The Televangelism Warning Label
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31-08-2015, 11:35 AM
The Televangelism Warning Label
Cigarettes, while severely restricted these days in where they can be smoked, are nonetheless legal. And since the 60s they've carried a warning label that over time has gained strength. So the precedent has been established.

Televangelist presentations should have a warning label permanently displayed. It'd read something like this:

"WARNING: Use of religious ritual and withholding licensed medical attention from minors or other legal dependents is a felony punishable by fine and imprisonment."

Like the cigarettes warning, getting it established won't be accomplished overnight. There will be some resistance.

But I think it'd be a good start.

Even John Oliver's mock televangelical Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption carries a "warning" label that says all proceeds remitted will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. Even in the act of parodying religious scam Mr. Oliver applies scruples. There are no labels at all on televangelist screens (other than the remittance address and telephone).
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31-08-2015, 11:36 AM
RE: The Televangelism Warning Label
(31-08-2015 11:35 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  Cigarettes, while severely restricted these days in where they can be smoked, are nonetheless legal. And since the 60s they've carried a warning label that over time has gained strength. So the precedent has been established.

Televangelist presentations should have a warning label permanently displayed. It'd read something like this:

"WARNING: Use of religious ritual and withholding licensed medical attention from minors or other legal dependents is a felony punishable by fine and imprisonment."

Like the cigarettes warning, getting it established won't be accomplished overnight. There will be some resistance.

But I think it'd be a good start.

Even John Oliver's mock televangelical Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption carries a "warning" label that says all proceeds remitted will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. Even in the act of parodying religious scam Mr. Oliver applies scruples. There are no labels at all on televangelist screens (other than the remittance address and telephone).

Violates separation of Church and state.
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31-08-2015, 11:48 AM
RE: The Televangelism Warning Label
Is withholding medical attention from minors or legal dependents actually illegal in the United States?
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31-08-2015, 11:56 AM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2015 12:13 PM by Mr. Boston.)
RE: The Televangelism Warning Label
(31-08-2015 11:36 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Violates separation of Church and state.

If warning labels related to mature or explicit content on music albums and songs doesn't violate the 1st amendment I'm not sure how warning labels on unsubstantiated bullshit claims designed to solicit money from people in exchange for celestial benefits would violate separation of church and state. It's not the belief part that's being labeled, it's the commerce part. You can encourage people to believe whatever you want them to... for free.
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31-08-2015, 12:14 PM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2015 12:18 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: The Televangelism Warning Label
(31-08-2015 11:36 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(31-08-2015 11:35 AM)Airportkid Wrote:  Cigarettes, while severely restricted these days in where they can be smoked, are nonetheless legal. And since the 60s they've carried a warning label that over time has gained strength. So the precedent has been established.

Televangelist presentations should have a warning label permanently displayed. It'd read something like this:

"WARNING: Use of religious ritual and withholding licensed medical attention from minors or other legal dependents is a felony punishable by fine and imprisonment."

Like the cigarettes warning, getting it established won't be accomplished overnight. There will be some resistance.

But I think it'd be a good start.

Even John Oliver's mock televangelical Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption carries a "warning" label that says all proceeds remitted will be donated to Doctors Without Borders. Even in the act of parodying religious scam Mr. Oliver applies scruples. There are no labels at all on televangelist screens (other than the remittance address and telephone).

Violates separation of Church and state.

Actually, letting a faith-healing church get away without warning levels when everyone else has to have them would violate separation of church and state by giving this particular institution a special status that everyone else is denied. False advertising does not stop being a crime just because the person doing it is waving a cross, and separation of church and state does not translate into "I am allowed to commit crimes because I represent a church".

On the other hand, if homeopathy gets away without a warning level, faith healing should benefit from equal-opportunity allowance-of-fraud. (But of course, homeopathy SHOULDN'T be exempted. It just is because once upon a time a homeopath got into Congress.)

But even then any faith healer (or homeopath, or well-meaning-relative, or so on) who actively encourages parents and guardians to forgo licensed medical care for a minor, is encouraging them to break the law and shares a measure of culpability. A warning label might be a good way to avoid jail time.
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31-08-2015, 12:19 PM
RE: The Televangelism Warning Label
(31-08-2015 11:56 AM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  
(31-08-2015 11:36 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Violates separation of Church and state.

If warning labels related to mature or explicit content on music albums and songs doesn't violate the 1st amendment I'm not sure how warning labels on unsubstantiated bullshit claims designed to solicit money from people in exchange for celestial benefits would violate separation of church and state. It's not the belief part that's being labeled, it's the commerce part. You can encourage people to believe whatever you want them to... for free.

The government would be making a statement about the truthfulness of a religion.
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31-08-2015, 12:32 PM
RE: The Televangelism Warning Label
(31-08-2015 12:19 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(31-08-2015 11:56 AM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  If warning labels related to mature or explicit content on music albums and songs doesn't violate the 1st amendment I'm not sure how warning labels on unsubstantiated bullshit claims designed to solicit money from people in exchange for celestial benefits would violate separation of church and state. It's not the belief part that's being labeled, it's the commerce part. You can encourage people to believe whatever you want them to... for free.

The government would be making a statement about the truthfulness of a religion.

The government does this by saying it trusts in god.
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31-08-2015, 12:33 PM
RE: The Televangelism Warning Label
I don't think that Airportkid's televangelism warning violates the separation of church and state. The text forbids the government from establishing a religion (i.e. making membership in one sect mandatory) or infringing on the free expression thereof. A warning against denying medical care to minors or dependents violates neither principle.

Proponents of wackaloon fundamentalism assert that their free expression of their religion is violated by human rights laws and it remains to be seen if this argument will hold sway with the courts. But that argument applies to the laws, not to any warning regarding the illegality of certain religious practices which seek to deny rights to citizens.

But I don't think Airportkid's warning goes nearly far enough. I think it should include a warning that any money sent to the televangelist will probably be spent on drugs and prostitutes. I personally think prostitution should be legal. But I also think that people donating money to televangelists deserve to know what those preachers are likely to spend the money on.

I would also put an end to tax-exempt status for churches. A church is a for-profit business and should be taxed accordingly. And they sell a service. (Salvation.) They should have to pay sales tax on that as well as income tax on their profits. And then they should all be tossed in prison for fraud if they cannot prove that they deliver on their promises.

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el cielo por alas,
nosotros por lágrimas."
-- Jaime Sabines
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31-08-2015, 12:36 PM
RE: The Televangelism Warning Label
Well, don't certain vitamins and herbal remedies require a statement that says that the FDA hasn't approved or evaluated claims made by the company? Maybe it is perfectly reasonable to have such warning labels on "faith based" healing televangelism.
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31-08-2015, 12:45 PM
RE: The Televangelism Warning Label
(31-08-2015 12:32 PM)pablo Wrote:  
(31-08-2015 12:19 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The government would be making a statement about the truthfulness of a religion.

The government does this by saying it trusts in god.

The government is prohibited from promoting a religion or preventing people from their exercise of a religion. I don't see anything in there that prevents the government from noting that particular claims are unfounded and/or potentially dangerous.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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