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Thursday, January 12, 2006

"Hi, Kettle? Yeah, this is the Pot. Dude! You're black!"

Regular readers of this blog (who obviously have had some kind of traumatic head injury) know that I am not exactly a friend of religion. Yet, all the same, I am not what you might call an "Evangelical Atheist," and, unlike some others, I am not averse to sharing the world with theists. It is, therefore, a shame that so many theists are unwilling to share the world with the likes of me but, hey, you can't have it all.

Despite my distaste for religion, however, I have been known to expose myself to religious material from time to time and I harbor a particular fondness for Christian broadcast media. This is, perhaps, because it is usually so batshit insane that I end up developing a considerable professional interest in it and can, briefly, forget how dangerous it is for any society to accept such material as reasoned discourse. In a previous post I wrote about my enjoyment of various programs on what I have dubbed the "Crazy Christian Channel," which is otherwise known as the Trinity Broadcast Network. This network produces some truly fabulous stuff including, but not limited to, The Omega Code, a movie about the Christian end times as told in Revelations, Six, another movie about the Christian end times as told in Revelations, Megdido, another movie about the Christian end times as told in Revelations, and, in a radical move, Apocalypse, a movie about the Christian end times as told in Revelations. If you get the sense that a certain branch of Christianity is a little obsessive, you're not alone.

Now, I'm not bringing the Crazy Christian Channel up because I've been watching it lately, but rather because of a recent event. One of the folks who often appears on CCC is a gentleman named Hal Lindsey. Lindsey is, perhaps, best known for writing The Late, Great Planet Earth, a book about... wait for it... the Christian end times as told in Revelations. Lindsey is a true joy to watch in that his commentary is effectively indecipherable unless you have a bible for a brain, and his skill at post hoc explanation is legendary. Perhaps even better, Lindsey has a website where he keeps a selection of cartoons that, in the style of political cartooning, are supposed to comment on current events. You can find the seizure-inducing lot of them here, but I particularly recommend the one about God's mercy, the one about Islamic comedians, that other one about those kooky homosexuals, and that last one that I find rather baffling.

Despite all his qualifications, however, it appears that Hal Lindsey won't be on the Crazy Christian Channel anymore. Apparently he has grown too Crazy for even the CCC to want to air his program or, as he says in his letter of resignation:

January 1, 2006

Dear Paul and Jan,

Paul, Jr. relayed your message to me that you are both in agreement on the policy of nothing negative being said on TBN about Muslims. Hearing that you also warned John Haggee, Perry Stone, Jack VanImpe and others of this policy caused me to realize that your are not going to modify your position.

I love and respect you both and know your heart for evangelism of the Muslims. But I don't agree with your reasoning that warning about the dangers of "radical Islam" is a hindrance to the Gospel to all Muslims. The 'Radicals' are intimidating the moderate Muslims -- not to mention their terrible persecution of Arab and Palestinian Christians.

Jesus confronted false religion (which Islam is) by calling them "whitewashed tombstones", "Brood of vipers", and "sons of hell" in Matthew 23.

I am sure of my calling from the LORD. One important part of that calling is to sound a prophetic alarm to America and the world about the dangers of the false religion of Fundamental Islam. It is a "Watchman on the Wall" kind of calling.

In addition, the IIB is a news show from a Christian perspective. It is impossible to report the news without mentioning in a 'negative light' the radical Islamists who are wreaking murder and destruction on the Western world daily. It is truthfully reporting the most relevant news that made IIB one the most popular programs on TBN.

It is also absolutely unacceptable to me to require my script to be submitted for censorship each week and then to learn whether my program will be aired or not. I don't have much money and it costs me a lot out of pocket to produce each show. When it is rejected or pre-empted, it is a big loss for me.

So with regret and grief, I am not returning to TBN. I intend to pursue other avenues of ministry. I thank you for the years of association in the ministry. May God continue to bless you in your pursuit of evangelizing the world.

In Christ's grace,
Hal Lindsey


Now, I don't have a lot to say here except this: when the television network renowned for being ultra-right and ultra-evangelical is saying that you are too radical, perhaps it's time to reconsider matters somewhat. I'm just saying.

In the meantime, though, we'll all miss you Hal. Your revelations about our modern world placed you in the ranks of the best modern oracles. Good luck.

Special thanks to my Former Hypothetical Roommate for spotting this in the middle of the night. You know, and then mentioning it to me at a more civilized hour.

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