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The Angie and Andy Show

Holy Talk Radio! What a show today! Tom and I both stumbled out of the studio at 7 p.m. with major headaches after listening to the constant yelling in our headphones. Well, that’s what you get when you invite provocative and opinionated guests like Angie King from NOW and Bible-thumping Arroyo Grande Andy to come on and discuss hot-button issues like gay rights and abortion (and it’s not even a ratings period!). Wisely, though, we had Andy and Angie appear separately.

Angie wanted to remind people that Sunday is the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and to invite folks to attend the screening of “Vera Drake” at the Palm Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Angie understandably is concerned about this “new” Supreme Court and the direction that Alito/Roberts will taker us, especially in the area of abortion. Like most of you, I’m torn on the issue — I defend completely a woman’s right to choose, but I’m also troubled by the high amount of abortions performed in this country every year, an estimated 1.5 million. But I don’t believe the answer lies in restricting abortion; the emphasis has to be on sex education, family planning and a host of other issues. Of course, the vast majority of callers tonight were MEN, trying to argue why women can’t control their bodies. Angie has heard it all before, but good calls and GREAT segment.

Not to be outdone, A.G. Andy stepped in and used abortion and gay rights as signs of the end of culture as we know it. Andy’s a good guy, but he sees the world strictly through the Bible. Sadly, he can’t discriminate between a gay man and a murderer — they’re both sinners. He’s upset that his tax dollars go to educate children that homosexuality is an acceptable behavior. And Andy tried his best to perpetuate the myth that men and women choose their lifestyle and rejected any notion of scientific studies showing people are born gay.

With all due respect to my friend Andy, it’s this kind of attitude that explains why I’m an agnostic and not a member of any organized religion. Gays and lesbians are our friends and neighbors, they are our equals and it’s time to put these silly stereotypes away.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: religion belongs in your home and your heart and your church. But it does not belong as an instrument of public policy.

Two great guests. One great show. Feel free to comment. See you on the radio!!

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  1. Bob from San Luis
    January 19, 2006 at 5:58 pm

    Andy seems to be the model of the “Conservative Christian” that we hear everywhere telling us how we are all condemned to eternal sin and hellfire. I would like to make a proposal; If you call yourself a Christian but you like to quote the Old Testament, call yourself an “Old Testament” Christian. At least there can be some consistency if you do. If you want to call yourself a Christian, wouldn’t you model your life on the teachings and example of Jesus? Through his disciples Jesus rewrote the Bible and it was printed as the “New Testament”; it would seem everything you need to know to be a Christian would be in the New Testament if you truly are going to follow Jesus. Jesus didn’t preach about how gays were going to burn in eternal hellfire, I don’t even think he mentioned them to any real significance. Jesus taught the message of Love, acceptance and forgiveness. You want to be a Christian, show everyone how much you can be like Jesus. An Old Testament Christian is really someone who uses religion to make his or her viewpoint “the right one” by quoting older scripture. Do we really want to stone adulterers in this day and age? Do we really want to use the Old Testament as the basis for our daily laws? If that is the direction you want to go, look at the fundamentalist Muslims in the middle east and how they have taken over government functions of certain countries. Stoning, beheadings, chopping of hands, come on, this is Biblical stuff that is just wrong in this day and age. If you want to be like Jesus, than do that, be like Jesus; Love your enemies, accept people who are “different”, show them you care. My interpretation of the message of Jesus distills down to one word: Love.

  2. AG Andy
    January 19, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    Dear Dave,

    Thanks for having me on your show last night. You are true to your word in that you allow other views other than your bias liberal view, and I commend you for that.

    Looking at your Blog and a comment from Bob, I find it incredibly predictable how so many so called Christians quote only the parts of the Bible that will defend their position. Gods word is perfect and axiomatic. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not. I hope you do. I am both an old and new testament “Believer.” If we pick an chose the parts of the Bible we want to believe in we are creating a false god that falls into the realm of santa clause. This is called idolatry. This false god doesn’t demand anything from you and won’t sent anyone to hell or heaven because he/she doesn’t exist.

    However the one true God of the Bible old and new Testament is not only a God of love but he is also a God of Wrath and Justice. One day He will pour his wrath down on sinful man. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord. That means He is the boss and the one who makes all the rules. If we brake his Holy Law we will perish. Here is what Jesus said in one sentence,”Unless you repent you will likewise perish.” I hope anyone reading this will realize God, no me will call due the penalty for shedding innocent blood (such as abortion). Now up to 43 million babies over the last 30+ years. Germany claimed during the holicost that they were unaware of the atrocities Hitler was doing. Those who advocate abortion can not claim this. Read your Bible see for yourself. Believe me I wish you would repent of your sins and turn toward Jesus that you may be washed clean from all your iniquity. The penalty for my sins has been paid by Jesus, is yours?

