February 11, 2013

Of Poes, skeptics, Gnu Atheists and pots and kettles

The following is a hilarious video of a pastor trying to "get jiggy" with some sort of Christian rap, right?



But, the degree to which it's over the top should be a clue. Any pastor calling Jesus his "nigger," especially a white one, should be clue No. 1. It's almost certainly a "Poe," as explained here.
The video has flown to the front page of reddit, where the skeptics have been hard at work figuring out what’s going on here. On January 15th, 2013, two things happened. First, the YouTube account that uploaded this video was created. Second, this page was registered. It’s supposedly the official website of West Dubuque Church of Christ, led by “Pastor Jim.” In the “news” section, we learn that the church was apparently shuttered in June of 2004.
The link goes on to note this is a "well-made comedy video."

No argument there.

But, shouldn't people who share it, who are skeptics, who bemoan lack of good skepticism among others, note that it's a Poe when first shared? Especially if, as said skeptic notes, there's real Christian videos that are about as stupid, though not looking like Poes.

Now, said person might argue that any reasonably intelligent secularist type will recognize it's a Poe.

To which I say, not so fast. I've seen one Don Prothero, who's on both her and my Facebook friend lists, gullibly post clear Poes because they fit his agenda or belief system, whether the Poes are about conservative Christian stereotypes or conservative political ones.

I'm not a killjoy. I laughed, too.

But, as I told this person, I don't want to come off like a Gnu Atheist. And, sharing Poes of Christian activity as the real thing, especially if I know better, comes close to some of their behaviors.

To any non-Gnus or whatever worried about "tone": I wasn't making that big of a deal out of this, and I said myself it was at least halfway funny. But, the only way I would share something like this, if I had a good idea it was a Poe, was to say so at the start. 


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