‘Good Luck Charlie’ Pokes Fun at New Age Pet Therapy

I’m a sucker for an old-fashioned cornball sitcom and Disney Channel specializes in them. What they have done with their line-up is create family viewing with rehashed sitcom plots from the seventies and early eighties when generally most TV comedies  were pretty harmless (exceptions might be All in the Family). Surprisingly, these new sitcoms often improve on many old gags and come up with some new twists. My only criticism to Disney Channel is that some of the show ideas like A.N.T. Farm could actually promote science and freethinking for brighter than average kids instead of catering to too much fluff.

With that said, as I was drawing I had Good Luck Charlie on which is pretty standard fare. An American family with some eccentricities and the usual trouble found in raising kids. This one was episode 11 from Season One (if you’re looking for it on Netflix) and has a storyline about the oldest daughter Teddy babysitting the neighbor’s cat named “Kaboodle.” The cat is determined to not be up to its usual playful self and so it is recommend to Teddy to have the patient examined by a doctor. The cat doctor who makes house calls, named Dr. Tish Tushee, ends up being a new age quack trying to explain the cat’s chakras and other mumbo jumbo while Teddy looks on confused and we hear the laugh track. In the end, Kaboodle just needed to poop. For a Disney episode, it was a nice little jab at new age pet therapy.

Like I said, I don’t expect much from a Disney sitcom, but I am finding bright spots here and there. There is one I want to mention later about A.N.T. Farm, but this episode from Good Luck Charlie would be perfect for freethinking parents to share with their kids. As a bonus, there’s another storyline in the show about honesty and being yourself–a simple moral value which is always good to teach (unless you’re a double agent for the government and you can’t be yourself, then you need to lie your ass off).

‘The American Bible Challenge’ on The Gameshow Network …Can Atheists Play?

So The Game Show Network (GSN) is launching The American Bible Challenge with host Jeff Foxworthy. …You know, I could have ended the article there as you shake your head.

Okay, actually, I like the idea, generally speaking, but on a commercial channel it’s going to be geared towards a certain type of Christian which means the “Sunday School” version of The Bible and not what actually makes the Bible interesting. In other words, skip the “evil” parts of The Bible.

For example:
Will Jeff Foxworthy ask, “What does this scripture refer to: ‘And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, both young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.’?”
Answer? The Jericho genocide where only a hooker and her family were saved because she betrayed her nation to the Israelite spies. Read more like this at my favorite website EvilBible.com.

What is pretty obvious to anyone is that the show will be geared towards flag-waving Bible thumpers and not amateur Biblical scholars. It’s called The “American” Bible Challenge with emphasis on “American.” I thought the Bible was for everyone worldwide, but apparently it has an “American” bias. They might as well host the show on The Fox Network. You may think I’m being too cynical about the choice of show title here, but think about it. Was “American” slapped on the title to let contestants know that only Americans can play this game? Are people confused by shows like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune and need “American” put in front of them so they know that Americans are contestants? Trust me, marketing chose that word carefully.

Historical evidence (pro or con), theology and comparative mythology is likely to be thrown aside for pointless trivia on who beget who, who was married to who, names of enemies and enemy gods, hopefully some geography, The Ten Commandments and an emphasis on stories like Jonah and the whale (or big fish if you prefer), Jesus parables and possibly some end-time porn. If there will be any edginess to the show it will be questions on stories from Samson and Delilah or David and Bathsheba (soap operas).

This is just my prediction from what I’ve read so far. It’s certainly possible that Jeff Foxworthy will expose all the sordid details of The Bible and ask questions like, “In Leviticus, Chapter 20 how many different offenses can you commit that will sentence you to being stoned? No, not that kind of stoned. Ha-ha! I mean stoned to death!”

Unlikely though, this is part of the copy for the call to become a contestant: THE AMERICAN BIBLE CHALLENGE is a studio-based game show in which contestants compete based on their knowledge of the Bible. Questions will be designed to acknowledge and celebrate the Bible’s continuing importance in contemporary life and culture. The contestants will share their compelling back-stories and each team will be playing for a worthy charity.

“Compelling back-stories” refers to testimonies. And celebrating the Bible? Yes, there’s going to be a whole lot of preaching to the choir.

The show is being designed by the creators of Exteme Makeover: Home Edition and the players will win money for their favorite charities. What I would suggest is that atheists submit to be contestants and play for a charity like Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science. As far as I’ve read, they’re not excluding nonChristians from playing so why not? It’s a competition based on knowledge. Ironically, most atheists have read the Bible more than the majority of Christians.

SIDENOTE: Seriously, if you want to be a contestant, here’s the information…

Another Dumbass Predicts the End of the World

I’m not going to be polite about this one, but I do appreciate confidence in one’s predictions–even if they’re completely stupid. The main reason for appreciation is I can document failed prophecy with screenshots. Remember Harold Campling’s huge embarrassment over predicting May 21st of 2011 for the apocalypse? Well, here’s another dumbass named Ronald Weinland predicting May 27th of this year 2012 for the end of man’s rule. And to be even more specific, here is an article by the same Ronald Weinman making it clear that Jesus will return on May 27th of this year. Apparently, the first trumpet has already sounded. It was on Dec 14, 2008 when the economy collapsed. I honestly don’t remember hearing a trumpet and the economy didn’t collapse all in one day.

Here’s my prediction. May 27, 2012 will pass unnoticed and the world will keep on truckin’ with it’s usual woes: poverty, unemployment, a couple of terrorist bombings and some dirty politics. I believe when nothing happens to end the world, this Christian author should be required to post, “I am a dumbass” on their site.

