego can be crushed into meekness by the power of the Lord Dude. Amen!
posted by funambulist at 9:24 AM on October 10, 2005


Porn ministry? How many of us have been, er, worshipping at *that* church, perhaps for decades?
posted by clevershark at 9:24 AM on October 10, 2005


antifuse:

Yep.

You know, he could just be sucking up to Jesus to get better acting roles.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:24 AM on October 10, 2005


For me, the most obvious message is, 'keep the faith.' I don’t mean faith in faith, I mean faith in life. That translates to ‘don’t give up.’ Life is such a precious gift. Whatever life throws at us, if we could just learn to get through that day and hang on to the next, you never know what may come. It may get worse, but you never know.

That's how I like my obvious messages; so obvious they have to be explained with another 4 lines of cliched gibberish.
posted by biffa at 9:28 AM on October 10, 2005


What would you say is the raddest verse?

Dude, when they were droppin' mad-skeezy bombs on Gomorrah? That shit was, like, awesome! It was like watchin' Tony Hawk when he did that 900 in competition for the first time, right? Totally gnarly stuff.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:29 AM on October 10, 2005


Dear Evangelicals:

You can have him. Good luck with that.
posted by mkultra at 9:30 AM on October 10, 2005


...it doesn't advance the cause of a theocratic dictatorship.

Wait, since when does a Baldwin make policy? Are you really afraid that his 'Totally Rad Jesus' campaign is going to affect your life?
posted by NationalKato at 9:30 AM on October 10, 2005


they're always looking to update the image of the Church

Yup. And today, it looks like George W. Bush.
posted by Goofyy at 9:34 AM on October 10, 2005


Are you really afraid that his 'Totally Rad Jesus' campaign is going to affect your life?

Yes.
posted by mondo dentro at 9:39 AM on October 10, 2005


Skate church. Learn something new rad every day.
posted by letitrain at 9:43 AM on October 10, 2005


In the videogame of all this, you actually get to battle Stephen Baldwin with or against Tom Cruise. They fight to determine who's a bigger asshole. Kirk Cameron referees.
posted by Peter H at 9:48 AM on October 10, 2005


"I don’t think you’ll be seeing half-pipes in too many sanctuaries anytime soon, but hey, praise the Lord!"

How is it that rank, drooling idiocy of this brain-shreddingly embarrassing level affects so many allegedly educated people in America? Why is that? I'd wonder if it were something in the water but I've been living here for almost four years now and I'm still okay, dude, which is rad, praise the Lord..... oh shit....
posted by Decani at 9:48 AM on October 10, 2005


I guess he didn't get the memo that religion appears to cause moral decline in modern civilizations. (Toronto Star link: bugmenot if you haven't already.)
posted by Hildegarde at 9:52 AM on October 10, 2005


clevershark: "Porn ministry? How many of us have been, er, worshipping at *that* church, perhaps for decades?"

Mikey-San: "You know, he could just be sucking up to Jesus..."

Take. Eat. Oh, yes! Duuuuuuuuude!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:00 AM on October 10, 2005


He has been to and spoken at our church twice and will probably visit again at some point. He is actually a really nice guy who has probably turned his back on quite a bit of money since coming to the Lord.

As to his conversion, his wife was praying for him for a very long time. She is absolutely a sweetheart. I got a chance to talk to her for awhile. Totally the real deal.

The owner of the local skate shop (and skate park) has been a believer for years-goes to our church. At the skate park's previous location he brought in a lot of hardcore bands. Nothing new there. If it wasn't for him folks wouldn't have a good place to skate.
posted by konolia at 10:07 AM on October 10, 2005


Yes.

Well then, mondo dentro, I feel bad for ya. Fear can be a powerful thing...I'm just glad I feel comfortable knowing Stephen Baldwin and his fanatical worship doesn't affect me.
posted by NationalKato at 10:08 AM on October 10, 2005


He is actually a really nice guy who has probably turned his back on quite a bit of money since coming to the Lord.

*shakes head, feels like stranger in strange land*
posted by Decani at 10:17 AM on October 10, 2005


Christianity: The entire thing is pathological.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 10:24 AM on October 10, 2005


Wow.

Well ... wow.

What can I say, there's just SO MUCH comedy gold here, but what really got me was that "Black Flag-esque punk parody" that grabbingsand pointed out.

