California Ford Dealership Radio Ad Tells Non-Christians To "Sit Down And Shut Up"

UPDATE: Kieffe & Sons apologized for the ad
Kieffe and Sons, a California Ford dealership, decided for some reason to launch a radio ad attacking non-Christians and people who believe that prayer shouldn’t be in public schools. Audio and transcript of the ad, inside.

The ad reads:

Did you know that there are people in this country who want prayer out of schools, “Under God” out of the Pledge, and “In God We Trust” to be taken off our money?

But did you know that 86% of Americans say they believe in God? Now, since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians who believe in God, we at Kieffe & Sons Ford wonder why we don’t just tell the other 14% to sit down and shut up. I guess maybe I just offended 14% of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case, then I say that’s tough, this is America folks, it’s called free speech. And none of us at Kieffe & Sons Ford are afraid to speak up. Kieffe & Sons Ford on Sierra Highway in Mojave and Rosamond: if we don’t see you today, by the grace of God, we’ll be here tomorrow.

The ad has been running on radio stations in southern California since at least February, according to one blogger. She wrote to Ford headquarters, but received a reply that because the dealerships are independently owned and operated, she should get in touch with the management at the dealership.

Here’s the audio of (most of) the ad:

The Underground Unbeliever [via BoingBoing]
(Photo: Amy Watts)
(Audio: Karen Peralta)

Comments

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  1. kspray--dad says:

    Atheists drive Chevy’s.

  2. jamesdenver says:

    Hopefully the stations are charging them the appropriate rates for issue political ads, which are significantly higher than regular spots.

    Freeway Ford here in Denver displays “HE HAS RISEN” and “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS” at Easter and Christmas. They’re a huge dealership – but its baffles me why any business owner would want to divide their demographic base by turning one half off so much in hopes of securing another half.

  3. jpx72x says:

    @jamesdenver: Why would they want to divide their demographic base? Simple: fundamentalists would rather buy from a fellow fundamentalist.

  4. SBR249 says:

    @jamesdenver: It is possible that the business owners genuinely want to celebrate their beliefs on those holidays instead of trying to secure or alienate customers…

  5. Alex Chasick says:

    Just to be clear, I have no idea if the pictured car was purchased at Kieffe & Sons, but it is a Ford, and I can only hope it was bought as is.

  6. Pink Puppet says:

    One really has to wonder how many individuals this fool managed to offend. It might be rather, ah, optimistic of me to think so, but I would hope at least half of this “86%” would find his words completely inappropriate.

    For that matter, why does believing in God make one a Christian according to this man? Did I miss a memo?

  7. Jabberkaty says:

    Freedom of speech does mean freedom to say all sorts of crap. And if it’s advertising they paid for the privilege – probably quite a bit.

    I imagine the controversy the ad is stirring up is helping the business.

  8. ironchef says:

    Of course you need to put God on money to validate its existence. That’s why christians completely freak out when you remove God from the currency.

    And btw, the original Pledge didn’t have “god” in it in the first place. Same reason why God isn’t mentioned in the Constitution…it DOESN’T BELONG THERE.

  9. Nytmare says:

    Would a car salesman BS you?

  10. SuffolkHouse says:

    I refused to buy American cars after they chose to sing Bush’s tune about nationalized health care. Japanese cars are cheaper because their government shoulders the medical care liabilities. American car manufacturers wanted this too, but wouldn’t say so publicly.

    I say, screw them. Let them die earlier and meet their “god” as soon as possible. I’ll drive a Camry.

  11. + says:

    Why should we change the currency…
    It would be best in the interest of the rest of the taxpayer’s money that isn’t being stolen to keep it as it is.

    @Anybody that thinks “God” should be removed from currency, pledges, etc
    Does it really bother you that much that it says a word (in your case, doesn’t exist) on the currency? Is their a totally different reason as to why I’m clueless and think this is a waste of everybody’s time? (Don’t mean to come out sounding harsh, just wondering)

    If you don’t like the prayers, just don’t pray ‘em…

  12. ShirtNinja says:

    @Pinkpuppet: You’re lookin’ at one right here.

    I’m not a regular Charlie Church or anything, but I believe what I believe, and I believe this ad to be offensive in the most caustic way possible.

  13. + says:

    On another note, that audio clip sounds like it came straight out of GTA IV.

  14. Jackasses like this make me ashamed to be Christian. As I said in another comment thread, what they need is a loving, Christ-like BITCHSLAPPING. I would certainly never shop there, because I’m offended both as an American, who believes deeply in freedom of religion, and as a Christian, who believes deeply in loving my fellow friggin’ man regardless of race, creed, color, or UNHEARD-OF LEVEL OF STUPIDITY. (phew, I sort-of feel better now.)

    To be honest, I tend to avoid shopping at places that self-consciously proclaim themselves Christian as a rule because that’s so often code for “We can’t be bothered with accounting because God takes care of that kind of thing” or “Customer service seems hard, so we’ll just talk about how we love Jesus and hope that brings us customers.” One of my areas of legal specialty is in religions non- and for-profits, and while many of them are headed by people who are truly deeply good people (about half of whom think God will take care of the details and end up getting their asses sued as a result), many of them are headed by charlatans and hucksters using Jesus to sell shit. Buyer beware.

    Also, @jamesdenver, go freak them out by talking about when Jesus’s birthday really probably was and how “FEAST of the Nativity” does not mean “BIRTHDAY” but “relatively random day we’ve assigned to be a feast.” (If you’re dead curious, I can explain why it got picked, but it’s dull and has to do with monks who don’t know how pregnancy works.)

  15. donkeyjote says:

    I saw this in a picture online:

    Christianity:
    The Belief that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

    Makes perfect sense…

    As a catholic, I find that hilarious, and ironic, when compared to the idea that evolution is a fairy tale.

    Then again, as a catholic, myself (And the Vatican) have taken the stance that God and evolution are not mutually exclusive. God uses evolution. There. I have my cake and get to eat it too. A tasty cake at that.

  16. scoobydoo says:

    In part 2 he’ll start telling people that God spoke to him and said he has to sell 1000 new Ford F150’s by August.

  17. jamesdenver says:

    I believe religion to be a deeply personal issue. In some countries it would be incredibly offensive to out of the blue ask “Are you Saved?” or inquire about my church denomination (if I had one,) or hand out Jack Chick tracts to me on the bus. In our country religion IS a dinner table discussion – but I still think its over the top crass to incorporate your religious beliefs into a non-religious based business – (like cars of all things.)

    I’m not a flaming ACLU left wing anti-Christian either. I find it equally absurd to spaz out over “In God we Trust” on a quarter, or “Merry Christmas” on the city hall marquis in rural Iowa.

  18. chauncy that billups says:

    I don’t really understand how this is postworthy. Sure it’s a dumb ad, but so what? He has the right to say it – and it’s not even that vitriolic. “Sit down and shut up?” I’ve heard far worse come out of the mouths of christians and non-christians alike, on national tv and elsewhere.

  19. Alex Chasick says:

    @Lamburger Helper: The costs of changing the design of currency are a valid concern (but hey, maybe we can just take “In God We Trust” our while we’re redesigning our currency to not discriminate against the blind), but to answer your question: Yes, it really bothers me that it says that on our currency. It also bothers me that it doesn’t bother more people, and it REALLY bothers me that people like Michael Newdow are dismissed as kooks for arguing that maybe its unconstitutional to make children recite a pledge of allegiance that declares our country to be “under God.”

  20. shockwaver says:

    @Lamburger Helper: Most atheists I know don’t care about the God thing on the money, or the addition of God in to the pledge of allegiance (incidentally, it was added during the “Red” scare when clearly, if you didn’t want to say you swore to god, you were a “Damn Communist”). I know I just sort of, mumbled over that part in grade school. The issue with prayer and schools and what not is that it alienates the other students that aren’t Christian (Muslim, Buddhists, etc) because they either aren’t praying, or are asked/forced to leave the room during prayers.

    If all religious people were like Eyebrows McGee above, there would be lots less wars, violence, bombings, etc. Lets not forget that for every terrorist attack on US soil, there have been many bombings of clinics and threats on doctors lives.

  21. It is the dealerships $, they can spend it how they want.

    Personally I am amused by such ads as they do little to inspire me to purchase from the dealership, but whatever floats your boat.

  22. Titan0 says:

    People at both extremes of the argument are obnoxious. And anyone who includes this type of message as part of their business is a poor business person, plain and simple.

  23. ARVash says:

    @donkeyjote: Yup Catholic here; and I chortle at the protestants every time they freak out :P.

  24. Norcross says:

    Sounds like one of those bulls*it forwarded emails from a bible thumper. good thing that I don’t live there. or buy POS Fords, for that matter.

  25. cyberscribe says:

    Christians have always been such hopeless suckers for ANY con-artist (no matter how crazy the scam) that merely claims to support their superstitious fantasies.

    This is no different. Any stunt that might raise car sales is worth a try, for sure. These guys obviously know that a christian and his money are easily parted.

    Car salesmen are hardly what anybody would consider the most “moral and ethical” group around, which is what makes this whole thing doubly funny.

  26. witeowl says:

    Yeah, if he wants to show how much of an idiot he is by running these ads on the radio, that’s his perogative.

    But, pinkpuppet, that “logic” also caught my attention. “Did you know that 86% of pet owners have mammals as pets? Now, since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of pet owners have mammalian hedgehogs as pets, we at…”

  27. mgy says:

    Believing in a god != being christian.

    Likewise, the number of atheists is probably much higher than statistics show. I know many who are just afraid to say it due to family or other outside pressure. Either that, or they are an atheist and try to convince themselves that they’re not.

  28. dipsy30 says:

    Welcome to the USA home of free speech as the ad says, if you don’t like they’re opinion buy elsewhere. That’s what makes this country so great, a freedom to choose and freedom of speech. I’m tired of people who are afraid to speak they’re mind.

  29. ClankBoomSteam says:

    Anybody notice that somewhere in the middle of the ad, “86% of Americans believe in God” somehow turns into “86% of Americans are CHRISTIANS”? Yep, either you’re a Christian or you’re an atheist, evidently. Idiots. I’m guessing this dealership is somewhere in the ‘middle’ portion of California — the ‘Red-State-within-a-Blue-State’ portion. ‘Cuz if this were airing anywhere near L.A. or San Francisco, you can bet they’d have been firebombed by now.

  30. hills says:

    Does Kieffe really think God gives a crap about buying and selling cars?

    If there is a God, he/she seriously has more pressing issues……

  31. bohemian says:

    My non-Christian VW driving self is amused. What next, ads making insults at women, minorities?

    Any business that is more worried about pushing religion is unprofessional in my book. If they are this clueless about operating a business I generally think they are equally clueless in other aspects of their business.

  32. Shutterman says:

    When did religion go from “love your fellow man” to “I’m right and you’re evil”?

  33. MelL says:

    It’s just amazing to me that Ford would turn a blind eye to the dealership’s antics. After all, in the end, it is the Ford name that is tarnished by being associated with someone who is seen as off the wall.

  34. @shockwaver: “The issue with prayer and schools and what not is that it alienates the other students that aren’t Christian (Muslim, Buddhists, etc) because they either aren’t praying, or are asked/forced to leave the room during prayers.”

    Heck, it was Catholics and Mormons who challenged school prayer in the first place, because the Protestant-oriented prayers were inappropriate for them.

    Little personal story: When I was assigned (by rotating jobs) to lead the pledge in 2nd grade, I pointed out that one of my classmates wasn’t pledging like he was supposed to, and my teacher (who was Jewish, incidentally) took me out in the hall and gently explained to me that he was a Jehovah’s Witness, and that they didn’t pledge allegiance to anything but God. Even at 7 I felt like a complete and comprehensive ASSHOLE, and I really think that was the first moment when I really realized that being tolerant and indeed kind to people of other religions was mandatory for people of good will and for Americans who believed in the ideals of the U.S. On the flip side, that’s probably part of what drove me to majoring in theology and going to seminary because I was just so friggin’ interested in how religion drives people.

    But again on the flip side, I grew up as a minority (Catholic) in an area that was about 40% Jewish and nearly 30% Asian (mix of Asian religions and Christinaity, primarily Korean Methodism), so my experience was not typical for Christians in the U.S. But as I always tell my students, it’s EXTREMELY INSTRUCTIVE to live as a religious minority for a while and they really ought to try it before whining about being an “oppressed” majority.

    “If all religious people were like Eyebrows McGee above, there would be lots less wars, violence, bombings, etc.”

    I am flattered by the sentiment, but the world probably doesn’t need quite as many bitchslapping as I’d hand out. :)

  35. joshthephenom says:

    I’m sorry, but I find it very difficult to believe that 86% of American’s believe in God. As in the Christian God. Maybe 86% of Americans believe in A God or higher power, but not necessarily the Christian God.

  36. MelL says:

    @ClankBoomSteam: What also got me is the idea that they seem to think 86% of Americans all think the same. Guess what, pals, we all have different opinions on things.

  37. DieBretter says:

    @Lamburger Helper:
    You know, I’ll admit it straight up, I’m an atheist libertarian which makes my point, maybe not that interesting to some but to others it may be. I honestly have no problem with people being religious, it’s their choice, let them live life as they please.

    As a result of this, and with the current government trying to force religious ideals on everyone (abortion, god said I was going to win, gay rights, etc.), it has to start somewhere to get these people to realize that “Hey! There are other people here that don’t believe in a deity!”.

    Back in high school, I refused to pledge allegiance, partly because it had god mentioned in it and partly because I didn’t care for the direction that our country was headed in. Care to guess what happened? My teacher tried to write me up for it. It took the student teacher that was there to convince her otherwise.

    And, I didn’t really care until I got more and more into my adult life and I realized how stupid people are about the origins of the US (you know, the whole founded on Christian principles which is complete BS). So, now, every thing that they’ve had or try to gain, they’re going to have to fight for. I frankly have had it. They kept pushing and pushing, so now, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, others are pushing back. People have their limits. My part is working with the ACLU and getting my law degree to practice constitutional law (before any one gets their pants in knots, the ACLU helped defend Falwell’s point of view in a religious issue, but I guess that’s not widely recalled).

    So yes, it’s all just a matter of being pushed to the limit. Religious dogma has no place in Government because, by definition, the government is in place to protect the minority from the majority (read the Federalist Papers..they’re quite interesting..and sometimes used by the Court in their rulings).

    “Monsieur l’abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.” – Voltaire

  38. parad0x360 says:

    I dont believe in God and I dont believe any form of religion should be taught in schools however I dont think the money of the pledge needs to be changed.

    This guy is nuts and sooner or later his company will start losing money because of views and ads such as these. CA isnt Alabama…no offense to anyone in Alabama is implied =0

  39. Televiper says:

    @Lamburger Helper: It bothers some because it’s a strong declaration that non-Christians are second class citizens. Christians are a lot more bent out of shape about not being able to impose their beliefs on the general populace.

  40. donkeyjote says:

    @joshthephenom: Technically, God would be the Protestant, Catholic, Christian, Methodist, Jewish, and Muslim god (they are all the same). Buddism isn’t a religion, so they don’t count.