BTW: Note, this article is being written on May 22nd of 2012. He offers free books if you want a collector’s item before the 27th passes.

SIDENOTE: In case you’re feeling smug because you would never dare to attempt to predict the day of the apocalypse and yet you believe in the apocalypse, one of the  biggest scams in Christianity is this: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” By being completely vague about when he will return, Jesus (or the author claiming what Jesus said) is no better than our modern day psychics. Boy, Jesus really laid it on the line with that statement. I’m coming but you won’t know when so keep believing even if it’s when the sun burns up and the earth goes cold.

We’re all supposed to be on red alert all the time? Good plan, Jesus.

Do You Believe in…What Miracles?!

I received this book offer for Miracles Are For Real by James L. Garlow and Keith Wall from the American Family Association (AFA) and was interested in the “real” miracles described. The text of the ad says:

Do you believe miracles still happen?

Definitely, you say, because you or a loved one has experienced a miracle–your sister survived a car accident that should have resulted in death. You received a check for the exact amount needed to cover this month’s overdue electric bill, when your bank account was empty.

Or maybe you say, I’m not sure. You’ve heard stories, but you’re skeptical. It seems there are a lot of imposters claiming to perform miracles.

The answer? Absolutely. And while the miraculous stories in this book are evidence of God’s working today, that’s just the beginning. Pastor and teacher Dr. Jim Garlow and writer Keith Wall carefully examine biblical teaching about miracles and provide honest, trustworthy information that will boost your faith. Whether you need a miracle today or you want to understand how to recognize a true miracle, this is your inspiring guide.

Readers are fascinated with miraculous and unexplained events. In their signature style, trusted pastor Jim Garlow and writer Keith Wall tap into that fascination with biblical insights on miracles and accounts of God’s work throughout history. The book clearly separates truth from fiction, fortifying readers’ faith in God’s power in their lives. The encouraging and inspiring stories make this a great impulse buy and gift.

Let’s begin with the supposed miracles. Every serious car accident should end in death BUT they don’t. Why? Because of safety and circumstance. Safety, as in the technology that saves your ass such as airbags and the crash-proof durability of the vehicle and circumstance as in the random nature in which the car could have swerved more to the left or been hit harder or barely missed a tree. The question you have to ask is if your sister’s car accident was a miracle because she survived then how about the other woman who you saw on the news last night that died due to a similar car accident? Did God say, “Hey, eff her!” Or did he watch apathetically as her brains were smashed in. Or was it his master plan that she live a good life and then die horribly so people would come to her funeral and hear the word of god from the false sentiments usually given by the presiding priest or pastor?

Surviving a car accident is not a miracle. Each car accident can be examined for what went wrong and why the person survived. Often people survive but live in pain for the rest of their lives due to the injuries. When God starts growing back arms, legs and replacing organs then come back to me and we’ll discuss miracles again.

So you received a check that covered your exact amount of your overdue electric bill? How come God didn’t provide the money upfront so that you weren’t overdue in the first place? Or was it your negligence? If it was your negligence, why would God reward you for it? It seems to me God should teach you a lesson to balance your bills.

A real miracle concerning electricity would be if the electric company cut off your electricity and you could still miraculously run all your appliances without an electric current.

It seems there are a lot of imposters claiming to perform miracles.

I don’t recall reading about these kinds of miracles in the Bible. The ones I read about were actually supernatural: Sun standing still, waters parting on command, animals talking, people raising from the dead, sight restored with mud, crippled people walking…instances where at the very least the claim was of a real miracle even if it ended up being bogus. Claims of miracles in this book advertisment for James Garlow are coincidence-based and therefore have no merit.

Statistically speaking, there will be people who narrowly escape death in car accidents. Statistically speaking there will be people who will receive money to pay their overdue bills just in the nick of time. I would like to see Garlow explain all the times that this hasn’t happened. Last year, a co-worker of mine died in a motorcycle accident due to a treacherous curve in the road, one that was well known to other drivers who survived it (which the city should do something about) and just recently I didn’t receive a check to help pay an overdue medical bill my wife thought she had paid.

If you want to claim miracles, you’re going to have to do better than this. Otherwise, this book and others like it are for suckers. In other words, AFA and the others who are pitching you what they call an “impulse buy” (real responsible terminology there) are making their own financial miracle happen and, yay, they’re tax exempt.

I know some Christian reader is going to say I’m being unfair; that there is a deeper discussion of miracles in the book. This wasn’t a book review. This was a review of the ad for the book and if the only modern miracles they mention are the lame ones that I critiqued, why would you buy this book? Here’s a better ad:

Do you believe in miracles? Of course you do, because you’re of the Christian faith.

You believe in the miracles of the past that really can be described as supernatural miracles but which you can’t witness (hearsay) and you believe in the mundane and coincidence-based  miracles of modern times. Buy our book and we’ll tell you about both, but what we won’t do is actually give evidence for legitimate miracles happening today–because there aren’t any. The modern media, science and skepticism is everywhere and we have trouble fooling people like we did in the past. Besides, it’s all how you interpret the event and what we as Christians say is a miracle is a miracle and if someone doesn’t receive the miracle they prayed for, well, that’s the mystery of God.

Now, impulsively buy our book so we can have money to pay our bills. As we do not pay taxes, we will not be giving back to help education, road maintenance and whatever else taxes pay for.