Really, how can you go wrong with lyrics like:

ride half pipe
avoid crack pipe

Honestly, how can you?
posted by Relay at 10:28 AM on October 10, 2005


I was sent from pranet Xiron to conquer the Earf / I had a twiffic pran - I thought it would work / I tried to get the Earfrings all to kill each other, y'see / But it all went wrong and now I must decree /

You are worthress Mister Bardwin. . .
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:30 AM on October 10, 2005


Xianity... to the Xtreme!
posted by clevershark at 10:35 AM on October 10, 2005


Adam and Alec should get together and kick his ass.

At least he's not a scientologist.
posted by nyxxxx at 10:42 AM on October 10, 2005


Your "Livin’ It" program "combines outrageous skateboarding and BMX stunts with the powerful message of God’s radical love.

So radical, in fact, He will torture your soul for an eternity if you don't accept that love, er, skate with the right team. Remember, you don't go around trying to convert unless you think souls are at stake, and "souls being at stake" doesn't have any real weight unless your deity is as childish, vindictive, and bipolar as a Baldwin.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:44 AM on October 10, 2005


Xianity... to the Xtreme!

it's a good one -- you know, they might just use it.
posted by matteo at 10:45 AM on October 10, 2005


Sponsored by Nike Xtreme Cross-trainers ™
posted by joe lisboa at 10:46 AM on October 10, 2005


At least he's not a scientologist.

A fundie Xtian is worse than a scientologist. The former actually has power to effect public discourse and policy in much of this country (see: no morning after pill on the drug store counter). A scientologist is, as yet, your garden variety ineffectual crazy.

Stephen may well be a real nice dude. But I'd bet dollars to doughnuts he wouldn't know the actual teachings of Jesus if Jesus himself handed them to him. Very few American Xtians would. They long ago left that strain of mythology behind, and are well on their way to creating a new mythology which is Xtian in name only.
posted by teece at 11:08 AM on October 10, 2005


I don’t think you’ll be seeing half-pipes in too many sanctuaries anytime soon, but hey, praise the Lord.

Anything ending in but hey, praise the Lord is just awful.
posted by InternZ at 11:10 AM on October 10, 2005


Adam and Alec should get together and kick his ass.

... 'Cuz, you know, it does Adam's career so much more good to be mistaken for being Alec's brother than for being Stephen's. (Though I have to say, my money would be on Animal Mother before it would be on some weedy born-again Republican.)
posted by lodurr at 11:12 AM on October 10, 2005


He's a Christian? I thought the Baldwin boys only worshipped themselves.
posted by postmodernmillie at 11:15 AM on October 10, 2005


they're always looking to update the image of the Church


Yes and with this latest development it looks like they have managed to update said image to some time around 1987.
posted by glenwood at 11:22 AM on October 10, 2005


Ah, but teece, if a scientologist were in a position of power there'd only be vitamins and exercise books at the chemists.

XENU to the XTREME!
posted by longbaugh at 11:24 AM on October 10, 2005


Christianity: The entire thing is pathological.

Hatred: The entire thing is pathological.
posted by brownpau at 11:27 AM on October 10, 2005


Teece, I have met the man and I have heard him speak. He is as much a Christian as I am. Let's not throw our words around, 'k?
posted by konolia at 11:29 AM on October 10, 2005


Non skating fundies, please stay away from skateboarding.

Skateboarding fundies, keep it to yourself and stop hanging your legs off the goddamed coping.

Thanks!
posted by grimcity at 11:29 AM on October 10, 2005


Can we not agree that this kind of clownish nonsense is an embarrassment to all involved, without this devolving into a pissing contest between in-your-face atheists and defensive christians?
posted by lodurr at 11:31 AM on October 10, 2005


I’ve been on a pretty pink cloud for four years now, but that’s because I’ve chosen to really step out in a pretty hardcore way.

This is my new motto.
posted by mikeh at 11:32 AM on October 10, 2005


Christianity would be a lot more popular among the youth of today if it weren't so goddamned corny, as evidenced here. The Lord really doth need a new PR department.
posted by xmutex at 11:32 AM on October 10, 2005


If you are posting to make fun of Christianity as a whole instead of Stephen Baldwin in particular, you lost your sense of humor when you picked up your sense of smug superiority.

Fundamentalism is seldom a good thing. But I was taught by nuns and Jesuit priests my entire life. I generally found them to be thoughtful, intelligent and open-minded.

