1997-1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002+
Parody Site Isn't All That Funny
I'm sorry to have to do this. I haven't even checked with the rest of the staff to see
if it's OK to write up this editorial. I'm just so depressed with the choices some people make.
Recently, we've been flooded with emails pointing us to
the 'crazy Baptists' over at the Landover Baptist page.
Quite frankly, I'm not impressed.
Here's a little background on me. I've been a Baptist my whole life. My father was a Baptist minister for years, taught at a Bible college and
has given his life for full-time service to Christ. I have followed in my father's footsteps,
and am also a minister. I am 24 years old and have been working with a church here in the midwest for over two and a half
Here's a few samples of the many emails we have received about Landover Baptist's Star Wars webpage:
"This is stuff that jokes are made of, even more shocking is that its real."
"Man, how I wish this was a dumb joke.
I can't believe people think like this these days!"
"I'm not sure if I should be disturbed or laughing my butt off..."
"This has got to be the sickest story I have ever read."
"See what kind of idiots the Baptists are?"
"Just go to it and inform the rest of the loyal readers of this bull."
So, we've been flooded with the links to this site, at last count 27 times in the last week, with people saying things like, "Look at what the Baptists have done this time,"
or "those Christians are completely nuts!" My heart sinks and I've got to go check out the site since they're referring to me
What do I find over on the Landover site? Basically, the site is a satire of religion and makes fun of God. There is no Landover Baptist
Church. There are no pastors. It exists only on the Internet and in the minds of two young men.
With that said, here's the background on the site. Two seniors, Mike Allen and Chris Harper, were kicked out of their school with a few weeks left before graduation. They
were kicked out of Liberty University for a radio program they were doing that was deemed offensive by the administration. They kicked them out just weeks before they were to graduate, and it appears the web site is a way for them to
vent their feelings about Christianity. I understand that, but I have a hard time agreeing with what they have to say, especially when unsuspecting visitors characterize an entire group of people based on
their satirical words from the website.
Go visit their site if you want, but know that what is said there does not reflect the sentiment of Baptists and Christians everywhere. Let's be careful not to
let the statements and accusations of one group of people reflect our opinion of them all.
I understand parody, but this just isn't funny.
Written by Joshua Griffin
June 2, 1999
Why not try these alternative links instead?
How to become a Real Jedi
The Force Returns
Amazing. As I type this update, another email comes in again with a link to the site and various comments about it. Wow. Anyhow, thanks already for all the notes and letters on both sides of the issue. I appreciate your thoughts and welcome
more in the future. I would like to post a few excerpts from those letters some time this week, so send in your comments!
Here are some of your comments so far:
Heather says, "Thank you for the editorial and the links to Frank Allnut. As a Christian, I found that site 100% offensive."
Andy writes, "I just felt like
I should e-mail you to thank you for your wonderful editorial (and for the
great links at the bottom), and to encourage you in your walk with the Lord.
I am positive that through those links, God will work. I went to TF.N looking for the best in SW
news, and I left receiving an enormous blessing of God through your
Nancy writes, "Frankly, I can't see what all the fuss is about. The site
is clearly labeled as satire. I don't think
it's particularly good
satire, but it's effective enough to get an emotional reaction out of
people. Those who think that the Landover Baptist site is "real" are
falling into the satirist's trap. Like the worthy individuals who
accused Jonathan Swift of advocating cannibalism in "A Modest Proposal,"
they just don't get it."
Laura comments, "I was heaps encouraged by your editorial about the controversy with the
Baptist site and the star wars parodies (i haven't been there so i don't
know the details), but it was great just to see someone standing up for
their faith. I belong to an Anglican church in Sydney, Aust, and our
whole church are just trying to focus on Jesus more and more. To read
what you published on the net about being a minister and your father
commiting his life to Christ was great. The links were very cool too,
thanks for putting them up."
Matt suggests, "Why is this on a star wars website? We don't care about your religious
problems, nor do we care about your lack of a sense of humor. The people who
visit this site do so because they love star wars, not because they want to
hear from whinning christians; so if it is not about star wars then it does
not belong here."
Jeff states, "Lessons like, appreciating people even if they are clumsy from time to
time, not worry, because there will be a bigger fish to take care of the
huge problems we think are so insurmountable. Star Wars is not the belief
system in which I build my eternal hope on, but if I can use it to
springboard into a chance to witness to someone or encourage them, I think
that's very good."
Rudy says, "As stated, the web site was
created to satirize the Baptist right. The point that was being made was
this: if some religious organizations condemn homosexuality or are against
gun control or believe certain books should be banned or preach that their
way is the only way, well, condemning "Star Wars" is just as silly and
pointless. That is fair satire, and very timelely."
Shawn comments, "Wow. After reading your editorial, of course I HAD TO check out the
Landover Baptist site. I've gotta say: I'm amazed that anybody could
misconstrue that as being anything but parody. Maybe I've read "The Onion"
a few too many times. I don't know..."
Written by: Joshua Griffin