  41. Televiper says:

    @dipsy30: But, the Ad says…. we don’t like your opinion, so shut up.

  42. Personally, I am not Christian. I’m not a big fan of religion and this guy makes me want to puke.

    That having been said. He has the right to do whatever he wants with his business. He could put up a big sign that says: “I don’t serve black people here!” and he’d have every right to do so. He’d be justifiably punished severely by the public backlash, and he’d be put out of business almost immediately.

    I like how the public, in matters of commerce, can police itself in that way.

    He’s really only hurting himself. I’d say that no atheist is going to buy a car from him, nor are about 3/4 of the Christians in his community, because they aren’t about religious intolerance.

    He’s really only branding himself as a mind-numbingly inept businessperson.

  43. mstarot says:

    How sad that this dealership is promoting a backasswards ad into a WWJD? What would Jesus Drive? Certainly not a Ford…personally I believe HE would go the Amish route. Horse & Buggy.

    Funny how in most of my experience both business & personal I’ve been cheated by those that say their “Christian” and proceed to show how much they love me by screwing me out of my money!

  44. donkeyjote says:

    @Televiper: Yea, apparently their freedom of speech is greater then everyone elses freedom of speech.

  45. donkeyjote says:

    @Daniel Alderman: Uh, no he can’t. That would be illegal, as in criminal.

  46. witeowl says:

    @Lamburger Helper: The court system has various “tests” like the “Lemon Test” which help determine what’s right and wrong. I’m going to offer a test I’ve used for quite some time. It’s called the “Satan Test”.

    Would it bother you if the US currency said, “In Satan We Trust”? Would it bother you if, every morning, the school led the students in a pledge which included the phrase, “…one nation, under Satan…”? It’s just a word, right?

    Oh, wait, I promised myself I wouldn’t get involved in the “freedom of speech is also freedom from speech” thing. Ahem. Deep breaths. This is clearly the consumer’s fault! There, much better.

  47. @DieBretter: “you know, the whole founded on Christian principles which is complete BS”

    Well, it’s not *completely* BS — the First Amendment is deeply based on John Milton’s Areopagitica, which provides THEOLOGICAL defense of the necessity of free speech and free religion. (Contra the continental defense of the necessity of free religion, particularly in France: It will make us all stop killing each other. Milton suggested it’s a moral necessity, in Christian theology, for us to all choose a religion (or not choose one) freely, and that it makes God HAPPY for us to do so.)

    But the part that they totally fail to recognize is that these Christians (and quasi-Christians, if you like) WRITING the Constitution RECOGNIZED THE NECESSITY OF FREE RELIGION and rejected the concept of a state religion. Yeah, it’s likely that Jefferson, et al., were thinking of “not-Christians” as Catholics, Deists, and a handful of Jews, but they still got the broad point correct, and that’s something Christians should be PROUD of, that the recognition of the necessity of a free conscience grows out of a Christian tradition of thought.

    But this whole “the founders were Christian, you must love teh Jezus!!!!!!eleventy-one!!!!!” totally misses the goddamned point and shows a total ignorance of the traditions of theological inquiry in which our founders were steeped. (But then, ignorance of theology is sort-of a hallmark of the current breed of “Asshole Christian,” so it’s not exactly surprising.)

  48. @Daniel Alderman: “”I don’t serve black people here!” and he’d have every right to do so.”

    He certainly would not. We went over the the Civil Rights era and its attendant legislation not that long ago on Consumerist.

  49. ironchef says:

    @Televiper: It seems the religions that are into self promotion and recruitment are the most annoying ones.

  50. Smashville says:

    Hmm…per the 2001 Census, only 50 percent of Californians identify as Christians. And only 370 out of 1000 are evangelical denominations (i.e – those most likely to agree with this message). So…18.5 percent? What kind of shitty ass business is this?

  51. EricaKane says:

    who cares. the guy can say this, its his right. And its your right to not shop there.

  52. Smashville says:

    By the way, can we put together money to run an ad on the same station? I believe per the equal time law they would have to allow it at the same rate as Kieffe and Sons.

  53. thegirls says:
  54. Scuba Steve says:

    I’m not going to say that all Christians would be fooled into trusting this charlatan, but the amount that would be, would definitely outweigh the amount of people, Christian and non-Christian, who can see through this as a ploy to get people to buy cars.

    It’s a disgusting tactic, but probably not the first time it’s been used.

  55. relax_guy says:

    that’s really awesome. theres just something about looking at that statistic, being like “well shit, we can alienate 14% of people and the rest will buy from us for sure!”

    that just… well… it’s hilarious.

  56. Pink Puppet says:

    @witeowl: I always did like hedgehogs…

    So while I’m not so sure I’m happy I’m no longer Jewish in that crazy gentleman’s view of the world, I can accept that my cat is a hedgehog. That way, it all balances out in the end.

  57. thegirls says:

    @Lamburger Helper:
    The same could be said for all of those folks that want prayer in schools….if you want to pray so bad, can’t you just do it to yourself, in silence? Why do they want to make it mandatory?

    You can be a Christian and also be reasonable and respectful of others, this dealership obviously isn’t!

    WWJD? Probably now advertise a divisive message.

  58. @Scuba Steve: Moneychangers in the temple, man.

  59. VeritasNoir says:

    I will never buy a ford.

  60. @thegirls: “WWJD?”

    Probably drive a Prius. :P

  61. easy2panic says:

    If I was buying a car, I would buy one from them.

  62. @donkeyjote:

    I stand corrected, after a bit of research I discovered that California has a criminal statute that makes it illegal to discriminate in this way. Way to go California! But, its a state law. Not a federal one. So in another state, he’d be open for civil lawsuits, but not criminal.

  63. yukonrye says:

    “If we don’t see you today, We’ll be here tomorrow”
    So much for the rapture.

  64. scootinger says:

    While it wouldn’t surprise me if a car dealer in, say, Georgia or Alabama made such an ad (not that it would be any less wrong), it’s rather surprising that this guy is such a dumbass to use such an ad for his SoCal car dealership.

  65. @donkeyjote: Coming to the party late on this one, but I loved that Christianity poster. I was raised Catholic, switched to Methodist, and consider myself a spiritual person. That having been said, damn that’s funny.

  66. magic8ball says:
  67. *hearts Eyebrows*

    Ford is failing, right? Which probably means that the independently owned dealerships are failing, or at least struggling. I would assume that the psychology behind the ad involves the idea that Fundamentalist Christians are more likely to buy gas-guzzling Fords because they’re “All-American” and because Bush says it’s a good idea (yes, I’m oversimplifying). If you look at it from the perspective that most non-Fundamentalist Christian Americans are no longer buying Fords, you can see he’s not trying to alienate a percentage of his demographic, he’s trying to more strongly connect to the part of the public that has not already written him off.

  68. Trai_Dep says:

    Businesses that wave flags or crosses are perverting patriotism and religion on the alter of mammon. So his competitors are Satanist or terrorists?
    I find it amusing that it’s the agnostic guy that’s annoyed by this more than the pious. Or surprised that the flag-wavers aren’t offended at the thought that so many of our finest had their lives taken on the battlefield to… Sell crappy cars?!

    As to the 86% figure, bad poll question. Ask most people if they believe in god, they’ll shrug and say, “Sure”. Simply because there are no atheists during exam time doesn’t mean they’re religious.

    Alex: inspired picture. Pure genius!

  69. No atheist is stupid enough to buy an American made car, so he’s not losing any business.

  70. TechnoDestructo says:

    @SuffolkHouse:

    And it HAS cost the US automotive jobs sent to Canada, too. (Also southerners are illiterate LOL!)
    [www.nytimes.com]
    [forums.motortrend.com]

  71. thegirls says:

    @bohemian:
    You drive a VW? Why do you hate Jews?

    Sarcasm ;)

  72. Apparently he never read the Bible, since it says that Xians are supposed to take up their crosses and suffer.

  73. AngryEwok says:

    I’m a Christian. I think the ad is hilarious.

  74. thegirls says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    Ditto!

  75. Trai_Dep says:

    @donkeyjote: Err, Buddhism IS a religion, but doesn’t follow the same Old Bearded Guy In A Robe Creating Universe With A Snap of Finger So He Can Then Blame Humanity For Everything Else Until The End of Days mold that some of the others do. The deity comes from within, in a sense.
    Sort of confusing, but thought that I’d add that. :)

  76. Nick1693 says:

    @donkeyjote: Its comments like that start wars.What would make Buddhism less than a religion than any other?

  77. guymandude says:

    Ahhhh… blessed are the cheese makers.

  78. SonicMan says:

    @Alex Chasick: Actually, it should stay on the money. Look at the definition of god in the dictionary.

    Part of it reads “money was there god” If that does not describe the USA, what does?

  79. TechnoDestructo says:

    @anonymousryan:

    I’ve owned several American-made cars, and I’m an atheist. I just happen to have some idea which ones are good. (thank you, Carsurvey.org!)

  80. evilhapposai says:

    Here’s a tip for both atheists and religious groups. SHUT THE HELL UP. If you believe in a god or not good for you but keep it to your self and quit forcing others to change because you are jealous/upset about their ways. The car place in this post? Good for them if they want to cater to others with the same religion and beliefs they should be free to do that. If and atheist wants a Ford they are free to just go shop somewhere else or just ignore the religion thing and buy it there. Did not see anywhere that you HAD to be a Christian or convert to buy a car there.

  81. joshthephenom says:

    @donkeyjote: True I realize that. Unfortunately, most searches I’ve tried pulling lump God in with a higher power, so I still think it’s hard to tell exactly which god these people believe in. Also, nearly every single article had a different figure. Flipping the search and looking for a percentage of Atheists and Agnostics ranged between 10-15%. How many people from India are here? How about Native American’s that don’t believe in God? Hinduism? I realize that it’s by farthest the largest majority, but I doubt it’s 86%.

    Does anyone know of any comprehensive study that breaks all of this down? There’s a nice chart on Wikipedia, but I’d like something a little more complete, and current.

  82. ByeBye says:

    Religion…it’s always a touchy topic in this country.
    I was forced to be a Christian as a child, and at the age of 12, I simply stopped beleiving and became agnostic.

    Could there be a God? (besides me?) Sure, why not.
    Is there a God? (again, besides me?) I dunno, maybe.
    Was there a God? Probably, I mean, Santa Claus USED to be a real person.

    People do get offended. Christians get offended when people say “Happy Holidays” – which I do too, because it’s offensive to Christians (and again, I am not one), but I can understand where these people are coming from.

    For Christ’s (LOL’d) sake I live in Oklahoma – the Buckel of the Bible Belt, and this type of stuff is everywhere even in more diverse Oklahoma City – there is a Son & Father auto-repair shop and they have three billboards that have the 10 Commandments and pro-Christian propaganda, and the city has fought with them FOR YEARS to change it, but guess what? The “community” always supports them.

    I don’t know where I’m trying to go with all of this, but I had a point when I started.

    I’m just saying, this world is pretty messed up, especially the US, but I guess that is what makes this country unique.

  83. BigBoat says:

    The people in power like to stay in power, I get all that. But calling christians second-class citizens is such painfully utter bullshit it puts my teeth on edge. I grew up jewish, yet I am eminently familiar with all the christian holidays and their stories, the tunes of christmas carols… It’s not like I sought them out. In this culture it is simply thrust upon you. Guess how many school children, much less adults, know the passover story or what Yom Kippur exists for?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m hardly offended that people enjoy Christmas time. I could care less about Nativity scenes, even on public ground! But when the dominating class starts complaining about a lack of status or privilege, that gets my hackles up. As Ms. McGee said, spend some time as a minority. You’ll get a much clearer perspective.

  84. bohemian says:

    This guy is targeting people to buy one of the worst car lines on the market as far as longevity and fuel efficiency. The only people who would be receptive to his message are the anti-intellectual far fundamentalists that everyone else is just getting really tired of dealing with.

    Crazy fundies buy crappy cars with lousy mpg. Irony?

  85. bohemian says:

    @evilhapposai: It is all fun and games until your a religious minority living in an area heavily saturated with people like this car dealership as your retail and employment options.

    This is a situation where national chains and federal employment come in handy. They used to put out a Christian business directory, I used it as a blacklist of who to not do business with.

  86. Roddly says:

    Digg bait. Consumerist has become the fox news of consumer reporting.

  87. @Nick1693:

    The definition of Buddhism, as a religion, is debated.

    Most of the Buddhist literature I’ve read, and as a struggling Buddhist I’ve read quite a bit, says that Buddhism is a philosophy or a way of life, and does not necessarily categorize itself as a religion. There are others who say it is.

  88. evilhapposai says:

    @bohemian: Yup and my 250k miles and 36mpg Escort followed by the Focus that gets up to 38mpg proves that point. Just because you dont like them does not mean they suck.

  89. RobinB says:

    Another Christian here, wishing some of us wouldn’t make others look bad.

  90. CharlieInSeattle says:

    I have no problem with Christians as a whole. I do have problems with individual cults that claim to be Christian. This guy reminds me of one of those people. And I can tell you from personal experience that these are the kind of people you don’t want to do business with, unless you like being screwed.

  91. Only over-zealous, crazy-ass Christians would buy a Ford, anyway. I wouldn’t buy an American car for anything.

  92. czarandy says:

    @Lamburger Helper: I guess if it’s just a word you’d be fine with putting “Allah” on our currency instead of “God”. Hey, it doesn’t matter, right?

    @Daniel Alderman: Buddhism is definitely a religion. Basically every independent source calls it one, and by any reasonable definition it surely is a religion.

  93. ByeBye says:

    @MonkeySeeMonkeyDo: I own a Ford, but that is because out Mitsubishi got in an accident, couldn’t afford a new card and it was the only one we could get…

  94. witeowl says:

    @Daniel Alderman: Aw, heck, the very definition of religion is up for debate. (I don’t care what the dictionary says; I’m looking beyond that.)

    Do the Native Americans I’ve spoken with believe in a higher power? Well, yes and no. Look at the story of the earth riding through space on a turtle’s back. Ask a member of the tribe who believes that myth and he’ll say that they simultaneously do and don’t take it literally. It’s an odd explanation that I can’t quite grasp though I’ve struggled with it quite a bit.

    So… are they religious or are they spiritualists? Or are they philosophers working with a set of mythological allegories?

    And, on a more related note, what do they say when someone asks, “Do you believe in [capital G] God?”

    No, really, as a “pluralistic spiritual philosopher who calls herself a pagan just to piss people off” (PSPWCHPJPPO) I really want to know.

  95. yevarechecha says:

    I believe in God. And I would like to thank this car dealership. I quit being a Christian about a year and a half ago, and every time I start wavering and thinking about trying again, some yahoo comes out with something like this and I no longer want to. Great job!

  96. spinachdip says:

    @Daniel Alderman: Devil’s (!!) advocate: the “Buddhism is a philosophy/way of life, not a religion” argument seems to be based on the Western/Near-Eastern paradigm that religion is inherently dogmatic.

    There’s no question that Buddhism is philosophical, in that it demands its followers to ask questions, but it still has components of religion, i.e. the afterlife, deities, a creation myth, etc. Philosophy is based on logical reasoning, and Buddhism certainly doesn’t, at least not entirely. It still requires faith (though allows for more questioning than non-Eastern beliefs).