  3. Bob from San Luis
    January 20, 2006 at 5:58 am

    However the one true God of the Bible old and new Testament is not only a God of love but he is also a God of Wrath and Justice.
    Andy, you make my point for me. Apparently Jesus isn’t tough enough for you, since Jesus preached Love, acceptance and forgiveness, so you will use any scripture you can find to make your point. You need to have the hellfire and brimstone to put the fear of God into what you perceive to be the only “true” interpretation of what being a Christian is. I really feel for you, you can never be truly be happy because of how you think everybody else has it all wrong. One thing we can both agree on: Jesus loves you.

  4. NewsstandGreg
    January 20, 2006 at 9:34 pm

    Great to see your new blog, Dave. Through your efforts, soon there will be peace on earth and goodwill among men. Heh, heh.

    As a recovering Catholic, I like the idea that Jesus’ sermons promoted love, acceptance and forgiveness.

    He also had a few things things to say about liars, cheats and thieves…whether they were political incumbents or not!

  5. Anonymous
    January 21, 2006 at 5:36 am

    Dave-

    I really enjoy your show on my drive home to Santa Maria from SLO. Your guests put me through a whole range of emotions sometimes, and challenge me to think hard about my (sometimes knee-jerk) responses. I’d like to respond to a quote you wrote on your blog. It was:

    “Not to be outdone, A.G. Andy stepped in and used abortion and gay rights as signs of the end of culture as we know it. Andy’s a good guy, but he sees the world strictly through the Bible. Sadly, he can’t discriminate between a gay man and a murderer — they’re both sinners.”

    OK, so every good essay needs a good thesis, right? Here’s my best attempt: When you said, “Andy’s a good guy, but he sees the world strictly through the bible,” you very succinctly explained one of the most rational things a person could possibly do, though I’m sure your sentiment behind your statement was anything but described by what I just said.

    Well, how did I do? Did I catch your interest? Read on, if you’ve got a few minutes. I’ll try to keep this interesting.

    Every human being that has ever walked, or will ever walk, the face of planet Earth interprets EVERY point at which he or she comes in contact with reality through something which I’m going to hereafter refer to as a worldview. This worldview is the framework by which a person interprets all of reality. I’ll use Andy as an example:

    When scientists declare, “Carbon dating tells us that the earth is one gazillion years old and was formed by the Big Bang,” Arroyo Grande Andy interprets their findings through his worldview. Andy’s worldview (formed by his Christianity) says that the earth is much younger than that, and was created by God. So of course, “There must be some sort of error in the scientists’ study,” declares Andy, “for the earth was created by God only a few thousand years ago.” Any further discoveries that lend credibility to the Big Bang will be dismissed as erroneous or misinterpreted by Andy, because Andy presupposes that the earth was created by God. The existence of God is a fundamental characteristic of Andy’s worldview.

    Now, I’ll use the scientists as the example:

    Andy exclaims, in the presence of these same scientists, that he has witnessed a bona fide miracle. “I saw a blind man receive his sight again,” says Andy, “God healed him.” The scientists reply, “Of course it wasn’t God who healed this man, Andy, because God doesn’t exist. There must be some sort of natural explanation.” Any further discoveries that lend credibility to the occurance of a miracle will be dismissed as misinterpreted or erroneous by the scientists, because they presuppose that God does not exist. The non-existence of God is a fundamental characteristic of the scientists’ worldview.

    Dave, you presuppose many things in saying, “Andy’s a good guy, but he sees the world strictly through the bible.” For example, you presuppose universal laws of grammatical interpretation (that when you say, “Andy”, your listeners understand you to be referring to the same “Andy” object that you’re referring to). You presuppose that the keyboard you’re typing on will write words on your blog (instead of, say, simultaneously launching all of our nuclear weapons). I could go on and on about the many things that you presuppose when writing on your blog, or broadcasting your show. There really are a near-infinite number of them.

    I can sum many of them up into a neat little ball: you presuppose that the principle of induction holds true. The principle of induction is what lets us reason from particular observance to general principle. It’s what makes me think that when I squeeze my tube of toothpaste in the morning that toothpaste will come out, instead of, say, my porch light turning on. By induction we generalize all sorts of things about reality, and these generalizations, in turn, govern the way we live our lives. I squeeze my toothpaste tube in the morning because I am certain that the result will be the expulsion of toothpaste from the tube. I’ve never experienced anything else! Why should I expect a different result?

    By induction, a child discovers that touching a flame hurts. The child touches a flame, feels pain, and through inductive reasoning decides that all future instances of flame-touching will result in pain. You, Dave, have found that typing on your keyboard produces words on your blog, and so you have come to expect that it will always be so. You have inductively reasoned that typing on your keyboard, under certain conditions, produces words on your blog. In the future, you will expect typing to produce words on your computer screen. You expect this to occur because it has always happened this way in the past. You reason from particular observation to general principle, just like the flame-touching child.

