LOLXtians! No - LOLScientologists! January 15, 2008 2:46 PM   Subscribe

We don't think religious satire goes down well on Mefi. Well, 'cept for the 'Tologists, that is.

Personally, I say they're all risible. Why allow the one, not the other?
posted by dash_slot- to Etiquette/Policy at 2:46 PM (105 comments total)

Well one reason is that we don't, to the best of my knowledge, have any scientologist members but I think the real reason is that people didn't object to and/or flag the Scientology thread the way they did the other one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:47 PM on January 15, 2008


Obvious, I know. But what's the diff? Is it because they're are more thin skinned Christians here thus making a flame war more likely? Or because the Scientologists seem more out there at the moment?
posted by dash_slot- at 2:48 PM on January 15, 2008


one reason is that we don't, to the best of my knowledge, have any scientologist members
Oh, dear. Really? That's why? Crikey. I bet we don't have all sorts of minorities. But majorities must have their sensibilities protected from the funny?
posted by dash_slot- at 2:51 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I assumed we allowed it because Scientologists deserve whatever mockery comes their way.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:53 PM on January 15, 2008 [18 favorites]


I think there's a difference between "haha look at those fundies" and a video of someone in the public eye talking about their religion. I don't think it's so much that we're saying "haha, isn't Scientology insane" as much as the video is "Isn't Tom Cruise crazy?"

In my mind, religion is central to the LOLXTIANS posts, but that Tom Cruise clip isn't completely about the religion as much as one star's fascination with it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:57 PM on January 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think the only consideration should be "how funny is it?"
posted by ludwig_van at 2:59 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you don't like it, flag it.
If flagging it doesn't work, try turning off the computer.
Consistency is for oatmeal, not metafilter.
posted by nomisxid at 3:01 PM on January 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


In my mind, religion is central to the LOLXTIANS posts, but that Tom Cruise clip isn't completely about the religion as much as one star's fascination with it.

We've done plenty of posts about Kirk Cameron, which seems to support this theory.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:02 PM on January 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


one reason is that we don't, to the best of my knowledge, have any scientologist members

Oh, dear. Really? That's why? Crikey. I bet we don't have all sorts of minorities. But majorities must have their sensibilities protected from the funny?


Is that really your charitable intepretation of what I said? I, personally, look at the flag queue to see what's bothering people. My suspicion is that we have people here who may be Christian who react to and dislike the LOLXIAN posts. We also have other memebers who may not be Christian who react to them and dislike/flag them. With Scientology posts, I think there are few people who say "hey I'm personally offended by that!" (please insert "first they came for the _______ and I said nothing because....") and so those sorts of posts don't show up in the flag queue as readily.

We still have a bunch of "LOLBLOJOB" posts (and I'm loving the virtual rape one up now and all the "sex with children" jokes that come with it), so feel free to not act like I'm in the majority here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:04 PM on January 15, 2008


I assumed we allowed it because Scientologists deserve whatever mockery comes their way.
posted by Astro Zombie


Why don't christians, then?

that Tom Cruise clip isn't completely about the religion as much as one star's fascination with it. posted by mathowie at 2:57 PM
Sorry matt - that's really unconvincing. At least half of that Cruise thread is about his religion, and it stands. The video is linked as "Nutjobfilter. Tom Cruise on Scientology." Showing him up as unhinged and allowing (brave, in it's own way) it to stand: good for debate, and amusing. Shutting down a similar thread about unhinged christians and their published opinions: not enlightening in the least. And saddening.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:05 PM on January 15, 2008


Some Christians deserve mockery for some behaviors inspired by Christian belief. Same goes for any well-established, well-regarded, traditional religion. However all Scientologists deserve mockery for almost all behaviors inspired by Scientological belief. (I'm being charitable here, and letting Scientology take the credit for "inspiring" some acts of common sense or common decency.) The origins and nature of Scientology are well-known. It was made up by L Ron Hubbard to make money and/or to win a bet, it was a scam then, and it continues to be a scam now. Apples and oranges.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:11 PM on January 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, dear. Really? That's why? Crikey. I bet we don't have all sorts of minorities. But majorities must have their sensibilities protected from the funny?
...is what I meant, obviously.

Is that really your charitable intepretation of what I said? I, personally, look at the flag queue to see what's bothering people. My suspicion is that we have people here who may be Christian who react to and dislike the LOLXIAN posts. We also have other memebers who may not be Christian who react to them and dislike/flag them. With Scientology posts, I think there are few people who say "hey I'm personally offended by that!" (please insert "first they came for the _______ and I said nothing because....") and so those sorts of posts don't show up in the flag queue as readily. posted by jessamyn at 10:04 PM

No need for the defensiveness, jess. However, the tyranny of the majority - is that what it's called? - is well described there. Or maybe it's just me.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:11 PM on January 15, 2008


I flag the lolchristian posts. I also flag the lolmidwesterners posts. You can feel free to flag the lolscientology posts. Afterwards, we can all move on.
posted by garlic at 3:13 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm tired of this thread already. dash_slot-, perhaps you could just flame out now, and save us all the trouble of having to read 500+ comments on this well worn topic?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:14 PM on January 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


I want to say right now that anyone who tries to make the argument that Christianity is no more viable a belief system than Scientology should be dragged out into the street and shot. (not really.) While we're all free to disbelieve anything we want, Christianity at least has the benefit of not having a single heavily provably documented charlatan that created the religion in order to get rich. Belief in its doctrine is based entirely on Brainwashing and Pyramid Schemes. And not that societal indoctrination that people like to call brainwashing when they refer to sunday mass and such. Actual clockwork orange style brainwashing. Not to MENTION the extortion, blackmail, violence and harassment.

