Panic mongersgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Christian Y2K alarmists irresponsible
By Betsy Hart Scripps Howard News Service
Recently, living through a major power outage (30 hours without heat or electricity) proved to me I wouldn't have made a good pioneer woman. But a few friends lightheartedly pointed out that it at least gave my family a dry run for Y2K. You know, when all the world's computers that can't figure out it's the year 2000 revert back to the beginning of this century and leave us in the dark. Literally. But it's likely that Y2K problems won't even be as disruptive as my power outage, says Steve Hewitt, founder and editor of Christian Computing Magazine in Kansas City, Mo. An ordained Southern Baptist minister and a computer science expert, his efforts to fight the doomsday scenarios many evangelical Christians espouse about Y2K was the subject of a recent front-page article in the Wall Street Journal. Hewitt's got his work cut out for him. Consider recent hair-raising Y2K headlines from Pat Robertson's "700 Club," like "The Year 2000 - A Date with Disaster," "Surviving the Crisis" and "Countdown to Chaos." Television evangelist John Ankerberg declares on his Web site that experts fear "this problem is so serious that it could affect our way of life here in America." The Rev. Jerry Falwell is selling a video entitled "A Christian's Survival Guide to the Millennium Bug." Even Dr. James Dobson, of Focus on the Family fame, gave out larger than usual Christmas bonuses to staff last year, suggesting it could go toward Y2K preparations. Still, as an evangelical Christian, I am particularly dismayed by how many high-profile evangelicals are handling this issue. And I should be, Hewitt told me. Traveling around America trying to calm Y2K fears, he starts by pointing out that businesses and governments have spent billions in the ongoing process to successfully fix legitimate problems presented by Y2K. Hewitt has spent a great deal of time trying to validate the frightening urban legends of Y2K tests gone awry, such as on major defense systems. But time and again, he's found the alarming anecdotes can't be confirmed. Oh, there may be some real problems, Hewitt told me. But whatever they are, they will be of the typical, manageable and inevitable kind we already live through every day. Many Y2K alarmists think embedded chips, or tiny computers buried in everything from microwave ovens to communication cables lying deep in the ocean, present the biggest threat of all. But even now they regularly fail and are fixed. These things vary from mere nuisances to major inconveniences to dangers - and they are part of everyday life with or without Y2K. Still, evangelicals continue the alarm. The biggest reason, Hewitt said, may simply be the fear of the unknown. (The same doomsday scenarios reigned the last time we turned a corner on 1,000 years.) But there are distinct trends Hewitt has observed as well: A lot of the more extreme evangelical folks have a political agenda - they'd like to see the government fall apart and so, they hope, usher in Christ's reign. For others, the cold truth is that preaching chaos is profitable and calm doesn't sell many tapes or books. But whether from a genuine or cynical motivation, irresponsible prophecies from some Christian leaders about Y2K devastation are going to give all Christians a bad name when we're calmly drinking our coffee the morning of Jan. 1, 2000. Even if the newspaper does arrive a little late because of a short-lived computer glitch.
-- Robo (Robotha@aol.com), February 16, 1999
Yet another article that...
1. Implies most of the worry about Y2K is caused by religious extremists, and,
2. Ignores the fact that many federal agencies, Fortune 500 companies, utilities -- and even some banks -- did not finish their Y2K remediation in 1998 as promised.
It hasn't been proven yet that we'll be "calmly drinking drinking our coffee the morning of Jan. 1, 2000."
Here are just a few links that make me think Y2K is something to be taken seriously...
The Chicago area's late start and its embedded systems problems
American Red Cross Y2K page
Canadian military response to Y2K
The National Guard's reluctant admission of its Y2K plans
Transcript of a speech given by Senator Bob Bennett of Utah
U.S. government misses its September 30, 1998 deadline
Big Three automakers say Y2K remediation to be finished by Dec. 1998
Most Fortune 500 companies miss Dec. 1998 remediation deadline
Failures related to Y2K are taking place now
Foreign countries not nearly as Y2K compliant as the U.S.
