Monday, February 13, 2006

Offensive radio

Now that Howard Stern has gone to Sirius Satellite Radio and been replaced in the Phoenix market by Adam Carolla, the station has changed its name from "The Zone" to "Free FM" (apparently intended to distinguish itself from pay satellite radio--the result is that it makes me think of Howard Stern every time I hear the name).

I don't have satellite radio in my car, so I occasionally listen to "Free FM," though I believe I'll discontinue that habit. Today on the way to lunch I heard an incredibly obnoxious and offensive commercial--the most blatant Christian evangelizing I have ever heard on a non-Christian radio station.

The spot began by saying something like "Have you ever seen a dead animal in the road and wondered what it was thinking?" (No, as a matter of fact, I haven't.) It went on to say that being in the "middle of the road" is not where God wants you to be, and you need to choose to be on one side or the other, that God has a plan for you, etc. Listeners were directed to Groundwire.net for more information. The spot I heard was apparently a 30-second variant of this spot called "The Squirrel." It was offensive on multiple levels--the evangelizing, the horrible attempt at being cool, and the implication that animals get hit by cars out of their own stupidity (as opposed to ignorance) or inability to make decisions.

Groundwire.net is an apparently new ministry of Sean Dunn of Champion Ministries, based in Castle Rock, CO. I don't know anything about his theology, but his marketing is apparently supposed to be hip and edgy. His website has a bogus story about Albert Einstein which falsely portrays him as a theist (and suggests with its close, "IT IS TIME FOR THE CHRISTIANS TO BE HEARD," that he was an advocate of Christianity). This story is a piece of nonsense that has been circulating the Internet--so Dunn's not only incapable of discerning truth from falsehood, he's presenting an email legend as though it's his own material.

Einstein, by the way, was an atheist or agnostic.

UPDATE (May 12, 2008): A 1954 letter from Einstein to philosopher Eric Gutkind says:
The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.
...
For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them.

3 comments:

Allen Thompson said...

"IT IS TIME FOR THE CHRISTIANS TO BE HEARD,"

Yes, indeed. What an obscure sect, these Christians.

Where on earth have they been hiding? Why won't they make themselves known? Perhaps they should form educational organizations and congregate regularly in meeting houses of some kind. Perhaps they could occasionally run for political office.

I'd never heard about them before. I wonder if they will be friendly?

Einzige said...

The DC "Free FM" station (which I stopped listening to immediately after Stern left--and by the way, what a fucking Orwellian name!) used to play 60-second radio spots of some local church dude during Howard's show where he would moralize and go on about Jesus in glowing phrases and always end with, "not a sermon, just a thought." I would always think, "That was a god-damned sermon, you asshole!"

Oh, and speaking of Stern, I used to wonder whether or not his arguments with Tom, the general manager, were just supposed to be schtick (sp?), but it's clear from his show, now, that it never was. It's amazing how much better it is now that he can actually do what he wants to do without worrying whether or not Tom is going to come in and tell him he can't. Awesome show.

spyder said...

"Have you ever seen a dead animal in the road and wondered what it was thinking?"

Are we to assume that no longer living things continue to think after they die?? Are we also to assume that this god guy is so heartless and lacking in compassion that he chooses to allow his "creations" to be killed indiscriminately by non-living entities???