Now, i don't know what this means for moderation. I'm just saying, there's a difference between an actual religion and a tax evasion scheme, whether you believe in or the other or both.
posted by shmegegge at 3:16 PM on January 15, 2008 [10 favorites]


Or maybe it's just me.

It's just you.
posted by shmegegge at 3:17 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the LOLXTIANS post should have stayed as well. Most LOLXTIAN posts are axegrinding, preaching-to-the-choir tirades, but this one was actually funny.

Also, has anyone ever axed a LOLMUSLIMS thread, and was ISLMAO used as the descriptive label? If not, it should be adopted as standard.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:22 PM on January 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, I agree with dash_slot in that I don't see a meaningful distinction between laughing at Scientologists' beliefs or laughing at those of Christians/Jews/Muslims, besides the factual "more people flag those than these" explanation.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:22 PM on January 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I, personally, love it when my position is mischaracterized, and then when I clarify my position, am called "defensive" by the person who was mischaracterizing in the first place. But I'll bet Jessamyn doesn't know anything about that, because she hates black people.
posted by Skot at 3:22 PM on January 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, I flagged the deleted thread, and I hardly ever flag things, even if I don't agree with them. My reason was that, (aside from linking to random "evangelical" quotes, many of which in no way represent anything even close to evangelical thought, and many others that seemed like deliberate wacky trolls) I thought linking to the lady whose son killed himself was just sad, but presented in the context of LOLXTIAN. There is noting LOL-worthy or mock-worthy of such a tragedy. I didn't watch the Tom Cruise link yet, so I have no opinion about it.
posted by The Deej at 3:24 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm tired of this thread already. dash_slot-, perhaps you could just flame out now, and save us all the trouble of having to read 500+ comments on this well worn topic?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero


Not all metatalk threads end in flameouts, no matter how much we like 'em. Not my style, anyway.

From my standpoint, both are amusing belief systems, one is popular, one is less so. If you aren't interested, PSH, can't you skip it?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:24 PM on January 15, 2008


what about Mormons? they're pretty kooky. are we allowed to LOL at them?
posted by Hat Maui at 3:28 PM on January 15, 2008


Why the fuck are we still talking about an FPP that was a Google Cache of funny stuff from chat rooms?
posted by roll truck roll at 3:28 PM on January 15, 2008


Is it because they're are more thin skinned Christians here thus making a flame war more likely? Or because the Scientologists seem more out there at the moment?

Neither? I think it's because the LOLXIANS post you linked to was a google cache of things that could have been written by trolls, not actual Christians. The Scientology video is something that was said by a person that everyone knows is a Scientologist. Your implication that the reason that the LOLSCIENTOLOGIST thread was allowed to stay was because of some sort of unfairness ignores the notion that the LOLXIANS thread was deleted because it was a crappy post.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:29 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sorry matt - that's really unconvincing. At least half of that Cruise thread is about his religion, and it stands.

And like I said, the ridicule is mostly directed at Tom Cruise, not religion. I imagine there's a way to make an interesting post about Mitt Romney (guy running for president here) where he talks about his religion (Mormonism) without it being entirely LOLMORMANS -- where the crux of the post is actually "isn't this person weird/crazy/deluded" and not simply "they believe in a wacky religion I don't so I can laugh at them."

Tom Cruise saying he can change the course of events after a car accident and bring peace to people with his mind is funny, and not because it's part of Scientology, it's funny because it sounds like an insane person so wrapped up in their own ego and selfishness that they actually believe they rule the world like this.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:31 PM on January 15, 2008


From my standpoint, both are amusing belief systems, one is popular, one is less so.

You are being disingenuous in an attempt to show us how awesome an atheist you are.

Nobody-- nobody-- is so stupid as to actually think that Christianity and Scientology are equivalent.

Right? Right?
posted by dersins at 3:35 PM on January 15, 2008


And like I said, the ridicule is mostly directed at Tom Cruise, not religion.

Really this isn't a tenable position. Anyone looking at that thread can see the joke is 50% Scientology and 50% Cruise. Really, maybe more in Scientology's favor. You've got a double standard here, and you might as well just own up to it.