That's more than I can say for some of the posters here, who think that their dogmatic antipathy to religion is somehow more palatable than the fundamentalists dogmatic antipathy to rational thought.
posted by hipnerd at 11:46 AM on October 10, 2005


Can we not agree that this kind of clownish nonsense is an embarrassment to all involved, without this devolving into a pissing contest between in-your-face atheists and defensive christians?

But then, what would be the point... it just wouldn't be MeFi.

Anything remotely religious can normally be depended on to result in at least four things. In-your-face, I-really-hate-these-SOBs invective. Sexual reference in abundance as though somehow sex is the ultimate argument against religious belief. Actual thoughtful discussion, if it goes on for more than about 50 posts. And finally, seriously entertaining ranting if it goes for more than about 100.

So, what's wrong with all that? See, we make our own edutainment...
posted by scheptech at 12:00 PM on October 10, 2005


Right now, the best way to change Hollywood is to convert the youth of this country to faith so that they can go out and do whatever the Lord calls them to do.

That's actually pretty smart
posted by Slothrup at 12:06 PM on October 10, 2005


hipnerd, strawman much?
posted by matteo at 12:10 PM on October 10, 2005


That's more than I can say for some of the posters here, who think that their dogmatic antipathy to religion is somehow more palatable than the fundamentalists dogmatic antipathy to rational thought.

Who says their antipathy is dogmatic? And why is antipathy to rational thought no worse than antipathy to religion?
posted by ludwig_van at 12:21 PM on October 10, 2005


"but i guess all of you are pretty flawless human beings, huh?"

Flawless enough to know that Stephen's the shitty Baldwin.
posted by klangklangston at 12:29 PM on October 10, 2005


hipnerd, strawman much?

The strawman argument is holding up Stephen Baldwin as representative of Christianity as a whole, then tarring the entire faith because the moron from Bio-Dome decided to drink the Kool-Aid.

Not every poster is doing this, of course.
posted by hipnerd at 12:31 PM on October 10, 2005


Oh, man! Can't decide whether to spend this $5.00 on "dogmatic antipathy," or "the shitty Baldwin."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:31 PM on October 10, 2005


I recommend "dogmatic anitpathy."
posted by the shitty Baldwin at 12:42 PM on October 10, 2005


Stephen's the shitty Baldwin?

Well, at least we can rest comfortably knowing The Beach Party at The Threshold of Hell is finally in post.
posted by NationalKato at 12:47 PM on October 10, 2005


Fundamentalism is seldom a good thing

seldom a good thing?

with that kind of logic you've clearly done your jesuit nuns enormously proud. lap it up hipnerd.

still trying hard to get my head around this: by that name are you seriously trying tell everyone here that you're somehow 'hip' and also a 'nerd'? is there any particular reason why you need to adorn a label announcing that? i'm asking because i'm very curious to understand how someone who is 'hip' and a 'nerd' would think that religious fundamentalism is a good thing.

specific examples would be most welcome.
posted by rodney stewart at 1:02 PM on October 10, 2005


Speaking of Baldwins, PETAB is still around.
posted by brownpau at 1:02 PM on October 10, 2005


Lodurr: My money would be on Jayne . . . if he and Animal Mother weren't, you know, the same guy. [/geek]
posted by The Bellman at 1:15 PM on October 10, 2005


Fundamentalism is seldom a good thing

Shouldn't have used seldom, I suppose. I generally try to avoid absolutes, though.

I'm enjoying this effort at reasonable dialogue, but what exactly am I supposed to be "lapping up?" You didn't specify.

re: the name. I am a computer consultant. At some point a friend noticed that my (now defunct) telephone number spelled HIP-NERD. I picked it up as a nick on IRC and have used it since.
posted by hipnerd at 1:18 PM on October 10, 2005


Wait, wait, no . . . I take it back. My money would totally be on Ricky Linderman! I loved that movie . . . with the motorcycle and everything . . . Wow. Adam has been playing the same role for 25 years. Oddly he doesn't seem to have aged a single day. I'd like to meet his tailor surgeon.
posted by The Bellman at 1:20 PM on October 10, 2005


The Lord really doth need a new PR department.

He's trying.



