Meet the Press lacking, 29-Dec-2019

The overall subject discussed was Truth and Disinformation. Of course Mr. Todd is focused on politics, but I find it telling that those attributes with regard to religion were never once mentioned. It would be interesting if the Washington Post would fact-check a major cleric as they do Trump.

Then go see the two senators interviewed today on Face the Nation. Their faith is guiding them? Have they read Dawkins “The GOD Delusion”? One of my favorite quotes (page 347): “Faith is an evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument.” So true.

Fact checking clerics would just be weird.

Guests mentioned needing to do a better job of covering religion a couple times.

Mr Lausten, I re-watched the show and you are technically right, but you did not address my point. At no time was the truth and disinformation within religion ever mentioned. The show was limited to what is happening with the media and politics. My point is that the larger problem is the untruth and disinformation professed by religions (sans humanism, if one wishes to so define it).

I also must respectfully push back on your first statement, that my idea “would just be weird.” I thought this was a forum for the exchange of ideas. Why exactly would it be weird? I am comforted by Dr. Dawkin’s many examples of religious/biblical weirdness through history. I think religious leaders should be held to the same standards of truth.

And I must add that I am very new to Forums, CFI in particular. I see that you contribute to many forums…even my introductory writing. So I was surprised by your short and blunt opinion that my suggestions “would just be weird.” I hope I will see more personal involvement of you and others; otherwise this is not a lot better than FB crap.

Yes, it’s a forum for ideas. But we still get say something is weird if we want to. I don’t do it lot, but what else is there to say? It’s a news show. It’s not news that clerics are untruthful. When they say something that calls people to war, that’s news, but I don’t think that’s what you meant. Religious leaders are not elected so exactly what would be accomplished by a news show talking them? That’s why we have science and education. How exactly do hold someone to account, when the organization they work for demands that believe in myths? Or are you advocating for religion not being free?

Advocating for religion not to be free? Tempting. But no. I can’t bring myself to try to over-rule the forefathers on this.

Mr Lausten, I initially thought I would reply to you with a “your reply was weird” but you attempted to explain yourself. To rephrase and hopefully clarify my idea/point, I was using the MTP episode as a jumping off point to suggest that clerics, evangelical leaders (a long list of them in Wikipedia) should be held to a healthy standard of truth equal to our politicians. It doesn’t matter if they are not elected at all or elected by a secret ballot of cardinals. These people make speeches to large groups and are “influencers” on multiple subjects…so hold them to the truth, be that truth from their bible/sacred text, but more importantly to scientific facts or at least logical arguments. As “influencers” they affect the education of children either directly or indirectly through parents/caregivers. If we are to change society for the better then we must educate children to use facts (not myths) and think for themselves.
Hopefully now you can explain why you think this idea is weird…or not.

Dave said, “If we are to change society for the better then we must educate children to use facts (not myths) and think for themselves.”

TimB replies, I sympathize with your assertion. I think that people in the media could fact check religious statements and should if those statements go into secular issues. If it were just about typical religious dogma, however, they would never have time to do anything else.

I think that Atheists could get together and fund a network and have 24 hr. debunking of various religious dogma. As this would be a private enterprise, I don’t think the “freedom of religion” amendment to the Constitution would be relevant. I don’t know if that would help, with your issue of concern, though.

Dave yes, yes, yes why the hell or heaven shouldn’t we fact check clerics! Why allow their hot air a free pass!

Why not confront them when they say they understand god. Etc. I say, exactly, RIGHT ON !


Hell the entire foundation of the GOP’s’ hatred of liberals and sciences, and honestly looking at legitimate defendable physical evidence (of every variety) is their God is on my side ploy. They have made their self-serving prosperity doctrine faith the arbiter of what they accept as physical fact it’s totally crazy.

And liberals have allowed them that bullshit sacred cow for decades and it’s turned into this multi-headed monster.

Abortion rights - it’s against the God of their Ego - oh, excuse us, of course we’ll roll over and allow the GOP to steam roll us.



Dave, I for one want to hear more of what you have to say. Don’t be leaving us, we need to hear from more people deciding its time to confront Faith based delusion. It’s way past time to stand up for truth and constructive debate, over dogma driven fantasy thinking. :wink:

I think that Atheists could get together and fund a network and have 24 hr. debunking of various religious dogma.
First they gotta get their shit together.

I agree with the idea Dave, but not with Chuck Todd doing it. We could take away their tax exemption. If they wanted it, they would have to claim it like any 501, showing us their value and work. But I don’t agree with shutting down the idea of belief systems. That is a step toward a thought police.

We could also stop giving them a pass a child abuse, but you know, they got lawyers.

I was flipping through my news feed last night and found an article on this show. It reminded me that Chuck read an excerpt from a letter to the editor, so he was kind of distancing himself from the statement, but still, he threw this out there:

"Why do good people support Trump? It's because people have been trained from childhood to believe in fairy tales... This set their minds up to accept things that make them feel good...The more fairy tales and lies he tells the better they feel... Show me a person who believes in Noah's ark and I will show you a Trump voter."
That's a pretty direct confrontation of religion.


Mr Lausten, Yes that excerpt was shown and read on the show, but Mr. Todd did not use it as a direct confrontation of religion; perhaps at most, as an indirect confrontation. His next statement was that his exec producer says that voters want to be lied to; they don’t love to be told hard truths. Perhaps in his head he was thinking those voters are the god believers. Next the exec editor of the NY Times, Mr. Baquet, pushed back saying politicians historically lie, as exemplified by the Post’s Afghanistan papers. He said people want to be comforted, but the media’s job is to jump in, do the reporting, and tell the public the last feel-good statement was a lie (if so).

I don’t think there are enough or as prominent organizations to do the same for all the feel-good statements cranked out by clerics and evangelicals. I’m not clear yet if CFI has this role (of fact checking the religious), but will begin looking for such. Can anyone tell me where this is done on any scale, national would be nice?


If one were to fact check EVERY verse in the Bible, he would have spent his time and energy without making a difference in what people will choose to believe. Skeptics might be mildly interested in the results. Believers would continue to believe as they always do, by faith (which does not require real facts).