That being said, the cache post was crap.
posted by xmutex at 3:38 PM on January 15, 2008


I don't at all see how the first link shows that religious satire doesn't go down well on Mefi. cortex deleted it for reasons not having anything to do with religion.
posted by Neiltupper at 3:38 PM on January 15, 2008


dersins, what does it mean for two religions to be "equivalent" That they're equivalently respected? Equivalently correct about the nature of the universe? Equivalently effective at doing charity/consoling the bereaved/inspiring art/something else? You seem to think the meaning is obvious, but it's not.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:39 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nobody-- nobody-- is so stupid as to actually think that Christianity and Scientology are equivalent.
Eh? Equivalent in what way? As amusing belief systems only, is what I mean. Is there any wiggle room in my words?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:41 PM on January 15, 2008


Matt, it looks like you are letting 'funny' posts stand at least partly on your subjective sense of humour, partly on the number of adherents the object belief system has. Doesn't sit well with me, but I guess that's how it's gonna be.

dersins, I do not see where you get that.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:44 PM on January 15, 2008


dash_slot-, are you seriously insisting the admins should allow LOLXIANS threads, no matter how badly they go and how much work they cause for said admins, in order to satisfy your personal (and apparently not widely shared) sense of parallelism? This post is yet another waste of the Gray, and I for one WON'T STAND FOR IT.

*sits down*

I think the real reason is that people didn't object to and/or flag the Scientology thread the way they did the other one.

Yeah, sure, pierced-butt!

posted by languagehat at 3:49 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Matt, it looks like you are letting 'funny' posts stand at least partly on your subjective sense of humour, partly on the number of adherents the object belief system has. Doesn't sit well with me, but I guess that's how it's gonna be.

That's your interpretation of it. Like I've said twice now, I let it stand because it's "wow, Tom Cruise is crazy" like a post about him jumping on a couch on Oprah would be, only this time he is talking about his religion and not his wife.

I watch that video and think Tom Cruise is batshit insane, not that Scientology and all Scientologists are batshit insane. There's no distinction made between Scientology and other more popular religions in that assessment.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:51 PM on January 15, 2008


dash_slot: Personally, I say they're all risible. Why allow the one, not the other?

As a person with some affinity to religion, all religion, let me just say: generally, religious people believe that there is a law that has been revealed to them by divinity. But true religions admit that this divinity seems to have granted something like reason to us, and that the use of this faculties is one of the higher abilities we have. As such, while religious people don't necessarily believe that they have an ability to understand things like justice or even truth completely, they know that they not only have some faculties that relate to them; they even have a duty to use those faculties as much as possible.

Scientology is clearly unjust, clearly false, and clearly harmful to society. All of these things are clear. Yet Scientologists, unlike the members of true religions, feel a depth of certainty that is not even touched by such concepts as 'faith' or 'humility,' concepts which most religions use to remove the bravado of those haughty people who take advantage of others.

There are two very good signs that a religion is a false religion: first of all, they claim that their tenets are rationally proven, rather than taken on faith; second of all, those tenets are obviously false. Whether or not you're interested in true religion, if you have a concern for justice, then false religions like these are worth your ire. Scientology is nothing like true religion.
posted by koeselitz at 3:52 PM on January 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


Christ, this is retarded.
posted by klangklangston at 3:56 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


will scientology's tenets seem so absurd or outlandish in 100 years? how about 1000? how about when it has 100 million adherents? time and history does quite a bit to rehabilitate the outlandish.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:00 PM on January 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


But true religions admit that this divinity seems to have granted something like reason to us, and that the use of this faculties is one of the higher abilities we have. As such, while religious people don't necessarily believe that they have an ability to understand things like justice or even truth completely, they know that they not only have some faculties that relate to them; they even have a duty to use those faculties as much as possible.

I think that Matt's given his explanation and he says it's nothing to do with the features of the belief systems, so this is irrelevant. But I think the above argument is false. In what sense do the "true" religions tell people to use reason? There's been plenty written by religious thinkers and leaders of various sects about reason being the enemy and instructing followers that it shouldn't be applied to matters of faith. There are plenty of things in the holy books of major religions that are "obviously false" to some modern people.

I don't think you can get very far making that kind of argument.
posted by ludwig_van at 4:01 PM on January 15, 2008


Um, I don't know if the admins are keeping an eye on that thread, but The Comment is being referenced rather explicitly, with the full text being linked here. I don't know if this is still a legal issue with metafilter or not.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 4:03 PM on January 15, 2008


I demand more mockery of Christians, Texas and the Midwest.
posted by Artw at 4:05 PM on January 15, 2008


Why the fuck are we still talking about an FPP that was a Google Cache of funny stuff from chat rooms?
posted by roll truck roll at 10:28 PM

We're not.

koeslitz: thanks, that's useful.

klang: that isn't.

matt: I respectfully disagree.

*lounges on sofa*
hey, LH! Now I'm parallel!

It's clear what the editorial policy is, and I disagree with it. I'm in a minority, obviously. So it goes.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:11 PM on January 15, 2008


I'm in a minority, obviously. So it goes.

Awesome, so now we can make fun of your crazy belief system.