    What presuppositions (assumptions) must necessarily be made for the inductive principle to hold true? One must assume that the future will be like the past. In order to make any generalizations about the future, we must necessarily expect the future to be like the past. How would the flame-touching child expect all flames to inflict pain when touched, if this child did not presuppose that all future “flame touchings” will be like past “flame touchings”? In order to justify the inductive principle (and thus justify ANY knowledge that we claim to have about our world) we must be able to justify that the future will behave as the past.

    Well, that’s simple, isn’t it? The future will behave as the past because we know from observation that the future ALWAYS behaves like the past. In other words, “Past futures” have always behaved like “past pasts”. Easy answer, right?

    Did you catch the fallacy?

    We’re trying to prove that the future will be like the past, and in our proof, we say, “The future has always been like the past.” That’s begging the question. We say, “Past futures have always been like past pasts,” but that statement assumes the very thing we’re trying to prove, which is major “logical no-no”.

    So if we can’t appeal to past observation to justify our COMPLETE reliance on the inductive principle, what should we appeal to? Perhaps the Laws of Physics will “throw us a bone”.

    One might say, “We know that the future will behave like the past because of the laws of physics. These laws tell us how nature will behave, and has always behaved.” This justification, however, also begs the question. It assumes that physical forces will behave a certain way in the future because they have behaved in a certain way in the past. For example, we assume that gravity will hold us to the earth in the future because it has always held us to the earth in the past. Descriptive formulas have been developed for the phenomenon of gravity, but these formulas were all generated using the inductive principle. In other words, in order to justify the inductive principle, we must appeal to the inductive principle. This is a classic case of begging the question, which is a logical fallacy.

    If you have kept reading up to this point, let me tie this back in to my thesis. It’s going to be a bold tie-in, and will probably send up all sorts of red flags in your head, as it does to most non-Christians. That’s OK. Your show has thrown up red flags in my head on a few occasions, so allow me to return the favor. J

    Christianity holds the only logical answer to the problem of justifying the inductive principle. The Christian worldview (as expounded by the bible) states that the world was created by God, and that the world is maintained by God. In Genesis 1:28, God said to Adam, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Job 38 details some of the many ways that God actively maintains creation. Daniel 2:21 says that God is actively involved in the changing of the seasons. The bible makes it evident that God controls creation in a predictable fashion.

    These sorts of verses supply the sort of justification that the inductive principle demands. The Christian worldview can justify the principle of induction, and therefore, can justify sensory perception and the generalizations about reality that we form from it. The inductive principle needs maintained order to be useful, and the Christian God certainly supplies this.

    Can the atheist worldview do that? Atheism says that blind, irrational, random processes formed the world we now live in. So blind, random, irrational, processes have given rise to the order and predictability that is necessary for the inductive principle to be useful? For disorder to produce order, it must be orderly disorder, which is a contradiction. In other words, disorder must be ordered towards producing order. This cannot be so, by definition! For irrationality to produce rationality, irrationality must be rational. This, too, is a contradiction. Atheism cannot make any sense of, nor even come close to justifying, the inductive principle. This gives rise to the devastating implication that atheism cannot justify reality.

    (Side note: If all matter is the product of blind, irrational, random processes, then so is the atheist’s brain. Would you trust a theory that was developed by a brain that came into being through blind, irrational, random processes?)

    Now, this email would go on forever if I went into detail as to why no other religion besides Christianity can account for the inductive principle, and thus, the “knowability” of reality. Here are just a few quick ones to think about, though:

    Most eastern religions (i.e. Buddhism) say that all is one. If all is indeed one, then there are no distinctions between things. That means that I am Dave Congalton, and I am my truck, and I am the Point San Luis lighthouse. Well, as you can probably imagine, this sort of worldview cannot possibly justify the inductive principle, nor reality. In fact, it throws all of science and knowledge to the wind. (How does one walk to the store to buy milk, when one IS the store? Do you know anyone who lives like this? I certainly don’t.)

    Here’s another example: The Quran frequently depicts Allah as a god who is subject to whims, is unpredictable, and is impersonal. This is not the type of worldview that gives rise to regularity and predictability, which are necessary in order to justify belief in the inductive principle.

    There remains two more “problem areas” that I would love to dive into, but I’ve already written three pages, which is enough for one night; at least for me. I’d like to quickly skim over two other problem areas before wrapping this up, though.

