Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Spectrum Blog and "Jesus Camp"

Recently over at Spectrum Blog Alexander placed the trailer for the new documentary “Jesus Camp”. (YouTube Jesus Camp Trailer) He installed the trailer so that the audio and video started as soon as a person arrived on his webpage or refreshed the page. So the audio ran even if you were not looking at that part of the page and if you put a comment somewhere the audio and video would start again. I placed a comment along with some information on the section dealing with the Jesus Camp movie, and noted that I did not appreciate the automatic start of the audio, mainly because I use my computer to listen to other things and did not want the noise of the Jesus Camp trailer mucking up what I was listening too. As I recall someone else commented about not liking the intrusive sound either but it appears that comment got dumped. Unlike this blog, Spectrum blog has a tendency to delete comments for reason other then offensive or irrelevant comments. I and others have actually had our comments edited by Alexander at Spectrum Blog. We discussed this unfortunate activity over at

After my comment Alexander posted on this blog the following comments:

Sorry you had to struggle to look for your volume control, but hey, we're about introducing folks to new things. We'll try to get that to work better.

Wait - follow the logic - is that Christianity to you?

Spooky music. . .yes, actually children being guilted into crying and confessing their 8-year-old sins and being prepared to fight Muslims in the name of Jesus, while praying over a cardboard-cut-out of any president is spooky to some.

Perhaps critiquing the scary parts of any faith doesn't preclude belief.

I imagine anything which accords listening to a talk show host from Air America as the voice of reason in such a film is spooky enough in itself.

Oh by the way again thanks for the intrusive noise of the trailer as we visit your site. sure I normally listen to other things on my computer so that a visit here is like a visit to Babel, but don't let that worry you as it will teach us poor illiterates how to turn down our sound, stop what we are listening to before we came here or leave your site.

Hey Ron,

What's with your kvetching on the Spectrum Blog? If you don't like the politics, feel free to articulate opinions of your own - but don't just complain about being annoyed; it's a poor substitute for interesting ideas.

I listened to Michael Medved's interview with the producers also and was not impressed with them. Here is a comment from Free Republic:

"To: johnny7
I caught an interview of one of the producers on Michael Medved's show yesterday. The outstanding thing about their defense of their "documentary" was in the way that they answered questions.

It was exactly like the way CAIR responds to questions about islamo-fascist terrorism. They dodged, engaged in moral equivocation, and offered up a healthy dose of tu quoque's.

When asked why they put spooky background music to scenes where their targets spoke, they responded with a "One person's spooky is anther person's spiritual" crap. When asked why they deliberately slowed down the camera (post production editing) is certain scenes, they giggled and said "OMG! That's just artistic expression!" They created this mockumentary mess as another slam on Christianity and they knew exactly what they were doing.

I won't be seeing it (or missing it for that matter).."

Oh yea it is annoying to have the video and audio start on its own. Hope they are at least paying you for annoying the people who visit your blog.

The film starts with a caller telling Papantonio he opposes the ministry. "There's nothing Christian about 'em," the caller insists.

Papantonio is nodding his head, and the audience may be ready to agree, but the film forces the viewer to see several sides of the issue.

The overt images of Christianity in America — from roadside crosses to billboards signed by God, seem surreal when Levi declares, "America is supposed to be God's nation. ... Now a lot of people in America just aren't following God."

A life-size, cardboard cutout of President Bush set up before the campers, along with a invocation to "pray the Spirit over him," is followed by a caller on Papantonio's show declaring, "They've taken over the White House."

A subtext to the film is the nomination and confirmation of Samuel Alito to fill retiring Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court, an event that was happening during filming. The campers are urged to pray for "righteous judges."

It begs the question of how comfortable America is with such an overt mixture of politics in religious expression, while insisting on the freedom to express those viewpoints.

Update: Read the article Are Christian Maoists Plotting a Takeover?
Posted by: Michael Medved Sept 27


Franco said...

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Johnny said...

Hey Ron. I happily link to both yourself and the Specturm blog.

I have my own blog of course and I delete about 1 out of every 5 comments I get because of how nasty they are. Especially on threads about Islam.

There are two approaches- one is moderation where comments don't appear until approved and the other is censorship where comments are published then removed if they are objectionable.

There is of course a third approach which is to have no comments at all. Some of the best blogs have such a setup. By best I mean really qualified authors. My favorite example is this blog.

ATomorrow has good people on it. When I closed comments on an 1844 thread that had gotten comments which were taking the discussion far beyond what I wanted my blog to serve as a forum for I referred people to two places, specturm and atomorrow forums.

However that thread you link to, in the archive section, shows that some people have an unnatural interest in sleuthing into Alex's life to an extent I'm not personally comfortable with.

Bottom line, Alex and Spectrum define what kind of comments they want.

My policy on my blog is that off-topic comments and comments which do not contribute to a respectful conversation about the post are deleted. I think the Spectrum blog has a similar policy.

Honestly that exchange is far too personal for my tastes and if it was on my blog I'd remove the entire exchange. If you want to get personal do it by email.

I have a hard time seeing how this thread on your blog and the atomorrow discussion specifically targeted at Alexander contribute anything resembling respectful meaningful dialogue.

For what it's worth I have no problem, and actually suggest, that you remove this post and that the atomorrow people delete that thread.

It is beneath us the sort of things that are said. I for one would like to see the Adventist blogosphere be one of meaningful dialogue not personal attacks.

Gane, Larson and Scriven got kinda hairy but they kept it civil. We can do likewise.

As far as the Berkely jab, well Alex went to Andrews. Does that make him a traditional Adventist? I'm at Azusa Pacific- does that make me a charismatic?

I have a hard time believing you know much about the Graduate Theological Union apart from assumptions made solely from their locale. Did you know one of the consortium schools is Orthodox? You could not find a tradition more opposed to euthanasia and abortion than that one.

And just so you know, the Azusa Street revival and Pentacostals have nothing to do with Azusa Pacific University.

Alexander said...

With friends who "choose you" like Franco . . ."I chose you because you convinced meby all the effort you put into it. . ."

I see that you're all quiet on the environment front as even R. Murdock realizes that climate change is real.

Yes, I've lived in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Berkeley, CA, Berrien Springs, MI, Bombay India, Colville, WA. As a multi-generational Adventist with appreciation for our past and an interest in our future - I'm not interested in these angry, old arguments over geography.

So, am I progressive or conservative? Or just interested in the Adventisms that change meaning with experience and education?

Spectrum readers are interested in informed discussion, not knee-jerk, personal kvetching. If someone doesn't know the difference. . .sorry, but whither lies progress?

Ron Corson said...

First if you bother to read Franco's profile you would see that it is just a spam for his network marketing website. Something I would delete normally as irrelevant to the thread but now it will have to remain since Alexander referenced it even though he had no idea why, just saw a misspelling and got excited I guess.

Johnny I am not going to delete the post as I stand behind what I said. There is really no personal attacks there. True I said that Alexander made some derisive remarks but that is very factual. As in truth I and probably others already knew how to use their computer's volume control. It is also well known that the People Republic of Berkley is very left of center.

But everyone is free to be offended if that is what they choose to do. I am sure that Clifford Goldstein and Doug Batchelor are not too happy with the things I have said about their teachings. I do however try to be accurate in what I say.

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