(kidding! I swear!)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:14 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


LOLPHILLIPGLASSBUDDHISTWHACKJOB!!!AMIRITE!!

Serously though, mathowie, I think a better defence of this post as "best of the web" relates to Nick Denton's putting it up in the face of Scientology's zealous lawyers, rather than the fact that a celebrity asserts goofy religious beliefs, goofily.
posted by liam at 4:17 PM on January 15, 2008


The thread is still up because there are no Scientologists on MetaFilter. We know there are no Scientologists on MetaFilter because a Scientologist, when he sees a train wreck, he knows he has to do something about it, because he knows he's the only one who can really help. And I see no help on the horizon.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:18 PM on January 15, 2008 [14 favorites]


Awesome, so now we can make fun of your crazy belief system.

You'll have to find 'em first. I've spent 40 odd years looking... g

weapons-grade pandemonium: heheh.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:22 PM on January 15, 2008


True Religion. Facilitating the safe and easy transfer of guilt and inferiority to you, the non-believer, for thousands of years!
posted by kurtroehl at 4:26 PM on January 15, 2008


(please insert "first they came for the _______ and I said nothing because....")

They came for the palmists, but I wasn't a palmist so I did nothing.
They came for the bungee jumpers, but I wasn't a bungee jumper so I did nothing.
They came for the player's agents but I wasn't a player's agent so I did nothing.
They came for the Charles Manson fans, but I wasnt a Charles Manson fan so I did nothing.
They came for the reflexologists, but I wasn't a reflexologist so I did nothing.
They came for the camp TV chefs, but I wasn't a camp TV chef so I did nothing.
They came for the Romos, I laughed
They came for the martial arts enthusiasts, but I wasn't a martial arts enthusiast so I did nothing.
They came for Eamonn Holmes and I think I'm right in saying I applauded.
They came for the fire eaters, but I wasn't a fire eater so I did nothing.
They came for Dani Behr, I said "she's over there behind the wardrobe."

Turn a blind eye, sometimes it's best to
Turn a blind eye, sometimes it's best to
Turn a blind eye, sometimes it's best to
Turn a blind eye, sometimes it's best to
Turn a blind eye, sometimes it's best to
Turn a blind eye, sometimes it's best to

posted by demagnetized at 4:27 PM on January 15, 2008


My take was that the Tom Cruise post was more genuine first-person weirdness, which was kind of a compelling as found-video/social-anthropology goes, compared to the quote page thing which was just kind of ass.

It wasn't something I thought too much about today. I think the Tom post was kinda iffy, but not a clearcut delete. Neither did Matt or Jess. We don't really have a mechanic where we get together and delete things based on a cumulative amount of meh when none of us individually think it needs to go.

Thought that might be entertaining; a sort of allegorical play on the electoral college vs. the popular vote.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:57 PM on January 15, 2008


Without getting into the whole religion argument, a google cache is never a great FPP.
posted by misha at 5:24 PM on January 15, 2008


We don't really have a mechanic

Really? I know a good one just a few minutes' drive from here. 'Course, you'll have to move to Hadley, but it's a damn fine little burg.
posted by languagehat at 5:27 PM on January 15, 2008


I used to get my David (that's my old car, RIP) serviced at the Chevron (?) station that backs into the Big Y parking lot on Route 9 (alright, Amherst, but barely). Nothing but positive experiences.
posted by wemayfreeze at 5:50 PM on January 15, 2008


We don't really have a mechanic where we get together and delete things based on a cumulative amount of meh when none of us individually think it needs to go.

It would be cool if you guys could transform into robot called Mehtron.

"Form Feet and Legs! Form Arms and Torso! And I'll form the Banhammer!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:51 PM on January 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm all for mocking those who deserve it, fundies of all stripes most assuredly included. But mockery alone isn't enough to make a good post.
posted by Skorgu at 5:56 PM on January 15, 2008


The tyranny of the majority has nothing on the tyranny of mindless "consistency".
posted by tkolar at 6:03 PM on January 15, 2008


...mockery alone isn't enough to make a good post.
True, but mockery alone can make a good flameout.
posted by RussHy at 6:08 PM on January 15, 2008


christianity has been around for a long time, we know quite a bit about it and have already heard most of the good christian jokes. scientology is a relatively new pyramid racket involving things like evil galactic dictators and body thetans, which is gonna take time to get used to. to borrow a phrase from scientology itself, it is "fair game".
posted by bruce at 6:10 PM on January 15, 2008


While we're all free to disbelieve anything we want, Christianity at least has the benefit of not having a single heavily provably documented charlatan that created the religion in order to get rich.

I think the emphasis is 'documented' and 'provably', there. No-one knows who decided that following JC was a good idea, which doesn't dictate that he must have been the nicest guy in the world. There's no way of knowing.

...Belief in its doctrine is based entirely on Brainwashing and Pyramid Schemes. And not that societal indoctrination that people like to call brainwashing when they refer to sunday mass and such. Actual clockwork orange style brainwashing.

