At the root of every moot point seen in today’s global forum there is one factor that seems to stand most prominent amongst the rest: religion. Get into any kind of argument with someone and there’s a good chance that they may play the religion card. Religion itself is not meant to be a sort of conveyor belt to raise you up onto a pedestal or anything of the sort; why do people feel the need to believe that this is the case? It all comes down to closed mindedness. The inability to place themselves into other people’s shoes and think as they might causes their minds to be clouded and thus the idea of “they’re unlike me so they don’t deserve to have a say in the world” comes about. Both of the videos I chose poke fun at the hypocrisy in the major religions of the world, mainly Christianity.
George Carlin on Religion and God
If you’re familiar with George Carlin you’ll know that his style is to backhandedly criticize those that he’s talking about in his routine. In this particular routine he starts out by criticizing religious followers in general, stating that “religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky…” He delivers it in such a way that he’s obviously mimicking those who are at the butt end of his jokes and establishes how ridiculous they sound. The arrangement of his telling of all the punishment God inflicts on his followers if they are to go against him and then his remark “but he loves you!” further solidifies how ridiculous their beliefs sound to an outsider of their religion. He then attempts to see eye to eye with those who are of some sort of faith and builds his pathos as someone who’s at least tried to step into their shoes. He explains that he tried to believe as they do but as he’s grown older he sees that there is too much ungodly things happening in the world for humanity to have been created in God’s image at all. He appeals to women by labeling God as a man because of man’s proclivity to letting his own domain reduce to shambles much like God’s domain being plagued by war, disease, torture, and the supposed onslaught of the homosexual agenda upon the heterosexual population of America. George then draws from the rhetorical canon of invention by declaring Joe Pesci as someone who is worthy of being praised because of his ability to successfully fulfill prayers that God cannot, namely those that are having to do with the physical world. Here he is implying that you might as well pray to Joe Pesci if what you are praying to has to do with any other sentient being dealt with.
Bill Hicks – Religion
Bill Hicks starts his routine with the declarative statement “I’m getting [that] close to hell right now”, already developing his ethos as someone who has a tendency to speak of religious topics in a joking manner that may lead to his eventual eternal damnation. This prepares the audience for what is to come for the rest of this segment of his routine and gives an idea of where his opinions lie. He draws from the rhetorical canon of memory by pointing out the irony behind the fact that most people who are against any kind of sexually provoking material are of a faith group known as Fundamentalist Christians who hold the belief of “being fruitful and multiplying”. The hypocrisy behind this group’s disapproval raises questions of whether or not Fundamental Christianity is truly a logical belief system and evokes thought in the audience by elaborating on it with his question of “shouldn’t they be for things that cause sexual thought?” He further builds his ethos by telling a story of an experience of his in Alabama where two “rednecks” met him after the show and roughed him up for comments he made about religion during his set. Their saying “we’re Christians and we don’t like what you said” exemplifies the closed mindedness of followers of major religions in the world simply because of the vast majority of their peers who have similar views and the fact that those who do not think likewise are the minority compared to the followers of different beliefs systems.