    The first is logic. Upon examination, one will find that deductive reasoning is also only justifiable when standing upon the Christian worldview. How does the atheist explain his or her belief in the law of non-contradiction? This simple law of logic is absolutely necessary to reason deductively. However, laws of logic are immaterial, universal, and immutable. Atheists are materialists; that means that they believe that matter is all that exists. Yet, they continually rely on the laws of logic. So, are the laws of logic material, then? Can I go the store and buy a law of logic? Can I stub my toe on the law of non-contradiction because someone left it in the hallway? No! Of course not. The laws of logic are immaterial, universal, and immutable and that presents a problem for materialists. Matter is not immaterial, it’s not universal, and it’s certainly not immutable.

    Some atheists say that the laws of logic are simply conventions made up by man. This is problematic, however. That means that Dave Congalton could say, “The sun exists,” and Ken could say, “The sun does not exist,” and we would both be correct. I don’t think that I need to explain why this sort of thing destroys any basis for deductive reasoning.

    The Christian God declares in 2 Timothy 2:13 that He cannot deny himself. Titus 1:2 says that God cannot lie. It is impossible for God to contradict himself, because it is not in his nature to contradict himself. This establishes the law of non-contradiction, and lays the foundation for deductive reasoning. We can justifiably reason deductively because we were created in God’s image; God’s character establishes the laws of logic.

    Morality is another “problem area” for non-Christians, but I’m going to have to save that one for another time. This email is getting long.

    Getting back to my thesis: You said, “Andy’s a good guy, but he sees the world strictly through the Bible. Sadly, he can’t discriminate between a gay man and a murderer — they’re both sinners.”

    In my opinion, Andy has done the most rational thing possible: He has planted his feet firmly within the only worldview that can account for the reality that you and I experience. I, like Andy, “see the world strictly through the Bible.” The bible is the Christian’s final authority, behind which nothing else lies. It is a foundational worldview through which the Christian’s reality is interpreted. Typically, these types of Christians (myself included) are branded as “closed-minded and dogmatic”.

    Everyone has a final authority behind which nothing else lies. The unbeliever’s final authority can be many things: his or her own intellect, the “scientific community”, or some other belief system. The question one has to ask him or herself is, “Can my worldview account for my experience of reality?” The worldview that Arroyo Grande Andy and I share can, and I hope that in this email, I’ve demonstrated why. Not only can our worldview justify reality, but it is also a worldview that has been around for thousands of years and has been subjected to the scrutiny of billions of minds.

    I applaud Andy for being intellectually honest, and “[seeing] the world strictly through the Bible”. And yes, the bible says that ALL have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God. In God’s eyes, there is no difference between a serial killer and a homosexual. They’re both sinners, and according to God, both deserve eternal punishment unless they repent of their sins and believe in Jesus. The same goes for me. I’m not homosexual, and I’ve never killed anyone. I’ve lied though, and cheated, and hurt people, and coveted, and stolen what wasn’t mine, and lusted, and had malicious thoughts. I’ve gossiped, been prideful, worshipped idols, disrespected my parents, and done all sorts of rebellious things. My sins were paid for 2000 years ago, though. My debt to God has been paid. I’m very grateful for that.

  6. Rob from los osos
    January 23, 2006 at 4:03 am

    anonymous, I would think after such a well thought out argument you would at least want to leave a name. I understand wanting to be ‘anon..’but how are you ever to be recognized here again. That said,I have to respond to your way of justifying your argument(s).

    First off – the christian justification for all of their positions and arguments is always ‘the bible says…’You all absolutely use circular logic to justify your positions. It is simply impossible for those of us who don’t see the bible as anything other than a collection of proverbs written by men to even enter into the debate, since your terms are so exclusive – the bible is the word of God, therefore all that is contained in the bible is absolute.
    If you were to go back and read your argument from the point of view of someone who doesn’t believe in the bible, you would see that you are engaging in this circular logic. You state “Christianity holds the only logical answer to the problem of justifying the inductive principle. The Christian worldview (as expounded by the bible) states that the world was created by God, and that the world is maintained by God.” The world is structured,and since the bible provides evidence of this structure, then therefore the bible must be correct. You are going around in circles, my friend.

  7. Ken from Santa Maria
    January 24, 2006 at 4:36 am

    Rob-

    Thanks for the reply!

    Not all circles are vicious circles. All attempts to justify a “precondition” for intelligibilitly are NECESSARILY circular. (i.e. one must employ the laws of logic to justify one’s use of the laws of logic).

    Not all circular arguments are fallacious; there is a distinction between “vicious” and “non-vicious” circular reasoning. Vicious circles are fallacious. Non-vicious circles are not.

    And my “indirect proof” of the Christian religion is based on the impossibility of the contrary. If one desires to directly prove the truth of the Christian religion, his or her argument will be necessarily circular. However, I argue for the case of Christianity from the impossibility of the alternative. You will notice this style of proof throughout my initial post. Such arguments are not circular, and are valid proof of my proposition. (proof by contradiction)

    Thanks again for the reply! If you’d like, you can email me at kenkienow@hotmail.com.

    -Ken

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