  97. elisa says:

    My Buddhist friends would be very surprised to hear that the religion their families have followed for centuries might, apparently, not be a religion.

  98. @czarandy:
    You may call it what you wish. I said that some who practice buddhism call it a religion and others do not.

    I suspect that it comes down to one’s definition of religion. Since it is a personal practice, I don’t think you get to say whether it’s a religion or not.

  99. TechnoDestructo says:

    @MonkeySeeMonkeyDo:

    I had a 96 Thunderbird, and I liked it. Decent fuel economy for a V8 due to excellent aerodynamics, loads of low-end torque, reasonably reliable, spacious, and generally a good layout for controls. The only thing I DIDN’T like was the weight (I’m a sucker for a lightweight car…so I do tend towards Japanese cars), which is why I sold it.

    Only someone who doesn’t know shit about cars would make generalizations about a whole brand when that brand actually does make some good models, and always has.

  100. TeraGram says:

    I mis-read the headline at first and I thought it said he told Christians to sit down and shut up. I was ready to hunt him down and buy a car from him.

    Oh well.

  101. tedyc03 says:

    Isn’t marketing about getting the MOST people to come to your shop?

  102. DieBretter says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    But that’s going off of technicalities, sure they may have used it in helping to form the language and ideas of what’s been said, but they also used Hobbes’ Leviathan in the formulation and he states that there should be no separation of state and government. They also used Locke, Paine and Mill of which I don’t remember too well since it’s been a number of years.

    But, I do agree with you for the most part, they may not have been thinking of atheist at that point in time, but that’s why I love the Constitution; it changes with the times. We could argue that they didn’t mean for symbols to be protected as free speech, but, they are.

    I don’t remember who exactly, but some of the signers of either the Constitution or Declaration of Independence were, I don’t want to say atheistic since they never, to my knowledge mentioned it, but from reading they appeared that way.

    But, for the most part, I do agree with what you’re saying here.

  103. bohemian says:

    @evilhapposai: I had an Escort. Other than the lousy mileage, man eating seat belts, faulty wiring, electrical hazard brake lights, transmission that died a few hundred miles past warranty, yea it was a greeeaat car. I’m done buying American cars. The last two were money sucking junk.

  104. @spinachdip: I think that you are probably right, and said it better than I could. I also think that some people tend to think of the deity and afterlife thing as a metaphor, whereas others take it more literally.

    I’m not saying its not a religion. I am saying that some people who practice and teach and write books say that it’s not. Others who practice and teach and write books say that it is.

    My personal way of thinking about it is that it’s not a religion. Do I think that every Buddhist shares this way of thinking? No. Do I know of some Buddhists who do? Yes.

  105. thelushie says:

    @donkeyjote: Actually no they are not. You have issues like the Trinity and such. But complex Theological issues are not what this board is about and it may be a little too complex to discuss here.

    I am sort of in an agnostic limbo right now. I am not sure. No one has been able to give me solid evidence (not proof, which cannot be given) that God doesn’t exist. But when I look around in the world, I wonder.

    So sitting as an outsider, I have seen more hate coming from the Atheist community than I have ever seen coming from the Christian community (minus the extremist crazies who hate everyone including each other). When discussing my concerns, I have had Atheists go into their “fairytale” garbage speech. It seems that they want to appear so intellectual, that they end up looking narrow-minded, full of hate, and stupid. I have also read books that didn’t add up logically. I have sat down with Christian intellectuals (including a couple former Atheists) who really did ask me questions, let me ask them and gave me real answers (or admitted they didn’t know and helped me find them as much as they could). I have never received a good argument from Atheists (including some who were very smart and knowledgeable about what they believed).

    Many of us live in a great country where we can say whatever we want to. This guy has a right to say what he wants and to run his business how he pleases, and others have the right to say he is stupid. What I don’t like seeing is that it gets generalized “Look what the Christians do” just like people sometimes say “Atheists are trying to take away our freedom of religion.” Well, no, not all. I really wish I could show half the love that some of the fundamentalist Christians I know show. And I wish I could give hugs like some of the Atheists I know give.

    This article is complete and utter bullshit and should not even make the news. Just because he has a right to say what he wants, doesn’t mean it needs to get posted here.

  106. spinachdip says:

    @tedyc03: Not necessarily. A lot of it is getting the desired demographic. In fact, it helps to alienate certain groups, or more likely, to give the appearance of alienating certain groups to appeal to a set group.

    For example, a few years ago, when carmakers were coming out with those boxy, smaller “urban” cars (i.e. Honda Element, Scion), they specifically eschewed mainstream advertising, because they knew that middle-aged folks would snap up practical, economical cars (Element still ended up being a mom-mobile, Scion did better with eluding unhip people, I think).

  107. @thelushie:

    “So sitting as an outsider, I have seen more hate coming from the Atheist community than I have ever seen coming from the Christian community”

    Really? You should try being gay for a while. Your tune would change dramatically. I’m not saying that that hasn’t been your experience. I’m just saying that as a gay person I get about 12 boatloads of hate from the christian community a day, whereas the atheist community is kind of the opposite.

  108. Kitteridge says:

    If this is an all-fired Christian dealership, do they only accept straight-up cash payments? No leases or loans?

    Because, y’know, moneylending is a no-no in the Bible.

  109. VikingP77 says:

    Ummmm Fossils say yes. As an atheist I don’t want your crappy cars anyways. Enjoy making money on your stupid marketing campaign…I’m sure your god is real proud….IDIOTS!

  110. backbroken says:

    So, do they offer good deals?

  111. spinachdip says:

    @DieBretter: Many of the Founding Fathers were Deists, not full on atheists: [en.wikipedia.org]

  112. Trai_Dep says:

    @Daniel Alderman: There are two, equally valued expressions of Buddhism. One can be a practicing Buddhist, where you try to live as full a life as possible, striving towards actualization. It’s a laudable and challenging path.
    There’s another path that also explores the spiritual/metaphysical aspects. This obviously requires more learning and discipline. One isn’t “better” than the other, and – as many teachings of Buddha instruct – one should follow which of these paths speaks more persuasively to you.
    It is confusing to outsiders, since there’s a secular aspect that has the same respect as the more spiritual one. It’d be as though the Vatican approved a category for people who strived to live as Jesus taught without accepting Christian metaphysics. A totally alien concept, in other words.
    Perhaps this is where the “it’s not a religion” idea comes from. One aspect of Buddhism isn’t spiritual; yet this part is far from being the totality of it.

    Heh. Off topic enough? :D

  113. Witera33it says:

    It seems as though near everyone here forgets that it is written in the Constitution that church, any church, must be separate from the State. The government should not be passing laws based upon religion.The act of doing so would make us a Theocracy. Therefore, our government using the word “god” on anything that represents us: money, pledges and so on, are in fact in contradiction to our Constitution. This also means that public schools, run by the State cannot introduce religious beliefs into the curriculum. No prayer, no intelligent design, just FACTS taught with as little bias as possible. If someone doesm’t want their child taught something different than their beliefs, there are plenty of private schools that teach all manner of things.
    @czarandy:
    I’m actually with Daniel Alderman on this. Buddhism is actually more of a philosophy and way of life that is many ways compatible with religions. The idea of it being a religion relies heavily on buddhist art and architecture. The images of gods which are meant as lessons within layers of metaphor are taken literally by outsiders. Buddhists don’t really pray to anyone. Buddha is a guide not a deity.

  114. QrazyQat says:

    Who would a car dealer most like to see as customers lined up at the door? Why, very stupid people, of course. So how better to get them than to put out a call for people who don’t accept the overwhelming evidence for evolution?

  115. differcult says:

    If someone refuses to do business with me, because I show my belief…Then I don’t want their business. These guys take it a little far by saying sit down and shut up, but it is their right to do WHATEVER they want!

  116. Jesse in Japan says:

    I think everyone should just sit down and shut up.

  117. Robobot says:

    As someone who works for a self-described “evangelical Christian company” I am waaaay too familiar with the attitudes of this dealership. My boss believes that good people are Christian and that bad people are not Christian. If he meets a nice customer he will later say something along the lines of, “What a nice guy. Must be a Christian! I can just tell he’s a good man.” A lot of the local small businesses are run by fundamentalist groups, so my boss supports them and they support us. I know from dealing with the owners that they have similar attitudes. To them good people are Christian, bad people are not.

    I guess that what I’m trying to say is that, at least in some cases, fundamentalist Christian businesses don’t mean malicious harm when they make comments like this. They honestly believe that if someone if someone is offended by their marketing/beliefs, then they aren’t fit to be customers in the first place. Why would they want a bad people as customers? Well, my boss definitely doesn’t want bad people as customers, or as employees for that matter. Thus, he discriminates because he thinks it keeps that bad people away.

    Before anyone jumps down my throat, I should add that I’m not religious. At work everyone assumes that I’m a Christian because I’m a nice, responsible person. My job has given me a really unique, and sometimes awkwardly intimate, insight into how the Christian Right thinks. Outwardly they seem hateful, and often they are, but it comes from their core beliefs. Something about their hatred is almost innocent. Any hatred they harbor is justified from where they stand. Anything besides what they understand is taken to be a threat to their beliefs, which also makes it a threat to very way of life.

    I’m not defending them, nor am I hating on them. (Sometimes it is infuriating to be surrounded by a company full of people with fundamentalist sentiments, especially since I’m secretly their sworn enemy, the non-believer.) I just feel like people should look at their rationale for acting the way they do from their perspective.

  118. spinachdip says:

    @Witera33it: Ultimately though, a goal of a Buddhist is to become a Buddha in the afterlife. Christianity is certainly more dogmatic and its mythology is taken more literally, but aren’t Christian imageries ultimately metaphors too? Resurrection is mythology to provide background to acceptance of oneself as a sinner and potential for redemption, for example. Like I said before, I think your defitinion relies too heavily on the Judeo-Christian paradigm.

    @Jesse in Japan: After you.

  119. MaliBoo Radley says:

    Ok. This dealership is the the business equivalent of a douchebag. Yes, god should be out of schools and the money. Yes, Buddhism is a religion. No, there is no god. Yeah, I’d rather buy a European car.

    Renault FTW!

  120. Lordstrom says:

    @Trai_Dep: @Nick1693: @elisa:

    There are a great many Buddhists who don’t necessarily label Buddhism a religion. Religion implies a system of belief. Buddhism isn’t about belief, it’s about logic and compassion. It doesn’t necessarily contradict any other religion. So no, elisa, they wouldn’t be surprised.

  121. Trai_Dep says:

    Oh. My. GAWD.
    We allowed the big story of this sordid tale escape scrutiny.
    A car salesperson, an SUV merchant, no less – is wrapping himself in the linen robes of Christ. Would it be more, or less, absurd than seeing the Big Oil CEOs attending church?
    Do we categorize this under Irony or Satire?

  122. Noris says:

    When will crazy Christians realize that evolution does not state that a monkey turned into a human…

    Evolution is not up for debate. Origin of the species is.

  123. spinachdip says:

    @Quietly: That’s the scary thing, isn’t it, that people who spew hate genuinely mean well?

    At least the talking heads who exploit religious radicalism know what they’re doing.

  124. spriggig says:

    So… he supports freedom of speech except for the 14% that should “sit down and shut up”. Typical.

  125. thorswitch says:

    @Lamburger Helper: Not everyone who opposes having “God” on our currency or in the pledge thinks that no god exists. Many Christians are opposed to it because they consider it to be an inappropriate endorsement of a specific religion and realize that if they want to have their own right to worship as they see fit protected, they need to be willing to protect the rights of people who worship other gods as well.

    As for the car dealership, they certainly have the right to run their ad, but I don’t think they realize that things aren’t as cut-and-dried as they imagine. While only 14% of the people in whatever survey it is they’re citing say they don’t believe in God, it doesn’t mean that the other 86% all believe in the *same* god, nor does it mean that all of those among that 86% who DO worship the same God he does necessarily agree with his idea that everyone else should just shut up.

    I’m sure that the ad is getting the guy a lot of publicity, but it’s certainly not going to all be *good* publicity and he may piss off more people than he attracts. Oh well – its his right to shoot his business in the foot if he so desires, eh?

  126. MBZ321 says:

    Who cares? It is a private business (although i’m not sure how FORD itself would take one of its dealers advertising in this way) and they can say what they want. Since I don’t agree, and am not Christian myself, I’ll be sure not to do business there, if I was ever to touch a Ford.

  127. Roundonbothends says:

    Our founding fathers believed in a remote, perhaps uncaring God uninterested in human affairs. They were, however, careful to avoid *offending* him. Neither did they feel that they had to pander to him. This was their wisdom, as they saw it at the time.

  128. Why is this even being posted? They paid for it, they can keep paying for it… That’s the whole point of free speech.

    As an athiest, I find it highly amusing when non-Christians get in an uproar about Christians expressing their religious beliefs. Sorry people, your self-riteous athiesim doesn’t entitle you to not be exposed to the existance of others beliefs.

    There’s a Ford dealership in Raleigh that will air ads praising Jesus during Christmas time. Fine with me, I can turn the damn channel if it annoys me.

    P.S.
    Car dealerships love to have memorable ads and you guys just gave them even more free publicity. So if you were offended or annoyed by their beliefs, you did the worst thing you could and gave them attention.

  129. dugn says:

    I wonder how many people extol the virtues of this dealership’s rights to say what they want, but violently oppose anything that doesn’t universally side with gays and lesbians.

    Tolerance goes both ways – not just your way.

  130. no.no.notorious says:

    statistically, bad radio ads help companies more than good ones, because they get people talking. That could have been the idea behind this one.

    people should be allowed to pray if they want, the same way muslim students are allowed to leave the class room to pray towards mecca. although I’ve been ridiculed for this, I’m not bothering anyone by quietly thanking Christ for my meals.

    @TeraGram: how old are you?

  131. RISwampyankee says:

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians; they are so unlike your Christ.

    Ghandi

  132. johnva says:

    @thelushie: The solid evidence that God likely doesn’t exist is that there is no evidence that he/she/it does exist. Basically, God is not a parsimonious hypothesis. All the things in the world that are sometimes taken to be evidence that there must be a God (beauty, complexity, etc) have better, more satisfying, and less complex explanations that don’t involve an appeal to the supernatural. Many people don’t appreciate this because they have a poor knowledge of the breadth of scientific knowledge that the human race possesses today.

    Actually, once you think about it more deeply, you may realize that the concept of God is utterly empty of explanatory power. It doesn’t explain anything about the world around us, even if it were true. Instead, it just makes things more impossible to understand, because now we are faced with understanding the nature and will of a divine being. It isn’t useful for explaining the natural world like science is.

    Now, I’m not arguing some of the other points re: the existence of God. I’m an agnostic also on philosophical grounds, but only towards a deist-style God. I am not agnostic towards the idea of an interventionist God that constantly interferes in the world at a higher level (such as the God typically posited by Christianity or Islam). We would be able to observe such a God’s actions, and we have not. I’m just saying that the so-called “argument from design” is not a very persuasive argument for the existence of God.