Russia pleads for $3 billion for Y2K fixes
Why do Colorado banks want Y2K liability protection?
-- Kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
If a Christian leader truely believes that his/her predictions about y2k, WHO ARE YOU to judge what is or is not irresponsible? If someone in a position of responsibility believes danger is coming, does not he/she have the obligation to warn those in his/her care? Does you disagreement with their conclusions regarding the likely outcome of y2k, ENTITLE you to attempt to deny them their right to express them to their followers? I hope that you are able to "calmly drinking you morning coffee the morning of Jan. 1, 2000". Personally, I HOPE and PRAY that we all will be able to do so. However, I may be in a better position to do that than you are. You see, I am preparing for the POSSIBILITY that I may lose water and power and that my grocery store may be out of coffee. If I am wrong, I just move on with the rest of my life. No big deal. If you are wrong... well that is your problem, isnt it?
-- me (email@example.com), February 16, 1999.
hey, me, cool it.
Robo was posting an article. Don't shoot the messenger.
-- De (dealtonX@Xconcentric.net), February 16, 1999.
Evangelicals have lost all credibility as far as I'm concerned. Where were they during the Clinton fiasco? The media is doing a very fine job of placing all the Y2K hysteria blame on the christians, they are doing this to take your eyes off the real problem. It's another spin and people who DGI will take it as another wacko group getting ready to join the Heaven's Gate group. Keep focused, and your mouths shut.
-- tightlipped (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
This sort of article is hardly worth reading, the premise is so dumb. What sort of fool goes to a church for information about a computer problem? That's like asking a geek for spiritual guidance, or getting medical advice from your mechanic. The best the churches can do is advise their members to LOG ON & read the Y2K material for themselves on the Net. That's what I tell anyone who asks my opinion. Is is really asking too much for people to do that -- read the material for themselves & decide for themselves?
-- believer but (email@example.com), February 16, 1999.
Do any of you remember the Forbes series of articles last April or May? Compare that reporting to CBNs. I think you will agree that CBN's reporting is far more balanced.
-- codebuster (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
It will be a full-court press folks. If you've ever wondered how it might have felt to be a Jew in 1937 Nazi Germany, then you'll get a little taste of persecution, especially if you're a Christian preparing for Y2K.
If you're not a Christian, and preparing for Y2K, don't worry -- you'll be lumped right into that group anyway.
When the bough breaks, there needs to be a scapegoat fostered by the media and gov't.
Guess who will get the blame?
Good! You're catching on.
-- INVAR (email@example.com), February 16, 1999.
Yet another article that...(one more for ya)
he starts by pointing out that businesses and governments have spent billions in the ongoing process to successfully fix legitimate problems presented by Y2K. Snip
Because 'they' have spent billions everything will be fixed on time.
Evangelicals? As in all of them? Or do you mean Evangelical leaders? I AM EVANGELICAL. Evangelicals locally didn't disappear, they were VERY vocal on this issue. Oh, and also I think Ankerburg is a few bricks shy, Pat Robertson definately has an agenda and Jerry Fallwell? Sorry, but these are not the people your average 'Evangelical Christian' looks to for guidance and leadership. I find it to be absolutely stunning that your average person thinks these people are Evangelical. T.V.Evangelical maybe. The closest to Evangelical would be Dobson, and he has been so slandered in the Media, it would be difficult to make an informed choice about what says unless you listen every day. There are strong Christian leaders that are doing a great deal, unfortunately, for whatever reason these are not the ones that get the most mainstream press. Maybe they're not as easy to slander and make look ridiculous.
Sick & Tired of the Stereotype,
-- Deborah (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
I think generally most people take a 'live and let live' attitude towards others. Their is much talk here about how the blame will be placed on 'Christians'.
Reality paints a much different picture however. The average guy on the street doesn't give a hoot whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Bhuddist, Atheist, or channel the spirit Zorgon from the distant planet of Scabnat in the constellation Pleiades.
Many 'Christian' talk about the persecution they think is coming. The more accurate word would be retribution. No group has been more finger-pointing judgemental than the Falwells in our midst. No group has caused more harm to anyone who dares believe differently that the fundamentalists have done.