This bit, however, has 'merit' written all over it. In spades.

Not to MENTION the extortion, blackmail, violence and harassment.

Yeah. Cos Christianity has always been bathed in purity, light and fluffy toys and gentle hugs. After all, it's birth was in much more elightened times, what with the nailing people to bits of wood and the stonings and all that. Not to mention all the Holy Wars. And the 'giving of all your riches to the Church to pave your way to Heaven, if you don't? You'll burn for ever' that has allowed quite such a hideous amount of gold to be present in places such as St Paul's at the Vatican.

Hmmm. In hindsight? While I agree that (beyond the 'risible belief systems to an outsider' alignment) they are completely different in content and harmful potential, you best stick to the middle bit for your defense. The first (and especially the last) has 'glass houses' firmly poking out all over it...
posted by Brockles at 6:11 PM on January 15, 2008


Scientology is as much a religion as The Secret is. It makes easily falsifiable emprical claims regarding things like psychology and radiation. It is bad science. There is no consistent metaphysical framework I can decipher, and it does not display characteristics of many gnostic religions, which it seems to claim to be. The idea behind gnostic texts is not to pay for them, and not for outsiders to not exam them, but that they can often be misinterpreted and need the guiding of the Church so the texts are not taken rationally. We see this with the Kabbalah where it is my understanding that the seeking of patterns and various esoteric traditions are meant to simulate the search of god and impart a greater wisdom upon the worshiper. From what I can tell Scientology's texts are not really about this, and just kind of bad science fiction.

Yes there is some overlap with biblical fundamentalism, but that stems from a reaction to the hyper-rationalization of the bible and the advances of science in explaining things that, for example, a priest ringing a bell does not stop the hail.
posted by geoff. at 6:13 PM on January 15, 2008


This reminds me of a story from when I worked in Seattle. A person that worked in H.R. told me they had encountered vampires.

They said people demanded late shifts and garlic-free work zones and basically used discrimination laws to get these things. And H.R. actually put up with it and gave them these things, though they knew it was complete crap.

If there's a grouping of religions and phony religions, which there has to be, else anybody can just create a religion where they have to leave work whenever they feel like it, and be protected, then I think there is a set of decisions where you would ultimately group scientology with vampirism.

And as I got ready to post this, TMZ was doing a promo for this very video.
posted by cashman at 6:27 PM on January 15, 2008


Kant, Kierkegaard, Tolstoy, Newton, Dante, Bach, The Sermon on the Mount... vs. Cruise, Travolta, Alley, Dianetics, Battlefield Earth, Hubbard.


yeah, I can see why you think they are just the same.
posted by post punk at 6:30 PM on January 15, 2008


Now, isn't that video something the CoS itself produced? I think that fact makes it hard to argue that we're laughing at a crazy dude, and not a crazy representative of a crazy religion. He's the bona fide face of the doctrines of the CoS in that video. So, if it were the pope, would it stand? Hell no.

There is way beyond enough evidence that Scientology is a more harmful, a more ludicrous, and a more defeatable "church" than Christianity. Chrisitianity does good work as well as evil. Scientologist good works are imaginary theta-cleanses or whatever.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:47 PM on January 15, 2008


Well, to be fair you'd need to wait until the year 3821 for Scientology to produce its own version of Tolstoy, for whatever that's worth.

Personally I think both of the posts in question should have been deleted under thundering twin avalanches of meh. I mean, one link to a YouTube video in which a celebrity known to act crazy is acting crazy? But the Cruise post didn't bug me enough to flag it, and I recognize that I'm a little more celebrephobic than average.
posted by whir at 6:59 PM on January 15, 2008


because Scientology is a million times worse than the worst kind of Christianity
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:00 PM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Christianity's followers include proportionally less nutjobs than scientology's. So that's how we decide what's risible? I understand mathowie's claim that the post isn't lolscientology, but it doesn't really hold up: I agree with Ambrosia Voyeur's first paragraph. The second is crazy. "Christianity does good work as well as evil"? How much good music and charity we believe it's produced? I don't think the lolfundies post was as good as the Cruisy thing, but it was good enough for current mefi (Iron Butterfly youtube posts).

So, if it were the pope, would it stand? Hell no.

lolfalungong.
posted by liam at 7:11 PM on January 15, 2008


meh^3 --> DELETE is an editorial policy.

flagged to hell ---> DELETE is a moderation policy.

most favorited by users in Ohio*---> SIDEBAR is an electoral college.

* +/- miscounting, discarded provisional clicks, and excuse me, are you eligible to click the Ajaxy thing from your geolocation? I'll need to see your profile.
posted by Tehanu at 7:47 PM on January 15, 2008


Well one reason is that we don't, to the best of my knowledge, have any scientologist members

On that note, fuck those Amish cocksuckers.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:04 PM on January 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


It's good to laugh at human folly. It's good to laugh when the only other options seem to be anger, or hatred, or despair. It's good to laugh at ourselves. It's good to laugh at people and things who would divide us or lead us to believe that there's anything that should take precedence over an awareness of our common humanity. It's good to laugh at institutions and governments and received wisdom. It's good to laugh at those who are more powerful or wealthy than us, particularly when they're stupid. It's good to laugh.