  133. johnva says:

    @Quietly: The fact that many people have good intentions in their bigotry does not make it any more acceptable. However, it does suggest a means of getting them to change their behavior. Perhaps they simply need to be educated about the fact that their words and behavior are hurtful to other people and do not help them?

  134. EtherealStrife says:

    This man should be applauded by non-Christians everywhere. He’s performing a public service.

    Japanese vehicles ftw

  135. spinachdip says:

    @dugn: So what you’re saying is one should be tolerant of another’s intolerance? By that logic, shouldn’t one be tolerant of another’s intolerance for intolerance? Which is to say, your “tolerance goes both ways” argument inevitably leads to circuitous logic, and is therefore nonsense.

  136. Me - now with more humidity says:

    SuffolkHouse: Moron… your Camry was made in KENTUCKY by AMERICANS.

  137. Me - now with more humidity says:

    thorswitch: Agreed. I believe in God. I also believe in the Constitution. Government and religion don’t mix well — the last 8 years prove that.

  138. ShirtGuyDom says:

    So, this guy says that the 86% of “Christians” should tell the 14% of “Atheists” to “sit down and shut up,” and then goes on to say that this is America and we have freedom of speech?

    Excuse me? Double-standards much?

  139. spinachdip says:

    @Me: True, but they are a product of the Toyota Way and the Toyota Production System. The manufacturing plants in Kentucky are simply the end of a long chain that starts in Japan.

    The problem with American cars isn’t that they’re manufactured by Americans (which they often aren’t), but because they’re concepted, marketed and sold by American executives.

  140. @TheManator: The world would be a better place if we could all appreciate the local cultural color of one another’s religions celebrations and leave it at that.

    @BigBoat: “Guess how many school children, much less adults, know the passover story or what Yom Kippur exists for?”

    Illinois’s school law is relatively brilliant in that if 1/3 of your student body will miss class (for religion, for skiing injuries, for a nasty flu epidemic), you get to cancel school. So growing up I ALWAYS got Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah off and I TOTALLY know what they’re for. When I was little I was jealous that other people’s grandparents came to visit on those days but when I got older I was like, “ROCK ON! The mall is empty and I get the whole day off!”

    Rejoice in other people’s religious holidays, people! You get the day off! Or, you get the day on, and get your own holiday off, and everyone thanks you for being so cool as to work their holiday for them. Sheesh, get a little multicultural!

  141. DieBretter says:

    @spinachdip:
    I will be infinitively more pleased if they were Deists then what we now consider to be Christians.

    In all seriousness, in the 1700s when these folks lived, they had really no scientific knowledge about the creation of the Earth. I’d have to chalk them up more to lack of knowledge, so what happens? You try to rationalize it and that leads to a deity that created the world. Further, I believe that had I been around then too I’d say that I was a Deist too.

    I mean, these guys did not use faith as a reason to believe what they did; they probably reached their conclusion based on the inclination that they can’t observe creation. Also, I will admit that I’m rather glad that they were able to rationalize things rather then rely on faith.

    But, I do wish to thank you for the correction. The last time that I looked at this stuff was the start of freshman year of college so my mind is a tad bit musty in this area right now.

  142. baristabrawl says:

    @pinkpuppet: Jewish people believe in God, I just assumed they were Christians…my bad.

    I guess instead of being sarcastic I could just say, “He’s ignorant, there was no memo.”

  143. donkeyjote says:

    @pinkpuppet: Especially blue ones :P

    @Eyebrows McGee: WWJD? He’d walk. Not like he’s gonna travel more then 20 miles anyway.

    @Nick1693:
    @Trai_Dep:
    The lack of a “god” or “gods”, that’s why. Buddha, when asked, if God existed, said he could neither prove or disprove it, and could never do so (In this world), so it wasn’t worth looking into. At a point, Buddha believed religion to be the console of a scared person.

    “Gripped by fear men go to the sacred mountains, sacred groves, sacred trees and shrines” Dp 188

    For instance, there is a suggestion that Buddhist followers ought not to waste their time on unsolvable metaphysical questions such as “does god exist”. The search to identify the “one true god” or to speculate on the nature of god was seen as an exercise in futility.

    See these two links for a good explanation:
    [answers.yahoo.com] (The answer by Isaiah)
    and
    [india_resource.tripod.com]

    Personally, buddhism is more of a way of life (As is Confucianism) then a religion. The belief of God and the practicing of Buddhism do not preclude either.

    Also, buddhists, I would hope, would know better then to start a war when someone says buddhism isn’t a religion. :P

  144. baristabrawl says:

    @Me: It might have been made in Lafayette, IN because the Subaru plant there has a contract with Toyota to build Camrys to keep up with the demand.

  145. @DieBretter: “They also used Locke, Paine and Mill of which I don’t remember too well since it’s been a number of years. But, I do agree with you for the most part, they may not have been thinking of atheist at that point in time, but that’s why I love the Constitution; it changes with the times. We could argue that they didn’t mean for symbols to be protected as free speech, but, they are. I don’t remember who exactly, but some of the signers of either the Constitution or Declaration of Independence were, I don’t want to say atheistic since they never, to my knowledge mentioned it, but from reading they appeared that way.”

    Mill isn’t going off technicalities; Mill is like the heart and soul of the whole thing. But Locke, Hobbes, Paine, and all the rest are at least nominally Christian (you’re thinking of Deists, who thought some form of God wound up the universe like a watch, and then let it go and just watched for entertainment value), and I totally think that’s something Christians should be proud of! And that IS why the Constitution is brilliant — it has ROOM for atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, and little green men from Mars. Christians should spend a helluva lot less time going all “founders loved Jebus!” and a helluva lot more time going all, “founders created this spectacular republic with room for little green men from Mars to believe in the deity of their choice!”

    It’s enormously awesome to be able to say, “Someone from OUR intellectual tradition came up with the idea that God (if there is such a creature) WANTS you to be intellectually free.” It pisses me off, quite honestly, that so many American Christians, who ought to know better are all, “God wants you to ‘sit down and shut up.'” ARGH! They missed the best memo of them all!

    @Daniel Alderman: “I’m just saying that as a gay person I get about 12 boatloads of hate from the christian community a day, whereas the atheist community is kind of the opposite.”

    I am so sorry you have experienced that — though I know it’s not ONE BIT unusual — and it sucks chocolate salty monkey balls that people have thrown that at you. :(

    @spinachdip: You’ve totally correctly identified “The Problem of Democracy” — do we tolerate that which seeks to destroy our toleration?

  146. chewiemeat says:

    And religious people are shocked that there are MILITANT atheists.

  147. chewiemeat says:

    @differcult: @differcult:

    Don’t be an idiot. You can have your belief – no matter how ignorant and illogical and flat out stupid and damaging it is to the progress of mankind.

    But please SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT.

    People like that are the reason there are “militant atheists”.

  148. karmaghost says:

    They paid the money, they can say it if they want. Solution? Don’t buy your cars there.

    But seriously, 84% of people saying they believe in God does not mean 84% of people are Christians. WTF.

  149. rmric0.wedding.photographer.and.manny says:

    There was a point made above (and I seem to have lost it in the flood) that I think was very cogent about the usefulness of this kind of alienation in advertising.

    To use the biblical reference, it’s a rather unsubtle Shibboleth. In a world where you’re told that everything that comes from outside of the group is wrong and evil, you’re not going to get out much (which is a broad brush I know). You go to the places that know the code and the language and that creates a potentially lucrative closed market.

    By saying that they’re “Christian” and proud of it, the dealer is raising up this flag and telling these insular groups that it’s okay to shop there. What he gets in return for his brazen attitude is the loyalty of a very intense community that isn’t going to spend its money somewhere else if it can help it.

  150. spinachdip says:

    @donkeyjote: I realize we’re talking about arbitrary labels, but still, I think your labeling is arbitrarily based on Judeo-Christian beliefs.

    While Buddhists may not answer to a singular (or multiple) god(s), it’s still based on mythology and a system of higher powers. As a point of comparison, Taoism and Confucianisms aren’t religions, but philosophies/schools of thought – I don’t think there’s any argument about that. While Buddha himself may have been skeptical about the existence of god, his teachings were based on divine inspiration. And doesn’t prayer require religious belief, if not necessarily faith?

    Anyway, what is religion, other than a set of religion based on a founding myth and appeal to a higher power?

  151. thegirls says:

    @Me:
    I found out my 2002 Camry (purchased northern VA) was made in Japan. I had to replace the side view mirror and they told me that not all parts on the Japanese and American made Camry’s are interchangeable – such as that mirror. They had to special order mine. They also said that the Japanese made ones are of better quality.

  152. SOhp101 says:

    Funny how they assume the entire 86% believe exactly what they do.

  153. dugn says:

    @spinachdip: To apply your own narrow and circuitous interpretation on my words and to call it nonsense is exactly my point: It surprises me that many liberals and atheists are quick to applaud anything anti-Christian while lambasting anyone who doesn’t agree with non-Cristian morals.

    Blasting someone else’s point of view because it isn’t yours is not discussion, discourse or discovery. It’s narrow-mindedness. To narrowly frame someone’s words in exactly the same way is even less helpful.

    As to the topic at hand, the anti-Christian ad cuts both ways: If you support the notion that tolerance is paramount, than anarchy is the logical result; everyone must tolerate everything. If you choose intolerance for everything with which you disagree, it’s polarizing. Common sense, prudence and moderation go a long way to picking which battles are crucial and which are of little significance.

    Personally, if you can’t tolerate a country founded on principles from the Bible and a God, you can either accept that you are the minority or go to a country that’s more aligned with your beliefs. Just as a consumer, you can take your business elsewhere.

  154. donkeyjote says:

    @thelushie: They are all the same person/god/being/thing. All use partially the same source material (The Qur’an (The Torah) [Muslim] is in The Old Testament [Jewish] which is in The Bible [Christian]) and some of the same people (Mainly, Moses, though Jesus is a Muslim Prophet, afaik). The only difference between “God” “Jehova” and “Allah” (Which, I believe literally means, The God”, since al, in arabic, is the) is the dipshit stories and differences we as humans divided by language and distances have come up with. Christians don’t believe in saints and the virgin mary, Catholics do. Protestants believe in a strict literal interpretation, Methodists don’t. Jews don’t believe the messiah has come yet, Christians believe Jesus is the messiah but has not come a second time yet, Muslims that Jesus was a prophet and that Muhammad the messiah but that Jesus will come around again (Some do anyway), Mormons believe Jesus has already come again, in SLC.

    Same damn God, different beliefs.

    @johnva: Re:

    The solid evidence that God likely doesn’t exist is that there is no evidence that he/she/it does exist.

    The lack of proof/evidence, is not proof/evidence of the lack thereof. That works for everything in science, including the presence or non-presence of a god.

    @Me: Kentucky made, Japanese designed and tested. Kentucky is just following the detailed steps that the Japanese already established for that model.

    @ShirtGuyDom: I was about to say, Stick guy dom, on consumerist? HA.

  155. spinachdip says:

    @dugn: That’s a lovely strawman you have there. Do you need any help knocking it down? Or do you need more help polishing up your false dilemma?

  156. The Dude says:

    What’s the weird connection here with so many ‘consumerists’ being anti-God? I’m not defending the ad or trying to say you should be pro-God, but this thing hit a nerve with lots of people here. Maybe the consumerist mentality and communism connection idea bears some truth..?

    And speaking of control of others, can we get half the people who post on here banned somehow?

  157. WrongoBucko says:

    I’m putting a Calvin-pissing-on-a-crucifix decal on my mini-truck rear window.

  158. Angilina says:

    I was considering buying a ford hybrid, but I’m not sure that I will now that they won’t do anything about this. They should have tighter control over what their dealers say, especially now that their profits are tumbling because of gas prices.

    I’m Pagan, I believe in GODS. But I’d still be included in the 86%.

    *files this under reasons that I’m not a people person*

  159. TeraGram says:

    A thought just occurred to me. Maybe I’ll burn some of my gazillion roll-over minutes on my cell by calling all the OTHER dealerships near Kieffe & Sons and pitching my script for their advertising.

    Yeah.

    It’ll go something like this…

    Did you know that there are people in this country who want to force prayer in our schools? They’d have your child praying to their flavor of god. They want to put “Thanks be to God” on your menus, force you to sign Purity Pledges and ensure that you march in unity to promote the Glory of HIS name!

    But did you know that 86% of Americans say they believe religious tolerance? Now, since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are tolerant folks who believe others choices are as valid as our own we at Better Car Dealer wonder why we don’t just tell the other 14% to sit down and shut up. I guess maybe I just offended 14% of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case, then I say that’s tough, this is America folks, it’s called free speech. And none of us at Better Car Dealer are afraid to speak up.

    YEAH! That’s the ticket!

  160. witeowl says:

    @The Dude: Are you being sarcastic?

    I haven’t seen a single post that’s anti-god. I’ve seen a quite a lot that are anti-shoving-their-belief-and/or-interpretation-of-god-down-my-throat. If you can’t see the difference, then you might want to broaden your horizons.

    Of course, if you’re being sarcastic then… nevermind.

  161. coffee177 says:

    “For that matter, why does believing in God make one a Christian according to this man? Did I miss a memo?”

    yep. you did miss the memo. But thats ok. They wrote it a long time ago and put it in a book.

  162. BigBoat says:

    For those that think this is a non-story, non-stories don’t get the triple digit comments. Perhaps in a more enlightened age this radio ad would be mere flotsam…

  163. differcult says:

    @spinachdip: Wrong. US cars are almost up to par with Asian cars, I was just told this by a Honda Dealer of all people last week.

    Too bad they can’t turn a profit because they have to support ALL of their employees.

  164. witeowl says:

    @coffee177: Yep. The Qur’an. Oh, wait, did you mean a different book? Oh, surely you mean the Talmud. The Tibetan Book of the Dead? The Vedas? The Zend Avesta?!?!? The Great Book of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?!?!? For the gods’ sake, man, be more specific!

  165. differcult says:

    @chewiemeat: It is called free speech. Protects them and what you said YOU.
    This country wasn’t founded by atheist, it was found by god loving men, whose ideals of freedom of religion was protestant or catholic. The point this stealership is trying to make (in not the best way, but it is working) is that the majority should be heard over the minority.
    If you really want to get technical, atheist push their beliefs on other just as much as all other religions do. The belief of nothing is still a belief.

  166. pigeonpenelope says:

    in the liberal state of California, that was a stupid move.

    that being said, i feel it is right to say that as a Christian, I am completely for the separation of church and state and believe in evolution. i don’t appreciate someone telling me i need to ostracize non-Christians and i respect those who aren’t.

  167. BlackFlag55 says:

    Freedom is messy.

    I choose freedom. I’m old enough to have personally seen a Well Regulated Society operate on politically correct ideology. Every one of you should have had the opportunity to stand just the other side of Checkpoint Charlie. This guy’s opinions were not tolerated in the least. You sure you want to go that way?

    A major responsibility of our freedom is to somehow get along with wingnuts, cretins, know it alls and nose pickers. And guys like me. On both sides. Because Freedom Is Messy. However …

    I definetly choose Freedom. This crank case can afford access to the airwaves, so be it. That’s the price of your freedom to yell back at him.

