Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Goddamned Podcast #19:
June 19, 2008

THIS WEEK - Shrinks, Oaths, and Stupid Editing at The NY Times

Joined by regular pinch-hitter Chappy, the Herd follows up on last weeks' Evolutionary Psychology conversation by discussing psychology of the non-evolutionary kind. We wonder: Is psychoanalysis somewhat "faith-based"? Why isn't god-belief considered delusional? Or would atheism be seen as a problem requiring therapy? (0:00)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wants to take on the government in an attempt to preclude it from essentially forcing new citizens to swear "so help me god". Wouldn't a freethinking new American be loath to complain about that oath as part of the ceremony? Some of us think we need to concentrate on removing god from ALL public affirmations. (17:26)

The Herd agrees: Let's do away with government oaths to god. But how do we accomplish that? Evo has a faith-based all-encompassing solution! Chappy argues — one step at a time! But this is all about Evo's reality. We swear! (34:12)

Late-breaking news: If Obama is elected, he'll be America's first black President! Is that too obvious for us to mention? Well, you may be right. After all, we're not The New York Times? Ex offers another goddamned puzzle: Can Venjanz keep his perfect record going? (46:58)

Opening Music [00:00]: excerpt from "Another Goddamned Draft"
Bridge Music [16:38]: excerpt from "Heathen Boogie" by Rachel Murie
Bridge Music [33:02]: excerpt from "Star Spangled Banner"
Bridge Music [46:17]: excerpt from "Latin Down the Hatches" by Rachel Murie
Closing Music [59:17]: excerpt from "As Jazzy as I Get" by Rachel Murie
(All music: copyright 2008 by Rachel Murie where noted)

Original audio source


Venjanz said...

Heh. Shrinks.

My job and one of my hobbies (poker) requires me to be able to analyze people. I have been forced (not by the courts, BTW) twice in my life to see a psychologist, and both times I fucked them up.

I completely mislead the shrinks just because I could, and I knew what they wanted to hear. And I resented being there.

The last time I went, I was left thinking that I should have been sitting in the padded chair.

Doing some research, it seems that under most laws, state or federal, you are not required to swear to God, but give your word that will tell the truth. In my opinion, the law trumps here, as I think the intent is that if you give your “oath” or promise that you will tell the truth, and if it is discovered that you did not, you can be charged with perjury.

I’m not a lawyer, but this is the way I see it.

Why does Obama have to be black? He is no more black than he is white.

PhillyChief said...

Well I think both a psychiatrist and a psychologist could be duped by a dishonest patient. They have to treat what you tell them as being honest answers, and I don't think they're super duper lie detectors or else they'd have them standard in every precinct and court case.

The three issues about god oaths are:

1) The default oaths have it and no one is going to tell you you can skip it. That little nugget of info is yours to discover and bring up at the time of the swearing

2) In many situations, the raising of an objection to the swearing, much like refusing to swear on a bible in court, potentially ostracizes you and could lead to those around you treating you negatively. Also, in cases where servicemen give their oath, they may feel intimidated to bring up the subject to those administering the oath who out rank him. There's also an UGLY amount of christian shenanigans going on in the armed forces now, and I don't just mean the atheist get their beds short sheeted. You have Hall's case and many other cases that the MRFF are dealing with, plus the fact that Tillman might have been killed due to his views.

3) The citizenship oath is similar to the military oath but remember these people are desperate to become citizens. There's no way they're going to risk rocking the boat and objecting to the oath. Also, the expectation that a new citizen would have the wherewithal to discover that this religious part isn't mandatory is too high.

You are correct sir! I think that alone says plenty about the issue of race in America.

The Exterminator said...

You're right about perjury. Why not just have the judge remind all witnesses that if they lie during testimony, they can be charged with a crime. No oath, no affirmation, no nothing. Just: "If you lie on the witness stand, and we find out about it, you're fucked. Do you understand?"

Ordinary Girl said...

But only if they're allowed to say "fucked".

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Good cast again. Still haven't heard the last few minutes (my bluetooth headphones died).

Someone's absence of faith should not be a subject for discussion unless the client is saying that it is a problem. In the example given in the show I think the pyschologist/counsellor over stepped the mark.

On oath taking, in Australia we have the option of taking the citizenship pledge with or without god.

I have no idea whether or not this is widely advertised though.

It was a hat tip to our policy of multiculturalism in the mid eighties and now that we have just come off the tail end of a conservative pro-faith government that was against multiculturalism I suspect that the option may have been downplayed.

In the courtroom though it is made clear that you may choose an oath or affirmation, and it did not seem to effect the make up of the jury, whether or not the person was godridden or not(I had to appear for jury duty three times late last year).

PhillyChief said...

Ah, Oz.

Cephus said...

Actually, after finally listening to the podcast, I wanted to point out that in California at least, they don't require you to swear on the Bible or any religious oath whatsoever in court. Last time I testified in a court case, there wasn't a Bible to be found, nor was God mentioned at all. I can't remember the last time I was asked to swear or affirm or anything else related to religion.

John Evo said...

Cephus - unless it was edited, I made that very point (though maybe I just said "here" and not "California" - I don't remember).