Previously discussed here.
posted by ericb at 1:21 PM on October 10, 2005


It amazes me how freedom of religion has changed over the last 200 years. From the limited studies I have on the subject, the original spirit of that freedom was to ensure that religion was not oppressed by a government entity or by other social entities. It protected the rights of speach and religion and was, In my opinion, a testament to our ability to work and live together despite different beliefs... In modern times, the spirit of the freedom has become the right to be protected "From" religion.

It floors me how a lot of overtly religious people get shunned in today's society. 50 years ago, my grandmother could walk up to a stranger in town and have what I consider a "Normal" christian conversation with another christian about christian beliefs. Today, someone within earshot will be offended. And what really blows my mind is that those who are offended are most often given more clout than those who are not. The results are 80 year old grandmothers who are afriad to speak of their faith in public for fear of legal or otherwise social descrimination... Which was supposed to be protected as I recall...

I've seen it, even in small town oklahoma.

I think it's sad... Others might think it's more fair and free... I feel oppressed. regardless of what I might or might not believe.

to the topic: Baldwin's suck donkey nutts... But knocking the guy specifically for his religion is a low blow. I don't make fun of the godless freaks out there who get away with all the fun sins that us christians have to either lie about, or actually miss out on... So why knock a guy who's just trying, in his own crazy "Baldwin" way, to make a difference... Give him a break...
posted by DuffStone at 1:22 PM on October 10, 2005


The strawman argument is holding up Stephen Baldwin as representative of Christianity as a whole,

most people I see here are holding up Baldwin as representative of skateboarding-obsessed fundamentalist Christian celebrities, not of Christianity as a whole
posted by matteo at 1:24 PM on October 10, 2005


most people I see here are holding up Baldwin as representative of skateboarding-obsessed fundamentalist Christian celebrities, not of Christianity as a whole

I agree. I was responding to the "all religious evangelism is evil" and "Christianity: The entire thing is pathological" crowd.

I certainly don't think Christians are some poor persecuted minorty. But as a Christian liberal, I often see a knee-jerk anti-religious vibe among people that I otherwise agree with on the vast majority of issues.
posted by hipnerd at 1:38 PM on October 10, 2005


I agree. I was responding to the "all religious evangelism is evil" [...] crowd.

Well, I was the one who said that, so I may as well respond. I have a very clearly defined moral code, just like Christians do. I hold many beliefs that are unprovable by science, just like Christians do. I believe that some acts are intrinsically good, and others are intrinsically evil, just like Christians do. The difference between myself and Christians is to be found in our respective lists, and solidly on my "evil" list is brainwashing children into hatred and anti-humanistic behavior by wrapping it in a bunch of fairy tales. I'm no evangelist; I'm not trying to convince anyone to my way of thinking and I don't care whether you agree with me or not, because I'm just that confident. If you're going to fight me, fight me on my level.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:53 PM on October 10, 2005


it's very American (and very wrong) to equate fundy Protestantism with Christianity -- fundy Protestants (who get a kick out of calling themselves "Christians" like all the others, say Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox, aren't) are a relatively new and small sect of a much larger, much older tradition. but seriously, people here are just making fun of a dopey celebrity. I think 2,000 years of tradition are safe from Stephen Baldwin. or from this thread.
posted by matteo at 1:53 PM on October 10, 2005


(who get a kick out of calling themselves "Christians" like all the others, say Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox, aren't)

Then why aren't the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox taking it to the streets, protesting the fundy Protestant hegemony?

(My mother's partner recently wanted to buy a statue of a particular saint, so she went into a Christian bookstore to find it. The saleslady told her, "Ma'am, you need a Catholic bookstore. This is a Christian bookstore.")
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:58 PM on October 10, 2005


hegemony of what? evangelical TV shows?
posted by matteo at 2:08 PM on October 10, 2005


DuffStone: It amazes me how freedom of religion has changed over the last 200 years. From the limited studies I have on the subject, the original spirit of that freedom was to ensure that religion was not oppressed by a government entity or by other social entities.

Well, that's incorrect. The Constitution defines the federal government--largely in terms of what it cannot do. The First Amendment says nothing about what "social entities" may or may not do.

Also, the Establishment clause is supposed to prevent government from persecuting and promoting religion.

It floors me how a lot of overtly religious people get shunned in today's society.

*blinks* Errr, are you talking about the US? Where flaunting your religiosity has become a requirement for holding public office? Where some people even claim that non-believers aren't even citizens?