    Freedom is messy. I choose Freedom.

  168. differcult says:

    @dugn: I agree 100%

  169. RetailGuy83 says:

    @SpiderJerusalem: Most* new car dealers bearly break even on the new side. All car lots (especially private owned) make ALL their profit in used. The reason they carry national manufactuer’s is for national advertising and finacing options they would otherwise be unable to maintain.

    *Toyota the manufactuer and the dealers are making A KILLING on the Prius.

  170. Witera33it says:

    @spinachdip: Buddhists don’t want to become buddha in the afterlife because there isn’t one. That assumption in itself is Judea/Christian. They reincarnate. They seek to become a living Buddha in order to break the cycle of reincarnation. They don’t pray to gods they meditate upon the teachings within the images in order to become godlike.

    I do not wish to start a war, but ignorance is the heart of suffering.

  171. Jesse in Japan says:

    @spinachdip: It depends on which sect of Buddhism you’re talking about. Followers of Pure Land Buddhism (worshippers of the bodhisattva Amida to the Japanese, Amitaba to the Chinese) DO believe in an afterlife. They believe that it is no longer possible for human beings to attain Buddhahood and so their only hope is to turn to Amida/Amitaba for salvation. They believe that, if they put their faith in Amida/Amitaba, they will be reborn in the “Pure Land’ when hey die. In many ways, it is actually pretty similar to Christianity.

    Don’t make assumptions about Buddhism, because there are as many different denominations and variants as you can imagine.

  172. Witera33it says:

    @Jesse in Japan: i learn something new every day

  173. johnva says:

    @donkeyjote: I agree that lack of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence. That’s why I elaborated, and discussed parsimony. God is not the simplest explanation for most observed natural phenomena.

  174. LionelEHutz says:

    If you look up the word assholes in the dictionary it says “Kieffe and Sons”.

  175. spinachdip says:

    @Jesse in Japan: Thanks for that, really. My exposure to Buddhism has been almost entirely of the Far East varieties, so I realize I’m not getting the whole picture.

    @BlackFlag55: I don’t think anyone is seriously arguing for suppressing the dealership’s right to free speech. We’re just pointing out, “Hey, here’s a bunch of dickbags airing a dickbag commercial that makes a crass connection between god and shitty cars!”

  176. Consumer007 says:

    I think the stations airing the ad should offer equal time to counter the ad from some folks like the “Freedom From Religion” foundation, telling the car dealer to “sit down and shut up”. Sounds fair and balanced to me…

  177. Trai_Dep says:

    @donkeyjote: I think that for things larger that us, using confining constraints on a checklist only shows how debased (in a neutral sense) we are. I believe that when there’s a supernatural (again, in a neutral sense) basis for explaining our base (ditto) reality, it’s religion. Reincarnation, Supreme Being(s), Creation Myths: all religious.
    If someone says this is (is not) religion because there is (is not) an omnipotent CEO running things only demonstrates how much more they need to learn and how far they need to travel.
    Deciding Animism, Buddhism, Wikkanism, et. al as not being “religious” because it doesn’t fit a constrained model that only fits Judao-Christian modalities is like saying Judaism isn’t a “real” religion since they don’t accept Christ. It comforts rather than explains.
    But, reasonable people can disagree. :)

  178. Consumer007 says:

    I do think it would be humorous if a big group of non-Christians surrounded / descended on the dealership on a busy Saturday and “sit down and shut up” right where it would keep Christians from driving in. That would teach them…

  179. Trai_Dep says:

    @donkeyjote: And, in rough terms (by no means am I an expert in this), Buddha reaching nirvana transcended humanity. Or became what humanity is meant to be. And this transformation is within us all, although we must all follow our own path to find it. Papa Bear can’t lead us by the nose to show us. “God” is within us, not sitting on a shelf in the Vatican.
    Not that there’s a Buddhist god in the Western sense, but as a way to suggest a different way of looking at what construes divinity.
    C’mon – isn’t taking a broader view more interesting, more fulfilling, more provocative? Wouldn’t doing so lead to a better world?

  180. spinachdip says:

    @differcult: I guess it depends on the metric, but the Japanese and the Germans will at least beat the Americans on innovation for the foreseeable future, even if the Americans have caught up on quality. Regardless, they’re still using Toyota as their benchmark.

    And while labor costs, particularly benefits to retired workers, do indeed represent a burden for the Big Three, that’s the deal they made to achieve their post-WWII growth, and it only serves to mask s bigger problem with their management culture and overall inefficiency.

  181. Channing says:

    Wow, not cool.

    What’s next? Blacks aren’t real people and you only sell to whites? Come on!

  182. mcjake says:

    You are forgetting the important part here. This dealership is in between Mojave and Rosamond. That place is America’s asshole. I lived there for ten years and I swore I would never step foot in either of those towns ever again.

  183. enjo says:

    every time those pesky dominionists come up, I click on over to conservapedia.com for a good laugh.

    if religious conservatives put half the energy they waste offending the majority of Americans into something more useful, like learning, they might come up with a reasonable argument or two instead of coming of as bigoted supremists.

  184. katyggls says:

    I was a born again Christian for five years and then I recovered my brain and I’ve been an agnostic leaning towards atheist for about two years. Every so often doubt creeps in and I think, “What if there really is a god?”. Then I hear a story like this and I smile and say, “Nope, guess not”. If there really was a benevolent and rational deity surely he wouldn’t allow his followers to be such complete and utter douchebags.

  185. RedSonSuperDave says:

    As adamant I am about this guy’s right to say stuff like this, I really have to wonder what he’s thinking. Sure, any publicity is good publicity, ten thousand views of this article just on this site and climbing, this could be the best thing that ever happened to Kieffe and Sons. However, Kieffe is ostensibly a businessman, not a professional wrestler or a telethon host, and I can’t see how being NATIONALLY KNOWN as “Religious Intolerance Car Salesman Guy” can POSSIBLY be considered good business.

    In Southern California, bastion of religious fundamentalism as it is, no less. Well, it’s his business. Maybe after it folds he can get a talk show or something.

  186. dink23 says:

    @ClankBoomSteam: You hit the nail on the head with the whole ‘Red-State-within-a-Blue-State’. Believe it or not, northern Los Angeles county is primarily conservative Republicans and this dealership is located smack dab on the Northern LA county and Kern County line, so he is speaking to his target audience and has been for nearly 70 years. The fact that this made national news is hilarious. If it’s true that there is no such thing as bad press, I bet his business is booming just because of the exposure, which probably explains why Ford is unwilling to get involved.

  187. donkeyjote says:

    @Trai_Dep: @Trai_Dep: What a wonderful explanation of your beliefs while trying not to sound like your insulting me, yet failing at that. While calling me stupid and narrow-minded because of my belief, you try to impose your belief on me, as well as hypocritically stating your belief as correct over mine.

    Applying a constraining checklist to something to call it a religion? Isn’t that what you just did when you say “Does it have something supernatural? Then it is (is not) a religion”. Oh wait, define supernatural. Oh wait, if that’s what happens to everything all the time because that’s the way the world works, then how is it supernatural? Wouldn’t a buddhist reincarnation be a natural part of the world, thus failing YOUR checklist?

    Hell, creation “myth”? According to you, the big bang theory is not a scientific theory, but part of a religion.

    What else. Oh, having a God = religion only fitting Judao-Christian modalities? What kinda crap is that? How about all the pre-christian religions in europe? How convenient, the Romans, Greeks, Norse, Egyptian Gods and religions never existed then? Hell, what about the pre-Colombus religions that we know about like the aztecs or mayans had, or all the ones that we have never learned about?

    Religion = beliefs held and rituals followed that were set forth by a god or gods.
    Way of life = beliefs held and rituals followed that were set forth by men.

  188. Jcakes says:

    What a pack of morons.

    I wonder if he realizes he evolved from a virus?

    Probably a projectile diarrhea one.

  189. RedSonSuperDave says:

    For the benefit of anybody who declines to sit down and shut up, the email address for that business is:

    ksf@kieffeandsons.com

    I’m going to take advantage of my First Amendment rights and tell Kieff exactly what I think of his way of doing business.

  190. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Ya, considering Fords Hybrid Escape gets the same in city gas mileage as the tiny ass smart car.

  191. delphi_ote says:

    Even more than 86% of the nation is not Jewish. Let’s tell those Jews to sit down and shut up, too!

    Sorry to Godwin the comments, but hate speech is hate speech…

  192. donkeyjote says:

    @delphi_ote: No overt “nazi” reference, no Godwin (Me saying nazi does not count :P)

  193. @donkeyjote: Okay, woah:

    “All use partially the same source material (The Qur’an (The Torah) [Muslim] is in The Old Testament [Jewish] which is in The Bible [Christian])”

    The Quran is not the Torah and does not contain the Torah. The Torah is the first five books of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. (And Jews don’t call their scriptures “The Old Testament”; they call it the Tanakh or in English often “The Hebrew Bible” or “The Jewish Bible.”) Jews and Christians share two dozen-ish books that Christians call “The Old Testament”; The Quran is entirely different, though it shares some of the same stories.

    “(Mainly, Moses, though Jesus is a Muslim Prophet, afaik).”

    Mainly *ABRAHAM*, though Moses, Adam, Isaac & Ishmael, and several other stories are shared by the Judeo-Christian and Muslim traditions. Jesus, of course, is only shared by Christians and Muslims, not Jews, and Christians and Muslims hold radically different beliefs about who he was.

    “The only difference between “God” “Jehova” and “Allah””

    What a weird and interlingual choice of designators.

    “Christians don’t believe in saints and the virgin mary, Catholics do. Protestants believe in a strict literal interpretation, Methodists don’t.”

    Catholics are a SUBSET of Christians. Methodists are a KIND of Protestant. (And only a small minority of Protestants are literal interpreters anyway.) Your terminology is all over the place here!

    “Jews don’t believe the messiah has come yet, Christians believe Jesus is the messiah but has not come a second time yet, Muslims that Jesus was a prophet and that Muhammad the messiah but that Jesus will come around again (Some do anyway), Mormons believe Jesus has already come again, in SLC.”

    Mohammad is NOT A MESSIAH. He is the “seal of the prophets,” the last and greatest prophet for Muslims, but NOT A MESSIAH. Some Shi’ite Muslims think a quasi-messianic figure, the last of the legitimate Shi’ite Imams, called Mahdi, will return as a savior, but not a son-of-God kind of savior.

  194. phoenixatthegates says:

    well, I’m a Muslim, and although I find and I find no offense directed against me in the radio ad, after all it was directed against those who believe that God doesn’t exist I think.

    Still I do believe that everyone should be able to choose what to believe in, or what not to believe in, if you want to be Jewish, Muslim, Christian or even Godless, its your business, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to offend you, if someone doesn’t like what you believe in, they should keep their opinions to themselves.

  195. donnie5 says:

    Best. Add. Ever.
    Had it been some hedonistic reference, or something denying what Christianity stood for, people would not say a word and make fun of anybody who dared protests. Lets hear it for the pro-God Ford dealer for having the moxy to stand up for free speech.

  196. TangDrinker says:

    Well, I think they took Apple Auto Sales’ message literally. Rev Rob would be proud.

  197. battra92 says:

    YAWN! He can advertise however he wants. Just don’t shop there if you don’t like it.

    Me, I drive a Hyundai and would never drive a Ford. I’d love to get a Lincoln or Buick though. Maybe I will for my next car if I get a much better job.

  198. 8TrackMind says:

    A company who tells a portion of the population to “sit down and shut
    up”, invoking free speech rights. Ah, the delicious irony…


    Ummagumma
    Curator of The Dot Eaters: Videogame History 101
    http://www.thedoteaters.com

  199. IrisMR says:

    I think the problem is deeper than their idiotic religious fanatism.

    The problem is that Ford sucks. Why would ANYONE drive a Ford car? Calling a boycott would be idiotic. You SHOULD NOT drive a Ford to begin with.

    Of course, I’m a fan of free speech. It’s the one thing that allows me to detect prehistoric near-sighted bible thumping dumbasses from miles around.

  200. captadam says:

    It bothers me that “God” is in the Pledge of Allegiance. But it also bothers me that we HAVE a Pledge of Allegiance. It’s kind of creepy, like something out of the Soviet Union.

  201. captadam says:

    @enjo: Ooh, conservapedia! I was banned from there … twice, I think!

  202. @jamesdenver: It doesn’t baffle me that a dealer would alienate half the customers to chase the other half. The other half are mainly sheep who will stay with Ford no matter how much they suck because they’re allegedly “Made In The USA.” They’re very narrow in their thinking, if you could call it that.

  203. moore850 says:

    I love that because we have free speech, anyone who doesn’t think like him should shut up… and Ford wonders why they have declining sales. I can only imagine what the engineers are doing to the car designs if this is what the dealers are doing to customers. Maybe they should install a ‘pray to god’ button instead of an airbag.

  204. thegirls says:

    @donkeyjote:

    This statement from your posting confuses me:
    “Christians don’t believe in saints and the virgin mary, Catholics do.”

    Although I’m no longer a practicing Catholic…I would beg to differ. Catholics ARE Christians and the Catholic church is the worlds largest Christian church. I know some “Christians” think differently of Catholics…but Catholics do follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as well!

  205. dirk1965 says:

    The term “Christian” is used very loosely today. It definitely doesn’t mean what it did 50 years ago. It seems like almost everyone says they’re a “Christian”, yet don’t have a lick of beliefs in what it really means or don’t even lead a life that would show to others that they are. Personally, for this reason, I don’t say I’m a ‘Christian’ any longer… simply a born again believer.

    If this Ford dealership feels they have to strut their stuff about what they ‘believe’, whatever. Nobody ever seems to care about when non-believer shares their opinion… like a lot of the Hollywood ‘stars’!

    If you don’t believe like others, who gives a rip. This is America and that’s what it all about. If you don’t like it try to go find somewhere else better to live. Doubtful you will though!

  206. winstonthorne says:

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAW!!!

  207. WhirlyBird says:

    @jamesdenver: “In some countries it would be incredibly offensive to out of the blue ask “Are you Saved?””

    That’s the way it is in *all* civilized countries – just not the U.S.

  208. This is distasteful, but honestly no more over the top than the Christian-bashing that is so fashionable in the US today.

  209. Gokuhouse says:

    There are many ways to look at this.
    1. The company owner is a Christian and is doing his best to to complete the Great Commission and this is the only way he knows how.
    2. This is a marketing ploy to attract attention to his business.
    3. He just really hates non-Christians.
    4. Has has done his research and knows from it that non-Christians do not buy from him. Maybe he lives in a “Christian” community of which 99.99% of his business is Christians.
    Whichever way you look at it, he likely wouldn’t have made the ad without a valid reason whatever it may be. If he’s truly doing God’s work, he doesn’t care about making a profit at his business. If he’s not doing God’s work, he must have a calculated risk taken by placing the ad.

  210. thegirls says:

    @dirk1965:
    OH LORD!

    I know a lot of “born again believers” that aren’t very Christianly!