But sometimes the jokes just aren't all that funny after the 50th time they're told. The problem is not that we shouldn't be somehow favoring Scientology adherents over Christians as targets of our jolly scorn, but that we need newer, funnier Christian jokes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:21 PM on January 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


dash_slot, I admire your desire for fairness. However I do see the difference between the two posts as they relate to MeFi. Scientology is going to get made fun of as long as it remains a system that is as opac and inscrutable as it is, just "fair game" as far as I can tell.
posted by nola at 9:37 PM on January 15, 2008


The first post should've stayed up, that cat totally made my day.

I was all, "Dude, you totally aren't gonna straddle the cat's leash, are you?", and then he totally straddled the cat's leash!!!
Awesome.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:46 PM on January 15, 2008


Optimus Chyme because Scientology is a million times worse than the worst kind of Christianity

Oh, hell no. The Crusades of Scientology, assuming all conspiracy theories about them are taken at face value and the Scientologists themselves given the maximum cynical disbelief, have killed maybe a dozen people, and driven maybe a hundred or so to flee. They have fleeced maybe 10 or 20 billion dollars from a few million fools, driving several thousand of those into poverty in the process. Compare this to the economic impact of tithing at its height.

Scientology as a whole is maybe twice as bad as Benny Hinn and Pat Robertson and that kind of ilk, who are the worst Christians per se extant today, and I'd argue they're not as bad as Erik Prince, if his brand of Dominionism counts. Compared to ordinary decent suburban Christian priests/preachers/pastors, the Scientology centre staff are maybe a few dozen times worse.

Millions of times worse than Tomas de Torquemada, John Calvin, or Cotton Mather? That would require the mere rumored presence of a Scientologist in a city to inspire dozens of suicides, thousands of bankruptcies, hundreds of thousands of people to stay home in anxious terror ... etc etc.

You're pushing way too hard on your exaggerator pedal. :)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 11:21 PM on January 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Aeschenkarnos, you're forgetting that there are two billion Christians on this planet and maybe 100,000 Scientologists. And 99,000 of them are underlings who have no power at all. The tenets of Scientology, combined with its internal culture started by founder/sociopath LRH, make it a terrifying and dangerous enemy. If there were two billion Scientologists on the planet, we'd all probably be dead within a decade. Sleep tight.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:18 AM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, to be fair you'd need to wait until the year 3821 for Scientology to produce its own version of Tolstoy, for whatever that's worth.


No, you've got it all wrong. The point is that Christianity produced its Tom Cruise by the year 40. His name was Paul.
posted by felix betachat at 12:50 AM on January 16, 2008 [11 favorites]


I'm not forgetting the numbers at all, the numbers are highly relevant. Scientology couldn't possibly sustain two billion members in its current form. It's an economic scam. It can't leap that credibility gap. It has to be fringe, it has to be transgressive, it has to be secluded and secretive. If it grew to even 5% or so of the population of any one Western country, it would become subject to intense scrutiny that it simply cannot survive. Public health authorities would crack open the E-meters. Psychological and medical authorities would examine the personality tests. Tax officials would audit the finances. And so on.

There's a threshhold where Scientology starts to become a serious competitor with well-established religions that unlike Scientology, have the open support and approval of heads of State. At that tipping point, there would be a "battle" of sorts, mostly conducted through propaganda and court activity, and Scientology would be the loser.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:07 AM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


The problem is not that we shouldn't be somehow favoring Scientology adherents over Christians as targets of our jolly scorn, but that we need newer, funnier Christian jokes.

Amen. Even as a card-carrying "you are all credulous buffoons" skeptic, large and frequent numbers of LOLXTIAN posts (now with Dawkin's latest soundbite!) are just dull and not good for the blue - there's any number of sites dedicated to exactly that if you want to scratch that itch.

I don't expect MeFi to agree with me that nothing is above ridicule, but when egregious examples of the ridiculous pop up, such as Tom's moving little monologue or this, we should be free to point and laugh.

LOLXIANS as a criticism didn't come about because xtians needed to be protected from the offense of our collective snark, but because that type of post surfaced often enough with so little actual content as to become a tiresome meme, with the same arguments breaking out ad nauseum. Arguing that Scientology isn't getting the same protection is missing the point. When you get a LOLTOLOGISTS post every week for a month, then we'll talk.

And while I'm typing - posting a google cache when the original page is still up? I don't get it. Plus - when this post hits google, it's could be a googlewhack for loltologist. w00t!
posted by Sparx at 6:11 AM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Scientology made itself fair game for ridicule via its own fair game policy.
posted by waraw at 6:58 AM on January 16, 2008


How about we just never post about anything ever, and then everyone's happy?
posted by utsutsu at 8:58 AM on January 16, 2008


Metafilter’s policies are (necessarily?) governed by the concept of majority rule. This will inevitably result in instances of mobocracy, hypocrisy and double standards.
posted by xod at 9:07 AM on January 16, 2008


I think the emphasis is 'documented' and 'provably', there.