The results are 80 year old grandmothers who are afriad to speak of their faith in public

Oh, please. I have 10 horrific anecdotes for every one of yours. Like the time my car was vandalized by an 80 year old grandmother because of my Satan Fish emblem.
posted by oncogenesis at 2:19 PM on October 10, 2005


Then why aren't the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox taking it to the streets, protesting the fundy Protestant hegemony?

Because most of the Catholics and Eastern Orthodox of the world live in countries where fundy evangelical Protestants of the US kind are very rare if not inexistent?
posted by funambulist at 2:24 PM on October 10, 2005


This is particularly amusing if you have watched the documentary about Gator, the skate celebrity bad boy who turned into a murderer. As I recall his last fad before becoming murderous was getting all Christian with his skateboarding, leading skate bible study with younger kids, that sort of thing.

Guess it didn't work out for him.
posted by beth at 2:32 PM on October 10, 2005


Wasn't Mark 'Gator' Rogowski member of the same church?
posted by spazzm at 2:35 PM on October 10, 2005


More info on Gator, the famous pro skater who turned Born-Again Christian after a serious accident, then murdered and raped a friend of his ex-girlfriend here.
posted by spazzm at 2:46 PM on October 10, 2005


Oops, didn't see your post there, beth. Sorry.
posted by spazzm at 2:46 PM on October 10, 2005


If I am recalling the documentary correctly, his girlfriend left him after he was repeatedly pressuring her to become Christian like him. Basically, religion drove a wedge between them.

She left, he kind of flipped out (to say the least), and ending up raping and killing a friend of hers, at least sort of in order to hurt his ex-girlfriend.
posted by beth at 2:52 PM on October 10, 2005




Doesn't it just... POP?
posted by aaronetc at 2:54 PM on October 10, 2005


beth, I just love how he defends his murder-rape by thrash-talking the victim at the end.
posted by spazzm at 2:59 PM on October 10, 2005


I had to go get some work done, so I couldn't keep this thread up, but for the record, and for what it's worth (not much since I doubt anyone's reading this anymore):

(1) I am not anti-religious. I am, however, anti-authoritarian and anti-fundamentalist (of any type), but especially of the type in power. When fundamentalist vegans take over the government, let me know and I'll start worrying about them, too.

(2) I am also (and I say this as gently as possible) weary of my progressive religious brothers and sisters acting shocked at how secular humanists, rationalists, Deists, atheists, pagans, gnostics, and the like are fed up with the religious right movement in the US. Are y'all watching the same news I am? I say this: if you don't recognize the peril in your own movement, and try to do something about it, you're part of the problem. So I implore you: fight back against the theo-fascists.

(3) Again to my religious brothers and sisters: don't worry, I'm smart enough to know that there's a world of difference between a bad Christian and a good one. And there are definitely both kinds. And likewise for the nonbelievers. I try very hard to not paint with too broad a brush. But, see? That's the point. That's just how a liberal would talk (whether religious or not). And what is our reward for being understanding? To be called nihilists who believe in nothing. What slanderous bullshit! I refuse to stand for it any more. But I have always had solidarity with many religious friends, and will always do so. It's what in the heart that counts.

(4) If you don't have some fear about American fundamentalist Christianity, you're not paying attention. I'm from Ohio. It wasn't always the fundy hotbed it is now. And how did it get that way? One seemingly inoccuous Stephen Baldwin at a time, that's how. I saw it transform Ohio. I have a family member, a fine upstanding member of the community and a "good guy", who believes its perfectly OK--and indeed righteous--to implement a theocracy in the US, and he's very actively trying, together with the other members of his megachurch, to do just that in Ohio. This shit hurts families (and then, on top of that, the families have to hear "well, you know that Jesus came to bring the sword" by way of justification of any and all disruption and division).

(5) There is no equivalence between a liberal-minded person being resolutely and passionately against fundamentalism and a fundamentalist being against liberal-mindedness. The former is necessary for self defense, the latter is a culturally expansionist M.O. Likewise, even the most complex thinker, one who clearly understands that Truth requires complexity, must be clearly and unambiguously against fundamentalism. This is not a contradiction or a form of hypocrisy. One can't be tolerant of intolerance.
posted by mondo dentro at 2:59 PM on October 10, 2005


It amazes me how freedom of religion has changed over the last 200 years...in modern times, the spirit of the freedom has become the right to be protected "From" religion.