    The old attack on those “Hollywood types” is getting very tired. Born again believers attack them at every chance they get! I’d say you’re doing that exact same thing, only in a little bit of a more back handed way.

    Not very Christianly of you!

  211. BigElectricCat says:

    I wonder if that dimwit would balk at taking my atheist check for a downpayment? Or if my atheist credit rating might cause me to pay a higher interest rate? I certainly can’t let the man see my godless credit cards; they say nothin’ ’bout a higher power on them.

    Forget it; I’ll go across the street to the Toyota dealership. At least they aren’t airing radio ads that tell me and people like me to “sit down and shut up.”

    Clearly, we shall know they’re christians by their love. (eyes roll)

  212. BigElectricCat says:

    @InfiniTrent: “This is distasteful, but honestly no more over the top than the Christian-bashing that is so fashionable in the US today.”

    By all means, please substantiate this claim.

  213. Pro-Pain says:

    God is dead, and no one cares. If there is a Hell then I’ll see you there- Trent Reznor NIN.

  214. shockwaver says:

    The problem with religion is that it preaches intolerance of others.

    “The rivers of America will run with blood before the take our holy, God-inspired Bible from the schools” – Willian “Billy” Sunday

    “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions” – Jerry Falwell
    “If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.” – Jerry Falwell

    And to Godwin the thread:
    “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator; by defending myself against the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord… I would like to that Providence and the Almighty for choosing me of all people..” – Adolf Hitler

  215. BearTack says:

    Besides being a poor business practice, sending such a commercial over the air waves might indeed be illegal. Transmitting frequencies are publicly owned and only licensed to radio and tv stations. Thus rightly or wrongly, the State have a legal interest in expression over radio.

    Each radio and tv station must renew its licensing every few years. Any citizen has the right to complain that the station is not acting in the public interest, and the defense costs against such charges tends to be quite high, often in six figures. This broadcaster has opened themselves up to significant costs and the possible loss of their license.

  216. evilinkblot says:

    The argument against taking In God We Trust off our currency is ridiculous on it’s face, it was only put on in the 1950’s because of the communist scares. Same reason “under God” went into the Pledge. Now I’ll never say the pledge, to me it’s now a prayer.

    BTW, the pledge was written by a baptist preacher in 1892 I think, specificially leaving out mention of any god so it wouldn’t be divisive. Now it is exactly that.

  217. @Quietly: Once in a while, I see a billboard or a TV ad or something where they post a Jesus fish next to the logo. Now, I’m pretty dang sure the Jesus fish logo is in the public domain, so there’s nothing keeping the non-religious from using it in their advertising. It would be really nifty if some whacko religious group developed a logo that they COULD register as a brand, and charge people a “certification fee” for the privilege of being able to use it.

  218. Well, I’m definitely not considering a Ford when I get a new car.

    Of course, I wasn’t in the first place (Saturn loyalist here), but this just cements my stance.

  219. Yeuch, that’s just unbelievable.

    However, it always tickles me (in a Satanic sorta way) when people claim that because they’re in the majority, they have Free Speech and everybody else should shut it.

    It’s just such a SPECTACULAR missing of the point, it’s almost fun to watch, like NASCAR crashes.

  220. BII says:

    This dealership is in Kern County (same county Bakersfield is in), Jesus and Pick-em-up trucks go hand in hand ’round those parts.

    Here’s a question for the consumerist, how do I get them to install the gun rack for free if I buy an F-150 from them? Any suggestions?

  221. @Shutterman: Like, the day after they invented it?

  222. Trai_Dep says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: I just want to add to the chorus of commentators noting your excellent posts – very informative and well-written!

    @donkeyjote: Sigh. Way to miss my point and take my extended hand of multi-denominational friendship and spit on it. You’re proving my point about close-minded Xtian-types. You know that, right?
    I’ve never said that other competing belief systems were more or less valid than others, simply that practitioners of one shouldn’t cram their beliefs down the throats of practitioners of another. Tone down the paranoia?
    “…beliefs held and rituals followed that were set forth by a god or gods.
    You see, that’s precisely the exclusionary semantics that I referred to. It would be like I insisted that belief systems were only “religion” if they included some aspect of purposeful reincarnation, or Christians saying the same only for belief systems starring Lil’ Baby Jesus. Comforting but of no value since it arbitrarily excludes a wide swath of competing belief schema. Which you’re free to do (hey: America!), but don’t wrap yourself in the flag of multi-denominational tolerance while doing so.
    Science and faith are at two ends of an intellectual continuum. Blending the Big Bang with Creation myths demonstrate your ignorance of this. This is a fundamental error on your part. What’s next, Creationism?
    If you don’t recognize that the concept of purposeful reincarnation of innumerable souls spanning eons is supernatural then you have a very shaky hold on reality. For the sake of yourself and others nearby, seek help?

  223. darkryd says:

    Thanks, dealership, for letting me know where NOT to shop.

  224. guroth says:

    “I refused to buy American cars after they chose to sing Bush’s tune about nationalized health care.”

    Think before you post, and learn before you think.

  225. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    I’m just catching up on this thread after the weekend, and I am genuinely shocked at the overall civil and intellectual discussion this post generated. +1 to pretty much everyone, esp. Eyebrows McGee.

  226. Lucky225 says:

    LMFAO 86% of people believe in GOD…. So that makes 86 in 100 people CHRISTians?? I guess jews and muslims don’t count? Evolution is a fairytale for grown ups???? Then what do you call the HOLY BIBLE???? hahhahahaha omfg these people out in the desert are off their rockers!!! Come on now, everyone knows JESUS has as much to do with religion as the ZODIAC. http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com

  227. Guizzy says:

    Some people have a very elastic notion of freedom of speech. Apparently, now it means that the majority can tell the minority to shut up.

  228. Lucky225 says:

    @Guizzy:

    hahahaha ‘tough that’s free speach, and we can use it b/c were not the 14%, if you’re the 14% you’re not entitled to it’

  229. The Porkchop Express says:

    @jamesdenver: Also I would think that all the shadiness that goes into selling cars would be…..un-Christ-like. It’s generally unethical most of the time.

    Could just be me. (atheist if’in ya care)

  230. LibertyReign says:

    Normally I refrain from straying from the topic, but I really don’t care about this guy’s ad. It’s HIS bankruptcy. I’m just a little sad that there are still human beings this uneducated out there. I feel for every single last dumb person.

    What I want to comment about is the idea that God belongs on our money or in our government indoctrination camps(public schools). Yeah um.. that’s against the law here. Our money, when it was worth something(or at least more than the Looney), used to say “Gold” on it, not “God”. You know.. back when other countries accepted it as valuable currency. When a gallon of milk didn’t cost as much as a gallon of gas and both were under $1.00. Ya know.. “The good ole’ days”. I guess people rather believe in fairy tales than recognize the reality of their situation, wether it be fiot money or fiot morality.

    Isn’t it funny how the people who don’t believe in Evolution are always the ones that look and act the least evolved? Perhaps you WERE made in one day. It would explain the lack of sophistication in your developement.

    If all these hicks who believe in virgin births, spontaneous ressurection, and walking on water make the majority, perhaps you should all leave and make your own country where the government forces you to practice and endure your stupid fucked up superstition hocus pocus religion.

    Here in America the law protects us from your ignorance and arrogance.

  231. picardia says:

    @Daniel Alderman: You CANNOT put up a sign that says “I won’t sell cars to black people.” That is illegal. It has been illegal since the 1960s. If you are in interstate commerce (and that is a very, very broadly defined term — if one of those cars was manufactured in another state, or could be sold in another state, it counts), you cannot practice racial discrimination against customers.

    This has little bearing on the topic at hand, but I keep seeing people make versions of the above argument on various posts, and it’s factually dead wrong.

  232. jodles says:

    we also have an amendment that protects us from other people’s religions. like crazy christians.

  233. dirk1965 says:

    @thegirls:

    So “thegirls”, how is stating an example of how Hollywood type stating what they believe and not being bashed as ‘Christians’ not “being very Christian of me”?

    Let’s hear your theological resoning for your comment.

    Thanks, but God Bless You Anyway!

  234. LibertyReign says:

    @picardia:

    If this dealership were to go as far as to tell Atheists to refrain from patronizing their dealership, then it would in fact be against the law.

    I think they stopped just short of that by saying it without using the words. My question to you is how would you feel about it if the ad had said “a majority of people in America are WHITE, we think the rest of you shoul djus tsit down and shut up”. Perhaps you might find it more offensive at that point?

    Let’s be honest.. you can’t make fun of Jews, Muslims, or Christians, but who cares if you alienate atheists right? They are a voiceless minority anyways and it’s not like they buy shit.

  235. LibertyReign says:

    @jodles:

    Yeah and ther eis a reason it’s the FIRST one!

  236. Lucky225 says:

    @picardia:

    Not to mention this took place in California where consumers are protected under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act:

    51. (a) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Unruh
    Civil Rights Act.
    (b) All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and
    equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion,
    ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital
    status, or sexual orientation are entitled to the full and equal
    accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in
    all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.

  237. neuman1812 says:

    Pagans drive Toyotas

  238. BigElectricCat says:

    @evilhapposai: “Here’s a tip for both atheists and religious groups. SHUT THE HELL UP. If you believe in a god or not good for you but keep it to your self and quit forcing others to change because you are jealous/upset about their ways.”

    How, exactly, are atheists “forcing others to change,” please?

  239. Craig says:

    Not sure why this is postworthy either, unless it’s a slow news day and you want to start a comment flame war that might push this post to Digg.

  240. syncpulse says:

    As an atheist i couldn’t give two shits about these adds they want to stir up controversy and seem to be succeeding.
    I wouldn’t buy a car form them solely because they are a ford dealer. and buying a ford is against my beliefs.

  241. LibertyReign says:

    @BigElectricCat:

    Granted I am a stickler for freedom so I truly believe people are free to be as ignorant as they wish as long as it doesn’t affect me, but it does. The whole world suffers from religion. It’s backwards, ignorant, idiotic and holds us back as a species/society. That being said I don’t force anyone to believe what I believe, but I have no shame in my attempts to educate the uninformed.

  242. That70sHeidi says:

    I received this via email (80% vs 14% sit down and shut up) from someone at work. I deleted it at first, then it really bothered me as I thought about it. WHY is my opinion worth less?? I replied to her explaining that I was in the 14% and would like to opt out of future such emails.

    I can’t believe someone BELIEVED an email forward this big enough to make it their advertising angle though. That’s just… so… mind boggling.

  243. thegirls says:

    @dirk1965:
    No theological response, just reason!

    I responded to what you stated:
    “Nobody ever seems to care about when non-believer shares their opinion… like a lot of the Hollywood ‘stars’!”

    With that statement, you are showing that:
    1. YOU seem to care what they think – otherwise you wouldn’t have mentioned it. And the religious right seems to care. They’re always demonizing what the perceive as Hollywood beliefs and values.
    2. Way to stereotype Hollywood. Many there are of a religious or spiritual belief…maybe not all Christian, but still believe in God. Do you have facts that state otherwise? If you don’t than that can be seen as being judgmental, which is something that Jesus wouldn’t want us to do.

  244. Lucky225 says:

    @That70sHeidi:

    LOL appears to come from this:

    [www.snopes.com]

    Looks like these folks at ford don’t even have a real statistic to tell their non-god fearing customers to shut up hahahah

  245. Lucky225 says:

    Further information:

    [www.snopes.com]

  246. Lucky225 says:

    further information:

    [www.snopes.com]

  247. zyodei says:

    I’ve had two Fords, and a handful of Hondas.

    Neither Ford ever gave me a problem, not one single time. They were both dead reliable, every single time I turned that key.

    The Hondas I’ve had (both car and motorcycles) gave me all sorts of problems. Great engines, but the little things drove me nuts, electrical system, transmissions, things like that. Granted, Civics really are a hoot to drive.

    That being said – well, it is freedom of speech, these guys can say any stupid thing they want if they think it will help their business. With an attitude like this, they should thrive in a country like Iran, or in middle America. I wonder how this ad affects their sales.

    From a purely economic point of view, it has probably helped – those fundamentalists who are going to go out of their way to buy a big ticket item like a car because of this ad outweigh those who are offended but aren’t shopping for a car anyway.

    And, speaking as someone with a deep faith in God…wouldn’t it be a lot easier to sucker some fool who thinks that some church has to tell you how to know God into paying $25K for a lemon?

  248. drjayphd says:

    @dirk1965: I have absolutely no idea what you’re trying to say, but I’ll hazard a guess: your post’s an awfully strange way to love one’s neighbor. I’d think you’d find less people than you might think actually put weight into the opinions of celebrities. That which is passed off as “Christian-bashing” is usually in regards to overbearing Christocrat types such as… well, this guy, not any and all believers.

    Besides, the whole “godless Hollywood elite” thing? It’s just about worn bare at this point. Mel Gibson seems to be doing pretty well for himself. Anyway, shouldn’t you be lobbing your arrows at the Scientologists anyway? ;)

  249. Lucky225 says:

    @zyodei:

    Mojave desert has absolutely NO ONE out there. The statistic that they used is a FALSE one. So it is in debate of weather or not some fundamentalist from the valley is going to go out of their way to the mojave desert just to buy a car, and that the crack heads that live there whom probably would have been customers will now not be outweighs. Most of their customers will probably be coming from Palm Springs or 29 Palms, and being as that isn’t a very saturated customer base to begin with, starting off offending them is probably not the most bright idea in the world.

  250. glorpy says:

    @Lamburger Helper: Your argument would make sense if we weren’t already constantly redesigning our currency. But we are and each time we keep tacking on In God We Trust, presumably to continue differentiating us from the Godless Heathens in Somewhere Else.

    That said, it’s silly to get up in arms about it, or “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. And the Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays “debate” is the height of absurdity.

  251. nfriedly says:

    I’d say that was pretty good advertising. There’s a heck of a market for businesses that are openly christian.
    I’m not going to be buying a new car in California any time, but I do intentional give more of my business to stores that support christian morals and ethics.

  252. Lucky225 says:

    @nfriedly:

    Good for you. There’s a reason Hobby Lobby isn’t thriving in California and Christian bookstores are few and far between in that state, it’s not good advertising sense to offend your ACTUAL demographic.

  253. Bix says:

    @TheManator:

    How is saying “Happy Holidays” offensive to Christians? Is it because it acknowledges that there are non-Christians and they get uppity when there worldview is challenged even in the smallest way possible?

    It could also be that they really, really hate Jews.

  254. SacraBos says:

    Genesis Chapter 1 describes six stages to the creation of the universe/world/life. In 100 words or less, describe the big bang, accretion of matter into suns/planets/etc, evolutionary appearance of life to humans that is understandable to a person educated 6000 years ago. I imagine it would look quite a bit like Genesis.

    Then you have the crackpots that think Genesis is literal, the universe is only 6000 years old, and man and dino’s walked hand in claw. And it wasn’t that long ago in our history that we though the Sun revolved around the Earth.

  255. sam1am says:

    Belief in God != Christianity.

  256. dirk1965 says:

    @drjayphd:
    To answer your question, I’m simply saying that that other ‘stereotypes’ are not bashed when they state there beliefs such as the ‘Christians’. The Hollywood types is just a really good example.