Not satisfied to trash only humans who have a different point of view, Jerry Falwell has resorted to trashing childrens toys and make believe characters. Now Tinky-Winky, the purple Teletubbie has come under criticism from Falwell for apparently being gay. Falwells proof: Tinky-Winky is purple and has a triangular shaped antenna on his head!
Falwell's perverse mind allows him to make kids toys sexual objects.
Let's get some balance here. Persecution is wrong no matter what parties are involved. However, historically, the church have been the persecutors more often than they have been the persecuted.
Of course, can you expect any better of a group that believes it's loving God is going to torture 95% of all human beings forever?
Hey, what's a hot poker up the bum compared to that!
-- Craig (email@example.com), February 16, 1999.
Betsy Hart is simply an idiot DGI who has bought onto the propaganda hook line and sinker. I'm afraid she represents the majority.
I'll keep my printed material as proof that I had reason to worry, INVAR. Especially the ones like Kevin posted. I'll not be dragged, lumped and labeled into any "fringe groups" as the Jews were, so easily.
-- Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
oops...I mean right on Craig! (Been around here too long };))
-- Chris (email@example.com), February 16, 1999.
Craig: sex, politics & religion.
These probably consume half the disc space on a server that was commissioned to store Y2K-related data. (Thankfully, sex is slim here.)
They're also the reasons there will never be any such thing as neighborhood "community" post-Y2K - said "community" would already exist if there truly was desire for it.
Not to say we shouldn't strive for community; it's just ridiculous to dream that people will suddenly, after 2000 years of deliberately isolating ones' self from the community at large due to religious, political and sexual preference/proclivity de-lignment.... well, you get my point.
I don't know why I'm rambling on about this other than my irritation that religion is getting 97% more airtime on this forum than it should.
-- Lisa (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
Kevin, thanks again for the links.
Finally read all of the one's I hadn't before and made copies.
IMHO, the will be lots of blame and finger pointing ALL over the planet, crossing all religious, race, creed, political, sexual, etc. boundaries. Extremists in all walks of life may end up doing some serious back-peddling.
Maybe some will remember that a tolerant community has better survival odds.
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), February 16, 1999.
"...Steve Hewitt, founder and editor of Christian Computing Magazine in Kansas City, Mo. An ordained Southern Baptist minister and a computer science expert..."
LOL!! Oh dear! Oh my! One moment, I must compose myself... Thanks.
Now then. Steve Hewitt is only a CS expert to people who think that anyone who can use MS Excel must be some kind of wizard. He's been in ministry for decades and apparently has used PCs since the mid-80's, but he has no education or background in computing or IT at all. He's essentially just a "power user" among pastors who has created a nice little niche magazine for that market.
His "road show", I think, stems from his appearance on the "Focus on the Family" radio program a few months back. He was on there with some folks who DO have fairly extensive backgrounds in IT and they basically told him very nicely and with lots of supporting data that he's being rather naive about the impact of Y2K. After that, he announced that he was hitting the road to refute all the alarmists and doom-sayers.
Mr. Hewitt's been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere and seems to be getting more visible. Hey, it's great ink: Computer expert pastor battles forces of Y2K doom(saying).
My concern is that he's persuading people to NOT prepare. Despite his stated concerns about the "severe winter storm" nature of Y2K (LOL!! sorry...), he's not even advising people to prepare for that. This, to me, is far more irresponsible than any "doomsayer" he's supposedly refuting.