Yes it is, which is why they're not comparable. The reason why Scientology has no business being considered a legitimate belief system is because it was founded recently enough that we know it's total bullshit made up by a psychopath. them's the breaks, scientologist kiddos.

Yeah. Cos Christianity has always been bathed in purity, light and fluffy toys and gentle hugs.

So? I'm not talking about their history, I'm talking about their doctrine and their credibility. Violence, blackmail, etc... is written into Scientologist doctrine as a practice. I'm not trying to say that Christianity is the bees knees or anything (I'm an agnostic, by the way. that whole glass houses thing doesn't apply.) I'm just saying we can prove that Scientology is essentially a criminal enterprise being unjustly awarded a tax break and other benefits. Say what you want about Christianity, people at least have reasons to believe that it wasn't simply founded as a matter of organized crime. I can respect someone for having faith in just about any religion, but not for Scientology. I don't respect scientologists, I either pity them (if they're the suckers) or flat out detest them (if they're the upper echelon motherfuckers).
posted by shmegegge at 9:23 AM on January 16, 2008


shmegegge: "While we're all free to disbelieve anything we want, Christianity at least has the benefit of not having a single heavily provably documented charlatan that created the religion in order to get rich."

Well, except Mormonism.
posted by absalom at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2008


There's a threshhold where Scientology starts to become a serious competitor with well-established religions that unlike Scientology, have the open support and approval of heads of State. At that tipping point, there would be a "battle" of sorts, mostly conducted through propaganda and court activity, and Scientology would be the loser.

I don't think so. The Mormons, another religon started by a megalomaniatic con man, simply quietly shed its more problematic creeds (polygamy and institutionalized racism) as it moved mainstream. No reason why the Scientologists couldn't likewise adapt. In another hundred years, one of them could be running for president.
posted by timeistight at 10:07 AM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Latest word is Cruise is secretly ad hominem.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:09 AM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Meep, zorp.
posted by everichon at 10:39 AM on January 16, 2008


Well, 'cept for the 'Tologists, that is.

The rumors about Tom Cruise being a proctologist are just that: rumors.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:57 AM on January 16, 2008


One thing no one's mentioned, I don't think, as a reason Scientology is a detestable impostor among religions is that its tenets are kept secret from new members, and released only through passage of performance tests, which include metrics for financial contribution. The books upon which other major religions, and as far as I know, most minor denominations thereof, are available even to non-members.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:29 AM on January 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


demagnetized: They came for Dani Behr, I said "she's over there behind the wardrobe.

On the rare occasions I'm back on the Wirral for a Tranmere home game, I always sit on the left hand side of the Kop where Nigel also sits, and every sodding time I catch sight of him that line goes through my head, and I have to try not to laugh. (For a couple of years he triggered the chorus of Vatican Broadside, which is nowhere near as funny.) Weird Pavlovian business.

Sorry, what are we talking about?
posted by jack_mo at 11:48 AM on January 16, 2008


On the rare occasions I'm back on the Wirral for a Tranmere home game

I had a date last night and we were making out in my car. Things were getting all hot and heavy, and so I whispered into her ear, 'what would you like me to do next, baby'.

'Kiss me where it smells', was her reply.

So I drove her to Birkenhead.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:21 PM on January 16, 2008


What's the difference between a scouser and a mushroom?

Nothing. They both have big heads and live in shit.

Can you tell I haven't learned any new jokes since primary school?
posted by jack_mo at 12:38 PM on January 16, 2008


I like how regional slags fall to pieces outside of context. (Scouser?) You know someone's getting slagged, you can kind of guess at the context, but all in all it just reads as nonsense, a template filled in badly as if in the style of a MadLib.

Q: What's the difference between [regional group partition] and [object with identifying characteristics]?

A1: [unflattering parallelism between the two that depends on homonyms]
A2: [ironic assignment of negative characteristic to former rather than latter antecedent]

posted by cortex (staff) at 12:54 PM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was just looking at lastfm for the first time in ages and apparently I listen to HMHB more than I listen to the rest of the music on my ipod combined.
posted by demagnetized at 12:56 PM on January 16, 2008


cortex, that looks like an advanced form of Bernard Right-On joke.

FYI, Scousers are people from Liverpool, I'm from Birkenhead, which is about 3/4 of a mile away, on the other side of the River Mersey. They're a bunch of thieving sentimentalists with a chip on their collective shoulder. We're exactly the same, only with Half Man Half Biscuit instead of the Beatles.

I believe the rivalry dates back to the 9th century, when we were a mighty Viking kingdom with our own parliament and they were just sort of sitting around waiting for the slave trade to kick off.
posted by jack_mo at 1:43 PM on January 16, 2008


"So I drove her to Birkenhead."

