Sunday, August 10, 2008

Is it liberal to seek the truth?

Over at the Raytractor's blog, there was a link and video clip for an upcoming Nova special called "The Bible's Buried Secrets". Apparently, the show is going to be having an objective look at the evidence for the stories in The Bible. And (gulp!) some of those stories might not be literally true! (Don't worry, the bit about losing your superhuman strength when you get a haircut is totally true though - maybe.) Here's the ad for the show:

Turns out, the American Family Association (never heard of them - I wonder how they feel about gay people...hmmm...could go either way on that one) has issued an "Action Alert!" Aside from simply calling up Batman on the batphone, they are encouraging their drones to forward an online petition, asking Congress to stop funding PBS because of the show. Apparently, it's anti-family to examine the Bible for its historical veracity. After all, who can forget such family-value minded gems like:

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. " (Luke 14:26)

What I really find interesting about the whole thing is that the petition states that PBS is probably "the most liberal network in America". Now, what does this issue have to do with liberalism versus conservatism? I mean, if the documentary gets its facts wrong, then they should attack them on that. Somehow, I doubt that they can do that very successfully though. So, they use the word "liberal" the same way most people would use "baby eater" in order to quickly demolish the other side's point without actually examining what it is.

Of course, this isn't the first time that Nova has been accused of having a liberal bias. The last time that I know of was when they had their episode on the Intelligent Design trial in Dover. Now, Nova is a science show. Did they have a bias? Yes. Their bias was towards science. Being liberal has nothing to do with it.

I wrote some time ago on why I didn't like to identify myself as a liberal. What some conservatives seem to be doing here is stating that it's liberal (and therefore bad) to objectively look at scientific and historical facts. Is that what conservatives want? To be a conservative, is a prerequisite that you ignore reality? That you just accept that The Bible is the literal truth simply because that's what you've been told your whole life?

I would think that issues like this should transcend this "liberal versus conservative" debate. This is a question of facts - not bias. In all honesty, if there is some legitimate criticism of the show, and if it distorts the facts, then I would like to hear it. All I seem to hear are the same old arguments and crying foul against "liberal bias."

Reminds me of what Stephen Colbert said at the White House Press Dinner. "...reality has a well-known liberal bias." Now, I'm not so simple minded as to think that the liberal side always represents reality, but with issues like this, it certainly seems that way, doesn't it?

Side Note #1: Is it just me, or does Donald E. Wildmon, the Founder and Chairman of the AFA (his picture is in the upper-right hand corner) kinda look like Elmer Fudd?

Side Note #2: Does anybody else find something vaguely Ted Haggard/Larry Craigish about the headline on their front page: "McDonald's sponsers gay pride parade - photos included." If only the full headline read "McDonald's sponsers gay pride parade - photos included for your closeted arousal."

Side Note #3: This will be my last blog until at least Friday. I'm a goin' on a cruise!

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