  257. dirk1965 says:

    @thegirls:

    Now who’s being judemental??? Take a look in the nearest mirror. As I stated and I will state once again… It was an example of a stereotype. If you don’t care for the example I gave… sorry… my right, just like you have the right to say as you wish.

  258. dink23 says:

    @Lucky225: The Mojave Desert is pretty large. Palm Springs and 29 Palms (low Mojave desert) are nowhere near this dealership (high Mojave desert). That would be like a 2 1/2 hour drive. The majority of their customers most likely come from North LA County and Southern Kern County.

  259. thegirls says:

    @dirk1965:

    I responded to your posting that you were a born again believer and again, that-
    “Nobody ever seems to care about when non-believer shares their opinion… like a lot of the Hollywood ‘stars’!”

    I never stated that I was a born again believer. You did…and in that same thread, made a judgment of others. How do you know what I or everyone else cares about? And again, stating that Hollywood stars are non-believers without really knowing that….that’s also an assumption and judgment on their beliefs.

    I in no way meant to offend you, but I stated what I see.

  260. Lucky225 says:

    @dink23:

    meh, still in the sticks :P

  261. htrout13 says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    THANK YOU!

    I was reading through the rest of the comments to see if anyone cleared up some gross misconceptions in that post…

    On a side note…
    I went to a Presbyterian school and was basically told to sit down and shut up (not Presb…). Before college I was very religious, wanted to continue studying and become a minister. After my experience at school, however, I was turned off of formalized religion and haven’t been back (other than the occasional wedding or funeral). I was told by very religious people that if I didn’t believe in their god and beliefs, then I was wrong and going to hell. Of course, the school’s minister was a hate monger and bashed Catholics and non-Christians from his bully-pulpit.

    I am still amazed at how inclusive many Christian groups sound, knowing first hand how very exclusive they can be.

    Oh – and to those saying the radio station has to air dissenting views – not so… As long as the dealership has paid for the spot – the radio station does not have to grant equal time. If they got a non-profit or political org discount it’s a different story. This was a ad – not a public service announcement. Makes a difference!

  262. overbysara says:

    classy.

  263. dirk1965 says:

    @thegirls:

    Obviously your blind then, because I never once stated that Hollywood type were “non-believers”. The reference was made because Hollywood type have a tendency to get up on their podium stating anything and everything that they believe without anyone slamming them. Geez… talk about someone attempting to read between the lines… and failing!

  264. @Trai_Dep: “Science and faith are at two ends of an intellectual continuum. Blending the Big Bang with Creation myths demonstrate your ignorance of this. This is a fundamental error on your part. What’s next, Creationism?”

    I disagree — I think science and faith answer two entirely different sets of questions and are therefore not on a continuum, but in two entirely separate ballparks on opposite sides of town! There are a great many scientists who are personally religious who see science as a way of knowing the mind/work of God. I think I’ve said before, my uncle & godfather was one of the biology teachers in Cobb County who fought those moronic “evolution is just a THEORY!” stickers. Like most Catholic biologists, he’s fully functional with regard to the reality of evolution, but he sees in the incredible awesomeness of evolution the glory of God. Not that that enters into his SCIENCE, but his beliefs inspire him to science, and science inspires him to belief.

    He reads Genesis like most Christians do (I mean literally MOST; literalists are a small minority that date to about 1850 and are largely confined to the US, though they’re certainly friggin’ loud; interestingly, literalism was being declared heretical as early as the 3rd century), which is that it answers important questions about God’s relationship with humanity and creation, but it’s not a story about HOW THINGS ACTUALLY CAME TO BE. Or as I often clarify to my classes when we talk about religious mythology, “It’s TRUE, but it’s not FACTUAL.” The way, say, a novel or a poem can tell us many important true things about ourselves, but without being the least bit factual.

    I think, regarding your excellent points about what a religion is, as humans we like to clarify, classify, and sort, and since “religion” is such a fuzzy-boundaried term, it’s very difficult for people to accept that they can’t come up with a firm definition — especially if they have little exposure (as I think you pointed out) to religions different from the dominant ones in their culture.

    The textbook I teach from has a list of things that are frequently true of religions, and basically says, “If you have 75% of these, you’re probably, but not necessarily, looking at a religion. If you have less than 75% of these you’re probably, but not necessarily, looking at something that’s NOT a religion.” I actually like that approach a lot as a starting point for talking about the problem of how to define religion.

  265. thegirls says:

    @dirk1965:

    Wow……Judgmental much?

    You statement just proved my point!

  266. @htrout13: “I was told by very religious people that if I didn’t believe in their god and beliefs, then I was wrong and going to hell.”

    Yeah, it’s interesting how often you (generic you) say “truly religious person” and have to clarify “truly GOOD person.” Because being a “true believer ™” so often has so little to do with actually PRACTICING any but the most public and superficial form of the faith in question.

    Once I was told I was going to hell because I was Catholic, and the reason Catholics were going to hell was they ate fried chicken in church. Still have not connected the dots on that one! (But it always makes me want fried chicken.)

  267. mariospants says:

    That ad is HILARIOUS. If monkeys accidentally hit “broadcast” on the radio station, they’d definitely say something more intelligent. Are we certain this ad isn’t a fake commercial from GTAIV?

    It’s no surprise that ultra-conservative religious-types are concerned about protecting their religion’s power; they’re evidentally getting desperate. See “Taliban” in the encyclopedia for more techniques, Kieffe and Sons Ford.

    Oh, and Ford, if you don’t think there’s a direct correllation between you allowing your so-called “independent dealerships” to run around and do stupid shit like this and the fact that you’re losing billions of dollars a year in lost sales, get ready for a wakeup call.

  268. dirk1965 says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    “and the reason Catholics were going to hell was they ate fried chicken in church”. I guess that means all Southern Baptists as well, because they LOVE their fried chicken :P

  269. dirk1965 says:

    @thegirls:

    I can see you like to argue just for the sake of arguing… oh and make things up that were not even said. So catch you on another thread some day.

  270. Seacub says:

    Silly xtians!

  271. BigElectricCat says:

    @LibertyReign: “I don’t force anyone to believe what I believe, but I have no shame in my attempts to educate the uninformed.”

    With all due respect, as an atheist of long standing, I find your comment troubling.

    I personally don’t care for proselytization, no matter who does it. If a theist asks me to explain my position, I gladly do so, but I don’t go looking for opportunities. It’s regrettable that more theists can’t do the same with respect to those who don’t share their philosophy.

  272. Nerys says:

    As long as the moron realized that NO that 86% who believe in god are most certainly NOT christian.

    If you want to say in GOD we trust. I am FINE with that. If you want to say in CHRISTIAN GOD we trust THAT I have a problem with. I believe in no religion and that includes agnostic and atheist. I also do not have a problem with it so long as you do not shove it down my throat.

    IN THAT SAME god damned “freedom of speech” you spout off about is FREEDOM OF RELIGION which includes NO RELIGION.

    THAT is part of our “constitution”

    ALSO part of our constitution is SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

    DO not like it ? Either work to AMEND the constitution legally or get the hell out of my country.

  273. ncc74656m says:

    Ya know, that is EXACTLY the accent I expected to hear in the audio excerpt when I was reading the text.

  274. Nerys says:

    Faith answers no questions at all. It “fabricates” answers to unanswerable desires. Now I have no problem with that but comparing it to science on ANY level except as clear opposites is foolish.

  275. BigElectricCat says:

    @htrout13: “As long as the dealership has paid for the spot – the radio station does not have to grant equal time.”

    That’s true, but the radio station can also refuse to carry the spot, in which case there’s nothing the car dealer can do about it.

  276. Tiak says:

    @Lamburger Helper

    I have never cared about the whole currency thing, but with all the redesigns happening of late, it seems unlikely that removing a design element in future designs would add considerable cost to the process… The only thing that bugs me about the whole matter is how the word got there. Things that were justified in their entirety by McCarthyism deserve reasonable debate before we accept them.

    As for prayer in school, the issue is that children are being TOLD to pray, not that prayer is an option. No one anywhere is saying children shouldn’t be allowed to pray at all, just that they shouldn’t be instructed to do so. I believe that if someone prays, it should be because they choose to do so, not because they’re instructed to. I don’t see the value of prayer in schools for anyone, as, from my own experience, it makes prayer something you do because grownups tell you to do it.

  277. thegirls says:

    @dirk1965:
    I made nothing up – Everything I cited was in your original post!!!

    Jesus love you ;)

  278. according to this chart, only 68% of americas are listed as christian, and that breaks down into numerous branches (protestant, lutheran, catholic, etc). even if you include “black churchs” that only gets you 75%.

    [religions.pewforum.org]

    this leaves 25% of the populace believing something else. what this doesn’t reveal though is that over 25% of catholics and protestants said they were not regular church goers and that religion had no major role in their life. so that means that those who believe and believe strongly is about half the populace. And I think thats being generous to say half.

    here’s the really interesting thing: christiantity only makes up 33% of the populace when you look at the global population. nearly 16% are agnostic, and 21% are islamic and 14% are hindu.

    [www.adherents.com]

    so for his half the to tell the other half to sit down and shut up is arrogant and presumptive. we could just as easily say to him to shut up about his religion since he is not in the majority. Not to mention that if in this country we are free to believe or not believe as we so choose. this is not a religious state. If he wants a religious state, just look at the middle east to see how well that has worked.

  279. dirk1965 says:

    @thegirls:

    LOL… you’re such an antogonist, but is doesn’t work.

    God Bless you anyway Brother or Sister

  280. stepone says:

    What makes this even sadder is that it’s not even original. I got spammed by my cousin several years ago with a nearly verbatim email about the stupid pledge (minus the bit about Fords). My younger less blase self replied all with a “no I will not,” plus impassioned defense of the separation of church and state and the history of the pledge, etc.

    What was achieved by this? Removal from her mass email list. I call that a success.

  281. You know, just because someone calls themselves a Christian does not mean they act like a Christian. While I don’t necessarily agree with what this guy said (because it’s not Christian-like), I do have to say that I understand where he’s coming from.

    Prayer in schools? What’s the big deal? If you don’t want to pray then don’t bow your head.

  282. roomtone says:

    This is from the same town that has a HUGE sign on the freeway as you leave that says (paraphrasing…from memory) “If you believe in me, I will heal your land” – God

    The place is a barren dust pit choked by diesel fumes, surrounded by freight trains hauling rocks spewing more dust and topped off with huge aircraft graveyard filled with old planes waiting to die.

    Part of me always thinks as I drive through, I guess there aren’t a lot of believers here.

  283. mattindustries says:

    Atheists drive evolved cars :-)

  284. Mobius says:

    Makes me glad to be a Deist (and I don’t buy domestic either).

  285. @Nerys: “ALSO part of our constitution is SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.”

    If you take a look, it’s actually a non-establishment clause and a freedom of religious practice clause. Nowhere does it say “separation of church and state.” That is merely one way the clauses have been interpreted in the history of our constitutional jurisprudence. Others include “non-preference” (state can meses with churches along as it messes with all equally) and everything-up-to-but-not-including-establishment.

    We’re kind-of in a non-preference moment right now, which, like all the other interpretations, has its ups and downs. I tend to think state entanglement is bad for RELIGIONS, and I think you can see that in the current state of many religious institutions in the U.S., particularly the ones that are close to power.

  286. lostalaska says:

    Really!?

    It’s quite a leap of logic that if you believe in God you’re a Christian (aren’t there other religions that believe in a god?)… 86% of people believe in God = 86% of people are Christian… wow… amazing statistical work guys!

    Being an atheist this is where I should go on a tirade blasting Christianity, but I’d like to think any rational human would hear their spiel think those guys are a couple of dumb asses.

  287. OtisGaloope says:

    Dear God,
    Please protect me from your followers.
    Amen.

  288. OtisGaloope says:

    I thought Christians were supposed to evangelize to and try to convert
    non-Christians.
    I’m sure telling them to “sit down and shut up” will really endear
    them to the Christian faith.

  289. D-Bo says:

    @ironchef: Exactly, it was added in during the anti-communist fervor of the 50s…

  290. RvLeshrac says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    Bravo to almost everything you’ve had to say in this thread.

    Keep in mind, however, that the *deists* who wrote the majority of our Declaration and Constitution were very aware of the dangerous nature of religion, which is why the documents were written as they were. It is thanks to them that we do not have language in the Constitution preventing Catholics and Jews from holding public office (the removal of which nearly destroyed the fledgling country). Note that they worked especially hard to avoid any mention of a god in the Constitution. I’m not necessarily arguing that they weren’t believers, but you must also consider that they would have been put to death had they claimed atheism. Far more effective to claim deism and limit the harm of the others, if they were not.

    I’m just curious as to why the religious responders to this thread have (at least largely) failed to respond to anything you’ve said. They seem to be as scared of your comments as cockroaches are of light, and the nature of that has forever puzzled me.

    Even where you’ve said the same things as other posters, they’ve somehow managed to avoid you entirely and direct their comments to the others.

    That’s one of those “dangers of religion,” they hesitate to debate another believer, even if they think he/she is wrong.

    @BigElectricCat:

    I would normally agree with you, as a matter of course.

    However, since the religious increasingly raise their voices, we must do the same. We cannot be content until, say, a political candidate’s religion (or lack thereof) is no longer an issue. We cannot be content until atheists who serve in the armed forces are not derided by generals in the pulpit, and those who die for their country are not insulted by presidents who proclaim that atheists “should not be considered citizens” of this country.

    I don’t speak up to deride the beliefs of others, I speak up to point out the hypocrisy of those who would claim “intolerance” while spewing hatred from every orifice.

    I think, or like to think, that religious individuals like Eyebrows McGee understand that. I don’t have to respect someone’s religious beliefs if they’re not going to respect the beliefs of others. If they can practice religion without stomping on my freedom to NOT practice religion, I’ll stand with them arm-in-arm.

    @JLP at AllFinancialMatters:

    Here, the crucial question must be again put to you:

    Would you care if the prayer was a muslim or jewish prayer instead of a Christian prayer? Would you care if it was instead a Taoist ritual?

    How about a pagan rite or a Satanic missive? You can always just not bow your head!

  291. dj-anakin says:

    I’m not far from Mojave [I'm in Ridgecrest] and I’ve been complaining about this ad ever since the first time I’ve heard it [which lately has been alot] on the radio [102.7 KSSI, [www.kssifm.com]]. It irritates the hell out of me. They basically imply that even if you’re not a Christian, it’s still ok for you to visit the dealership. Well damn fucking right it is. I would double-dog-dare them to try to discriminate against me due to religious reasons.

    My wife is a devout Christian and she despises this ad as well. She says it’s un-Christian, and it’s embarrassing to her.

    For months I’ve been meaning to call the radio station or the dealership, but I’ve just not had a chance. Maybe I need to do this.

    I can tell you that this little dealership is a shithole in a shithole town. I wouldn’t buy a car from them if they gave it to me.

    Well…

    I looked up the stations phone number in the phone book [had to dig it out]… 760-446-5774

  292. dj-anakin says:

    Actually, I just listened to the ad, that’s not even the one i’ve heard… this one is worse. There is another one that’s not quite as brazen.