Well I had a date last night, and things were getting hot and heavy in the bedroom when she turned to me and screamed, "Hey! Not in the ass!" I said, "Look lady, it's my thumb and my ass and if you don't like it you can leave!"
posted by post punk at 2:53 PM on January 16, 2008


Well I am against the outsourcing of call centres to third world countries.

Coming back to work this week was a real downer and I felt very depressed, so I called Life Line, wanting to talk to someone about the way I was feeling. The call was routed to the new call centre in Pakistan.

The person who answered the call didn't speak english very well and had a real problem understanding what my problem was. I think he finally understood when I told them I was suicidal because he got really excited and asked me whether I could drive a truck.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 3:42 PM on January 16, 2008


Ha ha i get it! It's funny 'cause brown people are suicide bombers! lol!
posted by dersins at 4:13 PM on January 16, 2008


I dunno, I have to say that I could completely understand a call center worker (though more likely one having to work for Skymall or Kirby vacuums) in Pakistan (or any country routinely abused by the US with a small extremist culture that does oppose Western imperialism and cultural hegemony) becoming a suicide bomber.

I can only imagine the horrible view any people would have of us if all they heard were the endless complaints and purchases of Westerners.
posted by klangklangston at 9:02 PM on January 16, 2008


This post was deleted for the following reason: don't pick this fight here. don't LOL this XIANS here either. Thanks. -- jessamyn

This is officialy pathetic. don't LOL this XIANS here either. Ri-iiight.

So there's a protected religious minority here. Do you mean to say "don't LOL religions here either" - then say so, whydoncha? Jeez, is this new? Dis I miss a memo? Every other ideology seems fair game, why the exemption for faith?
posted by dash_slot- at 4:47 PM on January 18, 2008


Did I miss a memo?

Clearly.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:49 PM on January 18, 2008


You know dash_slot-, it's amazing that you ever get anything accomplished what with the terrible oppression you live under.

Or is it just a context-less state of permanent confusion? Either way, the fact that you are capable of carrying on despite these tremendous handicaps is an inspiration to us all.
posted by tkolar at 4:54 PM on January 18, 2008


"So there's a protected religious minority here."

Yeah, but it ain't the Jews. I been givin' 'em whatfor.

Seriously, just because something makes fun of Christians doesn't make that something worthy of an FPP. That's basically it. Someone upthread said that the problem isn't taunting the religious, it's taunting them with old jokes—that's the problem with that Youtubery bullshit. I mean, seriously, that was on Monkeyfilter before open-signups here. C'mon. Get with the now.
posted by klangklangston at 4:54 PM on January 18, 2008


tkolar, carry on missing the point, it's amusing.

klang:
I guess the reason ole jokes still go round is that some folk ain't heard 'em, or ain't tired of em.

Plus, don't LOL this XIANS here either, as a deletion reason, doesn't say "this is old" - it says "this subject is off limits". I am contesting that concept. tkolar does not seem to get that. That's why he has a go at me, not my objections.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:58 PM on January 18, 2008


Plus, don't LOL this XIANS here either, as a deletion reason, doesn't say "this is old" - it says "this subject is off limits".

What it says, to me, is "This is a subject that traditionally goes terribly here. Unless this is an exceptional example of this type of topic, it's not really good for here. Thank you" The shorthand is LOLXIANS. We've discussed this before, recently. You seem to be taking it literally and inferring some larger theme when there isn't one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:49 PM on January 18, 2008


SMACKDOWN!
posted by Brockles at 6:51 PM on January 18, 2008


That's why he has a go at me, not my objections.

No, this is why I am having a go at you.

This topic, which has been done to death in previous threads, has now been done to death in this thread. And you still carry on with the "I missed the memo" crap.

At this point the only useful thing left to do in this thread is to make fun of you, and frankly that's more for my personal enjoyment than any hope I have of actually communicating with you in a meaningful way. That's already been tried by far more effective writers than myself, and I have no illusions that I could succeed where they have failed.
posted by tkolar at 6:52 PM on January 18, 2008


Plenty of topics repeat here - say, US national health care - and will continue to. They don't get deleted so readily - done to death or not. It's a choice, but it masquerades as principle. Deletion reasons which go for brevity, snark & giggles also let down the site by not guiding members effectively.

Whatever. Mefi, and the rest of us, will survive. It's just yet another field I'll not comment in so often.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:22 PM on January 18, 2008


dash_slot-: If you, myself, and tkolar each posted near-identical FPPs about how silly, lame, or creepy furries are in the span of a month, would the inevitable deletion of at the very least two of those posts mean that the admins were closet yiffers and/or plushie pervert sympathizers?

You're MetaBeating a MetaDead Horse.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:31 PM on January 18, 2008


It's just yet another field I'll not comment in so often.

Excellent! It's win-win!
posted by languagehat at 6:24 AM on January 19, 2008


the admins were closet yiffers and/or plushie pervert sympathizers

ixnay! ixnay!

posted by cortex (staff) at 8:03 AM on January 19, 2008


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