Separation of Church and State is the concept and importantly it means both and equally. Churches to exist without political interference (this is why no taxes which would be a way for governments to have undue influence obviously) and secular government to exist free of religious interference (such as freedom from Papal edict for example, the Pope can't over-rule what govenments chose to write into law).

Commonly though, it's been thought of primarily in one direction only: that religion should be free of government interference because this has been the much more common problem. People were being persecuted for their beliefs.

Only in the last very few years, and as related to the Bush presidency and Islamic radicalism, has the thing been turned on it's head and now seems to popularly mean freedom of government from religion. To get it right, one needs to see it both ways: each needs to be equally free of the other.
posted by scheptech at 3:03 PM on October 10, 2005


The cops will still run you off if you do it downtown.
posted by smcbride at 3:21 PM on October 10, 2005


yeah, but they'll go to hell
posted by matteo at 3:23 PM on October 10, 2005


There are no half pipes in Hell.
posted by the shitty Baldwin at 3:38 PM on October 10, 2005


DuffStone writes "The results are 80 year old grandmothers who are afraid to speak of their faith in public for fear of legal or otherwise social discrimination... Which was supposed to be protected as I recall...

"I've seen it, even in small town oklahoma. "


They should move to Los Angeles and maybe take some classes at UCLA. Since the term started, it seems like the campus has been saturated by various Christian student groups fishing for new members, strumming acoustic guitars and singing about Jesus, and hanging banners reminding us all to think about the afterlife. It's like a frickin' revival over here.

I don't know what the hell is wrong in small town Oklahoma, but here on the wicked West Coast on this morally devoid secular humanist state university campus, nobody's hesitating to speak up about their Christianity.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:43 PM on October 10, 2005


hipnerd writes "Fundamentalism is seldom a good thing. But I was taught by nuns and Jesuit priests my entire life. I generally found them to be thoughtful, intelligent and open-minded."


But put those same nuns and priests on an internet message board and they'd tear shit up.
posted by mullacc at 3:51 PM on October 10, 2005


The Shitty Baldwin: It's your $5 that let Matt quit his job.
posted by klangklangston at 3:57 PM on October 10, 2005


meh, bad subject because to me it's more emotional based than fact based. I agree that anecdotes can be made just about anything, especially about 80 year old vandals...

Still, I've seen this stuff at work. What was once "Hip" on the coasts is makeing it way to the heartland (I hate that term but it's easier than saying between the rockies and mississippi river... but then I just said it... bleh...)

anyway, you're right to an extent. It just seems to me that since Bush Jr. started beating his drum, it's put some of us christians on an island rather than a pedistal...

Again, just my opinion from what I've seen. Maybe it's just the 2 year fad gap between the coasts and the heartland catching up and such.
posted by DuffStone at 3:59 PM on October 10, 2005


If you only knew how much we've I've sent his way the last few months!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:01 PM on October 10, 2005


That was meant for klangklangston, obviously.
posted by the shitty Baldwin at 4:03 PM on October 10, 2005


I'm not a born-again Christian, just a semi-lapsed Catholic, but I kind of think that this gimmicky stuff is a mixed blessing. I don't mean to say that somebody can't simultaneously love skateboarding, (or rock and roll, or even porn), and be an honest Christian. But from everything I'veread, what's good in Christianity is realizing you own imperfectness (and your need to accept it and at the same time work at resisting your worst urges), and then using that to forge compassion and humanity towards your fellow man, and gimmickry just seems to distract from that. YMMV.
posted by jonmc at 4:43 PM on October 10, 2005


I only get 20 miles to the gallon of horseshit. But then again, horseshit is cheap these days.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:46 PM on October 10, 2005


The Bellman, Adam Baldwin (Jayne) isn't one of 'The Baldwins,' and if he were, I'd think of him as the most redeeming member of the family. Then again, I'm a Firefly/Serenity nut, so your mileage may vary.
posted by spiderwire at 4:50 PM on October 10, 2005


I really like James Baldwin, though
posted by matteo at 5:02 PM on October 10, 2005


James Baldwin, however, was actually born three times, if memory serves.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:11 PM on October 10, 2005


And the greatest Baldwin is Daniel, due to his association with The. Best. Cop. Show. Ever.
posted by jonmc at 5:44 PM on October 10, 2005


Someone more awake than I am is going to have to make the inevitable Big Lebowski reference.
posted by S.C. at 9:54 AM MST on October 10 [!]