-- Mac (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
posted by Craig
Not satisfied to trash only humans who have a different point of view, Jerry Falwell has resorted to trashing childrens toys and make believe characters. Now Tinky-Winky, the purple Teletubbie has come under criticism from Falwell for apparently being gay. Falwells proof: Tinky-Winky is purple and has a triangular shaped antenna on his head! Falwell's perverse mind allows him to make kids toys sexual objects.
http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg.html Teletubbies: The Velvet Menace? My defense of Jerry Falwell and the Teletubby threat also elicited a powerful reaction -- and yes, for some of you, I think, a powerful overreaction. Many critical readers couldnt understand how someone named Goldberg could be such a henchman for the Christian Right. A more common reaction, among critics was, "Oh, come on! Who cares?" Here, I stand by my argument in toto. Gay groups had claimed Tinky Winky as their own for years and the story of Tinky Winkys "secret" had been published in numerous periodicals. More than once, gay groups rallied around the actor who plays Tinky Winky when he got in trouble.Falwell pointed this out, picking up on these stories, and people freaked out. Why? If gay groups can be proud of their pre-literate four fingered mutant brother-in-arms, why cant groups who are troubled by the mainstreaming of homosexuality be concerned that their kids are cheering the latest gay superhero? Those who are mocking Falwell are being duplicitous. They are treating Falwells bulletin that Tinky Winky has a bright future in interior decorating ahead of him as if it emerged from thin air. We are in the mix of identity politics my friends. If you dismiss the anti-gay argument completely, fine. But dont be surprised that those who dont dismiss it will occasionally resist the aims of the mainstreamers. One groups pioneer is another groups bad example. Craig, I've been lurking here a long time and every time you post it confirms what a propagandized, uninformed dumbass you are.
-- RB (email@example.com), February 16, 1999.
All I can GUARENTEE is that I will be drinking coffee on 01-01-00~~ :o)
-- Caveman (D@Cave.com), February 16, 1999.
Typical....when someone agrees with you they are educated.......when they disagree they are propagandized and dumbass......
It's kind of funny how you seem to think being closed-minded is actually a good attribute!
Falwell needn't have even mentioned Teletubbies. The fact is, the target audience is kids up to about age 7 who don't give a fiddlers pumpernickle whether the colorful aliens are boys, girls or teenage mutant killer turtles in disguise.
And quite frankly, from my experience with children, the majority of them are extremely anti-gay. It's a bit odd, they don't seem to have much trouble accepting violence and anger and thieves and bullying people, but by God, they sure hate gays. Wonder where they get that wicked mindset from.......
Yeah...Falwell et al, There's millions of people starving in the world, millions more being butchered, millions of husbands beating the crap out of their wives and children, billions living in abject poverty while a very small percentage of primarily white anglo-saxons enjoy most of the wealth, millions being killed in the name of God, massive corruption in governments and dozens of major world problems. And does Falwell focus on these terrible problems and injustices.........NO......his focus is on destroying and making the world a more dangerous place for people that were created with a desire for those of the same sex rather than those of the opposite sex.
Falwell and those of his genre, still haven't learned the danger of pointing fingers. Bakker and Swaggert both railed against others constantly, and God taught them both the benefit of not judging....
Surely your fall is not too far in the future......
-- Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
"Why? If gay groups can be proud of their pre-literate four fingered mutant brother-in-arms, why cant groups who are troubled by the mainstreaming of homosexuality be concerned that their kids are cheering the latest gay superhero?"
Kids who are watching teletubies aren't aware of sexuality yet. Gay/hetero, doesn't mean a thing to them yet, and it won't until they hit puberty. By that time, teletubies aren't interesting them in the least.
Gays drink milk and cookies too, are you going to take that away from kids too?
-- Chris (email@example.com), February 16, 1999.
Sorry...last message wasn't for you.
It was for rb
-- Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 16, 1999.
Falwells proof: Tinky-Winky is purple and has a triangular shaped antenna on his head! Falwell's perverse mind allows him to make kids toys sexual objects. Chris, No offense intended, I didn't write the above, just didn't cut and paste very well. I could care less about this,THE LATEST STUPID CONTROVERSY,the teletubbies. I simply used the article to refute the statements above. Craig is living proof that extremism is not the sole possesion of the right. Due to the bad PC skills, I need to clarify that the columnist wrote everything down to the part where "I" said Craig was a dumbass. I stand by that statement.
-- RB (R@AR.COM), February 16, 1999.
We're together on this one. Don't lurk so much.
-- Greybear (email@example.com), February 16, 1999.