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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We really have to respect all those religious people

I suppose this could be a Poe. I hope so. On the assumption that it isn't (and I'm here to tell you that I've encountered people like this in real life, so I find it all-too-plausible that this is for real) have a look at this nutjob praising the Lorrrrrd for the Japan earthquake. Apparently it was sent to tell us atheists to change our ways and believe in Teh God Of Teh Bible. She goes on to express her hope and confidence that TGOTB will do even bigger and better things after 40 days of Lenten austerity and prayer.

Does this deserve our contempt? If it doesn't, what the hell does?

Edit: Okay, according to a couple of commenters this was indeed a Poe - someone trying to make a satirical point about fundamentalists. That is also pretty damn sick, in the circumstances. The Japanese earthquake is not the occasion for that kind of dumb point scoring, any more than it would have been the occasion for blaming atheists and praising God. My apologies for thinking this video plausibly genuine ... though they have to be slightly half-hearted apologies, given Poe's Law and given that we've seen forreal examples of this sort of thing with various other catastrophes, for example the Black Saturday fires a couple of years ago.


Marshall said...

Someone is being nasty on the internet? C'mon Russell, don't feed the troll.

David M said...

If she's not for real, she's gone to an awful lot of trouble. See her youtube page for more waffle.

Russell Blackford said...

I've got no reason to think she's not for real, but who knows these days?

Bruce Gorton said...

She admitted not to being for real - but that doesn't really make it any less contemptible.

Peter Hollo said...

Not for real, has now admitted it and deleted her YouTube account.

I too thought she was more likely to be real than not, but that's Poe for you!

Mike Haubrich said...

I found this article that associates her with the Landover Baptist Church, a parody site.

"Did this woman just troll the entire internet?"

There are also posts by a "TamTamPamela" on The Landover Baptist Church Forum, which is a Christian parody forum. As blogger Milowent points out, TamTamPamela changed her name to "Sister Pamela". The Landover Baptist Church, says Wiki, is a fictional Baptist church set in a fictional Iowa town. The site was created by Chris Harper, who has a whole slew of satirical videos, like this or this, on YouTube.

Another alarm bell is that tamtampamela was a YouTube subscriber to EdwardCurrent, who is all a well-known religious satirist. Was a subscriber, because tamtampamela's YouTube account was deleted hours ago with notes that read: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by LaughAloneTV."

Russell Blackford said...

Thanks, all. I'm glad that I least raised the possibility that it was a Poe before she apparently fessed up, but I still feel silly for not just dismissing it outright (though, again, these are exactly the sorts of things that Poe's Law applies to). I also feel angry both for having my time wasted, etc., and just at someone doing something this frakking sick.

It's one thing to satirise fundamentalists, but this was not the time or the way to do it.

MosesZD said...

That's the point of Poe, though, isn't it? Some satirist playing as a complete and utter ass-wipe troll is indistinguishable from a 'sincere' religious believer. And while it's not all religious believers that are being satirized, the population of religious-trolls is far more significant than many would like to otherwise believe.

They're not just 'a few outliers' in the population. There is a very significant base. And while most are more sophisticated in their methodology, they're -- under the surface -- pretty much the same.

Harald Hanche-Olsen said...

Well, she might not have been for real, but others are. Such as the governor of Tokyo. Though he has since apologized.

Dan said...

Anyone else check out what Kurt Cameron's handler Ray Comfort said on his blog about the earthquake? It is probably even more ignorant than this Poe, and really shows how people might be fooled by it.

Ray Comfort said that this earthquake was just an example of how a good and loving God punishes sin. Evidentially Comfort has a direct line to his god and knows why natural disasters happen (actually, I guess Comfort only believes in supernatural disasters, since this was supposedly a loving God's doing).

Comfort also said that atheists think evolution causes earthquakes because it wants to better humanity by killing off the weak, and that atheists think cancer, natural disasters, and human suffering is wonderful!

All in all I think Ray Comfort's response was even more disgusting than this satire.

The Lorax said...

No reason to apologize. In my opinion, you were using the post to highlight a problem with fundamentalist Christianity. The video is now clearly not an example of the problem with fundamentalist Christianity. There seems to be two options. You are either bigoted against fundamentalist Christianity for no reason OR there are numerous examples of this kind of reasoning from fundamentalist Christianity, which made this video seem so reasonable.

I think the latter is true (although technically the options are not mutually exclusive). Case in point AIDS was initially thought to be God's answer to the gay by US representatives and senators. Another example would be anything coming from the mouth of Pat Robertson.