Is that some kinda Eastern thing?
posted by gompa at 7:26 PM on October 10, 2005


"...even Rick Warren at Saddleback is getting ready to do a major skate park on his property."

yeah, uh, even Rick Warren.
People here in South America keep telling me that the evangelical movement is a CIA plot.

hmmmm.....
posted by punkbitch at 8:55 PM on October 10, 2005


This whole thread was worthwhile just for this. *snicker*
posted by Space Kitty at 9:21 PM on October 10, 2005


Who knew that Danny had almost as many film credits as Alec? And who knew that Alec was going to star in a remake of The Swimmer?*

*probably just a rumor, but still. Just try to imagine the marketing.... "In a dry world, one man needs to keep moist by any means possible.... In an uncertain world, is anyone's heated in-ground safe from...The Swimmer?"
posted by maryh at 11:07 PM on October 10, 2005


I found this concept and (some of) the comments quite entertaining. The repartee is a large part of why I love MeFi. Too bad I don't have a making-funny bone. But for those of you who do; thanks for sharing.
posted by raedyn at 8:24 AM on October 11, 2005


He has been to and spoken at our church twice and will probably visit again at some point. He is actually a really nice guy who has probably turned his back on quite a bit of money since coming to the Lord.
posted by konolia at 10:07 AM PST on October 10


Yeah, advocating for the advancement of Christianity through force is such a nice-guy thing to do. Can't say that I'm surprised you're into it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:58 AM on October 11, 2005


but seriously, people here are just making fun of a dopey celebrity. I think 2,000 years of tradition are safe from Stephen Baldwin. or from this thread.
Safe or not, it doesn't excuse poor manners, name calling, and vitriol. It's to be expected though. Christ did say that those who love the Father would be persecuted, reviled, and have all manner of evil things spoken against them. (Matthew 5:10-11 and John 15:20).
posted by walljm at 12:26 PM on October 11, 2005


walljm's right.. the poor poor celebrity christians, makes you want to cry.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:39 PM on October 11, 2005


James Baldwin being mocked on an internet website: the latest martyr in a line that started with people being hung on crosses, stoned to death, beheaded, speared, cooked in boiling oil, fed to lions or drawn and quartered.

Didn't Jesus also say something about sense of proportion?
posted by funambulist at 1:01 PM on October 11, 2005


It's to be expected though. Christ did say that those who love the Father would be persecuted, reviled, and have all manner of evil things spoken against them. (Matthew 5:10-11 and John 15:20).
posted by walljm at 12:26 PM PST on October 11 [!]


Christians control the White House, Congress, the U.S. military, and the media. I don't think a little name calling will kill you.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:22 PM on October 11, 2005


James Baldwin (biffa: who he?) being mocked on an internet website: the latest martyr in a line that started with people being hung on crosses, stoned to death, beheaded, speared, cooked in boiling oil, fed to lions or drawn and quartered.

You'd think they'd get the mesage by now wouldn't you?
posted by biffa at 3:05 AM on October 12, 2005


Eh biffa, it's all the Romans' fault. If they'd only let them be instead of kicking up such a fuss about it. But no, they had to go and embolden them with persecution.
Stupid Romans.

(yeah, I meant Stephen, not James! is there even a James in the Baldwin clan?)
posted by funambulist at 4:36 AM on October 12, 2005


If that was a slip on your part, funambulist, it was surprisingly appropriate: James Baldwin

He sounds like a pretty amazing guy.

(Yay, I learnt something! Thanks, the internet!)
posted by wilberforce at 8:16 AM on October 12, 2005


Space Coyote,

A scoffer is no less rude when he mockes the successful than he is when he mockes the less fortunate. It isn't about the mocked. A mocker is simply rude, regardless.

Its rude when Christians spew vitriol on those they dislike. It doesn't matter if the subject is rich or poor, famous or unknown. Its still wrong.

Change of Audience: To those who claim its ok to make fun of the Baldwins because they're Baldwins and crappy actors (which is sometimes true). Its easy to cross the line and make fun of Stephen, not because he's a bad actor, but because he has chosen to devote his life to a faith you find repugnant. To make fun of him for bad acting can be in poor taste, but to ridicule him for pusueing his faith earnestly is always in bad taste. You end up looking like a heel.
posted by walljm at 11:37 AM on October 12, 2005


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