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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Julia Sweeney is an Atheist

Some of you may remember "Pat" from Saturday Night Live, the recurring gender-ambiguous character played brilliantly by Julia Sweeney. The joke was always that no one could tell if Pat (not to mention Pat's significant other Chris) was male or female. Let the comedy ensue. The humorously icky way that Julia Sweeney brought this favorite character to life made her famous - for a while.

Sweeney is no longer a staple on late night television, but she is in the public eye once again. Apparently, the comedian has decided that she is an atheist and is taking the stage with a new act entitled "Letting Go of God."

Now, I am truly saddened to hear of Sweeney's loss of faith and I pray for her to come around. But what irks me is how she, and soooo many others, reject Christianity and then go around talking as if they are quite knowledgeable about the subject when the evidence suggests otherwise.

My dad used to say, "It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt." This is advice Ms. Sweeney might have taken.

In this interview from the San Francisco Gate, she discusses her disillusionment with religion. I wasn't too surprised when I read that one of the things that turned her off to Christianity is Jesus Himself. She thinks he is "angry a lot" and "hateful."

But did you notice the one example from the Gospels she attempts to cite? The story where Jesus casts demons out of someone and into a herd of pigs, who then hurl themselves off a cliff. She mistakenly claims that Jesus turned people into pigs.

First, she states that Homer's Iliad has as much or more insight than the Bible. And then - as her one example of the hatefulness of Jesus - she goes on to misquote a text found in Matthew 8. In fact, far from being an example of Jesus being mean, this story is about Jesus helping people. What bugs Sweeney most of all, she admits, is that He's not kind to animals.

Sweeney tries to act all educated and well-read when, in fact, she confuses the Bible with Homer. And not the Iliad which she refers to (notice the casual reference to smart people books), but the Odyssey. Jesus never turned people into pigs, my dear. But the witch Circe did.

It just goes to show that Sweeney, for all her talents and charms, is not a serious atheist at all. She's just ill-read.

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Darrell said...

Considering how long it's been since she's been on TV or in a movie, maybe she should do a play called "Letting Go Of My Career."

The Cubicle Reverend said...

To me, the Iliad offers more insight into human character and lessons than the Bible. You know, like Jesus was angry a lot. When he turned all those people into pigs and made them run off a mountain, it was so hateful, not just to people but to pigs. I felt upset for the pigs!


Whenever they take scriptures contradictions they just take a piece here and there, isolate it, and let it stand on its own completely out of context. But if she'd like, the person could still be demon posessed, thus sparing the pigs.

Now I feel like some pork chops.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

I heard her on NPR, it sounds like her priest didn't exactly do a good job explaining these scriptures. Quite frankly I think he may have been an atheist as well.

Petersen said...

I didn't realize that Samuel Clemens was your father!

As to Sweeney and your "father's" quote, the problem is that it takes wisdom to be content with being only a suspected fool. Fools don't have that ability. They aren't content and want to prove themselves. They always do.

Frank said...

Great blog, very intersting post and very informative. We linked back to it with a quick post and hope that some of our visitors swing by give it a read.

Link to our post here -

Stay strong, be couragous and serve God in all things.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

I never said the quote was original to my pop, only that he used to say it to me. And now, my dad is not the cannibal from hannibal.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

Thanks for the link. I liked your blog too. Keep it up.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

I suspect you are right about Sweeney's priest.

Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer said...

And Darrell,
I agree. And it's too bad, imo. Pat was hilarious. Oh well.

The Cubicle Reverend said...

Several years ago post SNL she did a one woman show (which looked very unfunny) called "And God Said, Ha!"


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you can address this kind of thing on your blog. It bugs me when people misquote scripture in general, and especially in today's Biblically unread climate. It is of course, grossly insufficient to say it this, but the Bible is so full of great stuff (God's Word!!)that I wish more people would take the time to read it and not base their ideas on vague memories from church school in their youth, or worse, odds and ends of Bible sounding things in the media.

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