  293. Trai_Dep says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Upon reflection, you’ve got a much better take on science vs religion – parallel paths, not the same. Dang, you’re GOOD!
    I wish I had a professor like you as an undergrad; it would have been great to take your class!

  294. @RvLeshrac: “I think, or like to think, that religious individuals like Eyebrows McGee understand that. I don’t have to respect someone’s religious beliefs if they’re not going to respect the beliefs of others. If they can practice religion without stomping on my freedom to NOT practice religion, I’ll stand with them arm-in-arm.”

    I DON’T understand that, because people like me DO respect your religious beliefs or lack thereof, and are equally frustrated by the haters, but when you get up at the haters and disrespect THEM, often I am disrespected as well, and this seems like a poor return on my respect for you.

    Rarely do people make the point that “THIS KIND of hypocritical Christian is a problem;” instead they say, “Christianity has no place in the public sphere! Christianity is bad!” You’re then tarring me with the same brush of disrespect you’re using for them. Using their tactic puts you on the same level. (And, frankly, just cranks up their propaganda machine.) Being the calm, tolerant, reasonable one gives you the moral high ground and is enormously persuasive over time (Gandhi’s really wise on this point).

    I think some folks like Dawkins do their cause more harm than good because they’re just so alienating to people who are “live-and-let-live” Christians — Dawkins attacks, so when annoying fundies go, “We’re under attack!” they have a lot of ammo to convince the live-and-let-livers that in fact they are under attack.

    I watch this drama locally all the time. We have a local atheist agitator whose self-admitted purpose in life is to make a nuisance of himself. What happens OVER AND OVER is some Dork-for-Jesus gets up at city council and makes some big point about how if we stuck a giant electrified Jesus on top of the courthouse, school violence would stop, and the entire city rolls their eyes and goes, “Good Lord, what a DORK, I wish that guy would shut up.” And then the atheist agitator gets up (feeding the troll, quite honestly) and starts demanding that not only must we never have a giant electrified Jesus on top of the courthouse, but the local historic association must stop including churches on its walking tours because they get a local grant and Christianity is BAD and EVIL and should never be mentioned! What he manages to do is make a lot of people say, “You know, that first guy was a dork, but I’m a Christian, and this guy’s just spewing hate and disrespect” and the dork gets some minor victory and the agitator wonders why he’s never successful with his points even when he’s correct.

    There’s even local recognition that the agitator usually has a point, but he’s just so incapable of not insulting everyone he comes in contact with because he hates religion so much that everyone rolls their eyes before he even starts TALKING because we know he’s about to go right off the cliff.

  295. jefuchs says:

    If you’re a NetFlix subscriber watch the documentary about The Shakers — available as a “Watch it Now” offering.

    As an Atheist, I was heartbroken to contrast their truly Christian values with what passes for Christianity these days. As Christians, they defined themselves by who they loved, not by who they hated, as today’s Christians seem to do.

    Those of you who are true Christians (I know there must be some out there), please tell your brethren what a destructive path they’re on.

    If you feel like we’re against you, it’s because you’ve made yourself into an ugly caricature of faith. Get back to the values you used to have.

  296. @RvLeshrac: “I’m just curious as to why the religious responders to this thread have (at least largely) failed to respond to anything you’ve said.”

    Part of it is because a lot of people are in the habit of FIGHTING about these things and only know how to deal in an attack/defend scenario. Some people are honestly at a loss and don’t know how to respond if you don’t attack but speak reasonably and gently.

    I teach comparative religions to a class that’s typically 50% fundamentalist Christian and 90% never-met-a-non-Christian. A lot of them come in ready to fight, and when they discover I won’t fight with them, but will (usually) listen respectfully and respond reasonably, they don’t really know what to do, so they usually shut up and listen and learn. I get a lot of practice at engaging gently. :)

    (I also get — I am not making this up — comments on my teaching reviews like, “I still think all philosophers/Catholics/non-Christians are going to hell because they’re not saved, but you made me realize they’re not all EVIL. I never thought I could learn anything from someone who didn’t have Jesus in their heart. Thanks!” It just warms the cockles of my hell-bound heart. :P)

    @Trai_Dep: We’ll start a mutual admiration society, since I always like your posts too. :D

  297. RvLeshrac says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    Dawkins’s brand of discourse has a very valid place, though, which is exactly where you’re positing it doesn’t – the government meeting.

    Much like the majority of muslims don’t stand up and vocalize their disagreement with the tactics of professed-islamic terrorists, the majority of sane and reasonable christians fail to stand up and vocalize their disagreement with the tactics of professed-christian institutions such as “Focus on the Family,” “The Discovery Institute,” abortion-clinic bombers, and anti-gay hatemongers.

    Further, for years the most vocal and public among professed-christians such as Falwell, Robertson, Bush Sr., McCarthy, and others have spewed hatred towards atheists to the point where we’re polled as being less electable in a presidential race than a black man, homosexual, or, recently, a muslim. (Not to be taken out of context, of course.)

    Even further, since Dawkins is a renowned biologist, he has an extremely vested interest in attacking religion given the many battles being fought to attempt to have religion (ID) shoehorned into the educational system. While he has always been critical of religion, he was not particularly militant about the subject until it was made clear that the ID-proponents were gaining inroads all over the US.

    Without the efforts of Dawkins, Hitchens, and others, some of those courtroom battles for the minds of children – battles against dark-age thinking and scientific regression – might have been lost.

    There are plenty of public atheist figures who disagree with the style of Dawkins, and they’ve publically stated so. Plenty of everyday atheists have publically said that they disagree with his style, dislike is syle, or, in the case of Hitchens, verbally castrate him in the middle of a debate (which is a bit ironic, eh?). I never heard the same level of outcry against Falwell and Robertson after their 9/11 comments (though at least that drew SOME commentary), and there was certainly no public outcry against George H. W. Bush when he said “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

    In the mind of the public, it seems perfectly acceptable to say the same things about atheists that were said 100 (or even 50) years ago about blacks, jews, and catholics.

  298. VerePeneus says:

    From Broga.

    A previous comment wondered how many people this bigot had managed to offend and thus lose business. Well, I don’t know about California although know there are many non Christians there but you ain’t seen nothing yet. The offense is spreading in the UK and Europe and we may not affect this dealer personally but Ford is a world wide company. I have bought my last Ford until this bigot is stopped. He talks about free speech. What about free speech and free thought. How many men and women in the military died and are crippled for this. If Ford wants trouble then this guy is bringing it big time. What about the effect in India and Japan? Ford needs to get real. This man is their worst nightmare and they need to wake up.

    Stop him now and then apologise.

  299. spaceace76 says:

    I’m pretty sure that 86% figure is actually worded “86% of Americans believe in a (as in any, not necessarily the Christian depiction) God. I’ve heard this figure misquoted over and over again by Christians trying to prove that religion is the majority in this country. It is, certainly, but not by the margin they often present. So the ad actually misquotes the figure twice, since he says that all 86% were Christian.

    I do think that people on either side of the evolution/creationism argument can be pretty obnoxious, but it all comes from core beliefs. Unfortunately for the creationism side, their idea is completely unfalsifiable, and is contrary to what science has been able to put together, including detailed fossil records that point to evolution for a great deal of animals, including humans. What most christians also fail to realize is that the evolutionary theory doesn’t ever suggest that God didn’t have a hand in things. It only suggests that many of the historical details presented in the bible are (big surprise) completely inaccurate. Couldn’t god have created life and given it the ability to evolve and adapt to it’s environment? What would be the point of creating life if you had to hold it’s hand for all eternity?

    Another great tidbit I’m noticing more and more is that Christians cite free speech as a great justification for rubbing their beliefs in your face. This is so ass backwards it’s unbelievable. We came to America to get away from these silly secular divisions and live our lives the way we felt most comfortable, with or without religion, whatever religion we choose.

    That being said I don’t really find this postworthy. So the dealer is pulling a stunt to get people in the door? Big deal. It’s way easier to pander to religious nuts who buy into the idea that they should only buy from other nuts than to say “All you evolutionists out there! We sure hate God and all these great Fords are here to take you as far away from intolerant morons as you can possibly get!” See? sounds pretty silly. Thankfully, not everyone on either side of this argument has such black and white views.

  300. heintzer says:

    Holy wow at that picture

  301. Japheaux says:

    @bilups: @bilups: Amen. Bottom line: you can buy your car anywhere you choose….if you don’t like the guy’s ads, call BR-549. Better yet, if you don’t like his ads, change the radio channel. The guy has balls unlike most of liberal America.

  302. dragonfire81 says:

    I couldn’t resist, I just had to be the 300th commenter on this.

    I think if companies want to do this, let them do it. If (or better yet when) there’s a backlash, well its their own damned fault.

  303. tracker1312 says:

    The website for the dealership says they’ve pulled the ad and apologize to all who were offended. Apparently they didn’t review it closely enough before airing it.

    Like I buy that story [/sarcasm]

    I suppose they thought the non-Christians would just sit down and shut up and not complain, as they suggested. I’d hate to be the one answering the phone there LOL

  304. moniqueE says:

    Eyebrows McGee at 06:46 PM on 05/26/08 Reply * “Yeah, it’s likely that Jefferson, et al., were thinking of “not-Christians” as Catholics, Deists, and a handful of Jews, but they still got the broad point correct, and that’s something Christians should be PROUD of, that the recognition of the necessity of a free conscience grows out of a Christian tradition of thought.”

    Not necessarily, remember Jefferson was a Unitarian and didn’t believe that Jesus was divine. (There is no mention of the trinity in the Bible.) Being a religious minority at the time (although Unitarians are MUCH more a minority now), he was quite conscious of how the other minorities felt. Even at that time, although perhaps more with an agnostic spin, the concept of God/Diety was debated inside the Unitarian church.

    Lamburger Helper at 05:58 PM on 05/26/08 To answer your question, my issue is regularly being insulted and demeaned for being a non-Christian/atheist.

    The most popular comment I get is to deny that I’m not steadfast in my beliefs. Moments after my father had passed away, a Catholic priest walked by and wanted to give dad the Catholic last rights (without even asking). I engaged him before he did so and said that I believed dad was atheist, but I wasn’t exactly certain. (I wasn’t certain if that mattered to how he did his thing.) I had some Catholic relatives who were insistent that dad get his last rights and since dad never really shared with me his wishes I didn’t have much to go on. The first words out of his mouth was, “I’ve never met a real atheist.” Implying somehow, we all suddenly ‘wake up’ and realize that we have an invisible friend called God. Of course, he has basically denied the rights of any non-Jeudo Christain religion (such as Buddhism) or those without a religion to believe in what they wish to believe. Comments like that happen twice a year for me.

    My most recent favorite was a man who interrupted me during dinner in a sushi restaurant to engage me in a discussion about his beliefs. He asked which church I went to and I told him I was a Unitarian Universalist. He rolled his eyes!! (I didn’t even mention that I was an atheist!!) He then proceeded to tell me that he believes and adheres to everything in the bible. I asked him if he stoned his wife after they got married (she was divorced) since she wasn’t a virgin. Apparently, he doesn’t follow EVERYTHING in the bible. It also become really obvious that he hadn’t actually read it.

    So, to answer your question, I feel that if the word God were removed from the currency and the Pledge put back to its original state, then it will validate the fact that there are many many individuals that are not Christian and not only have their own beliefs, but have a RIGHT to them.

  305. krom says:

    we at Kieffe & Sons Ford wonder why we don’t just tell the other 14% to sit down and shut up. I guess maybe I just offended 14% of the people who are listening to this message. Well, if that is the case, then I say that’s tough, this is America folks, it’s called free speech.

    What I want to know is:

    Why is it that completely shit-for-brains people can manage to run successful businesses, and so many smart people I know (including myself) simply don’t dare? Is there a correlation between being a businessman and being a dumbass? (This theory would also explain nearly 90% of bad company complaints on C-ist.)

  306. algormortis says:

    Yeah, well, as a Christian, i apologize for the inability of some people to listen to one word Jesus said and instead to obsessively use religion as a tool of hatred and not love.

    I’d say to forgive them for they know not what they do, but they know exactly what they’re doing.

  307. Trerro says:

    As several have pointed out, free speech most definitely protects this ad, so if he REALLY wants to run that, so be it.

    The rest of us can laugh at him as he shoots himself in the foot. I could ALMOST see a point to trying this “alienate a lot of people to get a significant group of massively loyal customers” BS in the heart of the bible belt, but southern California? Bye bye business, you won’t be missed. :P

  308. synergy says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: I’m overwhelmed that someone is speaking theology in an intellectual manner. I mean, Milton and Voltaire?! *fans self* I’m so impressed. ;)

    @DieBretter: Yay! someone who’s read The Federalist Papers!

  309. PinUp says:

    @donkeyjote: Yes, that is some tasty cake, I enjoy it as well.

  310. felixgolden says:

    A client of mine attempted to introduce me to the owner of a bicycle shop that rented a storefront from him. I held my hand out, but she just looked at me, then turned to him and asked if I “knew Jesus”. When he replied that I was not a christian, she glanced briefly my way, then turned her head told him she would talk to him later, and then walked out of the office. My client apologized to me for her rudeness.

    I happened to be driving past the store later that day and noticed that the “T” in the name on the sign was stylized as a cross. Didn’t surprise me when they closed within 3 months.

  311. SinisterMatt says:

    @donkeyjote:

    “Mormons believe Jesus has already come again, in SLC.”

    Er. Not quite. We are still waiting for Christ to come back too. Just thought I’d clarify that for the readers. :-D

    Anyway, I agree with whoever said it above. I’m a Christian, and I disagree with having prayer in schools, merely because due to the plurality of religious denominations in the U.S., adopting one form of prayer over another would inevitably lead to someone discriminating against others. I’m all for praying, even if you choose to pray to God, Allah, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Buddha, or not do it all. That’s your prerogative for being in this country. It’s just going to be exceedingly difficult to find one that satisfies Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Protestants or Muslims. Hence, the easiest thing is going to be to skip it all together.

    The guy who did this ad is making the rest of us who try and live our religion the best we can look bad.

    I will not choose a business to patronize based upon their professed religion or lack thereof. I’ve never understood that. If they do a good job, then they get my business. If not, then I’ll try somewhere else. Easy enough.

    Cheers!

  312. AdamG says:

    The city of Porterville, CA is attempting to make “In God We Trust” the city motto, and will be on the ballot on June 3. That is something I feel is inappropriate, not this paid-for advertisement.
    Needles is trying to secede and be part of Nevada. I’ll vote for it as long as they take the rest of Southern California (where this dealership is).

  313. RvLeshrac says:

    @adam51172:

    “This paid-for advertising” is precisely what leads to such legislation being proposed, and I predict that the idiots will vote for it in droves.

    Some days I hope for a state-sponsored religion just so the people who vote for these things will know how good they had it when we had the right to be free from religion.

  314. Overheal says:

    censuses are misrepresented anyway in this country. anyone who celebrates the commercial tradition of christmas considers themselves a christian. Well sir, that just isnt true anymore: even I, a good old fashioned atheist, love to celebrate the commercial tradition of christmas.